Scuzz arrived at the bell tower just a little past noon. The outer door was open, and the faint smell of smoke drifted out from inside. He stepped inside anyway, then stopped. Strange scents were everywhere, and the door to the ground-floor room was open. Nothing moved inside, but...
Scuzz stepped away and put a foot on the stairs. Somewhere up above, something hit the floor hard. A moment later, someone screamed -- not loudly enough to be heard by the rest of the town, but unmistakable inside the tower. Bad things were happening.
The second floor was empty.
The third floor held bodies. Familiar bodies. They'd fought, but they'd been slaughtered. Silver weapons. The damage was too thorough for anything else. There'd been magic, too: nothing else made sense.
The smell of smoke was stronger up the stairs, and Squim, First of the Nest, was talking desperately. Scuzz couldn't make out the words, but the tone was unmistakable. Which meant that whoever had done this was up there with whatever remained of the Nest, and anyone left alive was in mortal danger.
There was only one thing to do.
Scuzz turned and left, making very sure not to move anything on his way back down the stairs. With any luck nobody would realize he had ever been there. After that, well... It was time to look for another job, and he thought he knew where to look.
There was this bookshop in the West Hills...