Way of the Wicked

The Frosthammer
Thorn's Commandment

Having passed his test, Cardinal Thorn sequesters the villains for three grueling months. His training is intense, but his lessons are pointed and focused. When finally complete, Cardinal Thorn puts the villains through one more ritual. Sacrificing a servant to a summoned devil. Thorn forges our villains into what he calls his Nessian Knot. The ritual empowers the villains, their wounds healing with a near magical rate and a profane resistance to magic empowering them.

With their training complete, Cardinal Thorn summons his Nessian Knot and gives them their first task. “Welcome, my children,” he says in a deep resonant voice that has an almost inhuman quality to it. “Training is at an end. You have proven yourself worthy. Now, it is time for you to use that training and take on your first mission."

“Your mission is war, my children. You will bring war to Talingarde."

“You have two objectives. First, you will see a shipment of munitions delivered to a bugbear chieftain named Sakkarot Fire-Axe. He makes his camp on the northern coast of Lake Tarik beyond the Watch Wall. With this shipment, the Fire-Axe will have resources enough to unite the barbarous humanoid tribes of the north and light the fire of war."

“Sitting on the dock as we speak is the longship Frosthamar captained by Kargeld Odenkirk. Tomorrow when the ship is resupplied it will be your transport. The captain is a ruthless mercenary and not to be trusted. He knows nothing of the specifics of our mission and you should keep it that way. He knows he is smuggling cargo to the north beyond the Watch Wall. That is all he need know. "

“Once the cargo is safely delivered, he will take you just south across the lake under cover of darkness and land you near the town of Aldencross. There our contract with Captain Odenkirk will be concluded."

“It is shame how greedy he has proven. I had hoped to let the captain serve me again but it seems he is too much of a liability. Kill him. Kill his crew. Burn his ship and leave no survivors. It is crucial that no one suspects our involvement and that loose ends are taken care of. Be sure to reclaim the coin I gave him. Best not to be wasteful."

“That done, you will begin your second task. We will do more still to aid our ally the Fire-axe. The bugbears are mighty warriors but poor siege engineers. You will infiltrate the tower Balentyne, keystone of the Watch Wall, kill its commander and open the gate for Sakkarot’s horde."

“Once the shaggy monstrosities pierce the Watch Wall, the bugbears will pillage and lay waste to the townships of the north and the local garrisons will have no choice but to
meet the Fire-Axe in the open field. Sakkarot is the most brilliant, gifted and murderous bugbear of his generation.

I expect these battles will go poorly for the knights and yeoman of fair Talingarde. “Do all of this and then when your task is done, break this clay seal.” He hands them a delicately carved clay seal adorned with a tangled knot of thorns surrounding the holy symbol of Asmodeus. “I will have more instructions then. Succeed and I will see you rewarded handsomely.

Fail or betray me and you will pray for the comfort of Hell before I am done with you. “The mission you start upon today is a holy mission. The people of Talingarde think they have seen the last of the mighty Asmodeus. Soon enough we will remind them that there is no escaping the grasp of Hell. Let us toast our success.” He pours one glass of deep red
wine for each of the PCs and then finally pours one for himself. He raises the glass and offers a toast.

“To war.”

The journey north began uneventful. The sailing remained smooth until north of the watch wall where The Frosthammer was spoted by a Mitran Navy patrol. The Blade of St. Martius overtook The Frosthammer and after a failed attempt to talk their way past the patrol the ship was searched. The sailors quickly found the weapons and placed the villains under arrest. The villains killed every sailor on board, searched The Blade of St. Martius and stole their valuables before leaving the ship and the crew at the bottom of the ocean.

Continuing north, the villains are ambushed in the night by Triton Mitra fanatics. After a hard battle, they finally kill the Mitras and hear his dying breath, “The shining sun has seen the wickedness of your deeds, and thus it will be the son who brings your doom.” Back on your path, Captain Odinkirk informs you that he will be detouring to Seal Isle to restock on water. He also invites the villains to join him on a sealing expedition. After two days on the island, Jeir insisted they move on, and he finally convinces the Captain to leave. As they entered the cold north and began to work inland to the river, the crew spotted a group of Yutak whale hunters. They stopped and traded with the hunters. Finally able to unload the stole gear of the Talrean military for valuable magic items and ivory as well as a very nice narwhal horn. They were even given a warning of how to avoid a powerful outsider that roamed the area.

Using advice from the Yutak, the villains were able to avoid confrontation with an ice mephit and started their journey down the River Taiga. Kargeld proves himself a worthy captain nimbly sailing the heavily laden craft through fields of floating jagged ice. He barks orders in Norspik and his sailors scramble to comply. Again and again he turns the boat at just the right moment to pass between the broken shards calved from ancient glaciers.

Finally, after nerve-wracking hours of this, the boat pushes through the dangerous headwaters of the Taiga into the clear water of this almost uncharted mighty river.Beyond the headwaters is a land of savage wonders. The Taiga winds through a great northern forest that to the best of anyone’s knowledge has no name.

After miles and miles of picturesque pine trees frosted with new fallen snow, the ship comes to a great mountain range. This river flows through a great rift in the mountains
that looks as if some impossible huge primordial giant smashed a pass through the grey slate.

The villains are headed south now, though this appears to have no effect on lessening the intense cold. They are headed to the great interior sea of Talingarde – Lake Tarik as it is known. To the south of that lake sits the Watch Wall. And on the northern banks in a wide wooded valley is your destination – the camp of Sakkarot Fire-Axe.

Thousands of bugbears are already assembled. These savage humanoids are not pleased to see outsiders, especially humans. Worse, there are more than just bugbears here. The occasional polar bear lumbers around the camp untended. Fur-clad goblins scamper here and there, laughing with frenetic glee. Even a few hill giants gather at the camp’s fringes.

There is only one place to dock the boat – a crudely made pier that juts into the river. On that pier are four hulking bugbears. They don’t seem pleased to see the Frosthamar. In fact, these bugbears are bored thugs who notice the Frosthamar’s approach a few moments before Sakkarot can get to the pier. They have the brilliant idea of eating the soft, squishy ‘hummies’ before the Fire-Axe gets here and claims all the tasty bits.

The villains were able to intimidate the bugbears and stall them long enough for Sakkarot to arrive. Once Sakkarot does arrive, any fight is quickly quelled. The great black-furred bugbear is a fearsome beast wielding an axe of flame. He points the axe at the villians. “Who sent you?” Sakkarot demands in unaccented common. When they claimed their allegiance to the Cardinal, he smiles a toothy grin. “Then you are welcome here.” He turns to the somewhat stunned throng of bugbears who were getting ready to storm the boat and eat the occupants.

“These humans are my guests. I will deal with anyone who harms them. They are our allies!” He walks over to the boat and rips open one of the crates revealing finely made axes with in. He tosses one to a nearby bugbear warrior who until this time only had a crude club to wield. “Behold, they bring us steel!” This earns the villains a terrifying chorus of growls and cheers from the monstrous assembly.

The boat is unloaded. Sakkarot’s lieutenants see that each case is distributed and soon our villains can see a visible transformation in the camp. Where once there were a thousand bugbear savages, now there are a thousand bugbear soldiers each with new weapons and shields adorned with the emblem of the fire axe. What a terror the PCs have helped to create.

Sakkarot holds a feast in honor of the weapons shipment and their allies. The feast is a brutal, savage affair with bugbears fighting each other and all manner of monsters in attendance. The highlight of the party is when a great shaggy dire boar recently captured from the northern woods is brought in shackles.

One ton of angry pig is led in by a dozen bugbears who drag the beast before Sakkarot. Sakkarot beheads the already wounded animal in one mighty stroke with his fire axe. The beast is then spitted and roasted in a great open pit. The villains sit at the Fire-Axe’s table – a front row seat at this spectacle of savagery.

The Fire-Axe’s horde includes a few ogres and one of them is a gigantic bone-through-the-nose almost shockingly ugly female ogre named Karlotta Bonegrinder. It is love at first sight. Karlotta expresses her interest in Grumblejack by hissing like a cornered tigress and throwing a spear at him. Grumblejack continues the courtship by pulling the spear out of his minor flesh wound, licking the blood off the stone spear-head and breaking it over his knee. They then attack one another, wrestling fiercely until finally Grumblejack (who is fairly beaten up by this point) gets the upper hand and Karlotta flees. Grumblejack purrs as Karlotta departs the fray, “What a woman!”

Eventually as the raucous bestial festivities of the bugbear tribes die down, Sakkarot will want to speak with the Villains alone. He summons them into his private chambers and dismiss his many followers with a deep growl. “You are traitors to your own kind. You must knowthat. When Balentyne falls and my horde pours through its shattered gates, we will slaughter the Talireans by the thousands. Yet I see no regret in your eyes. Tell me, how can this be?”

Sakkarot is not an ordinary bugbear. Well-spoken and intelligent, he is anything but the typical brute. Sakkarot does not look down upon the Villains for betraying their own. Indeed, Sakkarot is planning the exact same sort of betrayal to his own people. Sakkarot Fire-Axe is as much an outsider and an outcast as the Villians are. He just wants to know more about them.

He does reveal that he leads the first knot – the Avernian Knot. “I am the only true member of the knot. The rest are only fools.”

Once finished, Sakkarot has one last thing to say: “Tomorrowyou must depart this camp. It will never be truly safe for you here. Over the next week, more tribes will rally to my banner. I will promise them blood and give them steel. Then at last I will be ready to march. A week after that – I will be poised to strike. I will move my horde to the valley just north of Balentyne. There we will wait for your signal. Fire this rocket into the air. Within the hour,
we will attack. Make sure that the way is ready.

“After we gather, my horde will be idle and start to grow anxious. I can hold them together for another two weeks. After that, I expect desertions and squabbling. Get your work done before then. You have one month to infiltrate and destroy Balentyne.” Sakkarot hands them a single carefully wrapped signal rocket. Suddenly the bugbear warlord gets very serious and stern. He stares straight into your eyes.

“Can you do this? In one month can you break the Watch Wall?”

He grunts and nods. “Thorn has faith in you. If you weren’t his best, he wouldn’t have sent you. Do this and your names will be legend. Now go. Hail Asmodeus!”

The villians departed early, leaving the same night at the request of Captain Odinkirk. They cross the mist shrouded Lake Tarik under the cover of darkness and deposit you on the southern shore no closer than a couple hours walk from the Tower Balentyne and the small town of Aldencross. The villains convince him to rest the night on the shore. Ambushing him and his crew in the night. They quickly overwhelmed the Frosthammer’s crew and killed them all. They burned the boat.

You are close now. Just a few miles from here sits the small market town of Aldencross and less than a mile from there is the watchtower of Balentyne – your goal. Already Sakkarot’s horde gathers and prepares to move. Within two weeks, they will be in a small valley north of the lake awaiting your signal. Fire the rocket into the air at just the right moment and you will take the first step towards claiming vengeance against Talingarde.

Destiny has taken you here. Destiny has given you a mission. There is no doubt that the future of this green and pleasant land lies in your hands. You could go to that town right now and warn them of the plots of the sinister Cardinal Thorn. You could give yourself up and face the justice you deserve. You could turn back from the horror and the slaughter that you are going to inflict upon these Mitran sheep. This is that moment. This is the turning point. After this, there is no going back. Any one eager for redemption?

I thought not. Come, my friends. We have work to do. We must burn Balentyne.

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The Nine Lessons

After three days of rest, the Nessian Knot was brought back to Cardinal Adrastus Thorn. “Have you enjoyed your gifts? The iron circlets allow you to move amongst your enemies as one of them. The silver amulets will remind you of your true loyalties. And the other items – well, you need them now.”

“You have done well to escape from Branderscar and to accept my offer. However, you are still not ready for my service. ”/characters/tiadora" class=“wiki-content-link”>Tiadora will lead you to the basement of this domicile. There you will find nine chambers each more dangerous than the last. Somewhere hidden within these chambers is a pendant of silver and sapphire. Recover the pendant and bring it to me. Let nothing and no one stand in your way."

He stood up and looked out of the manor house window across the gray moor. “It’s almost dusk. You have until dusk tomorrow to bring me my prize. Do not fail me.”

Cardinal Adrastus Thorn took a seat at his desk as Tiadora arrived right on cue. “This way,” is all she says. The Nessian Knot made their way to the basement and asked if they could use Grumblejack during this test. Tiadora told them they could use whatever resources they wished, so the villains quickly went and retrieved the Half-Ogre.

The villains made their way down into the basement and found an inscription in the archway leading into a 30′ × 30′ room. The inscription read “Deception is a tool. Self-deception is death. Deceive always thy enemy but never thyself.” The villains entered the room and found it empty save a lantern hanging from the roof and a door to the east. Elizavet Verithos approached the door and triggered a trap, falling into a hidden pit. The door popped open and showed a stone wall that read “Thou wert deceived. Pain is thy reward.”

The villains backed away and searched the room more carefully, finding two hidden doors. In the north room, they found a vial of alchemist ice. To the south they found a hall.

The next room’s door had another inscription. “Following the herd is for fools. Fear not their icy derision. Instead, fear only thy Infernal Lord.” Inside the stone chamber, there were four doors, one of which had a strange fungus growing on it and the chamber felt strangely cold. Being more cautious, the villains searched the room finding a dozen tracks to the east and southern doors. No one had approached the western door. Liailah Shamayim approached the fungus covered door and was quickly enveloped by a quickly growing mold. The villains tried to burn it away, but that only caused it to grow faster. With quick thinking, Liailah Shamayim threw the alchemist’s ice at the mold and killed it. Going through the door, there was an inscription reading, “Thou hast made thy own path.”

Following the passage to the next room, the inscription read “Know your enemy. Shatter all that blinds you and then burn thy adversary to ashes.” Opening the door, the villains found a room shrouded in darkness. Those that could peer through found dozens of coin sized holes in the ground and a pedestal holding an onyx globe. They also spotted barred doors to the north and east. Fellony Glitterhorn and Grumblejack entered the room to shatter the globe, when a creature of mist emerged from one of the holes and stung Fellony Glitterhorn. She was suddenly bleeding and felt weakened by the bite. This mist creature then fled back down a hole before the villains could react. They hurried through the room, removing the bars on the doors and moving out away from the mist to the north.

Another room was found with an inscription reading “Cruelty is a tool, not a pastime. Be ruthless to thy enemy, but reward those who serve thee well.” Entering the room the villains found a torturer’s rack with all the implements functional and unused. Searching the room, Fellony Glitterhorn found a secret chamber. Inside was a terrified Squire Timeon of Balentyne who became even more terrified when spotting Fellony Glitterhorn’s symbol of Asmodeus he became even more scared. He proved very unhelpful, unwilling to be of any aid to an Asmodian. Fellony Glitterhorn put Squire Timeon of Balentyne on the rack and quickly broke him with the slightest threat of torture. He revealed that he and the knight he severed were captured by an unbelievably powerful bald man. He also informed them that the man was going to torture him until Timeon spotted the hidden chamber and hid inside. While hiding, Timeon learned the layout of the rooms in this dungeon. Elizavet Verithos offered to help Timeon escape if he came with them. Timeon agreed and was released from the rack.

The villains fled through the mist’s room and out the eastern door. The inscription on the next rooms door read, “The chosen are revealed by their might. The weak deserve no sympathy.” Inside this room were two metal cobras that were quick to attack the villains. The constructs were quickly smashed by Grumblejack. Upon inspection, it was clear the cobras were made of Mithral alloy, so the chunks were gathered to later sell.

The villains went to the next room and read the inscription. “Suffer not the fool. Stupidity is our faith’s cardinal sin.” Inside was a podium upon which lied a pendant of silver. A dragon with silver eyes and a set of stairs to the east. Taking the warning to heart, Liailah Shamayim found a secret door and slipped into the hallway beyond. F’larden grabbed the dragon and followed after Liailah Shamayim assuming the stairs are trapped. Elizavet Verithos and Fellony Glitterhorn inspected the stairs and found them trapped. Elizavet Verithos disabled the trap and Fellony Glitterhorn went to the top of the stairs and opened the door. The door revealed a dead end that had an inscription reading “Only the foolish believe great deeds are so easy or so obvious.” Satisfied, the villains followed the others into the next hall.

The next door’s inscription read “Secrecy is our greatest ally. Exposure brings death.” With warning from Squire Timeon of Balentyne the villains thought there may be a mushroom in this room that responds to noise and light. The snuffed their lights and opened the door. Inside was the mushroom. The villains decided to leave Grumblejack behind here as he could not slip past the mushroom. The rest carefully slipped by and made their way into the next hall.

Upon this door read, “Beware the fallen for they may rise once more to threaten you.” The villains quietly entered the room filled with waterlogged coffins. They hoped to slip past them, but were heard passing through and four draugers began to rise and attack the villains. The villains were trapped by the undead in the next hall, so Liailah Shamayim used a key she found to open the next door. Inside was Sir Balin, armed and ready for a fight. Sir Balin recognized Fellony Glitterhorn as he was the one that captured her and sent her to Branderscar Prison. He drew his sword and attacked.

Sir Balin was a strong fighter. Along with the Drauger from the flanking hall, the party was being overwhelmed. Elizavet Verithos attacked Squire Timeon of Balentyne and nearly killed him. Elizavet Verithos then threatened Sir Balin to stay his attack and they would save Timeon. After some quick negotiating, Sir Balin agreed that if he and his squire could go free, he would not hunt the villains. The villains agreed and Sir Balin gave a potion to his squire. As he did so, Fellony Glitterhorn and Liailah Shamayim quickly stabbed him while he was distracted. The battle restarted and the villains used the tieflings darkness to put the human on the defensive. The battle was hard fought and eventually Elizavet Verithos fled to get Grumblejack. With the Ogre’s aid the drauger and Sir Balin were killed.

After looting the corpses, the villains returned upstairs. Jarvis Anaral lead them to Cardinal Adrastus Thorn was sitting in his study seeming almost as he has moved not an inch from where he gave you the orders at dusk yesterday. “You’ve returned.”

After some discussion, F’larden presented the High Priest with Sir Balin’s silver and sapphire holy symbol. The high priest holds the trinket and pauses as if in deep contemplation. He watches the holy symbol glitter in the light. “A pretty enough ling, eh?” he muses. “This is a holy symbol of Mitra. In particular the sort favored by the Knights of the Alerion. Perhaps you already knew that.”

“Remember this symbol. This is the mark of those who destroyed our faith and sought to banish all traces of worship of our Father from these shores. These, my friends, are your enemies.”

He tosses the holy symbol back to F’larden. “Keep it. It may aid you in disguising yourself.” He smiles. “You have done well. Escaping from Branderscar, slaughtering ”/characters/sir-balin" class=“wiki-content-link”>Sir Balin… yes, you are worthy. Now, let us complete your training…"

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Mysterious Benefactor

Having made it out of the prison, the Forsaken set out through the More seeking the Manor house Tiadora told them of. They found their way and Tiadora met them at the door. She brought the slaves out to tend to the needs of the Forsaken. Each person is brought into a private room, bathed, fed, and given a new set of clothes just like royalty. The slaves are clearly enthralled and charmed.

Grumblejack is greated far less warmly by Tiadora, who refers to the ogre as the forsaken’s pet ogre. She even offers to cage up their pet. Grumblejack made sure to inform her that he was a fearsome monster, not a pet. Even going as far as to swear that he will eat her one day.

After given a small rest, the Forsaken are brought down to meet their benefactor. It is here the Forsaken met Cardinal Adrastus Thorn for the first time. He introduces himself as the last High Priest of Asmodeus and tells the villians of his plan to burn Talingarde to the ground and rise up a new country in service to the Prince of Nessus. After some explanation, a contract was produced and signed. Here the “bound” were given their first order from their “master”. They were ordered to rest for three days and await their training.

Given time, and servants, the Forsaken made themselves at home. In the couple of days, they found that Cardinal Adrastus Thorn was no longer at the manor house. Tiadora remained and made trips from the manor house to town to sell and buy items on the Forsaken’s behalf. To aid in their purchases, another of the master’s servants appeared to tally their possessions and divide the master’s gifts between them. Jarvis Anaral took impeccable records of their items, appraising their value, and dividing the master’s gifts to each of them. He added coin to their loot to aid them, as well as gifting each person a silver unholy symbol and an iron circlet.

The iron circlet’s were identified with a magic that would aid in disguising the villains with magic.

While enjoying their time off, a patrol lead by Tracking Officer Clifford Gates. With Tiadora’s magic, she lead them to a nearby cave where a dragon was said to rest. Tiadora then set out with 5 servants of matching genders and builds to the Forsaken. She returned alone, informing those that asked that a dragon must have eaten those escaped prisoners.

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Branderscar Prison: Episode 3
Warden of Branderscar

Having slain or imprisoned Sergeant Tomas Blackerly and the remaining guards in the main hall, the Forsaken took their time, arming themselves and formulating a plan. They set their minds to the Warden’s tower, with plans to either blackmail him into aiding their escape, or kill him.

Using their knowledge of the guard’s postings, the Forsaken began to sneak their way towards the Warden’s tower. F’larden was nearly spotted by the guard on the walls, but was able to bluff his way past, even managing to score some Belladonna the guards have been using to poison Grumblejack. Finally out of the guard’s notice, F’larden joined the other Forsaken in the tower.

The Forsaken saw the history of Branderscar Prison in a number of banners and plaques from its days as Castle Brand. Castle Brand served as the citadel of the Hellknights in the Order of the Brand. All the way to today. Jeir grabbed a few relics of interest from the old Castle Brand days. The Forsaken left Grumblejack to guard the entrance while they made their way up into the Warden’s library. Searching the library, the Forsaken found a couple books of interest, but still no spellbook much to F’larden‘s chagrin. Continuing to the top floor, the Forsaken found two rooms. Elizavet Verithos and F’larden set about searching the Warden’s office and desk, while Fellony Glitterhorn and Liailah Shamayim searched his bedroom.

While inspecting the seemingly empty rooms, Liailah Shamayim suddenly burst out in an uncontrollable laughing fit. Fellony Glitterhorn looked over to see Mathias Richter, the Warden of Branderscar Prison, standing over her no longer invisible. Even faced with the threats of death, this devotee of Mitra would not bow to evil and sought to disable the group. The wizard drew on all his magical might, but was outnumber, and his spell power was not infinite. As he whittled through each of his spells, the Forsaken eventually overwhelmed and slew him. With the Warden dead, the Forsaken continued their search. They found the wizard’s spell book, a map of the Old Moore area around Branderscar Prison, and a number of the Warden’s outfits that seemed quite valuable. They dressed themselves in the new outfits.

With no bag to speak of, the Forsaken stuffed their ill-gotten gains in the Warden’s pillowcases and made their way to the gatehouse. They attempted to sneak across the bridge to the mainland and past the guardhouse. The dogs were quickly silenced with the doggy treats, and everyone stealthed past the house. When one guard heard them pass, quick thinking by Liailah Shamayim gave a password found from one of the guards. The password seemed to satisfy the guards who never came out to look at who was leaving the prison.

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Branderscar Prison: Episode 2
Sergeant Blackerly's Fall

The forsaken pushes out of the stairway and quickly overwhelmed the two guards who were stationed on the ground floor. One of the guards was able to blow his signal horn before Liailah Shamayim put her dagger through his chest. Liailah Shamayim was able to pick the lock to the armory, the forsaken took their time taking the guards armor and equipping it. Inside the armory, the villains even found Grumblejack’s armor and weapons. As they were attempting to get their armor on, more guards came out finally ready for battle. The guards attacked the barely armored villains before Fellony Glitterhorn clouded the hallway in darkness. The guards made a tactical retreat which gave our villains time to equip their armor. The group was able to overwhelm the guards until Sergeant Tomas Blackerly came charging out and nearly gutted Content Not Found: f-larden. With cries for help, Grumblejack reentered the fray and slays Sergeant Tomas Blackerly in a single swing.

Seeing their Sergeant fall, demoralized the remaining two guards who were finally intimidated to surrender. The guards gave the forsaken some information. Apparently the new warden, a wizard from a noble family, took over a couple years ago. He has had little interest in running the prison and it has been falling apart ever since. Their usual retinue of 50 guards is down to a small dozen. Their equipment is out of date, and half the guards are either drunk or skipping out on their duty for a card game.

While Fellony Glitterhorn and Jeir talked with the guards, Liailah Shamayim and Content Not Found: f-larden started to search the Sargent’s office and room. They found among other things a map of Branderscar Prison with guard postings labeled, evidence that showed Sergeant Tomas Blackerly had been stealing from the prison, and the Sergeant’s hidden lock-box with his ill gotten gains.

Satisfied with the information they got from the guards, the villains took the captured guards and servants they found and locked them in the villain’s old cell. The villains made their way to the side entrance to the grand hall ready to make their way to the warden’s tower to end the wizard who held them captive.

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Branderscar Prison: Episode 1
Forsaken

The Kingdom of Talingarde is the most noble, virtuous, peaceful nation in the known world. This is the story of how you burned this insipid paradise to the ground. It’s only fair. They burned you first. They condemned you for your wicked deeds. They branded you. They shipped you to the worst prison in the kingdom. In three days, you die. In three days, the do-gooders pray they’ll be rid of you. They’ve given you three days. The fools, that’s more than you need to break out. And then, it will be their turn to face the fire.

The Forsaken were brought into their cells and branded with the mark of one forsaken by Talingarde by Sergeant Tomas Blackerly. One by one, the forsaken found themselves chained to one another. The thief that attempted to defraud the Blessed Order of St. Macarius’s charity Liailah Shamayim. The defiler of the righteous dead and sacred Mitra’s temple, Elizavet Verithos, the blasphemer Fellony Glitterhorn, the arsonist Jeir, and the deserter F’larden. They each stand condemned to die or face hard labor in three days.

Resigned to their inescapable fate, the forsaken got to know one another. Sharing laughs with like-minded individuals, so hard to find in this noble land. Suddenly, Sergeant Tomas Blackerly storms in with a contingent of guards. His men grabs Jeir out of the cell and take him to meet a “visitor.”

When Jeir is brought back, he quickly explains that the group may have a benefactor helping them escape Branderscar Prison. He show’s a magic veil that the Forsaken quickly discover carries a number of useful objects. Using a set of tools found on the viel, Liailah Shamayim manages to free herself, then sets to freeing Elizavet Verithos. Elizavet Verithos then shows off a most unusual ability to break anything she touches, though the items restore themselves when not in her possession. She abuses this curse to free herself and the others from their chains. Now free, the Forsaken search the cell block for anything of use. They make some improvised weapons out of chains and the daggers found in the veil. Their greatest weapon they found in solitary confinement. An Ogre named Grumblejack was found inside. Though he bore no mark of being forsaken, he was clearly drugged by the guards to subdue him. Even drugged his size and strength were an asset. It didn’t take much to convince Grumblejack to join their cause.

Now free, the Forsaken made a move against the guards. Rushing out of the cell block, they quickly used the tactical advantage of surprise and their superior numbers to overwhelm the two guards stationed at their cell block. Stealing the gear and equipping it for themselves, the Forsaken proceeded down the stairs.

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