The Caged Bird.   Posted by GM.Group: archive 2
GM
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Fri 26 Jan 2018
at 15:23
The Caged Bird
After the judgement trial and Griswold's subsequent acceptance into the League of the Golden Thread, he is able to pursue what had happened to Farrissa after they had arrived in Maypole after the tomb encounter. It is not hard to find her, as the Ashen Order has placed her under lock and key in a local house. No one is allowed near. Any questions are met with stern warning about interfering with Inquisitorial business and that all will be able to see her trial when Viscount Kilquist arrives.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 244 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Mon 29 Jan 2018
at 14:27
The Caged Bird
After gifting a jovial "Well met, lads" to the Ashen Order knights and in return receiving a stern rebuffal for all things Farrissa related, Griswold takes a moment to look around.

"So the Viscount hasn't arrived in Maypole yet?  Or is he with his son?  Speaking of, do you happen to know where the little lordling is?  I haven't spoken to him since saving his life and would like to make sure he's okay for myself and hear his version of what happened."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:27, Mon 29 Jan 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 141 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Mon 29 Jan 2018
at 16:07
The Caged Bird
Wrenn followed Griswold along, with his cat familiar following along and sticking close to the gnome's feet. He was well aware of the general opinion of magic wielders in these parts, so he left the talking to Griswold and instead focused on the knights. Surely their recent activities and the reinstating of the lost order would add some weight to the company's desires.
Arizima
 Player, 112 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Mon 29 Jan 2018
at 18:35
The Caged Bird
Arizima followed after Wrenn with a look of curiosity on her face with interested to see what her few remaining coins before her adventure had gone toward.  Like Wrenn she leaves Griswold to do the talking instead opting to stand just off to the side.  Her eyes rove over the knights and she gives them her best bland, friendly smile.  In spite of her best efforts it doesn't quite manage to reach her eyes.
GM
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Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 07:30
The Caged Bird
The guards do their best to interact with you as little as possible. Their roving patrol around the house, however, makes no qualms about troubling you. The three approach full of confidence, a small man in leather armor flanked by and average looking man in plate and a dwarf, also in plate. When the smaller man speaks, his voice is nasally and full of contempt. "We are not your errand boys, hero," he says with a sardonic emphasis on the hero part. "Take your pet mages elsewhere. Maybe that pasture yonder has some nice patties you can rest your head on this night," he sneers.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 245 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 16:24
The Caged Bird
Griswold smiles at the Ashen Order knights, whilst lethargically stretching his arms.  "Well, sir, it seems that without another destination, I simply have no where else to be.  And it is quite nice here.  I think I might stay and keep you company!  After all, these fine gentlemen have said that the Viscount will be along...eventually.  So let's all become very good friends whilst we wait!"
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 142 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 16:38
The Caged Bird
"Yes, that'll give me a chance to practice my art while we wait!" Wrenn looked at the guard who'd just spoken and then made an illusion that represented the man's face. As ugly and stupid looking as it could be while still resembling the man. "Not quite right, sorry. Let me try that one again."
Arizima
 Player, 115 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Tue 30 Jan 2018
at 17:48
The Caged Bird
Arizima looks to Wrenn's illusion with a raised eyebrow before turning her gaze back to the trio giving them another attempt at a smile.  "Please excuse my friend here.  He enjoys ribbing those with a sense of importance it would seem.  I also must thank you for your kind suggestion of hospitality.  Sadly I've already claimed a space of my own with a roof over my head.  The Rose's favor seems to come with such assurances.  Nonetheless I'll be certain to keep it in mind!"
GM
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Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 14:39
The Caged Bird
The small leader of the patrol looked at the display of magic and appeared to think for a moment. A cruel looking smile played across his face as he spoke at last. "I am going to love to see if you hold the same amount of disrespect and mirth when Lord Kilquist gives the girl to the Order fully. Then, as happens to all sin-eaters, she will be deemed a hazard to the land and executed," he stated an then looked directly at Wrenn. "Especially when the command goes out for her accomplices. She attacked the young lordling, after all. Can't let dangerous, rogue mages roam the Empire, after all. I'm sure the details of the tribunal are being meted out by the Viscount, Lady Inara, and the Grand Inquisitor right now."

One of the two other guards with him gave an evil chuckle.

OOC: Perception check, please.
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 143 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 14:59
The Caged Bird
Wrenn added some patties to the illusionary image of the guard's face and nodded his approval, then dismissed the image. He smiled at the man as he considered offering to change the fellow's mind about rogue mages, by magical force if necessary, but held his tongue as he remembered he was here to let Griswold do the talking. He glanced at Griswold then and did his best to hide his smile and focus on the task at hand.

08:49, Today: Wrenn Muernig rolled 19 using 1d20.  Perception.
Arizima
 Player, 116 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 16:24
The Caged Bird
Arizima watches the guards carefully with that same slight smile.  "Probably.  I'm rather prone to bouts of mirth in the face of danger after all.  It's my way."  She taps Griswold lightly on the shoulder.  "I confess I don't understand all the details of your legal proceedings but in light of this latest revelation about this lordling I believe new charges must be leveled.  I don't suppose you would know how to go about such a thing would you?"

She stops for a moment as her eyes catch a glint of something.  Peering upward she gives the longbows trained on her from the rooftop a gentle smile and a wave before turning back to Griswold expectantly.

09:16, Today: Arizima rolled 21 using 1d20+3.  Perception.
Editing in the response to Arizima's perception check to avoid double posting.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:07, Wed 31 Jan 2018.

Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 246 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 18:04
The Caged Bird
Recalling his own trial, Griswold cocked his head at the man.  "'As happens to all sin-eaters'?  Hardly, my dear man.  Being a sin-eater isn't even illegal in Krieghold. TO think your Grandmaster considers me unworthy whilst his very own knights lie so brazenly.

"Hmm...I wonder...Perhaps those double-standards are why the Viscount is conspiring with a woman who herself is due to stand trial over the very events that led to his son's life being put in danger?  I'd say it is in poor taste to let one accused be so involved with another's trial over the same events, wouldn't you?  Or do they intend to fix the Lady's trial as well as the girl's?  That's beyond a conflict of interests, it's a criminal perversion of justice!"


Suddenly Griswold raises his voice, no longer simply talking to the men in front of him, but performing so that not just the knights, but every passer by could hear.

"Ah, but I'm sure it's all just one big misunderstanding!  They must not have been informed of that inconvenient little fact yet?  Of that other trial.  Well, we must tell them at once!  Imagine what it could mean for Viscount Kilquist, for Lady Inara and, of course, Grandmaster Gustav, once word gets out!  And imagine what it will mean for those who knew about it but did not do their civic duty to inform those who were involved!

Griswold's voice dropped to a whisper as he leaned towards the snide little knight.  "So you best let us know where they are right now.  Otherwise, I'll be forced to report to the other Grandmasters and let them know about this sordid little conspiracy.  I'm sure an investigation by them would only delay the girl's trial by, oh, a few weeks or so.  Assuming it doesn't cause it to collapse entirely.  Not to mention the disrepute it will bring upon your Grandmaster.  And who do you think he will blame for that?  Me?  Or you, the knights that told me about it?"  Griswold stared pointedly between the knights leaving no doubt as to where he thought the Grandmaster's boot would fall.

17:40, Today: Griswold Ortmann rolled 15 using 1d20-1.  Perception - Sight beyond sightless.

18:04, Today: Griswold Ortmann rolled 7 using 1d20+2.  Intimidation - The power of politics.

Why does Griswold fail EVERY charisma ability check? >.<

And the Advantage: 5 :(

This message was last edited by the player at 18:21, Wed 31 Jan 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 144 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Wed 31 Jan 2018
at 18:10
The Caged Bird
Wrenn works his magic, quickly and discreetly, causing sounds of interested onlookers gasping or otherwise reacting to Griswold's raised voice.

A creative way to said that I'd like to Aid/Assist/whateverwecallthatin5E Griswold on his Intimidation check to give him advantage.
GM
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Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 09:37
The Caged Bird
The small knight leaned into Griswold as well, an even larger grin on his face. “You really are clueless. I thought you would have learned by now. Go and tell the other Grandmasters. Has that stopped Witch Hunters from executing the other sin-eaters? Do you think they would risk open warfare over a single girl? You spout empty threats. There is no law here but what the sword can enforce and we,” he said in a sweeping gesture to his fellows, “...are the only justice in town. The girl will die, whether in a few days or few weeks, but she will eat the blade of a sword nonetheless.”

The man gets closer to Griswold. “Draw steel, boy, or leave. Either way doesn’t matter to me.”
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 249 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 10:20
The Caged Bird
Griswold shook his head and sighed.  "I thought that, despite their reputation, the Ashen Order were supposed to be knights.  Men worthy of Krieghold.  Of representing her.  But it seems you're just a bunch of thugs.  I have never before been this disappointed in anything and sorely hope that you are not typical of your Order.

"Though, I suppose I can hardly blame you.  Not when your Grandmaster is so craven that he needs you to lie and grandstand for him.

"Luckily for you, I am not of your order.  I am just and honourable.  So I will take this to the Grandmasters and, mark my word, there will be no war.  Why?  Because that snivelling little Gustav will be outnumbered a hundred to one and we all know,"
Griswold made a sweeping motion with his hand, "that you Ashen are only ever brave when the odds are vastly in your favour.

"Oh and this is about justice and the wilful perversion of it"


Griswold turns and leaves, whispering to Arizima and Wrenn as he does so.

"The Ashen Order has basically complete autonomy over their own trials.  They can do them behind closed doors, away from prying eyes and ears.  The other orders can intervene only if they have good reason to believe the proceedings to be corrupt.  But that is almost unheard of as they know so little about them in the first place.  Luckily for us though, that knight is about as smart as you'd expect from a thug.  Telling us about Lady Inara's involvement was a big mistake.  Let's just hope the Grandmasters think so too."

"In the meantime, Wrenn,
he continued quietly, glancing down at the gnome's cat, "in my training you said that your cat was more than just a pet.  Could it spy on these knights for us?  They may well try to warn Gustav and could lead us straight to the Viscount."
Arizima
 Player, 118 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 15:11
The Caged Bird
Arizima coughs lightly as she walks with Griswold.  "There's a bit of an additional wrinkle as well.  If the charges largely resolve around this notion that this noble was attacked...  There are a total of eight witnesses including a freshly minted Knight to the fact that he was controlling the dead in an attempt to set them on the living.  Now obviously we had assumed the best of the lordling and assumed that magic had seized him and puppeteered him.  If he wishes to play the unjustly attacked though then that situation changes.  If he was simply attacked while of sound mind then he was controlling the dead himself and wielding them as a blunt instrument solely to bring death to the living.  From what I understand I rather doubt your laws would smile on such an act."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 251 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 17:31
The Caged Bird
Griswold's smile had faded as soon as he turned his back on the knight.  His expression was no serious and throughtful.  "He was possessed, I'm certain.  Roland is just being Roland.  And Roland is a dick.  He's lashing out at the most convenient, defenceless target.  His pride's butt-hurt and that's pissing him off.  He is a noble after all - they're unable to admit fault or weakness, even to themselves.  Everyone else be damned.

"Besides, I'm pretty sure Roland doesn't like me. He'd have given himself away during our friendly back and forth in the fight.

"Someone could try talking to him.  If he knew that he was under the influence of a massively powerful and infamous sorceress, rather than that animalistic orc shaman, he might feel inclined to tell the truth.  We could spin it so that it was a truly heroic act to survive the ordeal.  Appeal to his ego.  Make a hero of him, rather than a witless villain.

"We should also talk to the other boys.  We didn't actually see how this all started and they're more likely to tell the truth.  Maybe Farrissa really did do something?"

Arizima
 Player, 121 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 12 PP: 13
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 17:54
The Caged Bird
Arizima chuckles at Griswold's comment.  "You do realize I called a great house family yes?  If only I had known I never had to admit fault.  Life would have been much simpler if I had known I was always in the right."

She shrugs as they walk apparently uninterested. "We all know that he was possessed true.  I was rather proposing that we attempt to force him to capitulate by calling his bluff and pointing out the logical ramifications of the action.  If he wishes to lie so can we.  Under the right circumstances and with the right rumors his father may be forced to withdraw from this issue to avoid tainting the reputation of the house.  I don't know if the rest of you find that distasteful though."

"If you wish to assauge his ego instead though I suppose I could attempt such a thing.  I doubt I'd enjoy it but I could give it an attempt."

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 147 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Thu 1 Feb 2018
at 20:07
The Caged Bird
Wrenn followed the others, happy to leave the guards behind. "I'll leave the planning of how best to handle the social aspects of this situation to the two of you. Personally, I'll have absolutely no part in making Roland look a hero. I'll stand silently by while you do it, if you need me to, but no more."

"As for the Ashen Order, I think it's high time that organisation be dismantled."

GM
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Mon 5 Feb 2018
at 10:26
The Caged Bird
The guards simply chuckle and resume their patrol around the house. The commotion caused a few people to stop their daily activities and look but hard glares from the guards cause them to resume what they were doing and cast their eyes downward. No one else seems interested in the Witch Hunters anymore and your group is left to its own eldevices for now. As you discuss your next course of action, you find yourself among the traveling merchants and stalls that have stuck around for the month long extension of the festival.

OOC: I am going to say that the current timeline is a week after the end of the contest. The Research Opportunities Thread is occurring the day prior. We will need to consolidate the threads soon and begin the next adventure. Interfering with the tribunal itself might cause your downtime to be cut short, depending on what you do. Be sure everyone is on board before going further.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 252 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 6 Feb 2018
at 21:02
The Caged Bird
Griswold grinned at Arizima.  "Want to see if I can sneak you into the Royal Kriegian court sometime, Apricot?  See how simple life really is when everyone thinks they're right?  Trust me you're better off.  All that backstabbing - I hate it!  Everyone is out for themselves, forgetting the people that really matter.  If they ever knew at all.

"But they wield power like a hammer and those that stand out get flattened.  So we need to be smart.  Roughhousing little Roland might work in the short-term, but eventually he or his father will come down on us, or worse, Farrissa, the boys and their families, like a hail of arrows."
  Griswold paused for a moment.  "Or with an actual hail of arrows."

"We should hurry over to the Knight's compound, hopefully the Grandmasters are still there.  Or at least someone that can point us in the right direction."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:03, Tue 06 Feb 2018.

Arizima
 Player, 125 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Wed 7 Feb 2018
at 15:34
The Caged Bird
Arizima shrugs as she follows Griswold toward the Knight's Compound.  "I wouldn't be so quick to discount the option.  In my experience an enemy today often becomes an ally tomorrow in the game of politics.  Assuming the Viscount has some small sense to go with his position he'll be open to negotiations.  So long as we can provide a bit of carrot as well...  My concern with flattery is that it will not truly prevent this Roland from taking Farissa as his prize and his right in the aftermath even if she's not executed.  We all heard the Rose.  Sin-Eaters are valuable symbols of status.  Without someone to hold his leash it may be difficult to keep him from acquiring his prize."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 253 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Fri 9 Feb 2018
at 02:07
The Caged Bird
Griswold opened his mouth to argue, but grinned instead.  "I am being outnumbered two to one!  Alright then, you hellions.  Let's do it your way, but you're talking - I'm a lover, not a loather.  And I'm awful at politics!"
GM
 GM, 458 posts
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Fri 9 Feb 2018
at 13:48
The Caged Bird
The small complex for the Grandmasters and knightly orders looms into view. A few Dragoons are posted as a watch to keep the curious from causing trouble, more than anything else. You get the feeling they were put here as a punishment as they fidget at the post. The complex beyond looks to be rife with activity and busier than when Griswold came for his judgement. Whatever is in there, it is best that you know what you are doing.

OOC: Let's get the Research Opportunities thread finished and everyone together. This course of action might take a turn towards being longer and may cut downtime short. In short, this thread is on hold for the time being.
GM
 GM, 464 posts
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Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 20:21
The Caged Bird
It is the day of the trial. That much is known. Many of the townsfolk have been spreading the word about the trial of a sin-eater that was found. Your group knows it could only mean Farrissa. What is more surprising is that the trial is to be held on open ground in the festival, rather than the secure complex of the knightly orders. Grandmaster of the Ashen Order, Gustav von Burmann, is to be presiding over it. Lady Inara is present, but maintaining a careful distance. She seems noticeably subdued.

The trial has already gathered a large crowd, many eager to see a sin-eater for the first time. It is rapidly becoming clear that the Ashen Order is doing it's best to ensure they have the public eye on the trial. It seems almost a farce considering the amount of posturing they have done in the past week. When you are able to see the trial area clearly, six figures are present in the center; the imposing figure of Grandmaster Gustav, a pair of Witch Hunters flanking the shaking, hooded form of Farrissa, and an older man with the look of nobility with a hand upon the shoulder of a haggard looking Roland.

Your group is able to gather near the front, the common people making way for the Adventurers with smiles and handshakes, many wishing you well in the future. Absent from your group is Brother Sul, presently with the Roses learning how to run a new order and securing the armory and relics from the tomb. A loud shout from the pair of Witch Hunter guards begins to quiet the crowd.

What are you doing?
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 153 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 21:47
The Caged Bird
Wrenn stands there evaluating the situation from every angle he can imagine. He looks for hidden snipers like the ones they'd seen before, and guards that are visibly posted. He looks for paths through or around the crowd in case they should be needed, and looks at the faces of every official within sight to try to get an understanding of everyone's mood before this trial officially begins.

There was a chance that the trial would work out in their favor, slim and neigh-impossible as it was, but Wrenn was looking for a solid Plan B in case things went south.

[private to dm: If there's a social roll made by someone who wants to convince people that she needs to die, I intend to use Portent to replace their roll with a 7 if it's lower, in order to try to keep the crowd against them.]
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 259 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 00:51
The Caged Bird
Aside from a glance around to see if he can spot the Viscount, Griswold's attention is mostly on Roland.  With the apparent absence of the other witnesses, he believes that the Ashen Order's entire case must revolve around the boy.

The knight finds Roland's state somewhat unsettling.  Given the amount of time that had passed and having first hand knowledge of Lady Inara's healers' skill, the youth's haggard appearance is unexpected.  Could the boy be feeling guilty?  May be it was a sympathy play to get the crowd empathising with him?  Or was something more sinister going on, like coersion, or drugging?

He tries to assess the boys' health from distance then whispers his companions.

"Anyone else find it odd that the young Master Kilquist seems so unwell? He's had days to recover and would have received the best of care."

OOC
00:39, Today: Griswold Ortmann rolled 13 using 1d20+2.  Long range medicine

(He's not going to know what Roland's sickness is, but he might be able to discern if Roland is actually suffering from some sort of ailment - stumbling, sweating, red heavy sunken eyes, arms either clasped tight against the cold or hanging listlessly at his side.  That sort of thing.)

May I also ask what happened at the knightly compound before this?  Was Griswold and co able to meet with any of the Grandmasters and report their suspicions?  Was Lady Inara's controversial involvement made known?  Did we get confirmation that the Viscount was fully appraised of everything that had transpired - such as the involvement of the Rose and the Orc Shaman's spirit?  I assume that we were not able to talk to Roland, but what about the other boys from their group?

Thanks!

This message was last edited by the player at 00:56, Mon 26 Feb 2018.

GM
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Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 05:22
The Caged Bird
DM inject: You were able to send a message to the Grandmasters, as they were not able to meet in person due to the large numbers of judgements for squires.  A response from Sir Hector confirms they are aware of the implications but can do nothing until the investigation is concluded. Should the trial go against her, an appeal might be held.

As for Roland, it looks like he is simply exhausted to the extreme, as if he hasn’t slept since he returned. From your distance, you can see little else.
Arizima
 Player, 131 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 05:42
The Caged Bird
Arizima shows up in her finest ocean blue silks, her armor left behind her daggers clearly on display at her waist.  Even the fluid step to her gait and the constant vaguely amused smile are gone.  They're replaced with the proud straight backed walk and resting gaze of someone that's all too used to having their commands heard and answered.

She casts a curious eye over the proceedings taking in those assorted on the stage at a glance before looking at the others.  "Quickly.  Does Kriegan custom allow for a witness testimony of any sort?  Do we have confirmation that this trial surrounds a supposed attempt on Roland's life?  I need to know how much of my planning is sound and I need to know how many rules I can work with and how many I'm going to have to bend or break over the next few minutes." 

She nods toward Griswold. "Regardless if I do attempt to talk our way out of this or at least force another round of debate I'll likely need your assistance.  Your presence as an honored freshly minted knight will help lend credence to anything I say and help discredit attempts to use my heritage against me.  If anyone else has an idea, counter proposal or wishes to help I'd be glad for it so long as it involves no touch of the arcane, a hint of lip, or threats." She gives Wrenn an apologetic half bow.  "Those complications are the last things we need at this moment."
Eri Sato
 Player, 41 posts
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 17:52
The Caged Bird
ooc: Just a few questions. I assume Eri is with them? If not she would probably go on her own out of curiosity and perhaps run into them there, either way. Also did they ever meet with Whisper and officially get the identity of her pupil?

Eri watches the scene with the curiosity of someone who barely understands what is happening but is too timid to admit it. It's clear that her companions must know these people, but then being so important in this community, that's not surprising. From Arizima's words though, she meant to start something. What had she gotten herself into? She should have stayed with that blasted merchant and minded her own business! This was what came of meddling with other people. Oh well, too late for it now. If they needed her help, she would help. In the meantime she keeps an eye out for pickpockets, keeping her own coin tucked into the inner folds of her wrapped belt. They'd have to dig their hands in to get anything and if anyone tried they'd get a fist to the nose faster than they could blink. She'd done enough work for the merchant to know just how many thieves there were in this town.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 260 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 18:14
The Caged Bird
Arizima's appearance did not go unnoticed by Griswold's discerning eye.  "Looking good enough to eat, Apricot." A half-smile and lingering glance is all that he has time to spare however as he quickly moves on to address her questions.

"Anyway, trials are normally held behind closed doors.  Only those invited to speak may do so.  Accusations, retorts and evidence are presented. Then anywhere between one and five court assigned judges - nobles - pass verdict.  In knightly courts, things are a little different.  There is no upper limit on the number of judges, but pragmatism normally dictates three max. Typically these judges come from the order hosting the trial, as we can see here with Sir Gustav.  In very special cases, with wide ranging implications, multiple orders may get involved.  In these cases one judge would be assigned from each order.

"As I understand things, public events like this are not unknown for common trials, but are extremely rare for knightly ones.  Especially the famously insular Ashen Order.  Its one of the many reasons why people are so suspicious of them.  To be doing this they must feel supremely confident that they can carry a guilty verdict.  I suppose they think it is a forgone conclusion."
Griswold nods towards the Grandmaster-come-judge, "As well they might with Sir Gustav presiding, of course.  The only judge and he's already assured of her guilt.  Though, considering the Order's history with so-called sin-eaters, I suspect he could care less about her guilt, innocence or anything in between.  It's got to be more about revenge and turning the public against her kind.

"As for whether or not you can speak?  Normally, no.  As I said trials are by invitation only.  But a public trial?  Theoretically anyone can be heard.  You just have to get enough support that you can't be ignored.  Whether that comes in the form of someone with a lot of influence over the case,"
Griswold nodded towards Viscount Kilquist, "Some notable attendees," He indicated towards the knightly Grandmasters, "Or the masses as a whole." He back-nodded to the crowd.

"As for why a public trial is any sort of risk for the Ashen Order, well for one it would be extremely embarrassing for the accusers to lose in public.  But more than that it's because the crowd is essentially another judge.  And not just any judge, but one with effective veto over the others.  Because, with enough public support, even a unanimous decision from any number of other judges could be overturned.  Or at least brought into question.  There would be a tremendous uproar and huge controversy if a verdict went against overwhelming public opinion.

"Though even that may not be enough to stop the Ashen Order."


OOC - Of course you can be with us Eri :D Griswold would have invited everyone and filled you in some.  Quick recap: Farrissa, the accused, is one of another team in the competition we were in.  Roland, also from her group and of noble birth, became possessed by an evil spirit.  Since Farrissa is known to have special powers (a sin-eater) and considering Roland's status, we feel that she is being unfairly blamed.  If she's found guilty, Griswold believes the Ashen Order could stir up public opinion against other sin-eaters (maybe starting a witch hunt?) and relieve a lot of the pressure from Lady Inara (the competition's organiser), who is accused of endangering the public. That said, even we do not know exactly what transpired in the ruins, as we barely arrived in time to save everyone.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:56, Mon 26 Feb 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 154 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 20:09
The Caged Bird
"Griswold, would it help our cause to point out that Roland's family tried to keep her as a pet, using her powers for their own gain? You know the nonsensical laws of this land far better than I do."
Arizima
 Player, 132 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 18:41
The Caged Bird
Arizima nods along with Griswold as he speaks giving him a small nod.  "Understood.  I believe I can attempt to work with that if you're comfortable with the idea."

She shakes her head to Wrenn with a small frown.  "Why would it?  If I understand correctly you sought to buy her out correct?  If there's a proper legal contract enslavement is an accepted practice of all the great powers on either side of the sea.  Feelings have very little to do with the issue."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 261 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 19:29
The Caged Bird
Griswold looked at Wrenn first in surprise, then with awkward guilt.  "But they didn't...haven't.   Chris feared they might, once they learnt of Farrissa's power.  He thought it would be discovered during the competition, which is why he came to me.  I, uh, I guess I didn't explain that very well, huh?"
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 155 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 19:44
The Caged Bird
Wrenn reached a hand out in front of him as though snatching something out of the air, "I'll grasp at any straws I can find in this fight. Anything at all that turns the odds in our favor, no matter how slightly. As I said, you're the one who knows what'll work here, I'm just throwing out ideas."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 262 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 20:33
The Caged Bird
Griswold scowls and looks around to make sure no one else noticed Wrenn's words, then leans down to whisper to the Gnome, unusually harshly.  "There are so many things wrong with that, I can barely think where to begin:

"One: the Kilquist's are not on trial here.  Bringing them into it will only make us look desperate at best, slanderous at worst.

"Two: The Ashen Order don't care about Farrissa's treatment.

"Three: it would only add to her motive.

"And four: it would have to be investigated.  That means questions.  Do you really want to expose Farrissa to that?  She's probably so scared that its hard enough for her to focus on what really happened, let alone having to deal with the added pressure of lying about it."

"Just...think about where you are.  This is no place to be discussing perjury!"


He sighs and shakes his head.  "Listen, it's good that you're trying to help, really.  Just be careful what you say.  If anyone hears you - even if we don't act on your ideas - they could undermine anything we do try.  We need work with the truth and only the truth.  Besides, it sounds like Arizima has a plan brewing."  The half elf stands up and looks at her questioningly.  "One which does not involve lying to my peers and all of Maypole, I hope?"

This message was last edited by the player at 20:37, Tue 27 Feb 2018.

Arizima
 Player, 133 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 21:35
The Caged Bird
Arizima looks between Griswold and Wrenn with a sigh.  "No direct lies of any kind no.  I think you're a bit too terrified of attacking the opposition's position however so I doubt you'll enjoy it.  Unavoidable as it will be unless you want to watch this woman's head roll at best or be turned into a living weapon for the Ashen Order at worst." 

She gives the stage a thoughtful glance.  "It's a rather simple plan on the whole.  I'll approach and request to be heard as a witness worried that not all evidence has been presented.  Although I may not be favored in your courts the perception of my standing combined with the crowd's support of their champions should give me the chance to speak at least.  I'll be honest.  I'll tell everyone what we saw, lament that it contradicts the word of nobility known to be just and true and acquiesce that perhaps he wasn't under control after all.  I won't make any accusations merely let the matter hang.  After that if everything has gone well I'll give the Viscount and his son a chance to save face, step away, and quash any unfortunate rumors that could rise from my testimony.  Finally still assuming everything has gone roughly to plan I'll point out that all those that fought to the end of the contest have earned the right per the words of a Knight of the Rose and the decree of your Emperor to find a new home in the Adventurer's guild appealing to a higher authority than the Viscount or the Ashen Order to undermine any remaining attempts to claim our sin-eater still.  Ultimately the whole plan could almost be seen as a bit of theater.  We're not here to win the love of the Order or the Viscount.  We're here to win the love of the crowd as their champions and subtly force the issue."

She looks back to Griswold finally with a shrug.  "It likely won't go as smoothly as that of course.  I'm Dunnothi and an arcanist. Many of your countrymen frown on both.  I'll likely need at least one character witness to prevent them from claiming I'm somehow the mastermind of all the evil that's befallen the contestants.  I doubt that the Order wouldn't jump at chance to see me beheaded as well, and it's a very real risk.  There could be other complications we're not yet aware of as well.  I find I'm adaptable in a crisis however and I'm willing to take the risk if you like."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 263 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 22:50
The Caged Bird
Griswold listened to Arizima's idea intently, his eyes widening with each word.  "I...uh...well it's not exactly...how should I put this..." He paused to organise his thoughts, then quietly blurted out, "I don't see how that helps."

"Spreading doubt over Ronald's mental capacity that way might open the crowd up to discussion amongst themselves, but that's far from the unification they'd need to openly challenge a Grandmaster.

"Also - the Royal invitation to found the adventurer's guild? I'm pretty sure that was only for the winners of the competition.  Even if the other competitors were included, we're still subject to the laws of the land, aren't we?  The Ashen Order could well accept Farrissa as a member of the guild, but still go through with the trial.  Or am I missing something?"

"Look, I am not going to deny that I am well out of my depth here.  I'm sure you are much more experienced in this sort of thing than I am, Arizima and if you think that's the best option that's what we'll do.  But I do know crowds.  Kriegian crowds at least.  They are a mob.  They need to be provoked.  They need something that will spark their imagination or ignite their sense of justice.  Something to give them unity of purpose.  Something big. And I don't think that here-say and conjecture will cut it.


Griswold leans in and whispers.

"In my opinion, we need to focus on the real culprit.  The Kriegian elite will hate us for it.  For the panic it will cause and the weakness it will show, but the public have to know that this Kalaryl woman was really behind it all.  And there's only one group here that can condemn a Rose and be taken seriously.  One of their own.

"We need to get out there, make the declaration and amid the hysteria and condemnation, suggest they ask a Rose, if they doubt us.  Then when one or more is called and questioned, the truth will out."

"But, I'll understand if you think that's too extreme.  I'll support your attempt, Arizima, even if you overvalue my influence here.  My reputation is not as sterling as you seem to believe.  Now if a Watcher was here, if Kharash were here, then we'd be talking.  Where is the big lug anyway?  Oh, and what about you Eri?
The half-elf reaches out and taps the distracted woman on her shoulder.  What do you think?  As someone not so closely tied to the events, you might have a fresh perspective."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:56, Tue 27 Feb 2018.

Arizima
 Player, 134 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Tue 27 Feb 2018
at 23:16
The Caged Bird
Arizima stares at him for a long moment looking quietly frustrated.  "That's... not the point.  The implication is not that Roland is for lack of a better term stupid.  The implication is that he's responsible for raising the dead and attacking the living.  If he is not under the control of a spirit and the dead were walking at his command...  Nobility can not afford to let such implications fester or risk the mob as you claimed."

"As for the question of membership... The Rose Sinofel suggested that the others were invited to train with the guild and claim membership as well.  The implication seemed to be that they wouldn't hold the same station as ourselves but that membership was still open."


"As for this Kalaryl... if I wanted to see this woman burn then I would simply accuse her of being in league with her in the aftermath of the initial claim.  I see no reason to expect the trial to be remotely fair.  To be blunt considering my treatment since I've come to your lands you're not going to invite the mob to calls for justice on behalf of someone who's seen as having any sort of connection to the arcane.  She's already guilty by any sort of association."  She shrugs.  "I confess I'm a foreigner here however and don't have the same stake in this that you seem to.  For all I know the woman is actually guilty of whatever she's truly to be tried for."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 264 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 00:29
The Caged Bird
Griswold takes a moment to himself mumbling about this probably being another one of those 'paranoia' moments, before lifting his head back up and smiling at Arizima.

"I understood what you meant about Roland, I just think the way that you suggest presenting your point lacks...grandeur.  The people will see it more like the musing of an intellectual than an actual proposal.  A 'what if' scenario, that is easily rebuffed if not further supported.  And, forgive me Apricot, but I don't think that will be enough.  Not unless you press the point.  You would need to fight for it because Farrissa is guilty until proven innocent and, if you don't, a little doubt will not save her."

He sighs and nods.  "You're right about Kalaryl.  Aside from her, I do have one more suggestion that just occurred to me.

"Do you remember when we first saw Farrissa in the old Knighthold? As I recall, she was already unconscious.  Unconscious and wearing her collar.  From what I've been hearing about spell-casting and sin-eaters, those two details seem important.

"If Farrissa's magic was affecting Ronald, how was she still able to sustain it whilst she was unconscious?  Don't spells require a certain amount of focus to maintain?  And isn't her collar meant to stymie a sin-eater's power?  If so, how then could she have cast anything to being with?  Which raises another point: every story I have heard about sin-eaters tells of their terribly destructive power.  Power that is beyond their control.
 Admittedly I know very little about them, but I've yet to hear a tale of one doing anything but blowing things up.  Can their powers even be used to manipulate minds and animate the dead?"

The knight shrugs.

"Well, even if my doubts are sound, they probably wouldn't be enough to rally public opinion.  Revealing them properly would be slow and boring.  I guess the only way they would really help would be if we could, say get Grandmaster Gustav himself to confirm them.  Thereby admitting Farrissa's innocence.  It would be a long shot.  Especially as there's so little we know about sin-eaters.  But we could be sure at least that the Grandmaster would have to answer truthfully.  There's more than enough people here that do know about these things to call him out on any lies."

"Anyway, if you think this is also a bad plan and if no one else has any other proposals, let's try yours."


Griswold grinned.  Doing something was better than doing nothing and he'd learnt that there were times when he should trust his companions more than himself.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:35, Wed 28 Feb 2018.

Eri Sato
 Player, 42 posts
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 13:20
The Caged Bird
Eri stiffens as Griswold pokes her shoulder. She was only paying half attention, still focused on pick pockets, and the sudden contact startled her. What's more, suddenly being asked to weigh in on something of this magnitude put her on edge. Griswold had given her details of the case of course, but it was far different from actually being there. She looks up and tucks her black hair behind her ear. I confess, not knowing the situation as fully as the rest of you, any ideas of mine would only prove a distraction. I know from experience though that when a crowd gets riled, nothing will change their minds. Her face goes cold at this, eyes turning hard. She continues with bitterness in her voice. Turning them in your favor before it's too late is probably the only course of action if you want to do this legally. My instincts are of a less direct variety. I can be quiet when I wish. If it comes to it perhaps I can help out in a more...clandestine way, if the woman needs...freeing. Especially since it would not be linked back to you, with me as new as I am. she says everything quietly, lest anyone overhear.

ooc: Thanks for the clarification Gris! It's quite helpful! :)

This message was last edited by the player at 13:24, Wed 28 Feb 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 156 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 14:52
Re: The Caged Bird
Eri Sato:
If it comes to it perhaps I can help out in a more...clandestine way, if the woman needs...freeing. Especially since it would not be linked back to you, with me as new as I am.


Wrenn moved just a little bit closer to his new best friend. He always knew Eri was made of the finest stuff.
Arizima
 Player, 135 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 15:06
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima considers Griswold carefully.  "Ultimately you seem to have the largest personal stake in this.  We can go with whatever plan you prefer I suppose.  Or a melding of them if you prefer."

She glances toward Eri with a tilt of her head.  "That's always an option.  In the worst case we could attempt that and try and send her somewhere far from the reach of the order.  The Great Houses are always eager to extend their protection and patronage to unique talents.  Anything that aids them in the great game."
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 157 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Wed 28 Feb 2018
at 15:17
Re: The Caged Bird
Wrenn smiled up at Arizima. Eri and Ari, two of the most magnificent women he'd ever met.
Eri Sato
 Player, 43 posts
Sat 3 Mar 2018
at 15:00
Re: The Caged Bird
ooc: Hahahahahaha! You're so funny Wrenn!

Eri is pleased her idea is not immediately thrown out. Of course a sudden stab of fear hits her that they might actually take her up on the offer. Hopefully she would be as quiet as she claimed should that happen. "The winds blow the sails the best at harbor," the saying went, "but on open water nothing is certain." A pretty way of saying you never knew when things could go wrong.

She turns to Griswold expectantly, waiting his answer, then notices Wrenn's smile and returns it with one of her own, a bit perplexed why he was looking at her like that.
Lady Inara
 NPC, 16 posts
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 21:07
Re: The Caged Bird
As you discuss, you notice that Lady Inara has spotted you. A nervous, almost panicked expression crosses her face. She peels away discreetly, approaching your group with a wariness that she has not yet shown before. It is at odds with the regal and demanding mannerisms she displayed before. She places her hand on Griswold's shoulder and speaks in a conspiratorial tone. "You must leave. All of you. Before the Grand Inquisitor realizes you've come or the trap will be set. Gods forgive me, I didn't think it would go this far," she says. Her words are clipped and her voice hoarse, her face pained as if it hurts her to speak. She begins to tr and weakly push your group members away.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 265 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 7 Mar 2018
at 23:51
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold pulls away from the Lady's touch, suspicion in his eyes.  He then casts a confused and questioning look at Arizima, unsure what to make of the situation, but not before he's moved to put a few heads between him and Gustav.
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 158 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 00:00
Re: The Caged Bird
Wrenn stands with confusion clear on his face, "Trap for who?"
Arizima
 Player, 136 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 00:10
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima looks toward Lady Inara with a tilted head and curious expression before glancing toward Griswold and finally toward Wrenn.  "Us of course.  It would hardly be the first time I've seen authority plot the demise of those that are inconvenient to it."  She bites back any further jabs aimed at Kriegan justice for the moment and looks toward Griswold.  "I suppose she could be lying but I can't say I'm overly surprised.  Those guards the other day were quite confident they were going to get their chance to display Wrenn's head and mine own to the crowd.  Perhaps they were not posturing at all but were actually overzealous, showing their hand early.  To be fair she could be acting on behalf of the order to eliminate any dissension before the trial starts as well.  I'm not sure why though.  If you think my own plan will not work and don't have a great deal of confidence in your own it's likely we couldn't do much more than watch as the sentence was passed anyway."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 266 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 09:17
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold was quiet for a good few moments, before the doubt on his face was replaced by steely determination.

"I'll not abandon Farrissa.  Unlike some"  He said, staring intently at Lady Inara.  He then turned to the others, "But perhaps the rest of you should go?  There's no reason for us all to sacrifice ourselves here, if this trap is both as real and dangerous as has been reported."

This message was last edited by the player at 09:18, Thu 08 Mar 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 159 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 15:15
Re: The Caged Bird
"The day I saw her, my path was set. Freedom is an ideal that is very dear to me. She did nothing to deserve having her's taken from her, save being who she is. If I lose my freedom in saving her, such is the consequence of my actions." Wrenn glanced up at Griswold, "We sought to buy her freedom when we had barely a coin to our name. You know where I stand on this matter."

Though he had little faith in Griswold being able to talk his way through this rescue attempt, Wrenn was absolutely set on freeing Farrissa. One way, or another. If the people's champions were captured or killed as part of...whatever this inane display was meant to be, then perhaps the people would be inspired to rebel against their corrupt leaders who claimed to keep them safe, yet murdered and enslaved innocent people for the sake of "fear".
Arizima
 Player, 137 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 15:40
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima considers the others thoughtfully.  "It's most likely a fool's errand.  If we can't convince the people of any of our claims there's nothing actually occurring here at this trial that the people would find objectionable.  Certainly not the sentencing nor binding of a dangerous sin-eater.  Our deaths might be the only sticking point and it will be easy enough to swing that as a necessary evil with the presence of two arcanists and your people's attitudes toward the arcane."

"We're not well prepared.  In truth my plan was supposed to be set in motion before the trial not during it but time and effort did not fully permit.  Lady Inara on the other hand is correct.  The Ashen Order will have prepared in ways we've been barred from doing.  I confess I haven't been entirely idle in the time before the trial.  In particular I've heard whispers that they'll be aiming to remove Griswold's head here most of all, though I'm sure Wrenn and I make a tempting prize.  The narrative will revolve around a noble young knight that sheltered and harbored a dangerous sin-eater from the law of this land.  A rather difficult claim to disprove considering... the reality of the situation.  The Viscount himself may not fully support these actions but most likely has his hands tied because of Roland's own role in not bringing the girl's talents to light.  He can only harm us."  She taps her chin thoughtfully before giving a cheery smile.  "My time is most likely limited anyway.  If you still plan on going through with this I'll stay and trust in the laughter of the void to see me through.  Just so long as you understand that the moment our presence is confirmed or a drop of blood is spilled on either side we'll be quite lucky if even one of us escapes with their head."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:38, Fri 09 Mar 2018.

Kharash
 Player, 200 posts
 Dragonborn
 Watcher
Sat 10 Mar 2018
at 13:35
Re: The Caged Bird
Kharash had been silent mostly, but finally spoke after Lady Inara's warning. "This may not be our fight, here today. I feel sorry for Farissa, I truly do. But she won't be the first sin-eater to be judged in this manner, and she won't be the last. Though I don't agree with most of the Ashen Order's ways, there is a very real basis for their attitude towards those with such uncontrolled potential for destruction. And history has only proven their point. It will be very difficult to sway the people in our favor. Even harder to win a legal fight when the playing field is clearly not in our favor."

He glanced worriedly to Arizima. "If it is true that this is all a ruse to set us up, I would advise we retreat for now. Can't cut the snake's head if we're dead."
Eri Sato
 Player, 44 posts
Sat 10 Mar 2018
at 15:05
Re: The Caged Bird
Eri listens with growing concern, though her face remains smooth and expressionless. What had she gotten herself into?! For a moment she's tempted to take Griswold's offer and leave. She barely knew these people and this was not her fight. However, as she starts to piece together bits of the story, much of which she still did not understand, she changes her mind. Too many people had been killed by fear mongering and corruption. Her brothers wouldn't have run. Jun wouldn't have run. Neither will she. Hopefully she didn't pay too high a price for the decision.

I think I will stay, see how this plays out for a while she says with deceptive calm.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 267 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Sat 10 Mar 2018
at 17:34
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold smiled sardonically.  "This is all on my account?  A knight only just declared?Who knew I meant so much to Gustav?  I'm honoured!  But really, the Grandmaster must be extremely petty and have far too much time on his hands to arrange all this for me." His smile turned into a sneer, then a scowl.  "I'll not sacrifice Farrissa's life to save my own.  I am a knight and, unlike these foul Ashen, intend to behave like one.  Stay here or go, but don't follow me."

Griswold walked away from the others, staying within the crowd and looking for a friendly face. That of either Sir Roderick, Sir Hector, the Grandmaster of the Quill or Grandmaster Nurnan.
Arizima
 Player, 139 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Sat 10 Mar 2018
at 19:26
Re: The Caged Bird
"Well you've been caught violating laws and customs of this land, repeatedly antagonized..."  she gives a small shrug as she looks to Kharash.  "I think he may have taken that to mean he wasn't gambling with the rest of our lives as well.  My apologies that wasn't my intent.  If anyone does want to make a swift exit now would be the time.  The more brazen he gets the more likely we end up decorating the square."

In spite of her words she doesn't make any immediate move toward the edge of the crowd instead watching the others with an apologetic smile.
GM
 GM, 469 posts
 Ask Questions
 Receive Answers
Mon 12 Mar 2018
at 05:39
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold has no trouble seeing the congregation of grandmasters near the edge of the crowd. They are buffered by a ring of knights from various orders. Before he has a chance to approach, Grand Inquisitor Gustav begins to speak in a loud, projecting voice. “Good citizens of the Empire, I greet you today on behalf of the Ashen Order. As you no doubt know, today is a somber day. Before you stands a girl, a sin-eater from among our very midst,” he says. The words elicits a round of jeers from the crowd. Farrissa, a sword to her back, begins to sob. Gustav gives her a quick glance before continuing. “She is not without merits. She is a competitor in the group of our own Lord Kilquist. Due to the nature of this situation, the normal trial and judgment for a sin-eater can not be held. Instead, the girl must prove her innocence in a trial by combat. In order not to endanger those present, champions must be chosen. Who will stand as champion for the accused?”, he asked pointing to Farrissa and gesturing with his open hand towards the crowd. Utter silence followed.
Arizima
 Player, 140 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Tue 13 Mar 2018
at 07:37
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima's eyes narrow at the Inquisitor's words before she glances toward Lady Inara her gaze softening slightly.  "Their plan can't be that crude can it?  Any fool with half a brain would recognize that as a pretext for murder  Why settle for one death when you can have two?  Is this simply meant to draw us out?"
Lady Inara
 NPC, 17 posts
Tue 13 Mar 2018
at 21:25
Re: The Caged Bird
Lady Inara raised an eyebrow. “Do you think such a tactic, despite its transparency, would be any less effective against your group?”, she said and gestures to Griswold. She shook her head and then abruptly left as she made eye contact with Gustav. The Grand Inquisitor gave a smile and inclined his head to Arizima. Lord Kilquist keeps his stern countenance while Roland begins to shake as if cold.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 268 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Tue 13 Mar 2018
at 23:32
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold pushes back to the others through through the crowd.  "Gustav's a bastard!  Trial by combat is normally the purview of knightly trials.  It only comes up in common ones when the defendant is so obviously guilty that they have no other choice.  Even though it was Gustav that called for it, the crowd's going to be even more suspicious of Farrissa now.  At least he cannot participate.  Trials by combat still require the presiding judge to, uh, preside."

He looks around at everyone, "So who's going?  Considering what we know of her kind, Farrissa might actually be the best choice, but I don't think the Ashen would remove her collar.  Of course, I'll gladly answer the call, but there might be a better choice, if he doesn't mind."  The half elf looked with no uncertain terms at Kharash.  "They'll be expecting me, not a Watcher.  Your station will carry more weight in Farrissa's defence than any of ours ever could and I'm willing to bet that not even the Ashen would risk killing you in this way.  The last thing they need is an investigation by your order, let alone its retribution, should it come to that."

"Feel free to say no.  I'll understand and go instead, but I need an answer now.  Because, if it isn't one us, I'm certain Chris'll be putting his neck on the line at any moment."

Eri Sato
 Player, 45 posts
Wed 14 Mar 2018
at 13:14
Re: The Caged Bird
Eri listens with a mixture of emotions. She would stand and fight with these people but she wasn't going to champion someone she didn't know, plain and simple. Fortunately, no one seemed to expect it of her, and why should they? Stranger that she was. She was still untested in their eyes anyway and from what little she knew of her companions, they were likely more capable than she.

Her eyes dart to Kharash, waiting to see his response to Griswold's request. To be put on the spot like that...she didn't envy the man. Of course, so fearsome a figure as Kharash probably had little to dread. Still, what a complete and utter mess.
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 160 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Sun 18 Mar 2018
at 16:37
Re: The Caged Bird
Wrenn remained with the others, listening to their advice and conclusions. His lack of combat training clearly put him out of contention for being a champion, so he let the others decide that for themselves.
Arizima
 Player, 141 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Sun 18 Mar 2018
at 17:33
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima looks between the members of the group before giving a small sigh.  "In the worst case I could serve as a champion.  My talents function best at a distance though I do have some tools to incapacitate and drive my enemies away if the conflict would occur in a large open space.  Between those talents and the whispers of my benefactor I'll likely have slightly better odds than others if the competition is exceptionally fearsome as well.  I still likely wouldn't survive but my odds would be marginally better than those without such blessings.  If there's a chance to have her represented by two champions rather than one I'd make an excellent second candidate as well for that very reason."
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 270 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Wed 21 Mar 2018
at 10:12
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold smiles and nods at Kharash in understanding - this is not his fight and its not fair to involve the Watcher's in this.  He raises his hand and shouts: "I will!" Then turns towards the court and moves through the crowd.  His rapier now snug in its scabbard where there had been none before.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:13, Wed 21 Mar 2018.

Eri Sato
 Player, 46 posts
Wed 21 Mar 2018
at 21:33
Re: The Caged Bird
Eri watches Griswold head off and resists the urge to shake her head. She had a feeling he'd do something impulsive like that. Hopefully the man was as good with his odd, sometimes-present sword as he was with his words. She still had very little connection to these people; barely knew them actually, but considering their kindness it would be best if they didn't get run through needlessly.

She turns toward Arizima and tucks her black, neck length hair behind her ear, features smooth and expressionless. She often looked distant and faraway, focused on some matter or another, never revealing what that might be to any curious enough to ask. Now though, a faint flash of concern is visible behind the mask of calm. What are you going to do if he loses? She chooses her words carefully, not committing to anything yet. Fighting the powers that be was one thing, but she didn't want to throw her life away either.
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Thu 22 Mar 2018
at 14:56
Re: The Caged Bird
As Griswold steps forward, Gustav smiles cruelly. He points to a section of ground near Farrissa. His words ooze contempt and smugness at the same time. "One of the champions of the festival has taken the side of a known sin-eater, one that has put a noble in danger. I applaud him for putting his own life on the line and upholding the knightly virtues. Despicable as his charge might be, we cannot forget that all deserve someone to defend them in the eyes of the gods. Now, as judge, I must ask Viscount Kilquist to declare his champion, as the Ashen Order cannot since we are conducting this trial," he says with a nod to the elder Kilquist. The crowd erupts into noise, a combination of cheers for Griswold, but quite a few jeers at him as well.

Viscount Kilquist nodded back and moved forward to address the crowd. His manner is that of a practiced statesmen. The crowd quiets as he begins to speak. "Good people of Maypole and beyond, I deeply regret that this matter has come to trouble you. I only wished to help the girl with her abilities. I see now that such is not possible. Since it is my son that brought her to endanger the public and is a key component to this trial, I declare that he, Roland Kilquist, shall stand as the people's champion and attempt to clear his honor against Sir Ortmann, recently declared and accepted in the League of the Golden Thread," he says and returns to Roland. The young man looks visibly shaken now and is brought a pair of short swords by an attendant. The crowd starts to clap in a few places.

For their part, you can see that the Grandmasters look to not be expecting this turn, the knot of them near the edge of the crowd murmuring and in heated discussion. They look split along the same lines as they did during Griswold's judgement. Gustav smiles and addresses the people, his words quick and to the point, ready to proceed with the trial. "Unless someone has evidence to overturn a trial by combat, champions, take your posts." Roland nervously moves forward and salutes Griswold with his swords.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 271 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Thu 22 Mar 2018
at 16:29
Re: The Caged Bird
Griswold draws a deep breath and shakes his head.  He calls out, apparently to Gustav, but addressing everyone.  "Inquisitor, this girl is innocent of affecting Master Kilquist."  He turns to bow before the Viscount.  "My lord, allow me to introduce myself.  I am Griswold Ortmann, knight of the League of the Golden Thread.  It was my companions and I that risked life and limb to bring your son and his friends safely home.  As such we were first to arrive at that terrible scene, that this girl stands accused of causing.  Yet here I stand ready to defend her. Why?"

"Well I shall tell you why.  There are a number of reasons.  To begin with, it is my understanding that all sin-eaters are forced to absorb magic and release it in waves of destructive force.  However, your son was possessed not attacked.  Thus the girl is simply incapable of invoking this kind of glamour.  Secondly, magic like possession requires the caster's focus over its duration and Farrissa was unconscious when we found her.  Incapable of any thoughts, let alone those complex enough to wield arcane power.  Finally, she wore the collar then that she still wears now.  It is an artefact that reduces a sin-eater's power into insignificance.  So we're supposed to believe, whilst unconscious, bereft of magic and unable to enchant people even when in full control of her faculties, that this girl somehow caused what happened to your son?  I do not think so.

"And where is the proof that she did?  I've not seen or heard anything but accusations."

"All this and more is known to the Ashen Order and yet they still pursue her.  Why?  Only because of what she is.  Yet,"
the half-elf turned back with an accusative, piercing stare at the Inquisitor, "as much as some would like us to believe otherwise, in this glorious country of ours where it is a knight's sworn duty to protect the innocent and uphold the laws of the land, believe it or not being a sin-eater is not a crime."

Griswold drew his rapier and faced Roland.

"I mean your son no ill will, Viscount.  If I did I could have let him die in the ruins.  However, I am a knight.  And I will do my duty."

He saluted his opponent.

One last attempt on Griswold's part to convince the world and his wife that Farrissa is innocent.

Persuasion: I'm going to spend my one use token/coin thing to get a natural 20 on this persuasion roll.  Total persuasion = 24.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:35, Thu 22 Mar 2018.

Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 162 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Thu 22 Mar 2018
at 16:32
Re: The Caged Bird
Wrenn stood by and watched the proceedings. He seemed a bundle of nerves right up until the point that Roland was named the champion, at which point Wrenn became absolutely still, focusing on the proceedings before them.
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Sun 25 Mar 2018
at 13:40
Re: The Caged Bird
As Griswold speaks a few things begin to happen. The Grand Inquisitor's face set in a hard, measured expression that conveyed his irritation at the young knight and at the growing commotion around the crowd. The mob has begun to be slathered into a frenzy. Arguments abound, with people both for, and now against, Farrissa's death. The argument break out into a few fights and many town watch have to come in to break up the worst of it. It is at this point that Whisper, joined by Sir Roderick and Sir Hector, approach Sir Gustav and the Viscount.

Though you can't see past her mask, the conversation is low and heated. With a quick flourish of her hand, Whisper made a signal to the two knights, who scoop up Farrissa and begin to haul her away. They are delicate but firm with her as she is escorted away. Whisper quickly turned to the crowd and held up her hands. Calm spread over the crowd as only the commanding presence of a Rose can do. Her voice rang out.

"Good people, hear me! As is my right as a Rose, I have stopped this trial and committed it for further investigation. Fear not! You are in no danger from the Ashen Order or the girl. She will be taken to the capitol and tried there. Go back to your day," she finishes. The crowd begins to slowly disperse after she finishes. Viscount Kilquist looks as if nothing has changed, though Roland is visibly relieved.

Whisper goes back to the Grand Inquisitor, but before she does, she gestures to Griswold to go back to the crowd and the rest of the group.
Griswold Ortmann
 Player, 272 posts
 Half-Elf
 Knight Errant
Sun 25 Mar 2018
at 18:58
Re: The Caged Bird
The confusion on Griswold's face is plain to see as he returned to the others.  "Well, that was unexpected.  I honestly don't know if that's a good thing for Farrissa or not.  Regardless, I guess things have advanced beyond just buying her contract now.  Lady Arizima, Master Wrenn - I'll pay you back later."
Wrenn Muernig
 Player, 163 posts
 Gnome Wizard
 HP: 14/14
Mon 26 Mar 2018
at 00:16
Re: The Caged Bird
"You'll not be paying me back. Money well spent, I say."
Arizima
 Player, 142 posts
 Human Warlock
 HP: 24/24 AC: 14 PP: 13
Mon 26 Mar 2018
at 01:47
Re: The Caged Bird
Arizima shakes her head seemingly unconcerned.  "I gave you what?  Five golden coins.  I'm not particularly worried about it."

She pauses as if in thought before looking toward Whisper and the Grand Inquisitor.  "It's difficult to say what will come of this.  If I had to wager innocent blood will be spilled one way or another before her fate is decided.  See how the Viscount does not seem to be relieved?  The Inquisitor was quite dead-set on punishing all those involved in this little drama regardless of the outcome of the trial... Excuse the pun." 

She sighs and runs a hand through her hair a contemplative look settling across her face.  "Now that this simple ambush has failed he'll begin looking for another way to bring harm to those that have slighted him and those that are an affront to his eyes.  He certainly doesn't seem to be the type of man to release a grudge.  Wherever we choose to travel in the wake of this festival I'd suggest loudly planning to leave in a different direction.  I would put good coin on some rather well equipped 'bandits' and 'cutthroats' waiting for us in whatever direction we're believed to travel."
Eri Sato
 Player, 47 posts
Mon 26 Mar 2018
at 17:30
Re: The Caged Bird
When the crowd starts to go into a frenzy, Eri grips her spear with white knuckles, her heart pounding violently. Her face goes white and to anyone who would have noticed her, there is something akin to panic in her eyes, though her expression is just as calm as it's ever been. Every muscle is stiff, ready to move as soon as the need arises, which, thankfully, it doesn't.

As Whisper calms the crowd, Eri fights to keep her knees from trembling with relief. She well knew what a rabid crowd could do. Was this what it had been like for Jun and the others? Were they even aware of each other, in the end? It would have been easy to get lost in such a swarm of madness. No. She couldn't dwell on it now. Not now!

As the situation levels out and the others begin to converse about plans, the color slowly returns to her face and her heart starts to slow. She can't bring herself to speak though. Not yet, and though her face is seemingly expressionless, her hand never loosens on the shaft of her spear, her hand aches from how tight she grips it. All she can manage is a slight nod at Arizima's words.
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Thu 29 Mar 2018
at 00:45
Re: The Caged Bird
Whisper approached the group a few minutes after a good portion of the mob dispurses. Her voice is hushed and firm. “This will not sit well. You need to leave. Don’t worry about the girl. She will be safe until this blows over. Gustav will not forgive my intervention in the trial. Whatever your plan is, keep it quiet. I bid you a safe journey. Gather your things and depart in the morning,” she says and quickly leaves.

OOC: Time to pick your next quest! Post your decision in the Chapter 2 thread.