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Trial By Fire - Exalted 2e IC Thread

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#26
Rashiid shrugs, remaining standing as he leans against a nearby surface, "Either way we choose to handle things, I believe a good first step would be to visit the man. Gives me a chance to scout around, and you all a chance to get what information out of him that you can. It's a win-win." he says, reaching up to his shoulder, letting the mospid crawl onto his arm so Rashiid can pet the creature. He watches Fei curiously, hearing her mention this business of satraps and justice, but says nothing on the matter.
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#27
"Well, I don't have the eye for it, but I can get us in. You confident you can perform a thorough casing on a walkthrough?" Aredin asked looking toward Rashiid. "If so, I can try and make a subtle case to downplay our association with him directly." If the group was in agreement, Aredin would stand up and guide them toward the jailhouse.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
#28
Darian lets out a sigh. "Why can't we catch a break for once? Lets go. I may be able to hear something in his voice to tell us if he's lying to us. The sooner the better." With that, she takes Aredin by the forearm once more.
 
#29
"You do your thing, boss. I'll do mine." Rashiid replies, Taj getting back onto his shoulder as he pushes off of the wall, looking to follow Aredin's lead
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#30
Aredin found himself agreeing with Darian, What sort of Malfean lottery did we win? With a sigh he added. "I think this may be as easy as it gets for awhile. I dunno if I want to think about what happens after we make the score though. Just sucks having heaven hand pick you to get shit on." With the mood still soured, Aredin took another pull from his canteen with his freehand. "...Damn alleys are like walking down an armpit."
 
#31
Rashiid shrugs, saying, "Would you rather traverse the square? I'm sure there are some lovely people just dying to meet us." His head swiveling around to keep himself appraised of their surroundings, ever watchful for miscreants and ne'er-do-wells. His current company not withstanding, of course.
 

Thief of Words

Archivist for Hire
#32
Shucking off her pack and sitting with her back to a nearby wall, Fei took another sip of her whiskey. She wasn't sure what precisely she should do while the others went to reconnoiter or whatever it was they were going to do. From the whispering they'd done, it sounded like they'd need to keep a low profile on things.

Cathak Sijip Feihan was many things: the daughter of a satrap, a prodigious martial artist, a proud Dynast, and more--but subtle and low profile weren't amongst any of her qualities. Chewing the inside of her cheek, she looked around, seeking any sort of popular watering hole or gambling den. Just because they had their own ways of investigating matters didn't mean she couldn't do something to pull her weight, and people...well, most people, were more talkative when they drank or were having fun. Corking her gourd and placing it back in the pack, she rolled fluidly up to her feet and shouldered the pack again. Then she started combing the area for places to ask his kind of people about what Holster had gotten himself into. After all, gamblers tended to have debts and detractors if they lost too much and grudges if they won too much. Either would loosen tongues for gossip.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#33
As the Circle splits up and heads in their separate ways, Rashid, Aredin and Darian make their way through the city to a large castle that sits on the harbor line, forming one side of the seaward defensive line of the city. It is an imposing structure, built hundreds of years ago and hardened with powerful magics to keep the castle secure and strong in its dual role as defender and home to many of the worst of the city's criminals.

Approaching the entrance to the fortress, there are several guards at the gate and even more visible up on the walls watching you. One of the guards steps forward. "State your business." He does not strike you as a bored guard, but someone that is quite competent with his job and does it well.


Elsewhere, Fei makes her way to a gambling hall nearby the docks, frequented by many of the sailors that come to the city. There are many card and dice games going on, and there is plenty of liquor flowing in the dark hall. Several people look up as you come in, then most of them turn their attention back to their drinks and games of chance. When you slide up to one game of cards or dice and pull out your money pouch, the other players make a spot for you. One fairly drunk (or possibly just stoned) player looks up at you. "Damn, lady! You are tall! How's the weather up there? Haw haw haw!" Others join in with laughter. How do you approach the subject of Dunbar Holst?

EDITED to change the game for Fei
 
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Rykon

One Thousand Club
#34
Aredin approaches looking extremely disappointed and frustrated. "We were sent to this city on the word of a colleague that Dunbar Holst had some information for me regarding some research of an old ruin. Now, we've heard he's in the pen for a heinous crime. Now we've come a long way just to see this miscreant, and I'd like to not have made this trip in vain. Would you all mind if we a word with him?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#35
The guard looks the three of you over with a critical eye, then finally nods. "You'll need to check your weapons at the guard station before you go inside. Benson! Collect their arms and escort them to the visiting room."

"Yes, sir! You three, please come with me."

Assuming that no one complains about surrendering your weapons, you are then taken through the heart of the fortress to a room with a large glass wall diving it in two. There are two guards watching the visitors, and four on the other side watching the prisoners. The guard escorting you tells you that you can have a seat and wait for a bit, and that Holst will be brought up to see you soon.

After about ten minutes, a older man is brought into the room. He looks haggard under the weight of the chains that have his hands and feet secured; a man with little hope to live more than the next week. The man is then roughly shoved onto a seat in front of you where his chains are locked to a large bolt stuck into the floor. The guard tells you, "You have five minutes." He then steps back and gives you a little bit of privacy.

The old man looks up at the three of you with a bit of curiosity. "Huh. People don't often come to visit me here, especially ones that I don't even know. Who are you, and why are you here?"
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#36
"We were told by a mysterious source, that you know the location of some First Age artifacts usable by various essence users. What can you tell us?" Aredin says directly, in the off-chance the man seems chatty enough to spill the secret. Given that's not likely to be the case, he expects to hear of Holst's imprisonment and a request for freedom before he leads the group to the treasure. Should he spend too long to explain the details, he would simply remind him with a short gesture of how limited their time was and to stick to the need to know information.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
#37
Darian pulls her hood back a bit from her face, doing her best to hear not just what Dunbar is saying, but how he is saying it. She adds, "If you can help us, we may be able to help you."
Spending the 5m to maintain her two Awareness Charms for the scene, adding my Perception roll to see what I can pick up from his voice.

EDIT: A total of 16 successes before any minuses.

Willpower: 8

Essence: 3
Personal: 17 / 12
Peripheral: 38
 
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#38
Rashiid watches everything as they walk, working to make a mental map of everything he sees, all in preparation for whatever comes next. Once they are in the room with Holst, he silently stares the man down.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#39
The old man lets out a bit of a sarcastic laugh. "Help you? How am I supposed to do that when I'm set to hang in a week? Yes, its true that I found a hidden cache of First Age Artifacts, but I'm not going to tell anyone anything about how to find it unless you can get me out of here! Get me a real Magistrate to find proof that I'm innocent! If you can do that, then yes, I'll happily take you to the desert oasis where I found the goods. But you'd better hurry. I'm running out of time here fast."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#40
"Are you innocent?" Aredin asks bluntly, once he gets an answer, even if it's hesitation he'll continue. "Tell me your side of the story. If I'm going to have to fight your battle for you, then I need every last ounce of ammo to win the case. I'm not going to put my name on the line lightly for a man accused of murder. Otherwise, we'll have to get you out of here the 'hard' way." Aredin retorts, knowing full well the breakout would likely be a relative cakewalk for Rashiid.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#41
Once more, the old man lets out a laugh. "I didn't do it, but the witnesses said I did. They were all paid off to testify against me. The court believed them, and I never had a chance to say how I was being set up, just so my rivals at the university could find the dig site and claim all the credit for the work that I did."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#42
"Oh good, this should be easy. About how much do you wager these witnesses were paid and who would you say is the source? Also, I need someone to name the victim, as well as any officials, magistrates, guards or otherwise who are associated with bringing you in."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
#43
Darian listens, then says, "If these witnesses were to come forward and say that they had lied at first, do you think that would help? And what is the name of the person that is so interested in doing this to you that they would orchestrate this level of a conspiracy?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#44
Holst gives you the names of the three 'witnesses' that he says were paid off to testify against him, the name of the dead man, then goes on to name his main enemy, a fellow academic named Belloc. From Holst's description of Belloc, he is very ruthless and well connected to the criminal underworld.

As he talks, you can see a faint glimmer of hope in his eyes that he may actually be able to live out the rest of the week.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
#45
With the names firmly lodged in her mind, Darian asks, "Where can we find these people? Do you know who these witnesses were before you were accused? And what about this Belloc? Where is he?"
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#46
Aredin scribbles down notes. "Can you name another of Belloc's rivals or peers? Preferably ones integrated with criminal society here. I want to frame him as planning moves again them so that he will have to fight harder to free himself. The less access to contacts he has, the better the outcome for you."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
#47
Holst nods. "Belloc is frequently found at the Dream Quarter, with his underworld friends. They run the whole area, and Belloc is in tight with them. I think he's got some family in the gang that controls the area, and that's how he's got so much influence there. You want rivals? Anyone in a half dozen rival gangs would be happy to move into their turf, hell, even the honest Magistrates of the city. Professionally, Belloc is as squeaky clean as they get - he never gets his own hands dirty when he can have some thugs do it for him."

As he talks, one of the guards comes up, waving a baton in a lazy arc. "Time to go, killer. Back to your hole."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#48
Aredin sighs as the guards come to escort them out, making a show out of it to satisfy the guard's sense of authority before locking arms with Darian again. "Very well, as you will. We'll try and see this settled according to the proper legal process. Just hang tight Holst."
 
#49
Rashiid follows after the group, re-checking his bearings as they leave. Once they're out, and his weapon is back in his hands, he says, "So, boss, change of plans?"
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
#50
"Indeed. I'm confident Darian has this in the bag, so let's follow her lead and make ourselves useful." he said keeping his wide grin. "We've got your back, just let us know where you want to start."
 

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