View Full Version : [4e or Any] Help get me out of jail time

2010-06-23, 02:46 AM
This is in a 4e game but since itís a skill challenge anyone can contribute. Set in Eberron. I play a lawful good shifter fighter mc paladin.

So we booked a ride from the Ruins of Metrol (long story) from a passing salvaging airship. The captain, Captain ****, and his crew are little more than pirates, flying rounds across the wasteland in search of fallen airships to salvage what reusable parts it may still have, as well as loot valuables from the dead and the dying, occasionally putting them in that condition themselves. With some bribing and intimidation, we managed to buy/coerce passage to Silverstar in Thrane. On the vessel, we notice a woman chained to the helm. The entire crew except the captain and a gunner avoid eye contact with her and keep a wide girth away from her. The gunner, Waylan, when he thinks no one is looking, gives her the doe eyed looks of hopeless love. Captain **** treats her mostly like a wife, with affectations and caresses, except for the chain around her neck. When the Captain goes to his quarters, he brings the girl along, chain and all.

Waylan approaches our wizard and asks for his help in freeing Petra. He goes Petra who? And we discover that the slave girl has a name. He will need us to slow the vessel so that it will arrive in Silverstar at night. Then he will need our help in stealing the keys to Petra from ****, which he keeps in his person at all times. Then Waylan explains that he will create a distraction so that, in the confusion, we can steal Petra away and we could meet with Waylan in a tower where another Airship is docked so the two could escape. Waylan warned us that accepting the mission would mean that we may be wanted across Khorvaire for the rest of our lives because it will be stealing. In Thrane, he explains, the taking, selling and purchasing of slaves is illegal but slaves purchased outside the country is not contraband on its own. Freeing Petra will be theft.

So the wizard sabotages the engine to slow the vehicle. Our ranger MC rogue steals the keys. Lastly, WAYLAN SHOOTS A BALLISTA BOLT THROUGH THE HULL OF THE SHIP AS IT DOCKS. That was his idea of a diversion.

So we escape with Petra and head on over to the designated meeting place. There we are met with ****'s Guards. One of them is asking us to return the ITEMS (PLURAL) that we stole. It turns out that the Ranger also stole ****'s rapier while he was stealing the keys. Another is holding an unconscious Waylan by the cuff, holding a blade across his exposed neck. An encounter ensues and Waylan is killed and we kill of the thugs. Then the Silver Flame guards come to arrest. The captain of the ship we are about to board offers to take us in for the meantime because the church has no jurisdiction in the ship, technically. The ship cannot leave port but it should give us time to think of a plan.

The captain of the Silver Flame guard arranges for a meeting because a Barrister from House Sivis is claiming that he will represent us in trial. We agree to the meeting, which will be held on a suspended platform between the ship and the dock. The gnome arrives and throws a grenade on the platform. He shape shifts into a green haired humanoid and leaps off the platform and into a net suspended between two smaller flying vessels. He tells us to follow suit. Some of us, caught in the blast has no option but to. Myself and the ranger jump down. I tried commandeering a vessel to turn us in to custody. I am lawful good remember. The rest of the party welcome the chance of escape and do so. I am eventually shot off the vessel and into the river below and I wake up with the rest of my party along with the changeling and his cohorts.

Now, after a small dungeon, I have made it clear to my party that I cannot abide to living as a fugitive. Two of my party mates side with me and we will be surrendering to the church of the Silver Flame. So I, the artificer and the hybrid wizard|monk will be heading off to Silverstar to face litigation.

So does anyone have any idea how we can legally free ourselves?

2010-06-23, 02:51 AM
offer to catch the rest of your party, and then enter bonded servitude to the ship captain?

2010-06-23, 02:59 AM
offer to catch the rest of your party, and then enter bonded servitude to the ship captain?
That sounds worse than spending time in jail. The Jailer has explained that it a maximum sentence of a year. Which doesn't sound bad, except you know possibly imaginary prison rape.

2010-06-23, 03:24 AM
How modern is the setting, in philosophical ideas. If modern, push for "community service." You are adventurers who will get it done anyways.

2010-06-23, 06:49 AM
Firstly, this is why I abhor the whole alignment thing. I'm LG so I must always tell the truth and so forth. Alignment doesn't mean a thing in my book but I do admire that you feel that you have to face justice.

Now, for a couple of questions. Do you think that what you did was right? Can you 'abide' lying to save yourself from this terrible fate? What happened to Petra - the stolen goods? What happened to ****'s rapier?

My suggestions are A) lie and say that you were pursuing Waylan when the thugs attacked you and then defended yourself - the rapier was 'borrowed' in the heat of the moment to stop the evildoers from getting away. B) Admit that you are guilty of freeing/stealing Petra and offer to pay some gold for your offence - admit that the Ranger stole the blade but that you didn't. You also had no idea what Waylan was going to do as a distraction.

If I have some of the answers I might be able to do a better job. Also, if it's a skill challenge let me know what your best skills are and how your DM likes to do skill challenges.

2010-06-23, 07:22 AM
Well first thing first. What are you actually guilty of? By my reckoning all you have committed is theft, and that was the theft of an enslaved girl. All the murdering and escaping and such occurred beyond your control.

So, plead guilty for theft and explain your situation. Thrane should be a lawful good place, so they should take notice of the fact that your act of theft was taken as a measure to protect a girl and free her from slavery (well the rapier is specifically the ranger's problem), and that you turned yourself in.

The other things that occurred are somewhat of a problem. Are there any witnesses to the fight and escape that can vouch for you simply being unwillingly dragged into them? If so then you should, hopefully, be ok on this front.

If you do manage to prove your innocence regarding everything besides the theft, there's a good chance that the court (i.e. the DM) will simply fine and/or assign you a communityservice quest. Which is all good and fine.

2010-06-23, 07:21 PM
To answer some of the questions, I think the DM was really playing into my weaknesses.

I am a paladin of the druidic traditions(Eldeen Reaches). I specifically sited a partly Darwinian, partly Buddhist belief system and part of it included respect for all sentience. Slavery cuts a creature off its maya/polace in the natural order yadayada. I was following a law, but not necessarily Thrane Law. I believed that beinga fugitive was worse than being in prison; a temporary incarceration of the body vis-a-vis a permanent encarceration of the conscience. I believe that freeing Petra was the right thing and so was giving myself in. I also returned the rapier on the ranger's behalf; meaning I ripped it off his hip as he hid behind me and handed it to the Silver Flame Guards. Petra has also been "returned."

I managed to lower the charges to Aiding and Abetting Theft, which is why teh sentence is so short. I have not killed anyone, I created my character with a note to the DM that any creature with the Natural subtype will only be dealt nonlethal damage and he accepted it assuming I can always succeed a Nature Check to determine if that Subtype is present.

My skills are Athletics +18, Bluff +9, Diplomacy +14, Intimidate +8, Streetwise +8, Endurance +17, Heal +14, Insight +9. So given my social skill mods, it looks that lying is beyond my skill but Diplomacy isn't.

Lord Vampyre
2010-06-23, 07:59 PM
It's too bad your Insight is low. Insight is one of the key skills that works hand in hand with Diplomacy. It would help you to determine whether or not there is something going on during the trial beyond just your assumed aiding and abbetting.

As it stands now, there is definitely something underhanded going on, and you are probably better not turning yourself in until it's brought to light. You really should uncover the mystery before turning yourself in. Without knowing what's really going on, your going into what in theory is a minor trial that could turn into a full blown murder trial upon your arrival.

Now, I may just be paranoid, but that is probably what I would do if I were the DM.

2010-06-24, 06:47 PM
Really? I know for a fact that several factions are trying to control us, including House Sivis and House Tarkanan. We currently have House Deneith "sponsoring" our magic items but House Cannith has also expressed interest in a dragonshard we found. As to how it comes into play with teh trial, I wouldn't know. I never really think that far ahead, I guess. Also with the House Sivis thing, this means that I won't be getting a barrister to defend me even if I can afford it.

2010-06-24, 07:21 PM
Wanting to turn yourself in makes sense, but you might try doing so somewhere other than Thrane. Seems like you're in trouble for more than theft right now -- you may not have initated the fights or the escape, but that'll be a hard thing to convince a court of. At this point, the Silver Flame is likely to throw the book at you.

If you're really wanted "across Khorvaire" as you say, then turn yourself in somewhere that opposes slavery, and you'll get a more sympathetic ear. Aundaire would be a good choice, if memory serves. You should be able to argue against their extraditing you to Thrane, since many of the charges you would face there are not considered crimes at all by the Aundairans. Then it's a matter of diplomacy: get a representative of the Silver Flame to meet with you in custody, and try to work out a compromise. Perhaps you confess to resisting arrest, destruction of property, and loitering with intent. You face punishment on these charges -- hopefully only fines or community service, since you can argue that most of the chaos was the fault of Waylan and the gnome. (Since you're an adventurer, "community service" could mean something arduous and dangerous, and thus count as a significant penalty from the authorities' point of view.)

The Flame gets to save face (at least they got you convicted of something), and in return they drop the rest of the charges, on which you were pretty much untouchable anyway as long as you remained in Aundairan custody. If they're still not willing to cut the deal, try to arrange for the "community service" to be some mission that benefits the Silver Flame as well.

By the way, what happened to Petra and the stolen sword? If you can still return the sword, do...and if the girl can come with you to Aundaire and tell about the harrowing captivity you rescued her from (assuming that is the way she sees it), then she'll help to turn both the public and the courts there to your side.

2010-06-24, 09:13 PM
Both Petra and the sword were returned.

That's a good idea about looking to surrender myself elsewhere, we do have a mission in Sharn and after that Newthrone. Which of those would be better?

2010-06-24, 09:34 PM
The fact that Petra was returned actually weakens your position, if the plan is to go to trial in a state that regards anti-slavery activists as the good guys. Did you return her voluntarily (and if so, what were her thoughts on the matter, once Waylan was dead?) Or was she just recaptured in the chaos?

Sharn would probably be a better place to turn yourself in than Newthrone, both because it is probably more liberal (Q'Barra, the nation that Newthrone is capitol of, is kind of a feudal place) and because Breland is a powerful state and less likely to let the Silver Flame push them around. I still think Aundaire would be ideal, but Sharn is probably a close second.

2010-06-24, 10:49 PM
My issue with Aundair is the fact that, as a Reacher, the government there would probably consider me a as a separatist, especially sisnce i am a paladin of the druidic order.

2010-06-25, 12:39 AM
as a slaver, the captain still has the obligation for the condition and safety of the enslaved. he was raping her and keeping her chained around the neck on the bow of the ship. so you were really doing the morally correct answer.

use the fact that you didnt fall from grace as a fact that you did the right thing, and as a church they should acknowledge the fact that the law of the gods is higher than the laws of mortals.

2010-06-25, 12:54 AM
use the fact that you didnt fall from grace as a fact that you did the right thing, and as a church they should acknowledge the fact that the law of the gods is higher than the laws of mortals.

I think you're talking about a completely different church here. That does not sound like the way the Silver Flame works...or the Eberron gods, for that matter.

My issue with Aundair is the fact that, as a Reacher, the government there would probably consider me a as a separatist, especially since i am a paladin of the druidic order.

Good point. Sharn it is, then...one thing you might want to do first, though, is have your DM let you make some knowledge checks (or contact someone who can make them for you) to find more about the laws and customs of each land before you make your decisions. I am fairly sure that in the "standard" Eberron setting, Thrane does not recognize slavery of any sort (including the transport of slaves through their territory) so what you did would not have been a crime at all. (Well, except for the grenades, ballista bolts, and miscellaneous explosions.)

So you might be playing in a somewhat darker version of Eberron, and should probably learn more about Breland's laws and court system before throwing yourself on their mercy.

2010-06-27, 05:46 PM
And paladins don't fall anymore.

2010-06-27, 07:58 PM
And paladins don't fall anymore.

Sure they do, but at least they don't provoke when standing back up.


2010-06-27, 09:29 PM
Sure they do, but at least they don't provoke when standing back up.


I was wondering if this was a gay pride week joke.

Here's the email I wrote my party-mates and CC'ed the DM:

If I can succeed a knowledge check to determine Petraís race and nationality, if what Waylan said about being wanted across Khorvaire is true, I am considering surrendering myself in her home country. Freeing a slave would fall against international trade laws and not local law, given that slavery on its own is illegal in Thrane; but slaves acquired elsewhere are legally possessions. Each country would surely have existing laws protecting its citizens from slavery even if it allows the transport, if not the trade of slaves. I can bargain against extradition. I can have liaisons with the Church of the Silver Flame arranged and this will let them see how faulty their stand on slavery is.
Find out Thraneís slave laws with another knowledge check. Slave ownership involves the care, safety and maintenance of that property and the disregard of a slaveís welfare should still be a crime. Freeing a woman chained to the helm of a ship and raped nightly would count towards lawful extraction of misused property and public endangerment. Itís similar to that fact that there are humanitarian laws for the maintenance of livestock and that suicide is still a crime as public endangerment.
If by knowing Petraís race and nationality, we find out that locally, slavery there is not legal at all, we can have Petra repatriated. The local government should press charges against ****.
I also want to point out flaws in a law that allows the transport of slaves across a country with any sovereignty. Nothing protects a expatriate Thrane citizen from traveling to Sarlona and being enslaved there and transported back to Thrane legally as a slave. Since the treaty of Thronehold, even warforged are now considered citizens. There are no countries in Greater Khorvaire that still views slavery as legal. If there are laws about the transport of previously acquired slaves, then these are outdated. Not even in feudal Qbarra is slaving legal. The only place where slavery is legal is Sarlona, but this is a cultural thing. Humans view themselves as the final stage in reincarnation before being selected as a candidate as a vessel of the Inspired. They enlave the savage races like orcs, shifters and ogres as a pittance so that in their service of the Inspired, they may have the opportunity to be reincarnated as human. Mageta would know this because he
is a shifter slave from Sarlona.
I intend to pay for a Sivis barrister, regardless of where I decide to surrender myself. I have a +14 Diplomacy modifier now but my insight could be better. I could use a lot of help from Ryu, Miguel and Sarek (less so from Sarek as he is also wanted, unlike the previous two) for my knowledge checks. Miguel was attacked my Lemuel Kemps men before he retaliated. We were kidnapped by Peach and his goons, we should not be wanted for resisting arrest.

So far thatís that. Any thoughts? Suggestions? I want to get this over with in less than thirty minutes before the game actually starts. I will also plead to Gandalf to NEVER include another slavery arc because he knows its one of my(our) pet peeves.

Our DM's name is Randall so we affectionately call him Gandalf. He has used slavery plots for every campaign we have played since 1998 because he knows it pisses me off; I am big on human rights personally. Ryu is the wizard|monk, Miguel is the artificer, Sarek is the wizard.