Upon returning to Karnas, Duule insists upon seeing the scene where they found Hellack’s body. Blackmane informs the party that it has been kept intact for their inspection. In the room, Hellack’s body is lying upon the bed as if asleep. However, the large hole in his chest where his heart should be is a pretty good indication that he is no longer alive. The staff had been given orders that Shuriah’s rooms were not to be disturbed for the week following the party. She was supposedly entertaining a guest, and had been seen entering and leaving the room several times. However, no one else had been seen entering or leaving. Hellack had been seen several times working with his soldiers, rearranging units ‘to better engage their teamwork’.
After Finkle and Victor inspect the room for magical influences, Blackmane offers that they have a forensic necromancer that could reanimate the body and question it about the Captain’s last days. They would, of course, allow the party to determine it’s final disposition afterwards, whether that would involve cremating the body, or allowing it to join the ranks of the Empire’s sanitation corps. It would be useful for nothing else afterwards.
After some discussion, Duule, Finkle, Victor, and Nicholas agree to let the body be reanimated. Once done, it has quite the story to tell. Captain Hellack was killed the day after the party. He had spent the night with minister Shuriah only to wake up to her not being there the next morning. He had delivered a message from Minister Roget of Fallscliff that he had not been privy to the contents of. After eating breakfast and returning to her room, she had been waiting for him. However she did not act the same as the night before. Before he knew it, she’d restrained him and interrogated him on the troops he’d been able to ‘buy’ for Minister Roget. At one point she changed from Shuriah to Varien to some other creature which is the form it was in when it removed his heart and he was aware of nothing else after that. After some interrogation, the party finds out that Hellack had been ‘buying’ soldiers for some time to support Minister Roget ‘should the need arise’.
Suddenly, there is a magical flash, and the corpse of Captain Hellack begins to change. The forensic necromancer calls out, “His heart has been used in a ritual, destroy him.”