Carrion Crown: Kyle's
1sr murder in Ravensgro, Gibs 1st victim
Narrator: Again, I will introduce us all in order of appearance; this is the Dramatis Personae:
•First we have me, the NARRATOR.
•Then we have COUNCILWOMAN STRAELOCK, a plump, matronly woman, pragmatic and principled.
•Next is COUNCILMAN HEARTHMOUNT, a grotesquely fat man of good breeding and old money.
•Also present is COUNCILMAN MURICAR, an elderly rake, currently extremely angry about something.
•Also appearing is SHERIFF BENJEN CAELLER, an Andoran with a wide brimmed hat.
•Lastly is MYSTERIOUS PERSON, who is… hmmm, turns out I’m not omniscient 3rd person after all.
It’s a windy midnight in Ravengro. The light from a crescent moon slices through the darkness and illuminates the well-proportioned and homely cottage of Councilwoman Straelock, the moonlight embraced by glow of lamp light shining from within. Inside the cottage, the Councilwoman n is discussing business with her colleagues, despite the late hour. The three council members above sit sleepy-eyed on comfortable chairs, empty plates at their side.
Muricar: You’ve lost your belly for this Hearthmount. What happened? We were all agreed yesterday. We’ve been through this. If even half the stuff Luramin tells me is true about these people is true, we should have strung them up on nooses the moment they arrived. Necromancy. Witchcraft.
Hearthmount: It’s just that…
Muricar: They’ve threatened you haven’t they. I heard they were round your place yesterday morning, bullying your staff, sneaking around your yard.
Hearthmount: No, I’ve not spoken to them. But there was this parcel… cheese. The finest cheese. They’ve given me the Lorrimor Cheese Collection.
Muricar: Bribery! Shameless criminality. We should have them arrested at first light.
Straelock: Gentlemen… Muricar… I think we are overreacting here. I’ve spoken to these foreigners and they aren’t nearly as bad as you make out. Father Grimburrow, the Avenkais, Jominda and Sarianna have all spoken very good words about them. Indeed a number of the townspeople think these people might be the solution to the strange occurrences, rather than the problem. Have you thought about that?
Muricar: Have you thought about THIS Councilwoman – the fact that evil exists in this world, true evil, the dead have walked and I have seen it–
Muricar: – and, have you considered the fact that true evil is not as we read about. True evil conceals its nature. It hides behind masks of pleasantry, bewitches you with enchantment, while plotting all the time against you. Evil lies.
Straelock: It is possible I have been beguiled, that is what you are saying isn’t it? I suppose one must consider that.
Hearthmount: Can’t we just get them to leave the village and not come back?
Straelock: But if they really are here to help, as both myself and Councilwoman Faravan believe, then that would be an injustice to both them and the townspeople.
Hearthmount: Stuff the townspeople.
Muricar: The townspeople agree with me – the outsiders are necromancers.
Straelock: Do they, do they indeed? Perhaps that is the answer to our debate… perhaps we are the wrong people to decide.
Narrator: Councilwoman Straelock scribbles some notes in her notebook, and looks thoughtfully around the room. Muricar paces and drains his wine. Hearthmount picks the remaining crumbs of biscuits off the three plates with his flabby fingers.
Muricar: And where is Councilwoman Faravan anyway?
Straelock: She sends her apologies, she is otherwise engaged tonight.
Muricar: I thought she always attends these sessions?
Straelock: Yes, it’s the first one she’s missed.
Muricar: Such a shame. It is usually I who is absent, and the one time I’m here, the fair lady is not. How fickle are the winds of love, are they not friends.
Straelock: You wouldn’t know love if it slapped you in the face Muricar.
Muricar: It often does!
Narrator: Their banter is interrupted by a knock at the door.
Straelock: A caller, at this hour? Would you be so kind Councilman Muricar?
Narrator: He bows sarcastically, and opens the front door. The windswept figure of Sheiff Benjen Caeller looms through.
Straelock: Sheriff… to what do we owe this pleasure?
Sheriff Caeller: Evening folks. Just doin’ ma rounds. You all safe n’snug here and things?
Hearthmount: Why? Is there something we should know Sheriff? Is there something out there? <mops>
Sheriff Caeller: <pause>. Nope. At least not that I’ve seen. You OK Councilman? You look kinda worried?
Hearthmount: You just keep doing your job Sheriff, what we think is none of your concern.
Sheriff Caeller: OK, OK, just askin’.
Straelock: Sheriff, don’t you normally patrol in twos, especially at such an hour as this?
Sheriff Caeller: <pauses> Yeah, maam. That is normal, yeah.
Hearthmount: Well! Answer her then. Where is your deputy; gods knows we pay for enough of them.
Sheriff Caeller: <pauses> Well, you see. <pauses>. Truth is Councilman I was out with Deputy Leromar but he’s gotten himself a bit lost. I was kinda hoping he might be round here.
Straelock: Whatever would he be round here for?
Sheriff Caeller: Oh, you know, nice big house, out of the wind n’all, thought he might just be checking you’re all right. He’s a good boy is Leromar. <he>
Straelock: I’m sorry Sheriff, no deputy here. I do hate to press you, but we are very busy and it is late. Perhaps you could continue your rounds. I’m sure if you find anything unusual we’ll be the first to know.
Sheriff Caeller: Right you are madam Councilwoman.
Narrator: The Sheriff does a casual salute with two fingers and thumb, before buttoning up his coat, and turning around back into the wind. Muricar shuts the door with a <bang>
Muricar: A useless dunderhead.
Hearthmount: Perhaps, but he’s our useless dunderhead. Every master needs his dog.
Straelock: Gentlemen, please. A little more professional if you don’t mind?
Muricar: That’s it, I’ve had enough! Don’t you presume to dictate to me. <he>
Straelock: Where are you off to?
Muricar: For a piss. Or do we need to vote on that as well, Councilwoman?
Narrator: Muricar leaves the room, shutting the door behind him. Straelock and Hearthmount sit in sullen silence for a short while. Both paying little attention to each other, lost in their own thoughts. The silence is broken by a sudden and loud BANG!
Hearthmount: <worried> Did you hear that?
Straelock: It sounded like the back door shutting. It must have blown open. Stay here, I’ll go and close it. Would you like me to get you some more cheese?
Hearthmount: <still> No, no, I seem to have lost my appetite. Perhaps I should be going anyway, it is late.
Straelock: Well wait a minute; we still have paperwork to sign.
Narrator: She gets up, smoothes down her dress, and makes her way from the lounge to the parlour area, at the back of the house. The back door is indeed open, but standing in the doorway is the Mysterious Person, with a number of other figures gathered behind him in the darkness.
Straelock: You! What are you doing back here, this area is private. Explain yourself!
Mysterious Person: I want to ask you a question…
Straelock: Whatever are you talking about? And who are those men behind you… they look drunk. Have you been drinking, is that it?
Mysterious Person: The question is this… “How do you spell your name?”
Straelock: My name?… what… what do you mean… what are you doing… no wait… wait… ARGGGHHHHHGHHHHGHHH!