A Second Murder Occurs

Recorded: January 3, 2014
Characters: Loki, Thor
Location: Asgard - Marketplace
Summary: Loki and Thor return from a hunt in time to see a woman arrested for murder.

The duo make their way into the city a little worse for wear. Blood soaks into Loki's hunting attire from the gargantuan stag draped atop him like a fuzzy, cadaverous cloud while the Lord of Thunder casually strolls ahead and politely greets those he passes as they make their way into the marketplace.

Loki looks down at his blood soaked clothing and sighs. Another outfit ruined. It isn't the weight of the thing he struggles with as much as its size. "I can hardly see where we're going. Why are we taking this to the marketplace and not the palace kitchens? I thought they had people that take care of this sort of thing."

The marketplace is busy as usual even towards the latter portions of the afternoon. How appropriate, then, that the God of Thunder and Trickster God come marching through this area. The people stop what their doing to turn and praise the sight of the massive buck being hauled in by their princes. Most clap and cheer—distinctly the name of one prince in particular. "Hail, Thor! The mighty hunter!" "The Prince of Asgard brings forth another conquest!" "Way to go, Thor!"

"Nay, friends! I have yet to hunt my quarry. This beast was felled by the hand of Loki!" Thor bellows proudly, turning back and dipping into a near bow to try and steal a peak beneath the carcass. "Now, of all times, would be appropriate to revel in your own skill." He prods, shifting away with a weary sigh and waving in a guard to relieve the Jotunn of his burden.

Loki steps out from under the beast as the guard hefts it off of him and looks around. "It's all right, brother. There is no way they will believe that I was responsible for killing such a great beast." he brushes himself off and fixes his hair. "Besides, I'm used to it." he nods his gratitude to the guard and places his hands on his hips. "Now what shall we do?"

There are disbelieving murmurs in the crowd when Thor passes on the name of the true hunter of the day. Eventually the clapping resumes, though none of the ladies look quite as interested in the blood-soaked magi as they do the humble and handsome Thunder God. The crowd gradually disperses and a majority seem to be turning in the direction of several guards who are rushing to a nearby bakery. A sizable audience is already moving in that direction and packing a normally unbusy alleyway with a high concentration of onlookers. "Make WAY," a guard barks as he shoulders his way through the crowd.

There's always something. Thor knits his fair brow with concern and makes way towards the growing commotion. "It seems what to do found us." He murmurs to Loki then lifts a finger to point towards the nearest guard.

"You!" He bellows, voice lifting with the authority one would expect. "Gather the rest of your shift in the market and cordon the area. Keep the citizens at bay and begin to disperse them." He barks, shouldering a path through the crowd to survey the source.

Loki shifts into his leather (avengers type) armor, looking to Thor before he breaks into a jog toward the bakery, back handed dagger in one hand. "I wonder what could possibly have happened in a bakery to cause such a commotion. Have the pastries come to life and taken hostages demanding more fruit pies?"

The guard salutes Thor in a purely knee-jerk reaction, then nods and rushes off to follow orders. At the bakery, several more guards are already blocking the path of gawkers and struggling to ignore their questions. A cart for hauling prisoners awaits two guards that carry a stunned woman out of the building. Her hands and apron are drenched in blood—an unusual stain for someone not working in a butcher shop. The guards ease her into the transport with the clear intention of taking her away, and though the woman appears to be the guilty party, she does not seem to resist. She looks to be in a complete state of shock.

To shield the citizens from potential nightmares, Thor waits to question a guard until he slips into the bakery. "Share with me what happened here." He asks of nobody in particularly, careful to step around and away from anything that may be valuable evidence.

Loki frowns, extending his senses around the bakery to try and see if he can pick up on any residual energy around the room. His sharp eyes look for anything that might seem out of place while Thor asks his questions of whomever is able to answer.

The scene inside the bakery is what one might expect of a butcher's shop. There is blood on the counter tops in the kitchen area, starting from a trail from the living area. It splatters more violently in the area of the oven, where the body of a male Asgardian is laying face-down on the floor. His body has been stabbed repeatedly: Slashmarks on his arms show that he at least attempted to defend himself before succumbing to blood loss. Of magic to detect, there is none, expect for a good luck charm hanging over the couples' bed. Looks like it may not have been as lucky as gramma swore it would be.

The guard salutes Thor briefly and begins his explanation. "Murder, my prince. Norbreth, wife of Fendroth Erikson, has slain her husband brutally. We have not discovered the motive yet, but she was standing over him the murder weapon in hand when the first guards arrived."

"What information does the guard know of the accused and the victim?" Thor asks, crouching above the body and flaring his nostrils with a deep snort. "I don't smell excessive amounts of mead. Strange for a murderer not to drink in their courage."

Loki follows the blood trail back to the kitchen, listening to the guard as he casually moves through, going to the back room where the living quarters would be. He reaches up to lightly touch the good luck charm with his fingertips, sighing softly. "It doesn't appear that this was an effective charm against bad luck, is it, my friend…"

"The rest of the guard is still questioning their neighbors, Prince Thor. Norbreth is known to have a temper. Perhaps she finally let it get the better of her." The guard grunts and shakes his head. "At the very least, we have our murderer more restrained this time. We don't want another taking the coward's way out."

There is a pause in Thor's processing as he digests the guards musings. "Come again? Another?" He inquires, rising back to his feet and squaring to face the sentry. "Summarize that as well. Who investigated the crime?"

Loki takes the good luck charm and slips it into one of the straps of his armor for later study, then looks through drawers and inside containers as he listens to the conversation out in the other room. Another coward's way out? Loki calls out, "Do you mean another took their own life? When did this occur?"

The guard blinks but attempts to disguise his surprise with another salute. "It was a clear-cut case, my prince." He looks at Loki. "Princes. Lorn the blacksmith murdered his wife after another late night of drinking. He always drinks and he is always violent when he is drunk. I imagine it was only a matter of time before this unfortunate end for Jessilda, but as we escorted Lorn to the dungeons to await his hearing, he wrestled a sword from a guard and took his own life. Ask your brother, Prince Balder. He bore witness to the drunkard's demise."

"I shall speak with Balder when we return to the palace, warrior." Thor remarks, turning over his shoulder to exchange a stare with Loki then returning towards the guard. "How frequent are murders encountered in the Kingdom of Asgard, sentry. Not a slaying related to an honorable duel, but a filthy and honorless murder." He questions, though his tone indicates the line of inquiry to be entirely rhetorical. "This is not what we do. This is not the way of our people; let alone to have two abominations happen so close? No. Have the guard assemble at dusk tomorrow. Prince Loki and I will deliberate with Balder on our findings and form a coherent plan."

"Things are not always as they appear, Einherjar." The trickster says as he slips out of the back rooms. "There is likely more to the story than we are aware. Do you not find it strange that all witnesses to the incident happen to be dead? In what manner did the blacksmith kill himself?"

The guard lowers his gaze as he considers Thor's words. "I will grant that it is unusual… But Norbreth still stood over her husband, weapon in hand, while when we arrived." He gestures to the pool of blood on the bakery's hardwood floor. Part of the pool contains an impression of a knife that was dropped, but is no longer there. No doubt that another guard has taken it as evidence of what transpired. "The coward ran himself through with a guard's sword," the guard explains to Loki. "He… was ranting. In a fit. Still drowning in the evening's ale, no doubt."

"We will hear of the second murder from Balder. We must focus on what we have around us while we are here. Now. IS there a connection either of the pairs have in common? Family or friends?" Thor explains, moving from the body towards the door leading out.

After a moment to think, the guard shakes his head. "Everyone is familiar with each other in Asgard, though we may not all be friends. But no, Lorn and Norbreth are not blood." He nods to them both but directs his next question to Loki. "I intended to interrogate the accused after reviewing the crime scene. Does my prince wish to carry out this duty in my stead?"

"I am certain he would take great pleasure in extracting the information with Prince Balder." Thor murmurs to Loki, moving past the crowded bloodbath and slipping out the door. "This is no coincidence. The question is, as ever, who is bold enough to risk the ire of Asgard?"

"Brother, you are truly naive if you are asking that question. I doubt there is any relation, but perhaps we should ensure the woman accused of committing this crime is not given the opportunity to take her own life. She is distraught and could be prone to take excessive action."

The guard offers one more salute as the princes leave, then turns back to his duties. Outside, the crowd is barely disbursed and many of the onlookers are already filling the atmosphere with wild theories over what transpired. At least the prison transport has taken the accused away so as not to add to the spectacle.

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