Return to Castle Greyhawk
Tower of Xagyg
The central tower and corresponding dungeon levels were Zagig’s personal creations. Meant for his enjoyment and work, they also reflect in their construction the growing madness of Zagig through his later years.
Even from a distance it is clear that the fortress castle is now nothing but ruins. The menacing, thick stone walls have been worn down by the wind and elements, or perhaps the magical forces unleashed by their creator. No one knows-it has been so long ago that even elder elves cannot recall precisely how the castle came to such an unceremonious end.
Through the open, smashed doors you can see even more of the destruction. The once mighty pillars of a magnificent courtyard lay crumbled and broken, strewn about the stone walkways where weeds and brush have sneaked up through ancient cracks. An overwhelming feeling of dread and foreboding that first touched your insides on the stone bridge intensifies here, threatening to choke off your very breath and life if you don’t turn back. The shadows are long and deep, the hiding places many, and the mystical aura wrestles with your consciousness, warning you that these stones should remain undisturbed.
But your footsteps are not the first to fall upon these paths, as the trails you follow testify. Nor are yours the first bones to pass through the gates, as other bones, aged, white, hideous bones, litter the boulders and walkways. The walkways lead to a central building, once a terrific domed chamber, now reduced to a roofless mass of broken stone and fallen pillars. In its center is a small arched doorway revealing stairs which lead downward into an unending darkness. For a moment you take a breath, perhaps the last breath of clean surface air you will ever taste, and you take pause to wonder how many other feet that have plodded down these steps have ever returned the same way.
These rums are old, as old as the City of Greyhawk itself, built of stone hewn from the native rock of the Cairn His. The centuries of neglect have taken their toll on the ramparts of the castle; many have collapsed, their towers crumbling away with the passage of years. But the ruins and the riches below haven’t gone unnoticed by those of adventurous heart over the long years; indeed the trail between them and the city is well-travelled and clearly marked. Hundreds and even thousands of adventurers have journeyed to the ruins to take their chances with the dangers within. Many have returned with their plundered treasures and stories of battle. But many others never left-to the weak or foolish the ruins are never forgiving.
The bones and debris of the less fortunate adventurers litter the stone passages and rooms of the dungeon levels. In some areas the bones are being put to use by the indigenous monsters; some collect them to use as barricades or decorations, while others might use them for reanimation. Other more general consequences of the skeletal debris are tripping and scavenging.
So many adventurers have travelled through the dungeon levels, successfully and unsuccessfully, that their marks can be seen all around. Many have etched their words into the very stone of the dungeon’s walls, expressing their feelings and situations to those who might come later. There are many such inscriptions, and finding them should come as no surprise to seasoned adventurers.