The bard had been led out from Tuskwater Keep by two members of the Watch, accompanied by Akiros, Captain of the Watch, and a scribe, hired for the occasion. Brought back to the small platform in Founders’ Square, Grigoryi, hands tied behind his back and gagged, was stood up in the center of the stage, with a trooper on either side. Akiros stepped to one side, and began unrolling an official-looking scroll.
Moments later, kings Anton, Zion, Pik, and Reg appeared from inside the keep and approached the large and growing crowd. Attired in their finest clothes, the Warrior-King, Magister, Grand Diplomat, and Hand of Justice arrayed themselves on the platform, facing the prisoner. Akiros spoke with the leaders briefly, then turned to Grigoryi and spoke directly to him. The bard, still wearing his clothes from the day before and looking somewhat tousled, nodded slightly. Akiros reached forward and untied the gag around the prisoner’s mouth.
The Captain of the Watch then turned to the crowd and spoke.
“People of Misthaven and the Kingdom of the Mistmarch, you have gathered here to behold the work of the law, and see the pursuit of justice. The prisoner, name of Grigoryi, has been accused of fomenting dissent among the people, conspiring to instigate rebellion against the legally empowered government of the realm, defamation of the lawfully titled leaders, namely the Five Kings, of the realm, and willful deception of the people by means of magic.” Turning the page of the multi-layered scroll, he continued.
“In order to determine the facts of this case, King Pikandrozonomere, a vested cleric of Irori, will call upon divine powers to compel all those present on the platform to speak the truth only. The prisoner will be questioned; statements from the kings will be heard; and witnesses from among you, the people, will be called. As is custom and law, the truth shall determine the outcome of this proceeding. If found guilty of some or all the charges, the accused shall suffer the punishment of a minimum of a public flogging and time in the stocks, and at worst, imprisonment for a period of months or years, or possibly death if warranted by revelation through questioning.”
Gazing out over the crowd, Akiros took stock of those around him, and gave everyone involved a moment to let the seriousness of it all sink in. Nodding toward Pik and muttering, “m’lord,” he steps aside as the gnome begins to cast his spell.
After a round of questions, seeking the truth of why Grigoryi is in Misthaven, his purpose, and other pertinent facts, the truth is clear: hired by agents from Fort Drelev, a settlement far to the west, Grigoryi’s purpose was to sow dissent and rebellion in Misthaven and try to spread it to the greater Mistmarches. Testimony from several people – including some of his would-be followers – corroborates his answers, essentially convicting him of the crimes.
The bard then breaks down and begs mercy from the kings, offering even more information, although it’s quite sparse. He is not entirely certain that the agents who hired him were really from Fort Drelev, or that those there were the final source of his job. He’s not sure at all, in fact, although he thinks it’s bigger than just those who hired him. That’s what he has to offer, along with his apologies to the crowd at large, his gold, and whatever he can do to “repair the harm I have done!”
The crowd is clearly taken aback by his admission and pleas, and the initial cries of “hang him high!” have died down, replaced in part by pockets of “merciful punishment!” and “correct him; do not kill him!”