20th of Summer, 503AV
The Docks, Ravok, Syliras Region
The corpse stared up at young erick with listless, unfocused hatred. The man had apparently been filled with rage in his last seconds, and an expression of undiluted disgust now sat permanently etched into his face like stone.
Erick glanced both ways, up and down the alley. It was a good rule of thumb when one found a corpse to make sure that you weren’t about to be next. Nobody here… Somehow, it didn’t make him feel any better. Sighing, the child knelt by the body. Following the many Longsword lessons he had been receiving from his father as of late, he had taken to carrying a short piece of driftwood he had found the season prior. It had spent enough time adrift in Lake Ravok that it had petrified and hardened, and was decently sturdy tool with which to poke the body a few times.
After several chimes of this, Erick was fairly certain that the man was, indeed, as dead as he appeared. That, and the novelty quickly began to expire. Sheathing the stick back through a loop in his trousers, he did what any good native born Ravokian boy would do: He began fishing through the guy's pockets.
First and most pressing was the man’s purse. A paltry handful of coins, mostly copper with a couple silver. Chicken feed to an adult, but to a child, a vast treasure. Beaming, he eagerly pocketed the change, and continued to search. Searching down the leg to the black leather boots that encased the man's body, there was a sheathed dagger tucked neatly away beneath his pant leg.
The upper part of his body is dry, but everything below the knees is soaked. Weird. He quickly pulled the dagger from the sheath, eyeing the blade. The steel was in dire need of some tender love and care, long spotted lines of rust going up and down the length of the weapon, accentuated by several deep knicks in the metal. The tip of the weapon was covered in blood, and Erick deftly tapped a finger to it to test the consistency.
Still wet. Promptly Erick sheathed the weapon, tucking it back into the dead man's boot. With the prospect of salvageable goods exhausted, Erick’s hands continued their exploration of the body, but for far less practical reasons. He knew what he was looking for, but wasn’t sure if he was going to find it or not.
The child grinned wildly as he felt it through the cloth of the man’s jacket - the distinctive crunching rustling of papers. He pulled the fabric away, revealing a neatly concealed inner pocket with a scroll inside. Deftly retrieving it he unwrapped it, giving it a quick scan.
Yep. The guy was a citizen alright. Erick was young, but old enough to know well enough that this little piece of parchment made a huge difference. His own parents never let him leave the house without his. Otherwise, this man's death would likely mean nothing to anybody. As it was, though, somebody was going to demand answers.
Lorien Greyvale? The name wasn’t familiar to Erick. He studied the paper a few chimes longer, before tucking it back into the man's jacket where he had found it. I wonder what killed this man…? He stood up over the body, drawing his switch once more and using it to gently nudge the corpse over to one side, studying closely for any obvious wounds. The man's clothes were dirty and caked with several substances, which was unusual in and of itself - maybe it would be fitting for a visitor or a slave, but a registered citizen, Erick generally would expect to be better kept.
Maybe he was tortured and killed. Nothing in the alleyway Erick had seen indicated a fight had taken place recently. So tortured and killed elsewhere, then… just, dumped here? Why? Did they want him found? Somewhere in the back of his mind Erick could hear his fathering chastising him about how important it was to mind his own business. But then, Erick never could resist a good mystery.
And he wasn’t too good at doing as he was told, either.
His heart suddenly sank into his stomach as he heard something echoing down the alleyway. The soft pitter patter of feet, perhaps? That, or the boys paranoia was getting the best of him. Then again, he was standing right over the petrified corpse of a Ravokian citizen. Almost on instinct, the child darted away from the body, a small ridge that protruded from a nearby building providing a small alcove of shadow to hide in as he held tightly to his stick, and waited as the sound grew nearer, holding his breath as he pulled flat against the wall.