A Knot of Thorns - Prison Break II

The alarm horn moans through the halls as it’s musician is slain and his comrades are pummeled by the resident ogre.  Our budding villains quickly take inventory of their new found armament as Shivers attempts a solo escape through the courtyard.  His plan is foiled by a small barrage of arrows causing him to retreat back to his party, to safety in numbers, to the tank Grumblejack.  

Barring the door to the mess hall our intrepid adventurers await their fate; Vicky befriends the servant Sam and presses him for information about the prison.  The quiet calm is soon broken with a pound at the door followed by demands for surrender by an unknown speaker.  The criminals decide to hold their ground meanwhile Harlock notices movement from their rear, sending Sam reluctantly into the kitchen to investigate.  Sam’s kitchen incursion and followed confusion earns him an arrow to his head having tested Harlock’s patience.  Patience being a luxury our scoundrels have no use for, Lumond presses the kitchen quickly meeting the surprise of two singed guards waiting in the shadows of the pantry.  Lumond goes down calling the aid of our motley crew of miscreants as they storm the kitchen to dispatch the two ambitious custodians.  

Mathias Richter
The distraction, now in motion, gives Mathias Richter, Warden of Branderscar Prison, opportunity to freeze the mess hall door allowing it’s subsequent destruction.  With a quick sleep spell pressed into Grumblejack’s mind, Mathias orders the capture of the to-be escapees.  Two more guards followed by the commanding Sergeant Blackerly enter the mess hall attempting to subdue Harlock, Shivers, and Vicky.  A well-matched fight between the two forces ensues with Harlock succumbing to the will of fireball, Shivers falling prone to overwhelming odds, and Vicky darting about keeping her friends alive with the last stitch of her prison garb.  

Our sinner’s fate seems certain.  Blackerly surveys the battle’s conclusion but Shivers, not a man to be bested, summons his last bit of strength and delivers a one-two kick to a nearby guard, sending him hurling into the slumbering Grumblejack.  As the ogre awakens to the shocking sight of Mathias Richter, the man who’s torment of Grumblejack knew no bounds, he flies into a violent rage and pummels Mathias.  Using Mathias’s corpse as a makeshift club, the vengeful ogre attacks Blackerly and the remaining guards, dispensing of all but one.  The final guard manages a daring escape allowing Grumblejack a moment of exhaustive retreat and our party a chance to heal.  

The rest of the prison is ransacked by our rapscallions.  Vicky stays with Grumblejack in the main hall as Shivers, Lumond, and Harlock loot the Wardens private tower.  While they gather the spoils of their efforts, Vicky and Grumblejack make peace with each other just as they are visited by the last 2 guards of the prison who felt it was their duty to clean up the mess.  Grumblejack effortlessly makes quick work of the remaining bits much to Vicky’s amusement.  

With the prison now empty of life it’s the notion of our band of malefactors that burning the place to the ground would not only put this forsaken place to rest but also muddy the trail of any attempting to locate our villains.  For with their map, and their wits, we head through the moors to meet our estranged benefactor...  

GM Thoughts

This was a close to a TPK...  If Grumblejack hadn't woken up (GM intervention, but they'll never know) and taken out the guards we might have had to watch them attempt a second break-out; but this time with enhanced guard compliments, less help from anonymous benefactors, closer guard monitoring, and less GM sympathy.  There isn't a clear leader of the party yet however there is some clear-and-obvious foolhardy confidence with some of the players.  Other players, rather than taking control of the situation or gently guiding their companions, grow weary of waiting for decision and make snap judgement calls alone and without communication.  We will see how this goes with the lessons of Adrastus Thorn.


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