(A Prp) Elrion's Demise
Aug. 20, 2023, 8:15 p.m.
Arx - Upper Boroughs - Seawatch North - Dark Alley
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Not all that long ago Raja inherited a bar. That bar is down an alley in the uppers which opens up into a large tree lined courtyard dominated by a massive statue of two lovers locked in an intimate moment. Its late enough that Sunlight has faded away and only the glow of the lanterns offers much in the way of lighting - and that is when a careless step in a shadowy alley brings Raja's attention to the presence of a figure huddled amongst the foot of the statue. That isn't the strangest thing ever but even in this light she can see that one of his feet is unshod with a sock still dangling from the tips of three toes. Weird.
The Purple Talon had been closed for some time and still is. Though, a window glows slightly with a flickering light. The light blows out a moment before the front door is opened. Keys jangle as Raja goes to lock the door. Turning to depart, she is /just/ about to leave when something catches her eye. Dark eyes squint as she makes her way closer. "Hey bud." She nudges the man's foot with her own. "This is private property. Go sleep it off somewhere else." When the man doesn't respond, except to fall over, Raja instinctually backpeddles. Her hand goes to her hip and she growls into the darkness.
Instead of going alone, unarmored into the darkness, she departs. "Oh man. Last thing I need is the Inquisition asking why I got a gods damned body.." An idea crosses her. She sends of various messengers to ask friends for aid.
As the slender male slowly tips over, thanks to Raja's foot-nudge, he leaves a streak of blood on the statue's pale marble pedestal.
Loramus seems to be on his way to this supposed bar Raja has been going on and on about. Looking around from the street, he sort of pokes his head around the corner, a call half-formed on his lips. 'Dubious' is not an incorrect label that could be applied to his expression.
And, thus, the messenger finds him only a stone's throw away, around the corner. "Raja?" He looks farther down the alley. "Did you knife someone? Ya should been more specific, I woulda brought more help."
Ian must not have been too far away, because he doesn't take terribly long to arrive, being dropped off a little bit up the street by a hired carriage shortly after the message reaches him. He looks a little bit confused about the circumstances that bring him here.
Mattheu slips along after Tregva was left to wave a missive in his face about Raja asking for help with something. The way to the alley was more than confusing as the Rivenshari lord kept getting lost in the process. Though this is the manner in how travel occurs for him when he'll follow the wind as a guide. Finally making his way to the spot to give a small wave to Raja. "What seems to be the problem? Tregva wasn't too much help in the why we must come at once."
While there's a reason Denica is here surely, her attention is taken by the art immediately. Sauntering up to it, she studies the work with a loft of her think Islander eyebrows. "I wonder who the artist is," she says thoughtfully. "Good lines, I'd like to meet them. I appreciate a statement piece." Then Denica says to anyone who will listen, "I once made this giant mushroom fountain, flanked by two round toadstools. I put it in someone's front grounds. Their siblings kindly gave me permission to do it and even helped me set it up. Who doesn't like the gift of art? Art should make people pause," the princess says with an shrug of her dainty shoulders. "So, who do you want me to beat up?," she when she sees Raja, giving a friendly wave. Oh there's a body, the princess goes silent. Technically Denica is in fact the Inquisition, but apples and oranges.
Jan arrives a short time later "Gods, It's this dump isn't it? Purple talon? Sounds like a half-cocked euphemism." She lingers outside and bellows into the doorway "Raja! You in there?"
The body remains where it is. Slowly cooling into the night.
Raja kept back to the shadows, perhaps becomming a tad jumpy until people arrive. She thanks each in turn for comming, "You guys are a life saver. I uh.. I have a situation." She gives them a sort of half smile before guiding them to the scene of the crime. "I did NOT do this!" Both hands gesture wildly to the body. "I want that to be clear! Murder is bad for business." She sighs. "I didn't want the Guard taking me to the House of Questions."
Led into the alley, Ian's eye is caught at first by the, uh, statue. He pauses for a moment. "I don't think the Guard prosecutes crimes against the sen -- oh, you mean the body. Huh. Who is this guy?" The number of bodies Ian has seen in his life is, at this point, easily, EASILY, in the triple digits. He has no problem walking over to get a closer look.
Ian checks perception and medicine at normal. Ian marginally fails.
Okay. Let's be honest here. This is probably not the first time Loramus has found Raja over a dead body. Over even the 5th. So the dubious expression doesn't slide off his face. He does, though, take a long, slow, deep breath, then he offers the woman a shrug. "Well. If you say so." He wanders closer, head tilted. And then he lets his eyes go sort of unfocused, and looks at both the body, and the area in general.
Ian prods the dead guy with his cane. "Definitely dead," he pronounces.
As others fill in, Mattheu slips to the side to be left staring at the body that is leaned against the wall. A nod to Raja, "Doesn't look your style anyway. I would have to assume that Cullers would be much cleaner than this. Especially in working with my house over the years. Less one of my brothers pissed ya off. Though I would also assume Athaur would have said not to bother in talking with any of the Cullers then." He looks at the body for a moment then over to the others as they come in, a little wave to Denica, Jan, and Ian. With an attempt at a softer voice to Raja, which still carries within the small hallway of the alley and brick. "Love the lighting back here."
"I've faith that the Iron Guard won't catch you," Denica takes a poke at authority to start off the evening. Good-natured smile on her face, she starts to look around a little. Peeking about, trying not to get distracted by art.
Jan tilts her head "I have no idea what the protocol is in the city. Shall we chuck him in the harbor or try to figure out who the fuck he is? thank gods he's a fresh-er corpse. Moving corpses once they've started to bloat is the fucking worse."
Loramus checks perception and investigation at normal. Loramus is successful.
The distinctive blue tint to the light back here certainly makes it unique as murder scenes go. Lending everything and especially the blood a strange almost alien cast.
Denica checks perception and occult at normal. Denica marginally fails.
Raja sort of looks at Mattheu oddly, almost as if she wasn't sure what he was talking about. Then she folds her arms. "I own my shit. This ain't mine." She says to Mattheu. "Besides, I keep my murdering to slavers of late." She then sighs and moves closer to the body. She pokes at it, searching it's pockets. "I have no idea who he is, Ian. I thought he was just some bum passed out drunk until I realized he wasn't. Imagine finding a body in your own garden.. " She also checks for wound areas.
"Does he have any notes or a mark upon them?" Mattheu asks as he tries to stay out of the way of the others that keep poking and proding at the body.
Raja checks perception and medicine at normal. Raja fails.
Jan checks perception and medicine at normal. Critical Success! Jan is spectacularly successful.
Raja says, "I mean, he looks dead to me.."
Peeking around, Denica tries to get a better sense of something. She's looking with some sort of intent in mind, but then shrugs a little. Lips press together and move back and forth, eyebrows scrunch together.
Jan wanders over and kneels to see if she can find the wound-then looks for more and then lifts each of the man's hands and flips it over palm up to examine then does the same with the other. She seems far too comfortable examining corpses but one gets the sense she's spent an unreasonable amount of time around the dead.
Canting her head to the side, the short princess opines, "I found it curious how he's placed here. You know at the foot of the statue." The woman takes a step back and Denica looks from the top of the statue down and then shrugs, "not sure what it means though."
"He could have just died here," Ian points out to Denica. "Are you sure someone put him here?"
"We are close to the casino. I've seen some shady folks around there." Mattheu nods in helping aid to Ian's thoughts.
Raja looks him over just a bit more. "Well. I think I figured out how he died. He somehow sprung holes. He's got more holes than the city got tunnels." She lifts the poor guy's shirt, pointing to the holes. "We need some more light. I am going inside to get some lanterns." Raja stands up and pulls out her keys to head inside.
Loramus's eyes remains unfocused for a long, lingering period of time as the chaos of so many people swirls about the dark alley. After almost a minute, he softly steps, probably unnoticed, to a small section of the courtyard. He idly pulls a leaf slightly closer, dabs his fingertip on it, then places the fingertip on his tongue. He frowns, deeply.
His eyes cast left, then right, then he nods as he kneels, dropping to one knee to pull a bloody knife from beneath the fronds of some leafy plant with an old rag. Tacky blood remains on it. "Raja..." His mellifluous baritone voice cuts into the general din. "The fight happened here. Blood. There....there...there. It wasn't a clean cut, from behind. It was a fight."
Jan sighs, "Well, he hasn't gotten stiff so he's not been dead more than a couple of hours. He's got a cut on his palm and the wound looks like they jack-rabbited the stabbing." she mimes it, like she's shivving him in rapid-fire motion "So, reckon he didn't see it coming and he bled out pretty quick, "There'd be a LOT of fucking blood if he died here. Someone took his valuables and dumped him here. Don't think anyone's fucked with the body since he was dumped here. Definitely wasn't killed here. There's no blood on the statue or around here I can see." She looks around "Maybe not killed far from here as hauling a corpse around does tend to get noticed. Not that I know what finding where he was murdered answers."
The body has definitely been looted. His boots are gone. The buckle on his belt has gone. Several buttons on his shirt have been ripped clean off and the inner pocket where some like to hide purses has been ripped away too.
Loramus nods to Jan, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. "The attack happened right there, I reckon. It's all over the leaves, soaked into the ground here."
Ian wanders over to the place Loramus points out and, from there, scans around him, identifying sightlines. "Wonder what he was doing back here. Doesn't seem like much of a reason to be in this part of the city."
Raja checks intellect and smithing at hard. Raja is successful.
Jan turns and inspects "oh, yup, there it is." she hrrms "Desperation buuut someone long enough to carry not drag the body to where he was propped up."
Denica checks perception and artwork at normal. Denica is successful.
Loramus checks perception and investigation at normal. Loramus marginally fails.
Standing where the fight took place, Ian takes in the windows that would best overlook the location and points them out. "If we wanted to knock on doors, we could do worse than to start with those. Fights are usually pretty loud."
Mattheu mumbles his words some, "I mean... If it were a body that needed to be moved. There's plenty of carts about. Could have loaded them up from the lowers, slipped through the gates when the guards were low." He has a silly smile, "Not that I would know when that is..."
Raja places both hands on her knees to push herself back to standing. She eyes Loramus and arches a brow at what he says, then to Jan and her spectacular knowledge of how the person died. "You know, that's sort of scary, Jan. Did you steal this poor bloke's shoes?"
She makes her way closer to Loramus and gestures to the knife. "Hmm." She turns it over in her hands, looking it over. "This was made in that shop near the docks. A mass producer of cheap ass shit." She offers the blade back to Loramus, "But, that is a knife used /very/ frequently by dock workers. Though, there are a /lot/ of dock workers."
Loramus's head shakes. "The assailaint....ran off this way." He takes a few halting steps in the direction of the gate, then blows out a soft breath. "But..that's it. That's all I see. I am no tracker." He runs his finger around the partial bootprint in the mud. "If only there were a way to match this to a person."
Ian checks perception and streetwise at hard. Ian fails.
Ian wanders over to have a look at the boot print that Loramus indicated. He's able to follow the path all of a couple of feet to a point where a deep shadow falls across the street, at which point it seems to dawn on him that he's going to have to do a lot of kneeling down to follow this trail, which is apparently a bridge too far. He just shakes his head. "Too much mud tracked on the street."
Jan's eyebrows lift "You have seen how ridiculously spoiled I am woman, the fuck would I want with this queef-huffer's boots? I have seen wounds like this before, they're pretty distinctive is all. And Loramus found the lake of blood the poor man spilled. What's our goal here? To find out who he is or find the culprit?"
Mattheu checks charm and manipulation at hard. Mattheu is successful.
2 Culler Brutes have been dismissed.
1 Culler Boatswain have been dismissed.
Clowder of the Nine, they have been fed don't let them trick you have been dismissed.
Ian returns from his failed attempt at tracking someone over pavement in the dark. "I'm not sure catching the person responsible is possible," he admits. "But whoever this guy is, he might have a family who'd want to know what happened to him."
Loramus offers a vague shrug to Ian, then answers, "Could be, the list of people who want to kill the man is short enough that we'd only need to talk to a few people, too. It's not as if most men have a list of would-be killers long as their arm." He pauses. "Most of us, anyhow."
Ian raises his eyebrows to Loramus. "Depends on how much money he had on him."
Jan lifts an eyebrow "If he had heavy pockets you think they'd bother to steal his damn buttons?"
Denica Curious blues revisit the lines of the lewd statue. Then Denica shakes her head, ebony curls bouncing about. "Well, I can say with some certainty...the statue has nothing to do with the murder." Did anyone have that question? Who knows, at least Denica seems sure of herself and then she looks back at everyone.
Raja gestures to the dagger. "I am sure the killer will be found at the docks. Or someone knows something." This is said towards Jan. "If they are a dock worker, there is a chance the one responsible might want to live it up. Maybe check the Murder too."
"Unless they were assasinated which.. this whole thing could be staged."
"So..." Mattheu slips from his wallflowering pose to check with the neighbors in the area. Gone for a while, his voice and bells carry through the streets as he knocks on a door, proceeds to apologize for the hour and in a flourished bow, more bells, some carrying of his words in *suggesting it is in the best interest of them to fess up in any knowledge of what might have been seen about*. Finally making his way back to the alley, he's got a meat pie within small flaxen cloth as if someone offered him dinner to go away. Smile on his lips as he licks at his fingers, "The neighbors here are awfully nice." A nod to Raja, "If you're looking for a bite to eat, there's a lovely couple in their sixties? Or so. Just over there, about three houses down. Nice woman. Reminds me of Amelia. Good pies too." A cover over his mouth as he belches and looks to his rucksack to try and find something to wash the meat pie down with. "Anyway. She said it was a couple of hours ago. Two men were arguing in the garden, something about money."
The question from Jan has Ian angling his head a little bit, thoughtful. He goes back over to the body.
Loramus says, "Well. Most cutpurses don't want a fight. This man was stabbed with a cheap piece of shit work knife. No paid killer did this. Any knifeman has tools for his trade. A cutpurse....well. His task is right there, in the name. " He raises a hand to forestall the obvious argument. "Yes, maybe he was caught in the act...but why so many wounds? That looks like anger, not surprise or a robbery.
And then Mattheu speaks, and Loramus chuckles. "Or, apparently, it is both things?"
After everyone has spent time investigating the body and the circumstances around his death it seems like everything there is to be found here, has been found. You need to decide what to do with the body tonight and then you need to retire for the night to wait for the city to wake up - So that any investigation you wish to do can begin.
Denica Looking down at the body, the princess starts to pull out her sketch book and charcoal from her bag. Flipping it open, the young woman starts to sketch. Denica goes quiet but she is in her element. The young woman is paying attention to the features of his face, "I can make a couple copies," she says idly. Line here, curve there, squiggle, much shading. The charcoal moves across the parchment. "Then it might make it easier to identify him if people can see what he looks like."
Ian checks perception and streetwise at normal. Ian is successful.
Denica checks dexterity and artwork at normal. Critical Success! Denica is spectacularly successful.
Jan sighs "Assassins are...uh. Cleaner. More confident. This was frenzied, frenetic. If they wanted to stage it there's no need to take his buttons." She looks towards Denica "Could you-oh, you're already sketching, fantastic. I don't know what else to do but ask around."
Loramus checks perception and investigation at normal. Loramus is successful.
With a resigned sigh, Ian drops to his knees to start looking the body over, first checking to see if all of the buttons are gone (they are), and then going through the dead man's pockets. Like Jan, he's not squeamish to be looking over a corpse this way. He takes a piece of paper out of one of the unbroken pockets and opens it, then looks it over. "Oh. This is about gambling." He offers up to Raja a slip of paper, an invitation to a gambling game of some kind taking place at 'The Blue Jay'. "Are all the places around here named for colors?"
Jan snorts "Kill him and take his buttons, yes that'll cover his debts. What a fucking waste." She rolls her eyes and shakes her head, "Yeah, an assassin would have taken that with them."
"Depends upon the buttons." Mattheu offers as he finishes up the meal he was offered to go away. "There could be something about the buttons too?" He pulls at one of his scarves, "Especially if they're like some of my bells. You'd know they were my bells by how they carvings and engravings are set. Maybe his buttons were the same?"
Loramus kneels next to Ian, taking the man's hands in his. His lifts them, squinting, looking very closely indeed. Then he glances to Ian, lifting one hand. "Not a callous to be found. No scars in the palms or knuckles to speak of. Soft hands, like a bathhouse woman's." He frowns thoughtfully. "No ink stains. That rules out scholar or writer. I've never seen this man. He does not perform for a living. So not an actor or performer." He looks to Ian. "Messenger?"
Ian looks down at the ground for a moment, like he's trying to decide how he's going to get up again. "Or track him down and take his winnings." He looks up at Jan. "You've got a lot more respect for assassins than I think they deserve, unless you're talking about the Smiling Shadows. Most hired killers are pretty sloppy." He shrugs to Loramus. "We'd probably be able to find that out for sure at the Blue Jay. The list of people gambling there can't have been long."
Nimble fingers continue to work across the parchment as she captures the essence that is random corpse in alleyway. The young woman really gets into her art, she's immersed in it. The dark dust coats her fingertips with its dark remains. Then she holds it up, it's truly a masterpiece. The princess has captured the man's very essence, she looks between the corpse and the drawing. The woman is satisfied. Then she frowns a little then listening to the conversation and she lets out a breath. There's a small nod to Mattheu, "they could be distinctive, like on a uniform...," she agrees and then Loramus's comment on messenger clicks and she 'hms'.
Raja listens to each person, gaining more insight as each person speaks. The paper that was offered would cause her pause. "This paper is key to who he is. We could show that surprisingly accurate drawing of him to the people there.. I think the dagger tells us about the killer. But. What.The.Fuck.Do.I.Do.With.Him?"
Mattheu checks luck at hard. Mattheu is successful.
Jan looks annoyed "Don't tell me what I think, cousin. I don't respect assassins but those who make a living of it tend to follow some predictable habits and THIS doesn't match what I know those habits to be. A thug or some opportunistic scab? Yeah. You want to judge me for that opinon go right on ahead." She shrugs and rubs the back of the neck "so what the fuck do we do with the fucking body?"
Ian shrugs. "I was hoping to work out who he was so we could hand him over to his family." Struggling to his feet again is a chore, making it clear why he was so hesitant, before, to do the kind of kneeling down that tracking someone in the dark would have required. It takes him a couple of tries.
Jan offers Ian a hand up but doesn't seem insulted if he refuses and continues to try on his own.
With the pie gone, flaxen cloth folded up and tucked into pouch on his hip. Mattheu crouches down to finally take a closer look to the body. "He looks familiar?" Only to sit down in the muck of the alley and stare at the body as if trying to see them alive, or in a different light. "I don't want to think this morbid, but can anyone move his head so he's looking to the ground as if ashamed that he tripped and fell into the creek? I swear he looks familiar."
Raja glances to Mattheu. "That is oddly specific.
"I mean. Um..." Mattheu looks back to Raja. "Look. I have this thing where I remember folks that fall into the creek. Especially this one who if they are who I think they are, made the trip after launching themselves in trying to dodge my cat."
Raja glances to Mattheu. "That is oddly specific." She says in a dubious manner. Umm. Ian, I think we can figure it out with that drawing at the Blue Jay."
"Give me a hand up," Ian says to Raja. "Do you know where the Blue Jay is? The name's not familiar to me, but I'm guessing it's not far from here."
Loramus pushes to his feet, wordlessly moving behind and to the left of Raja. He idly begins flipping a small coin up into the air, a habit that seems almost nervous, really. He looks to Raja, then. "I could begin to ask around if I had a copy of that....."
Jan drops her hand and lifts an eyebrow as Ian asks Raja for a hand up. She shrugs and scans the area slowly with a small thoughtful frown.
Raja checks perception and streetwise at easy. Raja is successful.
Raja glances between Jan and Ian. She says nothing, reaching out to help Ian to his feet. "Recently, they been meeting over in the alley behind the crooked streetlamp. Its not a good place. Its fueled by greed, mistrust, and drunkeness. Its the place you go when youve been kicked out of every where else." She looks to Loramus, "You are probably the best man for the place."
Loramus frowns to Raja, then though he does smile at the same time. That sort of facial kung-fu is probably impressive. "I...am not sure what to say to that, Raja. But I'll poke around."
Ian puts a hand briefly on Raja's shoulder to steady himself after she hauls him to his feet. "Sounds like the kind of get place to get yourself killed in," he comments.
Jan hrrms "Any reason we shouldn't make the body the Guard's problem while we look into things? all my ideas for dealing with it are..uh. Disrespectful."
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