If Pharasma does make a record of each mortals life, then tonight she notes a blond woman from the north convincing a hard scaled warrior to use mercy. The record would show that who you call Bryndyn and who his clan calls chan Shillath makes a gamble that he may not live long enough to regret. In careful consideration he agrees that his honor will be determined by those he vouches for. Thus it is recorded that the heroes did keep their weapons and with some small moments passed, the work of collecting anything of value has been completed by the lizardfolk. It is all put on one wagon, with the dead girls,. Except for the horses pulling the wagon the other horses are tied to the back of the wagon. Alam is dragged to this wagon and thrown in. Is it good that he is being hauled with the valuables? Or is it bad that he is put with the dead humans? The second wagon holds the desicated lizardfolk bodies. It is before this wagon that Lim'ikith walks, leading this group away from the battle. Before him scouts disappear into the night. Oddly, the record will show that the Ulfen warrior is given a place by his side as they walk toward the village.
So Lim'ikith leads and then thier honored dead follow, and then the other wagon, and finally the heroes. All around them lizardfolk come close and fade again, thier attention split between guarding the prisoners and watching the night for threats. And some time passes. Several hours? Dawn will be here soon it seems. And then you see it. The village.
It is in fact something rather more like a fort, a hard place in a hard land and made for defense. Strong walls. Haugins Ear looks very poorly made in comparison. Large stone turreted mounds as strong points. And a winding path to get there. What first seems to be an attempt to be indirect soon reveals itself as a path past pits and who knows what other defenses.
Once within the wall Lim'ikith orders you brought to a collection of 4 huts. Your guide tells you in broken common that you are allowed to be here, but that if you make trouble, you will be held in the pit. He also advises that you should sleep now, for your judgement will begin at dusk and it will be better for you to be rested.You do not see the pit here.
These accommodations are comfortable enough. sleeping pace for 6 in each hut with rough wool blankets. The bench beds surround the inside of the circular walls, and in the center of the hut is a fire pit, stocked with wood, though not lit. Soon after you arrive you are given another welcome surprise. As dawn kisses night into submission several lizardfolk arrive with platters of food. Nuts, raw game, and roots, both potato and carrot. They do not speak even if spoken too.
But do not think you are arrived as welcome guests or visitors. The huts themselves have a fence around them of wood, and while it would be fairly easy to breach, the guard that is placed outside would be less so. The guard is busy with not only keeping you contained, but with keeping the little ones away from you. They seem quite curious.
|Pluchak del Oktar|
On the way to the Lizard Fort, Pluchak will inform anyone who is still baffled by the turn of events all of the words spoken in Draconic. After he was finished filling them in, he spoke once more. "It seems we have to make some kind of defense for Bryndyn's actions, and if it works out they will let us go. If it doesn't, we might become food. Hard to say at this point, but I am willing to let Elinor do the talking right now. She seems to have quite a bit of sway."
Narnel sits quietly in the hut. Having inconspicuously joined the party as it left the battlefield, he is not convinced that having gone with them willingly was the best course of action.
Bryn, do you know anything of the form of judgment among these folk?
|Harlynn P. Quinn|
The wizard obviously out of his element grabs a seat on the bench with a scowl on his face. And lays down. Eventually sleep will take him.
In the morning he wakes so that he had time to study his craft before the distressingly everyone elses morning routines.
Taedric waits until the lizards have delivered the food and do not seem intent on returning before finally dismounting and beginning to rub down Trumps, grabbing one of the raw coneys from the platter for his trusted companion.
He produces a small deck of cards and begins to practice his card tricks while watching the others warily. Lady, it seems I may need all the luck you can lend me tomorrow...
Finally, he sighs and asks, "Ar chóir dúinn a bheith ag déanamh plean teagmhasach i gcás go dtéann an lae amárach breithiúnas i gcoinne dúinn?"
"Should we be making a contingency plan in case tomorrow's judgement goes against us?"
Ba chóir a dlíthe a urramú. Bheadh ár gcuid ama a chaitheamh níos fearr a ullmhú cosaint é, agus b'fhéidir ag foghlaim roinnt rudimentary nathair-urlabhra.
Narnel, mae'n gofyn os dylem gynllunio dianc, ac yr wyf yn dweud ein bod yn bwriadu lleferydd yn lle hynny.
Aidan relaxes, idly fussing with a small carving.
Mae'n siarad yn y tafod y byd cyntaf-, gan fy mod yn siarad yn awr yn y tafod y goedwig hen.
He speaks in the tongue of the world-first, as I speak now in the tongue of the old forest.
What the hell, guys, can we please speak a language that we can all understand? I just went through listening to an elongated exchange on the battlefield of which I understood nothing. I would think that we would be able to work better as a group if we could understand one another.
|Abbas of Cheliax|
Narnel winks at Abbas.
Well, thank you Aidan, and I guess that we will have to consistently rely on your translating abilities.
Eli, you seem to have gotten sort of friendly with our new hosts. Might it serve us better to attempt an escape before things turn nasty at the Judgement? It may be easier than fighting our way out because you should all know that I will certainly not accept any sort of Judgement that harms me or my friends.
Taedric looks at Narnel and says, "I thought it might be prudent to make plans in a language our captors were unlikely to understand, especially if we're planning something they may not much like... and I knew that Aidan, at least, understood me."
Taedric flits out a piece of chalk from his belt pouch and find writes on the stones surrounding the firepit:
I asked if we should have a plan if the judgement goes against us.
As he writes, he says aloud, "No matter. Who'd like to play cards?", even as his small hands wipe away his last writing and replace it with:
Nor will I, Narnel, and that's what I'm on about.
He holds out the chalk for anyone who might like to respond while continuing, "It's a simple game, only six wildcards. We could play for buttons or string or something if you didn't care to put down any coin."
Cards, huh? Explain the rules, please.
Narnel grabs the chalk, and writes the following.
I am thinking of scouting a way out before dusk.
@Sigil: What was able to notice regarding how close the fenced in set of four huts was to the actual outer wall and guard positions thereon? Also, what kind of cover is available in the surrounding area if were were to get over the walls?
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
I am posting for Bryndyn with his permission.
Narnel, I have never been involved in something like this before. Though I have no direct knowledge I can answer in a general way. Tonight, when the sun sets, we will be brought before a council of all the full blooded warriors of the tribe. The accusation against us will be spoken and members of the council will be given an opportunity to speak. I am certain that Lim'ikith will speak against us, and me specifically. He resents my walk between 2 worlds. We will be given a chance to answer and influence the council, though we should be careful as I am certain Lim'ikith is already poioning them against us. Lim'ikith believes the judgement will be made by Chi'chilm'uth thul, though I am not so certain. I believe that Chaachmael will also have a say, maybe even the decision. She serves as our shaman and has much respect from the council. It is her role to attend to all things spiritual, and Chi'chilm'uth thu realm is the physical one. Because of the accusation, I am not sure which will have the final decision. Also remember that a wise chief or shaman knows that they do not rule long if they do not listen to those they rule. At least this is our custom. So in a way we have 3 judges and who can say which will be the most important one.
The outcome could be that we leave both bondage and accusation behind, and take with us much if not all of the plunder from last night. Or we may simply be permitted to leave, and have no more accusation or what was in the wagon. These are good outcomes. We could also be beaten with a rod. The number of strikes would be determined by whoever renders the decision. Though I think this would not happen. It is a good way to punish sloth, or theft, but this is much more serious. We might be put into slavery until we repay our debt. We might be killed and as measure of mercy might be eaten, or failing that left in the woods, but I do not think they will both kill us and eat us. It will likly be that we are buried. This is as bad as it gets for you. For me, it could be worse. I could be branded, and exiled, carrying only the skin of my clan forever, but never more a part of it. And because I should have known better I will likley be punished in a greater measure than you. Perhaps I will be killed and you will be released. Does this answer what you asked?
At the mention of exile a very real look of sadness and horror passes Bryndyn's eyes.
"Can we play for claes?" suggests Ellie mischievously.
"I'm pretty sure I'm not destined to dee here. If they had any plan of turning us into bait they'd not have let us keep our blades. Bryndyn though...yer well fitted up, but."
"What are we actually supposed to have done? Lifting an aald gully?"
Even if she's being spied on, Elinor's dialect would make it almost impossible to tell what she was talking about.
"The way I see it, we've done your folk a great good, cleansed your hole of the draugr and brought to a bloody justice the moss troopers who were tossing those poor slain lassies in it like it were a nettie."
She pauses in thought.
"Your sky maiden. Think you she'll take your part? This is surely a matter of spirit, not body. Maybe your...passenger can testify that what we did was for all the right reasons even if it broke a couple out dated rules. If that divvent impress them..."
Elinor climbs out of her armour, with assistance if available and checks it over thoroughly for damage, although aside from a couple arrows rattling off it she should have come through unscathed and unpins her hair so she can brush the tangles out of it.
"In the mean time, we need sleep. If it comes te fighting our way out, I don't want to find mesel dozing off mid-swing. Wake us up at lunch."
Narnel, the wooden fence would not be a problem to breach. A few rounds effort (if that) would see you through it. There are also a number of guards, there number hard to gauge because there are also spectators that have to be kept away. The process once you escaped could be harrowing with 2 stockade walls to get through, and traps, and towers to avoid and a city full of lizardfolk, whom you would struggle to blend with except Bryndyn. The distance to clear both of them is not large, 500 feet maybe, if you go in a straight line.
The good news is that the surrounding area is fairly rough, the lizardfolk village seeming to be a part of the wild landscape as much as that is possible. (As opposed to Haugins Ear which has cleared fields and etc. surrounding it.)
Ok, escape does not seem likely with such a large group. I may be able to sneak away, but I doubt many others would make it with me. From Bryn's explanation, our chances do not seem bad, but I still say that any attempt at harm on any of us, and the arrows will begin to fly.
We'll charge our way out of here.
And so it goes, the bleary dawn turned to clear spring day. A lunch is brought. It is a warm soup with morels, and flowers. It is served with dried trout.
You talk and you eat, and you sleep and conspire. Nothing much changes through the day and you cannot help but to wonder where Alam is and how he is being treated.
As the sun begins to settle behind the trees you know it must be time nearing. And then an armed group appears and asks for 2 of you to come forward to be prepared for the council. They wait to see who will come, seemingly having no opinions of thier own.
|Pluchak del Oktar|
Pluchak stands up and speaks in common. I would go, but it should be you and Bryndyn, Elinor. You are wise and persuasive and I would trust you with our defense."
He eyes the guards as if he were imagining their bodies slow roasted over a fire, which in fact he was. His incisors grow a little as he adds in Draconic,
|Abbas of Cheliax|
"Good luck you two."
Abbas looks at the lizardfolk and shrugs, "not dark. They be fair. Elinor will do good." He has no understanding or interest in the codes, and guarded words that the others use.
He smiles at the same lizardman that Pluchak sort to make so uncomfortable.
|Harlynn P. Quinn|
"I divvent speak for any but myself. There's no justice in condemning someone on the words of another."
If there's washing facilities provided, Elinor will quite cheerfully avail herself of them regardless of privacy. Through the afternoon she'll have been polishing her armour (unless Harlynn has got prestidigitation to clean it without the effort) and otherwise 'scrubbing up'.
Back tracking to during the afternoon when we weren't overheard.
"I'm inclined to leave out all talk of the wifey and her magic protection. We backtracked Jad to the hole, discovered the poor lassies we had been seeking, explored to find some explanation, encountered the spooky lizard - and mind I'd like to ken what he thinks - returned with a wagon to recover the lassies and encountered that horde of reavers."
"It has the added advantage of being as true as One-eye's aim."
The decision made, Elinor and Bryndyn are led away by a dozen or so armed guards. The vagaries of language being what they are, after about 10 minutes the jailers come back and ask for 2 more.
This will continue until you have all been taken, so go ahead and choose your partners. :) (Grade school all over again!) and the next bit will happen via email once that has happened. Larayn is willing to go with any partner, but would prefer Abbas or part of her original team.
|Abbas of Cheliax|
|Pluchak del Oktar|
Pluchak drops a large hand on Abbas' shoulder. "I will go with Seneca. You can go with Larayn. We will leave Taedric and Aidan to speak for Trumps. I think that accounts for everyone, providing there aren't any objections." You can tell that Pluchak is doing his best not to be menacing, but for some reason the almost 7 foot heavily muscled half-orc sounds commanding even when he tries to be diplomatic.
|Harlynn P. Quinn|
Taedric smiles, "I don't think they're counting Trumps... However, I can certainly translate for him. Let's go, Aidan."
And so reunited you are. Clean, and awaiting your trial for a crime some of you are not even clear about. You realize several things. Elinor kept her arms and armour, but even with this detail, there are only a half dozen guards. If you wanted to, this would be your chance. Of course then there is the little matter of escaping the village. You can hear nearby the loud sounds of a party perhaps. The lizardfolk here appear sullen and watch you warily.
Narnel quietly approaches Elinor, and he whispers so that others in the group can hear, but definitely attempting to keep this from the captors.
I do not know if we will get another opportunity. Should we await the judgement?
|Harlynn P. Quinn|
Taedric walks slowly along the wall, as if looking for a secret door. Finally, he finally throws his head back in a loud howl, listening for a response.
When an answering howl comes, Taedric visibly relaxes. He approaches the group and says, "He's upset, but he's not been harmed.... In this, he and I are of the same mindset."
He sighs and says, "We're disarmed and surrounded by guards -- I think we've already thrown the dice, and so we may as well wait and see how the pips add up."
|Abbas of Cheliax|
When Abbas and Larayn enter the chamber and meet Elinor and Bryndyn, he explains how they wanted his blood for the prisoners lives but when he offered some, they changed their minds.
"Not big one but little one decided. Got to make peace he said? But I not fight them?"
As if on cue 2 things happen. A lizardfolk female comes through the guarded door, and the guards assume much more alert and less sullen postures. And the sounds of celebration cease.
Zissss is your time.She says simply and walks out the open door. 2 of the guards flank her, and the others wait for you to proceed and then follow.
You follow her into the early evening air and into a large building, clearly styled as much of the village is, but this one with stone in its shape.
Entering you see a door directly opposite you that is closed, but the chamber itself is an immense circle. The center of the circle is bare with an earth floor. Raising up on all sides are 2 rows of of benches and before each row is a raised platform that could serve as a table. The room is crowded with lizardfolk on these platforms, but for how many there are it is strangely quiet and all eyes are on you. In front of some of the lizardfolk are cups. All of the lizardfolk wear tunics like you have and there are both genders present, though the number is skewed toward male. At either end of the circle (imagine the clesed door at 12, your entry at 6 and this feature at 3 and 9) is a larger raised platform. On one of these there is a bloated male lizardfolk that rivals in size Gamel sits watching impassively. At the other end sits a shrunken diminutive aged female lizardfolk. Her eyes are black and keen and she watches you like prey.
The female leads you to the center of the circle and speaks in draconic and then again in common, her words having the same meaning in both languages.
Great Onesss, forgive us this trespasssss. We come sssseeking your wisssdom. Thessse are accussed of dessssspoilation of a sssacred plasssse. They have been offered the chanssse to bleed and have refusssed asss isss thier right. We ssseek your wisssdom. We sssseeek your jussstice.
When she finishes speaking the assembled lizard folk break out into furious whispering. And then Lim'ikith leaps up from the gallery and says boldly in draconic, (and his words are translated by the female who led you here, he either does not know the common tongue or simply refuses to speak it) May I speak first? He turns to the bloated lizardfolk who gives a barely perceptible flick of the tongue, which Lim'ikith takes as assent.
These humans, and I call all of the them humans for the one who wears our skin does not wear our heart have now been found both plundering the place of shadows, which they call the devils hole. That there were there cannot be denied. There are too many witnesses. I ask mighty Chi'chilm'uth thul to cast these out from us never to return. This one, and here he gestures to Elinor, understands us better than the human child in scales does. Take from them their possessions, for who can say what means of the ancients have been used in their purchase.
At the end of his words the place erupts into a fury of yells and jeers and accusations. Lim'ikith has done as feared and turned the gallery against you. A cup sails near you. And then a lizardfolk sitting beside Chi'chilm'uth thul stands and the room is quiet in an instant.
This unnamed lizardfolk says, does the chan and his companions have anything to say in his defense? All eyes are now on Bryndyn.
Aidan leans heavily on his staff, but is quiet, waiting for Elinor or Bryndyn to speak first.
He does mutter, quietly, to himself, in druidic.
|Pluchak del Oktar|
Pluchak didn't have anything worth fighting for, but he didn't want them taking Abbas' staff. The thought that these would take it from him for the sake of the dead when it might have been a ghost that gave it to him in the first place seemed horribly unfair and unjust. Exactly how to say it escaped him at the moment.
In Pluchak's mind he was leaping over to the inflammatory Lizard and tearing out her throat with teeth. Of course, anyone who had spent much time with him could see it on his face as well, but somehow he managed to keep his ground and grit his teeth instead. Although his teeth were getting longer and his fingernails were growing and hardening into claws. He wasn't going to be able to add to this debate very well, he was more likely to get them all killed if he didn't put all of his resources into self control.
Readied action to charge the prosecutor if things get uglier.
|Abbas of Cheliax|
"I never refuse my blood. This true. No despoils and I will fight for my life or die. Take blood from my body if you dare." Never one for social niceties, Abbas shakes his staff at the fat ones,angry at the way they keep reverting to a tongue he cannot follow when something important is said.
Tall and strong, Abbas stands up like a demi-god resplendent. His eyes stare out far into the distance beyond the room or maybe they are just a bit vacant.
|Harlynn P. Quinn|
Elinor will make room for Bryndyn to speak first since his life is on the line, but when her turn comes she addresses the throng in Draconic, and when finished will translate for the group.
"I come from the far north and learned my speech from your kin there. Forgive my halting speech and <does not translate well into common - tail gestures?>. In my home, my folk and your folk are blood enemies back to the time of the first men and first dragons. In the same way that this one would condemn my clutch-companion, the council in the north would condemn you as traitors to your kind for allowing me to address you. Your way is better, and maybe his way is better still."
"I regret that we transgressed your place of shadows. Several of the young females of Haugin's Ear have been stolen from their families and we sought their fate. We discovered that they had been tormented, their scales torn, their bodies broken and then those responsible had thrown them into the place of shadows."
"Aye, we entered this place. I did so to retrieve the kin of my distant kin so that they could be returned to their nest. He who you call Shallath entered to cleanse it of the defilement of others. He can speak of the task he was charged with by your ancestors but one who seemed to have the right told us that the objects that had been cast into the hole could be removed without it be theft. These are weregild the northern draconians have this word, though possibly not Bryn's lot for the dead. I would ask, what have we done that is wrong by your laws or ours? We have sought to retrieve our dead, and yours. We have fought and slain those who have violated our folk and your place. We have been charged with and accomplished tasks by your elders, and ours."
"This one," she points at Lim'ikith and though it doesn't translate into common her tone and body language are deliberately denigrating, "watched us fight a battle against those who had defiled your place and stayed his hand until we were victorious when his intervention could have decided it at the outset. He thought to watch our deaths and then collect the pretty baubles for himself and he now brings this suit to settle a personal score and acquire those same baubles by another means. Cowardice, petty malice and greed, the very worst of human traits."
That should set the python among the mice, although we might still end up as dinner.