Balder on Patrol

Recorded: January 14, 2014
Characters: Balder, Emis (NPC), Reggar (NPC)
Location: Asgard - Residential Area
Summary: Balder stops another potential murder.


Days have passed since Norbreth murdered her husband and another murder has yet to unfold. The city has been on high alert ever since, but the guards are starting to get weary of their around-the-clock patrol patterns. As day transitions to night on Asgard, more than a few patrols start to lax and become distracted with side conversations or other focal points. Here in the residential district, the lamps of the guards' patrolling pairs become less frequent in the central streets.

Balder took a guard with him, but they didn't carry a lantern. Balder and his companion moved slowly out of the normal patrol patterns of the other guard pairs, but they'd been doing this for days in shifts. Balder was very near giving up these large scale patrol operations considering nothing was turning up. "Won't be much longer," he said, almost to himself. The patrols were to keep people safe, sure, but Balder was eager to uncover more of these pieces of the puzzle and had hoped the patrolling would assist in that.

"Perhaps if our nights remain this uneventful, you can persuade the Queen to relieve us of this duty," the guard comments as he keeps his gaze on a row of nearby homes. "The murders may have only been a minor incident."

Balder let his hands rest on the pommels of his swords. "Maybe, but this actually is in your job description," he said. Balder turned to lay his gaze on the same row of houses. "But I do prefer the guards do productive things." He started forward again.

"With all due respect, my Prince, it is one thing to patrol. Another to meander where no danger lies. We would be better off paying a visit to Niffleheim to question the cowardly soul of Lorn." The guard shakes his head with disdain. "To murder your own wife, then take your life to escape justice… True Asgardians do not commit such acts."

Balder turned his head to cut his eyes back at the guard. "There a lot more to it than that. Don't be so quick to convict someone on what you heard from your drinking companions." Balder continued to scan through some alley ways as they walked by them.

The guard straightens up a bit and inadvertently falls behind when he's cut to the quick by Balder's reply. "… Yes, my Prince. Of course." He picks up his stride to catch up but stops mid-step, head turned down the direction of an alley on his side of the street. "Wait. I may have heard something."

Balder stopped in his tracks, fists wrapping the swords. "Where and in what direction?" He faded back to the guard and turned his head to scan.

The guard turns slowly and quietly, signaling to another patrol who just happens to be coming around a bend. In that moment, a whimpering sob can be heard from the cellar of a home on the other side of the alley. All three guards move in the direction of the cellar door with their weapons drawn.

Balder drew a single sword of his own and followed the guards over. He kept close to a wall in the alley and paid attention to the rear as they approached. "Careful," he reminded. His eyes are narrowed, and he felt that nothing could escape his gaze at the moment. However far from reality that was, he felt confident in the moment.

At the cellar door, the whimpering is more discernible as a woman's mumbled pleas for mercy. Hearing that is all the guards need to react. They shoulder the door in and quickly fill the room to see the situation—Their eyes and actions are stunned by the scene they have stumbled onto.

All of the guards are familiar with Emis, wife of Reggar Olafson, who brings fresh-baked goods to the barracks weekly to show her devotion to her husband's line of work. To see the woman bound to a chair and gagged is enough to enrage them, but the sight of her captor gives them pause. Reggar himself stands over his wife, still wearing his uniform from his earlier patrol shift. He has a weapon pointed at her throat but it is not his standard issue sword; instead, he wields an opulent dagger made of gold and jewels. He has already stabbed her recklessly in the shoulders a few times and looks ready to strike a killing blow if not for the sudden intrusion.

Balder followed the guards in. He'd gone wide, following the wall. The dagger! He was immediately trying to figure out how it arrived here… But this wasn't the time or place. He threw up his hand and the cellar filled with white light for only a moment. When it died, Balder was only feet away from Reggar and his wife. He was moving at full speed and aimed to tackle the two of them to the floor. It was the only way he could stop this without killing anyone.

There is a feral look in Reggar's eye as he assesses his newfound situation. His gaze falls on Balder and immediately his mouth pulls into a frothing sneer. "ODINSON," the guard barks before the room turns white. Without warning, all of the cellar's occupants find themselves scrambling to massage their eyelids. Reggar roars in pain but the sound quickly fades to grumbled confusion before he's knocked to the ground. The knife flies from his hand and slides beneath a pallet of barrels holding cured meats and ale. There is chaos in the wake of the impromptu light show and Reggar seems to be the most out of sorts of anyone present. "My prince… What are you upon me," he grunts curiously.

Balder kept a hand pressed to Reggar's chest so he's pinned to the floor of the cellar. His other hand was held high, fist clenched and ready to rain down blows. That is, until he heard what Reggar had to say. His eyes trailed up to where the knife had gone, then back down to Reggar. "Where did you get it? Where did you get the knife" he demanded. His fist remained high and clenched tight.

The other guards shake away their blindness and rush to Emis' rescue. They remove her bonds and looks for cloth around the cellar to stop the flow of blood from her wounds. "The knife…" Reggar looks confused and fearful in the face of Balder's threat, then looks around to see the scene around him. "… It was not a dream? Emis!" He tries to move Balder out of the way so he can stand up and look for his wife. The guards keep protective positions around her as the woman sobs, "Reggar tried to murder me! Why would you do such a thing, my husband?"

Balder hesitated to let Reggar up… But he relented. "Watch him," he told the guards. Balder moved to one side and allowed Reggar up. He sat on the floor and examined the palm of his glove. It was singed and full of burned holes, but he didn't take it off. He turned his eyes to the direction of the knife, though he couldn't see where it rested under the pallet.

The guards stay tense, but allow a bit of space between them and their charge. Emis forcefully keeps them between her and Reggar despite the man trying to approach with a pleading look on his face. "Emis, please…"

"You tried to murder me!"

"It was a dream! I thought…" The man turns and pulls off his helmet, dropping to his knees as he faces Balder. "My prince, what has become of me? I took a blade to my wife and know not why!" The blade in question continues to rest beneath the pallet and out of immediate reach. It appears to be no more than a gaudy object, ceremonial in design. A few of the rats in Reggar's cellar sniff around it but the weapon doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

Balder turned his eyes to Reggar, then cut them back to the direction of the blade. "It's as I suspected. The blade forced you." He turned and moved to a knee, then to a stand so he could bring himself closer to the pallet. He knelt again and used a dagger from his own belt to try and fish the offending one from under the pallet. "This thing possesses people somehow. I'm no expert, but I suppose you have to be holding it. Tell me where you got it."

"I came about it in my own home," Reggar admits. He looks back at his sobbing wife, wanting nothing more than to comfort her, but Emis keeps herself behind the guards when she notices his gaze. "It was in our bedchamber, I… thought I dreamt of it… Of all this.." As the knife starts to move, a husky rat from the back end of the pallet inches forward and reaches out to pull it close. It hisses at the sight of Balder and wraps its lanky paws around the handle.

Balder tried to fend the rat off with his own dagger. "You little…" He finally took the easy road and just sent a flash of searing light under the pallet. His aim was to kill those rats, but he probably also blackened the wood of the pallet in the process. He tried again for the dagger. "Rats," he said under his breath. "I hate rats." He spoke over his shoulder to Reggar, finally. "You always had this rat problem?"

The husky rat hisses at Balder as if it were speaking a language. It moves with more intelligence than its kin, squeezing its way out from under the back end of the pallet before the light can sear through. Once the smoke of seared wood clears, Balder will find a few charred rat bodies but no dagger beneath the barrels. The larger rat and the weapon seem to have disappeared.

Balder felt around with his own dagger for a few moments, before he leaned to look again. It was all gone, aside from the rat bodies… "What?" Eyes narrowed in thought. "I hate rats," he said again. Balder stood and sheathed the dagger in his belt again. "I'm going to have to take your wife with us. And, well… I'm going to have to take you in, too. Only for a while, until we can get this sorted. I'm not convinced you're guilty of this."

"But my prince, I—" Reggar stops himself mid-argument. As one of the guards, he knows how this should play out. His shoulders angle in defeat, and he holds up his wrists to receive manacles from his fellow guards. While two help him to a stand, the other helps Emis out the door. They'll be headed to the town healer's while the rest of the parade heads to the palace dungeon.

Balder exited with the rest of the guards. "Treat him well," he told them. He knew Reggar was no more to blame than a warrior's sword. He was just a tool.

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