The heroes wake to find themselves imprisoned, but by who, for what, and how, they do not remember. In fact, they don’t remember much.
Each player gets 433 experience points (xp) for this session.
Here are my notes for the session, including some things that ended up being skipped or not used, so you can see how I think.
The Stupidity of my own men
You wake up to find yourself in a damp stone room, solid but for one wall, which consists of steel bars set deep into the stone. You are in a prison cell. You can see another cell identical to your own across a short hallway. It is empty. You hear water dripping, and the room smells damp and moldy.
Give them some time to ask questions. Each player is in an adjacent cell along the north wall, so they cannot see each other.
Ansel is the guard on duty when they wake up. Shift changes every 8 hours according to the rotation below. One meal each shift, it’s brought down by a serving girl. Each guard carries a jangling key ring on their belt, and they spend the first hour of their shift playing cards with the last guard at a table where the hall turns.
Ansel – Strong, Dumb, Unperceptive
A very muscular man, but you can tell there’s not much going on upstairs, and he often seems distracted.
Barl – Weak, Smart, Unperceptive
A whip-thin man with a quick and mean sense of humor. Seems more preoccupied with seeming tough than what going on around him though.
Creiger – Weak, Dumb, Perceptive
His flabby body and slow retorts to Barl’s insults bely an unusually keep perception lurking behind his eyes
Rotation – A, B, C -> A, B, C -> etc
Bluff (vs A, C, to convince them to do something out of the ordinary)
Perception (to see keys on the belts, notice pattern?)
Thievery (vs A, B, to steal key/pick lock)
Diplomacy (vs A, C, to convince them to do something out of the ordinary)
Grapple (vs B, C, can grab through bars to steal the key) Bull Rush (vs B, C, once door is open, can push them into cell and lock it) Intimidate (fails until the doors are open, then vs A, C)
Guards each have one longsword, one light shield, scale armor, a key ring, and a small pouch with 10-30 silver pieces in (60sp total). The keys unlock the cell doors, and the locked rooms upstairs.
They could try Dressing as the Enemy at this point to avoid detection, but a deva and a dragonborn don’t fit into the demographics of the big bad’s guards. Maybe if the human pretends they are prisoners, but that will backfire because they’re going away from the prison. and they’re armed.
This scene involves winding hallways, empty rooms with odd arcane equipment and/or torture gear, a few bands of guards.
From the top of the stairs you can see a hallway that turns right at the end, about 50 feet away. There are two doors opposite each other midway down the hall.
Left Door: make perception check You don’t hear anything on the other side of the door. The door is locked This room is lined with tables, and the tables contain a wide array of weapons and armor. This seems to be a basic armory of some sort
Right Door: make perception check/passive You hear the sounds of people on the other side of the door. Some voices in low conversation, pacing, and dice rattling on a table. Door is unlocked, 4 guards are in the room. Any that weren’t disabled/killed downstairs, plus Wedge, Vicks, and Mortimer
You continue to the end of the hallway and see another long hall, about 100 feet, with a single door midway down it, and stairs leading up at the end.
This door leads to an open balcony bordered by a low wall adorned with spikes. About 200 feet up from ground level, the vista from this balcony overlooks a hellish landscape that looks as if it was carved by a great axe tearing through the land. You can see that you are in a sinister fortress on a rocky metallic island. The island is surrounded by a boiling green moat, and even from this height the fumes sting your nose. Dark shapes move under the liquid and occasionally you see a triangular fin break the surface. Horrible flying monstrosities wheel and dive in wide arcs around the perimeter of the moat, and beyond that you see nothing but the rest of the desolate chasm, extending into the distance. The fortress itself, from what you can see, is a vast dark wall of towers, windows, and spiky bits that looks very forboding and evil. This is not a good place to be.
The stairs at the end of the hall lead you up to an intersection. (draw on map)
To the Right is a short hall that ends in a door. Ahead is a very long hall with a few doors.
perception DC 15 You hear the sounds of clanking metal coming from behind the door on the right.
To the Right
Perception dc10: You hear the sounds of metal scraping on metal, and clanking
The door to the right opens into a large room and the sounds of clanking metal assault your ears. The smell of iron and oil is strong, and there are large metal gears, pipes, and other parts lining the walls and hanging from the ceiling. A figure in a dirty robe turns from his worktable in the middle of the room and shouts in surprise. his wild hair and beard are as caked with oil and rust as his robe. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” He brandishes the tools he was working with at you menacingly.
The Big Man encounter. He realizes they are escaped prisoners and attempts to kill them.
Long hallway straight ahead
First Door on Left
The walls of this room are lined with books, it is a library of some sort. A comfortable looking chair dominates one corner of the room, with a footstool and a side table near it. A plush rug covers the cold stone floor.
try to read?: The books all seem to be in a language that you don’t recognize, but you get the impression that the words contains descriptions of horrific things
Second Door on Left
This appears to be an alchemical laboratory. Beakers and flasks clutter every available surface, and the shelves on the walls are filled with oddities.
Perception DC 15 You find two vials with a symbol of healing on them gain 2x potions of healing
Door on Right
Crystal Room There are three crystals in a poorly guarded room (2 human soldiers). Low Arcana (DC 10) check shows that they radiate magical power, and it’s likely that the heroes will take these.
Poorly Guarded Air Vent ends in a large room where a strike force is preparing to go through a portal. The party enters the room just in time to see a group of 4 soldiers going over their plans and jumping through the portal. The party must act quickly and follow them through.