The Shrine of the Red Hound is a remnant of a lost realm where elves and demons bound to rule the world in darkness.
The ruin is located 25 miles into the hinterlands, closer to the civilization than most believes. The shrine has a dormant portal to the underground binding chamber where the Red Claw, an half-demon elven assassin of great power.
The original building above ground is long lost and the purpose of the ruin is unknown, dating back to a dark and terrible past now forgotten.
The Cultists Activity
Demon cultists sometimes gather in the ruins, often before series of grisly murders and assassinations.
Cultists from several cults know about this site and come here whenever they need the Red Claw to do something for them. The Red Wolf is fickle, however, but is more inclined to serve if the downfall of Trickster God is involved.
Development: The Slaves of the Red Wolf
The Red Wolf summons a cadre of demons and elven assassins to deal with any intruders.
A String of Deaths. Four followers of the Trickster God have been killed the past month under gruesome circumstances, and it is increasingly clear that there is a pattern. Asking around reveal that is far from the first time, and past investigations have pointed towards half-covered ruins a day’s ride from the city. An ancient evil dwells in that ruin, and although it has been destroyed before, the evil always returns.
The Goblin Rampage. A band of goblins was spotted fleeing from a desolate hilltop, known for old ruins, with red-skinned scaly ogre wielding a maul chasing them. The goblins led the ogre to a nearby settlement, causing considerable damage before the villagers were able to defeat the demon-spawn ogre. No one was able to find the goblins, but three houses burned the following nights, and many fear the worst is yet to come. Some point back to the hilltop, claiming to have seen strange lights there at night.
The Church Scholar. A church scholar with templar guards arrived in the area a few nights ago and started asking questions about a nearby hill with several old ruins, and now she is found dead. The templars are now taking her body back to their home church. They fell out the local nobles over lawlessness in the area and accusations of a conspiracy before leaving.
The scholar’s interest in the hill and the many local superstitions about the area is unsettling given this news. Some believe there is something watching and waiting in that hilltop, and the large collapsed walls and stone foundations are just the top of a vast underground complex.
The Shrine of the Red Wolf
The Hilltop and the Entrance. The once-grand above-ground shrine was destroyed and partially dismantled, and the ruins have over the millennia become a hilltop shunned by animals and humans alike. Burrowing into the rubble and digging into the hillside reveal parts of walls, broken statues, the shrine foundations, and a stair down into the dark.
Dungeon Features. The walls, floors, and ceilings are made of marble-like stone of odd colors, most light green or purple. The rock is unusually hard what appears to be marble, but are still cracked in places.
The doors are massive metal double doors, with pattern décor. The corridors are 10 ft. tall, while the rooms are 20 ft. tall.
The Halls. The halls are littered with the bones of hundreds of past human and elven sacrifices.
At the entrance is a sizeable binding sigil with strong summoning and necromancy magic. The sigil binds a host of powerful that will release when triggered.
The Four Skull Chambers. There are leering demon skull statues of a greenish marble-like stone in each of the chambers in the corners of the tunnels. The skulls are facing inwards in a perpetual scream.
Opening the portal require blood on all four skull statues. The demons preferred killing their victims to provide the blood, but in reality, smearing only a few drops on each skull within a minute will do. Blood from the demons itself would also suffice.
The downside to using one’s blood is that the demonic master of the dungeons would get a taste of the blood, and easier track the source of the blood in the future.
The South Chamber. The souternmost chamber has a bas-relief on the walls showing an open palm shedding tears in front of a door.
Below the bas-relief is an elven inscription: The water of life to our friend in need.
The Hall of Statues. There are four statues of regal elven warriors in this room. All four statues depict elves who fell to demonic influence, and their appearances are idealized, not showing any corruption. These elves are challenging to identify and actually represent the Red Wolf and three companions in elven form.
This hall has three entrances, of which one is the secret door to the Secret Sacristy. A fourth door, leading to the portal, opens behind the statue on the east-end by performing the ritual of the four skulls.
Secret Sacristies. There are three secret sacristies in the dungeon, once serving as storage for the cultists. All furniture and robes are long rotted away. There are two chests in the room, storing sacred objects to the cult.
The Portal. The portal between the Hall and the Red Claw’s Prison shifts between planes, and its aura is only vaguely detectable. The shaft can be opened by performing the ritual of the four skulls portal.
What Happens Next?
Some believe the rise of the demon lord is at hand. Returning to the city may reveal more clues in the Crooked House and the Forgotten Vault below the sewer. Exploring the wilds may lead to the Hinterlands or the Binder’s Sanctum.
As with the Binder’s Sanctum, I intended to use one Dyson Logos’s maps, the Four Demon Temple map this time around, for my game but ended up redrawing the map as my story changed.
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