Before the Clerical Court

Feldard eyed the guard with a scowl and for a moment considered telling the others to continue on without him but that would mean he would not be present when the others met with Nicolai’s mother.. that wouldn’t do.

The dwarf stomped his way over to the scribe and gruffly gave his name and handed over his crossbow and his two axes. “If they are tampered with in anyway, YOU..” Feldard pointed to the guard, “will find out quickly that this dwarf doesn’t need weapons to upset your precious peace.”

Stephan muttered under his breath and followed Feldard’s lead in allowing the town’s guard to register his bow and arrows.

He followed along with the group, keeping an eye on the townsfolk. Upon seeing where their weapons would be kept, he said “Da. I’ll be on my way then. Back for my things soon.”

Hasan and Ludo followed suit, quietly handing the guard their bows. The scribe recorded their names and confiscated weapons in her ledger.

“We don’t need to all stay and present at the court, do we?” asked Stephan, turning to his companions. “I’ll go with Feldard to Nicolai’s mother’s place. We’ll meet back here at the third hour.”

Ludo muttered to Stephen. “Yes, but what will Arthol say? He has in effect ‘asked’ us to accompany him, I doubt he will agree to you and Feldard splitting off after we ‘demand’ to go to the Clerical Court.”

While Feldard only wanted to be done with this place as quick as possible, he wasn’t willing to split off from Maruc and the main group. Maruc had stretched the truth a bit, by telling the guard that he, Feldard, was his personal bodyguard. Feldard wasn’t about to let the cleric be caught in a lie by leaving his side just as he was going to see this Court of Clerics. “Where Maruc goes, so do I—you know that, Stephan,” Feldard answered loud enough for the city guard to overhear. “Nicolai’s remains will wait. Plus do you REALLY want to be without the priest when you tell her that her son died? Not I,” he added softly.

Stephan knew all too well when he was defeated in an argument. He grunted acquiescence and stood near the back of the group, watching with some curiosity the goings on.

Arthol and his contingent of men held their posts on the wharf until another group of guards showed up to take their place. All dressed uniformly in white surcoats over chain mail, they saluted one another and then Arthol explained the situation.

“This lot be raisin’ a ruckus ‘bout surrenderin’ their arms. That one,” said Arthol, indicating Maruc, “seems to be the ringleader. We be goin’ to Town Hall to see what the clerics make of this.”

They started off into town. Hoisting his backpack, Ludo wondering where the spies were that Golthar had most likely hired were watching from. He felt strangely nervous about entering town and wondered if perhaps buying Arthol a few drinks later might reveal some information about Golthar’s whereabouts. A man of his description should not be hard to find, especially having traveled to Threshold on a flying carpet.

In the meantime, he followed the guards and the group to the Clerical Court. As they walked through the bustling streets, he turned to Miklos, “This could go badly for us, its much better to obey the law when they watching, and do what you like when they are not”.

Feldard followed the group, his scowl would remain in place for the entirety of their guided walk into town.

Ludo chuckled, “Feldard, maybe they have heard of your reputation with that axe and figure that this is the best way to keep the peace. You should take it as a compliment.”

The elf fell into step with the troops and trudged through the town, bristling as he heard the little boys heckle the group of “five men traveling with one girl — she must be tired! how desperate can they be?” He didn’t care that the boys had seen so few elves they thought he was a girl. The elf turned in fury to Feldard, “Your stubbornness will be the death of us yet, dwarf! Would it kill you to enter somewhere quietly, even once?!” The boys in the crowd tittered more, and the butt of a guard’s spear dug deep into the small of Hasan’s back. The elf stumbled forward again, quietly.

“Is it my fault the folk here are ninnies? They cower from an axe yet think nothing of allowing those with swords into their city freely,” the dwarf retorted.

As they walked to the clerical court, Ludo kept a wary eye out for land marks and suspicious faces in the crowd, sadly having the guard ‘escorting’ new arrivals to the town was making that job impossible, as it seemed that everyone in town was congregating to see what the fuss was about. Sadly Ludo’s thoughts of sneaking quietly into town, conducting their business and leaving just as quietly without fuss had just gone up in smoke. Golthar would know all about their arrival now.

Maruc remained aloof and silent in front of the guards. He wasn’t really one for trouble making but he felt he needed to teach this sergeant a lesson in deference.

Finally, they arrived at the Town Hall, located in the center of the frontier town. One of the few stone buildings in Threshold, four guards were positioned outside. They saluted Arthol and he led the way inside. Throughout their walk and particularly inside the hall, it was clear that he was well known and respected by his fellow guards and city officials as he gruffly returned the salutes and greetings he received along the way.

The clerical court was comprised of five clerics appointed by Patriarch Sherlane. Charged with overseeing the running of the town, they took a dim view of lawbreakers.

Normally, they would have required an appointment, but apparently it was a relatively slow day and after Arthol conversed with one of the bailiffs, they were brought into one of the courtrooms.

after description of court and introductions of key characters…

Arthol started right in, quickly, and gruffly stating the matter as he saw it. “This here man seeks to be bringin’ illegal weapons inside the town borders. His whole crew be lookin’ suspicious to my eye,” he said gesturing to his non-patched eyeball, “but all of ‘em have complied, ‘cept for him. I’m happy to be rid o’ the lot of ‘em and leave them to ye to deal with.”

The priestly judge nodded at Arthol and then turned to hear what Maruc had to say.

“I must have the honour of being in the presence of The High Court of the Most Holy Patriarch Sherlane? I give you greetings and and prayers from my Abbot who resides in a modest quarter of Specularum. Thank you for your servants’ … kind invitation to visit your city. He was however somewhat robust in his respect for the cloth. I very much doubt that your Holinesses would have him disrespect those of a …higher station? It would surprise me greatly that, although his loyalty is beyond question, his freedom to treat the priesthood in the manner demonstrated to me …. was what you desired.”

“If I have caused offense by showing my feelings to this servant then I beg your forgiveness. This is but a small matter, and he has my weapon. But I felt this matter deserved some small moment of your attention. I shall pray for his misguided soul and this matter will not reach the ears of the clergy of Specularum as I know the special relationship that dwells within the hearts of all clergy.”

Maruc affected a brave but slightly hurt face for a few moments before dropping his eyes in a solemn gesture. “Mere greetings is not all I have to bring to your attention Most Holy. Firstly, a brave companion of mine has fallen in battle against an evil….wizard.” Maruc paused. “I have brought his ashes for his mother to bury. The wizard was vanquished and my companions and I are hunting out his Dark Brothers who have infested these lands. Despite the best efforts of the soldiery of the Divine Duke Stefan.” Maruc looked up into the eyes of the Patriarch

“This brings me to my second reason for standing before you. We have uncovered the identity of one such Dark Brother who was seen entering Threshold. I seek your permission to bring this man to Holy justice. He is a dangerous and powerful Wizard and will stop at nothing to gain his own ends. He can call on vast numbers of indoctrinated slaves and I fear what mischief he will cause within your walls.”

Maruc knelt. “Your holiness, do we have your permission to continue our Holy quest?”

Miklos winced behind his hand at Maruc’s out of character bluster. There must be some reason for this as the cleric was normally is that enthusiastic about violence. Perhaps these last few months have opened his eyes to the world. But something about what his was donning smacked of manipulation. Like he wanted to see the Patriarch and didn’t want to wait for an audience. Either Maruc was stupid and was going to end up in a cell or Miklos was witnessing a master stoke of political wiles.

Time would tell. While he slunk along behind Lucius making himself as unobtrusive as possible, he wondered also if this bluster was almost aimed at taking attention away from him? Either way Miklos distanced himself from Maruc.

The curate regarded Maruc inquisitively. “Specularum, you say? What order be you?”

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9 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Before the Clerical Court

  1. Maruc +1 level
    +3hp.
    Gets 1 3rd level spell at next chance to pray.

    1pm, Lunadain, the 6th of Flaurmont, 1001AC
    Moderately cloudy, calm

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 24,005/24000
    Miklos: 23,985/40000
    Feldard: 24,245/34000
    Hasan: 23,410/32000
    Stephan: 23,295/32000
    Ludo: 22,825/40,000

    On a side note, the xp rewards will be getting bigger soon. By the end of this adventure (whenever that is!), everyone will be up a level.

  2. Ludo

    Ludo sighed, in his experience the clergy were more about process being followed than taking action, they had just been told that a dangerous wizard was in their midst, yet they still wanted to question Maruc about his order. He fidgeted with frustration. Casually looking around he noticed that the guards were relaxed and that the shutters on the window were open to allow a cool breeze to flow through the hall. Lowering his backpack, he placed it against the wall next to a window and then stood and faced the ongoing proceedings. He figured that if things started to go badly, he would leap through the window and make himself scarce to come back and attempt a rescue later. Still he mused, if it wasn’t for the stubbornness of Feldard and Maruc then they would not be in this mess in the first place.

  3. miklosdostevar

    “Your Holiness, I have the pleasure of serving our Lord Halav as you can see from my garb.” Maruc said carefully, this was a can of worms that must remaind closed. “He has, as my companions will attest, guided our path vanquishing the evil that haunts this land. In His infinite wisdom he has guided us to you. Halav is wise and has placed us before you that we might be in a position to aid each other. True there are ecumenical differences between our beliefs but now is not the time to explore them. The laughter of our enemies will be our reward if we endulge in theological debate. However worthy.” Maruc had remained kneeling. “Needless to say I am not under your direct command from a religious perspective but whilest I am within your dioceses I shall respect your customs and traditions and observe your laws. However roughly instituted by less devout people.” Maruc’s eyes swivled to the rude sergeant. And far-be-it to gainsay your loyal servant I am before you unarmed as your rules dictate. With the greatest respect your Holiness do we have your permission to rid your city of this foul wizard?”

  4. Stephan

    Stephan stood at the back in a cold sweat. The priest was giving way too many details.

    “By Xanathon!” he muttered to Feldard. “So much for stealth. We’re swiveling into doom, here.”

    “Quiet!” barked Arthol.

    The Patriarch coolly turned his attention on the woodsman at the back. “Have you something to say, traveller?”

    “Oh Haav…”, Stephan said sotto voce. He cleared his throat. “Beg, pardon, sir. I was only saying to my friend here, that we are happy to comply with your laws and hoping to find some good eats around here. Heh, heh.”

    Stephan’s attempt at humor fell flat. The chambre was silent.

    “Um, well. It’s just that I’ve heard Threshold has some mighty fine victuals. Da. And, um, drink!” He smiled, trying to alleviate the tension. “Da”, he faltered. “I’ll just be quiet, m’lord.” Stephan wished he could shrink to a mouse at that moment and run into a hole.

  5. Ludo

    Ludo cringed, this was going badly.

  6. Feldard

    The dwarf took position a step or two beside and just slightly behind the priest as Maruc greeted the Clerical Council.

    Feldard couldn’t care less about stealth or subterfuge. But in truth, he didn’t understand why Maruc was offering up so much detail and seeking permission to go after Golthar. All Feldard had wanted was to be able to carry his axe about town, just like a swordsman was allowed to carry his sword. It was a simple enough request.. fair in fact.

    The dwarf kept silent as he watched the priests reaction to Maruc’s request. Good thing to, given the guards reaction to Stephan’s quiet whisper. He remain quiet until he was spoken too.

  7. miklosdostevar

    Miklos realised that Maruc fully trusted the partiarch. On the one hand he felt oddly pleased that some honesty was about in the world and he hoped Sherlane would respond kindly. Or Maruc was desperately indoctrinated to believe all clergy where as honest and forthright as he was. Milkos saw that Maruc was leaning on the obvious mistrust the Clerical court seemed to hold against Magic Users. Miklos thought Maruc was treading a fine line. But it might pay off, he hoped for all their sakes it did. The patriarch might even allow them their weapons back…. or better might lend them the aid of the local militia? Even carefull to keep a low profile Miklos kept his ears open and hid beside Lucius.

  8. Feldard

    (Lucius?? Do you mean Ludo.. or the guard Arthol?)

  9. Lucius is Ludo’s full name. Lucius Domitius Aurelius. Cool name! 🙂

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