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A Name to a Crime
Thu Dec 28, 2006 14:26 (XFF:

OOC: Careful that you’re accurate in your interpretation of the battle. As per the SWRP rules, everyone serving had to have had under their belt some training. That goes for OOC as well as IC. You say that Lysander sent recruits with no training into combat, when, in fact, everyone who went had to have had some experience–again, as per the rules. ;)

With all the subtlety of a hundredweight falling from the heavens, Lysander was reminded why he didn’t have routine conversations with Dedicated. Arrogance of an Asha’man with the experience of a Soldier. Maybe, if he were altruistic in his temperament, a mite more?

“You fail to understand the nature of an army,” Lysander breathed. “I was not present during the raid on Illian for very obvious reasons. I was bartering with Illianer lords to ensure rations were in supply. I was reaping my connections in Tar Valon to see that the Healers had provisions. I was relaying orders through the commanding officer of the Companions to guarantee a peasant militia did not construe the Black Tower’s defensive efforts as an attack and start warring with the Soldiers and Dedicated. A battle is fought on many surfaces, Lexan.

“If naught else, you respect Ronan Letifer’s words, do you not? To quote the woman, ‘Why should recruits have to know their M’Hael, when the basic foot soldier will be following the direct orders of his superior officer, who takes his orders from yet another superior officer. Between myself and the Soldier there is about five layers of men and women so that it’s very unlikely that they’ll ever take a direct order from me.’ Ronan Letifer would never have led the Black Tower in combat. Gareth Bryne, Agelmar Jagad, Davram Bashere, Matrim Cauthon, Rodel Ituralde . . . do you believe they lead their men directly into combat themselves? I would suggest, Lexan, that you brush up on your martial history.

“Furthermore, I cannot fathom why anyone would believe that someone sending farmboys and farmgirls to do battle with military forces did so with the conviction that the two sides were of equal capacity. Even a blind man could discern the obvious. It was stopgap effort, and we were blessed to have come out alive. I would never have acted as I did unless no other options existed. None did. Forty-seven deaths, each on my conscience. Yet I would not do anything differ–”

At that moment, the door to the Corpulent Bard opened. Face wide, belly ample, Master Fengwil began his walk down the dark, uninhabited street, keeping company with the shadows. The tavern had emptied during the tenure of their wait, and the closing and cleaning and late-night preparations for what would undoubtedly be an early morning were now finished. Fengwil was unique in that he did not claim residence in the Corpulent Bard as most innkeepers would. Rather, he had hired enforcers to keep watch over the tavern by night, while Fengwil himself would retire to a house a mere few streets down.

Clad in their cloaking weaves, the two men broke from their places of hiding. Lysander was sure to maintain a sizeable distance from the fellow, as a sound-masking weave could not be maintained in motion. Therein lay the balance; they were close enough to see him, yet far enough away as not to be heard.

The barkeep, however, did not turn east on Seven Crescents Road. Instead, the man made a turn west–west, away from his house, his home, his bastion of sleep and comfort and everything that was, effectively, his own. West. There was naught to be done but to follow the fellow. It was well into the night, and dawn was but a few hours away, if his estimations were worth anything more than wooden spoons. This diversion appeared unwonted.

Seven Crescents Road was not unlike the street on which the Corpulent Bard was located: short, plain, unkempt, with little more than rough-looking establishments good for nothing more than getting one drunk as an ox. One particular building appeared to attract Fengwil’s notice, though. The Seven Crescents Inn (as asserted by the scoured sign hanging overhead) was not unlike the Corpulent Bard itself, either. At this hour, its lights were out, and all appeared to have been locked up. After hours. Nonetheless, Fengwil, still unawares of Lysander and Zander’s presence, knocked twice on the door. Half a moment later, his call was answered, and a lean, greying fellow with a grizzled look about him answered the door. “I’ve been expecting you,” the man said, granting Fengwil entrance. The door closed in his wake. That was that.

“Quickly, now,” Lysander said tones of equal rapidity and quietness. “At the east alleyway, there should be a door. It will take you into the kitchens. Jimmy open the lock with saidin. I will take the door on the west alleyway to the laundering room.” He had no distinct knowledge of the blueprints of the Seven Crescents Inn; however, all taverns in this district of Caemlyn were based off the same essential schematics. Central common room–staircase at the back, kitchens on the right, laundering room on the left. “We do not know where they are going in the inn to converse, though one of us must be able to hear the conversation. Make sure the kitchen is uninhabited before you enter.”

At that, the two men separated. The west alley was Lysander’s destination, and he spied the nondescript door. His ear to it, Lysander listened. It was empty. The Power in his clutches, Lysander channeled needle-thin flows of Air, working them carefully into the lock. The lock clicked its admission rapidly, and Lysander was minding sound as he pulled open the door. The room was dark, though his night vision, fresh from his excursion down the swarthy street, took in the sights, albeit dimly. Linen cupboards filled with fresh sheets. Half-empty baskets of dirty laundry. Tubs, brushes, buckets–and, of course, the gravid scent of soap.

Approaching the door to the common room, Lysander hugged himself to the ground, peering out. He was still garbed in his Illusion–that was, the Illusion of solid black, allowing him to blend fluidly into the dimness. Fengwil and the grey-haired man–the innkeeper of the Seven Crescents Inn, one could surmise–were seated there, each dragging a heavy tankard to their lips. Lysander listened.

“Sure, Singus,” Fengwil was saying in his deep, baritone voice, “but Lester was planning on moving out west, remember. Can’t see him adding an expansion to his tavern.”

“He’s been saying that for years,” the other man, Singus, presumably, maintained. “Too afraid of his wife to do it, I reckon. The wench hates farming too much to head out to the Two Rivers. Never would go for it.”

“Still, where would he get the funds?”

“Oh, that doesn’t matter. If he wants to renovate, he’ll renovate. Awfully competitive bastard. Could run the both of us right out of business.”

“Mhrm,” Fengwil grunted.

“Mhrm,” Singus agreed.

It appeared that there was nothing more to the pair of them than two friends sharing a drink in one of the friend’s taverns. Is that what barkeeps did on their off hours, then? Gossip about other barkeeps? It was an amusing notion. The conversation carried on in this inane thread, and the two men continued to ponder the fate of this Lester, and whether or not he really would run them into the ground financially. Oh, they contemplated merging their bars, moving to another district, and even polluting Lester’s fortunes with rumours. There was no room for murder in their talk, though.

Fengwil shifted in his seat. “I imagine if Lester did expand, Eileen would go over to work for him–”


“The blonde one. The blonde, busty one.”

“Oh. Right. Can’t ever remember your serving woman’s names.”

“I noticed,” Fengwil avowed. “She’s been working for me for a year now. Least loyalty out of ‘em all. I could do without her. I was telling a customer tonight about how all of my servers alcoholics, but Eileen’s the worst of ‘em. Needs a drink for her every step.”

“She the one who slopped ale all down her front last night at the Bard?” Singus asked.

“No,” Fengwil said. “Eileen had the night off.”


Their conversation degenerated further into useless trivial fare. When Fengwil’s tankard was emptied, he nodded his farewell to Singus, departing from the Seven Crescents Inn. The older barman darkened the lanterns with a gust of his breath, retiring up the stairs for the evening. All was consumed by shadows.

There was naught to do but depart. Lysander crept from his hiding place, skulking from the laundering room out into the empty openness of the alleyway. Soon, he met Zander in front of the inn. All was clear. With the Power, Lysander removed their shadowy disguises. He peered levelly at the man. It would take a fool not to realize what the obvious stated.

Lipstick on the glass.

Plum brandy consumed at the scene of the murder.

Serving woman requiring a drink to operate.

The same serving woman taking leave on the night in question.

In his conversation with Singus, Fengwil had revealed his whereabouts the previous evening: the Corpulent Bard itself. Garfield’s murder had occurred too early in the evening, based on the biological evidence, for Fengwil to have escaped his post in time to accomplish it. However, as the letters pointed to the Corpulent Bard as the base of operations, then. . . .

“I assume you understand what comes next.”

“That I do.”

“Good,” Lysander said quietly. “The house of Eileen Curriddish, your mark, is located on Queen’s Steed Road. I will point it out to you on our arrival. You are already familiar with her appearance: we spied her earlier this evening when you suggested she would be a good resource from which we could drain information. You will be the one to commit her murder. Think not that she is unarmed, though. Let no assumption linger.”

OOC: Nice. All that’s left for you to do is make the kill. Give Eileen whatever method of defence you want (bodyguard, maybe, or some weaponry skill) and have Zander work past it. Lysander will follow, but this is a test, after all, so Zander will be the one drawing blood. ;) Good luck.

And my holidays were excellent. *grins* It’s great to get rolling with some posts.

  • A Conversation in the Darkness...Dedicated Zander Kilgas, Wed Dec 20 04:27
    Lysander walked through one of the many doors that the kitchen contained, glanced around the room once and then settled his eyes heavily on Zander. The man was, if not quite angry, then at least... more
    • A Name to a Crime — M'Hael Lysander, Thu Dec 28 14:26
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