The Crimson Castle

There’s at least fifty people, but most of them are just fishermen, farmers, woodcutters, as refugee from Don, Cluj, Provost. From Severskii are the survivors saved by Konstantine and Cipher’s band from the woodsman fort at the Fall of Severskii, as well as Knyaz Aleksey and his Red Swords.

People didn’t come all together. Shy, Shin and Feyd had been there two months by the time Konstantine and Sevastyn came seeking Riduk. People arrived in little groups, amazed to be alive in the winter cold, searching for Severskii or the road to Minsk, too hungry and tired to go on. There are some warriors though. Bashlyk and his nobody’s mercenaries were there first. He and his came looking for the treasure that is supposed to be here, they’d set up down in the catacombs. Then, a month later, the Iron Wolves showed up.

Bashlyk and all his men were found torn to pieces, eventually revealed to Konstantine to have been by Lunastus. A cache of severely abused, wounded, raped women was found in their keeping and taken in by the other survivors to rehabilitate.

Layout

The Lord of the Keep yet slumbers in the bowels of his Labyrinth.

It stands in a bowl of a ring of mountains, on a hill in the center of the bowl. So while it is lower than the jagged teeth of the mountains that crown around it, it is higher than the basin floor by a steep amount. The effect is that there is hillside on either end one walks that feeds down into a deep moat/chasm filled with giant, old growth spikes. There is also a forest lining the bowl. But there is a moat on the outside of the chasm, giving the approach to the Crimson castle a doubly difficult turn.

The trees of the forest in the bowl break only at the approaching road to the Keep. In that forest is a guarding Banshee, frightful and hateful, but only threat and power at night. She keeps only to the far side, and cannot or will not cross the bridge. Here one must cross a bridge over another frozen moat with a wall on the far side. There is a crumbling watch tower in the wall. There is a gate, it has an archway but no doors, like it is always open.

Then one is back in forest again, but in this part of forest the hill gets steep, the trees at a sharp angle to the ground. At first one thinks dead trees spot within here, but they resolve to be sharpened at the end, regularly, all of them and silver with age but not rotted. The hill bristles with them- giant spikes. They are older than the trees in some cases because the width of growing tree roots and trunks has upended them to their sides, or trees have grown around them.

There is AT LEAST one more haunt here, though its power, name or purpose are unknown in game- glowing white, it has a gaping, too wide, round hole, but this isn’t from its mouth. It would be from neck and cheek, head tilted to one side.

Here the approach breaks out of trees again and crosses another bridge, this one over the steep chasm. There are the bristling stakes here, wherever they are clustered together enough for falling things to catch, there would be piled white bones. The bridge is just stone with no railing though, and there would is a drawbridge, wooden, that comes from the portcullis to meet the stone halfway.

Five great, fat, brooding towers, forming a pentagon with walls between them, a corner to each tower, and the smooth sloping lawn leading down from them, the dark eyes of three towers with no one in them. The final two of the pentagon are ruins. The chapel in the middle of the green has no sense of power. For all the horrors of painting and sculpture to see in these towers, the undead don’t walk here. Not anywhere in the castle itself, and they don’t walk during the day except the skeletons sometimes. They all seem like leftovers, having no purpose.

The Crimson Castle

Vanya and the Green Knight Nalga