Captain’s Report; Murder in Golden.
15-16 Planting, 960RM
One of the Reeve’s sons came riding into the castle as we prepared for morning drills, the Baron had stayed in leaving us with spare time. The boy reported the murder of a young man in the village of Golden, which lies some 10 kilometers South-West off the main road against the foothills.
Under the Baron’s instructions the following were gathered:
• Lt. Naihm O’Derry, assigned at the request of the Captain of the Draconians for someone from his group to assist.
• Quion Rake, the Baron’s head scribe. He questioned his involvement, claiming little skills that could assist. The man is a little too modest.
• Damien Wrathchild, association with the Baron is unknown. I will not indulge in rumors. He carries himself as a man of martial skill.
• Wythri Maejera, Sage in training. Her master was unable to make it due to ill health, she seems a competent mage.
I took three of the guards with me, Thomas, Alan, and Craig. Hopefully the experience outside the castle walls will be of some good.
Iokua, a feral boy under the care of the Head Cook followed us. I felt it would be easier to allow his presence under my watch than risk him attempting to sneak after us.
Arrival in Golden was made a little after midday, to a small crowd of the majority of villagers. My men immediately went to calm and disperse the crowd. Lieutenant Naihm went to step between the Reeve and the victim’s father, Alfie Senior, who was irate upon arrival. Wythri assisted her in separating and calming the two men.
To save time I will outline all investigated parties below;
*The Victim: *
Alfie Jr, seventeen, murdered the previous night, 14 Planting.
Reeve Edward Newcastle, and sons.
Alfie Senior, victim’s father.
Mayor Abbot Golden.
Stew Golden, Darla Golden, the Mayors son and daughter respectively. Alfie and Stew were close friends, Alfie was courting Darla.
Rich, the Miller’s son, friend to Alfie
Jar and Jeb, twins, sons to Jeffery, the stable master, also friends of the victim.
Pen, the blacksmith’s son.
Flynn, son of Farmer Burley. Father Ethelred stated the boy’s intelligence would have taken him far. Currently missing.
Big Pete, wanted criminal.
As we arrived Quion and Damien immediately went to investigate the body of the boy. Iokua helped investigate the surrounding area, proving himself an adequate tracker. Their observations found that Alfie was beaten, his body moved, and the tracks were made by a large man. There were two other sets of tracks in the area that would later prove to belong to Reeve Newcastle, and his son.
Iokua and Damien were able to follow a trail some ways into the forest and foothills, only losing it as the ground became too rocky to leave a reliable trail.
Naihm and I went to talk with Alfie and the Priest to get a better idea of the town’s workings. Wythri went to look into the town itself, at the time this appeared to be a local grudge and we needed suspects. Alfie was apparently a well liked boy with no enemies according to his father.
Wythri at least found that there was a rivalry between Alfie and Flynn. She also went to investigate the local kid hang out – Druid’s Rock – where she found Alfie’s missing shoe. Now that we had a murder spot things felt like they were progressing.
Quion and Lt. Naihm moved the body to the local church and investigate the cause of death sooner. Finding evidence of someone else’s clothes the boy had torn off in defense, and that he was not robbed. While this went on I interviewed Alfie Senior regarding the details of the relationships with the boys in town, and set up in the local gathering hall. I left two of my men with Quion and one with me.
We were able to meet back up in the late afternoon. Damien, Lieutenant Naihm, and Iokua followed Wythri back up to Druid’s rock to look over the area. Quion and I went to talk to Darla and see if she could shed any insight on the situation.
Last fall Flynn was courting Darla, until, it seems, Alfie and possibly her brother Stew, stepped in to stop him. This would be about the time Flynn disappeared and Alfie started to court Darla instead. She claims to have loved him and was quite distraught over his death. Mayor Golden was initially uncooperative, and more defensive than the situation warranted. He may be hiding some scandal or another, though I couldn’t imagine what or why he would imagine I would care.
We questioned Farmer Burley next. Quion was able to talk to his wife, I gained nothing of interest from the father. Flynn was a skinny young boy, and not one for physical labor. His mother believes him dead and that his ghost visited her. More likely the boy stayed close to the village through the winter and disappeared once things warmed up. I recommend keeping an ear out for the boy, if he is as smart as the Priest says then Demoria could use him.
As the night ended and everyone returned to town Damien and the others reported seeing a smoke column up in the foothills. After dinner it was decided that finding and questioning the boys involved would be prudent. It was a cold night and usually they were likely in the stables where it was warmer.
Instead we found them at Druid’s Rock. A short time questioning revealed that they knew nothing, and were having trouble grasping the death of their friend. I doubt we were of much consolation to their loss. Stew expressed a desire to run away, as Flynn had done. Being the Mayors son he would most likely take over running the town in the future, I tried to warn him against a rash an action as leaving. One has duties to the Kingdom after all. I had Iokua keep an eye on him over the night to make sure he stayed in town.
The day’s conclusion is that Flynn was the most likely suspect, but that he was physically incapable of inflicting the wounds that killed Alfie the Younger. Either he was not the murderer or had gained an accomplice over the winter.
Finalization Of the Investigation
The next morning we headed out as early as possible, immediately after breakfast. Following Damien up into the hills we tracked the smoke to a dilapidated cottage near an abandoned mine. Damien and Iokua circled around the back. I approached once they were in place.
This is where the investigation took a less desirable turn. Or less non-violent conclusion. I was shot with a cross-bow, grazing my arm. Damien in place at the door killed the dog the man had inside the cottage. His only shot expended we closed in, Lt. Naihm demanding the attackers surrender. Damien suffered a blow from Big Pete’s mace as the man attempted to flee. It was Naihm who recognized the man, I am not familiar with the local outlaws as of yet.
He wounded me with his mace even as Naihm and I were able to surround him. A combination of Wythri and Quion’s magics aided us, as well as Iokua’s bow distracting him. Damien was able to kill the man’s trained attack dog as I was able finally to dispatch Pete.
Big Pete repeatedly refused to stand down despite requests on both mine and Naihm’s parts. Naihm was able to prevent him from dying allowing us to bring him back to the Baron’s castle for questioning – aided by Wythri’s magics.
Big Pete was questioned to the Baron’s satisfaction and removed to Foxton to stand trial for this and other crimes.
I returned to Golden to retrieve my men, let the village know the outcome, and assure that the trial would have some witnesses to the events.
There are still several unknowns. On two occasions something of an other-worldly nature was witnessed – a sudden stillness and quiet to the surrounding area. First when investigating Alfie’s body, and second just before questioning the boys at Druid’s Rock the first night. And then there is the disappearance of Flynn, others are convinced he may have had a hand in the murder. I am less so, I believe the boy made good on his threat to find adventure, or at least a bigger town.
Attached is a copy of Naihm’s own report, when documents from the trial are completed they should be filed with both reports.
Yours In Faith,
Lady Isobelle Hawthorne
Captain of The Guard to Baron Matthieu of Foxton.
17 Planting, 950RM