it seems if the Bruse is not here then our associate is in greater danger. Is Bribery likely to get him out of his triuble? Besides the Bruse who has the power to help our friend out of his current issues? Rognar says scratching his chin
"Neat, I do have a similar trick up my sleeve, I must admit... but I definitely don't mind the help." He grinned at John while wearing his new face, gesturing with his hands his mannerism shifting already away from the one of his original persona.
"From my experience, bribery works pretty much in every nation, however the Executores, are more of a revolutionary police. They might be too loyal to their cause to accept a bribe and anyway, I'd not risk a diplomatic accident with the Bruse, not with so much at stake." He hesitated for a moment looking thoughtful.
"I guess we can just go to where he is held and assess the situation, perhaps see if we can prove him innocent. If not we might have to think about a more creative way to get him out."
|Euphemia 'Femi' Ferka|
"Thanks again for offering Rodrigo. Well, we'd like to find some information on what happened to Beran Ambassador Braakan. Would you have any suggestions on where to start? Is there an official records office? A place where the clerks hang out that we might get some information?"
"Really, anything would be helpful."
Rodrigo says, "Senor, the ambassador was arrested..." he takes out his pocket watch and continues, "About 90 minutes ago. There would not be any records until days later. Justice is swift here due to the revolution but not that swift. I could just take you where the Executore dola Liberta usually hears trials while the Bruse is in his Summer Court. Come with me."
I guess you can go visit the journalist afterwards. She is one of your leads...
You follow Rodrigo a few streets and an avenue away from the teleportation circle and that part of the protest but with the amount of protesters running around the city it takes a solid 40 minutes where it would normally take 15.
John give me a perception check
You arrive at the “courtoom” which is an old building missing most of its roof and parts of its walls.
Knowledge History DC 15
You come in and you see a gnoll woman using the snout of the dragon’s skull as her desk, and the entire face is covered in layers of old candle wax. She is dressed for her judge’s duty, wearing gray robes and a coppery stole adorned with rearing dragons. The broken chain badge of an Executore dola Liberta shines on her chest, and six gold rings adorn a single of her ears. She carries an unadorned staff with fresh blood stains. She is slow to move and speak, and her blue eyes watch inscrutably those with whom she speaks.
She starts off and says, "Salve Senora i Senores, I presume you must be those Risuri friends coming to visit Ambassador Brakken today, my constable was sent to find you but you seem to be very adept at being unnoticed. Interesting... My name is Glaucia Evora Executore dola Liberta of the Beran Revolution and it is a pleasure to meet you however these are not the best of circumstances."
Perception: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
|Euphemia 'Femi' Ferka|
”Thank you Rodrigo, you’ve been most helpful. Oh, we need to find a journalist after this, where would you recommend we start?” Femi takes note of the answer and heads over to the courthouse.
He’s surprised by the condition of the place at first.
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 13 + 2 = 32 (heroism)
He tells the group as they approach, ”It’s not as bad as it seems really. It’s not falling apart... it's a memorial. This is the spot that the dragon Widoreva collapsed when she died. The people of Seobriga have treated the building as a monument of their victory, maintaining the damaged structure and guarding the bones of the dragon.”
”Reverence.” he adds unnecessarily.
When they meet Glaucia Evora, Femi smiles and bows, ”I’m not sure how to address you, your ladyship. I apologize if I am incorrect in such titles, but I mean the utmost respect. Yes, we are here to visit with Ambassador Brakken. It seems that circumstances have, as you say, come between us and our meeting.”
”What can be done? You say you sent for us, well here we are. How can we be of service?”
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 18 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 18 + 2 = 40
Rodrigo says, "I guess it depends on which journalist. You can check with the office of the periodical or ask people for help... we Berans are very friendly."
With Glaucia she says, "During the trial you should address me as your Honor. Everything which was irregular during the last Bruse has become regular during this Bruse. During the Bruse’s absence for summer, I have taken it upon myself to act as extemporaneous judge in Seobriga for complaints of sufficient merit. This is an unusual role for an Executore, but permitted by my powers. The Bruse prefers it this way because he would not want to come back in Fall and be overburdened with trials and he also does not want to lose his powers for acting counter to the constitution that calls for a speedy trial."
Beran culture (Knowledge: History DC 25) or its legal system (Diplomacy DC 30) Profession Lawyer DC 24
Disguise: 1d20 + 31 ⇒ (7) + 31 = 38
As the group made it's way to it's meeting with the Judge, John adjusted his appearance to physically appear the same as when the group first met him, except now he was wearing armor that protected his torso but left his arms free. That same tattoo existed on his left arm, complex geometric patterns spiraled up his arm, every changing slightly, yet designed to make you want to watch them for the changes.
"Well, your honor, if you don't mind I would like to cut straight to the heart of the matter. While we have gathered some information, I would be eternally grateful if you could explain what exactly transpired that has led to this state of affairs? I find it best to speak directly to the source, as it were. that way we aren't wasting your valuable time."
She clasps her hands together and slowly cracks her knuckles and says,"You are guests here in Ber and maybe do not understand who is doing what here. My job is to find out that information not yours. I am requesting that you testify in my courtroom. I understand that you are outsiders and may not be versed in Beran jurisprudence. The request is me being polite as opposed to anything else. You can choose to refuse to give your testimony, however, that would be considered contempt of court. I do not want it to go that way though. This trial should be quick and fair. Would you like to help the citizens of Ber ascertain Ambassador Brakkan's guilt or innocence in the matter of this early morning?"
"We understand your Honor and I think I can speak for my companions that we will gladly provide our testimony to the court. Can we talk to the defendant however before the trial? We would love to hear from him his version of the facts."
Diplomacy if needed: 1d20 + 16 + 1d6 ⇒ (20) + 16 + (3) = 39
Glaucia winks shortly at Javier and says, "Let me look through my documents..." and she grunts, shifts her head back and forth reading through her papers and says, "Well, it seems Constable Skipwith-Darling is qualified to speak to Brakken and he has requested her assistance on the matter. She is a trained attorney. Constable Skipwith-Darling, do you accept the ambassador as your client?"
I assume an affirmative from Iva
Glaucia says, "You may speak to him before the trial."
She brings you into the holding area and shows off her badge to the guards and his cell is what you assume to be the rib cage of the aforementioned dragon which is big enough to house the large minotaur that Femi, Chretien, Iva and Rognar has met before.
The minotaur ambassador from Ber to Risur, Brakken had been tapped by the rulers of Risur and Danor to mediate their peace talks in Spring, which ultimately failed. Canny yet outgoing, his mere presence tamps down on people’s worse tendencies. He once even got a raging bear to back down with a single disapproving glare.
He dresses in simple tribal clothing. He sits with his head in his hands and sees you and says, "Constables, I do apologize for not being at the teleportation circle as agreed upon with PM Lee. I was however preempted by this sordid affair, I must say.... damned peculiar."
"Ambassador." said John with a short bow before continuing "Can you tell us what happened? The charges seem fairly vague, and we're going to do our best to get you released, but it would help to hear what exactly you were told and your explanation of this situation."
As John speaks, he produces a small notebook and prepares to take notes.
Brakken says, "So I was making my way to the teleportation circle to meet up with your group. One of plaintiffs poured a jug of wine on the other and then the wet one shoved the jug holder into me. That one then elbowed me in the snout and I lost a toot and then he grabbed me and tried to shove me into the other one but of course he did not have the strength to do it. I obviously did not want to stay in the fracass and summoned a calming aura and demanded that they stop fighting. I have done this dozens of time and no one had known the wiser. And they had never known they were magically influenced but, of course, it is considered counterrevolutionary to take away another's free will. They, the started screaming about how I had used magic on them."
He scratches his head and says, "The charges are specific. I am to be charged with two charges of magically subverting another's free will and a minor charge of counterrevolution. Here in Ber, you are not the law. I am not going to go to prison or any of that nonsense, if am found guilty of this crime, the executore will beat me senseless but that is not the worst of it... I will be completely ruined. A complete disgrace."
Brakken turns his head towards Rognar, "No, I did not have time to either refute nor admit to the charge. I was grabbed by the protesters and brought here. The good thing about my country is that people of rank have less leeway than those of moderate means, which I applaud, vive la revolucion, viva Ber... however, nothing the mob loves more is to see an ambassador brought low. This is a might ironic considering they brought me up in the first place..."
"Have you ever seen these individuals before?"
"And who can you think of that would go to such lengths to frame you for a crime, and would also happen to know how you were likely to respond to such a situation?"
|Euphemia 'Femi' Ferka|
"Sir, it does sound as if you may have been setup. Would proving as much do anything to get you out of this mess? You say it's very strict here, and you did break the law it seems. But surely there must be something we can do."
"Before our arrival, what were your plans to defend yourself and preserve your legacy?"
Brakken says, "I cannot think of anyone that would want to frame me particularly... to know about my gifts is very rare. Of course the Bruse knows of my gifts and I generally use them for the betterment of Ber. If you could prove that I had been set up that should spare me from ruin. I was going to try to make an argument that I was just trying to extricate myself from the fray and that they could have continued fighting each other after I had left. Or just stand mute."
"That sounds promising. Rare, you say, but not impossible. Who else could know, whether you think they would intend to do you harm with the knowledge or not?"
"Who in your staff knew that we were coming?"
"I'm not ruling that out, although to be completely honest, it's much more likely that they would have just had us killed. To take out an ambassador, much less one of their countrymen, says to me that they have some specific reason to remove you from the board, as it were."
John thinks for a moment, then asks "So, once you had collected us, where specifically were you going to take us?"
Brakken says, "I could not know what the Ob might do. I was going to guide you in the city to help you get info on Tinker and then escort you to the Summer Court and be your introduction to the Bruse. Since I am the Beran ambassador to Risur, it would be natural for me to make the introductions. I am not sure if you know this but Lya Jierre's ship is moored in the harbor. She does not need an introduction because she has been introduced to most world leader by this point by her Uncle Le Sovereign."
He then answers Chretien, "The Danorans or the Ob maybe they just could have fished it out I guess."
"It makes sense, I mean, to neutralize our contact in Ber so that they could more easily access the Brusse..." Javier scratched his chin. "I'm sorry ambassador if it was your involvement with us that caused you so much trouble..."
"Do you think you can help us identify the people involved, maybe we can try to change their minds."
Brakken says, "You should see them at the trial which should be occurring shortly. They are going to give their testimony. I would not suggest plying any magical tricks on them if I were you. To beat the Ob to get Tinker is way more important than me and I would not want you to get in hot water regarding this either."
"When you said you were going to guide us around the city to get information, I assume there are some contacts you have that you would have called on? Perhaps you can point us towards them and we can seek them out? I in no way wish to diminish your situation, but I do not wish our foes to have the chance to escape with Tinker either."
John thinks for a moment, then adds "This ability you have, does it have audible or visual components like spellcasting does?"
Brakken says, "I would have taken you to visit the different parts of the city where you wanted to go and then have introduced you to the Bruse, officially. They do not have Tinker. Lya Jierre arrived yesterday and was asking around about him in the city yesterday. That woman is as smooth as sandpaper.I do not expect she had much luck."
He then says, "It is a mental ability. I am able to calm people's emotions, which I can use on multiple people at once. I can also completely control someone but only one at a time. Plus, I would not want to do that. That is horrible for me as well as them."
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"Finally, as a native of the city, if we were to begin our search for Tinker, where would you recommend we do so?"
|Euphemia 'Femi' Ferka|
"So where does that leave us?" Femi wonders aloud. "I agree with John, we have dual purposes now - save you Brakkan, and find the Tinker. We cannot falter on either track, and for both we have very limited time."
"I do not see a clear path forward on either however, just a bunch of loose threads any of which could lead to success or just a waste of time. Where should we begin? Shall we start with the journalist? We've got some idea where they may be hanging out thanks to Rodrigo. She might give us further leads for both tasks in fact."
"I can also cast Locate Creature to speed our search if needed. I can cast a few in fact if we need it."
"It would probably be advantageous to us to see if we can persuade, even without magic involved, those who have accused the Ambassador to change their mind, if we can find them before the trial, I mean it would probably be too late by then..." The gnoll scratched his chin.
"Maybe we can use your magic to find them Femi? As we might not have enough time before the trial to use mundane means."
Brakken responds, "The trial shall start shortly. I read the article this morning. I would meet with the journalist and visit some of the spots mentioned."
You guys stopped asking questions and I did write justice is swift in Ber.
The jailer comes in and escorts you to the courtroom. When the party arrives, you’re directed to benches at the front of the audience. Brakken is brought out from his cell in another part of the building and escorted to the cage.
Glaucia takes her seat and explains the proceedings for the sake of the outsiders. She uses the snout of the dragon’s skull as her desk, and the entire face is covered in layers of old candle wax. The suspect on trial is required to stand in a cage made of the dragon’s ribs. Soldiers guard the perimeter of the skeleton, and hundreds of people pack the room to watch the trial, shushing each other so they can hear witnesses speak.
A few other trials have occurred today, mostly tenants complaining about their landlords or workers about their bosses. The floor just outside the rib-cage is spattered with blood from the beatings of those found guilty.
Glaucia takes her seat and explains the proceedings for the sake of the outsiders.
She says, "Today, we have a profoundly serious matter to mitigate and that is the trial of Brakken of Hefanita, the Revolutionary Representative of Ber to the Kingdom of Risur. I also get to at the beginning of these proceedings explain how justice is meted out here in Ber."
She takes a quick breath and says, "First, the plaintiffs will provide their testimony. Then the defendant will state his. After which, Physical witnesses will testify. Then character witnesses may speak. Then each group can have a few minutes of discussion and argument—without," she stresses, "any physical contact or violence— and finally I’ll lay the people's sentence."
KNowledge Local DC 15
The trial, brief though it is, has drawn a large crowd. Vendors at the edges offer dried meats and roasted corn dipped in butter and cheese.
She then continues, "In order to make sure the testimony is genuine, I will now trace a truth circle whereupon the testifier must give his or her testimony."
She traces a ring of brimstone on the ground and whispers to it, causing it to flicker with dim fire.
She calls up the first witness, "Rulio step forward and present the revolution with your testimony."
He responds, "I shall step forth and give my testimony on the matter."
He then steps into the ring and she asks him, "What is your name?"
He responds with Rulio and the circle remains dim.
She then asks him, "What day is it?"
He answers, "The first day of Summer."
She then says, "Rulio, I know it will hurt but I need you to give a false answer to prove the truth circle works."
He gulps and then agrees she asks him the same question and he answers "The second day of Summer."
The circle glows red hot and the orc screams in pain.
Glaucia says, "Behold the circle of truth functions."
She then says, "Rulio, what led up to the fight between you and the alleged mind control of you and the other gentleman?"
He says, "Well, your Honor... I was participating in the protest because although we all love the Bruse, he seems to spend too much time outside of Seobriga and not properly keeping the Revolution running. I am somewhat sorry to say that because I do love my country and the Revolution, of course. I was drinking wine as you do during a protest and I spilled my wine on the other man and he decided to retaliate and tried hitting me and hit Ambassador Brakken in the snout and there was a fracas where we exchanged blows and then I felt the urge to not fight anymore, made absolutely no sense. Only after the minotaur said to stop... Had to be sorcery, your honor... such a thing is counterrevolutionary. I could have paid to clean the other gentlemen's shirt but he was so upset and I was a little inebriated and let my emotions run wild of me."
Are either the prosectors desk or the witness stand within 30' of where we would be standing?
As the group makes it's way towards the courtroom, John says "I want one of you to take the lead. I am going to be doing something different, which I believe should allow us to get the upper hand. I will catch up with you later. Stall for time until I get back." He will then seperate from the group.
Okay, so my plan is to wait until both of the two guys who were fighting finish taking the stand and then use both hypnotic stare and detect thoughts on each of them. If possible, I'd like to wait outside for each of them to come out and do it there, in case there is anyone detecting magic inside the courtroom itself. I will make sure that my tattoo is visible, so they will have -4 instead of -3 to will saves when I drop my stare on them. I'd ideally hope to gain any thoughts like "man, I'm glad i didn't mess up in there! so-and-so would really have killed me!" or "okay, no I have to go report back into hq". If I have to tail them I'm going to change my appearance to do so.
based on the way the trial goes, my plan is "scan" them as the exit the courtroom (since it sounded like we would not get a chance to ask them questions).
My working theory is that they are not honest in this situation and are attempting to discredit the ambassador in order to derail the peace talks.
Basec on this, my character feels like the best opportunity to gain information from them is when they have just finished lying (as they will likely lower their guard).
of course, if I think I can get away with magical shenanigans in the courtroom, then I'll gladly do that...