01 Haring 27th Year of the Dragon Age
Boreas could tell that the tide of battle was turning against the party and quickly wracked his brain to come up with a way to save himself and his friends. He formulated a plan and tried to get Sasha’s attention, whilst also clashing swords with her. He exclaimed that he had a proposition for her, but she wouldn’t listen and dealt a devastating blow to the Avvar. She gripped him by the collar and put her sword to his throat. She then bellowed to everyone in the room, demanding that The Shits stand down and surrender. Our heroes complied with her demands, fearing for Boreas’ life. They were then taken to individual cells in the dungeon, though Sasha ordered the guards to leave Yeran with her, where she bound him in a certain… uncomfortable position.
Sasha then walked over to the roaring fire while Yeran tried his best to sweet talk her into not doing anything too rash through his gag. Sasha was deaf to his pleas and told Yeran that she would get the information she was after about the Mage’s Collective, however she needed to ensure that was fully understood by the party and that Yeran would assist her in that effort. At which point she pulled a red-hot brand from the fire. Yeran’s eyes widened in sheer terror, but the wuss passed out before she did anything. Sasha calmly pressed the brand onto the elf’s left eye and ordered the guard to take him to a cell.
In the dungeon, The Shits rested. After such an agonising battle, they could do little else. As they did so, the mages regained some of their mana, but Yeran still lay unconscious. Boreas proceeded to ask Mah’Jeek about the Circle Tower, only to find (with much difficulty, because Mah’Jeek was explaining) that it was not operated by mages at all, rather it was a prison of sorts that was run by the Templars, which meant that Boreas’ plan of asking Sasha to become spies for her in exchange for their lives was useless. He then sat in the corner in self pity.
Yeran woke to pain, confusion and half blindness. The group asked if they could see his eye, and upon showing it, they were disgusted. The left side of his face had become a melted mixture of blood and pus. Despite it all though, he still retained his positivity and suggested that they should begin to devise a plan to escape the Templar compound.
All was not lost, however. Elodie suddenly found that she had somehow been able to keep the prison key that she had taken from the lustful guard before their fight with Sasha. She unlocked her cell and went over to the main door to peek through the keyhole, keeping a watchful eye for any guards while the group formulated a plan.
Not long after though, she saw a guard and raced back to her cell, closing the door behind her, just as a Templar waltzed in, holding a plate of food and mugs of water. The “food” turned out to be mouldy bread, but our heroes still held hope for the water. However, that hope was soon splashed in their faces as the guard threw the mugs at them, spilling the water all over the floor. The guard then left the room, laughing hysterically, leaving The Shits to continue making their plan.
They waited several hours before making a move, allowing the mages to regain more of their mana, but also to wait for the guards to go to bed. With the hallway on the other side of the door silent and devoid of people, Elodie unlocked the others’ cell doors and they all exited the dungeon and went to the storeroom to reclaim their gear, for the second time. With his staff back, Yeran healed Boreas, who had taken a significant beating in their fight with Sasha. They then crept through the hallway into the next room with the main entrance to the compound.
They decided to investigate the suspicious door across the room that they had been too busy dealing with Templar scouts to look at before. Elodie went down the spiral staircase first and found that all that was down there was various torture devices, obviously belonging to Sasha, likely to satisfy some kind of fetish, which the group concluded with the thought of her writing erotica during their fight before still planted in their minds. With nothing of value to take from the room, they all headed back upstairs.
Upon returning to the previous room, our heroes noticed that the main entrance had large pieces of wood next to it, for the purpose of barricading the door in the event of a siege. Elodie once again peeked through the large keyhole, but only saw one scout, one guard and darkness. The Shits agreed that it was highly likely that there would be more guards outside and so made the decision not to go out there. Instead, they decided to use a couple of the wooden planks to barricade the room leading to the dormitories and the dungeon, thus slowing down any guards that woke up. The group blocked the door quietly as to not make any noise and then headed over towards Sasha’s office once again.
Yeran cast a precautionary Heroic Offense on Boreas before kicking him through the door. The spell was in vain however, as no one was in there. The Shits searched the room, particularly Sasha’s desk and found various documents relating to the Templar Order, as well as some incriminating papers with all their names on, including Sigge’s. Mah’Jeek also found three gold pieces. Lucky him. There was no time to read through the documents though, so they simply gathered them all up to read later. They then surrounded a door at the back of the room and kicked it down, only to find Sasha, sword drawn, dressed in her under armour and ready to fight.
Sasha managed to push our heroes back into the office, but after that, she tried to get to the other door to alert the guards. Without her lackeys however, she was outnumbered and without her full armour, she was vulnerable, and so The Shits bested her relatively easily. Elodie dealt the final blow, though she opted to simply knock her out rather than kill her, believing she may prove useful, maybe even rewarding if she was brought to Zeke. Boreas therefore hoisted her up over his shoulder, while also replacing his two-handed sword with her slightly fancier two-handed sword.
Our heroes headed back into Sasha’s quarters and searched it. To their disappointment, there was no erotica, but Yeran did find some enchanted mail armour in the wardrobe. As he took it though, he felt a gentle and cool breeze coming from the back of the wardrobe. Upon further investigation, our heroes found that it was a fake panel which when removed, revealed a secret passageway. Sasha stirred, but Boreas knocked her out once more and likely gave her a concussion. There was the sound of banging coming from the door and the party made a quick escape with Mah’Jeek pulling out his Glowstone. The secret corridor, led on and on eventually reaching an exit, leading out into a forest. The refreshment of the fresh air didn’t last long however, as they soon heard cries of alarm coming from inside. They therefore decided to simply make a run for it.
Mah’Jeek took off running with the light, leaving the others to fumble in the dark, taking damage as they did so. They all regrouped at the edge of a lake and spotted two rowing boats. Each boat was only big enough to carry two people each and with the Templars closing in on their position, they decided to get rid of the excess weight and killed Sasha. They then got into the boats and rowed across the lake to the other side, where they heard a continuous and ominous rumbling. Sensing possible danger, our heroes ran further into the forest and up a hill. There, they found a concealed grove where they set up camp for the night to rest.
The next morning, the group opted Yeran to be their navigator as he was the only one who had actually been to the Circle Tower. However, that didn’t help much as his rubbish sense of direction cost them a week of wandering in circles in the forest until they eventually found a road that Yeran recognised.
On their travels, Yeran’s eye only got worse and as they traipsed along the road. He had to frequently stop to tend to it and called upon Elodie to help. She managed to clean the majority of the oozing pus that trickled down his face, but stopped when the actual marking that the brand had left was revealed. Yeran had been branded with the symbol of the Templar Order. This would likely be a hindrance in the future…
Boreas spotted some merchants approaching them in the distance. To hide his brand, Yeran quickly made a makeshift eyepatch with some fabric ripped from his circle robes. However, the patch kept falling off his face and so he had to resort to covering his eye with his hand when the merchants arrived. Luckily, one of the merchants specialised in cloth and clothing and so Yeran asked her to make an eyepatch for him, which she was very happy to do for a small price of ten copper.
After thanking the merchants, and after Elodie finished dressing Yeran’s wound, The Shits returned to their journey and finally reached the Circle Tower…. On the day that was their deadline for Grigor’s mission…