(1312-02-09) Witness Interrogations
Summary: On the day after the incident, Gal returns to the Kraken’s Den to investigate.
RL Date: Sun Feb 09, 1312
Related: Murder at the Kraken Plot
andrei gal jeanne tancred 

The Kraken's Den — Port of Marsilikos

A tall-tottering inn with a variety of rooms to let on the upper floors, from three fine suites just above the main floor to a collection of ramshackle one-cot rooms that sway with the harder gusts of wind in off of the sea in the upper levels. It has seen its share of fires and renovations, and every time it falls in ashes it seems to rise higher in the aftermath. Outside, proudly burnt-carved signage displays a huge black-tentacled kraken winding its limbs about in repetitive knotwork patterns. It hangs from a post on four links of bronze chain, and creaks when the wind hits it.

The main floor is part restaurant, part lobby, with a warm hearth next to a counter at which guests in the rooms above can pay their bills or ask after vacancies, many fine chairs and some a little less fine to fill out the number. Small tables amid all the seating provide room just enough to have a tea or a beverage and maybe play a game of cards with your mates. A low bannister-fence separates off the dining area from the lobby, to keep some semblance of order among the diners and to keep out the riff-raff.

Riff-raff, of course, is welcome to make its way downstairs, or else to descend into the alleyway behind the tavern and find the rear entrance into the half-basement, where a bar slings some of the hardest-scorching liquor known in Port Marsilikos, and attracts some of the roughest elements of society. It's dimly lit, with rough stonework walls and flooring and sturdy oaken furniture which must have been built in order to best resist any effort to shatter said furniture over someone's head. Fights are the nightly norm here, black eyes and sopping intoxication, and for those without the coin to attract the contract of a proper courtesan, some affable ladies are usually present in the evenings in case any gentleman wants to buy one a drink.

It's a good thing Gal wrote out his statement on last night's incident before opening up his wineskin and slipping between the covers with it. Even reading it over again in the morning showed how much just that intervening time had dimmed the details from his memory. It's enough to turn a boy thoughtful, wonder what the world even is, if it keeps mutating in the dark chambers of the skull. Does the world exist in any sense other than how the senses perceive it? And if not, does the world change as our perceptions of it do? But before the kid can go utterly nihilistic, he's here, at the Kraken's Den, once more, now clad in the full duty gear of his station and with the flashy blue cloak of the city watchman blazing in the sun, only missing his tall pikestaff, since he's not assigned on specific watch. He slips out of the sun and into the sloped alleyway with the direct entrance to the Kraken's Den's basement, which is more tame by a thousand points than the evening before, just some folk slupping away at some hair of the dog, and— hopefully— the people he's here to talk to.

It's probably entirely coincidental that a tall, golden-haired fellow in a long black coat trimmed with silver fox-fur wanders in just a few minutes later. He shrugs snow out of his hair on the doorstep, and heads pretty directly towards that table by the fire — the one that doesn't have his name on yet but Andrei Anghelescu is very definitely working towards changing this. It's definitely that man from last night — the silver-tipped walking stick that he used to rap some bloody manners into Barn Boy Bernard is quite recognisable, as is he. He must be a bit of a regular too because a servant reaches for a bottle of burnwine right away upon seeing him.

Gal will just have himself a tea— and is delivered it in an old tea-stained ceramic mug with the girl brushing away a payment. It's always a good idea to keep the loal enforcement amenable to a place through little nigh-cost-free gestures of this sort. Gal smiles lopsidedly at the girl, a little abashed of such treatment, but he takes the mug away from the counter with him and lifts a hand to the blonde man when he enters. He sees him about to head for the fire, and he'll turn his course, too, to meet him there. "Hey," is about as casual a greeting as it gets. "Thanks for coming by."

Anghelescu looks up just as he is seating himself at the table at the fireplace; recognition flashes across his blue eyes. "Ah, officer. I did not recognise you in uniform. I trust all is well?" He offers a small smile and a glance of approval. Gal may be very young for that uniform but he handled last night well enough.

"Call me Gal," the guardsman offers, straddling a chair opposite the foreigner and holding his tea in both hands for the moment, maybe just to defrost his paws. "And I mean, I'm OK. Are you OK?" he asks, his dark brown eyes warm, empathetic. "Sounds like I missed the worst of last night, after all."

The other man kicks out a chair with a booted foot. "Please, join me if you like. I am quite well — the big Skaldi fellow was the one who was injured, not I. They inevitably go for the big, slow bloke with the sword; the smaller man with the dagger might as well be invisible. He'll live, though — can't say I know if the woman who tried to do him in will, I suppose that you'd have a better chance of knowing that than I." Still speaking with that foreign accent, that man.

Gal shall; does; has, without comment. "Yeah?" he asks, about the big Skald, who is, after all, somewhat known to him. "Oh, good," he receives the news of his foreseeable survival. "Um, she's OK, so far. She's, uh, under custody, just now. I was just wondering if you could talk me through what you saw last night, as much as you can remember," he leans back into his seat with as much of a slouch as his duty armor will allow, holding the tea with both hands above his chest, ready for a sip when the steam flags and lets him know it's waning in heat a little bit.

"I can certainly tell you what I saw," Anghelescu murmurs and sips the burnwine that materialised next to him. "I think you saw most of it too, though — the argument between the foreign sailor and the barn hand, Bernard. I did not quite catch on to why Tancred suddenly dashed upstairs but whatever cue he picked up, it must have been sound — he and Jeanne found a body up there and the assassin escaping out the window."

He tilts his head, thinking back. "Tancred — does that man have a last name? I forget — either way, he called out on his way out through the window. I got up and followed; I'm not much of a fighter, but no man should pursue an enemy alone. The seamstress did as well, and a lady who was here with her guard. I suspect that she was gentry of a sort but foreign — braids? Guard had blue patterns on his face.

"Anyhow," the foreigner reflects, "I caught up with the Skald, fighting the killer. He won, but not without taking a few rather nasty cuts of his own. The foreign lady seemed quite convinced that the assassin is Genoan. I cannot tell you why — I did not get the opportunity to ask."

Gal sips and listens, only interjecting quiet little comments here and there for clarification— either his own or the foreigner'se.g., "They both saw the assassin going out the window?" "Not sure last I knew he was in the employ of one of our noble houses." "Oh, Aedhw— err— the Princess," he corrects his own self for the sake of form. "How did you follow him? Out the window, or down through the shop?" "Hm." Disperse as needed.

"I walked through the door here upon hearing Tancred yell," Anghelescu clarifies. From the looks of him, indeed, merchant dressed in comfortable, soft clothes, he is no rooftop escape artist. He doesn't even carry a visible blade. Although apparently that walking stick is perfect for rapping people really hard across the shins, a skill that evidently can come in quite useful in a low key combat scenario.

Gal looks toward the door, "So you heard him yelling in the alley out there? Is that where you found them? Or did you have to follow them a ways?" he follows up, just trying to get a clear image in his mind.

The Carpathian draws out the route he took on the table with a gloved finger, describing the twists and turns. He did not have to run far; the big Skald caught up with the woman just around a few corners. If not for the noise of the tap room, the patrons in here probably would have been able to pick out the clanging of swords together nearby. "Fortunately not far," he adds. "I am not capable of running far, particularly not in this cold weather."

Gal leans forward, putting down his tea mug and watching the imaginary course, mapping it in his mind over the layout of the streets. "And the Princess caught up with you there? And recognized the assassin as from Genoa?"

"If you tell me that the lady is a princess, then yes, indeed," Anghelescu confirms. "I did not realise that I was in such august company. That said, the lady probably saved Tancred's life; one of those injuries were quite severe."

"The one with the braids and the blue-faced bodyguard," Gal specifies the one he means, just in case they're off from one another. Leaning back once more, he grimaces slightly. "Gosh. I'm glad he's OK," he reiterates, with renewed intensity for the thin shave of the situation.

The other man nods. "That lady, indeed. Everything happened a little fast. I believe she did say her name out there, but I did not quite catch it. I am fairly certain that no one mentioned anything about princesses, but perhaps it was not quite the proper time either." He pauses and then adds, with a small, amused smile. "But for your records, while we speak of such — my name is Andrei Anghelescu."

Jeanne would have elected to enter the place with her hood drawn up, like she did last night. But then again, stuff had happened. And another cloaked woman had caused quite the mess. As it is, the seamstress wears a cloak above her orderly yet unremarkable attire. Her dark hair has been worked into a braid, and that same braid twirled and fastened, in a manner that keeps it from getting in the way. Allowing the hood to slip and reveal her head at least appears like a good call. Pausing after the door has closed behind her, Jeanne lets her gaze drift, and then looks towards the stairs leading up to the upper floor.

That name, tho'. Gal blinks just once at its unpronounceable nature, but there are records on the citadel with that name on file, no doubt— that's how he was summoned? Maybe? So he just asks back, "How would you like me to address you, Monsieur?" Since he already offered up his given name to the foreigner in a manner most common and familiar. Someone else is here, and he flicks a glimpse to the door just to see who it is. Or who it isn't.

Anghelescu in turn nods to Jeanne as she walks past — acknowledging her, but indeed not adressing her uninvited; they've got strange customs where he's from. "Oh, Monsieur is quite fine," he murmurs, unaware that such records exist, and indeed, of whether his name would appear in them; life's little mysteries. "I am staying at the Leaping Fish, in case you need to speak with me again. Would it be too presumptious of me to inquire about your name in turn, officer?"

Not exactly in the most active of dispositions, Tancred ambles down the hallway. He wears light clothes, barely fit for the public; a pair of baggy dark trousers, a loose tunic, a pair of slippers or something kin to them. He's also favoring his right leg and has borrowed a crutch that is made for an average man, though it still helps him rest his weight a little. Any major bandage work on him is hidden, but it's obvious this man has been through it. "Urgh," he mutters, cursing in Skaldic.

Jeanne catches Andrei's nod and offers him a nod in turn and a vague smile. Her countenance is a marred a bit with a look of concern that dims somewhat when she spots Tancred coming down from upstairs. "Ah, you are already up and about again?", she asks, leaning in to offer him a kiss to the cheek. Obviously, someone has been worrying quite a bit!

"Uh. It's Gal." Listen to how confused the little guardsman is by trying to think of his own name— or else just at having been asked it over again so soon. But any further awkwardness is allayed by the arrival of the fellow himself, which makes Gal sit up straight and then stand in a sort of gesture of acknowledgement and respect — or awe — at seeing the man actually ambulatory.

Anghelescu remains oblivious, or pretends to remain oblivious. He looks up at the larger man's arrival and smiles lightly. "Ah, I see that you are upright. Well done." A nod towards empty chairs indicate opportunities towards Tancred and Jeanne both — opportunities that are indeed not difficult to ignore or decline if one is thus inclined.

"Aye. I have drank of the healer's …. milks," AKA painkillers. And Tancred certainly moves and speaks like he is, atop the wounds he's already sustained. He doesn't wait for an invitation to a chair, thinking himself deserving of it (and likely rightfully so.) He winces even with the effort and any assistance. "He had .. had said I am fortunate she did not reach my guts or the vessels of greatest concentration, or else my demise would have been slow and painful." He looks down at his thigh, breathes in, looks back up. Nowhere along the way does he rebuff Jeanne's concern or kiss, though, pulling out a chair for her. "It will be several weeks out of the yard and months out of the saddle." He turns to Gal. "Guardsman." He knows the guy's name, but decides not to use it in an official capacity.

"Let us sit down for a bit," Jeanne encourages Tancred, allowing him to use her for support as she slowly leads the way over to the table where Andrei is sitting (and before which Gal stands, the young guard that looks handsome but also slightly official in his attire). "Monsieur Andrei has been talking to the guard. Maybe that guard would like to hear what we have to say as well. Unless…" She looks up, giving Tancred a smile, "they have already questioned you." They arrive and she assists him as he sits down, while his own gesture of drawing out a chair for her manages to bring a smile to her lips. "Monsieur guard," she greets the young lad. "I am Jeanne."

Anghelescu catches the sleeve of a bar maid in passing and murmurs, "I'll have a round of whatever these gentlemen and the lady wants, please." She nods at him, and at the people indicated, ready to fulfill their desires. "Yes, Monsieur."

Gal sets down his mug and lets everyone else get settled in before he sits back down, one leg outstratched in interest toward Tancred. "Wow," he whispers. "Like, but… you're up. I'd be on my back for ages, I bet," he wonders at the big guy's constitution. He looks back to Jeanne, eyes sticking there for a half-second as though attempting to parse a moment of familiarity, but he lets it pass without dwelling on it for too long. "Hi. I'm Gal. You can.. just call me Gal," he offers, not about to stand on ceremony when they've all been through so much. "Sorry I went off with that sailor instead of sticking around to help in a real emergency."

<FS3> Gal rolls Perception: Good Success. (2 8 1 6 7 1 6 5 2)

"I cannot sleep, though I will return to bed soon after this," Tancred admits to Gal, and when the passing barmaid asks what he wants, he refuses anything hard; instead, he asks for "Fruit, pottage, and your water." With a slow inhale and exhale, he says, also answering Jeanne's question : "They have not talked to me yet, but have waited for the healer to sow me up as you sow shirts." To Gal : "What do you wish to know?"

<FS3> Jeanne rolls Composure: Good Success. (7 7 7 5 3 6 4)

"Some tea for me," Jeanne requests of the barmaid. She may have caught that lingering glance, but does not seem to be troubled by it. She falls silent then, content to sit there at the table with them and to listen.

The Carpathian has already spoken his piece; he too falls quiet. The young guardsman may indeed be young but his uniform warrants respect. He places an order for a glass of regular red wine for himself, and winces in sympathy at the remark of being sowed up like a shirt. Yes. That sounds familiar. Been there, done that. Didn't enjoy it one bit, either.

"Just walk me through it, as much as you remember… step by step," Gel offers gentle instruction to the Skald, presenting an affable countenance with which to listen.

"Here," the big Skaldi draws in a big breath - with yet another wince, as this irritates some of his stitches - and raises his hand to stroke his beard as his water and fruit come first. "The Carpathian," he gestures at Andrei, "Had invited me to the den for liquor, as is proper. One man, irked, tries to start a fight with a sailor." He goes for a sip. "While that's happening, a cloaked figure, our lady assassin, rushes up the stairs. I notice her and chase after her, for she seemed suspect. She forced entry into the room of a man, your murder victim. I followed."

Anghelescu murmurs softly, "Ah, so that is the part I missed — why you did indeed run upstairs in the first place. You are an observant man, mein Herr."

"I didn't see the cloaked figure either," Jeanne cuts in. "But I saw that Monsieur Tancred suddenly rushed up the stairs, so I decided to follow him."

Gal remembers the irkness, the sailor— but not the woman, of course. "Oh, that makes a lot more sense," he remarks, then turns to Jeanne, about to ask her whether she also— but she's one step ahead of him, answering the question thought but not yet asked. "But you saw her in the room when you got upstairs?" he prompts, hopeful, just trying to get at least one of them to corroborate having seen her actually in the place. Not to say he doesn't trust Tancred, but— two witnesses is better than one, especially when the first would otherwise be the only person spotted in the room with the victim.

"I do not blame you for missing her. She had been trying to escape notice, and this fight is a ruse, I think, the one you speak of. I did not see it," Tancred continues with a soft grunt, throat dry but seeming to have some difficulty swallowing. What more spooning his porridge? He gets to it anyway, ever dutiful and stubborn. "I did not catch her in time to see her stab him, no, but when I broke down the door she had just thrown herself out the window. I had followed, again, leaving the dead man since there is no saving him and I am no man of healing."

Anghelescu very briefly contemplates the option of offering to help; the mental image of spoon feeding a Skald anything strikes him as so ridiculous that he almost wants to save the Skald the effort and punch himself in the face for it, and hence, he wisely decides to just not. "I have to say, the fight did seem rather… Bernard the Barnhand certainly had a grudge. Might be worth seeing if he came into money recently."

"When I arrived upstairs, Tancred had already broken down the door and he was standing at the open window," Jeanne supplies with her gaze lowered. "The man in the room, the dead man, that is… he was on the floor, bleeding. I knelt down beside him to see whether he was still alive, but he wasn't. It looked like he was stabbed, as there was blood all over the place. Tancred yelled that the assassin was escaping, he climbed out of the window to pick up the pursuit. I… returned downstairs, as there were already others coming up and… I felt a bit sick suddenly, so I wanted to get out of there."

Gal narrows his eyes, looking a little skeptical. "That's… I mean, Bernard's always kind of like that," he expresses his doubt, having seen little out of sorts about the Barnhand's bad behavior. Basic Bernard. But… "The sailor may have aggravated him purposefully, I suppose. He was acting pointedly irritating," he realizes, in retrospect. "We should see if we can find the man again." He looks back to Tancred and Jeanne, not totally cntent that neither of them really saw her leave the room, but the timeline seems, on the whole, to stand up. "About how far behind were you, Jeanne?" he wonders. "I mean, I don't blame you, really."

"I heard his scream, and there had been no one else who would have done it if not for a geist or alp," Tancred continues. Tedious though the task might be, it doesn't seem as if he'd appreciate Andrei's offer of assistance, which is just as well. He blows on his spoon. "I followed, yes, out the window, fast enough that I have not lost her, and when I came upon her she drew her dagger first. I met her with my sword. She took out hers and said this will be my death."

"The sailor was a foreigner," Anghelescu notes. "If you do find him and he turns out to be Genoan, then I'd definitely argue that this was a conspiracy to distract public attention while the man upstairs was murdered." He seems to be quite analytically minded, for a merchant. Maybe that helps him see through bad bargains. He chuckles at Tancred's explanation. "Yes, she was a chatty one, wasn't she."

"I went downstairs, to the common room," Jeanne replies to Gal. "I didn't follow after Tancred. Not at once, that is. I joined Monsieur Andrei downstairs and told him what had happened. There was also this foreign lady. She arrived with her guard, and Andrei spoke with her, before he excused himself, deciding to follow after Tancred instead. This lady… she spoke of odd things… And Monsieur Andrei asked me to pay attention to her words…"

"No, I— not out the window, just to the room," Gal clarifies his question to Jeanne. The rest is tracking pretty well with what the blond gent told him. Who, in turn, puts forward a plausible hypothesis, which Gal would mark more precisely if not for the other details coming out. This is why one at a time is better than a group, but since everyone is here… "So she threatened you… did she say anything else?" of the assassin. "Princess Aedhwyn did?"

"No. But she did say that we were to die because we saw her face. Andrei there, and myself. She was quick with her blade," Tancred gestures at himself to show off the damage inflicted, "Or at least I too slow. That is where it ends — when we triumphed and only then the guard had arrived, to find us in our pools of blood." He leans on the table, nursing his water before continuing to eat. "I did not find a name or what."

The Carpathian nods slightly at Jeanne's words, remembering the strange words about ravens coming out of the mouth of the — so she's a princess, huh. "She seemed very intent, the princess." He sips his wine, content to not interrupt further.

"Ah…" Jeanne apologizes. "I see. You meant… upstairs, how far behind was I there? I arrived at the door in the moment, Monsieur Tancred broke into the room. So I saw him enter, and the man in the room was already lying there, in his blood," she tells him at a low volume. "Then… Downstairs… yes, the Princess Aedhwyn. She spoke words but they sounded as if she were absent. Talking in her sleep. Do I make any sense? The guard who was looking after her… he made sure that the hood was drawn over her face, so that no one should notice. But I did. I saw her eyes." A soft shudder runs through her slender shape, and Jeanne lowers her gaze, and her jaw sets for a moment. "They were white, and the words she spoke… were vague. As if they were a prophecy of sorts."

"Huh… well, we've all seen her face, now. Or a lot of us have. And we owe you both thanks for that," Gal is easy in giving credit where credit is due— he'd been busy with the distraction, himself. Which was kind of the point, but still. He turns to regard Jeanne, taking a further moment to look over her features, realizing, now, how she looks familiar— but all of that's hardly important when hot on the realization's heels comes… well. Weirdness. "Whuh?" is his answer to asking if she makes sense. Obviously not. "Her eyes were white?"

"Hoanghina," Anghelescu murmurs, once again commenting on Jeanne's observations. "A seer. A witch, after a fashion. Or a crazed woman — I suppose that anyone who knows her will be able to answer that question. Her eyes did turn white, yes."

"I wonder if she will come to visit," Tancred muses to himself. His part in the story is done, so he seems content to listen and attempt to eat unless pressed further.

"Yes, her eyes were white… for as long as she spoke in that odd voice, Monsieur guard." Jeanne confirms. "Believe me or not, but I know what I saw. She said…" Her eyelids move in a slow blink as she tries to recall, "Something like, Burning, smoking across the seas, darkness fuming, all consuming.. Then, something about a pearl. We must find the pearl of Alexandria., she said. Did the raven sail upon you or does she wait for you still." She draws a breath, eyes lifting to meet Gal's gaze. "Then: Genoa… Have you come or gone from there raven one? Where are you? Do you still run, twisting, turning, ever hiding?" Letting a moment pass, before she shakes her head. "I don't know what it means. Her guard decided to carry her off, out of the Kraken, and I followed them, all the way to where Monsieur Tancred and Monsieur Andrei were fighting with the woman. The princess slipped out of her dream, and her eyes turned to the way they were before. And she said that the woman looked familiar."

The blond man glances at the seamstress and, not for the first time, thinks to himself, There's more to that girl than meets the eye. Aloud, though, he just murmurs, "Well done."

Gal sits quite still. It's not that he doesn't believe Jeanne. It's just that this whole thing just took a left turn into the bizarre and… quite possibly well above his pay grade, to be honest. "Uh," is the first thing he can think to say. "Do you think you could write out as much of that as you remember, so we can get a copy of it on record?" There, that's… helpful?

"Of course." The seamstress nods her head. "I will write it down." She ponders, "There were writing utensils upstairs in the room, where the man died. At least last night, there were. Perhaps…? I could use the parchment and quill there?" Moving to stand, she looks from Gal towards Tancred. "You didn't sleep in that room, did you?", she wonders.

Anghelescu glances at the seamstress and stops himself from asking for a copy as well. Instead, he looks at the young guardsman. "I have a good ear for languages. If I hear somebody speaking in that accent of the sailor, I'll try to find out who they are — and what their nationality is."

Tancred "No, they have put me up elsewhere." Tancred is slowly finishing his pottage while the discussion continues, glancing up the stairs. "The owner grumbles of the broken door and the blood, but it's not me to be charged."

Gal gathers in his tea mug toward him as Jeanne makes to go upstairs, ready to follow her, though he pauses a moment at the owner's complaints. "We'll put it on the tab of the assassin, if she recovers," he returns, standing up slowly. Whether he's joking or not— it's hard to tell. "Or her colleague, if we can find him." He nods enthusiastically to Andrei. "That would be awesome, actually. Any leads, just send word to the citadel."

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