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Old 08-16-2009, 03:00 PM   #81
Alkonium
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Nierra then barged right into the the chapel, and assertively said to the priests, "My associates and I are investigating the murder of a prostitute here. We're going to need detailed reports about any wounds or markings found on the body. If that's not possible, we're going to need to exhume the body from your crypt." Cautiously walking in after her, Alkonium caught virtually all of Nierra's order. "Well, you certainly have a way with people, but that's what I love about you." He quietly said to her.

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:35 AM   #82
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Zero followed in after Alkonium and Nierra. They worked well together and complemented each other very well. He was glad that they were good friends and not strangers or enemies.

"And let's try to keep the gorry details to a minimum. I don't need to go through another round of keep my breakfest down again."
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:01 PM   #83
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The chaplain of the tiny city church blinked twice. He wasn't expecting any more visitors than his usual congregation, least of all official investigators into the "foul business" that had tormented him and his parishioners these days. However, perhaps he should have expected them. He cleared his throat.

"As you have said, good investigators, the body of a 'woman of the town' was found in our baptismal font two day-ago. She had inverted crosses etched into her wrists, and that's how she bled out." Finding that his throat had suddenly gone dry, the chaplain swallowed hard. "Also, on her forehead, there was etched the word harlot in arcane symbology. I'm not saying that the lady was a saint, or even a 'lady' in the true sense of the word, but no one deserves a death such as this. No one deserves to be murdered. We at the chapel suspect the work of cultists, perhaps those of the Deathstage."

He stepped backward to allow his visitors access to the baptismal font. "It's clean, and the body has been buried, but search the font if you must."
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:49 AM   #84
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"We suspect that as well, but this woman wasn't the killer's only victim." Nierra responded trying not to put her foot in her mouth again.

"It's certainly insight into the killer's motives, but still nothing on how we can track him or her down. Other than wounds, was there anything else, like dirt, or anything that could help us determine where we could find this Blood Mage?" Alkonium inquired. So far, the information only told them how and why, but nothing who, or where they could be found.

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:59 AM   #85
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"There was something strange that we...we haven't been able to scrub off the walls yet," replied the chaplain. "We've hidden the infernal phrase behind a curtain, so the worshippers here won't see it. Nevertheless, they suspect something's wrong, as the curtain has rarely been drawn before." He stepped forward and pulled back a long, velvet drapery. Shakhmaty gasped, almost stumbling backward at the meaning of the words: Predatelstvo dvazhdi.

"Twice betrayed," she said, "or 'two betrayals'. Whoever did this has been double-crossed, or they're trying to double-cross someone else. What's more: I don't believe that the blood is that of the victim, but that of the murderer..." Venturing behind the curtain, she ran a finger down the wall.

"The blood is dry, but it was...spattered first. One of the hallmarks of a Blood Mage is that they fuel their powers with their own 'red elixir of life', and if it spews forth from an open wound, for instance, that is one way to channel it so that their magic spell can take effect." She turned to the chaplain. "Tell me. Was there anything else strange about the slaying of this prostitute?"

The chaplain shivered. "She was never stabbed, and yet her wrists..."

"So that was it." A pause. "Definitely the work of a Blood Mage, then. One who has been betrayed twice, or will betray twice in the course of time."
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:58 AM   #86
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"There is no way someone could lose that much blood and survive without healing magic." Nierra pointed out. "You may be right. I suggest we check apothecaries for any suspicious customers, or recent thefts." Alkonium surmised. Both he and Nierra were more concerned with tracking down the Blood Mage than being absolutely sure it was one.

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Old 08-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #87
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"I agree, Nierra." Shakhmaty gazed at her new Dark Elven ally with firm confidence. "Blood Mages, as I'm told by my colleagues at the Cathedral, devote their whole lives to their dark art. Not only that, but they usually focus upon that school of magic alone, ignoring other vital areas such as summoning protective spirits from the Fade or shapeshifting. If this sorceress is as powerful as she seems through this display of her abilities, she most likely isn't spending much time bending down over a pot of healing potion."

After turning to the chaplain to thank him for his help in their investigation, she, Zero, Alkonium and Nierra ventured to the nearest apothecary. What did "Miracle Worker Mendus", as it read on the rickety sign hanging above his door, know about Blood Mages or anyone shady who'd requested his help?

"We get a lot of beggars," he announced once Shakhmaty had started asking questions. "I'm one of the few apothecaries around here who will heal for free. I don't know if any of the practitioners of Blood Magic have been to my shop lately, but in all honesty, they don't exactly announce their presence. As hunted as they are by the Templars of the Chantry, they keep their eyes open and their mouths shut. I'm sorry I can't help you more on that, but..."

Miracle Worker Mendus suddenly remembered something. "There was one beggar," he said, "that I thought was trying to get something for nothing. She wasn't old, or weak, and the limp that she walked with was false. Nevertheless, I could tell she was in pain, and so I healed her without cost. If I charge a fee for those beggars I consider suspect, what does that make me? A hypocrite. She never said a word...simply smiled and left after I'd patched her wounds. There was blood all over the front of her cloak."

The apothecary shook his head. "Had she been in a fight, or what?"

Shakhmaty raised an eyebrow. "What did the beggar woman look like?"

"Young. Beautiful. Piercing hazel eyes. Much browned from sun and wind."

"Thank you." She gave him one piece of gold for his vital information.

"Oh!" Mendus cried. "Investigator--go and pay respects to the wee child."

"What child?" Chills crept down her spine. "The one that has been slain?"

"Aye. A healthy baby boy, with nary a deformity about him. He had turned-down crosses on his wrists, from which he bled into his christening font. Had some odd symbols etched into his forehead, too. I couldn't decipher them." He gave the gold coin back to Shakhmaty. "Give this in memorial to him. The chapel's down the way, and I suspect the service is just ending. Good day."
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