The body of a man in matted red robes was found just outside the ramparts of the Royal Palace early in the morning. Little could be discerned of his features for how badly they were disfigured. The man, in addition to having been stabbed, looked as though he had put up a fight.
There were few identifying features beyond the robe, which marked his as an advisor to the King. He was well in his years, and he seemed to…[Editors’ note: here, the writing is smudged beyond readability.], but little else could be discerned. He carried no personal items saved for a single key.
I have set to asking the guards who were on watch what they saw. The guards who were on rotation at the time and could feasibly have witnessed the act were Roskid Alyanin, Ygnid Pulnin, Argsat Fralyatsin, Vengor Chivortin, Palor Palgordin, Ista Khrenveyen, Fereydor Utkaran, and Dzeyshet Tos. Of the eight guards, only two, Chivortin and Khrenveyen, reported unusual instances occurring during their shifts. The testimonies of all eight are recorded below.
Alyanin: My shift was cold, but I saw nothing that drew my gaze. It was an odd, silent night. I don’t favor night shifts. I do them, but they unsettle me.
Pulnin: I was on rotation with Roskid. We never saw anything and spent most of the time shivering and trying to keep warm. Say, why is it so important we answer this question? Of course I am not suggesting insubordination. I was asking cause I want to do my job.
Fralyatsin: See anything? No, not even on this night. It was clear, but I didn’t see anything of note. It was colder than expected, but no, Vengor and I, we made conversation of our lives and things. Vengor isn’t the conversationalist, but I could not think of any other way to pass the time that was permitted. He is too serious for me.
Chivortin: Did I see anything unusual? Well, actually, now that you say something, my companion left his post for what felt like almost an hour partway through. I don’t think we were at the halfway point yet. I don’t know his name, but I think I could pick him out if you showed me the men. He liked talking, he did. Loved talking. I don’t know why he suddenly went off like that.
Palgordin: I didn’t see it, but my part did. Said he saw something moving, but I told him, no, that wasn’t it. Musta been how tired he was. Always nervous on these shifts. He gets nervous, I see nothing. It was nothing. Just him being him.
Khrenveyen: I saw someone moving across the grounds at one point, but when I pointed it to Pal, he said he saw nothing. I don’t know why I decided to do it then, but I looked up and saw that the moon was three quarters of the way to dawn. I like to keep track of the moon.
Utkaran: Oh, Dzeyshet and I had the dullest shift on the southwest side. Nothing happening for hours and hours, and boredom so deep we could not make conversation. When I was relieved of my shift, the first thing I did was return to my barracks and sleep. I was so bored and dull I could not think of any way to interest myself. I have a reputation for knowing the serving women, but I did nothing of the sort. I was too bored to even consider such.
Tos: It was an ordinary shift. Nothing happening, no unusual sounds, everything going as it should. The kind of shift where you start to stare at everything and your eyes and ears grow kind of dull from staring at the same thing for so long. I didn’t know anything happened till you summoned me.