1222.3: A Nice Chianti (Nevin)

Fall has come with a vengeance. It's cold, it's rainy, and the wind blows fierce down the length of the loch.

A couple of days after All Saints', one of the shepherds makes a gruesome discovery. A body in the woods, about half way between the covenant and Cuill Chuimein, just off one of the paths running from the covenant to the pastorage. Well, most of a body, anyway.

The covenfolk are, understandably, a little freaked out about it. Some of the covenant feels they should go tell Lord Nevin what has happened. Others feel that he already knows about it, since he obviously is the one behind it.

In lieu of a consensus among the muggles, a couple of them take it upon themselves to go to Nevin's manor house to tell him of the dire news.

Nevin is found near the manor's small garden that the cook uses to grow her spices and herbs. Nevin often has meals out here and counts the money and goods he's collected. The cool misty air always agreed with him even as it wreaked havoc on old bones and joints.

At the approach of servants Nevin quickly sweeps the coins into a pouch and draws it shut, standing up to receive the visitors.

The butler announces the two visitors from "your lands at Insula Canaria," with disdain in his voice as he mentions the covenant.

The two are obviously related, likely brothers, cousins, or possible father and son (although the one looks a little young to be the father) – one is in his early teens, the other mid to late twenties. They both look [strike]scared out of their wits[/strike] quite nervous.

"Begging your pardon, m'lord," the older says, "but we thought you should know. There's been a death there at the covenant. We're not sure who it is, but we thought you should look into it."

Upon questioning, they will reveal that the body is of an older man, and that the reason that they don't know who it is is that it's been been partially eaten. They think that it's one of the shepherds, but they're pretty much spread out over a couple dozen square miles, so they don't know if anyone's come up missing.

((My initial post disappeared, so I'll try again))

"A body, half-eaten ye say? No idea who? No one is missing?" he calls for his butler to gather the boys and fetch his sword. When his henchmen arrive he tells them to prepare for a bit of a walk in the countryside near the Loch.

"What about those strange folk that live at that Coven? They say anything to ye?"

"It may be one of the shepherds, m'lord," the younger one says. "Sometimes, we'll go out and spend a few days with the flock."

"I don't know that anyone's told the magi. With all that's been going on lately, we don't rightly trust them much anymore, and now that they've got a bunch of new ones..."

The two will take Nevin and whoever he brings along the road to the covenant, veering off onto a trail shortly before they reach Insula Canaria. About half an hour or forty-five minutes of trudging along the leaf-covered mud will bring them to where the body was found, about five or ten feet off the trail and barely visible through the trees.

A couple of shepherds are on the trail, ostensibly "keeping guard" on the body to make sure nothing else happens to it. They step back when the group gets there, glaring suspiciously at them.

Nevin approaches cautiously, along the way he told his henchmen to keep quiet and keep their tempers in check; it was too easy to get riled up over a casual mention of clan's reputation. Once there he gets close enough to get a good look at the man's body. He's looking for claw marks, teeth marks, seeing if he was attacked by an animal or not.

"Who was the one that found him eh?" he asks the assembled shepherds, seeing if he recongizes any. "Any sheep missing also?"

The body is laying face-down in the dirt and leaves. When Nevin (or whoever) rolls the body over, the ground beneath him is soaked in blood. There are a lot of little, deep cuts, small chunks torn from pretty much his whole body. His face is not spared, with gouges torn from his cheeks and nose, and his hair (where it's not red with blood) is mostly grey.

Most of the shepherds (and there's only maybe eight or ten brave enough to stay) keep glancing back and forth between the body and Nevin, but don't say anything.

"That's Uncle Colyne!" says one of the shepherds, a lad who looks to be in his late teens or so.

One of the other shepherds raises his hand. "I did, m'lord," he says. "Stepped off the trail to take a whiz and damn near tripped over him."

The shepherds aren't sure if any sheep are missing or not. None of the ones that were in the adjacent pastures are all accounted for, anyway, as near as they can tell.

At the sight of the face and body Nevin covers his mouth and bose with the back of his hand. "By Jesu! Did birds attack him? It looks like his face has been pecked off!"

"Colyne? Damn shame for poor old Colyne." he looks at the shepherds around him and stops on the lad. "Well, tell the family that he died, I'll send some whiskey for their pain. We can't bury him yet though, need to figure out what happened to him." He stops and looks around, uncertain of what to do next, maybe he could come back at night? "When was the last time anyone saw him?" he then turns to look at his henchmen and the shepherds. "Get a handcart, we'll put his body in it and take it to the wizards, maybe they have an answer for this."

How closely does Nevin examine the body? Also, give me an Awareness roll and a Stamina check.

One of the shepherds practically sprints back to the covenant, and returns an hour, hour and a half later with a cart.

Nevin will lean down at the waist as he stands over the body, but he's not touching.

Awareness: Per 2 + Awareness 3 (Keen Eyes) Stress or normal?
1d10+5 → [1,5] = (6) either 6 (or 7 for sight) possible exploder if stress:
1d10 → [1] = (1) Possible double exploder!
1d10 → [5] = (5)
invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3514812/ So it's either 26 or 27 for eyesight (Yay!) or 6 or 7 if it was not a stress roll (Meh)

Stamina: +2
1d10+2 → [4,2] = (6) 6

As Nevin leans over the body, he can feel the bile rising in his throat, but manages to keep his breakfast down.

The wounds that aren't obviously cuts don't quite look like beak-pecks. Some look like small chunks bitten out, others look like they had been torn off.

As he walks around the body, and as he's looking down to watch his step (as the ground is still muddy and the leaves are slick), he notices regular spots of red on some of the leaves which he almost missed. A closer look shows that they look almost like footprints, about the length of his finger, all around the body and going deeper into the woods east of the trail (away from Cill Chuimein).

Oh, and as an aside: checks against awareness, attributes, knowledge, etc – basically whenever you don't have "time to do it again if the first attempt goes badly wrong" are pretty much always stress dice. If I feel that the situation calls for either a simple die or a quality die, I'll let you know. Otherwise, assume that it's a stress die.

Nevin pulls a handkerchief from his belt and covers his mouth. "By God, what is that?" he mutters as his hand goes to an ornate necklace he keeps under his shirt. Seeing the red specks leading away he wished he had some privacy, he'd be able to follow the trail easily if there weren't so many eyes on him. He turns to his henchmen as they wait for the handcart.

"We'll follow this trail a bit to the edge of the woods, see if we can spot anything else." he turns to the shepherds. "Ye should probably know this already, but get a count of the sheep, we need to know if any be missing. Come a running when ye have the cart and we'll move the body then."

((Not going to go into the woods, just the edge, once there we'll leave a mark or two to make it easy to pick up again))

It's going to be late that night before they can get back to Nevin with the news that all the sheep are present and accounted for, as are all the rest of the shepherds.

The cart arrives, and...they hoist the body on and haul it back to the covenant? Then what?

Nevin will take one of the henchmen (the grog that is from the clan) with him and leave the other two behind as a guard and let the shepherds be about their business. He wants one of the henchmen in the morning to head back to the manor and send some whiskey to Colyne's family with the laird's personal condolences.

Nevin then heads to the Covenant intent to talk with the magi and get some answers perhaps.

One of of the guys run ahead to tell the magi what's going on, and heads to Talia's ship. (I'm assuming the covenfolk have been told to ask permission to come aboard). He hails the boat and tells whoever's on deck that there's a matter that requires the maga's attention.

"She's busy with Sal and one of the other crew." At this everyone aboard ship within earshot laughs. "You're welcome to come aboard and talk to her. I've always found her to be very approachable." The laughs turn raucous.

There may be language issues here, unless its one of the covenfolk who's doing the talking.

The shepherd (barely) speaks Latin, with a score of 1. Enough to understand that Talia's busy, come aboard.

He boards the ship, finds or is shown Talia's cabin...and, assuming that she's being rather vocal in there, turns to the sailors. "I wait?" he asks.

The joke now seems less funny to the sailor and he nods, "Someone find Caoimhe to translate, or Talia will be right peeved at us." he shouts to the sailors above. Turning back to the shepherd, he guides him to a cabin/hold that normally stores cargo has a writing desk and chairs setup in it now. After that he knocks on Talia's cabin door and indicates a guest is here for her, doesn't speak Latin well and he's called for Caoimhe for her.

The shepherd waits, standing, nervously in the room.