Chapter 14: Visionaries (OOC)

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Talanall
Talanall's picture

I thought it was canine dicks you didn't like. Or possibly butternut squash.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"You claim you have seen the lawgiver?"

"Yes."

"What sign did he give to you? Describe it or my blade will strike."

"Blade is on the right track. More like a club. Or a chicken drumstick."

"This one speaks truth. He has dpoken to the lawgiver and been taught the sign."

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

If you have ranks in K:local or K:religion, you might as well roll checks for those now.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Rolls

Knowledge (religion)
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 11, 2 = 13.
MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Oskav is in bed because he is a responsible adult.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Oskav is in bed alone because he hates fun.

Chuul is sketchy on the details, but he knows that the Church of Agon's origins were as a theocratic court system in the Aureshan Empire. So he thinks there probably was a time when Qistin's rigamarole with the blindfold and the witnesses would have held some kind of legal significance. That may still be the case in the Empire, since the head of the Church of Agon is always the reigning emperor (although in practice there's a high priest who actually runs things day to day).

Port Hope used to be an Aureshan territory, but it isn't anymore. So Chuul doesn't know if Qistin has that kind of authority here. He'd need to ask a lawyer or a priest (or maybe both). On the other hand, the clergy of Agon often ARE both.

Avar knows this much without needing a to make any checks, because he is, if not an Agonite priest, then some kind of deacon.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Religion

I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 1, 5 = 6.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Chuul's less than impressed with the bureaucratic little prick.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I don't understand this Agon crap. I mean, isn't Agon the name of some watery Cthuloid creature?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Nah, nah. It's a whole family of two-dimensional geometric shapes with more than four sides. Pent-Agon, Oct-Agon, etc.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The bureaucratic little prick may just have handed Chuul an affirmative defense for killing Cole like a dog in the middle of the street.

This said, one might be forgiven for wondering how an entire church composed of lawyer-priests managed to endure for a thousand years instead of being rounded up and burned at the stake as a matter of principle.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Something tells me that Chuul wouldn't have cared about the legality of killing Berger Cole, and would probably have done it in front of a dozen witnesses, both their mothers and a particularly judgemental cat without hesitation.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Probably not, no. If someone put it to Chuul that he could kill Berger Cole today by hanging himself by the neck, I'd be uncertain that Chuul would take the deal but unsurprised if he did.

Still a nice gesture; even if turns out to be purely symbolic, it means that the Church of Agon is officially taking his side in his dispute with Cole.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

My first time playing Skyrim, in the dead of night I creeped into a villager's yard to kill their cow. A bounty was placed on my head although there was no one else in sight; on my way out of town I spotted a chicken. I killed it too and the bounty went away. Should have minded its own fuckin' business.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Why were you killing the cow?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

It was cheaper than divorce.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Oh, he used his real name with her. First mistake.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

My first time playing a game like that, I try to see if I can break anything. I was attempting to loot meat from the cow by sneaking up behind it, like picking its pockets. I failed to do so, so I killed it instead.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

That's why YOU CLAIM you were sneaking up behind it. And as you say, the only witness is dead. I mean, trying to 'get meat by picking its pockets' doesn't sound like something that should work, but I'm just gonna posit that they knew who they were looking for because of 'DNA evidence' left st the scene.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Why couldn't you just fus ro dah explode a bunch of cabbage and eat 47 wheels of cheese, like a normal person?!?

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

K:local and K: religion

I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 3, 5 = 8.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 14, 6 = 20.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Avar doesn't really know whether Qistin's decision would stand up in a legal court in Port Hope. He feels as if his own legal training is inadequate to the question after somewhat less than two centuries of divergence, even if Port Hope's laws often are recognizably based on the Empire's.

Theologically and liturgically he feels as if he's on firmer ground. Qistin's use of the blindfold indicates that he's speaking for Agon. In itself, that's not unusual; it's a regular and unexceptional part of basic religious functions around any temple of Agon, and he probably has a blindfold of his own tucked away someplace (although Qistin's probably is magical). If this were a church service, it'd be no big deal.

It's a bigger deal in this case because Qistin has charged the Bastards to bear witness and indicated that he will be issuing public notice of Berger Cole's crimes and their punishment. These are things that a priest of Agon only ever does when he's doing something that he considers legally binding. Usually it's a marriage ceremony, or some matter having to do with an inheritance. Sometimes, it's the brokerage of a mercenary contract.

The Church of Agon's authority is largely ceremonial even in the Empire, but there are matters like these that it can participate in. And there is still an ecclesiastical court that has authority on matters to do with its priests, and Ryster was one. So again, Avar doesn't know for sure that this will stand up in court, but it would be fairly serious business back home.

So in the Empire, if Qistin outlawed someone and named him anathema in response to the murder of a priest, that would stick until he or some higher authority rescinded this declaration. He's theoretically the highest authority in the Mereflow Valley, though, so the chances of having his decision rescinded are pretty low unless he dies and is replaced by someone who wants to reverse his decision.

That seems unlikely to happen; Ryster was well-liked here. So if Qistin doesn't get his way, it'll probably mean that Lord Hope has asserted himself to say that the matter of Berger Cole is of civil concern, and that Cole isn't a criminal from several different directions. Avar thinks that this would look bad for Lord Hope, and there are some jurisdictional problems with it because Morville was far away and not firmly under Port Hope's control.

Returning to the earlier observation about mercenary contracts, Avar finds himself reflecting that Qistin's church is one of the primary clearinghouses for mercenary and guard work, in the entire Mereflow Valley. So from a practical standpoint, Qistin's proclamation might actually have some teeth even if it's a legal sham. The Church of Agon doesn't have a monopoly on swords for hire around here, but it's a major player in that market and its local head is putting Cole on his shit list in a very public way.

Again, Avar can't predict exactly what will happen here because he doesn't know the local politics and legalities well enough. But he knows that back home, this proclamation of Qistin's would be the prelude to bloodshed as the Church mobilizes its resources to send forth the murder-hobos. There's a pretty fine line between "mercenary," "adventurer," "bounty hunter," and "contract killer" at the best of times.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Heh. "Murder-hobos."

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It lacks the sinister grandeur of "assassins," but makes up for it with uncomfortable accuracy.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

*thumps mike*

This thing on?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Quistin made it awkward.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

That was my thought.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I have updated the List-o-Things for this chapter, contained in the first post of this thread. Items #7 and #8 are new.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

If the group dealing with Qistin is finished, I think we can move on.

I'm going to be traveling starting tomorrow and extending several days, possibly through the weekend. It's unlikely to affect my ability to DM this campaign.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I guess our next order of business is to handle the introduction of your hired troubleshooter. As I recall, Avar was going to find and recruit someone who's better than the Bastards at gathering information, because you would like to improve the speed and efficacy of your attempts to find necklace fragments, both by uncovering merchants who deal in such curios and by identifying libraries and other resources that might be helpful if you want to perform research on the artifact's history and attributes.

We'll say that this takes place shortly following the events of Interlude: In the Sight of the Blind, unless there's something that you guys think the Bastards would want to do first.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I suppose the best deal would be for us all to roll aid gather info rolls and we'll all spend the first 1d4+1 hours attempting to find someone with the highest bonus we can get. Even if you have no skill or even negative skill, there's till a decent chance of adding +2 to the main roll. My roll below.

Gathering of the Info
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 9, 1 = 10.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Butts

Gather Information
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 3, 2 = 5.
Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

It is my understanding that everyone but Chuul isn't going to be allowed at the truthsaying. If that is a correct recollection then Avar will grab a bit of sleep and move out in search of a person that can gather information like no other.

Avar will not work with someone evil and that may limit the options.

Darker

I think Avar is going to be the main roll for gather information that the rest of us have to assist, so he can make some liberal use of his evil detection abilities. Chuul won't add anything, but so far Alannah is giving him a +2 with others still to roll. Why don't you go ahead and make the check along with the 1d4+1 duration? If its hella low, we know the hours are wasted and we'll have to roll again to see if our second attempt is any better.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

I think Avar is going to be the main roll for gather information that the rest of us have to assist, so he can make some liberal use of his evil detection abilities. Chuul won't add anything, but so far Alannah is giving him a +2 with others still to roll. Why don't you go ahead and make the check along with the 1d4+1 duration? If its hella low, we know the hours are wasted and we'll have to roll again to see if our second attempt is any better.

Avar already made his rolls.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I apologize, I think I lost that info.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Board Rider wrote:

It is my understanding that everyone but Chuul isn't going to be allowed at the truthsaying.

I posted the truthsaying as Interlude: In the Sight of the Blind. Any of the Bastards who wanted to attend would be allowed to do so as an observer because Jalen invited them all, with the understanding that interruptions and disruptions are unwelcome. Avar is technically a member of Agon's clergy, so he can be there regardless. But any party member who would have been interested enough to attend would have been able to do so.

Like many actual legal procedures, a truthsaying is fairly brief. The respondent is stripped of everything except a simple garment, checked for magical auras, and then given an amulet of inescapable location to wear.

He's then escorted into a controlled space (in this case, the main chamber of the temple), and subjected to an extended zone of truth spell, with instructions not to resist the effect--in essence, to deliberately fail his Will save. This is not a high-level spell, and it's an area effect, so it's easy to resist and the caster does not innately know that it's working. It also isn't a divination, so the amulet is no help here.

Therefore, as a third step, the examiner casts discern lies. Again, the respondent is instructed to deliberately fail his save, but in this case it's a targeted spell and it's a divination. So the amulet of inescapable location makes it very hard to resist even if the respondent is inclined to try, and the caster has innate knowledge that it is effective. The final step is to establish that the zone of truth is effective, which usually can be accomplished by asking the respondent to attempt to state something that is blatantly untrue, and then checking for a lie when the respondent states that he is unable to comply.

Glibness, nondetection, or a ring of mind shielding could overcome these spells, which is why the respondent is stripped of garments and jewellery and escorted at all times after being stripped and checked for magical auras. If the procedure is executed properly, the respondent doesn't have an opportunity to deploy magic that will allow him to lie.

It's not utterly foolproof, but it's close enough that in several different cultures and legal frameworks, a properly executed and witnessed truthsaying can be recorded and entered as evidence for a legal trial.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's alright. Alannah improved the outcome. I'll give you guys a minute in case any other PC wants to assist. Each successful Gather Information check against DC 10 raises the modifier of your hireling-to-be by one point.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Roll you dogs! Roll!

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Um. Pirate Alannah, or dominatrix Alannah?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I was thinking pirate... but why not both?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Well, being a bard she IS proficient with the whip.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Rolling

I may have a bonus
I rolled 1d20, the result is 14 = 14.
Darker

Look, everyone! We are getting to see a Garren perform his courtship ritual in his natural environment. Be sure not to make any sudden movements or you could startle him.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

He nearly rolled his eyes and said 'jeez..another bard'. But that seemed to meta-gamey.

Darker

Bards rule! You are just jealous because anything you can do they can do better.

Darker

Chuul is getting an eat shit and die look for that one.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

What'd he do wrong?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

If he doesn't know, she's not going to tell him.

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