Murder Riddle III (Solved!)

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Post Post #25  (ISO)  » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:01 pm

In post 24, Mewtaph wrote:Theft
The thing I am stuck on with the theft is the lights. How did the thief turn off the lights?

It could be that a 9th person did that part.

Murder
Vangel started out in the storage at the end of the theft then made it locked inside of his office for the murder scene. So him running to his office and locking himself in seems like a plausible explanation while everyone was occupied with searching for this ninth person. But then I think they would have noticed blood leading up from the white room to the office.

Dejected, he walked into the white room and was then told something of interest, which made him immediately run to a certain room.


This is pretty interesting and suggests Vangel was manipulated in some way that allowed the murder to take place. Maybe he was instructed to do things like the phone call at the beginning of the narration.

Disappearance
Westy was in the games room. Lacey was already in the guest room. When Westy heard the door open, he saw someone he couldn't recognize because of the mask, hat and cape they were wearing carrying Lacey.

Lacey and the figure ran back into the guest room upon being seen. Easty ran out of the Power Room when he heard his friend scream.

Easty: "What happened?!"
Westy: "No time to explain! Someone suspicious is in the Guest Room!"

Seconds after, the two were trying to enter the Guest Room. The door had been locked, however, and the two took their time to break down the door

So then, the unknown person in the Guest Room may have found a way to escape. So Ransu is not cleared, only Easty/Westy are - Easty came immediately after the initial scream.

Note how the window is unlocked. The window can only be unlocked from the inside. It is likely our culprit convinced Lacey to open the door which is why Westy only heard the door open with the person holding Lacey, and didn't hear the door open when this mysterious person opened the door to enter the guest room in the first place.

Ransu lying about the footprints would allow this window deduction to make sense, but by necessity this would mean that Ransu also needed to have committed the murder (so he can lie in purple statements).

That, or Easty lied and someone was hiding in the bathroom.
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Post Post #26  (ISO)  » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:09 pm

Theory 04Ransu is the killer. I am sticking with the Barbara name for person nine.
For the theft: Barbara did this completely on her own. She grabbed the padlock before Easty guarded the storage room. Then she went upstairs, found a hiding place, and waited for a while. Then she destroyed the generator and stole the spear as described before, but this time she just ran upstairs into the bathroom.

For the murder: Ransu played with the chain so that the door would open about 3 inches even with the chain set. This way, he could unchain the door, step out, and with one hand "set the chain". Then he locked the door with his key. He lied that there was a key stuck inside. Instead, during the chaos when the door broke down, Ransu secretly inserted the key into the keyhole so Lacey would think it was there the whole time.

For the disappearance: Ransu simply lied that there were no footprints.


I have another idea.
Theory 05Easty is the killer.
Theft: Easty set a time bomb or remote explosive in the power room. It was just strong enough to damage the equipment without being too loud. Then he did his theft just as before except that the power was destroyed remotely.

Murder: Easty did as Ransu did in theory 04, except that Easty used a magnet or some other thing to move the key once it was inside the lock. Not sure precisely how this would work, but it is the best I can currently come up with.

Disappearance: Barbara hid in the bathroom. Easty lied that no one was there.




If someone could figure out a way for the disappearance to happen without Easty or Ransu being a culprit, please share!
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Post Post #27  (ISO)  » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:10 pm

In post 26, 2 718281828459 wrote:
Theory 04Ransu is the killer. I am sticking with the Barbara name for person nine.
For the theft: Barbara did this completely on her own. She grabbed the padlock before Easty guarded the storage room. Then she went upstairs, found a hiding place, and waited for a while. Then she destroyed the generator and stole the spear as described before, but this time she just ran upstairs into the bathroom.

For the murder: Ransu played with the chain so that the door would open about 3 inches even with the chain set. This way, he could unchain the door, step out, and with one hand "set the chain". Then he locked the door with his key. He lied that there was a key stuck inside. Instead, during the chaos when the door broke down, Ransu secretly inserted the key into the keyhole so Lacey would think it was there the whole time.

For the disappearance: Ransu simply lied that there were no footprints.


The chain lock can only be set from the inside of the room.

In post 26, 2 718281828459 wrote:I have another idea.
Theory 05Easty is the killer.
Theft: Easty set a time bomb or remote explosive in the power room. It was just strong enough to damage the equipment without being too loud. Then he did his theft just as before except that the power was destroyed remotely.

Murder: Easty did as Ransu did in theory 04, except that Easty used a magnet or some other thing to move the key once it was inside the lock. Not sure precisely how this would work, but it is the best I can currently come up with.

Disappearance: Barbara hid in the bathroom. Easty lied that no one was there.

No bombs are featured in this mystery. In fact, I will be nice and say the backup generator was destroyed manually.
And I believe you may be misunderstanding how the power works: what was destroyed was the backup generator, aka not the main source of electricity. If you flipped the power switch to off, the backup generator would run instead. But if it was destroyed and you set the switch to off, the lights would go off for real.

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Post Post #28  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:46 pm

So wait. If Southy is truthful, then Vangel died immediately after being stabbed (i.e. Vangel did not do anything of value between the stab and actually dying). So assuming for the moment that the killer was actually in the room to kill Vangel, it would have to be that the killer either managed to get out of the room somehow without creating visible damage, or escaped through the window somehow. Which seems impossible.

@MOD: Would it be possible for a character to create a hole in the wall and then close it up without anyone else noticing?

But either way, I have another idea.

Theory 06Ransu is the killer. I am sticking with the Barbara name for person nine.
For the theft: Barbara did this completely on her own. She grabbed the padlock before Easty guarded the storage room. Then she went upstairs, found a hiding place, and waited for a while. Then she destroyed the generator and stole the spear as described before, but this time she just ran upstairs into the bathroom.

For the murder: Ransu threatened Vangel in some way, and then Vangel ran into the office and chained and locked the door. Ransu threatened to steal George's master key, so Vangel stuck his own key in the slot to attempt to prevent this. However, Ransu had previously placed a drone with a knife in the room, and stabbed Vangel remotely. Then he moved the knife into a bucket of water that was randomly in the room (or perhaps that Ransu placed in there), cleaned it a bit, and then made the drone let go of the knife.

For the disappearance: Ransu simply lied that there were no footprints.
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Post Post #29  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:06 pm

2 718281828459 wrote:@MOD: Would it be possible for a character to create a hole in the wall and then close it up without anyone else noticing?

It's not possible I'm afraid. But I will say it in red so you're certain, an entrance or exit of a room never shown in either of the maps counts as a secret passage.
Secret passages do not exist.
The maps contain all possible entrances and exits that existed during the course of the mystery.

That should do.

2 718281828459 wrote:
Theory 06Ransu is the killer. I am sticking with the Barbara name for person nine.
For the theft: Barbara did this completely on her own. She grabbed the padlock before Easty guarded the storage room. Then she went upstairs, found a hiding place, and waited for a while. Then she destroyed the generator and stole the spear as described before, but this time she just ran upstairs into the bathroom.

For the murder: Ransu threatened Vangel in some way, and then Vangel ran into the office and chained and locked the door. Ransu threatened to steal George's master key, so Vangel stuck his own key in the slot to attempt to prevent this. However, Ransu had previously placed a drone with a knife in the room, and stabbed Vangel remotely. Then he moved the knife into a bucket of water that was randomly in the room (or perhaps that Ransu placed in there), cleaned it a bit, and then made the drone let go of the knife.

For the disappearance: Ransu simply lied that there were no footprints.

A drone would have been found during the group's search of the office. I'm not fan of remote-killing; Vangel was killed with the murder weapon being held by the culprit.

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Post Post #30  (ISO)  » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:35 pm

The way your last red is worded implies that perhaps Vangel's corpse was somehow moved into the room after being killed, though I still am not sure how it actually helps...

OK, so that seems to prove that the murder is impossible without one of the following having lied:
  • Northy Not sure what information this gives other than a timing advantage. Is this hypothetical knife only dry on one side or something?
  • Easty Even if the window were unlocked and Easty escaped, there would be footprints, contradicting Westy's purple that there were none.
  • Ransu The only purple Ransu says is that there was a key in the door. Lacey confirmed this, and even if Ransu stuck the key there afterward, there is still the chain lock.
  • Westy MAYBE could have rigged some contraption to lock the window, though it seems like such a thing would have been spotted by Easty.
  • Lacey MAYBE could have found some way to trick someone into locking the door and hiding, and that someone could have escaped, although it is hard to see how it would not be an accomplice.
  • George MAYBE, similar to Lacey except the someone now only needs to be hiding in the room.
  • Southy is the most likely culprit. She could have wounded Vangel and tricked him into locking himself in before dying.

As for the disappearance, however, it seems that either Easty or Ransu must be lying, as the scenario appears to be impossible as claimed.

@MOD: Are contraptions allowed? (A contraption, by my definition, is any method of performing mechanical work where the only human intervention is a meaningful amount of time before the actual work is done.)



For the moment let us assume that Northy, Easty, and Ransu are innocent. If so, the following are guaranteed:
No one passed through the Music Room's door
No one passed through the Storage's door
(Ransu did not steal the spear)
There's a key inserted on the other side of the keyhole
There's this wet knife laying next to the body
The window (in Vangel's office) is locked


Yeah, not much. It does clear three people from being the thief, but really anyone could be the thief if you pick the killer correctly.

@MOD: Can the killer knowingly aid the thief and/or masked person in ways other than lying in purple? Can the thief and masked person aid each other?
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Post Post #31  (ISO)  » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:13 pm

In post 30, 2 718281828459 wrote:@MOD: Are contraptions allowed? (A contraption, by my definition, is any method of performing mechanical work where the only human intervention is a meaningful amount of time before the actual work is done.)

I would say no, but I'd like to know what you're thinking before being set on that answer.

In post 30, 2 718281828459 wrote:@MOD: Can the killer knowingly aid the thief and/or masked person in ways other than lying in purple? Can the thief and masked person aid each other?

The killer could technically help anyone, but I don't see why they would do so.
The masked person and the thief can work together, that is allowed. The only one not allowed to work with others is the killer.


Edit: Actually, let's not complicate ourselves.
From now on, I will refer to the person who took the spear as "the thief", the person who killed Vangel as "the killer" and the person Westy saw enter the guest room as "the kidnapper".
They could be the same person or completely different people, keep that in mind.

The thief worked alone, they did not have an accomplice or a helper during the whole course of the story.
The killer worked alone, they did not have an accomplice or a helper during the whole course of the story.
The kidnapper worked alone, they did not have an accomplice or a helper during the whole course of the story.

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Post Post #32  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:19 pm

Well, looking at the statements, I figured out that The thief and killer are the same person OR at least one of them is a 9th person, because the four direction guards said no one passed through their doors (so they could not have done it without lying), George said he was in the kitchen the entire time, and Ransu and Lacey directly denied being the thief.

Does the killer lying to protect the thief or kidnapper count as being an "accomplice"?

EDIT: Another question. If the chain lock but not the keyhole lock is set, is it possible to open the door partially?
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Post Post #33  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:34 pm

Theory 08Southy is the killer; 9th is the thief and kidnapper.
The 9th did the following: (1) Grab a padlock, its key, and a gun. (2) Destroy backup generator. (3) Turn off lights. (4) Enter white room. (5) Destroy original padlock. (6) Take spear. (7) Place new lock. (8) Run away.

Southy killed, as I have previously detailed.

9th then decided to kidnap Lacey. The way 9th got out was by jumping over/around Westy and Easty as them and the broken door fell to the ground and hiding somewhere else.
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Post Post #34  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:39 pm

Sorry for kind of ignoring this. I'll get to this soonish.

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Post Post #35  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:24 am

In post 32, 2 718281828459 wrote:Does the killer lying to protect the thief or kidnapper count as being an "accomplice"?

Yes. Assume the killer wouldn't help anyone but themselves.

In post 32, 2 718281828459 wrote:EDIT: Another question. If the chain lock but not the keyhole lock is set, is it possible to open the door partially?

Yes.

2 718281828459 wrote:
Theory 08Southy is the killer; 9th is the thief and kidnapper.
The 9th did the following: (1) Grab a padlock, its key, and a gun. (2) Destroy backup generator. (3) Turn off lights. (4) Enter white room. (5) Destroy original padlock. (6) Take spear. (7) Place new lock. (8) Run away.

Southy killed, as I have previously detailed.

9th then decided to kidnap Lacey. The way 9th got out was by jumping over/around Westy and Easty as them and the broken door fell to the ground and hiding somewhere else.

For the murder you mean Vangel locking himself in before dying?
I believe that would fail to explain the existence of the wet knife next to the body, but have at it:
Vangel died instantly.

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Post Post #36  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:44 am

9: Westy is the killer. He designed some kind of contraption (perhaps a string tied to an unstable object, or a crafted egg-carton catapult, or something else of that nature) to lock the window after he fled the room.
OR
10: Ransu is the killer. He modified the chain to be slightly longer so he could open the door about 12 inches and then squeeze through after killing. He completely lied about the door being locked. EDIT: The key was actually placed on the other side, but Ransu discreetly turned it in the chaos from the door being broken, so it looked like the door was locked the whole time.
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Post Post #37  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:50 am

2 718281828459 wrote:9: Westy is the killer. He designed some kind of contraption (perhaps a string tied to an unstable object, or a crafted egg-carton catapult, or something else of that nature) to lock the window after he fled the room.
OR
10: Ransu is the killer. He modified the chain to be slightly longer so he could open the door about 12 inches and then squeeze through after killing. He completely lied about the door being locked.


Your first blue goes against the "windows can only be locked from the inside" red

As for your second one, Ransu never said the door was locked, but here's my rebuttal: The chain lock was not tampered with. If the chain was set, all you would be able to fit through the door gap would be your arm.

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Post Post #38  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:27 am

So I have to wonder if Vangel was killed outside the office and then somehow brought in. But if the killer just brings the body in to the center, we are back where we started.

I had a nice idea but unfortunately the chain can only be set from the inside...

How about this: Southy did it. Vangel was afraid and tried to seal himself in. Southy used a magnet to move the key in the lock and then reached in with a gun and shot Vangel, who happened to fall on his back. She then tossed a random wet knife into the room as a decoy, and used the magnet to lock the door again.
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Post Post #39  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:32 pm

In post 38, 2 718281828459 wrote:So I have to wonder if Vangel was killed outside the office and then somehow brought in. But if the killer just brings the body in to the center, we are back where we started.

I had a nice idea but unfortunately the chain can only be set from the inside...

How about this: Southy did it. Vangel was afraid and tried to seal himself in. Southy used a magnet to move the key in the lock and then reached in with a gun and shot Vangel, who happened to fall on his back. She then tossed a random wet knife into the room as a decoy, and used the magnet to lock the door again.

I'm not quite sure how the magnet technique would work, but I suppose it would be possible, somehow
No magnets. The key was put in the keyhole by hand, by the culprit.
The key, while inside the keyhole, was also manually turned by the culprit.


That aside, I feel you are forgetting Vangel left his key in his office before the heist. Anyone could have slipped in after this and took it.
Take that as a hint of some kind

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Post Post #40  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:14 pm

Whether someone slipped in and took it or not is not my problem. My problem is, I have a killer who just stabbed Vangel, and they have to (1) somehow get THE one and only key inside the lock, (2) set the chain, and (3) lock the door (unless the culprit is Lacey) while somehow escaping. And you said that the chain can only be set from the inside of the room, right?

Question: For the purposes of Lacey's purple that the door is locked, does having the chain set but not the keyhole lock count as being "locked"?

Actually, perhaps one's arm being inside the room counts as setting the chain from the inside. If this turns out to be the answer I am going to be quite disappointed.
Lacey is the culprit. Lacey never locked the door, but rather, she just placed the key in, exited the room, and then reached in with her arm through the gap to set the chain lock.
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Post Post #41  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:56 am

2 718281828459 wrote:Question: For the purposes of Lacey's purple that the door is locked, does having the chain set but not the keyhole lock count as being "locked"?

No. She was referring to the keyhole lock only.

2 718281828459 wrote:Actually, perhaps one's arm being inside the room counts as setting the chain from the inside. If this turns out to be the answer I am going to be quite disappointed.
Lacey is the culprit. Lacey never locked the door, but rather, she just placed the key in, exited the room, and then reached in with her arm through the gap to set the chain lock.

Worry not, I aim to not disappoint: doing that would be setting it from the outside. You have to be inside the room to set the chain, no exceptions.

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Post Post #42  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:35 am

And the chain WAS set when the door broke down. Which means:
1. Someone (referred to as "X") was in the room when the chain lock was set.
2. X then has to leave the room.
3. X could not have left through the door, because all X could fit would be an arm.
4. There are no trap doors.
5. George confirmed no one was hiding in the room, and even if George was lying, the person hiding would be either irrelevant or an accomplice. In particular, no one in the Big Seven could be the hiding one without secret passages. (Uhhh... this one is a little shaky...)
6. Easty confirmed that the window was locked. Westy further confirmed that there were no footprints. If Easty were lying he would leave footprints, while if Westy were lying, there would be no way to open the door...

George killed Vangel, and then intimidated a 9th person into locking themself in the room and hiding. That 9th had no idea what they were doing, so they did not KNOWINGLY aid the killer -- it was simply out of fear.
OR
Westy did it, escaped out the window, and used some really long pole or something to lock the window.
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Post Post #43  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:58 am

In post 42, 2 718281828459 wrote:George killed Vangel, and then intimidated a 9th person into locking themself in the room and hiding. That 9th had no idea what they were doing, so they did not KNOWINGLY aid the killer -- it was simply out of fear.

I have no comment.

In post 42, 2 718281828459 wrote:Westy did it, escaped out the window, and used some really long pole or something to lock the window.

Window latches can only be set from the inside of the room.

----

Alright, now all you have to do is post the heist, murder and disappearance in order.

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Post Post #44  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:17 pm

Final Theory (I think)X is the thief.
Early on, X grabbed a padlock, its key, and a gun. Right at 11:00, X destroyed the backup generator and then turned off all the lights.
Then X entered the white room, destroyed the original padlock, took the spear, and replaced the padlock with the one X had taken earlier.

George killed Vangel, but X saw this. George tried to kill X, but X escaped into the room and locked the door. George then realized he had an opportunity to make the murder seem impossible, so he lied that no one was hiding in the room. Of course, X had no way of knowing he was helping George get away with murder, and George had no idea that X was actually the thief.

Later, X decided to kidnap Lacey. The way X got out was by jumping over/around Westy and Easty as them and the broken door fell to the ground. Then X swiftly hid somewhere else before Ransu and the others arrived.
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Post Post #45  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:30 pm

I just wanted to leave you a gift before christmas time. Because red is the color of christmas, isn't it?

No ninth person exists. The only people that ever existed during the entire course of this story were Ransu, Lacey, Northy, Southy, Easty, Westy, George and Vangel. And of course, the thief, the killer and the kidnapper are all the same person.

As for your theory on the disappearance: Right before Westy and Easty broke the door down, the only person inside the guest room was Lacey. Westy and Easty would have definitely noticed someone trying to jump around them as they fell with the door.
To be more clear, no one left the guest room after those two entered.


Edit: And before I forget, merry christmas!

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Post Post #46  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:08 pm

Okay, so Easty and Westy were together at the time of the kidnapping, and Northy and George were together. That frees all four of them from being the culprit, and we can take their words as truth. Additionally, Lacey could not have kidnapped herself, so that clears her as well. That narrows the suspect to Ransu or Southy. Ransu is the most likely suspect, because he could have lied about there being footprints outside. However, I fail to see how he could have murdered Vangel, considering his lack of dialogue during the murder scene.
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Post Post #47  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:10 pm

@Mod: Could Southy be lying about Vangel being dead from a stab wound?
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Post Post #48  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:18 pm

In post 47, Allomancer wrote:@Mod: Could Southy be lying about Vangel being dead from a stab wound?

Only if she is the culprit.

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Post Post #49  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:23 pm

I highlighted all statements Southy said in yellow and all statements Ransu said in orange.
Spoiler: Everyone except Southy and Ransu are clear
After all the hardships lord Vangel had to go through to gather a considerable amount of fortune, he could finally live in peace.
...Actually, he couldn't. He had but one last dream in his life, which was to acquire an item the whole world longed for: The SS Spear, a weapon coated with some of the rarest and most expensive minerals on earth. It is rumored it used to belong to a god called SS, who used said spear to punish those who opposed him.
Backstory aside, one thing led to another and the weapon ended up on an auction. Naturally, the individuals who had the money put as much as they could to get their hands on the precious spear, but the winner of the auction ended up being Vangel. Of course, it was a lot of cash he had put on something he would probably just dump in his storage, but it was worth it. So he thought.

When he received the spear, he was the happiest man on earth. He decided to invite two dungeons and dragons friends, Ransu and Lacey, who said they wanted to check out the spear. He even hired four guards in order to protect it. His butler George would probably appreciate the extra people, as he would always work alone.

It was October 4th, exactly 5 PM, when the guests arrived. They had some trouble coming because a blizzard had appeared out of nowhere around the mansion's location, but probably due to their desire to see the spear they did not give up and got to the mansion anyway.

The two guests were led into a massive white-painted room, illuminated by some LED lights coming from above. This room had a glass case, which contained the SS spear. They stared at it for a long time, and one even tried to open the glass case's only door, but found that a padlock prevented them from doing so.
Vangel informed the guests that the glass was bullet-proof and the only key to the padlock was with him at all times, so there was no need to worry about someone trying to steal it.

After some time, Vangel headed to the stairs in the corner and went upstairs along with his two guests. They were in his office for around half an hour when one of the invitees, Lacey, excused herself to the bathroom. Luckily, there was a bathroom incorporated to the office, so she just went there. Vangel and Ransu talked to each other for a bit, and when the conversation was over, Vangel decided to check how the food was going. George usually took his time to cook, and with the new guards he may be talking instead of cooking. Food needed to be made in time for the guests. so he couldn't slack off! Like Lacey, he excused himself out, leaving Ransu alone in the office.

As the man walked down his mansion's stairs, his cellphone rang. Just who could it be? He looked at the screen but the caller was calling from a private number. Deciding there was nothing to lose, Vangel accepted the call and put the phone against his ear.


Vangel: "Yes, hello? Vangel speaking."
???: "...Consider that spear of yours gone by 11."

And this mysterious caller, whose voice he didn't hear very clearly, hung up. Vangel stood there for a few seconds, confused about that strange event, before checking the time. It was 6 PM.
He had a bad feeling about this.


---

It was 10:55, and everyone was now in position.
"Position for what?", you may be asking yourself. The answer to that is that Vangel had a really bad feeling about the call, and while everyone explored the mansion, he thought of a plan. In the end, he decided to position everyone so it would be impossible for anyone to even try stealing the spear.
The two guests Lacey and Ransu agreed to participate, as they claimed they did not want the spear to be stolen. Those two and lord Vangel himself would stand around the glass case with the spear so they would be able to see anyone entering the room.
The guards would be put in different rooms around the white room to make sure no one got past them. As the four had rather particular names, Vangel decided to use those names to decide where to put them:

- The guard Northy was sent to the Music Room, to make sure no one burst through the windows.
- The guard Easty was sent to the Storage, to make sure that if someone hid there, they wouldn't get past him.
- The guard Southy was sent to the Entrance, to make sure no one forced their way in.
- The guard Westy was sent to the Lounge, for the same reason as stated above.

As for the butler George... he hadn't even started cooking, so he was now being punished by cooking twice what he was going to cook. In the kitchen, obviously.

...Back to the mystery. As the three stood around the glass case in the gigantic white room, the alarm on Vangel's cellphone went off. It was now 11:00. Seconds passed, with him anxiously waiting for something to happen. He even made sure the key to the padlock was still with him just in case. And to make sure he wouldn't confuse it, left his own room key in his room.

11:01, and no signs of anyone else.
He thought of it being a prank and was about to say so when all the lights on the mansion suddenly went off. The white room did not even have a light switch, so... A power outage, perhaps?
Although he could not see a thing, he focused all his senses to catch something. And that's when he started hearing footsteps heading towards him from somewhere. Someone running towards him equals to someone running towards the case. Uh-oh.
He screamed to the other two to not let whoever this was to touch the case, but that did not stop the footsteps from getting closer. The footsteps eventually ceased in front of what Vangel believed was the glass case's door. That thief was at the door!
He tried to run towards them, but a loud sound and a flash of light stopped him right on his tracks.

Bang

A gunshot. Someone fired a gun.
Still, the spear was in risk. He tried to look for the case in the dark and was interrumped by the sound of someone running away. Soon, there was complete silence. Minutes passed until he got used to the dark, and he could finally see a bit. The other two were still in their positions, trying to feel their way in the dark.
He then had a brilliant idea and used his phone's flashlight to be able to see. The first thing he did was look into the glass case, of course... but the spear was nowhere to be seen. He confirmed that the door had a padlock in place, however, so it should have been impossible to have taken it out.
Either way, he had no time to waste! He handed his phone flashlight to Lacey and sent her upstairs to check if everything was okay in the power room. Soon, the lights turned on and Vangel confirmed his suspicions: the spear was no longer in the glass case. He looked around the white room, trying to find the spear, but all he saw was, well, white. He yelled in desperation.

---

The eight were now reunited in the white room, standing around the glass case. Right in front the glass case's door some small pieces of metal and stone were found, but they were mostly ignored.
Vangel held the key he has had since he locked the case with a padlock in his closed palm, and threw it to the floor. It was now useless.


Vangel: "You all, tell me how the hell that damned rat got in! I thought you were guarding??"
Northy: "Well, there was nothing suspicious on my end. No one passed through the Music Room's door.
Easty: "Same here, no one passed through the Storage's door."
Westy: "...Nothing on my end, no one passed through the lounge's door."
Southy: "We must be soulmates, everyone! Because no one passed through the Entrance's door, either!"
Vangel: "The only way to unlock my padlock was with my key... Just how...? What about you, George?! Did you see anything?!"
George: "Of course not. I was cooking the whole time. I didn't see anything suspicious."
Vangel: "............Upstairs. The culprit came from upstairs!!"

Seeing he had forgotten about the second floor, Vangel ran there. The others in the white room followed. He had expected to see a window wide open, indicator of someone having entered, but was surprised to find all windows locked. Confused, he decided to check out the power room.

Vangel: "Holy mother of jesus, what happened to the backup generator???"
Lacey: "It was like that when I got here. The power switch was set to off, so I just turned it on."
Vangel: "So this is why the lights did not come back on after the switch was flipped... The backup generator can give us light for four hours, but if it was destroyed it cannot!!"
Ransu: "Vangel, if it means anything, do know I didn't do it... I mean, I know it's totally unrelated to the lights, but just saying."
Lacey: "It IS related to the lights, you know. We were together when they were turned off. So I couldn't have done it, either."

The rich man was not listening, however. He pondered for a bit, and soon came to a conclusion.

Vangel: "All the windows on the second floor are locked and no one left through the first floor, which means... That thieving bastard must still be inside the mansion!! He hid and somehow pulled this cowardly act off!! Go look for him!!!"

In the face of an angry old man, the others couldn't help but comply and scattered off. Vangel decided to take the storage to himself, as that was the most likely place one would hide in his mind.
The storage room was basically a city of boxes, filled with old mannequins, padlocks, clothes, plants, and even a fish tank with dead fish. After several minutes searching, he was sure of it: there was no one hiding here. Dejected, he walked into the white room and was then told something of interest, which made him immediately run to a certain room.


---

Seven people were gathered in the white room around the glass case. Half an hour had passed since the search for a ninth person began, yet no one had been found. They all exchanged information about which rooms they had searched, and they quickly concluded that...

Ransu: "So only Vangel's office is left...?"
Lacey "...I would rather not go there, Vangel would get angry... He's scary when he's angry..."
George: "Agreed, so go check it yourself, Ransu. You're his friend. If I do it he may fire me. He can't fire a friend."
Southy: "That's true."
Ransu: "*sigh*, just... Come with me, alright?"

The seven went upstairs to the door. Lacey took hold of the knob, and...

Lacey: "Huh...? The door is locked...?"
Ransu: "It is the only place left, the thief likely locked himself in. George, do you have a master key?"
George: "Yes, but you unlock it. Here you go."
Ransu: "...Alright. ........Uh, there's a key inserted on the other side of the keyhole. The key won't fit in."
Westy: "It can't be helped, then. As we haven't seen signs of our lord, I'm getting worried. Easty, give me a hand."

Easty nodded, and the two men soon started laying on the door, ignoring George's protests. Eventually, the door gave in and the two fell into the room along with the door, the set chain lock breaking off the wall as a result.
The five in the doorway and the two on the floor stared in horror at the body of Vangel, laying face down in the center of the office... in a pool of blood.
Southy quickly ran into the room and checked on the body.


Southy: "This can't be... He's dead! A stab to the heart! From behind! An immediate death! Tragic!"
George: "Tomorrow was pay day..............."
Northy: "There's this wet knife laying next to the body."
Ransu: "There's also a piece of paper under him with a duck drawn on it, but it's probably not important."
Easty: "Looks like the window is locked. Hm..."
Westy: "And from what I can see there are no footprints outside in the snow. The blizzard stopped long ago, so it is impossible for more snow to have covered possible footprints."
Lacey: "Oh, so there IS a key on the other side of the keyhole. You weren't lying."
Ransu: "Why would I lie? ...But back to the key, it may not even be the key to the room. Try it."

Lacey, who had flipped the door over, turned the key already inserted in the keyhole. It seemed the lock hadn't been broken upon the door being broken down. With everyone watching, the bolt retracted into the door's lock.

Ransu: "So that settles it, huh...?"
Westy: "Like hell it does! Lacey, you stood by the door the whole time. Have you seen anyone walk out?"
Lacey: "No one has walked out the door since we got in."
Westy: "That means the culprit is hiding in the room! Look for him!"

And so, they looked, but to no avail. Southy looked into the wardrobe but only found clothes and white sheets for the bed. Ransu looked under the bed and found a few dirty magazines. George even looked inside the bathroom.

George: "There's no one hiding in here nor the bathroom."
Northy: "Are there any secret passages or stuff like that in the mansion, George?"
George: "Not that I know of. But if I could I would say no secret passages exist."
Southy: "Then... How was this done? The door was locked and chained and the window was locked. The key was in the keyhole inside, even! How mysterious! How arcane! How mystifying!"
Easty: "Not to mention the murder weapon was right by his side, too..."
Lacey: "But why would he kill himself...?"
Ransu: "Don't you get it? It's pretty hard to stab yourself in the back, and even if he had, the knife would still be stabbed there. Adding to this, the weapon was also cleaned off! This is a murder!"
Lacey: "Oh."

---

The seven decided to do the smart thing and stay together in the dining hall to call the police, until George insisted on keep on cooking, Ransu on investigating the locked room more, Lacey on going to the guest room to take a nap, and Southy on playing the piano on the Music Room.
In the end, the police said they couldn't go because the blizzard was still strong where the police were. They would have to wait for the blizzard to move away before even moving out. The seven were advised to stay together and not touch the crime scenes.
Naturally, no one gave a damn. Except for Westy who tried to keep everything in order, but ultimately gave up.


---

As Westy sat on one of the chairs of the game room all alone, he heard the guest room's door be opened behind him. He looked back, and saw someone he couldn't recognize because of the mask, hat and cape they were wearing. That didn't quite matter to him, however. His attention was on what this person was carrying...

Westy: "Lacey!"

Lacey and the figure ran back into the guest room upon being seen. Easty ran out of the Power Room when he heard his friend scream.

Easty: "What happened?!"
Westy: "No time to explain! Someone suspicious is in the Guest Room!"

Seconds after, the two were trying to enter the Guest Room. The door had been locked, however, and the two took their time to break down the door

Westy: "Lacey, are you okay?!"
Easty: "I don't see anyone in here other than her... There's no one hiding here. Let me check the bathroom... Nope, no one there either."
Westy: "She's just asleep. Thank god. Easty, check on her just in case. I'll check on something else...... Well, the window is unlocked. It's just a matter of jumping out, then..... I was expecti-"

Ransu ran into the room before he could finish.

Ransu: "What's going on?!?! Lacey, you okay?!"
Westy: "She's fine. Long short story, I saw someone carrying her leave the guest room and then enter again. He seems to have escaped out the window."
Ransu: "No time to waste, then! Let's go after his trail! .....But....... there are no footprints on the snow outside..."
Westy: "...Oh. ...There it is. Things can't be simple, can they...?"

Soon, the others got into the Guest Room. For no reason in particular, everyone shared their alibis... and in the end, it turned out no one had an one except for George and Northy, who had stayed together in the kitchen.

Ransu: "First an impossible theft, then an impossible murder, and then an impossible disappearance... Just what is going on here?!"
Retired Account. I have no replacement.

Please be kind to Allomancer and join the nomic game: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=78211

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