On a bleak autumn day, the party traveled to Magnimar with the returning soldiers, the prisoner Lyrie, and Ameiko Kaijitsu. The trip through the outlying farmlands and high moors was uneventful. The party stayed at a wayfarer’s inn called The Verdant Knoll.
The next day passed similarly and by nightfall the party arrived at Magnimar. Maggie told tales of fiendish creatures living in the Irespan, the cyclopean broken bridge that that reaches from Magnimar’s heart out into the gulf. She also told of the downtrodden and lawless that continue to live in its shadow.
The group marched through the wealthier upper city until they reached the Pediment Building. A guard collected the prisoner and she was led into the prison, known as the Hells. The soldiers departed as the adventurers received a summons for the next morning to meet the Chief Justice presiding over the case.
The heroes then took Ragnok to Pharasma’s temple in lowtown. They delivered Pastor Zantus’ coffer unopened and left Ragnok overnight.
The next morning Ragnok was sitting on the steps waiting for his friends, apparently completely recovered.
The party returned to the Pediment Building and entered the upper Justice Court. A beadle led them to Chief Justice Ironbriar’s office. They were transferred to Verne, Ironbriar’s nasal, irksome assistant. The newly restored Ragnok was so vexed that he nearly throttled the man. Not a moment too soon, Ironbriar called for the adventurers.
During the audience, the group learned about the judicial process and the fact that Ameiko’s brother’s role and any necessary reparation would also be determined at the upcoming trial. He recommended a lawyer who Maggie later revealed to be an old duffer and a poor choice.
Outside the Pediment Building, the party briefly chatted with a crying woman who disclosed that her husband had been jailed for theft but was now missing. Maggie learned that neither Ironbriar nor the prison guards would listen to her complaint. Malcanthet harshly pronounced the punishment appropriate for the crime and the women fled sobbing.
Over the next few days, the party visited the Hells to question Lyrie but found her magically stupefied. They also secured a talented lawyer for Ameiko. The remainder of the time was spent shopping and looking around Magnimar (including a jaunt by Malcanthet and Maggie to Lord Forxglove’s townhouse and a brief introduction to his beautiful, young wife).
The day of the trial arrived. Chief Justice Ironbriar and Justices Kernwell and Chaddov presided. Lyrie and Tsuto were charged with conspiracy, murder, treason, high treason and cultic activity. Both Lyrie and Ameiko’s lawyer pled not guilty. The lawyer made a sound case that Tsuto had a harsh upbringing at the hands of his father and fell in with a powerfully corrupt Nualia and was mentally unstable. Lyrie argued that she was duped and that once she realized Nualia was evil, she was powerless to escape. She even accused the adventurers of releasing Nualia’s bodyguard, Orik, thus allowing her to be the scapegoat.
As the galley erupted with noise, Ironbriar leaned forward, “The witnesses are not on trial. Today. They have been cross-examined and we will not allow this court to become a Varisian Traveler’s show. As we have no more questions for you: Please. Step. Down.”
The questions concluded and after a brief deliberation, the justices returned. Ironbriar said, “Lyrie Akenja, your testimony has clearly painted you as a dissolute individual bent of personal gratification and personal enrichment with little thought to the consequences of your actions. As a result, you fell in with this Nualia, an individual bent on undermining the city of Magnimar and its holdings, and showed little qualm at her activities and, indeed, were found to be defending her when confronted by the forces of good, as represented by Master Komondon and his associates. Your contradictory evidence undermines your testimony that you were uninvolved in the atrocities perpetrated by Nualia, and in any case your failure to prevent them is telling. We, the Presiding Panel, therefore find you guilty of the charges put before you. You are hereby sentenced to by hung upon the cross at dawn tomorrow until your soul vacates your mortal shell. May Pharasma judge you kindly.”
After Lyrie was removed sobbing incoherently, Ironbriar continued with the verdict.
“Ameiko Kaijitsu, it is clear from today’s testimony that your brother has had a life full of suffering. This may well have had an impact upon his ability to discern whether the company he kept was appropriate that a young noble and patriot of Magnimar. I am satisfied that Nualia was the prime mover in the plot against Sandpoint.”
“Notwithstanding, this plot led to the deaths of several individuals in Sandpoint. I am not satisfied that his state of mind was so disturbed as to be unable to determine whether his actions were right or wrong. While we find him not guilty of the majority of the charges against him, we still find him guilty of conspiracy to destroy a holding of Magnimar.”
“As such, he was responsible for damage to the town of Sandpoint and even its possible destruction. Therefore, all of the Kaijitsu property and improvements will be confiscated by the city of Magnimar to be distributed to the nobles of Sandpoint minus court fees and fines. Sentence is to be carried out immediately.”
Ameiko gasped and cried out, but Ironbriar had her removed from the courtroom. The trial quickly adjourned and party found her stunned in the hall.
Moments later, Sandpoint guardswoman Crispin unexpectedly showed up. She explained that there have been three gruesome murders in Sandpoint and the Sheriff wants the party’s help. She described three dead transients torn apart with a seven-pointed star carved in their chests. A forth was alive but insane.
Ameiko remained in Magnimar to conclude her business, while the party secured horses and rode hard back to Sandpoint.