If you have any last-minute questions for the officer, now is the time! 😀
Besides the few additional questions he asked of some of the group, the officer was mostly silent other than the skritch skritch of his pencil as he took notes. When the Parnathi mentioned the removal of the dwarf's tongue, the dragonborne curled his lip in weary disgust; apparently he'd seen this calling card before.
At length, he looked thoughtful. "Did any of you see any sign of a leather case or bag?" He pointed at his right forearm. "It would have been manacled to his wrist."
Mr. Galavrakas looked perplexed for a moment, and then his eyes went wide. "That's right! Mr. Overlook always carried that bag with him!" The conservus then shook his head. "No, no, I didn't see it; whoever killed him must have taken it, I suppose."
After verifying that none of the other four had seen such a bag, Orkrestes grumbled to himself, a sound of frustration from deep within his chest. Then he tucked his notebook and pencil away, and looked each person present and nodded. "Thank you for your assistance; Mr. Galavrakas, if you could keep "Mr. Overlook's" room untouched, we'll be sending a specialist to have a look 'round later this afternoon."
The massive dragonborne then turned to Danica and grunted, "Hold out your hand." When she obediently complied, he reached into his pouch and fetched a waxed paper packet of sweets, which he gently placed into her scaly palm before giving her a wink.
"Ladies and gentlemen, unless there's is anything else, I will take my leave of you."
You can go into as much or as little detail as you want in your description of what you saw to the watch officer. However if you're specifically not mentioning something you saw, do please indicate that.
Once the kettle whistled, Mr. Galavrakas poured out cups of hibiscus tea for any wanted it, as well as offering a bowl of sugar lumps. The bright, tangy taste and warmth did indeed lift one's spirits.
A few moments later, a faint smell of ozone reached everyone's nostrils, and those with hair felt it rise on their arms and the back of their necks. These sensations heralded the arrival of a massive blue-scaled dragonborn who had to stoop to fit his spiky head under the office doorway. He wore chain mail under an off-white tabard depicting the stylized heads of a goat, lion and a serpent; this symbol plus his dark maroon cloak marked him as one of the Chimeres, the city watch of Heliopolis.
As he entered the chamber, he removed his helmet and tucked it one arm, then leaned his poleaxe carefully against the wall before nodding at each of the room's occupants like a dutiful schoolboy.
"Ladies, gentlemen, Mr. Galavrakas." His voice rumbled deep in his chest, but his tone was humble, not intimidating. "I am Officer Orkestes; how do you do." He indicated the young tortle girl with a nod. "I need to speak with the little one; is that okay, miss?"
Danika peeked out of her shell, looked the seven foot tall watch officer up and down for a moment, then mutely nodded.
"Thank you, miss. Here, I have something for you." Slowly he knelt down on one knee, his thick tail coiling under him for support, as he reached into the pouch on his belt. "Hold out your hand." When she nervously did so, he gingerly deposited a tasty-looking mixture of nuts and dried fruits in the middle of her small palm, which she eagerly munched on as he continued to talk.
"So I have to ask you a few questions about what you saw, and then write down your answers in a notebook. Is that alright? Good. Now, were you outside playing...?"
What commenced was a surprisingly sensitive and relatively short 'interrogation'. It was soon clear that Danika hadn't seen very much, and that the very act of describing what little she did see was very upsetting to her. The Chimera quickly wrapped up his questions, and then turned to the adults in the room.
"I'd like to question the rest of you, without- " He grimaced sympathetically as he gestured towards Danika.
"My wife can look after her," offered the conservus. "She baked some sweetbread this morning, and she dotes on the girl."
"Perfect, thank you."
At the mention of sweetbread, the tortle girl perked up noticeably, and she eagerly followed Mr. Galavrakas out of the office. Once she was gone, Officer Orkestes stood up and swung his head to look the remaing adults inquisitively as he once again took up his pencil and notebook.
"So, who wants to go first?"
The conservus looked from one face to another, nodding his head. "You can bring her into my office; it's dry, and I can make her some hot hibiscus tea. Would you like that, Danika?"
The tortle had finally allowed her little head to pop out of her shell, just far enough for her tear-stained eyes to be visible, and nodded her head.
"Good! My mother always said things are brighter after a cup of hibiscus tea." He turned to the two strangers and nodded. 'My name is Galavrakas, by the way. Cosmo Galavrakas." In response to Kimmiz' question, he merely sighed and shrugged, and to Ankabut's, he shook his head sadly and mouthed 'orphan'.
The inevitable gawkers had finally showed up, drunken revelers staring slack-jawed at the sight of the victim. Then the shrill sound of distant watch whistles pierced their foggy minds, and they began to hang back.
'Come," said Mr. Galavrakas. "Let's get out of this rain." He lead them all inside to his office, where he filled a copper kettle from an amphora and placed it on the stove to heat. Then he sat behind his desk and wearily rubbed his face. "Please, warm yourselves up; the watch will know where to find us."
The tortle girl's cries dropped in volume as Aelia comforted her; nearby, her festive straw hat lay on the stones, crumpled and stained with blood.
Arrick did notice a few details on the wax seal on the dwarf's papers; the runes 'OF', within a stylized image of a mountain. Could this poor soul have been a member of the Frostfinger banking family? If so, his wealth could not save him.
A few moments later the conservus from the Imperial Arms arrived at the scene, his wool cloak once again over his head to keep out the rain. The color left his face as soon as he spotted the body. "He's one of my tenants. Mr. Overlook, room twenty-two," he noted in a voice that struggled to leave his throat. "Uch, what an awful thing!" Seeing the sailor cradling the frightened child, he moved to Aelia's side, crouched down and rested a hand on her shoulder.
"Her name is Danika," he said softly, indicating the tortle with a nod.
Four strangers quickly made their way through the market colonnade and between the rows of empty stalls, all ears straining for the sounds of the child's cries. Her now muffled sobs led the four to a disturbing sight in a secluded corner behind the fountain: the tortle girl, her head and limbs drawn protectively into her shell, beside a pale and bloody corpse.
It appeared to be a dwarven male, middle-aged judging by the hints of gray in his hair, laying flat on his back. He was conservatively dressed in the Northern style, which must have been warm when he was alive. Thick dark blood was clotted in his beard and soaked into his shirt and cloak, and his blank pale eyes stared unblinking up into the pouring rain, which was washing thin streams of blood between the cobblestones and into the nearest sewer.
Topics I Participated In
And we're off! Please let me know if I mess up any sort of formatting used here on the board.
The Imperial Arms is the insula where you will all start out renting a room. Feel free to ask any questions before you (or after) you make your first post.
Heliopolis. Two Days before Ventres, in the Month of the Seeress, 848 IY. The First Month of the Flood. Mid-afternoon.
A city of red tile roofs and white stucco walls rising above a majestic harbor, its entrance marked by a lighthouse three hundred feet high. Home to dozens of brightly-painted temples, libraries filled with thousands of scrolls, and markets bustling with trade. Three hundred thousand souls were safely encircled within its fortified walls.
The heavy rain had come early this season, spattering the raised sidewalks still hot from the morning sun. Damp pedestrians caught in the sudden downpour huddled under awnings and balconies, watching the rainwater run down the cobbled streets and into the storm drains. Most of the shops were closed for the holiday, but the taverns and food stalls were still doing good business; after all, a little rain wasn't going to stop the Festival of Hathor! What kind of celebration of the Rising of the River would it be if people were afraid to get a little wet?
Nearby the Produce Market (today a ghost town of colonnades and wet canvas stalls snapping in the wind), a young tortle girl wearing a vest and a simple skirt was rocking from side to side in the entrance hall to the Imperial Arms, an impressive insula a full five stories high. She wore a wide-brimmed straw hat trimmed with colorful wildflowers, which contrasted with her mournful expression as she surveyed the near empty street, singing softly to herself.
"Oh rain, oh rain, I wish you'd go! I want to go and plaaay!"