Zhiden looked around suspiciously, and then said, "Wait, we're heroes? When did that happen? Did we step in something?" He made a show of checking the bottom of his shoes,he said it with a sincerity that left unclear whether or not he was joking.
Doctor Crowl says "There's not much mystery, we caught the Beast right here in the building. He can't have hidden the statue that well, or even destroyed it. It will turn up. Though if you're interested, please stop by after you've collected your reward. I'd be happy to treat you to dinner and fill you in."
He seems more interested in Eva coming to dinner, but the invitation does seem to be addressed to all of you.
He gives you directions to Judge Darmid's house. On your way, as you enter the Lepidstadt town square, you see a huge, man-shaped structure of cut timber standing over 30 feet tall. There is a pile of wood stacked against its legs and the locals seem to be adding more as they walk past it while workers coat the timbers of the structure in oil.
Judge Embreth Darmid is one of the justices of Vieland and a magistrate of Lepidstadt who is well known ad respected for her even temper and fairness. She is also known to be a member of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, the semi-secret society of elite thinkers and mystics who guided the revolt that led to the [reletively bloodless] overthrow of the nobility in the three Ustalav Palatine states.
Judge Darmid is in her sixties, with icy blue eyes and grey hair pulled back into a bun.
"Welcome to my home, all of you. How can I help you?"
KnLocal:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15 I think I remember reading somewhere that a judge by Mrs. Darmid's description being in the Order of the Palantine Eye... Perhaps we should approach this delicately.
On arrival, Vertielle steps forward.
Perhaps we could speak inside? she asks, rubbing her eye as if it were irritated as she taps the spine of her journal, hugged under her elbow.
sense motive:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Vertielle looks quizzically at Eva for a moment, but lets whatever went unsaid go quickly and returns to the subject at hand.
We were just there, in fact. Odd things going on there, as I'm sure you know.
Zhiden couldn't help but react at the realization that the Judge had had feelings for Lorrimor. He tried to surpress it, but still he flinched as though someone had told him something completely unexpected. Having reason now to change the subject, he replied solemly, "He was a great man. Far better than I was expecting."
Well, if introductions were being handed out, Zhiden figured it was his turn. ["I'm Zhiden Enack," He said. He almost added that he was a thief if he was anything, but then he realized he was talking to a judge, so he quickly cut himself off, looking somewhat embarrassed.
"Thank you all for doing Petros this last favor. Please, sit down while I get your reward. Then, please, let me know what happened to him. I didn't even know he was ill."
She has a servant bring snacks and drinks while you filll her in.
After she seems deep in thought, then says "You seem to be a talented group, as one would expect from Petros' confidence in you. Perhaps you could help me as well. I'd be willing to pay you the same amount you just earned if you will do me a favor as well.
She pauses to consider her next words.
"I'm sure you've heard of the recent capture of the so-called 'Beast of Lepidstadt'. It - he - is being held for trial. I am one of the judges who will hear the case. I firmly believe in fairness and I'm afraid that the emotions involved will prevent a fair trial. Even it's assigned defence attorney believes in it's guilt. The townsfolk don't even want a trial. I want someone to investigate. As judge, I can't. I'm afraid it's being used as a scapegoat. I want it punished for it's crimes. I do not want it punished for someone else's. Will you do this for me?
"I would recomend that you first speak to his lawyer, Gustav Kaple. He should be able to fill you in on the details of all of the charges and arrange for speach with the Beast. Do not use my name. Any hint of my involvement would lead to charges of collaboration and negate any benefits or results."
"That's the funny thing," Zhiden said, "I haven't gotten a strong feeling that anyone actually thinks it is innocent, including the judge. I think she is just covering all possibilities." Zhiden kept quiet for a moment or two after that, he wasn't sure he liked being a wandering righter of wrongs. The worst part about it was that he didn't know if his concern was over the fact that he might be found out, or if it was lingering selfishness from trying to stay out of the jailor's grasp. He finally spoke up again, adding "If what Wood said is true, then I don't think we'll get anything of use out of the lawyer, unless he can set up a meeting with this thing."
Golems cannot have sentience. I'm sure it's a misconception, and the beast was being controlled from elsewhere, or else simply well programed.
Despite her obvious reservations about talking to it, that is where Vertielle goes. She'll need to see the creature and learn from its lawyer the charges against it.