DCCZ: Defenders of the Red Keep

The Great Labors: The Croaking Fane (Day 22)


The company enters the toad temple. They explore a strange fountain, desecrate a sarcophagus filled with mummified giant toads, and avoid tampering with votary candles. Finally, moving into the nave of the temple, Destruction and his allies are attacked by flying toad gargoyles. The party triumphs and Brother John even bends one of the creatures to his will using his powerful lotus stare, but Dandalf the Faceless is struck down. The party assumes the wizard is dead, but Lucky La La turns him over to find him barely alive!

Into The Elder Wood (Days 20-22)


Finally the company arrives at the Elder Wood, the vast forest home of the elves. They camp at its edge and spend the night fighting horrific fey creatures. The next day the band enters the wood and are met by an elven hunting band that takes Lore’s body and leads the company through the Grey Gates and into the mystical realm of Elfland. Griffin mounts take them to the Floating City, and Destruction and Company finally meet the King of Elfland. The Fey Lord thanks the party for returning his son Lore to him but then informs them of their debt to him. He commands that Destruction and his allies perform eight labors.
The first is to stope the malignant swamps from encroaching upon the Elder Wood. The company immediately embarks upon their first quest. They are led by Keyros, an elven hunter, to the marshy area at the forest’s edge. There the company finds a half-sunken stone temple, shaped like a great squatting toad.

The Fetid Plain (Days 18-20)

After looting the serpent man’s private chamber and discovering his alien spellbook, the company flees a strange fungus that begins to rot the tower from the inside out. They escape just before the tower collapses, emerging into the light of day in time to see the comet Serbok roar across the sky and crash somewhere back beyond the Shudder Mountains.
The group returns as heroes to Gator Hide, earning much deserved awards. After resting for a night, the party moves on, now with a new member, a donkey named Bob. But the journey is not a peaceful one; at midday they are attacked by a behemoth frog, an amphibious monster the size of an inn! The company proves triumphant and continues, stopping to camp at a yurt aside the causeway that night. They are awoken by a horrific sound, the roaring challenge of a water dragon racing toward them. Vandaraxx, the terrifying lord of the Fetid Plain, demands tribute from the travelers in the form of Dandalf’s spellbook. When his demands are not immediately met, the dragon attacks the arrogant humans. In a terrible battle that sees many of the company sorely wounded, Destruction ultimately slays the dragon with a mighty blow from his hammer. The heroes have freed the inhabitants of the Fetid Plains from Vandaraxx’s terrible rule! Huzzah!

Gator Hide: The Tower Out of Time (Days 17-18)


Traveling through the Fetid Plain along the Old Road, the company arrives at Gator Hide, a town sat up on stilts above the great swamp. They are able to rest and recuperate, and Brother John is able to heal the afflicted members’ zombie fever. While there, they are asked to investigate a pillar of light that appeared several days ago. Ferried out on flat boats, Destruction and his allies find a strange tower made out of living hide. Inside the group fights ape men controlled by strange parasites, one of which Brother John is able to dominate with his priestly powers. After making their way to the top of the tower, a snake man wizard and his ape allies. During a horrific battle, both Destruction and Brother John are struck down by the snake mage’s evil magics, but the group, led by Dandalf, are able to overcome their enemies.
Miracle of miracles, both Destruction and Brother John are found to be (barely) alive, though both bear horrible wounds from the battle.

On the Road-Out of the Shudder Mountains (Days 16-17)


Destruction and Company climb up through the Highwind Pass only to run into its guardian, a mighty, ruby-eyed stone giant! When the creature’s demand for gems was refused, a mighty battle took place. After both Brother John and the giant were both brought to death’s very door, the two parties struck a truce, and the company was allowed to pass on unmolested.

Reaching the eastern base of the Shudder Mountains, the group camped on the edges of the Fetid Plain, a great swampy area rumored to inhabited by many evil and terrible beasts. That night, the group was attacked by swamp dead, the animated corpses of those who had perished in the swamps of the Fetid Plain. The dead were defeated, but unbeknownst to our crew, several of its members (Dandalf, La La and Aurik) have contracted zombie fever and will themselves become the walking dead within a week unless cured!!

Woeful Caves Part II (Days 15-16)


In the depths of the Woeful Caves, the heroes confront Shrod the Hungry and his evil axe Reaver. After a mighty battle, Destruction and company defeat the corrupted creature. Leaving Reaver where it lay, they exit the caves and continue on their journey.
Camped in the high passes of the Shudder Mountains, the company is set upon by Under-slavers, foul creatures from deep in the earth looking to capture “toppers” to sale in the Deepworld. Destruction and his allies make quick work of these small, gray-skinned humanoids.

[from The Chained Coffin boxed set]

Into the Woeful Caves of Yander Mountain (Day 15)


Upon reaching Yonder Mountain, the fairie dragon Moonglum tells Destruction that the Wrigglers dwell in the caves on the mountain. Destruction and company enter the Woeful Caves to seek vengeance for their fallen comrade, Morgaine.
Upon entering the caves, the group encounters a number of creatures: more Wrigglers, a hungry mountain lion, and a giant spider. All the time, several of the heroes sense something stalking them, something that takes many forms. Sometimes it is a pale green glow, other times it is the sound of flapping wings overhead. But the unknown force does not yet reveal itself.
Finally, deep down in a cave lined with black eldritch fire, the group is attacked by some undead dwarven miners. The heroes defeat the foul creatures, though Destruction and Zeb both suffer broken limbs from the dwarves’ mighty hammers. After the battle, Brother John calls upon the blessed energies of the Trees to trees to heal his comrades, and the party moves deeper into the caverns.

On the Road Again!: Into the Shudder Mountains (Days 12-15)

After a week’s recovery, our heroes are back on the road. Their first night out, they meet a strange creature, a cat-sized dragon that calls itself Moonglom, who decides to tag along for the journey to the Elder Wood.
The company travels for several uneventful days until they reach Turtle Crossing. There they are ferried across the Mistwater by . . . a giant turtle! A half day’s travel on the other side brings the party to Husk, a trading post for the people of the Shudder Mountains. After a quick stop (and a few ignored warnings), the heroes travel the Old Road along Yander Mountain. There they are attacked by wrigglers, horrific albino humanoids. They repel the attack at great cost; Morgayne dies in the battle, and one of the creatures escapes. After burying their friend, the company moves on.

The Mountain of the Bull God: Finally, a Bull God (Days 5-12)

Emerging from the ladder that apparently rises several hundred feet, our heroes find themselves in a guard tower over looking the wilderness. They are attacked by a swarm of bats; Destruction splatters many with his mighty hammer while Kong uses his psychic powers to blow the remaining creatures out the window.
The group find a rickety drawbridge across a massive chasm. The bridge leads to a ruined fortress. Bravely leading the way, Destruction unfortunately falls through the rotted planks down hundreds of feet to the forest below, apparently to his death. His comrades make there way back down through the tunnels. After hours of searching for their leader’s body, they find him . . . miraculously (if barely) alive! Apparently the lucky barbarian had fallen into the river pouring out of the mountain and was washed up on the shores of the lake. The group decides to camp for the night, and Brother Jon calls on the blessings of the trees to heal Destruction. The next morning the group makes it’s way back up to the mountain top fortress.
Avoiding several traps, the group finally confronts the Bull God. The creature, already wounded by its battle with the priestess of Justicia, fell quickly (and surprisingly) before the might of our heroes, with Destruction landing a mighty blow and Dandalf finishing the beast off with blasts of fire.
The company returns to Upper Hook as conquering heroes, and the locals throw a wild feast in celebration.

Mountain of the Bull God (Day 5): The Defeat of the Dragon Cult of Bat Men


Destruction and his allies defeat the Bat Man Witchdoctor and destroy the Evil Dragon Totem. After traverse a web-filled chasm, the company follows a trail of blood that leads them through an wizard’s laboratory (in which they fight a mad homonculus and experiment with some magical pools) and into a chimney, where they find a ladder leading up into the spire. Is this where the minotaur lives?


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