The sun sat high in the sky at approximately 10AM, when city council member Andor Machrow was paraded through the city as a traitor to the people of Strahl.
“I am no Snake, damn you! I have been framed! This is all a mistake! I am not a criminal, unhand me! You will pay for this!”
He certainly did not go quietly.
A crowd had gathered along his final path to the jailhouse – among this crowd was Tiffiany Briar, headed eastward to her job at the library. She was stopped short, however, by the throng.
“Stop this nonsense immediately! Someone, help me! I have been framed!”
Andor reached the jailhouse with his guard escort. The wall of people began to dissipate, milling about in their normal fashion. Tiffiany shook her head and moved on, making her way eastward.
Andor Machrow could be heard shouting from within the jailhouse, quite muffled. Tiffiany stopped a few moments beside the building, listening to the heated altercation inside. She could make out no words, but Machrow was certainly in a rage. Being processed into a dungeon couldn’t be fun for a noble.
She shook her head as the noise died down. “Serves him right,” she thought to herself. “I’m glad to see the city guard finally doing something about our corrupt government,” she said aloud.
Tiffiany resumed her walk with a wry smile.
It is common knowledge that the jail’s dungeon was underground, positioned just feet from the rear (or east) end of the jailhouse. At night, when inmates felt like causing a ruckus, their screaming and groaning could be heard from above the cobblestone. Muffled though it was, it made for some eerie experiences in the dead of night, for certain fellows who might forget where they were.
And as Tiffiany passed by it, the dungeon blew its top – with a resounding explosion of force, the ceiling of the dungeon was blasted upward in the form of cobblestone-filled debris. Dust and dirt filled the air. Tiffiany was knocked prone by the blast, but returned to her senses quickly. Her surroundings were frightening, at best.
Upon brief inspection, the inside of the dungeon could be described as “demolished.” The iron bars and cell walls were all severely damaged or destroyed, some bars ripped from their sockets, or bent so wide open that anyone could fit through them. It was a disaster. Several prisoners seemed to be knocked unconscious (presumably by the explosion) but others yet could be seen climbing out of their cells, onto the damaged cobblestone above.
Among these climbing prisoners was Locrian Noire, a young man of previously impressive social standing, with whom Tiffiany had minor acquaintance a year past. She raced to meet him, on the other side of the cell block, while he surveyed the situation, oblivious to her.
What Locrian’s eyes saw was despair. Guards swarmed into the area, attempting to stave off the spread of escaped prisoners – but they were met with formidable enemies. The Silver Snakes had taken an interest in the situation and poured out of the alleyways and from the nearby rooftops. Many guards, caught by surprise while running, found a dagger lodged in their jugular before they would have time to fight back.
“The situation already looks bleak, and I’ve only just escaped,” he thought with disgust.
As Tiffiany began to run in his direction, a man dressed in prison sackcloth with ragged, dark hair passed her by, and grappled a guard to the ground beside her. She had no time nor a weapon, so she had to continue past the situation. On her way to Locrian, she passed a cloaked Snake dueling with a bloody guard, and realized that she was heading deeper into a conflict which she may not escape. But it was too late to turn back.
Locrian noticed her with great confusion, but there was no time for an explanation. Her eyes betrayed her bewilderment at his attire – no prison sackcloth for him, no. He instead wore a lovely green robe! At least, it once was lovely, before whatever event occurred that covered it in the scent of stale urine and crude drawings of genitalia.
“Get them! Escaped prisoners!” Two guards called from their south – Locrian and Tiffiany both turned their heads to the sound, and saw two armed guards headed in their direction.
“Shit – run!” Locrian instinctively turned to the north, and Tiffiany willingly followed. His eyes found Rond – a man in his mid-30’s with dark hair turned ragged by months spent in prison, facial hair unshaven. He carried a bloodied longsword.
Rond met the gaze, running into the pair as they came to an alley on their right. “Go – I’ll handle the guards!” He immediately pushed past them, as Locrian offered him a thankful, if unsure, glance.
Tiffiany quickly surveyed the area, and in a moment of tactician’s inspiration, she found their only out. “Into the alley, let’s go!”
They stopped short, impeded by a well sitting at the corner of the alley. To their right came a Silver Snake, sprinting up the alleyway, and to their left, two Snakes and a guard were locked in heated battle. The Snake would reach them before they could make it to the other end. Locrian dashed forward, noticing a guard headed into the alley from the east, and retreated.
“We have no choice – we have to go through the Snake!” he shouted at Tiffiany.
“With what?!” she retorted.
At that moment, Rond ran around the bend, a second sword in hand. He threw this at Tiffiany. “Hope you can use it!”
Then, the Snake engaged.
The trio were locked in conflict. Tiffiany suffered wounds on the Snake’s daggers, and the three moved northward. Rond pinned one of the rogues down in the northern alley, and urged for his companions to rush past him. He threw the Snake in his hands back at the pursuers, and the three of them raced north, and then west.
“We need to make for the gate – we can’t stay in the city!” Rond called after them, holding the rear.
And so they did. The trio sprinted back, past the crater that was once a jail dungeon, and down the courtyard in front of the gate. The gate was closed. They each shared the same thought – the town alarm must have been raised in all of the chaos, and none of them heard it. Rond took the lead, bursting into the guardhouse, sword first – it was empty. He nodded his partners the affirmative, and took to the pulley, opening the gate inch by inch.
The sound of the gate opening could not go unnoticed. From the jailhouse emerged the jailor, staring incredulously at the situation unfolding at the gate. He was unarmed, and could do nothing to stop them. The three made their way out of the city, battered, but alive… And free.
Players present gain 350 EXP.
Homework questions for 150 EXP – to be written in a text file or in an e-mail and sent to me.
1. A very large centipede runs across your character’s leg. What does (s)he do?
2. A stranger makes a crude comment to your character. How does (s)he react?
3. What does your character wish (s)he could do that (s)he can’t? How badly does (s)he want it and what would (s)he do to get it?
“Homework questions” will follow this format most of the time. Three questions with (usually) fairly short or clear answers, if you give the personality of your character some thought. The purpose of this “homework” is to keep you all thinking about your character in ways that give your character depth. As the campaign goes on, the questions will become more focused by design, so that I may use your answers in further development of the campaign. For now, this is mostly just to get you thinking.
Next session on Oct. 2nd. Exact time TBA. Thinking about starting as early as 4PM, and then going until 10PM. Thoughts on this are welcome.
Until next time!