escaping prison

Churchill Was Brilliant And Brave, But Hardly Handsome

In 1899 Winston Churchill was covering the Boer War as a correspondent when he was captured and put in a Pretoria prison. He climbed a wall and set out to flee 300 miles to neutral Portuguese East Africa while the Afrikaners raised the alarm and circulated a rather unflattering description:

Escaped prisoner-of-war Winston Spencer Churchill Englishman 25 years old about 5 foot 8 inches tall medium build walks with a slight stoop. Pale features. Reddish-brown hair almost invisible small moustache. Speaks through his nose and cannot pronounce the letter S. Had last a brown suit on and cannot speak one word of Dutch.

Churchill fled on foot for two days, hid in a coal mine for three, and finally boarded a freight train, where he hid under bales of wool to evade a Boer search party. When he reached safety, publicity of his adventure set him on the path toward a career in government. And during his time as a minister, Churchill fought for prisoner’s rights – including the right to attempt escape.

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March 24th 1944: The ‘Great Escape’

On this day in 1944, a group of Allied prisoners of war staged a daring escape attempt from the German prisoner of war camp at Stalag Luft III. This camp, located in what is now Poland, held captured Allied pilots mostly from Britain and the United States. In 1943, an Escape Committee under the leadership of Squadron Leader Roger Bushell of the RAF, supervised prisoners surreptitiously digging three 30 foot tunnels out of the camp, which they nicknamed ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’. The tunnels led to woods beyond the camp and were remarkably sophisticated - lined with wood, and equipped with rudimentary ventilation and electric lighting. The successful construction of the tunnels was particularly impressive as the Stalag Luft III camp was designed to make it extremely difficult to tunnel out as the barracks were raised and the area had a sandy subsoil. ‘Tom’ was discovered by the Germans in September 1943, and ‘Dick’ was abandoned to be used as a dirt depository, leaving ‘Harry’ as the prisoners’ only hope. By the time of the escape, American prisoners who had assisted in tunneling had been relocated to a different compound, making the escapeees mostly British and Commonwealth citizens. 200 airmen had planned to make their escape through the ‘Harry’ tunnel, but on the night of March 24th 1944, only 76 managed to escape the camp before they were discovered by the guards. However, only three of the escapees - Norwegians Per Bergsland and Jens Müller and Dutchman Bram van der Stok - found their freedom. The remaining 73 were recaptured, and 50 of them, including Bushell, were executed by the Gestapo on Adolf Hitler’s orders, while the rest were sent to other camps. While the escape was generally a failure, it helped boost morale among prisoners of war, and has become enshrined in popular memory due to its fictionalised depiction in the 1963 film The Great Escape.

“Three bloody deep, bloody long tunnels will be dug – Tom, Dick, and Harry. One will succeed!”
- Roger Bushell

Defending a Town
  • New Vegas: Escaped prisoners are threatening the town for sheltering someone they attacked. Use your skills to round up enough people and supplies to form a militia and defend yourselves. Or find the leader of the gang and side with them instead
  • Fallout 4: Two dudes living in a 7×7 ft shack growing 3 tomato plants are under attack from a group of six raiders on the other side of the commonwealth. Go kill em

michael scofield be like: i will use this single stale cheetoh to feed the dog that roams outside the east wall of the prison at precisely 4:36 pm on the third wednesday before the 5th full moon of a year a corpse flower blooms after which the dog will take a shit which will be stepped on by the prison guard’s cousin’s financial advisor, causing him to be late for work, which makes him throw his recycling in the garbage by mistake, which will then be transported on a garbage truck traveling at 22 miles per hour driven by a man whose father just landed in yemen yesterday and dropped a napkin on the floor which was carried on the wind through our window and landed in my lap exactly 1.7 seconds ago which i am now folding into a lockpick so we can escape

A cage of golden glass

Synopsis: There was you. An ordinary human girl, wrong place, wrong time. Then there was Loki. God of Mischief, war criminal. When Thor brings you to Asgard to ensure your safety, there is nobody else you come to hate more passionately than his evil foster brother. Then Odin finally decides on a new and much more effective kind of punishment for Loki, causing your whole world to fall apart. He would simply marry him off to a mortal, someone who is, by all means, “beneath” him. You.

Pairing: Loki x Reader
Rating: M
Chapter: 1/1 (Oneshot)
Words: 7217
Warnings: smut, forced marriage

Read it on AO3!

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Earth Australia

I was thinking about Space Australia stuff and I started to think of the history of earth Australia and how it hosted a number of British penal colonies so I though why not take it further like there were no colonies or guards or people already there so I present this story of Earth as Space Australia. 


Official Scout report Xj82:
Observing Sol 1-3.

         We have been observing horrible events. Sol 1-3 is where we have dumped our worst criminals and most dangerous species from across the galaxy. Since our last observation much has changed. There have been many wars. The prisoners have created new tools and inventions. 

         While some of the species left here did not survive, they have become apart of lore. One note worthy example is the great killer species known as Quaxnar, long has it been gone, but the place called Scotland claims it as a national animal and uses it as a heraldic symbol. Not just that but they have made it into shows for newborns and younglings. What we feared is described by these humans, a violent species that we imprisoned more out of annoyance, as a fluffy, sweet species. 

        In my time of watch, only a few short centuries, I have seen the human empires grow, fall, and grow again with new leaders. Though ill prepared and often ending in failure they have reach the highest peak, lowest depth, and the hottest surface temperature to the coldest. They play with molten metal and stone and with ice so cold it could kill them. They have literally walked on molten stone from the earth and poked it with a stick for fun or as they say, “shits and giggles.” The cause of this report is that now in the past 100 Sol rotations, they have figured out how a method of blowing themselves relatively safely into space.  They have sent robot scouts into the edges of the sol system and are studying other planets and galaxies all while not having discovered all there is on that planet yet.

       They are escaping their prison. 

       They were left to die. 

       We left them no food, tools, or knowledge of where they came from, yet they seem to know they do not belong there.   Please respond to this report. If you keep ignoring my pleas for much longer I fear they will be on homeworlds doorstep before we know it….

Alternate Ways to End Combat in an RPG

Hello, readers! At the moment, I’m super busy prepping a Lovecraft Legacies LARP event, but I didn’t want to fail to offer some DMing advice this week. So I grabbed an old article I wrote for the website GeeksDreamGirl.com. I wrote it with 4E in mind, but it’s lessons translate to any game. Enjoy!

Combat is an integral part of many RPGs. In some, it’s a necessary evil. In others, like D&D, it’s an exciting part of the game. Sometimes, the PCs are facing truly evil and villainous foes that need to be wiped from the face of your campaign world. Sometimes, however, you want to have a battle end in something other than a complete massacre of one side or another. What if the PCs are facing honorable foes who’ve been duped into fighting them? Or what if they’re facing foes who vastly out-number or out-power them? Is a slaughter the only answer? Obviously, the
answer can and should be no.

Here then are five ways to end a fight before the battlefield is drenched in the blood of one side or another. You can use these ways to keep a battle short, or to offer an alternative to simple one-
sided destruction.

A Fight to First Blood

If the PCs are facing honorable foes, or are fighting in a tournament, they may choose to fight to “first blood”, and I’m not referencing any cheesy 80s action films. In 4E D&D, this is an easy
concept: have the players and NPCs agree to fight until someone hits their Bloodied value, and use this as the threshold of when someone finally draws blood on the other.

This has a lot of basis in reality. Knights at tournament wanted to show their prowess at real battle, and first blood was a way to show one’s skill, but to avoid seriously injuring one’s foe. Likewise, a duel that was serious but didn’t need to be to the death would sometimes be fought to first blood. This served as a grim reminder to the wounded – I bloodied you once. Next time might be more fatal.

Holding Out Like a Hero

This is a particular favorite of mine. In it, the PCs aren’t necessarily planning on winning a fight, but only of surviving and holding off foes until a set goal is reached. This is particularly effective for when the king can get to safety if his loyal knights can last ten rounds of combat, or if a wizard needs them to hold until he gets six successes on Arcana checks. Combined with Skill Challenges, this can make for a memorable sequence. Skeletons will keep pouring out of the crypt until the cleric successfully re-consecrates it as a skill challenge of minor actions, or the room will keep filling with water that’s inhabited with shrieking eels until the rogue resets the trap mechanism. It’s up to the party to hold off the skeletons, eels, or what have you.

You can use this device to simulate a scene like Helm’s Deep. The PCs have to hold out a certain number of rounds until the reinforcements arrive. Especially in combination with an ever-increasing number of minions, this can give the proper feeling of literally holding off an army.

Cutting Off the Head

The orcish army feels unbeatable until their leader, Gruzhgarn, is slain. When the necromancer is killed, the undead crumble back to lifeless husks. The wolves will flee in dismay if their alpha is killed. If you make one or more of the enemies the linchpin holding the rest of the monsters together, then you can give the PCs a goal other than simply slaying every monster on the battlefield. Once the leader-type monster goes down, the rest will surrender, flee, return to their home plane, etc. I especially like the feeling of “kill the wizard and his minions will return to the Elemental Plane.” It’s something that makes a logical sort of story sense, and it gives an out to the players.

A variation on this is “this monster is invulnerable until condition X is met.” In my current campaign, a great example was Auntie Mengybone, whom I’ve mentioned in other columns. She was harnessing the life-force of a captive Arch Fey to constantly heal herself, making her effectively invulnerable. Several of the PCs with Controller-type powers kept her busy and away from the other PCs who were freeing the Arch Fey through a skill challenge. Once the Arch Fey was released, she immediately went into retreat mode, leaving her minions to fight the PCs. She didn’t escape, but, if she had, she would’ve likely become a recurring villain in the campaign.

Live to Fight Another Day

There’s an adage that most PCs would rather have their character killed than have them captured. I’m not sure what the psychology around this is, but I agree that it’s true. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to have your monsters behave the same way.

I befuddled my players in my Eberron campaign by having the changeling villain they’d been fighting step back, go defensive, and offer to surrender, but only if the Lawful Good character
promised him mercy. The party was immediately suspicious, but they reluctantly agreed. This let me draw a fight that was already a foregone conclusion to a quick close and keep a valuable NPC
alive for a future sequence. And when the PCs found out later that he’d escaped the prisons of their patrons, they cursed his name – darned, tricksy changelings!

The other trick is to have monsters flee. They might be running for reinforcements, or they might be running for their lives, but sometimes monsters, especially intelligent ones, might choose to abandon a fight that they’re clearly losing. Earlier editions of D&D had complex Morale check systems to help a DM determine whether or not a monster would fight on or drop their weapons, but, nowadays, story is the arbiter of such a decision.

Stop. Just Stop.

I would never suggest that you should declare a fight against the PCs and tell them they’re all dead. But good news! Your monsters don’t have any ego beyond that which you invest in them.

If you’re down to two half-dead orcs, everything else is dead, and the PCs are still in excellent shape, you can call that fight. Sure, the orcs might do a little more damage, but is it really necessary to eke every hit point from the player characters that you can? I think not.

Some DMs, and some players, don’t like this approach. They want to know exactly who did what, who killed whom, and noodle the fight down to each hit point. That’s not my style of game play. If it’s getting late, and I have an important plot point to make before game ends, and this fight is slowing me down, I’ll sometimes call a fight once it’s clear how unlikely it is that the PCs will lose. “Well, the ogre has 15 hit points, and you’re all going to get to attack before he does. Unless you really want to know who kills the ogre specifically, let’s call it. Someone describe for me how the ogre dies.” My players were baffled the first time I did this, but they’ve
come to appreciate it.

In Closing

Not every fight has to be fought to the last HP. Sometimes, there are reasons why a fight should end early, and sometimes it’s just more convenient to move things along rather than dither down to the bitter end. Using this tool, you can make battles more about the story and excitement and less about drudging down to the last hit point.

Ted Bundy being escorted into police custody after being captured following an escape.

His most notorious escape came about as Bundy was acting as his own defense, and he would spend the majority of his jail time studying Law in the library for hours on end. Sure enough, he took the opportunity to plan an escape. As soon as he was left unsupervised, he jumped out of a second-story window and escaped, breaking his ankle in the process.

lord i’m so sorry…….i’ve been thinking about this since i first read stone ocean

a bioshock infinite crossover for my favorite dysfunctional father and daughter

The paladins are chained together as they are trying to escape a Galra prison
  • Keith: Pidge, hurry up!
  • Lance: Keith! You have to be nicer. Pidge's legs are very short, and can't move as fast as ours can.
  • Pidge: I would kill you both right now if I didn't have to drag your bodies out of here.
Can we just talk about Morty for a second?

This new episode brought a shit ton of character development and I can’t stop thinking about Morty. Even though Morty seems to do nothing compared to Summer this episode, I think so much about him is revealed. It’s referenced multiple times in the series that we’ve been following the “Rickest Rick”, from the moment the Citadel of Ricks was introduced. With it came the concept of the “Mortiest Morty”, something Rick initially says to comfort Morty after he realizes he’s basically just brain wave camouflage. But I don’t think this is true. I think our Morty is the “Un-Mortiest Morty”

It makes sense that we have the Un-Mortiest Morty, a smarter Morty (not an eyepatch Morty kind of smart, but in more of a perceptive way). That’s what makes our pair so interesting- they’re at the two opposite ends of their own personal spectrums. If you really think about it, the Mortiest Morty would probably be the dumbest Morty, someone like Lawyer Morty (who Morty even realizes is a horrible “lawyer”, since he’s just a dumb Morty). The Mortiest Morty is one who blindly follows Rick with complete devotion and is the brunt of the joke most of the time, even if he doesn’t realize it. Our Morty is smarter than he’s given credit for. He may not be a scientist, but he’s smart enough to realize Rick probably has some kind of plan to escape prison, even if he has no clue what it is. 

When Morty and Summer are told their Rick has been assassinated, Morty still yells at the council “If you think my Rick is dead he’s alive, and if you think you’re safe he’s coming for you!” If another Morty was told their Rick was dead, they would be completely lost. Our Morty is smarter than this, and also more devoted to his parents and sister than to Rick at this point. He understands Rick in a way they never will, and in all honesty he probably doesn’t even want them to understand. This time apart from Rick has made Morty realize how much better the family is without him. Even if Beth and Summer are heartbroken that Rick is gone, it’s still better than them truly realizing Rick will never care about them. Rick will say and do enough to make sure they still idolize him (Summer even calls him her hero!!), but Morty knows Rick truly wouldn’t give a shit about them if they couldn’t improve his existence in some way. Morty is his camoflauge, Beth gives him a rent-free place for his workshop, and he acknowledges Summer to stay on Beth’s (and honestly Morty’s) good side and keep benefiting from them. He thrives off of having power over people, and his family is no exception. Our Morty gets this and even says it to Summer, but she especially still clings to the hope that Rick loves her deep down. And maybe he does very deep down in his own way. He is still human after all, and a few times they’ve shown Rick with at least some kind of emotion. 

This whole thing is supported even more by the fact that Morty tries to talk Summer down from trying to rescue Rick instead of trying to help. The Mortiest Morty would jump at the chance to help Rick. Yes, our Morty knows Rick can handle himself, but he also cares more about his family and knows that Summer is better off without him. Even if their new, alien-run world is strange, it’s better for his family than when Rick isn’t around. His parents’ marriage is in a better place, Summer can lead a more normal life (as he says), and honestly Morty probably just enjoys the temporary calm, because he knows Rick will be back. But since he has no idea how or when, he won’t reveal this to anyone. Our Morty even tries to kill Rick to save his sister (and end Rick’s relentless teasing, because he knows he is smarter than Rick gives him credit for). Just the fact that he has the courage to turn on his Rick and actually pull the trigger in favor of Summer shows how un-Morty our Morty really is. 

So yeah. There’s so much going on in this new episode it’s hard to get through all of it. And I know this sounds very anti-Rick, but I think this is how Morty sees everything.

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Pictured above on the left is the cell from which serial killer Ted Bundy escaped on the 30th of December 1977 through a hole on the ceiling. The search for Bundy was extensive and involved using sniffer dogs and road blocks in an attempt to track him down. However, they were unable to apprehend before he made it to Florida, where he committed the Chi Omega killings, and eventually murdered 12 year old Kimberly Ann Leach - the crime for which he would eventually be executed.