View Full Version : The Deathkeep

2006-11-07, 10:37 PM
((I may double post here, as this is Aercath's home))
A titanic construction of wood, stone, metal, and gem blinks into reality. It is a castle, built with massive outer walls shielding the full, though small, city beneath them. In the center of the city is a most unusal keep, wide and low to the ground, directly in front of a Wizard's arcane tower so tall it dwarfs the walls of the city. The keep, though, is even stranger than its unusual dimensions; it is a pyramid, built of sandstone bricks a pale peach to gold in colour, a sharp contrast to the blues and greens and purples of the wizard tower or they greys and blacks of the castle and its city.
This city's strangeness is further compounded by a feeling of horrible, foreboding dread it gives most living beings who set foot within its doorstep; by a faint scent that smells like age more than decay, an inexplicable ancientness to the odor; by the exotic languages and and spices from what must be a hundred cultures across as many or more worlds; by the fact that every being in the city, in the castle, every pair of lovers walking the city at night is dead. Dead and risen again. Mummies, skeletons, a few zombies and ghosts, a very few vampires, six bone naga missing their seventh brother, many of them feeling, thinking beings with the sentience and intelligence of any living being. Some others, the guards and retainers are mindless, dead whose souls have moved on but whose bodies rise to life and shamble aimlessly at the guidance of the greater good of the society.
It is populated by a full eighteen-thousand sentient undead, twelve-thousand of them, at least, trained to fight at any given time. The fourteen thousand mindless skeletons and zombies who stand guard over them add in to the number, as well. Twenty-six thousand undead ready to fight at the slightest command from the man, the creature, who made all of this possible for them; an accepting civilization for the undead, where they could live at peace. That man is the archlich known as Aercath. Today, a skeletal knight of massive stature in jet black armour strides pridefully out of the castle, skeletal steed between his legs as he crosses the gate and dismounts with great skill and rapidity. Kneeling to the sandy ground the castle seems to produce around it, he he waits until from, nowhere, the message appears in his hand.
It is an unusual form for a message to come; a small, emerald green skink looking around mirthyfully at its royal treatment, flicking its tongue in and out of its mouth.
"This is Aercath, speaking through my familiar. I ask you, my friends, to ready the legiosn and all of us. A great battle may soon come to this region. I have made preparations to raise you all once again, should the worst come to pass. Keep to the skies again, until I sent another message to K'shahk telling you the war has begun, but be ready and be vigilant in that time. When the battle comes, I shall alert you again. Aercath."
The deathknight nods expectantly and takes the skink into his belt-pouch, from whence it quickly disappears, as was its nature. Remounting his horse with equal skill, he turns it around and it gallops through the gates and towards the keep one again. As soon as the second gate shuts completely, the castle vanishes from sight again, leaving only a blanket of sand and that ancient smell where it once stood for any who come to investigate.

Lord Sidereal
2006-11-14, 03:35 PM
Marrick approches the spot where the castle stood, at once in awe and disgust at the ginat construct.
"A being of great power is at work here" he mutters, then, shouting "Show yourself Aercath!" For he fears no one, not even death

2006-11-14, 04:12 PM
The sand below Marrick's feet rustles with a gust of wind, but absolutely nothing happens. As it would happen, challenging the sand upon which a castle used to stand does not summon the castle or its owner.

Lord Sidereal
2006-11-14, 04:52 PM
Merrick closes his eye and, using his innate gifts, searches for the magic left by the castle, hoping to locate the owner by this trail.

2006-11-14, 08:05 PM
I am in the courtroom presiding over the defense of several people falsely accused of assault by, of all people, a mass-murdering deity in no danger of being injured. Yet, somehow, I'm certain you've found something even more inane and trivial to fill my time, mageling. Tell me what you're scrying after me for and maybe I will not take magical recourses to ignore you.
The message is clearly telepathic, as it contained no auditory component, no trace of the sound of the speaker's voice; it was sent by the wizard upon feeling Merrick's summoning.

((Aercath's irritated, not me, just to clarify.))

Lord Sidereal
2006-11-15, 01:44 PM
Merrick smiles to himself, satisified in his own way, and walks acorss the sand and away.

2006-11-20, 10:31 PM
Just on the outskirts of the town, the deathkeep touches down once again, a mummy of the most unusual sort marching forth. His body seemed to be made of snakes, wrapped together by bandages; some horrific, mummified version of a Worm that Walks, built of serpents rather than worms. An unnatural creature, K'shakh was wise and good-hearted, if vengeful to a fault. He was also one of the few, perhaps the only, magical rival Aercath had found in all his days. For all his rivalry with the lich, K'shakh was his friend, till the eternity of undeath ended. The friend of a friend is a friend, and Aercath's grim magical sending said that the friend in question was dead in a pool of blood and a hail of gunfire by the Mafia. "They handle things by Vengeance, and you know much more of that than I. Show them how we avenge our brothers, K'shakh," the sending bade him. The mummy would do just that.
Flying with great speed, an effect he could achieve at will due to one of his more powerful personal effects, K'shakh made his way into town. He would show this petty Mafia just how vengeance worked.

2006-11-30, 07:20 PM
A large group of knights, twenty five thousand in all, ride to the deathkeep. They carry colorful banners, undead bane swords, an a grim burden. Their faces set, they ride their chargers to the deathkeep as trebuchets fire boulders at the wall. The siege of the Deathkeep has begun...

2006-11-30, 07:38 PM
A large group of knights, twenty five thousand in all, ride to the deathkeep. They carry colorful banners, undead bane swords, an a grim burden. Their faces set, they ride their chargers to the deathkeep as trebuchets fire boulders at the wall. The siege of the Deathkeep has begun...

(( Xerillum, you might want to cut down on the number of knights, it is getting to be a bit superfluous with the number of legions you are introducing into the game. Meh, but what do I care, not my problem.

Have fun fending off the horde Rainspattered. :biggrin: ))

2006-11-30, 07:50 PM
((there are two armies, totaling less than 50,000. Goblins and undead and the mafia and inari and maybe vigilantes are against me. you're lucky I don't pull out all the stops...))

2006-11-30, 08:10 PM
The Deathkeep seems to rattle at the knights with horrific laughter from distances too far away for such sounds to carry, too loud for such sounds in their ears. The whole of the world remind sthem of the inveitability of death and the futility of their own actions, and a more primal, still, degree of terror fights for a grip upon them. All but the bravest warriors would flee in terror at the keep, but Dwarves are rumoured for their stoicism, so such defenses aren't relied upon.
The dwarven front lines are met with spells with extended range and bows fired by undead arms farther than mortals could hope, launching arrows of pure energy of various types thanks to the masterful enchantments of the undead priests and mages. Four seperate meteor storms cast into the midst of the Dwarven army catch all but a few of the trebuchet boulders, which magical telekinesis holds at bay. One crashes into a stone wall, shattering a large section of it. A few wizards launch quick spells and transmute mud into a rocky patch in the wall.
As soon as any dwarven troops reach the walls of the deathkeep, it vanishes, only to re-appear in the midst of the dwarven army, meaning the last trebuchet volley will shoot too far behind it to hit, and as many dwarves fit into the surface area of the base of a small Castle-City ((easily 5,000)) find themselves under thousands of thousands of tonnes of sand and rock.
K'shakh, mischeif in his vengeful eyes, stands in one of the towers and casts Transmute Stone to Mud on the rocks held by the trebuchet before returning, his energies spent, to allowing his wounds to heal as he limps down the steps and to the pyramidal keep.
Fighting the dwarves off its wall, the keep prepares to teleport once again if any dwarves get too close to breaching those walls.

2006-11-30, 08:31 PM
((they arent dwarves, they're human.)) 100 battlemages cast dispel magic on all the bad stuff, and one casts greater shout. "Come out with your army! Our blades are waiting..." the shield bearers take the brunt of the force, but they all survive. A troop of elven archers fires a rain of arrows upon the towers, farther than what can be believed. ballistae send flaming bolts deep into the heart of the city.

2006-11-30, 08:47 PM
((A castle materializes atop your troops, but nobody dies? They're just sitting there chilling with a city on their heads?))

Ballistae bolts fly into the city and crumple against the thin wals of force which now coat each bomb-shelter building, save for the wizard's enclave, which cast no wards upon itself so that they might go to the walls in case more magical force was required. From the last magical assault's dispulsion, it seemed they were. Rising to the walls and towers , fully two thousand undead arcanists of one sort or another climb their steps and begin incantations. Arrows strike hard against the walls and into the hands of undead firing off spells through muder holes, but arrows to the hand won't kill a study, angry undead. A few casualties of mindless archers in the tower, without the intelligence to dodge are suffered, but nothing that won't be recouped, with interest, from the human casualties that will be inflicted today.
A total policy of scorched earth is adopted. The mages set out to simply cast more spells than their opponents can stop, faster than they can stop them. Every sort of offensive spell, are effects and individual targets aimed at casters or commanders, fly from the walls. 200 wizards are set aside to combat offensive actions, priests, as well, take up defense and healing operations, leaving over 1,800 mages hurling some of the most powerful spells known to arcane magic relentlessly, over and over, into the forces below them.

2006-11-30, 08:52 PM
((you actually said that that would happen if anyone got close to the castle. they haven't.)) Two words: Wish and Miracle. the divine and arcane casters cast those to produce a magical disruption, knocking out the enemy magic as more boulders and bolts are thrown. A wall of siege towers springs up after that.

2006-11-30, 08:57 PM
((True; I did say that. Forgot about the conditional. Which I should not have used, come to think of.))
The castle, irritated by the magical disruption, planeshifts itself through physical, natural means, out of the plane and back into it, instantaneously, thereby removing themselves from the magical disturbance. Its outer walls are still heavily damaged from the trebuchet volley it took part of before vanishing when it returns, although wizards are at work fixing it.
In addition, they land their castle in the previous position, atop 5,000 or more warriors.
The scorched-earth barrage starts again, with a few epic wards blocking damage to the strain of magic for the area of the Deathkeep, as cast by the clerics and defense mages.

2006-11-30, 09:25 PM
The 5000 soldiers are forever trapped, so attempts to animate them to zombies are futile. A mage blows the gate off its hinges, and just after that, the others disrupt magic again. the army marches into the outer wall.

2006-11-30, 09:30 PM
The "Sand" the soldiers walk onto is an illusion none of the wizards though to target (since you didn't mention it) with a dispel. As a result of being inside the warded tower, magic is safe upon it, although as soon as enough troops have flooded onto the sand, the illusion is dispelled, revealing magma below their feet. Magic blasts continue to fly, uninhibited by the wish spell, from the warded towers with the same total destruction intent to the grounds below.

((We aren't very patiend undead, so maybe 10 or 20 soldiers would get lava'd, and even then a lot of them could jump out before getting totally annihilated.))

2006-11-30, 09:43 PM
ten soldiers arer disintegrated as a siege tower falls in to make a bridge. The army floods in, killing all others. The wizards disrupt all illusions in front of the army. A shrieking noise calls out over the army, as Xerillum, saddled on a dragon, flies above.

2006-11-30, 09:51 PM
((There are no "all others, except the wizards in towers. Everyone else is indoors behind walls of force except for the archers who're all dead insentients))

The Wizards do not detect an illusion, but detect un-dispellable contingency spells placed upon the doors to the towers and the walls themselves. The wizards are protected from missile fires, and too high for melee warriors to reach without activating the wall contingencies.
There is little time to contemplate it, for the wizards have a plan in mind to slay even more of the soliders. The castle shifts i nposition, carrying the warrios who are into it very high in the sky. They discover, very quickly, they have no air to breathe. The undead wizards, who do not require breath, rest in the floating castle after all the enemies have suffocated.

2006-11-30, 09:58 PM
The army taps their boots, and they remain cemented to the ground. Xerillum swoops down and takes a swing at the mages.

2006-11-30, 10:02 PM
The knight whistles as he rides past, his god had no qualms with the undead in the citadel, in fact, they seemed to be the most law abiding citizens within the surrounding area.

He leaves.

2006-11-30, 10:05 PM
The second tier of knights enters the castle, battlemages systematticaly dispelling walls of force, then slaying the occupants.

2006-11-30, 10:08 PM
((Just to point out that Wall of Force is not affected by dispel magic))

2006-11-30, 10:08 PM
((Destro, That is less of a problem than the fact his mages and soldiers just waltz in to a castle thousands of feet into the air, miles above where they just were, and casts such spells withotu being able to breathe and kill undead warriors, who for some reason aren't putting up a fight, I guess, under the same breathless conditions. There is so much blatant godmodding that a technical rule error is miniscule. Thanks for pointing it out, though.))

The castle is so far above the ground that mortal beings cannot survive within it because they cannot breathe so no such things occurs. If your army is centered on the ground, then the castle is floating high without them. Xerillium's swoop misses, because, unless he is suffocating and dying, he is several hundred feet, at least, below the castle.

2006-11-30, 10:11 PM
((two words: immovable rods.))

2006-11-30, 10:20 PM
((The castle is in the air. This is established. Where your people are is up to you. Telling me where mine are and what they do and how they react to your actions is godmodding. Just running in and killing wantonly without giving me a chance is the pretty much the given example of godmodding. I'm serious. The castle is in the sky. No attack attempts are successful because it is many miles above the ground, where you are not.))

Far too high for the dwarves to attack, the wizards take the top of a fallen tower, and relying on the fact that the magic no longer fuctions for users outside of the deathkeep, simply drop it and give it a telekinetic steering path towards the dwarven armies, to preven innocent injury. Due to the level of force it will build in its fall, it will hit with the approximate force and explosion size of a very small atomic bomb. Once this is completed, they fall asleep to rest and replenish their spells in the tower, wandering just how long the knights will wait form them on the ground below after the tower hits.

2006-11-30, 10:24 PM
((OK, fine. I can see that nobody gets anywhere by arguing.)) The army regroups into an established fighting force. they charge away, burning the siege equipment as they leave to prevent usage.

2006-11-30, 10:28 PM
The tower crashes harmlessly into the sandy earth where the castle just stood, the heat of its impact turning the sand to glass.
The mages of the deathkeep who aren't resting come out and use the next eight hours to erect even more powerful wards, repair the damaged walls, remove the magma, and generally get the city into the shape of a city again.

((Total Losses: 400 undead archers, mindless. A few wizards' hands and fingers.))

2006-11-30, 10:35 PM
The army returns to its base of operations, the Dwarven Castle. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28587)

2006-11-30, 10:55 PM
(("There are two armies, totalling less than fifty thousand. By which I mean, "one-hundred thousand after at least five-thousand in casualties."))

2006-12-01, 02:14 PM
Marthak, a goblin ambassadors from the GSA, arrives with a contingent of goblins to join in the garrisons of the keep.

He brings with him the gifts of the goblin lands, and the greetings of the Council of Generals.

2006-12-01, 07:57 PM
"Good to see you all here," a limping K'shakh says, his body visibly reknitting itself with thousands of snakes before their eyes. "How goes your front of the war against the dwarves? We did well, I suppose. Crushed 5,000 of the humans and killed a few more with spells, I think. They got 400 mindless undead and thanks to some enchantment on the arrow, Ecgwulf is going to have to live with one hand until the more powerful priests are done resting. We can told a few thosuand goblins in a pressurized, air-filled room, if you'd like to keep any here for safety or garrison. The snakes have always survived in their chambres when he go above the levels you living can breathe at. The Deathkeep is safe, I assure you, from any mortal armies. When Aercath finishes the trial and returns here, it'll be even stronger."
K'shakh leads them in to the grounded castle and tours quickly before leading them to an airtight chambre where they should stay, for the duration of talking, in case there is an attack and the castle must flee in to the air. The undea gladly take the goblin gifts and respond with their own treasures, perfumes, spices, fabrics, and powerfully enchanted blades forged in magic long forgotten, especially the hookswords favoured by mummies and small, curved daggers.

2007-02-22, 04:17 PM
The snakes of K'shakh's body fully reknit, he sips at brandy with his serpentine tongue and looks out from a tower with Aercath. smoke billows from the skeleton's mouth, magic more powerful than most could imagine giving him the capacity to smoke the flavoured tobacco he had loved so well in life without and lungs.
"The Goblins have a nation," Aercath tells K'shakh, "If we aid them, we not only break our long-standing policy against nationalism or political action, but we enter ourselves in a real war. Not the guild feud we faught--"
"We won," K'shakh corrected.
"The guild feud we won, but a war between two entire nations. We'll be taking sides and facing armies of hundreds of thousands."
"Don't bring the peasants in. Me and my guard of mindless. You and Ra'Tiel. We need no more to fight foes of even the greatest number."
"Maybe they won't need us," Aercath shrugged.
"Maybe the Dwarves will decide to give up facial hair along with racism and the war it's causing."
"Sarcasm suits you, K'shakh," Ra'tiel said from the side of the conversation, sipping an anise-flavoured liquor from a champagne glass.

2007-03-11, 02:45 PM
The Deathkeep touches down on the outskirts of the town so that the undead may become more directly involved in the defense of the goblins.
A group of mindless undead leave the Deathkeep and head into the Town.