Hangman's Noose 02

We opened the offices used by the attorneys on the second floor.  Falathar moved to search the desk when a giant leech rose up to attack him.  Falathar moved to defend himself muttering “I thought they said there were no attorneys up here!”  He managed to avoid the leech’s lunging attack, but his own sword thrust just bounced off the rubbery skin of the leech!  Bron stepped up to attack, but his blow also bounced off.  The cycle repeated with the same results.  Then the leech managed to hit Falathar.  This incensed Falathar, who then managed to drive his rapier through the leech’s skin.  Bron swung his hammer, but missed completely this time.  Falathar seeing that help was needed began to sing to encourage Bron.  This encouraged Bron allowing him to strike the leech and kill it outright.

Falathar cast a cure light wounds on himself to restore the damage received from the leech.  He continued the search of the desk drawers, but more carefully this time.  Using his rapier, Falathar opened each in turn.  He and Bron found two red scarves of Varisian silk, numerous debtors’ vouchers, and a receipt for 12 fire opals.  The opals were purchased two-months prior to the murder of Marlene and her little boy.  Bron and Falathar called for Sveth to come upstairs.  He informed them that this was the desk used by the prosecutor.

We moved on to the side room and found two wardrobes and a trio of couches.  One of the wardrobe’s doors stood open.  The doors to the second wardrobe flew open and the corpse dressed in the faded blue uniform of the bailiff stepped out.  It moved somewhat jerkily as if it was a giant marionette.  It had an axe protruding from its chest.  As the bailiff attacked we could hear a child’s laughter coming from above.  It managed to hit Falathar with its first attack.  Bron and Sveth missed in their attempts, but the ½ orc Halgrak threw his hammer (carpenter’s) scoring a hit.  Not even waiting to see the effect, Halgrak dove out of the room in terror.

The fight continued with the corpse hitting Falathar a second time.  Sveth missed again, but Bron scored a solid hit.  This dropped the Bailiff’s corpse.  Once again, Falathar cast a cure light wounds on himself.  “This is getting old!”  The searched the room.  A nice throwing axe was found in a chest.  The weapons rack held two nice crossbows and a case of bolts.  It also held four each of sheath daggers, chain mail, and shields.  We also found a potion, which Falathar identified as healing.  Last but not least, there were five sets of manacles. 

We then were interrupted by the corpse reforming and moving to attack again.  Bron dispatched it with a mighty blow.  It exploded into dust!  He then called out to the little boy’s spirit, “We are not here to hurt you, don’t hurt us!”  Move laughter issued from above.  Bron “Don’t make me tell your mother!”  Then silence ensued from above.  Bron, Sveth and Falathar continued to search the second floor.  We found a jar containing severed toes.  Upon exiting the side room Falathar found the ½ orc watching nervously.  He tossed Halgrak his hammer “you might need this yet!”  

Meanwhile downstairs the Paladin was lecturing Patrisse in the hall for not telling the truth.  “I’m done with you!”  Then Sir Rekkart stomped off towards the lit chandelier in the court room.  He was followed by the Gnome.  A ghastly noise issued from Mord’s gallows room.  His shadow passed through the door, which cause the gnome to flee crying in terror!  “Mord’s here, Mord’s here!”

Mord’s spirit reached out to touch Patrisse, which caused her to scream and writhe in agony!  Her skin began to age rapidly.  Her beauty faded as the skin wrinkled.  Finally, she collapses her charisma drained by Mord.

Upstairs we asked Sveth if we should go down or wait?  He replied, “They’re all dead.”  Falathar asked, “Can he understand us?”  Sveth cautioned “don’t get in his way!  That one screaming deserves it.  They will all get what is coming  to them!”  Bron “some were just there”  Sveth’s response “He wants his vengeance.” 

Bron was not at pleased with Sveth or his attitude.  “If Mord tries to kill me, I – will – kill – you!  You were the clerk of the court and you allowed him to be falsely convicted.  You are the one that brought us together.”  With that we moved down the stairs to the first level. 

We were greeted with the sight of an 80-year old looking Patrisse moaning about her lost beauty.  The paladin and the gnome were over in a corner talking animatedly.  Tablark swung his axe at Mord, who then reached out to touch the dwarf.  It drained a bit of charisma instantly, but it was hard to tell it on the dwarf!  He does seem dazed and confused.  Patrisse crying about life not worth living took out a dagger and plunged it into her own chest!  Whether it was a perfect shrike or the fact she had so little life or will left in her, Patrisse died instantly.

Ebin the gnome excitedly in his high pitched wail to the paladin, “It’s Mord.  He killed your wife – she is about  e-i-g-h-t-y y-e-a-r-s o-l-d!”  Sir Rekkart replied in anguish, “I let her die!  I let him die!  I’m not worthy to be a Paladin!”  Ebin squeaked in terror as Mord moved slowly towards them, “You have to fight him!”  Sir Rekkart in resignation, “You’re right.  I will go out!  He rushed out the door into the hall and attacked the spirit of Mord.  He poured all his skill into the swing and scored the maximum hit his skill allowed.  All to no avail as Mord reached out to touch him.  Thus draining much of his charisma, which is so essential to a paladin?  Then Mord faded from sight again.

Bron leading our group moved out towards center of the hall.  “Spirit of Jarbin Mord I call you.”  Turning on the spot he continued, “We are here with you friend Sveth, the Clerk of the Court.  Some of us had nothing to do with your death.”  Mord reappears and slows to a stop.  “We know that an injustice was done to you!  We know that some of these people here were evil to you.  Some were just stupid!  We believe we know who is responsible for your death as you do!  They denied you a fair trial and executed you!”

Mord in a croaking voice, “Who, Alistair Wade or Judge Trabe?  He killed her and my boy!  He needs to hang!  If they show you can listen.”  Mord turned slowly to face the dwarf Tablark, “You are stupid.”  To Sir Rekkart Cole, “You are a fool, but not worthy of death.  Bring the Halfling to me!”  Strabo stepped up to defend Blossom.  Mord pointed to her, “You are guilty as charged.”  Blossom blurted out in a hysterical sob, “You killed my father.  You got what you deserved!”  Mord’s spirit sadly replied, “It was for a murder he committed on a second storey robbery.”  The shadow then turned to Bron and Falathar, “Mitigate all you want.  I give you two hours.  The guilty must hang!”

The paladin had recovered his senses and asked for the key to the gallows.  He then drew himself up fully and walked over to the iron-bound door.  He inserted the key and opened the door fully prepared to face what might be there.  He was determined to die as a paladin should have lived!  He strode in followed by Ebin, who almost looked like a shadow.  The cold of the gloomy lit room cut through to the bone.  The gallows rose before them with the air still about it.  A single creak of the stair, then another as Mord ascended.  Mord with his head in a black bag at an odd angle reached for the noose.  It then turned to face Sir Rekkart Cole.  The gnome propped the door open.  Sir Rekkart’s eyes glazed over white, and he started to move towards Mord.  Ebin pleaded, “Wait, you didn’t do anything wrong!”

Sir Rekkart anguished reply, “I was the worst of it.  I let an innocent man die.  Patrisse lied to me and I did not detect it.  I unknowingly voted unaware of her lies!”  To the dwarf who had caught up, “You thought then this man is condemned for all eternity.  Falathar enjoined, “Alistair bribed her to lie and influence you!”  To Mord he implored, “He meant you no ill will!”  Sveth volunteered that his defense attorney had died in a mugging some years before.

We were interrupted by a shuffling sound coming from outside of the gallows room.  A quick check showed six zombies shuffling up the stairwell towards us.  Each of the zombies had a noose about their necks.  Ebin squeaked “get them!”  One of the zombies called out “Blossom” in a voice that reminded her of her dad. 

The fight began in earnest with Bron pulling the gnome back out of harms way.  The paladin rushed out and killed one with one blow.  Tablark hit one with the axe.  The zombies managed several touch attacks.  Bron hit one with a solid strike.  Falathar had pulled out his bow muttering “so much for two hours”, but missed with his first arrow.  The paladin missed hitting this time due to his diminished skills.  Bron managed another hit along with Tablark and the Paladin (who dropped his).  Falathar manage an arrow into one of the creatures, but they reached out and missed.    Bron hit his again dropping it.  Falathar put an arrow into the Halfling zombie.  Sir Rekkart dropped another zombie until only the Halfling was left.  We followed it moving towards Blossom.  It called out her name, to which, she asked “Dad?” 

Bron commanded, “Jack Blossom stop!”  The zombie dad kept moving towards Blossom.  It reached out to grab Blossom about the throat and began choking the life out of her!  Seeing that reason wasn’t going to work, Bron gave a mighty swing of his war hammer.  He knocked the zombies head cleanly off its shoulders.  Strabo reached down to raise the fallen Blossom.  “It’s time you made your peace with Jarbin Mord!”  The clock struck 10 o’clock.  Blossom said to Mord, “The murderer must die!”

It was then we head the sounds of two men arguing just outside the courthouse doors.  “You agreed never to say anything.  Where does this note come from?”  The ½ orc Halgrak walked over to the doors and opened them.  There he found an old man with a paunch belly and a younger man with a beard.  The two pulled out weapons and began fighting each other.  Halgrak just stood by and watched bemusedly.  The younger man launched an attack wounding the old man, who backed into the courthouse.  The younger man followed.  Halgrak demanded, “Are you done?  Why are you here?”  Neither of the two men answered as they took in the scene before them. 

The younger man exclaimed, “What is this some kind of joke?”  The older man “No, I don’t want to be…!”  Halgrak and Strabo want a pound of flesh looking at the two men.  Halgrak attacked Alistair with his hammer scoring a critical hit!  Bron steps up to block the old man from fleeing towards the door.  Blossom attacked Alistair too and dropped him to the ground.  Mord appears, “Why did you judge me guilty?”  Strabo cast Command on Trabe.  Judge Trabe confessed that he received two bars of platinum from Alistair to judge Jarbin Mord guilty.

Bron ordered “Justice” Trabe to proceed to the gallows.  There Trabe mounted the stairs with Halgrak and Falathar’s help.  After stumbling up the stairs Trabe put his own head in the noose.  It pulled tight by itself!  The stool shot out from under his feet and he swung to his death!  Bron “May God have mercy on your soul.” 

Falathar then bound the wounds on Alistair and cast a Cure Light to bring him around much to Strabo’s consternation!  “Why are you healing him instead of killing him outright.  Vengeance is due!”  Falathar reminded him that we are here because of a miscarriage of justice and he would not repeat it.  Alistair was to be questioned, judged and a just sentence executed.  Regaining his senses Alistair denied any misdeeds.  Falathar asked about a scar on his cheek and how he came about it?  Alistair said it was nothing.  Then Falathar pulled out the blood-stained knitting needle, “Do you remember this and how it gave you that scar?”  Alistair started to squirm looking about for a way to escape.  Bron called out, “Jarbin Mord, do you duty!”   At that, a rope wrapped around Alistair’s neck.  It jerked sharply breaking his neck delivering final justice!

Silence fell over the courthouse.  Peace had at last returned to the courthouse and the spirits of Jarbin Mord and family had gone with justice served. 

The remaining Jury Members, Sveth, Strabo, Bron and Falathar stepped out of the courthouse into a dark, but calm night.  We walked about two-hours to reach our inn.

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