So, I had a bunch of exposition prepared for friday night, and was trying to figure out how to do it without being too boring.
I decided to jump right into the action, which included the characters waking up in a maze, with a bunch of pirates gloating and jeering at them from a hole 20 feet up.
The gas that knocked them out also erased their memory, so as they explored the maze, they remembered little bits of what had happened. They would have an encounter with a trap or a monster, and then remember a little bit more that had happened.
They eventually escaped the maze, after defeating it's guardian, and wreaked havoc upon the pirates. Before they could defeat the pirate boss, they realized the whole thing was a setup to attack the Trade Council on Shadowhaven, and parlayed with the pirate captain. While this was happening, the elves sailed in with their fleet and started trashing the place.
Funny moment: when they agreed to fight together, the orc and the wildling pirate captain agreed that the next time they met, they would fight to the death. LOL.
You cannot do this too often (capturing the party without giving them a chance to act), but it is a fun change of pace for both the DM and the players.
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