Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trouble on the Road: Part Three

Part One: Here
Part Two: Here


-Observations-

Interior of the Carriage
As Elian is spins his false tale of woe and attempts to place the coachmen's corpse in the carriage, the GM can introduce any number of the items which belong to the Dorman family. How the GM does this, as well as the number of clues which are available, is at the GMs preference. If the player characters inquire more about the scene (the interior or exterior of the carriage) the clues should be revealed. As they are revealed, Elian will fiction an adequate story for each as explained below.  

The exterior of the carriage has two rectangular, open air windows at the back of each flank, offering no view of the perch from inside. A thick beige fabric shrouds the view (and is latched) inside. The interior of the carriage is a total mess. This is because Elian was in search of valuables until the player characters arrived on the scene. Clothes, a few empty containers and some food stuff are strewn throughout. If you’d prefer a random clue roll d4

1) Sitting upright in the corner adjacent to the doorway is a corset.
2) The frill and lace of high quality ladies dress in two sizes (Ulna’s & Dorna’s) and a large bulge at the center of it which the iron lock box will be revealed if the clothes are moved.
3) An ornate ivory comb, which closer inspection reveals long strands of fair hair. Elian’s hair is short and brown.
4) A blood splattered tunic is at the bottom of the tangled mess (Elian’s)
 
GMs Dialog Example:
GM: “As Elian opens the door you (addressing the group) notice the interior of the carriage is a total mess and reeks of spilt wine. Clothes, books, a few empty containers and some food stuff are strewn chaotically throughout.”

Player Character, Camden: "What about the mess inside the carriage?"

GM: “Camden, in addition to the mess,(Gm rolls D4, result is a 1) the lace and distinct curve of a corset catches your eye.”

Exterior of the Carriage
Besides the body, nothing to peculiar about the exterior of the carriage unless the player characters specifically inquire and/or make effort to investigate. The road itself is rocky and hard revealing little in the way of tracking clues, though looking to the ground might reveal clue #4. Player characters should discover a recent trail left by Talen and the Dorman family, though the grass to the grove of trees to the northeast, should they search for it away from the road.

1) Close examination of Elian’s frayed leather ridding gloves, reveals blood. The gloves are stained with blood from the killing stroke.
2) The perch of the carriage (where the coachman sat) is heavily stained with blood but a hand crossbow is upon the seat, unstained (because it belongs to Talen). 
3) The coachman has a wound on his arm. A piece of broken shaft and smallish bolt (which fit the hand crossbow) are revealed if the arm is inspected.
4) Partially beneath the back wheel is a small toy horse, on closer inspection at the bottom of the child’s trinket, the name Dorna is carved.

Elian’s Silver Tongue

If the player characters voice their observations to one another and are overheard or question Elian directly, he has a sufficient story to explain most suspicions away. (Each Instance: *Td6*) 
The mess inside the carriage he attributes to his own panic while searching for his sword and old gloves during the attempted robbery. Fact, The mess is Elian scrounging for items of value.

The ivory comb, ladies clothing & corset belonged to patrons, who fancied more than his acting and donated them for use as actor props. The fact is that these are possessions of Ulna and Dorma.
The toy horse a toy he bought at a bizarre which he’s gifting to his niece. The horse is Dorma’s toy and her name is inscribed on the bottom.

The coachman and his fatal wounds as well as the hand crossbow he will claim to know nothing of. The coachman’s fatal wound was delivered by Elian’s short sword at his hand. The hand crossbow is Talen’s weapon left here thoughtlessly while binding the family.

Elian: “So much blood, I couldn’t do anything to help the man. It was too late.”

If the player characters catch the above line and recall that Elian claimed on two prior occasions (bolded prior) that he never left the carriage, as well as the windows of the carriage which are situated at the rear, and don’t afford a view of the perch, award them (additional XP for attention). Still, Elian will hold to the story long as the player characters keep their distance. If the player characters inquire about the contradictions Elian will stutter a bit, but claim that he was in such a state of fright and panic he can’t honestly recall what he did or did not do.  
If the player characters ask to examine Elian’s sword gloves, he will refuse to allow either to be closely examined. His reaction upon request will reflect guilt. The sword was sheathed hastily without wiping and gloves spattered with blood, revealing his deception to this point and the fact that he delivered the killing stroke. Keep in mind that if the player characters have allowed Elian to lift the body into the carriage he could have received some of that blood on his gloves, which in fact this is what he will claim.


Attempted Custody (*Td6*)

Aggressive actions directed towards Elian at any point will be met with harsh threats, pending actual guilt is yet revealed. Looking through the carriage forcefully without permission Elian never breaks character. GMs should play him how you like but I prefer to play him with a certain aristocratic air about him. The moment his bloody tunic is discovered, or guilt is determined obvious by the player characters, Elian will make an attempt to flee. 
“Do you fools know who you’re dealing with? I am a great and favored actor of these lands! People for mile upon miles love and favor me. Mind you-people in high places! Those who try and manhandle me or-mine shall be digging themselves an early grave!”

“No doubt you plan to rob me as well!”
If the player characters attempt to “handle,” Elian in an impolite manner Elian will strategically position himself to make sure they have not surrounded him or cut off his exit for flight.

If the player characters attempt to procure Elian’s sword through physicality he will brandish the weapon (revealing his guilt). Being outnumbered he uses it sparingly making all efforts to escape. Elian is very mindful (as guilty folks often are) of his surroundings as well as how the player characters position themselves about his person. If a grab is attempted, his first action will be to duck and roll beneath the carriage to the other side, breaking into a full sprint for the grove. Make an opposed roll.