I stumbled upon the dead man first. The body was slumped against a rock as though resting but blood poured from his throat. Most of the camp came at the sound of my screams except for the nobleman and his guards. A wine merchant claimed he knew the motive for the killing; the guard was one of his and murdered by competitors. No one could dispute this so we buried the body with Bob’s assistance. Sampsa later confided to our small party that the man’s shoulder had been skinned. He and Bob believed that it may have been taken for a ritualistic purpose…
What I am about to describe to you next is the most queer set of events I have ever experienced. The following night I once more trailed the nobleman through the woods. This time he had orders for his demon, “I need more skins for the wine.” Surely you are making the same connection I am. The call for preparations, the insistence to move on, and now the bizarre death of a man. I hastened back to camp.
When I returned Bob greeted me at our horses. In his arms was a large, ornate chest with a fine looking lock. Nyx had stolen it from the lord’s tent when she was unable to open it and brought to him! They were both convinced that there was evidence that implicate the noble. It did not offend me that they had stolen the chest so much as brought the thing to our camp! While our employer slept (presumably) at our feet! I had barely walked ten feet from the site when I heard the sounds of wood splintering.
I only learned the contents afterward, but Bob had found inside several coins, gems and two bags of dust. The valuables were somehow given to Nyx who then fled from the camp, and Bob poured the two bags onto the ground. The chest had been buried by the treeline.
Naturally an alarm was raised. Everyone suspected the mummers about the theft, but knowing otherwise I watched the tent. The nobleman had left it, with purpose, and strode directly to the buried chest. We were found out! He began to accuse us when there were screams of yet more murders. The wine merchant and his other guard had been found dead and skinned. There was chaos throughout the entire caravan and some took off that very night back to the sleepy town we left.
The nobleman had detained us though and brought us to his tent. Very quietly he asked, “Who desecrated my mother’s ashes?” When Bob still! refused to admit his crime, the lord summoned a demon unlike the one he met earlier. This was a naked woman with hideous wings from her back. She spoke to the lord, “What do you need of me, my gate in?” At these words Bob gasped and began to hyperventilate.
The nobleman was a figure from Bob’s modern mythology, Gaiden the half-demon son of St. Emma Carlyon. And the ashes, Emma Carlyon herself.