Brightstone Keep is a small fortress situated on a cliffside near the western end of the Icebarrier Mountains, about a day’s march outside of the trading town of Marikest. Originally built as a fortification to accompany the mine also located at the site, Brightstone Keep served as a mining camp for several years until a particularly cold winter and spring drove several tribes of orcs and other, more foul creatures out of the mountains and into the valley surrounding the keep.
The area was overrun and Brightstone abandoned for several years, until a small army led by a Knight Hrafn drove the miscreants out of the valley and back into the mountains. Unfortunately the army moved on and dispersed when the Knight’s contract ended, and Brightstone Keep was left in a power vacuum.
That vacuum was quickly filled by Kurjan Sawtooth, an orcish priest of Hela, and his fledgling tribe of orcs and trolls. Kurjan set to the task of occupying and rebuilding the fort, primarily via slave labor (and then via undead labor when trolls worked the slaves to death).
Before Kurjan could make much progress with his plans, Brightstone Keep was assaulted and taken by a group of adventurers who slew the evil priest and his minions and claimed the fort for themselves. Calling themselves the Brightstone League, they established Brightstone Keep as a haven for adventurers, mercenaries, and outcasts, and maintained the keep as an outpost against the threat of incursion by orcs and bandits.
Most recently, a more organized group of orcs composed of several raiding parties brought together by some outside force laid siege to Brightstone Keep. The Brightstone League, having been unable to adequately fortify the keep over the winter, and further weakened by a fractured membership and absentee leader, put up a brave but futile resistance, and the keep was once more overrun by orcs.