DM-Camris' CARRION CROWN Chapter 2: Trial of the Beast (Inactive)

Game Master Camris

The Beast of Lepidstadt has been captured! Upon traveling to Lepidstadt, the adventurers must discover whether the legendary monster is truly a killer or merely the instrument of some greater evil—and either way, whether it’s too dangerous to be allowed to survive.
HERGSTAG OVERVIEW


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Female Human Oracle of Pharasma 7; 42/52 HP; AC:13 [19] Touch 13 FF 10 [16]; F +6 R +4 W +8 (+12 fear); Init +2; Perception +7 (+11 undead/ can percieve ethereal undead)

"Thank you for the warm welcome." she says comfortingly, seeing the impact of the subject on her.

Sense motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

A chair pulls itself into position as she sits.


Male Varisian Inquisitor 7 (AC 23/15Tch/19FF, 22 CMD/18FF, HP 44/55, Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9, Init +7, Per +13)
Skills:
Climb +5, Heal +10, Intimidate +9, K(Arcana) +7*, K(Dungeon) +6*, K(Nature) +7*, K(Planes) +5*, K(Religion) + 11*, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +9, Stealth + 13, Survival +10*, Swim +5

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16

Christoph bows to the stately, if severe-looking, woman and introduces himself, "I am Christoph Metzgar, Speaker of the Spire and a friend of the late professor. Your welcome is appreciated, Justice Daramid." He takes one of the offered seats, where he listens apprehensively as Ereviss delves right into the matter at hand.


Kendra:

"Thank you your honor. My father spoke fondly of you as well.
"As you may already know, we are here in accordance to my father's last will and testament. The delivery of this book."
She said, motioning for Christoph to give the book over.


Ereviss wrote:

Ereviss takes to hovering around her, pacing with nervous energy.

"Ma'am, we have come at a chaotic time. We have followed the trail of evil, and it did not die with the cleansing of the prison. What can you tell us of this madness?"
Ereviss gestures to the general center of the city.

Judge Daramid looked steadily at Ereviss, clearly thinking hard about something.

"Hm. Yes. Perhaps there is something...
"But first we have Professor Lorrimor's will to complete."
She said sternly.

Accepting the last book, she brushed her fingers over the purple cover, gilt lettering and elaborate miniature lock on the cover. You could almost swear she was about to crack a smile.
"Yes... I accept this book from the Executors of the Last Will and Testament of Petros Lorrimor, and declare the conditions complete.
"As promised, here is your reward."

From an armored lock chest, she retrieved a tray with several small laquered boxes. She hands one of the surprisingly heavy boxes to each of you.
When you open the nice presentation box, you see it is filled with small gold bars; plaques stamped with the coat of arms of the Bank of Lepidstadt and engraved '100 crowns'. There are ten such bars in each box.


Male Half-Orc Paladin (Undead Scourge)/4;HP 43/43; AC 19 T 11 FF 17; Fort +9; Ref +5 Will +8; CMB +6; CMD 18; Per +1; Init +1; Spd 20ft.

Agrimar offers a short bow to Judge Daramid before accepting his box.


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

Ereviss thanks the judge. "That is some wealth. I did not expect any more riches than I already have, but, they shall be used to fight the evil that destroyed the professor. Hopefully I can get my armor enchanted."

1000k = +1 armor or amulet of natural armor for me


After the official business of Professor Lorrimor's will had been concluded, Judge Daramid looked upon Ereviss for a long moment.
"Now that the provisions of the will are complete, I would ask that you bide a moment." She asked.

She turned and looked out the front window at the celebrations in the street with a faint frown.
"I find myself in need of some assistance, and if Petros trusted you with the dangerous business he was often involved in, then I might be inclined to trust you with something similar as well."

She turned back to you.
"I believe there is a cancer in Lepidstadt; A darkness lurking behind the shadow of a scapegoat.
"For many years the people of Lepidstadt have laid all their ills at the door of a creature known as the Beast of Lepidstadt—murders, thefts, and terror have all been attributed to the Beast, but I know that many stories are exaggerations or quite simply untrue.
"I also know that some people have different stories to tell about the creature—about its kindness and humanity, of how it has rescued loved ones or helped those in distress.
"Now that the time has arrived for such kindness to be repaid, however, no one dares to step forward and challenge the Beast’s reputation."


"As a judge, I am very concerned with justice as a whole, and I very much fear the Beast will not receive a fair trial."

She gestured out to the celebrations on the street.
"The people of Lepidstadt have blamed the Beast for too much and for too long, and they want it to pay for its crimes, whether those crimes are real or imagined."

She hesitated, then continued slowly.
"In addition, I have some concerns about the crime for which the Beast was finally apprehended—the break-in and theft at Lepidstadt University.
"I am convinced that the Beast’s capture at the university was not all it appeared to be, for why would a creature that is intelligent knowingly enter the university, where it was certain to be trapped?"

She sighed.
"However, to publicly announce my suspicions could put me at great risk, both professionally and politically.
"As one of the three justices presiding over the Beast’s trial, I am unable to openly intervene, other than insisting that the Beast be properly defended in court."

She leaned forward.
"What I really need is a group of people without local bias to uncover the real truth about the Beast and its alleged crimes.
"The Beast’s legally appointed advocate, a barrister named Gustav Kaple, is hopelessly over his head and needs help—-ideally someone to gather evidence about the Beast’s alleged crimes and stand up in
court to be questioned by the prosecution.
"Such speakers must have bravery in spades and silver tongues to match, to ensure that if there is more to the Beast’s story, justice will be done."

She leaned back.
"IF the Beast is indeed guilty, then I can rest easier at night knowing that I gave it a fair trial."

She drew herself up to her full imposing height.
"And so; I am offering you double the bequest from Lorrimor’s will if you investigate the Beast of Lepidstadt on my behalf while expressly keeping me out of the equation, as any hint of collaboration in your investigations would put my legal objectivity into question.
"I will deny any involvement in the matter if pressed, but that if you do get to the bottom of the matter, I will be very grateful indeed."


Female Elf Slayer 1 / Wizard (Void Elementalist Shadowcaster) 3 | AC 18 T 13 FF 15 | HP 25/32 | F +4 R +6 W +2 | Init +3 | Perc +6

Skiia is bemused by the rapidity of the exchange between judge and bard, a far cry from the deliberation she's used to from her studies and correspondence. The tenor of the discussion is alarming, however, and Skiia is hardly surprised by the speakers' agitation. She speaks with as much assurance as we can muster, "These certainly seem to be troubled times. While not all of us are silver-tongued, we are all of us, in one way or another, seekers after truth."

Pausing a moment to collect her thoughts, Skiia continues, remembering Christoph's earlier observation, "It seems dreadfully ... convenient that a beast so terrible should be caught at last in pursuit of - who knows? Some unlikely relic? Is there anyone in Lepidstadt who could benefit from such misdirection?"

"We have reason to fear the circumstances which spurred Professor Lorrimor's latest research. I shudder to think that they may be connected with the unrest here." Skiia carefully avoids looking at the last book to have been delivered, and privately wishes she had had an opportunity to look within, or tactfully lead the conversation in a direction that might reveal just what the tome contains.


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

"I think we a accept your charge. Can you discreetly guide us as we regularly update you? You can give us your insight as one familiar with this area."


Skiia wrote:
"It seems dreadfully ... convenient that a beast so terrible should be caught at last in pursuit of - who knows? Some unlikely relic? Is there anyone in Lepidstadt who could benefit from such misdirection?"

Judge Daramid shook her head.

"Yes, convenient indeed. However, I have not a clue as to who might be behind it. There are so many competing political factions who would like a clear victory; and on top of that, innumerable secret societies..." She shook her head. "So many possibilities."

Skiia wrote:
"We have reason to fear the circumstances which spurred Professor Lorrimor's latest research."

"You already have suspicions? Then it is you who will tell me who might have orchestrated this whole situation."

Ereviss wrote:
"I think we a accept your charge. Can you discreetly guide us as we regularly update you? You can give us your insight as one familiar with this area."

Judge Daramid nods at your acceptance.

"I will certainly do what I can, but our contact MUST be minimal. Support for the beast is... well I don't know that there is any, so your activities will draw many eyes, many... unfriendly... eyes.
"Your first task is to go to the Lepidstadt Courthouse; you cannot miss it, it is just across the square where the punishing man is being built. There you will seek out and find the Clerk of the Court. You will then register with the court as volunteer defense Councillors for the Beast.
"Then, you will meet with Barrister Gustav Kaple to offer your assistance in legal research, background checks, summoning witnesses, investigating evidence and gathering clues to help in the Beast’s defense.
"The Beast MUST receive a fair trial.
"And, if we are fortunate, those who have to date remained hidden might be forced to react, and thus reveal themselves."


Male Half-Orc Paladin (Undead Scourge)/4;HP 43/43; AC 19 T 11 FF 17; Fort +9; Ref +5 Will +8; CMB +6; CMD 18; Per +1; Init +1; Spd 20ft.

"We will investigate and for good or ill, bring the truth to light." The professor trusted this Judge, and so would he. She seems genuinely interested is absolving this Beast, not in digging a deeper grave. As a victim of prejudice himself, Agrimar could empathize with the misunderstanding of smaller minds. But IF this Beast was guilty, he will pay for his crimes.


Female Human Oracle of Pharasma 7; 42/52 HP; AC:13 [19] Touch 13 FF 10 [16]; F +6 R +4 W +8 (+12 fear); Init +2; Perception +7 (+11 undead/ can percieve ethereal undead)

"We will gladly assist you with this. Those behind these occurrences must be revealed." Rhia says quietly,


Male Varisian Inquisitor 7 (AC 23/15Tch/19FF, 22 CMD/18FF, HP 44/55, Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9, Init +7, Per +13)
Skills:
Climb +5, Heal +10, Intimidate +9, K(Arcana) +7*, K(Dungeon) +6*, K(Nature) +7*, K(Planes) +5*, K(Religion) + 11*, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +9, Stealth + 13, Survival +10*, Swim +5

Christoph exhales sharply as the judge reveals the reward bequeathed as he complete's professor Lorrimor's charge. In a slightly shaky voice, he says, "My thanks, Justice Daramid. I am glad to have been able to serve the Professor's last wishes."

As the justice continues, Christoph mulls over the chaotic scene at the professor's office earlier and the claims that had seemed unbelievable to him. He nods his agreement with the others, "I am no silver-tongued haggler or charmer, but I have a knack for spotting liars and my station lends gravitas when I ask questions. I would gladly accept this charge, Justice."


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

Ereviss nods and they head to visit the barrister defending the Beast.


After pointing you in the right direction, Judge Daramid ushered you out the back servants entrance (clean and well kept) that led you down to a concealed exit to a road. Barely a block later you came to the town circle; a great plaza that was the crossroads of several thoroughfares. The City Courthouse was directly across the way.

In the square immediately outside the courthouse stands the Punishing Man, a gigantic, man-shaped conglomeration of cut timber and wicker standing over 30 feet tall.

Knowledge:Local DC12:

The Punishing Man is Lepidstadt’s traditional method of executing murderers and other criminals guilty of capital crimes.
Convicted criminals are placed within the figure’s hollow chest cavity and the entire structure is then set on fire in a public ceremony.

There were many people still in the circle, clusters of people chanting, pairs drinking and cheering the Punishing Man figure, elderly ladies who claimed their prime audience positions with their rocking chairs and knitting to pass the time until the burning.

For those who want to talk to the citizens or overhear conversations...

DC5 Knowledge:Local (to hear rumors) or Diplomacy (to gather info):

Burn the Beast!!! Burn the Beast!!! Burn the Beast!!! Burn the Beast!!!

DC10 Knowledge:Local (to hear rumors) or Diplomacy (to gather info):

I hear the trial’s first day detailed a long list of crimes against the Beast, three of which are to be used as the basis of its execution—burned alive in the Punishing Man, a giant pyre that is even now being raised outside the courthouse!

DC15 Knowledge:Local (to hear rumors) or Diplomacy (to gather info):

Ha! That fool barrister Gustav Kaple is defending the creature—he can’t even get a whole sentence out without stuttering!
The Beast is as good as dead! I’ve heard that the prosecution’s case is watertight—murdering those poor children in Hergstag, killing all those
swampers in Morast, and burning down good Doctor Brada’s hospice. Hurrah for Prosecutor Otto Heiger!

DC20 Knowledge:Local (to hear rumors) or Diplomacy (to gather info):

Yes, I’ve heard stories that the Beast has done some kind things too, but it’s plagued Lepidstadt for far too long. Even if it did do those things, that’s just proof that the creature is mad and deserves to be burned!


Making your way through the crowd, you finally come before the Lepidstadt Courthouse; A large, squat building dominated by an enormous clock that overlooks the town square.
Designed primarily as a fortification, the Lepidstadt Courthouse is built of dark stone, with walls of reinforced masonry. The building is three stories high, with narrow, open windows only a foot wide. All exterior doors are strong reinforced wood.
Ornate pillars support a balcony 15 feet above. Beneath the balcony, wide steps lead up to a huge, ironbound door. Printed public notices are posted on a wooden board next to the door. Presently, these notices detail the upcoming trial in long-winded legal language.

Making your way inside, you see the clerk of the court, who stared at you disbelievingly. He had to be reminded several times that you were serious before finally signing and stamping your official documents making you Defense Councillors.


One of the guards escorts you up to the second floor, through an impressive trial chamber to a small, simple office. It contains two chairs and a desk, with a writing set and paper in one drawer.

Barrister Gustav Kaple meets you here. When wearing his huge court wig, Gustav cuts an impressive figure; serious of mein, warm voice and charismatic as all get out.

Knowledge:Local DC12:
Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving—
Gustav has had several recent failures in the justice system.

Knowledge:Local DC17:
In fact, he has seen his last six clients hanged.

Knowledge:Local DC22:

In truth, the down-at-the-heels barrister was chosen to represent the Beast precisely because of his inability to defend anyone and for his stutter, which manifests itself when he is stressed.


Barrister Kaple:

He looks at you with some skepticism.
"So. You are the new Defense Councillors?"


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

diplo gather info: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
kn local gather info: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

Ereviss uses his skills as an investigator, and circulates through town talking to a few of the townies. He comes back with bad news.

"This trial is somewhat of a farce. They chose a stuttering defender who lost his last six murder cases. Everyone is out for blood and want to see the beast burned alive in the Punishing Man."

He looks at the group:
"We have a difficult task. Let us see what this hapless attorney knows and see if we can change this kangaroo court."

As they are introduced to the new barrister, Ereviss bows: "We are only here to help you. Tell us what you know, and we will see if we can help you mount a credible defense. This could be the trial that makes you famous."

Not sure where to start, Ereviss appeals to his vanity.
diplomacy to change attitude: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
After this roll Ereviss has asked for what he knows
diplomacy to request info from him: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


Male Half-Orc Paladin (Undead Scourge)/4;HP 43/43; AC 19 T 11 FF 17; Fort +9; Ref +5 Will +8; CMB +6; CMD 18; Per +1; Init +1; Spd 20ft.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10


Male Varisian Inquisitor 7 (AC 23/15Tch/19FF, 22 CMD/18FF, HP 44/55, Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9, Init +7, Per +13)
Skills:
Climb +5, Heal +10, Intimidate +9, K(Arcana) +7*, K(Dungeon) +6*, K(Nature) +7*, K(Planes) +5*, K(Religion) + 11*, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +9, Stealth + 13, Survival +10*, Swim +5

I wonder if they have kangaroos in Golarion? :)

Christoph listens to the Ereviess as the charismatic elven bard relates the sour news about the current situation. He frowns grimly, saying, "It would seem that our task will be a long and difficult one. If the reaction of the clerk is any measure, we will likely have little luck with many of the cities inhabitants. Your plan makes good sense, Ereviss, so let's see about this defender."

Christoph bows slightly to the lawyer, watching the man's reaction to the arrival of five new councilors.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12


Female Human Oracle of Pharasma 7; 42/52 HP; AC:13 [19] Touch 13 FF 10 [16]; F +6 R +4 W +8 (+12 fear); Init +2; Perception +7 (+11 undead/ can percieve ethereal undead)

Knowledge Local(to hear rumors) : 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9

"It does in fact seem as if the majority of the town is ready to see him burn regardless of facts, and the trial is more a formality than an actual portrayal of justice." Rhia adds solemnly.


Ereviss wrote:
As they are introduced to the new barrister, Ereviss bows: "We are only here to help you. Tell us what you know, and we will see if we can help you mount a credible defense. This could be the trial that makes you famous."

Barrister Kaple preened at the recognition.

”Yes. Well. Thank you.” He said, basking at the praise. He looked you all over.
”I must say, I have never heard of any of you before. But my unknown benefactor was fulsome with praise for your work. And it’s not as if I could turn down any help."
He looked sad for a moment.

“Anyway. To work then.
“As you may know, The Beast of Lepidstadt has finally been captured after decades of rampaging through the countryside.
“They caught him as he tore the hell out of a university building. And let me tell you, that was some magnificent work by the city guard! The report I read had a mere six guards take the beast down after an epic battle lasting two hours! And considering the Beast has been known to rip an iron door out of a castle wall, there were NO casualties!”
He said with ironic emphasis. He shook his head with fake admiration.

”But to our part.” He drew himself up to his considerable height. ”We will be defending the Creature to the best of our ability! Although the Beast is undoubtedly guilty, it is also undoubted that the prosecution has larded on unrelated charges. Probably to clear his docket and make him look good to the Lord Mayor.
“But my particular problem is that I have been struggling to find ANY kind of evidence in support of the Beast’s innocence.
“The prosecution is using three recent crimes attributed to the Beast to convict the creature of murder.
“Number one; the murder of 10 citizens of the village of Morast a year ago.
“Number two; the slaying of six children in the farming community of Hergstag 7 months ago.
“And Number three: the arson attack 4 months ago at the Sanctuary on Karb Isle, which resulted in the deaths of Doctor Brada and his patients and the blinding of the doctor’s assistant, Karl.
“I have interviewed the main witnesses from each of the three cases to be discussed at the trial and have found that their stories are very plausible. But I have serious doubts that ALL of them are true.”
He sat down heavily.

”I feel certain that without evidence in its favor, the Beast will certainly be convicted.
“I am really hoping that a fresh set of eyes, yours for example, will turn up something we can use.”

He sat back and rubbed his eyes.
”And the one thing we need is the very thing we are almost out of.
“Time.
“With the trial already under way, preliminary evidence has already been presented to the three justices.
“The trial begins in earnest tomorrow, however, as the majority of the evidence for the three crimes will be presented over the next 3 days. You are going to have to act fast if we hope to find any evidence in support of the Beast’s innocence.
“I would suggest that you investigate the events in Morast first; that evidence will be presented tomorrow, and it is only about eight miles out of town.
“You can investigate the other two crimes over the following two nights.
“Do you have any questions for me before you get to work?”


Male Half-Orc Paladin (Undead Scourge)/4;HP 43/43; AC 19 T 11 FF 17; Fort +9; Ref +5 Will +8; CMB +6; CMD 18; Per +1; Init +1; Spd 20ft.

"What is the official story on what happened in Morast, and what evidence has been presented relating to that case?"


Female Elf Slayer 1 / Wizard (Void Elementalist Shadowcaster) 3 | AC 18 T 13 FF 15 | HP 25/32 | F +4 R +6 W +2 | Init +3 | Perc +6

Skiia listens carefully to the exchange, sorry that her skills do not run so socially as would be most useful in politely inquiring into and sifting difficult matters. Satisfied so far with the others' lead, the barrister's allusion to the strength of the "Beast" leads her thoughts back to the questions of what motivates it, and how it was so easily captured.

Am I being silly and have just missed something, or do we know just what the Beast actually is yet? Could we try talking to it, along with our other investigations?


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

"Let us meet this beast and we will head to Morast"


Skiia wrote:
Am I being silly and have just missed something, or do we know just what the Beast actually is yet?

You don't know. Yet.


Agrimar wrote:
"What is the official story on what happened in Morast, and what evidence has been presented relating to that case?"

Barrister Kaple summarizes that the first crime the Beast is charged with is the killing of 10 people in Morast, a small hamlet in the Dippelmere Swamp about 8 miles east of Lepidstadt.

The Beast snatched 10 victims, one at a time out in the fields, then in groups in their own houses before finally being driven away by a mob of villagers. They chased the “Beast” into the swamp, where they saw it attacked by a blood caiman and assumed it was killed.
The evidence is the star witness; the village elder Lazne. Since he led the mob that attacked the Beast and drove it to what he thought was its death.


Info about Morast: Knowledge (Local) DC15:

Morast, a small hamlet in the Dippelmere Swamp about 8 miles east of Lepidstadt. A narrow trail leads from Lepidstadt to the village.
Morast is a miserable collection of 20 or so wattle-and-daub hovels built on stilts above the swamp and connected by soggy wooden boardwalks.
The villagers make their livings fishing and occasionally bringing in a blood caiman (a variety of crocodilian with a red-scaled head that is native to the north) to eat or sell.

Advanced Info about Morast: Knowledge (Local) DC20:

The swampers of Morast are a curious group. Local rumor claims that somewhere in their somewhat inbred ancestry, they mingled with strange swamp creatures, tainting their blood and marking them with queer countenances. No one knows how or why, but the people of Morast have legendary constitutions—sickness is rare among the swampers, and the villagers live long, healthy lives. While admired for this fact, they are also shunned for their strange appearance.


Barrister Kaple gestured at the door.
"Well then, would you like to meet our client?" He said, rising.

He escorts you out to the stairway down to the ground floor, then down through the iron trap door and the steep stone steps into the courthouse’s cellar jail cells. The two grinning guards wipe the smiles off their faces and beat an exit upstairs at the Barristers motion.

A towering abomination sits in an iron chair, bound with no less than a dozen sets of manacles.
Stitching holds together this grotesque patchwork of flesh and bone, beast and man, though the wires are so taut they look as though they may fly apart at any moment.
Its mouth is twisted in a permanent sneer, and a shock of lank, dark hair clings to its scalp.
The creature slumps in its chair, a despondent expression upon its
monstrous face.


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

Ereviss looks at the Beast, and tries to be friendly.

"I am sure much that has happened to your is frightening. We are here to help. I am Ereviss and we would like to be your friends. What do you remember of the last few days?"

Ereviss looks the creature in the eyes, a touch of concern and curiousity on his face.
diplomacy to influence: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28

After hearing the answer, he continues:
"Can you tell us if you have any family or friends we can contact?"


Female Elf Slayer 1 / Wizard (Void Elementalist Shadowcaster) 3 | AC 18 T 13 FF 15 | HP 25/32 | F +4 R +6 W +2 | Init +3 | Perc +6

Skiia silently takes a long look while Ereviss introduces them, taking the "Beast's" measure. Knowledge (arcana), with studied target bonus: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32 She can only assume, given the extent of the stitching, that it's being held together by magic, somehow. (And I'm guessing her other knowledge skills aren't applicable.)

"We're going to start looking into the earlier charges trumped up against you. I know it's a long time ago, but if you can think of why people might think you're responsible for what happened at Morast and Hergstag, too, that would help us in our investigations," Skiia adds to the bard's questions, speaking as gently as she can. Diplomacy (aiding another): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

Hmm. I guess her assessing stare was unnerving, to put it mildly. At least there's hope that she has a good idea of what the Beast is, now.


Male Varisian Inquisitor 7 (AC 23/15Tch/19FF, 22 CMD/18FF, HP 44/55, Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9, Init +7, Per +13)
Skills:
Climb +5, Heal +10, Intimidate +9, K(Arcana) +7*, K(Dungeon) +6*, K(Nature) +7*, K(Planes) +5*, K(Religion) + 11*, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +9, Stealth + 13, Survival +10*, Swim +5

Christoph studies the beast, unnerved by the creature's patchwork appearance and apparent undead origins. This creature is an abomination, true, but its alleged victims deserve justice which demands I set aside my distaste. Pharasma judge me justly for my decision today. He whispers to Ereviss, "If you can, get his versions of all three events mentioned. Perhaps there is exculpatory evidence to be had."


Barrister Kaple spoke to the creature.
”Hello sir! I just stopped by to have you meet some of the people who will be helping me on your case.” He said in a friendly voice.
The creature flinched as if he was about to be whipped, then slowly turned his eyes towards the barrister in what looked like a hopeful gaze.
”Let me introduce Sirs Ereviss Ladyhunter, Agrimar Vaskel and Christoph Metzger; and here we have Ladies Rhia Van der Geist and Skiia Anamabon.” Kaple said, gesturing to you in turn.


Creature:

”Oh. Hello.” It said cautiously, in an oddly child-like tenor pitched voice.


Ereviss Ladyhunter wrote:


Ereviss looks at the Beast, and tries to be friendly.
"I am sure much that has happened to you is frightening. We are here to help. I am Ereviss and we would like to be your friends. What do you remember of the last few days?"

Creature_________

The creature shrugged as best he could.
”Don’t know! I woke up inna warehouse in da school. Den dese guards, they came and shouted at me an’ piled on me an’ tied me up. Den dey hauled me to dis place an’ put me in dese chains an’ shouted at me ‘bout stuff I didn’t do!” He whined. He seemed like he was eager to please Ereviss.

Ereviss wrote:


"Can you tell us if you have any family or friends we can contact?"

Creature___________

”No.” It whimpered sadly.


Skiia Anamabon wrote:


Skiia silently takes a long look while Ereviss introduces them, taking the "Beast's" measure.
Skiia:

This creature, it seems, physically anyway to be some kind of Flesh Golem. But that can’t be possible, because Flesh golems can barely do what they’re told; and they certainly cannot talk!
Some kind of experimental variant? Some kind of undead recreation? Some manner of cosmetic surgery gone awry? But no, whatever it... he is, he certainly isn't human. Well, not now anyway. Speculation abounds, but all in all you just don’t know.

"We're going to start looking into the earlier charges trumped up against you. I know it's a long time ago, but if you can think of why people might think you're responsible for what happened at Morast and Hergstag, too, that would help us in our investigations,"

Creature

The creature just shook his head roughly.
”They done shouted at me that I killt kids! I not do thing like that! I didn’t do it!!
“I DIDN’T DO IT!”
It screamed and lunged forward against all six of the chains, which creaked ominously. Its face was beet red and the tendons stood out all over its massively muscled bulk.


Male Varisian Inquisitor 7 (AC 23/15Tch/19FF, 22 CMD/18FF, HP 44/55, Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +9, Init +7, Per +13)
Skills:
Climb +5, Heal +10, Intimidate +9, K(Arcana) +7*, K(Dungeon) +6*, K(Nature) +7*, K(Planes) +5*, K(Religion) + 11*, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +9, Stealth + 13, Survival +10*, Swim +5

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19 Does he seem to be telling the truth before hulking out?

Christoph listens to the Beast's story with interest, trying to gauge the creature's story for truth and falsehood. He's surprised to find that he pities the creature, it's plaintive, child-like voice overcoming his professional aversion. The creature's sudden furious rage quells the instinct and Christoph reflexively steps back and reaches for his weapon. No, this isn't the place nor the time. Stopping the impulse, he instead shouts back at the creature from just out of reach, "SILENCE! We are here to help you and to help prove you didn't do it. If you don't help us, then you will be killed for something you did not do. Answer our questions and we will help you!"

Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25

Ok, so much for subtle. Someone else can get him to like us if that shut him up.


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

Ereviss attempts to restrain Christoph, as he seems to feel the Beast is helping as best he can.

"We will help you. And Kendra and I will be your family for now. Just tell us what you remember before you woke up. Walk us through your last couple of days and tell us where you live."

Ereviss gives Kendra a beseeching look, as he hopes she shares his compassion. Ereviss take out a monagrammed handkerchief with an E ornately scripted and hands it to the beast.


Female Human Oracle of Pharasma 7; 42/52 HP; AC:13 [19] Touch 13 FF 10 [16]; F +6 R +4 W +8 (+12 fear); Init +2; Perception +7 (+11 undead/ can percieve ethereal undead)

Sense motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

Unsure what to make of the Beast's ravings, Rhia actually flinches at Christoph's shocking harshness.


Christoph wrote:
"SILENCE!"

The Beast flinched back from and cowered in front of Christoph's outburst, whimpering in fright. The chains creaked just as ominously as he strained away from you as when he lunged forward.

Quote:
Just tell us what you remember before you woke up. Walk us through your last couple of days and tell us where you live.

The Beast became surly as a little boy, giving monotone one-word answers now.

"Don' know."
"Don' 'member."
"Woods."
Is all he answers now.
The Beast is too chained up to accept Erevis' handkerchief, and doesn't seem to be in a mood to take it anyway.


"Well, that went about as well as could be expected." Barrister Kaple said as he started shooing you back up the stairway.
"You certainly missed your calling as an interrogator Sir Christoph." He said to Christoph, with just a bit more sardonic emphasis than was strictly necessary.


Female Elf Slayer 1 / Wizard (Void Elementalist Shadowcaster) 3 | AC 18 T 13 FF 15 | HP 25/32 | F +4 R +6 W +2 | Init +3 | Perc +6

Once they get back up to the main hall of the courthouse, Skiia sweeps her glance around the group to catch everyone's attention quietly. "Does anyone have any suggestions?" she asks, concern adding a slight furrow to her brow. "Everything I know about such things tells me the Beast must be a golem of some sort, stitched together out of ..."

She finds herself unable to actually voice the thought. She continues, softly, so no one beyond the circle of listeners can hear, "But no kind of golem that I've ever heard of is free-willed. I would not have expected that he would even have been able to speak. If, though I hardly dare credit it, that is what he is, the complications that involves are troubling. If I were asked my opinion in court on the basis of my knowledge of magecraft, I would have to admit that binding a spirit to power the sort of golem closest to what the Beast might be is an unstable process at the best of times. It would not be difficult for the prosecution to argue reasonably that this is just a case of a golem that has broken free from control, exacerbated by the unpredictability of allowing a unique variant to remain animate in the first instance."


Male Half-Orc Paladin (Undead Scourge)/4;HP 43/43; AC 19 T 11 FF 17; Fort +9; Ref +5 Will +8; CMB +6; CMD 18; Per +1; Init +1; Spd 20ft.

"Maybe we will be better equipped to question the creature once we have inspected the scene of the first crime. Actual evidence might jog his memory better." Agrimar offers.


Passing by the snickering guards, you ascend to the portico of the Courthouse. From there you can see the Punishing Man looming over the city square.

Barrister Kaple harumphs.
“Well then. In any case, I would suggest that you investigate the events in Morast first; as that evidence will be presented tomorrow, and it is only about eight miles out of town."


OK guys, what are you going to do?
Aside from Morast, you can go check out Hergstag, the Sanctuary on Karb Isle, and even check out the scene where the Beast was captured.
And are you going to hoof it, or ride a mount of some kind, or hire a cab/carriage?


Male Elf Bard (Detective)/4;HP 34/34; AC 17 T 12 FF 15; Fort +2; Ref +7 Will +4; CMB +3; CMD 16; Per +11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.

"Well, off to Morast. Let us take a carriage, it has been pleasant so far. Maybe we can rent one for a week?"

Ereviss will try to secure a carriage rental.


Asking around, Ereviss finds a coach for hire and a driver willing to take you that far out of town for 30 crowns; only twice the normal rate!
He looks at you doubtfully before loading you and your luggage aboard. Kendra came in a little late, having first secured a big basket of apples, fruit, bread, cheese and several bottles of a decent local wine.

The coachman cracks his whip and his team draws your carriage over the bridge and into the hilly terrain east of the city.


A narrow trail leads from Lepidstadt to the village. Because of the hilly terrain you have to pass through and the narrow unimproved trail, it takes you two hours of bumpy travel to get to a rickety dock.
When you climb out, you see that Morast is a miserable collection of 20 or so wattle-and-daub hovels built on stilts above the swamp and connected by soggy wooden boardwalks. One such boardwalk extends to the shore where you are now, at the terminus of the Lepidstadt trail.

The swamp spread out before you, murky and dark green. Gnarled trees with branches drooping all the way down to the surface of the water plunge the ambient light into dim and shadowy place.
You don't see anyone offhand.

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