Our story starts with the unfortunate assassination of the Brelish heir to the throne, Prince Morcant ir’Wynarn by the unphased dwarf Oskar, whose rage at being poisoned matched that of the most reckless barbarian. Certainly, a handful of unprepared guards did their best to intervene, but Oskar‘s superior initiative on this matter could not be argued with. It was all enough to cause at least one of the guards to lose his head in the fight. It was all Kithry could do to watch from his chatting spot near the staircase as a guard’s sword was held to his throat. Meanwhile, Tamsin yelled for Oskar to halt in the name of the king, but when he refused to do so, the shocked sorceress resorted to throwing magic missiles in Oskar’s direction. In combination with the hits of Morrison, it proved enough to finally fell the enraged dwarven assassin.
When next Oskar awoke, he found himself in a dark enclosed space, chained and manacled to a wall, in the company of a female elf bound to a table by hand and foot with rope, whom he’d never met before. There was more to this elf than one might initially suspect, however, as she soon awoke to use her own magic to free herself from the ropes which held her. At this point, Oskar tried to bluff his way into winning her aid with the promise of protecting her until they were safely away, but the elf Esme was wise to his lies. She left him chained where he was and investigated 2 of the 3 possible exits she could see – a trapdoor in the ceiling, locked, and a descent into some sort of tunnel which dug into the earth and led away from the lodge. Something about the lighting in the tunnel dissuaded Esme from using that escape route, and she returned to the room filled with the symbols of necromantic sorcery to try and magically charm Oskar into aiding her. Unsuccessful, Esme finally had to take the dwarf at his word that he would assist her in escaping their prison. Frantically, she searched the shelves and drawers for keys or implements which would help her in her mission to free Oskar, but none of the keys she found fit the lock on his manacles. One did fit the locked trapdoor in the ceiling, but footsteps heard nearby cautioned her against using it. Neither did magically cast acid splashes do anything to weaken the solidly made lock keeping him chained to the wall. Oskar strained in vain against the ring implanted in the wall that was holding him in place, and Esme redirected her acid attacks there, finally aiding the dwarf to succeed in pulling the metal ring from the wall. In a lucky stroke, Oskar was able to smash the lock off his manacles to free himself.
Finally free of their bondage, it was time to consider their escape. First Oskar checked the trapdoor in the ceiling again, and, undeterred by the sound of footsteps, opened it a crack to catch sight of a pair of boots facing in the opposite direction. Oskar did his best to trip and pull the unseen servant into the hidden room with them, but failed, leading this man to raise the alarm. With little time to think, the pair of prisoners grabbed their dagger-like weapons from among the evil set of torturous knives and implements on the wall and bull rushed their way through the doorway in the corner of the room, which brought them into a closet which opened onto the lodge’s kitchen. The very surprised cook inside never had the chance to finish his preparation of the evening’s meal – he was first manhandled by Oskar (as Esme grabbed a frying pan for protection), ransomed against the incoming guards, and finally had his throat slit by the dwarf when he was made to understand the regard with which the cooking staff were held at Mooncrest Lodge. It was then that Oskar and Esme finally made their run for freedom into the woods beyond the manor house. Oskar was somehow able to outrun the guards, but Esme was not so lucky. She was forced to use her Charm Person spell once again to convince the capturing guard to let her go, “for the sake of her child.”
Meanwhile, “back at the ranch”, Tamsin and Kithry finally saw their chance to escape with the disappearance of their kennel-side guard in the midst of the new kafuffle at the lodge. Kithry was able to break out of the locked kennel with sheer force of strength, aiding Tamsin shortly thereafter from her canine caged captivity. It was at this point that the courier parted ways with the halfling, wishing him luck and putting foot to gravel to sprint from the premesis. While Oskar had found a badger’s den to curl up in and begin to recover from his wounds, Esme had taken to watching the road out of the estate, and followed Tamsin‘s progress to the front “gate”, where she aided the young human female by magically emptying the quiver of the guardsman intent on filling Tamsin’s body with crossbow arrows. Kithry, meanwhile, had not forgotten about the dog he’d aided earlier, and took the animal with him, before similarly making for the safety of the woods.
As night descended upon our divided party, all were left to wonder if they would ever see their friends or enemies alive again…