Saturday, 2 August, 2008
7th day, Center rule, State of Dominance, 127 FHR
Day of Humility
It's early morning. There is a light haze covering the city.
Lini was found murdered this morning, outside the Ascention drinking hall. A hard-head patrol is there now. Aurelius tells the Prioress and the other priestesses the news. It seems there's a confrontation between the Godsmen and the garrison as to who has jurisdiction. The drinking hall is a guild hall to the Godsmen, and Lini died on their territory.
Women arrive at the Athenium for morning service. They must have overhead some of Aurelius's news. Ismene is at a loss. She sends Aurelius to the scene to wait for us, then asks Chryseis to look into it. She moves quickly to provide comfort to the locals. Chryseis meets up with us at the well. Ludvik knows the Ascension as a huge Godsmen bar. We gear up and go.
Just before leaving, we pray to Athena for clarity and victory. The Ascension is in the Foundry distinct in Grey Steam Path (just off Ash Row). It's located behind the Foundry. The Harmonium is limiting foot traffic into the area. Chryseis is recognized by the present hard heads, as the people guarding the site are the night watch from the local garrison.
Corvo and the Githyanki bar owners are arguing jurisdiction. Lini's body is still on the ground, covered with a blanket. It lies half hidden behind a water barrel at the entrance to an alleyway running along the outer wall of the Ascension. It's easy to believe no one noticed her for a while, especially if it happened during hte night.
The Githyanki is named Jullius. He doesn't want hard heads in his bar.
Corvis shows us Lini's body. Her face is frozen in panic and fear. She's been cleaved in two with a deep slashing weapon across her right breast. The second slash is from her left rip to the right hip (which is exposed and broken open). The third slash cuts deeply into her left thigh. She died from shock and blood loss. Indeed, the alleyway is sticky with her blood.
There are no signs that she fought back. She's lying on her spears. Her knife is still on her belt and her hands and arms bear no wounds. The magical strands around her have been cleaved. Something fairly strong happened here. The ground is covered in blood from the body. There are spatters around the water barrel where the altercation seems to have started.
Corvis continues. The first harmonium guard on the scene found the body. The altercation started in the street and finished in the alleyway. People heard the screams but the hard heads have found no witnesses to the murder. He found burn marks on her forearms. These are inconsistent with burning, but resembles the burns caused by electrical discharges.
Ludvik wanders into the spectators to try and pick up the chant.
The Alley was is swept relatively clean, so there's not much junk to go through. There are two sets of prints in the alleyway; one smaller (Lini's) and the other is larger. I find 3 mostly intact (cracked and dried out) nut shells. Touching them seems to make them disintegrate into dust. Chryseis thinks they might have been material components, but it's odd that there would be anything left of a material component after the spell has been cast.
The Hag's eye believes the nut shells are used to create some sort of glamour effect that causes confusion.
Ludvik finds a wolfhound that looks familiar. The dog is standing at the edge of the crowd, as if waiting for him. Ludvik follows and the wolfhound leads him around the corner of a nearby tenement building. There, Ludvik meets CryFalcon, a friend of Melissa's. He knows a lot about Ludvik's adventures. He calls the dog Shuck. Cry Falcon is a human man, in his mid 40s with only a graying fringe of hair around a bald cap. He has silvery eyes and a wound on the left-side of his jaw that healed into a ragged scar. CryFalcon tells Kudvik to pass the word that Narcovi should come and look at this murder.
The Lawshredder is back. The person responsible for 7 murders a few years ago, just up and disappeared without ever being caught. CryFalcon believes Lini was the third Lawshredder murder of this set. Last time the first murder was a chaotic victim - this time it was Sodd Dirk. The smith makes the weapon and then is run through with it. Each victim after the 1st dies with one more slash than the last. The LawShredder's pattern is that all who die will be lawful faction members.
Ludvik returns and tells us the dark of it. A small figure gets my attention. I meet him in the alleyway across the road. It's a human (about 8-9 years of age, standing a head shorter than Eki). He's a street urchin of my acquaintance named Erchand. He saw the killing. He saw Lini struggling with someone big. The attacker was a big man with crazy hair, human eyes all bugged out. He had a big sword and he cut her down. Then, after she fell, he took her sword. He thinks the big man rifled through her pockets.
After he cut her down there was a red light that went out of her body. It danced along his blade and up his arm.
The Hag's eye also finds a small piece of paper, pinned to Lini's cloak. The message is scrawled in blood, and reads: "Chaos is the only law. Washed clean of the blood of order". Chryseis collects the note and keeps the pin.
While Chryseis is talking to Corvus, a small contingent of Godsmen approach. Chryseis sends Corvus off with a quick note written to Narcovi. The Godsman's factol comes to review the scene. Chryseis tells him that she believes the Law Shredder has returned and gives him a good summary of events, thereby gaining his support. He asks for updates on the case as it unfolds. He gives her a token so that she can speak with him again.
After he leaves, Chryseis speaks with the Innkeeper. From him she learns that Lini closed up the place with the Innkeep. There are only a few people in the bar then. It was a regular night. Chryseis speaks to the remaining three who are still here. One who was deep in conversation with Lini before she left, had left early, but the conversation was not remembered as cold or unusual, rather she was catching up with him. The three present readily vouch for the other three who left. The bar is well appointed and clean. The Innkeeper believes Lini left at 4 or 5 in the morning.
Back at the garrison, Chryseis checks but she finds no local records of murder in the district. She looks up Sod Dirk's murder. The reports say that his body was found by an assistant in the morning. He was killed the night before. He was run through once. No signs of the sword, but there was an empty scabbard on the floor near the body. The murder was investigated by Ismene.
Ludvik spreads the chant in little Bytopia. Learns that there's a private group who are buying rights to the entire spikeward edge. They want to build a steam funicular around the edge of the city.
While Chryseis is doing paperwork, she learns that Ismine thought Sod Dirk's murder was related to burglary and nothing more. Chryseis finds one other murder that sets off alarm bells in her metal head. She makes copies of the various reports. She sends out request for information about similar murders.
I run into Eliath and go looking for information.
Chryseis receives notice that Narcovi received Chryseis's note. Narcovi is on her way to the local garrison. The HW garrison had found records of a murder of an Athar. The body was discovered in an Athar Bunkhouse of Powers row. It was a Borear female, 25 years of age, named Vienna of the Athar. She was found with a terrified expression on her face and 2 deep cuts to her flanks. There was a note pinned to her hide with the same message as we found on Lini. There were two others in the bunkhouse that night. Kuari found the body. There was a deposition from Monrot, but Monrot stank of alcohol; so the office did not include the deposition.
Ludvik went looking for the bunkhouse and ran into Eliath and I. He talked in sway into the bunk house in question and convinced an amicable 1/2 ling to show us the murder site. The 1/2ling claims Vienna's attacker had big hair and turned into a mephit.