Title: Framed for Murder
Date: Late Dalan, 1333 Avard
Synopsis: Meridian Explorations is framed for murder by dopplegangers, and some of the Guard appear in on the job.
Evening of the 27th of Dalan, 1332 Avard.
Captain Aeron was disturbed from his sleep. He still heard the whispers of the dead in his mind; whispers of the dead, and the damned. There was a coppery tang to the air of his quarters in the temple, and something sticky on his hand. There was something sticky all over his bed. In the near darkness, the only light came from underneath the door.
Aeron found his holy symbol, and intoned a prayer to Yatindar to light the way. Bright blue-white light shone from the holy symbol, hurting Aeron's eyes for a moment before they quickly adjusted. There was blood, and it was everywhere.
William Kavris lay on the floor, and the medic's training brought Aeron to William's side even before he finished taking in the scene. William was breathing, his pulse strong in his neck. None of the blood appeared to be William's – or Aeron's.
Aeron the bannister heard the Guard storming down the hallway outside, and then they broke down the door in one rush. They paused but a moment at the scene of so much blood, but apparently knew William and Aeron were not bloodied – that someone else was. William was carried bodily, waking as the Guard handled him roughly.
Aeron, a captain in the Guard, demanded to at least know his charges. The Guard said that witnesses saw the two men commit horrible acts, killing a girl in a gruesome ritual. Captain Aeron was also wanted for his part in the murders of at least ten noblemen's sons.
The Tome of Reegel had apparently corrupted Captain Aeron, and William Kavris. Both men were placed in a cell together, stripped of any armor, weapons, even their holy symbols, and left there. In one adjacent cell were some of Greff's orcs, who waved as the two were brought in. The next adjacent cell seemed empty.
Greff was on his way back to the warehouse, when he ran into Corrin, who said he should go to Hershel's tower, and quickly. Greff asked no questions, and quickly went to the tower. The Guards there let him in without incident, as he was one of the original members of Meridian Explorations.
Inside the tower, Greff smelled death, though nothing was amiss on the first floor. On the second floor, the top of the tower, Hershel's study and bedroom rolled into one, Greff found the gruesome remains of… something. It looked somewhat human, though the hair had been half burned away. There was only half a skull, and the face had been bashed in. There was blood, and small body parts. And footprints that Greff only belatedly realized looked just like his own, as Greff was standing at the window looking out.
The Guards below saw him looking out, and someone was pointing up at him. Greff realized he was being framed. As the Guard stormed into the tower, Greff leapt out of the window, rolled when he hit the ground, and leapt into the shadows on the starlit night.
Arkhan and Corrin were similarly framed, only Corrin escaped all the Guards' attempts to catch her at the warehouse. A false Greff had been in and left half-chewed joints near Arkhan, as well as fresh blood. The chewed joints had been limed to suppress their scent.
Though Corrin evaded arrest, Arkhan voluntarily turned himself in without any fighting. He knew that a trial would prove his innocence – and the holbraces of a paladin were irrefutable proof that he still had the good graces of his patron god. The locals, unfortunately, had no idea what the God of Memories was really about, and so likely could believe that murder and eating of people was acceptable to that god.
Arkhan was thrown in a cell next to Aeron, sandwhiched between the cell of the disgraced Captain Aeron and the cell of Kagen the Black Knife. Arkhan, too, was stripped of armor and holy symbol, and left naked. The dragonborn had no need of clothing, though warmth was sorely lacking without his armor's paddings.
Greff's apartment was sabotaged, and evidence planted there. Corrin went to the apartment, arriving not long after a false Corrin planted the evidence on Greff. Greff remembered working for Reeve Joshua in Teras but six months before. There, the Reeve and Greff and several others had faced off against dopplegangers – shapeshifters. If the dopplegangers were back, then they were all in trouble.
Greff and Corrin managed to escape from Greff's apartment, as guards were posted to prevent them from 'returning' to somewhere they were already hidden. The Guard had ransacked Greff's apartment not long after the evidence was planted, and had been none-the-wiser for Greff or Corrin being nearby to watch.
Greff, carrying Corrin, managed to leap from building to building and then to the ground without incident. From there they went to the Swaddled Blade temple, where the others were likely being held.
Greff made an impressive twenty foot jump from a rooftop to the temple's walls, Corrin on his back. From there, they managed to make it into the temple's second floor, and around inside in the darkness with no on the wiser. Locked doors opened for Corrin as though they were unlocked, the nimble halfling able to undo double tumblers as quickly as most men turned a door knob or a latch.
Soon the two were in empty offices over the jail. The wood of the floors was two-inch thick oak, though they found a weak spot where they could see into the cell below and whisper to the occupant, Aeron. Captain Aeron did not want to be rescued – nor did Arkhan. Both believed that a trial would prove their innocense.
Greff and Corrin, though, knew that Meridian Explorations was being rail-roaded. The evidence against them was planted, and someone was informing the Guard awfully quickly after each bit of evidence was planted.
As the four were carefully whispering back and forth to one another without the pacing Guards overhearing, frustrations rose.
Aeron overheard two of the Guard talking about 'steps having to be taken'. Aeron's food and drink, and Arkhan's as well, had already been doped with a heavy sedative. William was fast asleep, but neither Aeron nor Arkhan had fallen for the trick. Suddenly there was purple smoke, Aeron saw a flash of yellow, bilious eyes, and the Guard was yelling fire. Long panicked moments went by, and then the fire bell began to ring.
Every citizen was called out to assist in fire brigades, to prevent a fire from spreading.
Greff and Corrin retreated to the roof, the nasty purple smoke threatening to knock them unconscious. Greff spied a four-horse wagon leaving the temple, its cargo covered in blankets. One of the paladins on duty stopped the wagon, and then let it go on its way. No one left a fire, by law; it was a hanging offense to flee a fire brigade.
Greff, with Corrin secured to him, leapt the twenty feet to the wall, and then another twenty feet again, and was into the shadows, paralleling the wagon to catch up with it.
Inside the wagon, Arkhan stirred, biting through a hood pulled over his head and strugling to free himself. One of the Guards on the wagon, seeing the prisoners waking, hit them with another dose of the purple smoke.
Corrin shot one of the Guard, while Greff ran forward and leapt onto the wagon, taking a heavy dose of the purple smoke, but staying on his feet. Both Guard were knocked down, and one horse killed, before Greff and Corrin could get Aeron and Arkhan out of the back. There was no sign of William.
The four slipped into a warehouse and hid, staying out of sight of the Guard and citizens that would turn them in. Arkhan and Aeron were for returning immediately, turning themselves in, and letting a trial determine their innocence. Greff argued heavily against it.
Inside crates in the warehouse, Corrin found tusks of ivory and furs and alcoholic drinks from Kur Maeth. The shipping papers indicated the crates had come from a ship known as the Domler's Jeel. Aeron recognized that name. Two of the Guard had been talking about taking the prisoners to the 'jeel'.
The men on the four-horse wagon had been men, and not dopplegangers. Their deaths would weigh against the company in trial, but Arkhan and Aeron still both believed that the truth of a trial would set them free – if they ever made it to trial.
Near to midnight of the 27th of Dalan, 1332 Avard.
I had a good time rail-roading the players, and they seemed to enjoy the chance to really role play. They noted several times that it was ironic that the two law-abiding members of the group were determined to remain in jail, and the two somewhat shady characters were trying to break them out.
Greff was awesome, with Bill rolling well for leaps and bounds that would make Spiderman jealous. Corrin was amazing, the way Sommer had her going through locks like they didn't exist. I also really appreciated David and Ross staying true to their characters, and demanding a trial, using the system to their advantage, and having faith in the judicial system.
We had some pina colatas, but when we ran out of mixer, we started having a new drink someone named a Davy Jones – half Jones cream soda and half Bacardi coconut rum, on the rocks. They taste a whole lot better after a few pina coladas.
All characters have 24,250 experience points and are 10th-level.
This is prob the most fun session i have had playing with Joe. I love being able to role play when the session takes a turn for the worse. I think Greff is actually designed for this situation. So it made it alot more fun to play him to his strengths, which seem endless right now