Murder! - Part 3

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After reviewing the evidence the patrol decide that they need to find out more about the footprint. So they take it down to the Bureau of Shoes (Office of Procurement, Footwear Directorate). Unfortunately the office is closed for the night.

Down the Docks

They decide that the next best thing would be to go down to the docks and look for more clues. Accordingly they split up to tour the waterfront taverns. [Can you think of a worse idea?]

Valanthe went into the 'Dropped Anchor' and met some of the crew from the 'Falcon' the ship on which the seventh victim had been a crew member. She got talking to his sombre former shipmates and discovered that he had been part of a small group that went on a pub crawl the previous evening. They'd started in the 'Dropped Anchor' which was the closest pub to the ship. They'd moved across the river and along the opposite bank before crossing back. They'd stopped in every single pub along the way, six including the 'Dropped Anchor'.

On leaving the 'Tarry Sail', the first pub back on this side of the river, he had said that he was feeling ill and that he would catch the others up in the next pub. That was about 11pm and was the last he had been seen alive. The crew reckoned that he would be able to handle himself in a fight and were somewhat surprised when he turned up dead.

Bureau of Shoes

In the morning the they go to the Bureau of Shoes. A boy takes them to see 'Mr Archibald', this involves a long back corridor in a part of the building clearly not frequented by visitors. They end up in a large store-room with floor to ceiling shelves filled with boots and shoes.

Archie clearly knows a lot about boots, more than anyone sane would wish to know. They show him the boor print that they've taken and he waxes lyrical for several minutes about the boot and how the pattern of nails tells you about how it was made and which type, and how minor variations note different types. He also talks a bit about the patterns of wear.

Archie tells them it is a good boot, and well made. The type is reserved for the more senior members of the theocracy and only goes to sub-deacons and above. Of course, people at that level would have more than one set of footwear, as they'd be authorised for shoes as well as boots and probably also indoor and outdoor varieties. What Archie finds most interesting about these boots though is that they have an unauthorised modification to the heel, the hobs are aligned differently to the standard pattern. Other than that they are a size 9 standard width boot.

Before leaving the patrol ask Archie to let them know if the boots get returned, but not to let the owner know that they are interested.

Delving Deeper

Having established the size and type of boot (Type 23, size 9 standard) they look for records of who had been issued those boots. The obvious place is the Office of Central Statistics. Being Ministry of Internal Affairs agents they find the record keepers very helpful and in a short time they have a list of names.

  • Ministry of Food - 3 pairs
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs - 5 pairs
  • Office of Religious Orthodoxy - 2 pairs
  • Bureau of Planning - 3 pairs
  • Ministry of Supply - 5 pairs

They then move on to checking where the people are with the various Ministries.

Ministry of Food

One pair was issued to a Deacon in their personnel department responsible for senior posts. He is currently on a sabbatical to undertake a pilgrimage and has been out of Templeton for six moons.

The second pair was issued to a sub-deacon responsible for grain export. He is currently based outside Daprav liaising with a neighbouring state on grain exports from Daprav.

The third pair was issued to a sub-deacon responsible for beer production in the South West, he hasn't been to Templeton for several years.

Ministry of Supply

One pair was issued and four remain in their stores. The issued pair went to an Archdeacon responsible for robe procurement. He is frequently out of Templeton to visit weavers and farmers in cloth and dyes production.

Bureau of Planning

Their three pairs have gone to a Bishop overseeing the forecasting department and two of his Archdeacons. One in weather and the other in trade forecasting. None of them are based in Templeton.

Office of Religious Orthodoxy

There's a little less help here, but they get a look at the file and both pairs issued show as having been returned some time ago.

Ministry of Internal Affairs

They take a different tack and visit the personnel office after hours since their investigation isn't an official one. They find a file-list hanging from a noticeboard in a personnel office lined with filing cabinets. This leads them to the right cabinet which is swiftly opened. Four names come from the appropriate file.

  1. Chief Priest (2 pairs)
  2. Archbishop Hugh (responsible for security on the Southern Border)
  3. Archdeacon Marius in the City Watch (issued 2 days before the murder)
  4. Deacon Elvar in personnel.

Read on...

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