Having been shamed by the loss of the high banner, the party found themselves unable to find new clients. Months passed while the group drank away their worried in a minor, unnamed country tavern. On such a day as any other, already drunk out of necessity, a local adjudicator arrived with six heavily armed guards and publicly accused the has-beens of kidnapping the prince, now missing for at least a week after never returning from a hunting trip. As the seasoned fighters considered resisting, guards took several of the patrons hostage and made it clear that a fight would end in the death of everyone present, a crime that would be held against the party. Sure that the witnesses would be killed regardless to prevent word from leaking of the actions of the authorities, and as the cleric Darwin recognized a holy symbol of Venkelvore, god of torture, the party did choose to resist. One guard was slain and at least one innocent was murdered before the adjudicator used a Symbol of Sleep to subdue the party.
Waiting an unknown number of hours later, the group found themselves shackled in underground cells, where they were left for days without even water to sustain them. Everything the party owned had been taken from them. A single guard offed them a bucket to drink, but would not release their bonds nor open their cells, so none could make use of the otherwise kind offer. In time though, the adjudicator returned, announcing their trial had found them all guilty, yet happily sharing that other “volunteers” had been found to take their sentence instead. The party would be sacrificed on the eclipse, just days away.
Without weapons, armor, or even their own clothing, and with their arms firmly secured by iron manacles, the sacrifice happened exactly as planned while no fewer than 12 guards with long-spears escorted the adventurers to a stone circle. After a short prayer, the eclipse began and the stone receded, dropping all into a cavern. Unfortunately for one guard, Elbin was close enough to grab his spear and pull the unwitting worshiper down as well.
Tremors had long since opened a rift in the floor of the triangular room, allowing rainwater to fill a thirty feet deep trench into which everyone fell. Van’s darkvision and swift swimming saved his companions from drowning, but the guard’s plate armor doom him to a quick death. As the sorcerer provided light, Van and Elbin retrieved what they could from the sunken soldier and the rogue and cleric took what was worth having from the corpses already in the sacrificial pit. The sorcerer was fortunately able to mend the armor and weapons found well enough to provide some meager protection once they would make good their escape.
First though, they took time to rest and prepare.
Experience: Party reached level 2
Treasure: Wand of Magic Missile (17 charges), assorted damaged armor and weapons
Body Count: Two guards, at least one innocent bar patron