Framed for a Great Escape
Our tale takes place in the ruined city of Neverwinter, a nexus of brave adventurers hoping to forge their destiny within the crumbled and apocalyptic shell of a once grand city.
Our adventure starts in the Bawdy Boar, a rough and tumble tavern filled with a motley assortment of patrons including Helg Firebeard– it’s purveyor. Our adventures noticed that some new faces found their way to the inn. The Bawdy Boar is known for it’s Shield Wall, a wall within the tavern that serves as a message board filled with potential work for would-be adventurers and cryptic messages between said adventurers.On with the story…
Today’s cast of Neverwinter protagonists include…
- Kaiser Hemlocke: human | ranger6
- Chowder: humanc | fighter6
- Horrace “the Bold”: human | sorceror5
- Lord Huxley: human | monk1
- Mir Gorstag: human? | druid3
- Thrunk Odinsson: dwarf | fighter1
Accepting a Mission
Summer has been in full tilt, and our adventurers were ready for a little action. They assembled at the Bawdy Boar, like they did most nights, and discovered two potential missions on the shield wall.
- “Bug Killers Wanted” – Kill a giant bug in a brewery’s basement for 1000gp
- “Discretion Required” – discreet adventures needed for three days work. Success will be rewarded in the form 1000gp each
A small debate erupted between our adventurers. And like any democratic party, we decided our fates with a vote. Discretion won.
We met with a shadowy figure named “Kester the Procurer” who informed us that we would have to get arrested for a serious crime, be thrown into Neverwinter’s deepest jail cells and break out a member of the Dead Rats thieves guild. Upon digging for more information, the target was a half orc named “Feegan the Knife“.
Feegan was a noted member of the Dead Rats thieves guild, a once-great theives guild that had recently been pushed to the point of near-extinction by a rival thieves guild from Amn.
The crime needed to be severe enough to ensure that we were locked in the deepest cells of Neverwinter Keep’s dungeon. Kester would provide a body and we were to stage a murder. The plan required that we get apprehended by the city watch, get locked in jail, and liberate Feegan the Knife from the inside.
This was quite the daunting task, and a little insane to some of our protagonists. But a murdering flicker of light caught Chowder’s eyes, followed by a flash of white teeth. “Are you sure we don’t need more bodies?” asked the deadly warrior of questionable morality while he studied the fine edge of his fierce, and rather large, cleaver. “I can always provide more bodies.”
Kester, seemingly amused, smiled and directed his shadowy stare at Chowder. The a seasoned thief of Neverwinter, looked over Chowder and his gear. The fighter’s heavy cleaver caught a glint of light which illuminated Chowder’s devilish smile and Kester shifted in his chair uncomfortably. “I know your reputation cook. One body will do.” replied the shadowy rogue.
Preparing to Get Arrested
Our heroes could not take any gear, as the watch would surely confiscate our heroes equipment and magic items. Having spent the past two years adventuring to curate their cache of magic weapons, treasure, and wonderful equipment, they elected to have their gear stashed in a vault at the local Temple of Waukeen.
This was going to be a great challenge with our gear, and a greater challenge sans adventuring gear.
Preparations for the mission were made by our heroes. This included hiding thieves tools and small pieces of gear into seemingly plebeian clothes. We did not want to go into a dungeon completely absent of tools. We had to escape the cells somehow…
Some of our adventurers had built quite the reputation in Neverwinter and we did not want to ruin our hard work by getting recognized by the same city watch we helped just last year. Kester provided us with magical potions that would alter our appearance for three days. We had three days before our true identities were revealed. Three days to get arrested and locked in a dungeon cell. Three days to escape a very well-fortified dungeon and rescue an incarcerated thief. Three days to to make 1000 gold, and get back to our cushy life at the Bawdy Boar. Three days to potentially end our lives. “Three fucking days of madness…” mutter Kaiser Hemlocke, the party’s ranger. Other members of the party sullenly nodded their heads in agreement.
Feeling prepared, our adventurers headed to the meeting point. We made it to a warehouse chosen by Kester and entered the dimly-lit, large wooden building. Kester walked out of the shadows to greet us.
Another man, clad in all black and carrying a large black bundle of black clothe over his shoulder strode in and nodded to Kester. He dropped the large bundle and it sank to the floor with a large “THUD”. The black-clad figure turned and exited from direction he appeared.
Kester walked over to the heap of black clothe and began to sift through it. With one last jerk of black clothe, a bloodied body rolled out.
“I like your style” laughed Chowder.
“This one be a little too excited” whispered dwarf Thrunk. Lord Huxley, jaws open, simply nodded in astonished agreement.
“Are you ladies ready?” added Chowder with an excited smile, swinging his arms back and forth in preparation of martial activity.
“As ready as we bloody well can be” responded Horace with a lamentful shake of his head. “This is fucking crazy” he added as he regretfully climbed to his feet.
Our heroes drank the potions and their appearances begun to shift an distort. They gave one last check of their very limited belongings and started for the exit.
“Gentlemen.” said Kester in a hurried voice. “When you find Feegan, tell him Mother White is here. He will know you are agents for us.”
“Excellent! Let’s get cooking!” Chowder remarked, beaming with crazed excitement. He grabbed the bloody body that Kester provided by an ankle and headed for the front exit of the warehouse. Leaving a bloody trail in his wake.
To the Pokey
Chowder, with body in tow, led the party to the city streets and dumped the body in the middle of the paved stones. He gave it a few kicks, muttering obscenities to himself, and we begun to make a commotion. A few party members smear the poor man’s blood on themselves to look more incriminating. We yell and garner the attention of a local merchant, who opened his door to investigate the commotion. Someone punches the merchant and pulls him into the street, screaming obscenity-laced threats at the poor innocent merchant. The merchant’s wife, peers out the door to see where her husband had gone. Upon viewing the carnage in the street, she screams and yells for the city.
The watch appears soon after and attempts to apprehend the adventurers. “Lay down your arms!” they yell with spears and blades drawn.
Chowder, laughing maniacally, rushes into the watch. He clobbers the first watchman and other party members join the scuffle. Melee ensues and more contracted adventurers who serve as watchmen show up and eventually surround us. Not to be taken lightly, Chowder rushes the most dangerous looking one, grabbing his knife and attempting to stab him. But their numbers were too great.
We eventually surrender, being kicked and pummeled by the watch. Chowder earned the most severe beating, with the watch taking turns on the bound fighter.
We are placed in manacles and hauled to the Neverwinter keep by a prisoner’s wagon.
We are brought forth to the Neverwinter court. The magistrate sentences us to death, giving us three last days to draw sweet breathe. The druid, Mir Gorstag raises objections and demands a barrister. The barrister quickly agrees with the magistrate and we are hauled off to the dungeon cells. The deepest and most vile of dungeon cells.
Guards took us down a flight of stairs, followed by another, which was followed by another flight of stairs, and one more. Four levels deep, through a portcullis, and our adventurers were sifted into their potential eternal resting places. All except Kaiser.
Thrunk and Chowder were placed in a cell with another man. A very sinister looking man who never stopped smiling. Flanked by a smiling lunatic… And another new shadowy figure, the uneasiness of dwarf Thrunk was nearly palpable. “Hello there” grumbled Thrunk in an unsettled voice.
“Why hello there” smiled the new shadowy figure “They call me The Smiler.”
Lord Huxley, Horrace the Bold, and Mir Gorstag were situated on the opposite side of the dungeon. And they just so happened to pass a half-orc that was locked in a cell. Horrace gave a slight smile and a nod to Lord Huxley, having found their target. The guards threw them in their own cells and walked off.
“Maybe this won’t be too bad” thought Horrace, relishing the luck of proximity to their target.
Then the screaming started…
Brutal screams… Agonizingly brutal screams… Deafeningly loud screams… But a slightly familiar voice… Wait a minute… That is Kaiser screaming!
The hot coals poured onto Kaiser’s chest and he screamed with fury. Nearly passing out from the pain. The smell of his own burnt flesh, filling his nose.
“Tell us all you know murder!” commanded an inquisitor.
But Kaiser could only mutter incoherently.
“Bring him to the device! That ought to get him talking…”
The next half hour was a blur of pain and screams.
Eventually, a loud door opened, then shut. A bloodied and bruised Kaiser was dragged by two large guards to a cell adjacent to Thrunk, Chowder, and the deadly looking man called The Smiler. They tossed him in a cell with another man and he hit the ground with a thud, muttering prayers to Meliki.
Finding an internal fortitude, Kaiser was able to heal a few of his wounds but he was in bad shape. He collapsed from exhaustion.
“The guards are always so busy. But I have questions for you two. I am looking for a half-orc named Feegan the Knife. Have you heard of him?” asked a grinning Smiler to Chowder and Thrunk. He had produced a small knife from his person and was meticulously cleaning his finger nails.
“Uh, ummm, uh, no.” replied Thrunk.
Sensing the dwarf’s uneasy body language, The Smiler added “So you do know him. How do you know him?”
“Why do you want to know?” asked Chowder with a wild-eyed grin of his own.
“I am looking to talk to him” smiled the questionable man, still cleaning his nails. “Ahhh, it looks like we have another roommate.”
Seconds later, the guards arrive and throw a gnarled old man named Fareed in the cell with Chowder, Thrunk, and Smiler’s cell. He is an old man, that is hard to understand and an apparent acquaintance of The Smiler. They were members of the same thieves guild.
“Are you Feegan?” asked Gorstag through his barred cell door.
“What’s it to you?” barked the half-orc.
“Mother White has sent us.” whispered the Druid.
“Fantastic, but I am not ready to leave yet. I mean do you think I’d get caught unintentionally?” asked Feegan. “There is a giant hoard of treasure down that can only be reached from this cell level. And I mean to take it.” he added.
Apparently, the captain of the dungeons had heard the same rumors and was using prisoners to mine for the treasure.
Deep in meditation. Lord Huxley’s eyes open at the talk of mass treasure.
“You see. There is a great treasure that serves as a tithe for the Umberlee- god of the seas. A cache of gold so large that you could probably buy this castle.” said Feegan.
“That sounds like quite the load of treasure.” muttered Horrace as he scratched his chin in deep thought. “Tell us more.”
Feegan tells the mighty adventurers of his plan to liberate the god of seas of her unused wealth.
A Ghastly Haunt and a Curious Rat
Gorstag, using his druidic abilities talks to spider denizens of the dungeon and learns of an evil black wind. The spider, obviously full of fear, cautions Gostag to proceed with caution. Gorstag calls upon his ability to shapeshift and assumes the form of a rat. He scurries through a gauntlet of of guards and warns the party members who are looked on the side of the dungeon.
Kaiser eventually wakes from his unconscious state and cures himself a bit more. Feeling more energy and slightly recovered from the torture, he eventually picks his lock and gives the thieves tool to Gorstag, who was still in mouse form. Gorstag begins his rodent scamper back to his side of the dungeon and narrowly escapes a deranged prison guard that tried to eat him. He makes his way back and gives the lock pick to Feegan.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the prison.
Chowder hears a ghastly breathing and torches begin to extinguish. Thrunk, a dwarf from the bowels of the earth, uses his infravision and sees a smokey shape making its way down the dungeon corridor.
“I wouldn’t look at it if I were you” warned the grinning man called Smiler.
“What de hell be you talkin about.” asked the gnarled old man called Fareed.
As if on cue, the smokey mist assumes a deathly form and grabbed the gnarled man in Chowder and Thrunk’s cell. He gives out a blood-curdling scream, as the shape slams his head into the cell bars. Blood flies and ghost begins to drain the lifeforce from the old thief. The man begins to whither and drops to the floor as an ashen husk.
The apparitions hunger had been satisfied and it fades into the darkness.
Smiler snickered like a child. “See you Fareed.”
“What the fuck is that?!” ask Chowder. “I couldn’t see a damn thing.”
“You don’t want to know” responds Thrunk.
Torchlight could be seen making it’s way down the hall. “The the bloody fuck are you maggots doing?” barked a prison guard.
He makes his way to Chowder, Thrunk, and the Smiler’s cell. “Damned ghost!” he said while kicking the husk of the once lively old man. “Is everything OK Mr. Smiler?” he added.
Laughing with a nod, The Smiler thanked him for his concern. “We are fine captain. But poor Fareed was a little too curious.”
“We are about to change positions. Let us know if you need anything Mr. Smiler.” added the guard before he turned and walked away.
Obviously the Smiler had inside help and it was time for our adventurers to make their move.
A Daring Escape and a Search for Umberlee’s Treasure
“Click” could be heard as Feegan used the ranger Kaiser’s lock pick to escape his manacles. He picked his cell door lock and begun to free Gorstag, Huxley, and Horrace.
Together, the four padded down the cell corridor until they reached a corner that led outside a portcullis. Beyond that portcullis laid freedom.
Huxley took the lead, pressing himself against the wall. Boot steps could be heard, making their way through the portcullis and into the cells.
Huxley readied himself as the first guard turned a corner. Only to be greeted by two quick strikes to his throat. He fell to the ground when another guard took his place. Gorstag and Feegan rushed in and engaged the guards.
“Get the portcullis!” yelled one guard.
Horrace, quick on his heels, and with his wits, mutters an incantation and webs sprung from his fingers. The silky threads flung through the air and sealed the portcullis to its open position, rendering the iron bars useless.
“Close the fucking doors!” the guard yelled again while trying to fend off blows from Huxley, Gorstag and Feegan.
“It won’t shut!” yelled another guard.
“Then get these pieces of shit you cunt!” the first guard barked as he was soon overwhelmed by the four adventurers.
* * * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, on the other side of the dungeon…
Kaiser, having already worked the look of his cell door free, eased the cell door open and padded out without a sound. He made his way to the cell of the Smiler, Chowder and Thrunk. He pulled out his spare pick and went to work. The cell door clicked open after a few minutes of effort. Chowder and Thrunk crept out but the Smiler decided to stay in the cell.
“Suit yourself” remarked Kaiser. He turned to his companions “Let’s go! It’s showtime Chowder.”
The former cook, turned malicious fighter cracked his neck and led the other two down the hall.
They crept down the hall, behind two guards getting ready to end their shift, nodded to Kaiser and Thrunk, and grabbed one guard by the neck- turning it with a quick snap. Kaiser grabbed a torch off the wall, hit the second guard in the head, and knocked him to the ground.
Thrunk grabbed the sword from the belt of the, now lifeless, guard that Chowder dispatched. He barreled forward, ramming the blade into the guard that Kaiser hit with a torch.
“Ahhhh, well done gentlemen…” heard the adventurers, turning to see The Smiler watching from the barred cell.
“Let’s go! Forget that freak.” Whispered Kaiser.
The pressed forward, ever so quietly and made their way around the corner to see their companions, Horrace, Mir Gorstag, and Lord Huxley fighting with another set of guards.
“Get their blades and gut these fucks!” yelled Chowder.
The companions, now weapons in hand, merged together under the portcullis. More guards made their way to push back against the heroes.
Horrace fired off multiple spells while his companions fought the guards with blades, make-shift clubs, and fists. The clang of steel on steel filled the corridor as the adventurers made their way through another group of guards.
“Let’s go, this way!” yelled Feegan the Knife as he took off down the hallway toward a descending set of stairs.
“That must be Feegan?” asked Thrunk to Lord Huxley. “There is an assassin named The Smiler looking for him.”
Feegan abruptly stopped in his tracks. “Did you say The Smiler?” he asked.
Thrunk nodded. “Shit! We have to go now!” added Feegan as he bolted down the stairs.
“Let him come” laughed Chowder as he grabbed a guard and slung him over his shoulder.
Let me Turn that Frown Upside Down
The adventures ran through a series of caverns and came upon a barred gate.
“Why are you lugging the body around?” asked Horrace to Chowder.
“He’s really not right.” mutter Thrunk to Lord Huxley. Shocked that Chowder had another body, Lord Huxley nodded in confusion. Or was it horror. “I mean, what is his fascination with bodies?” Thrunk added.
Crestfallen, Huxley absently replied “I have no idea…”
Chowder tossed the body to the ground and stripped the slain guardsmen of his armor.
“Open that door half-orc.” said Chowder as he tosseda ring of jailer keys to Feegan.
The keys glinted through the air toward Feegan. And passed right by his shoulder.
“Feeeeggggaaaannnnn…..?” could be heard coming from the corridor the adventurers just came from.
“It’s him!” gulped Feegan. “It’s Smiler…”
“Open the damn door! We can handle this.” said Chowder as he donned the bloodied chain hauberk from the slain guard he carried with him.
Feegan reached down and picked up the keys and started fumbling with the lock, trying to find the right key with a scared fervor. The adventurers took ambush positions.
Smiler came around the corner and was met by Chowder, swinging two blades blindingly fast. He jumped back and produced a blowgun, firing, what we could only assume, poison darts at Chowder. He dodged them and The Smiler cursed, drawing a set of short swords. Kaiser lept from the shadows and landed two devastating blows to The Smiler. Horrace fired off a spell and Huxley joined the fray, spear shaft a deadly whirlwind in his hands.
“Howwwwwlllll…” could be heard from down the caverns.
“Cave wolves!” screamed Gorstag.
Everyone stopped what they were doing. A brief rest from fighting, finding comradery to give Gorstag a flat stare.
“Really..?” asked Horrace.
Gorstag held up his hands in an embarrassed shrug.
A loud wet sound broke the silence from behind the adventurers, followed by, what sounded to be, slop hitting the floor.
The Smiler, now eviscerated, crumpled to the ground with a bloodied thump, Thrunk standing before him. “Could you kindly get the door?” asked Thrunk to Feegan.
Chowder barked a maniacal laugh. “I think I like this dwarf.”
“Right…” muttered a now frightened Feegan. “You guys must be quite an elite squad?”
Hands shaking, he turned back to the door with thoughts of gold. He found the right key and the door clunked open.
The adventurers hurried through, and were met by a large cavern room with a black hole in the middle of the floor. “It’s down there. Find some rope.” said Feegan.
The adventurers happened to find some rope that slave miners had left while trying to find Umberlee’s hoard of treasure. They tied off the rope and climbed down the hole.
The adventures scaled down the rope about 50 feet before they hit the floor. They traveled through a short series of tunnels with Feegan leading the way.
“It shouldn’t be much longer” remarked the half-orc thief.
As if on cue, the tunnel opened to a great room. Horrace casts a light spell and the room illuminated in a golden twinkles. It was a large, cavernous room with a giant shipwreck in the middle. Surrounding that shipwreck laid thousands of coins, jewels and other bits of treasure. The protagonists also noted a series of shimmering archways surrounded the treasure.
“Welcome to Umberlee’s treasure!” said a wide eyed Feegan with obvious excitement. “I sat in that jail for two days with as many beatings to reach this” he added.
“Where did all of this come from?” asked Lord Huxley with dappled gold reflections dancing across his body.
“Your tribute to mighty Umberlee is welcome“ said an eerie and serpentine disembodied voice.
“What was that?” asked Horrace.
“Pirates tithe this to the Bitch Queen of the Seas- Umberlee” said Feegan absently, his eye not straying from the massive cache of gold. He looked back to the adventures and said with a smile “They say it is a curse to take a god’s treasure. But I will welcome the Bitch of the Seas with open arms” he added as he started forward to the treasure.
“I don’t want a god’s wraith” said Gorstag. Kaiser nodded in agreement.
As if that seemed a challenge, Feegan rushed forward at the treasure.
“Not so fast thief!” grumbled Thrunk as he tackled the half-orc. Kaiser rushed in to help subdue Feegan but the thief wiggled his way out.
“Stop him!” yelled Kaiser. “He’ll get us all killed.”
A “shhhiiinngggg” sound rung through the cavern as Feegan’s body rushed forward. His body may have rushed forward but his head fell to the ground with a bloody thump and rolled into the water.
“Your tribute is accepted” said the disembodied, serpentine voice.
Chowder could be seen wiping one of his blades on his shirt sleeve.
“Damnit Chowder!” yelled Kaiser. “That is the third time this month! You just cost us 1000gold pieces”
“He shouldn’t have ran” the deadly fighter said with a shrug.
With that, a brooding Kaiser exited a portal. Gorstag followed.
Thrunk’s eyes were taken by a shiny mithral axe and he sprinted toward it. He jumped in the water and splashed forward.
“You dare defile the Queen of the Seas?! The breaker of ships and all who venture on her waters! YOU WILL DIE FOR YOUR INSOLENCE!” the serpentine voice yelled.
A giant tentacled creature rose from the water in an explosion of water. It must have been 25 feet tall with tentacled hands the size of a cow. “Kill them!” the serpentine voice commanded.
Thrunk rushed toward the axe and notice a large serpent in the far end of the cavern. “Naga!!!” he yelled.
He grabbed the axe and turned toward one of the archways. The naga began to chant as a giant watery form rose behind the dwarf.
Meanwhile, Chowder rushed toward the very large tentacled creature with blades drawn.
“They will overwhelm us. We don’t have our gear and I am nearly out of spells. Don’t throw your lives away!” yelled Horrace as he exited toward the exit portals.
Huxley rushed into he water to help Thrunk. The water elemental crashed around him but Thrunk was able to help his would be savior and they exited through a far archway.
Chowder dodged a series of attacks as his blades cut small nicks into the giant creature. “If it can bleed it can die” he yelled. He turned back to his adventurers and noticed they were gone. The giant creature reared back to try and smash Chowder with one of it’s large tentacled fists. Chowder turned and ran toward the exit. He dove through narrowly avoiding the creature’s great strike.
The adventurers teleported in the water, just off shore of Neverwinter. The water was like ice, but it was the cold shock the adventurers needed. They swam to shore and made their way back to the Bawdy Boar.
As with every game post, I do embellish a bit with the dialog. I apologize for any mistakes and my bad grammar. Feel free to send me corrections.