Ratcliff, the only barred door is on the first floor of the courthouse, and also it is locked. There were no exits in the office where the giant leech was lurking, however there is a door in the SW corner of the lounge and there is a staircase leading up to the third floor of the courthouse.
Gared placed a hand on Madge's shoulder and spoke softly to her. There was no trace of dwaven accent in his words. "I understand. I'll do what I can to get as many of us out of here in one piece. For now, it's better if we stay on the move."
Gared looked to Ratcliff and nodded. "Aye, I'll go first if ye don't mind." The dwarf headed off towards the lounge and made for the door.
Ratcliff follows behind making sure to prepare a spell as they walk "Guess we should keep an eye on the ceiling this time!!!" He does a squeaky giggle at his own joke and swishes his tail I don't think I have ever been so terrified and so happy all at the same time.
The heroes having made their attempts to learn more of the continuing mystery surrounding the jurors and the actual events turn their attention to the door in the corner of the lounge. Gared moves to the door and opens it easily.
On the other side is a narrow passageway heading west for about 40' or so, before it turns to the right. Also at the corner, he spies a narrow staircase that leads up.
Time: 7:55 pm, T plus 1 hour, 55 minutes.
Gared crept forward towards the corner with care, his eyes darting back and forth in an endless search. The dwarf peered up the stair case and around the corner as he arrived.
Patrissa is only too willing to stay at the rear of the group, clinging to Ganer closely. She keeps her voice down as she whispers into his ear. "Ebin, that horrid little bugger? It would not surprise me if he voted guilty for the fun of it! He is obvious crazy and I would not trust him any farther than I could stand his stench!"
Gared, You realize the staircase must lead upwards to the belfry, as you remember the vision you had of the exterior of the courthouse. The passageway heads north for about 25' before angling to the right.
"Let's see if we can't search this floor before we tackle any more stairs."
The dwarf spoke, and if unchallenged, continued down the pathway meticulously.
"Alright, Gared," Horven responds, happy to be in the background for a while. "Something wrong with stairs anyway?"
Gared leads the group down the corridor, followed by Horven, Ratcliff, Ganer (with Patrissa close to him) and the rest of the jurors. The corridor bends to the right and then left before continuing on north. Halfway up the corridor, you spy a door in the right wall.
Time: 8:00 pm, T plus 2 hours.
Ganer was happy to be following the leader instead of leading, as he tried to think of some way to get the woman to tell him something useful. He decided to try the direct approach, knowing it would likely not work.He said quietly, "And what of you, dear lady? I have heard from others that you were there, smiling as happily as Ebbin and Malgrim at the judgement of execution. What say you to that?"
I suspect that one will require a roll of some kind to keep her from flipping out, but I'll leave it up to you.
"There be nothing wrong with the stair as far as my eye can see. There is a door off to the right up here, however." Gared carefully approached the door with prying eyes.
Patrissa gives Ganer a smile which causes his knees to go wobbly for a second. "Well, OF COURSE I was happy about that! I mean, we had brought justice to one who we all believed had brutally murdered his wife and child. Even Sir Rekkart believed in his guilt! But now, if what you say is true...then we may have sent an innocent man to his grave." She lays a hand on his arm, her touch sending small shocks of electricity through his body. "We need to find out who was behind this!"
As Gared approaches the door, there is nothing remarkable about it.
Since the passageway dead-ends ahead, I am taking the liberty of FF here...assuming you open the door...
This dark, dank room contains only a trio of couches and two large wooden cabinets.
Ganer smiled, amused at the woman's ability to spin a yarn. "I suspect that Rekkart did not smile at the verdict, or many other times, for that matter. Regardless, if you remember anything, or if you notice anything, but be quiet about it, I don't know how trustworthy these others are."
When they reached the lounge, Ganer inspected the room carefully, wondering if there was anything to find here.
The heroes move into the dusty room, obviously no one entered in this room in years. Nothing emerges from the shadows to strike at you and your search reveals little of note, save for the cabinet in the southeast corner. It is currently locked.
Horven goes over to the cabinet. Throwing caution to the wind and glad to be dealing with something normal, he retrieves his tools from his backpack. He pulls a couple of slender metal tools and proceeds to work the lock.
Ganer Jitesh 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Gared Naught 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Horven Graveltoes 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Ratcliff 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Ebin 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Halgrak 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Killian 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Madge 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Patrissa 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Sir Rekkart 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (19) - 1 = 18
Tablark 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
"?" 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
As Horven successfully picks open the lock, his triumph unfortunately is short-lived. As he steps back the cabinet doors burst open, casting wooden shards about the room. A wretched corpse of a man gives a hideous cry as it emerges from the cabinet. The faded blue uniform of a bailiff clings to its bony shoulders in rags and a hand axe protrudes from its chest. The corpse’s veins and arteries have been pulled out through jagged gashes in its wrists and shoulders and now dangle like leathery marionette’s strings. A childlike giggle issues forth in the darkness above and the veins float upward. The bailiff corpse begins to jerk about like a puppet at the whim of some malevolent force. The thing’s gaunt face is eyeless, its two gaping sockets fixed on nothingness as it snarls and lurches forward!
Madge utters a squeal of terror and draws her blade, then hesitates not sure what to to to help Horven. Move: Draw weapon; Delay.
Round 1 Initiative: Madge, Horven, Rekkart, Ganer, "?", Halgrak, Killian, Gared, Patrissa, Ratcliff, Ebin, Tablark,.
Horven, you are up. Ganer, Gared and Ratcliff please feel free to place your characters anywhere in the room when you declare your actions.
Also, those who are trained in Knowledge Religion may roll it.
Horven tightens his grip on his dagger. He slashes at the horrifying monster.
"It's always something bad. Why can't there be just one normal thing that we benefit from?" Horven asks while making his attack.
Attack Roll:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Damage, if attack succeeds:1d3 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Edit:Take a 5-foot step to (AT,12) after the attack.
In the interest of not having anyone wait for me, I'll go ahead and post now.
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
After seeing Horven get jumped by the creature, He marched as quickly as he was able to help. He didn't even bother with his shield this time, he just brought the mace down hard in an overhead blow.
Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Horven slashes wildly at the zombie-like corpse, his blade scraping along its hide with little effect.
Sir Rekkart exclaims, "By Iomedae's blade, that foul abomination shall not stand!" He draws his sword as he moves up to engage the zombie, however his armor slows him down somewhat and he cannot take a swing at it. Double move to AU12; Draw sword as part of move.
Knowledge Religion 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
"This be another zombie, your slashing blades should be effective against it!"
Ganer steps forward and swings at the zombie, failing to connect with it.
The zombie reacts mindlessly as it strikes at 1=Ganer or 2=Rekkart: 1d2 ⇒ 1, reaching with its clawed hand at the tiefling! Slam 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10; damage 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 missing as he agilely dodges out of the way!
Halgrak and Killian are content to watch things unfold, for now. The look of fear in the half-orc's eyes is unmistakable.
Round 1 Initiative: Madge, Horven, Rekkart, Ganer, "Zombie", Halgrak, Killian, Gared, Patrissa, Ratcliff, Ebin, Tablark.
Gared is up.
Gared stepped around his allies and let fly two more arrows, hoping both that they would find their mark and also that they would pack enough power to punch through the monster's defenses.
Five foot step to AU 10 then flurry of arrows
First arrow:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 Damage1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Second arrow:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16 Damage 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Gared nearly drops his bow after firing the first arrow, but recovers nicely with the second shot. It flies true, impacting the corpse in its neck and shattering the vertebrae which still connects the skull to its body. The corpse staggers for a second before it collapses to the ground, unmoving.
OUT OF COMBAT.
Gared gives a brief nod to his companions before his eye's and bow aim upwards, searching for the specter that would so cruelly play with the dead.
"Well, that was a rather contrived encounter. Do you think they locked him in the cabinet and left him to die, or was he killed and then hidden there to hide the body?" Ganer spoke of murder as though he was discussing the weather, and then added, apparently addressing the ceiling, "Reanimating murdered court staff for us to fight is not impressing upon me your innocence, Mr. Mord."
Ratcliff drops the spell that he had prepared when he sees Gared's arrow frop the zombie. He moves over to the corpse quickly and examines him to see if he recognizes him and searches the body for any clue to his death.
Kn Nature: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Heal: 1d20 ⇒ 5
As the heroes pause to collect themselves and check the remains of the bailiff, Ganer feels a chill wind blow by him as if in response to his query. He glances towards the source of the wind and feels his blood grow cold.
Out of the shadows shambles a tall, hunched figure. The thing’s head jerks obscenely to one side atop a discolored broken neck. Its face is obscured by a rotten death shroud, a milky eye peering through one worn hole, half its blacktooth- filled mouth visible through another rent in the fabric. A horrid rasp of air croaking out pain and misery issues from the thing’s crushed throat as it reaches for...Tablark Hammergrind.
If you would like a picture of it, you need look no further than my avatar, he he.
As the rest of you watch in horrid fascination, you all hear the dwarf moan, a sound like a tortured animal as he drops to his knobby old knees. His hands reach toward his face as if of their own accord and his fingers curl and claw at his eyes. Tablark screams, a high-pitched monstrous sound that cuts the air and warbles on impossibly long, as he leaves large bloody furrows across his face and eyes. The scream turns to mad wild laughter as Tablark rises to his feet and flees.
The creature turns to look at all of you, it breath rasping softly before it slowly walks away and fades from sight.
Time: 8:05 pm, T plus 2 hours, 5 minutes.
"We'd better track him down quick, else he ends up like Malgrim. I kinda like Tablark," Horven says, in a hurried tone.
He grips his dagger and speeds as best he can after Tablark without waiting for a reply.
Heedless of the warning cries of Madge and the others, Horven rushes off after Tablark. The blinded dwarf stumbles down the stairs, falling down on the ground more than once and leaving a trail of blood where his eye sockets still ooze gore. Due to the gashes and cuts on his face caused by him slamming his head into the wall, the blood trail grows rapidly.
All during this process, Tablark says nothing the halfling recognizes as intelligible, only raving gibberish. He also does not recognize Horven in the slightest. While Horven is no healer, it is clear to him the dwarf has been driven completely insane.
Eventually, the maddened dwarf ends up in the courtroom where Horven and the others woke up earlier in the evening. He collapses finally in one corner of the chamber, unconscious.
Ratcliff stares at the creature, fear running down his spine. He shrinks back slightly preparing a spell to fight, but then Horven runs after the Dwarf "Wait!!! Two people won't stand a better chance than one!!!" He goes to follow after Horven indicating to the others to follow "We should all stick together and get...get away from that thing."
Gared sprinted after Horven and Ratcliff as fast as his short legs could carry him. "Ganer, keep and eye on the others. I'll see if I can't bring them back soon enough."
When the dwarf arrived at his companions' side, he muttered a dwarven prayer and pulled some rope from the bag he carried and began to carefully tie up the fallen dwarf. "If we can get out of here alive, perhaps we can be getting him some healing of the mind and body from a cleric or some such."
Gared then bent down gently to sling the dwarf over his shoulder, his face showing a great sorrow.
Gared catches up easily to the others back in the courtroom. By this time, Tablark is unconscious and it is no problem to tie him up. He does not wake up.
So, where are you leaving Tablark guys? Or will are you going to carry him with you?
Horven gets a morose look on his face and kneels down by Tablark.
"I don't know if Jabin Mord will do anymore to him. Probably not," he says, gesturing at Tablark's face. "I think he's done enough."
Horven stands. "We can probably leave him here. Taking him anywhere else may put him in more danger. We need answers and we need them now. I try to be a good person and perhaps you do too, but we need to set aside our consciences for now and have these damn jurors tell us what they know!"
Ganer retreated to a secluded spot in the room, somewhere he wouldn't be observed if it was possible, and then tried to call on the ghost that started all of this in the first place. First was to try to remember anything he might have happened upon about summoning ghosts.
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Barring any rituals he'd learned of, Ganer simply spoke to the angry spirit, that had proven effective, in the worst way possible. He spoke quietly, so the others wouldn't hear him, "Jarbin Mord, I have spoken to some of the people that sentanced you to die, and I have found their account wanting. I have come to believe that you were falsely accused, but I would prefer to hear your account, rather than piecing it together out of the lies the jurors tell."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Just for the record, Ganer's attempts to talk to the ghost has caused nothing but grief, and yet here he is trying it again. Also, I can't believe I just rolled diplomacy to influence a vengeful ghost.
Not really. Judging by what you have seen, Mord is definitely an incorporeal undead and has all of their traits. Unlike a ghost, he seems to cause insanity (like what happened to Tarblek) and also he seems to prefer strangling his victim (as what happened to Malgrim). Best guess is he is a rare...or possibly a unique undead.
"If our aim is to demand information, then I suggest we bring Tablark along, so that it might be plain to them the alternative to any salvation we can offer." Gared picks up the dwarf as kindly as he can. "Perhaps it is true he may be in less danger if we left him here, but I would prefer to keep an eye on him, rather than leave him unwatched by the specters that haunt this place. I do not wish to fight him as we fought Malgrim."
The dwarf looked to his companions. "Would ye suggest a plan of action to deal with the others?"
Gared, Tablark weighs around 195lbs (give or take a few pounds). That, coupled with your 14 STR, puts you past the Heavy load (175lbs.) This means you are staggering around at 5' per round. This will only come into play during combat, though. Do you still wish to carry Tablark around?
Yes. Gared won't leave a fellow dwarf behind if there's any chance of saving him. Also, he'll see if any of the others would be willing to carry him.
Horven runs his fingers through his hair. "Very well, Gared. I see your point. Let's go see who's willing to bear a burden."
Horven returns to the group of jurors and approaches Sir Rekkart. "It seems the ghost has driven Tablark to madness. We are unwilling to leave him behind. Hopefully, we can get out of here and save his life. I know this is imposing upon you, when you hardly know me, but can you help carry the poor dwarf? We need our hands free to fight whatever...horrors Mord may put in our way next."