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When the player comes into possession of the Caed Nua stronghold, it is old and dilapidated, and they will want to work with their steward to upgrade it as soon as they can. These upgrades will, in turn, increase security or prestige of the place, open up new activities and events that can happen, which will make the stronghold a dynamic and fun place to own. You can further influence it by employing hirelings to stay at your stronghold.

You can begin collecting taxes from your populace as soon as you gain the stronghold. The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you), but the amount also increases with higher security, since some taxes are lost to banditry. Additionally, security helps reduce the number of "bad" random events, while prestige increases the number of "good" random events. You will want to keep both of those values high.

Rating summary
  • Prestige – increases the taxes collected and quality of "good" random events occurring (rare item offers, prestigious visitors, etc).
  • Security – reduces the taxes you lose to banditry, frequency of "bad" random events occurring (attacks, chances of guests being attacked on the road or guests being kidnapped, etc.).

It is possible to increase Stronghold Prestige and Security from quests: The Old Watcher, A Return to Court, The Master Below, The Phylactery's Promise, The Forgotten Army , ( Talking to the mad kings might give +8 prestige and security ) and maybe others (please add).


The stronghold and house can be restored and upgraded to increase its aesthetic and practical value. Upgrades are useful in that they can unlock a number of fringe benefits. Most upgrades in some way impact the Prestige or Security of the place. These traits are all-important in determining the success of unexpected events. Other upgrades offer additional buffs to your characters' traits, which are useful in the field. There are five bonuses you will receive for getting and upgrading your stronghold.

  • Resting bonuses: Several of the upgrades to your stronghold will grant temporary bonuses to your attributes or skills when you rest in Brighthollow.
  • Adventures for idle companions: Companions that are recruited but aren't in the party will remain at your stronghold[1] and gain a fractional amount of experience (typically about 75%).[2] While they are idling away at the stronghold, they can take part in their own adventures, earning additional experience for themselves and extra money, items and reputation bonuses for you. If a player uses the stronghold system to manage characters when they aren't in the party, they can have full XP parity if the player wants them to.[3]
  • Merchants: Some of the upgrades provide merchants.
  • Ingredients: Some of the upgrades will generate ingredients used for crafting and enchantment.
  • Special offers: Sometimes visitors to your stronghold will have rare items for sale, or perhaps they will offer you items in return for something else.
  • Security: Most of the upgrades improve the security of the stronghold, protecting your wealth and residents.
  • Wealth: You own all of the surrounding lands near the stronghold and impose a tax on all of the inhabitants,[4] but the tax isn't an endless source of income.[5] You meet and interact with your subjects who pay your taxes during the quest A Return to Court.

All such upgrades cost both money and in-game time to build but you don't have to wait at the stronghold while they are built. You can continue adventuring, and you will be notified when they are built. Upgrades can also serve as prerequisites for other upgrades. Individual sections of the stronghold get upgraded individually and each section has two states, ruined and restored.[6] Only one upgrade can be constructed at a time and subsequent upgrades cannot be queued to start when the previous construction completes (such as when travelling for days via the overland map).

Upgrade tree[]


List of upgrades[]

Name Prerequisite Bonus Prestige Security Cost Build Time
Eastern Barbican None Bars passage to Woodend Plains + 1 + 2 Free Instantly
Warden's Lodge Eastern Barbican Survival resting bonus and bounties + 2 + 2 1000 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Woodland Trails Athletics and Constitution resting bonus + 1 + 2 1500 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Brighthollow Restoration Needed for resting + 2 + 0 500 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Main Keep Unlocks visitors and adventures for companions + 3 + 4 1400 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Brighthollow Courtyard Pool Brighthollow Repair pool + 1 + 0 600 Copper pands (cp) 1 day
Brighthollow Hearth Restore order to the keep + 1 + 0 600 Copper pands (cp) 1 day
Brighthollow Lab Restore lab + 1 + 0 600 Copper pands (cp) 1 day
Barracks Main Keep Enables hirelings + 0 + 3 2000 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Library Lore resting bonus + 2 + 0 900 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Merchant Stalls Adds a permanent merchant to the Great Hall + 0 + 0 1400 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Dungeons Enables imprisoning characters + 0 + 0 1200 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Towers Perception resting bonus + 2 + 1 800 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Bailey Unlocks other upgrades + 2 + 0 800 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Western Barbican Unlocks other upgrades + 0 + 2 900 Copper pands (cp) 3 days
Forum[7] Bailey Intellect resting bonus + 4 + 0 1200 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Training Grounds Might resting bonus + 0 + 2 1500 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Botanical Garden Produces plants every turn + 1 + 0 1800 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Hedge Maze[7] Stealth resting bonus + 0 + 3 1400 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
West Curtain Wall Western Barbican Protection from the west + 0 + 4 2500 Copper pands (cp) 4 days
South Curtain Wall Protection from the south + 0 + 4 2500 Copper pands (cp) 4 days
Craft Hall Dexterity resting bonus, crafting resources + 1 + 1 1600 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Curio shop Produces creature parts every turn + 1 + 0 1800 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Artificer's Hall Mechanics resting bonus, crafting bonus + 1 + 0 1600 Copper pands (cp) 2 days
Chapel Resolve resting bonus + 4 + 0 2000 Copper pands (cp) 2 days


Once the player has restored the Barracks in the keep, they can hire up to eight hirelings that can add to the stronghold's Security and Prestige. They can also be used to provide aid to supplicants and to help defend the stronghold during an attack. The player always pre-pays for the services of hirelings for a fixed period of time. Some hirelings will automatically leave after their pay-period is up. If the player cannot pay for the services of a hireling, the most expensive hirelings no longer apply their bonuses to the stronghold. The player has to either find the funds or dismiss the hireling to make use of that slot.

Some hirelings of varying classes are constantly available as a standard. Guest hirelings are available as a result of special events and the player's faction reputations. Their availability at the house may only be for a limited time, or their loyalty might be contingent on the player’s continued good graces with a particular faction.

Given the extreme personalities of some guest hirelings, their bonuses tend to be higher than that of the standard. In some cases, however, their positive bonus in one attribute can come with an added penalty to another. Select hirelings with budget and a healthy balance of Prestige and Security in mind.

Hireling Source Class Cost per day Prestige Security
Berathite Cleric Common Priest 10 Copper pands (cp) +1 +1
Blooded Thug Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +1 +1
Goldpact Knight[8][9] Common Paladin 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Mercenary Mindstriker Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Orderless Disciple Common Monk 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Rauatai Linebreaker[8] Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Skirmish Archer Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +1 +1
Vagabond Skald Common Chanter 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Vailian Shock Mage Common Wizard 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Vanguard Soldier Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +1 +1
Warden of the Wilds Common 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Aedyran Noblewoman Guest Aristocrat 200 Copper pands (cp) +6
Brutish Warrior Guest Barbarian 50 Copper pands (cp) +3 +2
Dunryd Psion Guest Cipher 100 Copper pands (cp) -2 +2
Fellow of St. Waidwen Guest Paladin 90 Copper pands (cp) +1 +3
Glanfathan Soul Hunter Guest Cipher 100 Copper pands (cp) +2 +3
Vicious War Criminal[8] Guest Fighter 350 Copper pands (cp) -4 +3
Aldwyn The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Big Durmsey The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Gjefa The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Iqali The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Lyrinia The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Orico The Salty Mast Brothel 10 Copper pands (cp) +2
Fampyr The Champion of Berath 20 Copper pands (cp) -3 +5
Crucible Chevalier Winds of Steel Paladin 20 Copper pands (cp) +4 +2
Doemenel Thief The Changing of the Guard Rogue 20 Copper pands (cp) +2 +4
Dozens Mercenary Captain The Bronze Beneath the Lake Fighter 20 Copper pands (cp) +3 +3
Avenger of Skaen Blood Legacy Priest 65 Copper pands (cp) -2 +3
Korgrak A Farmer's Plight Ogre 50 Copper pands (cp) -6 +6
Bleak Walker Paladin Bleak Oath Paladin 65 Copper pands (cp) -2 +6