Birds of a Feather
Jherizhana is a sphinx, bound by the circus by magic and a main attraction of the show. She appears in her tent several times per day, and will speak with those who speak to her…as long as they are friendly and polite.
Unfortunately, not everyone in town is comfortable with the sphinx’s presence, which makes her an easy target to frame for murder…
Unbeknownst to anyone outside the circus, Jherizhana is actually an elaborate illusion, created by the bard Ika. If the explanation that the sphinx is bound by magic is questioned by a canny visitor, the circus members will “reluctantly” confess that Jherizhana is not bound at all, but travels with the circus willingly in order to see the world, and willingly enters a cage to make visitors feel more comfortable.
Though the confession that Jherizhana is an illusion would take care of the murder accusations, the circus would still be viewed with suspicion, and Almara is reluctant to spill the secret of one of its biggest attractions.