Through flashes of lighting and the crashing of thunder you remember seeing a leaning monument to the district’s pain, this four-story courthouse is a crumbling marvel of cracked plaster and chipped marble. Once a testament to justice wrought in shining white stone, the courthouse is now a crushed dream, its wretched exterior corrupted by a bloated evil festering within.
Rainwater from a recent downpour mixed with mulch oozes from ruptures in the rock like pus bubbling from a wound. The structure of the eastern wing of the upper floor buckled long ago, and now the bell tower tilts perilously, appearing as though it might careen to the ground below at any moment. Two massive pillars frame the heavy oak doors of the court. The pillars’ surfaces run with cracks and fissures like so many burst veins. The doors sag in their archway like the drooping eyes of a madman. The surrounding structures long ago fell in upon themselves in supplication to the creaking courthouse.
A salt wind blows up the precipice and rakes across the tangled weeds of Beldrin’s Bluff. The whole building groans as the wind blows, its tortured lamentation fading to a rasping hiss as the wind ebbs. This croaking murmur never completely fades away. The sun sets in the west, the last slivers of twilight painting the courthouse blood red as darkness creeps closer.
repeatedly and snarls for silence. The murmur of the crowd relents as the stocky magistrate
draws up to his full height, smoothing a silver beard with one hand as he sets down his gavel
and focuses on you with shining green eyes. “Jarbin Mord. For the brutal and savage slaying of your own wife and six-year-old boy, it is the verdict of this jury, with which I concur wholeheartedly, that you shall hang by your neck until dead. May the gods take mercy on your blackened soul.”
Slowly, the vision fades away as you return to consciousness, but the sight that greets you is almost as disturbing. The dying gray light of sunset peeks through slits in the boarded windows, barely illuminating a yawning courtroom replete with pews and a towering bench covered in cobwebs. A shadowed mural on the domed ceiling above depicts Iomedae in her shining plate mail of gilded sunlight, locked in mortal combat with Norgorber, Calistria, and Asmodeus, holding the trifecta of evil at bay with her shining sword. You find yourself in a jurors’ box, and you are not alone. In the other chairs, eleven other figures stir in the darkness, each emerging from troubling dreams into a new nightmare.
Please only read your vision. I would like a will save from each of you and please note if there are any situational modifiers, ie +2 vs. spell.
Finngarth rouses from the dream-like vision to find himself in still another nightmare. Sitting in judgement in this ruined courthouse gives the cleric a shiver up his spine. Certainly, the law was a basic tenet of civilization, and the Great Banker himself taught to honor and use the law to your best advantage in commerce. But this, this place was a mockery of the honor and prestige that the civilized gave to the courts. This place had a ruined, even vile, feel to it, and Finngarth felt sure that any judgments given here damn those who passed the sentence just as much as the accused.
Will, Hardy (dwarf trait, +2 vs spells, poisons, and spell-like abilities): 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 6 + 2 = 18
Volta's eyes streak about looking a bit confused as he seeks anything familiar around him. Volta thinks, What was that nightmare, it felt like more ... more real? Looking up he sees the awesome mural that hovers over a degraded hall. A hailing of justice, often inflexible. Still this place's deplorable condition seems to dishonor any hope of fairness. What is going on? His mind drifts over his most recent memories, trying to comprehend how he came to be here.
Will Roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Volta really wants to know, what's going on and how he got here, if he remembers. If he doesn't remember he'll want to know even more!
|Groff the glib|
glory of old+hardy
will save: 1d20 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 3 = 6
Still groggy after his vision, Groff seems to have a bit of trouble resisting things.
I gotta go easier on the firewhiskey. It's making me see crazy stuff and wake up in strange places. he thinks to himself as he looks around, and makes sure he hasn't lost anything.
Will save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Kanna comes to with a start, her eyes wide and beads of perspiration on her forehead. It is hard to discern the nightmare from the real world, and she blinks hard in an effort to clear her mind. She looks around to see her fellow "jurors," not recognizing any of the faces.
Where am I, and how came I to be here?
In the box there are a total of two dwarfs, an elf, a gnome, a half-orc, a hobgoblin, and six humans.
A older human, with gray hair and wearing chainmail and a longsword looks around the box and as his eyes sweep the hobgoblin he sneers and his face transforms as they alight on a buxom yet pretty human woman wearing a figure-hugging gown of red silk that accentuates her considerable curves, bright red lipstick, an abundance of rouge and a beautiful necklace of gems. ”Patrissa! What a delight it is to see you again! It’s been a long ten years since last we met!” As Patrissa looks around you see a moment of concern on her face and then she smiles and winks flirtatiously at the man and seduces him with her voice ”Sir Rekkart. What a pleasure it is to be in your company again. I never feel safer than when you are around.”
The half-orc gasps as he comes to and realizes where he is. All is says is ”Oh no!”. The hobgoblin next to him, with a look of bewilderment which quickly disappears when he looks around, hits him on his arm and shakes his head once. He doesn’t look happy to be here.
The gnome, pot belly stretching his green motley, says though a mouth of missing and chipped teeth, ”At least we are out of the rain tonight!” and laughs and smiles at his own joke.
There is a rosy-cheeked old human man dressed in threadbare finery with a broad handlebar mustache and a frayed top hat. He just smiles and takes a sip from a flask.
A lady and a knight", thinks Finngarth to himself. Abadar be blessed! There is civilization here after all." He turns a baleful eye on the gnome dressed in motley. And grits his teeth when he sees the half-orc, old racial tensions flaring up again.
Choosing to ignore those others, Finngarth introduces himself to the older man iwht the longsword. "I am Finngarth. Abadar smiles on our meeting, sir. I hear your name is Rekkart. Tell me Rekkart, do you know where we are, or how we came to this place?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
That's about as diplomatic as any dwarf could be...
Rekkart turns to Finngarth, "You are correct. I am Rekkart of Iomadae. We are in the Beldrin’s Bluff Courthouse. In fact we are in the very room we met ten years ago. Though I only recognize half of us. As to how we got here I have don't know, but I imagine we were drugged."
When he says this each of you try to remember last night. The last thing you remember is either eating dinner or drinking later.
Finngarth considers what he remembers of ten years ago. "Was I really in this place then? The drug they gave me is so disorienting."
He looks around at the others to see if truly recognizes any of the rest of his peers in the "jury".
|Groff the glib|
Finngarth bows low in the formal dwarven greeting. "A fine city Janderhoff. Abadar blesses our meeting, to our mutual benefit." says the cleric making a blessing motion, welcoming the brother dwarf.
"My name is Nokayoma Kanna, but please to be calling me Kanna," the woman with foreign features says in accented Common. "I must confess that I do not remember any of you, nor my presence in this place."
Volta listens to the others trying to remember anything about them, but is quite disturbed to have some of them confess to being unaware of there circumstance and to suggest drugging. Have to use my training if captured by hostiles. Not quite what I thought it would be like. Who are my captors? What do they want and why? And who among the captives is their agent?
K:Geography: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23 Where is Beldrin's Bluff? What do I know about it?
Lore:The Pathfinder Society: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6 Do I know anything connected with this by location or people mentioned or anything seen that the Society told me about?
A lad, gets up, and introduces himself a bit fuzzily with a polished local accent and a deeper tenor than a boy should have. "Hi, I'm Volta! Please to meet you ... well kinda. I was at a tavern with some friends, I think, not sure, might be an old memory, never mind-worshiping the The Drunken Hero and then here I guess. What is happening, why are we here, who's responsible? This is so weird."
|Groff the glib|
Rekkart looks to Kanna and smiles "It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Kanna. You don't remember because you weren't here. Though there was a man that looked similar to you on the jury. Neither were you, you, you, you and you." he says pointing to Finngarth, Groff, Volta, Seldion, and Ianfir.
As you rack your brains you all you can come up with is this:
You know that Beldrin’s Bluff was once the shining center of Absalom’s wealthy elite. Resting atop the Precipice District, the district offered patrons of high-end restaurants, gentlemen’s clubs, and ladies’ teahouses a breathtaking view of a glittering sunset on the water and, if the clouds cooperated, a magnificent green flash as the horizon swallowed the sun. Now the bluff is a smattering of ramshackle manors, open lots of twisted weeds, and broken cobblestones.
About ten years ago erosion sent two blocks of Beldrin’s Bluff crumbling from their cliff-top perch and into the harbor below. During the chaotic, fearful days following the collapse, many strange events transpired in Beldrin’s Bluff. Fortunes disappeared, murderers slaughtered innocents, and families splintered, all in the grips of anarchy and terror.
Most of Finngarth's time in Absalom has been spent in the counting houses and banks of Abadar, learning more about how commerce is connected in the City at the Center of the World than about its history and the details of its less-reputable districts, so he is of little use in answering questions.
His knowledge of the jury process is quite limited. He once had a tutor who spoke about jury service, but the dwarf can't remember many of the details, if they were revealed at all back then.
Patrissa gasps upon hearing the courthouse might be haunted. "I'm sure you big strong men will protect little ole me from any ghosts won't you Groff?"
The half-orc says in a dejected voice, "Oh great! Now I've got a ghost after me." He looks like a man the world has beaten down repeatedly.
At this point the hobgoblin scoffs "No ghost brought me here and when I find the person that did so there is going to be trouble. Now stop talking this nonsense about ghosts!"
|Groff the glib|
As the drowsiness wears off you are able to take in more of the room. Rows of dusty benches, several askew or knocked over, are lined behind a waist-high partition separating spectators from trials. A dusty wooden jurors’ box, rickety from generations of termites and time’s cruel fangs, stands against the south wall. A high bench covered in muslin rests against the east wall. Two thick tables once stood facing the bench, now one has been smashed to kindling. An evidence table rests against the south wall.
I have added a map. Everyone is a bit squished to start out. They only give you 10 feet to put six people. Let me know if there is any trouble moving yourself. You may have to zoom in for better detail.
His head clearing, Volta sighs as once again he is ignored. But he is use to that so he turns his attention to the area. He tries to see if there is anything or anyone keeping them here. if he doesn't spot traps, cages, bars, or other barriers, and doesn't see any obvious guards, he will attempt an escape.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24 +1 if a trap is involved. If he spots a trap, guards, or treachery, stop moving.
If nothing stops him he slithers his way through down several squares and walks out to the empty square in front of the jester hatted figure, and cautiously proceeds to the nearest exit.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 Move through crowd with minimum of disturbance.
As appropriate, Volta mutters, "Excuse me, Pardon me, Sorry about that! Passing through."
Can't seem to move or select my character, maybe I'm doing something wrong?
Finngarth turns an incredulous eye on Seldion as he makes some denigrating remark about cities. "Elf, all the wise know that cities are the finest creation of mankind. The home of commerce, the foundational roots of trade, and the melting pot of markets, the city is the most noble place to be. The honor of Abadar permeates the entire living, breathing mass. Civilization itself rests on the success of cities, sir. Keep your insults for something you may know about. "
The irritated dwarf steps outside the jury box, looking abou the runied room curiously, for any sign of judge or other figure of the court.
Are we alone here or are there others besides those in the box?
|Groff the glib|
Looking around you see the last light of day coming through cracks in the boarded up windows, but you see no other people other than those in the jury box. The only other thing of note is the evidence table in the southeast corner with some items on it.
As you push past the hobgoblin he puts a hand up to stop you, "Where do you think you're going newcomer?! Mind your betters!" When Sir Rekkart sees the hobgoblins reaction he puts his hand on his sword but, Patrissa places a hand on his arm to stay him. He smile at her hand and then looks at the hobgoblin with a stern face, "Malgrim, there is no need for such barbaric behavior. If you want out of the box first just say so."
Malgrim grips a spiked chain and then snorts at Rekkart. He stands and moves toward the judges seat and witness box allowing you to move through.
will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Blinking his eyes open and himself awake, Ianfir slowly turns his head to take in his surroundings. The bustle of the others in what looked like a courthouse had roused him, but the circumstances leading up to now were hazy and elusive to his immediate recollection. As others all seemingly began to mingle, Ianfir remained silent as his heart started to pound in his chest. Cities made him uncomfortable, and the absence of his companion Three-Toes made him even more nervous.
Where is Three-Toes?
As Ianfir looks around there is a whine from the dark corner on floor next to the jury box. Standing up is a wolf which looks up at Ianfir and whines again and shakes its head.
As Kanna moves past the evidence table, a piece of the mural, with Iomedae’s shining sword upon it, breaks free from the ceiling with a groaning crack. The chunk of marble falls onto the evidence table and a bloody axe launches off the table, spinning end over end across the courtroom, sinking solidly into the wall of the jurors’ box.
Reflex Save DC 15 Damage if Fail: 1d6 ⇒ 5
Reflex save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
The axe catches Kanna in the arm as it flies by, leaving a nasty gash. She gasps aloud, surprised by the sudden coincidence.
|Groff the glib|
Volta jumps a bit at the activity of the masonry and assumes a defensive stance prepared to dodge. "What caused that? How do I stop it? Can it get all of us if we all make a break for it? Staying here seems bad.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 Volta scans around for danger.
After the axe thuds into the jury box, the half-orc yells out "We're all going to die! All because of that stupid trial!" He is looking right at Malgrim as he says this.
The little gnome giggles and says "Well at least I'll be the last to die, I'm shorter than the rest of you and will be noticed last."
Patrissa then looks to Groff and Sir Rekkart "Would you two gentlemen protect me while we figure out what to do?" Rekkart moves next to her, hand on his sword "My sword is yours."
Volta sees no other danger.
|Groff the glib|
Ianfir began to get up before the ceiling crumbled and the axe sprang from the table, but his rear found the floor before his feet had gotten underneath him. Then he scrambled across through the jurors box to retrieve Three-Toes, giving him a thorough once over to make sure nothing had happened to him.
Once Three-Toes rejoins him, Ianfir looks over the other ten people; strangers all a mix of races and various levels and degrees of armaments. A strange bunch, most strangers to each other still. Ianfir takes some time and waits to listen to them bustle about, the thought that they are all in the same situation creeping into interest.
Ianfir draws his quarterstaff to protect himself, and moves over to examine the axe that has implanted itself in the wall.
Knowledge local DC10: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
After the roofing falls sending the axe hurtling at the monk, Finngarth returns and ministers to her injury. "It is a simple wound, lady." says the cleric, resting his holy symbol upon the place, should she allow it. "Abadar will mend this and return thee to full vitality." With a short dwarvish prayer, he heals the monk.
Cast cure light wounds on Kanna.
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
After the healing is complete, Finngarth turns to Patrissa with a dour look on his face. "I sense that all of you know something of this place and why we are all called here. What is it that you know? What happened here in the trial? Tell us!"
|Groff the glib|
As soon as Groff calls the trial crooked, Sir Rekkart booms "There was nothing dishonest about that verdict! We convicted him fare and square." Sir Rekkart calms down a bit and says "I'll tell you everything about the trial you want to know. The six of us and the six that aren't here were the jury for the trial of Jarbin Mord. He killed his wife and child and was hung after we found him guilty. That was ten years ago tomorrow he hung."
"What one man determines as fair another may call foul," says Finngarth. "But the rule of the jury is unanimous, is it not? The wise Lord Abadar has decreed that the doubts of one may spare the innocent. It appears Groff here does not share Sir Rekkert's opinions. Why then did the accused swing, if one here is in question? Or did you not do your duty?" Finn raises a questioning eye at Groff, challenging him to speak his mind rather than continuing to make snide comments.
sense Motive DC 10: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Volta looks for exits and wonders if he could make it out but also doesn't want to abandon anyone else caught in this nightmare.
Volta listens to the group wondering I remember Master Baltran saying that if imprisoned expect at least one prisoner to be plant or stoolie. I wonder which one it is.
Volta says, "We cannot undo what happened good or bad years ago, so what is really going on? That well placed masonry fall make one think of a ghostly hand, but haunts don't drug and kidnap people. Is someone seeking vengeance? If so why me? I'm too young to have been on any jury a decade ago, I might still be too young actually. Did the man have any friends or other family that supported him those years ago? Too many question and no answers.'
Volta turns around from the others and shouts out, "Well, you have us, who or whatever you are. What do you want with this kidnapping? We're here, how about you go ahead and tell us something? What happens if we need to take a wizz?"