Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 4
Zerin of Birdsall, Half-Elf Paladin 4
Jager, Human Fighter 4 (Replacing Zerin)
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4
Mara, Human Cleric 3
Flora, Half-Elf Cleric 3 (Replacing Mara)
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 3
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 3
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 4
Just after dawn, a posse of five men rode into town, most of them rough-hewn, hard-bitten men with steel loose in their scabbards; the fifth a poncey git with waxed mustache and van dyke, ostrich-feathered hat and slashed silk doublet. The ponce, identifying himself as Sir Bosch, demanding the surrender of "the criminal gnome," producing a wanted poster from the town of Craghold, declaring a bounty on Cor for "arson, manslaughter, attempted regicide and insurance fraud." It was explained that the Broken Blade, the inn Cor bought for a song in Craghold, burned down right after he left town, which looked very suspicious. The fact that Cor had invited Lord Vesper to stay at the inn shortly before this had the Lord, already paranoid, very suspicious of the gnome's intentions.
The party refused to turn over Cor, and when Sir Bosch was killed for refusing to stand down, three of his four henchmen just shrugged his shoulders and left. The fourth, it's revealed, is Jager, who had formerly fought under Mivahl's command up north and whose life Mivahl had saved once, years before.
|like this, but with beefy arms and stork legs.|
Arriving in Craghold, Jager and Kholark negotiated with Borut, the town bailiff, for the bounty, arguing that the wanted poster just listed bringing the gnome to Borut for the reward. Borut assented, and handed a bag containing 500 golden suns to Kholark.
When Cor demanded the opportunity to prove his innocence, it was announced that he would face Trial by Drama; a team of prosecuting actors would put on a play depicting their version of Cor's actions, and then the party would put on a play in Cor's defense. Innocence would be decided by audience reaction. Taking a full day to prepare, the party's various spellcasters prepared various illusion spells to make their case more compelling while debating which details to include and whether or not to try and pin the arson on the inn's former owner, Tetra, as well as how much of what they knew about their being a demon in the basement of the Broken Blade to mention.
Cor was deeply offended by the prosecution's performance; from casting a human achondroplasic dwarf to play him to suggesting that the arson was performed as an outlet for the gnome's deep-seated sexual frustration, Cor seethed through the entire performance. [DM's Note: I actually got down on my knees and performed a bit of the "Winter of our Discontent" soliloquy from Shakespeare's Richard III to play the prosecution's portrayal of Cor. ACTING!]
Putting on their rebuttal, the party told a tale of fighting a demon in the basement of the Broken Blade, believing it slain, and it returning to torch the inn out of spite after they left before pursuing them, and that they finally laid the demon to permanent rest in New Dawn. With an illusion spell cast over Kholark to portray the demon and narration by Dormammu, the party swung the crowd in their favor, eking out a ruling of innocent for Cor.
Recognizing that Lord Vesper was not happy with this and was itching to hang someone for some crime, the party offers their services as witch-hunters; since someone must have summoned the demon the Craghold. Given that rumors swirl throughout the principalities that Lord Vesper's wife consorts with demons, and fearing that a cult-cell similar to the one they rooted out in New Dawn may be at play in Craghold, the party wants to get to the bottom of this and managed to bargain Vesper into agreeing to pay 500 gold for the delivery of a witch.