A Jury of Strangers
(Copied from chat)
A Brief Look at the world of Lacor Laquette( Don’t worry, no one really calls it that.)
Vashyae is a monarchy that takes up much of the western coast, going as far as the Copper Mountains that cut the continent in two. Vashyae is a land of tradition, where the King and his Council of nobles rule through a combination of force and obligation. The Vashyae people are mainly Humans and Dwarves. To the east of the Copper Mountains lies the Fool’s Desert, as it is widely considered impossible to pass without camel’s and overladen wagons of water.
The desert slowly greens into an unnamed prairie, when the tribal Brubar people roam, rarely settling in one place for more than a few days. The Brubars are a motley group of Humans, Orcs, Half-Orcs, Kobolds, and even the occasional stray Dwarf or Halfing.
Past the prairie the land reflects it’s west coast, with forests and hills being predominant, in the land of Sespya. Sespya is a oligarchy, and is generally considered quite corrupt, but also seem as the land of rapid growth and possibility. The Sespyan people are mainly Humans, Gnomes and Halfings, though the Humans hold most if not all of the power.
The northern third of the continent is dominated by a large forest, known simply as “The Forest”. It is said that Elves live here, but the average peasant frankly doesn’t believe in Elves, let alone that the Forest is inhabited by anything more than beasts and monsters.
There are several other city states dotting the continent, preferring to stay neutral in conflicts between Vashyae and Sespya. These include Harreby, a self-contained merchant conglomerate in the south, and Osmar, a monastery dedicated to chronicling the history of the continent. Harreby is the only city where Halflings make up the majority of the ruling class.
James Racine [3:37 PM] The town of Varoh isn’t anything spectacular. It makes its living off of the trade routes coming from the west, through a narrow passage in the Copper Mountains and onto the rest of Vashyae. Only two noble families, the Ursa and the Mustang are the only two noble families of note in the town, and between them they control the passage of goods.
Three nights ago, the scion of the Mustang clan was murdered in his sleep. Immediately, the guard suspected the Ursa families own first son, who has been arrested.
However, due process in the Kingdom of Vashyae demands a fair trial by a unbiased individuals. Unfortunately, the entire town of Varoh is either a member or directly affiliated with the two families.
The Judge therefore looked for the only unbiased individuals in town—passerbys. Each of you is in town for different reasons—some passing through, some sneaking past, some there to get away from their past and some hoping to embrace their future. Whatever your reason is, you have been gathered up and placed into a preparation room, apart from the townsfolk, awaiting the trial.
James Racine [3:44 PM] The room itself isn’t overly large or ornate, but functional. A long table dominates the space, and a mismatch of chairs and stools surround it, all made of wood. There are two pitchers of some sort of dark beer in the middle of the table, and a dozen mugs, these made of stone, most likely amateur dwarf-make.
There are no windows, and only the single door, which you know from your way in leads back to the courtroom.
Robb Hassa [4:03 PM] Visibly nervous to speak first and looking uncomfortable, a dwarf stands to his feet to address the room. His head is shaved entirely aside from a short, coarse black beard covering the bottom half of his face. His near-black eyes dart around as he clears his throat and he brushes away part of his button-up robe that he is using as an oversized cloak thanks to the top two buttons staying put, revealing the trademark clothes of a traveler from Vashyae.
“Aye, w-well. I fig’ure we ‘ought ta get ta know ea’chother, seein’ as ‘ow we’re stuck in this room n’ all. My, uh… my name is Harold Ko-”_Harold starts coughing trying to cover the trail of his sentence_ “Just Harold, for now. I hail from a small minin’ town in th’ Copper Moun’ains. I uh, travel, err… I don’ agree with some a’ th’ traditions my people hold so near ‘n dear. So, I’m a travelin’ away from there.”
Harold then outstrecthes his hand to show the room, “Now, don’ be alarmed! This ’ittle fella here is Immortui, or Morty fer short!” At that, a small tarantula crawls down Harold’s arm and raises his front legs while sitting in Harold’s hand. “Now uh… how about you there?”_Harold points to the next person in the room_
Raleigh Wheeler [4:26 PM] All eyes fall on the cloaked figure slumped in a plush chair who is next to speak. The tall human doesn’t seem to notice as all eyes are on him waiting for an introduction. He is dressed in a well-worn cloak, nearly in tatters and dirty. The cloak covers thin scale armor. His outer clothing seems like it has seen many weary travelling days on the roads. Across his lap sits a large Claymore with the name “Temperance” engraved on the bottom of the blade.
Although, no attempt to an answer is given, or even a glance up to meet the other’s eyes, the room is somewhat familiar with this Outsider/vagrant. They have seen him wandering the marketplace selling his wares of oysters, clams, and cockles. Any attempt to socialize is met with an attempt to sell his wares. His demeanor is usually indifferent; he is yet to utter his name or where he comes from.
The local citizens, having seen him for several weeks raising money in the marketplace, as well as seeing his lowly state of clothes and hygiene, have deemed him with the joking name of “Oysters|Clams|Cockles” based on the shellfish he attempts to sell.
An awkward silence follows as everyone expectantly waits for him to speak. No answer is given. To break the awkwardness, the next person begins to speak…
Steve Doyle [4:37 PM] A tall man bearing the great dog of House Leonberger rises next, his brown eyes gleaming an air of innocent disregard for the room’s other occupants. There is a sense of nobility about him, with his short shiny black hair and clean white teeth. His chin held high above the others, one hand on his blade’s hilt, he points to the symbol on his chest with the other.
“Before you stands the honorable Lemming Leonberger, second son of Lord Leon Leonberger of Castle Bergerbastion. My greetings to you, er… common civilians. We stand in this room because a man was killed, an innocent man, an honorable noble man. Justice must be found, and delivered swiftly to those who would break the law of the land. By the honor of House Leonberger, I swear that I shall serve justice here this day. I pray you all seek to do the same.”
Nodding to no one in particular, Lemming refuses to make eye contact with any in the room, returning to his seat with arms folded and an arched eyebrow presumably expecting the next speaker…
Dave Newman [4:57 PM] A dwarf happily hops up out of his seat and everyone’s attention is drawn to him. It is hard not to notice him as his brown eyes are visibly excited by the events about to take place. His face is covered by a bushy brown beard with gray streaks and a head of brown hair that has not been trimmed in some time. His clothes consist of vibrant colors and seem to be like new aside from the occasional stain most likely caused by whatever the day’s previous meal was. It doesn’t take long for the room to realize that the while the dwarf seems jolly, he is most definitely clumsy.
“I guess it is my turn! Hello, my name is Ashar” says he dwarf while reaching his arms to his side in a welcoming fashion, only to knock over a few of the stone mugs. “Oh I am terribly sorry! As I was saying, My name is Ashar and it has been quite a while since any excitement has blessed my time. I have been traveling for weeks now by myself and stopped by this fair town the other night for some supper and a few supplies only to be asked to lend my time as a member of this jury! Ohh am I excited for the trial! I could go on for days about my travels but I don’t want to bore anyone!”
The dwarf hops back in his seat and eagerly waits for the next introduction.(edited)
Adam Russo [6:26 PM] There is a mumbled bit that no one can quite understand. A tiny halfling stands up, grabs a pitcher, sniffs it, and a stone mug and pours herself a healthy portion. Taking several deep drinks before looking around, she finally finishes the mug and drops it on the table letting out a noise that could possibly have been a burp.
“Name Kithri, no want to be here in stuffy room when tribe out there without me.”
Kithri stands all of 3 feet tall and has a short tussle of hazel hair atop her head. She is very intimidating for her size, covering her body is a rather primitive form of pants and a top covering only her chest region. The rest of her body is covered in tribal tattoos and scars of various sizes, some look to be from blades and war while others appear more like animal claws and teeth.
“The sooner gets done good. Money and manners no save you out in wild. No pushing me around, Guthra’Kul call me ‘Tinausan Curr’.” (Making a fist with one hand, slaps it with the other) “Tiny Boulder.”
She gestures her head to a lump of gear in the corner of the room where a clearly battered wooden shield and flail lay. The halfling drops back down onto her stool and burps again.
Mike Chmielewski [9:46 PM] The large hooded man, who had appeared to have been absently scratching a strange symbol into the table, stands up, and bows politely. “I am Yavesh,” he says, walking around to each member of the panel. His voice was smooth, but with a strange raspy edge. “Defender of the Sanctuary of the Simple Path, the Honorable Father Vestus’ personal messenger.” His tone is perfunctory, and he pauses briefly to drink deeply from his mug.
Continuing around the room, “I hope that we can provide the people of Varoh the result they desire quickly, for like most of you, I am just passing through.”
Yavesh returns to his seat, and continues to scratch at the table. He finishes with, “I do not enjoy being yoked like an ox to the plow.”
Tanvi Gadre [10:09 PM] Then follows a long silence and suddenly an elf calmly appears out of shadows. She is dressed in a dark green ensemble, which matches her eyes.
She looks around says calmly “My name is Shayra and I am in town only for a few days on business. What happened is immoral and though although I don’t abide by the laws here, I want justice to be served. I would rather have this matter resolved promptly since I am not too fond of this situation.”
Moving swiftly across the room she finds an empty seat.
Jabari White [8:31 AM] Eyes shift their gaze to a young man pouring himself the remains of the first pitcher. He takes his cup, looks around. His blue eyes quickly assessing the others in the room. He smiles politely.
“The name is Zylvalor. Zyl for short. I have been traveling around and got roped into this mess, much like some of you here. Not quite what I had anticipated, though it’s not like I have anywhere in particular that I have to go. In an effort to stay positive and keep things light, it’s a pleasure to be here with you all. Here’s to getting this solved as soon as possible.”
The man raised his cup, and proceeded to drink his beer.
He was an average sized man at 5’10", with a bit of a muscular build. His brown hair was short and curly; hardly covering up the elfish portion of his heritage. His skin, lightly tanned from adventuring, was smooth and free of visible cuts & bruises.
He pours himself another cup and heads back to his seat.
J.L. Rutledge [8:35 AM] A small hooded figure, almost child-like, comes out of the shadows and goes to the table. He picks up a mug puts it in his pack. As you glimpse his hands and the parts of his face that show under the hood, you see an eerie copper skin, black eyes, and blue hair. Then fills a second mug with ale and begins to drink from it. “If we find him guilty, the Ursa will kill us. If we find him innocent, the Mustang will kill us.” He continues, “And if we are hung, it just means Mustangs will kill some of us and Ursa the rest.”
After a pause, “There is no need for us of all to die. So who wants to make the diversion so the rest of us can sneak out of town?”. Without waiting for an answer, he puts down the half finished drink and slightly moves to an inconspicuous part of room.
Mike Chmielewski [8:40 AM] “Where’s the fun in _that_, little one?” Yavesh smiles as the small man puts down his ale.(edited)
Will Oswald [9:04 AM] “Where _isn’t_ the fun?!” pipes a small voice, seemingly emanating from the table. You hear a loud *_thump_*, and a thin, curiously dressed halfling emerges from underneath, rubbing his head and wincing slightly. His clothes are colorful and loud, his voice even more so, and he has a mandolin across his back and a small rapier on his belt. He blows the dust from a forgotten copper piece and places it neatly into his coin purse before continuing. “Why are we in such a hurry to get back on the road? Life is journeys, not destinations! Think of the tale we’ll have to tell when this is all over!” He leaps up onto the table, knocking over an empty cup, and gestures wildly around the room. “New friends! New _enemies_! A murder most foul!! This could be the beginning of your epic!” He begins pointing at various people around the room. “Or yours! Or yours! Or…” he hesitates as his finger lands on Kithri, “… maybe not yours, but anyway! Carpe court case, everyone!” He flips through the air, landing loudly into an empty chair, and begins tuning his mandolin as he grins around the room at everyone.
“I am Nemo Footmouth, and I will tell your tale!”(edited)
Robb Hassa [9:44 AM] Harold, keeping his gaze on the slumped cloaked figure he originally pointed to for most of the time, finally gives another look around and mumbles softly “‘an I thot *_I_* was gon’ be th’ odd one…”
Jeremy Dobler [9:59 AM] The slumped green-cloaked figure who had apparently been amused by Nemo’s outburst as he sat there with an almost boyish grin. A couple minutes later as he finally stood, you notice his old, tattered robe, that was littered with twigs, leaves and dirt as if he had just woke up in a forest. His green-coloured hair naturally blended in with the foliage quite well. At first glance, it appeared as if his robe continued down to his hands, but in fact his skin was so dirty and so green that one would naturally think his skin was clothing.
He spoke to the small hooded figure first, “Normally, I wouldn’t agree to help people that had kidnapped me in my sleep,” he scowled. “But this Nemo FootMouth has intrigued me. And I am *NOT* one to walk away from something that captures my curiosity.” His voice faded with the last sentence as if he was lost in thought staring at nothing but everything at the same time. A smile slowly creeped across his face and he said, “You may call me Kareil.” With that, he sat down and spoke to himself, “Intriguing, indeed.”
Will Oswald [10:10 AM] “That’s the spirit, strange talking bush!” says Nemo, laughing a bit.
Tanvi Gadre [10:11 AM] Though she hated being there, Shayra couldnt resist a laugh.(edited)
J.L. Rutledge [10:44 AM] “Alright. Leonberger and Footmouth want to stay around and find out if this guard kill the scion. Kareil wants to stay with Footmouth. That’s three people that can provide the diversion so the rest of us can escape and live. I say the sooner you three create the diversion, the better for the rest of us.”
“I’m ready to leave now, let’s get this escape started!”
Steve Doyle [10:48 AM] “You do not give me orders, child. We must do our duty and make a verdict. ALL of us.”
James Racine [10:50 AM] From outside your room, you begin to hear the shuffle of feet as the audience, prosecution, and defense begin to file into the courtroom. There is no natural light entering the room, so you cannot use the sun to tell the time, but you could estimate that it is nearing midday—when the trial is set to begin.
J.L. Rutledge [10:59 AM] “I surprised you lived this long, Leonberger. You think it’s your duty to die for an act that has no meaning. No matter the verdict, we die first and more later. The feud between Ursa and Mustang will continue as if we had never been born.”
“To other way to live if we stay here is to prove to both sides that a third party did the murder. Leonberger, you seem so enthralled with duty, how about you volunteer to be framed for this killing. At least that act would have meaning – you will save the life of everyone in the room and many others.”
Jeremy Dobler [11:02 AM] “And if these Ursa and Mustang are as blood-thirsty as you say. What will stop them from killing the rest of us as accomplices after he confesses?”(edited)
Will Oswald [11:03 AM] _Nemo plays a dramatic riff on his mandolin as the tension rises_
Robb Hassa [11:05 AM] “I’ve got nae reason ta believe we are on th’ choppin’ block af’er th’ trial, wha’ makes you thin’ as much, errr, what be yer name again short copper skinn’ person?”
Steve Doyle [11:08 AM] “You ask me to lie, child? You have no honor and I will not acknowledge you or your insults.”
Dave Newman [11:11 AM] Ashar pours a beer and starts to chug it as the reality of the situation sinks in
Jeremy Dobler [12:31 PM] Kareil abruptly pulls out a staff that had previously been hidden in his clothing, along with a knife. The others eye him anxiously as he slowly sits down and continues carving a symbol into the knot at the end of the staff. A closer look reveals his work to be 3 symbols (a fire, a tree, and a river) surrounded by a circle. It appears as if Kareil had become bored with this conversation as he meticulously carves some leaves onto the tree.
Mike Chmielewski [1:40 PM] “Look, look,” says Yavesh seriously. “We all have been brought here to do right by this town.” Yavesh pointedly _doesn’t_ look at Lemming. He instead focuses his gaze at the little instigator. “And besides, I have found fighting the current is much more trouble than it’s worth.” With that, he puts back his hood, displaying is bright blonde, long hair, light sallow green skin, light blue eyes, and sharp jaw. His rests his hand on the hilt of his sword with a smile.
Will Oswald [1:50 PM] Putting away his mandolin, Nemo stands and gestures to Yavesh. “Yes, I think we should listen to the rugged and terrifyingly imposing gentleman. I’m sure we’re all familiar with how the story of ‘The Big Jury Fight Where Some of Them Died and the Rest were Thrown in Prison to Rot’ ends. There’s no real way out of here except that door, so even if we wanted to leave, it’s not a great option. Besides, if things go bad after the trial, we can all just work together to skip town then, and maybe only a few of us will suffer and die instead of all of us.” His smile falters a little as his eyes plead with the group.
J.L. Rutledge [1:54 PM] “We in this room because everyone else in this town already has a side,” says the little one from the side of the room. “We’re also outsiders. Whatever side loses will blame us and we don’t have allies here.”
The small hood figure moves to the middle of the room and around looks at everyone. “You all don’t seem to realize, the only reason we are in this room is because the fighting is about to start. And once it does, we’re first to die. Exit strategies are a must if we want to live. If feel some sort of duty to say around and die, fine with me. I just want to opportunity to live to see another day.”
James Racine [1:54 PM] The door creaks open. A large man is standing there, wearing shiny new armor. His hand is resting on the pommel of the sword at his side. Several more similarly glad guards stand behind him, just out of view of any character not near the door.(edited)
“We’ll be ready for you momentarily. I trust the accommodations have been suitable for your wait?”
Robb Hassa [1:59 PM] Harold turns toward the man, “Aye, the accom’dashuns been jus’ fine, i’s the comp’ny tha’ could ’ave been better!” followed by a hearty laugh, and then nervous glancing
Steve Doyle [2:00 PM] “Agreed.” Lemming’s nose remains high, though he finally acknowledges Harold with a nod of respect despite the rough accent.
Will Oswald [2:03 PM] Nemo breathes a sigh of relief and uses the momentary distraction to attempt to conceal a dagger inside his mandolin.
Dave Newman [2:07 PM] Ashar gets up out of his chair and gets very serious glancing around the room trying to figure out the next move
James Racine [2:07 PM] (Response to Nemo hiding dagger) As he does so, he cuts one of the strings with a loud twang, dropping the dagger inside with a thunk.(edited)
Will Oswald [2:09 PM] Nemo laughs entirely too loudly. “Just, uh … trying to get this old dagger out of my instrument here. Almost forgot it was in there! Wouldn’t want to bring anything sharp into a courtroom!”
Steve Doyle [2:13 PM] “Good you remembered, bard. Weapons are illegal in the courtroom.” Lemming stares down the others. “You all best check your pockets.”
James Racine [2:19 PM] The guard cleared his throat. “Yes, that you’d all better. Please leave all weapons in this room. One of my guardsmen will keep watch over them, as well as any other possessions unsuited for a court of law.” With a meaningful glance and the bard and his mandolin, the guard left, closing the door behind him.
Dave Newman [2:26 PM] “I don’t like this in the slightest. Does anyone know how far the room is from an exit? The guards dont trust us, we cannot keep the citizens here happy with either decision. nothing good can come out of this”
Steve Doyle [2:27 PM] “Justice can come out of this.” Lemming shakes his head disappointingly. “A man has been killed and all anyone can think about is how this affects YOU. Disgraceful.”(edited)
Robb Hassa [2:28 PM] “A’ firs’ I dinae think me an’ this, euhh, Lemmy here coul’ agree, but wha’ courtroom ‘ave you been in tha’ allowed weapons?”
Steve Doyle [2:28 PM] “Lemming”
“Know it right”(edited)
Dave Newman [2:29 PM] “My life isn’t bound by a court system”
James Racine [2:29 PM] The hubbub outside begins to die down as the loud rap of a gavel cuts the air. The trial is about to begin.
The door opens for a third time.
Robb Hassa [2:30 PM] Harold begins to re-button his robe, and motions Morty to crawl back up his sleeve.
James Racine [2:30 PM] “Please leave behind all weapons, and we shall lead you to your seats.”
The guard gestures out the door, watching each of you in turn.
Jeremy Dobler [2:33 PM] Kareil stands up, places his staff in the corner and mutters, “If worse comes to worst, I won’t be needing this anyways,” and enters the courtroom nonchalantly.
Will Oswald [2:38 PM] Nemo stacks his rapier, dagger, and mandolin in a neat pile on the floor near the staff, giving the instrument a little pat. He stops to gaze on it for a moment longer before regaining his composure and turning towards the door. He bows to the guard and enters the courtroom.
James Racine [2:39 PM]
If you are trying to conceal anything on the way in, roll a stealth check and let me know the results. If you are proficient in sleight of hand, or know an illusion spell, those can also be attempted.
Dave Newman [2:41 PM] Ashar sloppily throws his shield and ax on the floor kocking over Nemo’s neat pile and heads for the door
Robb Hassa [2:42 PM] Harold glances at his pile of goods already in the corner, and then feels his robe to make sure he isn’t missing anything.
Adam Russo [2:49 PM] Kithri hops down from her stool and starts to walk towards the courtroom. She stops at the door and glances around the rest of the party still in the room and makes a kind of grunting laugh noise. She turns back around and heads into the courtroom.(edited)
Tanvi Gadre [2:59 PM] Shayra follows Kithri to the courtroom scanning the room suspiciously
Robb Hassa [3:36 PM] Satisfied with his belongings being secured in the room, Harold files next into the courtroom.
Raleigh Wheeler [3:43 PM] Oysters|Clams|Cockles rises and starts towards the door. It looks as though he intends to file out but stops, instead, at the table to fill a glass with beer. Afterwards, slumps back in the plush chair without showing urgency to leave the room.(edited)
Jenny Hoac [4:08 PM] A slender cloaked figure rises up from the corner of the room and approaches the table. Under her earth-colored hood, one can make out a few strands of dark brown hair falling on her light copper complexion. She gently lays her crossbow, darts, and mace down and quietly files out of the room along with the others. With all of the commotion, she had not gotten the chance to introduce herself. She averts the gaze of her peers who have thus far been acquainted with one another and clenches her hood with anticipation as she crosses into the courtroom.
Raleigh Wheeler [4:55 PM] After finishing his beer, Oysters|Clams|Cockles suddenly lifts “Temperance” to his ear. After several seconds, he then proceeds to whisper back to it. Looking satisfied, he lays “Temperance” down on the chair and walks to the doorway. At the doorway he pauses briefly to turn back and look at the chair. Satisfied, he walks out of the room.
Mike Chmielewski [5:33 PM] Yavesh doesn’t speak, but places all his weapons and other offensive items next to the doorway that leads to the courtroom, looking at the guard to be assured this was okay. He makes sure to bump into Lemming accidentally on the way through to the court room.
_Poor man is going to be cut down to size some day. Likely between the head and shoulders. Yavesh bows his head and recites a short prayer. _I just hope I won’t need to be the one to do it.
Steve Doyle [7:38 PM] Lemming places his sword in the side of the room, confused as to why Yavesh forgot to apologize for accidentally bumping into him, but ignores the slight as simple rudeness. He walks into the courtroom utterly unaware that the bump was intentional or that some of those around him are filled with thoughts of murdering him.
“Let us serve justice,” he said. And be done with this rude lot…(edited)
J.L. Rutledge [9:14 AM] A small copper skin individual walks over to the corner nearest the door and places down a short bow with arrows, a rapier, a dagger, and a knife. Then adjust the hood cloak to hide his face and hands. Get a mouse out of his pocket and puts it on his shoulder. Using his deception and slight of and hand skills hides a second dagger (rolled a 17, both skills +5 so 22 unless you allow both to stack in this case) and proceeds into through the door.(edited)
James Racine [9:26 AM] @j.white:
``` Please roll a perception check to see if you notice. You are the only person still in the room when he tried to hide. ```
Jabari White [10:13 AM] The half elf notices the small copper skinned individual and decides to let it go. He walks over to the corner to lay down his hammer an crossbow and proceeds to exit the room.
James Racine [1:10 PM] The courtroom is not large. The Judge, a tall, older man in long black robes, sits at the bench, gavel in hand, as if daring the crowd to prompt his rap. The prosecutor and defense, glad in the garish gold of the Mustang clan and the clean sky blue of the Ursa family stand at smaller desks facing him. Behind them are a few rows of pews, with a variety of townsfolk settled in.
You realize that the courtroom is most likely a converted church, though any religious symbol has been removed.
The guards lead you to the wall opposite the door you enter through, and seats you at a set of three raised benches, four to a bench.
J.L. Rutledge [1:15 PM] The small copper skinned person moves along with the crowd, keeping his head low, and takes one of the two middle seats of the middle row.
Dave Newman [1:29 PM] Ashar sits in the third seat of the back row
James Racine [4:07 PM] The rest of the party also sits, arranging themselves without too much difficulty or squabbling. The judge raps the gavel three more times, and the assembled crowd quiets.
“Ma’am, please make your opening statements. "
The prosecutor stands, straigtens a sheaf of papers in front of her, and abruptly slams her fist on the desk.
“This trial is already decided. Good people of the jury, I claim and can defened the claim that this abhorrent man, Master Ashley Ursa, did indeed, in malice and without mercy, cut down poor Master Henry Mustang as he slept. There are several witnesses placing him in the Mustang estate on the night of the crime, including one young lady who saw the beast escape into the night, attempting to avoid notice as he fled the scene of his kill. I trust you will see justice done.”
The judge nods, and turns to the defense.
“Now, degenerate excuse for a lawyer, your attempt at a rebuttal.”
The defense lawyer stands shakily, looking around as if hoping an ally would materialize from the walls and come to save him. Seeing none, he speaks up.
“While we cannot deny that Master Ursa was indeed in the Mustang estate. However, we assert that he was there to visit Master Mustang, for the two were friends.”
The assembled peasants erupt in anger and disbelief, and the lawyer waits for it to subside before continuing.
“We assert as well that the murderer must then have come from the Mustang estate itself, and will seek to take the jury on a quest to find the true identity of the killer.”
The judge scowls at the lawyer till he takes his seat, and turns to the prosecutor. “Please call your first witness.”
Please Roll initiative
James Racine [11:58 AM] The prosecutor stands. “I call to the stand Sasha Foal, the maid who saw Ashley Ursa fleeing into the night.”
A young woman takes the stand, visibly nervous.
Nemo, and only Nemo, you have a high enough initiative to perform an action before the first question, including perception checks, etc
James Racine [12:46 PM] Nemo scans the crowd, looking for anyone reacting strongly to Sasha being called to the stand. At first, he sees nothing beyond the rage on the faces of the crowd, on both sides.
One woman sticks out however. She seems not angry, not sad, but disgusted at the sight of the witness.
Will Oswald [12:54 PM] Nemo elbows Yavesh sharply and begins clearing his throat quietly and bugging his eyes at him, subtly pointing in the direction of the woman.
James Racine [1:59 PM] @dkirsch:
Dan Kirsch [1:59 PM] joined #d-and-d-story by invitation from @jracine
Mike Chmielewski [2:45 PM] Yavesh, who was previously peevishly watching the witness heading to the stand looks at the small musician and briefly gives him a look of annoyance mixed with confusion, before noticing the woman. He looks back to the witness with a brief nod of understanding to Nemo, and tries to keep a surreptitious watch on any future reactions of the woman in the crowd.(edited)
James Racine [2:55 PM] The prosecutor continues. “Ms. Foal, what are your duties in the household?”
The maid stammers. “I, I, I’m the personal m-m-maid to the Lady Marie Mustang .”
“And what did you see that night?”
“I saw Ashley Ursa, fleeing from the castle as if a ghost were at his heels. I suppose there was one at that.”
At that the judge raps his gavel. “The witness will refrain from suppositions.”
“Thank you your honor. Now, what were you doing when you witnessed the suspect fleeing the crime scene?”
“I was going for a walk. M’lady had retired for the evening, and I wanted to stretch my legs before I settled in myself.”
“No further questions at this time.”
Sharya, Amai and Lemming—your initiative’s were enough to interrupt at this point. You can try to gain insight into specific statements, verbally interrupt, etc.
@tgadre: @s.doyle @jhoac
April 26th, 2016
Steve Doyle [10:09 AM] Noticing the houses involved in the trial, Lemming realizes a stunning truth. Standing with arms folded, he respectfully
bows to the judge and speaks.
“Your honor, my name is Lemming Leonberger, son of Leon Leonberger of Castle Bergerbastion. I know both of these individuals. The prosecutor is a direct relative to the victim and the defense is a direct relative to the accused. I beseech you and my fellow jurors to recognize that neither of them are unbiased in this trial and to be wary of their words and their claims.”
Lemming nods to no one in particular, sitting back down in his place with confidence that righteous truth had been brought
James Racine [10:30 AM] A silence falls over the courtroom. Slowly, the judge begins to laugh, a hearty yet ominous sound. "Master Leonberger, I too am a resident of this town. You are here to recommend a verdict. I am here to judge. "
Mike Chmielewski [10:53 AM] Yavesh clenches his teeth. _"He’s really going to get us all killed, while he’ll get away due to his upbringing._", he thinks.
Jenny Hoac [3:06 PM] Curious about the maid’s supposition, the slender cloaked woman asked “You mentioned your supposition of a ghost at Ashley Ursa’s heels – Can you please elaborate? Was there anything or anyone chasing him? Any sign of a chase?”
James Racine [3:09 PM] The witness looked to the prosecutor, who raised an eyebrow but nodded.
“No miss. I didn’t see anyone chasing him, nothing but his own guilt.”
The defense stood then, and approached the witness.
“Ms. Foal, while we have heard testimony as to Master Ursa’s entering the Mustang estate, the prosecution has not said how he entered—and neither have you. Would you care to explain?”
The witness flinched, visibly. "I don’t know how he entered sir. I am not the guard. "
“And who was on guard that evening?”
“Master Mustang’s squire.”
The lawyer turns to face the jury. “Well then, unless the jury has a final question, I would like to call Henry Mustang’s squire to the stand.”
Harold,O/C/C,Kariel,Ashar,Talner,Yavesh, any of you can ask a question or make an action at this time.
Will Oswald [3:30 PM] Nemo climbs up on his chair and clears his throat. “Ms. Foal, if you don’t mind, we of the jury are unfamiliar with the local families, and I, for one, find remembering people easier when I can put faces with names. Is Lady Mustang, your employer, present in the court today, and if so, could you be troubled to point her out for me? Thanks so much!”
James Racine [3:31 PM] The judge answers.
“The Lady Mustang is indisposed, overcome with grief at the loss of her first born son. I assured her that I would find justice, and that seemed to ease her enough to let her rest.”
Will Oswald [3:34 PM] Nemo’s smile fades somewhat as he returns to his seat. “Of course, of course. Forgive this rude traveler … I spoke before thinking.”
Robb Hassa [3:34 PM] Meekly raising his hand before talking, Harold begins to speak, “Eh, how many ways ta enter are there at th’ Mustang Estate? I can nae imag’n there’s on’y one way ta enter. Shoul’nt we be lookin’ for who would be close to where Master Mustang was kil- err, died? Near ’is room or some such?”(edited)
Amrutha Rajiv [3:41 PM] joined #d-and-d-story by invitation from @tgadre
James Racine [4:33 PM] The prosecutor responds. “The only person allowed in Master Mustang’s rooms is his maid, Eve. She is also present as a witness to be spoken to today.”(edited)
Robb Hassa [4:40 PM] Harold, suddenly solidifying his voice in a chilling manner, responds, “I be understan’in’ tha’, lad, but no one was allowe’ ta murder th’ man an’ he was killed anyway, so who else was _near_ th’ room?”
Harold then lightens his demeanor and looks around at the room, “An’ for tha’ matter, how was th’ man killed? Stabbed? Arrow to th’ ’ead? Magic?”
April 27th, 2016
James Racine [8:14 AM] “He was killed in his bed, apparently while sleeping. His throat was slit.
As for anyone else near his room, we have already mentioned the two maids and the squire. His parent’s quarters were nearby, and a pair of knights guard their doors as they sleep. No one else should have been near.”
Tim Kennedy [9:02 AM] joined #d-and-d-story by invitation from @jracine
Robb Hassa [10:03 AM] Harold raises an eyebrow and stands up, “Two maids? I thou’ ye said jus’ ‘is maid, Eve, was allowe’? Is this Foal allowe’ in ’is room as well?” Harold shifts uncomfortably while keeping his eyes, starting to bug slightly on the prosecutor. “I’s a bit ‘ard for us to understan wha’ ‘appened if we do nae know th’ lay of th’ estate.”(edited)
Jeremy Dobler [10:10 AM] “I, for one, would love to see the body of Master Mustang. The truths that one learns from the recently departed can be stunning, especially to those that _knew_ him the most,” Kareil stated as if it were a known truth.
He paused for a moment as he eyed the young maid up and down recalling her reaction during the questioning. She was hiding something, it was clear. The question was what. “It is quite obvious that you know more than these charlatans are allowing you to say. What were you actually doing that night? What are you hiding?” Kareil inquired as he coldly stared at the judge waiting to be interrupted.
James Racine [10:14 AM] The judge raps his gavel several times. “Enough! This jury is stealing the job of the lawyers! I declare a recess, during which the other witnesses may be prepped and the jury can learn to speak when spoken to.”
The guards who brought the party out lead you back into the waiting room, and shut the door with the dozen of you inside.
Robb Hassa [10:17 AM] Harold immediately, adrenaline still rushing, sits back in his original chair and pulls a book out from under his robe and hastily flips back and forth with shaky hands with no clear purpose and never quite landing on a page.
Dave Newman [10:19 AM] “What’s got you so nervous Harold?” Says Ashar while taking a seat next to Harold
Will Oswald [10:20 AM] Nemo gasps audibly upon seeing his upturned pile of stuff and begins meticulously examining his mandolin for damage.
Raleigh Wheeler [10:20 AM] Oysters|Clams|Cockles wanders back to his plush chair, holds up “Temperance” and immediately starts whispering unheard words to it.
Robb Hassa [10:21 AM] “I’m nae nervous, I’m angry.” Harold says, keeping his stare on his book, “‘An’ I do nae like ‘ow this trial is bein’ handled. Th’ Mustangs are hidin’ somethin’, much like tha’ one said,” Harold points to Kareil.
Mike Chmielewski [10:28 AM] Yavesh is irritable. It appears as if the very air in the courthouse causes irritation. “I’m beginning to agree with the honorable Cut-and-Run over there. You all want us killed?” With that, he stares at Lemming, Nemo, Harold, and the cloaked woman.
Robb Hassa [10:32 AM] “I wan’ ta give these people a fair trial.” Harold eyes Yavesh up and down, “Ye called yeself a defender o’ somethin’? Well I sure hope people do nae rely on you ta defen’ them with tha’ attitude.”
Tanvi Gadre [10:37 AM] Sharya rises and says with confidence “Noone is getting killed! It is vital that we calm down and solve this case collective. That means not talking out of turn” She shoots a look at Harold and Kareil very uncomfortable with being in close quarters with so many of other kind.
Robb Hassa [10:41 AM] “We were asked if we ’ad any more questions” Harold grumbles through gritted teeth while casting a sideways glare at Sharya.
Adam Russo [10:45 AM] Kithri walks towards one of the chairs and climbs up to take a seat. Looking at no one in particular she says “When Guthra’Kul argue this much, we settle with fight. Are we going to start fight?”
Steve Doyle [10:50 AM] Lemming returns to the room, content at the court’s rulings.
“You lot should listen to the judge. Learn to hold your tongues or I am sure justice will take them from you.”
Shaking his head, Lemming stands at the door.
“I will call the guards if I must. No more outbursts, no more threats of violence.”
Will Oswald [10:53 AM] “I don’t think that was a threat of violence so much as an opportunity to explore Kithri’s unique … culture,” pipes Nemo as he finishes rearranging his things in a more remote location of the room.
He gestures openly to the group. “Look, we’re all obviously a little high strung right now, but I think we can agree this case stinks worse than Kareil’s muddy boots. Let’s just focus on listening to the evidence and getting through this as quickly as possible so we can keep our heads.”
Jeremy Dobler [11:00 AM] “You are asking fire to lose its heat or trees to stop growing. One cannot simply change their ways, I cannot stop my inquisition even if I fear for my life. I do not have a choice, something compels me to ask questions much like Lemming is compelled to hold justice, truth, and honor to the highest esteem,” states Kareil, unswayed by the arguments presented.
Steve Doyle [11:01 AM] Lemming nods to no one in particular. “Agreed. No more outbursts.”
Robb Hassa [11:04 AM] Harold, still coming down from the excitement, sits back down and puts his book back under his robe and exhales deeply, but looks curiously at Nemo and Kithri.
James Racine [1:31 PM] There is a knock at the door.
Slowly, it creaks open. The defense lawyer is standing there, the guards nowhere to be seen. He enters and softly closes the door behind him.(edited)
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. By now you’ve probably noticed that the court is a little…biased.”
“The judge is the prosecutor’s second cousin and the defendant’s great-uncle.” He rubs his temples wearily. “I don’t really have a shot at proving my client innocent.”
Will Oswald [1:34 PM] Nemo gasps!
Robb Hassa [1:34 PM] Harold grunts and shoots a look at Lemming.
James Racine [1:35 PM] “But that’s why I’m here. I firmly believe that my client is innocent…but I can’t prove it.”
“The investigation was stonewalled. But, maybe you can help? You’re all outsiders, you haven’t chosen sides in this town.”
J.L. Rutledge [1:37 PM] “And now the defense lawyer will be banned for misconduct. You client is now guaranteed to be found guilty.” Says the small hooded figure in the corner.
Mike Chmielewski [1:39 PM] Yavesh grunts. “I hear what you are asking, but I can’t do anything to jeopardize my own business… Not when I have no reason to believe what you say is any more true than what I’ve already heard.”
Robb Hassa [1:41 PM] “Ye heard th’ judge an’ prosecutor dodge queshuns n’ talk aroun’ subjec’s” Harold sharply remarks at Yavesh, “Tha’s more than enough reason fer me ta help.”
Tanvi Gadre [1:41 PM] Shayra interjects and says to the deffence lawyer “How do you suggest we help?"
James Racine [1:44 PM] The lawyer nods at the small hooded figure. “That may be so, but no worse than the judge already choosing a verdict before the trial begins. Our laws allow for the trial to continue in the absence of part of the jury, so long as there is ample time for them to review the facts of the case upon return. It’s a carryover from trials during the harvest season, but I can invoke it. If half of you investigate, and the other half help me to stall here, we might be able to get a real verdict.”
“I’m not asking you to get my client a not guilty, just a fair shot.”
Mike Chmielewski [1:46 PM] Yavesh perks up, a smile breaking on his face. “I’m in,” he says, “so long as I am guaranteed a spot on the investigation team.”
Tanvi Gadre [1:47 PM] “I am always game for some adventure!” Shayra smiles. “But a man’s life is at stake., I would like to be sure that the trial is stalled until we return from our investigation”(edited)
Jeremy Dobler [1:49 PM] “Anything to get me out of this stuffy building,” remarks Kareil.
Will Oswald [1:50 PM] “Speaking of, who’s to say all of our investigators return?” asks Nemo, eyeing certain members of the group. “This would be a prime opportunity to slip away before the trial’s conclusion.”
Dave Newman [1:51 PM] “I feel I am best suited for stalling the trial! I am having a terribly good time hearing the different sides of the case!”(edited)
James Racine [1:52 PM] “If not all members return, there is a mistrial. Also, avoiding jury duty is a criminal offense…you would be treated as such.”
Robb Hassa [1:56 PM] Harold looks at the defense attorney, “Aye, I best be on th’ invest’gashun team, I do nae wan’ me temper to jeoporize anythin’ here.”
Steve Doyle [1:59 PM] Lemming stands and confronts this man with a cold fury in his eyes.
“This is illegal, improper, and dishonorable. Leave now and dare not attempt your vile influence any further!”
James Racine [1:59 PM] The lawyer squeaks and stammers.
“S-s-s-sorry sir. Bu-bu-but, please. Please do try!”
He flees from the room.
J.L. Rutledge [2:00 PM] “I definitely want to be out of this courthouse. Let’s go now”.
Robb Hassa [2:00 PM] “Lemon, did ye nae jus’ hear th’ man? Their laws allow fer it!”
Mike Chmielewski [2:01 PM] Yavesh looks at Lemming quizically, “Which is the greater affront to justice, bending rules to learn the truth, or letting a potentially innocent man die by doing nothing?”(edited)
_You fool_, Yavesh adds in his head
Yavesh pokes his head out of the door to see if he can flag down the lawyer.
James Racine [2:03 PM] The courtroom is still a hubbub, you can’t spot the lawyer.
Tanvi Gadre [2:04 PM] Shayra speaks calmly “The lawyer just suggested the plan. Its on us to decide. Who here is wiling to investigate further or stall here and help give this man a fair trial say Aye?"
Will Oswald [2:06 PM] Nemo gathers up his things and moves to stand near the door. “I think my talents are better applied to espionage. Besides, this makes for a far better story!”
He begins a soft drum roll on the back of his mandolin to build anticipation as the others make their decisions.
Tanvi Gadre [2:10 PM] Shayra glides to door, picking up her longbow and swords in one quick motion
Jabari White [2:12 PM] “I am willing to stay and stall this out,” Replies Zyl. “With many of you wanting to leave, I want to make sure there are at least a decent number of us remaining here. Plus I’d like to hear more from both sides”
Adam Russo [2:16 PM] Kithri stands atop her chair and looks at the those gathering their supplies. She looks down, lets out a long sigh and back up at the group. “Kithri loves the open air, the wild, but Kithri knows Kithri no good with smart things. Kithri best with fists and will. Kithri stay and keep guards from killing man.”
Robb Hassa [2:17 PM] Harold throws nods and a slight smile, his first that day, at Kithri and Zyl before gathering his belonging and donning the armor in his pile of goods.
Raleigh Wheeler [2:22 PM] Oysters|Clams|Cockles holds “Temperance” up to his ear and looks to be listening for a few moments. After a brief pause, he lays the claymore back into his lap and awaits the trial to continue.(edited)
James Racine [2:26 PM] The investigation team leaves. Nemo, Harold, Sharya, the small hooded figure, Kareil and Yavesh slipping out of the room, equipment donned and weapons buckled onto belts.
The court team (Oysters|Clams|Cockles, the slender cloaked woman, Lemming, Zyl, Kithri and Ashar) stays, awaiting the resumption of the trial.