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BREAKING NEWS: Murder Most Foul in Ascalon Settlement

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Local Newspapers wrote:

BREAKING NEWS: To the horror and dismay of locals from Ascalon Settlement in Gendarran fields, a young unidentified woman was found stripped naked and precariously placed in the stone arms of Dwayna in the early hours of the morning. The victim showed no outward signs of trauma apart from the blood smeared across her face. Locals were quick to demand answers from Seraph who did not comment at the time. There is some speculation about the Seraph having been off duty during the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning, as one witness claimed to have seen several in the tavern.

A curfew has not been put in place at this time nor is there any word about the victim's family being informed. However, there is fear that a string of violence will follow given the epitaph placed below the victim's body:

spider crawling up the spout,
guess who let the devil out?

. . .

NEWS UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Rhea Ratta, a nineteen year old girl from the region. Several locals from the Settlement have expressed outrage and shock at Ratta's death. One person, who did not want to identify themselves, suggested that Centaur are responsible for the heinous act.

Seraph have been seen across the township questioning locals and seeking possible leads. Authorities have recently cornered a local Priest who has been preaching by the statue and explaining the murder as clear evidence as to why the people are in need of true salvation. However, his words have been dismissed as religious banter.

Other individuals questioned by the Seraph claim seeing a lone traveler entering the township two days before the body was found. The stranger is rumored to be an adult woman with dark hair, and wearing a long leather coat. Authorities continue to search for answers, but both the culprit and the motive behind this terrible crime remain an unsettling mystery.

We still await a statement from Minister Marlow and from local Seraph.

Dᴀʀᴋɴᴇss sʜᴏᴜʟᴅ ʙᴇ ᴀᴠᴏɪᴅᴇᴅ.
Posted Sep 17, 14 · OP · Last edited Sep 18, 14
Minister Marlow wrote:
Citizens of Kryta, near and afar:

As you've surely been informed already, a kind young woman by the name of Rhea Ratta was recently found dead in the arms of the statue of Dwayna in Ascalon Settlement. The stir caused by this tragic, disgraceful murder, however, only reflects positively on the Settlement. Despite the severe vulnerability of the region, the people of my constituency have maintained so great a degree of peace and order that a single violent incident comes as a great surprise. It is at a time such as this that we must remain confident in ourselves. We must remember that fear and panic may be precisely what this blasphemous slayer wished to create.

Be well assured that I have been swift in my response: half of my personal retinue of guardsmen has been deployed, some to investigate the crime and others to patrol the streets. The Seraph, of course, have not spared a single effort. There can be little doubt that a culprit will be identified very soon, and when the perpetrator has been ascertained, he will meet an end bloodier than that of his victim.

-Baroness Charlotte Marlow, Minister of Ascalon Settlement
Posted Sep 17, 14
[ in keeping with IC reactions because this is really cool: ]

The news of the savage murder rolls in with the headlines -- which in his field meant late. It's delivered with the morning reports by a man who knocks mildly on his door before handing it over, and Alurien barely sits down before his eyes scan across it: Ascalon Settlement... Dwayna's arms... Rhea Ratta. Minister Marlow's statement accompanies it -- the line personal retinue of guardsmen stands out above the rest. That's all he needs to know before he's back out of his seat and grabbing his coat off of the rack. Renoit and Don Perevelli were around somewhere -- he could rope them into coming to Gendarren Fields, hopefully before guards and Seraph alike trampled over the last remaining evidence.
Posted Sep 17, 14
Word was delivered from Gendarren Fields to Divinity's Reach on short notice after being made aware of the heinous murder of Rhea Ratta. A bustling discussion emerged within The White Lily; numerous staff operating within the store that morning where utterly shocked and bewildered at the thought of the poor young having her life cut so short. The proprietor of the store, Lady Viola Valen, sat behind her oaken desk within her office, staring into distant oblivion as she bit down furiously at her newly filed nails. Curiouser... and curiouser. Thoughts raced within her mind, causing those women around her to begin to wonder of Viola's peculiar attitude. Lone traveler... many travel alone, though, it would not hurt to take an interest.
What she lacks in poetry, she makes up for in venom.
Posted Sep 18, 14
At Roanrock, in the Ascalon Settlement:

Lord Elliot Saville reads over his niece's bulletin, his mouth an unreadable line under his white whiskers. Charlotte had done a good turn, he thought. It was a confident and thoroughly addressing piece that would surely comfort the citizens here. This posting suited her, and like all Savilles (he thought), she performed well in crisis.

"What do you make of it, Corbin?" the old man asked. The remnants of breakfast were laid about on the desk. No time to breakfast in the garden or with his grandson, this morning.

"Dreadful, sir," the unctuous manservant replied as he brushed the Lord's coat.

"Yes, well... this villain has only two legs and a coward's heart. I say, is it possible I judge a centaur more honorable than a man?" Lord Saville folded the bulletin, reaching for his cane to get to his feet.

"Surely whoever committed this act is no man at all, my lord," Corbin frowned.

"I'm inclined to agree," the old lord nodded. Gods, but did his knees hurt these days. Never mind, never mind. "Summon up the guards in the courtyard, Corbin. Let's make sure we've adequate vigilance until the dog is hunted down."

"Right away, sir."
Posted Sep 18, 14
In a small tavern of Applenook Hamlet...

Grim news followed her like a ruthless specter these days. One failed business negotiation, a contact's sudden disappearance, the constant letters from her dogged employers back in the city; no wonder the shadowy smudges encircling her eyes had been growing so much. The headline on her coffee-stained newspaper stood out as ominous and deathly as blood against snow. Her mouth settled into a thin, sullen line, as she lowered her mug onto the wooden table with a soft thud. Her eyes slowly scanned the tavern, observing the patrons as they grumbled and shook their heads in disbelief.

She greedily downed more of her black coffee, as if to pass the bitter taste of the words on the paper. She gave a mellow grimace as she reached the last paragraphs, then there was a sudden twitch tugging at one corner of her lips. They're looking for a dark-haired woman in a leather coat, she thought, reading the same sentence over and over as if it was a joke. Who, indeed, is the architect of such horror?

She nearly snarled as she tossed the folded newspaper to the table, her eyes suddenly noticing the suspicious glares aimed at her chocolate brown hair and muddied leather armor. Gods, she swore under her scarf.

Posted Sep 18, 14
Dᴀʀᴋɴᴇss sʜᴏᴜʟᴅ ʙᴇ ᴀᴠᴏɪᴅᴇᴅ.
Posted Sep 21, 14 · OP
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