Participants:

Sebastian_icon.gif Alexia_icon.gif

Scene Title Before the Guard
Synopsis Sebastian takes a matter to the city guard.
Location Guard Barracks
Date Justinian 20, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For The mention of murder
Logger Sebastian

The Viscount's keep is a maze of steps, corridors, doors, and offices, important areas marked by red carpeting that serves to lead visitors to their destinations. There is a hall that leads to the guard's barracks in the southern wing, along with the Guard Captain's office. The Viscount's office and Seneschal's office are situated in the northern wing. The eastern wing houses the throne room which is used for the conduct of public ceremonies as well as the coronation of the new Viscount or Viscountess. Every space open to public view is festooned with rich draperies and banners, all aimed at making the common citizen feel small and foreigners even smaller.

Obligation drove Sebastian to the Viscount's Keep, to not seek out the Viscount himself, no, that would take days and various trials in trying to convince Meredith that he was important enough to merit a visit with the Viscount — most knew who really held the strings there. Instead, Sebastian was seeking the City Guard. They had been given the duty, above the Chantry and Foreign aid, to be responsible for Kirkwall's law and justice. He figured they should at least account to know the news of what has happened. Maybe they could give him some insight on what they were doing for the justice his family needed. Maybe, well, maybe that one would /have/ to go to the Viscount. Either way, he meandered toward the City Guard quarters, intending to speak with someone, a representative, whoever he saw first. Maybe who ever was on duty. He was wearing his armor, perhaps, to come off more fierce than what those robes were. But then, maybe the comment from that man the other night got to him. He shrugs his shoulders, climbs the stairs, goes down the hallway, then turns to the head quarters for the guard, looking to file a report with someone.

Alexia is just leaving the barracks area, dressed and equipped for duty and headed for the streets. She notes Sebastian's approach as she passes the Guard Captain's office, but does not immediately react. This man is entirely too well and formidably dressed to be any of her business. Probably a matter for the Captain…

Sebastian glances at Alexia as she passes by. Well, seems she's in arms reach. Isn't she fortunate?! "Excuse me, Serah, but there is a matter I wish to bring forward to the City Guard." The Guard Captain, after all, may be just as busy as the Viscount. "Would you be able to assist?" While he shouldered his bow and quiver, a normal thing to do when you're dressed in armor, he didn't look completely severe or menacing. Certainly no intention of using it. There's likely a reason he's in the gear.

Alexia pauses, looking at the speaker. "Usually such matters are taken to the Guard Captain," she replies, civilly, in a noticeable Orlesian accent. "But he is presently out. I will try to assist, as much as I can. Unless you wish to leave a message, of course."

Sebastian's own accent rolls in a Starkhaven burr, announcing he was a man of the Free Marches, if the evident features did not indicate as much. "The Guard Captain," he thoughtfully glances toward the office, then back toward the guard he has presently cornered, "I could give the report to you, as it will not change the outcome of what has already occurred." He knits his brows in thought, "Yes. It'll be sufficient to leave word with you. If you would, provide me your name so that if questioned regarding it, I can state who aided me?" By his own extension he offers, "I'm Sebastian Vael, Chantry Brother and prince of Starkhaven."

Alexia frowns thoughtfully. "Alexia. Well met, Your Highness," she replies civilly, bowing her head briefly. "I will make sure the Captain is informed of the matter Now… what is the matter?" she asks, resisting an urge to smile; the question sounds and feels rather like addressing a weeping child, somehow.

"Alexia," he says to cement the name into his memory, unsure of how to address the matter of his title used formally. Maybe he should stop going around telling everyone he was the prince of Starkhaven, but, didn't he have a duty too?! The confliction on his face lasts for a brief moment before he nods, "Thank you, Serah." The Vael pauses briefly for the tone used to him, but, he goes on, bold faced, "Murder, Serah. The unaccounted murder of one Starkhaven man just beyond the city limits, on the Wounded Coast. An acquaintance and I discovered the body not too long ago and last night, recovered the man's head, in a cave close to the city walls. He's between twenty to thirty years of age, was a blonde haired fellow, with a crest of one of the Starkhaven Houses on it - which one we cannot specifically note for the fact it was chewed off… but, enough to know it was there." He is quick to throw all the information out at once, "I meant to come forward with this information sooner, as it would be under your jurisdiction to investigate, further." He sucks in a breath of air, "Being of Starkhaven myself, I felt a need to track the trail myself. As you may have heard, my entire family was recently put to death by the Flint Company. I had suspicions this was linked." Overwhelmed yet?

Alexia listens, blinking, eyes growing wider as the volume of information grows… and grows… and just keeps growing. "I… see. You said the crest was /chewed off/? I wonder… what of the injuries upon the body? And the beheading? I mean, were they accomplished by a blade, or by teeth or claws? It might be an attack by wild animals rather than a murder. And there seems to be some rumor of darkspawn, but those are rather distant from Kirkwall." She pauses, taking a deep breath. "I apologize… I have a habit of thinking aloud. I also wonder if this Flint Company, whoever they are, might keep attack animals."

Sebastian is completely unaware that the amount of information he is directing at her might be the cause of her eyes growing wider. Really, it could be a normal reaction to the gravity of the situation. "Yes, chewed. We discovered the remains of the deceased because Mabari's were fighting over the… limbs. It was gruesome, truthfully. We put the Mabari's down, immediately. Can't have feral beasts chewing on other people because they caught the taste of human flesh." He hooks a thumb into his belt, adding, "So all that was left to see was the standard boarder of the crest. It was Starkhaven, I would know it." His burring voice rumbles, "We thought at first, it was an animal. Potentially a werewolf - the theories suggested as much. Alas, we found the head in a cave, as I said, and the injury was clearly made by a blade, not fangs or claws. The man's throat had been cut from the front and his head decapitated. There were signs in that cave someone had camped there, but, it's two days old at least." He frowns, "We suspect a person is guilty of it. Not a beast. The Mabari just, happened to eat the remains of the body dumped." He waves a hand at her talk out loud, "It merits questions and calculation out loud is natural. I do it all the time." Cue the Sebastian smile. Tweak of lips.

"I see. Clearly done by a person, and the cutting of the throat suggests a surprise attack, or perhaps an execution. The decapitation also suggests that the killing was meant to send a message. Your typical highwayman doesn't go through all the trouble of slitting a throat and cutting off his head besides," Alexia muses, nodding. "I suppose the first thing to do is check all of the neighboring communities where a Starkhaven might be found. See if anyone is missing. At least we can find out who the man was."

She pauses, arms crossed over her breast, chin sunk down on her chest in deep thought. "Once we have that, we may be able to find out if he had any enemies who might want his head badly enough to cut it off and leave it in some convenient cave. Possibly this Flint Company you mentioned… who /are/ they, by the way? Also, we may want to revisit that campsite in the cave. Just in case something was missed."

"Exactly, I like your thinking Serah," Sebastian says this about her conclusion that the killing was meant to send a message, and that it couldn't possibly be a normal highwayman attack. Normal. Well, this was the Free Marches. "Would you issue some sort of bulletin?" You being the guards, "To help draw out anyone missing a family member?" Because really, Starkhaven itself was huge, let alone all the communities in and around the largest city-state in the Free Marches. He waits for a moment, seeing that she's concentrating on some thought. "The Flint Company are a band of hired assassins, who, were recently deployed and successful in the murder of my family." He nods at the mention of revisiting the cave, "Yes. I imagine you would say that. I can take you there if you like, or you can investigate it with others you trust." He fishes something out of pocket, a map, "This is the cave here. I marked it, suspecting the Guard would want to know exactly where it was."

"The Captain would really be the one to speak to about a notice… I will mention it to him with the rest," Alexia replies, nodding quietly. "Yes, please… we'll both go. Whenever you are ready to do so." Then she falls silent again. "It occurs to me that there is one other reason to claim a head in that manner… as proof of a death, to provide to a superior for that reason, or to claim a bounty on that person. Would this Flint Company try to claim or pay out bounties?"

"Good, that's very good Serah. Hopefully the Maker will provide us answers," he sounds encouraged at the very least, steadfast in faith. As for going, he squints as if debating his time to do so this very moment. He's already geared up. "That is a fair point, though beckons the reason for it being left behind. There was signs someone was squatting in the cave but left and it matches the time for decomposition to the head - so the Dwarf said." He purses his lips, then nods, "Likely. How else can an assassin prove his mark acheived? Some evidence is required. But no tokens were removed, that we could find." A beat, "Perhaps you should report this to your Captain and after, we can travel to the cave."

"It is possible that the assassin had to leave the site in a hurry and forgot the head in the process," Alexia suggests. "It is odd all by itself that it was just left there. It would have made more sense not to remove the head in the first place than to cut it off and abandon it somewhere." At his suggestion, she nods emphatically. "I shall, Your Highness, and right away at that. This may take a few minutes. I will need to write it all out."

"It is very strange," Sebastian agrees, "To leave the head after taking the effort to remove it." He tilts his head, "It does look like the cave was the site of the murder, for the amount of blood in the pool — a pool of water that we found it by. The head was in line with other rocks." He squints, then waves off whatever thought he had nearly surfacing. "Take all the time you need, I'll be available to answer questions you may have. And Bronan Kodas, the dwarf who came along with me, might be another individual you should speak with. He has, hrm, more detailed information on the state of the body."

"Killed in the cave, then… curious that the body was not simply left there with the head, attached or not. Why dump it somewhere else? It was far less likely to be found in the cave," Alexia murmurs. "Unless they /wanted/ it to be found, and not identified. But the Mabari ruined that. So many things just don't quite add up. As for Bronan, I am acquainted with him, and he seems trustrworthy. I will not be sorry to have him with us. But for now, I must see to making out a report on the information you have given me, for the Captain… so I must regretfully bid you good day, Your Highness. I may be reached here at your pleasure." Bowing her head once more, she turns and steps into the office.


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