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The first Crow refused to speak, even when we put hot coals to the soles of his feet and peeled the skin off his face and hands with a paring knife. He opted instead to chew through his own tongue and choke to death on the blood.
The second captive repeated what we already knew: Queen Madrigal went on a hunt and did not appear for the evening's festivities. Her body was later found with four steel swords through the chest. I asked what he knew about one of the four swords being a replica of Hessarian's Sword of Mercy. He had not heard about that, or at least claimed as much. He later died on the rack, smiling slightly.
The third Crow must have realized he would not leave the dungeon alive. He seemed to hope that by angering Master Fiore, he would earn himself a quick death. The Crow tried our patience with pithy comments while Master Fiore was trying to work. At one point, he made a remark about Fiore's mother, which I shall not repeat here. I will admit to feeling admiration for his ability to retain a capacity for coherent speech, and even some wit, while under extreme duress.
Amid all his useless chatter, this third Crow did raise an important point. His guild has a reputation to uphold. They are ruthless, efficient, and discreet. How would they maintain such notoriety if agents routinely revealed the names of employers with something as "banal" as torture.
This gave me pause. I called for a halt to the session. After some thought, I stabbed the man through the heart and set the fourth and fifth Crow captives free. If there is a confession to be extracted, it will not be done with pain. I recommend we abandon this course of action.
—A report by Captain Aristide, tasked with investigating the assassination of Queen Madrigal of Antiva