(This is a log of my players run through the Out of the Abyss campaign (After a brief dabble with Harried at Hillsfar first. Spoilers abound, though it’s likely the team won’t play the module in the way you, the writers or sanity intended).
Having met the other prisoners and only infuriated some of them, it was time to put a bold plan to escape into action. Luckily, the chaotic nature of the Dark Elves made setting them against each other trivially easy…
After days of Anastasia trying to pick the locks on the huge magical iron door with a small piece of hardened mushroom (“Almost! Maybe next time!”) the team turned their attentions to escape. They were regularly let out of the cells to perform menial tasks so they all thought they’d be able to steal some small pieces of equipment. The real questions were who to avoid the guards and how to get Zook’s spell books back.
Luckily, Jorlan offered the party a way out. He was the disgruntled, maimed, publicly-jilted ex-lover of the Drow Priestess in charge . The tensions within the Drow camp had been close to boiling over for a while and the humiliation of having the heroes escape could cause the Priestess to be deposed. Or maybe the chaos caused by a jailbreak would allow Jorlan to take matters into his own hands. As an extra juicy incentive he let them know Asha (the subordinate priestess of the Drow) had the team’s equipment (including Zook’s spellbooks) in her private quarters. After one more day of work, he’d promised to secretly open the jail door and let the prisoners out.
After a whirlwind discussion they decided to go for it. The Drow watching them were pretty lax and it would be easy for them to get a few pieces of gear during their work hours. Plus, if they were discovered they could blame it all on Jorlan and cause some inter-Drow strife.
This boiled down to three simple rules;
- Don’t take chances.
- Don’t get caught.
- If you are caught, blame it all on the other Drow.
The prisoners were divided into pairs and went their separate ways, their eye’s peeled for useable equipment. Zook and Aiya had been tasked with cleaning one of the guard rooms and even more luckily, Sargen and Whitie were allowed into the Asha’s quarters.
Everything was lining up perfectly. All of the prisoners had been able to scavenge supplies and the Drow were none the wiser due to the care everyone took to avoid be noticed
The name of the game was caution.
At least, that was the name of the game for everyone except WhiteEagle; His game didn’t have a name but it would probably involve Tequila, a blind-fold and a trombone
He and Sargen were carefully cleaning the Priestess’ room, under both the semi-watchful eye of the guards and Asha herself. The room itself was lushly appointed and there were jewelry and valuables out on her desk. Even more enticingly, a large chest rested to the side of her bed.
Sargen, a barbarian not used to subterfuge and mindful of rule #1 above (“Don’t take chances!”) managed to collect a few small items while the Drow’s backs were turned;
Sargen: “I’ve got a coupl’a bits. What are you doing?”
WhiteEagle: “Don’t worry! I’m going to open the chest!”
Sargen: “What? But she’s right there. She’s looking at you!”
WhiteEagle, winking: “Trust me, she won’t see a thing.”
<Possibly the worst Stealth roll ever>
Striding boldly across the room while maintaining eye-contact with the Priest (“Hiding in plain sight!”) he wrenched hard at the lid of the chest, flipping it over with a crash and triggering the trap on the lock simultaneously.
WhiteEagle, whispering: “Did she notice?”
Sargen: <Horrified silence>
Priestess: “What are you two scum doing? Are you mad?”
The group of Drow elite guards had run in at the noise and hauled the two of them in front of the Priestess.
Priestess: “What were you looking for? How did you know what was in that chest?”
Sargen noticed that the situation could be saved. The camp was a tinder-box of tensions and there was a golden opportunity to sow a bit of dissent and save their skins. He didn’t know how to “fast-talk” but “divide-and-conquer” was an idea he was more than familiar with.
WhiteEagle just stared silently at the Priestess. Sargen desperately tried to make eye contact while kicking the ranger’s feet.
Priestess: “You were put up to this weren’t you? Someone here’s acting against me! Who is it?”
Drow Guard #1, whispering: “She’s laying it on a bit thick isn’t she?”
Drow Guard #2: “What do you mean?”
Drow Guard #2, loudly: “It’s clear these iblith are too stupid and cowardly to do this on their own! They were told to do this.”
Drow Guard#1: “…… right.”
Priestess: “Tell me who set you to this, and I will be merciful!”
WhiteEagle: “You’ll never get anything from me!”
The rest of the party had met up on the way back to the cells.
Targen: “We’ve got some supplies; this crowbar could be useful “.
Anastasia: “I got a knife blade; I might be able to pick a lock with it.”
Zook: “So far so good. Hopefully the others got my spellbook.”
Up ahead, a small crowd of prisoners has formed, kept in place by the Drow.
Anyo: “What’s happening?”
Prisoner: “Some fool tried to rob the priestess! Right in front of her! They’ve thrown him off the platform into the spider-webs below, the poor sap.”
Targen, looking around: “I can’t help but notice WhiteEagle isn’t here.”
DM Note: Yes, this really happened. It became comedy gold as the most of the previous session was spent coming up with this plan. The team (including WhiteEagle) had actually planned it really well, didn't just rely on luck and come up with some really clever ways to get the equipment they needed. Plus they came up with the fall-back of sowing dissent if they got caught. This was one of those "player choice vs awesome narrative" things you get a lot. I _really_ wanted their plan to succeed because a) It was awesome b) It tied reasonably well with the plot that was detailed But WhiteEagle insisted he wanted to do this (the horrified reactions of Sargen OOC were true) and once WhiteEagle (predictably) didn't pass a hard stealth check I _really_ laid it on thick with the reactions of the guards trying to give him an out to blame the other Drow factions. But in the end, this was what he wanted to do and this was what he wanted to say. Afterwards he did say he was very tired 🙂