knowledge local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
knowledge nobility: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Good question.. Have we heard that name before? Either way, she may be a good starting point to start our investigations.
"My, aren't you... enthusiastic." Pelleas frowns when she mentions her house, and he looks up toward the ceiling as he ponders. "Mourngrym, Mourngrym... now, where have I heard that name before? Say, would you have happened to have been a guest at a party perhaps five odd years ago that was cut short due to an unexpected explosion? Or, perhaps another member of your family? My, was that party awful. So glad I ended it early." Pelleas just grins at her. "I am Pelleas, of House Markov. Nice to meet you, assuming I haven't before. You never really know whom you've passed at some dreadful function."
Eowithe looks at Pelleas as he talks, then inclines her head a bit further to him in deference to his membership in another noble house, "Enthusiatic? No, more committed I would say. " she says evenly, "Perhaps you met my father. I've been fortunate not to have been subjected to such functions."
She looks to the others, "This Visserene, does anyone know aught of her?"
"Another noble? Well, if you're here to help cut Iomedaean throats, it's good to meet you. I can't say I know much about this knight, but I would very much like to... meet her. Preferably at the end of my blade."
"If only I had that luxury. Thankfully, I haven't had much in the way of parties since I came out here. Perhaps it'll stay that way." As the others muse on the woman named Visserene, he just shrugs. "I'll second the notion of gutting her, though."
Longacre - The Jail
Cimri grins at Cole, "My my, you are full of surprises aren't you Cole?
I am afraid that I have never heard of a Lencia Visserene so she is no local.
I will visit with Razelago and see about moving Hel out and Eowithe i although she is not part of the compact so her true loyalties have not been tested. Before we get there my dear we will need to see you in action of course".
None of you are familiar with the name.
Do you want to retain Kels as a prisoner or let him go as he does not seem to know anything? Caggan clearly belongs here as he attacked and damn near killed Corven for what seems to be nothing.
"I'm a very complex individual," Cole says, clearly not being all that serious. He absently flexes his wings and wraps them around his body like a cloak again, looking much more the part of the scrawny scholar without his armor and weapons visible. "But tonight was certainly rather interesting for everyone involved, wasn't it? I suggest we let the useless minstrel go and keep tabs on him. He doesn't seem to know much of value, but he might do something stupid and give us something useful to go on. The bartender can cool his heels in a cell or the stocks for a while. If he acts out again, we can take more... permanent measures to stop him from causing trouble. Meanwhile, we can keep digging into Visserene and see what we can turn up."
"If he... acts out again, as you put it, I can assure you I will be the one taking those permanent measures," Corven says, anger barely restrained, but restrained nevertheless. "Quite quite permanent indeed."
"As for the bard," he continues, "well, he did lead me on a merry, if brief, chase. But other than that he does seem clueless. And more or less harmless. Although I do hope I will not regret these exact words some time in the future if we do let him go."
|Alicarus Vorasik, "The Ripper"|
"I should think that so long as Master Kels has learned to sufficiently fear and respect the laws and wellbeing of this community..." Alic shrugs. "Personally I would see him flogged for his ill manners, but I understand my ways do not always match those of others. Perhaps letting him go free is for the best; certainly if he would spread word of our deeds, rather than rebellious rhetoric about some fool knight."
The aasimar turns to Cole with a smile. "And as far as your transformation, I must say: simply beautiful. The terrifying visage, the embodiment of pain and fear... A marvelous display, my friend. Tell me true, have you never read of the Midnight Lord? Your actions befit his service."
"I suggest we keep him here for now, just in case. Not so long that he becomes a pariah, but long enough he realizes that any further activity will make his future... unpleasant. I think we could pass on his flogging" Pelleas's tail flicks again as it wraps up around the back of the chair. "However, I think Caggan deserves more than just a stint in the stocks. He's opposed us more than once and he's assaulted one of our number. He needs to be punished for his insolence."
"I see your point. Just keep the bard overnight then? Or perhaps through tomorrow so that he understands that encouraging discontent will end badly for him. Caggan... well I'm not familiar with punishments in these parts and my personal methods are probably not what you want, but I'll help however I can."
|Alicarus Vorasik, "The Ripper"|
"Actually, I believe I have the perfect idea in mind for the both of them," Alic says, snapping his fingers with a smile. "If I might be allowed to preside over their sentencing, I think a display of sorts is in order. Something to remind the people of loyalty, endurance in the face of adversity. What rewards are reaped by those who serve the law... and what fate betides those who rail against it."
"Sounds fitting to me. We'll keep the bard through tomorrow, let Caggan bear his punishment first. I don't know what you have planned, but I assume it could be made public if we wanted? The display will serve to keep fear in the hearts of those who might cross us. By contrast, releasing the bard without harming him will show everyone we will be merciful if you cooperate."
|Alicarus Vorasik, "The Ripper"|
Longacre - The Jail
Cimri smiles, "Agreed, I will put the word out there that we would like the city to come out and meet the new law and order within Longacre. Come along Eowithe, I grew u my whole life in the city and I can give you a tour of the city and its citizenry. I will also give our report to Razelago, that Eowithe, I will need to do alone".
Alright, the next day will be your show! Go ahead and describe what you do, where you do it and how you do it!
Cole chuckles and tosses his helmet up before sliding the disguise back into place. "I should maintain my cover, just in case someone saw me coming here. I'll find some place to change properly and then spend a little time in town. I'll see you all tomorrow. I think it's best that the 'angel' isn't known as a permanent part of our little company. He's much more effective when no one knows what he might do next." His wings unfold again and he takes off into the night to find a good place to change back so he can spend a while in town and listen to the word around. Surely the bartender's arrest would have started to spread by now.
|Alicarus Vorasik, "The Ripper"|
Alicarus claps his hands and grins. "Wonderful. Leave it all to me, I have the perfect plan. I'll see you all tomorrow, at noon, in the town square. Spread the word, and set a post, will you? Something... this tall, with a small crossbeam at the top?" He gestures with his hand to a height of about seven feet, and then nearly skips off. "I need to speak with the congregation before anything else."
Warning, long post incoming, sectioned into spoilers. Don't feel you have to read if you don't want to, and don't worry--I didn't get crazy descriptive with nasty stuff or something.
The aasimar shifts in his seat slightly, then stands and paces. "Cimri, what I'm asking is that you make me, officially, one of your officers of the peace and the law. I'm going to carry out the sentencing tomorrow, that much is set at this point, but when I do so, the people must know that I am representing the law in Longacre. I can't be the thuggish foreigner, come in to beat down the locals and impose my own views on this town. When I act as judge and executioner--no, don't look so worried, I won't kill the man, it's just a turn of phrase--when I dole out the punishment, it must be as an official act for the good of the community. And seeing as I cannot swear fealty to Asmodeus as the ArchBaron wishes, I must ask this of you, as sheriff."
Alic gives the woman a wide smile and takes her hands. "Think of it as a favor if you must, Cimri. But know that I have only the best interests of you, and Longacre, and the world at heart. I have to show the people the wonder and joy of obedience, the necessity of suffering. And please know that I am deeply loyal to you, and the ArchBaron, and even the Queen and Cheliax. Just... not to the Lord of Hell."
If Cimri grants his request, Alic claps with joy and hugs the woman; if not, he nods with a sad expression, disappointed but understanding. Either way, he thanks her and bids her adieu, making for the cells.
"You two find yourselves in a singularly... fortuitous moment. You've both caused a good deal of trouble recently, and now that your little rebellious acts have been put to rest, we arrive at the matter of retribution. Lawlessness is a danger to the good of community, and it cannot be tolerated. The suffering you would see done is senseless and heretical. You have sown rotten grain, gentlemen, and now it is time to reap the harvest." Alic raises one arm, his chain dangling slightly from his hand, and he smiles mirthlessly. "So the chaff shall be threshed from the good wheat."
The aasimar turns to Caggan and folds his hands in his lap. "Bolgart Caggan, you are guilty of several crimes. Harboring a fugitive of the law, obstructing legal officers in their duties, assaulting said officers with deadly intent, thereby adding on attempted murder... although I admit, you didn't break the edict on gatherings." He sniffs. "It's somewhat amusing, when you think on it. Had you simply handed Kels over without trouble, you'd likely now be home in bed, dreaming sweet dreams with a belly full of good food and drink. I might dwell on that, were I in your position."
Alic sighs and regards the tavern owner. "As it is, your crimes are great and must be punished. So let me explain to you what you'll face tomorrow. You'll be cast in chains and taken to the town square, where you will be stripped to the waist and lashed to a post. At that point, I'll be announcing your crimes and sentencing to the gathered public--of course, the law regarding gatherings will be suspended for the duration of this event. Once everyone is aware of the situation, your punishment will begin." Alic leans forward slightly, not close enough for Caggan to touch or even spit on, an eagerness coming to his eyes. "Would you like to know what your punishment will be?"
He gives a long enough pause for Caggan to nod, or say yes, or simply remain silent, before continuing. "For your crimes, Bolgart Caggan, you will be flogged. And I don't mean this Chelish silliness with sticks or whips, and you're sent on your way with a scar on your back. You'll be receiving a good flogging. I'm going to take this chain in my hands, all its cold steel and sharp razors, and I'm going to beat you with it. You'll be standing at first, I'm sure, and you seem a strong fellow. You may last near an hour on your feet, if you don't give in, and I do my job right--and I always do. But strength is measured in blood, and as your blood is drawn, your strength will ebb away. Eventually you'll fall to one knee, then the other. Not usually both; most people think you fall to both knees, but typically it's just one at a time. You'll stay like that for a time, maybe another hour, although by then you'll be tiring. Soon enough your hands will drop, and you'll be on all fours, like a dog in the dirt.
"That's when the begging will start." Alic's eyes are positively dancing, gleaming, even in the dim light of the gaol. "Perhaps a little earlier, but most often someone like you will wait until they have no more strength. I'm going to beat you until you beg, Caggan. And do you know what I'll do then?" Another pause, and a smile. "I'm going to keep beating you. And you'll whimper, and you'll plead, and you'll grovel, and you'll scream, and you'll beg for me to stop, for me to kill you, anything to end the pain. You'll beg until your throat is as raw and bloodied as your back; when your mouth runs dry, you'll bite your tongue and wet it with your blood, just to plead a little longer. But you'll give up on even that, eventually. Your begging will reach its zenith, the highest point of suffering you can achieve, and then it will fade and cease. And then, and only then, will I finish."
Alicarus leans back, no longer smiling, his hands clenched around his chain. A trickle of blood runs between his fingers, and a drip-dripping begins. "I'm going to beat you until you beg and then grow quiet again, Caggan. I'm going to beat you until you break." There's a long pause, silence broken only by the drip-drip of blood on the floor. "You may be wondering why I've told you all this, Caggan. You may think it would be more effective had I not informed you of your fate. Perhaps you're thinking you could fake your way out, beg from the start and fall silent soon after. Let me assure you that I will know if you are not fully enraptured in your pain." A feral grin flashes over the inquisitor's face for a moment, and then disappears.
"There is a reason for my telling you this, Caggan, and the reason is this: I want you to break. And there are so many ways I could break you. In body, in mind, in spirit, different approaches, different tools. The methods for my breaking you are as countless as the stars in the Great Beyond, as endless as its wonderful darkness. But ultimately, I don't want to break you, Caggan." Alic smiles again, and this time, the smile is almost soft, tender. Loving. "I want you to break yourself. You know my plan now, but tomorrow, you won't be able to help yourself but follow it. You'll rail against it, you'll try to fight it, but you'll cave. You'll fall, and you'll beg, and you'll stop, and you'll hate yourself for it all the while, but you won't be able to help yourself. And when that last snap of the chain strikes your flesh, and I walk away, you'll be well and truly broken. And it will be you, not I, who did the breaking."
Alic leans in once more. "Do you know why we break, Caggan?" His eyes peer into the other man's, across his face, searching. "Think on that."
There's another long pause as Alic holds Caggan's gaze, staring into his very being. Finally, the aasimar sits back on his stool and turns his gaze to the other prisoner. "As for you, Riley Kels, you have a string of minor offenses under your belt. Disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, we could probably tack on inciting violence and sedition if we wanted. But you were also quite forthcoming with information when pressed, and just as the law doles out hard punishment to its enemies, it offers fine rewards to its friends. For your offenses, you're spending the night here, but for your continued assistance, you'll be set free tomorrow." Alic smiles and laces his fingers together, producing a soft squelch of blood. "I hope you'll use that freedom to work toward the benefit of our community and Cheliax's wellbeing, rather than spreading treasonous talk and Iomedaean ideals."
Alic leans toward Kels now, another grim smile on his face. "And between you and I, it's wise to take that advice to heart. You've just heard my punishment for a man who breaks the law. Imagine what I'd do to someone who breaks my trust." He winks. "Food for thought."
Having finished his discussion with the men, Alic drags the stool back to its former position and takes his leave. His head is already swimming with thoughts of tomorrow, and he's brimming with excitement, but there's some little more preparation to be done, and it's important to get what rest you can before an important event like this.
Come noon the next day, Alicarus is standing in the town square, watching the shadow of the pole to determine when the sun has reached its very height. Caggan is already at the pole, his hands manacled on the other side so he can't escape. Kels is kneeling by Alicarus; one of the pale aasimar's hands rests on the bard's shoulder, and Kels nervously glances at it every so often. Once the sun is at its zenith, Alic smiles and looks around at those gathered. Most of Longacre is in attendance, curious or fearful, their gazes shifting across the scene. He nods to the his companions, standing as representatives of the ArchBaron's will--a clear show that this is his justice. Alic's eyes also sweep to a gathering of the town's children, watching rapt from one section of the square; he gives them a wink and a couple of the younger ones laugh. They're quickly silenced by one of the older children, a girl on the brink of womanhood with a bound leg and a makeshift crutch.
"Citizens of Longacre," Alicarus begins, his voice piercing across the square. "I bid you look on to the sentencing of Riley Kels and Bolgart Caggan. They have already been tried for their crimes by rightful servants of ArchBaron Fex, and now they face the arm of the law. It is for the good of the community, for the good of you citizens, that they face their fate today."
Alic steps forward, pushing Kels to his knees. "First, Riley Kels, the minstrel. He was arraigned on charges of seditious speeches, disturbing the peace, and resisting arrest. However, upon further investigation, it became apparent that Master Kels is in fact a willing servant of the ArchBaron and Longacre. He provided lawful servants with information regarding other treasonous persons, and for doing so, his sentencing has been lightened. Justice begets justice, and she is kind to those who aid her."
Alicarus draws a knife from his belt and, in a quick motion, he slices the rope that had bound Kels's wrists. "Riley Kels, you are a free man. Let all who bear witness to you know that though the guilt of sin may stain the soul, there is yet redemption and reward for those who turn from the path of wickedness." He lifts the bard to his feet and clasps his hand. "Walk in justice and harmony, Master Kels."
The inquisitor then turns toward Caggan, although he does not yet approach. As he slides the dagger back to its sheath, he continues. "Second. Bolgart Caggan, tavernmaster. He was arraigned on charges of harboring a fugitive, obstructing the ArchBaron's justice, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, and the attempted murder of a rightful servant of the ArchBaron and Longacre." Alicarus pauses, letting the people soak this in: Caggan, their own barkeep, a would-be murderer. A menace to the safety of the people. "During his stay in the gaol, Master Caggan proved to be of a much less civil nature than his counterpart. To kill the man would be a waste of resources and a detriment to the community, however. As such, his sentence is public flogging, to be carried out here, and now."
Alicarus steps forward, then, and slowly the chain uncoils from about his arm to hang, a length of some three or four feet drooping from his hand. He doesn't speak of punishment and reward; the display is enough for the people to understand. Those who side with the law will be rewarded, treated lightly even for serious offenses. Those who side against it... Alic fights back a smile as he raises the chain, and then snaps it forward for the first time.
He did not lie to Caggan, the night before. Alicarus Vorasik keeps to his word. No one lasts long before the screams, and Alic beats Caggan to that point within minutes. He beats the man to one knee, and then the second. He beats him to all fours. He beats him until he cries, and pleads, and whimpers, and begs, and he beats the man still. He beats him until Caggan's blood-chapped lips fall silent once more, and he has no more strength to so much as whisper. And then, and only then, does Alic cease.
"You are broken, Bolgart," he says. He steps around to crouch by the man's face, and he lifts his head to gaze into his deadened eyes. "And I am not alone to blame." Alic stands and speaks, loud enough for all present to hear. "Do you know why we break?"
This time, the question receives an answer. "So that we may heal and be stronger!" A chorus of children's voices, some stumbling and quick, led by the firm voice of the girl with the crutch. Alicarus looks to them with a smile and a nod, and then turns back to Caggan's crippled form.
"Bolgart Caggan, your sentence is served. Let all who bear witness to you know that though the guilt of sin may stain the soul, its impurity shall be flensed, as chaff from the harvest." Alicarus presses his hand to Caggan's forehead, and a weak groan escapes the man's lips as smoke hisses through Alic's fingers. When he draws away, the ArchBaron's symbol is imprinted on Caggan's face, burnt into the skin by magic.
"Walk in justice and harmony, Master Caggan."
And here I figure we'd have our own discussion among the party if we want.
Castiel prefers to stay in the crowds, away from the public eye. He wanders through the crowds, playing a funeral dirge on his harp. He accentuates each of Alicarus' comments with a punks from his strings, and works to stir up the crowd to support him.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14
Longacre - Town Square
Cimri begins the gathering by declaring Alic an, "Agent of the Crown itself!"
Kels steps into the crowd and he remains to watch the flogging unfold.
Initially, as his Punishment is meted out, Caggan throws out words, like 'coward' and 'freedom' which give the crowds a bit of a rise. The presence of Alic's allies and Castiel's songs though prevents anyone else from doing anything stupid.
The Citizenry applauds when the flogging ends, whether it is for Alic's masterful work or simply because the violence has ended is not clear.
Caggan takes the punishment well, better than Alic would have expected, he's tired but does not show it, at the end of the flogging. Somehow, some way, Caggan stands only a few minutes after the beating and stumbles away from the town square. At no point does he look at Alic or any of the rest of the group. It does no seem possible but it happens... No one assist him, he is a man alone so that either means that he has become a pariah or the people are too damn scared to be seen with someone who has raised the ArchBaron's ire, ad that of his cronies, so.
Feel free to speak amongst yourselves.
Cole simply applauds as the crowd does, but waits until they start to disperse before he returns to the group. "Now that was impressive," he says, a little excitement seeping through his usually bored tone. "I see that all the talk of the Midnight Lord wasn't for show. You outdid yourself there." He smiles at Cinri. "And I hope the Archbaron is equally pleased. I think that lesson is going to stick with the townsfolk for quite a while."
"I agree, although I'm not so certain it will stick with Caggan. He is a proud fool, and he will, I imagine, continue to work against us. He may not be so bold as he was before, but he'll be a thorn in our side." Pelleas tail swishes around in the air behind him, but not so erratic as when the alchemist's mind was under the influence of his own concoctions the day before. "If possible, finding someone to keep an eye on him would be key. If not, we will merely need to be wary. I would rather not have to kill him, if we can help it."
|Alicarus Vorasik, "The Ripper"|
Alic is quiet as the group meets, and he stares off in the direction Caggan went. He doesn't even respond to Cole's praise, and only a few seconds after Pelleas's comments on Caggan does Alic finally turn to regard the others. "Yes, thank you, Cole." He blinks and forces a smile. "As for Caggan, I am... concerned. I've never known a man to rise from a beating so quickly. I fear he may not have truly received my benediction in his heart."
The aasimar purses his lips and his gaze returns to Caggan's exit. "We'll want to watch him, yes. Because he may well do something foolish if he hasn't learned."
A moment longer, and then Alicarus turns back to the group and claps with a smile. "But other than him, I think things went wonderfully! The townsfolk certainly responded well, perhaps some of them will come to my sermons soon. And did you hear the congregation sing? Marvelous. You really ought to join us."
Eowithe travels the city with Cimri, asking questions and making her own observations about the people and buildings.
Finally though the public flogging had come and she watch with interest as Alicarus plied his art.
When finished, she murmured, "That was well done." to the aasimar, but reserve further comment until they were more better aquainted.
"Impressive," Corven says simply after the... spectacle ends. At any looks from his companions he just shrugs. "He is strong and resilient. That much I can recognize and even respect." He smiles thinly then. "That is not to say of course that I have already forgotten the pieces of glass in my face."
"I can't say I would have, given the circumstances." Once there's a moment of silence in the air, Pelleas pipes up again. "As to finding out more of our Angel Knight... well, perhaps the townsfolk may know something of the tales surrounding her? Or, perhaps Kels might be willing to assist us in exchange for further, shall we say, benevolence toward him? I believe the display will have the townsfolk both respect and fear us in equal measure, so getting information they might have shouldn't be too difficult."
Cimri nods in agreement, "Perhaps I'll send a missive to Hel to watch Caggan and keep her out of our hair. Problem is, she has as much right as we do to make judgments as she sees fit having agreed to the Compact.
I have some contacts in the city so I will keep an ear out for any odd rumors. In the meantime, as it seems that people believe I have replaced my Aunt, I'll take up a permanent spot at the Jail so people know they have somewhere to go if there is trouble or something to report and that will free all of you up to do, well, whatever it is each of you does best. We should find a way to stay in contact with one another while out on patrol or... whatever".
The next day, the city has returned to normal, as it were. The Last Stand is re-opened and Caggan is behind the bar instead of behind bars which seems to suit the townsfolk just fine.
Cimri has taken up the mantle if not the actual office of Sheriff and does just as she stated, sits at the Jail in case of signs of trouble.
Head to OOC.
Castiel nods to Cimri, sounds fair. I think I'll spend my time playing in the bar, and wandering the streets. Who know what I might pick up listening to the people? And, it might do Caggan some good to know that there will always be eyes on him.