(IC) PLANESCAPE: Intrigue

Nordom

Explorer
The robed being initially gave no visible reaction, hovering silently as its luminous gaze passed over each member of the group. When it spoke again, the words seemed to hang in the very air.

"YOU SEEK PASSAGE FROM THIS PLACE. IT CAN BE PROVIDED, FOR A PRICE. OR YOU MAY CONTINUE TO WANDER, LOST AND HUNTED."

The offer and implied threat were clear. Negotiate and escape, or remain trapped and die.

As Orris posed his question, the towering figure turned slightly in his direction. When it spoke, its sepulchral voice took an intonation of dismissive indifference

"NOT MINE - TRESPASSERS.”

The being seemed wholly unconcerned with the assassins currently inhabiting this building. .
 

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Nordom

Explorer
The glowing eyes beneath the being's hood flared momentarily at the inquiry. When it responded, its voice was slow and deliberate.

"NAMES HOLD POWER. MINE IS NOT FOR LESSER BEINGS TO KNOW OR SPEAK. ADDRESS ME AS JUDEX IF YOU MUST. NOTHING MORE."
 


Nordom

Explorer
The towering entity's glowing eyes flared subtly at Izek's question. When it responded, the deep voice, though intimidating, betrayed no deceit.

"I AM A KEEPER, A WATCHER, AND GUIDE . . . BUT NO DEVIL, DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY THINK." Its form seemed to swell, as if being inflated of air.

"AS FOR MY PRICE, I OFFER A CHOICE:

THE FIRST IS NOTHING YOU WILL MISS. ONLY PERMISSION TO CLAIM WHAT IS ALREADY MINE."

A gnarled, claw-like hand emerged from Judex's sleeve, gesturing to each companion in turn.

"AFTER DEATH, YOUR BODIES WILL REMAIN YOUR OWN. BUT YOUR DEPARTED SOULS BECOME MY DOMAIN

It then leaned forward, pink orbs gleaming intently beneath its cowl.

"OR AID THIS GATETOWN. PERFORM ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND STABILITY. HELP PREVENT ITS FALL INTO THE ABYSS. DO THIS, AND I SHALL ALSO GRANT YOU PASSAGE."

The terms were plain, if unsavory. It likely lacked the means or desire to directly stabilize the gatetown itself, so Judex extended the burden, explaining the reason for it wanting to bargain.

The options were distasteful, but openly stated - eternal servitude, or saving a town vile enough to warrant its own damnation.

Either path led home.

Judex betrayed no overt threat. For now, it was solely on the group to accept or refuse its toxic bargain.
DreamShaper_v7_creative_illustration_of_silhouette_of_an_immen_3.jpg
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
"I'll hold onto my soul a little longer thank you, but I am willing to pledge to aid this town on your behalf... the only difficulty is figuring out how, exactly. I admit I am not particularly used to acts of generosity, nevertheless I understand what it means. But stability is quite a lot trickier for me to figure out, when it comes to a locale where all the inhabitants seem to strive for the opposite. Do you have any specific suggestion on what we could start with?"
 

Nordom

Explorer
Judex hovered silently for a long moment, baleful gaze fixed on the half-orc. When it finally responded, the gravelly voice echoed through the chamber.

"THIS VERY STRUCTURE SHELTERS A GIFTED HEALER, TRAPPED BY THE TRESPASSERS AROUND HIM. HE DESPAIRS FOR THE SUFFERING HE CANNOT ALLEVIATE IN HIS CONFINEMENT. FIND HIM. GO TO HIM, OFFER PROTECTION AND PASSAGE SO THAT HE MAY LEND HIS VITAL SKILLS TO THOSE AFFLICTED." Judex pauses, then continues, "A MAKESHIFT SANCTUARY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED NEAR THE PALACE. TAKE HIM THERE, WHERE HE MAY ONCE AGAIN PLY HIS TRADE AND EASE THE PAIN OF MANY. GENEROSITY AND STABILITY WILL FLOW FROM HIS HANDS, IF YOU BUT PROVIDE THE WAY."

Its words continue, in a nearly mesmerizing capacity.

"MOREOVER, A CORRUPT MERCHANT NEARBY HOARDS HIS ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH AND RATIONS MISERLY. RAID HIS STORES, REDISTRIBUTE HIS HOARD TO THE INDIGENT THAT HIS GREED HAS EXPLOITED."

As Judex finishes elaborating its proposed tasks, him...her... it adds one final point.

"AND BEWARE THE IMPULSE FOR REVENGE AGAINST THOSE WHO FIRST ATTACKED YOU HERE. BURNING BUILDINGS AND KILLING THOSE OUTSIDE WILL ONLY DEEPEN THE CHAOS AND HASTEN THIS SETTLEMENT'S SLIDE INTO DARKNESS."

The robed entity draws itself up taller, almost pressing against the ceiling. "INSTEAD, YOU MUST STAY THE HANDS OF VIOLENCE AND PARLEY WITH THEM. SHOW MERCY AND PROVIDE AID EVEN TO THOSE WHO OPPOSE YOU."

Judex's message was clear - retaliation will only breed more destruction. By responding to their ambushers with compassion rather than vengeance, the group can help break the cycle of violence plaguing the gatetown. Quelling those flames of conflict is key to preventing its deeper fall into the Abyss.

Judex's guidance provided direction, but the heavier trials still awaited.
 
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Name: Orris Hariri
Race: Air Genasai
HP: 44/44
AC: 16 (18 shield)
Pass Perc: 10
Pass Inv: 10
Pass Ins: 13
Initiative: +2
Auran
Common
Speed: 35
Size:
Medium
Lay on hands: 25/25
Divine Senses 3/5
Rapier To Hit: +5
Damage: 1d8+2
Spell Save DC: 15
STR: 10 +0
DEX: 14 +2
CON: 14 +2
INT: 10 +0
WIS: 10 +0 (+3)
CHA:18 +4 (+7)
Deception: +10*
Intimidate
+7
Insight +3
History: +3
Persuasion:
7
*expertise
Slots
1st: [] [] [] []
2nd: [] [X]
1/Long Rest: []Feather Fall; [X} Levitate;

Prepared spells
Cantrip: Shocking Grasp; Toll the Dead; Decompose
1st Heroism; Shield of Faith; compelled duel Charm Person*; Exped retreat*
2nd Locate Object, Invisibility*,Aid; Mirror Image*


"My soul is already spoken for, sorry. I have questions before I agree to anything:

Who brought us here? By what means will we be sent back and who will be the one to make that happen? What is this disease?"



The soul comment is a total lie, of course. My deception is +10 if you feel you need to roll it. Even if the thing is able to read the lie, the translation is: No, I'm not selling my soul.
 

Nordom

Explorer
Judex and its brown flowing robes are deathly still as it dwells on Orris' questions, the pale pink glow from beneath its cowl flickering. When it finally responds, the gravely voice echoes with equal parts contemplation and realization:

"I DID NOT SUMMON YOU HERE. THE CROSSING WAS THROUGH A PORTAL FROM YOUR WORLD, THOUGH ITS ORIGIN IS UNCLEAR."

The entity gestures vaguely around them. "ESCAPE WILL BE THROUGH A STABLE RIFT THAT LEADS TO THE HIVE IN SIGIL."

Judex pauses, then continues, "AS FOR THIS AFFLICTION, ITS NATURE DEFIES THE KNOWN EVILS OF THIS PLANE. NEVER HAVE I OBSERVED ITS LIKE, THOUGH I HAVE WITNESSED EVERY CORRUPTION OF FLESH AND SPIRIT OVER EONS."

The robes around their enigmatic dealmaker begin to flow once more: "BUT THESE DETAILS MATTER NOT. YOU WISH TO DEPART THIS PLACE, AND I CAN ENABLE IT. HELP STABILIZE THE GATETOWN, OR SURRENDER YOUR SOULS WHEN FLESH EXPIRES - THE CHOICE REMAINS."

Falling silent, Judex continues studying Orris with an intense gaze. It seems uninterested in negotiating alternative terms or rewards.
 

Name: Orris Hariri
Race: Air Genasai
HP: 44/44
AC: 16 (18 shield)
Pass Perc: 10
Pass Inv: 10
Pass Ins: 13
Initiative: +2
Auran
Common
Speed: 35
Size:
Medium
Lay on hands: 25/25
Divine Senses 3/5
Rapier To Hit: +5
Damage: 1d8+2
Spell Save DC: 15
STR: 10 +0
DEX: 14 +2
CON: 14 +2
INT: 10 +0
WIS: 10 +0 (+3)
CHA:18 +4 (+7)
Deception: +10*
Intimidate
+7
Insight +3
History: +3
Persuasion:
7
*expertise
Slots
1st: [] [] [] []
2nd: [] [X]
1/Long Rest: []Feather Fall; [X} Levitate;

Prepared spells
Cantrip: Shocking Grasp; Toll the Dead; Decompose
1st Heroism; Shield of Faith; compelled duel Charm Person*; Exped retreat*
2nd Locate Object, Invisibility*,Aid; Mirror Image*


"All you're offering for everything we are about to is to get information to an existing portal? You're not even offering to send us back with your own power? You even refuse to tell us who you are! If we are to give our souls, we MUST know who we are dealing with. These tasks are dangerous and I will have a debt to pay for my absence when I return home. You aren't asking one task, you are asking three:

"Finding and freeing the healer;

"Escorting the healer to makeshift shelter;

"Stealing from a merchant and redistributing his 'ill-gotten goods'.

Even one of these tasks would be worthy of returning us home. Doing three tasks to prevent the damnation of an entire city - an entire plane? You are unable to do this yourself, otherwise, why would you ask us? You seem to value the souls in this place and, while I do not wish to see anyone pulled into the Abyss, this is a debt that, unpaid, would weigh heavily on you. You must offer more.

My counter-offer: a way home and a favour from you.



Edited. Orris likes dealing in favours.
 
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