A lot of LARP'ing this session.
One of the things I had set up was a situation where the characters would most likely resort to using deadly force in a town situation, just to see how they would behave. This session was the fallout from their actions and the negative stigma associated with being a "murder-hobo". Yes, when you are trouncing kobolds you can go hog wild, but when you are in town, 99.9% of people do not resort to being brutal murderers.
And the group behaved that way.
This will come up again and again throughout this campaign as the politics around Bork Keep and Erylond are at odds with the brutality of the Terror Dungeon.
Write up follows:
The group woke up slowly, finding themselves and over 30 other bar patrons from the Iron Stallion incarcerated in small cells large enough for 4 people at a time. There seemed to be no organization as to who was jailed with whom, so the group although they were near one another, were not in the same cells as one another.
Two dwarven guards were near the exit, hammers obvious, blue capes on their shoulders. The opposite end of the hall led to the kennel where Avulstein woke up to find not only Einar’s giant bat, but a few angry stray dogs that were caged as well.
Getting back to Einar, he and a member of the League were at each other’s throats, yelling at one another and almost coming to blows. Darius was able to grab the half-orc through the cell bars and keep him from making our situation even worse. We did note that the participants of the fight who had suffered the most were not here in the cells; most likely at the hospice at this time.
And when it came time for interviews, they took out 3 people at a time, each person was cuffed from behind and led to a questioning room where they were then chained to a seat and made to wait. Eventually a dwarven female guard came in, usually with a support guard or two, and proceeded to ask each person slowly and surely what happened, how it started, and what was the person’s actions and reactions during the brawl.
Although each person only saw their portion of the questioning, what they Bluecapes were doing were weaving together each person’s recollection and recanting, and presenting it as the starting point to the next group that came in for questioning. This kept the flow of information going. Also, the questioning room had a glyph of truth on the wall; if there was an egregious lie stated, the glyph would glow red and the person would be allowed to correct their statement until it was deemed to be truthful
The entire process took 3-4 hours. Avulstein during the early part of this process did reach through his bars and open the latch, climbed out, jumped on the dogs’ cages and let them out. He did watch through the kennel exit as the dogs were swiftly put to sleep and then dragged back to the kennel while two more dwarven Bluecapes stepped in to guard the main exit. So he then ran back to his original cage and slipped back in, pulling the door closed before he was seen.
And speaking of Avulstein, it did come out during the interviews that he was a sentient wolverine and was able to speak – so he was not excused in his part of the brawl nor of being questioned by the authorities.
One all the questioning was done the party noticed that first the patrons who were not members of the league or the party were released first. Then some 15 minutes later, League members were released a few at a time until only the group was left. Eventually the five of them (6 if you could Einar’s giant bat) were escorted to another meeting room, larger than the other, where they had their shackles removed and then asked to wait.
At this point the woman who had been doing the interviews came back in, lots of paperwork, a few of her compatriots, and an older dwarven militant who identified himself as Chief Silvercaps. He went over the party’s testimony, recounting it to them so they understood that he understood what happened and at that point turned the conversation to the bounty for Sigurd that had precipitated this entire mess.
The most important thing was that we did NOT start the fight. This fact was corroborated by just about everyone and the aggressor/instigator would be the League of Odin and Sigurd and his two companions. This meant that the party did not have a 50 noble fine they had to pay, it also meant they did not have to be banished from Sorton at this time.
That was it for the good news.
As for the wanted posted, that is a Thakian matter, and the purse for returning Sigurd and the wishes of the Lord Marshall have zero bearing once the group left Thak – especially here. And even more especially against a member in good standing of the League of Odin. The party is not representatives of any law or bounty group anywhere, they have arrived here with letters of good conduct but not to satisfy bounties on wanted criminal work but for mercenary sword and spell work.
Also, these actions, even though the party is not going to be fines, would still need to be presented to the Third Reeve since until the group actually gets a job in the next 2 and a half days, they are technically the Third Reeve’s responsibility. Chief Silvercaps did go on to say that he would let the Third Reeve know that they did not start brawl and merely defended themselves; hoping that would allay some of the fallout that was due to come down the pike.
He did give us a bit of hope. If we were able to get employment and keep ourselves in good standing with our employers for the next 3-4 weeks, he would be willing to deputize two members of the party with the express powers of fulfilling wanted bounties for a period not to exceed 1 week. This will allow the group at some point to TRY and apprehend Sigurd and bring him back to Thak. However, they would not be allowed to enter the League and just take him, they would have to find a time and situation where they can arrest Sigurd away from the League and squirrel him out of town before the League could muster a response and stop the party from heading east to Thak.
We thanked the Chief and left Sorton Holding, making our way to the free air and then tried to get our bearing. We headed off to the Hospice first – not to brace Sigurd or cause any problems, but to check up on Lareth and make sure his stay was taken care of.
While there, the group managed to get a heads up on some of the other badly wounded people who came here from the bar fight. Darius felt terrible at his efforts in some of the wounded men who will be holed up for days and/or weeks that he paid for some of their Hospice time as well as some of the equipment needed to support them during these days. He did not give his name, hiding amongst anonymity for now.
It was 11 PM when we arrived back at the Pennywhistle and made our way to our rooms where we exhaustedly fell asleep, knowing that the next day was going to test us.
And it did.
We awoke early and made sure we were at the Third Reeve’s Office on time. We took our seats and waited as jobs were read off and applicants taken. As the room emptied and it came closer to 10 PM, we suspected the Reeve was mad at us.
It was almost 10 when he came in and had us follow him to a private room where he turned on us and read the group the riot act. Bar fight? Fines? League? Men in the hospital? What the hell were we thinking!? And how the hell could he sell us to any house or consortium now when we were such a loose cannon. Half the possible employment opportunities just disappeared.
Defend yourself, sure. Don’t cripple people in a bar fight by hurling them across the room, or beating them to unconsciousness with a chair, or giving them rabies, or tearing their guts out, or breaking their knee cap, or bursting their balls. Defend yourself yes, but remember you are NOT murder-hoboes. There is already such a stigma regarding mercs that this did nothing to help the group.
Good news was though that the 13 League members were responsible for the fine for public assault and battery – and they had to shell out 650 nobles to the Sorton Militia. And it was their members who were put on notice for fighting, not the party. But reps for the League were here this morning and had been up the Third Reeve’s ass about having HIM or the PARTY pays the League back for the fines – which the Third Reeve was willing to defend the party for.
They needed to keep their nose clean. There are aspects of Sorton who don’t like the League and it is possible that the group’s actions might generate them some employment and he is working with House Illytch to get them to possibly pick up the party’s contract for a season. However, if they can get some work, it would reset the “clock” for them to 4 days which might be enough for the Third Reeve to make this go away and get the group situated.
From here we had discussed the next part of Avulstein’s list and we were looking for the promise of a dead man. It seemed the best bet would be getting a notary to sign off on a final promise of someone who is slated for hanging or execution. The notaries would be found again in Central Quarter and sponsored by the Church of Frigga, we had audience with one of them, getting the services of a half-orc female notary named Coriso who was willing to pen her name to what document we needed.
So from here there was talk of going back to Sorton Holding and talking to Chief Silvercaps to see if we can get audience with some of the criminals up for hanging in the next day or two.