The Trial
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Despite the buildup given to it, the trial isn't all that important. No matter what happens during the proceedings, you'll end up fighting Lorne in a duel (either Sand or Torio will demand it, depending on who wins the case). But if you'd like to ensure that you win, here are some of the things that can help you out:
  • Let Marcus have Bishop's Dagger the first time you meet him in Ember, and then talk to him again in Act II.
  • Decide to use Alaine when you talk to her in Port Llast.
  • Meet with Nya in Port Llast and complete her quest in Ember.
  • Find the quartermaster's log in Ember.
  • Find the poisoned corpse in Ember.
  • Acquire the signet ring from the goblins in the Glowstone Caverns.
  • Acquire the alteration powder from Lyssa in Duskwood.
  • Gain influence with Shandra.
  • Gain influence with Sand.
  • Have high social skills, especially diplomacy. (Note: Annoyingly, you'll be forced to take off your hat for the trial, so if you've been relying on Finch's Fine Chapeau, you'll be out of luck here.)
  • Allow Venton Orley to speak for you (if you joined Axle and Moire).
When you're ready to start the trial, head to Castle Never in the Blacklake District and talk to Sir Nevalle. He'll ask you if you're sure that you're ready, and when you say that you are, the trial will commence. (If you're not sure, talk to Sand. He'll let you know if you've found all of the evidence.)

The trial is a long, interactive cut-scene. It will take about 30 minutes to play through. If you'd rather skip to the end, then feel free to say, "Take it from here, Sand. I have no interest in arguing this case further." Then Sand and Torio will jump to their closing arguments, and Lord Nasher will reach a verdict.

If you win the case, then you'll gain the "Wrongfully Accused" history feat, and Torio will demand a trial by combat. If you lose the case, then Sand will demand a trial by combat. Either way, Lorne will volunteer to act as Luskan's champion, and you'll be ordered to go to the Temple of Tyr in the Merchant Quarter and prepare for the battle.

When you talk to Hlam in the Temple of Tyr, he'll start the cleansing ritual. Then some of your companions will come to see you. Khelgar will offer to act as your champion and fight Lorne in your place. His indignity at the situation will be enough for him to complete the Trial of Justice (see his character page for details). Then, depending on the influence you've gained, other companions (like Sand or Bishop) might show up to see you as well, and some of them will even offer to take your place.

Eventually, Sir Nevalle will show up, and he'll escort you to the tourney grounds. During the moments before the battle, Shandra will talk to you, and you'll be given one last chance to choose a champion. If you've gained enough influence with Grobnar, he'll play a bard song for you (giving you damage reduction), and then it will be time to face Lorne.

Lorne is a big and tough melee fighter, and, once you've done enough damage to him, he'll go into a battle frenzy and become immune to damage for a short time. How to deal with him depends on the class of character you're playing. Fighter-type characters might be able to go toe-to-toe with him, and then run away until the frenzy wears off. Casters will probably have more problems, but if you can cast haste and some damaging "fog" spell like cloudkill or delayed blast fireball, then you can just run circles around Lorne while he takes damage. If you have any Blastglobes left from the Bonegnasher Clan, then they can be useful here as well.

Once you've defeated Lorne, you'll be given the option of killing him or letting him live. It doesn't really matter what you decide. If you don't kill him now, then Garius will kill him in the next cutscene. However, if you decide to kill Lorne, then you'll have to land the killing blow yourself, and meanwhile Lorne will start attacking you again. So if you've been fighting a close battle, and if you're almost dead, you might want to let him live.

After the duel, Lord Nasher will declare you innocent, and Lorne will forfeit his equipment to you. You'll find the equipment -- Lorne's Falchion and a Belt of Hill Giant Strength -- in a chest next to the entrance of the Sunken Flagon. If Nasher was pleased with you and the outcome of the trial, then you'll also find a chest from him next to the door. From that chest you can pick up an Amulet of Truth.

Note: Even though Lorne's name came up in several conversations and cutscenes before the duel, only now will you be able to return to West Harbor and complete the "A Soldier's Story" subquest for Retta Starling. You'll receive 500 xp when you do.