Was waiting for Copper to chime in, if he had strong feelings about it. It doesn't really sound like anyone else has much motive to be there. I can't remember how our encounter with the queen and her bff went, and I'm too slammed at work to backtrack.
"Well, we'll try to make it, but it might be a good idea if you sent others as well. We're pretty banged up after the last job, so we may not be up to it if anything does goes down."
"I highly doubt the execution will go off without a hitch. We should at least be there to know what we are up against when the next round comes after it even if we don't do anything but watch." In the time remaining until the execution, Pravlox will rest, cleanup, and get a solid meal before once more dawning the appearance of a street beggar with his spear as a walking staff just before going to the execution.
Neva, you are able to get the spell free of charge, as the head of the Pharasman church has heard of the good you have been doing.
The execution seems to have become the affair that is not to be missed. The toast of Korvosa is in attendance, in garish gowns, fines capes, and enough jewels on each of them to blind a common man. Overall, the feel of the event seems to be more like that of a grand ball or party, than the public execution of an assassin. It seems all the big names of Korvosa are in attendance, primarily many members of all the major houses. There are representatives from each of the city's defenders, the Hellknights, Sable Company Marines, and you appear to stand for the Korvosan Guard. Lastly is all the city officials, magistrates and arbiters alike. There are even signs of members of each of the major temples. The crowd is alive and eager to watch the events unfold.
Rutter accompanies Neva to the temple, and while she's tended to, he asks to use the washroom. He cleans some of the sick off his clothes and face, but leaves a full wash to wait until after the execution.
At the execution, Rutter feels the familiar pangs of jealousy that he never developed his pickpocket skills. Instead, he'd focused on burglary. This would be a great time to visit all these folks' homes. He sighs and looks around at the authority figures. He notices there's nobody else there affiliated with the Guard. Are we supposed to be the guard? I hope we don't have to give a speech or anything.
Rutter looks to find a place to stand as close to the stage as possible, but his priority is that there appears to be easy access to an escape route.
Before long, Queen Ileosa emerges amid a great flourish and pomp. Heralds announce her arrival with a fanfare of music and drums, and the face of a subdued mourner is not the one that emerges. She carries herself with poise, style and grace. She is decked out in a green and white silk dress, no doubt easily worth thousands. She is attended by no less than a small army of servants, the chief among these is the impressive Sabina, whose watchful eyes scan the crowd for any danger behind a neutral expression.
Queen Ileosa takes her seat in a high throne-like chair at one end of the public courtyard, while the headsman's block stands ominously at the other. The headsman himself, is a towering, muscular man wearing an executioner's helm and idly holding an immense axe. He stands, motionless, making no movement to do anything more than what is expected of him when the time arrives.
As sunset draws near, the expectant excitement in the crowd builds. When the ominous beating of a single large drum begins, the assembled gawkers fall silent. The drum sets the pace for Trinia's procession to the headsman's block. As they reach the block, one of the guards removes her shackles and hood, revealing a very frightened woman who nonetheless is bravely holding back her tears, if only barely. Trinia is led up onto the platform, her arms bound behind her back by a leather cord, and she is forced to kneel over the wooden block before the headsman as Queen Ileosa stands and addresses the crowd.
"Fellow Korvosans! You have suffered greatly these past few weeks. Homes have burned, family members have died, fortunes have been lost. I feel your suffering, for not only have I lost a beloved husband, but with each riot, each burning home, each act of anarchy, my heart bleeds a little more. This has ben a trying time for us, yet the torment is at an end."
"Before you is the face of your anguish and pain. Do not be decieved by this murderer's timid nature - she is a black-hearted assassin, a seductress and sinner, a viper amidst us all. I offer you all her death as a salve against the hatred and hurt you have suffered. Her death will not rebuild Korvosa, nor will it bring back the king, yet tomorrow will be a new dawn - a dawn over a city ready to rise from the edge of anarchy to become stronger than ever before! And so, without further delay, let us usher in this new dawn with justice! OFF WITH HER HEAD!"
The silent crowd is frozen with anticipation as the headsman hefts his immense axe. Yet in the brief moment before he swings, he gives a strange little grunt and staggers. The axe falters as he reaches with one hand to the small of his back and then brings it to his face, the fingers dripping with blood. An instant later, he cries out in pain and drops the axe as a dagger embeds itself in the back of his other hand. The axe sinks itself in the block inches from Trinia's head, and the headsman doubles over in pain, revealing a second dagger that's already embedded in the small of his back. Trinia rises to her knees, glancing up at the executioner in shock as a scream echoes through the crowded courtyard, "By the gods! It's Blackjack"
As per the Player's Guide. One of the city's most beloved and reviled heroes, Blackjack is more of a symbol than anything else - a legendary masked hero who has fought for Korvosa's downtrodden for hundreds of years. He was supposed to have a little more build-up in the earlier part, but it seems not much was done with him by the time I took over.
An instant later, a man dressed in a hooded cloak and leather armor springs onto the executioner's block. He wields a rapier in one hand and a dagger in the other. Blackjack cuts the bonds on Trinia's wrists and then throws the dagger down to pin the executioner's left foot to the wood below. He quickly helps Trinia to her feet and then briefly turns to address the shocked crowd. "Yes indeed, my queen! Let us usher in justice, but let that justice be for Korvosa, not this shambles you petulantly call a monarchy! Long live Korvosa! Down with the Queen!"
The masked man's words spread like wildfire, causing the crowd to erupt into a frenzy of activity. SOme citizens demand that he release the assassin while others call for the queen to step down from the Crimson Throne. Queen Ileosa stands stunned for a few moments, whispers something to Sabina, and then quickly turns to flee into Castle Korvosa, Sabina and a dozen guards behind her to cover her retreat. The remaining guards in the courtyard move to apprehend Blackjack, but the gathered nobles, thirsty for blood, make it difficult to move. At the same time, the executioner seems to be recovering from his wounds and is lifting his axe once again, but over Blackjack, who seems to have momentarily forgotten the man in his apparent delight at having forced the queen to flee.
If any of you want to act, you may do so at this time.
Neva felt herself carried along with the emotions of the crowd jeering the queen. It certainly was exciting, and it felt right to be sticking up for the downtrodden. She gasped as the executioner stood up behind Blackjack.
"It looks like Neva has made that decision for us." Copper responds to Felgar.
Assuming we are within 35ft of the stage...
The young man turns back to the spectacle before him, hands weaving about in an arcane pattern. Strange words spill from his mouth and he points out towards the executioner, "Mijn vijand niet te kunnen treden tegen mij niet!"
Cast Daze at the executioner. DC 13.
If we aren't close enough for that, Copper simply watches to see if Blackjack will react in time.
Also, should the spell be successful...
"Oh no! What have I done!" The young man says, taking his face in his hands to hide his 'shame'.
Bluff to convince those close enough to see me cast think that Blackjack was the intended target: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Using his cover from the edge of the crowd near the platform, Pravlox will try to cover his summoning of a snake behind the executioner as the stumbling and weakness of a typical street rat, hoping that the more obvious reactions from his allies will cover his own.
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
summoning a celestial viper, and having it come up from underneath the platform as if it had made it's home there and had been disturbed by the activity above.
Rutter starts beaming watching the chaos, but he's satisfied to watch it play out before choosing a side. As the executioner prepares a swing at the rebel's back, however, Rutter instinctively draws a dagger.
He'd had doubts about the justice of this execution, but he reasoned that there was nothing he could do about it, and the executioner, too, had to do his job. But the executioner had his chance to drop out of this farce, and he chose not to take it. Now the executioner was fair game.
Move action: draw dagger.
If there's time, he'll throw it at the executioner, but it doesn't sound like there would be.
The axe halts at the call from Neva, and a good chance also from Copper's decision. Blackjack turns his head at her call from the crowd, giving him a peripheral of the large armed man behind him. He ducks away from where the axe blow would land, despite the lack of the executioner's ability to seem to follow through with the swing. The press of the crowd makes it hard for Felgar and Rutter to move in to get a clear shot at the platform.
Dragging the young woman behind him, Blackjack clambers up a hanging banner, to a nearby wall on the west side of the courtyard. As the two of them reach the wall, he draws an item from his belt, and swallows it. With a backlight of the setting sun, he bows in Neva's direction, draws his rapier and salutes. Grabbing Trinia, he steps back, before leaping off the backside of the wall outside the castle grounds.
The whole place is in chaos as people, both for and against either the Queen or Blackjack, break out into small struggles. Many of the citizens fleeing from the outbreak of violence and unrest around them. The castle courtyard becomes a frantic flurry of activity. Even the Hellknights and the Sable Company Marines don't even attempt to quell all that goes on around them, looking more to not be the target of any of the larger groups.
Rutter sheaths his dagger and draws a kukri, in case the riot heads the way of the party. "I say we head out. Nothing we can do here. I guess we ought to let Kroft know what happened tonight, though, much as I'd like to just call it a day."
Pravlox lags behind, hoping his disguise held up, so that he could keep a bit of an eye on the main group's departure before rejoining them shortly before they returned to report to the captain. Inwardly, he can't help but smile a bit at the chaos finally being felt by the comfortably well off, but at the same time is concerned that this could get out of hand if not checked soon.
The trip back to the Citadel is mostly uneventful. There is a bit of rioting, but nothing as bad as it's been since the King was first announced as having passed. It seems a lot of the anger had been fought out the first few days, and most of the city doesn't have as much fight left, more just the bitter aftertaste of unspent vitriol.
Field Marshal Kroft seems more intrigued by the report of the rescue by Blackjack, than she does angry. She adopts almost a relieved 'At least I don't have to worry about it' air as you tell her the events of the execution. "You guys have done so much good work these couple days, and I appreciate you doing so, though I'm sure the coin doesn't hurt either?" she gives a knowing look at both Rutter and Felgar, having both been vociferousabout their payment in the past. "Try and take a few days off, and I'll see what I can get done with what I have here before I request any more assistance from you guys. Just let me know where I can find any of you that wish to be found the next time a job comes up."
Felgar 1d3 ⇒ 1
Pravlox 1d3 ⇒ 2
Rutter 1d3 ⇒ 3
After her dismissal, you are all able to go and get some much needed rest, some warm food, a little drink, and wake feeling mcuh more refreshed than you felt the day prior. All except Felgar, who wakes in the night to sick up, and feels sluggish the next morning as if he just doesn't have the energy to move.
You take 1d3 ⇒ 1 Dex damage, and 1d3 ⇒ 3 Con damage.
You all can level to 4, as a reminder looking back HP is rolled with a anything less than half being half. I will try to setup the new forums and link them. Until then just go ahead with these ones, as I won't start the second book until I get them setup and you have had some IC downtime.