Ganer wandered away from Patrissa without another word. It was at this point that he was beginning to grow suspicious. Noone but Horven, Ratcliff, Gared and himself seemed overly concerned with how they all arrived there, or in fact concerned with much of anything for that matter. In light of this new suspicion, the half-orc's cries of despair seemed to take on new meaning. As unobtrusively as he could, Ganer withdrew his arms from the cloak, and took hold of his mace and shield, ready to defend himself if need be.
He turned back to the group, and announced, in an almost accusatory manner, "You all seem remarkably familiar with each other for a group with the only point of contact being that you served on a jury together several years ago."
That being said, he began watching the lot of them, hoping to find some reaction to his words.
Ratcliff remains where he is but swishes his tail in a faint representation of anger "Horven I agree. I do not think that this is the doing of Jabin Mord's ghost." He thinks for a moment "If it was truly to do with him then why would I and the others who were not on the jury be here."
On second thought who chooses the jury in Absalom. He racks his mind for any knowledge of the legal system in Absalom.
Gared sighed a deep sigh. "This cloak and dagger game is getting us nowhere. It is to be expected that four stranger's plucked from there homes in the middle of the night should come to be in some completely foreign place among eight strangers with out suspicion. If the rolls were reversed I would expect exactly the same of you all. Please believe me when I say that we mean no disrespect with our inquiries, we are all simply trying to understand the strange manor in which we've arrived here, and do not take kindly to being manipulated or threatened. As for myself, I'm willing to take as long as it takes to get to understand one another, and the circumstances of our arrival in this strange place."
Horven breathes a sigh of relief as the hobgoblin moves away.
They are all edgy, even if they try to hide it.
"I offer you sincere thanks, Sir Cole. 'Tis an interesting set of vestments you have there."
Rekkart nods in acknowledgement of Horven's thanks. "It was nothing, my good man. It is my duty as one who serves Iomedae as her holy instrument to stand up for those who are being trod upon by those more fortunate than they." He turns to look at you, pointedly leaving Malgrim out of the conversation. "I can assure you of this, Horven. The reason we are all here is because we were the jurors who convicted Jabrin Mord of the crimes which he was accused. I also firmly believe he was JUSTLY convicted!"
Tablark chimes in. “Aye Rekkard speaks truthfully 'ere. Mord be nuthin’ but a filthy child-murderer and wife-killer. Hangin’ was too good for
’im, ya ask me. Shoulda let me give ’im a taste o’ dwarven justice, with the same axe he did for his loved ones with, ya hear!” He pauses for a moment. "As fer how we all came ta be 'ere....well I dinnae remember any details of how I ended up 'ere." He waves to the rest of the jurors, "'N neither do they. I guess we was all drugged some'ow 'n brought 'ere." He strokes his beard thoughtfully, "Guess, whoevver kidnapped us also grabbed you four as well. Don't worry 'bout ole Mord. We will foil whatever plot he 'as fer us, else me clan name not be Hammergrind!"
Horven nods casually to Tablark and Rekkart, then makes his way to Gared. He leans in closely and whispers to his dwarven companion.
He nods his head towards the judge's bench. He keeps his eyes on the other eight.
Gared was taken aback once more by the halfling's actions and words.
I am living too much in the past... I should see what is before me and not in my memories. The dwarf took a deep breath and collected himself before replying in a hushed tone.
The dwarf nodded politely to the halfling, and took a step back to survey the room once more.
Did Ganer notice any reaction to his near accusation that the eight jury members are in cahoots?
Ganer had to appreciate Horven's inquisitiveness, and Gared seemed to have the right idea in looking around, these eight jury members were acting more and more suspicious. If they had been accosted by the ghost of a monster that they had sentanced to death and were fearing retribution, Ganer thought they weould be quicker to start searching for a way out, rather than standing around and chatting it up like old friends. Besides, some of them seemed rather young to have been part of a jury that convicted a man who had been haunting a courthouse for long enough that an expedition had been sent five years before.
"If this ghost is as horrible as you all say he is, perhaps we ought to be searching for an escape, rather than standing around looking at each other."
Ganer made his way to the judge's bench, hobbling on his left leg. When he finally reached it, he sat down, mostly to get off his feet, and began looking for anything out of the ordinary.
Ganer hobbles over to the judges bench and looks it over. He sees nothing out of the ordinary and also nothing happens to him as he sits down. Looking around him for a way out of here, he sees the small windows, barred against egress and too small for all (except maybe Ratcliff) to climb through. Fortunately, a pair of double doors on the west wall and a single door to the north offer passage out of the courtroom.
Horven makes his way over to Ganer and Ratcliff. "I would wager against using the double doors. If you were out to punish someone, you would make sure that the easiest way out would be the most deadly. That door to the north might be promising."
He shrugs nonchalantly. "Any guesses as to how we attract Jabin Mord's attention? I might have an idea, failing all else."
He strokes his whiskers considering which door is best "Either one will most likely be dangerous...unless he wants us to leave this room."
He studies Horven before continuing. "I assume it's attention is already on us."
"Let us see what we can unearth if we move forward. If you suggest the north door first, allow me to lead." Gared started up towards the north door with a purposeful pace, letting his eyes lead him.
"I know this is a touchy subject, but what are we going to do with those eight?" Horven asks, jerking a thumb towards the others. "I am not sure leaving them alone is a good thing."
On Horven's question, the other members of the jury look at each other (except for Malgrim who refuses to even ackknowledge the halfling's words) and exchange glances with one another. Finally Tablark speaks up in his gravelly voice. "Well, we are not true adventurers like yerselves, so we jes be keepin' outta yer way while ye check th' courhouse out, OK?"
The other NPCs will not stay behind, but they will hang back and stay out of your way...for now. BTW, who has a light source, as the sun is setting rapidly.
The matter settled, Gared moves to the door in the north wall and as ready for anything as he can be, yanks the door open. He is not immediately accosted by any vengeful ghosts, so he has time to look around the chamber.
These simple quarters haven’t been used in years. A plain oak desk stands near the back. Several voluminous texts on Absalom law, all gilt-edged and bound in leather, lay scattered about in the room. There is a door in the east wall, but otherwise no other exits .
Time 6:30PM; T plus 30 minutes
Ganer followed the others into the back room. When he noticed that it was getting dark, he brought his hands back out the sleeves of his cloak, this time holding a large mace. He touched the mace to his left palm before he closed his eyes and said a few words. The head of the mace began o glow, and Ganer lifted it up high, like a torch. With the room now brighter, Ganer looked around, watching for anything out of the ordinary.
Taking 20 on the Perception roll: 21
At level 1, light only lasts ten minutes, but as an orison, Ganer can cast it as often as he sees fit. Also, seeing as how I never did buy equipment, would anyone have a problem with me giving myself a spell component pouch and pretending like I had it all along?
Horven unhooks a hooded lantern from the side of his backpack and removes a flask of oil from inside. He lights the lantern, slowly panning it back and forth to dispel the looming shadows.
Break up those actions if needed, Eric.
"Ghosts supposedly haunt the place that they died. Are the execution grounds connected to the courthouse?" Horven asks.
Ganer: Taking 20 on a Perception is possible only you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, which will not apply here. A good example of when you CAN Take 20 is when you are searching a room thoroughly. Feel free to give me a Perception roll, however.
As Horven takes out his lantern to light it, he feels someone step next to him and a light touch on his shoulder. Turning around he sees Madge motion to the lantern Horven just lit. "Would you like me to hold it for you?" She smiles at him, and gives him a wink.
Still waiting on Gared and Ratcliff to declare actions here.
Sorry for the delay guys been sleeping :P
"Ohhh these could be interesting!!!" He immediately goes over to one of the books. He picks it up to examine it.
Then Ratcliff walks over to the desk and looks through the draws for anything interesting.
Ratcliff has darkvision so he is cool with everything really ;)
Gared has darkvision as well. Wouldn't Ganer have it as well, being a tiefling of sorts and all? I think we're pretty well prepared for the dark.
Gared would have alerted the others to the content of the room when he first opened the door, then stride cautiously to the center of the room, searching for anything hidden or out of the ordinary as he moves.
Yes but what about the other NPCs who cannot see in the dark, he he...
Ganer: 6 (Fail)
Gared: 21 (Succeeded)
Horven: 19 (Fail)
Ratcliff: 11 (Fail)
Init roll for Gared 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
As the four heroes enter the chamber and begin their investigation, you all sense a wrongness in the air. Then you all hear the sound of malicious cackling seeingly coming from the very air itself! As you hear the laughter, you all realize it is high pitched as if coming from a small child. Then several books on the bookshelves start to vibrate as if something was about to happen...
All of the PCs are surprised except for Gared, who still cannot react fast enough....
Then the books fly out of the shelves at you!
Each player gets struck by one book...
Attack Ganer FF: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7; Damage 1d4 ⇒ 3 miss
Gared normal AC: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10; Damage 1d4 ⇒ 1 miss
Horven FF: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13; Damage 1d4 ⇒ 4 miss
Ratcliff FF: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7; Damage 1d4 ⇒ 2 miss
Fortuantely, all of you are able to dodge the books without being bruised, as they are all quite heavy. Once the books have crashed to the floor, all is quiet again. Oddly, one of the books after flying through the air landed upright on the desk and is opened to a page.
"Is everyone alright?"the dwarf called into the dimly lit room.
After it became apparent that no one has suffered any real physical injury, Gared walked over to the open book on the desk and attempted to read it.
It would seem we are moving in the right direction... pondered the dwarf.
Gared looks over the book, which he notes the title as “Punish the Guilty,” and sees that the page deals with a hypothetical case being presented to a jury. One passage catches his eye; it reads: “We, entrusted with justice, must be above reproach. Those who fail to serve justice blindly shall reap what they sow.”
Oh yeah, Ganer does have darkvision! Um, he was doing a favor for Horven, yeah, that's it! Such a kind and charitable soul he is! Of course, that would be a fine explanation, if it was true. In reality, I did forget.
Ganer tried his best to dodge the books, and succeeded in spite of his bad leg not moving fast enough. When the book landed open, Ganer read the passage out loud over Gared's shoulder, and then added, "That is as damning an accusation as I've ever heard, but how do we determine the truth?" The question was addressed to Mord, or whoever was behind the haunting, as much as the other three in the room.
The dwarf's face darkened as he read the title, even more so as he read through the passage. Gared grumbled quitely in dwarven to himself as he considered the implications.
"Мені не подобається повідомлення ці примари будуть пропонувати. Це, як звірів і велетнів буде"
Gared leaned wearily over the book with one hand, still clutching his bow in the other. He turned his head to Ganer and answered the hooded creature. "We continue, until we find the means to put these ghosts and accusations to rest."
"I'm fine, Gared," Horven replies. "I think that fate is intent on bludgeoning my head, but there is not much that can be done about that."
Speaking of having my head bludgeoned...
Horven hands the lantern to Madge. "Keep that relatively close to everyone, please. The last thing we need is someone walking into a wall."
The flying books unnerve Horven. Why does it always have to be something flying at or falling on his head? Sure, he is stubborn and hard-headed at times, but he knows this quite well. He does not need some uppity ghost to point that fact out. He shakes his head and instead focuses on Ganer's question.
"A painting is more than a single brushstroke, a person is more than a single action, so too is the truth. It is a collection of facts...Oh, sorry. Flying books have a habit of making my words kind of airy," Horven jests.
I think Ebin would tell better jokes than me at this point.
Horven collects himself, goes over to the door on the east wall and gives it a good once-over.
"Make no apologies, master Horven. This truth is rarely a simple matter." replied the dwarf as he stroked his wheat colored beard. "I would suggest we press on. Night is drawing nearer, and I would explore as much as we can before it reaches us."
When everyone seems prepared to move on, Gared will open the door on the west wall cautiously.
This time, Horven is shocked by Gared's choice of words. "Please, Gared, just call me Horven. I have not lived my life in a way that deserves such a title."
"It should give you no shame to take such a title from me. In my eyes, all are worthy of a title of respect unless their actions show otherwise. Your actions since we awoke have shown humility, wit, and charm." The dwarf actually managed a small smile at the halfling. "You've earned the title, so do me the honor of wearing it."
Ratcliff is shaken by the attack of flying books. Then he responds to Ganer and his answer is in agreement with Gared's "Ganer I guess we just... survive."
He flicks his tail slightly before speaking once more. "As much as I am intrigued by this place and it's hauntings...I suggest that we move quickly through this place... we can always come back if needed."
He gives the room a final glance over of anything important before waiting for everyone to be ready to move.
"We can both unravel this mystery and find our freedom if we keep moving." spoke the dwarf as he strode to the door and opened it, peering inside.
Time 6:35PM; T plus 35 minutes
Gared pushes open the door and is struck by the size and splendid grandeur, albeit faded, of this grand hall. He shines his light around the hall making sure no ghosts are lurking about. Eight enormous marble pillars fill this great hall, holding aloft grand balconies. Years of dust cover the floor, and muslin coverings are draped over the railings of baroque staircases curling like lazy serpents up to the raised landings above. A rusted chandelier above sheds the dim light of a few guttering candles. An impressive grandfather clock more than ten feet tall rests against the center of the western wall, its face decorated with guilty souls suffering Asmodeus’ torments: evisceration, force-feasting of coals, scalding blades tearing them apart, and other less savory punishments. The clock stands between a set of impressive oak doors and a lone oak door of equitable splendor, identical to another set across the hall. As you look behind you, you all realize the double doors on the east wall lead to the courtroom where you all woke up as you emerged from the single oak door to the north. Another heavy iron door, locked and barred is in the northeast corner of the hall.The largest set of doors is at the south end of this long hall. They are barred against the night. To the north you see several other doors, none so grand as those to the south.
As you continue to look around, all is silent...except for the faint sound of a...is that a child giggling??
Perception checks please.
Gared stared into the room, searching as he felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. This was place fit for the damned more than ever it was for the living.
Ganer looked around the courthouse in its decaying grandeur "The things I could do with a bulding like this. . ." He whispered, letting his voice trail off. When he heard the sound, he began trying to find source of the giggling, moving as needed.
"Well, I guess we could have gone through the double doors," Horven says, taking in the room. "This is more than a courthouse, seems like."
Make a Survival check, please.
EDIT: *sigh* or my wonderful die rolls could run out. Gared isn't trying to follow the tracks so much as identify the type of foot print. Could I use a perception check for that?
Ratcliff shrinks back slightly against the size of the room, Much to big. He plucks up his courage and dares to take his eyes from the ceiling, he looks around.
Ganer wandered the room, hoping to detect something. On the right he noticed what seemed to be an office in the corner of the building. He headed toward it, watching and listening for anything out of the ordinary, aside from the creepy giggling that Ganer had been unable to source, anyway.
Assuming, as was probable, that he didn't notice anything, he would try the door, and if possible, open it.
Ganer/Gared, I am not sure which door you are referring to...but hold that thought....
The heroes move into the great hall, followed closely by the rest of the jurors, although they are careful to stay out of your way. The notable exception is Madge, who moves behind Horven, shining the lanterh around the hall, looking for any other threats. Ganer heads towards the north door, scanning the area for signs of the source of the giggling, whilst Gared sees something interesting on the floor between the courthouse and the large doors to the south.
Things are eerrily silent, as the giggling has ceased...then all of a sudden....
The grandfather clock goes seeimingly berserk tolling and clanging dissonantly! None of you have ever heard such a racket before in your lives! But what is infinitely worse is what is going through your minds! All of you have images of strangulation, death, murder by axe, and other various gruesome flashes! A dim part of your mind realizes the other jurors, judging by their screams and moans, are suffering the same as the rest of you.
I need a Will save from each of you. Also updated map with coordinates :)
Ebin 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15 save
Halgrak 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16 save
Killian 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15 save
Madge 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16 save
Malgrim 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8 fail 1d4 ⇒ 3 WIS dam
Patrissa 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8 fail 1d4 ⇒ 2 WIS dam
Sir Rekkart 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 save
Tablark 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15 save
Gared cried out as the assault began, then gritted his teeth and tried to fight the images off...
Ganer fell to his knees, his hands going to cover his ears. He was starting to wonder if Horven's suspicions about Mord's innocence were as correct as he'd believed. He looked over at the jurors and seeing them in the same agony made him again willing to consider the idea.
The door I was talking about was the one at J21, so if you were guessing as to where to put me, then you guessed right.