The Dead Keep Dev Diary #1: Life in The Dead Keep

1. What is the setting of The Dead Keep?

The Dead Keep is a remote island set in a fantasy world. It earned its name ages ago,
when explorers ventured past the magical mist shrouding it to discover its maze-like
ruins haunted by undead and monsters. No one knows about the rise and fall of this
civilization, but rumors about fantastic treasures and ways to gain immortality soon
arose from the lucky few who came back from the journey. Then, during the
following centuries, numerous expeditions tried their luck on the Dead Keep. Most of
them were never heard from again, except for a few survivors coming back mauled,
insane, or both.

Things have changed recently: the Patron, a wealthy man whose identity, funding, and
real motives are kept secret, gathered an armada heading to the Dead Keep. The
Patron welcomes anyone willing to join, as long as they follow two simple rules: obey
the Patron and give him any magical item they manage to find in the Dead Keep. In
return, the Patron provides the party with shelter, food, and even gold for their

Needless to say, the offer attracted a ragtag army of adventurers to the Patron, and
ships keep on sailing to the Dead Keep on a regular basis. Many lost their lives in the
dark, mist-filled corridors already, but a few successful parties came back with
wonderful treasures and breath-taking stories.

In this game, players are adventurers, gathered as a party to explore the Dead Keep.
Will they conquer it and unveil its secrets?

2. Who are the important characters?

Apart from the player characters, the Dead Keep’s VIP is the Patron. No one knows
who he is and where his gold comes from. At first glance, the Patron looks like a
rough but fair merchant, offering anything to his crew as long as his demands are met.
However, his secrecy and deep knowledge about magic earned him some suspicion.
Mundane affairs like gold, life, and death, do not matter for him. He’s all about the
magical artifacts people can bring him back from the Dead Keep.

3. Are there any important locations?

The Dead Keep’s story revolves around three locations:
1- The fleet. Ships come and go as more and more adventurers are attracted to the
Dead Keep and the Patron’s offering. Anyone coming back with magical items will be
rewarded with food, shelter, and gold. No question asked, no discussion about the
price, and no mercy for those coming back empty-handed. The Patron himself never
leaves his own ship.

2- The shores. Base camps have flourished all around the Dead Keep’s shores, hosting
many adventurer parties as they prepare for their next expedition. There is no law per
se, theft and murder can happen if someone is not strong enough to defend
themselves, especially upon coming back from a raid, tired and wounded. However,
those stupid enough to be caught stealing or worse are severely punished by other
adventurers. The Patron is all about business, and keeping the business running is the
ultimate law.

3- The ruins. This is where real adventure lies. Adventurers launch raids in the ruins,
looking mostly for artifacts to bring back, but also for glory and secrets. What is the
Dead Keep’s story? Where do those undeads and monsters come from? Does
immortality awaits those daring to seize it? As the quests go on, players will venture
deeper into the Dead Keep, facing greater challenges and reaping greater rewards.

4. What are the keystones elements of the narrative?

The Dead Keep’s narrative starts with simple dungeon crawling. The player characters
are on a remote island, far away from civilization and its constraining laws. The initial
thrill is answering the adventure’s call with friends, fighting monsters, and earning

As the story unfolds, the party goes deeper and deeper in the Dead Keep, and the
initial thrill is replaced with dread. The magical mist hides grim secrets, and dark
discoveries lead to even darker questions about the island’s story and the Patron’s

In the end, impersonating their heroes, players make harsh decisions about the balance
between freedom and security. Their decisions impact not only their own destiny, but
the entire expedition and the Dead Keep as well. Available for pre-order now at

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