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Whispers on the Wind - Collateral Consequences

The Tenny Twins were on the path to being godsworn, bright, young and promising, their whole lives were ahead of them. Until it suddenly wasn't. The twins were found dead in their home, their belongings strewn about the place as if the home had been thoroughly tossed. Burglary gone wrong seems to be the common assumption.

Date

Oct. 28, 2019, 4:15 p.m.

Hosted By

Reigna

GM'd By

Reigna

Participants

Sorrel Sina Rysen Evaristo Zoey

Organizations

Location

Arx - Upper Boroughs - The Outrage

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist have been dismissed.

Deor, a young swordsman have been dismissed.

Alena Sparks, unamused first mate, Silk, the Seafaring Spider arrive, following Evaristo.

It is a cold and uncomfortably wet day. The temperature has risen enough that the precipitation that falls is more rain than snow. Or more accurately it is a very wet sleet. Either way, the skies are overcast and gloomy as the investigators find the small home of the Tenny twins. Their parents must have done some sort of profitable business, as they owned a single family townhouse, with a small front garden. The door has a notice written on it, asking for people to stay out. There is an Iron Guardsman on duty outside the home, a hunch to his shoulders and a sour expression on his face.

Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, following Zoey.

With her hood up and her cloak pulled closely around her, Sorrel makes her way seriously towards the house. She nods politely to the guardsman, then wonders, "Do you have a moment to answer some questions about the Tenny twins and what was found in the house? They did some research with me in the Archives recently."

It's rare that the Archscholar of Vellichor will herself come to investigate a crime scene, but when it involves her Scholars, she takes an active interest. She makes her way into the Upper Boroughs, accompanied by her three templars and her two assistants, the dour Arindais and the tawny-haired Lycene woman Jacinthe. Sina wears her leather armor this day, beneath the robes of the Archscholar, and she has the blade Brixeur'Ame sheathed at her side. Her long black hair is woven into a braid twined with brass chains, and a cloak of inky wool trimmed with russet fox fur is draped about eher shoulders. Her features are set into a grave mask as she arrives on the scene, following the information she has on the place where the twins lived. She confers quietly for a time with her assistants, while the Templars accompanying her keep a close watch on their surroundings, alert to any potential dangers. "First, we'll want to examine their home, if we can gain access to it. After that, we should probably speak with the elderly aunt," she is saying quietly to her assistants. Instructions given to her aides, she then turns toward the Iron Guardsman standing outside the home. She glances to Sorrel as the Princess approaches the guardsman, and lifts an eyebrow. "Princess Sorrel," she greets. "You worked with the Tenny twins recently on a project, you say?"

Moving through the snowy streets of the Outrage beside Deor and Lygiea, Rysen comes to the apartment where the twins had passed away. He bows to Sorrel and says, "Good day, Your Highness," and turns to the Guardsmen saying, "My name is Lord Rysen, I'm a confessor of the Inquisition, and I was hoping to look over the twins' home."

Evaristo has been lingering in the area for awhile, just watching the house itself while drinking from a small flask. The guard? That's the problem, really - he isn't too keen on talking with him, but seeing that one Princess AND an Archscolar, both that he knows, shows up? Perfect. So he sort of slinks right up there with Sina and her guards, smiling brightly and charmingly. "Your highness, Blessed." And look! "Lord Rysen, good to see you here too - between the four of us, we'll have this figured out in no time," he explains and voila, now he's part of the group and all.

The guardsman bows to the Thrax Princess and hunches his shoulders a bit more. "Good day your highness, I --" And then there is the Archscholar. The man straightens a bit more and offers a bow to Sina and her entourage of Templars. "Archscholar Sina, good day to you." The man shifts a little as a particularly sharp wind blows outward from behind him. "Are you all here to examine the home? I was told some higher ups might be interested in searching the place. We've left it just as we found it. Cept we had one of our own leave drawings of how we found the siblings."

Zoey makes her way through the snow to catch up with Sorrel, her cloak pulled tightly around her. She hears conversation already in progress though, and elects to stand quietly at the Princess's side.

"Ah, Evaristo," says Rysen with a small smile. "As far as I'm concerned, more eyes are always welcome." Overhearing Sina, Rysen turns to Sorrel. "Do you believe the topic of their research may have been an underlying cause of the ... burglary," he says glancing back at the Guardsman.

"Yes," Sorrel replies with a serious nod. "As they were researching a murderer who once operated in the Upper Boroughs. I've reason to believe there's some sort of ...copycat. This murderer killed in twos and threes, three hundred and fifty or so years ago."

Clearly flustered by the presence of the Archlector and the Princess, the guard suddenly realizes he missed Rysen's words and blinks at him. "A confessor! Yes, I was told someone from the Inquisition was to be expected. Apologies my Lord, this cold, you know?" He tries to play off his faux pas and then coughs. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a thick iron key on a large ring and looks uncertain as to who to give it to. "Uh, you'll all need to promise to not take anything without telling me, but you're all welcome to go in and look around." He pauses and looks to Evaristo, "You're with one of them?"

Turning toward the Guardsman, Sina inclines her head to him. "I wish that I could say it is a good day, Goodman," she says quietly. "But my heart is sore for the news that has brought us here." She glances toward Rysen as he arrives, and then to Evaristo, giving each an inclination of her head. She does give the latter somewhat of a curious look, before looking back to the Guardsman. "If it is permissible, I think it would be wise to make a thorough examination of the home to see if we might come to understand what happened. I would be interested to see the drawings you and your men have created as well," she adds. She takes note of Zoey's arrival, and gives the Kennex noblewoman an inclination of the head in greeting. She turns her gaze back to Sorrel then, looking thoughtful. "I see. This is troubling news." She glances at Evaristo again, to see what his explanation is for being here when the guardsman asks.

"Helping Lord Rysen here," Evaristo says cheerfully. Which well, that just so happens to be true, now. He does lean in to murmur to Rysen, Sina, Zoey and Sorrel; "Friend of mine knew them, she got awfully upset. Tears and everything - I promised to look into it." So, that would explain HIS sudden interest. He nods to what Sina is saying, but has some questions on his own. "Where did they break in, is it obvious?"

Rysen nods to Sorrel, and offers a nod to Zoey as she arrives. "Hmmm... a copycat," mutters Rysen, crossing his arms thoughtfully beneath his mantle. When the guard asks about Evaristo, Rysen says, "He's a consultant of sorts. He can enter if there's no objection from Archscholar Sina." Rysen reaches out to accept the key from the Guardsman, and hands it to Sina. "Probably best if the wisest of us hangs on to this," he says with a smile.

"Well, not really. But most of the windows are broken and the garden door is off its hinges so..." The Guard shrugs as if this is evidence enough for him.

In a soft yet musical voice, Sorrel provides: "The storm is coming, it is almost here. The Butcher drumming, his freedom near. His endless hunger, rage and scorn, will leave his victims bloody, torn. The portents loom, the Butcher wakes, if he gets loose, our souls he'll rake." She looks around at the group. "Keep that little jingle in mind as you explore here."

"I'm not sure I could get it out of my head now if I tried," replies Zoey.

Inclining her head to Evaristo, Sina seems to accept his explanation for being there when Rysen coorroborates it, and then she accepts the key from Rysen as he offers it to her. She listens to the information regarding the broken windows, and the garden door being off its hinges, looking thoughtful. "Perhaps they wished to make it more difficult for us to determine his mode of entry, or perhaps they were broken during whatever struggle ensued." She glances at Sorrel as she speaks some sort of poem, and nods. Then she steps toward the door with the key, and inserts it into the lock to unlock the door that they might enter.

"Gods and spirits," mutters Rysen as he listens to Sorrel. "'The butcher...' Why does that sound so familiar?" he says quietly. "You heard about the crows, Your Highness?" Rysen asks Sorrel, and then turns his grey eyes to Sina as she opens the door.

"Very catchy," Evaristo agrees, looking at Sorrel with some bafflement. "'Our souls he'll rake'? Interesting. I mean, 'take' also rhymes. Having your soul 'raked' sounds quite unpleasant," he babbles as he walks after Sina and takes a look at the house itself from outside now, searching for anything of interest. "Worst burglars ever, if they did that much damage - and had to kill peopel to get away. Definitely not professional. From a, uh, criminal point of view, I mean."

The door, once unlocked eases open, swinging inward with a creaking sigh of metal and wood. Cold. The interior is dim, no lights or fires to illuminate it, though there are weak beams of watery light from outside shining into the rooms through the broken windows. They weren't lying when they say the place was ransacked. Shelves are bare, while the clutter of lives lived lay smashed, shattered and cracked along the ancient floors of the aged townhouse. Shadows seem longer inside, and the temperature is as uncomfortable inside as out.



Across the entry hall is the garden door, off its hinges, swung outward to reveal the back garden. There are muddy smears along the floors, tracks of steps taken. Scratches, fresh from the looks of them, have been dug into the floor and some of the walls. Spatters of blood have dried darkly in the corners, reaching up the ceiling in some places. Books lay everywhere, in various states of disarray, splayed open, pages rent and scattered around the main rooms. A rickety set of stairs leads to the upper floor.

"I only heard what was publicly available, nothing more. If you do have details, let me know," Sorrel says to Rysen seriously, then adds thoughtfully, "If things get suddenly cold, cry out and let the rest of us know. Just. If you get a chill that's, say, colder than outside here. And maybe guard your face a bit." She narrows her eyes as she passes into the building and looks thoughtfully at the house. "The poor twins. I promised to buy them their robes when they took their vows," she murmurs sadly, then adds, "Also, is the name Albrecht familiar to anyone? Are there Albrechts still living in the Upper Boroughs?"

Zoey puts Mother of Pearl mask in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.

When Sorrel mentions a drop in temperature, Rysen glances at Zoey. Turning back to Sorrel, Rysen says, "Those closest to Lady Catalana also reported feeling a drop in temperature," he says. Rysen enters the townhouse and begins to look around. Noticing the scratches, Rysen turns and says to Sorrel and Sina in a low voice, "Lady Catalana also mentioned that, before the shelves fell on her in the Great Archive, that something slashed her. I saw the wounds myself."

"Or any unexpected noises," Zoey says softly as she scans the room.

Sina's three Templars remain close to the Archscholar, though one of them does join the Iron Guard at the entrance to the house to take up guard duty. The other two will follow Sina into the house, remaining on alert. Sina's features are vaguely troubled and pensive as she shivers in the chill for a moment, her silvery eyes adjusting to the dim interior. One of the templars lights a lantern, and holds it up for a better view of the gruesome carnage left behind. Keeping Sorrel's disturbing poem in mind, Sina pulls her cloak closer about her shoulders, and carefully steps further into the house. She is careful not to disturb anything in the house if she can help it. "There seems to be much talk of crows these days," she adds in response to Rysen's question to Sorrel. Her eyes take in as much detail as she can, once they adjust to the light, and one hand drops down to rest on the hilt of her blade as Sorrel mentions unnatural chill, her expression setting into one of resolve. "Perhaps you might tell us what else you know of the Butcher, your Highness?" she asks. "I'm afraid I've never heard such a tale." Her expression fills with sorrow for a moment as Sorrel speaks of promising to buy robes for the twins. "They were so eager, so bright. Albert was a bit odd, but I felt certain he was gifted. Perhaps even god-touched. But he had his odd little quirks. His sister was the more social of the two," she murmurs quietly, as if speaking of them might somehow honor their memory in this place of their demise. She glances to Rysen then in startlement as he mentions what happened to Lady Catalana, and gives a nod.

Rysen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.

Zoey checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Sina checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Evaristo checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

Sorrel checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Evaristo steps carefully in after Sina and pauses to take in the chaotic scene. The blood especially has his eyebrows go up and he looks sharply at the others as he realises this might not be the first victims. "Either they put up one amazing fight, or someone went completely berserk in here," he says. "Isn't it more likely they were targeted? Anyone know what their backgrounds are... were they working on something in particular?"

Zoey carefully crouches down beside the muddy footprints to examine them more closely. "These footprints can't have been from the guards who were in here before," she says. "Whomever left them had dainty feet, and they were wearing slippers."

Kneeling down, and picking his way through the books that have been damaged and scattered, Rysen says to Evaristo, "Princess Sorrel said they were researching a murder - someone called 'the butcher.'" As he turns over a few more damaged books, Rysen says to Evaristo and the others, "The damaged books seem to all concern the Queen of Endings, death, or necromancy."

"Yes. They were working for me: on stories of the Butcher. Amalda found a white journal from a Jorethy Albrecht, who heard her daughter singing that nursery rhyme. Albert found information about unsolved murders, with eviscerations, bodies hung from trees, where the murderer was never caught. Both of these sources date back 300 to 350 years or so," Sorrel explains patiently, then motions towards the house. A slip of paper catches her eye, and she picks it up and studies it for a moment, considering both sides. "Warn Princess Sorrel, this says. Warn Princess Sorrel. And on the back, there's a map. Well, a scrap of a map. I'm going to need some help to puzzle this out."

As they search the house, Sina moves toward the windows to examine them, a little frown touching her lips as she listens to the others list off their findings. "It's odd..." she says after a time, peering out one of the broken windows. "All the glass is on the outside, and none on the inside. It's almost as if, I don't know... there was some sort of force that threw the glass outward? Definitely odd for a burglary," she agrees with Evaristo, giving the man a glance. She turns around, studying the room again. There's a thoughtful look on her features, and after a time, she steps carefully toward the stairs, peering up them, the Templar with the lantern following. "This is just the first floor," she murmurs. "There is a pattern to this chaos, but I am unable to see it... it's just at the edge of my grasp, I think. I feel like... we should go upstairs, to see what is above. It might give us a clearer picture." She glances then toward Sorrel as she finds a slip of paper, and a warning with a map.

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary arrives, delivering a message to Rysen before departing.

Evaristo is shifting towards the staircase as the others examine the room itself, but he pauses and sniffs the air after hearing Sina as she joins him there at the bottom of the stairs. "Wait," he says. "Do you smell that? There's some sort of smell wafting down from upstairs, a... sweet but a little sour smell at the same time." He blinks, then leans closer to the wall of the stairwell. "Huh. There's something liquid here... running down the walls." He digs around in his satchel and finds a handkerchief that he moves to touch against the liquid. Smart enough not to ACTUALLY touch it.

"I wonder..." Zoey trails off. "Lord Rysen, may I see those books?"

Reigna GM Roll checked luck(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Rysen nods to Zoey, gesturing to the trail of texts that have been damaged. He glances over at the liquid Evaristo mentioned, and follows its trail upwards.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Evaristo before departing.

There are a series of creaks and groans from an undefined source. Typical house settling noises, though they come unexpectedly. A creak comes from the top of the stairs and a cold wind whistles through the broken windows, an eerie undertone to the sound, a dissonant hum.

"Templar! Stay close to the Archscholar," says Rysen sharply as the sound passes through the townhouse. The confessor lets a hand fall to unfasten the peace tie on his weapons and takes a step toward the stairs.

Sina hesitates near the stairs as Evaristo speaks up about the stuff on the wall and the stairwell. She moves a little closer to examine it, though she is careful not to touch it as well. Then the sound of the house shifting catches her attention, along with the chill wind that passes through the house, and her gaze lifts up the stairs once again. The two Templars are already moving closer to Sina, and the Archscholar's hand shifts to untie her own peace knot on the alaricite rapier at her side, silken cords coming free. She takes a little step back from the stairs. "Evaristo," she says in a soft warning.

Sina adds quietly, "Why would they be researching necromancy? Those books should be gathered up, and submitted to the Censor Librorum for examination."

Sorrel also loosens her sword in her sheath, holding on to it for a serious moment as she moves to guard Sina along with the Templars, presuming that Rysen will keep an eye out for Zoey. Her own cadre of guards look wary. She takes strong interest in what Evaristo is doing, however. "Be cautious," she warns him. "I suspect the Butcher may be the same one, not actually a copycat as I said earlier. But something abyssal. I try not to announce these things in front of people who might think me crazy, though."

"Whomever did this didn't seem to like Death..." Evaristo says. He takes out the skull trinket around his neck and gives it a kiss, perhaps just for his own protection, then wipes some of that liquid off the wall and squints at it in the semi-darkness. "... is it blood? I can't say." He holds the hanky closer to Sina for her to look as well, careful not to touch the liquid. "I could look at the map, but to be honest - I'm not terribly good with riddles, nor maps. Unless they're sea-maps." He startles at the wind and the sound, and Rysen's sharp command - he nods at Sina and losens his own peacebonds, putting one foot on the first step. "Were they about to become godsworn of Death in particular?" he asks. "I mean, us harlequins do know a bit about, uh, skeletons and the walking dead. So to speak."

Rysen glances at Sorrel and nods. "If it is a soul that has practiced necromancy in order to avoid returning to the wheel, it will be extremely dangerous."

Zoey looks through the books with a critical eye, then back at the liquid on the wall. "Be mindful of insects," she says as she sets the book down. "Whatever ate the practical knowledge out of these books is about as far from human as any land creature can get." She readies her bow just as a precaution.

Reigna GM Roll checked luck(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Sina shakes her head to Evaristo's question. "Godsworn take vows to all of the Gods. They were Disciples of Vellichor, however," she adds helpfully. She takes a look at the stuff on his hanky, trying to gauge the color and consistency of it without actually touching it. The Templar helpfully holds the lantern closer, while keeping a wary eye out for any dangers. The Archscholar listens to what Sorrel says about these deaths not being a copycat, and nods slightly. Her silver eyes narrow thoughtfully as she glances over the array of damaged books, which must surely be more than a little upsetting to her. "It's said that the some of the Eurusi may be raising the dead," she whispers softly, in a hushed tone. "If so, it is surely a great affront to the Queen of Endings. There are others who have attempted to do as Rysen suggested, too. Such a creature would be not wholly human any longer... an abomination."

"Insects," murmurs Rysen at Zoey's words. "They ate through the books?" he asks Zoey. Turning to the stairwell, Rysen says softly to Sorrel. We should take a look upstairs." He reaches into his bag and removes a lantern engraved with the elegant script of Sister Sophie. He checks its oil, and then lights the lantern from Sina's Templar guard.

There are more of those creaking, groaning sounds, this time coming clearly from the ceiling above. It is louder, more ominous and as it continues, there is a low droning sound that becomes audible even as the wood of the ceiling begins to splinter and the ceiling begins to cave in. As the rubble begins to fall, there is a tidal sort of spray as heavy objects fall from the ceiling and crash to the floor.

Rysen gets Lagoma's Holy Flame from Holster of Knightly Necessity.

Rysen checked luck at difficulty 17, rolling 10 lower.

Evaristo checked luck at difficulty 17, rolling 13 higher.

Sina checked luck at difficulty 17, rolling 9 lower.

Zoey checked luck at difficulty 17, rolling 3 lower.

"If that song is some sort of warning of the Butcher's awakening, doesn't it feel like he's already gotten up, had breakfast and is now thinking of what to have for lunch?" Evaristo suggests with a lighthearted tone - he's a good actor, but he can't quite hide the twitchy nervousness as he takes one more step up the stairs. "Insect... why is it always insects," he mutters. Maybe that's how he is lucky, taking that one step?

Sina checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 8 lower.

Zoey checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.

Sorrel checked luck at difficulty 17, rolling 3 lower.

Rysen checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.

Sorrel checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.

10 inflicted and Sina is harmed for minor damage.

10 inflicted and Zoey is harmed for moderate damage.

Insects indeed. Chunks of wood and plaster rain down as the ceiling collapses and some of the furniture from the second floor comes crashing down. Sina is tackled by her Templar, but the weight of his body is increased enough to knock the breath from her lungs as an armchair falls on his back, crushing Sina into the floor. As for Zoey, she does not get furniture, instead what falls on her is not easily recognizable. A long dead corpse that has in recent days become a hive to a host of black bees lands belly down on Zoey. The corpse bursts on impact in a shower of rancid honey, dead bees and long-dead flesh.

There is a second body that falls and would have hit Rysen, though he dodged out of the way. It too bursts in a spray of the same corrupted honey and old guts, pulpy residue of parchment and general grossness.

Rysen checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

Evaristo checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Sorrel checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 1 higher.

As the bodies drop and the gore splashes, Rysen's instincts cause him to leap backward, avoiding the worst of it. Looking over towards teh Lady of House Kennex, Rysen yells, "Zoey!!" He rushes to where she was, and begins frantically pushing away the rotting flesh, dead bees and disgusting honey.

"Oooooh, so that was the smell and that explains the liquid," Evaristo says after brushing off some dust off his coat - he has somehow miraculously stood where absolutely nothing fell down, though around him there's debris everywhere. He coughs and waves his hand in the air and moves to help Sina and the templar guard himself, pushing that armchair away from them. "You alright?" he asks worriedly.

Suppressing the urge to throw up, Sorrel dodges debris and then leaps for the stairs, making some effort to get up to see if something is moving around up there. She's got her sword in one hand and the map with the warning on the other, and she looks furious. And a little green.

There isn't much time to get out of the way before the ceiling collapses on them. A cry of alarm is all Sina has time for, before one of her Templars, the one not holding the lantern, brings her to the ground to shield her from the falling debris. Her breath rushes out of her as she hits the ground with him on top of her, and for a time, she lies there a bit stunned, hurting, her eyes squeezed shut against falling dust and debris and as she tries to catch her breath. Oblivious for the moment to the long-dead corpse and its hive of bees falling on Zoey, she struggles for a moment, before she realizes that one of her templars is on top of her. She tries to groan, but can't catch her breath to do it, ribs creaking with the effort of just trying to breathe. She pushes at the Templar, attempting to get him to lift off of her.



The Templar will only move, of course, when he is certain that stuff is no longer falling from the ceiling, grimly determined to shield the Archscholar from the worst of it. But eventually, he does accept Evaristo's help, when he deems it safe, and pushes himself up to his feet. Only then is Sina able to pull in a hoarse, gasping breath and open her eyes to the added chaos around her. She sees Evaristo there, and with a groan of pain, she accepts his help to get up. The other Templar was standing in Evaristo's general area with the lantern, and he helps to get everyone to their feet.



Once she's on her feet, Sina doubles over, and groans, half-retching at the stench of death and sickly sweet rotted honey and dead bees. She doesn't seem to have anything to say for the moment, still trying to catch her breath. But that's kind of hard to do when every breath is filled with that rotted stench.

Evaristo gets a cobalt blue bottle with a silver feather charm from A smooth natural suede belt with a square black buckle.

Zoey checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

At the sound of the ceiling giving way, but knowing she won't be able to move fast enough to avoid it, Zoey drops her bow and curls up to protect her belly as best she can. The rancid stench of rotting flesh and spoiled honey makes her gag as her lungs find air again, and a long red scrape runs down the arm she had used to hold out her bow a moment before. With Rysen's help the bigger chunks are brushed away and she finds her way back to her feet.

Sina checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Evaristo isn't happy about the smell either - it makes it quite hard to concentrate. He digs out a scarf from his satchel, and a small perfume bottle from his belt pouch. He pours perfume over the scarf and then wrips it apart into thinner strips. "Here," he says and hands them out to the others, if they want one. "Can wrap that around your neck or under your noses, helps with the nausea. "Princess! Be careful!" he calls to Sorrel, his attention splitting rapidly.

In spite of the stench, Rysen smiles to see Zoey stand from under the corpse. Rising to his feet and taking up his lantern again, he draws his sword and follows closely behind Sorrel to see if the collapse of the floor was a coincidence.

Rysen wields Moria - a rune-etched bastard sword.

Sorrel wields Resonant Edge, a lightly curved diamondplate saber.

Zoey wields Dawn's Light, an alaricite bow.

Sina gives Evaristo a shaky smile as he passes out perfumed strips of cloth, which she will gladly take. "Thank you," she says somewhat breathlessly, before tying the cloth loosely around her nose and the lower part of her face. It's strong, but better than bee and corpse stench. She uses her Templar's shoulder to support herself for a moment, still catching her breath, and then she straightens slowly, and examines the Templar in turn to see if he is well enough to continue. He did, after all, have an armchair fall on him. "Why don't you go outside, and send in Bertrand?" she murmurs. The Templar gives a grunt and a nod, and trudges through the debris toward the front door, where he swaps places with the Templar that was on duty outside the house with the Iron Guard. While the two Templars swap, Sina finally pulls her own blade out, and looks after Sorrel as she goes diving for the stairs.

Sina wields Brixeur'Ame.

Sina checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 27 higher.

Sorrel checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.

Rysen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.

Zoey draws her bow and keeps it pointed at the hole where the ceiling used to be, ready to draw and fire at anything else nasty that might appear.

Evaristo checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.

Glancing around the second floor room where the floor has collapsed, Rysen notices a nightstand teetering, and about to fall. He quickly sheathes his sword and lowers his lantern to get a better look. After pulling the nightstand from the brink, he finds a journal, picks it up, and begins to flip through its pages.

Evaristo checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

"This is Albert's room, I think. There's an old map of Arx here," Sorrel says, pulling out a notebook to copy down some locations the young man had marked in the Gray Forest. She's busy trying to read the notes that surround it, squinting at the handwriting.

Once they finally are able to trudge up the stairs to investigate, Sina steps carefully, the two Templars following closely in case she needs to be leapt in front of again. She has her blade out of its slender sheath now, alaricite gleaming in the light of the lanterns held aloft to guide their way. She finds her way into one of the bedrooms, and after a brief search, she returns a moment later, rapier sheathed, and carrying some journals in the crook of her arm. "I found these. Perhaps they will tell us more of the story of these twins. They appear to have been written by their mother, at least at a quick glance." She glances around, wary for any other surprises, then quietly begins to peruse the journals she found as well. Her Templars keep watch while she does so.

Evaristo literally got his cloth strip of perfume covering his nose - he leaves the upstairs to the others and goes to dig at the corpses, almost sort of literally. But he puts some gloves on first. "I found something!" he says triumphantly and pries lose a shiny rock from the skeletal hand, something painted on it. And there's also a piece of parchment tucked behind the rock, so he carefully lifts that out as well.

Zoey after a moment Zoey puts the bow away and takes a look at what remains of the corpse that fell on her instead, assuming it is more than a pile of refuse.

A locket catch's Zoeys eye. She picks it up, wipes it off as best she can, and looks inside. "Refresh my memory," she says. "What were the twins names again? I can barely think in this reek."

Evaristo glances at the others, who all have found something interesting - torn between that and the parchment. He decides to unfold the latter however and looks at it, eyes widening. "This is a MAP. It has directions to a specific place even."

"Amalda and Albert, I believe," says Rysen down to Zoey. He brings the journal he found over to Sina. "I've found this journal as well, Archscholar. I believe it belonged to Amalda."

As she peruses the journals, Sina says, "What I know of the twins is not much, but I do know that both of their parents died under mysterious circumstances. Their mother died about five years ago, and their father... well, these journals say that he disappeared into the Gray Forest, because of some obsession with a duty. He was searching for some location in the gray forest, and he never came back. Their mother took up the obsession, and went in search of him in the places marked on the map. She was convinced that if she coul dfind him, he'd be safe." She frowns a little at that, and closes the final journal. She glances around then, her features taking on a more composed look. Her silvery eyes take on a distant look as she glances around, perhaps her thoughts turned inward. "There is some strange power at work here." When Evaristo comes up with that stone, she focuses once more on him, and steps closer. "Be careful with that stone. I think it has some properties that are unknown to us," she cautions. "She nods to Rysen as he says the names of the twins. She then glances over the journal Rysen brings to her. "We should bring these to the Archive for study, I think."

"I found this," Zoey dangles the locket out before her. "It was on the... the body that fell on me. The engraving says M. Albrect and A. Albrect."

"The Albrects! That was the name of the author of the journal that Amalda found!" Sorrel says with a measure of excitement as she copies down Albert's notes and map, since it's a less movable setup.

"Can you tell where that map leads?" Rysen asks Evaristo, as he comes back down the stairs, gazing at the bodies on the ground with a frown.

"Not at a first glance. Guess we'll gather everything up and examine it together," Evaristo suggests. He nods at Sina's warning words and finds a small simple pouch to put the stone in, and hands it over to the Archlector, together with the map.

Zoey lays the locket back down on the floor and says up through the hole. "I'll let the rest of you handle this, shall I? I need to wash the death out of my hair."

Rysen nods to Evaristo, and sighs. "I suppose I'll call for a few more of the Iron Guard to get these bodies to the morgue as well." He offers Zoey a rueful grin and says, "I could use a bath as well. Thanks for your help, My Lady."

"A bath... and a proper washing of these clothes," Evaristo agrees and moves away from the carnage area, moving to the front door. "Thanks for having me here, and I hope I can come assist on further investigations?"

"I'm glad I'm wearing leather and not brocade," Sorrel admits, though not until after she's dragged someone else to check her notes and map that she's copied from Albert's room.

"And I'm glad aeterna doesn't stain," says Zoey. "If you don't mind, can you wend me a messenger if you find anything else of note?" She asks this as she heads toward the door, but does not wait for the answer.

The Archscholar makes her way carefully down the stairs, and steps outside briefly to speak with the Iron Guard on duty to let him know in no uncertain terms that she will be collecting the books and journals from this location, for archiving. Then she gathers up her assistants who begin the process of cataloguing them. She will take the pouch with the stone that Evaristo hands over to her, along with the map. "I will keep these for now, until we may learn more of the stone. It may be dangerous, and I believe it may have something to do with the bees, the corpses, and the collapse of the upper floor." The stone is carefully tucked away in her own satchel for safekeeping, likely to be stored later in the vault of the Faith. She steps closer to Sorrel, and murmurs something softly to her. She'll have her assistants aid in the copying of maps and notes to ensure their preservation for later study.

Octavian, a silken spaniel leaves, following Zoey.

Rysen chuckles softly at Sorrel's words, and nods to Evaristo. "If I'm permitted to continue investigating for the Inquisition, I'll send word, Evaristo. Stay safe in the meantime, and if you hear anything on the streets concerning a butcher, the twins or their parents, please send a messenger." Rysen then steps outside and informs the guard that there are two unfresh bodies that need to be moved to the morgue.

The Guard on duty is sweating despite the cold, his face flushed at the mention of two previously undiscovered bodies. He gulps a little and nods to the Archscholar, writing notes for his report to his superior. He hunches as another gust of wind sends cold air cutting through his cloak and lifts a hand to bat at the fat body of a big fat bee that buzzes near him as he catalogs the items removed from the house. "Thank you for the information, Blessed Sina. I'll pass it along to the HQ. Your highness, have a good one." There is a pause and then a yelp, a swat of his hand against his hood at neck level. He mutters and pulls the cloak down, as the dead body of the bee hits the ground. The guard mutters and shakes his head, turning his back to the townhouse and resuming his duty.

"Thank you," Sorrel says to the guard with a bow of her head, and then makes to escort Sina from the premises with the same sort of protectiveness as one of her Templar guards. Nevermind there are Thrax guards too.



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