Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Tenth-B-Third, no one person will ever be representative when dealing with matters of this scope. That's why we'reattempting to provide you a variety of witnesses. I, myself, have been to another potion of the tapestry. The area I visited was home to a population of ratfolk. This group was quite beholden to the laws and traditions of their ancestors.
Tenth-By-Third has been staring at Pai since she spoke, single eye narrowing to a black slit. "While this particular example may be correct, the source of the testimony is unreliable. Surely you can see her chaotic aura, Tchekua. Do you truly trust this is representative of Hao Jin's aquisitions? This example may be chosen to show her actions in the best light, rather than in their average or most common case."
Pai's normally bright peach face flushes to a dark pinkish color, but she manages to remain still and silent, at least on the outside. On the inside, however, her reaction is loud, intense, and such a swift jumble of words that her line of thought eventually tumbles over itself and simply becomes a tangled mess of emotion. What the FUDGE?! That's why I had Leeroi say it! Geez! Leeroi doesn't have a chaotic bone in their body! Why're you blaming *them* for *being me*, you pompous chunk of animated whatsit?! And then Zahal's gotta move the goal posts on us, getting all huffy that we ANSWERED WHAT WAS ASKED--I *SWEAR*! You--booping---GAAAAHHHH!!!
@GM 7th Gate: I'm not protesting how you handled it; that makes sense. This is just RP.
I love it :). Also, successful defense! Additional success for Tenth-By-Third.
Tenth-By-Third blinks several times at Sukit, and seems pleased when he addresses him. "True. The variance of a single sample is undefined, but multiple corroboration data points allow for a substantially improved measure of the population of behavioral samples. I withdraw my objection."
"Ah yes, but let us not forget what drew me to these proceedings in the first place: Hao Jin’s interference with the River of Souls. In recent years, her demiplane has captured souls bound for Pharasma’s judgment. And as I need not remind anyone, stealing souls is, ah…" Zahal leans down, taps her snout, and rumbles the last part of her sentence to convey its severity. "…deeply frowned upon." Then with a smirk, she adds, "Unless this is what defines cosmic law these days?"
Tenth-By-Third's eye narrows to a flattened line as he looks at her. "This is most irregular Zahal. All aspects of Hao Jin's actions may be analyzed, and Cosmic law will be applied thoroughly as it must be. Please keep to the proper structural arguments and modes of phrasing appropriate for the setting."
Tchekua frowns at Zahal. "This is not a laughing matter. You of all people should know the seriousness of the accusation. Make your point."
"Yes, of course, of course, I apologize." Zahal nods, and manages to look moderately contrite before becoming serious. "The cycle of souls is the foundation of the entire multiverse. The Planes, the petitioners, all of us are made out of the soulstuff of mortals who live, experience life, are changed by their experiences and their choices, then die and are sent to Pharasma for judgement. Interfering in this grand cycle threatens to undermine the universal order."
"Hao Jin purposefully siphoned souls to fuel her project, committing a cardinal sin against the order of the multiverse itself. I will be very, very interested to hear the defense of these actions, as I find them indefensible and by far the most serious offense among her actions."
Tenth-By-Third reopens his eye looking back at the audience. "More data is needed to form an adequate judgement regarding the impact of Hao Jin's actions on the river of souls and the broader multiverse. Do we have any witnesses with additional data regarding these actions and the details of their implementation?"
Whoever would like to go, go ahead and testify with an associated skill check. Judges may have additional questions or comments, and Sukit can ask clarifying questions of the witness and make his check to give a +2 boost at any time.
Vrothum rises from his chair, and begins to speak in a stern, frank tone.I do have something to say on this matter...while we sit here and ponder what's right and wrong, how Hao Jin's actions could've been reckless, how forming this Tapestry filled with life should've been done with more care for others well being...How siphoning souls from Pharasma's plane to power her Tapestry could be violating cosmic order, and may have consequences...there is something else this court seems to be forgetting. Hao Jin has served hundreds of years of punishment here already. Pharasma has yet to send for her, contact her, or demand of her to return what she has used. Why? Because Hao Jin's intentions are good! She is doing what she believes is right according to everything she believed she did wrong so long ago. She has yet to take any action against her punishment even before her court date. She has shown a willingness to do what is right in the eyes of the court of Law, even if there wasn't any physical proof of wrongdoing. Sometimes you can't examine an event by the letter of the law but by the intent of the person. The world we have come from however does not have the luxury of time, as this plane does. The Tapestry is collapsing, countless lives are at stake, what may seem silly to some in this court He pauses slightly, and briefly glances in the direction of Zahal. Is not funny to me. People of the court it is no laughing matter and the decision made today effects us and everyone we are fighting so hard to protect and save! We must act now to save our people, Hao Jin can save our people! What about the lives we Can still save, what about the right thing we Can still do? The longer you sit her and pontificate, the more likely it is that the innocent people Hao Jin swore to protect, die. Now I say if this seems funny to you then by all means continue! Intimidate: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 6 - 2 = 23 I think at this point Vrothum would be getting to his boiling point and absolutely want to walk out of the room at this point, however if consoled by one of his teammates, he would apologize and sit back down.
This is more than Pai has known Vrothum to say in all the time she's known him. Boy, his dander's up and I like what he's saying! He's also getting worked up just like she does, and that--well, that could be less helpful than the idea he's getting across. When he gives Zahal that look, Pai knows it's about time to give him a means to stop with dignity. She waits a few more moments, then flies up to put a hand on his shoulder. "Well said, Vrothum. Well said." She makes eye contact with him, gives him a wink, and subtly inclines her head toward the seat behind him.
Tenth-By-Third narrows his eye to a slit as he watches Vrothum's speech. "Reckless. Reckless and undisciplined, with an aura indicating his untrustworthy nature."
Zahal looks displeased as she reponds. "His aura is not the problem, it is the misplaced prioritization of the current wellbeing of the physical health of residents of the tapestry over the wellbeing of their souls. Let me make this clear; while I sympathize with the individuals taken by Hao Jin and the time constraints, which why this trial is being held in an expedited fashion, these concerns are secondary to the cosmic issues at hand."
Zahal's eyes narrow as she begins to look angry. "And I am Pharasma's representative in this matter, and her response. Do you think the Lady of Graves would directly intervene in a mortal's actions such as this? No. This is Pharasma's judgement as much as the judgement of the Axiomite Godmind or the citizens of the Perfect City."
Tchekua clears his throat. "Ahem. I think that is somewhat harsh. His appeal is genuine and impassioned, and the lives of the people matter as he says. But still, you have a point Tenth-By-Third. This may be more his nature than his cause."
I'm going to go ahead and give the suggested bonus for good roleplaying here, but this is still not high enough to convince Zahzal; you will still need the +2 bonus from Sukit's assist.
The two bonus successes are also not met; The bonus success against Tchekua can be reached with a check to remove the penalty for a chaotic aura, or by succeeding at the +2 bonus. The bonus success against Tenth-By-Third can be reached by Sukit succeeding at both the +2 bonus check and a check to remove the penalty for a chaotic aura.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Your honors, I believe we're getting off track. The witness is clearly impassioned by both the experiences we've had here on Axis, including a direct attempt to prevent the retrieval of the engrams; A matter that he helped resolve non-violently, I'll add; as well as the impending collapse of the demiplane.
This is not the trial of Hao Jin. That trial occurred centuries ago. She was found guilty and has been serving her sentence ever since. We are here today to determine in she has performed sufficient service and learned and matured enough to be entrusted with her memories once more so the she can undoubtedly what she did before and return the occupants of her demiplane to their places on the Material Plane.
Tcheka responds first. "Indeed, that is most commendable. Zahal, I don't think the witness intended disrespect. Consider the true amount of damage done, and weigh it against her pennance here."
Zahal rolls her head slightly. "Fine. She has served some time, it is true. I will take that into consideration when we discuss rendering the final verdict."
Tenth-By-Third speaks up, voice neutral. "While his aura is objectionable, his actions on Axis have been acceptable. I have no more questions and am willing to proceed to the next topic."
With the assists, that is another success for all three.
Tenth-By-Third continues speaking, rolling right into his next talking point. "Mortals are fallible, naturally erring from cosmic law and planar constants. The accused has a record of recklessness, and it is clear that she would revert to such reckless behavior again if permitted the freedom to experiment again. Can even centuries of self-reflection overcome a creature’s base instincts?"
Tchekua seems troubled. "Yes, yes they can. I have seen it on countless occasions across the span of the multiverse, Tenth-By-Third. The rise of civilization is a natural outgrowth of mortal's ability to suprass their instinct-driven ancestors and attain limitless levels of higher reasoning."
Zahal smiles as she responds. "Ah, but such growth is less common than you imply, Tchekua. While people and societys do grow, they only do so by overcoming the staggering inertia of their current philosophies. It is rare for a person to truly change who and what they are. I have judged many souls, and few substantially shift where their soul is bound over the course of their life. Those who do tend to be exceptional."
Tenth-By-Third blinks rapidly, his eye opening and looking between Tchekua and Zahal.
"I do not believe mortals are as malleable in their nature as you believe they are Tchekua. We all have our roles and our places. Our natures define us to a large degree. I believe it remains to be shown whether Hao Jin has such a capacity."
Tchekua turns to address the audience. "Let us see if there is a witness who can attest to Hao Jin's growth of character over the terms of her service here."
Eleven-Sun-Truth bobs up to the front, taking center stage as he addresses Tenth-By-Third. "As her case worker, I believe I have substantial insight into Hao Jin's character. In short, I believe she has demonstrated an exceptional degree of willingness to atone for her prior reckless behavior. I have attached for the court's purview notes regarding the work she has done at the direction of the Axiomite Godmind regarding the Empty Court, complete with commendation. During her stay in Axis she has followed direction, met with her case worker regularly and on time, and avoided potentially hazardous behavior such as retrieving her engrams personally."
"In summary, my opinion is that Hao Jin has overcome her baser instincts and is an excellent candidate for full parole."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Tenth-By-Third's eye slowly blinks as it watches Eleven-Sun-Truth give its testimony. "This is most pleasing to hear Eleven-Sun-Truth. Your evaluation is thorough, and holds great weight in this case. I am particularly pleased with the notes on her service to the Godmind."
Zahal seems to be interested as well. "It seems she is one of those few who can truly change. Well now, that is something special."
That is successes for all three.
Tchekua looks smug. "Even in the event that Hao Jin performed the necessary steps to create her demiplane and fill it for the sake of historic preservation, there remains the fact that she left her charges untended. Thousands of creatures across more than a dozen generations suffered in her absence as she explored the Outer Planes. Were she truly responsible, would she not have guarded and guided these people until such a time as they could chart their own destinies?"
"Abdication of responsibility is a critical flaw." Tenth-By-Third chimes in.
Zahal shrugs, and looks expectantly at the audience to see if anyone has a response.
|Lorian the Peacemaker|
Lorian stepped up. "I would like to point out by creating the demiplane in the first place, she was working to ensure their safety. As for guarding and guiding them, forgive me but I have not heard that Hao Jin had visited the Starstone and survived. That sounds more like the actions of a divine being." he said.
"You take her to task for creating it, yet 333 years later, it still exists, at this courts behest I might add. Think of the Tapestry as a spiderweb. it has been many little webs removed from a forest of trees and placed into one web on one tree. They have survived, even with the threat of the Aspis Consortium. So the question before the court, will you allow Hao Jin to return in order to close the Tapestry and return them to their proper locations, if it can be done? I am not sure if the webs can be untangled and returned to their proper trees due to the large gap of time. As the saying goes, Nature abhors a vacuum, Has other creatures occupied the areas that they once lived?. Another question is, what about the occupants of the Tapestry, do they not get a say in the matter? he asked the judges
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 33 - 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 33 - 2 + 2 = 38
Tchekua responds first, after a moment's pause to reflect on Lorian's words. "You speak wisdom, Lorian the Peacemaker. I see that your reputation is well earned."
Tenth-By-Third stares, unblinking at Lorian during his testimony.
"Acceptable. I have no further questions. If we wish to consult for a verdict, I am satisfied with the statements and evidence we have gathered."
Zahal nods solemnly. "Very well. I too believe we have covered all relevant areas for evaluating Hao Jin's actions and potential for future endeavors. The court is now in recess to discuss verdict, and will render judgement when we reconvene in 20 minutes."
After a short time, the judges reconvene.
Zahal steps forward to speak and render the verdict. "It is the unanimous findings of this court that Hao Jin's violations of planar and cosmic law have sufficient mitigating actions given the circumstances that her sentence shall be commuted to time served. The individual known as Hao Jin is to be set free from all obligations and burdens imposed by Axis as a sentence for her crimes, and is encouraged to travel and create freely, empowered with a better understanding of how to do so safely and in accordance with planar law."
She breaks out into a smile, nodding to Hao Jin and the pathfinders.
"Congratulations, Hao Jin. You are free to go."
There is a murmer that runs through the crowd watching as the verdict is announced, and Eleven-Sun-Truth turns to Hao Jin and the pathfinders. "Congratulations on a successful appeal Hao Jin. Thank you all for your assistance in this trial and helping it render true justice. Given the time sensitive nature of your task, I believe you may wish to ready yourself for departure; I will summon a conveyance to return you to the gatehouse."
A carriage arrives, and the pathfinders and Hao Jin take it to return to the gatehouse. Inside, Hao Jin turns to address the pathfinders.
"Thank you for your assistance, all of you. I am truly grateful for your assistance, and for your honest testimony in the trial." Hao Jin's stoic demeanor breaks down, and a warm smile spreads across her face. "It has been so long since I have been truly free. I am indebted to you all, and to the Pathfinder Society."
You're welcome Hao Jin. I'm afraid we must impose immediately and set to work on making sure your tapestry unravels in a controlled fashion before it falls apart.
"Yeah-we're-really-glad-you're-free-now-we-gotta-save-lots-of-folks-lickety -split!" Pai blurts out in a rush. And get outta this straight jacket place ASAP! She can't wait to get back to a place where she won't get treated like poo just for being a free spirit.
|Mörök of Darkland|
"I've had great time helping you, Hao Jin. However, we must hurry to save the inhabitants of the Tapestry before inevitable happens." Mörök smiles warmly For the benefit of public safety she shouldn't be allowed to conduct any large scale magical experiments.
|Lorian the Peacemaker|
Lorian bowed to the judges before departing. "Lets get out of here so we can see about safely shutting down the Tapestry. Be on guard for any problems from Aslynn until we wrap things up." he suggested to the group.
"If I might suggest Hao Jin, the Blakros Museum could be a place to offer your services as I am sure that Nigel Aldain, the curator would keep you rather busy. he said with a sly smile.
"Oh right! Aslynn! Geez, I hope we don't have to waste time dealing with someone that powerful."
Im glad we could be of service, and I'm so happy you're finally free. A feeling of warmth rush over Vrothum, he's grown a lot from this mission and hopes all his growth isn't for nothing. Ah yes Aslynn, we need to be on our toes!
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"The Tapestry will not fall today, but you are correct that time is of the essence. I will begin the preparations to conduct the ritual, and reach out to the society to coordiante when I am ready. Now, I will return you to Golarion, where I believe your superiors will be pleased with a job well done." Hao Jin casts a spell after giving everyone a chance to say any last goodbyes, and the pathfinders are transported back to the Grand Lodge.
And that's the adventure! Aslynn may show up in future events based on your chronicle sheet boons from convincing 322 to go free, but she won't trouble you any more...for now. I should get the chronicles up later this week.