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Castle, Regional Capitol
Note: this article is about the castle in the Iron Islands. "Pyke" is also a traditional bastard surname; see the article on bastardy for more information.
Pyke is a castle located on the island of the same name, which is one of the eight Iron Islands. It is the seat of House Greyjoy, the rulers of the Iron Islands. 'Pyke' is also the name given to bastards born on the Iron Islands.
Pyke is an ancient stronghold. It was originally built on a cliff jutting out into the sea, but over time the cliff has eroded, leaving the castle's towers standing on series of small, barren rock stacks, surrounded by water. Since there is no safe anchorage at Pyke, those who wish to travel there have to sail to a nearby Lordsport.
The towers are connected by swaying rope bridges. The keep, its towers, walls and bridges are made of the same grey-black stone of which the rest of the island is composed. In the thousands of years the keep has stood, it has become covered with green lichen. A curtain wall encloses the headland of fifty acres and the cliffs around the foot of the wide stone bridge which extended out to the largest islet. The stables, kennels and livestock are located on the headland. The Great Keep, Kitchen Keep and the Bloody Keep each sit on their own islands. Towers and outbuildings are located on stacks beyond them, linked to each other by covered archways where the pillars stood close and by long, swaying walks of wood and rope when they did not. To get to the Sea Tower, one must cross three bridges, the last of which is made of rope.
- Great Keep. The largest islet is capped by the Great Keep. It is connected to the Bloody Keep by a covered stone walkway.
- Bloody Keep. The Bloody Keep is one of the largest sections of the castle. It lies on its own island, further out than the Great Keep. Its halls are larger and better furnished. It got its name a thousand years ago when the sons of the River King were slaughtered within it and their pieces returned to their father on the mainland. To get to the Great Keep one must use a covered stone walkway.
- Kitchen Keep. The Kitchen Keep sits on its own island. It lies further out from the mainland than the Great Keep.
- Sea Tower. The Sea Tower rises from the outermost island at the far reaches of the island. It is the oldest part of the castle, and is round and tall. The base of the tower is white from centuries of salt spray and is crooked. To get from the Great Keep to the Sea Tower, one must cross three bridges.
- Gatehouse, The walls of Pyke run in a crescent moon from cliff to cliff, with the gatehouse providing entry, located in the center portion of the wall and including an iron portcullis to provide additional protection should the wall be attacked. There are three towers to either side; the southern most tower is new, made of a paler grey stone, after the old southern tower had been destroyed during the Greyjoy Rebellion when Robert I breached the walls.
See also Siege of Pyke
During the Greyjoy Rebellion, the Siege of Pyke was the final battle. King Robert, along with Lord Eddard Stark mustered thousands of men, invading the islands thorough Lordsport and won after they brought down the southern part of the outer wall of Pyke, using siege engines.
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