DCCZ: Defenders of the Red Keep

Into Castle Whiterock: Level 1 and 2 (Year 2, Month 6, Day 3-7

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As more and more commonfolk settle around the Red Keep, the company hears many rumors. Some tell stories of the ghostly Night Boats, black longships that float upon sorcerous fog, manned by tall, gaunt warriors with ghostly weapons. Others tell stories of missing neighbors and family members. A few have even escaped attacks by black clad warriors bearing a chain tattoo who seek to capture and enslave. Finally, a story circulated about a group of monks excavating an old ruin near Silvercliff called Castle Whiterock. Destruction and his allies set out to make contact with the monks in the ruins. Kid Tiger, the company’s young protege, asks to come along.
After several days travel, the adventurers arrive at Silvercliff and receive a hero’s welcome. The city council holds a feast in their honor, and Destruction and company are pleased to hear of the silver pouring into the Red Keep’s coffers.
The next morning, the party travels to the ruins of the ancient Castle Whiterock, which sits next to a lake in an extinct volcano. They approach the keep and are met by monks, who take them to some tents erected in the ruins to await their master, Ikvenvar. But it was all a trap, and they are set upon by villainous slavers. Worse, Kid Tiger himself reveals himself to be a member of this terrible group and attacks his former allies. Destruction lays the young man low, Dandalf’s magicks turn Ikenvar to stone, and several of the warrior monks are killed.
The company explores the ruins, flushing out another monk, this one a short, fat man who flees at an incredible speed. Ultimately, the adventurers uncover stairs that descend to a complex beneath the castle. There they confront and defeat a group of armed albino beast men and their minotaur ally. Later they find a number of enslaved humanoids, whom they free.

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Building a Kingdom: Attack on Asefeh (Year 2, Month 5, Day 28 to Month 6, Day 1-2)

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Destruction and company journey back to Red Keep using Brother Jon’s newfound ability to travel through the Green. Entering a tree near Silvercliff, the group emerges from a tree outside of Red Keep. Brother Jon and Kolash travel on to the priest’s shrine while the others return to the fort.
That night, the keep is attacked by a dark spirit . . . a wraith! It makes its way through the fort and into Asefeh’s room. Destruction, La La and Dandalf narrowly prevent the undead thing from kidnapping their friend. Calling upon the power of the Demon’s Head, the artifact that exists below Red Keep, Dandalf destroys the wraith with hellfire, only to find himself corrupted in the bargain. He now has the pointed ears of a hellspawn!

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Building a Kingdom: Facing the Tiger Spirit (Year 2, Month 4, Day 10-Month 5, Day 25-27)

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In attempt to pacify the country between Red Keep and Silvercliff, Destruction and company discover a terrifying tiger spirit that is plaguing the countryside. Confronting the creature in it’s human form, the barbarian lord slays it with a mighty blow of his hammer.

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Building a Kingdom: Battling the Hill Giant Chieftain (Year 2, Month 4, Day 10-Month 5, Day 24-)

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The company enters the Great Hall of the Hill Giant Chieftain Hugglbugg. They defeat his two bodyguards and his dire wolf pets. The chief himself, rising from a drug induced stupor, does battle with Destruction and his allies but is ultimately brought low by the hammer Mourngrumml.

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Building a Kingdom: The Hill Giant Fortress (Year 2, Month 4, Day 10-Month 5, Day 24-)

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2.5.12
envoy from Silvertown asks for help with hill giants in exchange for joining Destruction’s domain

2.5.13
Brother Caleb, priest of the Lords of Light arrives, demanding they destroy the Demon’s Head and Dandalf be purified by fire.
accepted the Silvertown envoy’s offer, travelled NW to the mountain mining town, spent the night in the inn

2.5.14
from there tracked the hill giants back to their fort.
waited for a hunting party to come out, tracked them and killed them
used invisibility magic from Dandalf to sneak into the fort, attacked and killed the guards in the gate house
entered the mead hall and rendered unconscious the hill giants there.

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Building a Kingdom: Research and Exploration (Year 2, Month 4, Day 10-Month 5, Day 17)

Held up in the keep tower, Dandalf tries to master some of the spells he has found on his journeys with the barbarian Destruction. Meanwhile, Destruction trains his soldiers and Brother John returns to his grove in the woods. After weeks of study, the wizard emerges having mastered two mighty incantations: a spell to turn his enemies into stone and another to grant his allies magical strength.
The company sets out into the wilderness to hunt giants. They discover a small valley plagued by a horrible, shambling hillock plant creature. After a terrible battle in which both Destruction and Kolash are swallowed hole by the dread thing, the plant monster is destroyed through the fire magicks of Dandalf.

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Building a Kingdom: The Demon's Head (Year 2, Month 3, Day 27-Month 4, Day 10)

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For several weeks, Dandalf is haunted by a voice calling out for help in his head. Finally Dandalf traces the source of the message to underneath the Red Keep itself. The company answers the call of adventure and, with some excavation, finds a great door marked by magical glyphs deep under the fort. Opening the door summons a celestial guardian that attacks the party. After overcoming this challenge, Destruction and his allies tear through a subterranean complex filled with celestial beings, all of whom fall to our “heroes.” Finally, the group confronts an old man sitting in a room in front of a locked door.
The old man claims to be a mighty warrior placed here a thousand years ago to guard the remains of a powerful devil. He pleads with the group to leave; meanwhile, Dandalf is assaulted by the voice in his head calling the old man and a liar and promising the wizard great powerful in return for its freedom. The company hesitates, torn by indecision. Finally, convinced that he cannot persuade them to leave, the old man transforms into a shining paladin and attacks. After a terrible battle, the party defeats the old man, who with his last words pleads once more for them to leave.
Dandalf opens the door and enters, finding a giant skull half submerged in a great stone. After placing his hands on the skull, Dandalf fights a mighty battle of egos with the evil spirit, ultimately bending the devil ghost to his will. Once more Dandalf is faced with a choice: maintain his grip on the spirit and keep it as a slave or destroy it once and for all. Fearing the creature’s power, Dandalf shatters the ghost.
Now the wizard finds himself the master of the Demon’s Head, a mighty relic that can embue his spells with great power.

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Building a Kingdom: Giant Hunt (Year 2, Month 3, Day 21-26)

Destruction and company leave the young warrior Kid Tiger at the keep and head west into the hills hunting hill giants. While they don’t find any giants, they are attacked by the horrible troll champion Grubsnoot. After a bloody battle that nearly killed Kolash, Destruction and Dandalf wear able to bring the vile creature down.

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Building a Kingdom: Exploration (Year 2, Month 2, Day 16--Month 3, Day 21)

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cleared out a nest of man-bats

tracked down and captured a mountain lion

discovered the crypt of an ancient barbarian king who happened to be a vampire; after surprising the creature in its resting place, the company beat the foul thing into helplessness and dragged it into the sun. They then stripped the place of of its treasures: magical leather armor, potions of healing and speed, and a scroll of magic containing the ruins of paralysis and the secret of creating powerful magic staves.

The band discovers four ogres living among the ruins of an ancient tire. After a bloody battle, Destruction and his allies emerged triumphant.

Dandalf spent two weeks studying and ultimately mastering the powerful of the Wizard Staff spell. Three more weeks spent on the paralysis spell, but the wizard was unable to learn it.

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Building a Kingdom: Valley of the Dark Fey (Year 2, Month 2, Day 13-15)

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Continuing to explore the area around the keep, the company finds a forest of giant redwood trees . . . and signs a large winged predator. They track the creature back to its nest just as night falls. A great white owl emerges, circles the party and then flies off. Destruction and his allies return to the keep for the night.
The next morning, the group returns to the owl’s lair, high up in a giant redwood. Dandalf summons an invisible spirit that carries all of them up to the nest. There they fight off some cave crickets and confront the owl. Dandalf uses his magic to speak to the great bird, and the two sides come to an accord. The company returns to the keep.
The next day, Destruction and his allies discover a valley to the southwest of the keep that has fallen under a dark enchantment. Danalf senses two powerful fey creatures wandering down in the forest of the valley. The party confronts the first of the two, a great four-legged flying beast named Bogroot. It swallows LaLa, but Brother John is able to bind the creature to his will. They then seek out and attack the second, more powerful fey, a dark robed humanoid with a skull-like visage, a bone tail and ghostly sword. They surprise the creature, and Dandalf casts a mighty spell (aided by the luck of La La) that destroys the evil being before it can even respond. Feeling his power, the wizard turns and destroys Bogroot as well.
The party uncovers the fey’s treasure trove, a hoard of gold, electrum and jewelry.

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