Lyle Hilltop was once a halfling thief of great fortune and little wisdom. He must indeed have been watched over by some merciful god (a forgiving DM), for he survived well into his fifth level, despite such foibles as a penchant for accidently drinking fire oil. However, one sad day, Lyle's luck finally failed him. He and his party (an enormous fighter by the name of Rurik, a neurotic wizard called Gambit, and a misanthropic druid whose name is lost to history) had been charged with the task of delivering a letter to the mayor of a nearby city. With their not insignificant strength, the company was able to easily complete the journey. However, upon entering the walled city, they faced a new challenge.
Having been directed to the town hall by the gate keeper, the party made its way to this grand marble edifice while the druid went to arrange shelter for the night. However, the clerks within this bustling hive of activity proved to be quite uncooperative. It had been our instruction to deliver this letter into the hands of the mayor himself, as it contained information of great importance. However, it was apparently policy for such messages to be taken by one of the clerks and then delivered to the mayor by him. Our group was quite reluctant to agree with these terms and a rather heated argument ensued. However, none could have foreseen the halfling's reaction, for becoming increasingly frustrated by the local bureaucracy, he leapt up to the counter and proceeded to threaten the clerk with his heavy crossbow. Sensing that this incident could not end well, Rurik immediately fled the building. Gambit's best efforts to defuse the situation were entirely ineffective, for the guards throughout the building immediately swung into action, alerted by the panicked cries of the clerical staff. As the first guard of many rushed to apprehend them, Lyle shot him without hesitation. His aim was true and the bolt struck the unfortunate guard between the eyes. He died before he hit the ground. While Lyle was frantically trying to reload his crossbow and Gambit attempted to reach the exit and freedom they were quickly overwhelmed and subdued. They were placed within solid cells awaiting their trial.
While all this was happening, however, Rurik sped to the inn where he knew he could find his druid comrade. The two regrouped and began to form a plan. They had but a few short days before the pair would undoubtedly be found guilty and sentenced to hang. While the druid was reasonably safe, it became immediately clear that Rurik would be in grave danger. He had been seen with the criminals and his stature, a lofty seven feet tall, would make him easily distinguishable. A few rough measures were taken to disguise the unfortunate warrior. His clothes were changed and his head shaved, while he made his best attempt to effect a convincing stoop. After making these preparations, the two went to work. In the middle of the night, they stole into a nearby graveyard. Having researched the location of a coffin of unusual size they set about digging it up. The body within was indeed roughly Rurik's height and build, and, having obtained the corpse, they once again buried the casket. A few cosmetic alterations were made to the body in order to enhance its resemblance to the fighter before it was dumped in the river where it was duly found in the morning.
Though Rurik was now reasonably safe, Gambit and Lyle were still in great peril. While Rurik hid in their in room, his druid friend went about preparing for a daring escape. After attending the trial where their allies were, as expected found guilty, she was able to surreptitiously scout out the prison and locate their sequestered comrades' cells. Then, in the middle of the night, Rurik and she called upon the mighty forces of nature to free their unfortunate friends. By her magic, the druid turned the stone prison walls to ordinary mud, and the company fled into the night.
However, the company was now a trio. They had abandoned Lyle to his fate. Though their actions may have been cruel, Lyle was indeed guilty, and, should they have freed him, he would no doubt have once again committed a similar crime. One that his unfortunate associates might not have been able to escape.
And so it came to pass that Lyle Hilltop hung from his neck until he was dead while his former friends watched from the crowd. Having assaulted a city official within a building full of watchmen and murdered an officer of the law in cold blood he was abandoned, even by his friends. We who traveled with him are not proud of our actions, but we do believe that they were necessary. If he had been freed Lyle hilltop would have continually endangered all who came into contact with him. He had to die so that the civilized world could be saved.