Capture and escape
18-19 Nightal, 1479 DR
We don't exactly know how long we were passed out, but quite some time, we reckon. Putting the pieces of that fateful night together, it must've been several hours. We sure caught a lot of hits to the noggin'. Gründie showed his knack for practicality by feigning unconsciousness -- a trick the duergar fell for. In the end it mattered little but it saved him an additional beating.
When we came back to consciousness, we found ourselves in one of the pits we'd fought near. Our hands and feet were chained, and our kit was nowhere to be found. Next to us were several other people. Gründahl and Ziruna were there as well. Through some shouting we discovered that Tyrr, Lilsy and Eowan were captured as well, and were in another pit.
That heightened our spirits a bit. If they wanted us dead, they'd have had ample opportunity. Therefore, we were worth more alive. This was confirmed by the other captives, who turned out to be the majority of the Winterhaven townsfolk we'd been after.
Our conversations weren't as quick and congenial as we here summarize, by the by. We were looked over by several duergar guards, who hit and whipped us if we talked too much. Nasty folk, these 'cousins' are. One took the effort to bring out all our gear in front of our noses. He even shattered Eowan's sword with a big maul. Ouchie, such beautiful craftmanship, destroyed just to prove he could.
After some time the duergar put us all in walking chains, hands tied behind our back with rough ropes. Behind us came a large cart (presumably with our gear). From our little chat with the captives we assumed that we were to be moved to some sort of slave market. Only seven duergar guarded us. They'd gagged Tyrr though, which was pretty smart of them.
The walk lasted a long time, and since the warlord, the paladin and ourselves pretend to be very clumsy, we didn't move very fast either. We had plenty of time to study our surroundings -- not that the Labyrinth we found ourselves in was so interesting. We noticed, however, that Surina wasn't among us. Just as well, we guess, because her little vulcano trick hurt us bad and she'd have to pay for that idiocy, yet.
In one of our pretend-stumblings (which evolved into a nice brawl), Lilsy managed to wiggle free from the ropes and then escape from the feet manacles. Impressive skills, the girl has! Well, our diversions worked. A guard was sent after her, but we were pretty sure he wouldn't find the halfling lass.
The guards then decided to camp for the night, tired of our "clumsiness" and concerned with Lilsy's escape. When most of the guards fell asleep, Eowan teleported from his shackles (hah, they didn't see that coming!). With that diversion in place, Lilsy snuck amongst us and freed us one by one. This was all done in utter silence, but it couldn't last. When the boys tried to open the chest on the cart, it made a horrible noise and the grey dwarf on the cart woke up with a start. That was the last thing he did as we first bashed in his jaw with a rock, and then his skull for good measure.
We then turned on the other duergar, who also woke up. Surprise was on our side, as were the townsfolk. Unfortunately, in their weakened state two fell before they (messily) dispatched of a guard. When he fell, Tyrr also noticed that a mechanical bird flew away from us. He said that was an "instant messenger", and ordered to report our escape to whomever his master was. That meant we had to move fast!
Not before we got some armor and weapons, though. The chest on the cart held a lot of gear, some of it magical. Tyrr and Eowan divined and identified as much as possible in the short time available, and we distributed it amongst ourselves and the former slaves to be.
We also found many valuables, and even some satchel that could instantly deploy into a small campsite, complete with tents and a cosy bonfire!
We must here note that one of them was a small goblin, bearing the Bloodreaver insignia. We let him live, on the understanding that justice would await him in the Seven Pillared Hall.
As the paladin guided us back to it, we reached it about four hours later. Several times We heard some sort of growling on our trek, but fortunately we didn't come across any local wildlife.
As we entered the city, a kobold ran toward us and gave us a parchment. Apparently we had been expected? The message wasn't signed (and the kobold wouldn't tell us the identity of his patron), but it came from inside the Bloodreavers. He approved of our actions (huh?) and wanted to talk to us in person. "Follow the directions on this map so we can meet in secret." The directions were to, as somebody put it, "the Bloodreaver's backyard." Lilsy cleverly noted that the sender of the message probably was the recipient of the "instant messenger" to have known of our escape so fast.