Sword Swallowing
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General Information
Season 4
Location Ravenedge
Region Serene Creek
Case # 41
Initial release date 5th June 2021
Partner(s) Lawrence Sinclaire (All Chapters)
Case Chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
Burnt to a Crisp Blood is Thicker Than Water
At Sue's opium lounge, we find one of her client's with a sword sheathed in his throat! What made this man bury his life in opium? Find the killer before the high dies!
—Case Teaser

Sword Swallowing is a case featured in Criminal Case, it appears as the forty-first case in A World Forgotten and the two hundred and thirtieth overall. It takes place as the fifth and penultimate case in the Serene Creek district of Ravenedge.

Plot

The day after the unveiling, Lawrence held his pocket watch and grumbled about Isabella's withholding secrets from the team, but conceded that he too had been suspected and Isabella had a lot to learn. He, however, hoped Isabella would make an excellent officer one day. A tired Charity, with eye-bags under her eyes, then clicked her fingers and told them to stop chatting as time was wasting, prompting them to go Sue Li's opium lounge. Outside, a young woman ran up to them and was surprised the police had arrived so fast. Confused, Lawrence asked what happened, as she confessed she had just called the police as she had found a body inside the lounge. Inside, knocker-up and regular customer Ambrose Buckman was leant against a chair - a sword sheathed in his mouth.

After sending the body to Moira and Draco, they spoke to the lounge assistant, who revealed herself as Lauren O'Donoghue - one of the missing teenagers who was recovered - and explained she was working for Sue as her assistant. She then elaborated that for the past few days, Sue had seemed distracted and aloof, arguing with Ambrose multiple times. Sue then locked up the lounge late at night and ordered Lauren go home early, yet in the morning, Lauren had found Ambrose with one of Sue's swords down his mouth and Sue nowhere to be seen. Agreeing that Sue was the prime suspect, they also questioned crossing sweeper Etta McArthy and sin-eater Claude Forster, two of Ambrose's friends who would regularly drink with him. Back at the foyer, Hope was stumped by Ambrose's lack of documentation and said it was almost like he started existing months ago. Just then, Isabella told them she'd found Sue.

They found Sue, a wound on her head, at the bank, trying to access Ambrose's safe deposit box. They quickly confronted the woman as she explained she had no idea Ambrose had been murdered, horrified that her favourite client had been stabbed with her own sword. She explained Ambrose left overdue payments at the bank which she was trying to collect, nothing more. The team could tell Sue was playing coy yet were forced to let her go due to insufficient evidence. An analysis of Ambrose's box revealed that he was looking to sell rifles to someone inside Serene Creek, the team soon theorising that woman to be Sue. Victim's postman Morris Pemberton confirmed Ambrose had been sneaking into back alleys at night in the week leading up to his murder, before they learned Ambrose owed Etta money which he used to pay off his lounge fees, and that Claude had accidentally killed his dog with his automobile. In the foyer, Lawrence creased his forehead in confusion at the twisted case, recapping that Ambrose was a mysterious man attending Sue's lounge in hopes of selling rifles. Then, Hope revealed that after extensive investigation into Ambrose's documents, she'd discovered his connections to the Angel Grove kidnapping ring.

Hope explained that Ambrose was charged with guarding the kidnapped so they couldn't escape but, upon its exposure, Ambrose fled and changed his identity to avoid capture, leading them to confront Lauren. She explained that Ambrose came to bury his sorrows in opium but she recognized the man who held her captive instantly. She soon told Sue and asked her to deal with him for her; Sue responding she'd think about what to do. Morris attempted to contact the police, but Ambrose beat him up, bruising his eye and knocking a tooth out. Finally, the crate which contained the missing rifles was uncovered with Sue's fingerprints, the woman issuing no comment. She did, however, promise that she was innocent and agreed to guard Aimee with no fee if they proved so. The killer was then revealed as Claude.

They went to confront Claude at his hut, but Morris signalled that Claude had left for an abandoned warehouse on the banks of River Bainrame only an hour prior. They quickly rushed there and found the sin-eater standing alone, a cigar in his mouth and a gun on his side. Lawrence raised his gun and asked he explain; Claude seeing no point in lying as he'd been caught red-handed but slyly suggesting his confession wouldn't matter much anyways, as the pair were not leaving. He decided to go back to the beginning: Ambrose was a lowly security guard for the kidnapping ring, charged with securing the kidnapped with the rifles bestowed to him. When the ring fell apart, Ambrose fled with the rifles and changed his identity to avoid capture. When he was recognized by Lauren, Sue saw an opportunity to make money. She approached Ambrose and suggested they sell his rifles together, giving him the names of two suspected buyers - Etta and Claude - hence why Ambrose started hanging out with them. Ambrose soon discovered Claude was a smuggler, hiding his supplies inside cadavers only to dig them up later. A deal was struck, Claude killing Ambrose's dog as a warning not to betray him. Yet, at the deal in the opium lounge, Claude couldn't help himself and, upon receiving the rifles, tried to kill the two. Sue grabbed her sword to defend herself, though he soon hit her over the head and stabbed Ambrose with it, making away with the money and rifles. He then went to the warehouse to collect his stash and leave.

With the pair caught up to speed with the winding investigation, Claude raised his pistol and told them they were not leaving. The pair were at a standstill, with no side willing to fire first. Suddenly, a plain knife sliced through the air and stabbed Claude in the back, killing him. A shadow darted across the room and, just as quickly as it arrived, was gone - the money and rifles too. The team then regrouped outside where Lawrence theorised that Sue had killed Claude as payback, making good on her promise to Lauren and taking a reward as well. However, with no evidence except a dead man's confession and Sue lawyered to the hilt, they knew pursuing Sue would be a lost cause, especially when they needed her to protect Aimee.

---Rain Must Fall (5/6)---

In the foyer, an exhausted Charity held her head in her hands and asked for a report on Aimee's situation. Amethyst confessed it was grave, that Aimee was hurriedly packing her belongings and was fleeing to the falls at night for peace. Wanting to arrange protection for Aimee by the end of the day, they spoke to Sue, who agreed to honour her deal and protect Aimee free of charge. However, Amethyst ran in and explained that Aimee wasn't home. The pair quickly scoured the city and, thanks to Isabella's patrol, were able to find her hiding in Ambrose's hut, knowing it would be empty and sealed off. Amethyst tried to console a worried Aimee, who admitted she'd only tried to make things better but had somehow been caught in the crossfire. Aimee then asked if they were right, that if by trying to mend the feud she was allowing either side to get away without punishment, to which Amethyst told her that choosing peace was always the right option. Amethyst asked her to look around at the poor, crumbling huts and asked her to find the beauty in it, leading Aimee to explain that the community coming together to support each other and to help each make it through was beauty enough. The sisters then smiled and shared a heartfelt hug, before Amethyst asked her to stay in Ravenedge under Sue's protection. Perhaps it was selfish, but she couldn't imagine her sister leaving again, not when everything in her life seemed to be coming together. Aimee, however, was aware of Sue's criminal reputation and her involvement in the latest investigation. Not wanting to compromise her morals, Aimee refused, saying the team shouldn't deal with criminals for the sake of her. Reluctantly, she agreed to stay in Ravenedge before returning home.

Frightened, Amethyst paced the foyer back and forth, cursing her sister for being stubborn and righteous. Soon after, Sienna and Scarlett hurried in and confusedly exclaimed that Genevieve was disguised at Speaker's Park. They quickly confronted the matriarch who demanded they lower their voices. She sighed, crossing her arms as she explained that perhaps she should hear them out and live like one of 'those people' for a moment. Scarlett quipped a snarky response, but Sienna cut her off, demanding to know what Genevieve's end goal was. She confessed she had no goal; she just wanted safety for her remaining children. She despised the movement, but if hearing them out meant bringing Cornelius home, then it was worth it. Genevieve later returned to the foyer and spoke to Cornelius. She tried to reach out to take his hand, but Cornelius quickly withdrew it. Sighing, Genevieve stated that the New Year's ball was the following night and she'd love to celebrate it with him. She would be departing Ravenedge on a 9PM train to London - to discuss the railway - but if Cornelius wanted to attend the ball with her, she would change her plans. Cornelius then thanked her for her efforts but said he wanted to be with the team instead, causing a blasted Genevieve to leave slowly.

With Amethyst and Gabriel going for an evening stroll along the River Bainrame to calm her nerves, Charity looked around at the team, each beaten down due to the feud, and wondered if Hugo was right, that something needed to be done to stop it. However, she soon shook her head. At the river, Amethyst waited on a wooden bench for Gabriel and held a butterfly in her palm. She looked around, confused at why he had yet to arrive. Suddenly, a dark, shadowed object floated down the river. It was a branch, no, it wasn't, it was too big for a branch. An animal, maybe? No, it wasn't moving. A look of dread appeared on her face as she stared into the figure's faded eyes, a lifeless Aimee staring right back at her.

Years prior, Marianne called to Gabriel and Celine and asked they not make her wait. The siblings quickly ran to their mother and gripped her hands, heading towards the country path. The Osborne family then approached them as the two families cordially debated over how to pass. Gabriel and Cornelius waved at each other as Celine eyed Francesca's hairclip in awe. They then separated, not knowing how the future would entwine their families' fates...

...Tomorrow evening, a phone lays discarded from a telephone box, gold paint drips from the finger of a lifeless hand, the distressed neighing of frightened horses echoes through the streets... as Marianne can't do anything but watch.

Summary

Victim

  • Ambrose Buckman (fond with a sword stabbed into his mouth)

Murder Weapon

  • Sword

Killer

  • Claude Forster

Suspects

Lauren O'Donoghue
Sue's Assistant
Height 6'2"
Age 19
Weight 154 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect knows kenjutsu.
  • The suspect has hay fever.
  • The suspect reads The Art of War.
Etta McArthy
Crossing Sweeper
Height 5'0"
Age 54
Weight 243 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect knows kenjutsu.
  • The suspect has hay fever.
  • The suspect reads The Art of War.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has a mole.
Claude Forster
Sin-Eater
Height 6'4"
Age 49
Weight 134 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood A-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect knows kenjutsu.
  • The suspect has hay fever.
  • The suspect reads The Art of War.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has a mole.
Sue Li
Opium Lounge Owner
Height 5'11"
Age 37
Weight 148 lbs
Eyes Green
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect knows kenjutsu.
  • The suspect has hay fever.
  • The suspect reads The Art of War.
Morris Pemberton
Victim's Postman
Height 6'1"
Age 43
Weight 149 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood O+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect has hay fever.
  • The suspect reads The Art of War.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has a mole.

Quasi-Suspects

Aimee Villeneuve
Painter
Height 5'3"
Age 26
Weight 123 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-
Genevieve Osborne
Osborne Matriarch
Height 5'7"
Age 56
Weight 151 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A-

Killer's Profile

  • The killer knows kenjutsu.
  • The killer has hay fever.
  • The killer reads The Art of War.
  • The killer has a mole.
  • The killer is male.

Crime Scenes

Opium Lounge Sword Stand Opium Lounge Bonus
Field Huts Ambrose's Hut Field Huts Bonus
Ravenedge Bank Bank Vault Ravenedge Bank Bonus

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