A mysterious woman gives the criminals a chance at escape. They break free of their shackles and let loose an ogre, battling their way cruelly outside the prison gates. As night falls, they steal horses and a cart and leave, taking the tortured Sergeant Blackerly with them.
Four condemned criminals find themselves locked up together in the island-prison Branderscar, with runic "F"s freshly burnt in their forearms, awaiting their execution in three days time.
Shackled to the wall we have:
Tush – a well-built tiefling, with eyes and hair black as night, who harbors a deep mistrust of humans
Naraka – a half elf with remnants of black and white makeup dripping off of his face
Lesym – a shifty eyed black-haired human
Vinciente – a mysterious, calculating wood-elf
With plenty of time to shoot the shit our characters find out absolutely nothing about one another, neglecting even exchanging names. Out of nowhere, Naraka is called by the sergeant Blackerly — the man who branded them — to meet with a mysterious veiled woman. He returns with her veil tucked away in the rags he’s wearing, and a suspicion that the woman had power over the guards somehow. He comes bearing one more thing: hope.
Reshackled to the wall, Naraka fills the other inmates in on his meeting with the veiled woman – Tiadora. She’s given him a mission: escape from the most secure prison in the land, and find a nearby manor house once free. She’s also given him a magical veil whose purpose isn’t quite clear.
Slowly — very slowly, like seriously this took an hour of play time — the group begins retrieving items magically stored in the veil and breaks free of their chains. They decide to work together, for now at least, because it’s the only hope they have. Chains rustle in a nearby cell and they come to realize they share the level with just one other prisoner — a hulking, sleeping ogre.
With three full days to plan an escape, the newly unshackled criminals immediately free the ogre Grumblejack and start — somewhat stealthily — murdering their way to the front door. A handful of guards are taken down before the rest of the prison catches on and sounds an alarm. Stuck upstairs, the criminals prepare for a showdown.
As the guards pour in to the room below, Grumblejack charges down the stairs and starts smashing every human in sight with the pair of guard dog corspes he’d been munching on. The group takes advantage of this to open up a magical window — retrieved from Tiadora’s veil — in the floor below them, and surprises the guards from above.
With most of the prison cleared out and Blackerly assembling reinforcements outside, the prison is searched. Vinciente prepares barrels of oil near the front door while Lesym finds Blackerly’s personal stash of coin — a whopping 1235gp. Tush finds a few remaining off duty guards and servants, killing one and striking fear in the rest. Naraka attempts to befriend them, telling them just how great the evil side of life truly is. When this doesn’t work they leave it to Grumblejack to tie up the loose ends.
Finally, with the entire group readied at the front door, Blackerly has his men move in. Vinciente immediately detonates his trap — flaming oil erupts all around, dousing half of Blackerly’s troops in flames and burning down the great wooden doors of the prison. An elderly wizard — the prison Warden — quickly extinguishes these flames with an icy wind. A long battle wages on: guards are slowly picked off, one by one, and then Blackerly and the Warden begin to retreat. The criminals are having none of that — they won’t let the man who gave them their scars get off that easy.
After capturing the Sergeant and Warden, they ready the coals. The warden is forced to apologize at Grumblejack’s feet for hexing him in to fear, and is subsequently beheaded. Blackerly pleads for his life, promising to do anything for the criminals if they spare him. Sure, he’ll join them. He’ll give them gold, hell, he’d even worship Asmodeus if they just let him live. A red-hot brand is brought down upon the coward Blackerly’s forehead. He passes out from the pain. Naraka finds one straggling guard and let’s him live as long as he promises to spread word of what evil they wrought on this day — then plays the worst, most off key, imitation of a song he can muster on a lute he found in the guard’s quarters, detailing their evil deeds.
Finding a few horses and a cart strung up outside the prison walls, the criminals prepare to depart. They drag Blackerly to the gates and throw him in the cart, tying the Warden’s severed head to Blackerly’s hands. Grumblejack happily tags along with his new found friends, and in the dead of night the criminals strike out to find the manor — the only hope they have of salvation.