An Asgardian Murder Mystery

Recorded: January 4, 2014
Characters: Balder, Frigga, Loki
Location: Grand Throne Room of the All-Father
Summary: Balder and Loki inform Frigga of the recent murders.

The Queen of Asgard is finally back at her rightful seat in the throne room of the palace. She looks worlds better than she did when she returned from her time away on Jotunheim, poised in a regal pose and wearing a gown as golden as the room, with her hair styled upwards in seemingly endless curls. While her husband is off tending to business elsewhere, she has taken up the duty of hearing and speaking on minor business around the realm. And while she looks as better as before, she still has her entourage— two maidens and two guards, paired off on either side of her throne— if for no other reason than to keep the king happy.

Loki enters the throne room, a hand still plastered to the side of his head, and he smells like old bacon and dirty socks. His hair is a bit wild, and it's clear he was up to some sort of mischief before returning to the palace. "Moth-" he begins and stops himself, dropping to one knee and crossing his arm over his chest. "My queen, I have news to report."

Balder entered the throne room from the main doors. He edged along the wall of the room, eyes scanning to make sure his mother wasn't already busy with someone before he approached. His eyes watch Loki for now, narrowed and shaded by his helm.

Frigga quirks an eyebrow at Loki's state of disarray. "Surely this news must be of utmost importance for you to kneel before me in such a state," she says as she signals for him to stand, then gestures that same hand in Balder's direction. "Come forth from the architecture, Balder. You are not an etching to be missed by your mother's glance."

Balder left the wall when his mother beckoned him forward. The dark fur cloak he wore was tugged at to keep it closed around his torso while he walked. After a short moment, he stood next to the unpleasantly smelly Loki, but made no indication that he smelled any different than normal. "Mother," he greeted the queen. Balder fell silent unless he was spoken to directly.

"It is, mother." Loki says, rising to his feet. "There has been another murder. This time, the accused is a woman who stabbed her husband, the Baker. The woman was taken to the dungeons, but I suggest she be watched closely. The man accused of killing his wife killed himself with a guard's blade. There is of yet no reason to suspect there is a correlation between the two murders, but…it is strange. I took this from the Baker's residence." he holds up the lucky charm. "I plan on studying it to determine if it holds any magic, good or bad."

The All-Mother's gaze darkens as she lifts her chin with interest. "Another murder?" She sits at the edge of her throne. "What has become of our fair Asgard that there should be even one murder in our midst?" Her gaze falls to Balder. "You spoke to me earlier today of the tragic end of Lorn and Jessilda. What else have you found on this matter? Were Lorn and this baker's wife involved in some way?" She holds out one hand in Loki's direction, signaling for him to hand her the object he took from the bakery.

Loki looks to Balder and nods in his direction. "Balder can tell you more about the first murder, I can only speak about the second." Loki approaches and hands Frigga the lucky charm he swiped from the bedroom. "It was situated over the bed. I have not yet investigated the blacksmith's quarters. Have you, brother?"

Balder glanced to one side at Loki and the trinket he found, then back to his mother. "There was nothing at Lorn's home to indicate that he'd had an affair with anything but the bottle. He drank to excess and, according to his neighbors, was overly violent with his wife, Jassilda. It seems she had all the patience in the marriage." His shoulders shrugged, "I'm not sure there's anything else. No physical clues of any kind, but all of his neighbors are reliable character witnesses. Everything is pointing to Lorn just finally killing his wife."

Frigga holds the trinket in her hand and her entire body seems to pause while she looks at it. The faintest flicker of light passes over her eyes before she takes another breath and hands the item back to Loki. "Take a moment to look within the heart of the trinket. You will see if it is worth your additional study." Her attention returns to Balder with a thoughtful glance. "Then it is the people of Asgard who have failed Lorn and Jessilda, for if no one confronted him on his behavior, we are all to blame for what has become of the pair."

Loki takes the trinket back, holding it by the string, one hand underneath it as he concentrates on it. He lifts both brows as he reads it, searching for any indication of a spell buried deep within it. "Well, I now know several different recipes for baking bread." he sighs, and pockets the item. "I will study it further in my chambers."

Balder allowed his eyes to follow the trinket from his mother's hand to Loki's, before he looked back at her. "Before Lorn killed himself in the foyer, he said something rather curious… I believe it was something along the lines of 'through my eyes, through my hands.' It makes me think he wasn't in control of his actions if he actually did kill his wife. At this point, I don't doubt that his hand was holding the blade." His eyes are cast down at the floor… There's more he wanted to say, but he kept his theories to himself for now.

Frigga allows herself a brief smirk at Loki's revelation before settling into the seriousness of the matter at hand. "And of the baker, Loki? Who was he? Who is his wife? Have you spoken to her yet to learn why she has committed such a heinous crime against all of Asgard?" She studies Balder's hesitance while she asks this question but lets him be for now.

"I have not yet spoken to her, I wanted to wait until she calmed down before interrogating her, as the last time I interrogated someone she would not answer me because she was too emotional. Do you wish for me to do that now, mother? Balder, if you know anything else, please express it so we are able to investigate these events thoroughly without delay."

Balder hesitated a moment longer. His lips parted as if he was about to speak, but only a breath escaped. It was a moment longer before he spoke up, "If these two murders are related, I would speculate that there is some type of puppeteer… It's an unfounded hypothesis at this point, but if the baker's wife also claims that she wasn't in control, I would begin investigating these murders as a single case."

Frigga looks between both of her sons with her eyelids narrowed in deep scrutiny of what she hears. "A puppeteer… Who would be so bold as to—" Her words are cut short by a sudden gasp as the All-Mother feels a brief twinge of pain. She touches her temple but it is gone just as quickly, and she sighs away the feeling and shakes her head as if it were nothing to be concerned with.

Loki reacts in the same way as Frigga, wincing. "Gnn." his green eyes look up to Frigga as he too recovers and looks nonchalant once again. "Shall I go interrogate the prisoner?"

Balder started forward when his mother gasped, but he stopped short of the stairs leading up to her when she seemed to be okay once again. "Mother…?" He glanced back to Loki and fell silent, but his eyes narrowed in thought. He glanced between them a couple of times. "Are you both feeling well?"

The moment she notices Loki's similar reaction, Frigga lifts a hand to stop all conversation. "Loki, my child. You felt as I did just now, did you not?"

Loki nods. "Yes, mother. It is not the first time I have felt something unusual."

Balder has simply fallen silent while he stood between the two.

"All this time, I thought I was merely suffering the lingering effects of the bracelet's curse…" The All-Mother sits up straight in her chair. "Our realm is out of balance. A force I do not recognize is gnawing at the very fabric of our reality. Perhaps this same faultline is what may have drove our unfortunate murderers to their acts." She gestures towards the dungeon. "Interrogate the prisoner, Loki. Be patient, and learn all that you can." That same hand points to the Grand Foyer. "Balder. Place the town guard on high alert. Everyone must look out for strange behavior from any and all citizens. Detain them for their own safety if you must. I will not lose another Asgardian soul if it can be helped."

Balder gave his mother a firm nod, "Yes, mother." He turned, fur cloak brushing his heels. Balder made his way towards the exit, intending to enact his mother's orders.

Loki follows her gesture then looks back at Frigga. "I have sensed it as well, mother. We shall solve this mystery and ensure the balance of our realm is restored. I shall proceed to the dungeon at once." he begins walking, but pauses, looking back. "Good luck, brother."

Balder waved a hand over his shoulder, acknowledging Loki.

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