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 Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....

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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:36 pm

Agenbite looks up as the party enters, and grimaces with disapointment when he sees that everyone is accounted for. "Double or nothing next time," he says to one of the shells of humanity sitting at the bar, tossing him a coin.

"One of you jackasses needs to throw out the drunks," Agenbite calls, dropping down to the floor behind the bar. "You don't pay me enough, and my back is acting up again."

There are four individuals, all apparently unconscious, slumbed in various corners of the room. A quieter night than usual, apparently. Besides these four, the old man at the bar (who is already weaving his way towards the door) and a battered looking Warforged who is playing mumblety-peg at a table using his own detachable fingers, the place is devoid of patrons.

Agenbite's head pops up from behind the bar for a moment. "Artichoke! The one with the hat over there was looking for you. Said he needed to talk to you about a job or something. He's a lightweight; two ales, and he's out like a candle."

The man he indicates is slumped over a table, broad-brimmed hat hiding his face from view. He's dressed in the clothes of a laborer.
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:09 am

Artichoke sighs and rubs his forehead wearily, hoping that it's just his imagination that his hairline has receded slightly over the last few weeks. But then his eyes light up slightly at the mention of a possible client.

"Thanks, Bite," he says, and begins to walk over to the man. Then he pauses and adds to the others, "Heyoka, Yatagan - could you take the trash out?", indicating the other three unconscious drunks. That said, Artichoke walks over to the man Agenbite indicated, studies him carefully and sits down at the table. After a couple of seconds, when there's no response, Artichoke carefully shakes him and says, "Excuse me? I believe you're looking for me?"
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:41 pm

The hat falls off, rolling to the floor as Artichoke shakes the man's shoulder. He's obviously dead; this close, Artichoke can see the puddle of still sticky blood around the man's chair.

His head rests upon a flat wooden box, about 4" deep and 12" square, with his left arm curled protectively around it. His right hand is covered with blood and is trapped in place over his heart, held between his body and the table.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:03 pm

Odanais Dare leans back against the bar, runs his fingers through his long hair, and says, "Barkeep, I'll have one of whatever he was drinking."
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:40 pm

Artichoke leans back reflexively and then leans forward and studies the man carefully. "Hey, Bite," he calls over his shoulder, "Someone killed him. And you didn't see anything?"

Whatever the answer, Captain carefully extracts the box from the man's grasp. Before opening it, he looks at Odanais. "Anything magical in here, or around the area, Odanais?" Once Odanais answers, he opens the box carefully.
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:06 pm

"He's been sittin' by himself since he got here," the halfling replies, affronted. "You think I'd let someone get murdered in here without my plam gettin' greased?"

The box is heavy in Artichoke's hands, improbably so. The balance shifts a little as he raises it; it feels like...movement from within.

Opening it may be problematic, however. There's a lock built directly into the box, and it seems fairly solid.
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:12 pm

Artichoke quickly places the box back on the table and rises, though he attempts to give the impression that he is doing so calmly and casually. "There's something moving in there, I think. Anyone have a way to get the lock open?"
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:32 am

shilsen wrote:
"Heyoka, Yatagan - could you take the trash out?", indicating the other three unconscious drunks.
"Yes, Captain, sir!" says Yatagan loudly, in a tone too jocular and familiar to sound authentically military. He bangs a scaled fist into his shield for good measure. The shield is large and round, bearing the cracked-egg-and-sword motif of the Hatchling Legion; the MPM's legendary and possible fictitious cadre of child-soldiers. Needless to say after tonight's battering at the hands of pixies, the shield's seen better days.

Yatagan helps drag the insensate drunks out into the street. He's surprisingly gentle with them. Alcoholism is not unknown among his people in these dark, post-Imperial times. After ensuring the street is free of people who might try to roll them, he turns to re-enter the bar when he's moved to further kindness. He opens each of the drunkards mouths...

Knowing that the ferryman who carries sleepers to the Isle of Dreams doesn't normally let unruly drunks onto his boat, with a grunt, a prayer to the Dragon Within, and a quick flip of tail, he places a little of his Radiant Seed on the men's tongues. Thus equipped with valuable "pearl" to bribe the ferryman with, their trip a place of happy and healing dreams is assured.

Or so he tells himself. Satisfied, he walks back into the bar to intrude on Artichoke's business.

(after checking out the man who came for Artichoke, Yatagan plans on carrying to the drunks to the relative safeyy of Lord Bum's Unseemly Court in the park down the street)
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Christabel



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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:16 pm

After first arriving, Penelope contemplates departing to her room - by her standards, the place is crowded. Seeing that the tavern's only patrons are about to be kicked out, she decides to stay.

She curiously watches the scene between Artichoke and the... well, dead man. "You could always try shooting the box. Well, I could try," Penelope suggests to Artichoke. After all, the young archer thinks, it works pretty damn well if you're trying to get someone to "open" up.
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:54 am

Mallus wrote:

Knowing that the ferryman who carries sleepers to the Isle of Dreams doesn't normally let unruly drunks onto his boat, with a grunt, a prayer to the Dragon Within, and a quick flip of tail, he places a little of his Radiant Seed on the men's tongues. Thus equipped with valuable "pearl" to bribe the ferryman with, their trip a place of happy and healing dreams is assured.

...his place in heaven is doubtless assured. He'll have a hard time finding anyone willing to share that space with him, though.

And I cannot help but be surprised that none of you have suggested setting the box on fire yet. That, or feeding it to a vulture, seem to be the default answers to everything. But anyway....


Penelope, perhaps the only one of Artichoke's crew who doesn't spend most of their time in a world all their own, notices a glint of metal barely visible undeneath the man's right hand, about where his heart should be.

And hell, an idea occurs to give another piece of the rules a test run: CSI: Skill Challenge Use your various areas of expertise to determine what you can about the dead man. Diplomacy and Intimidate are right out, but just about anything vaguely relevant is fair game.
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Christabel



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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:47 pm

Noticing what she presumes is a key in the man's hand, Penelope takes a few steps towards the body. She maintains her distance still, uncomfortable with being too close to both a dead man and Artichoke - in a peaceable situation, anyway.

After momentarily wondering which is more vile to be in close contact with (a balding, burly man or a decaying corpse, that is) she speaks. "Captain," Penelope says in a mock pleasant voice, "he's holding something - a key, perhaps. It didn't occur to you to inspect him for objects first?"
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:20 pm

Yatagan bulls his way through the door like a fat, armored man with the head of lizard on his way to an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring jumbo crickets. He stops short when he notices the dead man. Which occurs roughly as he stands over the corpse. Yatagan reflexively crosses himself, a few feet lower than where his heart is.

"Do not fear, my child" he says, in the direction of Penelope. He says a quick, bodily fluid-free prayer to the Dragon Within, then motions to Penelope to go ahead and search the dead man.

Yatagan takes a step back and, just to be on the safe side, unsheathes his longsword a hand's span. The blade briefly glows with pearlescent light.
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:24 pm

Penelope wrote:
After momentarily wondering which is more vile to be in close contact with (a balding, burly man or a decaying corpse, that is) she speaks. "Captain," Penelope says in a mock pleasant voice, "he's holding something - a key, perhaps. It didn't occur to you to inspect him for objects first?"

Artichoke frowns slightly, but stops himself before it goes any further. It's never good policy to let the rank and file know that they're bothering you, except when you're yelling at them to make a point. "I was," he says, indicating the box, "Inspecting this object."

He pauses as...

Mallus wrote:
Yatagan bulls his way through the door like a fat, armored man with the head of lizard on his way to an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring jumbo crickets. He stops short when he notices the dead man. Which occurs roughly as he stands over the corpse. Yatagan reflexively crosses himself, a few feet lower than where his heart is.

"Do not fear, my child" he says, in the direction of Penelope. He says a quick, bodily fluid-free prayer to the Dragon Within, then motions to Penelope to go ahead and search the dead man.

...and then says, "One second." Artichoke leans forward and studies the dead man minutely, but not poking or prodding the corpse - yet. Then he pushes back his chair and rises. "Feel free to check him out, Penelope. Or shoot the box. Or both." Having said that, Artichoke hurriedly takes a couple of steps away, just in case Penelope starts shooting as precipitously as she usually does.

OOC: Artichoke has a +5 in Heal, if that helps with working out what happened to the guy.
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Christabel



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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:51 pm

"Umm. Okay, Yatagan. No fear here," Penelope says, not really sure how to respond to him. He's a little
too happy for her taste.

As Artichoke speaks, Penelope frowns, though it isn't visible. "I could always shoot you. You're not very useful anyway." She pauses for a moment, realizing she's being overly hostile. Shrugging awkwardly, she adds, "Sorry. I just think the body is more valuable to inspect than a box you-we can't even open."

Though the idea of actually touching the body disgusts her, she moves next to the dead man and begins to inspect him. She gingerly touches the metal object, wondering if it's a key after all or something else. Penelope also examines him for signs of where he may have come from and for an indication of what killed him.

OOC: Perception +6, if that does anything. Nature +6, too, but I'm gathering that may be a stretch.


Last edited by Penelope on Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:52 pm

Yatagan will pray --to himself-- for guidance in this matter and closely observe as Penelope inspects the body.

He has +5 in Religion, if that offers him any insight into this.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:00 pm

Odanais accepts the box from the good Captain, holding it gingerly between his fingertips, careful not to touch any slowly drying clots of blood that might be clinging to it. As he studies its familiar dimensions with his arcane knowledge (+9), he finds himself reminded of the traveling chess set he and his sister played as children, how sharp the edges of the newly-crafted pieces were, how he once pierced a fingertip upon the white bishop, forever coloring it, and how his sister took his hand that day in the summer's dying light and drew that finger to her marvelous mouth, caressing it with her lips and the tip of her playful tongue, sucking at it sweetly, game forgotten, until the bleeding had stopped.


Last edited by gridley on Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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maalvi



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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:56 am

i believe this sums up every d&d nay every role playing game that has at least one party memeber attempt to be the leader.

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20081010.html
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:31 am

Moving the man's hand reveals that the object is not, in fact, a key. It seems to be slim piece of dark metal, protruding directly from the corpse's chest.

Artichoke's medical expertise, as well as Penelope's experiences as a hunter, tell them both that the metal is embedded directly in the man's heart. More, it seems to have penetrated this organ by going directly through one or more of his ribs -- either it is very sharp indeed, or it was driven in with tremendous force.

Perhaps both.

Artichoke also notices that the man's right hand is badly injured, covered by a number of perfectly straight lacerations. Some of these go so deep as to hit bone.

Penelope's keen observational skills tell her a bit more. Judging by the man's muscular build and his weather-beaten countenance, he was clearly a manual laborer, and spent a lot time in the sun. The salt encrusting his clothing implies that he worked on or near the sea. He doesn't seem to have been a sailor, though.

Yatigan notices that he's wearing a copper ring with a stylized key embossed upon its surface. This is the emblem of Yugg, The Opener -- a very minor god, with power over locks both literal and metaphorical. His temple is a run down and largely abandoned building where a particularly desperate thief might leave a minor offering.

As to the box.... It's oddly clean, as it happens. No stains upon it at all. In fact, the only flaw that it shows at all is a very minor dent upon its lid, visible only when the light hits it just so.

There's power here. That much Odanis knows as soon as he touches it surface. The nature of this power is well beyond his expertise, unfortunately.
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:59 am

When the others mention what they discovered, Artichoke nods, slightly more sagely than is necessarily the case. "Looks like we found what killed him," he says, indicating the dark metal buried in the man's heart. "And from the looks of his hands, he attempted to fend off the attacker with his bare hands more than once - and failed." Artichoke frowns again, this time completely genuinely, and says, half to himself, "And apparently walked into the bar afterwards."

He shakes his head and then reaches down to the corpse's hand, removing the ring from it with a little difficulty. Then he tosses it to Odanais. "Try touching this to that indentation in the box and see if it does anything." Artichoke then looks at Heyoka. "Do you think you could dig that out of his chest? You've got the strength - and the claws - for it."

OOC: I assumed that the other PCs are sharing what they discovered.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:04 pm

Odanais remains perfectly still as the thrown ring flies towards him. At the last moment before it strikes his face, a glowing, four-fingered hand appears before him and snatches the ring out of the air. The mystic hand holds the ring a few inches from his face, allowing him to study it. Odanais has some passing knowledge of religion (+4), so he mumbles a brief, but hopefully appropriate prayer to Lord Yugg, then slides the ring onto his finger, and holds it against the indentation in the box.
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:17 pm

Calling it an indentation is perhaps dignifying it a trifle more than it deserves; it looks as though something struck the box at the point with just enough force to put a tiny divot into the wood. It's just a tiny line, perhaps a quarter of an inch long and so shallow that it's easier to feel it than to see it.

Touching the key, which is entirely non-magical, to this does nothing at all.

Also, Artichoke misspoke slightly -- only his right hand, the one that was over his heart, is injured. The other is heavily calloused, but unmarred by anything more than a few very old scars.
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:15 pm

"Mr. Dare, try placing the ring on your finger then uttering the prayer. Should that not work, if Yugg does not find those words favorable, try these."

In full stage voice Yatagan recites what might be the first verse of an invocation to Yugg the Opener, a few words of rank blasphemy in that same faith, or part of a Dragonborn limerick exploring the difficulties of auto-fellatio. As usual, it's hard to tell with Yatagan. But he means well.

"And if that doesn't work, I suppose we could pay a visit to Yugg's temple in the morning. Or do they prefer it when you drop in like a thief in the night...."
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:56 pm

Odanais coughs into his sleeve.

"That was a... remarkable work, Sir Yatagan. But I'm afraid I was so... enraptured by its... sublime divinity that I'm... rather at loss for words just now. Perhaps, Sir Yatagan, you would be willing to... undertake the task yourself. Certainly you're the only one here who could perform that... prayer with the... reverence it deserves."

Odanais removes the ring with his mystical phantom hand and places it and the box on the table in front of Yatagan.
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:24 pm

As Yatigan speaks, Odanais feels the weight within the box shift, moving from one side to the other, just as Artichoke had. And when he places it on the table, it slides -- ever so slightly, perhaps half an inch, in the dragonborn's direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Mob Justice....   Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:29 pm

gridley wrote:
Certainly you're the only one here who could perform that... prayer with the... reverence it deserves."
Since it's his custom to believe all flattery, he accepts Mr. Dare's words at face value. "You are a gentleman and a lover of siblings" says Yatagan, which is coincidentally not an uncommon compliment in Dragonborn romances.

Quote :
Odanais removes the ring with his mystical phantom hand and places it and the box on the table in front of Yatagan.
Yatagan scoops up the ring while uttering a thankfully hushed prayer to the Dragon Within. After a moments consideration of which of his monstrously scaled digits can accommodate the ring, he slips it onto his pinky.

In a chummy, Gnostic-godling-to-minor-god voice Yatagan recites his earlier prayer, fully expecting the box to pop open (Yatagan's Religion is +5).
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