That DnD Podcast Dungeon World Campaign

Episode 23
Reap what you Sow

*PRESENT: Bill, Rook, Oric, Sam, Zharko, Vultus *

The arbiters reemerge from their seclusion building. Valerie looks over at Saint Oric and says ‘Hey are you ok? You don’t look so great.’ Saint Oric brushes the question off and blames it on some bad food or something. She also asks Valerie to take the lead on the proceedings, which she accepts without any resistance. * The Voice of the Flock* is officially introduced to the arbiters and takes his seat on a smaller podium to the right of the main big judge podium thing.

The Pious Mouth
Vultus calls Violet Whiteraven, a barmaid from The Foul Wand. She testifies that Bill comes in often to drink and usually likes to be left alone. Seems like her testimony was more beneficial to the defense than prosecution.

Oric wakes up on the floor of his house. The cloak has retreated to the corner. He locks it in a footlocker he has and then heads to the trial, thinking of ways to cover up his gnarly ligature marks.

The Meek Appeal
Rook calls upon Foz herself. He casts his Guidance spell and leads everyone in prayer. He casts successfully, but Foz revokes the spell for the time being. He asks Foz how she would have him proceed with this part of the trial. An executioner’s axe appears, points towards Bill, and then raises and swings down as if it is chopping something. Vultus elects to not ask Foz any questions. Valerie defers to* Saint Oric* on the whole ‘question god’ thing and Saint Oric nervously states that they have no need to ask further questions of Foz . When she says this, the axe points in her direction, vibrates for a bit, and then shimmers and disappears. Rook tries to assess the situation but doesn’t find anything out of the ordinary (1f xp rook)

Oric shows up (now wearing a scarf?) and sees Sam and Zharko sitting down in the crowd and goes over to talk to Sam. She comments on his scarf and he tells her about the cloaker that choked him out last night.

The Radiant Mind
The arbiters call Bardon Kegbeard to the stand. Older dwarf. Looks like some of his beard has been cut out. He’s led out in chains. He tells the arbiters that Rook and Bill and Vultus killed many of his townspeople and turned them into skeletons. The witness is terrified of the three party members and appears to be in obvious distress. Saint Oric tries to let the witness go before the two speakers have a chance to question him. Valerie is confused and asks how the Saint Sister could have made such a mistake. She’s done this plenty of times! Vultus says he has no questions for the witness, but Rook does. He shows that the army from Scrabhearst was in the wrong and that the three party members were acting to protect the people of The Everlight Lagoon and* the nearby town*Coldoaks*, that asked them for help.

The witness is escorted back to his ‘rehabilitiation’ room and both Vultus and Rook raise objections to how he is being treated. Valerie says that the discussion about his treatment can be done after the trial if they so wish to petition for a change of treatment for him.

Before remembrances, Bill is allowed to speak.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done. Things i’ve done that I know were wrong. I’m not sorry for kicking Vultus in the leg. And to the father of the child, I am sorry for the events that transpired. If I could take that back, I would do that in an instant. I also have a child and if someone were to do to my child what i did to yours, I’d want vengeance. But all I ask is for me to be able to keep my life and live it out in exile and never return to this town again. My death will not bring you peace. It will not bring your child back. But I can attempt to redeem myself. All i ask is the opportunity to life my life in exile with my family and do what i can to atone for the things i’ve done. I am truly sorry.”

Remembrances
Vultus- “The denounced is clearly misinterpreting what repentance truly is. He does not feel guilty for the majority of the crimes he committed while theoretically of sane mind and sound body and he only asks to not face a single consequence. So, as opposed to allowing that abortion of justice to transpire, I move for the closest thing to justice that we can get. You claim to feel remorse for killing your child and yet you want to spend the rest of your days with yours. That is not justice. "

Rook – “There is but one arbiter of final justice. That is not man. It is god. Whether or not we judge him to be guilty is irrelevant. You’re simply asking him to be sent to his final judgement more quickly or less quickly. Here’s the thing. We have use for him here. I would ask that he be released into my care. I would point him at our enemies. We have an army stationed outside of our town. We are in the middle of a war and are holding a trial. I’d rather empty the jail and press them into service than kill some of the few able bodied people that we have. It’s ludicrous. If he dies in combat he would meet his maker just the same as if he was executed.”

The Voice of the Flock steps forward. His face is red, knuckles are white and fists are clenched. He paces back and forth as he speaks. “I don’t know why we went through this this farce of a trial. You killed my child, and for that alone you should die. Then you went to jail, where people are sent to atone for their crimes, and you killed someone else? And then you just felt it was your right to free yourself? This was a waste of everyone’s time. With everything going on outside of the gates, this is time that was wasted that could be spent preparing. My vote, orc, is that you are executed and my only wish is that I would be the one to swing the axe." Then he walks off.

Valerie stands up and dismisses all but the denounced, the arbiters, and the speakers

Zharko heads out and finds a quiet place to cast Invisibility and then sneak back in. Sam looks for Oric and asks him to show her the cloak that choked him.

Meanwhile, on The Level Plane
Valerie re-states the initial vote from The Voice of the Flock. One vote to execute.
Saint Oric looks at the sentinel and speaks. “You say this man is a tool that can be used int he defense of this town. What I’ve heard today is that he is a flawed tool. He’s a tool that is just as likely to break in the wielder’s hand. I find that this is not a tool I choose to use. I, too, sentence him to death.”

Valerie says that her vote is inconsequential, as majority rules. “Borgoth Tomboro, at sunrise tomorrow you will be executed. You will have a brief period of time later to speak with your sentinel if you wish to make any final arrangements or set your affairs in order. This court is adjourned. Praise to the gods. "

Rook goes to visit Bill in jail. He asks if there is anything he can do to help Bill get things in order. He asks Rook to just sit with him for a while asks him to deliver the letter to his family. Rook offers absolution if desired, or they can play cards or just sit there. Bill says he just wants some silence, since it seems like a thing he’ll have to get used to. They sit there in silence through the night.

Saint Oric goes to the room with the Saint Sister inside. She’s bound and is struggling to free herself. The imposter leans over and says “well, a loose end is a loose end…”

The next morning:
Vultus is waiting at The Level Plane for Bill to arrive. The large stone platforms have been removed and replaced by what appears to be an elongated bench with a gap towards one end and an indentation to lay a head in. Rook and Bill arrive with the guards escorting them. Bill is instructed to kneel down and put his head on the divot. He is asked if he has any last words. He says “*Shirel*.” and the axe swings down.

End of Session:
Oric – 1 fail xp – 1 total
Sam -1 bond xp – 1 total
Vultus -1 alignment xp – 1 total
Rook – 1 fail, 1 bond xp – 2 total
Zharko – 0 xp – 0 total

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Episode 22
Trials and Tribulation

Present: Oric, Sam, Bill, Vultus, Rook, Zharko

Oric is getting choked out by a cloak! He grabs the needle he pulled from the target and jabs it into the cloak. The tightening ceases, but it isn’t getting any looser. He realizes that in order to remove the cloak he has to undo the clasp and in order to have enough slack to undo the clasp, he needs to tighten it slightly. He tries to endure the swimmy feeling and get the clamp off. (1f xp oric) He gets the clasp off, but passes out on the floor. Camera pans to look out the window, time accelerates, and the sun rises on the horizon.

A bell rings at The Level Plane, the area of town where the trials are held. An hour remains until the trial begins. Vultus sits in his room, looks over his notes, and prays to prepare for what is to come. Rook does the same, but in a different room. He leaves to escort bill to the trial area. Oric walks into town and heads to where the sound of the bells are coming from. Zharko finishes his breakfast at the tavern and heads to the trial area also. Sam wants to go, but plans on being there a few hours late.

Before Bill is taken to the trial, someone comes in and cleans him with a dirty sponge and a pan full of water. He’s tossed a stained linen jumpsuit to wear. Rook berates the attendants for half-assing their duty. One of them tells Rook that this is the only jumpsuit in his size and that this is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Rook uses his sanctify spell to bless and purify the linens and water and sponge. This is a ritual that is to be carried out so that a person can face judgement with dignity and there is none to be found in this place.

As Zharko arrives and finds a seat he casts his Detect Magic spell to make sure nothing hinky is going on in the courtroom. There’s a magical amulet being worn by one of the arbiters, and a few minor enchantments on jewelry to make it shiny, or other cosmetic things.

Order is called and the arbiters walk out. One is the Saint Sister, and the other is one of the guard lieutenants, named Valerie. Bill is led out to his seat, a simple stone bench with a metal ring near his feet for the chains to be fed through to prevent escape. Valerie asks him to state his name and say why he was on trial. Rook objects to the second part. “The situation is grave.", he says. "It’s serious. This person is being accused of a crime. We can do that in the way that follows this town’s laws and order without having to resort to theatrics. We don’t need to try and trick people into admitting to things they’ve not been convicted of. Shame on this court for not working to the true order of this city.”

As Vultus stands up and begins to read the charges, Bill quietly breaks the chains tethering him to the ring on the floor. At the moment nobody seems to notice it. He pleads guilty to killing the child, but not guilty to the charges of killing the guy in the prison, escaping the prison, or injuring a member of the church. He confirms that he knows the consequences for the killing of the child are severe, but says he wants to go through the trial for the rest of the charges.

Opening statements

Evidence presented:
Vultus shows off the big crazy bootprint in his armor and the bruise he got from bill.
Rook enters Bill’s impressive strength in as evidence by having him break the table in front of him.

Zharko stands up and shouts some things as Rook and Vultus are debating. Order is quickly restored and then the arbiters call a short recess. Oric sneaks off to try and listen in on their discussion. The small house that the arbiters are sequestered in has guards posted all around it, making infiltration difficult. He gets onto the roof and makes enough noise to alert a guard but finds a small chimney on the roof. He slips into the chimney before the guard can get to a point where he’d be visible and shimmies on down. At the bottom he sees that the building is split up into two smaller rooms. The Saint Sister is on one side and Valerie is on the other side and both are looking over some books and notes and drinking some water. He listens to them discussing Bill’s chances and decides to stay hidden for a while longer at least.

Sam has finally arrived and the townspeople are gathered and working on discussing who will be the voice of the town. Alfonso Weaver, the father of the slain child, is chosen. A guard comes to the arbiter building and tells them a decision has been made and that they are needed back in the court area. The Saint Sister drops her papers on accident and tells Valerie to go on ahead and that she’ll catch up momentarily. Oric slides down out of the chimney and knocks the Saint Sister out. He takes her form and a short time later another guard knocks on the door to escort her back to the trial. Saint Oric follows and heads back to her place on the arbiter bench.

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Episode 21
Sir, your Lawyer is Inebriated

The party is talking to the town guard who volunteers his services as a witness, mentioning that he has a lady he’d really like to impress with ‘good words.’ They tell him that they’ll keep it in mind.

REWIND A FEW MINUTES
Oric tells Rook about his trip to the enemy camp and the changelings that he came across. He also told him that the rest of the people in camp seemed unfazed by the blob monsters and could be dangerous. Sam also chimes in and tells the group about the issues that occurred with Craigory and the whole ‘infiltration’ thing that was going on with the tubes and the fighting and the corpse fire. At the mention of a tube, Oric tells the group about the tube he recovered from the camp.

He shows the party the bone tube. It is shorter than the metal tubes used by The Crimson Hand and has a spot near one end where things can be inserted. Zharko turns his knowledgeable eye to the tube and notices it looks like a rather old blowgun design. Wizards would on occasion enchant items like this to have certain attributes, if the price was right. The easiest way to determine what the enchantment on the item is would be to use the blowgun on something/someone. Sam volunteers to try using it first, and Oric suggests they just put a projectile in and let it fall out to see what it does

Vultus takes time and prays for guidance to see what in the area is evil. Zharko pings his senses, as does the general location of the prisoner wing. Also, there is some residual evil on the tube, as if the bone came from an evil person.

BACK TO CURRENT TIMESTREAM
Rook asks the guard if he’s seen anyone out of the ordinary or weird creatures. He says that what with the town being threatened with annihilation, everyone’s been acting strangely. Rook also asks how many people are available for town defense and he is told that there are maybe 30 guards that are healthy and fight capable.

He tells the group that his shift is ending soon and asks if they want to all go to the tavern and get a drink. Zharko enthusiastically says yes, and the others come as well with varying degrees of reluctance. Before they leave Oric asks Rook to heal him and he does so but the casting goes awry and Rook takes the damage onto himself. _. Vultus then comes up to try and heal Rook. (1f xp v)_. He rubs his hands and puts them on Rook but nothing happens.

The guard introduces himself as Solomon on the way to the bar. Sam gets hit on by a few sleazy bar patrons. Once she rebuffs them one moves on to generally trying to hit on the whole group and see if anyone wants to buy him a drink or take him back home with them. He is encouraged to leave and does so. On the way out, he puts a dented coin on the table and asks them not to tell his wife.

Zharko casts his detect magic skill but doesn’t detect anything magical outside of the expected things (his wand, something in Oric’s backpack, holy symbols on the religious dudes). ANYWAY the coin’s not magical. He picks it up and hands it to Vultus, who crushes it in his big strong manly hand.

Zharko buys everyone a round and then Vultus buys a few more rounds for the group. Oric sneaks out at some point and heads back home to finally look into his dad’s journal. Vultus stands up and drunkenly declares that he will find an armorer. Solomon offers to help him and then passes out at the table. Another guard in the bar is recruited to bring Solomon home. Vultus staggers into the street in search of an armorer to fix his shield. Sam follows after him. He knocks on the door he THINKS is the right one for the armorer, but he’s one house off. The armorer is awoken by the noise regardless. He takes the shield, tells vultus to come to his actual shop in two days, hands him a ticket for the shield, and closes the door.

Sam helps Vultus to his house. Once they’re inside, he tells her “I don’t think my god likes me anymore” and then heads up to bed. Sam heads over to Laurel’s office to check in on Max. she has a key for the office so she lets herself in and is pleased by the progress he’s making. The hair hasn’t grown back yet obviously, but the wounds seem to be healing nicely and they’re not leaking anything gross. She pets him, he puts his head in her lap, and she gets as comfortable as she can as she looks around for a place to sleep for the night so she can be with him.

Back at the bar, Rook and Zharko are talking about the trial. Zharko asks if Rook thinks the trial is going to actually happen tomorrow. Rook says no and that with everything going on recently, that something is probably going to happen to interrupt things. Zharko says he is tired and going to sleep. He stands up, walks a circle around the table, and casts his Alarm spell. He draws some unwanted attention in the process, though, and the audience notices two people in the corner with drinks in front of them that they arent drinking, and are staring intently in Zharko’s direction. Rook gets up and heads to the temple of Foz for lodging for the night.

The bedding in the temple is dual purpose. Basically you pick a slab of stone to sleep on. Also this room is used for preparing the dead for funerary rites! He picks a slab and makes himself comfortable and is drifting off to sleep when someone next to him offers him a ravast that’s just too big for him to eat by himself. Rook shrugs and takes the offered food and munches on it before heading to sleep for real.

Over in his house, Oric is getting ready to call it a night when he decides to try out the blowtube. He pulls some wood shards from the floor and puts one in the feed chute. It sounds like it finally hits the bottom several seconds later. He takes a breath and fires at a target. A jet black… something shoots out of the end and it appears to be dripping some sort of liquid. Oric plucks it from the target to check it out and finds that the shard is now a very sharp piece of metal and also the poison smells similar to the knockout poison he has now.

Before heading to bed Oric also decides to finally try on the cloak that he put on that the party found in the undertrails. He gives it a little spin to see how it looks and notices that the clasp part is now constricting around his neck.

EOS
Rook – 1 alignment, 1 treasure, 3 fail – 5 total XP
Zharko – 1 treasure – 1 total XP
Oric – 1 alignment , 1 treasure, 2 fail – 4 total XP
Sam – 1 treasure – 1 total XP
Vultus – 1 treasure, 1 fail – 2 total XP
Bill – 1 treasure – 1 total XP

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Episode 20
Lawful in the Streets, Chaotic in the Sheets

PRESENT: Rook, Oric, Sam, Vultus, Zharko
ABSENT: Bill

Oric is led into a tent by his parents. They tell the two Crimson Hand members that accosted him to leave. Dad peeks his head into the tent to make sure that it’s clear and then motions for Oric and mom to come in. Inside the tent is a small oil-burning candle on a table with four chairs around it. They all sit down at the table and mom asks if he is here to join and be on the right side of this battle. Oric says that he thought his parents were dead. They say they thought they were dead too when everything happened. They were abducted in the night and brought before a strange metal man who held a blade to their throats and then said that they would be of more use to him alive, so he let them live.

Dad says “I know you have some checkered history with The Crimson Hand, but unless something drastic happens they will be tearing through this town and the people in it. Even if you don’t agree with their methods, it may be in your best interest to be on their side?” Oric says that they’re a bunch of cultist whackjobs and even if this town falls, there are other towns he can go to. They ask if he’s come across the amulet that the crimson sigil has been looking for and oric says no. He asks them what it even looks like and they say they have no clue and aren’t even sure that The Crimson Sigil remembers at this point. They were told that if the amulet was brought back that they’d be able to go free, though. Oric asks why they don’t just leave when they have the chance. They tell him that they’ve tried before and were always caught relatively quickly. He says in the confusion that will likely be occuring in the next few days, they should sneak out. He then gives them directions to a peaceful town to the south (Foldvine).

They ask if Oric is planning to head there now to avoid the fighting or what his plan is. He says he’s here looking for his cousin, to which they seem a bit confused. He is very suspicious because of this and assesses the situation at hand. His suspicions are confirmed when he realizes for sure that these people are NOT his parents. Their skin seems odd and almost ill-fitting. As he thinks about what could be useful to him in this scenario, he remembers seeing a tent a bit further off with a more concentrated guard presence around it than the others and hears the clanking of chains off in that direction. He also focuses to check for any traps or dangers he should be wary of. The conversation had him almost distracted enough to not notice the approaching footsteps behind him. Also, there are doughy pink fingers trying to wrap their way around his neck. He turns around and the figure he sees looks like the changeling he saw as it turned into a crocogator.

Oric stabs the arm with a poison needle and dives over the table, knocking over the oil lamp in the process. The oil from the lantern begins to pool on the grass. Oric looks at the thing and sees a little patch around the needle that looks to be the same color as his skin. His “parents” stand up and begin to hiss. Their skin does a strange ripple and they turn into a strange mix of his parents and the pink dough thing. Oric flips the table over and cuts a hole into the tent wall and runs out. His exit point leads him out towards the forest and away from the clanking chain tent with the guards.

Once in the woods, Oric cuts around the side of the camp to make his way towards the tent he thinks has Griff in it. He is ducking from tent to tent and as he gets close, he hears one of the people near the tent say that there’s a fire breaking out in one of the tents, and sends them to go check it out. There is a shrieking sound coming from inside the tent and one of the pink figures emerges and is wreathed in flames. The guards are reacting negatively to the fire, but not to the pink people, so these…things seem normal enough to them? Anyway Oric comes up to the one remaining guard outside of the tent and pricks him with the sleeping poison. He picks the guards pockets and finds a strangely shaped key made of bone and then heads into the tent.

Inside there is a bound and hooded figure with a missing leg below the knee. Also in the tent is a guard sleeping at a table with a spilled flagon of ale and a locked chest. Oric takes the hood off of the prisoner and hey it’s Griff! His hands are chained together and it looks like he got the crap beaten out of him. His eyes are swollen and his face is bruised and purple. Oric tells Griff to be quiet and then takes a vial of the red fluid he obtained from The Undertrails and uncorks it and has Griff drink it.

Griff’s bruises start to fade, his eye unswells slightly, and the seems to be breathing easier. Before opening the chest Oric checks it for traps_ (1f xp oric)._ He doesn’t SEE any traps so he pops the key in and opens the chest. Inside is a prosthetic leg and a tube that appears to be made of bone and is resting inside of a specially knit cloth sleeve. Griff stops to ask and make sure that Oric is really Oric, saying that Oric’s parents have been kicking his ass for the past few days. He assures him that he’s the real Oric, helps him up, and puts Griff’s arm over his shoulder to help bear some of his weight on their way out of the camp, hopefully quietly. Nope! (1f xp oric). Griff trips and swings out with an arm to steady himself and ends up stabbing Oric. They regain their footing after Oric tends to his leg wound and as they start up again, in the distance they can hear “The prisoner’s escaped! Find him!”

They soldier on into the forest and a little while later come to a clearing that they think at first is safe. A man wearing a town guard uniform walks up and pulls his sword out. He tells Oric and Griff that they are not allowed to leave. Oric realizes that his choices at the moment are to let Griff fight the man, or he can fight the guard on his own. He sends Griff on his way and tells him to head towards town and then hucks a dagger at the guard. The throw is good and the guard is hit right in his big dumb head. He stumbles momentarily and then charges Oric with his sword held high above his head. Oric sidesteps quickly and then disarms the guard and trips him. He uses the stolen sword and plunges it into the guard’s back and kills him. He takes his dagger out of the man’s head and disappears into the woods with Griff.

Half an hour later they arrive at the town gates. The guards draw their weapons and demand to know what they were doing outside of town. Oric explains the situation and asks Griff if he recognizes any of the guards. He points out one (named Tomas) and says that he owes him some coin. Griff shouts out to the guard about the coin that he is owed and the guard tells them they can come in. A medic comes up to check on them and tends to Griff. Once he is stabilized, he asks Oric if he needs any help and motions to his bleeding leg. The medic applies some bandages and a gross-smelling ointment to the wound and it doesn’t actually seem to do a whole lot, save for making his leg smell awful. One of the guards tells Oric that his friends are in the prison with “that escaped murderer that we re-captured” and before he can head over that way he hears pained screaming coming from Griff. All of a sudden it seems like his wounds are coming back and his bruises reappear and his eye swells back up.

SCENE CHANGE TO ROOK:
Rook leveled up! Hooray! Anyway he is a bit shaken by the recent fight and decides to seek out the heaviest hitters he knows (Vultus, Bill, and Zharko). He hears from some people in town that the green murderer escaped for a while but was then recaptured by the burned man. He heads to the prison

SCENE CHANGE TO PRISON:
Bill is passed out from blood loss. He is brought to a medical room where his stump is quickly cauterized. The group hears a scream and then a thud as he collapses onto the table. He’s then tossed back into solitary. This time the cell is reinforced and there are more guards posted. Rook places his healing hands on Vultus and attempts to fix his wounded knee to moderate success. The wound isn’t totally healed but it’s looking much better than it was.

Zharko and Rook discuss* The Crimson Sigil* and how he was immune to magic that they used against him and how that troubles them. Zharko remembers that he found a green hand and brought it with him and asks if anyone can reattach it to Bill. Rook tries but is entirely unsuccessful (1f xp rook) due to the whole ‘cauterized arm stump’ thing.

A guard comes up and talks with the group about the recent happenings in town and talks about how the rule of law needs to be enforced, regardless of the crazy stuff happening. There is general agreement that justice needs to be carried out, regardless of how the party feels about the person on trial.

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Episode 19
Unhand Me at Once!

PRESENT: Bill, Vultus, Rook, Oric, Zharko, Sam

Bill kicks out as hard as he can and lands a solid hit directly on Vultus’ knee, kicking his leg out from under him. Vultus gets back to his feet and lops Bill’s non-dominant hand off.

Rook continues to follow after the crimson sigil. He heals himself and then takes another swing at the robot, saying he can do this all day if needed.

The guards come to escort bill to prison. Again. Vultus follows to assist as needed and then plans to leave and get his knee looked at. One of the guards offers to help shoulder some of Vultus’ weight so that he can walk easier, but he refuses. The two adventurers and the guards all head back to the guard hq to re-imprison Bill

Sam, armed with some new information about the direction of retreat that the east wall invaders took, heads to the guard house as well to spread the word.

Oric is still sneaking through the woods to follow The Crimson Sigil and Rook. Rook is continuing to berate The Crimson Sigil and tell it that the gods DO exist and that if they didn’t, how could rook heal himself like this? The crimson sigil responds. “I think you misunderstand my position. I met the gods before they were gods. I knew them. They were foolhardy then, and are more foolhardy now. They were reckless then and are more reckless now. They put others in danger then, and caused such terrible damage to this world after attaining their godhood that millions died. And for what? For a petty squabble that doesn’t involve us but takes place in our homes? Why are these things worth worship? Why are they worth devotion? They feed off of you and the enegry of your faith and give you little to nothing in return.”

Oric attempts to study the crimson sigil’s movements in order to see if he can determine a weakness that isn’t immediately obvious. While looking for something in the area that would be valuable to him, he spots some berry bushes that he can use to fashion a sort of knockout/real bad poop time poison. He looks to see if anything is not what it appears to be. The left shoulder’s metal armor parts seem to be pock marked and weaker than the rest of him. When trying to determine what he should be on the lookout for, he notices that in the distance he can hear the crackling of a campfire in the distance and some low talking. He feels that he should be wary of the gathering of people that is making that noise. The Crimson Sigil’s torso turns the right way round again and then takes a sharp right turn down a well-worn path that goes for a few hundred feet and ends in a clearing.

Zharko, after not seeing any sign of Oric or Rook for a while, decides to go look for the rest of the party. There’s nobody at the gate when he arrives, but he does see a green hand on the ground with blood stains leading in the direction of the guard hq. He goes that way.

A FEW MINUTES LATER:
Everyone aside from Oric and Rook are in the guard hq for a ‘happy’ reunion!

BACK IN THE WOODS:
Rook is still taking swings at this thing. He’s scuffed up and lightly dented the arm armor, but nothing substantial. He is at a loss for what to do in this situation, as he isn’t doing much damage to this thing. He looks skyward ans asks what Foz would have him do. The floating axe initially points towards the camp and then after a moment or two it points back the direction that rook came from. The Crimson Sigil says “I’m not sure what answers you seek, but i’ve given you a gift today and it would be foolish to squander it.” Rook says he hopes The Crimson Sigil likes skeletons, and that he’s going to go work on gathering his forces. He heads back to town and plans to find Zharko so that they can find a way to kill this unholy abomination.

Oric pocketed some of those berries and continues to follow the two as they march through the woods

ORIC GAIN ONE HANDFUL OF POOPOISON BERRIES

After Rook breaks off and heads back Oric keeps following The Crimson Sigil. Once they arrive at the camp, he’s going to look around and see if he can find his cousin. He sizes up the situation to see where would be the best place to investigate (1f xp oric). He heads into the wrong tent and sees a strategy meeting happening. He backs out before anyone in there can see him and bumps into two people. One of them he remembers from his time working with The Crimson Hand long ago. The man says ‘Ah, Oric. You again. You’re coming with us. This is not a request’ and the other person pushes a dagger up against Oric’s back. Oric deftly steals the dagger and the other man looks like he’s about to hit Oric. Oric strikes out in an attempt to sink the stolen blade into the man’s arm (1f xp oric). The attack is parried and Oric catches an elbow to the head. His vision swims and once he regains himself a bit he hears a familiar voice. “Oric, stop all this. Come sit down and we’ll talk.” Oric sees his mother and father motioning for him to come to a nearby tent.

End of Session
Rook – 1 alignment, 1important thing, 2 fail – 4 total XP
Oric – 1 alignment, 1important thing, 2 fail – 4 total XP
Vultus – 1 alignment, 1important thing, 1 fail – 3 total XP
Zharko – 1important thing, – 1 total XP
Sam – 1important thing, – 1 total XP
Bill – 1important thing, 1 fail – 2 total XP

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Episode 18
The Nipple Stuff Never Happened

Present: Bill, Vultus, Rook, Zharko, Sam, Oric

Flash back to bill in the prison.
He’s in solitary at the moment. A guard comes into the area leading two other people and is grinning like an idiot the whole time. The two others dismiss the guard. The woman from before (brought bill the wooden soldier) is there along with a similar-looking man. Both are in their 50s or 60s, with olive skin and dark hair.

The woman steps forward and asks Bill if he has had the opportunity to talk to oric. Bill says no and reminds her that he has been in jail. She says that she has a proposal that could maybe… end with him not in jail? She heads to the doorway they came through, peeks outside of it, and then closes it. The man steps forward now and says ‘this town would see you die for the things that you’ve done. Do you wish to die?’ Bill says he feels like he may deserve it. The man repeats his question, and bill repeats his answer.

He changes his tactics some and asks bill if he would like to leave his cell; if he would be willing to forsake the town. Bill says he could leave any time he wanted to, to which the man asks why he hasn’t done so yet, in that case. “Because I deserve to be here.” The man asks why Bill bothers to follow the laws and gods of these humans, when he can be truly free elsewhere? Bill asks how he can be expected to follow them to this place when he is in jail. The man is confused and then tells him again that they can get him out of prison.

They discuss back and forth and then finally Bill says that once they let him out, he will not go with them. The man says “well, enjoy the rest of your life. You’ve got, what, two more days? Hope it’s fun.” Bill then proceeds to rip the cell door off of its hinges. He does so in a way that doesn’t take very long, doesn’t permanently damage anything, and doesn’t make much noise.

The woman asks Bill if he will come with them or head out on his own. He tells her that he is going to rejoin his friends. She wishes him luck and holds open the door for him to walk out. He remembers from being brought in here that he is in the furthest back area of the prison complex. After the solitary area is an armored door that leads to the main prison area that leads to the mess hall, which leads to intake, which leads to the guard HQ, which leads to outside.

He chooses to set out to find his gear. The door leading out of solitary is unbarred and the smiling guard from before is there. He lets bill through and smiles at him with a weird glossed over look in his eyes. He hears the prisoners in their cells calling to Bill to help them get out. He says ‘no’ and walks away. He walks through the mess hall area, which now has a dingy white cloth laid over the table bill killed a guy on, and tries the door to the intake area but finds that it is locked. He uses his ‘bend bars, lift gates’ move again with the same results as before. It is quiet, not overly damaging, and quick.

He walks into the intake area of the prison complex and sees two people sitting behind desks and filling out paperwork. One of them looks up, sees Bill, salutes him, and goes back to working on paperwork. He says “hello gentlemen” and the other guard looks up from his paperwork and demands to know how he got out of solitary. The guard gets up and goes to reach for his sword but the one that saluted bill pulls a dagger from his boot and buries it under the breastplate of the guard’s armor. He tells Bill that he’s going to make a quick stop over at the cliff face out back and needs Bill to NOT be here when he gets back. He then says ‘may the hand guide you always’ and begins to drag the guard out. Bill heads to the barracks, still in search of his equipment. There are two rooms in the hallway. On the left hand he can hear the muffled sounds of conversation, and to the right there is the sound of a weapon being sharpened. Bill chooses the right hand door.

He walks in and sees a frail old man hunched over and sharpening a short sword with a whetstone. He asks Bill if he is a new recruit and he says that he is. The man asks if he brought a requisition order for equipment and Bill says he didn’t get one because he’s not sure of the policies of the place yet. Not wanting to cause any issues, he takes an offered box of starter gear instead of trying to force his way past to get to his own equipment. Inside the box is a sword that is somewhere between a dagger and shortsword in size and some leather armor with the town crest on it.

Now that he has the box, Bill heads to the left door. There are a few guards sitting around a table playing cards and when the door opens, they all look towards him. Bill recognizes two of them as the ones who dragged him to solitary before.

TIME HOP FORWARD:
The flares fired by both groups outside of the walls go off and the gathered masses begin to head back into the woods. Vultus shouts for the ones outside of the main gate to drop their arms and surrender immediately. They ignore his demand, though they begin to move slightly faster on their journey back into the woods. At the southern wall, the only remaining figure not leaving is The Crimson Sigil. He says “it’s a shame this couldn’t be resolved peacefully.” Rook says things CAN end peacefully if the Sigil surrenders and acknowledges the power of the gods. It laughs and says “I know that they existed at a time, but you seem to believe that they have power in this world and are worth following.” It tells Rook that The Crimson Hand will leave. First Conquest will have the previously given amount of time to prepare. It wants the city to mount the biggest force and resistance they can so that when they are utterly crushed by The Crimson Hand’s forces they will see how foolish they were for not changing sides when they could.

Rook runs up and smacks it with his mace. He connects with The Crimson Sigil’s arm and the bolt that controls the armblade snaps off. It responds by planting one of its feet into the ground and then using the other to kick Rook in the chest real REAL hard. Zharko attempts to cast his dispel magic spell on the robot. After casting the spell, he loses the ability to recast it until he prepares again. The only spell he can detect is the Cloudkill, strangely enough. It seems as if The Crimson Sigil is a blank space when it comes to magic. The robot begins to walk away and Oric and Rook follow after it. Oric is doing his best to stay hidden while following. He is able to remain undetected by humanoids but runs afoul of a rather venomous snake that is in his path. An expertly thrown dagger pins the snake to the ground before it can strike and Oric continues stalking behind the procession.

SKIP TO OTHER WALL GROUP:
Vultus is being pushy and asking them all about their allegiance to the gods and such to try and suss out if there are crimson hand sympathizers. He gives his normal prepared speech and looks to gauge their reactions (1f xp vultus). Totally misreading the situation, he thinks they are super interested and then continues on with his whole prepared speech.

Sam, meanwhile, decides that she wants to head out after the group and see where they go. She uses her_ Hunt and Track_ skill to try and see where they go. She follows the trail for half an hour or so through the woods and ends up at a cliff that goes about 30 feet up from where she is standing. At the bottom of the cliff face is a round-ish entrance to a cave/tunnel system that’s been carved out. The trail is untrackable on the flat stone floor, so she turns back and heads towards town again to let people know what’s up.

Vultus moves his speech around to a different area still near the gates

BACK TO FIRST WALL GROUP:

Zharko is sitting on the wall looking anxiously for his friends to return. He ends the Cloudkill effect and paces back and forth.

STAR WIPE BACK TO PRISON:

Bill walks into the barracks, the guards see him, a table is flipped. He runs off as fast as he can back into the town itself, trying to lose the guards in the winding streets and crowds.(1f xp bill) He has a bit more endurance than the guards and manages to lose them as he weaves through the streets. Unfortunately for him he wanders right into the area where Vultus is giving his ‘come to Lash’ speech. He falls down and Vultus comes over, plants his knee in bill’s back, and tries to tie him up. The guards arrive 2 minutes or so later. The guards ask if Bill is dead and make comments about how it would make their jobs much easier if he was.

Vultus asks Bill how he got out of prison. He says he broke out. Vultus decides that an immediate punishment that needs to be carried out is that he will remove one of bill’s hands. Bill immediately begins to resist and lashes out at Vultus.

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Episode 17
Ballad of Craigory

PRESENT: Vultus, Oric, Rook, Sam, Zharko
ABSENT: Bill

The party is headed to the town gates!
On the way, Rook sees some ‘guards’ handing parcels off to some ‘citizens’ along with the quick muttering of a few words.
Vultus comes up and accosts one of the recipients while Oric sneaks around behind him and steals the package. The party lets the guy go and then heads to a quiet corner to see what the fuss is about.

Inside the bundle is a small leather pouch. In the pouch is a rolled up paper with a map of the town (along with some symbols and arrows), a serrated dagger and two vials of liquid.
One is a swirly brownish green color and the other is a milky white color.
A quick whiff in combination with what he knows about the general color of poisons allows Oric to deduce that the white almond smelling liquid is most likely a paralytic that quickly stops the heart.
Investigation of the viscosity and coloration of the greenish liquid shows him that this is an applied poison that would work best if put in food or on a weapon or something like that.

ORIC gains serrated dagger, 1x Paralytic toxin (wht) and 1x Food poison (grn)

Sam rushes off with the attack plans and heads to the guard hq. The rest of the party heads to the walls. At about the midway spot between the two gates, Rook asks Foz for guidance and wishes to be led to the site of glorious battle. After a few moments of hesitation the floating axe points towards the side gate down to the south. The prayer and subsequent floating sign grab him some unwanted attention, though. Unbeknownst to the party, they are being watched from a nearby alleyway.

Rook heads to the south gate
Sam is headed to the guard hq
Oric is headed to the south gate and wants to wait outside of the gate
Vultus is headed to the main gate
Zharko is headed to the south gate

Sam reaches the guard hq and talks to a man sitting behind one of the desks. He seems awkward and fidgety. Sam hands over the information and the man acts as if he already knows the stuff on there. Sam is increasingly suspicious of this man and asks him to identify himself. He tells her that he is Craigory, ‘the boss guard of the guard house.’ Sam leaves after giving him the information and the map and hangs out outside of the building, expecting him to leave and possibly meet with a co conspirator. Five minutes pass and there’s still no sign of the man. She goes in through a back entrance and tries to find Craigory. Sam asks around and a guard said that the new guy was watching the desk for a while, but he said he was headed to the roof to do a perimeter check. The guard also said that ‘Craigory’ told her that his name was Maxwell. Some guards are sent to check the roof and Sam heads out towards the front gate.

As she is walking out and crossing the bridge connecting the guard island to the rest of the city, she hears commotion on the roof. There are the telltale sounds of people fighting and the sound of something being lit. From where she stands Sam can see Craigory holding a tube into the air and trying to light it with the torch. Sam quickly readies her bow and fires an arrow in Craigory’s direction. The arrow hits his hand and he drops the torch. He curses loudly, picks it back up, and tries to light the tube again when he is tackled from the side by one of the guards who came to the roof to find him. Both people sail over the edge and land with a wet thump on the rocky ground several stories below. Craigory landed on the other guard and is somewhat less catastrophically hurt. He steadies his shaky hands with the last bit of energy he has in him and tries to light the tube again. She fires another arrow and this one goes into his head. The hands go slack, the tube rolls into the water, and the torch rolls back towards the two corpses and sets them alight.

She runs off to help out at the front gate and on her way across the bridge two guards appear on the far end and ready their weapons to stop her. A shout from the rooftop tells them to let her through and they do so.

Back at the front gate: Vultus is gathering as many nearby guards as he can. Only one is a recent recruit. He tells one of the more veteran guards to keep an eye on him and kill him if needed. Figures start emerging from the nearby woods. Vultus climbs up to the top of the wall to get a better view. The figures are wearing various black outfits, and each have a red handprint on their chests. No weapons are drawn. They just stand and stare.

At the side gate: A similar gathering is occurring here, but to a much greater degree. 60 or so people are at this gate, compared to the 30-40 at the main gate. They’re gathered about 200 feet away from the front gate and are also staring. Rook wants to use Cause Fear on the crowd but is too far away, so he has the guards open the gate so that he can go out and walk towards the crowd.

Rook is out there standing defiantly and Oric is trying is best to hide in some nearby bushes so he can observe without being seen. Luckily for Oric, the bush he picked is a great hiding spot! Unfortunately for him, the bush is currently inhabited by some angry stinging insects. He takes some of his sleeping poison into his mouth and spits it out on the bees.

Oric -1 use of Oil of Tagit

As Rook strides out towards the gathered crowd, the gaze of the gathered forces shifts to him. He addresses the crowd, tells him he’s a big fan of the gods, and to prove that they’re real, he will be doing some magic. He then promptly fails that roll so all of the gathered folks laugh at him (1xp rook)

The group gathered parts and allows two plate-mailed soldiers to march up and as they part, a skeletal metallic man is revealed. He walks up to rook and says “are you the representative?”. Rook says that he is, and the man asks where ‘*Cassile*’ is. Rook combs through his accumulated knowledge, but draws a complete blank on the name (1 xp rook)

Rook turns around and shouts up to Zharko to ask what he knows about these guys and Zharko is reminded of a book he read about a race called the warforged, but they aren’t supposed to have existed for at least the past thousand years.

Some banter is exchanged between rook and the metal being that identifies itself as The Crimson Sigil. Rook tires of it and shoots at it with a magic missile. The missiles are caught out of the air and crushed by the robot. Zharko pulls out the wand of cloudkill and casts it over the area outside of the wall. In response, The Crimson Sigil extends the sharp and serrated blades built into his arms. It nods in the direction of the two guards that flanked it and they pull a chain on their tube pikes and they fire red flares into the air.

Zharko -1 use of Cloudkill on wand

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Episode 16
Blessed is the Mind too Small for Doubt

PRESENT: Oric, Rook, Sam, Vultus, Zharko
ABSENT: BILL

TIME:
1.75 days of trial prep remain
0.25 days until ‘the replacement’
TRIAL:
Vultus: 1 hold
Rook: 2 hold (1xp to vultus if you use hold gained from vultus’ failure)

The group arrives at the meeting house that isn’t specially marked that Zharko found out about last night. it sounds like there are 5 or 6 people inside. Oric heads over to the side of the building and sees if he can sneak in through there. Vultus waits outside the front with Rook and Sam for the ‘go noise’ so the group knows when to raid. Zharko says he can cast an invisibility spell on Oric to help him sneak in, but warns him that it will wear off if he tries to attack anybody.

He casts successfully, but is unable to cast the spell again, at least for a while. Oric sees strange shadows moving through the walls and into buildings, and he himself looks misty. He uses his lockpick set to pick the lock on the side door. He makes a bit of noise opening the door, but is able to spot the wire attached to the door before he opens it all the way. The clicking noise the door makes alerts the people inside, though. One person asks what that noise were and Vultus decides to spring into action by… fake arresting Zharko! He says “go with it” and roughly shoves Zharko to the ground. Zharko tries to get out of the way but trips and runs into the side of the building they’re staking out. People quickly come to the front door to see what is going on outside. Zharko starts yelling about being wrongly accused and two of the people come out of the house to try and break up… whatever is going on here.

Oric disables the wire with a set of snips he has. Good for him, because those would have set off a pair of crossbows pointed at the door! As he walks into the kitchen area, he assesses the situation. There are three people in the living room and the two that just went outside. The two that went outside are normally dressed, but the three inside are wearing guard uniforms. Oric makes his way carefully past the ‘guardsmen.’ There are two sets of guard armor and weapons in a side room. Also hanging from one nightstand are five bronze medallions with a red handprint on them. Since Griff isn’t here, Oric moves to plan B and gets his poison ready so he can knock out one of the people. He succeeds in doing so and thus dispels his invisibility. The other two men in the room see their friend fall to the floor in a heap and suddenly a man with a needle in his hand is standing over him! “Who are you and how did you get in here!?” one asks. Oric shouts ‘Heretic!’ which apparently is the ‘go loud’ signal.

Rook enchants Sam’s bow so that her arrows fly faster and hit harder. Vultus pushes the one closest out of the way and sam lands two shots on two targets, wounding both quite badly. The initial target charges Vultus and he stands prepared to hit it right back. Confident that his god is backing him, Vultus finds that he broke his vow of truth by declaring that he was arresting the wizard. He is sent sprawling and lands on top of zharko

Inside, Oric is having much better luck. He hucks a knife at one of The Crimson Hand guys and kills him outright. The non-dead and non-sleeping guy in the room throws a dagger towards Oric. Rook casts magic missile in an attempt to knock it out of the way. the aim was true but the angle was wonky, sending the dagger into Oric’s leg.

One man outside is trying to slash at Vultus/Zharko! Zharko quickfires a magic missile at him and gets a solid hit. The first missile pierces his armor and the second hits the same spot and bursts inside of him, killing him instantly. Vultus comes up to the one approaching him and tries to bash him with his shield. He is successful at sweeping the man off his feet, but the shield cracks in the process.

The guy inside who hit Oric with that throwing dagger (nobody tell him he had help!) feels confident enough to stride up and just try to cut Oric down. Oric parries the blow upwards and then cuts the man down using a quick flourish of his dagger.

Now the only one left inside is all asleep-like! Oric hands Sam the amulets he found and tells her that maybe she should bring these to the guardhouse so that the guards know what to be on the lookout for to identify infiltrators. She brings those and tells them that the attack will happen at midday at a less used gate to town.

Oric prepares to interrogate the captive while Vultus meditates in the corner of the room.

TIME COUNT:
1.5 days of trial prep remain
3 hours until ‘the replacement’

Vultus drags the corpses inside and Oric and Zharko prepare to… question the man. Zharko casts charm person on the prisoner before the interrogation begins. The man awakens and begins trying to bargain with Zharko to get him to let his old buddy out of these ropes! He can put in a good word with the boss! Oric holds a dagger to the man’s throat and asks where Griff is. The man denies any involvement in that process. Oric pushes harder and draws some blood from the man’s throat. The prisoner says if the guy that was taken was valuable, he’d be kept outside of town. He refuses to say more. Oric threatens him and the man says “nothing you can do is worse than what he would do. Do what you need to.” Zharko casts his cause fear spell on the chair that the man is tied to. The spell is cast successfully, but in his panic the man begins shouting loudly enough to be heard from outside. Some passing townsfolk hear the noise and run off to get help.

Without the promise of any more information, Vultus cuts the man’s head off and puts it in a bag to bring with them for the purpose of using Zharko’s speak with dead spell tomorrow on it. They second guess the plan since the attack is happening in like two hours, and then put the head back down and get out.

They sneak out of the side exit and get about half a block away before they hear the sound of boots kicking in a door in the distance.

TIME:
1.25 days of trial prep remain
>1 hours until ‘the replacement’

End Of Session:

BONDS:
V: Z isn’t as far gone as I thought. I should endeavour to redeem him. He may be brought into the fold in time.
R: B has proven that he is is a danger to himself and others. I will keep them safe from him.
S: B is no longer in my debt, and must prove himself worthy of my further assistance.
O: CREATE: R’s reckless use of magic is dangerous. -— ???
Z: O has earned my trust and I will assist him however I can in the fight against the crimson hand.
Z: CREATE: V embodies the worst aspects of his god. he must change or be made to change.

XP:
Vultus: 7 (3 fail, 1 bond, 1 alignment, 1 important thing, 1 notable enemy)
Rook: 5 (1 fail, 1 bond, 1 alignment, 1 important thing, 1 notable enemy)
Zharko: 4 (1 fail, 1 bond, 1 alignment, 1 important thing)
Bill: 2 (1 important thing, 1 notable enemy)
Oric: 2 (1 alignment, 1 important thing)
Sam: 2 (1 bond, 1 important thing)

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Episode 15
A Compelling Case Against Free Will

PRESENT: Bill, Oric, Rook, Sam, Vultus, Zharko

Trial Info:
They get three days to gather any evidence and witnesses and reference materials.

People:

  • 2 speakers (equivalent to attorneys here)
  • Denounced- Accused of the crime (Defendant) (Bill)
  • Inquisitor – Speaker for the city (Prosecution attorney) (Vultus)
  • Sentinel – Speaker for the denounced (Defense attorney) (Rook)
  • Arbiters – 2 judges – final decision makers
  • The Flock – The gathered townsfolk who come to watch the trial
  • Orator – elected position given to a townsperson. they speak as the voice of the flock

Stages of trial

  • Conception (the research part) – The case is born into the minds of the speakers. They form their hopes and dreams for how the case will grow and develop.
  • Revelation (opening arguments) – The case is laid bare and introduced to the world.
  • The World of Stone and Word (fact + evidence) – Case is shaped by the facts and evidence that are available. Evidence/precedents are presented.
  • The Pious Mouth (prosecution witness) – the inquisitor calls a witness whose testimony will give meat to the inquisitor’s case and help to sway the arbiters and flock to their side.
  • The Meek Appeal (defense witness) – the sentinel calls a witness who will paint the denounced in a sympathetic manner and try to put their actions in a good light.
  • The Radiant Mind (judge witness) – the arbiters call someone to the stand. both sides may ask questions, and then the arbiters ask a few themselves.
  • Remembrances (closing arguments) – the life of the case ends. like the end of all lives, we celebrate the life that it lived. we recap the highs and the lows.
  • The Flock Speaks (jury speaks) – though a life is gone, it touches those around it. the final voice is that of the town itself. of the world itself. the orator considers the facts of the case and gives a recommendation to the arbiters. you must simply sit and hope.
  • A Just Record (final decision) – the gathered masses leave. Those who remain are the arbiters, the speakers, and the denounced. the only thing recorded is the outcome of the trial. all other words and actions will fade into memory.

The trial will commence in three days. The two speakers must make preparations!

TRIAL PREP MOVE
When you spend time before the trial preparing, roll. If you have reference materials, roll + INT
10+: 3 hold to use during the trial
7-9 : 1 hold to use during the trial
<6 : Give opposition 1 hold. If they use it, you get an extra XP

Vultus plans to look for any family he can find for the deceased child. (Rolls 4)

Rook begins with prayer. He has an… ‘alternative’ method of defense planned. He will also seek out anyone who can tell him how law is practiced in the town so he can make sure he follows all the procedures and rules. (Rolls 8)

Vultus: 0hold
Rook: 2hold (1xp to vultus if vultus hold is used)

During this time, Oric is looking into finding any dead drops or hideouts that The Crimson Hand may have in town. Zharko feels that the trial is a distraction from the big thing that everyone should be worried about and decides to help Oric out.

Sam is looking for something to do in general, so she puts the word out that she is willing and able to help out anyone who needs help with any research or tracking or investigation. Vultus is eager and willing to accept her assistance. With her doing some research as well, he is able to prepare a much better plan than he first had on his own. She finds that there is precedent that people on trial for crimes of passion were on occasion let off scot free, whereas others (mostly out-of-towners, of which Bill is one) were usually much more harshly prosecuted. If precedent follows, since he is an outsider, things will… be not good for Bill.

Thanks to Zharko’s assistance, Oric makes headway on getting info on The Crimson Hand members in First Conquest. They start to notice red handprints in varying places that are out of the way and not immediately noticeable. They find that there is an abandoned house by one of the walls and an abandoned warehouse in the back of the merchant district. They seem well-traveled which is odd since both of the buildings are dilapidated and out of the way. The house near the edge of town had a ciphered copy of the guard rotation. The warehouse had, tucked far in the back, a few sets of guard armor replicas. They know now that an infiltration of the guard ranks is going to happen soon, if it hasn’t yet.

MEANWHILE BACK IN PRISON: Bill is in the mess hall and decides for…. reasons? to bash someone’s head in with a dinner tray. * Adrian Cook* is sitting at the table eating his gruel with bits of “meat?” in it when Bill comes up and bashes him with the tray. Once the tray breaks he grabs the man by the head and cracks his face into the wooden table. Blood begins to pool on the table and between the slats onto the floor. Two guards rush up and bludgeon Bill over the head with clubs and drag him to a higher security area.

Time leap to that night for Bill: A shorter woman with long black hair and olive skin wearing closely-gathered robes comes up to Bill’s cell. She comes up close to the cell to where only he can hear her talk (not close enough to be grabbed). She says “you’re an easy person to find, but an expensive person to get to talk to. What exactly was the point of that ‘show’ of yours earlier?” Bill denies doing anything at first and then comes clean. She asks if he is affiliated with Oric and Bill eventually admits to that too. She asks if Bill knows where she would be able to find Oric in the town. He tells her no. She asks Bill to pass on a message to Oric if he ends up seeing him again. “Tell him an old friend will be waiting at the fountain.” Bill denies her request. The woman puts a small wooden figurine on the horizontal bar of the cell and walks away. The figurine looks like soldier. it was probably originally painted nicely at one point in time. Bill cracks it in half.

Bill gain 2 pieces of wooden soldier.

At the end of the day as Sam is leaving town to head to her house in the woods, one of the guards stops her and recommends that she spend the night indoors in town. they’ve seen… some stuff. People emerging from the woods and standing there for hours and watching. They’re barely visible in the shadows and when people go to investigate, red handprints are found on some of the trees.

Oric is back at home and is looking through some of his old stuff and looking for clues. He gets a knock on the door! Sam’s there and she tells him about what she heard regarding the creepy lurkers in the shadows outside of town. Oric says it meshes with what he and Zharko have been seeing. He suggests that Sam bring the news to the guard captain, as he is probably unwelcome there. He also says that when he last interacted with them, the crimson hand were a gang of thugs, and not these fireball-throwing guys. He hands her the ciphered guard schedule and as sam is getting ready to head out, the two of them hear a panicked banging on the door. Oric opens it and Aunt Rose comes in. She slaps him in the face and shouts “you son of a bitch! this is your fault!” as she shoves a crumpled note into his chest. Oric reads it.

“Tell the thief to bring the amulet or your family tree will be pruned once more.”

Oric tells her that he doesn’t have the amulet. “They’ve got Griff. so you need to find it, or make one that looks like it so they will stop killing our family members.” Oric promises that they’ll find Griff and she says “for your sake you’d better.”

Midnight: 2 DAYS UNTIL TRIAL

Zharko plans to use his invisibility spell to observe one of the more likely meet/drop spots to see if he can find someone to tail. He starts with the house w/ the ciphered guard schedule on it per Oric’s recommendation. It is currently around 12:30 or 1. Zharko sees two figures approach. they walk the block a few times. One bends down to ‘tie his shoe’ and scans up and down the street. He coughs and the other goes inside the house. Zharko stays next to the one that didn’t go in. A few minutes later he emerges again and Zharko hears the one who went inside tell the other “it looks like we are all set for midday tomorrow. you know the place?” ‘Yeah’ “Ok, well i’ll see you there, then.”

The two individuals split up in different directions. Zharko follows the one he was tailing before as he heads towards the gates out of town. Before he gets to the gate, Zharko touches him on the shoulder and casts charm person, dispelling his invisibility spell. The man freezes for a second and turns around and sees his old friend! “Hey, where’s that thing going down?” Zharko asks. The man shushes him. ‘You know the center of town where they had the big fireball?’ he asks. ‘Go north of that, towards the docks. Third street off to the left. Two buildings down. There’s a meeting house that we keep unmarked. since it’s special. where we keep the good stuff? we’re meeting there and then we’re going to do our replacement.’ He also tells Zharko that the boss is coming to town when the gates are forced open. Zharko finishes his conversation with the man and then heads to find Oric and fill him in.

Zharko arrives and tells oric what he learned and makes special note of the fact that the boss is coming to town. Oric tells Zharko that the boss coming is very bad news. He says he doesn’t know much about the boss, but his coming bodes ill for everyone.

MEANWHILE: Sam made it to the guardhouse. She heads up to talk to one of the people in charge for this duty shift. Looks like Evelyn is in charge tonight. She’s got a decent working relationship with Sam. Evelyn checks in to see how Max is doing and then they get down to business. Sam tells her about what they found out and presents Evelyn with the ciphered guard rotation. Evelyn says that this couldn’t have come at a worse time because they just started training new recruits, so infiltration is much easier right now than it would be normally. Sam asks after Griff and Evelyn said that he is reported to have come in as of last night. He probably got off a few hours ago, and he would have been on one of the quieter, less ‘active’ areas since they were trying to get him back up to speed slowly since his leg loss. Sam thanks her for the info and heads out. She goes to Laurel’s veterinary office and spends the night there so she can be near max.

Bill is delivered food in his prison cell. The slop in his bowl is poured on the ground in the cell and the guard says “eat up, monster. You’d better enjoy these last few meals you get.”

MORNING:
Oric heads to get Vultus and Rook. They’re in a wing of the regular town archive that has to do with legal proceedings. He tells them everything that he and Sam and Zharko found out the previous day, and tells them that the leader of The Crimson Hand coming to town is big time bad news. Vultus proposes they find the heretics, kill all but one, and bring the other in for public interrogation. They talk about the plan on the way. They stop by the vets office after asking around for Sam and find her, bring her up to speed as well, and get ready to roll out.

*TIME: *
2 days of trial prep remain
0.5 days until ‘the replacement’

TRIAL
Vultus: 1 hold
Rook: 2 hold (1xp to vultus if you use hold gained from vultus’ failure)

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Episode 14
Spreading Skeleton Democracy

PRESENT: Bill, Rook, Vultus, Sam, Zharko, Oric

Rook, Vultus, and Bill decide that they will head to First Conquest immediately. The problem, however, is that the trip is almost six days and they have rations enough for half that. They figure it is best to pay a visit to The Bonehive and see if they can trade for some food.

They arrive at the* Everlight Lagoon* around 3am. Rolland comes up and looks at them expectantly. They propose the trade for food and Rolland says “I have told you before that whatever you need, we would try to provide. You have protected this town and to us you are citizens of Coldoaks. Take what you need for your journey.” They accept three days of rations and prepare to leave.

Rook gains 3 uses of rations
Bill gains 3 uses of rations
Vultus gains 3 uses of rations

Before they leave, we do the undertake a dangerous journey roll.
Rook is quartermaster
Vultus is the scout
Bill is trailblazer

Rook’s quartermastering experience allows the party to actually use less rations than intended (maybe with some ‘unorthodox’ additions to the rations they DO eat.) Vultus and Bill do their job competently. They do not bump into any obstacles or get lost. As they pass the Mirthless Marsh, they see a goblin party out hunting. Grinkle is with the hunting party and the two groups wave at each other as they pass by.

The three adventurers arrive at the gates of First Conquest. A guard asks them how the journey went. Rook says they made contact with some town. They made good contact with one, and less good contact with another. The guard says that a group of dwarves on a cart came in a day or so ago.

They go through the gate and begin to make their way to The Saint Sister’s lodging. It’s a weird setup. No matter which way you face in the market square, her house is to the right. (she actually has like 5 buildings that she owns all around the market). As they make their way to the house, they see the other three party members from before the split! As they walk over to each other, the sky darkens and becomes a uniform sheet of gray. A funnel cloud pulls down from the cloudsheet and about a dozen figures pour out.

As the figures emerge, they spread out to hover over the walls. The figures begin chanting. Beams of light shoot out of the discs and collect in the middle of town. The light elongates and eventually forms a 30-foot tall pale face in a purple hood. No matter where a viewer stands, the head appears to be looking down at them specifically.

Zharko frantically pages through his thoughts for anything that may help him figure out what this is all about. He remembers a story of ‘riders of light’ he heard from a sailor he met long ago. He was at sea and they saw a strange light appear above a town, and when they got to the town the people were gone.

The face begins to speak. “You live your lives in folly. You worship corpse gods. You kneel to husks that are unable to or unwilling to aid you. You kill in the name of things that long ago abandoned this world.

We are the harbingers of* The Distant Prince*. The heralds of his coming storm. The Godless. We bring you a choice. Abandon your worship of the weak and unworthy deities and kneel in supplication to an entity with power, one with the ability to unify this wounded world, or be removed from this place by the faithful. By those deserving of this town.

In ten days’ time, The Crimson Hand will arrive at your gates. for your sake, let those gates be open.”

The light explodes, the beams of light retract, and the figures begin to fly in different directions. Vultus uses his ‘I am the law’ to command one of the figures to come down and face him.
“In the name of Lash, get the fuck down here!”
he shouts. There is a hiss audible even over the distance. A blur of hand movements and a string of words in a language that is altogether alien to the party’s ears are followed by an enormous fireball that begins to hurtle towards the masses in the market square

Vultus hunkers down and tries to shield nearby innocent townsfolk from the blast. He underestimates the force of the fireball. It pushes him backwards and slowly begins to lift his shield up and out of the way. He moves his shield to the side and turns around to place his back towards the fireball. The armor begins to act as a brand and sear his skin underneath. He will have burns for quite a while after this. It’ll take several days of rest and several coin worth of ointments to cure the boils and blisters and burns. The people in line further away from him that he was protecting get some 2nd degree burns but none of them die.

Vultus has the Scarred debility until he gets medical treatment.

Zharko successfully counters the effects of the spell (on himself, anyway). He pulls his hands out of his robes and moves them quickly in a complicated pattern. A glowing sphere appears around him and shields him from the flames.

Sam and Max attempt to weave through the crowd. She notices a family up ahead blocking Max’s path out. Unwilling to sacrifice the family to save her dog, she works to get them clear of the blast. Sadly for Max, this results in him getting burned by the fireball

Oric dextrously weaves through the crowd and gets out of the blast zone without any issue.

Rook uses his faith to protect himself. For a long time to come, people will speak of the cleric who crossed his arms and withstood a fireball completely unscathed.

Bill pushes the crowd out of the way to get to safety. In the process, though, he knocks some down. Those sad few are not as lucky when it comes to surviving the fireball. Two end up dead and three are pretty badly burned.

All told, around 30 people died in the fireball. Thanks to the actions of some of the party, 20 or so who would likely have died are alive, though in varying degrees of burntness. The town guards who were posted at the walls have arrived and work to transport the wounded to any apothecary or anyone they think could help.

Vultus comes up to the most wounded person he can find and lays hands on the person. The burns and blisters are still present, but the person’s breathing returns slightly more to normal and they seem to be in less pain.

Rook bends down and tries to cast his healing spell on some wounded. He’s successful, but attracts unwanted attention in the process. While some of the townspeople rally behind the show of faith, there are some citizens who see this as a sign of all of the things that got them in this trouble.
_“Your gods are what got us here in the first place! why don’t you take your prayers and get out of here!?” _
They begin to throw sticks and other bits of rubble at the cleric. He stands up and says “Remember that I stood up in defense of this town when enemies attacked. The fact that you would attack defenders of this town speaks more of you than it does of them.”
A few of them begin to walk away.

Bill finds the first person who threw something at rook and runs up and punches them in the face. The first person to throw something, though, was a young boy. Zharko attempts to stop Bill before he can get the hit off, but fails to do anything helpful in the situation. He is punched out of the way by Bill as the fighter continues his charge. He crushes the boy’s chest and he falls dead to the ground.

Sam finds Max in the crowd. His back half is burned to the point where he has no hair past his chest/stomach area. If needed, he could probably be used to help with tracking, but he would be useless in combat. She heads off to find an animal apothecary to tend to his burns. On the way towards the gates (southeast-ish) there is a well-respected individual that Sam has dealt with in the past. She asks if Max can be treated. She says she probably can, but will need some special herbs that will speed the healing. The herbs cost 15 Sam coin. When she returns, they are then ground up and turned into a paste to put on the wounds.

Sam loses 15 coin

WORLD BUILDING TIME: What IS the punishment for killing a kid?
*Murder isn’t descriminated by age. Was it self-defense? Crime of passion?
*Usually carries a death sentence. Except for really extenuating circumstances.
*Sort of explicitly in the bylines of the lash church to not hurt children.

Back to the market square!. Vultus has bound Bill’s hands and is trying to gag Bill, but he keeps wiggling the gag out. Ten heavily armed town guards arrive armed with polearms and hooks. They surround Vultus and Billl and tell Vultus that they are taking Bill with them to be detained. Vultus says he is coming with them because if Bill tries to escape, he will kill the half-orc himself. Rook feels partially responsible and follows along as well. He is formally charged, his name is taken, and he is led to his tiny cell.

Bill is locked in and a guard turns to the two party members who acted as escorts and talks to them briefly. He says the way the legal system is set up here is that an associate of the defendant acts as defense for them, and an associate also acts as the prosecutor. also, the prosecutor faces the same charge as the defendant if they are thought to be trying to ‘throw’ the case. Rook volunteers to defend and Vultus enthusiastically volunteers to prosecute.

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