Chapter 4 – Darkwater Rising
Part 4: Case Closed
“Well,” Silas stated one night not long after the night they had told Ienarath about her father. “Nobody seems to know a damned thing. And the guards are of no help. Although, to be honest, I never really thought they would be.
“I did overhear that Uthur character talking, though. There was a group of them, actually. Standing around Candlehearth. I couldn’t make out everything, but I’m sure that I heard one of them say something about Sven and how it wasn’t fair that he wouldn’t take him back. I assume they meant Uther. I don’t know, seemed suspicious. You know, Uthur is the same fellow that Velroth replaced when we first got here.”
“Silas, please, we’re about to eat. And you can’t just jump to conclusions; you don’t know anything about this Uthur. And Velroth didn’t *replace* anyone. He was hired on his own merits. Now go clean up. And tell Ienarath to come here.” Said Azurine.
“Alright, alright,” replied Silas. With a sigh, he walked to one of the back rooms. “Iena, you’re aunt needs you.”
In the weeks that followed, Silas kept a close eye on Uthur. He discovered that Uthur was good friends with Rolff. Silas was sure that no good could come of that. He also realized that Uthur was seldom left alone; always being surrounded by his cronies. Silas needed another plan. Trying to get anything from Uthur was going to be impossible. Rolff on the other hand, seemed to make a habit of venturing off on his own. He especially like to visit the Quarters after drinking.
“Rolff!” Exclaimed Silas, one night, as the Nord came stumbling around a corner.
“Outta my way, filthy gray-skin!”
Silas quickly grabbed the drunkard and slammed him against a wall. “Give one reason I shouldn’t gut you right here and now.” Scowled Silas.
Rolff just laughed, “Ha! Because I’mma Nord!”
It seemed like an impossibly stupid answer, but he was right. If a Nord was found in the Quarters dead, the whole place would be ransacked and someone would hang, regardless of whether or not it was Silas. Silas eased off of Rolff, but didn’t let go of him.
“What did Uthur do to Velroth? I know he was involved.” Growled Silas.
“Velroth. The fisherman that Sven hired.”
With slow comprehension, it finally dawned on Rolff who Silas was talking about. “Ooohh, him.” Rolff grinned wide, “Sorry, not sure I get yer meanin’.”
“Yes, you damned well do!” Replied Silas.
“Yeah, well, maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Don’t much matter, though, doezit? Cuz, I mean, even iffin I told evrythin I knew. Wouldn’t matter. Would it? Would it, gray-skin?” Rolff, emphasized ‘gray-skin’, and began to laugh, baring his rotten teeth.
Silas released him, shoving Rolff back against the wall. And, with nothing to say, he turned and stormed off, Rolff’s laughter trailing off as he vanished around another corner.
The next morning, Silas made for the Palace of the Kings. As he argued with the guard for an audience, the door opened and the Steward stepped out.
“Steward Jorleif!” Cried out Silas. “Steward Jorlief!”
“Be off with you!” the guard said angrily, starting to draw his sword. Jorleif put his hand up to those around him and stepped over to the guard.
“What’s going on here?” He asked.
“This gray-skin is demanding an audience, Steward Jorleif. He has no writ of invitation and I’ve already told him twice now that he’d have to leave.”
“I believe this man is a citizen of Windhelm. And like every citizen, I expect that he be shown a certain level of respect.” Replied Jorleif.
“Of course Steward.”
“You work at the stables, don’t you?” Continued Jorleif, talking to Silas.
“I thought you looked familiar. So, what can I do for you?”
“My wife’s brother-in-law. He died at the docks a couple of weeks ago.”
“Ah, yes,” said Jorleif, with a somber tone. “A tragedy, to be sure.”
“With all due respect, sera, I don’t believe it was an accident,” stated Silas.
“That’s a very serious statement. Do you have proof?”
“Well, no sera, but..well, I suspect a man named Uthur may know something about it. I was hoping you might open an investigation. Velroth was much too good of a fisherman…” But before he could finish, Jorleif cut him off.
“Uthur? Uthur Darkwater? Uthur was a good fisherman before his accident, but now. Well, now he’s nothing more than a drunkard and a spinner of tales. He’s loud and brash, but essentially harmless.
“Ingnar spoke of Velroth and his abilities. It would seem that Sven thought a great deal of him, as well. But I’m sorry, your claim lacks substance, and I just do not have the resources to investigate an accident.”
“But, I beg of you..” pleaded Silas.
Raising his hand, Jorleif continued, “I’m sorry. I have heard statements from the guards posted that night. Nobody had passed them. Nobody had gone to the docks that night. And none of them had noticed Velroth..until, well, until it was too late. They assure me that if they had, they would’ve gone to his aid immediately. I’m sorry,” he said again, “but your friend died in a great misfortune. But it was nothing more than that.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet with Helgrid at the Hall of the Dead.”
“Sera..” pleaded Silas, one last time.
“Enough.” Said Jorleif, agitation in his voice, “the case is closed.” And with that, Jorleif and his contingent walked away, leaving Silas standing alone in the cold.