Murdered Princess: Laketown Investigation

Laketown Investigation
Summary: Talia and Savaric come across a clue while travelling north that turns the entire investigation into the disappearance of Princess Kerilyn around - literally.
Date: 11 May 2013
Related: Princess kidnapping logs.
Savaric Talia 

Woods near Laketown
A wooded area near Laketown.
09 May 1329

Morning in Laketown. Having stayed in the woods outside of town, Savaric is cuddled up close with Talia as the morning sun starts to peek through the woods to find the couple and stir them awake to start the day. His hand drifts down her back for a moment and a kiss is paid to her lips as he starts to stir to life. "Wife." he comments gently as he stretches out and nudges her again to start to wake her.

The moment Savaric stretches, Talia - who is the most opportunistic snuggler ever - simply snuggles closer, her head tucking against your shoulder, one arm draping across your chest as she settles in at your side again. The gentle nudge only makes her eyes, hazy green with sleep, open briefly and a soft smile to curve her lips before her eyes close again.

Savaric knows this game, all too well. "Talia. Need to be on move." he says to her, another kiss paid to your lips and then your closed eyes as his hand gives your rear a soft squeeze.

Talia makes a soft sound before those green eyes open again, well one of them does, which fixes a long look at her husband. "There are birds that are not yet up," she reminds in a sleep fogged voice.

"And there is a Princess that may die as well." Savaric reminds his wife just as quietly as he disentangles from her. "Make move to Brivey. And then we will have moments for each other. Promise." he says as he moves to pull on his clothes to prepare for the day's travel.

Talia makes another of those soft sounds but rubs at her eyes with her fingertips and rises to her feet, dusting her clothing off as she shakes out her skirt and wraps it around her waist again. "You do have the best arguments, even at this ridiculous hour of the day."

"Aye. And you sometimes offer good thoughts as well." Savaric points out as he pulls on his chain maille and leather jerkin over it as he watches you dress. "I would love nothing more than to disturb forest with sounds of you, but not now." he winks as he works on getting his gear situated next.

"Promises promises," Talia teases as she pauses, mid-dressing, and changes her mind about her attire. Off comes the skirt, again, in fact off comes nearly everything as she strips down to pull on a pair of trousers and short sleeved tunic to wear instead. The skirt and everything else goes back into the knapsack she's carrying and out comes the calf high boots followed by the vest and the padded leather jerkin she'll wear over top.

Savaric cannot help but to admire you as you move about changing your clothes and switching out entirely. The new choice gets a grunt of approval as the Ranger finishes his own preparations as he runs checks on each of his weapons to make sure they are ready to be used.

Talia casts a smile at you over her shoulder as she scoops her hair up first in a thick tail before turning it into a braid that will rest along her back for the better part of the day before escaping in whisps and curls at every available moment. Once dressed and everything tucked back into place she checks her bow, the arrows already in the quiver, both the daggers she carries and the medicine pouch she carries as well before pulling on both boots and stomping briefly to settle them around her feet.

Now that they both seem ready for the day, Savaric rolls up their bed and secures it to his pack before he scatters the ashes of their fire with his boot in order to make it harder to track them as he nods northwards. "Let's go." he offers as he turns towards the trail with his wife.

Talia, the one who remembers that food is required so that the body doesn't get ditzy or dizzy, tosses a apple at Savaric, takes one for herself, and breaks out the package of taveling bread and - snapping it in half - gives the larger piece to Savaric as she glances around to ensure they've left nothing behind.

Savaric gives a small grin of gratitude and reaches into his side pouch and passes back some dried venison as he chews into the apple. Once everything is cleared out and they're prepared, he leads the way towards the road heading to Brivey.

"Is the Royal guard doing any work investigating this?" Talia wonders as she falls in step behind Savaric. "I'd normally guess that they are but they may not be actually walking the ares to search, perhaps?"

"I would assume so, if Princess was taken." Savaric says as he looks over his shoulder towards his wife as the two of them make their way along the path, the Ranger coming near the main road, but seems to stay off of it, instead following the older paths of the deer and other life that follow the paths of the forest.

"Hopefully the Royal guard will do a better job than the Taniford Royal guard did while hunting for their missing royal," Talia says quietly as she pauses long enough to scoop up a handful of berries from one of the bushes that edge the trail. She's familiar with both the terrain, flora and fauna in this area — which means: she won't have them eat something lethal by stupid mistake.

"Not show up at ball with headless corpse. Not investigate scene. Both would be good start." Savaric says as he watches her at work, picking berries and gives a little chuckle of amusement. Just off the trail and off in the distance there is an old cottage. Apparently it was a failed attempt at a homestead. Part of the home has collapsed in on itself. However, it's what's outside of it that may catch attention. A wagon. One of the wheels on it is broken, but the tracks from it are fresh.

"A experienced wagoneer or farmer would have a spare wheel lashed beneath the wagon," Talia says quietly, offering the berries toward Savaric as she comes to stand beside him. "Lets do our best, shall we say, to avoid being the bearer of bad news again."

"Aye." Savaric says, drawing his blade after taking some of the berries and starts to move towards the cabin cautiously. The large ranger approaches quietly, waving back to Talia so that she can prepare her bow, just in case a shot needs to be fired. Instead of going through the front door, he heads towards the collapsed area of the house to look within.

Talia gives another of those quiet nods as she checks the dagger at her side, the other one that's tucked into a sheath at the back of her vest - just behind her neck, and covered by her hair - as she strings her bow and sets one arrow ready.

Finally, after several tense moments comes the familiar whistling tune of a birdcall from inside the house. The all-clear. Which is bittersweet - again they are late, as he opens door. "No body. But someone stayed here. Recently. Come see."

Talia keeps her bow ready even as she follows the sound of the whistle, making her way around the other side of the house to check that angle as well before she joins her husband. "I'm glad we didn't find a body though," she says once she's close.

"No body. Someone was here." As Savaric speaks and steps aside for her, the inside of the house has been gutted. Markings on the wall are a large X and several more crows have been sacrificed, their corpses on the floor. Apparently in the process of the departure though, a sheet of parchment marked with a seal has been left on the ground, slipped on the ground near one of the sacrifices that Savaric has not had a chance to investigate yet.

"Love, what is this?" Talia asks as she picks her way carefully across the blood spattered dead crow littered floor. She uses the tip of one arrow to nudge the piece of parchment, pointing to it before she picks it up. She looks - hard - around the room, the sacrificed crows and back to Savaric once more. "This.. the men behind this, they're believers. Belief.. is a terribly dangerous thing."

"Father was believer. Very dangerous." Savaric agrees as he notices the letter she picks up. Coming over to where she is, he frowns at the seal he sees on it. The horseshoe shape ending in a horse's head on either end - the mark of the House Lohstren. Which Savaric cannot read the name in caligraphy on the front of the letter, Talia can - it's a partial schedule for Princess Kerilyn Rhaedan. And on the back of the page is a map. As Savaric looks it over, the ranger's eyes narrow even further. "This map of March. Instructions to lead to area there." he says, offering the parchment back to Talia.

Talia plucks the letter upward - with care - reluctant to touch the letter but she is able to read the calligraphy on the front of the letter while savaric is reading the back of it. "Love, this letter.. it's for our Princess," she says, eyes going wide as she looks up again. "We have to get this to the guard," she says, her fingers tightening on the letter. "We can make a fair copy, send it to the guard to le them know what we've found then continue on to where the map is leading."

"Lohstren took our Princess." Savaric draws the conclusion they're both thinking. "Will make copy of map. Send letter to Prince Stefan. Suggest he tell Taniford prince to detain House Lohstren family." the ranger does not look pleased. "Get guards. We still have time. Cannot be that far ahead of us - can find them before they sacrifice Princess." he says, looking to Talia as he moves to start making a copy of the partial map. "We will have parcel sent to Prince Stefan."

"Maybe so," Talia murmurs as she holds the map while he fetches the paper and charcoal to use to make the map. "maybe no. Those behind this were clever enough to kill one princess, I don't imagine that they're fools now. Maybe they left this, knowing that someone - or the guard - would find it. But, that's not for us to decide. we're just following the clues and trying to help."

"We follow new clue. Head to March. See what we find. Alert those that can help to meet us there." Savaric says in agreement as he sets about to collect a few feathers and blood to send back to Wolveshire. "Agents of chaos. Try bring forth war anew. Or someone is using them as excuse. If Kerilyn dies - Stefan becomes heir. He would have to marry."

"Aye," Talia replies simply and, as he's collecting she makes another slow sweep of the room and what ever is still standing that's not to dangerous to move through. "Why the crows?' she asks quietly.

"Kharnas is represented by carrion crow. Darkness. Chaos. Why all ceremonies take place at night." Savaric explains to Talia as he takes a look around. "Should burn all. Destroy house. Desanctify the land." he says, feeling the anger rise in his expression. "They believe chaos is the natural order of land."

Talia walks back and reaches out one hand to rest on Savaric's shoulder, "I don't believe we can burn this house down," she says gently. "If we could do so, and not risk it spreading, I would set the fire myself."

"Destroy them all. End chaos." Savaric says. Even Talia's touch is having little effect, the ranger trembling with anger. It was one thing when it was the Taniford woman. Now that it's in their backyard, the ranger is having a much harder time shaking it off.

Talia can feel the anger radiating off of Savaric, "THen we'll find them. And we'll end them," she says gently, moving her hand from his shoulder to take his left hand instead, curling her fingers within his and giving a gentle squeeze. "But we need to get out of here, send the information, and get to the March next."

Nodding his head as Talia grips his hand, Savaric looks towards his wife. "Aye. We should make way there." he says as he lets out a slow breath, she working well to defuse him as he moves to lead her out of the house. "We will stop in Laketown - rent horses, reach March first."

Talia hears 'rent horses, reach March first' and adds in 're-provision' to the itinerary, taking one last glance around before admitting, "Do we have just a moment to bury the crows?" she asks quietly. "It's foolish, I'm sorry, but it bothers me."

"Not touch. If you touch, you will be cursed. Why I suggest we burn." Savaric says, feeling rather superstitious about it all as he looks to his wife. "Do not touch or move. Will catch death. Ill. Curse."

"Alright," Talia says softly, taking his hand again, shivering. "Lets leave this place then, if we can't put them to rest properly I want, no, I need to stop looking at them."

Savaric nods his head finally as he moves to lead her out of the cabin and make the trip back to Laketown. Now it's a race against the clock to get to the Rhaedan princess before it's too late.

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