GM Omelas' Hangman's Noose

Game Master panegyric

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Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8

Survival: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

Talib pauses at the door, taking in the bloodbath in the hall beyond. Based on the sounds alone, he had not expected to find Malgrim alive, but the severity of the damage takes him aback somewhat. Perhaps not the most gruesome crime scene he had seen during his time as a private investigator, but certainly the most creative in its carnage—especially considering the short time-span the perpetrator had to work in. He takes a deep breath, forcing himself back into focus before crossing the threshold. The worst is already past: there is no reason to rush an investigation for the sake of the departed.

He nods at Sir Rekkart as he passes, motioning for the knight to close the doors after the search team—no need to panic the civilians further.

The inquisitor takes his time circling the body, staying at a safe distance. He looks over the splatters of gore, the chain and the way it has been lodged into the infrastructure of the courthouse, as well as any scuffs left on the floor by the brief struggle, trying to gather every tiny snippet of information that might aid in identifying the assailant. The fact that Malgrim has been hanged does not escape Talib, but currently he is less interested in the method or the motive, than he is in the execution of the crime. He works, in part, to confirm that the hobgoblin was killed by—trying to rule out a living, flesh-and-blood assailant, for one. Perhaps more importantly, he tries to get a feeling for the strength of what he is facing. Fight or flight, which was the better option for the survival of him and his charges?

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

"Miss Than, Miss Sinésiel—do you sense anything supernatural?" he asks the professed bard and priestess. "Spiritual or otherwise."

Looking over at Skurly's late arrival, he snaps his fingers at the shocked halfling to get his attention. "Mister Geddinloe, please look over the hall for structural damage. I do not want anyone moving further without knowing whether the floor will hold or not."


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

Disbelief fills the gunslinger’s head as the mosaic sends the axe flying toward The Constable. His eye fixates on the axe protruding from the wall, The business end of that thing is almost completely buried in the stone!

Chatterbox had mentioned something about checking the building for stability. Maybe if you hadn’t been letting some crook get you riled up you might’ve noticed that, he chides himself.

The man places a hand on Talienda’s shoulder and repeats hsi question, ”You ok, Duchess?” This time he does not wait for a response, ”Now, some of us are gonna go check on Big and Ugly - find out what happened to him. I’m not gonna tell you what to do, but my suggestion is that you stay here with Patrissa and the others.”

Mylock slips his pistol free of its holster and takes a step to follow The Constable, Then again, you don’t know me from Aroden, so..” he shrugs and hurries after the others.

Misfire pushes past the paladin and joins Talib and Skurly in the Great Hall. He is still looking over one shoulder at the others as he speaks, Well, Constable, Professor, what’s the dama-” Mylock stops short at the sight before him.

In his time in Alkenstar and even in Absalom, Lisfire Mylock had been witness to more than a handful of corpses. Some he even helped create. But he had always been able to separate the corpse from the person. Or rationalise the body away. “Him or me” or “he chose his fate”. But here. Staring at the what had once been a living, breathing, smoking person, Mylock struggled to reconcile the body. Was it simply because it was a murder? Was it because the hobgoblin had been so sure of himself? No, Mylock thought, it’s because someone took pleasure in this killing.

Mylock presses a thumb to his chin, ”Bharnarol guide us…”

As he does, Mylock notices the dust on the ground and calls to Talib, ”Constable, be careful where you step.” The gunslinger kneels and points out where the dust on the floor had been disturbed. ”Someone dragged something heavy back into our good ol’ courtroom,” he gestures back at the doors behind the group to Courtroom A.

Dice Rolls:

Survival: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

Sinésiel follows Talib into the room, in shock at the sounds that they heard from it. As she sees Malgrim's body, she does her best to feign being calm and composed. I can't die here and I can't be afraid. I need to find who killed my mother!

Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

Looking around the room, Sinésiel draws her scimitar in her main hand and changes out her dove figurine for her mother's broken wand. She will try to recall any knowledge that she may have about these judges from the history of Absalom (if they are that old or prestigious).

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

While Sinésiel has no means of detecting any magic, she will certainly wrack her brain trying to think of what manner of being or magic could accomplish something like what just happened to Malgrim as fast as it did.

Knowledge (arcana), (religion): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 111d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28


Though this is far from Talib's first crime scene, it is among the most peculiar -- not the least because he doesn't have easy access to the body which hangs a good 7 metres from the ground. Though his first idea was that whatever murdered Malgrim could fly or levitate with ease, as well as exert tremendous amounts of force, he notices several scratches on the column next to the corpse, as if a spiked object had literally snaked around and climbed the stone on its own. Shivers run down his spine as he pictures the chain wrapping itself around Malgrim's neck and then dragging the suffocating hobglobin upwards until it forces one of its edges inside the stone.

Sinésiel displays as much cold blood as the inquisitor. As she is about to put the dove figurine away, she feels her vision fail for a second and be replaced by the image of a shadowy creature with sorrowful black eyes. Ropes dangle from all its limbs and seem to move as if they were direct appendages of the monster's will. (I'm being creative with that fantastic kn religion roll and your occultist class flavour here =) Her vision returns to normal almost immediately and, as ways of distraction, she tries to recall the judges' names. However important these men might have believed they were, they do not seem to have left significant marks in Absalom's history.

Rissi, shaken by the gruesome sights, follows Talib's request silently, extending her furry hands and muttering a few words. She tries this for a minute or two, but at last gives up and accepts there is no magic in this room that she can detect. (Botting Rissi casting detect magic.)


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

"Just a moment ago I had a mental image of a shadowed creature with ropes on its limbs. Ropes that it could use like tentacles," Sinésiel starts, trying her best to hold on to the image. "The vision wasn't so much magic as it was... an impression. An imprint left on this place by that creature's sorrow."

With a slight shake of her head and a light blush, she turns and frowns at Talib. "I don't have anything tangible to go off of, but something supernatural is definitely going on here."

Not very much like a member of the clergy to talk about the occult, but I need to be of some use here.


M LG Halfling Investigator (Sleuth) 1 | HP: 7/7 | AC: 17, T: 14, FF: 14) | CMB: -2, CMD: 11 | F: -1, R: +5, W: +4, +2 vs. fear | Init: +4, +6 if Luck > 0 | Perc: +8, SM: +6 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration: 0/3 | Luck: 2/2 | Active conditions: None

Skurly is not his usual eager-to-please self; Talib's instructions draw from him only a faint murmur of, "Yes, yes, in a moment."

He stares at the clockface still, as if ensorcelled by its melodramatic depiction of the torments of Hell. "By my toes and tassels,", he breathes. "Who was the fiend who composed this thing? The Law is there to protect people, to make them feel safe. This... this..."

He trails off, taking a few steps toward the clock with an outstretched hand. He's just like a boy, on a dare to touch a sleeping drunk, twisted by the same conflicting movements of revulsion, fascination, fear, and compulsion.

Why would you do that?:
Skurly is wondering if the clockface's elaboration "makes sense"- that is, whether it is consistent with orthodox depictions of Hell, and whether it is properly something one could expect in an Absalomite courtroom, or whether it shows any sign of authorship or unique theological perspectives. Basically, is this the work of a madman, or just some flamboyant touches of a bureaucrat looking to make an impression?
Knowledge: Religion/History: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 7 + (5) = 30


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Sorry Mylock, but I think I'm about to make things more complicated for you.

Horror and panic mix on Talienda's face as Mylock goes to leave and suggests she wait with Patrissa. She stumbles to her feet to follow him, almost tripping on the hem of her dress. She catches up to him and clings to his arm like a limpet.

"P-please! D-don't leave me alone with that woman. I... I don't trust her," she quietly begs Mylock, following him as he approaches the door to the hallway. "Th-there was some...thing..."

The young woman's voice trails off as she sees Malgrim's fate. Mylock's arm slips from her grasp as her mind gibbers maddeningly at the sight. She is stuck in a nightmare, she realizes as her face becomes a mask of disbelieving shock. Tears flow down her face and she only stands in the doorway trying not to lose her mind.

"W-we're all going to die, aren't we?"


Skurly walks towards the clock, completely transfixed and only vaguely aware of what is being said around him and of stepping over the blood dripping from Malgrim's body. At first, he can barely hear it: a whisper, half between a human voice and nails screeching down a black board; the whisper grows steadily until it is as if all the images depicted on the clock come to life and the huge contraption tolls seven times. Each ring brings forth screams of pain and rage from all those inside the room, at the same time images of torture, disembowelment, murder by axe and asphyxiation invade their minds. Talib falls to his knees as these visions meld together with his conjectures regarding Malgrim's murder to a particularly grisly effect. Talib takes 1 point of Wisdom damage. The others made their saving throws and are just shaken/horrified/scared/etc.

Talienda feels something inside her shaking, a sudden stirring and banging against the walls of her self. With a whimper that goes unheard in the current chaos and confusion, she manages to repress it at the last minute.

Skurly:
The clock is certainly exaggerated, but somewhat in line with the rest of the room. The depictions of torture are commonplace in Asmodean iconography, which makes the halfling believe its effect is heightened by the circumstances

Summary
------------------
Talib takes 1 Wisdom damage.

rolls:

Will save DC 12
Mylok: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
Talib: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Talienda: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Sinésiel: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Skurly (+2 vs fear): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Rissi: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22

Wis dmg for those who fail save, nothing to those who succeed
Mylok (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2
Talib (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2
Talienda (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2
Sinésiel (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2
Skurly (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2
Rissi (wis dmg): 1d2 ⇒ 2

Will Talienda cast a cantrip? DC 15
Talienda: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18


F NG Ratfolk Bard | HP: 9/9 | AC: 14, T: 14, FF: 11) | CMB: +0, CMD: 13 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +2 | Init: +5 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +9, SM: +2 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 7/9 | Spells: 1st 0/2 | Active conditions: None

Rissi moves into the room just far enough to scan for magic. Initially the spell takes her attention so the grisly scene doesn't register. Once it does she loses her concentration and just stares in horror, unable to turn away for several long seconds.... Finally she recovers her wits and recasts the spell, scanning the area with a professional attitude and reporting the negative findings. "Whatever is doing this probably has a similar display prepared for each of us. Any with close ties to their deceased personal tie should try to prepare for it, as much as possible...."


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8

Having crouched down to inspect the tracks pointed out by Mylok, the inquisitor loses track of Skurly. The vision strikes him off guard, momentarily clouding his ability to calm himself. Falling to his knees, he mutters incoherently, before forcing himself to stumble back on his feet. His expression is grim, a twisted mask of cold fury. He rushes across the room, lifting the halfling up by his collar, and half drags, half tosses him away from the clock.

"Focus!" he snarls in a gravelly tone, usually reserved for hardened criminals. "Lives are at stake here, Geddinloe! I suggest you leave the needless rumination to theologians, and make yourself useful..."

Blowing air through his nostrils, Talib points at the doors to the south. "That seems to be the exit. Give it your full attention, if you could."


M LG Halfling Investigator (Sleuth) 1 | HP: 7/7 | AC: 17, T: 14, FF: 14) | CMB: -2, CMD: 11 | F: -1, R: +5, W: +4, +2 vs. fear | Init: +4, +6 if Luck > 0 | Perc: +8, SM: +6 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration: 0/3 | Luck: 2/2 | Active conditions: None

Hoisting the halfling by the scruff is a bigger job than you might expect- between his ample bulk and the added weight of his armor and gear, he's a bit of a handful. But the manhandling is a blessing in disguise, effectively lifting the terror-induced reverie that has stricken Skurly.
"Y-yes, yes, I can do this! I can!" he splutters, eager both to prove himself more than a liability, and to think about anything but the horrifying scene his mind's eye had turned upon.

With barely-restrained panic urging him on, Skurly creeps to the southern exit, his sharp little eyes flashing this way and that. In every corner, every shadow, with every scrape or rustle of movement, his senses thrill and reel with unbearable sharpness and clarity. Somewhere, in a distant corner of his mind, he ruminates sadly. Mr. Talib is a good sort, even if he is cross. I'm sorry that he'll be dead soon. I should ask him who to send the news to...

Closer to the forefront of his mind, he searches over the exit, seeking any sign of danger, mundane or otherwise.

Looking for signs of danger near southern door:
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Curled up on the ground by Mylock's feet is Talienda. She sobs, not knowing what is going on and frightened by the images she saw. So much pain and anger had flooded through her that weeping was the only way she had of coping with what had happened.


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

While there is plenty of blood and disease to be seen as a healer of the city's sick and destitute, the visions of viscera are just a bit too much for Sinésiel. After a moderate pause with her eyes closed and some deep breathing, she goes to Talienda's side to check on her.

"I know that you probably don't trust anyone right now," she starts, doing her best to feign composure again.

Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

"I promise you, by the light of the Dawn, we can get out of this alive," she says, offering the woman a hand to stand up. "Talib seems like he's got a good head on his shoulders, so let us help him scout this room out."


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

Talienda’s grip on Mylok’s arm forces the man to regain his composure. She’s terrified of that woman, he thinks, What did she see that I didn’t? Mylok glances back to the closed doors to the courtroom.

Talienda Blackhorn wrote:
"W-we're all going to die, aren't we?"

”Things might look a little..” he trails off as if searching for the appropriate word, ”uh, grim, but as long as we all stick together, we’ll be fine.” He gestures to Talib, ”We have a bonafide constable with us and a paladin back there waiting for us. We might actually be safer here than out on the streets.”

When Talienda releases his arm he turns back to the others and regards Siné as she describes her vision, ”Rope tentacles. You must be the life of the party, eh Hathor?” The corners of Mylok’s mouth start to curl into a smile when his mind is racked with torturous images. Fury and terror issues forth from his throat in the form of a scream to join the others in their agony.

With the pain subsided, Mylok glowers at Rissi, "You sure don't mince words, huh?"

He kneels beside the girl at his feet, "Listen to her, Duchess." Mylok glances at Siné before he continues, "You're from Absalom right? Born and raised here? Well, I've yet to meet any Absalom girls that can't hold their own in a fight. And I don't think you're gonna be the first. You have a weapon? A knife? Anything? If not, you can take mine. Duck and cover is a safe strategy most of the time but," the gunslinger plasters a grin across his face, "sometimes you have to be willing to shoot back."

If Talienda needs a weapon, Mylok will leave his dagger with her.

Mylok stands and hurries over to Skurly, "What do you make of it, Professor?"


Skurly begins to probe the door, but there is very little of note about it. It is a solid piece of work, unadorned, sturdy and conspicuously well-preserved when compared to the rest of what he has seen so far in this courthouse. As he feared, the door seems to be locked and any attempts at opening it are completely fruitless. Just as Mylok arrives, the halfling tries to peek inside the keyhole. Hoping to gleam something of the world outside, he is instead greeted by pure darkness, as if only nothingness existed on the other side of the threshold. Other than that, there are no signs of anything harmful -- or at least nothing triggered by Skurly's tinkering.

Cole, who had returned to the courtroom, stands just outside the room's entrance. "What was that hideous sound? Have you found a way out, or any signs of the murderer? I…am trying to keep the calm here, but you can imagine people are getting a bit…restless."


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8

Talib stares at Skurly's receding back with a frown on his face. He already regrets his momentary loss of control, but there is little to be done about it now. At least his little outburst appears to have served its purpose...

After the halfling reports his findings, as well as his lack of success finagling the door open, the inquisitor crouches down to peer into the key-hole as well. Considering the barrier for a moment, he gives the door a solid kick near the lock, and then the hinges, with years of collective experience from nighttime raids lending a measured certainty to the effort.

Strength: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20

Just a token attempt: I assume we can't break it down, but I'd just like to confirm it in-character before moving on.

GM Omelas wrote:
Cole, who had returned to the courtroom, stands just outside the room's entrance. "What was that hideous sound? Have you found a way out, or any signs of the murderer? I…am trying to keep the calm here, but you can imagine people are getting a bit…restless."

Talib rubs his temples, the echoing of tolling bells still ringing in his ears, leaving him with a slight headache. "Just the clock..."

"Something is blocking the front entrance," he says tersely, knowing that a detailed explanation would do little to calm the people down. "We must keep to the plan: my team shall continue looking for a way out. Keep the civilians where they are, even if you must restrain them. You see what happened to Malgrim."

After the knight has returned to his wards, Talib looks at the other doorways. His gaze fixates on the one next to the courtroom, and even without intending to, he falls into the familiar habit of drawing connections and making deductions. "Hm. Sir Rekkart mentioned Silman Trabe as the judge presiding over the case..."

"Let us advance," he calls to the others as he strides towards the office, "counter-clockwise, one room at a time. Do not separate under any conditions!"

While he appears to pay little heed to Talienda, the inquisitor is entirely aware of the hushed conversation surrounding the young woman—the others are already stumbling over each other in order to console her, and he prefers to let Mylok play the hero to her damsel in distress. Whether her shows of helplessness are genuine or not, it will serve him well to keep Diago Blackhorn's relation close at hand... if she is false, she might be forced to show her own soon enough.


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Sine's and Mylock's words calm Talienda somewhat, but the young woman is visibly shaking as she stands with Sine's help.

"I don't know who to trust," Talienda admits to them as one hand goes to her right thigh, as if checking to see if something was still there. "I've barely been out of my home and almost ever out of the Petals. My father died just a week ago, and now I'm getting letters that threaten to kill me," she starts explaining, her words coming out faster as she grows more agitated, "and then I find out someone has a bounty on my head! I never... I never hurt anyone! Why does someone want to hurt me?!"

She doubles over, her arms over her stomach as she takes in several deep, shuddering breaths and tries to force herself into some semblance of control. After a few tense moments, her breathing slows and quiets.

"I apologize. The last thing any of us need is some useless girl from the petals turning into a sobbing mess," she says in a flat, overly controlled tone of voice. The veneer of calm is betrayed by the trembling in her arms and the tears still brimming her eyes. "I appreciate the offer, sir, but I don't know how to fight. I'm just as likely to hurt myself as any attackers. Maybe... maybe I can make myself useful in other ways."

She looks down at the ground at her last statement, almost as if she knows that the best she could hope for is to not be dead weight.


----------------------------------
4. Judge Trabe's Chambers
----------------------------------

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 and begin to fly towards the group as soon as they enter – for a moment, everyone has the impression the shadow of a woman is running around and hurling curses as each tome takes flight. Sinésiel, distracted by the shadow, can barely notice as a treatise on criminal law slams against her face; Mylok attempts to get Talienda out of harms way but fails and both of them are flailed by countless scrolls; Talib, Rissi and Skurly are all luckier and dodge everything that's being thrown around.

On the desk remains a single, opened book; titled Punish the Guilty, the page reads: “We, entrusted with justice, must be above reproach. Those who fail to serve justice blindly shall reap what they sow.” The rest of the page is completely covered in scrawls of "LIARS! LIARS!" and thus unreadable.

Summary
------------------
Talienda takes 3 NLD.
Sinésiel takes 3 NLD.
Mylok takes 1 NLD.

Perception DC 12:

Looking through the books now on the ground, there are is one roll of parchment that is covered with strange symbols and runes.

Spellcraft DC 21 (only for those who passed the Perception check):

This is a magic scroll containing four spells: web bolt, mage armour, magic missile and shield

rolls:

Flying book attack roll
Mylok: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Talib: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Talienda: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Sinésiel: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Skurly: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Rissi: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

Flying book NL dmg roll
Mylok: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Talib: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Talienda: 1d4 ⇒ 3
Sinésiel: 1d4 ⇒ 3
Skurly: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Rissi: 1d4 ⇒ 1


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

Rubbing the sore spot on her face, Sinésiel looks at the book that hit her. The fake priestess gets the book thrown at her. Fitting.

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9 oof

Sinésiel looks about the room ineffectually, too distracted by the others having been hit. "Are you two alright? A thousand paper cuts is still a thousands cuts, please don't be afraid to ask for aid."


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8

"The ghosts are petulant," mutters Talib, snatching a yellowed arrest warrant out of the air. "Wonderful."

The inquisitor does a quick sweep through the paper-strewn room, unsure as to what he is looking for. There is no exit, and there is no time for a thorough search of the judge's documents. He glares at the vandalised tome, furrowing his brow at the untarnished quote.

"Are you just toying with us, or can you be reasoned with? Perhaps there is something here you want to show us... but what?"

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9


F NG Ratfolk Bard | HP: 9/9 | AC: 14, T: 14, FF: 11) | CMB: +0, CMD: 13 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +2 | Init: +5 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +9, SM: +2 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 7/9 | Spells: 1st 0/2 | Active conditions: None

perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13

spellcraft: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

Rissi smiles at Mylok. "Mince words? No. I'm a hard. I use words. This scroll could be useful."


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Owwww. That hurt.

After the initial assault of the books, Talienda finds herself dazed and holding onto Mylock to keep her feet. She recovers a moment later sporting a shiner that's going to turn into an impressive black eye.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 17 Nevermind, didn't pay enough attention to Rissi's post.

"Why did all the books get left? They look expensive, and are pretty heavy," she asks as she covers her bruised eye with one hand. She looks at the others and after thinking for a moment, she remembers her father's office and the dozens of ledgers and tomes detailing his business interactions.

"Do judges keep records of their trials like business owners keep ledgers of their finances?"


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8
Talienda Blackhorn wrote:
"Do judges keep records of their trials like business owners keep ledgers of their finances?"

"They do," says Talib, acknowledging Talienda's presence for the first time. "But like said business owners, they tend to keep anything untoward out of those records... if they are smart, that is."

Disregarding the mess on the floor, the inquisitor quickly goes through any drawers or other compartments on the desk, before readying himself to move on.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22


The most revealing aspect of Talib's search is not what he finds, but exactly the opposite: it is quite clear that someone, either judge Trabe himself or someone else, went to great lengths to wipe the place clean. There are no documents with the judge's name on it, no personal belongings and no objects of value anywhere in the room, desk included.


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

"Business owners like my father, you mean," Talienda mutters as Talib begins searching through the desk.


F NG Ratfolk Bard | HP: 9/9 | AC: 14, T: 14, FF: 11) | CMB: +0, CMD: 13 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +2 | Init: +5 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +9, SM: +2 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 7/9 | Spells: 1st 0/2 | Active conditions: None

Crap! I hate spell-correct! Bard/Hard! LOL....

As the group searches the room Rissi rolls the scroll back up. "It might be useful for a mage, not a Bard."

Who wants the scroll?


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

Mylok curses as the scroll slaps across his person, ”Set’s disciples!”

He takes a moment to check on Talienda before giving the room a once over.

”In my experience, few business owners hold on to every document. And it’s usually the ones that do that have something to hide,” the gunslinger chooses a book at random from the floor and leafs through the pages. He grumbles as if speaking with a lesser individual, ”’I could not have hired anyone to burn down my only rival’s shop, all of my coin is accounted for!’”

Misfire drops the book and takes a step toward the same door from which the group entered, ”Trust me, Duchess, having an unscrupulous businessman as a relative is much more common than you might think. Could be worse, he could’ve been an undead wizard.” Mylok stops just inside the door and gives a shake of his head to Rissi, ”I only know how to cast one spell,” he steps back outside to wait for the others.

@Rissi I read it as "I'm hard. I use words." and thought you meant "I'm a hard, don't mess with me" lol

Dice Rolls:

Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8
Talienda Blackhorn wrote:
"Business owners like my father, you mean," Talienda mutters as Talib begins searching through the desk.

Talib pauses, looking Talienda directly in the eye. "Exactly."

His stare is intense, but brief: the inquisitor soon turns his attention back to the task at hand. After a few moments of fast, methodical investigation, he shuts all the drawers and makes sure everything is as he found it—more out of habit, than any present need to be subtle.

"Someone got rid of the paper trail," grumbles Talib. "Whether it was Silman Trabe himself, I cannot tell..."

Looking around the surrounding disorder, he strokes his beard thoughtfully. "Why is he not here? Or some hapless relative of his, in case he is no longer amongst the living. Assuming this is about revenge for Jarbin Mord, the judge would be the main culprit."


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

"Those spells seems more suited to someone able to use the arcane arts, so I'll pass as well," Sinésiel tells Rissi. "If these documents don't have any information to get us out of here, do we all want to move on to the next room? I'd rather not be here if the books and scrolls decide to attack us again."

After hearing Talib's deliberations, Sinésiel's face becomes uncharacteristically grim. "I trust your judgement, Talib, it has already proven to be better than my own," she says. "Whoever the culprit is, especially if they're the one who murdered my mother, I hope that you will use your influence to see justice done."


M LG Halfling Investigator (Sleuth) 1 | HP: 7/7 | AC: 17, T: 14, FF: 14) | CMB: -2, CMD: 11 | F: -1, R: +5, W: +4, +2 vs. fear | Init: +4, +6 if Luck > 0 | Perc: +8, SM: +6 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration: 0/3 | Luck: 2/2 | Active conditions: None

Skurly ducks and weaves through the gauntlet of ill-mannered ledgers and riotous rollsheets to join Talib at the desk, which in addition to being a significant point of interest, also provides the stout little fellow with a safe haven. Shakily, but with stiff-lipped resolve, he peers over the lip of the desk at the ominous tome, which- among all others in the room- seems content to lie in bookish repose.

With a hesitant hand, Skurly reaches to thumb through the pages, returning again to the opened page. He peers closely at what is legible of the open page, as well as the maniacal scrawlings with which it is defaced, his mind's eye forming a picture of the gaunt and demon-driven hand which it put it to paper. Could these words really be from the same author? he wondered.

@GM:
Looking for any relevant information or forensic evidence possible- Skurly has no ranks in Linguistics, so can't make a roll for that, but hopefully a Perception roll will garner something useful. Replace with an appropriate Knowledge if that's the thing.

Whatever's clever: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Inspiration: 1d6 ⇒ 3


Skurly:

Skurly cannot say for sure whether the same person wrote the two texts, but it is clear that they were written at different times and in very different states of mind. Also, the scrawls were written on top of an original text, and every now and then it is possible to see a loose letter beneath the repeated rows of LIAR.

----------------------------------
6. Jury Deliberation Room
----------------------------------

This room contains one long oval-shaped wooden table and a few rickety, worn chairs. Razor-thin shafts of moonlight peek through one large window covered with rotting boards.

After a few tense seconds, the group is almost surprised by the fact that no flying books or hellish visions have immediately assailed them here.


M LG Halfling Investigator (Sleuth) 1 | HP: 7/7 | AC: 17, T: 14, FF: 14) | CMB: -2, CMD: 11 | F: -1, R: +5, W: +4, +2 vs. fear | Init: +4, +6 if Luck > 0 | Perc: +8, SM: +6 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration: 0/3 | Luck: 2/2 | Active conditions: None

Skurly waddled a bit more awkwardly into the next room than he had the last, weighed down by the additional burden of Judge Trabe's copy of Punish the Guilty. He didn't know, really, why he'd brought it, but it seemed like something that might matter later on. Or perhaps it was simply something to hang on to, something solid and legible amidst the shadows and phantoms of this place. He'd stuffed it into the already cumbersome mass of his pack, but was regretting that choice quickly- less for the added material weight, and more for the tenebrous omens it seemed to bear between its leaves.

His eyes darting around the room, he paced around the table. She sat in one of these chairs, he thought to himself. This as close as I've come to her in so long! With the forlorn hopefulness of a lost child, he searched for some sign of his sister- a dirty word carved into the wood of the table, a hint of her cheap perfume, anything at all.

Ratspaws. No sign of her- only the crude and cheerless jest of some cad, some japing jackdaw, some charmless jester-

Skurly blinked, and pointed at the jibe that had been gouged into the table. "Well, Ebin's been here, alright." He stroked one of his chins thoughtfully. "'Who's funny now'? I can't imagine Mord was doing much joking during his trial, could he've been? None of the stories I'd heard made him out to be much for merriment. Seems a cruel thing, a spiteful thing, to leave here. There's a story behind this bit of nonsense, I think."

He looked back up at his companions. "Perhaps, if it is what it seems, which is to say, if it is all madness and awfulness, then there's a meaning to it all, 'cause it's not as if people lose their reason for no reason, is it, and maybe us, as we are something of strangers to all this and not really part of it, anymore than we have to be, but it isn't at all to do with us as far as it goes, and- and-" He blinks back his terror, not of phantasms but of the judgmental gaze of his "friends"- "Couldn't it be that we're not the ones that ought to be here? We're not the ones to answer to all this, are we? Could Ebin, or any of the others, know something we don't, know why there's nothing but blackness beyond the door-"

Just as soon as he said it, he clapped his hands over his mouth, eyes full of pitiful sorrow as he looked up to Mr. Talib. I DIDN'T MEAN TO! they squealed, with not a sound to be heard.


Though Skurly sees no immediate and unequivocal proof of his sister in this room, he does find a curious carving on the southern corner of the table: "Who’s funny now Mord? E.B."


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8
Sinésiel Arvine wrote:
After hearing Talib's deliberations, Sinésiel's face becomes uncharacteristically grim. "I trust your judgement, Talib, it has already proven to be better than my own," she says. "Whoever the culprit is, especially if they're the one who murdered my mother, I hope that you will use your influence to see justice done."

Talib nods, but does not say anything to commit himself one way or another. "Injustice upon injustice..."

~

Skurly Geddinloe wrote:
Skurly blinked, and pointed at the jibe that had been gouged into the table. "Well, Ebin's been here, alright." He stroked one of his chins thoughtfully. "'Who's funny now'? I can't imagine Mord was doing much joking during his trial, could he've been? None of the stories I'd heard made him out to be much for merriment. Seems a cruel thing, a spiteful thing, to leave here. There's a story behind this bit of nonsense, I think."

Talib peers down at the inscription, nodding appreciatively. "Good eye. No one likes his attempts at comedy, it seems. Perhaps there is a motive here..."

Skurly Geddinloe wrote:

He looked back up at his companions. "Perhaps, if it is what it seems, which is to say, if it is all madness and awfulness, then there's a meaning to it all, 'cause it's not as if people lose their reason for no reason, is it, and maybe us, as we are something of strangers to all this and not really part of it, anymore than we have to be, but it isn't at all to do with us as far as it goes, and- and-" He blinks back his terror, not of phantasms but of the judgmental gaze of his "friends"-"Couldn't it be that we're not the ones that ought to be here? We're not the ones to answer to all this, are we? Could Ebin, or any of the others, know something we don't, know why there's nothing but blackness beyond the door-"

Just as soon as he said it, he clapped his hands over his mouth, eyes full of pitiful sorrow as he looked up to Mr. Talib. I DIDN'T MEAN TO! they squealed, with not a sound to be heard.

The inquisitor waves his hand dismissively, his face a placid mask. "There should be no secrets amongst us. Whatever the rationale, or lack thereof, we have been forced to be a part of this mess, and we must be able to trust one another to extricate ourselves from it. Truth be told, I chose all of you as much for your lack of direct involvement, as for your skills. We cannot fully trust anyone who had a part in the trial—we must assume guilt, until proven otherwise."

Again, speaking at length seems to leave a bad taste in Talib's mouth—he grimaces, as if he had bitten into a whole onion. "But guilty or not, I have no intention of letting these people be slaughtered. Revenge is a poor substitute for justice."


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Talienda shies away from Talib's gaze, feeling more and more vulnerable here. Mylock's words help keep her from despair, but she's very well aware that she doesn't belong with them. She has no skills to offer a team of investigators. Her only reason for being here was she trusted the people here more than the people back in the courtroom.

The young woman shivers as she works up the courage to come clean with them and prayed they didn't treat her like a paranoid little girl.

"You... You said that there should be no secrets between us," she asks Talib, not quite able to look him in the eye. She waits a moment for his confirmation and takes in a deep breath.

"As I'm sure everyone's already guessed, I'm Diago Blackhorn's daughter. I... I didn't want anyone to know, especially after what Mister Malgrim said about there being a ransom out for any relatives. I... I don't have any way of helping, but I... I don't want to be alone in that room with the others. Ms. Patrissa especially! She seems nice enough, but the way she was looking at me... I... I..."

Her voice trails off as she shudders again. She looks at the others, trying to find some hint of who was trustworthy and who she needed to avoid.


F NG Ratfolk Bard | HP: 9/9 | AC: 14, T: 14, FF: 11) | CMB: +0, CMD: 13 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +2 | Init: +5 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +9, SM: +2 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 7/9 | Spells: 1st 0/2 | Active conditions: None

Hearing the quiet, timid words of the young lady Rissi moves up by her. She wishes she were big enough to put an arm around her shoulders, but has to accept just a comforting touch. She also hopes the girl can accept reassurance from someone with her appearance. "Young lady, you belong with us. That other group is here because they're all guilty of being on the original, possibly crooked jury, and surviving. We're just here because someone close to us was on that jury and died so they couldn't be here. They might deserve the punishment. We don't. So WE are going to try and figure this out, because Revenge is not Justice." She glances at Talib hoping the man doesn't take offense to her stealing and changing his phrase.

"So stand up and look around at each of us. You belong with us. We're all daughters or sons or close friends of someone. But we aren't that someone. We are just us, and we've all earned our place in this world. Be proud of that!"


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

"No secrets between us, eh?" Sinésiel mutters as she looks about the room. After Rissi's comforting words for Talienda, Sinésiel shudders. We've all earned our place in this world?

"If the true murderer is one of the ones that we left behind we must make sure not to waste any time," she says, directing it at everyone in the group. "I would hate for us to come back around to that room and find a scene like the one that befell Malgrim."

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20 Can't hurt to check


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

Mylok opens his mouth to speak but decides against it at the last moment, a rarity for that man to be sure. Not much to add that they haven’t already covered, he thinks, though, if the girl doesn’t toughen up soon, someone’s gonna get her. Whether it’s in this place or out in the streets.

It doesn’t take long for the decision to be overturned as the man runs his free hand through his hair and addresses the group, ”If we’re having a heart-to-heart, I think it’s only fair we lay our cards on the table. So far, everyone in this room has proven to be trustworthy - to an extent anyhow - but, I don’t want to have some itch in the back of my mind telling me that the Professor,” he thumbs at Skurly, ”is sneaking up behind me with a stiletto.” Misfire raises his hands in a placating gesture, ”No offense, Professor. You were just the person I was already looking at.”

Mylok ambles to the table and makes to lean leans against the chair next to Skurly. At the last moment he thinks better of it as he realizes how timeworn the chair has become.

The man places his pistol on the table and folds his arms across his chest, ”I’ve done some heinous things in my younger years. Things I’m not proud of. But I wouldn’t change my past. It helped me learn what is right and wrong. You could say I’m atoning for past sins. I’d be more inclined to say that I got sick of needing to drink my weight in ale to sleep at night.” The gunslinger pauses and his smile almost slips from its perch.

”My uncle was the ‘troublemaking foreigner’ on this jury and honestly. And as much as the coot followed where the coin went, I know he did the best that he could with what he had. If he was party to a rigged jury - which, he probably was - there is no way he was the mastermind. The puppeteer is bound to be in that courtroom. And I'm of the same mind as Hathor here,” he nods at Siné, "No one else needs to die."

And Chatterbox has the right of it: we are the only ones that have no direct ties to what is happening. Our best bet is to be straight with each other. Once that’s through, we can march back into that courtroom and start getting some answers.” He slaps Skurly on the shoulder and stands, ”Maybe knock an annoying gnome around a bit.” Mylok chuckles to himself and collects his pistol.

”Duchess has proven to be the strongest of us so far,” Mylok winks at the girl, ”being the first to open up and all. Now’s your chance to come clean if you feel you need to.”


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8
Talienda Blackhorn wrote:

"You... You said that there should be no secrets between us," she asks Talib, not quite able to look him in the eye. She waits a moment for his confirmation and takes in a deep breath.

"As I'm sure everyone's already guessed, I'm Diago Blackhorn's daughter. I... I didn't want anyone to know, especially after what Mister Malgrim said about there being a ransom out for any relatives. I... I don't have any way of helping, but I... I don't want to be alone in that room with the others. Ms. Patrissa especially! She seems nice enough, but the way she was looking at me... I... I..."

Her voice trails off as she shudders again. She looks at the others, trying to find some hint of who was trustworthy and who she needed to avoid.

At the young woman's admission, Talib assumes a less threatening demeanour—mostly a subtle untensing in his brow and jaw—nodding approvingly.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Miss Blackhorn," he says evenly. "To return the favour: I was looking into your father's murder, before all of this happened. You have nothing to fear from me, however—until our present situation is resolved, all of my other assignments are on hold."

Rissi Than wrote:

"Young lady, you belong with us. That other group is here because they're all guilty of being on the original, possibly crooked jury, and surviving. We're just here because someone close to us was on that jury and died so they couldn't be here. They might deserve the punishment. We don't. So WE are going to try and figure this out, because Revenge is not Justice." She glances at Talib hoping the man doesn't take offense to her stealing and changing his phrase.

"So stand up and look around at each of us. You belong with us. We're all daughters or sons or close friends of someone. But we aren't that someone. We are just us, and we've all earned our place in this world. Be proud of that!"

The inquisitor does not appear to take affront at the appropriation, though he frowns slightly at the mention of an investigation—the idea of actively looking into the trial does not seem to sit well with him, despite his profession.

"'The debts of the father are his to retribute,'" he recites, quoting from Abadaran scripture. "'None are accountable for the deeds of our predecessors, nor do we inherit the penalties for their transgressions.' That should include not having to deal with coercion from unknown vigilantes."

Misfire Mylok wrote:

Mylok ambles to the table and makes to lean leans against the chair next to Skurly. At the last moment he thinks better of it as he realizes how timeworn the chair has become.

The man places his pistol on the table and folds his arms across his chest, ”I’ve done some heinous things in my younger years. Things I’m not proud of. But I wouldn’t change my past. It helped me learn what is right and wrong. You could say I’m atoning for past sins. I’d be more inclined to say that I got sick of needing to drink my weight in ale to sleep at night.” The gunslinger pauses and his smile almost slips from its perch.

Talib's eyebrows shoot up in suprise. His respect for Mylok is growing by the second.

"كل ذنوب البشر: أفضل الخطاة هم الذين يتوبون," he says in his native tongue.

Kelish:
"Every mortal sins: the best of the sinners are those who repent."

I imagine this is originally a Sarenite saying, though ingrained deeply enough in Keleshite culture to not be readily recognisable as such.

Sinésiel Arvine wrote:
"If the true murderer is one of the ones that we left behind we must make sure not to waste any time," she says, directing it at everyone in the group. "I would hate for us to come back around to that room and find a scene like the one that befell Malgrim."
Misfire Mylok wrote:
”My uncle was the ‘troublemaking foreigner’ on this jury and honestly. And as much as the coot followed where the coin went, I know he did the best that he could with what he had. If he was party to a rigged jury - which, he probably was - there is no way he was the mastermind. The puppeteer is bound to be in that courtroom. And I'm of the same mind as Hathor here,” he nods at Siné, "No one else needs to die."

"Jarbin Mord was sentenced in court," states Talib—flatly, as if speaking from personal experience. "Assuming his innocence, multiple jurors must have been colluding to ensure a guilty verdict. We are not looking at a murder, but a conspiracy—or two conspiracies, assuming one of them brought us here."

He shakes his head, dissatisfied with the conditions as they stand. "This is too complicated to be solved with brute force. I suggest we complete our search of the first floor, and then check on the suspects. There is little we could do to protect them, in the face of the powers haunting this place: Malgrim was killed by a supernatural... force, lacking a better word—I doubt the danger would abate, even if we were to catch a mortal collaborator. Our best option is finding a way out, and settling the issue in a safe place. If we find more clues in the meanwhile, great. You want all the evidence you can get before an interrogation."

Just to underline it further: this is a suggestion on Talib's part. He will bend to the majority, if he is outvoted.


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

Posting on short time here, sorry

Listening to Mylok's story, Sinésiel nods along with a smirk. It's always good to see a villain redeemed.

After Talib lays out his plan, she chimes in: "I agree, it'd be best to bring back as much information as we can. If there's nothing else in this room we should move on."


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Talienda looks even more distressed at the mention of her father's murder, but manages to keep her composure.

"Thank you all," she says after the others offer her encouragement. "I'm afraid that most of my knowledge of appeasing vengeful spirits comes from novels, but I don't think knowing more would hurt, and we're unlikely to learn much from the jurists."

As everyone files out to the next room, she grabs hold of Talib's sleeve and holds him back.

Talib:

"I thought you should know, shortly after my father died, I received a letter threatening to kill me. I... I don't know what my father could have done to enrage someone to that degree, but I'm beginning to wonder if I really knew my father at all," she says, a note of forlorn melancholy in her voice at the last.

"I'm terrified out of my mind, Master Talib. I don't know who I can trust, and there's a part of me that is worried I have made a grave error in opening up to you as I did. I'm afraid that Master Mylock has the wrong of it. I'm not strong, just very scared."


----------------------------------
5. Judge Rayndros Felgor's Chambers
----------------------------------

This lavish room of cold marble is festooned with a large but mangy polar bear-skin rug and an ornate desk of darkwood carved with an odd motif of cherubs grappling with vipers. Behind the desk in a high-backed leather chair rests a skeleton in judge’s regalia, a long white beard still draped down the front of his robes. A rusted iron spiked chain still dangles from around the neck of the skeleton.

Near the desk lays the curled desiccated skeleton of a large dog, a few of its ribs broken and its skull cracked. As soon as the group crosses the threshold, it stands up and mimics a yawn, its eyes shining with a grey light. It bares its teeth, waiting for anyone to draw closer and ready to protect its master in death even if it had failed to do so in life.

Kn (religion) DC 11:

This desiccated dog is an undead creature animated by its faithfulness to its human and the dark energies that flow inside this abandoned building. One can hear its death whimpers repeating eternally behind the curtain of angry growls.


F NG Human (Taldan) Sorcerer 1 | HP: 7/7 NL: 2 | AC: 12, T: 12, FF: 10) | CMB: +1, CMD: 13 | F: +1, R: +2, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: 0, SM: 0 | Speed 30ft | Elemental Ray: 3/6 | Spells: 1st 2/4 | Active conditions: None
Perception DC 24 (Physical Examination):
Under the dress is a dagger strapped to Talienda's right thigh.

Talienda claps her hands over her mouth as the hound raises from the dead.

"Th-this isn't right! This is a nightmare," she whimpers.


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

”That looks like our hobgoblin’s work,” Mylok gestures to the rusted chain just before the bones begin to move.

As the undead hound raises from the floor his eyes go wide. The gunslinger takes a single, calculated step forward. With a quick glance to the others he holds an open palm out to skeletal canine. ”We’re okay. Lay back down. You’re okay.”

C’mon boy, let us help you Mylok says to himself.

Dice Rolls and Actions:

Handle Animal: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11 Rolling with the hope that it not only knows the Down command, will follow someone else’s commands, but that it will do so after having died.


Male Human (Keleshite) Inquisitor of Abadar 1| AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | HP 10/12 | Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5 | CMB +3, CMD 15 | Init +2 | Perception +7, Sense Motive +8

Talienda:
Talienda Blackhorn wrote:

As everyone files out to the next room, she grabs hold of Talib's sleeve and holds him back.

"I thought you should know, shortly after my father died, I received a letter threatening to kill me. I... I don't know what my father could have done to enrage someone to that degree, but I'm beginning to wonder if I really knew my father at all," she says, a note of forlorn melancholy in her voice at the last.

"I'm terrified out of my mind, Master Talib. I don't know who I can trust, and there's a part of me that is worried I have made a grave error in opening up to you as I did. I'm afraid that Master Mylock has the wrong of it. I'm not strong, just very scared."

The inquisitor shows no signs of overt compassion, but he no longer wears the face reserved for hardened lawbreakers.

"Your father was involved in criminal activities," he says calmly. "Quite heavily so, it seems. Now, his enemies want to take over his territory. Even if you are not involved directly, I assume you are the beneficiary to late Mister Blackhorn's estate. Either way, your existence is... a hindrance, to those enemies."

He opens his hands, palms first with the fingers pointing down. "Whether or not you can trust me depends on your perception of 'trust': the main differences between myself and your pursuers are that I care about whether you are innocent or not, and I want you alive. That, you can trust. I swear it by Abadar."

~

Judge Rayndros Felgor's Chambers:

Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 5 + 2 = 17

Talib looks at the scene impassively, taking in all the details. He sheathes his falchion and reaches into his kaftan, producing a long, spike-tipped mace.

"This is a threat we can deal with..."


The moment Mylok takes a step forward, the dog runs and pounces at him. No one will ever touch its master again.

----------------------------------
Round #1
----------------------------------

Combat begins. Everyone except Talib is up. Feel free to post your action whenever you want and I will resolve them in the initiative order.

----------------------------------
Initiative
----------------------------------
1. Skurly
2. Mylok
3. Sinésiel
4. Rissi
5. Dog
6. Talib

rolls:

Mylok: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Talib: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Talienda: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Sinésiel: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Skurly (-2 luck == 0): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Rissi: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Dog: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11


NG Female Half-elf Occultist 1 | HP: 12/13 | AC: 18, t: 12, ff:16 | F: +3, R: +2, W: +1 | Init: +2, Perc: +5 | Speed 20ft | Conj. 2/2, Evo 0/3 | Spells: 1st 0/2| Active conditions: None.

Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17

My scimitar won't do me much good here, I'd guess. Mother, protect me...

She will raise her mother's broken wand and focus on it, shooting forth a ray of fire at the skeletal hound.

Attack Roll v. TAC: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Damage (fire): 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

Evo. focus 2/3


M NG Human (Alkenstari) Gunslinger (Black Powder Vaulter/Mysterious Stranger) 1 | HP: 9/12 | AC: 16, T: 14, FF: 12) | CMB: +1, CMD: 15 | F: +3, R: +6, W: +0 | Init: +4 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +4 SM: +0[ut] | Speed 30ft | Grit 2/Day | Active conditions: None

The gunslinger grits his teeth and aims the business end of his pistol at the reanimated hound hoping to put the creature down swiftly.

Dice Rolls and Actions:

Pistol Deadly Aim vs TAC: 1d20 + 5 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 - 1 = 20
Damage B & P: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8


F NG Ratfolk Bard | HP: 9/9 | AC: 14, T: 14, FF: 11) | CMB: +0, CMD: 13 | F: +3, R: +5, W: +2 | Init: +5 | Darkvision 60ft, Perc: +9, SM: +2 | Speed 20ft | Bardic Performance: 7/9 | Spells: 1st 0/2 | Active conditions: None

Rissi is disturbed by the skeletal dog, but only because of the suggested nightmare of magically chaining a simple animal even after its natural death. Knowing that her magic and her weapons will have little to no effect on the creature she does her best just to get out of the way of those with proper strength and weapons.

Back away and stay out of the way of the warrior types.


M LG Halfling Investigator (Sleuth) 1 | HP: 7/7 | AC: 17, T: 14, FF: 14) | CMB: -2, CMD: 11 | F: -1, R: +5, W: +4, +2 vs. fear | Init: +4, +6 if Luck > 0 | Perc: +8, SM: +6 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration: 0/3 | Luck: 2/2 | Active conditions: None

Mylok's good-natured ribbing had Skurly gaping, fully agog. Me, an assassin! he gasped inwardly. He was beaming at the idea, in jest or otherwise, that he'd even be a possible threat to anyone with the worldly, rugged bravado of the gunslinger. The air of mild-to-severe panic and anxiety that's been fixed on his face from the first waking moments of the day softens, and breaks into a broad smile of delight.

"Oh, you'd better watch your back, Mr. Mylock!" he'd grinned. "I'm Absalom's most dangerous cutthroat, and no doubt about it!"

Hands on his hips, he made for the door. "For Mr. Mylock's sake, allow me to the lead the way! He'll rest easier with Skurly the Scandalous in plain sight, and out of the shadows where he does his dirtiest deeds!"

Crossbow at the ready, he advanced onward, chattering away all the while.

"I've tried my hand at being a bad fellow, but I never really was any good at it. Papa did his best to make me tough and cunning, a real crook, but he always said I was Norgorber punishing him for his sins. Couldn't lie, not much of a thief, no stomach for fighting- a real embarrasment to the family. My sister, Amalfia, she was clever as a monkey and beautiful as a swan, and tougher than anything at all. But I'm sure that whatever awful thing happened here, she wasn't any part of it! And you too, Miss Talienda- I bet your father was a real gentleman, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!"

As they entered the second judge's chambers, and the wizened canine revenant lifted its muzzle toward them, he squeaked and fell silent.

Knowledge: Religion:
Roll: 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 7 + (3) = 16

Spurred on by panic, more than anything else, Skurly snaps off a shot from his crossbow, and without waiting to see where the bolt lands, tumbles sideways out of its direct line of vision to a safer-feeling vantage.

Attack Roll: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Damage Roll: 1d6 ⇒ 6

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