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Found 5 results

  1. Back in Tremredare, the precinct had a saying. Watch gets called out for anything—a stabbing, a brawl, the sort of drek that ends up with someone iced and floating facedown in the canal in the morning, the sarge always asks: “Did you check the intimates?” Get your mind out of the gutter. Thing is, when it comes to murder most foul, there’s only so many possibilities: the wife who’s had enough, the controlling husband, the possessive ex, the violent brother, the angry sister, the debt-ridden friend, the disgruntled business associate, the former colleague with a grudge… And so the circle expands, layer by layer. But you always check the intimates, first. It’s those closest to us that we don’t see the most clearly. Who have the power to hurt us the most. We trust them. And so we let them in. We tell them our deepest secrets, our darkest fears. We laugh with them, work with them, drink with them. We stay in the same building, rub shoulders every dawn and dusk. It’s surprising, what the intimates know about a person. A good investigator always hits the street and starts listening first, rather than talking. You can learn a lot about the vic that way. Who they were, what the people closest to them thought. Maybe you can’t ever really know a person, but their intimates are your window into their life, their character. We see but through this window darkly. Still, it’s better than dead nothing. Investigation’s gotta start somewhere. The intimates. We let our guard down around them. That’s why betrayal always cuts deepest, doesn’t it? In the end, it's not strangers who cause so much suffering. It's those close to us. It began, as these things often did, with a knock on the door, at dawn. No rest for the wicked, as the saying went. It was far too early, and the dawn light that poured in through the cracks in the shutters was a thin, bleak grey. The candle sputtered and flickered, throwing shadows over the confines of the office and its single occupant. Blinking blearily, Kast stared at the case file he was trying to close and wondered if it was worth the effort of getting up and answering it. A dark case, that one. He hated working missing persons cases, but they’d flipped for it, and Wyl had won, and that meant his business partner was up at the arse-crack of dawn looking into a cheating case to do with five ducks, and Kast was in the office, wondering if he felt like answering the door today. Somedays, it felt like it wasn’t worth the effort. Missing persons cases. They got under your skin. Her name was Lu. Rumours that she was somehow connected to Cat Lekal, but Kast didn’t believe them for a second. You didn’t come all the way to the remote reaches of the Western Dominance to hide from the games the nobles played. Better places to hide elsewhere in the Final Empire, with the sorts of luxuries the nobles seemed accustomed to. The brother was the one who’d reported her missing. He’d come all the way from Gamsbrook to speak with them. Wyl hadn’t liked it. “Long way to walk, just to talk to us,” he’d said, lighting up his pipe. Busying himself with the familiar motions of flint and herbs. “You blame him?” Kast raised an eyebrow. “Desperation drives people to do stupid things. You know this.” “Bah,” said Wyl, eloquently. And then, “There’s stupid, and there’s no damnfool reason.” He saw the resemblance, in the sketch they’d been given. Kast thought it’d been seared into his memory, by now. The wary way Lu glanced out at you from the sketch. There was that tentativeness, the hesitancy. You saw it too, in the way the brother had perched at the edge of his seat. Hadn’t felt at ease around them. Maybe that should’ve been the first sign. Told you so, Wyl had scribbled on the back of a receipt from the grocer's and stuffed into the case file. Kast marked it as SOLVED, even though they weren’t going to see a single clip for it. They shouldn’t have taken the case, he thought. But missing persons cases. They spoke to you. He didn’t think it right, that people could go missing, could wander off the face of the world and drop off into vast emptiness with not a soul to worry or care about them. Call him sentimental, he supposed. He didn’t think that anyone should be lost, just like that. Someone had to go looking. Knock on the dark spaces of the world. Sometimes these spaces gave up, surrendered the people they’d eaten. Sometimes the darkness was hungry. Sometimes it felt like they were just trying to stop the tide with a shovel. There was an ocean out there, enough to drown in. Kast’d been to Lansing once, a very long time ago. He’d seen the ocean, and wondered at what lay there, beyond such immensity. Sometimes, the darkness was just what lurked in the recesses of the human heart. He’d gone out to the woods, and dug, where the marker was, and he’d found her, and part of Kast wished he hadn’t, wished she’d remained lost, because there was a certain finality to finding a body, or bones. And although there was agony to never knowing, you could often console yourself, that they were alive, somehow. People vanished for reasons of their own, all the time. People vanished everyday on the streets of Tremredare and they’d solved only a tiny fraction of these and they gnawed on your conscience, both the dead and the lost. No matter how hardened you were, how bitter, how much drek you saw on the streets of Tremredare, you never quite let go of that hope. Kast’d seen street-crusted veterans head outside for a smoke and then quietly fall apart in solitude when hours turned into days, and then that lost child turned up murdered. But he’d found her bones, and he’d done the dirty work, the work a good investigator was supposed to do. He’d hit Gamsbrook, and knocked on doors and listened. And he’d done some careful surveillance of his own. Long nights. He wasn’t getting any younger. It’d been a dispute over money. The brother was deep in debt, and trying to shake off suspicions that he’d killed her. He buried her out there, deep in the woods, but then he’d been seen, and then they’d gotten him to talk. You did what you had to. There were always ways. The intimates, Kast thought. You always had to talk to the intimates. And sometimes...Sometimes, it was those closest to you that held the knife. People always thought about danger as coming from without. But the most terrible sins were not committed by strangers but by one who wore the face of a loved one. Not for the first time in the past decade, Kast Speirs wondered wearily how he had come—not so much come, as fallen, he supposed—from the Tremredare City Watch to running a small investigation business in the arse-end of the Western Dominance. The knocking on the door grew brisk, a staccato series of sharp knocks. Right. There was no point in putting it off, any longer. “Coming!” Kast growled. He shut the case file, and reached out for his cane. There was the familiar pain, grinding in his knee and hip like shards of smashed glass as he got up, but at least the cane took the worst of it. It was looking to be one of those days again. He measured the paces to the shutters in familiar stabs of pain as his body kept the score. They’d set the office up on the second floor, and not for the first time, Kast questioned the wisdom of that decision. But he’d been younger, then. And his leg hadn’t been that bad. “What is it?” Kast snarled, cracking open the shutters. He blinked owlishly in the morning light. He recognised Douza, the blacksmith’s boy. Far as Kast heard, Douza wasn’t keen on the trade. One of the worst-kept secrets in Fallion’s Tears, as it were. Worse secrets lurked in this village. “You’re wanted!” Douza called up, cupping his hands about his mouth. “What for?” Kast snapped back. “Another murder! By the tanner’s!” “Get Wyl!” What was the point of having a business partner if he couldn’t get on his feet and read the crime scene every once in a while? Part of Kast regretted the thought: it was best to get as many eyes on the scene as possible. Likely as not, they’d pick up on something each other missed. That was how they worked. Why they went into business together, among many other things. Secrets. You couldn’t get anywhere in this village without stumbling into one. It was Kast’s job to know things, and to ferret out things people’d rather he didn’t, after all. “Mayor says to get you too!” Douza shouted up. “And Wyl says to tell you to get!” Kast sighed. So that was how it was going to be. Wyl wasn’t the sort to send out a whistle for a lark. Never had been. And damnit, Kast trusted his judgement. “Tell them I’m coming.” Flakes of ash fell from the iron-grey sky. They dusted everything in a thin coat, even as the cold wind dashed them into broad glass windows and shutters. The low buildings of the village bunched together, as if hunkering down against the assault from the windward slopes of the mountains. The last of the night mists wreathed both land and mountains, but had begun to thin, and to dissipate with the light. The red sun bathed the mountain slopes in a ruddy glow, like freshly-fallen embers. Kast wanted to stop, to take in the view, but there was no time for it. Fallion’s Tears was quiet in the early morning light, and for a while, Kast allowed himself to believe he was the only one soldiering on, cane pressing into gravel and dirt. A wisp of smoke curled upwards from the tavern, while the blacksmith’s forge had gone cold. The metallurgist’s shop was shuttered, and even the customary line at the grocer’s or baker’s was missing. Slivers of pain stabbed into him with each step. It was getting worse. He resigned himself to another visit to the apothecary. Eventually. After he closed the other five cases waiting for him, back in that study. And after getting the milk. And he had to go out and walk the ground, get a feel for what happened with the Leas Fel case. The mountains rose up, an intimidating and jagged wall, wherever you looked. Nestled on the slopes, you could make out the ashmount Morag as well, on a clear day, the sort where the air was crisp and the sky the hue of pale fire. Fallion’s Tears was the sort of place where nothing happened. It hadn’t seemed a bad place to settle down in, and even though there were days the work ran thin, Kast rather thought he preferred that to drowning in the stabbing, assault, robbery, and rioting cases that seemed rife in Tremredare. He liked the quiet, and felt the stillness soothe the restless part of him that never stopped looking for the next threat. Fallion’s Tears was the sort of place you came to forget what life made you and to bury your wounds and ghosts. He limped on. The question of where everyone was soon became clear. A throng of villagers gathered around the tanner’s, on the outskirts of the village. Gawkers, no doubt. Drawn by curiosity, because it sure as hell wasn’t the stench of the drying hides. He worked his way through the crowd, step by painful step. “Took you long enough,” Wyl said. He was studying the corpse. Kast took a quick glance around. There was no real watch in Fallion’s Tears, just a band of volunteers who more or less overlapped with what the village called a militia. These were currently holding the crowd back, which Kast was at least grateful for. The last thing they needed was the scene to be contaminated. “Sorry, got held up. You know what precinct traffic’s like at this time of the night.” The doctor was nowhere in sight, which Kast supposed could mean anything. No sign of Mayor Wilson either, which didn’t seem right, given Douza had come in a hurry to get him. “Right, wisearse,” Wyl’s sidelong glance was both mildly amused and judgemental. “What do you make of this?” “You didn’t get Douza to pull me all the way here for any old murder,” Kast muttered resentfully, but he was already here, and so he grudgingly worked the scene. Vic was Bartholomew—he recognised the build and the wild beard, and suppressed the immediate flicker of empathy. That came later. Blood pooled on the dirt, sticky, but some of it drying. Dead for a while then, best as Kast could make out. If Wyl wanted a time of death, he was better off waiting for the doctor. The thing that struck Kast though was how horrific it was. Blood everywhere, some of it plastered on the sides of the tanner’s shed, and daubed everywhere, in the dirt, on the wooden walls of the shed, and even the shutters: KILL YOU ALL EVERYONE GONNA DIE An indecipherable mess of sticky blood, and then: WHEN THE KOLOSS COME “Koloss?” Kast murmured, trying to keep his voice calm and even. “Not without the Lord Ruler’s say-so, surely.” “Been rumours,” Wyl said. “Haven’t you been listening? That traveller who came through the other week. Mists-addled, they say. Raving about a wild band of koloss.” “You don’t put much stock in it, either.” “Suppose I don’t,” Wyl said. He stuck his pipe in his mouth and kindled a flame. He took a long drag from it, exhaling pungent smoke. “Well, what else’ve you got?” Kast turned back to his examination of the scene. “More staged than the Leas Fel one.” Leas Fel—they’d assumed it was a stabbing but it hadn’t felt right, and then now another one on top of that. Fallion’s Tears wasn’t a large village. Most of those here knew each other all their lives and it had taken years for them to accept the duo from Tremredare among their number. Sometimes, Kast wondered if they’d really made it at all. “You don’t say,” Wyl cocked an eyebrow at him. “Any more words of wisdom, then?” Anger flared. Probably didn’t help that his leg still hated him. “Why don’t you stop the damned fishing expedition and just tell me why the hell you had me brought here,” Kast said, trying to get ahold of his temper. “There’s ‘don’t contaminate the investigator’ and there’s being bloody cryptic for no bloody good reason.” “It’s a murder,” Wyl said. “Obviously. Within a week of the last one. Almost never happens here. That’s almost immediately cause for concern.” “Yeah.” “And the daubings. Meant to terrify, as you rightly noticed. It’s staged, almost ritualistic.” Kast folded his arms across his chest and leaned on the cane. “Still not getting to the point,” he said, shortly. “Indulge me,” Wyl said, “For a few moments more. Look at the body.” Kast breathed in deep and reigned in his temper. He looked at Bartholomew’s corpse. Reluctantly, he knelt, gripping the cane, and fighting against the screams of pain from his bad leg. He saw signs of a struggle: the broken fingers, and bruising. Staining on Bartholomew’s hands made it difficult to tell if it was blood under his nails or just pigment. “Same MO,” Kast said, eventually. “Chest wound, with significant blood loss at the scene. Staged, but Bartholomew actually died here.” He frowned. There was the gleam of something metallic, glinting a sullen ochre in the morning light. He reached out and moved the body enough to dislodge it, and his heart nearly stopped. It was a sharp, gleaming metallic object, about half as thick as Bartholomew’s wrists, tapering to a lethal point. It was a spike, the sort you saw in Steel Inquisitors. Unmistakeable. A spike. A fecking, Lord Ruler-cursed spike. Kast had never wanted to see anything like that in his life again. He knew then, why Wyl had insisted. Of the two of them, he was the one who had the dubious benefit of experience in this instance. Memories Kast would rather remain buried. It was the past, and it was dead now. Why not let it stay dead? But the present wouldn’t let them, Kast thought sourly. And there was the matter of what the present owed the past. And Wilson—as Mayor, her instinct would be to preserve calm. The whispers had already started, infesting the village of Fallion’s Tears with fear. Exactly as the perpetrators had planned. “I think,” he said, almost-conversationally, “This must be the worst thing you’ve ever had me take a look at, partner.” KILL YOU ALL. EVERYONE GONNA DIE. WHEN THE KOLOSS COME. Wyl smirked, and the corners of his tired eyes thawed, just a little. “You’re welcome. I still owed you one for that outhouse. Spent hours digging through drek just to find the missing lockbox. You’re a real arse when you want to be.” “Sure,” said Kast, absently. He stared again at the blood-encrusted spike. Bartholomew had died for this. Kast knew he kept a vial of bronze locked in his drawer at all times. What did the killers want with a Seeker? And why had the spike been left behind? There were so many questions, and the trick (always the trick) was to find the answers before the killer—or killers—escalated again. But as the sun rose over the village of Fallion’s Tears, and the new day was birthed in bloody light, Kast thought he heard only the harsh caw of distant crows. LG74: You Want It Darker (aka a homage to Meta's game and tradition) “If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game [...] If thine is the glory then, Mine must be the shame You want it darker We kill the flame.” —’You Want It Darker’, Leonard Cohen Tucked away in a desolate corner of the Western Dominance, as far as the crow flies from Tremredare in the West, House Heron’s traditional seat of power, the quiet village of Fallion’s Tears has recently been shocked by a series of gruesome murders. Mayor Wilson has appealed for calm, even as outlandish rumours abound of a warband of koloss heading in the direction of Fallion’s Tears. Nothing ever happens in Fallion’s Tears, they say. Pity everything started happening all at once. First those awful murders, and then all that talk of koloss. But who among you could’ve committed such a terrible act? You’ve known each other most your lives—haven’t you? What buried ghosts from your past will emerge in the ashen light of the red sun? There’s always another secret. And everyone has a past, or so they say. When will yours catch up with you? General Rules: Factions: Roles: Cosmetic Roles: I wish to acknowledge some friends and colleagues who helped me with the rules of this game. Credit for the original ruleset goes, as always, to @Metacognition, as this is based off LG1 and the three successive AGs. The Committee offered helpful suggestions that tamed the thicket of decisions. I am especially grateful to @Wyrmhero, @Claincy, and @Mailliw73 for providing invaluable comments that helped eliminate mistakes and improve the game in numerous places. I am grateful for their generosity. If any mistakes remain, the reader may look these esteemed professors up and ask them why they did not correct them. Sign-ups are open now and will close on Friday, 26th February 2021, at 2300hrs SGT (GMT +8). Quick Links:
  2. Basics: Factions: Metals: Order of Actions: Welcome to MR44! I am the GM for this game. @Devotary of Spontaneity is the IM. This ruleset was originally created by @Gamma Fiend. This ruleset was run as MR9. RP Background: You're a group of new members of the Steel Ministry. This game is set around a hundred years before the Mistborn books. Signups will end on August 12th at 1:00 PM EST. This will probably be the normal rollover time. The first day will go up 24 hours after signups end. Player List: Spectator List: Quick Links:
  3. Yoden didn't think of himself as a particularly clever man. Sure, there was a reason he'd ended up in his position of power, though some might say he would've gotten nowhere near an office if he hadn't been from a noble family. But sometimes he felt like everyone was one step ahead of him. Until now. He'd been looking for the Sweeper. The meeting had just recently ended for the day, and someone had managed to make a mess everywhere, and Yoden was the unlucky fellow told to go find the Sweeper. He'd started calling himself the Moper and was moping around and slacking on his duties, and Yoden found himself wondering how in Harmony's name the man hadn't been fired yet. Yoden finally found the Sweeper's closet in the building, and opened it without knocking. He was about to ask for the Sweeper to come help when he noticed the pile of bones on the floor. There was a...thing squeezing through a crack in one of the walls, and Yoden just barely got a glimpse of it before it disappeared. Yoden stood there for a moment, all thoughts of the mess in the meeting hall fleeing his mind. All he could think about was the bones on the ground before him, in the Sweepers closet no less, and that strange thing that he had seen. Oh Harmony, Yoden thought, Sweeper was a Faceless Immortal, and he's just abandoned his body for a new one. ~ Magrait found themselves sneaking through the halls of the capitol building. While they were probably the closest match to Adomert and Inedze out there, they still had their own...personality quirks. They couldn't stop themselves from stealing things sometimes. Her current mark was walking ahead of them, and Magrait was sure that the mark didn't know they were following. Which was only reasonable. Magrait had a nearly perfect track record as a thief. Suddenly, her mark made a turn around a corner, and Magrait turned the corner to follow them. They stopped when their mark wasn't there, their hand going to the knife at their side. A hand wrapped around her neck, pulling her to the cold ground. Before Magrait could let out a noise, another hand covered their mouth. Magrait frantically tapped her copperminds, looking to see if there was any information that could help them from those. There wasn't much, though they did realize they didn't want to die like Adomert or Inedze had. So they fought, biting at the hand covering their mouth and trying to pull the arm away from their throat. It wasn't much use, though their attacker finally pulled their hand away from Magrait's mouth. Magrait was about to yell for help when a cold sharp pain hit them in the back. For a moment, Magrait was confused as the pain hit them and her attacker stood up. Magrait tried to move, but then they realized their body was failing. Their limbs were going numb, their vision growing cloudy, and finally Magrait realized that the pain in their back was from a knife. Magrait coughed up some blood, and began to tap their copperminds as their life began to fade. Better to relive the good memories from Adomert and Inedze's lives during her final moments. ~ Veren stopped tapping their tinminds. Veren had suspected Magrait for awhile, had found some of their missing appearances suspicious. And while Veren was currently trying to work both sides of this foolish gathering against each other, they weren't okay with murder or the destruction of miles' worth of railroads. And so, they followed Magrait through the building, tapping tin to increase their senses so they couldn't lose them in these dark hallways. It's hard to lose track of someone when you can hear them from miles away. And they were constantly burning electrum. The experience was disconcerting sometimes, but Veren had grown so used to it that they often forgot that everyone else didn't watch their future selves do things seconds ahead, and then make new decisions off of that. So Veren saw their own shock a few seconds before anything happened, and they began to slow down, hand going to their side in case they needed a knife. Magrait had just turned down a corner a little bit ago, though they hadn't come out yet. Veren quickly considered what her shock must mean. It could be that they walked around the corner and saw a dead body, someone Magrait had killed. Maybe Magrait was attacking someone, maybe- Veren was surprised to see Magrait dead on the ground, pooling in their own blood. And they saw themselves taking a knife to the back as well. They quickly tapped tin, heightening their senses even more, turning around to grab the knife before it hit them. Their new electrum shadows kept dying, and Veren began to react to each death quickly, struggling to keep their attacker's knife away from them. It was surprisingly difficult. Veren was surprised by who it was, but maybe they shouldn't have been. Suddenly, Veren's electrum stores ran out. They panicked, realizing what had happened. They'd been burning electrum too much, almost flaring it to keep themselves alive in the fight. They hadn't prepared to need this much tonight. And so, their attacker quickly took advantage of Veren's moment of surprise, putting a knife in their stomach, and knocked them to the ground. Veren struggled, trying to crawl away, but they didn't get far before their attacker finished them off and fled into the scene. ~ "You're telling me," Goren said to Yoden, who'd been in Goren's office far later than he'd wanted to be, "that the Sweeper was some sort of mythological creature from the stories come to life?" "Yes." Yoden said. "For the fifteenth time, I know what I saw. The bones were in the closet, and something squeezed through a crack in the wall." The guards in the office with them seemed unnerved by this story, even despite how often Yoden had said it by now "Well," Goren said thoughtfully. "We're locking down the city. We already have everyone here in the building, and no one is leaving this building unless they were in this room tonight. If there really is a murderous Faceless Immortal out there, it can't be any of us, yes?" There were some nods around the room, and Yoden found himself reluctantly nodding. "That means it could be literally anyone in this rusting city. It's probably someone in this building, or at least that's what I'd assume given all the important stuff is happening here. First things first, we're going to-" The door suddenly burst open, a guard running in. "Sir!" He yelled, trying to catch his breath, "two dead bodies in the same hallway. We're trying to figure out how they died." "Change of plans then." Goren said, standing up. He looked to those who had already been in the room, and they carefully began to surround the new guard. Just in case. "We're locking everyone up in the main hall for now, if they aren't there already. We're staying here until we figure this rusting thing out." He shook his head. "Two new murders and a Faceless Immortal in the same night?" ~ Araris Valerian has died! They were the Kandra! Devotary of Spontaneity has been killed! They were a Loyalist Spinner Ferring and Thief! Flyingbooks has been killed! They were a Loyalist Oracle/Windwhisper Twinborn! A secret has been revealed! PMs are still closed, so please avoid PMing still. In addition, there will be a removal this turn. As a reminder, there is no vote minimum, and a tied vote will result in one of the tied players being removed. This turn will end at 9 am CDT on Saturday, June 12th. Player List: PMs will be sent out shortly, if they haven't been already.
  4. Josephine felt relaxed for the first time in a long while. Getting to spend the night out at the tavern and interact with people, even if she had been a little nervous at first. Shara and Juno were really sweet, and they'd helped her come out of her shell quite a bit. She'd even been persuaded to get some coffee by Shara, so she felt alert and awake. And so it was no surprise that she heard the footsteps following her before her attacker wanted her to, with her nerves on edge already. Her first thought was fear, then her second was of the instructions she carried on her. I can't let this person see those, Josephine thought, quickly turning around, tapping electrum to help calm her nerves. She would need as much determination as possible to get out of this and make it to her spaceship. The attacker came at her with a spike, and Josephine went to grab their arm, hoping to keep that spike far away from her as possible. The attacker tossed her to the ground, trying to get enough leverage to just push the spike down into her chest. Josephine struggled to keep that spike away from her, while also trying to kick the attacker off of her. It was no use, they were just a lot stronger than her. The spike drove through her chest. "Pah," she said, blood spurting out of her mouth as the attacker walked away. "I hate having to border-skip...." Her life faded shortly after. ~ Myra ran through the streets, her attacker somewhere behind her. She burned zinc, trying to enflame any emotions she could think of that would help stop her follower. The stranger had already got one hit on Myra, with a strange spike that still ached in her shoulder. The streets of Garmet were way too quiet at night, the chill digging at her bones and the spike itself sending jolts of pain throughout her body any time she moved. She noticed a shadowed alleyway, and ducked around the corner at the last moment, hoping to lose her attacker. She hid behind some boxes, hoping that the attacker would lose track of her. Unfortunately, she barely had time to scream before the attacker grabbed her from behind, ramming another spike through her, and leaving her body there for the cold. ~ There was a man who went by the name of Az. Most didn't know where he came from, and he didn't often show up at the meetings. But tonight, someone was looking for him. He could hear their footsteps quietly following him as he walked through his apartment. He'd stayed away from the meetings on purpose, once they got trapped, because he didn't trust any of these people. Quietly, he walked around his apartment, gathering his equipment. A vest lined with aluminum to prevent allomancers from pushing or pulling on it. An aluminum gun as well. Dark clothing to make it so Tineyes or Windwhispers had to work harder to see him. He didn't have time to grab everything, but any good hazekiller worth his money knew how to defend themselves with only part of their equipment. The attacker finally caught onto what Az was doing, and attacked. Az reached for his gun, but the attacker knocked it out of his hands. Az stumbled back, trying to get enough room from his attacker so he could reach for the knife strapped to his leg. He wasn't used to people going straight for physical combat first. He finally managed to grab his knife as the attacker got a spike into his neck. Az's eyes went wide, hands going to his throat, as the attacker pushed the knife even deeper. Eventually, Az fell still. ~ The next morning, news spread throughout Garmet of three murders throughout the night, all seemingly unconnected in who was killed. Yoden sighed as he read the papers that morning, a chill going down his spine. That's just great, he thought to himself. ~ Lotus has been killed! They were a Rebel Pulser/Pinnacle Twinborn! Jondesu has been killed! They were a Loyalist Rioter Misting! Azmine_king has been killed! They were a Loyalist Hazekiller! PMs are still closed, so refrain from making PMs please. There will be a removal this turn. As a reminder, there is no vote minimum, and a tied vote will result in one of the tied players being removed. This turn will end at 9 am CDT on Thursday, June 3rd. Also, credit to Lotus to giving me some stuff about her character that I put into the writeup! Player List: PMs will be sent out as soon as possible.
  5. Day Three: Lost Stars “God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run Searching for meaning But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?” —’Lost Stars’, Adam Levine/Keira Knightley Far as I could tell, Kast was out of it. Passed out stone dead on the old sofa. Probably could’ve had a gang fight break out in the office and he wouldn’t have noticed a thing. I thought of prodding him, but figured he could use the rest. Stubborn bastard doesn’t seem to believe in sleep, the way most normal folks do. Ain’t natural, but what can you do? I work my share of late nights, as you do in this line of work, but that’s just this life being a pain in the arse. Honestly, it might’ve been for the better. See, the way I saw it, what with the spikes and the rogue Coinshot at work, there was a lot of murkiness right now. I didn’t like that. Too many things coming up out of nowhere, as far as these cases were concerned. I knew they were connected, but it ground my gears that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how. Felt a bit like I was poking around blindly in the dark, trying to shed even a little light. Of course, that’s what it’s like a lot of times in this line of work. You draw a few diagrams, connect a few threads, and figure out what leads to chase down and ask some questions. Or you keep your ear to the ground. You never know what’s going to be your next break in the case. And sometimes, that break never really comes, and then you’re staring at a case gone colder than the tea they served back at the precinct. God, that was some awful tea. Still sets my teeth on edge, thinking about it. Was the colour of the canal water before dredging, and tasted half as filthy, too. Used to be, we’d get one of the runners to go down to the shops and pick up a round of tea with the baywraps. Sometimes, I’d do it myself. It’s good to go have a walk, stretch your legs a bit while trying to make progress on your latest caseload. ...Don’t ask me how I know what canal water tastes like. At any rate, I could’ve used Kast working the cases as well, but a tired investigator makes mistakes. In Tremredare, we learned there are times you need to keep working even though you’re dead on your feet, because time matters, and if you’re too slow, the perp gets away, or the vic’s dead. And there are times you need to call it a day and just clock out, because you aren’t going to be doing anybody at all a lick of good by staying put and running over the same old ground, hour after hour. I reckoned this was one of those times. And—though I hated to admit it, because it’s never the case investigators work better alone, and we had a whole team back in the precinct for a reason—I felt like getting to work without Kast would do me some good. Wasn’t that I doubted him, not exactly, but the spikes and the rogue Coinshot had me worried. And with Kast dead to the world right now, I’d know that if anything went down tonight, he couldn’t have been involved. Occam’s Razor and all that. Of course, sometimes there really is a second shooter. And sometimes you cut yourself, shaving in the dark. Still, I could do with a smoke, and a think. Some of it had to do with the events of the day. I was troubled by the way Variel had died. The way that fear, that hostility, and all those other darker instincts of human nature had surged in Fallion’s Tears and had the villagers turning on him. Truth to be told, some of that was worry for us. I figured if they were stringing up strangers, or looking to do so, Kast and I would be next. Little wonder they’d have gotten to that point, if Erik and the newly-minted volunteers of the militia hadn’t intervened. Seven years is the blink of an eye, in a place like Fallion’s Tears, and I wasn’t interested in dancing the hemp fandango. Mayor Wilson talked to me, asked me if I’d be interested in joining up. I thought about it. She told me to take my time, but I figured I wasn’t the sort of guy to go back to taking orders and giving them. I don’t really handle authority and all that structure well, which is probably ironic if you think about how much of my work involves making sure the law matters. Too much time since I’d been that man, back in Tremredare, and look at how well that ended up. “Why aren’t you asking Kast?” I wanted to know. “I think if you agreed, he would too,” said the Mayor, and I suppose I couldn’t disagree with that. “And if I asked him straight up, he’d probably say no.” Which just goes to show at least one of us is pretty damned predictable, I guess. I hadn’t liked the way Variel had died either, though I supposed there was no help for it. Back in the precinct, they always warn you about the desperate ones. Corner a rat, and he’ll fight. Last thing you want is to push a suspect into a corner and make them feel desperate enough and watch them come at you with every last thing they have. Of course, we’d been talking before that, and I figured it was just a friendly interview, but in the end, I’d really rather my business partner stay alive, so that was that. Best I could figure, he was another name on the list of people I owed it to to crack this case right open. Leas Fel, Bart, Lasalen, and now Variel. I didn’t know where Niru or that bystander who got attacked fit in just yet, but I was determined to work that out. Ain’t no point in burying your head in the past, not when there’s work to be done. There’s only one way we have to go, and that’s forwards. My next best set of leads meant I needed to chase down the metallurgists in the village, see what I could get out of them. So I got my hat and my coat. I hesitated over the weighted vest. Hadn’t worn one in a long time since training, but you take what advantage you can get. Even if I was getting old. Vest went on, and I picked up the dueling cane. Wasn’t much for dueling, not the way Kast had been, but a cane is a fairly simple weapon and you can’t really mess it up much. Between that and my iron vials, I figured I was more or less set for anyone I might encounter. Then I went to have a chat with Tesse Mourn and Dayle Palladiel, see what I could turn up. Tesse Mourn was out. Wyl rapped on the store door a couple times but got no response. As far as he could see, the whole place was dark, just as the apartment above was. He frowned. Strange time to be out and about, though maybe Mourn was taking the chance to run some errands. Maybe being one of the resident metallurgists in Fallion’s Tears left her with little time, though that thought rang false. He couldn’t see how a metallurgist would be kept busy, not with the likely small number of Mistings in a quiet village like this. Someone cracked the neighbouring door open. “What’re you after?” asked a cheerful old man, with a curious glint in his eye. Wyl recognised him by reputation: Willie, one of the older residents of Fallion’s Tears, who never found any sort of business he wouldn’t poke his nose into. “Surely you ain’t thinking one of us did it, are you?” “No,” Wyl shook his head. “Just here to ask some questions.” “Looking for Tesse then? Tesse’s a good girl, just a little...odd.” “Doesn’t appear to be in.” Willie cackled. “She goes out at night, a lot. Never on the same day, and always at different timings. Always with that small satchel, or a bundle of hers.” That caught Wyl’s interest. “Huh,” he said. “She look worried, then?” “Often enough,” Willie replied. “Not really sure why—she seems to be doing good business, lately. Better than normal, even.” “Lots of customers?” “No, but you can see smoke from the shop,” said Willie. “Deliveries of ingots, too. Don’t think even a Mourn has that sort of money to throw on experimentation!” He cackled, mostly to himself. “Not like Lasalen. You know they used to hold illegal cage matches where they made ducks dance to the worst music?” It wasn’t something Wyl had known, or had really wanted to know. “Won enough money in one of them that day,” Willie continued. “Paid off Arenta for good! Ah, the ducks were kind to me that day…” “Nothing slips by you, does it? Any idea if Leas Fel ever came to her?” Wyl asked. Even if Tesse was closed-mouthed about her customers, perhaps Willie might’ve seen something. He certainly seemed to have no compunctions about sharing what he knew. Wyl fully intended to take advantage of that. Willie shook his head, and then hesitated. “Once,” he said, frowning as he tried to recall. “Wasn’t about the metals, though, I don’t think. He had a sword with him. Tesse does metalwork on the side, you know. Not just the ones the Mistings swallow. Otherwise, I’ve never seen him around.” Wyl took that in thoughtfully. Most people in Fallion’s Tears took metalwork that needed doing to Edgar, the blacksmith. But it made sense that Tesse did some metalwork on the side. You had to have some of the skills, when you spent your time refining and alloying metals to the exact degree of precision needed so that Allomancers didn’t fall sick trying to burn them. Maybe she liked it. Or maybe she needed the extra boxings. Edgar’s queue was always full up, and he was always complaining there was more work to be done than hands that could do it. Or maybe there was something else there. His instincts said the deviation mattered, which meant he really needed to talk to Tesse Mourn. “What about Bart, seen him?” “Couple times,” Willie said, with a shrug. “He gets his metals from her. Always said you can’t do better than a Mourn if you want pure metals that won’t get you sick.” Wyl nodded, contemplatively. There was at least a link between Bart and Leas Fel, then, in the person of Tesse Mourn. That was a bit better than what they had to go on, previously. “You looking for her, then?” Willie asked, as the silence stretched on out. “Like I said, I just have some questions to ask her.” “Like those you asked Variel?” There was a hint there, almost an accusation. Wyl’d killed with his metal and he expected he’d go on killing, when he had to. Sometimes, life just didn’t give you this much of a choice. He’d held against it the lists of cases cracked, lives saved. Sometimes, it weighed up. And sometimes you were just a bitter old man out in the night, trying to ask the questions that needed to be asked. “I just asked him questions,” Wyl replied. “He felt he didn’t have much choice.” “Say that a lot, do you?” “Been in a few scraps, and yeah, it starts to feel that way,” Wyl said. He didn’t invite further conversation, and after a few more inarticulate grunts, Willie got the point and withdrew into the darkness of his own lodgings. He lit his pipe, and settled in for a while. The night was young, and he could afford to wait for Tesse Mourn to return. Hours ticked past. Tesse Mourn did not return. Wyl clicked open his pocket watch and grunted irritably. It looked like getting ahold of Tesse Mourn this night was a wash. The symbol of the Tremredare Watch glinted on the battered face as he clicked it shut again and shoved it into a coat pocket. Sometimes, you just had to accept it was a dead end. He stamped about a bit to get the numbness out of his legs and headed off for Dayle Palladiel’s metallurgist shop instead. Odd woman, Palladiel. Shut herself in with her books and her metals. Wasn’t much of a conversationalist, either, though Wyl liked to think they had a decent working relationship, if only because he bought metals from her. Maybe she’d have an answer for him on the rogue Coinshot angle. He could only hope, really. He crossed the village square, keeping his eyes open. There was—some people had scribbled graffiti on the walls of the local watering hole again, and Wyl sighed with exasperation. Sure, probably wasn’t illegal. The local ordinances against graffiti in Tremredare had always been precinct-based, and seen more as nuisance laws than anything. With enough stabbings, thefts, assaults, and robberies, you just didn’t have energy to give a damn about someone’s daubings on someone else’s storefront, unless it was moneylender harassment, which always had the potential to escalate. Still, he felt bad for Sara, he supposed. Poor woman had enough on her mind, no doubt. Didn’t need the hassle of removing ever more graffiti from the walls of The Steel Crow. And that random bystander, she’d been attacked outside the Crow. Made Wyl frown, really, to think that a woman wasn’t safe in Fallion’s Tears, not even leaving the tavern. That was the state of things now, especially if they didn’t put a stop to the murders soon. There was a scream. Another scream, tearing through the night that blanketed Fallion’s Tears, and the swirling mists. Wyl cursed, and ran for it. Fool he, to go running in the direction of danger. But he was better armed, today. And it was what he did. Couldn’t live with himself if he’d done anything else, really, without seeing if he could go help. This time, he burned iron, even as he ran. Immediately, the tracery of blue lines flared to life, which was good enough for him—he yanked at a wrought-iron sign, sending himself speeding upwards and in the direction of the screaming. Moving quickly was always more difficult as a Lurcher, and as much as he hated to admit it, Wyl was starting to feel his years. Easier with Coinshots, who could often slow their fall with a dropped clip, or push off of one. Most Lurchers were clumsier—they just burned iron and pulled themselves right at things. Wyl had never liked clumsiness. He didn’t quite soar through the night, but he made good progress, Ironpulling on various metal structures. It was amazing how many nails there were in Fallion’s Tears, driven into wood and stone solidly enough that Wyl could trust them to hold up as he Lurched towards them. Coins whipped through the night, and Wyl slapped them aside with his Lurching. People often thought iron was less versatile, and it was partially true. Pulling things meant you had to be more precise. Any Coinshot could deflect coins. A Lurcher had to pull them away, preferably embed them in a wooden shield, something that it would be difficult to extricate them from. Those that headed right at him, he pulled to both sides of him, wincing as they bounced off the flagstones. He’d have been giving the rogue Coinshot more to work with, if he didn’t get rid of the coins as soon as he could. But tonight, it seemed the Coinshot had company. Unfriendly company. Another shower of coins whipped towards the Coinshot, who deflected them in all directions. Wyl dodged those that came his way and tried to take in the situation. There had been a scream, hadn’t there? He saw the prone body of Pie Roayong, lying on the ground in a pool of blood. Bent over him, as if to shield him, was Thiriel. Wyl hadn’t a good opinion of Thiriel—he knew the type: spineless social climber, the sort you found licking the Herons’s boots in Tremredare. Word was that Thiriel had been putting out feelers, trying to support both the Lord Ruler and the skaa rebellion, which was pretty smart on his part, if downright unsavoury. Thiriel hadn’t been killed by the Coinshots, though. Best as Wyl could tell, there was a blue line going right to Thiriel’s back, and unless he missed his guess, Thiriel had been knifed. Or killed by another spike, he supposed. He wasn’t wandering into a two-way steel fight just to figure it out at the moment. Lord Ruler, Wyl thought, glancing at Pie Roayong’s body. Dead only two days after his adopted father had died. What sort of screwed up world did this to a kid, really? In a kinder world, a better world, Pie Roayong wouldn’t have needed to bury his father, let alone join him in the grave. He felt the anger burn within him again, harsh and uncompromising. Wyl welcomed it. The two Coinshots were backing off. Maybe they hadn’t expected so many Mistings to be out on this particular night. He thought of calling out a caution, but hesitated. Last thing he needed was for them to team up against him without any backup. Goddamnit, this was when he missed having Kast around. Both of them together, even with Kast’s game leg, he’d have put good odds on them stopping the Coinshots. But it was just him, and Wyl knew better than to try heroics at a time like this. He kept his metal on, even as the Coinshots departed and went over to the two dead men. It would give him early warning, if either of the Coinshots decided to return for round two. There was a third body, one that Wyl hadn’t noticed earlier. Probably the fact he’d gone in the middle of a live steel fight was throwing him off. That, and the opacity of the night mists. He knelt by it. Multiple wounds, consistent with the bloodied coins that lay strewn on the ground. It was Shard, he realised. Lots of the village regarded him as the crazy kid in town, though Wyl knew it was a facade. Shard asked way too many questions and listened way too much. Question was, who was he reporting to? Had it been some kind of grudge killing? He stood up and drew in a long breath. He’d been up all night, it seemed. He was tired, and the first light was beginning to steal over Fallion’s Tears, bathing the village square in blood. All these damned killings were going to end, one way or another. Wyl didn’t care how, but he would see them stopped, or he would die trying. You didn’t just whack someone. Not without consequences. Not in Tremredare, and Wyl wasn’t about to let them start in Fallion’s Tears. The Young Pyromancer was a Regular Villager! The Young Bard was a Village Lurcher! Experience was a Village Rioter! The Day has begun and will end on 7th March at 2300hrs SGT (GMT+8)! PMs remain open! The Writing on the Walls of the Crow: and