For the two days leading up to and the day of Midsummer, the traditional festivities took place in Gis Galen despite the tense atmosphere. In fact, if anything the celebrations were a good deal more outrageous than usual, with many refugees joining in, and a good deal of the military – particularly the officers – taking leave to the city for the duration.
Two nights before Midsummer’s Eve, however – on the first night of the full moon – tragedy struck House Shyurr. Lord Gilligan, four of his servants, and two guards were discovered dead in or near his home, and Lady Morena Shyurr had been attacked by the same murderer. The unit was summoned initially by Captain Keirnan Hanst, who thought to bring them in to track the murderer’s bloody trail through the sewers.
Suula, examining the scene, found that the murderer was practically dripping magic of some sort – a raw, primal, chaotic magic that left a trail behind that he could track. Between he and Aiowyn, they manage to follow the trail of the first team that Captain Hanst had reluctantly sent into the sewers, despite the danger, as they followed right on the murderer’s trail. This led them straight into an ambush, however; little sooner had they stumbled over the bodies of the first guard unit, then Yashir walked straight into a transparent gelatinous ooze – and they were quickly then ambushed by several more monsters of the sewer.
The unit defeated the monsters handily enough, earning a reward in the form of the metallic treasures that the ooze had been storing in its body. The delay had cost them, however; when Suula and Aiowyn kept after the trail, they found it led to a dead end: an enormous pipe leading into the river. With so many strangers in town, and nearly half the city drunk, searching the entire riverbank for a single person, of whom they did not even have a description, would be impossible. Instead, the team returned to the surface, to find themselves summoned by Lord Doric Penn to attend to the slaughter in the manor. Most of the team stayed behind to retrieve the bodies of their fallen fellow guards, although Asandar and Caelik went on ahead. When the rest of the team dallied, Caelik went to hurry them along, while Asandar went to speak to the only survivor of the grim night: Lady Marona Shyurr.
He found her weeping and very upset, but not catatonic as she’d been found by the previous shift. When he questioned her, he managed to get a description of the beast, which seemed to be part wolf, with dark grey or brown fur. Most shockingly, she claimed that her husband had killed himself: after the beast had bit both Lord Gilligan and the lady herself on the shoulder, Gilligan had chosen to fall upon his sword. The lady’s wound had already healed by the time Asandar arrived, though her sleeve was stained with blood.
When the rest of the team arrived, they examined the master bedroom, where Lord Gilligan’s body lay on the floor, having fallen onto his sword – and clearly, he had not been forced into that position. There were also a few coarse brown hairs – like animal fur – upon his clothing, near the bite on his shoulder. Suula, in detecting for magick, discovered that Lord Gilligan had a magical circle in his study next to the master bedroom, and immediately began to hypothesize that the murderer was a summoned creature. Before he could get too far in his speculations, however, a new player arrived upon the scene along with the Lord Warden: the Margrave Caspian Turrm, the younger brother of Duke Galen and the Lord General of the King’s Fleet. He explained that he had heard about the massacre through the usual gossip of nobles and servants and that, bored with being called back to Gis Galen for mere politicking, he wished to attempt to track down the murderer. Aiowyn took exception to this, and rudely held him back, but let him go once Caspian had explained himself and Lord Doric had protested. The Lord Warden vouched for Caspian’s skills as a tracker and remonstrated Aiowyn for his ill manners.