From the records of Archibald Bothwell Ross
WHOA. What a crazy day.
So, we were still working for that old Daramid woman who had been a friend of Old Lorrimer in an effort to clear The Beast’s name. We’d cleared him of child killing in Morast, but we still lacked the evidence to clear that hulking monstrosity of any other crimes, so we turned to the only evidence we had: the tools that we’d uncovered in the bog in Morast.
It turned out that the tools had some sort of maker’s mark on them, and after some assistance from my buxom Varisian friends and an encounter with a seedy pawnbroker, we were able to trace their origin to a maker of fine surgeon’s tools that engraved all of his work with the sign of a raven. He was coin operated like most things in this world, and so after a small contribution, he was able to give us the name of the man that had purchased the tools.
This salty rat bastard was a rather large fellow (which coincided with what the bog shovel we uncovered told me when I asked it for its life story) who lived in town and operated a sort of smelly business down by the river. Secure in the knowledge that we knew he was behind all of the Beast framing and skullduggery, we lot decided to break into the place and have a look around. All of us but the fair Paladin Lux, who was too busy shining her armor or averse to some light B&E or some such.
We skulked down to the river like some old pros, only getting harassed once for our armaments and general looks, and when we arrived at the source of the overwhelming stench, we saw a dog assembled from dog parts. This wouldn’t be enough to raid the place, however, so we had to sneak a little closer. Unfortunately, the muzzled dog was too tough to shoot (even with our improvised magically silenced musket), so ol’ Harry levitated the crusty thing up to a smokestack and dumped it in. It made quite a racket, but no one came out to check on things, so we took a closer look. There was a man working in one of the rooms, and there were lots of people in a side room. Upon inspection, all of these people were constructed of body parts and motivated with some sort of alchemical power. This would be enough to clear the Beast for sure, so I told the other guys to keep an eye on things while I called for the cavalry.
I ran back into town and found Lux, who had finished with her exfoliation by then, and so she threw on her armor and we roused the guard, sort of. They were piss drunk and about to attempt to tie the Beast to the the Burning Man and light it up when we arrived and Lux slapped the Captain like he was some common streetwalker. She was able to intimidate him into doing his job(?) with a little help from yours truly, and we took the drunken authorities with us down to the river to help in apprehending this guy and his army of zombie slaves.
This was the point where things went all wrong.
We sent in the drunks first since they were the ones with all of the legal rights to barge in like they owned the place (not because we wanted a few pickled slabs of meat to take a potshot or two… nothing like that), and one of them set off a trapped explosive of some sort or were set upon by some unseen assailant or some such. The result was the important thing, though: the grenade went off and destroyed part of a vat filled with glowing fluid and killed a large part of our guards. I set up a small levee to keep the mystery fluid from scalding us as it had the surviving town guard (whose screams were rather unsightly for men of their station, I might add), and the two remaining guards were instructed to get help and keep an eye on the exit, respectively.
At this point, we opened the other door at the front of the building to try to sneak around our attacker, but our path was blocked with more zombies, which we quickly dispatched. Lux then decided to bring the fight to our enemies before the guard showed up in force, so I sealed the other (first) door with a wall of earth and we had the last guard remain behind while we climbed up a ladder in the second room that we hoped would connect to a walkway in the vat room. (Un)luckily, it did just that, and a dwarf with a gonne was waiting there to shoot at Lux. After some tense moments and a lot of spent black powder, we were fighting as a unit on this wooden catwalk above the vats of gurgling, rank smelling fluid. The battle ended as it had to: Lux fell into the fluid (which turned out to be lye… not so great for her) and narrowly escaped with her life, and the rest of us nearly died, but not before we killed the giant and the dwarf (who were both holdovers from the Whispering Tyrant himself) and uncovered the details of their operation. They’d been stealing bodies for some time and experimenting with them, and they had a vast number of disguises, including one to make the big one look like he was the Beast.
With this evidence in hand, we were more than able to clear the Beast and get our booty (in every sense of the word: thank the gods for Varisian women). Now, how to spend so much platinum in so little time? If only there were a Varisian man with impeccable taste equal to such a task…