Malcolm looked across at Heath, a knight in his late thirties who had obviously grown tired of the job, "Any idea what happened?"
"My guess?" Heath scratched the top of his head, "I don't think he died here."
"Do you see any blood?"
Malcolm approached the body and crouched down to inspect the dead man's face and belongings. There was a short, thin blade beside him with blood on it, but without moving the man, Malcolm couldn't be sure that he hadn't been stabbed. He didn't see any blood on the ground or the stranger's clothing, but with nothing else to go on, he could only assume his comrade's theory held some weight. Another look across the steps and surrounding gardens of the monastery didn't offer any more clues, and nothing looked particularly out of place, other than the dead man himself. Being this close, Malcolm was able to smell the alcohol on him, even amongst the putrid smell of death that assaulted his senses and saw him scrunch his nose up in an attempt to block out the smell.
"Nothing?" Heath drew his gaze.
"No blood on our dead guy, but there is some on the blade... It doesn't look fresh."
"He doesn't smell fresh," Heath added as he waved a hand back and forth in front of his face.
"I think however or wherever he died, he was highly intoxicated at the time," Malcolm took a square cut of material from the inside pocket of his leather jerkin and held it over his nose and mouth as he got to his feet, "might give us a starting point?"
"Taverns?" Heath inquired.
The knight nodded, "I'll start writing down a description," Malcolm offered and took a small notebook from his pocket, giving the attached ink pen a shake before jotting down a few noticeable details, a rough height, hair and eye colour, length of hair, tone of skin, clothes he was wearing, and any distinguishing marks.
For a while the two of them were able to work in relative peace, taking notes, double checking their surroundings, and building up a mental picture of what might have taken place. Soon, however, the locals would start to wake up to go about their day, and no doubt the crime scene would get a lot more attention than any of them would have liked, "I wonder if we should knock on a few doors?" Malcolm asked, "Check to see if anyone saw or heard anything."
"Waste of time," Heath argued, "our time would be better spent patrolling the east and southern roads to the shore, there's been a lot more criminal movement there lately.
As Malcolm listened to Heath offer an alternative, he couldn't help but notice the light band of flesh about the man's right forefinger. Being a married man himself, Malcolm was bound to recognise something like a missing wedding ring, but not only was this ring on the wrong hand, but also the wrong digit, "Heath?" He spoke lowly but was ignored by his comrade who suddenly bellowed.
"Well if it isn't the Skyriders late to work again," the man wore a smug grin, arms folded across his chest, "how can we help you ladies?" He asked.
Malcolm looked up, the younger of the two women was familiar to him, but where had he seen her before?