RP Crowsong

"Could be," Smoke answered, apparently missing Dzwonyr's tone. "But I don't see why they'd bother hiring something like that to kill him." She tromped up the stairs, the dust adding to the muck on the hem of her vestments. The sight they were met with at the top of the stairs didn't exactly enthuse her, either. More dust, more signs of neglect, more mystery.

"Well, this is..." She trailed off, unable to think of a descriptor that wouldn't come off as disparaging in her present mood. She stepped out of the doorway to let Dzwonyr pass through behind her.

Maybe Pyotr had been dead for weeks, and the creature downstairs had just been aping his motions through that time. Or maybe he really had gone completely insane.

The cleric wandered over to the desk, scanning it, before turning and giving the room another look.

"Is it worth rummaging through his luggage?"
 
Pyotr's frozen face stared back at Aibek with open whited out eyes and a slack jawed mouth. He hadn't even had a chance to meet the man and there he was, decomposing in front of him.
I should probably get back inside.

"He sure as shit is dead." He muttered, unscrewing the cap of his flask and throwing back a swig of thick sweet liquor. "I couldn't tell you why though, no injuries." He shook the rain off his back and dragged his feet back to a seat to sink into it, his legs too long to find a comfortable position. His head was starting to hurt again.

"I also have no clue of how she dug even that much, the ground is frozen and there isnt a spade in sight. I cant bury him" The stench of death was stuck to his nostrils, forcing him to choke back a second gag, swiftly followed by another swig of liquor.

Yes, he intended on making himself useful, not to dig with his nails under pouring rain, he simply wasn't that desperate yet.

 
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"Yes, it is." Dzwonyr replied, stepping forward towards the case. "Check the desk if you can-- just look for anything that could point us in a direction. Any direction."

Kneeling down beside the luggage chest, the mercenary holstered his knife and ran his fingers along the sides, feeling for any traps or otherwise unusual markings along the surface of the box; if the chest seemed undisturbed, his hand went for the latch next, body slightly angled away from the opening as he flipped the top up and looked inside.
 
Afternoon.” Sana said amicably, or was it evening now? Either was fine perhaps, there was little reason to be picky about the time of day. Sana knelt down, resting her arms on her knees as she looked Fen over. “A shame to meet like this, but I’m sure you understand.” Fen didn’t seem concerned about the current going ons as much as she was intrigued by it. Fae always were tricky sort, but it was hard to say if that made it seem more or less likely that she had killed Pyotr.

So then, Fen is it? Fen, do you think you can tell us what happened here?” Sana said with a pleasant smile.

Sana looked back as the tall one returned giving him a nod.

I see, thank you for making the attempt for me. Perhaps Smoke can learn something later, but we’ll see if that’ll be necessary or not.
 
Fen's large eyes flickered to the firbolg, and then to the elf, staring intently.

"Already a little hole. Teeny-tiny. Scritch scratch, scritch scritch scratch, dug-down. Hard work." She huffed. "Got tired of it halfway through, but I did pretty good. He was almost underground! Good enough, yes?"

She kicked her legs, bouncing her heels against the chair.

"Didn't kill him, though. He was like that when I found him. Fen asked, hello? Mr. Sir? Are you alive? And he said nothing - nothing! Then Fen said, can I have your house, Mr. Sir? And he didn't say no, so -" The fey shrugged dramatically. "Now it's my house. My home."
 
Within the chest, what else would Dzwonyr find than personal affects of his lost friend and ally. A fine pair of leather boots, plain woolen shirts to hold heat here in the wild north, a fur lined coat. A plain brass ring, looted from a cave on one of their first journeys together as a group, still scratched from when someone tried to cut it off his finger.

Also in the chest were his weapons, still sheathed and unused. A simple longsword, one he had longer than he'd known any one of them, plain and effective. Beside it, a dagger, only slightly more decorated, still largely designed for function. Unsheathing would reveal a rather large notch in the blade, from a time they'd been ambushed by goblins on a trek back to the nearest town.

Both were set atop a brown shirt, with odd stains dotted across the fabric. Dzwonyr would recognize it instantly. For some forsaken reason, the fool had kept it, despite the fact that it had been present when it was assumed his adventuring career would be ending. Near where the abdomen would be, there was a ragged cut, surrounded by the dark staining of dried blood. It was a miracle the poison that'd been coating the blade hadn't killed him, but it had paralyzed him, partially. It was what he needed the cane for, and why the party split soon after.

[Dzwonyr : Investigation]
21

As Dzwonyr lifted this relic of the past from where it had been neatly folded, something fell out. Wrapped neatly within the shirt, a small parcel, an object wrapped again in cloth. Pyotr was not one to keep something hidden like this.

[Smoke : Investigation]
6

Meanwhile, the desk. Ashen Smoke began to search, but unfortunately for the cleric, there was nothing immediately remarkable about the desk. It had a few carved notches on the edge, though upon further investigation there was no discernible hidden message or pattern to them. It was relatively clear, as well, with hardly a thing sitting atop its surface.

Of the few things that were still on the desk, there were a few of interest. A stack of papers, seemingly drafts of letters, arranged nicely on the bottom left corner. If she were to look closer, she would realize they were drafts for what would be later sent to them- though, oddly enough, there was one addressed to Aibek, a name she did not recognize.

The other thing of note would be a map. It wasn't one she recognized, and it certainly shouldn't be one of the local area, given that there were not trees or mountains displayed on it. It was of the interior of something- but due to the lack of notation or heading, it was impossible to say what, or where.
 
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"Do you know an Aibek?" Smoke asked, scraping her own memory as she dug through Pyotr's pyapers. "Oh--wait, is that the tall man? He never introduced himself. I've got a map here, as well. Not much else, though." She drew a finger down the windowsill, picking up a trail's worth of dust.
 
By hand?” Sana said, glancing out the window. She couldn’t see poor Potyr’s grave, but she crossed her arms for a thoughtful moment. No real proof of innocence that the Fae had actually found him dead in the story, but the little one didn’t seem like it had much malice.

Smoke might be able to come to some conclusion about how long ago Potyr had died from his body, though there’s no telling how much the cold of the earth and the rain might effect her ability to narrow such things down. Perhaps she could inquire down in the village as well about Potyr? Any habits he had been absent from for some time perhaps.

A pyre perhaps, if the earth isn’t willing to take him back.” Sana muttered, before looking back to Fen. “Pray tell, Fen, how long ago did this happen?” Sana asked.
 
"Not long-like, give or give, or take or take," Fen said idly. She looked around the room. "Been a day and a day and half-a-day more since Fen came upon here."

She shrugged.

"He's prolly been dead a bit longer. Doubt he dropped down the moment I walked in on him, yes? That'd be very silly."
 
Dzwonyr's movements were practiced, efficient. He was no stranger to thievery, no stranger to rifling through other men's belongings, and the act of combing the chest was second nature; the contents, however, gave him pause. Memory burdened his movements, and before long, his pace slowed as he turned over each piece of memorabilia-- his search turning from that of a thief in the night to a moment of recollection for a fallen ally.

One of the finest men Dzwonyr had known. Dead, in the dirt. Forever.

His eye burned and he overturned the shirt, gaze falling to the slipped parcel. Quickly, he picked it up from the chest, standing up and moving to the desk. A passing glance was given to Smoke at her inquiry before it fell back to the parcel he'd placed upon the table. "I don't know an Aibek," He stated. "Could be the big fuck downstairs. Could be anyone. Could be the damned fairy. Might as well ask."

And with that, he unraveled the parcel, examining its contents with a furrowed brow.
 
The fae claimed to have found him already dead; a rather convenient explanation, but they didn't yet know the cause. Far be it from her to take one as suspicious as this at their word, but Felys wasn't left with many other alternatives. The other party members seemed more adept at investigations, anyway. She usually just observed.

"I don't suppose you know what killed him, do you?"
 
"A pyre might not take, not if the rain doesn't subside." He groaned, attempting to stretch out his legs, finding very little room to do so. "And he.. he looked more than a day and a half dead to me. I am no expert though."

Rolling the amulet hanging from his neck between his fingers, more questions filled his mind than ever. Something was up, clearly, but was this fey a wrench in the greater plan, or was she a solid part of it? Was the letter a mistake at all, was this Pyotr guy told to invite him, or did he know him? If so, how?

 
The cloth unfolded, and from within fell a small stone, no larger than a fingernail. It landed with a small thwip on a pair of pants, landing softly amongst the clothes in the chest, only rolling a small ways before settling. It seemed rather unremarkable, roughly round and grey in color. It would have been strange for anyone, much less Pyotr, to keep a pebble, especially so hidden.

As Dzwonyr lifted it between two fingers, the surface of the stone rippled, changing shape and dimensions for a moment at his touch, elongating into more of a shard than a rock. It was thin, and pointed at one end, and the grey stone had given way to flecks of clear white, reminiscent of quartz.

-----

As they worked to interrogate Fen, the rain began to let up slightly, turning from a downpour to a much more pleasant light rain, a sound that in any other set of circumstances would have been relaxing. Unfortunately, little ground had been made into determining what had been the ultimate end of Pyotr, and so relaxation was still at arms length.

This issue would only be compounded, for as the questioning seemed to slow, another unpredicted element made itself known. Someone, rather aggressively, knocked at the door. Then, without pause for anyone to answer, the knob turned, and whoever it was let themselves inside, hunched beneath a cloak from the rain outside.

They didn't look at the four gathered in the living space, instead turning to push the door shut behind them, shivering with a much-too-loud "Brrr!" They began to kick of waterlogged boots, and spoke, seemingly to Pyotr, who was clearly not present. "Would it kill you to start a fire? It's cold out, with the rain, and I need some warmth in my bones," they- she- said, flipping her appropriately drenched cloak from her shoulders to hang next to the door, unintentionally misting the four behind her that she had yet to notice.

Most of her figure was obscured from view by thick, black curled hair, lined with streaks of silver, rendered a mess from the hood of the cloak, the pack on her back, and the rain. "Didn't you say you had some friends comin'? They'll want a fire too, what with the storms. Pretty inconsiderate of you, Old Man," she said as her boots came free. Continuing, she turned, finally. "Can't imagine it'll be the best welcome to- oh."

The woman froze, a look of surprise plastered on her face. It was clear she had meant to beat them here this morning, though clearly had been a few minutes too late. Her skin was dark, contrasted by the silver of her hair and eyes, and as she took a moment to collect herself, she began, as if on autopilot, to the abandoned and cold fireplace. "It- ah, seems I'm a bit late to the party. Where's the Old Man? Upstairs?"
 
"I guess!" Right now, asking a stranger for his name felt like the biggest chore in the world. Smoke would rather be arms-deep in the corpse of her old and dear friend, which was, well. Rather depressing. She really need to find more opportunities to socialize.

She picked up the map, folded it neatly, nearly shoved it into a pocket in her still-soaking-wet vestments, thought better of it, and stored it in a pocket on her mostly-waterproofed pack instead. "Well, it sounds like somebody new's shown up downstairs. Anything interesting in that--whatever that was?"
 
Fen stopped kicking her legs, instead slumping back in the chair with a light slouch, putting a bit of strain on her bindings. She thought all of this was going to be a bit more - exciting. It was all well and well to do that she wasn't being callously cut to bits and fried up for lunch by the angry mayflies, but when they'd launched into the whole questioning bit, she'd expected a bit more drama, a bit more wailing, a bit more...

anything, really! Anything beyond a bit of moping and endless faffing about while asking questions they probably maybe definitely already knew the answers to.

"If I was around when he died I'da known what killed him," she said, slightly exasperated, "But I wasn't, so I didn't, so thatsit."

She wriggled a bit in the seat.

"Don't like this game. Not for Fens. Not sitting around in chairs doing nothing. Bah. Bahhh."

A newcomer pushed into the door, suddenly. Ah! - maybe that'd spice things up. Craning her neck - hat flopping as she did - Fen grinned at the new face.

"Downstairs. In the dirt," she said cheerfully. "Less Fluffy Earflop pulled him out again."
 
Always the sky I suppose, though I wouldn’t fancy lashing a platform in this weather.” Sana said with a faint sigh. The arrival of another put a pause on any question of alternative burials or questioning the little Fen about what had happened when she arrived. If the little one’s account was believed, it seemed Potyr had passed on in his own time, and not someone else’s.

Welcome, though I wish it was under different circumstances.” Sana said, dabbing away the spray of water with the back of her hand. “Potyr passed away some time before we arrived, and Fen here seems to have laid claim to his house.” Sana said, raising to her feet.

We haven’t yet determined how he passed, if you don’t mind me asking before pleasantries, when was the last time you saw Potyr alive? And how did he seem at that time?” If he had been ill that might help answer some of the questions.
 
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