I think this is going to be a very deadly campaign judging by the carnage present in session 1. First level characters are not known for their durability and I initially underestimated the added difficulty that would arise from being unarmed and unarmored. At least there were no pugwumpies. Session one started with 6 of the nastiest known criminals in the kingdom being sentenced to death in an inescapable prison.
Fortunately for the players the prison no longer lives up to its famous reputation. The present warden is uninterested in running the prison and basically spends all of his time staying in his tower doing magical research and leaves the daily running of the prison the the corrupt guard sergeant. The sergeant has let go a number of guards and just pockets their earnings now, he also runs a nightly rigged poker game that keeps half the guards away from their regular posts and a number of the guards drunk.
The second factor is a mysterious visitor who claims to know the Anti-paladin (he's never seen her before), she manages to get him alone and smuggles a magic object to him. Using that item (similar to a cloak of many things), the PCs manage to escape their bindings, and open their cell. After a short debate, they decide to spring the imprisoned Ogre after the Gnome sorcerer gets the Ogre's agreement to help them escape. Unfortunately the Ogre was drugged and seriously injured and with a lack of party healing capabilities the Ogre would go untreated.
The first part of the escape went fairly smoothly. The first few guards were quickly disabled and the prison seemed unusually empty as the criminals focused on escape rather than exploring, stopping only long enough to loot the guards of their weapons and armor as they made their way to freedom. The goblin rogue slipped out the doors and scouted around the main prison building noting the high walls. After spotting and being spotted by the dogs, the goblin slipped back inside where his companions were waiting. What followed what a mad dash for the gatehouse and what they hoped was freedom on the other side. Half of the party stopped to fight the guards that went to investigate while the rest headed for the door. The guards got initiative and things began to go downhill fast. The signal horn was blown and within a few rounds reinforcements began to arrive.
A hole was made in the door and parts of the party climbed through into the gatehouse. The guards here were again disabled by the sorcerer but their companions in the connecting rooms used the arrow slits to poke holes in our anti-heroes. Back in the courtyard, the wizard was unconscious and bleeding profusely from 2 lucky arrows, and the dwarven fighter opened the gatehouse door so the Ogre could escape as well.
The wizard would expire in the ogre's arms but was none the less carried through the gatehouse down the road and across the bridge that led to freedom.
This was not the end however as the bridge itself was fortified and the gate on the land side was blocked and defended. Several of the villains had an "every man for himself'" attitude and there was no real strategy on how to pass the gate. In the end the wizard died, the fighter and paladin were knocked unconscious and recaptured and the Ogre, who was never in good health to begin with, was killed as he attempted to scale the gate.
The heroes made it to the manor house of the mysterious benefactor, and were united with heroes that strongly resembled those that had just died or been recaptured. Everyone got 200gp to buy some equipment and three days to relax and recover from their escape. They learned they were not the only adventurers in the manor and did a bit of recon on the "White Ravens". Next their training was to begin but first they had to go into the dungeon under the manor and retrieve a silver and emerald amulet and return it to the Cardinal to prove they were worthy.
Things were not off to a good start but hopefully level 2 and two weeks to get a feel for their new PCs will have things running smoother when we play again in two weeks. I think everyone is still used to being level 17, reality bending super heroes from the end of the last campaign.
New Map of Castle Blackmoor!
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