Part 24: Session 17: J’accuse!
Had a fun Thanksgiving? I know I did. So where were we? Ah yes.
Session 17: J’accuse!
What, no arguing this time?
“We ran out of stuff to talk about while you were gone.”
I find that hard to believe.
“Just start the game already.”
The next event automatically fires when you enter the market square. If you’d like to resupply before then, you can always enter the market from the back.
Feels good to get all my armor back.
Feels good to not have lost any in the first place.
Feels good to sell all that stuff. I think we even came out ahead.
Good call with picking up those green coins, Hal.
150 gold spells F-U-C-K-Y-E-A-H.
You guys done in here?
I think we should grab another 30 or so whirlweeds. You can never have enough of those.
Alright, Alex, make your roll…are you done now?
Why are you in such a hurry to get us out of the market barn?
Well, when you leave…
This line is voiced. It’s just the one, though, so I didn’t record it.
Should we be hearing this?
I felt like being dramatic for once. So here’s what you see:
You seem to think we wouldn’t attack two squads of guards in broad daylight. You’d think wrong.
Just…please go along with it, just this once? There’s two dozen guards, no chokepoints, and you’re already surrounded.
Sounds hopeless enough to me.
Hey Hal, how many times were we up to again? Three?
Yep. I’ll mark this as “IIII.”
Lovely. By the way, a large crowd has gathered around you and is watching the proceedings. “Murderers!” a single voice cries out, then the shouts multiply. “Murderers! Murderers!” the crowd chants, then the mob comes closer. A man holding a strong rope is ahead of the others, and he leaves the crowd behind, running straight towards you.
I clothesline him!
You’re a dwarf.
Alex, clothesline him!
Wait, which one is that again?
You hold your arm out so he runs into it neck-first. I thought everyone knew that.
Not everyone watches wrestling.
Actually, none of you have to do anything. The captain was watching the large man, and his eyebrows draw together, but he waits for the man to pass in front of him. Then he hits him over the head with the broad side of his sword. The man goes down as if he’d been struck by lightning, with a profusely bleeding cut on his forehead. The crowd murmurs, then becomes very quiet.
Alright, cracking someone in the skull with your sword, I’ll give him that.
The eyes of the mob are resting on the officer. “Into the dungeons with him,” he orders two of his soldiers, pointing at the man on the ground in front of him. “And you, disperse that rabble!” He says this to the rest of his unit. The guardsmen look at him wide-eyed, but they obey and run towards the crowd with their swords drawn. Another lonely voice cries, “Murderers!” but considering the situation, the crowd is more interested in getting the hell out of there. It doesn’t take long for you and the guardsmen to be the only people in sight.
So could someone kindly explain why a lynch mob showed up so fast they nearly interrupted the guards sent to bring us in?
“That lynch mob was bought.” The captain explains this for the sake of his own troops as much as for yours. “It couldn’t have been anything else. Things were happening far too quickly!”
So glad I’m not crazy, then.
Somewhat less roughly than before, the guards escort you to the castle. Two soldiers carry the unconscious man between them.
You are now forced to visit the castle. Why the castle and not the city court, which is just to the left of the market, I have no idea.
Is this that Malomar guy?
Malmodir. But yes, this is the fellow Tarik told you to visit, except that you got conscripted instead.
And we all know how well that went.
I believe I can serve as our defense. First the obvious: “Who’s supposed to have seen us? We’ve never even met this Malomar!”
Malmodir. Although I suppose you not remembering his actual name would be a decent defense. Jarnug waves over one of the bailiffs. “Fetch the witness!”
“That’s them!” Gorm Doldrecht shrieks the second he’s entered the court.
I ask him, “Where were you on the night in question?”
Hang on, we should probably use the stats to roll this out, rather than playing through.
You just don’t want us to talk you into a corner like last time.
It’s unfair to the prosecution to have me acting as a lawyer, that’s all. So show me some rolls, Lewis.
…Alright, that’s one, but this is a complicated action. I’m going to need three rolls from you.
Oh, FUCK yes.
Aren’t you so glad you let the dice do the talking instead?
I just derailed the hell out of the plot and I’m not at all sorry.
Well…let’s see…Oh! You intimidated Gorm so much that the second he enters the court, he shrieks, “You! Your Honor, that man has tortured and wounded me grievously!”
The judge makes a face. He does not look happy with the way this hearing is going. “Can I have a look at those grievous wounds?”
“Of course!” Embarrassed, his hands search all over his body. Finally, he points at his right ear.
Jarnug is forced to lean way out to even see the tiny red knife prick on the earlobe. “So, when did you have your ears pierced?”
Good thing this is before the era of emotional damages.
The merchant is making increasingly less sense in his accusations, until the judge gives up in disgust. All charges are dropped and you are released.
Just like that? I thought he was behind the conspiracy, but now…
Oh, he is. But when the only witness to a “crime” breaks down and starts shouting about random events not even related to the murder, not even a corrupt judge can pin a crime on someone. And there’s not much Bob can do against three ones in a row.
To be clear, there isn’t a real skill roll here. Gorm’s appearance and freak-out happen in the same text box. Still, the event’s pretty much pointless otherwise, so…
Hang on, did we get the amulets identified yet? We should go do that.
And the others?
Nothing, I’m afraid.
Oh yeah, did we get Thorgrim back again yet?
And so we begin the waiting game. Again. And we have to wait for Tarik to pop in. Again.
At least he only took three days this time.
Okay, I get it now. So the merchant totally needed to save face after what we pulled on him, so the conspirators got him to play false witness against us. Unfortunately for him, he sucks at witnessing, so now he gets shanked and they get some professional liars on the case.
That about sums it up. Oh, and you know Thorgrim? Well, when he hears what Tarik has to say…
This both makes more sense and is more annoying than anything you’ve pulled on his account before. He knows we wouldn’t murder anyone like that. Hell, he was there for the interrogation, wasn’t he?
Look, Thorgrim just doesn’t want to get messed up with the law. And besides, the only reason he was tagging along was to give you guys some help, and it’s not like you need it anymore.
This is true.
Totally justifies us not giving him any magic gear, too.
So, you should probably be heading for a sewer grate.
The one in the market square should be enough.
After Tarik talks to you, you officially become fugitives from the law. From now to the end of the game, guard patrols will pop up all over town, although you can usually avoid most of them by walking around the edges of the regions rather than through the center. Unfortunately, the sewer grate in the market square is directly in the center. Most merchants will still barter with you, at least, and the guards are fewer and easier to evade at night, but since the shops are closed there’s no reason to go up at night anyway.
Where were all these guards before?
Oh, they were around, they just weren’t worth paying attention to until now. Can I get some stealth checks from all of you?
Now can we kill them all?
You can try. Remember, running away is a valid option.
It’s also a sissy option. Watch this.
Sadly, it turns out that all ten guards were due for retirement at the end of the week. You can also see that, while a lot of shut-down spells were cast, most of them wore off before the end of the combat, forcing me to kill them the hard way. At the very least, the mages were able to make up for the lack of chokepoints. Also, would you believe that until recently, a combat like this would have me making my characters run for the hills? I mean, it’s hard, but it’s not Dragon Age hard.
This second combat doesn’t always happen. Surrendering is also a viable option, if a risky one. If you surrender, you can get one last chance to escape, with good odds of getting to a sewer grate or temple. If you fail, though,
“THA FOIGHT CONTINEUES!! ME AXE BE COOVERED IN BLOOD TANIGHT!!”
Only four? And here I was worried for a second. Thankfully, this isn’t like the ship bullshit and you are allowed to flee after fights.
“Ya bloody right we deu!”
Why did that combat last a full hour? And why was Hal in full Angry Scotsman the whole time?
“Sco’ish blood be thicker than water, lad!”
What does that even mean?
You make it into the sewers safely, and Tarik’s secret passage just around the corner from where you entered.
How do we not notice these things?
“I got eyes in tha back o’ me dwarven head, but I cannae see a thing down in tha depths?!”
It blends in perfectly with the ground next to it. And besides, it was hidden enough that you would have had to roll a check for it before I’d even consider letting you know it’s there.
You find yourselves in a short passage of old sewer which seems to be blocked off from the rest of the system. Based on your orientation, though, you’d guess you’re sitting on the north side of the main circle.
How does that make any sense at all? Hey Alex, let me see the map…yeah, it says the northernmost temple is the sea god guy, by the docks. But the tunnel down is right next to the market, so shouldn’t we be close to the magic hobo hut instead?
I get the impression that those words were supposed to make sense.
Yeah, well I get the impression that the map wasn’t supposed to make sense.
I’m getting tired. Can we end early tonight?
Fine by me.
“I need a slint o’ some strong, dwarven ale!”
Hang on, shouldn’t we at least heal William? Or, you know, get to safety?
You’re safe where you are, and finding the trademaster will just get you the next quest. It’s too late in the day to start something new.
Wait, I’m sick?
Yeah. You failed that test earlier, remember?
Just let me roll. So what herbs do I need?
You should probably grab vVhorpax’s gulmond leaves. Just use one of those and a belmart.
There, done. Just glad it wasn’t tetanus.