Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Dirty Penance

Strum and Grimalkin have more in common that most criminals that arrive at Branderscar. Both are half-elves. Each of them respect laws, honor, tradition, loyalty, and each equally love trying to bend such things to their advantage. 

Grimalkin's mind is a twisted one.
Grimalkin found himself in the depths of Branderscar through a slight lapse of mental judgement. During a sermon dedicated to Mitra and his ever shining love, he began having splitting pains through out his neck, back, and head. The agony was immense. This was no mere discomfort or ache Grimalkin had been

experiencing. What he was going through was a clear sign that he should not be here. A sign that blared through out his cortex
Something had to give.
burned images of Asmodeus into memory. While he has no particular degree of worshiping to Asmodeus it was clear there was a calling at hand. Throbbing with an unstoppable beat, Grimalkin's blood roiled and toiled through his veins.

"Praise be to Mitra the one and true father of us all!" Grimalkin recited in his cell to the only one who would listen. His audience being another half-elf named Strum and a couple rats.

Grimalkin continued "I just could not take it anymore. I don't know why I did what I did, it was so uncharacteristic of my being but I felt compelled, I felt that his pompous old wind bag was offending my inner soul and his wretched voice was like nails against a mirror."

He went on to describe how he remembered lunging at the preacher, the screams, some blood, and waking up to being branded. He wasn't even aware their was a trial. He didn't even get to defend himself.

Then there was Strum, a lowly (by Talingarde standards) assassin that botched a job out of his own accord. He claimed he is here to kill people not depose of bodies. Strum recalled the murderous act that he was called upon to fulfill. Called upon may be a poor choice of words, paid to do so would be better ones. In the realm of Talingarde murder is obviously not allowed. Killing for money makes the need for punishment that much greater.
Assassins come in all shapes.

Strum was sentenced to death for the murder of a noble, but to really make it stick, there were guards that were killed by a rival clan and they went ahead and pin those on him as well.  In Branderscar, the noble is enough, the rest is just gravy to the lawful good folk of Talingarde.

Upon getting into Branderscar cell block, he was shackled next to another half-elf known as Grimalkin. Strum listened to the tale Grimalkin retold.

“Oh, dearest,” proclaimed the unfamiliar woman. “I’m so relieved you’re alive!” She quickly turned to that bastard Tomas. “Could we please have a moment alone, good sir? For pity’s sake?”

He says he could see Tomas goes blank for a bit and then quickly agree with her. “Of course, my lady. For you,’ tis no problem.”

“Have you forgotten me, dearest?” the unexpected visitor said with a smirk, and she dropped her pretense of grief.

“Call me Tiadora. We possess a mutual friend who would like to meet you and your fellow cell-mates. Unfortunately, our friend is unwilling to visit you in your present rather shabby accommodations so it seems you must escape. Don’t be so dour. Just because it’s never been done before is no reason you can’t be the first."

“If you manage that, cross the moors on the outskirts of town. On the old Moor Road you’ll see a manor house with a single lantern burning in the second story. There our mutual friend waits. That is all I know. He did want me to give you this.”

He shows Strum the veil that she gave him and only said “Something to remember me by, dearest.”

Assuming her message delivered Grimalkin says she roseand the guards returned. Immediately, her demeanor
once more changed and she is again a perfect picture of grief. “No, I can’t bear to leave you!” She gave me a kiss on the cheek. The kiss was ice-cold and felt somehow alien and inhuman. Tomas shook his head. “I’m afraid it’s time, miss.” She looked deep in Tomas’ eyes and said, “Thank you for letting me say good-bye. There’s no need to search my dearest. You are such a good friend for letting me see my dearest one more time.”

“Such a good friend,” Grimalkin remembered Tomas repeating as if his voice was almost mechanical. Then the watch sergeant seemed to snap out of it and bowed politely. “A pleasure, madam,” She leaves unveiled. Her eyes meet the PCs one last time and she briefly gives them a wicked smile.

“Three days,” telepathically echoes in my mind. Grimalkin said and added “Don’t disappoint me, dearest”. 

The two didn't know what this veil did but they did experiment with it. Each of them noticed by pulling on the designs they came off. First they pulled off the gold bars and a bag of gold dropped at their feet, it attracted a guard and because all the coins scattered there was no time to stealth anything away except the veil. They didn't seem to mind, it was more than five months of pay all over the cell block. It was welcomed and no additional guards will called.

Grimalkin then took out the lock picking tools, got free with relative ease and released Strum. Each took a dagger from the veil, and also removed the bag and the holy symbol though, finding out afterwards that those those were of no use to them. It was a bit dark so they also took off the lantern for better hallway vision.  We tussled with some guards but it turned out to be futile. We were out matched. We saw they had longbows, long swords, armor, and shields. Our daggers were nothing compared to that. Luckily they didn't kill on us the spot, but we were knocked out and put back in the cell block.
Branderscar is a lonely place.
We  turned to our last resort which was to use the magic window and the rope. We climbed out the side of the jail cell wall and eventually ended up making ourway to the outer rim of the south west part of the prison walls. Here we found the Gardenrobe. The place where waste is dumped into the sea. We took our opportunity and went for it. With no gear at this time, we the swam through the rough ocean currents with out much trouble but was rather time consuming. We knew the prison would be on high alert at least for a few days. 
It's a hard knock life.

While we spent hours swimming and days hiding, with only minor crustaceans to feed on, and only salt water to drink, by the time we had made it to the start of the moor and began cross the swamp lands in the dead of night we were exhausted. We did manage to get the jump on a single guard who was presumably rushing for the additional protection.

With only a short bow, a leather-wrapped club to knock folks about, a long sword, a heavy steel shield, a quiver of arrows, and a chain shirt we ventured onward. Strum and Grimalkin have survival skills but they don't have long. 

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