After a long, extraneous few days of burning down a village, Martam Hornsraven and his fire-wielding friends, Dolf Bresarik and Lily Azzeroth, arrive in the small village of Ashenport. With no other options, and maybe as fate would have it, they take up residence at “The Slow Decline”, the quaint bar / inn run by none other than the High Elf Percey.
Through interactions with Percey, and catching the ear of the wandering Gnome, Judge, they learn of an upcoming yet curious event taking place the next morning. The hanging of a child. Confused, they pry deeper, and learn of other strange events; townfolk go missing for days and return with no explanation, other locals act slightly out of character, and most recently, the local butcher was ripped apart at the chest and discovered amongst his body was the 7-year old Billy.
With nothing else to do, and falling victim to their own adventurous instincts, the group investigates further. They head to the town hall to speak with the incarcerated boy. At the reception area, they meet Derek, a local guard, with two black eyes and a re-set nose. He explains that the boy caught him off guard and sucker punched him, but luckily Johnson showed up in time and they were able to detain him.
In talking to the boy, there’s not too much to him, but his story doesn’t add up. Stealing a steak for your father in the middle of the night… Breaking a guards nose… oh and that little instance of being caught literally red-handed while digging out the organs of the butcher. Still, it’s hard to really get a read on the kid, he’s definitely lying, but what’s he hiding? Dolf Bresarik, not falling for it, casts “Detect Evil” and sure enough, the magical effect lights up Billy like a Christmas tree.
Still without answers, they decide to question the boys father, Merle. Margaret, the mother, answers the door, a little distraught, but pretty well together considering. Merle doesn’t offer much in the way of information, but both parents make it apparent that they don’t want to see their boy hang from the swift justice of this town.
Whelp, only one last place to check, the scene of the crime! They head to the butcher shop to find it still open and undisturbed. Blood cakes the walls and floors. Bloody hand prints streak down the walls and footprints of a child track across the tile. With their combined extensive sleuthing, they discover a very large fist indent in the back counter, bigger than even Martam’s fists put together! While they’re examining the indent, Judge notices blood dripping from one of the cupboards. They open it to find the body of… Billy!, wait, Billy? But he’s in the jail… nope, he’s right here with his chest ripped opened and organs missing.
Now a little frazzled, they split up and send Dolf Bresarik to go talk to Merle, and the others go to town hall to talk with Mayor Silverstein. When Merle is brought to his sons body, he collapses and is at a loss for words. He carries the body off to the church, to lay it to rest.
Silverstein’s decision is pretty much made for him, there’s only on thing to do… The boy must hang!