Now His Watch Has Ended

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Balthazar Black
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Now His Watch Has Ended

Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:04 pm

Wealth Skill - Investigation
58 Ymiden 721
Balthazar, Jacien, and Miranda Preston stood together in what passed for a morgue within the Element Hall in Scalvoris. They were an unlikely alliance despite all serving the same government. Balthazar and Jacien had some clear level of dislike for each other though in Jacien's case it might just have been that he was waiting to watch Balthazar slip up again. It was clear to Black that Jacien had a low opinion of him based on how he'd acted at the trial but that was assuming Jacien cared enough to form an opinion on the bound mage. It was hard for Balthazar to really figure that man out. As much as Balthazar knew and as much as he might have liked to think he was analyzing Jacien, the Spirit Deputy's expressions were like stone. He gave away nothing about his thoughts that he did not verbalize and Balthazar was never certain he wasn't being mislead. When the first time you met someone, they lied to you, it was hard to develop trust.

The situation with Miranda was a little better but equally as strange. She was one of the three Flame Troopers who'd been assigned to watch him day and night for the duration of Ashan. He didn't learn much about her then but he figured out she was a loner among the troopers. Miranda had been the Flame Trooper in charge of the initial investigation into Philip Carey's murder and she'd begun her work shortly after they discovered the Watch unmanned. There was remarkably little physical evidence to be found at the Watch. According to the report other than the usual clutter of bottles Philip left behind, there were no signs of struggle or battle. Miranda theorized that if it was an attack, the killer might have cleaned up the evidence.

About that time Balthazar heard concern about the Watch standing empty from a few other Element's he knew and he began asking around. He made a formal inquiry and Miranda wrote back. He met with her on the fifty seventh of Ymiden and she briefed him on what had happened thus far. They made a general plan to go back to the Watch and look it over again with fresh eyes. The real hope was that Balthazar would be able to discover something more useful for them using his mark.

Yet that never happened. On the morning of the fifty eighth of Ymiden, Balthazar and Miranda were brought into the Element Hall and escorted into an office where they waited in silence for a few bits. Miranda did not chat and they both knew neither one had a better concept of why they were here so they did not discuss it. That was when Jacien joined the investigation... well... took over. He came into the office with a file and set it down so that the two troopers could read it. He was all business, cool and collected. He didn't pay Balthazar more than a glance before getting to the facts of the matter.

He told them that late into the night the body of Philip Carey was discovered and transported discretely to the morgue beneath the Element Hall and he insisted that Miranda and Balthazar ensure nothing about this investigation leak to the public. He explained that the condition which the body had been found in had lead him to decide to extend his own personal assistance as a Zuuda. Balthazar did not understand why until they were lead to the morgue and presented with the body. He'd seen these effects once before on the man who initiated him into Defiance. He understood almost immediately why Jacien got involved. Zuuda was the mark of Famula. She was the Immortal of Souls among other things and someone had devoured Philip Carey's soul.

Now the trio stood around the desiccated body of the man who'd been flayed, examining it for all the physical evidence they could find before they turned inevitably to the reason Jacien got involved. "Trooper Black, I understand you possess the Bellinos mark." Jacien said as Miranda turned over Philip's head. He had a small indent on the back of his head but that seemed to be all. From what he could see, Balthazar surmised Philip had been clubbed in the back of the head before he was flayed. You had to weaken your victim to flay them. A hard enough hit to the back of the head might have been able to debilitate Philip long enough. Balthazar looked over to Jacien and nodded to confirm the statement. "Are you prepared to see Trooper Carey's memories?" Whatever his opinions were, Jacien did not want to drive Troopers mad with misuse of their abilities. He knew Balthazar had endured the ability before from reports he'd read on Balthazar's other cases, so he was willing to move forward.

Balthazar looked over the body again for other injuries that seemed fresh but the looming danger, to Balthazar, was experiencing what it felt like to be flayed by another mage. He was not excited to say the least but he was confident he could endure it. It was a memory, not even his. He nodded again to Jacien who's expression did not shift an inch. Jacien turned his attention to Miranda and said "Ensure we are not disrupted, Trooper Preston." He turned back to Balthazar who still couldn't really tell what Jacien was thinking. He was sure that Jacien doubted him but when Jacien gestured to Carey's body on the table, Balthazar did not feel doubted. It was strange. He wasn't sure he liked any of them but it felt like they were a team.

They were doing their jobs. Balthazar placed a hand on Philip's chest and Jacien placed his hand beside Balthazar's. Jacien closed his eyes and Balthazar did the same a moment later, taking in a deep breath through his nose that he gently blew out through his mouth. He cleared his mind of the distracting thoughts with each breath far more easily than he had been able to arcs ago. He focused on why he was there and what he was doing. Distractions shed like a snake renewing its skin, Balthazar and Jacien began to explore Philip Carey's memories.

Last edited by Balthazar Black on Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1087

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Now His Watch Has Ended

Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:55 pm


58 Ymiden 721
The first and most important memory to their case was that of Philip Carey's actual death. As Balthazar and Jacien stood there with their hands placed on the body, they both saw his end like it had happened through their own eyes;

He was drunk but he was awake doing his duty. It was thankless but there was free alcohol to keep his trials passing. It was cold but it was always cold at the entrance to Tried's Mouth. Well, not always but most of the time. The alcohol helped with that but Philip wasn't drinking to stay warm, he was drinking because he enjoyed being drunk. Philip was careful about where he stepped as he moved through the Watch to one of the higher vantage points. They couldn't tell why he was doing what he was doing but they felt a sense of joy, hope, and excitement as he climbed a very old looking ladder up to a small platform that let him look out over the water. There was not much to see before that moment. He'd been sitting in the lower portions of the rundown fortress and drinking. When it happened, it happened quickly. Philip was standing and looking out at the sea with the world spinning just so slightly as it did when you were drunk. Then there was a loud booming noise. Philip turned but there was nothing behind him. It seemed like the noise had come from lower in the Watch. He moved carefully over to the ladder when suddenly a much louder booming noise shattered the air behind him. It was loud, painful and forced Philip to cover his ears for a moment before something hard hit the back of his head.

Philip fell forward in a daze, alive but in pain and the two Elements did not break their focus. Philip crawled towards the ladder while a sense of panic, duty, and fear filled him. Something grabbed his leg and pulled him back. The next moment his hair was grabbed and his head was wrenched backwards. He couldn't see who attacked him, only the darkness of his eyes pressed against their chest while they held him. Then the flaying began.


That was the first moment when it seemed like Balthazar might lose his concentration but he cleared his mind of the disturbance just as quickly as it had been born and oddly enough, it seemed easier with Jacien tuned in.

It was an incredible painful experience. It was not entirely a physical pain but Jacien and Balthazar felt Philip's soul shredded as the attacker flayed him. It lasted for trills that felt like bits and when it was done, both Balthazar and Jacien ceased their abilities.

Balthazar was more shaken that Jacien but even he seemed to stare a little more distantly for a few trills. Balthazar found himself reaching for the back of his head as if he expected to find Philip's wound there but the phantom pain would not last forever. Trooper Preston returned to the two of them as soon as they'd emerged from the trance.

"What did you find?" She asked, reasonably. Jacien gestured for Balthazar to respond because, Balthazar thought, he was assessing how well the trooper could focus following what they'd seen. Balthazar blinked a few more times than necessary, and it did take him a moment longer than it should have to realize what he had to report, but what they had seen and heard was clear.

word count: 609

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Now His Watch Has Ended

Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:20 pm


58 Ymiden 721
"Trooper Carey was intoxicated and attacked early into the night by a mage who possesses at the very least Rupturing spark." Balthazar began but his voice seemed a little distant for a few trills before he fully managed to compose himself for his report. "The mage opened a portal into the Watch which drew Trooper Carey's attention and then opened another portal behind him. He was struck over the back of the head with what I believe was a club. This dazed him long enough for the mage to take advantage of his already weakened state and flay his soul." Balthazar gave a disappointed sigh. "Trooper Carey didn't see his attacker at any point during the struggle and while he was being flayed his eyes were covered."

"Where does that leave us?" Miranda asked with a glance between Jacien and Balthazar.

Balthazar looked to Jacien for that answer and after a few trills the Spirit Deputy answered in a measured voice, "We knew our killer was a mage. Now we know at least one domain they're initiated into." Jacien said, "The attack was premeditated and well planned out. I've already examined the scene and there is nothing Trooper Black will be able to find that I would not have. Our killer knew where they were going, they wasted no time, and until this body was found they left no evidence. After some time to recover, Trooper Black and I can explore other memories from around the time of Trooper Carey's death to look for other leads. For the time being, keep going over the evidence we do have. Reach out," Jacien turned to Balthazar as he said this part, "to any and every source you have that might know where a mage is in the city. I'll have some of my people start looking through records for Rupturing mages as well. We'll compile a list of suspects and work through them one by one." Miranda and Balthazar nodded in agreement.

Balthazar had a few ideas of who he might reach out to but he wasn't sure yet. He'd give it a little more thought but before he could he needed to voice a different concern. "I think it's worth remembering that they flayed Trooper Carey. They could have just killed him but he was flayed and his body was well disposed of." Balthazar said, "The mage that did it will feel the Thirst. We should look for any bodies that turned up desiccated around the same time, or after, Trooper Carey disappeared. It might provide us with more clues." Jacien nodded but he did not commend Balthazar for doing his job somewhat competently. Jacien looked to Miranda to see if she had any further questions or comments and when he deduced she did not he turned back to the both of them.

"Thats all for totrial. Trooper Black, rest for the night and tomorrow, if you are ready, we will continue. Trooper Preston, begin looking through the reports we have for bodies found in similar conditions. Dismissed."
word count: 534

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Jackalope
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Re: Now His Watch Has Ended

Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:21 pm

]


Experience: +10 xp

Magic xp? No.

Collaboration: No.
Renown: +5, for embarking on an important investigation.
Injuries/Overstepping: None.

Skillplay: Appropriate to level.

Knowledge: None requested.

Comments
It can’t be easy, working under Jacien. Balthazar has to swallow a lot of pride here. But it also appears as though Jacien is genuinely concerned as to whether Balt can handle it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to experience somebody’s soul being flayed, and you do justice to how traumatic that could be.

The mystery is intriguing; one wonders why someone killed Phillip Carey, why somebody flayed him. It seems that Balthazar is on the right track. Hopefully, Jacien gives him some credit, and some freedom of movement so that he can do his thing.

Enjoy your rewards!.
word count: 132
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