Trial of the Beast - Inconsistancy in Whispering Way's actions


Carrion Crown


I can foresee that my players are going to have a problem when they reach the end of Trial of the Beast.

In HoH when the whispering way had a witness who didn't really know what they had done they took great care to eliminate him and even crush his skull so that speak with dead wouldn't function.

In ToB the whispering way leave a leave a witness who knows exactly what they did and even knows their names alive. Yes they expect him to suffer a slow death. Even if his servant didn't keep him alive the PCs could still speak with dead.

If they speak with dead the guards or engineers I can say they were slain from stealth with no clues to leave behind, but Caramarc is a problem.

When my players encounter this they are going to roast me over the inconsistency. I'm considering modifying the end such that they do leave no survivors who can speak. I can have Waxwood give them Vrood's name but I still need a way to send them to the next AP. That seems complex for Waxwood.

Sovereign Court

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Add a WW cultist left behind to clean things up at the schloss. This guy or gal is sadistic and is taking great pleasure in torturing the count and his servants. The cultist has not finished their tasks yet as the PCs arrive and save Alpon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only reason Caromac survived as long as he did is because Waxwood was sneaking him water and tiny bits of food through the mouthhole. The WW actually expected him to die a lot sooner.

Silver Crusade

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Also, they don't expect anybody going in there anytime soon. Remember, the PCs are fairly powerful - most people would have a hard entering the Schloss even without their...additions. It would normally take quite a while until a group powerful enough (and willing) to storm the premises. Even most PC groups would struggle pretty hard fighting the final enemies without the beast's help.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I do think that there's an inconsistency between, on the one hand, skull-crushing someone who was only vaguely a witness and, on the other hand, leaving someone alive to summer a slow death when they could easily stick a knife in him. I don't think that this inconsistency is roast-worthy, though. People in real life are this inconsistent all the time.

Maybe casting phantasmal killer is an easier step than actually murdering someone at close quarters. Maybe one (or more) of the three secretly misses/respects/belongs to the aristocracy of the Palatinates, and so argues against directly slaying one such noble when there's an easy alternative available. Maybe they fully intended to go back and kill him before they left but then they had to leave in a hurry/something prevented them/they got absent-minded.

As long as it's clear in your mind why the inconsistency happened then your players shouldn't be able to harass you too badly, I think.


Pan wrote:
Add a WW cultist left behind to clean things up at the schloss. This guy or gal is sadistic and is taking great pleasure in torturing the count and his servants. The cultist has not finished their tasks yet as the PCs arrive and save Alpon.

This idea makes some sense to me but I might flip flop it. Instead I would say a cultist stayed behind to finish up business with Caramarc. With less persons watching Caramarc was able to order Waxwood to release the creature to slay the cultist and free him. The creature killed the cultist but will not free Caramarc who is too weak to command it by this time. The creature has to eat or destroy at least the head of the cultist to prevent speak with dead on him.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's established in chapter one that there are only three cultists in this group, so you might either foreshadow them gaining an assistant in Lepidstadt or else use this as an opportunity to have closure on the cultist who dies in chapter four with no involvement of the PCs.

Sovereign Court

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GrimSpider wrote:
Pan wrote:
Add a WW cultist left behind to clean things up at the schloss. This guy or gal is sadistic and is taking great pleasure in torturing the count and his servants. The cultist has not finished their tasks yet as the PCs arrive and save Alpon.
This idea makes some sense to me but I might flip flop it. Instead I would say a cultist stayed behind to finish up business with Caramarc. With less persons watching Caramarc was able to order Waxwood to release the creature to slay the cultist and free him. The creature killed the cultist but will not free Caramarc who is too weak to command it by this time. The creature has to eat or destroy at least the head of the cultist to prevent speak with dead on him.

Not sure you need to worry about speak with dead on the cultist. The cultist is just a lackey and doesn't have any info other than his/her orders to end Alpon and rejoin the group at Ascanor lodge. You could even slip a journal or scroll in the cultists pack that has orders saying as much.


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In my game, the Whispering Way wanted to keep the Count alive in case they needed his alchemical expertise again. There was even a plan to bring his wife back as undead to keep him in line, though it never came to fruition.

They left a totenmaske to keep the Count captive. It used its grisly powers to seal the Count’s mouth, put a ring of sustenance on his finger, and locked him in the misery idol. It then took the Count’s form and began to impersonate him, going so far as to start sewing a flesh golem of its own out of the Count’s dead servants and guards. After the trial, it used the control device to make the Beast come to the schloss and tear apart the trolls that were annoying it, then left the Beast deactivated on the tower top. That’s what drew the party to the schloss--the Beast suddenly and without explanation running into the night toward the storm-wracked horizon. They tracked him to the schloss and unraveled the plot from there.

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