Fractis Gothicum

Not-So-Chance Meetings

Whereby our intrepid heroes are uncomfortably introduced.

The party awoke from a drugged sleep to find themselves perched and slouching upon rickety old chairs in the jury box of a dilapidated and apparently abandoned court room. Tamalis, Heartes Phatron, Laryss and Kolos do not recognize their surroundings, but the other eight members of the jury recognize one another.

Apparently each of these people had met one another during a trial – a notorious one – which occurred some ten years earlier. The PCs’ – hereafter “the Alternates” – part in this drama? Their nearest elder blood relatives were jury members, but have passed away in the intervening years.

Another eerie connection the Alternates – they have all recently had recurring, disturbing dreams that somehow seem linked to the murder case.

After a brief round of introductions (names listed below), the basic facts emerge. The courthouse lies on the first (?) layer of Mazroc in the goblin quarter and was abandoned nearly ten years ago when a part of the cavern ceiling (?) collapsed. In fact, the court case in question was the very last case tried here. It was boarded up and abandoned shortly afterwards.

After some fumbling about, the group agrees to explore the courthouse a bit more. The jurists are a fractious lot and spend most of their time milling about in the foyer near the blocked doors. The Alternates decide to explore farther down the main hall.

An enormous clock at the end of the hall is framed by two spiral staircases leading up. Ascending one, they explore what appears to be the scene of an ancient murder. While there they are attacked by a shadowy creature which strongly resembles the elven woman who was murdered. The monster was dispatched handily.

Stuff was looted. a ring of keys, an old knitting needle (with old,dried blood on the tip), 3 fine scarves, (more to come), etc. The scarves seem to trigger a vision in Laryss – she sees the elven woman attacking the tall dark-robed figure from our dreams, stabbing it in the face with the knitting needle.

A commotion downstairs draws us away. From behind a locked door in the hallway below we hear Malgrim shrieking in fear before his voice is choked off in a death rattle. Tamalis fumbles through the key ring before finding the right one, flinging the door open on the scene of Malgrim hanging over a large table in the center of the room. It appears he was hung with his own spiked chain, which has sawed through his throat almost completely.

We lower the body to the table and (ahem) liberate the body of its worldly goods while Heartes administers the last rights. The other jurors say they didn’t notice anything or see anything chasing Malgrim until he ran screaming into the jury deliberation room.

Our next foray led us to the large door at the south end of the hall which Malgrim had been snooping around. Beyond it lie a hallway leading toward the old jail. The first door on the left opened onto the outside of the building: a narrow, wedge-shaped yard leading to the iron fence separating the courthouse from the graveyard, and the edge of the rift beyond that. A low moaning was heard from the darkness of the graveyard.

We closed that door and drove a few spikes into the cracks so that nothing burst in behind us. The next door on the left led to the gallows room. Once inside another unquiet spirit (probably Mord himself) attacked us, uglying up Heartes badly. The dwarf Tablark came to our aid but was strangled by an animate rope. While we managed to save his life and drive off the ghost of Mord, Tablark became unhinged and gouged his own eyes out. We knocked him senseless and tied him up in the entry hall so that he couldn’t harm himself any more.

Beyond the gallows room lie the cells of the jail. The last cell contained some undead thing which leapt at us. Kolos killed it handily. We noticed that it wore the livery of a cleric of Uriel (?). WE found nothing else of any value in the jail cells, but there was another stairway (up/down?).

Returning to the foyer and the other jurors, we attempted an exploration of the courtroom opposite the one in which we awoke. In this room every piece of furniture had been smashed, as if someone had gone on a violent rampage against every inanimate object in the room. A desiccated skeleton reclined in the judge’s chair, trailing a long white beard, while the skeletonized remains of a dog lie on the floor at its feet.

The dog skeleton leapt to the attack as soon as we approached. After smashing it, we cautiously inspected the judge’s remains. A rusty, spiked chain – identical in every way to that which Malgrim carried – was wrapped around the throat of the skeleton… in much the same way that Malgrim’s was…

The Jurors

Eben – a seemingly mad gnome jester. Possibly unhinged. Alcoholic.

  • Admits of no connection to Barrister Wade.
  • History of antagonism with Mord.
    • Graffiti under jury delib table – “Who’s funny now, Mord? B.E.”

Halgrak – MISSING. orc, poor, aging.

  • Connection to Barrister Wade – Halgrak owed a great deal of money to Wade, who agreed to forgive him his debts in return for a swift verdict of Guilty.
  • Admits of no connection to Mord.

Killian – elderly human nobleman with money trouble. Evasive.

  • Admits of no connection to Wade.
  • Admits of no connection to Mord.
    • carries nice silver cane, nice dagger, some darts.

Madge – pretty halfing woman, very young. Acrobatic performer. Wealthy or at least well-dressed.

  • Admits of no connection to Wade.
  • Presumed Mord guilty from the start.
  • Father had been sentenced to death years ago

Malgrim – DECEASED. hobgoblin, rough, but wealthy.

  • Admits of no connection to Wade.
  • Presumed Mord guilty from the start.
    • Skeleton found in second courtroom appears to have been strangled with an identical spiked chain to the one Malgrim carried.

Patrissa – hottie, red dress, wealthy looking, uncooperative.

  • Admits of no connection to Wade.
  • Admits of no connection to Mord.

Rackert Cole – aging human paladin. pompous ass.
paladin of samandriel – has magic sword

  • Connection to Barrister Wade unknown.
  • Presumed Mord guilty based on his perception of Mord’s morality.
    • carrying a magic sword

Tablark – INSANE, BLIND. dwarf. carpenter.

  • Connection to Wade unknown.
  • Connection to Mord unknown.
    • came to party’s aid during fight with what appeared to be Mord’s ghost. Driven quite insane during battle.

Other Notables
Trabby – Judge, moustached.
Barrister Wade – Prosecuting attorney, still lives, somewhere south of the courthouse, retired.
David Merstye – defense attorney.

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