RPG Crossing Home Forums Create An Account! Site Rules & Help

RPG Crossing
Go Back   RPG Crossing > Games > Hall of Fame > Hall of Fame Games > Previous Inductees > 2015 > Carrion Crown
twitter google facebook

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-27-2017, 12:58 AM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
Chapter V: The Beast on Trial

"How shall I behold the face
Henceforth of gods or angel, erst with joy
And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
Insufferably bright. Oh might I here...
In s-solitude live savage; i-in s-some g-g-glade
Obscured, w-where highest woods, imp-pe-penetrable....
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as... as....
right-aligned image


She turned her head, suddenly, not expecting the break-down, and yet, expecting it. What she hadn't expected, and it surprised her to no end even now, was the poetry. No one had warned her about that. Everything else had come prepackaged once she had moved here. Carrion Hill being the mess it was, Kreselia got out while she could and moved to a more open-minded part of the country, and maybe might become a historian. When that didn't pan out, she signed up with the Constabulary. A handsome woman had not been part of the decision. Not at all.

That same handsome woman who had assigned her to guard duty on this, the first day of the trial.

"'Evening: Cover me, ye Pines,
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more.'"


The weeping stopped, and the prisoner, in shadows, turned its massive, hulking head, hair hanging past its face. She couldn't make him out, but she could see his scars. Scars she had heard about. Scars she had dreamed about. Scars she was not prepared to observe. "You know Gelton?"

"'There are more things in Heaven and Beyond than dream't of in your philosophies.'" Devos Leycaun. Was this a monster, or a poet?

"I remember my tutors making me read that one. I hated that play. Did you read it, or have you seen it? It's much better played." She was nervous. When she was nervous, she spoke. Kreselia had been told it was cute. She hoped the prisoner didn't find her cute. It—he?—wasn't.

"Play? I read it. In a book." Its voice was deep, but had a kind of child-like air to it. "I like books. Do you like to read?"

"Yes, I do, sometimes, but mostly Kindler. Ailson Kindler. I met her, once, when I was in Ardis. It's so good! She talks about traveling with her friends, and facing monsters, and—"

"Monsters like me?"

She stopped, unable to continue, though her mouth hung open. It spoke again before she could.

"'And miserable it is
To be to others cause of misery,
Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring
Into this cursed world a woeful race,
That after wretched life must be at last
Food for so foul a monster.'"


Did it have the poem memorized?

"No, not like you, I meant—"

"I KNOW what YOU meant!" It stood, more than a full person taller than her: no, two. She backed away, her hand too shaky to fall to her blade, as she backed away from the cell. The chains rattled around its neck, straining from so little movement. Wrapped though its gigantic arms were, restrained though its beastly form, she had never seen a more terrifying monstrosity in her life. "BEHOLD THE BEAST!" The voice strained, sounding like a multitude of voices suddenly. "The one who EATS CHILDREN for breakfast, who PICKS TEETH with the BONES of WIDOWS! You stand before the most putrid beast in existence! Hail Rovagug, my kin, my brother: MY LESSER!" The creature roared, and she yelled, drawing her blade at last, finally. It shook in her hand.

"'And what I should be, all but less then thee,
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Goodly hath not built
Here for thou envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heaven.'"

The prisoner stood for a moment more, and then began to weep, sitting back down.

Steps down the stairs told her she was not alone: the other constables rushed in, polearms and enchanted weapons at the ready, a fury of lightning prepared. The prisoner did not react to them, too deep in his melancholy.

"STOP!" She didn't realize she had said it, squeaking. Everyone turned to her, but the weeping was too loud. if someone else spoke, she heard it not. "It's already restrained itself. Let's... Just, I have this under control." The other guards, four in total, looked at her, the rookie, the recruit. Incredulous, she glared at each of them, squinting. They listened, leaving one by one, leaving her alone with the prisoner. She returned to her post, and looked on, wondering just what she was looking at. How many creatures had inhabited that cell in the last hour? The Beast of lore, or something else?

All it said, repeating, was a single couplet:

"'Such favor I unworthy am vouchsafed,
By me the Promised Seed shall all restore.'"
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands

Last edited by Sassafrass; 02-27-2017 at 12:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-27-2017, 01:26 AM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
Piece Meal1 Gozran, 4711 AR
24B Justiciar Street,
Lepidstadt, County Vieland


left-aligned image
For such a heavy sleeper, Kendra sure does have a way of getting breakfast made quickly.

The sky is barely blue outside, darkened by the overcast morn above. The smell is an odd one: meaty, yet fruity. What is going on? It's hard to tell, but once every soul awakens, they can tell with relative ease what it is they smell. It is not Kendra alone, who hums loudly as she cooks with her hair barely in a bun, who cooks, but Jamir as well. While the Human woman makes a fine bacon breakfast with toast and butter, it is the Halfling man who prepares pears and marmalade, a kind of fruity onslaught that makes one wonder why no one thought to question nutrition and diet as to why Halflings are so much shorter than Humans.

"Rise and shine, ye heathen hunters!" Samovar grunts from the master bedroom, indicating his resistance, but for the rest it's hard to ignore the smell. "No need to wait on our three companions, nor Adrissant. We should eat and prepare for the day." Already the chest of books is ready for the University; another stack shows a set of journals, quills, pens, and ink ready for use, ready to take notes and prepare defenses at the Courthouse. There is no third pile. There are two more plates: one with bacon, toast, and butter, and another with toast, pears, and marmalade. What more could one ask for?

"So, just to refresh your sleeping minds, where's everyone going? And while we're at it, did anyone else get a sense that Adivion is just a wee bit confrontational?" Kendra is a wee bit chipper; one might think she was excited. Jamir, for his part, is appropriately bitter-looking.

Mornings are the worst.
Breaking Fast1 Gozran, 4711 AR
Cathedral of Incandescent Valor,
Lepidstadt, County Vieland


Morning brings out the hymns, and already they are high in the air. Even Runahildr is caught off-guard. Songs are not the purview of Iomedae, and her hymns are solemn affairs of dedication, but this? This procession is actually quite pleasant, for her. For the Varisians, this pompous piety is just the worst. Where's the beat? There's the life?

For Carlo, it's a solemn reminder that not everyone can appreciate beauty like Shelyn, or a good drum like Desna. For Andrzej, it reminds him that even if he is absolved of his own darkness for now, he is by no means ready to give in to this nonsense.
right-aligned image


The beds were not terribly soft, giving the Varisians cause to recall Ravengro fondly. For Runahildr, they are surprisingly worse than her own monastery, as if this hardness of sleeping abode makes up for the difference in setting for this Cathedral. The cells are modest, dressed only with a simple bed, a desk with no ink, pen, pencil, or quill, no paper, a holy cross on the wall that is more decorative than sword, made of simple cast bronze, and a window facing east, towards darkness, and the rising sun. The Inheritor's light engages them, the sky turning blue from their windows, and the prayers and songs from within, in Celestial, Taldane, and a few surprisingly in Varisian and Kellid, issue forth, echoing off the walls. There is a smell of food, but it is faint.

Once they leave their cells, they find themselves in the main hall area, where brothers and sisters in faith sing, walking around the room in a circle, the first among them bearing a sword, the second carrying a thurible that burns a harsh musk, cedar and sandlewood with a hint of sage that burns for those not accustomed to it. The song upon arrival is about the day of judgment, the coming day where the Inheritor will join the other gods in slaying Rovagug, once the Cage is broken and the world come to an end. Asmodeus will know how awful goodness is, Zon-Kuthon slain, and the secrets of Aroden's demise surmised at last, drawn from the lips of Pharasma herself. An almost heretical hymn to any orthodox Iomedaean, but their faith has little use for songs anyway. Sing your hearts out.

Sister Adelheid is there once more, ready to greet them. "Welcome, and good blessed morning. The Prioress is out: she went to discuss the case with the judges, and to prepare to ride out to the spot you mentioned, Sister Runahildr. She is going with the Pharasman delegation. I've never seen her so excited to get out her greatsword!" She smiles, excited but clearly a bit tired; Runa recognizes that enthusiastic pain, brought from fasting. By the dawn's first light, they may feast. "I have been instructed to help you in any capacity; once prayers are complete, we have bread, wine, and butter for the hungry." Unfortunately, there is business elsewhere.

How does their day begin, in the presence of such goodness?
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-27-2017, 08:30 AM
Thorsten's Avatar
Thorsten Thorsten is online now
Rules Enforcer
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 25826
Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten
Posts: 6,902

Runahildr Valkadottir

Dawn was Runahildr's favorite time of day. There was a crispness to the air, a stillness to even the largest of populations that allowed solemn contemplation and clear thought, and every man and woman would wake refreshed with renewed hope and look to the future rather than linger in the darkness of the past. However long the night might be, each day, without fail, the dawn would break.

Waking to the sound of choirs singing Iomedae's praise only made this dawn all the better. It made the paladin's spirit soar, and she allowed a rare dazzling smile to grace her features as she rose and sought an acolyte to ask for a bowl and some water so she could wash her face and neck, not even caring that their gazes lingered at the ruined remains of her left eye.

In her room, she combed through her long golden hair with her fingers, untangling the worst of the knots before she brushed it back allowing her to put on the protective covering over her scars. She was humming along with the prayers by the time she was out of her night clothes and back in her uniform. It was clean and freshly pressed - the work of an acolyte that had been up before dawn no doubt - and Runa sent a warm thought to the kind soul. Runa had done similar things before she took her final vows, and she knew how arduous the task was, especially with blood and other foul substances that needed to be cleaned out from time to time when crusaders returned from patrols or missions. But after weeks in the saddle, and marching through fens and spider ichor her clothes had seen better days. Now they were good as new. Even the tear at the collar from where an errant branch had struck her during their travels had been mended.


Staying in the Cathedral of Incandescent Valor was the most at peace Runa had felt in a while - even when she had returned to her own order there had been little time for actual rest. Planning and preparation for the upcoming expedition had been at the fore of everyone's mind at the time, and it had put everyone on edge. That was not the case here, and the sense of serenity and peace that seemed to suffuse the very stones of the cathedral slowly but surely melted the walls Runa had erected against the outside world and gave succor to a soul that had become too akin to a hardened blade recently. The group had been through a lot in a short amount of time, and it had strengthened them, but such strength came at a cost and for Runa part of that cost had been a need to toughen her spirit and sense of self far more rapidly than she had anticipated in order to stand against the terrors that had haunted Ravengro - and in a way seemed to haunt still. Spiritual succor, however little she might receive, was like water to a withering plant - and it showed on the paladin.

Grabbing her sword and belt she slipped out of her assigned cell to find Adelheid already waiting, the half-elf all smiles and well-wishings. Rune returned her greeting with one of her own and a bow of her head.
"Hallowed day to you too, Sister. I could use help donning my armor. It is as much a symbol of office as it is protection, and I am of the belief that the former rather than the later will be its purpose of the day. Afterward I should like to join in prayer and breakfast."

She turned to her Varisian companions.
"I know it is by my request you have joined me here, and I am grateful for it. However, I do not expect you to follow me around while I pay obeisance to The Inheritor and embrace Her words..." her single eye seemed to sparkle as she looked from Carlo to Andrzej "... though I would welcome you, should you choose to."

Runa offered another of her rare smiles, this time directed at her two companions, and for a moment it was almost like she was more than martial prowess and pious righteousness fused together in a suit of metal armor.
"I also know you might wish for a more heartening morning meal, now that we are in the city. So if you would like something different to break fast with, do not hesitate to get something from outside or eat at one of the eateries around here. I shall reimburse you the cost of your meals, once I am done here. It is the least I can do, after having you comply with my troublesome request."




 
__________________
Going through a rough patch in my life. Forgive me if I forget a post.
Father of a proud toddler. Expect the next 18+ years to be erratic and/or chaotic.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-27-2017, 06:17 PM
Cedric's Avatar
Cedric Cedric is online now
Trial by stone!
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 21082
Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric Cedric
Posts: 5,093
left-aligned image

Pike arrives at the table in a buoyant mood humming an old tune from a popular play he saw just a couple of weeks before leaving Kerse, having already dressed in clean clothes and combed his hair and beard "What would we do without the two of you?" he says with a smile as he witnesses the feast laid before them, a simple meal to some but for one who is harboring a slight hangover this surely is a feast if ever there was one.

He helps himself to a cup of coffee and sits down, scooping up bacon and toast, a spoonful of marmalade and a slice of pear "Did you know that pears are forbidden in Druma?" he says as he waves the sweetest of fruits slowly in front of him "All thanks to the Resplendent Bureaucracy and the loopholes of laws. You see, years ago the Karthalis family was the sole importer of pears and other fruits from neighboring Andoran, but when Golden Diptera flies caused havoc on Druma's own harvest of apples and other fruits the cause was chased back to the shipment of pears arriving with Karthalis Company's caravans. Now, Druma doesn't grow pears, for some reason we have been unsuccessful in growing a good crop of this blasted fruit, might be the soil, I don't know. In any case, the Resplendent Bureaucracy put forth emergency laws forbidding the import of pears of Andoran stock while they dealt with the fruit eating Diptera and of course that same law was then put fully into effect by members of the Bureau out to harm the Karthalis family. Of course the same members, notable members - by the way - of the Dingare Company which also just happened to deal in import of fresh fruit and other similar wares later introduced their own pears imported from Molthune, another neighboring country which proximity could offer even fresher batch of pears to the capital of Kerse." he takes a bit from the pear, savoring the flavor as he slowly shakes his head "The Karthalis Company, fools by no means of course found out that Molthune had only in recent years started cultivating these delicious pears and to get them just right they used Andoran seed to grow them, making Molthune's pears of Andoran stock, not only that but they could trace the whole cultivational evolution of pears in central Golarion to our friends in the south." he rolls his eyes, a big grin on his face "So now pears are as good as illegal in Druma as neither party is willing to force the Bureau to revoke the laws. By now it's a matter of not backing down for these two powerful companies. Meanwhile pears are being hawked in the shadows of the black market, the largest buyers? Wealthy merchants, most of who have votes in the Resplendent Bureaucracy."

He throws the remaining stem back on his plate and sips on his coffee "I understand and accept that laws and regulations are necessary but sometimes I wonder who they really serve." he sighs and reaches for another piece of pear "Adivion was leaning a bit against the edge, but not knowing him that could just be who he is. He seems alright in his own way, but I suspect he's the type who can't go a day without getting himself into some sort of trouble. Too clever for his own good, perhaps." he glances quickly at Kendra "No offense, half of the present company fits that bill." he offers an apologetic grin "I'll go to meet the Barrister, get that business out of the way. Then, if all goes well we might finally get to meet this fantastical Beast of Lepidstadt."

Last edited by Cedric; 02-28-2017 at 03:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-28-2017, 08:21 PM
goatmeal's Avatar
goatmeal goatmeal is offline
neighbor to the beast.
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10967
goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal
Posts: 3,954
Carlo’s dreams were troubled. A woman who was not a woman came after him, and he was helpless to escape her. But then he trapped her briefly, long enough that the one she was after could escape. And escaping, he wondered about the motivations of the one who freed him. Why must it remain such a mystery? Was he the escapee or the one who helped the escapee get away? Or was he both? He stood before a mirror, and reaching out began pulling on the face he saw there. He woke with a start just as the mask was about to slip from his face.

It was well before dawn. He was shivering. He knew he could not go back to sleep, so he pulled out his cards and began to shuffle. Something gnawed at him. More than the mystery around Adivion, it was something going back a month or more to the day they had faced Feramin. A puzzle that his mind had not been able to solve again, though he’d solved it on that day alone. But it seemed so close now….

He pulled his card for the day: The Crows. An ominous sign, though it fit his mood well after that dream. Crows it was then. Crows it would be.

He continued to shuffle as his mind jagged along the possible permutations of what he had done, what he had experienced. There must be a way. The idea seemed close now, close enough anyways. His spellbook and ink were at hand, but his was never quite the way of the wizard when it came to these things. He would never solve problems the easy way, like proofs regurgitated to appease some pedantic professor. No, it was always his way to take shortcuts. Not because they were ever any shorter, but because they were his and nobody else would ever choose to go that way. Sure, he’d jot down a few notes eventually to remind him of the less interesting concepts. But the magics that were truly his only existed in his mind along paths that none else could traverse. He sat on the bed as the cards shot through his hands in mimicry of the twisted paths his mind took while his body rocked back and forth unbeknownst. At some point Runa came and said something that he forgot as soon as she left, just as he forgot whatever reaction she may have had to the odd swaying pattern his body was undergoing.

The procession started soon after. And coincidentally or not, it was then that everything began to click in the mind of the Varisian savant. Not just the puzzle he was looking for, the one he had solved almost by accident a month ago. But a new, more intriguing puzzle as well: how these very cards might influence his most secretive magics. He imagined those same crows he had drawn as the elemental grabbing the woman from the day before. So lost was he in his own mind, that his body continued of its own accord to express things he did not realize. In the halls without, a sudden cawing sound could be heard emanating from his cell. It was not exactly irreverent, though some religions might take it as such. Other religions might see in it an awkward innocence that they would seek to cloister away as if in protection. What those of this faith saw in it, Carlo could not say, for their faith was not his, and these sounds came unbidden to his mouth. A few more times the awkward sounds emerged from the cell. Often enough that the more diplomatic of the faithful were not taken unaware and could stoicly hide their reactions, though there were likely a few smirks exchanged amongst the acolytes. But none came to expel him or silence him as he pursued his own reverie of the mind separate from that reverie of the faithful that took place just without.

As the ceremony drew to a close, one last long braying caw could be heard emanating from Carlo’s cell. It may have seemed to some in the audience that it came at an opportune time in the culmination of the service. Like a natural phenomena that happened to punctuate the observance. It was as if the God they served had selected some unexpected path through the undergrowth for them to travel. As if the God of the Sun would shine her glory through a murderous crow. Much was made right in the mind of Carlo during those long moments, many paths were created that had not been there before: magics that none but he would ever fully understand. But there was only one thing put to paper. Looking down to his spellbook, Carlo realized that what he saw there was not put there for him. It was there for those rigid sanctimonious fools bathed in the white light of the sun in the halls out there.

“Damn. Well, I guess I’d better get some breakfast.”

 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-02-2017, 03:51 AM
ekidnu's Avatar
ekidnu ekidnu is offline
Nargle
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 26107
ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu
Posts: 6,630
With a gait slowed by confusion and wonder, Mara softly tiptoes into the wide corridor. All along one side they stand on display, a freakish menagerie housed in an unending row of dismal grey cages, wrought from cold iron by colder souls. They are all there: a charcoal man with no arms nor legs; three men and a woman who compensate with too many arms and legs; a distorted hunchback too small, and an ugly brute too big; a woman with hair on her face and a boy with hair everywhere else. Each has its own cage, a private solitude amidst the gathering crowds. The pinheads are there, as is the albino Hesse. A great, bloated spider wears a woman’s face, a face of death and of the dead, flickering in and out of existence like a dying candle. And an enormous cage, cloaked in a darkness that not even Mara can penetrate, towers above them all—one can sense something great and terrible within, an invisible presence that reveals itself through weeping.

But the throng crowds around another cage, a smaller cage, and she is there. Part fish, part human, all monster. The hideously deformed tail, if it can even be called that, is on full display for the jeering mob. Instinctively the singer looks down, self-conscious, to see …

… Hate. Anger. Fear. Disgust. It is on all the faces beyond the bars, but most of all it is on her face. Mara shrinks away, but there is nowhere to hide her poor naked body. They surround the cage, gawking at her, all of them united in … Wait. Not all. An elf stands aloof from the rest, his disdain reserved for the crowd instead. With an indifferent air he slides something into the cage—it resembles Hrani’s magical black blade … or an obsidian statue, crafted from midnight itself … or a strange key.

She takes it, and places it into the lock. Nothing; it refuses to turn.

“Bugger.” It is Carlo, oblivious to her plight, waving his arms in a shooing manner at a crow circling close above. “Kraa!”

Beside the Varisian is his partner. But Andrzej is different from all the rest. He looks at her as he did that fateful day, with dark eyes filled with a quiet compassion. His hand reaches through the bars, gently grabbing hers. So soft. It is the hand of a person who has never done an honest day’s work.

And then, with a sneer, his face darkens. “You have to mean it, love.” The self-destructive alcoholic returns, roughly guiding her hand with his. It hums with a dark, unknown power, coaxing the magical essence out of her body and into the now glowing key. The key turns, and the cage ...

… is empty. The crowds are gone. The songstress stands alone, but with a curious sensation of lightness. Only a chill wind remains, blowing her skirt away from two long, shapely legs.

~ ~ ~

It is unlike any dream she has ever had before. They are noticeably absent, though she can still sense something lurking on the periphery, something that melts away whenever she tries to focus on it. And the curious lightness remains. She stays in bed for a long time, mulling over its meaning, before pulling off the sheets to … reveal two perfectly human legs.

~ ~ ~

Breakfast is a distracted affair. Mara doesn’t even seem to notice Kendra’s questions, though the soprano is not withdrawn, and certainly not morose. She smiles at the detective, pleasantly humming and singing along—though more loudly and firmly whenever the dwarf strays off key—and dives immediately into the pears and marmalade, though she allows the buttered toast its usual cooling off period. The usual niceties of conversation are offered in a reflexive, perfunctory manner as she continues to wonder at the morning’s revelation.

It didn’t last, of course—but it wasn’t an illusion either. For a minute she was—well, certainly not normal, but probably normal for a human. Probably. Her legs—part of her still shudders in horror at the very thought—were in fact perfect, like those of a graceful porcelain doll. Too perfect, if truth be told. Unnaturally perfect. She unconsciously smoothes out her dress, then absent-mindedly nods at Pike.

“Yes, the barrister sounds lovely.”

 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-02-2017, 03:59 AM
Quarterpound's Avatar
Quarterpound Quarterpound is offline
of flesh
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-09-2019
RPXP: 10294
Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound
Posts: 6,809
left-aligned image
Andrzej Zaituc
Andrzej walked down the empty streets of Ravengro.

The buildings penned him in to the broad avenue, their colors washed away to dull grays. No sounds emanated from the dark, cavernous windows and doors that yawned at the Varisian as he passed. There was a smell of tilled earth, moisture, and copper that hung in the air, held in place by thick, roiling fog just beyond the first row of buildings on the boulevard.

Andrzej felt at ease, despite this.

"Is this our new meeting place?" said a thin and violent voice.

The Varisian's Dark Passenger crept beside him, a constant companion, felt but rarely seen. Somehow Andrzej could tell it had changed. Mutated. Grown.

But so had he.

"Yes. This is where we began to understand each other better, wouldn't you say?" There was a confidence in Andrzej's voice that had been lacking for quite some time.

Andrzej felt his Dark Passenger nod. There was no yelling, no cursing, no threatening. It was just two travelers sharing the same road, possibly the same fate.

"Things are coming. Dark things. Big things."

It was Andrzej's turn to nod.

"Work with me. We'll see it through."

The Dark Passenger's silent turmoil made Andrzej's lips quirk up into a hint of a smile, but he waited patiently.

"I have much to show you. It will hurt. I'll take solace in that fact, at least."

This time Andrzej did smile.

"So be it."

The shadowy duo faded into the mists of Ravengro.

~~~

Andrzej lay awake in the hard cot of the spartan room, his eyes gazing at the stone ceiling without focus, ignoring the chanting outside, the shuffling of cards inside, and the first rays of dawn through the window.

He didn't bother to ask Carlo to keep it down. He couldn't sleep either. He didn't want to disturb whatever ritual his kinsman was performing, either. Darkness swirled in and around his fratti, different than the shadowy burden Andrzej carried, but no less complex. Andrzej focused long enough to spare a faint smile for the other Varisian.

When Runa arrived, Andrzej sat up and smiled at her. It was strange seeing the paladin in her element, stranger still to see such a pretty smile on her face. He turned his head and squinted at her, imagining her with less armor and less faith.

Not bad...

He'd never been with a one-eyed woman before, either. Another point in her favor.

Andrzej actually laughed out loud; a brisk bark of a laugh that echoed strangely in the stone cell.

"Good morning, Runa," he said with a smile. "Coming here was one thing, but Carlo and I do our own sort of embracing. Still, this was an interesting change of pace for me. Thank you.

That being said, Carlo and I are going to find ourselves a proper breakfast. Isn't that right, fratti? Something with two kinds of breakfast meats, potatoes, beans, eggs, mushrooms... a proper fry up with some dark beer to wash it down. Plus, I've been itching for a smoke and it just didn't feel right sneaking one in the cathedral.

Shall we come find you after breakfast or should we meet up at the apartment?"


 
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-03-2017, 11:59 PM
goatmeal's Avatar
goatmeal goatmeal is offline
neighbor to the beast.
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 10967
goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal goatmeal
Posts: 3,954
Carlo let Andrzej pick the eatery: he had the nose for where to find such things. He had things to tell his frati in private, and realized the only privacy they were like to get in this town was in the din of a busy restaurant.

“Frati, I have something I must tell you,” said Carlo after taking a single bite of his omellete. “That man at the other house last night, Adivan or whatever. He was the one who saved me in that barn.”

He levels his gaze on his countryman. He will not say more, Andrzej knows the rest.

“But he seemed to not want me to tell anyone else about it last night. And I didn’t want to tell you with all the others around. Why do you think he would want to keep it secret?”

Carlo takes another bite, the obvious answer missing him completely. Adivion was probably signaling to Carlo that his secret was safe with him should he not want the others to know. But Carlo and obvious seldom go together.

Their chatter continues as does their meal. Soon there is little left on his plate but scraps and spare bits of gravy. Carlo wipes the slop from his plate with the heal of a biscuit while broaching another subject with Andrzej. “You know, we both have these women who aren’t what they seem after us now. And we’ve fought with them only to see they are more powerful than us. And the crazy thing is, I think the only way we’re going to win is with the woman who is exactly what she seems. You know the one I’m talking about, eh? Crazy, to think the likes of us would be making friends with a Paladin.”

Maybe it should have been obvious to Carlo that his countryman’s fascination with Runa this morning was not of the holy variety. But Carlo and obvious seldom go together.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-04-2017, 05:15 AM
Inem's Avatar
Inem Inem is online now
Bad Wolf
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 22105
Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem
Posts: 9,348
Hrani sits in his closet for hours after his meditation is complete, listening to any sound in the night. For a long time in the evening he had heard Thorsten and Samovar still up and about, drinking and talking. He had worried their noise was supposed to be a cover for whatever the others were up to, but he was ready. And nothing happened. There had been sounds throughout the night, not from the house but from outside the window. The magus had become tense several times, but again nothing happened. Now, in the morning hours, as the elf sat in the same spot, unmoving, studying his spellbook, he could hear the noise of cooking and the smell of food wafted in through the cracks around his barricaded door. The others were starting to prepare for the new day.

He glances down at the book in his hand one more time, before stowing it away. Sitting around and listening, he had had a lot of time to think, about the adventures he and his companions/traitors-in-waiting had already been through, and he thought about how he had handled everything that was thrown at him. In particular, he had thought about the time he had nearly been forced to freeze Samovar. And the episode with the Phase Spider, where his newest magical creation had nearly stopped his heart. He had added some notes to those particular pages in his spellbook, adjusted some calculations. Hopefully it would go a little bit better next time, knowing what to expect and with some minor adjustments. He had also jotted down a few notes and magical formulae for other spells that had occurred to him. A safe environment to test and adjust would of course have been preferable, but from the way things were going, Hrani was fairly certain when he got around to seeing if his calculations were correct, it would be in a situation with his life on the line. And his companions/traitors-in-waiting would be involved, either the ones plunging the knife in his back, or the ones in trouble, their life on the line just the same as his...

The magus eventually leaves the closet and rises to his feet. After exchanging his clothes for a clean set, he shifts the dresser to the side, giving everyone already outside the chance to hear the sound of something scraping over the floor. He then opens the door, ready to draw on his arcane power at an instant's notice in case the others are lying in wait on the other side of the door. They are not, so Hrani settles down to breakfast with them instead of blasting them. The meal, once more, is a ridiculous feast, completely over the top for a standard breakfast. He didn't understand the other races' fascination with indulging, clearly their time on the road should have shown them they were perfectly fine with much simpler meals. But no, as soon as they had the chance, they returned to opulence and decadence. So the magus humors them by indulging alongside them, in a lesser manner. He has some of the bacon, and some of the pear, but less so than the others, in particular Pike, who is once more at the forefront of those poisoning their bodies. No wonder dwarves were resistant to poisons, any that weren't would quickly be thinned out by their own cultural habits...

Pleasantly surprised at having avoided confrontation both during the night and before breakfast, Hrani is in an almost pleasant mood when the discussion turns to the day's plan. "I suppose if we are all going to see the Barrister, we might as well get it over with early, splitting up afterwards will be easier than trying to meet up again at a later time. I assume our remaining companions... The elf catches himself at the last moment before he actually speaks the 'traitors-in-waiting' part out loud. It wouldn't do to let them know he was expecting it. "...are off at the cathedral and will be rejoining us shortly? I also want to get the books to the university soon, so I think I might like to bring them along on our first stop to save time later, if no one has any objections..."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-04-2017, 05:27 PM
Quarterpound's Avatar
Quarterpound Quarterpound is offline
of flesh
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-09-2019
RPXP: 10294
Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound Quarterpound
Posts: 6,809
left-aligned image
Andrzej Zaituc
Andrzej mopped up yolk, beans, and broiled tomatoes with a piece of crusty bread and crispy bacon before popping the whole mess into his mouth and sighing appreciatively. The mushrooms had been underseasoned, the sausages too burned, and someone had been too heavy handed with the rosemary on the potatoes, but overall the Varisian was satisfied.

As he sat there chewing the last of his fry up, he listened to his kinsman.

It wasn't exactly troubling, at least not compared to most of the messes the duo found themselves in lately, but it was something. Andrzej trusted Carlo enough to listen to the arcanist's gut. Andrzej had already gotten a smarmy feeling from Adivion. It wouldn't hurt to have some caution around him.

Plus...

"Strange that he arrived when he did to rescue you and we end up finding him again here, now." Andrzej picked up his mug and drained the last of the dark beer, cleansing his palate enough for the imminent cigarillo. "Let's keep an eye on him. Perhaps you should share the news with Runa and see what she thinks? The others seem too taken with the man. Well, perhaps not Samovar, but would good would it be to tell that brute?"

 
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-08-2017, 11:36 AM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
BarristeringAlready they're at it, with the trivia and the banter. Jamir listens intently to the laws of Druma, the oddness of the backstory, but the overall point is lost on no one. Laws serve a purpose. But they must first serve. If they fail to do so, they are not laws, but reasons to rebel. The meal is quickly made up for, and everyone partakes, even Samovar. "Well, fortunately, the people of Lepidstadt are less interested in mercantilism than they are in good food," notes Kendra, setting down a plate of fresh bread on the table.
right-aligned image


They are all united in their schedule for the day: head forth into the courthouse, then speak to the barrister, then split from there. What tasks will be necessary to help them go forward? For that, they need more information, and this barrister appears to be the only one with that information. Jamir nods to Hrani's desire to see the barrister first. "Indeed, I'm sure Professor Crowl won't mind. More than likely, as scatterbrained as he is, he'll have forgotten." Kendra nods, not knowing the difference, but Samovar does finally speak up.

"I'll do the selling. We've got goods we don't need. We've a town with money. I can negotiate a fair price." No one believes in Samovar's style of negotiation, beyond his ability to get results. Those results have nothing to do with negotiation, however. Kendra thinks it over, and decides that it's for the best. "Probably better that you carry it all, will everyone assemble what they want sold for Samovar? He knows the city better than any of us, now that I think about it." The Kellid grunts, as if giving affirmation; well, a lot of good that does now. It certainly would have helped some of them yesterday in navigating this mad house.

As to the stragglers, Kendra ponders, as does Jamir and Samovar. The latter two say nothing, but Kendra is resolute. "Yes, best we wait. I hope they don't delay too long. If they stayed there for breakfast, then they may be a little longer but morning vespers often have the pious waking before the rest of us." She isn't wrong, of course. But now they have occasion to organize all the goods they want sold, and Samovar will manage group affairs in that regard.

As for the rest, it's time to meet the Beast of the matter.
Fast BrokenEach of the three, in turn, rises and interacts with the place as they will, not all of their dreams without incident, not all of their thoughts pious, not all of their hearts free for the task at hand. The Varisians and Runa meet up, and quickly it becomes apparent that she will stay, and they will go. Rare are my moments of DM Fiat, buuuut....It is determined that they will meet back up at the Lorrimor Apartment, instead of waiting on one another. For Runa, it is a return to order and habit, for the Varisians, it is a desire to feel less out of place. And so, the Varisians part, while Runahildr stays, asking for helping as well as to be fed and informed.

Adelheid is more than happy to help with the armor. "We all have armor, you understand, not that we wear it. A knight in shining armor is one that has not had their mettle tested, the saying goes? I fear that describes us aptly. So... it will be good to see armor that has seen combat such as yours." As Runahildr leads Adelheid to her armor, dressed as she is, the younger sister of the Inheritor helps her to don the armor. She inquires as to the markings on the armor, though polished as it is. Where did this dent come from? How does one buff out something like that? Is that a scar on Runa's forearm? How did she come by it? She dances around the question of the eye, but Runahildr knows that she, like almost everyone, wishes to know the tale behind the eyepatch. But Adelheid would never ask such a thing, it would be imprudent, and Adelheid is a being of pure prudence.
left-aligned image


When at last the armor of office is donned, Runahildr is freed to join the processions, the song, and the breaking of fasts. The songs at the Cathedral all seem to be similar in nature, talking about the glories of standing against the dark, that the dawn will rise and the sword will go with it, and that darkness cannot stand against the light. The Inheritor has a task before her, but she and her allies will stand fast and hold the line against Asmodeus, Rovagug, the Abyss, and all of the beings of darkness in the pantheon of evil. It is so strange, to have been out of the monastery for so long, to return to a place where good and evil are so plainly spoken of. As if it were that simple.

As if it ever is.

Breakfast is slightly more elaborate than Runahildr expected. A simple loaf of sourdough, freshly baked by the bakers across the street from the Cathedral (one per four brothers and sisters, so six loaves in total) and two vines of blue grapes. "We make our own wine, you see, a purple like a ZinfandelKarvosel. It's one of our few hobbies here at the Cathedral, though a common one closer to Caliphas, I understand." If is the Elf from the night before that justifies this, his brilliant blue eyes , pupils larger than marbles, contrasting his moon-pale skin. The need to justify it at all seems to imply guilt. but that is neither here nor there. When the meal is done, many of the brothers and sisters go about their business, almost half of them heading out into the town to help the Prioress in some way, one brother and sister heading off to join the Pharasman delegation collect the bodies at hand (receiving previous help from Runa, if she offers it, on where to find the bodies exactly).

When it is all done, Runa knows she must go back. Adelheid understands, almost wishing to go with her. "If you need anything, Sister Runa, you know that we are more than willing to help you. We'll do what we can, here and in the city, if you only ask. Whatever your task is this day, I wish it just and goodness." A minor curtsy, as if Runa is nobility, and that is that.

Best to join her companions.
Risen SonsFreed of the temple of justice, the two Varisians can breathe (and smoke) with ease.

Not far from the Cathedral, and down the street from the Lorrimor Apartment, Andrzej spied a little dive called Black Tom's Meats and Wines, a little black shop that serves as a tavern and a butchery. The smell is delightful and the talk from within implies that it's an inviting place, and that's what they need right now. Going in, the smell of savory meats and eggs is overwhelming, but not at all in a bad way. There is plenty of bread, of fruits too, which seems odd, and even some fresh baked beans, which always helps the meals go down. All of them have a meaty flavor to them, a strong musk that implies their origins. Black Tom is not the owner; though a Garundi might rightly be called "black," it is the shaggy hound that is named Black Tom. The owner, Ahmed, is a former slave who freed himself from the bondage of Qadira nearly a decade and a half ago, and after traveling with caravans heading north, he opened up a butcher shop and tavern. Apparently he was a cook in bondage, a cook on the road, and here, he will die a cook. But a free cook. No Varisian could thumb his nose at that tale. They can, if they want, thumb their nose at the special: "BURN THE BEAST-Black pudding-drenched sausage, covered in Keleshite peppers and spices. Only good before the Beast burns!"

right-aligned image
They speak, of course, of dark matters. Though the meal is wonderful, and frees them of their typical Kellid affairs, they cannot escape the specter of their task, and indeed, of the past. Andrzej freed, it is now Carlo who is dragged back into the darkness of what happened with Olga. And Adivion: Adivion Adrissant was the man who saved him. Why keep quiet? Why the silence? And more importantly, is it safe to keep quiet themselves on the matter? Runahildr might be a strong ally in that regard, regardless of their introspection of their "friend-making" with her. An odd connection indeed, but there they are all the same. Behind them, a traditional Taldane duet plays, led by a lute player and a flutist, both the players looking the part of the Taldane minstrels of yore. Varisians have little interest in such things, and music of the like seems unlike anything a red-blooded Varisian would dare entertain. It's not their place to question the poor taste of others, so long as it's not life-threatening poor taste.

The meal is excellent, the talk dark but given the talkers, is that any surprise? The bill is paid, a simple one, and they had best be off. Lots to do today.
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-09-2017, 01:34 AM
ekidnu's Avatar
ekidnu ekidnu is offline
Nargle
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 26107
ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu ekidnu
Posts: 6,630
Mara nods approvingly when Kendra agrees that it is best for Samovar to sell—and more importantly, carry—all the goods they have brought from Ravengro. In fact, the songstress slowly and deliberately massages her slender arms, as if reminding everyone of the cruel injustice she suffered yesterday in carrying the heavy tomes. At the elf's offer to carry the books himself, she smiles agreeably, pleased that he would care to ensure that she is not saddled with the books a second time. “That is an excellent idea, Hrani.”

While they wait for the other three to return, Mara chews slowly on a piece of cold toast, then sips thoughtfully from her canteen. Her dream still floats aimlessly in her mind; every now and then it bumps into another memory. She can't place the source for her current thoughts: was it Sarianna, or perhaps even Jamir, or someone else? Somebody had mentioned a rather pricey magical item to her once, one—or were there two such items?—that was apparently a godsend in effecting a quick change of costume between scenes. She had not paid much attention at the time, for she would never ever be caught performing in such an opera, but given her recent vision, she can now imagine a much broader use for such an item. She eyes the halfling, then the elf, then even the dwarf.

“Have any of you heard of an item .... magical, of course ... that could transform your outfit with but a thought? It might prove useful in some of the more elaborate productions. I wonder if such an item would be available here in Lepidstadt?” After all, if Samovar is going to convert goods into gold, somebody should take advantage of the transformation.

 
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-10-2017, 05:53 AM
Thorsten's Avatar
Thorsten Thorsten is online now
Rules Enforcer
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 25826
Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten Thorsten
Posts: 6,902

Runahildr Valkadottir

Runa was clearly younger than Sister Adelheid, so why was it that she felt like she was dealing with a giddy teenager? Did field experience really change a person so much, that all she could do when the sister talked herself into a frenzy about the state of her armor and the many scratches and dents on it, was to offer a wistful smile and hope Adelheid's never had cause to don her own armor and dirty it?

In the end the questions stopped and Runa followed Adelheid to breakfast, and to the second revelation of the day. Because while eating in armor was not a new sensation to the paladin - eating in a room full of brothers and sisters as the only one in armor clearly was out of the norm. And the stares and smiles in her direction, while not unwelcome, helped to cement the fact that this was a different world than back at the Order, where the Hungry Mountains where visible the moment you peeked out the window, and a constant preparedness was rigorously imprinted into the acolytes alongside the first hymns of praise the learnt.

It was refreshing to see things done differently. Refreshing to see the calm and lack of anxiety that made the crusaders and acolytes of the Order tense as a knife's edge at times. But it also helped to put into relief how unprepared everyone here would be, should Runa's worst assumptions about the current events come to pass. It made Runa eager to get to work, and she finished her breakfast quickly, excusing herself from the temples company as soon as she could, and strode out on the street with only a brief stop to pray for guidance and the moral fortitude to stand strong in the face of injustice.

Time to find the others and head of to see this Barrister. It was going to be a long day.

__________________
Going through a rough patch in my life. Forgive me if I forget a post.
Father of a proud toddler. Expect the next 18+ years to be erratic and/or chaotic.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-18-2017, 02:00 PM
Sassafrass's Avatar
Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-19-2019
RPXP: 50980
Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass Sassafrass
Posts: 16,639
left-aligned image
Kendra gives it some thought, thinking over it. "Father did hear of something, Mara. A kind of hat that, once worn, allowed you to more or less 'disguise' yourself in a kind of glamour spell. It didn't change your actual appearance, but... It may be what you're looking for." She thinks further, then walks over to the butcher's block, pulling out a drawer beneath it. Inside are papers, which she pulls out one or two. "I don't know if all of these shops are still here, but I've marked the ones that I think Samovar should go to. For an item like this...." She thinks, then using a quill and ink, marks a shop called "Sandie's Sorcerous Sundries" and also "Grom's Magic Emporium," both near Northgate. "Check these for us while we're away, will you?" He grunts, reading the list over; his eyes do not move quickly.

"At any rate, best we get going. Samovar, you know where to find us, be back for lunch, hm?" Kendra, putting a jacket on, gets ready, as does everyone else. Jamir gets the goods to be sold in a neat corner of the room with Samovar's help, while Hrani and Pike collect the books to make sure that they have them. Soon, they're all collected. "See you soon!" Notes Kendra, with the air of a teenager.

Samovar, left alone in the apartment, looks over the equipment and sighs.

They reach the street as the two Varisians and Runa return, though not quite together, the two Varisians showing up last. From there, it's a short walk down a long street to the Town Square, and from there, to the Courthouse. Mild questions are asked as to how everyone's night was. Nothing as bad as Harrowstone at its worst, for sure, but that doesn't matter now. All of them have the Beast on their mind, in one way or another.

The Town Square is already full of people ready for the first day of trials, set to begin not long from now. A large, squat building dominated by an enormous clock overlooks the town square. A huge figure of wood, roughly man-shaped, stands in the square in front of the building. The gigantic wooden effigy is being prepared as well, with now-recognizable priests and priestesses of Pharasma and Iomedae working away at it to make sure its of proper burning capabilities and that, from where Pike stands, the victim of such a device will suffocate before they burn. A small peace, or a cruelty unheard of? Moving around it, the building becomes more visible: the dark stones and wood of the Lepidstadt Courthouse are only slightly more inviting than the burning man.

The guards stop them, the leader amongst them a tall blond man with a fresh set of facial hair. "Halt! What's your business, no visitors before the trial is set to begin." Mara and Kendra speak up. "We're here as the special defense barristers, I believe Judge Daramid will vouch for us?" The leader turns and calls out to one of his fellows, holding a clipboard on which is written on parchment a list. "Check to see if this bunch is on the list for the defense." Kendra lists their names, though how Daramid would know them is not certain; not everyone was mentioned at supper last night. "And is Adivion Adrissant already here?" Resentfully, the lower of the two guards nods to the higher up; it is not clear if the guard is angry at them for being on the defense, or at the leader. "You're clear. And no, no one by that name has come by. If you're looking for where Kaple is already, you'll find him in the Defense Chamber. Second floor, last door on your left." The other guards glare daggers at the group as they pass, particularly at the two Varisians, the Dwarf, and the Halfling.

right-aligned image
"A forthcoming group, aren't they?" notes Kendra, and they enter inside, past the tall black columns.

A smell overwhelms them as they enter, a chickeny broth that demands to be taken in and enjoyed. It's not a terrible smell, but it seems to contrast the weeping. It is loud and seems to shake the building, but there's little doubt as to whom it belongs. The Beast of Lepidstadt, below, cries. What kind of monster does that? One of the guards, appearing through a door, looks over the group curiously. She is short, with mousy hair, and seems shaken. "O-oh, you're looking for... what now?" Mara speaks up. "The Defense's room, if you please. We're special solicitors." The woman nods, and takes them to through the door to the main stairs, which appear to be in the barracks. Going up them, the wooden room gives way to a stone chamber, looking very much like a courtroom. Already there are guards here, and above in the atrium, a few select people, all of them looking regal, already sit in their perches. Judge Daramid is nowhere to be seen, but soon, following the very letter of the advice given to them, Kendra, Mara, Jamir, Pike, Hrani, Runa, Andrzej, and Carlo all find themselves shoved into a room too tight for them with a severe man, dressed as a barrister with his wig sitting on the table. He looks somewhat startled and irritated at first, but then stops.

"You m-must be the n-n-n-n-new ba-ba-barristers I was told were c-c-c-c-coming." He growls, grabbing his throat, then shaking his face. "Gustav Kaple. Barrister for the Def-f-f-fense." He growls again. "Get it together, Gus!" He walks back to the table, on which sits seats of paper which seem to be of an official variety. The guard, having done her duty, walks away, back down the stairs, and quickly, as if she has somewhere else to be. The weeping does not cease nor does it continue to be loud, even here on the second floor.

"So what's your b-b—Dammit, man! What's your background in legal defense? Why were you assigned here? I understand you have some investigative know-how? Why don't you begin with those, and tell me what details of the case you know so I don't have to backtrack. Time is of the es-es-es-essence." This is going to be troubling, if this is their capable defender.
 
__________________
Carrion Crown | Tyranny of Dragons | Rise of the Runelords
Coming Soon: Planescape: Tales from the Outlands
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-18-2017, 04:47 PM
Inem's Avatar
Inem Inem is online now
Bad Wolf
 
Tools
User Statistics
Last Visit: 02-18-2019
RPXP: 22105
Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem Inem
Posts: 9,348
Books under his arms, Hrani joins the others on the arduous journey to their destination. It isn't so far that the weight of the books should bother him significantly, but somehow, today, everything seems to weigh more heavily. The biggest issue, however, is not the elf's ballast. It's the senseless behavior of all the humans of Lepidstadt that is really getting to him. The wooden effigy. The crowd of spectators. How can anyone possibly expect a fair trial here? The theory that the Whispering Way wants them to waste their time on the Beast here gains even more credence in the magus' eyes.

The guards are surprisingly easy. Someone has planned ahead. At least from that perspective everything is going astonishingly smooth so far, from how they had met up with Runa and the two Varisians without a hitch to all of their names being on the correct list now. Hrani doesn't speak as he enters the courthouse with the others, the weeping of the 'Beast' reaching his ears just like it does his companions'. But where in the others it might evoke sympathy, or confirm them in their belief that this being in captivity must be innocent, it does nothing for the elf. It is the mystery, more than anything else, that intrigues him. The obvious setup. The question of why? If his investigations should reveal truth to that suspicion, then they will likely be able to free the Beast. But if they cannot? Hrani is unlikely to spill any tears over the matter.

The short, mousy-haired guard catches his attention, returning Hrani's mind to the present. He isn't ruling out that them running into her hasn't been prearranged by Judge Daramid, or someone else pulling the strings behind the curtain. Not with how guided by fate everything seems to be so far. The magus doesn't know what role this guard will play down the road, but then, he hasn't yet figured out what role he will be playing in this particular piece yet, either...

They meet the barrister. And the man has a stutter. Somehow, Hrani is not surprised. With the whole city already having condemned the Beast, of course the appointed barrister will be questionable, and not the most accomplished one that could be found in Lepidstadt. They - or more precisely their Beast - will just have to hope there is more to the scrap-heap barrister that did land the job than the first impression would suggest.

He asks for their qualifications. 'Ah, here then is the first hitch of this day. And things were going so smoothly...' Of course, they don't have much in the way of qualifications. Pike has the investigative expertise, which is at least something. But none of them have any business being in a court room, most likely. Least of all him. He doesn't know anything about legal proceedings. "Is that so? You think you know nothing of value? You think nothing from the trial of Arcadi the Mirrored applies here? Everything you have read on the rise and fall of Gola is meaningless then, despite the fact that he was charged twenty seven times and never once convicted?" Orenmir interrupts his doubt. And it is true, Hrani realizes. He has read a lot on politics and court cases of important figures. Like with the interest in military strategies, the same question as yesterday poses itself: When and why did he grow interested in these sorts of things, if he can't even remember consciously doing so?

'While an admittedly fascinating question, perhaps you should focus on one at a time and start by answering the barrister's?' Right. The barrister's question. "We all have very various backgrounds, and we have been assigned here, I would say, because we can help. Most importantly, we are not the least bit convinced by the Beast's guilt, both in this matter and in all the crimes attributed to it. Which, at least that is my impression thus far, makes us quite rare already among the people of Lepidstadt, and valuable to you for that reason alone. But as I said, we do all contribute various abilities that will be of use to you. More on the investigative side than in the actual courtroom for most of us, I think. Me, for example, I will never sway a judge with my words that anyone is guilty or innocent, I lack the honeyed tongue some of my other companions are blessed with, and I am good at neither reading nor predicting the reactions of humans as your race makes little sense to me. But I do have a very solid background in history, including quite a bit of knowledge on court cases all throughout the world. I'll leave it to the others to inform you on their particular abilities, but I will add one more thing: In addition to what each of us offers individually, as a group we have connections you will need. To the common people of Lepidstadt, to the students at the university, and to the faculty. All of which will be instrumental in investigating and shaping the public opinion..."

That is all Hrani says. The elf has already talked too much for his own taste. Let the others explain what details of the case they already know. The tongues of Mara, Runa and Kendra are certainly more likely to convince the barrister of their usefulness than his own, anyway...

OoC
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:13 PM.
Skin by Birched, making use of original art by paiute.(© 2009-2012)


RPG Crossing, Copyright ©2003 - 2019, RPG Crossing Inc; powered by vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Template-Modifications by TMB