Zg Session 15

Aleith|DM: During your arrest of Mayor Reed Macbannin, a major earthquake struck, destroying part of the manor. After arresting him, he directed you to head under a shed in his yard to a lab/witchoil reservoir and make sure it doesn't cause a catastrophe.
Aleith|DM: After dealing with a few escaped flayed jaguars and his hired thugs, including his butler, Cillian Creed, who appears to be the 'shadow man' that has been causing problems for you, the rest of the laboratory awaits.
Garrett: "Any more elevators? Trap doors?" he asks of the cuffed and collared Macbannin.
Phyllis clears her throat. "Will you cooperate now, sir? I mean, if we uncuff you, you understand that you're clearly … badly wounded and outnumbered six to one?"
Gerald: "I wouldn't mind shooting him again, if we're being honest."
Garrett: "(That's his thing you know. Shooting people.)"
Phyllis: "Yeah, basically just asking once for the sake of my conscience."
Macbannin: "There's stairs past the decontamination plate on the other end of the engine room. The lift's the only one. And the door to the middle door in the engine room may be trapped." He looks at Phyllis and sighs melodramatically. "That was the last of my good help. I'll cooperate."
Garrett: "Good man. At least go out a hero, even if the setup was villianous."
Chandrasekhar: "Don't let your guard down, people."
Zane: "Macbannin. Let me be clear. The law says you need to stand trial for all this. Personally, only the mildly disapproving looks I would get from my coworkers is keeping me from dunking you in your own witchoil vat, one limb at a time. If you agree to cooperate and then renege on that agreement, I will take you apart like we're back in your courtyard all over again. Only this time I
Zane: won't hold back. "
Zane: "And spirits help you if you run. I will take you apart slowly."
Aleith|DM: He nods to Zane. "I understand, constables."
Phyllis puts one hand on Zane's arm and raises then slowly lowers her other arm in an easing motion. "Eeeaasy there."
Zane growls.
Chandrasekhar: "-I'd- have to think twice about stopping him." He shrugs carelessly, takes point in case of more shadow horrors.
Garrett: "Right on, here we go."
Gerald‘ heads on down.
Aleith|DM: Ernst, as you’re checking the engine, please make a Perception check.
Garrett‘ leaves Macbannin to the others, because he’s gonna also sniff out additional traps if there's any around [thievery?] [perception?]
Aleith|DM: Perception
Garrett‘ rolled 1d20+8 and got 14 ( Total: 22 )
Aleith|DM: There isn’t a door knob on the middle door. There's a slot one must reach into, such that you slip your forearm fully into the wall. At the far end is a lever that looks like it opens the door.
Phyllis: "May I?"
Garrett: "Oh, I was gonna tell one of the rookies to do it."
Garrett: "But yeah that's more sensible and we're probably short on time."
Aleith|DM: You might have to ask Ernst about it, but there seems to be some cracks in the engine.
[OOC] Garrett: well he's afk-ish so let's do this first
Aleith|DM: Sure.
Garrett: "Hey Ernst…." he shows him the cracks.
Garrett: "What'd ya' make of this?"
Phyllis flicks her wrist over her orb and conjures a [Mage Hand] to fit through the slot instead of someone's actual hand.
Ernst rolled d20+8 and got 18 ( Total: 26.0 ) for Perception for engine afk again
Aleith|DM: You think that turning on the engine right now might be a bad idea without some quick repairs first.
Aleith|DM: The door opens. Nothing seems to happen to the hand. Maybe the trap wasn't turned on…? A lab tech seems to be huddling inside.
[OOC] Ernst: Are those repairs feasible for me to make in a timely manner?
Aleith|DM: Yes, but you'll need some materials. Macbannin says there should be some downstairs in the storage area.
Aleith|DM: As the door opens, the lab tech looks up. "Are…what about the jaguars?!"
Garrett: "The dead ones?"
Zane: "I think those are the only kind left."
Zane: "Unless there's a few downstairs."
Aleith|DM: He seems to deflate a little. "Oh, good. When they got loose, they were between me and the door, and I locked myself in here."
Chandrasekhar keeps an eye out on things. He's still half convinced something evil will pop out of the engine and eat Ernst.
Tech: "How many?"
Zane: "Speaking of. C'mon, Ernst, lets go get whatever junk you need to fix that other junk. Also uh… three? Four?"
Zane: "It was all a blur, really."
Aleith|DM: The tech sighs in relief. "There were only three of them. It…should be fine?" He looks at Macbannin. "…sir?"
Garrett: "How about you just sit in a corner and try not to make anything worse."
Garrett: "He's under arrest and we're going to at least question you."
Macbannin: "They're RHC. Just do as they ask, please."
Aleith|DM: The tech nods, and sits back down on the bed in the room.
Gerald‘ trudges on down for supplies and materials.
Zane: "Alright, someone else watch Macbannin before he accidentally trips eye first into a pile of rebar."
Zane helps get stuff for Ernst.
Aleith|DM: Macbannin turns off a switch beside the pressure plate in front of the rightmost door. "Stepping on the plate otherwise triggers a cleansing spary of air and fresh water, but we can worry about that later if you want." He opens the door and stairs head down.
Garrett` will stay topside to watch the civilians and/or criminals.
Chandrasekhar snorts. "You’d enjoy that, but then we wouldn't be able to question him later."
Zane makes a 'weighing scales' gesture with his hands.
Aleith|DM: After going downstairs, you see a tunnel lined with pipes. THere's an irregular bubbling sound coming from them.
Aleith|DM: It's also pitch black.
Aleith|DM: Much like above, but Chandrasekhar is lit up.
Chandrasekhar makes a face, but also, makes a good human torch.
Zane sighs. "Alright, my eyes are good but not this good yet. Anybody got a sunrod?"
Phyllis: "Should I just come down there with you?"
Zane: "Works too."
Phyllis: " - do the lights work up here?"
Zane: "Macbannin, how the hell do your people see to work down here?"
Macbannin: "If the engine's turned on, they should."
Ernst: "No power, presumably."
Macbannin: "But I know I'd rather not be sprayed with witchoil while it's running."
Zane: "Well we'll get to that in a minute, since rook says it'll explode if we poke it right now."
Phyllis: "Chandra, you okay with it going lights out for a bit so they can see downstairs?"
Garrett‘ tosses the group two sunrods that he had.
Chandrasekhar nods.
Phyllis: "That also works. Nevermind me."
Zane: "Oh hey there we are. Knew I forgot something, thanks Garrett."
Zane cracks a sunrod.
Aleith|DM: Anyway, through one of the doors, you find a supply room (11). Various pipe covers, tools, and lanterns fill the room. The north end of the room has no wall, and a ladder leads down into area 12. However, that seems to have been flooded a bit with witchoil, at least a few feet deep.
Aleith|DM: What you can see of area 12 though, the walls are completely covered with sigils, runes, and prayers.
Aleith|DM: To the west sits the reservoir proper, with a catwalk leading over to the far end with two large pipes.
Aleith|DM: To the right appears to be some kind of control room, but it appears inert for now.
Zane: "Alright, Ernst. You point, I’ll carry."
Aleith|DM: Ernst can quickly point out the supplies you'll need, and you manage to carry it upstairs.
Aleith|DM: Make some Intelligence checks for the repairs.
Aleith|DM: At least, say, 5.
Aleith|DM: Anyone?
[OOC] Garrett: I'm just looking at my INT score and wincing
Zane: (I am *not* on that shit, no sir. Fue get your ass back here ))
[OOC] Zane: or Doman, I think INT is one of your things)
Ernst rolled d20+6 and got 13 ( Total: 19.0 )
[OOC] Garrett: and trying to make an argument for any other skill I have, like how thievery also deals with machinery but on a smaller scale 00
[OOC] Ernst: Back
Aleith|DM: Okay. Make 4 more checks
[OOC] Ernst: All me?
Aleith|DM: You and/or Phyllis it seems
Ernst rolled 4#d20+6(1) and got 11 ( Total: 17.0 )
Also rolled 4#d20+6(2) and got 10 [Total: 16.0 (Low), Avg: 10.00]
[OOC] Garrett: does aiding count against a check
Also rolled 4#d20+6(3) and got 11 [Total: 17.0 (High), Avg: 11.00]
Also rolled 4#d20+6(4) and got 4 [Total: 10.0 (Low), Avg: 4.00]
Total: 60.0, Avg: 9.00
Aleith|DM: It doesn't take that long, nearly a minute to get the repairs all done.
[OOC] Ernst: Why am I making INT checks my technologist passive says I auto pass this shit
Aleith|DM: Because it doesn't in this case
Aleith|DM: but the DC was 10
Aleith|DM: Macbannin glances at Zane, gesturing to the engine. "Will you allow me to turn it on? It can be a tricky."
Zane: "Sure."
Ernst watches Macbannin silently. He doesn't trust the guy at this point.
Phyllis keeps an eye on Macbannin as well. [Possibly Insight?]
Aleith|DM: Macbannin primes the engine, then aligns the energized throttle with the flow from the reservoir, before trying to pull the start cord.
Aleith|DM rolled d20+2 and got 19 ( Total: 21 ) for Str check
Aleith|DM: The engine turns on. Lights turn on upstairs. The repairs seem to be holding.
Macbannin: "That should be everything up here. Can I take a look downstairs now?
Zane: "Alright. That one room with all the magic crap on the walls is a little flooded."
Phyllis: "Sure."
Phyllis raises an eyebrow. "Magic crap on the walls? I have to see this."
Garrett: "That's interesting…"
Zane: "S'why I mentioned it yeah."
Macbannin: "Ah. That would be for the eldritch machine. Generates the witchoil."
Macbannin: "One of my best pieces of work, if I say so."
Zane: "Doing a grand job of it. Must be a couple feet deep in there."
Phyllis: "'Generates' nothing. Like a spinning machine 'generates' yarn from wool."
Aleith|DM: He frowns. "It must still be on then."
Aleith|DM: Heading downstairs, he gets to the room filled with pipes and stops.
Aleith|DM: Craning his ears, he starts walking around the room, looking at some of the pipes.
Chandrasekhar: "Don't you feel like if you are ever inclined to name something 'the eldritch machine' you've already made a sequence of terrible mistakes?"
Macbannin: "That's not good. It sounds like the earthquake damaged the relief pipe."
Zane: "Which means…?"
Macbannin: "Which means-" He starts switching some of the valves in the room. "-that the witchoil isn't going anywhere. And turning on the pumps would cause them to explode in short order."
Zane: "Well, we need it go be going somewhere that isn't a catastrophic flood down your lovely driveway into town."
Aleith|DM: After half a minutes, he steps back. "There. It's switched back over to the main pipe. It should be safe to pump the oil out now so we can reach the eldritch machine."
Garrett‘ gives Ernst a glance that sort of asks, ’is this legit or is he spinning bullshit?'
Aleith|DM: Ernst: You'd have to take a look at the whole setup, but that sound from the pipes didn't sound healthy before he switched them over, at least.
Aleith|DM: He steps into room 10-under your watchful eyes-and turns on the pump. "Might as well switch it to fast until it drains back to normal."
Aleith|DM: Which is pretty quick, apparently. It's only about 20 seconds before he shifts it back to Slow.
Macbannin: "That should counteract the flow."
Aleith|DM: The reservoir has now emptied enough so that the catwalks are about 20 feet above the witchoil, instead of only 5. Room 12 is drained aside from a few puddles.
Ernst shakes his head at Garrett. "Things seem to be working at the moment."
Zane absently taps a dagger against his thigh as he watches Macbannon work. "So what were you doing with all this witchoil, anyway? In the longterm, I mean. We've seen the golems and the jaguars and such."
Aleith|DM: Macbannin looks to Phyllis. "The Eldritch Machine is on the west wall down there. The controls next to it let you turn it off. After that, you should try sealing the rift to the Bleak Gate to make sure it's permanently shut."
Macbannin: "Top secret Risuri military project."
Chandrasekhar looks skeptical and/or 'oh man what important Risuri are we going to have to kill -now-'.
Phyllis nods at Macbannin and heads down to the wall. "So resisting us was more to try to protect the secrecy?"
Zane: "Hm. Wonder what the odds are of you cimitting assisted suicide in your cell before you can confess everything."
Gerald: "Don't worry, our boss is the King. We got clearance."
Aleith|DM: Macbannin snorts. "Your boss is Delft. My orders are from the King."
Gerald: "Funny, you'd think there'd be like,"
Zane: "Man, that's going to get awkward."
Gerald: "Standing orders to *not* arrest you for doing your job if that was the case…?"
Garrett: "We can play 'marbles and sticks,' in the carriage back to headquarters."
Macbannin: "And that's why I'm sure this will be all cleared up."
Garrett: "Let's keep working on shutting this down." He goes to inspect the controls with Phyllis.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis: The controls are clearly labelled, including an 'OFF' setting. Arcana check to try and seal the rift, though.
Gerald: "You fought back a lot for someone that thought it was gunna get swept aside anyway."
Macbannin: "Not all of it has been done on the straight-and-narrow, as I'm sure you've found."
Phyllis rolled d20+12 and got 9 ( Total: 21.0 ) for Arcana!
Aleith|DM: Hmmm. Not quite. The rift twists a bit, but remains open.
Phyllis of course turns the switch off first.
Aleith|DM: That would be required, yes.
[OOC] Phyllis: KINDA THOUGHT THAT WAS IMPLIED
Aleith|DM: Well, yeah. Roll again?
Phyllis rolled d20+12 and got 20 ( Total: 32.0 )
Aleith|DM: Well, then. It shuts completely. Controls don't do anything now.
[OOC] Zane: Phyllis has clear had Enough of the Bleak Gates shit.
Garrett: "Wow."
Aleith|DM: Macbannin shuts off the pumps. "That should be that."
Garrett: "You made that look easy."
Zane: "I'm impressed."
Chandrasekhar looks impressed, but not surprised.
Aleith|DM: He puts his hands back out for the cuffs.
Phyllis: "'Refine' is a better word, isn't it? Not 'generate.'"
Zane puts the dagger away and slaps the cuffs on Macbannin again.
Macbannin: "True enough. It does refine the energies of the Gate into liquid form."
Zane: "Why the hell would you do that?"
Macbannin: "To power the project. Whatever it is."
Chandrasekhar: "Presumably, as a weapon or as a power source. Or both."
Macbannin: "With a little experimenting on the side."
Zane gives Singh a '*please* let me cut his throat' look. But doesn't really expect an affermative response.
Phyllis glances at Garrett. "'Energies of the gate.'"
Chandrasekhar: "Such a substance would have tremendous potential energy. Like oil, except, you know." Beat. "Made of damned souls."
Gerald: "Lets go wait somewhere that isn't directly over a vat of witchoil and pitch black, yeah?"
Gerald‘ starts heading back up.
Garrett: "Yeah, I think the smell’s already started to settle into this armor. Pity, I was just getting attached to it."
Zane grumbles in his native tongue, heading back up into the daylight with macbannin in tow.
Gerald‘ probably drags the other assholes they knocked out down there out, too.
Aleith|DM: The police and some of the army help take them into custody, while casing what’s left of the manor and taking in some of the escaping scientists.
Aleith|DM: Macbannin sighs a he sees his manor again, half of it crushed from the earthquake, and a fire beginning to consume the rest.
Zane: "Look on the bright side. If you wind up getting released somehow, I wont know where to find you anymore."
Phyllis: "Hey, now, we just knocked out some of the help. We were trying to prevent further damage, same as you."
He rolls his eyes. "Yes, that makes me feel much better, constable."
Chandrasekhar rumbles: "It should."
Phyllis: "The untimely earthquake did make you seem much more villainous than you might actually be."
Zane smiles. "Singh understands me."
Macbannin: "That was poorly timed, yes. Rather dramatic, though."
Phyllis: "Unleashing your true demonic form as the true mastermind behind these events. Et cetera."
Gerald: "There's no way something timed that perfectly was a coincidence."
Chandrasekhar: "Never underestimate the universe's sense of dramatic timing."
Chandrasekhar: "Never overestimate it, either."
Macbannin: "If Nevard was still alive, I'm sure he'd agree. Poor man. Tell me how his funeral goes while I'm sitting in a cell, will you?"
Phyllis: "Hold up. Your cats showed up to his speech."
Macbannin: "Creed was in charge of matters like that, actually."
Zane: "Not anymore."
Macbannin: "Much like my time as mayor, I'm sure."
Aleith|DM: A few officers and several military come to take Macbannin to a cell in the main courthouse, and thank you for your work.
Zane leans against a nearby tree, watching the cleanup, and deep in thought.
Phyllis: "Alright, but - if Creed was working for him, what purpose could an attack on Nevard provide?"
Gerald: "Accident maybe? Wasn't anything smart about it."
Chandrasekhar: "Nevard knew too much."
Chandrasekhar: "Wasn't his fault he was cheating. I imagine the stars would have opinions about Macbannin skimming off the top, though, don't you think?"
Zane: "Reminds me, someone get be a transcript of that prophecy from the speech."
Zane: "Or tell me to do it back at the office, whichever."
Garrett: "I'm sure someone's got it somewhere."
Zane: "Yeah…"
Garrett: "Case closed?"
Zane frowns. "Officially? Probably."
Garrett: "Pub?"
Gerald: "Works for me."
Zane: "Definitely."
Aleith|DM: Saving the paperwork for tomorrow?
Chandrasekhar: "Except for 'oh by the way the King may or may not be distilling Hell into a portable potable' but I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Zane nods at Singh. "I'm not done with this by a long shot. But uh. Probably you didnt hear that."
Garrett: "Yeah, well…"
Garrett: "I don't think we have enough goldcuffs for that one right now."
Chandrasekhar: "Heh."
Chandrasekhar: "I mean, I know a guy in Ber who makes 'em for cheap if we need our own stock."
Zane: "Yeah, I bet you do."
Garrett: "Paperwork tomorrow."
Ernst scratches his head. "You think the king is actually going to back this guy up?"
Zane: "Not publicly."
Phyllis: "Please."
Zane: "But gold for coppers he's dead in his cell inside a week."
Garrett: "As much as I'd like to bet against that…"
Ernst: "We're just going to let that happen?"
Zane: "Yes."
Zane is shaking his head 'no'.
Chandrasekhar: "So who else would be in on this?"
Phyllis: "Alternately, who's to say Macbannin told the truth on who he was working for?"
Zane: "That is the question that lands you the dragons hoard, Singh."
Garrett: "(Risur help us if it actually ends up being dragons.)"
Zane shudders.
Zane: "Lets just… let the expression stay an old expression, thanks."
Phyllis: "Not the Dreaming Court, I'd imagine."
Aleith|DM: When you get into the office the next morning, Delft calls you to his office and tells you the paperwork will have to wait (though Phyllis has at least put a dent in it already). "Get your stories straight immediately, because you're being called to testify. Macbannin had a lot of power friends, and though the evidence against him seems overwhelming, any inconsistencies could sink the case."
Zane: "Whens the trial?"
Gerald: "Oh right you caught the bit where he said he was working on the project for the King, right?"
Delft: "It starts today, though it'll probably last days, if not weeks. We've got people combing over those documents you recovered, but what's already in there is pretty damning along with everything else."
Garrett: "Can we hold the trial in the collapsed manor with the eldrich shit underneath it? I think that'd put things in perspective right quick."
Delft: "I've already sent word to Lord Viscount Inspector Price-hill. He'll look into it in Slate."
Aleith|DM: Delft just sends a look at Garrett. "Please. The manor's flames are only just dying down."
Zane: "Even better."
Garrett: "That's the point," he says, very flatly and exceptionally serious.
Delft: "Motion denied."
Ernst: "You said the defense is trying to fight their way out. Since they're not pleading guilty what angle are they taking?"
Delft: "See? Already getting into the spirit of things."
Delft: "I suppose we'll find out at the trial. But I'm sure they'll try to shift the majority of it onto his underlings."
Phyllis: "What are the charges against him? I'd like to know what to nail him on."
Gerald: "I mean, it's always the Butler is murder mystery novellas…"
Zane: "The butler definitely had a part to play in it, to be fair."
Garrett: "To be fair the butler -did- do a lot of it."
Delft: "A lot of it has him as a willing accomplice for various crimes, not limited to arson, theft, and murder."
Delft: "The bulter is getting nailed with a lot. Murder, organized smuggling, attempted cover up, various other criminal activities. Like assaulting constables in the course of their duties."
Zane: "That one worked ot poorly for him in the end."
Delft: "Twice, even. Good work on that."
Garrett: "The mayor -also- did that last one, just sayin'."
Garrett: "Let's at least get that on the pile because I'd love to see the legal gymnastics o' that one."
Zane shrugs. "Thats why you pay us the big bucks and rare going to give us our own reclaimed estate as a bse of operations…"
Aleith|DM: Delft laughs. "Right, like I'd want to explain that to good ol' Nigel."
Chandrasekhar: "One of these days he'll come around, Zane."
Zane: "I keep telling you. Just have one declared unfit to live in, mark it as forclosed, and give us the deed on the sly."
Delft: "That almost sounds like something Macbannin would do, though…"
Gerald: "I can't imagine they're going to do much with the remains of the mayoral manner anyway…"
Zane: "Please, we're not going to fill the basement with helljuice and flayed dead-alive animals."
Garrett: "Yeah, 's why we're trying to get in on that too."
Delft: "Alright. Get yourselves ready, we should head over in about a half hour."
Zane: "I just want something out of government oversight to fall back on when we inevitably wind up on the run. Is that so much to ask?"
Phyllis: "Delft."
Phyllis: "One more question."
Phyllis: "Just some lateral thinking here."
Delft: "Oh?"
Zane heads into his office. Time to don the formal uniform if he's going to be making a court appearance.
Aleith|DM: Definitely a good time for that.
Phyllis: "How do we know that Creed wasn't the mastermind anyhow? I mean, they're both culpable. But I don't think we know enough about the situation to just assume Macbannin's the main target out of the gate."
Delft: "Creed is, in fact, former RHC, as it turns out. Used to be an overseas operative before taking an early retirement after a disfiguring facial wound in the last war. Looking over his reports, he seems more a follower than a leader, so it seems unlikely. I think Macbannin was taking orders from someone though, since he doesn't even know what the witchoil and all the other materials were for."
Zane: "Overseas… where."
Delft: "No idea how Creed acquired those shadow abilities, but…they were experimenting with the Bleak Gate and witchoil there."
Delft: "Danor, mostly."
Delft: "Stints in the Malice Lands and Drakr, too."
Garrett: "I can accept blaming it on the witchoil."
Zane: "Oh boy…"
Phyllis: "He claims his orders came from the king."
Aleith|DM: Delft nods. "And Lord Nigel Prince-hill is following up on that."
Delft: "We don't know how that Steelshaper you ran into at the church fits into things, either."
Zane: "I have a few theories, but nothing solid enough to talk about yet."
Gerald: "Not particularly well in either case."
Chandrasekhar: "Hm."
Garrett: "Fits into a hole in the ground."
Chandrasekhar kicks off from the wall, uncrosses his arms. "At the very least, Macbannin was just… running the equivalent of a refinery. I'm sure whoever's behind this would love to pin the blame on him."
Chandrasekhar: "Would make their job easier."
Phyllis: "Yes, that's true regardless of who it is."
Chandrasekhar: "Zane, you're going to kill me, but what if we threw the game? Deliberately botched our testimony, made sure Macbannin could walk, and offered our protection."
Zane: "You're right, I would kill you."
Aleith|DM: Delft just frowns at Chandrasekhar. "Probably more thorougly than I could."
Aleith|DM: Delft glances at Zane. "Well, minus the probably."
Zane: "Hey I'm sure those years sitting behind your desk eating bonbons havent taken your edge off…"
Chandrasekhar shrugs. "The best revenge is a life well-lived, after all. Not that I want to save that man from the fate he's lovingly crafted for himself after he knowingly put the city in danger."
Gerald: "Yeah I don't think we gain anything by looking like a bunch of incompetent fucksticks, especially when two of us are gutter rats, and three of us are foreign born."
Ernst: "I'd be more willing to hear the guy out if he didn't try to fuck us over at every given turn earlier."
Phyllis: "Yeah, I think I'm with Ernst on this one. The man really tested my good will."
Garrett: "I'm born in Risur, but…"
Chandrasekhar: "Still, an unaired thought turns the mind to dust." He shrugs, goes back to leaning against the wall.
Phyllis nods at Chandra. "I at least appreciated the unorthodox approach."
Zane: "Yeah, I hear where you're coming from. I just dont think the long-term benefits outweigh the short term gain."
Gerald‘ puts a hand on Garrett’s shoulder. "You're the other gutter rat."
Chandrasekhar: "You're -our- gutter rats. Please."
Garrett‘ chuckles goodnaturedly. "I gathered."
Ernst: "Who’s wanting to do most of the talking at court anyways?"
Garrett: "Well, hopefully they don't call on any one of us in particular…"
Chandrasekhar: "I imagine they'll wring testimony out of all of us. We just need to make sure our stories are straight."
Garrett: "(That's just me saying 'that's probably what they'll do.')"
Garrett: "Macbannin was consealing a weapon and was reaching for it so we opened fire."
Zane: "Was he? I just dropped him because he asked his criminal associates to kill us."
Ernst: "Didn't his entire house split open from a fissure in the earth AND he asked his men to kill us before we opened fire?"
Garrett: "This is why we're getting the story straight now, yeah."
Gerald: "That's actually what happened, by the way, not just… 'what happened'."
Phyllis: "Delft. What if it's the king? Do we prioritize the truth in that scenario, or try to keep civil order and handle that part quietly?"
Delft: "That's not going to come up in the first day when we haven't confirmed it yet. Worry about it later."
Phyllis: "Fair enough. Just thinking long-term."
Chandrasekhar: "As soon as we elaborate on that part of the testimony, we'll be either co-conspirators, or targets."
Garrett: "I'd be okay with just getting the mayor on this one, for now."
Chandrasekhar: "Discretion is often the better part of valor."
Garrett: "The battle of something bigger a'int gonna be done in the court."
Zane: "Lets just stick with the truth. He ordered us killed, I dropped him. We dragged him inside to make him work on his hell machine under threat of a very painful death. His butler and some cronies jumped us, we dropped them. There were flayed jaguars, those got settled. Ernst repaired the engine because he's a goddamn technical genius, Macbannin drained the room with all the mojo, Phyllis
Zane: sealed the rift. "
Chandrasekhar: "Don't try to break the rock. Survive, grow, and the rock will crumble under your roots."
Phyllis: "I pulled the lever, then sealed the rift."
Zane: "I didnt see you pull the lever…"
Garrett: "I didn't hear my name once in that story." Pause. "And I like it like that."
Zane: "Figured you might. Hell I wouldnt even call out Ernst unless they press for details."
[OOC] Phyllis: /me makes Mage Hand choke-y motions at Zane.
[OOC] Zane: :D
Zane is 100% comfortable with just painting a target on his own back, yeah.
Garrett: "But yeah, the truth is… hopefully good enough."
Garrett: "Just don't get surprised if it doesn't stick."
Zane: "Of course."
Zane: "I wouldn't even bring up the 'kings orders' part of things, since we can't prove it. We have paperwork for the golem and jaguars, we have his actions at the manor and his lab. That's what we've got, thats what we pin him with."
Chandrasekhar nods.
Phyllis: "Yeah. Thanks for keeping me grounded on that one."
Garrett: "It'd definitely be funny if Macbannin himself brought that up, but."
Zane: "God I can only hope."
Aleith|DM: A full hearing is scheduled in the courthouse today, with as many witnesses as they've been able to find being brought in to clear things up. Reporters and crowds of angry factory workers or disbelieving Nettles residents throng outside. Elite abjurers are present to protect the gathered officials, Governor Roland Stanfield included, in case Macbannin somehow attempts to use magic.
Zane nods at Phyllis. "You're not wrong, its a valid long-term concern."
Aleith|DM: However, when the hearing is set to begin, Macbannin is late.
Aleith|DM: There's a bit of a commotion as the judge asks the defence what's keeping their client.
Aleith|DM: A couple of officers come up and ask Garrett if he can come with them to the cells.
Garrett‘ slides up from his seat and nods, following.
Phyllis gives Zane a side-eyed glance.
Gerald` mumbles "he seems to have lost his head…" to himself in a couple different pitches and tones, apparently trying to pick the best one.
Zane mumbles. "Gold for copper. That was faster than I expected."
Ernst is visibly displeased. If they somehow fucked up getting him to trial despite knowing he may die or get busted out in this short timeframe he’s not going to be impressed. He follows after Garrett.
Gerald‘ also decides he’s curious as to the state the mayo was left in and trails behind Garrett.
Chandrasekhar follows. For fuck's sake.
Aleith|DM: The police lead you into the courthouse's basement, into a secure room, past various guards.
Aleith|DM: Macbannin lies dead, his head smashed in and blood splattered on the wall.
Aleith|DM: The horrified guards who were watching him say he had seemed fairly amicable, as if he was looking forward to the trial.
Gerald: "Heeey, smashed head. Wouldn't have called that one."
Ernst lets out a long exagerated sigh before walking off. "I need a walk."
Aleith|DM: But then he swayed, slumped onto his cot, and started whispering to himself for a few minutes.
Aleith|DM: They were wary in case he was trying the 'sick prisoner' trick, but they knew the cell would stop him from using his magic.
Chandrasekhar takes in a slow breath, then lets it out.
Garrett: "Yep, that's a murder."
Aleith|DM: They say a bit later he nodded, stood back up, and asked one of them if he could borrow a cigarette. He smoked slowly, and didn't talk to them again until he finished. Then he thanked them, stretched his shoulders, and killed himself by smashing his head in to the wall repeatedly. By the time they got into the cell, he was already dead.
Aleith|DM: Mingled with the smell of fresh blood is the rich smoke of leaf of Nicodemus.
Garrett: "Well, shit."
Gerald: "Probably strongly suggested suicide rather than murder but…" Gerald makes a wobbly hand motion.
Police: "Can you check with body? The prosecutor's coming with the questions to ask."
Ernst makes his way back before glancing at Zane. "We seriously couldn't have had someone competent watching his cell for one day? I'll be outside if you need me. I need a drink. Or a smoke. Something."
Chandrasekhar already had the horrified reaction to that as soon as he saw the body, so he doesn't need to have it again. "Search the remains for anything that would act as a telepathic reciever."
Gerald: "I mean,"
Gerald: "Okay? Can't imagine he's not dead though."
Gerald‘ goes in and double checks.
Aleith|DM: He’s definitely dead.
Garrett: "Oh no he's dead as hell."
Garrett: "Just, now we get to check him for magical shenanigans."
Gerald: "Oh. That one's not even hard."
Chandrasekhar: "Garrett, you think he might be amenable to discussion -now-? On the other hand I suppose there isn't much we can threaten him with anymore."
Gerald: "It's that spell that lets you whisper to people over long distances."
Garrett: "Oh yeah, body doesn't even have to be cold."
Gerald: "His boss was all, 'hey you done fucked up and this isn't coming back on me. Kill yourself or I'm torching everything you care about."
Gerald‘ makes a book-being-closed motion. "Bam."
Garrett` pushes his way into the cell and actually searches the body.
Garrett: "Funny thing about that though…"
Garrett: "His spirit a’int around."
Chandrasekhar raises an eyebrow.
Chandrasekhar: "Well, they're certainly thorough."
Gerald: "Huh? There's no way this asshole didn't die with regrets."
Gerald‘ tilts his head back towards the officers that had been watching the cell. "Any visitors, at any point?"
Garrett: "The spirit lingers anyway, and even if they don’t -want- to talk to me… the whole process is sort of something they have to deal with, because I'm such an influential guy."
Aleith|DM: The guards shake their head. "Only his lawyer last night."
Gerald‘ finger snaps.
Chandrasekhar: "He’d have to be thoroughly committed to his cause. Alternatively, there are ways, I'm sure, to dispose of a spirit."
Gerald: "That's who we wanna talk to, then!"
Aleith|DM: Garrett: Perception?
[OOC] Garrett: can I take 20
Aleith|DM: Sure.
Garrett‘ does that. [28]
Gerald: "Probably slipped to him via the lawyer, yeah."
Aleith|DM: You don’t find anything other than the prisoner's clothing he had on.
Garrett: "Nothing unique I can find. If someone wants to [detect magic] or something, go for it, but there's no knives or drugs or even a spirit."
Garrett: "Let's see the lawyer."
Aleith|DM: They took away all his affects when he was brought in.
Garrett‘ yeah, well… he was being thorough.
Gerald` puts his hands behind his head and goes to flag down the others slash let the judge know the suspect is dead.
Phyllis: "Might as well." [Arcana?]
Aleith|DM: Nothing comes up.
Phyllis: Alternately, there’s the ritual from Gale.
Zane nods at Gerald and asks for the courts permission to withdraw and examine the victim. Once he gets that, he heads downstairs to the cells.
Aleith|DM: I mean, if you really want, there's Bleak Gate energy on him, but you could've guessed that.
Phyllis: Yeah, kind of figured with the whispering and apparent insanity.
Zane sniffs. Sniffs again.
Garrett: "It'll be okay."
Garrett: "I know you two were close."
Zane: "Leaf of Nicodemus."
Garrett: "In a… caliginous kind of way."
Gerald: "To dull the pain of smashing his head open, I reckon."
Guard: "Yeah, it was my cigarette he was smoking."
Zane: "Mm."
Aleith|DM: With the key suspect dead, the actual trial is wrapped up fairly quickly.
Aleith|DM: Creed and various other associates are found guilty.
Aleith|DM: You're in the spotlight in Flint after uncovering the corruption of one if the city's top figures.
Aleith|DM: The King disavows anything to do with a 'top secret military project'.
Aleith|DM: Though that's kept undercover-with Macbannin dead, it doesn't come up in the trial.
Aleith|DM: After getting some of the initial paperwork out of the way, Lady Inspectress Saxby reassigns the case to other agents, saying she wants you to take a break so your notoriety doesn't disrupt the other investigators.
Aleith|DM: The city puts out the fires, but can’t yet rebuild the damage on Cauldron Hill. The Nettles grow more restless and lawless, and its new mayor serves from an office in Central. Violence between factory workers and bribed police intensifies. The Ragman takes another few victims.
Aleith|DM: But on one somber day, a week after Macbannin commits suicide, the city holds a moment of silence. Thousands attend Nevard's state funeral.
Aleith|DM: That night, the sky over Flint is clear, and the stars shine brightly, as if promising there is still a future yet unknown.
Aleith|DM: Levelled up to 5. You each receive 2,900 gp.
Aleith|DM: To be continued, next week, in Module 3: Digging for Lies

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