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Old 12-13-2018, 11:03 AM
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Chapter 2: Trial and Crucible

Chapter 2: Trial and Crucible
Prologue

A small but regal figure looked over the balcony and out into the wilds that surrounded her castle. Her face belied her age and the guileful mind that laid beneath, as it was youthful with innocent clear blue eyes that were framed by almost shimmering golden hair. Her forehead was adorned with a thin but intricate circlet that signified her position as Dementileau's queen. Jacqueline much preferred the thin circlet to the much heavier and exceedingly ornate crown used for her more ceremonial moments. She stood by a small table by the balcony with seats for two with a refreshment set in the center of the table and looked out over her kingdom. Waiting.

"Hello, Kimbra. I am so happy that you decided to accept my invitation to speak before The Council. I assume that the journey here was not too taxing for you?" Jacqueline said without turning around as she continued to look on. "Come, join me for a moment before we begin our business. It is not often Queens like ourselves can enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet... even you will have to concede that the view is magnificent and worthy of admiration."

The figure that joined Jacqueline was a fundamental contrast to her, while still striking just as regal figure. Kimbra Littleton appeared every bit the queen that Jacqueline was, but while Jacqueline struck a youthful and innocent appearance, Kimbra struck that of a seasoned and older matriarch with the streaks of silver in her hair adding to her potent beauty.

"No more than usual. Normally, I would ask to dispense with the pleasantries, but I suppose it would not be very courteous of me to not indulge my host." Kimbra said wryly as she joined her more youthful looking counterpart. "Granted, given what lies ahead, I suppose a a moment of peace is not unwarranted."

Jacqueline smiled at her counterpart and despite their seeming disparity in age and experience one could tell they were equally rulers in power and ability. So they enjoyed the view for a few peaceful moments, before Jacqueline moved to offer her guest a seat and poured two glasses of wine and offered one to Kimbra.

"Should I be checking this for poison?" Kimbra said with a smile as she took the proffered glass of wine. "I would not want to repeat the mistakes of dear Claude Renier..."

"I would never do such a thing... to a friend. Asides being the height of bad manners, we both know it would not work on you to begin with. " Jacqueline laughed as she took a deep draw of the red liquid and then made a visible and audible gesture of swallowing it. "As for my dearly departed grandfather, we both knew he had it coming to him... would you not agree?"

"I will drink to that... I could never stand the old bastard anyway." Kimbra said with a tight grin as she also took a pull of the ruby red liquid.

"Now dear friend, to the matter at hand, what are we to do about your dear little girl?" Jacqueline said as she placed her glass down. "She has gotten herself tangled into quite a mess, hasn't she? On top of all that, somehow she has gotten herself Marked... and presents a problem for your... ascension... not to mention the absolute field day the vultures like Drakov and Hazlik in The Council will have with this."

"Do not speak to me of Drakov or Hazlik... I can already see their sanctimonious posturing and calls for "justice" and action now." Kimbra said with unrestrained disdain as she again took another draw of the heady liquid to quell her revulsion. "We know that once I endorse your request to arrest and try my child in your courts that will silence all the so called cries for "justice" in The Council. Even more so when I support, whatever punishment your courts deem appropriate."

"So it does not bother you at all... to sacrifice your child like this?" Jacqueline said with a small laugh as if tongue in cheek. "She is your flesh and blood after all."

"Kallev is Marked. She is of no use to me now. She has other siblings can filled her role... perhaps not as well as she could, but it will suffice." Kimbra said with smile of her own with a similar tone. "Why else do you think I bother to have so many children?"

"Indeed, then provide me your seal on this writ of binding and it shall be done. One of my High Inquisitors is very eager to get his hands on this writ and see this done." Jacqueline said as she unrolled a scroll in front of Kimbra. "I trust that you shall remember this favor when I need your support in The Council."

"Of course, my friend... just as me and my... "successor"... can count on yours."

Both queens laughed as they toasted their wine and drank again.


In the Hall of the Rat Queen

The beleaguered party was bound and placed in chains as the caravan of inquisitors accompanied their prisoners to their end destination. The caravan made the journey at speed and the experienced inquisitors made the stops at villages along the route and securing with their magical gifts. For their part, the party was treated humanely and well by the inquisitors, as they healed and gave food and attended to the needs of their prisoners. The only thing that the inquisitors forbade the party to interact with one another for the course of the trip, keeping them isolated from each other to deter any collaboration to escape. Perhaps fortune was with them or perhaps the congregation of inquisitors deterred any horrors that lurked in the shadows. Whatever the reason, the caravan found themselves relatively unharassed throughout the course of their travels and leaving time for contemplation of their present conundrum and their future fate.

The group then entered the gates of the city there was as sense of nostalgia for the original members as they saw the outer portions of the town where they began their fateful journey. The others saw an orderly town, not unlike Hofstra and the other towns in this region, with throngs of curious onlookers crowding around the caravans. Even if the formation of inquisitors was not enough of a give away, rumors had been circulating for days in the town that the Butchers of Hofstra had been captured and they were on the way to the town to face judgment. So the curious throngs turned into a near mob as the notoriety of the group drew out even the most recluse. Children peered warily into the passing caravan trying to catch a glimpse of the "monsters" that they had heard about that had razed an entire township. Still, the inquisitors under the direction of Count Luris, sternly and professionally, kept the mobs at respectable distance. No one dared to violate the vanguard of inquisitors, a testament to the respect, power, and authority they wielded. Still the noise and the clamor of the crowd was deafening as they all came shouting to see the spectacle of the transfer or to decry in anger for justice for the murdered loved ones in Hofstra. The group then passed through the outer rings as they headed into the more central districts of the nobility that ran around the castle of the Queen. The crowd here were more restrained but no less curious than their mundane ken as they all came to observe the caravan until they arrived at the castle. Here the prisoners were lead to special tower where they were imprisoned separately in their own cell. The cells were arranged in a circle in the middle level of the tower. It was clean... for a dungeon and it seemed that care had been taken. The tower's keepers seem to have something of a compulsive disorder, even though it was meant to be a place for criminals. As the group became accommodated to their new surroundings, Luris inspected and made sure that the proper security measures, to include magical ones, were in place to prevent entry into and out of the tower.

Luris then departed after giving some final instructions to the inquisitors charged with the guard force, leaving the group to themselves in their cells as they awaited their day at court and trial to face judgment by the Queen of Dementileau.



The Starting CreditsTHE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE FORSAKEN PLANES Starring:
  • Digorig as Valtyra (Val) Shunso, Outworlder Aasimar Cleric of Torag
  • dbaque as Doctor Aurelius Alymer, Outworlder Elven Alchemist and devotee of science and reason accompanied (formerly) by his Homunculus Companion, Yana
  • GeoAvanti as Alexis Lightbringer, Outworlder Shifter Barbarian and former gladiator from the World of Eberron.
  • kaylara as Kallev Littleton, Homeworlder Aasimar Dragon-touched Witch and Magical Heiress of Luminous.
  • WhiteStag as Jonathan Rawncer, Homeworlder Aasimar Dragon-touched Bloodrager with a heart and dragon skin of gold.
  • PopCultureBard as Ephram Du'Chaine, Outworlder Knight-Errant with a heart of bronze...'ish... astride his faithful steed, Euripides!

OODM For those have returned again to brave the Mists of the Forsaken Plane, welcome! As a reminder, all of your characters should have leveled up two levels for this iteration to Level 7, so please make all of your selections and summarize your updates in your private character threads or as applicable requests for mechanical accommodations to your character concept. Also once you have calculated your new HP totals and stats, place them into your OOC boxes and I will update the Battle Tracking Table. Consider all of your "normal" ailments and injuries cured, to include negative levels. Also make sure that you put a list together of WBL 7 magical gear and items that you want and put them into your private threads. Once approved, these items will be a part of the first "treasure" drop post later on in the chapter.

 



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DM:The Forsaken Plane: The Plane of Elder Evils
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Last edited by Xian; 03-10-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:53 AM
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Aurelius Broken & BereftWhatever the inquisitors' precautions they took with their supposedly dangerous prisoners, they were wholly unnecessary with the doctor. Tears & sobs utterly spent long ago, the once distinguished Dr. Alymer moved like a ghost of man. Not a word passed his lips to anyone. Listless and unresponsive, he dragged whither his captors lead, no thought spared for escape ... or much of anything else. The journey passes like a blur, scarce notice given from the eerie quiet of the woods to the ruckus of the city. Looking at him, it seemed nothing short of a sudden stroll through the nine hells would garner a reaction.

Finally arriving at the tower, Aurelius listlessly traipses into the cell they open. Wordlessly, the man slumps against the wall, a wall like any other in a room like any other, for all he cared. His haggard eyes stare unseeing into the distance, searching for what no longer lies before him. Stripped of the tools of his trade, the man of science could not even drown himself in busy work or semblance of research. No ... they already took everything of import from him ... what mattered some books or test tubes at this point? So instead, Dr. Alymer just stared ... and waited ... and mourned in heartrending silence, as one only already dead inside could do.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:07 PM
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Strange Turns
Alexis is, in his very own special and unique way, perhaps the last person anyone would expect to willingly be arrested by anyone. He obviously would have very much enjoyed the chance to go down swinging against the small army of law enforcers, and it isn't a delusional fantasy to think that he could have definitively taken down a few of them with him. He very much would have enjoyed that.

But Alexis is not being Alexis, and this is confusing to some, a blessing to others, and so far undecided to Alexis himself. When prompted for his small assortment of weaponry, Alexis laughs heartily, and passes them along with the blithe remark "If Inquisitor-men feel better for this, yes-yes." Perhaps they had yet to witness Alexis in his true glory-- he did not exactly need a manufactured weapon to be an engine of woe and destruction. But if they thought that taking his weapons away kept them safer, then Alexis would not disabuse them of this notion unless he needed to.

Alexis quirks an eyebrow when he is shackled. He affixes his immediate jailer with a look that very clearly says: These things won't stop me if I decide to eat you. But if they make you feel better, then I'll bear with it. Just to make you feel better. Alexis has very expressive eyebrows.

Alexis also struggled with the simple fact that most of these people were treating him better than many of the locals had been. The notion did not amuse Alexis, but he laughed at it anyway in order to hide his discomfort at it.

Alexis pondered the fates of those with him. He pitied them, mostly. Kallev-Pretty seemed convinced that death would solve her problems. Alexis has already seen multiple examples of how that simply doesn't work. Sad-Doctor was exactly that, from what Alexis saw. Alexis warned him, but Alexis is not the kind of person to enjoy "I told you so"s. Alexis is reminded of Friend-Dennis and tries very hard to not think of either men as a result.

Mad-Val, Rawrncer-Dragon? Alexis has not had a chance to see them. Well, he has seen them, yes, but Alexis is not good with his eyes, so he thinks they are probably doing at least as well as Alexis is. They seem strong and tough, even if Mad-Val hasn't yet started screaming at a god, Alexis would not be surprised if that is her catharsis for this trip. He doesn't know Rawrncer-Dragon well enough to know, but the big man seems the emotional sort, and that is meant as a compliment. Too many men try to be big, silent, and impassive, and boring. Alexis thinks he might like Rawrncer-Dragon when he thinks in this way, and he hopes that the trip is not being too hard on the big man.

For his part, Alexis could call these arrangements luxury. He won't bother to explain why, as no one has any need or chance to ask him about the matter. So Alexis plots. He generally gets confused or distracted after the first step of his latest and greatest "Master Plan", and so his plotting generally devolves into inquiring with the nearest guard if he can have some bacon.

Yet, for all his failures of intellect, it is Alexis' subconscious that goes to work during the long trip, pondering, considering, and piecing together many of the elements that had led them to this point, and how they fit into the greater whole. Alexis hasn't really thought about the strange, shadowy figure that first led him astray-- and the rest into the Wolven ambush. He doesn't even really know exactly how the fire started. And there is something troublesome about that Knight. Well, troublesome only in that it is going to be troublesome for Alexis to rip the Knight's head from it's shoulders. It didn't have much of a neck, so Alexis isn't sure if the helmet is even attached to anything. It might be empty, which would be woefully unsatisfying compared to retrieving the Knight's heart via its headless neck.

The journey continues on.


A Not-So-Final Destination
Oh, a cell. Oh, enough room to stretch in! Excellent! Alexis takes full use of the slightly-larger-than-average space afforded to a high-capacity cell, stretching and groaning in easy contentment. He is either entirely unconcerned about the events to come, or he simply hasn't bothered to think all that much about them.

At least he has something to do, though. The hopeless, forlorn look on sad-elf's face is enough to make Alexis feel bad. So Alexis decides to intervene. Sad-Elf obviously does not want to hear I told you so's. And Alexis is not very good with knowing what tack to take. He usually just does his own thing and it works one way or another. Much easier that, than trying to do things like read people. Alexis does not know many people with much word-ink on them for that to apply to.

He trundles over to the sad-elf, claiming a spot on the floor so that he has some chance of being caught in the elf's field of vision. After a brief moment to think about the matter he needs to think about, Alexis decides that his brain is dumb and he should speak from his heart. "Alexis is disappointed in Sad-Elf. Sad-Elf surrenders quick-fast. Sad-Elf acts like Sad-Elf knows all-things. Sad-Elf does not know this place. Alexis is not even from this place. Alexis-home is very different. Much different. Machines of elementals. Golems with life. Giants of madness. Different places hold different smarts to know, Sad-Elf. Alexis says Sad-Elf needs more here-smarts." Alexis pauses, considers something personal. Promptly pushes back into the deep recesses of his memory. Perhaps the doctor needs a bit of a more . . . violent push. "Surrender is final-death. Yana-Fighter deserves more than Sad-Elf surrender, yes-yes?"


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Old 03-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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Aurelius Broken & BereftThe despondent doctor barely stirs in acknowledgement to the gruff shifter. His eyes spark with a glint of life at mention of Alexis' world, but it is a candle quickly snuffed. Silence stretches after the warrior says his piece. After nothing appears forthcoming, a cracked voice breaks the stillness. "I know myself and what I can do." His neck cranes to level a languid stare on the shifter. "Say you wanted to chew some of that bacon you fancy. No matter how you bite, chomp, or grind, if the last of the bacon is burned away, there is nothing you can do. If there is nowhere else to find bacon, there is nothing you can do ... not in any world."

The elf's head slumps back down after his queer analogy for Alexis' benefit. "I know what I can do. They destroyed her; there is nothing left. I can't restore her from nothing. Who could do that?" His raspy throat chokes on weary sobs. "No one helped me with her back home. No one is going to help me here." He removes his glasses and sets a gloved hand over eyes that leak with a sprung new well. "My Yana did deserve better. She deserved better than failure to find a way to spare her, failure to stitch her back together, or failure to keep her body unharmed." Tears leak through his glove to drip onto the floor in a somber rhythm. "Georgiana and Yana deserved better than failure."
 
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:14 PM
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All Out of Bacon?
Alexis considers what has been said. Maybe. It's hard to tell with him. The same look he has when he is pondering an important question or problem is very similar to when he is experiencing indigestion. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other. While the prisoners have been fed reasonably well on their journey, there is no telling if their diet has agreed with the half-Shifter, half-garbage-disposal.

Alexis does agree with Sad-Elf. Sort of. Alexis agrees with the example he was just presented, but he doesn't agree with the example itself.

"Do not compare bacon-food to people-loves. Bacon-food is grand-glory, yes, but bacon-food always is, because pig-beasts are bacon-food. People-loves are much different, yes, Alexis knows this. Alexis is not child-dumb, and Alexis will awe-hit you with his sharp-mind if low-value him, yes." Alexis' tone is somewhere between chiding and joking, like he can't decide whether to be distracted by hearing the word 'bacon' so much, or if he thinks he might actually have a point worth pursuing.

He thinks he has a point. He also doesn't know much about the Sad-Elf and Dead-Yana, so Alexis has very few avenues to pursue. The Sad-Elf has always liked . . . 'logic', though, so maybe Alexis should try that, yes. For once in his life.

"Alexis knows much about body-death. Alexis kills much. Loses much. Sad-Elf lost Yana-Lost's body to the fire-men, yes? Sad-Elf forgets because he is Sad-Elf. Yana-Lost's body was empty when Sad-Elf lost it. Sad-Elf lost Yana-Lost's body, but Sad-Elf never found where Yana-Soul went, yes?"

Alexis isn't eager to remind the Doctor about the deal made in the forest, but Alexis can't help but think that there is an important clue there for the Sad-Elf to find. Maybe it will be nothing. Maybe it will be the spark the doctor needs. Maybe it will simply push him deeper into his spiral of loss and depression. Maybe Alexis isn't Alexis, and he won't bring it up.

"The forest, yes? If Yana-Lost is there, and Sad-Elf is here, then Sad-Elf is the only one who has a chance to find Yana-Lost and make her not-lost, yes? Alexis will help, if Sad-Elf asks nicely. Alexis is nice that way. So are Alexis-friends. But Alexis is not mind-speaker. Alexis word-speaks. Alexis only act-does." Alexis' eyes narrow. The next words are lower, growled out in a decidedly un-Alexis-like way. "The only failure is in doing nothing. What are you doing now?" As quickly as the moment happened, it is undone, and Alexis is simply Alexis again, wide-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ever-eager for a head-butting competition.

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Last edited by GeoAvanti; 03-06-2019 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:17 PM
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Aurelius Bereft But BemusedSome sound between a hoarse grunt and a snort sounds from the distinguished man of science. "You have not spoken of any loves except bacon and battle. Had I known of, say, a darling dear to you, I would have posited her instead." His hand makes a languid but dismissive motion. "You get the idea anyway."

Then, the brute goes on to make a good point ... Granted, not one that Aurelius had not already considered and dissected a dozen times over. The greenest student of arcana and natural philosophy know that only self-moving bodies as simple as animals could function without an animating spirit, whether a mortal soul or some conjured immortal. Really, elementary. ... Still, mayhap, there is something more than bestial about the warrior. Sighing, Aurelius barely had the chance to study much about Yana's spirit, what with fleeing home and trying to acclimate to this new realm.

He takes off his spectacles and rubs a cloth over them thoughtfully. Replacing them on the bridge of his nose, he studiously answers, "My art is healing bodies. Spirits are not within my ken, much less finding or restoring one. ... Worse, when I fashioned Yana, the animating tethers of any spirit to her body were a hybrid of positive and astral energies. This made her immune to negative energy poisoning on the tethers, but that likewise keeps conventional magics to reconstitute the tethers ineffective as ..." The scholar trails off, realizing that he is drifting off into a lecture. Yana usually kept from going to far afield. 'Yana,' he sags. Clearing his throat, "The point is that neither death nor resurrection magic work on her. Nothing short of miracles or wishes would bring her back."

Then again, even if he had no hope of restoring her to life, what if her spirit was trapped? Logically (& to his frustration), he cannot exclude that possibility. It is certainly one explanation for his failed revival procedure. However, how does he even go about testing that hypothesis? In the midst of a steadily increasing frown of concentration, Dr. Alymer hears a most unexpected suggestion. He breaks out into a laugh, a long, cathartic, mirthful laugh. The picture of himself and the brute skulking through those damnable woods to track down a ghost, it is just too much. It is a bit before he can form words again. "Oh gods, how droll ... my word, that is ... that is a most generous sentiment, my ... my prickly friend." Catching his breath, he makes a sweeping gesture to the prison around them. "But I don't think you or any of us are in a position to offer anything of the sort. And nothing of this trial bodes all that well for anyone." He shrugs, "But who knows? If we survive this, I might just take you up on that, Alexis."

Like a calm center amid the whirling mental state of the good doctor, he frowns sternly, "But do not tender me empty platitudes. Doing something often leads to failure as certainly as nothing. Even if you attempt to save them, some people live; some die. Lives don't get fixed by just standing up and trying again." The stern look wanes. Some curiosity prickled at the shift in tone in his companion. He holds off on asking in favor of further observation. Instead, he fixes his spectacles and queries, "What is your native tongue?"
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:52 PM
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The right question?
Alexis listens to Aurelius with rapt attention. He doesn't understand most of the larger words, but he is pretty sure that he is following along for the important parts. The explanation of Yana's original reanimation? Right over his head. The comment about Alexis' apparent lack of genuine loves? Right in the feels.

Alexis waits for the Doctor-- now more animated than he has been since the events of the forest-- to finish. When the good doctor finally finishes, Alexis takes a long few seconds to consider his responses.

"Alexis has few Alexis-friends and no Alexis-loves, yes. Alexis murder-killed them, yes." When he finally decides to answer, his words comes out pleasant and chipper, as though he is commenting upon a lovely summer day; the stark contrast to the content of his words is lost upon Alexis. If anything, he seems almost . . . proud of the statement.

"Alexis also owns much experience with standing and trying again. Alexis would be much-dead if Alexis did not always stand after hit-fall. Hit-fall. Stand. Hit back. Repeat until kill-win. Alexis does not know how to word-spell, but Alexis expects that standing up and speak-using other word-spells may work, yes." It was abundantly clear that Aurelius' concerns over the details of Alexis' argument went so far over the Shifter's head that it would be impossible for even a giant to reach up and catch them.

Alexis shrugs whimsically at the notion of being imprisoned. "Plan not to be. Then, when Sad-Elf has chance to not be, Sad-Elf is good-chance to not be, yes." Once again, Alexis felt a profound beauty in the childish simplicity of his plans, and he sounded quite proud of himself.

"Alexis-tongue?" Alexis looks confused for a moment, shrugs, and sticks out his tongue. "Thith ith Alexith natith tongue."
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:48 PM
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Aurelius Bereft But BemusedOk, that he can't just look over. Quirking a curious brow, the elf shifts into a more comfortable position. "What is the story of you killing your former loves?" This could prove prolonged, either the story or the effort to coax out a story.

While the course of the conversation may supply some stiff medicine for the doctor's crushing despair, the remainder of the discussion is quickly proving as much (if not more) a potential source of unbounded stress. Rubbing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, Dr. Alymer corrects, "To give you an idea of the power of the spells & magics required, it would be comparable to you hitting a mountain and sending it flying."

Fixing his spectacles, he leaves uncommented the encouragement for plans. Plans he has in abundance, but that has not averted his failures any thus far. 'The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry.' The misunderstanding about his question is easier to address. "No, no, tongue is also a name for language. I'm asking what language did you grow up speaking or speak best."
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:47 PM
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Despite all the hardships…

Despite all of the wounds inflicted, all of the shame, and all of the loathsome self torment…
Jonathan Rawncer can not help but… let out the smallest little sigh, and the quietest little chuckle.

Slumped over with head in hands, back against the wall, Jonathan sits quietly in his dark and cold cell -- lost in thoughts of woe and sorrow, defeatism and remorse … until his ears begin to stir curiously with the sounds of rekindled friendships, and of renewed spirits in spite of bleak and troubled futures...

The tender little discourse between the wily Shifter and poor Dr. Alymer causes him to release a reluctant giggle of forfeit and surrender; a giving-in to these immediate conditions. Contrary to prior knowledge, Alexis seems to have a reserve of some tried-and-true wisdom locked deeply within the recesses of his mind. He speaks of the certain failure that will always accompany ultimate resignation-- some sound advice indeed. Applicable to the confines of this here imprisonment even. --Rawncer laughs!

Alexis-- you old dog!

Jonathan rises to his feet now and grips the bars of his cell with a renewed sense of comical optimism, Alexis is right my dear doctor… We have two choices: Accept our coming fate of certain death and defeat as we await the decrees of the Queen…(he subtly grinds his teeth together with the word “Queen”), or keep vigilant with our curious eyes peeled for some unforeseen opportunities of… divergence.

Yana would not agree to her beloved creator, resigning the rest of his life to toil in a dark and uneventful prison cell… Would she?

 
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:55 PM
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Kallev listened to the bickering for awhile letting her companions vent, which was long over due. Afterwards, with a saddened look she places a hand on the good doctors shoulder in an attempt to comfort his thoughts. I am sorry everyone for causing these issues. I was naive and will do my best to ensure you are all spared. As far as your lost companion, my homeland allows magic and may be ways to bring her back. But the one loss was due to dealing with the powers, that will be much harder, just like the mark I now have due to falling to the powers. You want your Yana back as much as I want to do right and rid myself of this scar. Together we can... she commented and somehow magically hugged the doctor with compassion.

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Old 03-10-2019, 06:23 PM
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Ephram
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Ephram spends the better part of the day asleep, exhausted by the struggles of the previous days. He dreams deeply, not of Anna as is so often the case nor of Hadlin and his lessons. He dreams of his family, uncomfortable dreams drawn from uncomfortable feelings. Having spent the better part of his recent life trying to forget his childhood, it is surprising how clearly he can picture their faces. In the dreams they are smiling, laughing. Things they so rarely did in life. The clank of chains stirs him from this rest and he blinks the last vestiges of the sleeping world away, the stone of the ceiling above him coming into sharper focus.

"Urgh." It isn't a word exactly, just a muttered sound to accompany the thick and bitter dryness in his mouth. Had it been so long since he'd had anything to drink? How long had he been asleep? Rolling onto his side, he sucks in a slow breath and immediately regrets it. The stink of mildew and unwashed flesh was familiar, and he is reminded instantly of why his dreams went the direction they had. Prison. Not unknown to him by any means, but a place he'd hoped never to see again. There are voices, carried by the air and echoed by the stone of the cells, and they give him comfort in their familiarity. Pushing himself up with an elbow, he pulls his legs up against his chest and holds them tight for several seconds.

"Alexis always seems to have more wisdom than he deserves." Extending his legs, he lets the muscles protest before putting his back against the wall and easing himself to his feet. "And if you can determine the origin of his dialect I'll buy you a round the next time we're drinking." Pushing off from the wall, he stalks across the small cell and hooks his arms through the bars, leaning against the door. He was tired: physically, mentally, emotionally. It doesn't feel so long ago that he'd just met this group and yet they had endured so much in that time. There was no turning away from fate, gods and queens be damned.

"Nobody here is a stranger to poor decisions, Kal. We have been through too much to let blame fall so easily." Kal and Val and Al and...well, the rhyme scheme ends there but they were all equally friends. If he was going to feel sorry for anyone, it would have to be the new faces among them. Strangers once, but there are no strangers in a jail cell. That was his father's wisdom and there was merit to it. They'd all have to work together to get out of this.

"I'm with the new guy. I've seen enough nobility to know exactly how little they can be trusted to hold to a deal." He curls his fingers around the bars and gives the door a shake. Of course it isn't going to budge, that would defeat its entire purpose, but you always test the bars when you wake up in jail. It's tradition. "We should probably discuss who gets dibs on punching Duke Luris. We could draw lots...or maybe all just punch him at the same time."
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:47 AM
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Preparation of the Charges and CounselThe sentinels above them can see and hear them from their elevated positions, but they make no moves to interrupt or disrupt the groups conversation. Their guards simply stand in watch with their weapons at the ready.

Quote:
"We should probably discuss who gets dibs on punching Duke Luris. We could draw lots...or maybe all just punch him at the same time."
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No sooner had Ephram spoken those words, a sound could be heard as the "door" to this level in the floor at the center of the room unlocked and swung upwards. It appears that when you speak of the devil, he really does appear as a familiar and stern faced inquisitor stepped up through the opening flanked by two other inquisitors, both the group recognizes as among those that had accompanied them on their caravan to this prison.

"As the appointed High Inquisitor for this case, I am here to read to each of you the charges levied against for which you will stand Trial in her Majesty's Royal Court." Count Judas Luris said in his stern, even toned, and emotionless voice. "After I have read the crimes for which you each of you has been charged, then you will be offered the opportunity for legal counsel and for that barrister to represent you in court for the trial. You do not have to answer or plead to these charges or even speak at this time, but if you do whatever you say or do can be held against you in court during your trial, so I advise you to refrain from doing so until you have had the opportunity to consult your designated legal counsel."

"Lady Kallev Littleton." Count Luris begins to announce the charges with his voice not wavering in the least as he transitions from cell to cell in a clockwise direction and reads the charges. "You are charged with the following crimes. Unsanctioned use of magic that resulted in the death of citizens and destruction of private and public property in Hofstra. Attempted first degree murder and assault of a High Inquisitor of Dementileau. Evading lawful arrest and fleeing capture after the commission of a capital crime. Eight hundred and sixty seven counts of first degree murder... at the last count... Conspiracy with a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Alexis. You are charged with the following crimes. Accessory to first degree murder. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Evading lawful arrest and fleeing capture. Conspiracy with a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Ephram Du'Chaine. You are charged with the following crimes. Accessory to first degree murder. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Evading lawful arrest and fleeing capture. Conspiracy with a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Raven. Accessory to first degree murder. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Evading lawful arrest and fleeing capture. Conspiracy with a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Jonathan Rawncer. You are charged with the following crimes. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Conspiracy with parties sympathetic to a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Doctor Aurelius Aylmer. You are charged with the following crimes. Necromancy and/or necromantic practices. Desecration of human remains. Animation of human remains. Creation of a golem. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Conspiracy with parties sympathetic to a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

"Valtyra Shunso. You are charged with the following crimes. Accessory to first degree murder. Accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Evading lawful arrest and fleeing capture. Conspiracy with a declared hostile force to the kingdom of Dementileau."

There is a deep maniacal laughter the issues forth from Val's cell as Luris finishes reading her charges to her.

"I AM OUT OF ORDER? YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER... AND yOU and YOu! We ARe aLL oUt oF ORdEr!" Val laughs as she collides at full speed against the bars and pressing her face against the bars as if she means to slip through them. Her eyes bulge wide open and her face pulls into a leering and unnatural grin as she attempt to press it through the bars with all of her considerable strength. "HeRe's Vallie! ToRaG sAys LuRIs ruBs the bLooD oN tHE sKiN oR iT gETs tHe HoSE AgAin! THE bLooD ON thE SKiN, LuRis!! On tHe SkIn!! aLL WOrK anD nO PLaY makEs VAL a duLL gIrl! a DuLL GIrL, LuRIs!! DO yOu HeAr mE?! A dULL gIRL!!"

While the other two inquisitors flinch reflexively at the stark display of violence as Val continues to scream and press herself violently against the bars and her hands clawing to get a grip on Luris or one of them, Judas merely looks at Val's display and frowns. He quickly weaves a spell and then studies it as it take hold.

"She is not acting. This woman is genuinely not competent enough in this state to stand trial." Count Judas Luris declares calmly as he motions for the two inquisitors. "Sedate and restrain her then move her to the sanitarium for treatment until she is competent enough to stand trial."

The two inquisitors draw small darts and proceeds to throw at the crazed cleric. Whatever they were did not seem to effect Val until after the third or fourth volley of darts before the eyes rolled into the back of Val's head and she collapsed against the bars. Swiftly, the two inquisitors bound her and then motioned for guards to come and they move Val out and down the center door way.

"Now that that matter is taken care of, you are all afforded the opportunity to legal counsel. If you elect to have legal counsel, a barrister will be appointed to your case and will be sent to convene with you in two days time in preparation for your trial. He will also assist you in the gathering and calling of witnesses that you desire in your defense to most reasonable extent possible."

OODM Onward! (Still working on the table...)

 



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Old 03-12-2019, 04:48 PM
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"What is the story of you killing your former loves?" The question might take others aback. But Alexis is not others. Alexis is Alexis! He takes the comment with a masterful degree of calm-- chiefly because the truth of the matter doesn't particularly bother him all that much. "Many fight-stories, yes, but they are not answer-story, Alexis thinks, yes. Alexis answer is simple: Alexis killed Alexis-friends and Alexis-loves because Alexis friends and Alexis-loves needed to kill Alexis, yes." He holds off just long enough to bring up concern that this his answer will only raise more questions. Luckily, he opts to finish the explanation. "Alexis is . . . show-fighter, yes. Gladiator. Fight-kill for sport of others. Not fight? Die. Fight? Maybe live. Alexis does not hold back against Alexis-friends because even winner may die after poor-fight. Lose and die. Win and maybe live. Alexis is skilled at living, yes." There is no hint of concern or regret to his explanation. Alexis' past is just that, and while it certainly shaped him into the person he is now, it also seems to have had the blessing of never allowing him to truly control his own fate. This is probably why the prospect of being imprisoned and on trial fazes him so little. Assuming he truly understands what is going on, at least.

"Alexis is right, my dear doctor. We have two choices: Accept our coming fate of certain death and defeat as we await the decrees of the Queen . . . or keep vigilant with our curious eyes peeled for some unforeseen opportunities of . . . divergence." Alexis smiles. He knew he liked Rawrncer-Dragon for a reason. "Deals of the hidden-rooms are common in the games, Rawrncer-Dragon. This place is same-difference."

Alexis hears the doctor speaking again. He cranes his head as best he can against the metal bars. "To give you an idea of the power of the spells & magics required, it would be comparable to you hitting a mountain and sending it flying." He doesn't particularly note the tone of the doctor's analogy, and so he considers the example honestly. "Then Alexis will use water and shovel to move mountain, not fists, yes." His answer is painfully blunt. Perhaps it is his nature, but every answer the Shifter offers seems to reek of stubborn determination. Giving up or acknowledging a task as impossible does not seem to resonate with Alexis, and so are not answers he is willing to ever acknowledge.

"No, no, tongue is also a name for language. I'm asking what language did you grow up speaking or speak best." Alexis sucks his extended tongue back into his mouth and prepares to provide an answer for the inquisitive doctor when he hears Ephram-Knight chime in. "And if you can determine the origin of his dialect I'll buy you a round the next time we're drinking." Alexis shuts his mouth and grins mischievously. "Alexis like-approves this bet. Alexis will also reward correct-answer with a value-thing, yes."

Alexis listens to Kallev-Pretty's woes. He stands impassive and inscrutable as his mind considers her role in and stance on these affairs. Eventually, the smoke begins pouring from his ears, and his expression relents to one of bemused ignorance. He pointedly ignores looking at the claws on his hands during his introspection. "Slave-body is not same as mind-slave. When free-mind, little else matters. Free-live, free-die, even in slave-chains. Death by choice is more free than life in chain, Alexis thinks. Kallev-Pretty need prefer one."

"We should probably discuss who gets dibs on punching Duke Luris. We could draw lots . . . or maybe all just punch him at the same time." Alexis snorts a giggle at Emphram-Knight's comment, but he is unable to provide his own insight into the matter as the High Inquisitor makes his less-than-grand entrance. Alexis yawns boredly.

So. Much. Talking. Alexis doesn't even know what half the words mean, nevermind what the sentences mean when those strange words are strung together. He stares blankly at the inquisitor, wishing that the man was capable of speaking with smaller words.

Val's outrage, at least, caught Alexis by surprise. Somewhat. He did refer to her as Val-Mad for a reason, so when she finally fractured completely, it wasn't as surprising as it could have been. At least here he didn't need to worry about her hurting someone else or herself. No matter else what was wrong with these humans, they did seem to put a great deal of emphasis on care of prisoners, ironically enough. Alexis suspected that the only danger she would be in would be of her own creation, so he watches her get drugged and dragged away. A wry smile briefly crests his features as he remembers himself in that position as a young pit-murderer.

"Now that that matter is taken care of, you are all afforded the opportunity to legal counsel. If you elect to have legal counsel, a barrister will be appointed to your case and will be sent to convene with you in two days time in preparation for your trial. He will also assist you in the gathering and calling of witnesses that you desire in your defense to most reasonable extent possible."

Alexis raises his hand, seeking the Inquisitor's attention. "Judas-Plant uses many big words. May Alexis have trial-by-combat and skip boring word-fight?"

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Old 03-13-2019, 03:30 PM
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Aurelius Bereft, Bemused, but mostly BushedHe asked for a story and got one. "I see. Regrettable that their several stories had to end thus." It actually explains a great deal. 'Skilled at living, indeed,' muses the doctor. He again wonders if the gladiator might allow a closer look over his unusual physiology, once he regains the tools of his trade. One of Alexis' answers draws a bemused smirk from Aurelius. "What? You wouldn't simply train hard enough to learn how to punch a mountain away?"

The other prison mates begin to weigh in with their encouragement. Fixing his drooping glasses, he sighs, "Mr. Rawncer, what my beloved Yana wanted and what lay within my power have proven vastly different things ever since she first opened her eyes." A pang of bittersweet nostalgia grips him at the memory of the smiling childlike face, beaming at him. Taking a steadying breath, "But I shall endeavor to be watchful all the same." Quirking a brow, "I am curious, though ..." '"When are you not?" Yana would have said cheekily.' "You speak of this queen as one with experience. For we uninitiated, what do you know of her?"

The confession from the rather suicidal lady, along with the touching magical press, brings a bit of color to his cheeks. Wiping his glasses as a nervous distraction, he stammers a little before saying, "Well, thank you, m'lady. All well and good, but in my medical opinion, I'd rather you stay clear of sharp implements for the time being. Doctor's orders," he closes dryly. He is not entirely convinced that the black bilous imbalance had suddenly corrected itself. The girl clearly needed to remain under further observation.

Eagerly, Aurelius is about to get an answer about the vexing accent ... however, then that horseman has to butt in. The good doctor wearily rolls his eyes. "None of us know if we shall ever collect on that bet, sir knight. But very well." Clearing his throat, Dr. Alymer use Comprehend Languages spell-like ability 70' min.concentrates and considers the gladiator's rough upbringing. He goes through his short list of the harsher tongues, switching to each in turn. "Is it Sylvan? ... How about Draconic? ... Mayhap, Goblin? ... Could it be Orcish?" The sound of later harsher, guttural languages in the elf's polished throat is a bit queer to hear.


Dr. Alymer was about to rebuke the fisticuffs suggestion in favor of a less base option ... 'But speak of the devil,' muses Aurelius. The reading of charges was repetitive and minimally informative. The charges on Kallev, however, suggest quite the grim story behind this. 'What with 867 deaths.' The listing of charges against him elicits some muttered scoff in elven along the lines of "nonsense."

The priestess' sudden turn is shocking and tragic all at once. Dr. Alymer thought that not all was well with her when they first met. 'Nor really with any of these folk,' he admits to himself. But he did not realize that her humors so wildly unbalanced. Admittedly, he was far more occupied with other patients at the time, but the feeling that he could have done something to prevent this is a familiar one in his profession. He makes a mental note to check on her if he gets the chance.

In contrast, Alexis supplies a fairly unsurprising response. Standing by the bars of his cell, Aurelius leans over and supplies with a touch of amusement, "Alexis, I believe that is the point of a legal counsel, to answer such questions of the applicability of trial-by-combat or other remedies."

Tall but lithe in front the inquisitor, the good doctor states, "I, for one, inquisitor, would like to take up on that offer for an appointed barrister." Folding his hands behind his waist, Dr. Alymer peers curiously from behind his spectacles and queries matter-of-factly, "Moreover, I presume it's the nature of charges to start vague. Still, can you elaborate any on the precise 'accessory after the fact' alleged or, more so, who this 'declared hostile force'?"
 
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:44 AM
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Preparation of the Charges and Counsel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexis
"Judas-Plant uses many big words. May Alexis have trial-by-combat and skip boring word-fight?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius
"Alexis, I believe that is the point of a legal counsel, to answer such questions of the applicability of trial-by-combat or other remedies."

"I, for one, inquisitor, would like to take up on that offer for an appointed barrister." Folding his hands behind his waist, Dr. Alymer peers curiously from behind his spectacles and queries matter-of-factly, "Moreover, I presume it's the nature of charges to start vague. Still, can you elaborate any on the precise 'accessory after the fact' alleged or, more so, who this 'declared hostile force'?"
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Judas regards first Alexis and then Aurelius after being posed the question from the prisoners. He seems to mull over something before answering.


"Conversation before consultation with legal counsel and outside of official convention of court is... irregular and ill-advised, but I supposed as long as you understand that what you say can be used against you in the court, I can provide some answers." Judas says his face stern and resolute. "There will be no trial by combat. The only proper way to determine the truth and proper justice will be by The Law and Process. Justice determined by law and reason and not to the tyranny of arms, the chaos of battle, or whims and passions of the mob. As I have promised you in the forest, Alexis, I will make sure that you will have your day in court and that you will be judged properly and fairly. To that end, I will see to it personally that you are afforded the best defense counsel in the city."

"As to the charges, they are the reference to the Articles of the Law for which you are being held to account and not meant to be a detailed description of your crime itself." Judas answers the latter half of the questions from Doctor Aurelius. "While I could explain the particular details of the crimes, by Process since you have asked for legal counsel, that duty now falls upon them to explain the particulars and nuances of each charge. As to the declared hostile force, they would be the Black Wolves."

"If you have no further questions, I will bid you farewell and will make sure that your appointed legal counsel comes as swiftly as possible."

OODM Both Jonathan and Aurelius will know of the Back Wolves by reputation as militant group of Generalized term for monstrous non-human or humanoidsCaliban that have been waging a guerrilla-style war with Dementileau and the neighboring kingdoms. The rest of the party is familiar with the Black Wolves from their two major encounters with them. They have a reputation for their brutal tactics and the prolonged nature of the current conflict which has lasted for more than a decade.

Updated the table with those who have updated their stat blocks IC - once you have finished with your updates, please update your stat block. This will indicate to me that you have finalized everything. Thanks!

Onward!

 



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