Online-Roleplaying.community

Go Back   Online-Roleplaying.community > Public Commonness > Adventurer's Escapades > Eidolon

Closed Thread
Thread Tools
  #1  
Unread 20th of March, 2003, 01:45
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
·····Subchapter 4c - The Trials of Cadrius

The next several hours pass somewhat quickly for the fallen paladin. The man in the next cell is amiable enough and his mood brightens, at least as much as it can given the circumstances. It's still quite cold in the dungeon and Cadrius now wears the moth-eaten blanket around his shoulders like a cloak.

"You are a simple one aren't you?" the man rumbles in amusement, "Fell for an ambush put out by gnolls! Hah! Sounds like something my brother'd do."

Cadrius sighs and runs a finger down the side of his arm, tracing one of the many scars he'd earned that day. Some had healed well enough, but others left their mark on him. Yet he had fought and gained so many scars over the years that he had begun to lose track of where he had picked them up and who had dealt them out. There was one though, one long scar across his chest, that he could feel without touching it. One eye twinges slightly, the only sign that he's upset.

"...so the next thing I know, Blarth was helping that old man down the stairs!" Cadrius couldn't see the man but he imagined this was accompanied shaking his head.

"It sounds like you care very much for him," Cadrius says, putting one arm up between his head and the bars as he leans against them. Brother. Cadrius had a brother once, but that had all changed when-No, he ruthlessly banishes those thoughts. In the darkness the man grunts and Cadrius cannot tell whether or not it's in agreement.

"Besides, it sounds like a very honorable thing to do," he offers. Too often the old and infirm were seen as either useless or prey.

"By the eye of Grummsh! You are a simple one aren't you."

Cadrius' hand involuntarily grips one of the bars at the mention of the orc god. His heart begins to beat more quickly and the hairs on the back of his neck rise. What kind of man would worship that, he wonders. For the first time Cadrius desperately wishes he could see the man's face.

A few minutes pass before the other prisoner speaks again. "So what's your name anyway?"

The fallen paladin sighs and turns around to lean his back against the bars. What is my name anyway? he wonders, I was Cadrius, but do I have any right to call myself that now? I am not the man I used to be, not by half. Yet, I cannot call myself anything else.

From out of the darkness of his mind a voice offers a suggestion. Traitor, blasphemer, murderer, these words come slowly to him and several moments pass before he hears the last one, kinslayer. He could call himself any of these and it would be fitting, very fitting.

"I am Cadrius," he says, shattering the silence at last. The town has died down since the explosions that had threatened to throw him from his feet hours earlier. The Temple guards and their Templar captains likely wouldn't sleep tonight.

"I'm Trak. Honor to your blood," he says. Cadrius isn't sure if it's a compliment or a threat, but his tone of voice sounds as if he'd just said "pleased to meet you."

"So what're you in here for?" Trak asks.

"I...I did something wrong...but I do not think it was my fault."

"It never is Cad, it never is." Trak's chuckle floats out of the darkness again, sounding like a slab of marble being dragged across gravel. Cadrius returns the question to him. "Me? Picked up for something I didn't do," he says, bitterness finally creeping into his voice, "they think I killed a couple of town boys last night..."

Cadrius' eyes widen slightly, but he remains rigid control. This was the man who would've died if he hadn't turnedh imself in. Is he even a man?

"...you know, I'm pretty surprised. Figured you'd be one of these human louts brought in 'cause you were caught stealing. Nice to see another one of us, even if it's in a jail. You got a funny way of speaking though."

Cadrius nods and manages to speak but his voice is weaker, quieter, "Yes, well, that was how I was raised."

"Poor boy," Trak's voice seems to ooze with sympathy, "bein' raised by humans must've been tough."

"More than you know."

"Yeah, listen, I gotta get some shut eye. I've got a big day tomorrow, gonna get convicted for something I didn't do." He says, the bitterness and anger returning to his voice. There's a slight pause, as if Trak wants to say something more, but the only sound heard is the noise he makes as he collapses on the bed in his cell. Within moments Cadrius can hear deep, rumbling snores.

Cadrius follows suit and lays down, but sleep is a long time coming this night. He is grateful for that, he doesn't want to dream. At least while he's awake he can fight his memories, in his dreams they are unbeatable.

Last edited by Cadrius; 22nd of March, 2003 at 06:11.
  #2  
Unread 22nd of March, 2003, 06:45
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
Daylight slowly crawls over the hills and woods surrounding Karkas. It stretches its fingers across the land in an attempt to bring warmth with its caress. Yet the air remains cold and Cadrius can see his breath steaming above him as he slowly opens his eyes.

For a brief moment he hopes that the murders, the confessions, everything, was simply a dream like it so often was in the old stories. The hero awakes to find himself in the real world. But this is not to be, not for him. A wave of sadness washes over him, chilling him further in the cold morning air. For a moment he had hoped that he was still sleeping outside in the company of Shade and Maeko, even the spoiled noble who called himself Itches would have been better.

He sighs, releasing another gout of warm air turned into fog, and is forced to acknowledge that this is his fate. He chose this path and he's forced to walk it, alone if he must, all the way to the gallows. Cadrius is not without hope that the priests will show mercy, but he is slowly being forced to accept the fact that this may be his end.

"If they ever find out who I am," he trails off, speaking quietly, letting the thought die. If the priesthood were to find out who he is and more importantly, what he was, there would be no mercy.

A clattering along the bars of his cell causes Cadrius to sit up. A guard stands there grinning, running a cudgel against the metal bars.

"Time to get up," he says, gesturing for the nearby acolyte to unlock the doors. He fumbles with the keys, his hands shaking in the cold, and is nearly cuffed by the guard, dodging at the last moment. There is a metallic click and the door is thrown open.

"Sorry Beecham," the young man mumbles as he retrieves his keys and moves back down the hall. Beecham, however, does not pay him any mind.

It's still dark in the prison, in the dungeon, of the temple but torch light reflects off the man's chain mail and glints off the metallic pommel of the sword at his side. He has a long, twisted scar running down the side of his face causing half the man's face to be permanently frowning.

Cadrius stands and drops his blanket to the floor. He meets the man's gaze and slowly steps out in the hall. He stands a good hand taller and is far broaded than the guard.

I bet I could... he crushes the thought before he can finish it. Even if he could incapacitate the guard and somehow keep the acolyte from calling for help, he couldn't possibly escape from the temple without raising an alarm.

Beecham roughly shoves him forward, and Cadrius stumbles a step before regaining his balance. He casts a glance into Trak's cell and sees more or less what he had anticipated. A large form, ears pointed, skin tinted green, and a nose that seems almost like a snout. His mouth twists to the side. He hopes this orcish man is worth saving.

As they approach the stairs another guard falls into step in front of him. Single file they move through the temple, up several back staircases and into the interrogation chamber. The highpriest Kulper is already present along with two other priests. The guards gesture to the chair sitting in the middle of the room.

Manacles adorn the arms and legs of the chair. Again Cadrius moves slowly as he takes his seat. He studes the room while the guards clamp the iron into place.

It's a relatively bare room, the plain granite is the only real furnishing. About ten feet away is a long mahogony table where Kulper and his assistants currently sit. Behind them is a window facing south. In the distance he can make out the inn where the others are staying. He hopes that nothing too dangerous had occurred the night before.

Finished with their duty, the guards take their positions several feet behind Cadrius. Kulper gets to his feet and walks around to the front of the table.

"So," he says, "why don't you tell us what happened. I shouldn't have to remind you that we will know when you lie."

Cadrius takes a deep breath and begins to speak.
  #3  
Unread 3rd of April, 2003, 03:22
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
He tells his tale in vivid detail. Time has not had time to wipe the sharpness from this memory. He can still see the men spitting on Cadogan, still feel the raging churning within. Kulper and his assistant's faces remain impassive throughout his tale with but a lift of the eyebrow when Cadrius mentions how he stayed with the dying man.

Silence is cast over the interrogation room. The newly annointed Highpriest drums his fingers. At one end of the table a scribe sits, resting his arms. He had written furiously while Cadrius was speaking but the scratch of the quill had fallen silent.

"A tale worthy of a whore-house bard," Kulper says, with contempt in his voice, "but it does not truly tell us anything. No, our censors do not detect that you have lied. Yet they can be fooled easily enough, but I do believe you already knew this."

He walks to the wide window, his hands clasped behind his back, and gazes outward. Cadrius can make out the sun from where he sits, it's midday. The interrogation has lasted several hours. After telling his story the Highpriest had insisted on asking him question after question. Some were tricks, intended to dupe him into speaking a lie, others were simply for clarification purposes. The fallen paladin thinks he managed to avoid most of the traps.

"Have the half-breed released," he says, gesturing to one of the guards without turning away from the window, "but make certain he knows he is to leave our town immediately or Cadrius will have a neighbor again."

The guard salutes, bringing his closed fist to his chest and bowing slightly, and leaves quietly. Kulper turns again, sweeping his gray eyes over those still present.

"As for the rest of you. Leave us."

There are a few confused looks exchanged but eventually the priests and the remaining guard file out of the room. The Highpriest stands two paces from Cadrius and looks at him as if trying to weigh something.

"I am glad you are just enough to release Trak, he does not des-"

There is a sudden, sharp pain as the back of the Highpriest's hand strikes Cadrius across the face.

"Silence! What sort of fool do you take me for?" He demands, standing over the fallen paladin. "Do you honestly believe you could be arrested by us and escape your punishment?"

"Highpriest," Cadrius says, squinting through the pain of the unexpected blow, "I already told you my story and your priests have verified it..." Confused, Cadrius trails off. Kulper has gone from day to night in his mood. Before he seemed at least reasonably fair-minded, but now all Cadrius sees is a harsh eagerness.

"Idiot," he says with a sneer, "that is not the crime of which I speak."

Fear clutches at Cadrius' stomach. It feels as if it will freeze and shatter at any moment. The blow had not caused his vision to swim, but the terror forces him to shut his eyes for a moment. He feels sick.

I am a fool, he thinks, how could I have expected to get away unnoticed?

"No," Kulper continues, turning his back and walking back to the window, "I speak of the murder, kinslaying, and blasphemy that took place several years ago. Surely you remember this? Allow me to refresh your memory. In one fell swoop you slew your betrothed, your brother, and disgraced the Church.

"We have been tracking you for quite some time. You were an embarassment to us. No member of the Knighthood ever escapes our punishment. Ever," he says, his eyes cold and hard, "We missed our chance the first time you were here so we sent one of our trackers out into the woods after you. He was very close on your trail. Yet he failed to bring you in. Pity."

He smiles tightly. "You see, when we learned you were staying in this town we could not pass up our opportunity to seize you. Oh, we couldn't do it in the open. Not at all. It cannot be known that the Temple of Heironeous allows betrayers like you to get away. No, we needed you to do it for us, and you did it perfectly.

"Do you honestly believe that was a chance encounter in the inn? That those boys just happened to feel like picking on that blind man?" Kulper tilts his head and barks a short laugh. "I think you really did believe. Oh, how predictable you are Cadrius Wymond, son of Halvard. We knew you could not let such an offense go by, and so we paid those boys to start a fight."

Cadrius' eyes widen in surprise. His mouth drops open, but words will not come out. Confusion assails him from all sides. He was duped, tricked into playing into their hands.

"Ah, yes. I do believe you are finally understanding. Good."

"Those boys," Cadrius manages at last, "you knew they would die?"

"No, not exactly," Kulper says, a bemused smile on his face, "but it worked out much better this way, don't you think?

"So where does that leave us, Cadrius my boy? Why, you will die. Oh, we'll never tell them of your real crimes, the matter. You killed three of their own and they want blood," he pats Cadrius on the shoulder, "say hello to your brother for me, when you see him in Hell."

The door slams as the Highpriest leaves, but Cadrius hardly notices. His mind works furiously, frantically seeking a way out, but none comes.

It all makes sense, he thinks, I knew I was a fool to come back here. I should not have waited two days to reoutfit myself. We should have pushed on to the next border town...shoulds, shoulds, shoulds. There is little use for those now.

Two guards reappear and remove his shackles.

"Come on, tough guy," one says, hefting some chain "you've got a trial to go to."

They attach manacles to his wrists and ankles and lead him to the stables. They roughly shove him into a barred cage hooked up to a buggy and a team of horses. Once inside Cadrius slumps to the ground.

"Why we taking him to the town square?" One guard asks the other as he climbs aboard the carriage. Cadrius only half-listens to their conversation.

"Because there's gonna be too many people to fit in the temple."

There is a light snap of the reins and the horses trot out of the stable and toward the center of town.

Last edited by Cadrius; 7th of April, 2003 at 02:26.
  #4  
Unread 7th of April, 2003, 07:20
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
In a few more weeks, perhaps sooner, winter will descend upon the border town laying a blanket of snow across the streets and roofs. For now though, it is merely cold.

Cadrius' face feels hot despite the morning air's chill. There are people lining the streets, filing their way toward the town square. The crowd looks at him with different emotions: Fear, hate, anger, frustration, even some sadness. Here and there children hurl sticks, rotten fruit, and rocks at him. He tries to maintain his dignity, keeping his broad shoulders square and his jaw firmly set, but it's a difficult task. His hands wrap around the bars to his portable prison and he gazes firmly ahead, his face twitching slightly with each rock landed. His guards do not look pleased by this, but they make no move to stop the crowd

They probably do not wish to be hit, Cadrius reasons as a foul smelling vegetable splatters against his chest much to the amusement of the surrounding people.

Steadily they make progression through the thronged masses and into the town square. It's much like Cadrius remembered it the first time he passed through it. The Town Hall stands on one side, not as imposing as the Temple but it, like all the buildings in Karkas, looks sturdy. He cannot see it, but he knows the gallows lay on the other side of the hall. The presence looms over him. He shivers, but not because of the cold.

Wooden tables and podiums are set up outside and priests bustle back and forth, breath coming out as steam while their white and silver robes stir up small clouds of dirt. Armed guards ring the perimeter, allowing only priests and town officials in.

As the horses move forth the mob errupts in a chorus of boos, jeers renewed the projectiles. There is a click from the rider and the cell comes to a halt. Guards, city men by their brown uniform, step forward to escort the prisoner as the Heironeous men proceed to unlock his prison.

"Come on, then," one says, gesturing to him, "you're sitting over there."

It feels as if a cold, iron gauntlet grips his stomach. The fallen paladin draws a deep breath and exhales. "Fear leads to death, he thinks, quoting his old armsmaster. Cadrius pushes himself to his feet and moves forward, flexing his muscles in an attempt to get blood flowing back through them.

He knows he cannot win. The priests and judges will find him guilty and have him sentenced to be hanged, but if he is to be killed then he is determined to preserve his dignity. He will not be humiliated like some petty thief or some murderous coward.

So he meets the crowd, his gaze bold as he steps down from the carriage. His light eyes flick back and forth, looking for any of his former companions. He sees none and feels a pang of sorrow. Yet he does not expect them to show. Their testimony will only bring the angst and hatred of the town down around them.

Some continue to boo, but others fall silent. Cadrius hopes he might have intimidated some of them, but this hope dies as he turns to see Highpriest Kulper emerging from the great wooden doors of City Hall. He waves to the cheers of the crowd and moves to speak with a small circle of priests standing by the central podium.

"Move, scum," one guard shoves him forward, but not unkindly.

He takes his seat next to a young, dark haired acolyte at one of the long wooden table set up outside. The young woman looks at him warily and then shivers in the morning air. He seems to gather himself before turning and speaking to Cadrius.

"My name is Lisal Ocheltree. I'll be representing you," her voice is cool as she regards him. Cadrius briefly wonders who she had offended if she had been stuck defending him.

"Nice to meet you, I am Cadrius," he says, raising his shackles to indicate he would otherwise have shook her hand.

"Yes, indeed. This should not take long, simply answer the questions honestly and plead guilty when the Highpriest asks and we'll be done."

Cadrius looks at her a moment and smiles. She'll make a good priestess; she has the cold determination that the followers of Heironeous need in order to survive. Yet she has not anticipated Cadrius wishes.

"I do not intend to plead guilty, madam," he says, noting the look of surprise on her face quickly masked by irritation, "the men provoked a fight and attempted to slay me. I merely defended myself."

She blinks twice and then asks, "And what of the dwarf?"

"What dwarf?" he frowns.

"The one you slew perhaps three months ago. It was folly to return to this town after comitting such a crime."

Cadrius jaw clenches, the muscles in it rippling slightly. Not only did Kulper keep the "true" charges secret but he also planned to try him for crimes he did not take part in.

"I do not know of what you speak." Lisal gives a slight "hmph" and turns back in her seat.

He looks at her a moment longer and says, "Listen. I will speak for myself if you wish. You do not need to be seen represending a...criminal such as I."

Lisal opens her mouth to say something but it is cut off as Kulper appears at the top of the podium. The crowd errupts in cheering again; they hope to get their justice.

"Greetings fair citizens of Karkas," he calls, waiting for the noise to die down, "I, the redoubtable Highpriest of Heironeous, stand here before you to try this man for the murder of three residents, a dwarf, and conspiracy to destroy the town of Karkas itself." The crowd answers by yelling all manner of insults at Cadrius.

Destroy the town? Does he mean that explosion the other night? I was in the temple before it even happened.

"I and the other priests and judges are here en banc to deliberate this trial and grant any punishment should it be necessary.

"Let us begin," he calls and the priest and judges begin to take their places at their respective tables. Several smaller podiums flank Kulper's and five old men take their positions there. Some look to be priests, others civilians.

"Mister Barham, would you please step forward and tell the court what you shall try this man for," he says, everyone assembled already knew what the charges were but it is for formality's sake. A middle-aged man nods at an adjacent table nods and stands.

"We, the Temple of Heironeous and citizens of Karkas, charge one Cadrius with the unlawful killing of Marcus Tallan, Joseph Fahndale, Elan Bywater, and Gralhruk of the Stonehammer clan."

Cadrius suddenly notes a pair of dwarves standing in the front of the crowd. He cannot see their faces through the thick beards they sport but he is certain of their reasons for being present.

"Furthermore," Barham calls, "we charge him with conspiring to destroy public property and endanger the lives of the citizens of town."

"Thank you, Mister Barham," Kulper says, "Ms Ocheltree, how does the defendent plead?"

Lisal stands and looks down at Cadrius for a moment. She twists her mouth to the side and says, "The defendent pleads, not guilty, Highpriest and furthermore he requests to defend himself during this trial."

Kulper's eyebrows raise slightly in surprise, but he does not seem bothered. "Very well Ms. Ocheltree, you are excused from this court." Lisel bows and leaves the makeshift court.

"Cadrius," he intones, his voice taking on a fatherly severity, "I will give you one more chance to change your decision, how do you plead?"

He looks the Kulper square in the eye as he stands and speaks, "Not guilty...your honor," he says, attempting to keep the right level of respect in his voice.

"Very well, we shall proceed. Mister Barham, call your first witness."

"The court calls Selene Fairmorning."

A woman Cadrius recognizes as a barmaid steps forward and takes her place at a small platform facing the panel of judges. She is approached by a robed priest.

"Madam Fairmorning, do you swear that your parol is honest and true?"

"I do, sir," she says, clearly uncomfortable with being on the stand.

Barham leaves his seat and moves around to the front of the table.

"Madam Fairmorning, for the record please state your name and occupation."

She leans forward and speaks, her voice is slightly raspy, "Selene Fairmorning and I work at the Dragon's Hangover."

"Ah yes, and could you tell us what happened on Thursday, September 24th?"

"I was working," she says, careful to keep her eyes away from Cadrius, "and this dwarf sits down at the counter. He orders a few ales, everything's fine, yeah? Then all of a sudden, his throat's slit and blood's everywhere. Next thing I knew I saw this man running out of the inn with blood all over him." Her voice shakes with emotion.

Barham plays up his compassion by stepping forward and placing his hand on the barmaid's arm. "Could you point him out today?"

Selene nods weakly, raises a trembling hand, and points at Cadrius. Barham smiles sympathetically and says, "Thank you Madam Fairmorning. Your witness."

Cadrius rolls his eyes and stands, his shackles clinking as he shuffles in front of his table.

"Madam Fairmorning," he begins, his barritone voice ringing out over the assembly, "did you see another person fleeing the scene?"

She will not look at him, but she does answer his question, "Yes. It was a man."

"Could you describe him for me?" He asks, trying to lead the blame away from himself without targeting Shade. Selene shakes her head weakly.

"Yet you did see him," he says, "I...the defense is finished with this witness, Highpriest."

Kulper's lower lip twitches but he nods and says, "Thank you Madam Fairmorning."

And so two hours wear on, witnesses being called and Cadrius attempting to defend himself. Barham at last steps forward and says, "The prosecution rests, your honor."

Cadrius stands and takes a deep breath. "If there are any here who would speak for me, who would defend me, I urge you to step forward now and say your peace."
  #5  
Unread 7th of April, 2003, 12:53
Megamieuwsel's Avatar
Megamieuwsel
Vampiric Clown

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #6
Location: Haarlem , Nederland.
Posts: 115 (0.02 per day)
In the backrows of the audience , some chaotic movements could be discerned , if one was willing to pay attention in that particular area.

"'Scuse me ma'm... May I.... oops! sorry sir! those were your toes?... Mind if I pass?....."

A purple hat is making its way through the crowds at a disheartening slow pace ; the common plebejans obviously aren't very vulnerable to good manners and the man underneath the hat slowly , but surely looses his patience.....

"Could you please let me through?.... Sorry , but I have to testify there..."

Somehow , his pleads only manage to close the ranks townspeople even more to the point where he's unable to make any progress at all.

Cadrius's last plea for a testimony in his defense rings out.Time is running low....

...And Megamieuwsel's patience has run out...

"AND NOW ALL OF YOU MORONS GET OUT OF MY WAY , OR I'LL BURN YOU ALL TO THE DEEPEST PITS OF HELL!!!!"

It's amazing what a little subtle diplomacy can work with the unruly masses , especially , when appealing to their sense of self-preservation.
Having the illusion of dark flames , lingering on his hands , probably helped as well....

Like a flock of mice(they do come in flocks , right?) , realising there's a cat in their midst , the crowd makes for safety , leaving a wide open path towards the "court".

Never thought , I'd ever have to stoop to the level of sheer plebeian brutality.....

Long strides take the tall mage to where Cadrius is standing and with a head held high , steel-blue eyes blazing with hautain anger , he proclaims:

"I , Megamieuwsel , Master of the Arcane Arts and Undoer Of Injustice , will plead In defense of this man , an obvious victim of foul and corrupt church-policy."

In the hush that fell over the masses , a loud "I-AH!" rings from the mule that's accompanying him.

Last edited by Megamieuwsel; 8th of April, 2003 at 03:47.
  #6  
Unread 8th of April, 2003, 03:12
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,847 (1.88 per day)
Off to one side but still close to the front of the unruly crowd, Shade stands like a drop of night that has not yet been washed away beneath the heat of the sun. Her hood is up as she watches Cadrius take his stand defiantly.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Why did you turn yourself in? There are better ways to make amends than to throw your life away.

Kulper pronounces the charges and her dusky features turn ashen and she stands very still, shocked that he would confess to a crime that he knew was hers. His reaction tells a different story and her face reddens slightly as she turns her gaze towards his accuser. This priest had taken it upon himself to pin this murder on the former paladin. Why he would do it she didn't know, but it sets her blood to a slow boil.

As time wears on it becomes apparent that Cadrius is not doing very well with his defense. Over the course of two hours, Shade has edged closer and closer to the stage until she is next to the wall of guards and their crossed pikes that keep the crowd back from the proceedings.

He would hang. There was no doubt in her mind. Nothing short of a miracle could save him. Even now, she doesn't understand why he ended up here when he could have simply walked away. She doesn't understand why he allows them to add another murder to his list, one that he didn't commit, one that she did.

Why would he do that for me?

Maybe he felt he owed her for his own rescue from the gnolls. Maybe he just didn't care what they charged him with so long as they took his life.

Then why does he bother with a defense at all?

It was slowly becoming clearer. He wanted to absolve himself of the guilt of what he had done. He wanted to pay his debt for ridding the world of three people that deserved what they got. Only he hadn't expected the get more than he deserved; alot more. He hadn't realized they would kill him because he'd never been on the wrong side of the law before. He didn't know that justice was a farce. Or maybe he knew and just didn't want to believe it.

He will hang for what I have done.

Partly. It was mostly his own stupid fault for turning himself in, though. Yet she would share the blame for his death, there was no way around that fact. The irony was that she'd killed the dwarf for the same reasons he'd killed those men.

Only I'm smart enough no to get caught.

He hadn't been caught, though. He'd turned himself in, because in his heart he was a good man. What did that make her?

Smart. Smart enough to know you'll get anything but justice when you run around killing people. Smart enough not to turn myself in when I know I'm right.

He ought to reap what he had sown. She had practically told him she'd lie for him, and she would have. Not now, though. No use getting both of them hung.

Then why am I still here?

She didn't know the answer to that. Her head knew she should leave, get out of this town and never look back. Nothing she could do would change what was going on here. But her heart wouldn't let her leave, and so she ended up rooted to the spot, staring at him through a web of spears, wanting to speak on his behalf but frozen by indecision. The waiting is broken by a lone man cursing his way to the front: a purple garbed mage. She tenses without quite knowing why.

What will he say?
  #7  
Unread 8th of April, 2003, 05:37
Megamieuwsel's Avatar
Megamieuwsel
Vampiric Clown

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #6
Location: Haarlem , Nederland.
Posts: 115 (0.02 per day)
As the crowd awaited in silence for the words of the purple-clad , self-proclaimed defender , the latter rummaged in the pack at Patokkel's back for a while , bringing forth a vellum scroll , bearing an exotic seal.

Stepping in full sight , between Cadrius and his judges , Megamieuwsel starts to speak:

"My defense will deal with the oldest of the accusations , brought forth against this man : The murdering of Gralhruk Stonehammer."

Letting these words sink in for a while , Megamieuwsel casts a knowing look at the shady female in her vantage spot. To Shade , it's clear : He knows.... He's seen it.... What now?

"I hereby state and swear , upon my honour and the Crown of Hymerghany , of which I am a citizen , to have fully witnessed the committing of this supposed crime. Wheter it is one , is not on me to judge.
I would like to come forth the lady , known as Selene Fairmorning once again...."

When the girl , obviously distressed by the situation , is facing Megamieuwsel and the judges again , the Sorcerer simply asks her:

"Do you recognise me? Was I in "the Dragon's Hangover" at the time of the murder?"

His always extravagant appearance certainly paid off in this case ; It'd be quite a feat to overlook the likes of him , let alone forget his looks.

"Y-yes... You were there as well , just as the others that have been fighting that horrible Orc-horde , that breached the gate , the night before...."

Upon which Megamieuwsel cuts in :

"Ah! These others... Fighting side by side to drive off the Orc-intruders : Your's Truly , Thed Ruid , Cadrius , Cardogan Trahem , Crito , Elanor , Cappucina.....and Gralhruk.......
And do you , by any chance , recall the point where Cadrius and Gralhruk.....aided eachother in taking out a particular nasty specimen of that bunch? Would one do that , only to cowardly slit the other's throat like some third-rate thug the next morning?
It doesn't really add up , now does it?"

As the man pauses for a moment , the (not too bright) girl looks just befuddled ; she never contemplated it.

"But all that isn't even needed , as I actually wittnessed the killing with my own two eyes : The entire clientele of "The Dragons Hangover" was misteriously held in a stasis ; a field where time stands still entirely , so to say.
Yet , some of us , probably due to some inherent features , that make us stand out in the crowd , kept some or all of their sensory abillities , like sight and hearing and such.
It's because of this phenomenon , I was able to see everything happening , while at the same time unable to prevent it , due to the aforementioned stasis.
As all in the room were frozen in time , a figure , short of stature and as far as was discernable , of the female gender appeared to have retained her abillity of movement.
For her , I'll stick with the female noun for ease of reference , it was easy as child's play to slit the throat of the "frozen" dwarf.
And she did...
Immediately after that , she left the locale again , just as the stasis was lifted for all in there , but me ; I couldn't snap out of it , so to say , but that's another story alltogether.
Enfin : With the stasis lifted , nothing kept the now slit throat of the unfortunate dwarf from spilling the blood now , and thus he died.
Cadrius , here , while having been paralised , just like the others in the room , and another man by the name of Whonan , apparrently also have seen what happened and set out immediately in an attempt to catch the murderess.
As things look now , I may assume , they didn't manage that."

All the time , the mage has been toying with the vellum scroll , never showing the seal in full sight.
And he keeps it that way.

"And that , ladies and gentlemen , is the sole and only true story of Gralhruk's demise ; Cadrius is definately innocent in this regard and the case sets many questionmarks on the reliabillity of the other accusations as well ;
Why would a man , a crafty warrior , no less , wager his very life to safe a town from being overrun by the sure destruction called "Orcs" , only to attempt to destroy it shortly after by himself?
You'll all be fools , if you believe anything even remotely close to that."

Stepping slowly upon the table of the Judges , the flamboyant sorcerer prepares for playing his final trump.
Kulpert , feeling a tad uneasy already , hearing his carefully wrought lies being torn apart by this foppish stranger , has a bad feeling about it.

"I feel , we are to bring the other accusations under the light of personal credabillity of the both parties in this matter:
On the one side : The accused : Cadrius , once a saviour of the town , now blamed with murder where he was to defend the life of his friends and himself.
On the other Side : The Accuser : The Highpriest of Hereinos : Kulpert.
A rather short name for someone , occupying such an office.
Especially....."

And her he pauses for quite a while , for the dramatic effect.
The audience keeps its breath , like kids , eagerly awaiting the magician pulling a rabbit out of the hat.
And what a rabbit it is:

"...With this document , I have here!"

Holding up the scroll , the seal is now plainly visible to all :A Dragon's head , flanked by Odin's Spear and Thor's Hammer ; The Royal Seal of Hymerghany.

Kulpert's face turns ashen ; He's most likely the only one , aside from the sorcerer himself , that recognises it...
He tries to break into a desperate run , but one of the smarter city-guards anticipated it and tackled the corpulent "priest".

"Thank you , my good man , you just served justice extremely well.
Hold that imposter."

Then he starts to read from the scroll....

"As per decree of Rurik Geirsson , High King Of Hymerghany , Ruler Of The Northen Waves , Warlord Of Odin's Chosen , this warrant is sent out:
To bring back , dead or alive , or solid proof of the death of , Björn Kulsson , son of Kull Leifferson and Ingmar Sjvetländ. Also going under the aliasses of "Kullingan" , Kulpert" , "Ridi Kull" , "Flauwe Kul" and many others.
The crimes of whitch the wanted is charged for, and deemed guilty of , are:
Adultery , Animal-abuse and the defouling and abuse of the under-aged and innocent.
The person , bearing this writ , will , for all judicial purposes , be considered entitled to the office of executioner of the convicted.
The peron , bringing back the definitive proof of the convicted's demise will be awarded with the title "Friend Of Hymerghany" and a sum of 5.000 Kröne .
So shall it be written , so shall it be done."

Lowering the royal writ , Megamieuwsel overlooks the crowds for a while and hands the writ over to Barham for verification , before speaking again.

"Any kids been missing lately , folks?
And are you willing to lend any weight to the words of a piece of scum , like that?....." , jerking his thumb in the direction of the unmasked child-molester.

Last edited by Megamieuwsel; 8th of April, 2003 at 05:40.
  #8  
Unread 8th of April, 2003, 07:54
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
On the outskirts of the crowd stand two figures. One wears a hooded cloak, his face buried deep in its cowl so that his features are obscured. The other is plain looking, barely noticable, save for orcish heritage, but even with that he doesn't stand out. As the trial progresses they stand quietly watching the procedings.

The trial brings few suprises, though much confusion from the look on the face of the plain one, at least until the intervention of the purple grabbed figure.

His manner of approaching the dias instantly brings the eyes of the two watchers to him. With ease they follow the purple hat until it reaches the platform and the man beneath it is revealed. An ordinary human for sure, in thier eyes, but one with an interesting story to tell. As his testimony unfolds the two stand still; one with a look of total confusion, the other begining to shake with rage.

"This flamboyant fool seems to think that the guilt of the accuser is somehow connected to the innocence of the accused," Trak mutters under his breath to Blarth.

"If you say so," Blarth replies, confused by the sudden turn the trial has taken.

"Come on," Trak says, "I'll not let this travesty of human justice go forward any further. This man will get what he deserves for hiding from his acts."

Forcing their way through the crowd, the hood over Trak's face falls back revealing his clear orcish lineage for all to see, and making their passage through the crowd relatively easy.

Reaching the line of guards, Blarth grabs Trak's shoulder and holds him back, "Are you sure you should get involved? These people do not look favorably on our kind here."

Before Trak has a chance to reply the crowd reacts to Megamieuwsel's accusation, and begins calling for the head of the high priest, the accusations against Cadrius seemingly forgotten.
  #9  
Unread 9th of April, 2003, 10:13
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
Cadrius' eyes shift back and forth nervously as the purple wizard steps forward. He hadn't seen him in quite some time but from what he remembers, the man known as Megamieusel is far from what the priests will regard as credible. His suspisions are confirmed as the man launches into his accusations of Kulper's alleged crimes.


Meanwhile Kulper's face undergoes a surprising amount of emotion. First surprise, then irritation, and finally horror. As the purple-clothed man jerks his thumb toward the crowd the Highpriest bolts from his podium. He moves with the paradoxical hurried casualty possessed by nobles, wizards, and sages.

A guard, a city one by the look of him, tackles the Highpriest knocking Kulper's breath from his body. There is a gasp from the assembled priests.

"Let me go, maggot!" he bellows, "Templar! Remove this man from my person!"

Four of them step forward, the church's elite guardians. Mail and breastplates glitter in the midday sun and they seem to bristle with weapons of all variety. One barks and order to the guardsman restraining Kulper. There's a brief exchange and the guard shakes his head repeatedly. Two of the Templar, the Fists of Heironeous, step forward and roughly grab the guardsman and hurl him backward.

There is an outcry among the ranks of the town guards and a dozen rush to their comrade's side. More words are exchanged, this time insults and vulgarity from the townies. A stir ripples through the crowd as they sense a comflict brewing.

The remaining church guards move forward as one and flank their commanders. This only spurs the town guards further as the remaining men move to the side. Only a few remain to keep the crowd back. Here and there men have spears held horizontally to the ground and push against the masses.


Cadrius shifts uneasily. The last thing he wants is a riot and more bloodshed because of him. More importantly if violence occurs, he will be helpless to defend himself.

He turns his head and sees the dwarves drumming their fingers along the hafts and hilts of their weapons and winces. Even if they knew he didn't kill their kin, they still want someone to blame. He's as good a target as any.

Suddenly there's an outcry from the growing cluster of armed men. Cadrius whips his head around in time to see a city guard clutching his face, and angry red mark already swelling where the Templar had struck him. The air is filled with the ring of steel as weapons are drawn forth and men join in combat. Chaos ensues.
The few men valiantly trying to restrain the crowd are quickly overwhemled. Violence breeds violence and within moments residents are fighting everyone. Their neighbors, the guards, acolytes, and city officials.

There's a cry from behind Cadrius and he turns just in time to see an old man, weeping, charging forward with a knife held over his head. The fallen paladin can only assume he's the father of one of the men. The knife is wielded clumsily and Cadrius winces as he swings his manacled hands in an arc, hitting the old man squarely in the jaw and knocking him to the ground.

More people surge forth and Cadrius turns to the table and gets his wrists underneath it. He heaves and it rolls over onto one side. Dodging another man's wild roundhouse he stumbles backward over the table and land on his back. The man is quick to follow and then begin to wrestle upon the ground while a riot takes place all around them.

Last edited by Cadrius; 10th of April, 2003 at 00:32.
  #10  
Unread 18th of April, 2003, 07:34
SponkleofInfini's Avatar
SponkleofInfini
Fluff Zombie [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Member: #131
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,136 (0.38 per day)
As chaos ensues, Laronar stands to the back of the crowd concealed behind villiagers who are taunting and or joining in the rucus. Looking from beneath his cowl, witness to the travesty of justice; the trial of Cadrius. An arrogant sorcerer, making rediculous allogations, and then believing himself a defender of justice.

"Utter Chaos, they're all fools, this man cannot be saved, only the manner of which he will die is to be decided here."

The few guards trying to the masses back are soon overwhelmed. All hell is now breaking loose upon the stage. The templar continue their assualt upon the city guard. Meaningless fighting between townspeople, caught up in the confusion. Kulper looks on quite disgusted, an appeal to the crowd helpless now. Retreating, accompanied by templar, his gaze meets Cadrius', who is now fighting for his life, a smile forms upon his face, turning to his templar.

"Come."
__________________
"It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care. It's a problem of motivation."
° Office Space
  #11  
Unread 22nd of April, 2003, 05:40
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,847 (1.88 per day)
The surging crowd becomes a storm tossed sea; Shade is hard pressed to remain standing and at one point she finds herself pressed bodily into the wall of guards by the weight of the crowd behind her. One hand draws a dagger beneath her cloak and, keeping it hidden, she slugs the guard with the pommel. He goes down and the press shoves her up against the stage just in time to witness Cadrius bludgeon a murderous old man with his shackles.

She is battered with the movement of the crowd but her eyes focus on his restraints and all hope goes out of them. For a moment, she thought it might be possible to elicit his escape but there was no way he was going very far with those heavy chains binding his arms and legs and there certainly wasn't time to remove them. Kulper is in front of him now, like a grinning vulture, and her hatred rises until she can feel death in her hands. If she chose to pull her blades the priest was a dead man.

She lets the moment pass, it's ghastly promise unfulfilled. If there was a chance of escape she might have siezed that moment, accepted this corrupt priest's blood, and fled with a man who didn't want her company. Here, now, there was no chance. Just as there had never really been a chance for the two of them to be more than cynical partners. A rock flys through the crowd, aimed at anyone, and strikes her in the back of the head. She staggers and the mob behind her forces her off to the side. The shield wall of guards has dispersed and in a few moments she finds herself well away from the stage where things are less congested.

She squeezes her eyes shut and waits for the world to stop spinning before opening them again. Things haven't changed but she knows Cadrius is doomed.
  #12  
Unread 22nd of April, 2003, 06:37
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
The surging crowd forces Trak into the wall of guards. Deciding he's had enough, Trak forces his way between the guards. As he climbs the stairs the guards make little effort to restrain him. One look at his face and the quickly move on to restraining the rest of the crowd, leaving the crazed half-orc for the Templars to handle. Reaching the top of the stage, Trak sees the figure of Kulper standing over a pair of men wrestling on the ground. One is bound in chains, the coward who hid behind prejudice, the other a normal man seeking to take advantage of the bound man's condition. Next to Kulper stands a Templar, spear at the ready, waiting for the priest's command to act.

"No! Revenge shall be mine and no others!" Trak shouts.

Calling on the power of Gruumsh he chants in orcish and pushes forward his holy symbol. Immediately the hostile actions of Cadrius, and his attacker cease. The Templar stands his spear up, no longer threatening anyone with it. In the immedate vicinity several townspeople who had been pushing towards the stage stop and visibly relax.

Using the magically created lull, Trak moves to stand in between Kulper and Cadrius.

As the fighting about him ceases, Kulper looks about, trying to determine the source of the spell he felt wash by him. Seeing the half-orc with his holy symbol out he cries, "You shall not interfere half-breed."

Grabbing the spear from the Templar he attacks Trak, greviously injuring him. Trak disoriented by the sudden attack allows his holy symbol to drop and immediately the fight around them resumes. Turning to the Kulper, Trak pulls his great club from beneath his robe and begins to fight back.

"It is you who are interfering human. Revenge is mine by right against this man," Trak grunts in reply as he brings his club down on Kulpers blocking arm.


Back in the crowd, Blarth finds himself moving backwards away from the stage. In their attempt to push forward past Blarth, the people end up pushing him back. He is several rows deep before the voice of his brother brings his attention back to the stage. Dumbfounded, he can only stare as his brother moves to claim his revenge.

The unprovoked attack of the priest, however, soon cures him of his inaction and he begins to push his way back towards the stage. The crowd, however, has other ideas and Blarth finds he can make no headway. As he watches helplessly his brother is struck again and again, the Templars now coming to the aid of their highpriest.

Desperate to reach him Blarth closes his eyes to call upon his inner powers. Opening them again, the present is overlayed with the future. He sees both where the holes in the crowd are and where they will be and uses that knowledge to duck and weave his way to line of guards.

On stage Trak continues a relentless attack on Kulper, claiming his right of revenge against Cadrius who still wrestles with his own attackers. His words go unheeded though and another templar moves into the fray against him. Unable to withstand the blows of both Kulper and two Templars, Trak crumples to the ground, barely alive.

The sight of his brother falling, not once but twice thanks to his enhanced vision, enrages Blarth. Calling on the beast within himself, his appearence changes, becoming more wolf like. Roaring in anger he pushes the guard in front of him out of the way and surges up onto the stage, snarling at Kulper.
  #13  
Unread 22nd of April, 2003, 10:50
LonePaladin's Avatar
LonePaladin
Mohrg [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Member: #152
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,019 (0.18 per day)
When Shade opens here eyes again, everything still seems to be a blur. Surely that rock didn't hit her that hard?

As she shakes her head, trying to clear it, she realizes two things. First, the melee raging around her seems to have stopped; it's utterly silent, and no one else is moving. Second, there is a robed figure before her, standing out simply because it is not blurry and indistinct.

The robe is dark red, the shade of old blood. The hood is pulled up, preventing her from seeing the figure's face. The figure speaks, startling her with recognition. It's the paladin's voice, but it has a strange echo to it.

"I don't think I can do this again, so listen carefully. My brother's captors found me, and forced me to submit to their rituals. I'm fighting it, but it's a losing battle. I need your help -- you, and the others if you can find them. Head west, to the coast: the blood magi have a sanctuary there. Please, find them, and help me break this curse."

Suddenly, there is a *snap* and everything is alive with sound and motion again. The robed figure is gone.
  #14  
Unread 27th of April, 2003, 00:14
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
Pandemonium rages around Cadrius but it passes his senses unheeded. The roar of voices in anger, protest, pain, terror, all of them are but a murmer. Steel clashing on steel is likewise a distant metallic whisper in his ear. He's focused, intent on the man currently trying to throttle him.

Cadrius lays on his back, pinned to the ground by the furious man. The overturned table lies next to them. The fallen paladin has his hands gripped upon the other's forearms, attempting to break the grasp around his throat, but it's a half-hearted attempt.

Look at his eyes, a detached part of his mind observes, they're so angry. So full of righteous fury. So hateful. So...sad. Grim humor washes over him. He would've made a good knight. But this morbid amusement only lasts for a moment before dark spots begin to blur his vision.

One voice rises out of the crowd it's only marginally louder than the rest to Cadrius. It reminds him of the distant roll of thunder across the plains of his home in Illiandor. The spots multiply and it his consciousness begins to slip.

But the grip upon his neck slackens and then stops altogether. Cadrius coughs, air burning in his throat. Sight begins to return and he sees his assailant, a plain looking man with rough hands staring blankly at something. Weakly Cadrius twists his head in the dirt to see. Vague shapes move bacn and forth, but he's fairly sure one is Kulper engaged in combat with another.

Divine retribution? he wonders. Perhaps Heironeous is not without a sense of justice. Or at least a partial sense.

But as quick as the moment entered it leaves. His assailant begins to regain his fervor. Cadrius has a choice: he can fight and keep fighting until he's eventually slain or taken, or he can die here and now. Honor cannot be found in either solution.

Yet his decision is made for him as the crumpled form of Trak falls beside him, receiving serious blows from Kulper and what looks to be a Templar.

I owe him that much, at least he thinks, guilt holding him for letting another be taken for his crimes.

So he seizes the moment and lashes out with his hands striking his combatant across the face, breaking his nose under the impact of Cadrius' heavy hands and iron shackles. Blood spatters outward but before too much is spilled the fallen paladin draws his legs inward, his knees touch his chest and kicks outward with every ounce of strength he has. The man grunts under the impact and is hurled backward into the nearby mob.

Cadrius rolls onto his stomach and pushes himself to his feet. The clamor of the battle still rages about him, but his mind is still locked in the same soldier's mentality. Unnecessary noise is blocked out, only essential sounds are let in.

He fixes his sight on Kulper and the Templar mercilessly beating their prey into the ground. This would be a good way to die. Doing combat with a Templar and a corrupt priest.

Perhaps redemption is an option, he thinks wryly, knowing he'll never see the Halls of Valor.

Yet once again his choice is denied as another half-breed joins the frey, intent on Kulper. The priest turns, surprised to see another assailant but he meets the challenger with his guard up.

Blarth? It must be. Cadrius thinks, his thoughts are distant but still recalling Trak's fondness of his less than bright brother.

The Templar moves to flank the half-orc, his spear up, looking for a vital organ to hit. In the battle between the crossbreeds Cadrius has still gone unnoticed.

"No," he whispers hoarsely. His mind has shifted again. This is no campaign, no battle. It's a street fight and the rules of engagement and quarter shown for enemy soldiers has been broken repeatedly. He is unable to take his revenge on Kulper, not now, but perhaps he can aid the half-breed who seeks to do so.

He moves up behind the Templar, eyes flicking back and forth wary of any that would interfere. One step, then two, he shambles forward. The Templar raises his spear to strike Blarth's unprotected back, but the blow never lands.

Cadrius' manacled hands shoot forward and drop over the shorter man's head before snapping back, his chains wrapping around the Templar's throat. The man gurgles and instinctually flails his spear backward, but it's a wild blow and bounces harmlessly off Cadrius' shoulder.

One of the Templar's hands flies to the chain while the other attempts to reposition his spear. Cadrius simply tightens his pull, drawing the shorter man closer and closer. He's strong, all Templar are, but Cadrius is stronger. Thick arms, now finally willing to fight, strain against their bonds as Cadrius archs backward pulling the Templar several inches off the ground.

Chains bite into his throat and he gives up on stabbing his assailaint. Futily grasping at the crude garrote Cadrius jerks his arms one more time and the Templar falls still.

He nods once to Blarth, leaving him to fight Kulper, and staggers off into the crowd. He drops his shoulder into those who stand in his path, using his size and strength to whatever advantage he can get.

Movement catches his attention to his left. He sees her there, bleeding from the head, attempting to stand but moving unsteadily. Shade. She came to watch him die. He isn't sure whether to be overjoyed or saddened. He isn't sure it even matters. She has rescued him time and again. Now it's his turn.

A nearby rioter sees the wounded woman and draws back his foot, eager to strike an easy target. Cadrius screams, a primal, righteous bellow and barrels forward into the man, sending him flying.

And for a third time his mind shifts. Fighting no longer matters. Revenge no longer matters. She is here. A safe retreat is the only objective in his mind.

He grabs her by the arm and pulls her the rest of the way to her feet. They move toward the edge of the crowd, Cadrius only stopping occasionally to club opposition. Arms like a blacksmith he slowly batters a hole to the edge of the mob.

Last edited by Gralhruk; 29th of April, 2003 at 01:10.
  #15  
Unread 29th of April, 2003, 01:08
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,847 (1.88 per day)
Someone rams into her, jarring her shoulder and causing her teeth to clack together. She hits the ground at exactly the same instant the world stops moving. A sense of dread encompasses her as the spectre of her past looms up. Hadn't she used just such a spell to kill?

The cloaked figure that moves into her vision confirms her fears, yet before she can even draw a blade the blood-red vision speaks. The voice is vaguely recognizable; it doesn't draw a name because he'd never given her his name. Her mind is still shaken but she stores the words away for future reference. As quickly as he appeared he is gone. Time slaps her in the face again as interrupted chaos resumes it's untidy march.

Unfortunately for her, the man next to her seems to be in step with her mental context, intent as he is on marching untidily over her head. She stares dumbly at his foot, trying to recall exactly how the world went mad. The unknown man disappears beneath the wild beast assault of some third party. This new man abruptly yanks her to her feet as recognition dawns on her: Cadrius.

She walks instead of being dragged, still mute, still almost paralyzed by the incomprehensible. With each rioter that her zealous guardian pummels out of the way, a mote of her self returns. By the time they reach the edge of the crowd, it is Shade who reaches back to yank Cadrius forward. The need to escape has blossomed into a gigantic, terrible flower within her.

She pulls him down the first alley they come to - the chaos at the trial having prevented any immediate pursuit - and is reminded of his shackles when he falls while trying to keep up with her. In a flash she is at his feet, one hand diving beneath a bracer and returning with two small, metal rods. Sweat soaks her brow as she works furiously, Cadrius hearing a sharp click followed by a longer silence, then some whispered cursing, and finally another click. The rattle of chain is music to his ears as she flings the shackles into a pile of refuse.

Without wasting the time it would take to free his hands, she lopes down the alley staring at the ground. Stopping suddenly, she stoops and pulls at a grate ineffectively. Cadrius sees what she wants and steps up to lend his weight and together they pull the cover up. She hops down without a word and waits as he lowers himself down more slowly.

"Stay there."

She puts one foot in his hand, then climbs onto his shoulders and heaves, pulling the grate back into place. She hops down, seeming unbothered by the smell, and drags him near the edge of the small circle of light created by the grate above them.

"Hold still."

Her picks do their work, taking somewhat longer this time, perhaps because of the uncertain light. Her slim hand lingers on his calloused one for an instant as the cuffs slide free and then she has retreated into the dark tunnel. He doesn't hear any chain rattle this time.

"As hospitable as this town has been, I'm ready to go - and without a farewell party. How about you?"

Last edited by Gralhruk; 29th of April, 2003 at 01:10.
  #16  
Unread 29th of April, 2003, 14:52
SponkleofInfini's Avatar
SponkleofInfini
Fluff Zombie [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Member: #131
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,136 (0.38 per day)
A shadow looms above the grate, hovering erriely over you.

"This is what you had to do?"

Quetsions a vaguely familair voice, Laronar. He is standing over the grate, although you cannot see him clearly.

"Do you believe he is absolved, just because a riot breaks out at his trial? He is still guilty of his crime, and you have a companion awaiting you already. Cadogan also needs our help, unlike this one, he is quite innocent, and more deserving of your help. Help me find Cadogan. The guard will be onto you soon, and you will be just as guilty as he is. No jester or thief can save this man, he cannot run for long, he must reddem himself for his crimes."

Laronar speaks with a slight hiss and with a scornful tone.
__________________
"It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care. It's a problem of motivation."
° Office Space
  #17  
Unread 29th of April, 2003, 15:15
Megamieuwsel's Avatar
Megamieuwsel
Vampiric Clown

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #6
Location: Haarlem , Nederland.
Posts: 115 (0.02 per day)
Megamieuwsel knows ,he can be convincing at times , but the results of his little speech are a tad more than he bargained for;
As chaos erupts amongst the bloodthirsty crowd , he's one of the first to be pulled into it as tables are overturned and peasants are toppling over eachother in blind rage , although that last bit appears to be not as focussed as he wished...
He has to accept several hard punches , before he manages to seek shelter between two toppled tables and concentrate on pulling up his defenses ; a faint blue light shimmers briefly as the forcefield forms around his frame.

It's time to get something done. Now , where's that piece of filth?

Struggling to his feet , Megamieuwsel tries to find the focus of his wrath.
While doing so , his eyes catch the crumpled and torn remains of his tool of chaos ; the "royal writ" appears to have been one of the first victims of the seething masses ; it won't be of use anymore.
Oh well , at least it served its purpose somewhat.....

Kulper is spotted as he's engaged in a lethal dance with the sullen-looking half-orc , Megamieuwsel recognises from the tavern.
Now ; how to get there? The fighting crowd effectively blocks any means of passage....
If only he could distract them....

These thoughts have barely formed in his mind as , out of thin air , thick , billowing mistclouds form and cover the townsquare , blocking all vision beyond arm's reach.

Did I do that??....
Gheez.....
Well , better make use of it while it lasts.


Using the cover , provided by this "witch-mist" , the sorcerer heads in the direction , he spotted the corrupt priest , occasionally stepping over bodies with nameless , and often severely damaged , faces. The massacre burdens his heart to end , as he didn't intend it this way , but right now , he couldn't help it anymore.

Just a few more strides , before he reaches his goal ,he nearly stumbles over a corpse , that does have a face ; the city-guard , that attempted to catch Kulper , his chest crushed and his jaw disjointed.
A pang of grief hit's the tall man's heart. In a certain way ,he feels responsible for the valliant guard's death.

May you get a place in Valhalla , brave warrior. I'll try to get you a skull.

Then he gets Kulper in his view...
The "priest" is still engaged in a lethal tango with the half-orc , another one is lying on the ground unconsious.

"Björn Kullsson! Time to face judgement!"

"Keep out of this , court-mage. I'll take care of you later.
Like I did with the rest of your ilk..."

The sorcerer's only reply to the "priest's" remark is drawing his sickle.
The referrence to the massacre of Hymerghany's royal family turned his blood into liquid ice.
Wordlessly , he steps up to his nemesis.

"Kulper" , at the sound of of the sickle being drawn , spins around , slashing out at Megamieuwsel with his spear.
He hits the mark ; ripping through wool and silk , the spearhead leaves a bloody gash across the sorcerer's chest and makes him stagger backwards a little.
Megamieuwsel's defenses apparently weren't as good as he thought.....

The distraction was enough , though ; while trying to take out the sorcerer , "Kulper" left his back wide open and vulnerable to the half-orc's rage......
  #18  
Unread 29th of April, 2003, 21:57
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,847 (1.88 per day)
Cadrius can feel Shade's body tense in the darkness as Laronar speaks. Before the former paladin can utter a word she replies, a hushed, angry voice in the dark.

"Absolution? Redemption? Your words demonstrate your ignorance of these things. That corrupt church knows nothing of right and wrong.

Let the guard come after me. We'll see what they find.

Innocence and guilt you say. Who among us is innocent? We are all guilty but those in power pick and choose who will be punished, without regard for right and wrong."

She is but a shadow in the dark to Cadrius, yet he knows she has turned to him. She speaks, her voice lower but still urgent.

"What do you choose? To be judged by those righteous fools or to live your life and demonstrate the truth within you?"
  #19  
Unread 1st of May, 2003, 00:27
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (0.99 per day)
Darkness envelopes Cadrius as he lowers himself through the opening. He rubs his wrists, urging the blood back into them. He draws a breath to speak but suddenly another presence casts a shadow over the weak light above.

The elf? he wonders. Clearly it is someone who knows us.

Listening to the angry banter between the two Cadrius raises his hands in protest, but let's them fall again at Shade's final words.

"What do you choose? To be judged by those righteous fools or to live your life and demonstrate the truth within you?"

He draws in a breath and exhales loudly. This is it. It's his decision. He blinks in the darkness, reluctant to make a decision. Honor and Reason battle for control of his soul. His head drops, chin resting on his chest.

"I had thought that going through the church would...redeem me," he says, lifting his head from his chest, "but all I found was corruption. They are no better than I."

The concept of these men being as equally lost as himself is a strange one. It doesn't make what he's done right, but seeking their judgement is no longer an option.

He tilts his head toward the shadowed figure above and says, "If you are as concerned about Cadogan as you say, and as I am, then I would imagine you would not want to waste your breath on a criminal such as myself."

Cadrius turns back to Shade's dim form and claps her on the upper arm. It's an awkward gesture, but an affectionate one nonetheless.

"What you have done for me..." he trails off, uncertain of what to say, "You do not need to travel with me any further if you do not wish. I am afraid it will become more dangerous before the end."

He moves a few feet down the passageway, away from the grate.
"However," he says, turning back to her, "I would enjoy the company."

I must get my arms and armor before we leave. I will be as useless as I was in the woods without them.

His eyes slowly grow used to the dimness and he begins walking down the passage, guessing at where the Blacksmith's might be.
  #20  
Unread 1st of May, 2003, 02:49
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
As Kulper turns to confront the sorcerer who started it all, Blarth moves in to take advantage of the opening provided. However, a split second before he sees the spear of the last Templar headed for his throat in his enhanced vision. Dodging downwards, Blarth snaps at the Templar instead, grabbing a mouthful of armored leg and knocking the man down. As he lets go of the leg, Blarth easily dodges the Templar's clumsy attempt to hit him with the spear.

With the Templar down, Blarth turns his attention back to Kulper, only to find the priest moving away from him towards the sorcerer.
  #21  
Unread 5th of May, 2003, 22:42
SponkleofInfini's Avatar
SponkleofInfini
Fluff Zombie [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Member: #131
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,136 (0.38 per day)
"I choose the later, but aid him I will not, as he was charged with a crime he did commit. I saw the refuse he left in his wake, but if he wishes to run so be it. I have another matter to attend to, I guess you will not aid me, instead running, hiding in the shadows with him."

Laronar turns to leave, the shadows above the grate shifting, letting in some rays of sun.

"I will wait by the gate for an hour, if you do not meet me there, I will search for Cadogan alone; goodday."

The faint sound of footsteps can be heard echoing down the lane, quickly overshadowed by the chaos in the square.
__________________
"It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care. It's a problem of motivation."
° Office Space
  #22  
Unread 5th of May, 2003, 23:17
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,847 (1.88 per day)
Shade speaks to Laronar before he is out of earshot.

"Cadogan has other friends, some that still wait at the inn. Perhaps you might convince them to join you.

Do not wait for me. Take what you would for this long journey and go on your way quickly. I will not turn my back on a companion without good reason; it may be that I will find you along the way."

Without waiting for a response, she plunges into the dark after Cadrius.
  #23  
Unread 8th of May, 2003, 01:57
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
"Now, I'll finish what I started," Kulper says as he advances on Megamieuwsel. Raising his spear he stabs it downwards at the sorcerer who only barely manages to dodge out of the way. However, when he goes to ready the spear for another blow he finds it stuck in the ground. Letting go of the haft Kulper casts about for another weapon with which to finish off the troublesome sorcerer.

Seeing his opportunity, Megamieuwsel attempts to scramble back to his feet. However, he finds that the spear has caught the fabric of his clothes and is pinning him where he lies.

Taking advantage of the momentary distraction, Blarth lunges at the high priest, biting deep into his left arm and ripping away a piece of flesh. Screaming in pain, Kulper clutches the fresh wound and sneers at his assailant.

Behind Blarth, the Templar rises to his feet as Kulper screams. Without hesitation he throws his shortspear at Blarth trying to divert his attention from Kulper. Over such a short distance the Templar cannot miss, and his spear catches Blarth in the leg burying its head deep in his thigh. Seemingly unaware of the pain, Blarth almost absently grabs the spear and pulls it from his leg, allowing it to drop to the ground.

Grinning evily, Kulper picks up the spear and stabs at Blarth's arm, hoping to return the favor Blarth visited upon him. However, the spear veers off at the last minute as Blarth's unseen armor protects him.
  #24  
Unread 15th of May, 2003, 05:44
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
Grabbing the spear that pins him down, Megamieuwsel pulls to remove its grip on his cloak. Once it is free he scrambles to his feet and draws his sickle again, ready to face Kulper again.

Kulper, however, is slighlty occupied at the moment with Blarth, who uses the opening created by Kulper's blocked stab to once again lunge at his assailant. His bite strikes home and Kulper is left with another gaping wound.

Blarth, however, in his haste has left his own back open to attack and the Templar behind him takes full advantage of that. Drawing his sword, he moves oppisite Kulper and swings at Blarth, catching his left arm near the shoulder. Blarth seems unbothered by the cut though and spares only a glance at the Templar.

That glance is all that Kulper wanted though. Stepping forward quickly, Kulper lunges with both hands on the spear and drives it home into Blarth's side. There is an audible snap as the spear's pressure breaks one of Blarth's ribs. Even through the rage induced haze, Blarth can feel the pain and roars in anger.
  #25  
Unread 21st of May, 2003, 07:37
Black Plauge's Avatar
Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Member: #192
Location: Old Town, ME
Posts: 6,801 (1.23 per day)
Intermingled with Blarth's roar of pain is another cry, that of a dying man. Distracted by his own pain it takes a few moments for Blarth to register that the cry is from Kulper. A second or so later the reason for the cry becomes apparent. Kulper collapses, the blade of the sorcerer's sickle still embedded in his back.

As the Kulper's body falls to the ground, Blarth screams in anger and turns on the one remaining target of his rage, the Templar. Startled by the sudden turn of events the Templar's eyes go wide with shock and his head flinches up and backwards, leaving his neck exposed. Blarth's teeth sink in to that exposed neck and blood spurts as he rips it open. The Templar's eyes can only grow wider as he falls to the ground in shock, unable to call out due to the gapping hole in his neak and slowly bleeding to death.

As the Templar's blood drains away so too does Blarth's rage. Deflated, Blarth makes his way over to his brother's body, which now lies in a mixed pool of blood. Cradeling his brother's head in his lap, Blarth screams in anguish. At the sound of Blarth's scream, Trak's eye flutters open and for a moment focus on his brother.

"Do not cry for me brother. I die in battle as all who serve the One-Eye should," reaching for his club, Trak pushes it into his brother's hands with a grunt of pain before continuing, "Promise me you will not rest until my revenge is complete. I will act through my weapon in your hands, kill the human who would have let me die rather than pay for his crimes."

Trak's eye closes and he breathes heavily for a moment. The sound of his breath, asperated by blood burns itself into Blarth's memory. Fumbling for his holy symbol, Trak's eyes flutter open one more time, "Give thisss to the man who wass in the s... s... cell next to me at the temple. He iss like uss, b... bu... but raisssed by humansss. He iss t... tr... troubled by their weak human beleifss. Perhaps Gruumshhh can settle his mind."

Looking at the holy symbol his brother has given him, Blarth doesn't so much see as feel his brother's death. The body goes limp in his arms. A quick glance at his brother's face confirms it. Trak's one good eye stares vacantly at the sky.

Looping his brother's club and holy symbol to his waist, Blarth hoists his body and makes his way off the platform. The atmosphere around him is almost surreal as the lupine half-orc, with blood still dripping down his chin, lovingly carries his brother's corpse through the riot. The crowd seems to flow around him as Blarth walks. No one wants to confront the half-breed with his dead.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 19:25.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Graphics by Koert van Kleef (T0N!C) and Lyle Warren