The Characters, upon learning of their intended fates, band together and through prison whispers and desperate ingenuity, succeed in escaping from their stone cells. Maral, a Mongrel dirt-farmer from Rangon Bay in the Wastes of the Far East, is first to free himself from his cell, working a few stone blocks loose and slipping into the empty and unlocked cell next to his, and from there, freeing the others. The group, Maral, a Jherlindian warrior of the Unshattered named Grantur, a Cushu Mercenary, and a ferally disfigured mongrel tribal leader from the Warlands cautiously sought a way out of the ancient and strangely deserted monastery in which they had been imprisoned for months, kept weak, but alive on a thin vegetable broth.
Finding a flight of stairs down to the ground floor, and from there to the huge kitchens, two members of the group brutally butchered the hapless cooks, and led the others in looting drying laundry and fresh-baked supplies of unleavened bread and scavenged vegetables before creeping out into the evening gloom of the courtyard.
They found themselves in a deep canyon, in which the crumbling and broken-domed monastery huddles like a fearful child in the darkness. The lip of the high stone walls, painted with imagery of the evening sky, is capped with the shattered remnants of two enormous statues, a man and a woman facing each other across the top of the monastery. The woman’s massive head now lies against the canyon wall in front of the building, while the man’s hand and thigh lie on either side of it. A few roughly made buildings, animal stalls and a smithy, line edge of the courtyard.
Raiding the smithy, they found three serviceable short swords, needing proper wraps for the handle, and some hammers fit for smashing a variety of hard and soft things. They also discovered that a quintet of youths are preparing tables for the community’s evening meal, and that soon, people will come pouring across the bridge into the courtyard to feast. Escape must be now, or never!