5 Rova 4715 – Starday
Examining bodies is never easy. While there are things that can make it more tolerable, such as not knowing the victim, it is not always easy to compartmentalize. When the victim is a child, it’s hard to ignore the crack you feel in your heart. So much potential, so many chances snuffed out. I can’t help but think what choices led them to this fate. Could it have been avoided? Could we have done something, anything to prevent this? Or is it all laid out and we are powerless to avoid it? That is the ongoing debate I suppose. Fate versus choice.
This must be the missing boy Niccolo had told me about, Vell. Cause of death looks to be from a blade strong and sharp enough to slice through his ribs. That is no mean feat. The professor was correct in deducing the boy is bound by preserved sinew. I suspect the other missing tiefling man, Rol, is missing his tendons.
But the stab wound is not the worst part. The poor boy’s teeth were not pried out – they burst from within. It seems that this boy was used to birth the tooth fairies. According to the professor, if a child is buried near a place with fey energy, they can be born from the teeth. How would someone know if an area has a strong fey aura? I’ll need to look into that.
Apparently I need to brush up on Aklo. I only ever dabbled in it, but I can make out enough of the phrases written into the sinew to understand that this child’s death was an intentional act, a sacrifice as part of a vile occult ritual intended to bring forth the tooth fairies. These murders were not simply happenstance. They were engineered, but to what purpose, other than unrest, I’m not sure.
Niccolo found our next destination through a trapdoor. I recognized the smell that greeted us, and immediately began breathing through my mouth instead of my nose.
Actions, people, and emotions can change a building. This may have been a simple storeroom at one point, but now it’s haunted by the horrors that have taken place here. Once again, I have no doubts that the baskets contain the remains of the missing tiefling, Rol. In fact, possibly enough for another humanoid as well. I know it would be a small consolation, but I do hope that he was not alive for such butchery. Unfortunately I have no way to really tell.
We managed to get everything back to the Cloven Hoof Society without raising too much of an alarm. I wished we had better news for Straya, but at least we have any at all to give her.
I feel that I am missing something. I know it probably seemed strange to Straya and the others, but I decided to examine the bodies once again.
6 Rova 4715 – Sunday
I don’t actually remember when I finally rested my eyes, but it felt like I’d barely closed them when the Asomodean priests came to gather the bodies. The good professor made himself quite scarce during their arrival. I wonder if he has some history with the church. However, that is a mystery that can wait for the time being.
I returned home just in time to help Pietro and Elena with the morning rush. The new barista, Chiara, is getting better, but the reason why people frequent our establishment over, say, Longroad’s, is that we have more consistent regulars. Most of the time I don’t even need them to tell me what they want. I’ll have their brew going before they even reach the counter.
Pietro could tell that I hadn’t gotten much sleep, and provided me with one of his usual lectures on the importance of good rest and hard work, not just one or the other. I know he’s right, and I know he means well, but I couldn’t just risk missing one iota of information that could help find the perpetrator behind these grisly murders. I promised myself when I left school that I would help the city, and The Devil’s Nursery is part of it even if certain elites would like to think otherwise.
I did manage to get a bit of rest, a good wash, and even finished my report for Professor Yanev on identifying whether an injury was caused by physical or magical means. We’ve only just begun this section of the course, but I think it may come in handy sooner rather than later.
Elena was kind enough to bring me lunch just as I was writing my conclusion. She asked if I would be “working a case” again that evening. I hate being elusive with them, but I will not put them at risk. Our relationship may have started out as a simple exchange, a favor for a favor, but they have become extraordinarily precious to me. The less they know of my extracurricular activities the better, even if it is a case, and not the more rebellious variety. They fuss like I imagine loving parents would, and I would hate to worry them especially considering the increased danger I’ve found myself in as of late.
Then it was back to the Wasp’s Nest to see how our rebellion is progressing. To no surprise it hasn’t progressed much, but considering the brief time our organization has existed, I think that can be forgiven. Perhaps our venture to Clenchjaw’s this evening will prove fruitful. It is definitely different from the establishments I am used to frequenting so the information should be valuable.