Four villains were branded as forsaken and awaited their impending death by fire or steel, when a strangly charming woman by the name of Tiadora payed a visit to her 'beloved'. Having never met her before but not wanting to look a fool Jameskar Bondemel played along with the mysterious woman whom had come to visit him in this dark hole.She had a strange effect on the guards as if they hung on her every word and would do as she bid. She spoke of a benefactor that had a need of the forsaken shackled in the prison. She offered little infromation, sweet sentiments and a token gift of her veil. With the flourish of a skilled temptress Tiadora left Jameskar wondering who she really was.
Jameskar was escorted back to his cell and reshackled. Tristam commented on his little token and was rewarded with a rapping of a club upon his legs from the guard. Informing the guard that his sister hit harder he was again bludgeoned. The raps on his legs did little to slow his tongue had he was soon beaten unconscious by the guard.
After the guards left Jameskar found upon inspecting the token he had received that it was a magical veil that would provide him with a number of items useful in an escape attempt. Whispering in celestial, an odd language for such foul beings to speak, he found that the two heretical elves in his cell also happened to share is beautifully foul tongue.
Toribio, an odd fellow to be sure, as he seemed to have a particular hatred for elf-kind despite being an elf himself, was skilled in the thiefs trade. After attempting to wriggle free of his manacles and thougoughly dislocating his thumbs, he was very excited what Jameskar described on his magic cloth, a set of lockpicks. The only thing preventing them from starting their escape attempt was the fact that they were on either side of the unconscious Tristam, and so could not reach far enough to pass the tools.
They waited for hours for him to regain consciousness, when a guard came with their water ration for the day. He threw the bucket of water from outside the bars drenching them from head to toe and awakening Tristam. His tongue coming to life again, chided the guard about when they would be served a meal. This welcomed another bucket splashing down on the forsaken and was told next time it would be a bucket of the pig's slop.
The guards then proceeded to the other end of the row of cells to a larger enclosure. The view of who or what was inside was blocked from the villains' cell, but they were able to see the guards toss another bucket through the bars.
Upon the guard's exit Jameskar, Toribio, and Loraan filled Tristam in on the magical veil and they plan that they had put together so far to escape. Being told to keep his voice low and only speak in celestial, which coincidently he also knew, Tristam decided to see if the guards could even hear them and remarked to himself that he was free of his shackles. The guards indeed heard this and came to check.
Tristam called to the guards wondering when the pig's slop would be served. Further provoked and tiring of the prisoner, one of the guards entered the cell hiked up his uniform and lowered his trousers and let a golden stream rain over Tristam. The guards then sauntered back to the post room. Smelling foul but nevertheless satisfied with the information from his fellow forsaken Tristam went along with their plan to get out of the shackles, passing the veil to Toribio who regretfully edged closer to grab it while trying to keep his nose at a distance.
Within a minute Toribio had unlocked the ancient manacles and set about to free the others, only pausing briefly before attempting to free the other elf Loraan, to decide if the elf was worth it. The group then huddled around the veil to see what items would be of use to them. The daggers were taken by Toribio and Tristam while Jameskar held onto the unholy symbol of Asmodeus, which he had slipped from the veil previously and managed to sit upon to conceal from view.
They quietly bickered back and forth what the best plan would be, before deciding to wait until after dark. They resumed their places against the wall to appear as if still chained and hid their daggers from view, waiting for the guards to change watch.
After a few hours the guards shifted and they put their meager plan into motion. Tristam called out to the guards, getting their attention by asking when the pig slop would be served. Defiant that they had promised food, Tristam refused to quiet down, goading the guard to become angry and enter the cell to quiet him himself.The other guard stayed back in the doorway had on the horn at his belt.
As the guard opened the cell and closed in on Tristam, Loraan fixed his gaze on the guard at the door and willed him to sleep. The guard being more than feeble minded threw off the hex. Still bewildered as to what had tried to overpower his will, he stood in the doorway looking about.
The guard in the cell approached Tristam with his leather-bound club swinging from his hand. Stepping just within range of Tristam, he jumped back avoiding a swift upward kick from the seemingly shackled prisoner. Toribio then jumped from his seat and raced behind the off balance guard out of the cell and down the hall towards the other guard, slashing away with a dagger, followed close behind by Jameskar.
As the guard in the cell pulled back his club above Tristam, the prisoner jumped to his feet. Hands moving blindingly fast, a dagger was pulled from out of sight and hammered through the guards chest nearly lifting him off his feet as it drove into his heart. Dropping his body to the side, Tristam rounded the corner out of the cell and tried to bowl over the guard at the end of the hall merely colliding haphazardly with him to no effect.
The guard ducked an weaved among a flurry of slashes and blows, pulling his club up to defend himself. Swinging back at his attackers the guard loosed the horn from his belt bringing it to his lips only to be struck by a rain of blows from all sides, collapsing against the doorframe.
Dragging the body back into the cell, the prisoners stripped the guards of their arms and garments scavenging like a band of hyenas over a kill. Tristam and Jameskar dressed in the guards uniforms, trying as best they could to mask the blood upon the garments. Looking over the veil, Jameskar removed what looked like a bottle of liquid and a bag. Tasting the potion Loraan determined it was a healing potion and a quick glance in the bag netted them four sets of clothing. Loraan and Toribio stripped their rags and dressed in the new clothes.
A Stealthy Escape Edit
A quick look around the room found nothing of particular interest. There was a chimney that looked like it could be scaled either up or down and a door to a set of stairs. Before venturing downstairs, Loraan snuck to the edge of the large cell on that floor and peeked in through the reinforced bars. He saw the hulking form of an ogre, beaten and chained. The ogre looked to be drugged into a stupor to keep him sedentary in his cell.
Feeling it best to leave the ogre where he was they ventured down the stairs. In a back and forth of hushed banter on the steps, they decided it would be best if the two dressed as guards went first incase there was anyone there to see them descending.
Upon opening the door at the bottom of the stairs they saw a long narrow room with a series of doors, two on the left, one on the right, and a large double door at the end. Toribio and Loraan followed down as the coast was clear, and the group began discussing which way they should go.
Tired of the squabbling and indecisiveness of his fellows Tristam walked to the first door on the left and tried to open it. It being locked, Toribio hustled over with his set of picks and worked his skills on the tumblers opening the door within a minute.
Inside they found what looked to be an office. Searching through the desk and its papers James noticed a map of the prison and of the surrounding areas. Snatching up the map after a quick study, a few bottles of weak whiskey was found in the bottom drawer of the desk.
The room also contained two more doors, one on the north wall and one on the west. Going north first there was a storeroom empty of all but maggoty bread. To the west, after Toribio picked the lock, there was a bed chamber.
Stepping inside Toribio found that it was still occupied. On closer inspection the snoring lump on the bed turned out to be Tomas Blackerly, the Sergent of the guard. Pulling his sword Loraan descending upon the sleeping sergeant, slitting his throat with a quick twitch of his arm. Dragging Blackerly’s body to the floor Jameskar made sure he was dead, and afterwards the looting of the chamber commenced.
Tristam found Blackerly’s sword and mail to his liking and donned them there, throwing his guard tabard back over the armor. Under the bed Toribio found a chest that he opened with a key retrieved from its hook above the dresser in the room. Inside there was a small fortune in gold. It was evident from the amount of gold hidden in his room, the state of the prison supplies, and what was overheard from the guards, that Blackerly had been stealing from the prison himself. Somewhat pleased with they’re inglorious disposal of the sergeant they moved on, locking the office as they left.
Heading back to the long open hall, they moved on to the next door along the west wall, finding to their surprise the armory. Searching through they found an assortment of weapons most likely seized from former residents of the prison. Toribio and Loraan found guard uniforms in their sizes and changed into them and loaded themselves with arrows.
Back in the hall, they checked out the door to the east. Beyond lay what looked to be a mess hall that lay empty. Again as the group stopped to decide where to go, Tristam wandered to a door opening it. Inside he found the kitchen and two cooks stared up as he entered.
The cooks where busily cleaning and told what they thought was a guard, to leave them alone. Dinner was already done and served and they had work to do, without him getting in their way. Tristam responded that he had been at his post all night, with no one coming to relieve him until long after his shift was over. The cooks understood completely, saying the prison wasn’t the same since the new warden took over. Tristam then asked for some bread to eat and one of the cooks threw him a loaf as he strolled out.
Back in the other room the other escapees stared blankly as Tristam walked back into the room, chewing on a crust of bread. He broke off and tossed a piece of the loaf to Toribio which he quickly chomped down. Jameskar and Loraan peeked through the door to the south. Inside they spied a prison barrack with a number of beds around the room and three guards who appeared to be off duty.
Walking in Jameskar struck up a conversation with the guards trying to learn as much as he could about the prison or its routines. Leaving the guards to get some rest he stepped back out and waited until the guards were asleep.
For about half an hour they sat in the mess hall until the conversation in the other room died down. Creeping back up to the door, Jameskar cracked the door open, just enough to see inside. Two of the guards were now asleep while the third sat propped up on his bunk writing in a journal. Loraan cast a hex upon the writing guard making his head nod up and down in weariness. Toribio, Loraan, and Jameskar then sprang into the room, each going to a different sleeping guard. in a quick flurry of strikes they assaulted the napping guards, as Tristam hung back leaning on the door frame.
Despite attacking as the guards slept, there was still a fair amount of commotion, screams of pain cut short by a wet thunk. The room was truly a mess. Blood had painted itself over the dingy white linens and a pillow or two had been slashed, sending feathers into the air.
A thunk at the far end of the hall followed by footsteps, alerted the escapees that someone may have heard the brief commotion. Tristam sat down on one of the benches in the mess hall while Toribio closed the door to the bunk room. Quietly Loraan and Jameskar tried to mask the gruesomeness of the scene, while Toribio stood with his ear to the door.
A guard walked into the room, seeing Tristam, he asked, “What was that noise?”
Tristam simply responded, “What noise?”
The guard replied,”I thought I heard something in here.”
“Maybe it was them in the kitchen. They’ve been making some noise in there” said Tristam.
Looking at Tristam oddly, the guard walked over to the kitchen door, entering he asked the cooks if they had heard anything. With quizzical looks they stared at him, saying they hadn’t heard a thing. Flustered and muttering to himself the guard made his way back to his post, Tristam waving to him as he passed.
After the guard had passed Tristam opened the door to the bunk room. Feather still settling on the floor, the other three stared wide eyed as he opened the door. The room was still a shambles, but the more obvious blood streaks and stains had been covered up.
As they continued to tidy the mess, putting the guards in the beds as if asleep, Toribio set to work opening the foot lockers located around the room. Inside them was found a number of trinkets, tokens, bottles and books. Toribio tossed a manual of Branderscar guard etiquette to Tristam. Tristam also found a number of cheap trashy novels that he threw into a bag, reading one as they searched the rest of the room.
As they cleaned up the massacre site, Tristam suggested they drag two of the guards corpses upstairs and chain them up in their cell along with the other dead guards already up there. If they dressed them in their rags and chained them up, they could pass as them. They could then use the ogre to stage an emergency situation and slip out in all the confusion.Dragging one of the dead guards and Blackerly’s body up the steps, they opened the ogre’s cell. After a brief and nonproductive attempt at conversation with the hulk James administered the healing potion from the veil to the ogre, restoring its strength. The ogre, Grumblejack, warmed up to his fellow prisoners and they shared their desire and plan for escape. After scouting what was outside of the building they were in, they would pretend to fight the ogre, calling the other guards ad then fall on them from behind when they were unsuspecting. Then using Grumblejacks enormous strength and what they assumed to be a magic window in the veil, they would escape.
Heading downstairs they prepared to scout out the courtyard. Tristam stepped into the armory and produced a great sword and a glaive, asking Grumblejack what he would prefer. Grumblejack instead found a large club, as he favored simpler weapons, and it was hard to find something to fit his enormous hands.
Plan B; Just Smash It Edit
Tristam then went and exited through the double doors as the rest hid in the mess hall. Exiting the building, Tristam found himself flanked by a guard on either side. They both turned to eye him suspiciously. Pulling a bottle of whiskey from his hip, Tristam offered them each a drink. One of the guards took him up on his offer, pressing the bottle to his lips. The other eyed Tristam more closely, asking who he was. he couldn’t remember seeing him around the prison before. Tristam responded that he was new to the post here. The guard still looked at him suspiciously, noticing Tristam’s less than tidy uniform.
“Usually we get new people during the day.” he said suspiciously, “I don’t remember seeing you come in today. Lets go see the sergeant and get this straightened out.”
Reluctant to go, Tristam responded, “but my bottle…” pointing to the whiskey the other guard was busy drinking. Putting one hand on his sword the guard, “Let’s move!” he yelled.
Heading back inside Tristam tried to worm his way out of the situation, saying, “The sergeants probably asleep. i don’t want to wake him, he’ll get angry.” The other escapees could hear through the door as the guard knocked loudly on the sergeant’s office door. Figuring the cover was blown, Toribio cracked the door and knocked an arrow.
The shot went wide striking the door frame next to the guard’s head. Suddenly alerted the guard pulled his sword and horn from his belt, looking across the hall he saw Toribio, Loraan, and Jameskar standing in the doorway with the massive frame of Grumblejack as a backdrop. Dodging a clumsy strike from Tristam, he ran for the door blaring on his horn.
Quickly running into the hall Toribio and Loraan feathered the guard with arrows, but the alarm had been raised. Horns could be heard echoing though the courtyard as the call went out. A slightly drunken guard opened the large door at the end of the hall. Trying to improvise with the situation Jameskar ran down the hall screaming, “The ogre is escaping!!”
Enraged by this betrayal Grumblejack burst through the door, making the doorframe a good bit larger as rock bounced about the hall. Loraan and Jameskar jumped through the doorway into the armory as Grumblejack smashed his way down the hall. The terrified guard in the doorway fled back outside, slamming and barring the large doors just in time for Grumblejack to crash into them. The great doors exploded into a shower of splinters as Grumblejack burst into the courtyard.
Tristam was the first to follow out the door in time to see Grumblejack smash his way through a fountain in the center of the courtyard. Arrows began to rain down from the walls of the prison fortress. Toribio and Loraan came through the craters opening and began firing arrows in a cone around Grumblejack, hitting anything but him. Barking filled the air as dogs were released from their kennels.
Grumblejack ran headlong into the guard house door smashing against it, knocking it from its hinges. The dogs caught up with the ogre and began biting at him pulling him off balance and dragging him to the ground. The archers on the walls ran for better locations to fire from while one guard came out a side door of the guard house, charging at the toppled ogre.
The other escapees closed in trying their best to appear in pursuit of the ogre, yet remaining ineffective in their attempts to stop him. Toribio sniped a dog off of the ogre as he jumped over the remains of the shattered fountain. Tristam closed to the guardhouse door slamming the one guard against the wall, as Grumblejack stood, throwing another dog off him. He raced into the enclosure of the guard house.
Running into the guard house, James conjured up a cloud of heavy mist, blocking any sight. Running across the expanse of the guard house Tristam noticed the ceiling and walls were lined with holes.
Arrows bristled through the air as Grumblejack smashed into the second door, striking him from all sides. Loraan hung back in the mist he had created, staying out of sight. Tristam ran up alongside Grumblejack smashing into the fortified door, sending more wood splintering off it as it creaked under the pressure of Grumblejack.
Loraan glimpsed a figured running with blinding speed across the courtyard as he moved deeper into the mist cloud. He still hung back trying to stay out of the spray of arrows from the murder holes. With a final heft Grumblejack threw the doors open and sprinted off into the black night past the edge of the walls torch light. Tristam, Toribio and Jameskar ran into the blackness after him. Hear the sound of heavy footfalls approaching behind him Loraan ran from his hiding place past the arrows and into the night as well.
Running through the blackness the escapees spread out along the path, with Tristam lagging behind hindered by the chain mail he wore. Huffing and wheezing he eventually caught Jameskar and panted out the words “Veil.”,”Lantern”. Fumbling through the dark Jameskar surprised, remembered the lantern and pulled it out to light the way.
Up ahead the fleet elves had reached the end of the curving cliff path and found themselves standing on the edge of a bridge. of in the distance torches glowed and they heard the echoing roar of a an annoyed ogre before a gigantic splash.
Eventually the men caught up to elves, Tristam still breathing heavily. They moved onto the bridge as the glow of torches snaked its way down the path behind them.
Reaching the what they supposed to be the center of the bridge, the torch lights met up with them from both sides in the form of groups of guards. Heading the group of guards coming down the path was a wizard with a patch over one eye. Swords pointing at them from both sides, the near escapees looked at one another. Tristam, between labored breathes, choked out, “Where’d…pant... the ogre go? He...pant... get away?” The guards from the shore looked at each other suddenly confused.”He jumped in”, they responded. The wizard heading the group from the prison, wasn't as easily taken in. He demanded they surrender themselves as they were surrounded with nowhere to run.
Tristam walking to the edge of the bridge, looked over and remarked, “Down there?” With a sigh he then hefted himself over the railing and plummeted down to the waves some thirty feet below. Toribio, Loraan, and Jameskar all leapt after, much more gracefully. The guards looked over the edge, still confused.
Hitting the water with a deafening smack Tristam hit the water, followed closely behind by the others, who managed to make a lot less of a splash. Three head popped back up above the waves, absent Tristam as his heavy armor continued to drag him down. Toribio dove back under noticing he had come up yet. Dropping his shield and with Toribio’s help Tristam managed to surface. Swimming down the coast and then turning in towards the shore the pulled themselves out of the water on the edge of the moors.
Slogging On Edit
After their swim from Branderscar Bridge, the villians disposed of their uniforms in the ocean waters and headed inland. There they came across a small farmstead from which they stole some basic supplies. There was also a stable of animals. Toribio convinced them to leave the horses in the stable as not to draw attention, much to the dismay of Tristam who was exhausted from his sprint from the prison keep and his near death in the ocean. Loraan suggested that they could hide the theft by burning the stable to the ground. Wisdom ruled the night and the villians moved on into the moor.While following a map of the moors they stole from the prison, they were set upon by a Giant toad, who was not as stealthly in its approach as it had thought. Despite it's noisesome approach it managed to wrap its slimy monsterous tongue about Jameskar before swallowing him mostly whole. Through a volley of thrusts, arrows and mana rained upon the toad slaying it. As Jameskar had the map and knew the location they were supposed to go to, Tristam and Toribio set to the task of gutting the toad to retrieve their aquaintance. Despite their haphazard stabbing and wrenching they removed Jameskar intact, with no further damage.
Looking at the map they had stolen from the keep they found the manor of which had been spoken and as promised, a single lantern hung in one window. Entering in through the wrought iron gate, the three approached the door dragging the slumped form of the forth up to the doorstep. There they knocked. The door swung open to reveal the mysterious woman who had visited with Jameskar at Branderscar, Tiadora.