During the Malazan civil war Captain Tazal Jhern informed Mallick Rel that Fortress Jurda had fallen to the Wickans. Under Mallick's questioning, the captain conveyed his opinion that the fortress capitulation was due to the insufficient size of its garrison rather than to any incompetence of Lord Jurda - who had made the decision.
Before the formation of the Malazan Empire, Castle Jurda - as it was then called - was an impressive cliff-like, large structure made of grey stone. The Castle had layered, unusually high, curtain walls. The Castle walls did, in fact, surround what amounted to an entire town. Castle Jurda had successfully withstood multiple determined sieges over the ages.
Jurda was an ally of Malle of Gris. Jurda and its environs - including Castle Jurda - was a duchy and the then ruler was Duke Rethor; as he was the senior member of the Jurdan ducal family. The ruling families of Jurda and of Bloor had - for hundreds of years - nursed a "mutual hatred" for each other. At this time, the Bloorians and their allies had succeeded in isolating and besieging Castle Jurda. Because of this, the Duke sent word - via his uncle, Lord Fense - to Malle that, although Rethor would hold Castle Jurda against the "damned Bloorians", that a relief force was needed to push them back. The Grisian allies agreed to assemble such a force to relieve Jurda.