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(Archive) Murder most horrid

Tags: Lorthrain,  Elodie,  Brev

Short Summary: Two bodies are found in Esgaroth's Underdecks. File between 'Robbery in the Market Square' and `Search and Capture' (sorry, somehow this one slipped the net!)
Date (real-life): 2011-03-14
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Underdecks
Date (in-game): June 3052
Time of Day: Evening?

Center of Firespark Lane

  This section of Firespark Lane sees a lot of traffic from residents flowing between the residential section to the north and the Market Square to the south down Fishers Way, and traffic heading east and west along Firespark Lane itself. The doorways and decorations along this area are of a more expensive vein than some of the other areas in town, as the buildings house a mixture of high class residences and offices.

  The sweet smell of aromatic herbs wafts from the central building along the north of the street; a shingle hanging above one of the dooways tells you that the scents are coming from the Healer's House.

Obvious exits:
 North leads to Fisher's Wharf.
 South leads to The Market Square.
 East leads to Avenue of Tales and Firespark Lane.
 West leads to Bowman Street and Firespark Lane.
 Elm Door leads to Healer's House.

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Mon Mar 14 15:52:28 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Sterday, midnight on a clear summer's night, June 4 of 3052
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

(scene already in progress)

The brow of the Girion quirks all the more at this from Norfred, though as the Arathmor addresses Elodie more personally, Lorthrain's smile turns a shade more wolfish, and he winks to the barmaid.

"Do forgive the Merchant Lord," he says, his tongue in cheek a moment later. "I am afraid that virtue and justice are beyond the ken of his House. Or so the old sayings go, at any rate. But you, Lord Norfred, have truly turned the page on all that, I am led to believe. I salute you sir, as a warden of the King's lands to a fine upstanding gentlemen. It is my pleasure to keep you safe."

But then he glances back from the Arathmor to Elodie, and the royal bows in turn. "My name is Lorthrain, of Girion, my dear. Please forgive me if I intrude upon your business. I merely wished to know you were in no distress as you left the less secure parts of town."

[Elodie(#26584)] "Lord Norfred," Elodie greets, her eyebrow quirking mischievously. "Ma mother once told me that I shouldn't be judgin' others by maself. Mayhaps that's a bit of advice I should be passin' onto you, sir. Just because yer prone ta flatterin' tha pretty barmaids ta get yer ways, doesn't mean every young Lord I run across will be doin' tha same." After an arch look in the blond Arathmor's direction, she returns her attention to Lord Lorthrain, according his bow with a proper curtsy. "Well met, Lord Lorthrain. I've been hearin' much of ya since I arrived in town an' am pleased ta meet ya at last. Thank ya fer yer inquiries, but I am fine, now, as I am in safer places. Not somethin' can be said fer the ones I left behind, there, where I been visitin' this afternoon."

"Oh?" replies Lorthrain to the barmaid, and he cants his head with interest. "You've seen trouble this day, miss? I would fain return you to a place where you feel unsafe, but, I assure you my sword is not wielded poorly, and I would be shown where in Esgaroth a young woman cannot walk in peace. Have you the time, or the desire to aid me in this?"

Elodie shakes her head once to the Lord, "not I, sir. But a friend o'mine. She had a rough time of it last night, what with a fella that didn't want ta pay fer what he'd taken. She's got more mouths ta feed than food ta put in 'em, an' this fella fair laid her up."

While some might be leaving 'the less secure parts of town', others have no qualms about going there. Brev has discarded his grey cloak now that the warmer weather is here, but even in the heat of the summer evening he is clad in his well-worn leather jerkin. His tall form is just one more shadow flitting amongst the shadows of Firespark Lane, skirting the conversing pair and slipping towards the gloom of Fisher's wharf. Whether /he/ feels unsafe, who can say?

The nobleman's eyes flash with outrage at Elodie's tale, but his voice remains calm as he answers: "That is rightly a matter for the Watch, and Captain Celys' keen wits, miss Elodie, but if I can aid him in any way regarding it, I should be glad to do so. Do you know where this fellow lives, or where a tongue might be persuaded to wag about it?"

"If so," he adds, standing to attention, "then I would ask you to lead on, or direct me so that I can seek such news out mysekf." The travel of Brev does not draw his eye as yet, trained as it is upon Brue's young business partner.

Elodie shrugs. "No, sir, I don't know anythin' about him. I don't know if Helfwin will feel like talkin' about with a nob, beggin yer pardon, sir, but ya can try if ya like." Her eyes stray towards a movement in the shadows... or not, she can't be certain as she responds to the Lord.

There is the wary glitter of eyes as Brev, looking back over his shoulder in a gesture that has the familiarity of habit, catches sight of the direction of Elodie's glance. For a moment he's still, and then he moves on, his strides sure despite the occasional backward glance. It's never wise to look as though one were trying to keep out of sight - that might arouse unfounded suspicions. Soon he's reached the dimness of Fisher's Wharf.

"That I would," affirms Lorthrain, with a nod. "Will you join me, miss Elodie?" he asks as he takes a step towards the Wharf, unwittingly following Brev's departure.

[Elodie(#26584)] With a glance towards the Flagon, Elodie nods. "I will lead ya to her, but I'm due at tha Flagon, soon, an' Brue will be lookin' fer me. I can't stay fer long, though. No guarantees she'll talk ta ya, though. I already tried ta get her ta go to Tha Watch about it."

The Underdecks

  The Underdecks of Lake Town are a dark and sometimes dangerous place. As Lake Town was rebuilt, a sudden influx of inhabitants made rent too high for many of the lower class citizens. These citizens gradually took over the vast areas under the great city, building warrens for themselves amongst the great pilings of Esgaroth. Though the areas are sometimes flooded in times of great rain, many folk now call these man-made catacombs home. The halls and passages that spider off everywhere down here are a mish-mash of good and bad carpentry, and the lanterns that hang on the walls give only the barest light. There seems to always be whispers and mutterings about, and flitting shadowy figures all around. It is very disorienting down here, and those not well versed with the area can easily get lost, perhaps never to be seen again...

Obvious exits:
 Twisty Passage leads to Dark Tunnel.
 Dark Alley leads to Fisher's Wharf.

Brev halts briefly near one of the wharf buildings, ramshackle as the rest but newly patched, then seems to change his mind and moves on, sighing softly. Away from the lights of the Fishtale his wariness doubles and his hand slips to his knife-hilt. He moves from piling to piling, keeping the solid wood at his back whenever possible, but for all that he seems to have a destination in mind. Some planned meeting, maybe?

Whatever the case, the pair of figures that follow in his wake have less purpose in their stride, it would seem. Lorthrain walks with confidence, but slowly, as though inspecting each dark alley in turn as he and his companion pass them. Halting at length, the relative openness of the Wharf having long since closed in upon them, the Girion lord turns to Elodie.

"Perhaps this was a little more daunting a challenge than I anticipated.." he muses, though ever his hand rests upon his swordhilt.

[Elodie(#26584)] Having pulled her hood back up over her long hair, Elodie's freckled countenance is barely visible. She moves along with the Lord Lorthrain, her hands tucked underneath her cloak and out of sight. When he pauses, she glances up at him, then takes a breath and steps past him to lead the way, her steps quick and purposeful, the steps of one who knows where they are going and will get there in good time. Her feet, although not a cat-like tread, are quiet enough, and her pace is one that wouldn't be interrupted easily.

A dark sacklike object looms up in Brev's path and he prods it cautiously with one booted toe before bending to lift it and examine it further. A moment later he is tossing a waterlogged loaf of bread away in disgust. Whoever's dinner it was, clearly they never came back for it.

It is then that the echo of a well-bred voice comes to him, followed by purposeful steps. Mouthing a single guttural word that would probably mean much the same in any language, he pauses a moment and then sets off in a new direction. "Bloody guards," he mutters softly, resentfully. With the echoes down here, it's hard to gauge distance; in fact Lorthrain and Elodie are gaining on him.

Especially so with Elodie streaking ahead, and it is with a mixture of concern and admiration that he watches her stride on with such apparent courage in this alarming quarter of town. But all the same, he does call out to her in warning: "Let us have a care, miss Elodie. I know your duties await, but I would not give any lurker in the shadows the chance to spring upon us as we march in haste."

But then, even as they unwittingly gain upon Brev, there is a new echo that sounds in the depths of the Underdecks: a sudden scream of horror, followed by a cry of alarm.

[Elodie(#26584)] "I do not hasten because I am late ta work, ma Lord," Elodie replies over her shoulder. "I hasten as not ta be bothered by tha lurkers ya suggest, an' ta make maself harder ta catch. Tha more ya look like ya don't know where yer goin' or what yer doin', tha more a target ya are in these parts." Her words are delivered in an almost recitation, of one who is passing on the lessons she was taught by rote. However, the scream send her under an eave into dark shadow, and with her cloak pulled about her, she becomes almost invisible in the gloom.

At the stricken shout of a soul in need, who would not be moved? Brev simply snorts and mutters drily, "Someone's not paid their bills. Wonder what's left to clean up?" He gives the sound time to settle, head tilted to listen for running feet.

And Lorthrain glances once to Elodie as she melds with the darkness, ere his sword is drawn with a hiss in the damp air beneath the Laketown. "Stay here, and hidden," he bids her with a stern gaze, "and take this, in case of need." A dirk is quickly unbuckled from his belt and handed hilt-first to the barmaid, before he darts away to provide just the sound Brev is waiting for.

The planks, less sturdy than those in the upper levels, shudder beneath his stride as he seeks the source of the alarm, and after taking a sudden, he finds himself confronted with the sight of a woman staring in disgust down an alleyway.

"What troubles you?" he asks of her, lowering his sword but keeping it at the ready.

Elodie snorts in the darkness and waves away the Lord's offering. "I have what's I'm needin' ta protect maself, yer wastin' time," she hisses at him, slipping further away into the eaves where she'll not be seen. "I'll be headin' back ta ma work, thank ya."

Only one? Brev's brow arches up as that running figure thuds past. His own approach is more cautious, so that he's still well behind Lorthrain when the Girion reaches the woman. A foul-smelling lantern gutters on the wall nearby; thoughtfully he reaches up and lifts it down, using that sadly empty sack he'd found as both glove and shield.

But as the lamp is commandeered by the foreigner, the woman in front of Lorthrain turns to loose a long exhale, ere she leans against the wall for support. "Something I ain't seen in a while," she answers him, "but was hoping I'd never see again. Take a look, Watchman, or whatever you are..."

Frowning at this, stepping forward cautiously to gaze down the alley, the lord's sword lowers once more; this time to rap its tip against the floorboards as he follows her gaze. He too losses a long sigh, ere he stiffens and takes a pace along the alleyway.

Hanging before them from a strudy crossbeam, a pair of nooses creak idly from the shudder of the footfalls upon the rickety streets, and they are not empty. Each sports a corpse whose feet tap against the alley's walls as they gently swing, and upon the closer of the two a bloodstained scrap of parchement has been pinned in place buy a slender knife.

It is at this point that Brev's quiet voice sounds from behind the shocked pair. "Need to shed a little light on things?" Still using the sacking to hold the lantern-loop he unshields it and lifts it high, so that the corpses cast grotequely bloated shadows across the walls. "Are they dead?" The question would appear to be irrelevant.

"Aye," says Lorthrain, as the woman merely shakes her head ruefully and mutters to herself. "See for yourself, sir..."

If Lorthrain recognizes Brev he makes no sign of it as yet, steppign forward instead to take hold of the parchment betwixt thumb abd forefinger. Yanking it free of the knife embedded in the hapless fellows chest, he reads what is written grimly, ere he turns to hand it wordlessly to the foreigner for inspection. Written clearly in the Common Tongue, inked unmistakably in blood, the parchment reads:


Brev helpfully stretches out the lantern so that Lorthrain can read what's written there, but when the parchment is held out to him he glances blankly at it. "I don't have the local tongue yet," he tells the man, pausing before guessing at a title, "Watch-Lord?"

Paper dismissed, he surveys the swinging bodies thoughtfully, reaching up a hand to touch one foot. "Can't have been too long past," he comments offhandedly. "Wanting them cut down?"

He looks around for somewhere to hang the guttering light.

The Girion lord offers his gloved hand for the passing of the torch, ere he nods grimly. "I would say you are right," says he, tearing his gaze away fromt he corpses to study Brev for a moment. "I would guess that these poor souls were left here this very evening."

The woman chimes in then to add: "Must've been. I live a little further on, and they weren't knocking on the walls when I left home about three hours ago. Someone's been busy," she adds, scowling at the writing; apparently she has no such handicap to match the foreigner's.

But if she understands more of its meaning, she says naught of it; indeed, she appears even more shaken than when first she was found.

Brev relinquishes his lantern to Lorthrain, and shrugs at the woman's comment. "Whatever the case, they need to come down. Else the bodies'll rot and stink. No crows to clean them." The speech comes in short bursts, punctuated by silent effort as he hacks one-handedly at the nearest rope, using the other to steady the swinging, filthy body. Eventually he lowers one down and he turns his attention to the other. "What do you want to do with them?" The query is mild; his expression - whether disgust or disinterest - is hidden by shadow.

The woman wrinkles her nose at this, and grunts with a lack of commitment, but Lorthrain sighs darkly and nods to Brev's words.

"You are right again, sir, and now that I look you over, I believe we have met, have we not?" To the woman then he turns and speaks softly but firmly, saying: "If you would seek more hands to aid us, these bodies can easily be ferried to the Barracks of the Esgaroth Watch, where they properly belong. Would you do as much, and earn the favor of a lord of Girion?"

A cautious look enters the woman's eye at this, and she looks Lorthrain up and down, before it seems she is satisfied of his claim. She coughs then, perhaps the twinkle of greed to be seen in her eyes, though it could easily be the firelight, and she curtseys. "As you wish m'lord," says she, ere she darts off in search of help.

Brev is silent, letting his knife gnaw at the rope. When the second body slides into his arm he steadies it, only then glancing round at Lorthrain. "Lord?" he queries, as politely as one can with a soiled corpse offering distraction. "I believe we've passed one another. But I'm only a common man here." That last word is very soft.

He shifts his burden, grimaces and offers, "I can help carry this up above. Not a place I want to linger." No more does he say, simply shouldering his burden and moving off when directed.
Once they've reached the town above, he slips away as soon as he may - likely to clean himself up. Some things are not pleasant even if one is possessed of a very strong stomach.

Date added: 2011-05-26 04:51:11    Hits: 35
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