09 October 2011

Castle Brave

After defeating Azerack, Boris the necromancer, the wonderous Warrick, and the brothers Warbreed had semi-retired to a suddenly vacated large keep near the village of Bump. The villagers appreciated the more laissez faire tax laws of their new landlords and threw them a festival. At the festival a minstrel sang of Castle Brave, a mystical palace of marble and onyx created by the gods to test mortal heroes. It stood inviolate for centuries despite the gods sending their own champions to hoist their pennants over its contrasting roofs. In the end a mortal man named Parshawn who bore no weapon and rode without saddle defeated the castle and was crowned king of Castle Brave by the god of justice himself. Parshawn ruled for three centuries before finally crowning his eldest son king and vanishing in the wilds. Heroes had sought the castle for millennia since as it contained a treasure of unimaginable richness. The last knight to quest for this treasures had been one named Lucius with two squires, they had vanished thousands of years ago searching for the halls of Parshawn's heirs. It is unknown if Lucius fell before finishing his quest for whether he found the treasure and was elevated to demigodhood. The minstrel said that his mentor Dinar Fireharp had been told the story in a dream as one of the gods whispered it in his ear, and that he had in turn passed it onto his students.

The group decided to pursue rumors of Castle Brave, eventually locating an ancient sage of folklore named Thermose in the neighboring village of Rump. Thermose was doing his research from a foul smelling hovel rented for him by another group of more savory adventurers. Thermose allowed our brave companions to peruse his notes for 10000 gold ducats before he turned them over to his original employers. His notes expanded the tale of Castle Brave including that it appeared in random locations for a day before appearing somewhere else, and its terrors had to be defeated within that day or the heroes would be left behind. It further explained that only the bravest heroes would be directed to Castle Brave's location. As our companions left the hovel they encountered the three original adventurers who had hired the sage for his lore. The meeting was unpleasant but not lethal.

Eventually our doughty lads were contacted by the ethereal Prince Gareth the Kingfisher, Sign of Parshawn, who presented them with a diamond ring that contained his emblem. The ring glowed showing the bearing of Castle Brave. Gareth warned them that there would be many creatures within and around Castle Brave whose only mission was to stop them, with quarter neither given or asked. This did not concern the party oer much.

With the ring to guide them, they used magics to wind walk them to a far island upon which Castle Braves white and black walls acutely resided. Smoke rose from the island and as they flew over it they found two mated black dragons prowling the isle. They also saw a herd of gorgons chasing and consuming the petrified remains of a yuan-ti cult, fleeing their burnt temple. The party engaged the gorgons, dropping from the heavens like divine missiles. The bull abominations were no match for the cleaving waraxes of the clan Warbreed nor could they face the necromantic powers or eldritch might of Boris and Warrick. The nearly extinct yuan-ti informed our heroes that the gorgons along with the two black dragons were recent arrivals from the castle and that a third dragon, an ancient red was on the opposite side of the isle.

Concerned that the dragons would attack them on their way to Castle Brave or be strategically summoned once inside the castle walls, the brothers Warbreed, supported by the magic users sought out the ebony wyrms. They found them in their nest, slumbering, after having gorged on the local pteranodon nest. As Boris tried to use his command of fire to cow the dragons, the brothers Warbreed engaged at point blank range seeking to carve their way to the creatures acidic hearts. The troll-dwarf hybrids took incredible punishment from the acidic spittle of the creatures as well as their teeth and talons while the spellslingers chipped away at range. The twisted pair was dispatched and the party sought a greater threat under the fiery gaze of the great crimson beast.

They found the ancient red dragon devouring a seafaring folk who had discovered the island. Bolstered by Boris' protective spells the Warbreed charged the gigantic scaled horror absorbing the full holocaust of the beast's flaming breath, maw, talons, and bulk while returning hellacious axe strokes of their own backed by the spell might of Warrick and Boris. The titanic dragon was hardy and cruel but the brave band was hardier still eventually triumphing. After the fell dragon was laid low, the remaining seafarers told their tale, relating how they came to island only to be captured by the yuan-ti or slaughtered by the bird-women after scaling the cliffs to Castle Brave. These few had escaped the yuan-ti the rest had been trapped in the cauldron of flame created when the red dragon had incinerated the yuan-ti temple. The brothers hewed a small forest creating rafts for the stranded seafarers and wished them on their way.

They scaled the cliffs to Castle Brave, before its midnight and alabaster walls Boris summoned a series of increasingly powerful fire elementals. Through the destroyed portcullis they spied a despicable mew of harpies within the gatehouse. The first summoned set of living fire were dispatched against the harpies within and the two monstrous groups slew one an another. Passing through the gatehouse they came upon the castle proper, a destroyed tower, and the stables. Three more fire elementals were summoned by Boris' earlier spell and guarded the exit and other doors as our bold bravos explored the stables. As they opened the doors to the stables they were charged by four huge nightmares while nine trolls burst from the castle proper. Two of the fire elementals were extinguished but not before immolating the trolls. Meanwhile Boris forced three of the nightmares back to their own hell using his necromantic might while the Warbreed dispatched the last beneath their grim axes.

The nearby damaged tower saw the sudden demise of yet another fire elemental at the eye stalks of three macabre beholders. Boris retaliated with mystic might while the twins of chaos incarnate distracted the foul orbs with a dwarven thrower and crossbow bolts. Warrick attempted his vitriolic blast only to be nearly smitten in return, so he retreated from the fray. The ocular affronts were dispatched and the quarrelsome quartet turned their attentions on the castle proper.

They entered the halls passing up floor by floor through facing a dispatching a manticore in the boudoir and another unnamable horror in the privvy. Finally on the third floor they reached the master bedroom above which a voice cackled and paced. The adventurers took the stairs toward the sounds above and found no living thing. Inside an ornate casket held a great inlaid egg, presumably the treasure that Gareth had charged them with finding. Suddenly the Warbreed were struck by invisible magics, but they scented out their foe, who Warrick was able to see using his sentinel goggles. He described an incredibly ancient madman casting spells. He rapidly fell beneath arcana and axe. As he died the castle shook and began to self destruct. The party fled in their windwalk and returned home. As they departed the island they saw the yuan-ti raising edifices to their four new gods.

They returned to the main land only to be met by Gareth. However suspicious of his motives after seeing Castle Brave, they questioned him and they noted he emanated no evil. They gave him the ornate egg and he vanished telling them that they should expect their next challenge to be one of character, but was otherwise nonspecific.


Bip said...


Bip said...
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