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Die Shize

Tears on the Wing - The Investigation

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Ellenwood


Music OOC

Spoiler

 


The Constable

It started out as a normal day in the town of Ellenwood. She was small, humble, nestled beside a forest, equipped with cobblestones for the click-clack of traffic as quiet and steady as the town itself, and a constabulary that needed little effort to enforce the law. That morning, as Constable Easton C. Pedderick sat down behind his desk beside an open window, a cold breeze drifting through amid the sounds of birds and shopkeepers, pedestrians and steeds, a chill crept up his spine before he even opened the envelope. 

 

He had an unsettling feeling about what was to come, though the envelope itself was otherwise unremarkable; crisp white, with the recipient’s address of the Constable himself, but no sender’s address. That was curious, but more so alarming. It took no detective to deduce that whatever the contents of this message, whomever its sender, it held grave information for the Constable’s eyes only. Had a crime been committed? A theft? A murder? As fingers tapped on the envelope, Easton took a sip of water and delayed no longer, and peeled open the paper. What he found...horrified him.

 

Spoiler

Greetings to the Constable of Ellenstone,


Have you ever pulled the wings off a fly? One by one, this one then that one. A tender tug, watching as its legs squirm. Watch as it becomes a useless cripple in the palm of your hand. Then you close your fist. You squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. Sometimes you’re squeezing so hard that your fingernails dig into your skin, and sometimes the pressure is so great that you draw blood. You open your hand. What do you see? A pile of goop. Crumpled and useless bug guts and bug juice. What to do? No point. No purpose. All you can do is flick the dirty fly away from your hand and wash it clean.

Wings are laced with veins that run from tip to muscle, like streams. Did you know that? These bugs know when they are missing one. They struggle. Writhing in my hand, so desperate, so desperate. Looking up at me as if I had the power to put their wings back on. I don’t. I can’t. I can’t!

I tried birds once. A bloody mess. They sang sweet songs but they didn’t really want to. Their voices gave out with their hearts. But birds are too...cumbersome. Let them fly. They can keep their wings. They can keep their feathers. It’s the veins I want.

You know what creature has wings like the fly? The fairy, that’s what. The lithe and nimble, thin and quaint, delicate little fairy. She is not much bigger than my hand. Her wings, though. Her wings! Long and beautiful, longer and prettier than her hair, so colorful and so beautiful. When I take them off, she screams. She screams! She sobs and spasms in the birdcage, waiting her turn. I pluck her like a little dove. The wings come off like feathers. I close my fist and squeeze. I flick her from my palm. One done, onto the next one. The wings. The arms. The legs. The screams. I see their broken souls in my dreams, Constable. I hear their flight of cries, like tears on the wing. They beg me to stop. I don’t. I can’t. I can’t!

But maybe you can. Maybe you can stop me. You’ll find me in a cabin in the woods. It is my home away from home. My humble abode. A place where no one can hear them scream. This won’t be easy. Not for them and not for you. So I have left you clues to drink up like tears in a cup. Four of them are close. They are in this very letter. Look carefully. I want you to look. Look!

I want you to see. I want you to find me. I want you to stop me. If you don’t, then like your gifts in the envelope I will pluck the wings off of many more fairies. I will kill and keep killing. So stop me. See my letter. Come find me if you can. Come save them if you can. Come look. Come see. I’ll be waiting.


Sincerely,
The Wingless


By the time Easton finished reading the last word on that folded paper, he could not fold it back up, could not tear his eyes away, and could not surmise the amount of water in a glass that could wet a dry throat. What did it all mean? Was this some kind of a sick joke? Some twisted prank? What mad fool would dare to conjure something like this? One who knows my name and where I work… Breathing in that cold, cold air, Easton determined to slip the paper back inside the envelope, when his own fingers halted him. There was something on the back that he had not noticed before. The paper was white all over save for streaks of red and pink. 

 

Is that… He ran his fingers over the color. Blood? Then he saw something else. There was something else inside the envelope. Gulping back what little saliva remained in his mouth, the Constable dared to dip his fingers inside, and they came back out with four long, slender, elegant wings the color of pearl—with blood caked on their stumps.

 

“Haggins!” Easton called to the deputy posted on the other side of the door. It opened in a moment. 

 

“Sir!?”

“Get in here. I have...grave news.” Even as he spoke the words he felt someone walk over his own grave. Or did they fly..?

Edited by Die Shize

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  Exile had enjoyed the ride along the way to Ellenwood aboard the train system that extended on the island. As he entered the village, Exile looked around for the constable office around town having one of the fliers scattered throughout the continent. Regardless of what he found, he needed the money to continue his benefactors partnership if he hoped to achieve anything. Exile borrowed a magnifying glass from his benefactor's forge back in Casper, after leaving the mana rail train system he made his way to Ellenwood on foot. 

  A few inn's along the way perked his interest, however he was simply here for the job as a novice detective looking to collect. Rather than sour his attitude about the specifics, Exile opted to keep his objectivity to the job at hand, as he walked seeking what had been reported on the bounty posters. Adventuring had been common enough to him as a young refugee, working for payroll was much more preferable to Exile, at this point in time. It was Exile's thinking that the job wouldn't be any harder than pointing out the obvious, and persecuting the killer.

  Exile pressed on with his finding the Constable's office as he pulled out the bounty poster, patting his backpack he felt the imprint of the magnifying glass he borrowed. Knocking politely, Exile stood at the door as the sun held high in the cold winter day as he awaited an official to speak with him as he is. In his mind, Exile knew it perhaps wouldn't do to go without a name for the sake of officiality. At the same time though, Exile was determined not to give his real name out of dishonor to himself in the past.

  "Hello, I am Inspector Exile, a humble detective who found your bounty poster, may I come in to discuss the crime?"

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"For all who have seen the reaper have not lived long enough to tell the tale!"

Dauner had been tipped off by one of his informants about something strange going on in the forests around Ellenwood. Though brief, not that long ago, a great deal of dark energy had been released from there. Dark energy is the materialization of the darkness within the self. Anger, hate, sadness, pain. They were all but instances of that darkness given form. However, the instance which reverberated strongest, was despair. Magical creatures were known to produce more dark energy from their despair than no magical creatures. That coupled with the bounty being posted shortly after confirmed Dauner's suspicions. There was someone bringing despair onto magical creatures in the area.

The half-demon set out for the town of Ellenwood atop one of the rider dragons, he had at his disposal. A few miles before arriving at his destination, he jumped off, letting the dragon return. The fall was not a short one, but it was something he'd grown used to. The rest of the journey was over before anyone could lift a finger.

Once in town, Dauner walked over to the constabulary and asked to see the constable with regards to the bounty.

Dauner hadn't taken this job to save the fairies, mind you. Although he desired not for fairies to suffer needlessly, and even less so at the hands of a psychopath, his real aim behind taking this job, was to see what this 'serial killer' could do, and to personally deliver him to the doorsteps of despair. After all, if there was anything he loved almost as much as food and women, it was breaking the spirits of those who earned his ire, or placed themselves on a higher pedestal than they deserved by his standards.

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Spoiler

 

Will Sharr approached the town with haste, aided by a strong breeze propelling him forward. Ever forward. It had taken some getting used to and, if he was completely honest, he still wasn't completely practiced at the art of wind running. His footfalls were spaced apart, every impact with the ground launching him further and higher than the last. Some times he wondered if he was flying. He felt this in the moments when the wind seemed to do all of the work and his legs hardly touched the dirt. Those moments, when he thought he could speak to the Air, were rare and fleeting. Often times, he lost his focus and the Glizer sleeve relinquished its support, sending him soaring in the...wrong way. 

However, as he sprinted down an empty road, he refused to give in to the allure of the magic. The simple stuff, running and jumping, would help him in whatever was to come and he could master them with willpower if necessary. Donovan had offered training, yes, but Will gained more from learning in the field. 

And what a field this would be.

 

He slowed down to a jog and the wind accommodated the request, easing him off of its support. His eyes took in the sight of Ellenwood. He'd never come this far east of Lagrimosa, but the roads had been fine. Clearly things were a bit tamer here than the cities. In fact, it reminded Will of his home. The mundanity of it all. There was an active citizenry, here, with the pedestrians and merchants going about their afternoon. Gods, what was that aroma? His stomach growled just from the whiff of it. A warm breeze carried a hint of cinnamon and bread. 

He walked down the path, boots thumping on the cobble with every step. The sound was drowned out by the townspeople, who were going about their day with an air of content. As Will walked, he found a smile plastered on his face. It was a grin, really. He knew that it was was the sight of children chasing each other that did him in. Adjusting his pack on his shoulder, Will Sharr entered Ellenwood's comforting atmosphere and let it wash over him. 

No destination in mind, he thought. I could stay here for a bit before venturing out again. He'd been traveling aimlessly since Blairville. While he'd encountered skirmishes, there had been nothing impactful just yet. The life of an adventurer could be rather prosaic in between exciting bouts, it seemed. 

A flash of movement shattered the procession of his thoughts. 

Will's eyes widened as a dark streak descended from the sky. He called on the Wind and pushed off with his feet, soaring backwards in an effort to gain some distance. He landed with a grunt, then crouched as the townspeople scattered in a panic.

In a heartbeat Will's hands moved to his crossbow and quiver, but he simply watched from afar as a man landed deftly on the pavement and simply...walked away. What? He glanced upward and blanched at the sight of a dark creature flying miles above. Was that a dragon? The townspeople chattered in awe and fear as Will rose to his feet, confused.

"Cursed Constable. What good comes of asking strangers for help?" 

Will turned to see who was speaking. It was a young man, roughly Will's age by appearance. "What was that?" 

The man glanced at him. He had his arms crossed and a face marred by a scowl that looked like it was often there. "Bah. The Constable's asking for help with the fairy problem. That is probably another person looking to waste his time. Although, it's one of the flashier entrances I've seen as of yet." 

Fairy problemWill frowned and turned to see the direction the dragon rider had gone. He was gone now, but Will's eyes were drawn to a building with a sign titled: 

Official Residence of the Ellentown Constabulary

...in golden lettering. 

He relaxed his grip on the crossbow and began to walk. Indeed, he felt as if the wind itself were pushing him there. Whether this was another minor issue or his next big quest, he didn't care. If a Constable felt unequipped to handle this issue, Will was concerned. He opened the building door and saw the dragon rider being directed to an office. Clearing his throat, Will told the man at the desk: "I'm with him," and summarily followed. He felt a knot in his stomach as he entered the office and came face to face with the Constable.

"I'm William Sharr," he said with a sigh. "You can call me Will. Glad to know you, sir." 

 

Edited by ticklefarte

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