Bronan_icon.gif Sebastian_icon.gif

Scene Title Walk on the Coast Act two
Synopsis The gruesome investigation of the shredded corpse found
Location Wounded Coast
Date 14 Justinian 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Bronan's awesome powers of deduction. Grizzly Gore!
Logger Sebastian

For all the assumptions Sebastian could have made, the examination of the body is actually fairly germane. Gloved hands and masked face looming over the corpse. To an unobservant eye it may look more like cleaning than anything else. "Dog attack was posthumous, he can't be more than two days old. Definitely one of yours, though…someone was definitely relying on nature to do its work, hard to tell what the original wound was." Bronan raises to his feet, looking at the corpse one last time before beginning to jog down the coast in the direction where the animals dragged the corpse. No rushed thing, but certainly more than a casual walk. Having slightly longer legs on a dwarven frame does have some advantages. "Come along Prince, we have a murder to solve." Respectful in tone, but not overly accomodating of alternate propositions."

The Starkhaven man had turned his back to the gore as Bronan went to work on studying the unfortunate remains of the deceased. It was in the name of defense of course, keeping an eye on their six, he even had his bow out again to adjust should there be further Mabari or… well, who knows what. Things get attracted to the smell of the dead, usually monsterous things, with teeth and claws. His head cants over his shoulder to consider the dwarf when he comes up with his conclusions. Before he has the chance to really ask questions, Bronan is trotting off. Sebastian squares his shoulders, pivots, regards the remains with a frown, then decides it was best to carry on after the dwarf than guard the body. Well, maybe someone would come by to do that. Hopefully before the next round of scavangers came on them. "Wait up," and then he's walking fast to keep up.

There is a trail of blood and scuffling along the coast. It is not difficult to follow.

It shouldn't be that hard to overtake him. Bronan's not walking that fast, and the difference in leg length should come into play at some point. "Your people cremate their dead, don't they Prince. In our culture it makes more sense to guard the dead, make sure they give the most of themselves to the Stone. I confess some part of me is confused about the idea of guarding a body destined for the pyre." Merely a question of priorities. Unlike the Prince, he keeps the vast majority of his weapons under flap and in pocket. Most of them prime in contact with the air, and its a bad idea to have such a blantant target. "Do your men often tattoo themselves? Does that make him someone important?" He asks even as he follows the trail of blood and hopefully minimal gore.

"Should we not guard over the remains of the dead until they have been properly seen to and set to rites?" A question for a question, which is answered a moment later, "It is grief that holds us to the bodies even if the spirits have passed into the veil. Grief that has us bind the bodies respectfully and set them to a funeral pyre. To leave the remains as they are, would be treating them no better than a mere animal. And we are not animals, Bronan." He does catch up, his langy legs in comparison to the dwarf, works on that ratio rather quickly. His eyes follow the trail, easy enough to see, keeping aware of the blood and signs of scuffle, "Why does anyone do anything? It means something to them to bear a mark of their loyalties." Simple enough, right.

The trail continues to be obvious for some time. Even scattered with a finger here and there. Eventually, even, both arms, mangled and torn.

"You preach a dual natured form, though, if my understanding of Chantry teachings is correct. a distinct difference between body and soul. If one is set free with the expiration of the other, it would seem that burial would be more a matter of sanitation than faith." Bronan says with a shrug, though it does not seem do be in any sense of argumentation. Shoulders roll back and Bronan continues to trot along. "I would not presume that any of us were, but these trails tend to be finite things. The tides, animals, we will have to take the risk he is there when we get back." A shake of his head. "I mean no offense. I was simply unaware if it marked him as someone of importance, or in service to an important man." Bronan sighs, pulling out what seems to be a rather large sack from his various materials, examining the missing limbs and digits before placing them in the bag. "If you wish to honor him, lets try and complete him sa much as we can."

ebastian's brow lifts at the measure of a body merely being burned for sanitation, "You fail to understand. We are both body and spirit. Both need to be surrendered to the Maker for us to rest peacefully. When that is not possible, the spirits…" he squints, "may linger." The debate on the subject is not necessarily heated to a sense of arguement, as Sebastian is keeping his eyes on the swivel and trying to ensure they don't walk into some orge nest or something like it. As for the rest, he nods along with Bronan, "There is none taken, of course." He'll let Bronan pick up the pieces, really, since he had the sac and all that. Sebastian goes on a head, to scout. Coming across the arms, he grunts, "Can you tell if these came off by some other means than the Mabari's teeth?"

By the way the flesh is torn and the damage to the muscle beneath, yes, this was done by jaws roughly the size of a mabari's. And the blood trail continues down a small kill to a beach below.

"I hesitatate to say its the mabari, but something with the same jaw power and size. I'm beginning to wonder if all these mabari were the results of refugees who couldn't afford to keep their dogs. Something to look into." The matter of body and spirit is neglected temporarily since he is busy putting limbs as gingerly as he can into the sack once he as studied them, following the blood trail alongside Sebastian. With the archers eyes scouting the periphery it gives Bronan the luxury of studying the trail and what leads up to the kill site in greater detail. "A fascinating point, perhaps a belief born then out of the practical need to…avoid disrupting local Fade ecology. In addition to giving proper respect to the dead." He amends.

Down on the beach, the legs of the body are found, still in a set of fine, leather boots. Or, they were once fine. The tooling is that of a noble's wear, but the wear upon them… These were in disrepair well before the elements upon the corpse had taken to them.

At least Sebastian isn't squemish, since he's doing considerably well with the dismembered body. If Bronan notes, under all their movement, the chantry Brother is muttering words of his Maker in a near whisper that barely touches his breath. "A point to consider, as the Blight brought many to seek sanctuary in Kirkwall and I'm afraid, Kirkwall is not easy on those who don't bring talent with them." He considers the trail they came from, "Dogs, would be the first to be let loose when bellies cannot be filled. The Chantry has cared for many of these cases and still, it is never enough." As they walk toward the sight of the kill, the legs come into view. "No head," he declares first off, "Arms, legs, torso… even the fingers. Where's the man's head?" He kneels, to consider the boots on the set of legs.

Bronan meanwhile puts together the corpse as best he can with the limbs they have assembled, comparing it against the sketches he made of the torso. Trying to determine the killing wound, to determine if the dogs are the sum total of the man's death or if there is something else. Examining bite marks, looking for any distinctly manmade injuries or signs of accident other than the dog bites. He doesn't say anything at first, before looking to see if the trail continues. "Seems your man is either somebody or grabbed somebody's boots. I am not so familiar with the size of Starkhaven: just how large is your noble class? A head would be preferable for identification of the body, to use the old stereotype you humans all do look rather alike." The dwarf's charcoal working overtime to sketch out the limbs, the torso, trying to put together a composite sketch.

It appears the wounds on the parts of the body that have been found are all from the dogs. And all of it appearing to be posthumous. They're no the cause, just scavengers.

Sebastian lingers upon a knee, to regard the very boots that Bronan has suggested appear to be taken or at least worn. "If it is a member of one of the Starkhaven families, he would not have need to steal boots. It could very well be that this man could have fallen on hard times, been exiled from his-" he draws pensive over that, then shakes his head, "Whoever it was, those who killed him, thought to take his head with them." He glances over toward Bronan, "How large as in our size? How large we can grow? Or how many noble families are there?" He didn't want to guess what the dwarf was going on about.

The dwarf sighs patiently. "I don't deal in absolutes unless I have evidence in front of me, Prince. If you knew dwarven politics you would know that lookalikes and infiltrators are not things out of the realm of possibility. But we shall say that given his boots and his markings, he is either one of your families or a particularly well off functionary." A pause as Sebastian makes the remarks. "All of these wounds are post mortem. The skin, the blood, he was killed before the animals started fighting over him. Possible head trauma, beheading….." Bronan begins ticking off possible causes of death on his fingers. "I mean how many of you are there. How many exiled sons are running around, so on. As fascinating as studying how large Starkhaven families grow over time would be, it helps us little with our current case unless its somehow distinct."

The exiled Prince turned Chantry Brother makes a soft sound of protest against the lecture he's getting, yet, further than that, he doesn't rise to the baiting. "You have valid points," Sebastian has to admit, with an arm crossing over his knee as he considers the facts presented before them. "Do you believe this was the spot where the man was killed? Or a spot in which his body was dumped?" The drag marks after all, had been because of scavangers. The last is answered with a haphazard shrug, "The number is insurmountable. It is the largest city in the Free Marches. There is no sure way to head count, especially when sons not born to inherit go off on their own paths, to make their own way, even those of the royal line do as much."

"So establishing motive would be difficult if not impossible at this point, if it was anything more than a random killing." Theres no bait, just simple explanation. He only goes with what he sees. Sebastien's maker can deal with the ephemeral. There is a grave sort of chuckle as Bronan studies the body, sees if it has been moved or disturbed. Trying to compare which bites came first, which were attempts to feed versus dragging motions. "Ah, for your Chantry to act like a Shaperate." Says the dwarf who has never been to Orzimmar the once. Clearly someone in that family is keeping their own private rendition of the memories colored by nostalgia. "Lets see…." Bronan says, examining the neck to determine if it was a clean cut or more of a saw and remove.

Strangely, it seems the neck area has been… The area most gnawed on by animal jaws.

With the time that has past, it is difficult to tell at first. Tracks are hard to find. But there is no staining of the sand in mass quantities that would indicate this being the site of death.

"Likely," Sebastian mutters quietly, starting to move into the realm of acceptance that they may never know who this was, unless—"I'll speak with the City Guard and review the Chantry Board. If this man was known and not a skulking lowlife, someone should have reported him missing." The Starkhaven man pushes up on his forearm, waving the flies and gnats away from his nose. He'll wait of course, to see if Bronan can come up with any other solutions.

"Still not the death site. Not enough blood, and the gore pattern is inconsistent with this being the site of death. It seems like the neck and trunk actually have some of the worst of it. Which means…" Bronan taps gloved finger against the sand, before sketching out. "So we're looking for something of sufficient intelligence to dispose of a body, but with the jaw size and strength equivelant to but likely greater than a mabari. Almost makes one suspect skin changers or lyncanthropes." Laughing in disbelief as he continues to examine the corpse. "The head removal doesn't seem to match any blade, but I don't think a mabari could scavenge a corpse this quickly unless it were starving or rabid. The ones you dealt with seemed feral, but picking at a much easier meal than skull, neck, and bone."

Sebastian rocks back on his heels as he stows his bow again over his shoulders, feeling no immediate threat in the area. He's working the bow to sit properly as the conclusion is delivered. The revelation on it being skin changers has him blink, "There had been rumor from Ferelden of such beasts, though that curse was evidently lifted by the Hero of Ferelden." Unless it hasn't. "I cannot see how they would hide in this city," Kirkwall being Kirkwall, he denies the possibility. He peers back toward the way they came, then a nod to address the matter before them, "My question is, how did they transport the body here without being seen? We may be left to witnesses."

"I'm not saying it is true, just that I'm running out of things that we know to exist that behave in this manner. Its almost more plausible than a perfectly timed assassination and a pack of mabari dismantling a body this quickly. Scavengers don't usually act this fast. They usually give it a few days, fight each other for pieces of the pie." Bronan muses, raising up from the body. "If for the sake of argument it was a werewolf of some sort, I would say along the Coast. There are plenty of caves and caverns and abandoned camps. Its entirely possible I'm wrong, but as you said, there were rumors of them in Ferelden. If say, a refugee was infected and made the trip, he could have relapsed. We should also run a sweep of the local caverns and cave systems, make sure we don't pass up any more…conventional leads." A pause as Sebastian poses his question about leads. "You can look for witnesses, but I'm assuming a daylight attack would be too brazen, and I can think of few people of law abiding intent that would travel the Coast at night."

That the Starkhaven Prince remains and that his head it turning slightly and his eyebrows are twitching upward, suggests he's impressed with the logic and sense of deduction that Bronan possesses. With his weaponry settled, Sebastian puts a hand on his belt, hooking the thumb. He simply observes and listens, with a posture that suggests he had yet to conclusively decide on his next actions. For the suggestion of sweeping the caverns upon the coast, he responds, "Maker's breath, that would take time and resources, more than two, especially if we were to run into your theorized werewolves." He chuckles quietly, "Then again, I forgot who I was dealing with." The measure of it being a daylight attack, earns a nod, satisfied with the idea it happened at night.

"It wouldn't need to be such a total search. Any number of caves could be excluded simply based on size and distance. We can also make some assumptions based on the disposal site. Its not ritualistic and doesn't show any particular signs of care beyond dumping it away from the kill site, so its likely not terribly far way. But you are right. If it is beyond the realm of theory, it may be best to have another join us. If its not, then we need to worry about someone who can stage a fairly convincing deception. So we're either dealing with a savage predator either way." Bornan taps his chin, then hoists the bag over the shoulder, notebook closed. "I have a full sketch of what we have collected and the torso, so they can be committed to the sisters for cremation. If we find the head, then you can perform a more…thorough service." A pause. "And I wouldn't mention my theory until we have more conclusive evidence. Simply warn anyone you might press into this that it could be very dangerous. Caution is good, but terror and false expectation can be just as dangerous." Bloody sack, doctor Bronan, and presumably Sebastian in tow go back to reclaim a torso and head into Kirkwall. Hopefully the gate guards see this sort of thing all the time. It _is_ Kirkwall after all.

The City Guard gets jumpy, but the presence of the Chantry Brother, and any explanation of last rites, gets them to calm.

Chanters Board:

In light of a suspicious death, a petition has been made to seek further aid for on going investigations, directed by one Bronan Kodas, physician, and by the Chantry Brother, Sebastian Vael. Sought are any skilled classed fighters who are willing to work for justice and respectful compensation. Those interested, are to meet at the Chantry, 19 of Justinian 9:31 Dragon.

Related Gossip

Two washerwomen can be heard chattering as they hang laundry to dry in Lowtown.

"No, no, I swear. That Dwarf was carrying a body! That is all that could have been in that sack, did you smell it?"

"No, he was with a Chantry brother, don't be silly. Brother Sebastian wouldn't be seen with a Dwarf carrying a body in a sack."

"I don't know, Laure, I don't know… It's worrying, is what it is."