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Episode 3

PALATIAL ESTATES, read the sign in front of the shabby-looking, rundown building.

"This is the place," Maur'tion said. "Third floor?"

"Mm, I think it was the fourth," Nazeel replied. Maur'tion nodded and the two constables walked onto the property that sat close to the boundary of their beat, near Arvelle's outskirts. Dead grass crunched beneath their feet as they moved closer to the place.

The rookies walked up to the building and opened the door to the stairwell. The moment the door opened their senses were assaulted by a putrid odor that caused them both to back away for a moment to catch their breaths.

"This..." Nazeel finally managed, "Must be what we were called here for."

"What is that?!" Maur'tion cried out.

"I don't know, but we're about to find out, "said Nazeel. "Just try to hold your breath or something. Maur'tion grimaced and nodded as he opened the door again and the two plunged themselves into the foul miasma.

The pair hurried up the stairs to the fourth floor as the smell grew stronger and stronger. They knocked quickly on the door to the flat, but were unsurprised to find no answer. Maur'tion, with his minotaur strength, broke down the door, and the two went through.

The thickness of the rank smell burned their eyes in the flat and they rushed to open all the windows they could find. When they could finally see, they were greeted with a most horrific scene. Three skoomaheads sat against the walls, skin gray, with flies buzzing around their corpses.

"Here's the source of the smell," Maur'tion said. "Let's check the other rooms." They split up and searched the rest of the home. All totaled they found eight dead, rotting bodies. Skooma pipes were found near each one.

"Skooma's not usually so deadly," Nazeel said. "There must be something going on with this batch."

"Let's take one of the pipes with some of the stuff to the Constabulary's alchemist, then," said Maur'tion. Nazeel nodded as he bent down to grab one of the skooma pipes from the floor. He buckled a pouch at his belt and placed the pipe inside.

"We need to report this, though, so let's head back," Nazeel said. "We can ask Rodrick what to do about this mess while we're at it."

"Yeah, and hopefully opening the windows will help with the smell until we get back," said Maur'tion.

The rookies left the building and walked the long way back to the constabulary. When they arrived, they told Rodrick everything. A look of disgust crossed his face as they concluded their report.

"You mean to tell me," he started, "that you were sent there about a smell, you discovered the source, and you just... left that source there?"

"W-well," Nazeel stammered, "w-we thought we could come get a cart or… something."

"A cart?" asked Rodrick

"Y-yeah," Maur'tion chimed in, "You know, to carry the corpses."

“We have no carts for you, rookie!" Rodrick yelled. "Now bring those bodies to the morgue - immediately!"

"Yessir!" Maur'tion and Nazeel said in unison as they got out of Rodrick's sight as quickly as they could.

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