Open Chronicles Something not so Wicked

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Maybe. He’d take that over whatever counted for go-fuck-yourself as of late. Some progress.

Giving but a grim nod, he submit to remaining on foot next to the cart as Amelia climbed on. It was getting crowded, so he was glad enough to be excluded from whatever requirement the dawn knight had for the squire’s eyes and mind.

He rounded the cart slowly, glancing about the road and yards of little houses, the onlookers therein. All too curious. He hadn’t but his dissatisfied stare to give them.

Putting a foot on the wheel, he levered himself up as softly as he could, the side of the bed his support as he settled to watch. And listen or eavestdrop, depending whichever one had the mind to call it.

Amelia Hawthorne Faramund
Faramund made room for Amelia by moving across to the other side. He was a big guy, but the inquisitive look in the young squire's eye had him feeling like he was under sudden and direct threat. Clearing his throat, the dawnling nodded to the body.

'Take a look at her face,' he said. 'Anything jump out at you?'

His eyes moseyed over to Aarno as the squire did as bid. The he-orc was glancing around at the nearby buildings. Faramund did the same, albeit with a bit more subtlety. Quite the audience, he thought, playing off his actions with the usual disinterested grunt.

'I noticed you got an eyeful of the crowd, earlier,' he remarked, turning back to Amelia. 'Saw the way you took in their features, the cut of their garb.' The cart rocked gently as Aarno clambered up the side, like a curious child with the muscle mass to kill grown men.

'I followed one of the two standouts. Bastard gave me the slip, though.' The others had been in the room with him, but Faramund didn't mind shouldering the blame. It would have landed on him regardless. 'There was another. A woman,' he nodded to the body between them before meeting the youngster's gaze.

'See what I'm getting at?'

Amelia Hawthorne Aarno
There hadn't been time to make notes in her journal like she had wanted between all the things happening. Amelia didn't want to miss a detail. But it seems that Syr Faramund was showing there was indeed a clever man beneath the brute persona he portrayed, and he showed his hand now with the details he helped gather where she couldn't.

It was a pleasantly humbling experience, and Amelia was nothing if not a scholar who was willing to adapt her views to new and better information. Her initial impression of the Dawnling shifting into a more positive light in the span of this brief interaction. She respected competency above all else.

Following Faramund's lead, the squire took a closer look at the dead woman, brushing the wet hair from her face while Amelia went over everything from the day in her mind, in lieu of her notes. There was something, almost there at her fingertips... a memory.

Hesitantly, she looked up and across the body at Faramund. "That woman in the crowd from earlier. She had the same face."

Faramund Aarno
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They were figuring something out alright.

He’d been listening without really looking until Amelia’s concluding remark, his stare pulled to the deceased in a frown that deepened.

“ The same face. “ He repeated in a low mutter, some disbelief in it. “ The very same, or same in a familial, resembling sense? “ As his stare rose to refresh around them, he spotted Into across the bed from him, staring. Since when had he been there, the weasel—

“ What's going on here? Detect something? “ The man asked in a whisper, chin resting on his forearms.

Amelia Hawthorne Faramund
'Same as in-' Faramund's reply was cut short by the look on Aarno's face. Turning, the knight very nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Into staring back at him. How the militiaman had managed to get the drop on all three of them was anyone's guess. Must be slipping, he thought, or there's more to this boy than meets the eye.

Yeah, right!

'What's it to you?' He asked, going on the offensive. 'Shoo, before someone else gets murdered!'

Technically, someone already had been shuffled off their mortal coil, though Faramund failed to mention that part. Watching Into disappear from view, the dawnling waited until the man was out of earshot to continue. 'Strange boy,' he remarked, eyes narrowing in thought. 'Best be keeping an eye on him, methinks.'

Shifting on his haunches, the dawnling cleared his throat.

'Anyways, where were we? Ah, yes! I believe the squire was correct in her assessment. Our poor victim here has a doppelganger, one that looks exactly alike,' he paused, amused by the look on Syr Aarno's mug. 'What? Surely you must have heard tell of Lord Weilburg having sired two daughters before shipping one of them off, never to be seen again?'

Amelia Hawthorne Aarno
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Amelia followed Faramund's gaze as Into walked away, a seemingly characteristic pep in his step, despite the rain.

She hummed her agreement with the Dawnling's assessment while turning back to the dead woman. She hadn't seen the resemblance between the two women much before because the difference that life had made in the animation of someone's face versus this new state of death, was enough to sometimes make one a stranger at first glance.

"I'm going to be honest with you two." She stood up from her crouch and stretched, trying to release the pressure at the base of her spine. "I don't know much about doppelgangers. And what I do know, is not going to make this investigation any easier." Amelia hopped down from the wagon and turned to the men, her arms crossed as she casually tapped her chin in thought. "But I think that we need to hurry and get her body someplace dry. And then we can ask the townspeople what they know, away from the prying eyes of their Elder woman?"

Faramund Aarno
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Promptly dismissed.

He looked into the peasant’s wake for a moment, nothing but agreement in the hum he gave as Faramund remarked on him. That sentiment, once again, wasn’t to last.

It was quick replaced by his usual unimpressed weariness as the dawn knight continued, appearing to engage in some snark at his expense. He regarded it with all due respect and reaction — none whatsoever. Only as the squire spoke did he finally flicker from his dead stare, lowering from where he’d been perched to observe.

“ Agreed. If she was indeed here in a search, asking around, plenty should know what for. “ Remaining at the cart’s side, he turned on heel to face the squire. “ As comes to a doppleganger — “ He put weight on the word to illustrate all the disblief he could muster, eyes landing at the ground instead of Faramund. “ Or a possible sibling, at least we’ve a detailed description to go off of, no? “

Blowing a breath that bordered on pained, he made to the front of the cart.

“ Why don’t you drive, Syr Faramund. I’ve about the idea where our promised shack is, so I’ll lead on foot. “ A glance went past the draft horse to the old man that’d lent the vehicle and was currently sitting down on a bench outside the tavern, puffing at his pipe.

“ We’ll return the cart at the end of the day, if that is quite alright. “

To it, he got but a nod as the man settled firmer into just being, appearing in no rush. All well and good.

With that settled, Aarno wasted time no further, taking off in a march down the street.

Amelia Hawthorne Faramund
Pulling the cover back into place, Faramund rose with the squire. 'Sounds good,' he said, head swivelling to face Aarno. The dawnling nodded. Syr, yes, Syr! The cart sighed as his two companions disembarked. Hopping over the front-board and onto the driver's bench, Faramund scooped up the reins, waited a moment for Aarno to explain to the old timer that they were borrowing his wheels.

The greybeard didn't seem too fussed.

With a flick of the reins, Fara got the cart moving. The oxen yoked to the task knew what they were doing, and barely needed any encouragement from the knight.

'Not my usual method of transport,' he grumbled, glancing around at the surrounding homes. He caught a woman staring at them through a window. Didn't even try to hide, he mused, waving politely. The gesture earned him a look, and not an entirely friendly one at that. 'Curious bunch,' he smiled, 'sure know how to make a stranger feel welcome.'

Rolling on through muddy streets, they passed several more villagers, each as interested in the cart's contents as the last. It was almost a relief when they reached the place set aside for them. Parking as close as he could to the doorway, Faramund dismounted. His sabre rattled as he walked round to the back.

'I'll carry her in,' he said, hesitating as he drew near to the body. He turned, sharpish. There was a shimmer of movement. 'You two can deal with the boy. Silly sod's been on us since we left the tavern.'

Amelia Hawthorne Aarno
Amelia grabbed the apple out of Into's hand, as she had stalked up to him meandering completely conspicuously in front of the lone market stand that was half a block from where they had parked the cart. The man was even whistling and pretending to inspect the fruit.

His mock look of shock when she appeared only fueled her irritation. "Good sir. Last I checked you were a guard for this town. Although you are not above suspicion, you were more than welcome to aid us in our investigation as long as you didn't prove to be a nuisance." She slapped the apple back into his hand, but didn't let go, instead used his grip to pull him a mote closer. "And you are proving. to. be. a nuisance."

Collecting her indignation, Amelia took a deep breath and blew it out through her nose, setting her shoulders back and letting go of the apple to brush off and straighten her shawl and tunic. She was nothing if not pragmatic. And she had meant what she said. This guard, as odd as he was, was allowed to help. But his aid did not place him above reproach should evidence surface of his involvement. Which meant keeping him close was their best bet if they were to make his meddling obvious.

"Now." Her hands folded neatly in front of her. "Seeing as how you know these townspeople better than we do. I would be deeply in your debt if you would prove as a liaison for us as we go about conducting interviews. Understandably, this murder has made your people jumpy. And I'm afraid of how reluctant that will make them with information." Pivoting, she extended her arm back towards her Knights. "If you please, sir."

Faramund Aarno
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Carry her in all in your lonesome. Alright then.

Brows arched high, first at the insistence and then at the sudden suggestion, Aarno’s stare bounced from Faramund to their constant shadow of a man. A groan left him, but he hadn’t but to nod and go after Amelia who’d already taken to the assignment.

She was already in full swing by the time he’d marched over. Remaining silent, he settled to hover behind her shoulder, positively glaring. The squire had definitely asked nicer than he’d had the patience for at this point.

Liaison. In debt. Gods be good.

“ Well, but of course! “ Into begun, slapping both palms upon his chest. “ I would love to help, in fact. Anything for you knights and your good cause. “ His twinkling eyes bounced betwixt the knight and squire, then eventually past them wherein the cart lay.

“ What are we doing now? " First order of business-like. Spotting Syr Faramund, the peasant smiled all the wider. " He doesn’t need help, does he? “

Amelia Hawthorne Faramund