Its not very often you get to read a gane post mortem. Interesting lessons, and that saying no to players during character creation is hard to do. I used to do it when I could talk to my players face to face but not much if ever since then. Go to Comment
It's always fascinating to dissect a campaign once it's over. Very glad you put up this post-mortem so that the rest of us could benefit from your experience. For your next campaign, I'd check out something called a "group template", popularized by the Fear the Boot podcast. It's a tool for building a cohesive group from the get-go, hopefully avoiding a lot of the issues that came up here. Go to Comment
I was afraid of something like this when you hadn't posted in a while. That really sucks to hear, but it also sounds like you didn't enjoy it that much, so maybe it's for the better then. If you start over with better players, I'd love to read about it.
I really like the idea of a kingdom linked to its king, and that a bad king would leave some kind of taint. But I don't get why Devil's Spit turns into iron when he absorbs its powers. Was it iron to begin with then, they say that in alchemy, stuff always return to their original form and what not, so is that it?