A leaning monument to the district’s pain,
this four-story courthouse is a crumbling
marvel of cracked plaster and chipped
marble. Once a testament to justice wrought
in shining white stone, the courthouse is
now a crushed dream, its wretched exterior
corrupted by a bloated evil festering within.
Rainwater from a recent downpour mixed
with mulch oozes from ruptures in the
rock like pus bubbling from a wound. The
structure of the eastern wing of the upper
floor buckled long ago, and now the bell tower
tilts perilously, appearing as though it might
careen to the ground below at any moment.
Two massive pillars frame the heavy oak
doors of the court. The pillars’ surfaces run
with cracks and fissures like so many burst
veins. The doors sag in their archway like the
drooping eyes of a madman. The surrounding
structures long ago fell in upon themselves
in supplication to the creaking courthouse.
A salt wind blows up the precipice and
rakes across the tangled weeds of Beldrin’s
Bluff. The whole building groans as the wind
blows, its tortured lamentation fading to a
rasping hiss as the wind ebbs. This croaking
murmur never completely fades away. The sun
sets in the west, the last slivers of twilight
painting the courthouse blood red as darkness
Some players will receive a PM of a vision
Slowly, the vision fades away as you return to
consciousness, but the sight that greets you
is almost as disturbing. The dying gray light
of sunset peeks through slits in the boarded
windows, barely illuminating a yawning
courtroom replete with pews and a towering
bench covered in cobwebs. A shadowed mural
on the domed ceiling above depicts Iomedae
in her shining plate mail of gilded sunlight,
locked in mortal combat with Norgorber,
Calistria, and Asmodeus, holding the trifecta
of evil at bay with her shining sword. You
find yourself in a jurors’ box, and you are
not alone. In the other chairs, figures stir in
the darkness, each emerging from troubling
dreams into a new nightmare.
Jury box is next to southern wall
Mumbling; can i pay cod? as she slowly comes to her feet, Somana looks like a pile of rags that some one discarded. Covering her is a hooded brown cloak, with a rainbow hue of brightly colored patches. The once fine blue blouse she wears is stained and ripped at the seems. Her breeches are mud caked and worn to the point that the patches need patches. The only reasonable article of clothing she has on is a pair of knee high green leather boots. UHG My Head!! Cayden help me but those where some strong drinks. Peaking out from under her hood and matted brown hair, Somana tries to figure out where she is
WHO IN THE ABYSS ARE YOU PEOPLE?
The others you see are;
a large half-orc with a broad,
strong face and tousled mass of wiry dark hair.
His frame is imposing but his shoulders hang
gnome who covers his yellow-tinged skin
(one of many symptoms of his alcoholdamaged
liver) with poor-quality white
makeup that cakes unseemly on his brow
and cheeks. His motley is stretched tight
over his hanging paunch. Several of his
teeth are broken from close encounters
with unamused patrons’ fists.
a very beautiful woman who wears her
weight well. She favors bright red lipstick
and an abundance of rouge to add to her
appeal. She still has a sly smile and a
sultry wink. She wears
a figure-hugging gown of red silk that
accentuates her considerable curves.
A old human gentleman with rosy-cheeks,
dressed in threadbare finery with a broad
handlebar mustache and a frayed top hat.
a tall, sturdy human man in his
fiftieth winter, with the snow of age gracing
his hair. His face is chiseled as if out of
marble, and his narrowed eyes stare down
an impressive nose with a superior air.
A female halfling with pouty lips, auburn hair
she wears in a topknot, her sculpted
physique draws men’s desire even as
her crystal blue eyes and air of
innocence makes them want to
male Drawf of 452 years
|Tran Duc Lao|
"Stop!" Tran Duc Lao screams in Tian as he wakes up with a start. Wide eyed he takes in his surroundings. I guess it was just a dream, he thinks. But this place is so odd, nothing like home. Maybe this is a dream as well. No... That can't be. My armor wouldn't pinch like this in a dream. He slowly rises taking the time to stretch his muscles, calm his breathing, and regain his composure.
Then Lao hears a woman shouting in Common. Looking in her direction, he revises his assessment, not a woman, a girl. Bowing to the girl, he introduces himself, "My name is Tran Duc Lao."
Linara's eyes shoot open, fully dilated and filled with horror. They dart around the room, her vision blurred.
What is this place?! That man he...
She tries to scream, but her body is unresponsive. Her legs, her arms, even her head won't move at all. A loud rumble echoes about in her ears. She sits in the chair, terrified and unmoving.
Gasping herself awake, Pharysene clutches at her throat as gusts of angry winds send her hair and scarves flying. As the winds die away for the moment, she breathes in deeply, as if she had been deprived of air.
She looks around, wandering what is going on.
This vision! I NEVER remember my visions! What has changed?
And where exactly am I? Who are these people?
Keep your eyes closed. They might not be talking about you. What's going on? How many are there? 5,10? More? Too many. Hot breath on my cheek. Stink of tobacco. Seems to be passing you by. The last week is a blur. Any new enemies? Lots of old ones left alive. Should have been harder. Old enemies left alive. A habit I'll have to break.
|Tran Duc Lao|
"No! that's not me! I didn't kill-" Avaleridis' eyes fly open and she flails her giant frame around. The chair groans under her weight as she thrashes about, her arms knocking into the nearest person.
Suddenly, she realizes it was just a dream, but in the next instant panic sets in again when she doesn't recognize her surroundings. She leaps to her feet, towing over everyone. "Who are you people?!" she shouts in Skald. Switching to Common, she continues yelling, "What on Torag's beard did you do to me! I will smash you to bits!" She clenches her large fists, and she looks ready to pummel someone.
PM back to GM
Llaris goes toppling to the ground from the impact of the massive arms of the Ulfen woman. Feigning that she has just been awoken, she groans and looks up at Ava. "Please don't smash ME to bits. I'm not the one you are looking for."
She stands up and brushes the grime from her clothes as best as possible. She looks cautiously around at all the others.
"I don't recognize any of you," she says flatly.
|Tran Duc Lao|
Avalerdis takes a deep breath as Llaris' words penetrate her brain. The fists unclench. She looks around the room and her jaw drops slowly. "This was in my nightmare. But.... It was much cleaner and filled with people. I was on trial." She looks around the room. "This place looks like it hasn't been used in years."
|Tran Duc Lao|
"Seems like some of us know more than others, but everyone knows more than me. This is not a situation I like or am accustomed to. " (turning to Killian) "Good sir, you say you've been here before. What is this place? And more importantly, how did we get here?"
Wait. Wait. wait. Glancing over at the the horrible little Gnome dressed as a clown. WHERE are we? Turning to point at the Large ulfan woman. What in the name of all the divines is a giantess assaulting people FOR? Slowly turning back to the young Tian. Somana thinks to herself, Great, Fools to the left of me, Jokers to the right, hear I am stuck in the middle with Tran Duc Lao. Somana returns the man's bow. Nice to meet you Tran Duc Lao, my names Somana.
|Tran Duc Lao|
Quick edit cause I was ninjad by Somana, and don't want to be rude.
Bowing to Sir Rekkart, Lao says, "Ten years ago I was a child in my father's house back in Quain. That was before Master Li came to our village with Meilin. I don't know how I could have dreamed of these things. There are mysteries here."
The priest looks around and notices Somana has returned his introdction. He smiles at the girl and says, "Fortunately, Master Li taught me the ways of Lord Qi Zhong. Perhaps I can learn something of these mysteries." Lao starts chanting in Tian "Great Qi Zhong, Lord of Knowledge, Master of Sages. Bring light to my eyes so I can see what lies in shadow."
Llaris shakes her head. "I forget myself. Just because we are surrounded by suspicious looking people and we've apparently been magically kidnapped and plunged into the middle of some mysterious trial aftermath is no reason to forget my manners. I am called Llaris Talyn."
She bows with a flourish and glances around the room. Settling her stunning gaze on Malgrim, she asks "Pray tell, how are you known, and who was this fuc...uh...person you were looking for? You seem to be here for a purpose, a bit less confused than the rest of us. Perhaps you have some insight to our situation?"
Diplomacy 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
The Ulfen woman laughs at Llaris' almost-curse. "Ha! I like you! I'm sorry I knocked into you earlier, Llaris." She returns Llaris' bow, which is almost comical considering their vast difference in size. "I'm Avalerdis. They call me Avalerdis Shield-Breaker. Ava in the southern lands, though who knows where we are now."
She turns to Somana. "And I'm not a giantess, little girl. I've seen a giantess. They're bigger, and they would have eaten you by now." She smiles at her.
Ava steps out of the jury box and looks at the axe on the evidence table. She turns back to the others. "Jarbin. Was the man on trial named Jarbin....Mord? That's the name I remember from my nightmare."
Is our gear with us?
Ten years ago, I was flying through the infinite clouds... Pharysene thought wistfully.
"This... murderer." She spoke tentatively. "Was he hung?" Her hands crept up to her throat again with the vivid memory.
Ava stands outside the jury box staring at those still within. "And just who are all you people who were on the jury? Maybe we should have your names too."
Her eyes dart around the room, noting all the exits. "Hell, maybe we ought to just get out of here. Whoever brought us here could be coming for us any minute."
|Tran Duc Lao|
Pushing hair and hood back from her face. Somana watches Avalerdis study the ax. Her eyes turn a incandescent chartreuse color as she returns the other woman's smile. Miss Avalerdis I am no more a girl then that Loopy-eyed leaping gnome, She points at Ebin I could probably help with your might be giantess issue however.
Siting at an available chair considers whats been said around her for a moment. It seems unlikely that whomever kidnapped these Fools points out those that seem to have been in the jury and us Jokers, deposited us in this disgusting old Courthouse, will come back later to kill us. Much more likley that whomever is behind this will kill us if we try to escape. Don't get me wrong We got to Leave, but not until the cards are laid bare.
Somana then rummages around in her rucksack, bringing out a large jug. She unstops it and takes a long drink, before closing it back up and marking it once with a piece of chalk.
Talyn flickers her gaze from Ava to Somana, considering the options. Finally she nods to Tran. "I don't know who brought us here or why, either, my Tian friend, and the fact that I don't know makes me want to be elsewhere. But to be honest, I have to say I'll probably be sticking with our 'Giantess' here. I hope you don't mind, Ava, but I think if we run in to something, I'd like you to be in front. While I'm of use in a fight, it's not because of my fists." She winks her blue eye toward the Ulfen woman.
|Tran Duc Lao|
Lao nods towards Llaris and says, "It's a pleasure to meet you friend."
Then he starts walking towards the tallest desk and chair in the room, what he takes to be the judge's bench. He keeps talking as he walks, "While we were probably brought here for a purpose, our host has done a poor job telling us what that purpose is. From the fools and jokers gathered, I'd guess it has something to do with the trial and execution of Jarbin Mord. Some of us jokers had dreams before waking up in here. Miss Avalerdis says she dreamed of the axe-murderer's trial. I dreamed of a woman being menaced by a cloaked figure. Funny, I don't remember seeing an axe. Did anyone else have a vision?"
Suddenly a piece of the mural on the ceiling
above (the portion with Iomedae’s shining
sword upon it) breaks free from the ceiling
with a groaning crack. The chunk of marble
falls onto the evidence table and sends
the bloody axe on it spinning end over end
across the courtroom, sinking solidly into
the wall of the jurors’ box.
Tran Duc Lao takes 1d6 ⇒ 4 points of bludgeoning
damage from the falling chunk of marble.
Rest of you Reflex Save please.