Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
 GM, 452 posts
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 18:17
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
A carnival air presided in the city of Lepidstadt. A carnival air that sat like a gaudy layer of frosting over a rotting blood pudding. A porcelain facade of joviality layered over a dark mob mentality, a hidden thirst for blood under the civilized veneer of the bustling city.

The Beast of Lepidstadt had been caught at last.

A creature of nightmare, the terror of Vieland, progenitor of a thousand tall tales, secretly blamed for every mishap and mysterious disappearance in the area for years. And now captured, in all its horror, after a savage attack on the University of Lepidstadt.

Ostensibly the crowds had gathered for the trial of the century. But everyone knew the foregone conclusion. What verdict could there be but 'Guilty'? In truth the crowds had gathered, filling the inns, for one reason: to watch the beast burn.

Already a great frame of sticks and kindling was being erected in the square outside the courthouse.

And yet, not all were convinced of the beast's guilt. For every ten tales of the beasts savagery one rumor was whispered that it had emerged from the night to save a man from an overturned cart, or return a child lost in the woods, or pull a drowner from a rushing stream. These were of course dismissed as nonsense in most minds.

But they were enough to plant the seed of doubt in one mind at least, Judge Embreth Daramid, who sat the high seat of justice in Lepidstadt and was presiding over the trial of the beast itself. Such was her love of justice that even the dreaded Beast would receive a fair trial. No mob justice would prevail in her city.

And to that end she had called to her home six souls, six adventurers, six to which she would commission an impossible task: to investigate the crimes of the beast and prove conclusively its guilt...or innocence.

The judge's home was a large townhouse in the center of Lepidstadt, several blocks from the courthouse and the jail. It was finely appointed but not ostentatious, with dark wood paneling and finely woven carpets, intricately carved trimming and spacious ceilings. The walls were a gallery of fine art, a collection that would make any museum keeper green with envy. The furnishings were masterfully crafted in the simple, austere style of the last century.

A plump maid led the last of our heroes into a small sitting room with a polite curtsy.

"The Judge will see you shortly."
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 254 posts
 Count me in
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 23:25
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
SCG sits on a rug in front of the fireplace servicing his boots.  The heavy steel shield still strapped across his back, a magnificient longsword, longbow and a cold iron morningstar decked out nearby.

The only thing that draws any attention to him is a wooden carved holy symbol of Abadar around his neck.

He thought his friends were not far behind and he hums a tune off key and off kilter, that would surely know he is no bard and not used to just sitting about.

Every now and again he glances through his dark hair and towards the front door.....
Vadim Karamazov
 player, 3 posts
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 01:11
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
Beside one very comfortable-looking settee loomed an older fellow, weathered and grim, exhibiting all of the dignity and welcoming social graces of a haunted gargoyle in a children's nursery.  Whether the hunch was congenital or the result of a generation's worth of hard manual labour was a matter for speculation, but even with the stoop his inhumanly broad shoulders stood at eye level for the average man.

Here and there light glanced off metal peeking out from the leather of his greatcoat, its internal plates visible as the result of sartorial misadventure, but polished nonetheless.  In fact, despite the discolouration of his aged shirt and the holes in his breeches, stitched shut with an overengineering of thread, he gave an impression of being scrubbed up for the occasion.  Both scalp and lantern-jaw were freshly-shaved, and anyone passing near caught a strong whiff of soap and Lepidstadt Leather Liniment from his person.  Massive hob-nailed boots were polished to as much of a sheen as their ancient scuffing would allow, and even his fingernails were tidily trimmed (the odd fresh nick implying that they'd been attended to with something better suited to carving than cuticles).

One hand's crude manicure tapped an arrhythmic beat against a bulging coat-sleeve as he stood, arms crossed, systematically scowling at the furniture and artwork whilst avoiding eye-contact with any other arrivals.  Occasionally the restless hand would divert to test the smoothness of his chin, or fiddle with the fastening of one of the pouches strapped across his chest, or check his coat pockets. Each time those fingers moved the tentacles tattooed thereon seemed to writhe insidiously, making any other markings on his body appear positively benign by comparison.
Garland Van Burke
 player, 203 posts
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 04:44
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
Garland removed his purple hooded travelers cloak and hung it on the nearby coat rack before he sat down by the fire. Clothed in a jet black breastplate that was made of the finest steel and the skill of an expert smith. He wore his holy symbol openly on his right shoulder that hung by a chain and from his belt anyone could see the crossbow and bolts as well as a heavy mace.

He removed his gauntlets and set them aside before holding out his dexterous hands, hands that had seen much blood over the years but also saved many lives. He stood there warming them next to Constantine and speaks softly "This beats the rainy nights on the road and the ghosts of an old prison trying to kill us."
Shade of Lonwood
 player, 3 posts
 Alley Witch
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 07:55
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
Shade perched on a single chair, one close to a wall with a clear view of the door.  The three men already here were tall, strong, and most were well-armed, which could betoken a degree of wealth or high rank.  But the stooped man looked like he'd been plucked from a job of hard labor and scrubbed up, while the man with the longsword had plopped himself down on the carpet to tend his own boots with no hesitation.  It seemed that whoever the judge had asked to come were not just skilled, but practical too.

Shade was small and thin, looking barely out of adolescence, and her feet dangled slightly above the floor as she sat.  Her hair was light brown and looked as if it had been hacked off at irregular intervals to keep it out of her face.  A slim scarf and a strand of beads tied it up out of her way.  Her clothing was second-hand but sound and clean and fairly sturdy, with no stains and any rips or weaknesses neatly mended, a simple tunic, vest, and divided skirt in sensible grays and tans.  Her boots were particularly fine, tall and blue and close-fitting, and fine ivory kid gloves covered her hands.  Her dark eyes seemed large in her thin face, and she watched the others like an owl, occasionally flicking from one to the other.  A black cat with golden orange eyes rode upon her shoulder, occasionally switching to her lap for more tributes of petting.  The little jewelry Shade wore was simple and inexpensive, but also close-fitting rather than dangling; nothing that might get snagged while moving in a crowd... or glint too brightly in dim light to give one away.

The priest of Pharasma... or warrior of Pharasma, whoever he might be, seemed to be the richest one in the room.  But spoke to the sitting warrior as if they were friends.  So, not one to stand on protocol overly much, which boded well.

"Be better with some mulled crabapple cider from Lindy's stall, if'n we'd had to wait outside," Shade offers, her and the cat tilting their heads at the same time, inviting a response.  "'Tis a far sight cozier in here, though, considering the mood out there."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:28, Thu 07 Nov 2019.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 255 posts
 Count me in
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 13:26
Chapter 2 - The Trial of the Beast
“We came out the better for the experience and some of those spirits are now at peace.”

SCG extends a hand to his friend as he prepares to hop up.
“It appears we should introduce ourselves to the man and the girl.”

Rising to his feet he extends a hand to the man....
“Sir Constantine Godalming a Paladin of redemption.”

He waits to see if the girl and cat approach him...he muses that both seem skittish and shy creatures

This message was last edited by the player at 13:27, Tue 05 Nov 2019.