Blood and Magic
Sven Von Verrin
Murder: Willow enters Sven’s manor house on the evening of the first day of this adventure and finds him standing near the edge of his third story balcony, enjoying the sunset over his vineyard. She sneaks up to him and kills him with a single swift jab to the base of his neck with her dagger. After removing his tattoo, she pushes his body off the balcony. It lands in the walkway 30 feet below, moments before the PCs arrive. Willow has no problem escaping out the other side of the house and into the surrounding forest.
Clues: When the PCs find Sven’s body, they can immediately examine it for clues. Once the body has been reported to Viduk Burnt, however, the body will be removed to the church. The body is cremated at noon on the second day.
A DC 13 Perception check reveals that a small strip of skin has been flensed from Sven’s chest. A DC 21 Heal check establishes that the strip was removed just after the man’s death. A DC 9 Heal check establishes the cause of death as head trauma from the fall, but a DC 21 Heal check reveals something more sinister; the man was, in fact, killed by a blow to the base of the neck knife, likely a curved dagger.
Ioun Grey is reluctant to cast a Speak With Dead ritual on the body unless the PCs can prove their suspicions. It will reveal little, however, since Sven was jumped from behind and never saw his killer. He also has no known enemies in Hillsfar, and cannot explain why someone would want to kill him.
A search of Sven’s home turns up two additional clues. With a DC 9 Perception check, a spray of blood is found on his balcony. With a DC 21 Perception check, a character uncovers a patch of baking flour on the floor by the wall in the bedroom near the balcony entrance. There is no other flour at all in the building. Willow came directly here to murder Sven after working a shift in the Anvil Inn kitchen where she was baking bread. When she struck, some of the flour that had collected in a fold of her clothes spilled onto the floor.
If the PC’s ask around in an attempt to determine who may have wanted to kill Sven, a DC 13 Streetwise check establishes that he was well-liked, but that he didn’t seem to have any real friends. No one but the other members of the Company of the Gauntlet know what was on the strip of skin removed from his chest, so unless the PCs are asking one of them, the residents of Hillsfar can’t explain why a strip of his flesh was stolen.