22nd of Wintermarch, 9:43 Dragon
For the record, I consider this all to be Legnar’s fault.
We told our hostess, Lady Synova, that we were willing to take her up on her offer of work. Pushy diva that she is, she wanted us to drop everything we were doing and take her lyrium back to the Circle Tower, in the complete opposite direction of where we were going; Legnar, who was doing the talking as always, told her that wouldn’t be practical, but that we’d get the stuff where it needed to go as soon as reasonably possible. That seemed to satisfy the lady, and she motioned for us to go.
Well, apparently I was mistaken about that and we needn’t have wasted our fucking time, because the first thing we saw after stepping out of the wine cellar door is two dozen guards with military forks pointed at us. Lady Synova then proceeded to spend the next several minutes calling us out for crashing our party; not only did she realize something was fishy when these two people she didn’t know came up and started chatting with her, but apparently all those bastards from the past who crawled out of the woodwork to give us trouble earlier decided to get together and make life difficult for us again. (Also, did ALL of them manage to get tickets to this bloody ball? Great Maker above, was there anyone besides us who WASN’T invited to this thing?!) Needless to say, I was not a happy man at this point, and knowing that someone had been killed for crashing one of these shindigs in the past, I was tempted to run Synova through for making us put up with this crap. However, it got pretty well established that said fellow was actually executed for trying to fight his way out, not for crashing the party per se; as such, I figured the revenge killing wasn’t worth the slightly better chance of getting out of this alive, so when the rest of the group collectively decided to surrender, I didn’t raise a fuss. (For a moment, it seemed like the Tal Vashoth — Drow, that’s his name — might try to take the guards on anyway, but cooler heads prevailed there.)
The guards marched us over to their stockade, stripped us of our weapons, and bunged us in a series of cells. To their credit, they were very professional about the whole thing; I’m starting to wish Val Royeaux would die in a fire and sink into the swamp at this point, but I must admit I have nothing negative to say about the guard. Actually, no, that’s a lie — there were definitely some sloppy mistakes the guards made that ended up biting them afterward, even if they did arise from the lads trying to be nice about this whole arrest thing. First, while they took our weapons and other gear, they didn’t take our armor; second, while the cells they stuck us in had manacles on the walls, they didn’t bother to use them; and third, they didn’t search the obvious rogue’s person nearly thoroughly enough. As such, in between the guards coming to keep an eye on us, Legnar was able to retrieve a set of lockpicks from his beard and open all of our cells. From there, it was an easy matter to disable the guards on their next patrol sweep. I managed to get one of the guards in a bear hug and demonstrate that, for a big hefty fighting man, a heavy suit of armor (and particularly a fully enclosed helmet) IS a weapon. The others took down the second guard through a combination of wrestling, pickpocketing weapons, and improvised tactics — I saw Drow actually pick up and start swinging around his cell door at one point, which I thought was hilarious. Once both guards were down, we gagged them and locked them in the cells, securing them with those manacles that they neglected to use on us. (Legnar also relieved them of a grand total of six gold pieces, which I think is dirty pool, myself — that’s probably their full wages for the week! Still, a thief has to be a thief, I suppose.)
We made our way out of the cell block just in time to hear an explosion further down the hall. Is that someone else breaking out, or perhaps Enna and Sona breaking in to come get us? At any rate, it attracted the attention of the guards; we ducked out of sight while they went past, then moved to follow them. Hopefully whatever’s waiting for us in that tunnel is on our side and we can make a pincer out of this! After that, I’ll be ready to show this bloody city my backside, but I want to make sure I get my spear back before we leave for good. That weapon’s one of the few things I want to remember about Ostwick, dammit, and I’m not about to leave it rotting in this place.