Four Fables

Chapter 37: From Criminal to Crown

7-16-12 session

Timespan: 1st Work 25:1209-1st Work 26:1209

After a ruthless fight with Zirithian in his domain, the characters are triumphant. But the power of Orcus is a temptation to Hannu who takes the vampire’s sword in order to gain the power to destroy the djinni who imprisoned him. The party tries to talk him down but it is useless as Thorin’s own patience seems to have withered compared to what he used to be who takes his anger out on the shardmind. They beat him into submission and Balasar takes the sword to destroy it. Balasar is also tempted by the sword but history repeats itself and he knows what this could get him into so he destroys it with the help of the Keeper of Shadowfell. Orcus is upset but also scared of the heroes at this point.

The party gains some treasures and begin to create a linked portal ritual in order to return back to Frosthaven. Hannu asks for forgiveness and they say all is fine as they travel through the portal.

Another anomaly occurs as they enter the portal in hopes to return to Frosthaven. But, again, the mole strikes, and they are taken to an unknown place. They arrive in a vast plain in broad daylight. Leo recognizes the smell of corn and tomato fields, common to the farm lands of Barfield. Leo is home, Kinsmet. The smell is a warm greeting but is quickly deteriorated by the sound of steel being drawn. Before the heroes, encircled, is a troop of soldiers of Kinsmet. “Stand down Leo, and you won’t be harmed,” a familiar voice pierces the gloomy air. Leo’s best friend, Truquan Gladerunner, stands before him with an arrow knocked on his bow and a sour face shown. “The Gatekeepers have been ordered by the order of all Dukes and Duchesses of Kinsmet to take you in for your trial. It’s time…” He holds his arrow up but is hoping for their surrender. Before them, as well, is a young half elf woman with fiery red hair who peeks out from behind a soldier. Another gruff voice protrudes from the ranks: “It seems your dream held true, Ritspah, they arrived here just like your god said.” The voice is Chezib. His look goes from the red haired woman and faces you with a toothy grin, his club held up to you, “It’s simple puny beings, drop your weapons or feel the wrath of Kinsmet. The group at first is resistant but Leo is able to convince them that they must do it this way or their names will not be cleared like they should be.

They are taken into custody. They travel for a few hours through the roads of Kinsmet. Some farmers notice them, but most just try and get away from soldier business. After a few hours by wagon, the party comes to the large city of Anvar. This was the city Rallis held during his reign. Truquan does his best to treat the prisoners right giving food and water but only after ALL of their items are taken (other than their clothes). They arrive in the city and are taken to the Duke’s keep. Truquan says, “The prison was recently invaded by undead so you won’t be staying there. Instead the trial will happen immediately. I can’t believe how easy it was to expect you at that place in Barfield, seems Sehanine doesn’t like you too much."

Mysteriously a blond haired person from the ramparts is seen by Thorin. A strange sense of healing comes over some of the heroes and before they can react, the figure is gone. They are brought into the keep where 3 of the Dukes/Duchesess of Kinsmet stand as their jury: Duchess Amahlia Frostwind, Duke Horace, Baroness Martina Logos.

After many questions, it is seen that the heroes were not the cause of Emperor Rallis’ actual death. The heroes explain their story though with much rebuttal from Duke Horace. With many surprise witnesses from Oskoor and Gunnarr, the heroes are having a hard time proving they are true heroes based on past adventures. But Jayden really turns the trial to their side with a stirring speech.

When Leo is put on the stand, Horace has many interesting points to make:

“Gunnarr mentioned that you asked Aleska some odd questions after her death in a ritual and she asked you one too. She asked ‘Why are you not dead?’ Seems odd, doesn’t it, Leo?” Leo is bewildered as Horace continues, “Aleska was not born an Anima, correct? Do you know why? Doctor Hanfell, the family doctor of the Anima family could vouch for that, correct?” An old man who Leo recognizes as his old family doctor. He gets up and tells the group that Braivemore was sterile.

Horace, with a grin, says, ‘If Braivemore was sterile, how would he have a kid, like you? Didn’t you say your father always referred to you as his ’Greatest invention’ Leo? I’d like to continue with another witness, Number 129.’ A warforged with a rusty blade at his side stands before the court.

Timid, he eventually says, “Braivemore created me and my brothers and sisters long ago. Their were 129 of us all together, we were his family and wanted to please him. But we couldn’t, we weren’t perfect. He shut us all down once he perfected the warforged with Number 130.”

Horace says looking about the court, “And who is Number 130?”

Number 129 points to Leo, “That one.” A gasp is heard throughout the crowd. The older warforged continues, "Olaf’s original name was “0” as he was the first prototype to you, Number 130. You are perfect in every way: perfect skin, eyes, face recognition, muscles, tears, even oil that looks like blood. You were his pride, Number 130. And this?" he points to the rusty blade, “This is the real Anima Blade. It hasn’t been used in forever, the one you have Leo was a replica but was your father’s last invention to help awaken you into knowing who you really are, a warforged. It’s been helping you along the way in your travels to find your true self.”

Horace interrupts as Leo looks lost in all the words, “Number 129 was not affected by the death switch you pulled, so that meant you wouldn’t be either. If you knew you were a warforged then you knowingly killed 99 percent of the world’s population of warforged. Getting back at your father’s life work, thinking you could take away that which your father loved. First Rallis, then the Warforged would fall by your hand, it’s true, isn’t it Leo!?” Horace is breathing heavily in Leo’s face.

Leo finds himself through the news of his past and shakes out of the confusion, “No! That’s not true! I would never do that! My father’s work meant everything to me.” The other Duchesses chime in saying that Horace only has accusations at this point and must stand down. Horace, feeling defeated sits down.

The 3 judges take their recess to make a decision of the heroes. They come back and find them all not guilty of the murder of Emperor Rallis, believing that their story is true. With all the accounts against them, the heroes are surprised but later the Duchesses explain evidence was found that Rallis died of his own volition and that the point of this trial was to appease the people of Kinsmet so they feel justice has prevailed. Also, it gave them a chance to see what Duke Horace will do to have the heroes all imprisoned which makes them worried. “That’s why we want you to be Duke of Rydelle as your father would have wanted.” They bow before Leo as he accepts his Father’s land and takes the Anima crown for his own.

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