I fully intended on writing again once I had talked to the Jarl, but as it turned out, I have had little time.
A day after my last entry Rolff came to see me and said I would be in court with the Jarl the next morning. I was interested to hear what he had to say, given that anywhere I went he was all people seemed to talk about. I had no interest in the civil war personally, but it is my homeland, so I felt I should at least hear him out.
The morning after I attended court at the Palace of Kings, the palace that Ysgramor himself built so long ago. It still stood splendid as I'm sure it did back then. At at the end sat Ulfrik Stormcloak. As I entered he was talking with Rolff brother Galmar. They were discussing the war aloud and didn't seem to notice me enter at the other end of the Great Hall. Galmar was very passionate about the war, and openly urged Ulfrik to be more aggressive. I'm sure I heard Whiterun mentioned at some point. Ulfrik seemed a whole lot more collected however.
After Galmar left Ulfrik's steward, Jarlief, beckoned me to step forth. I was addressed in the traditional Nord way, even by a Jarl. Apparently he remembered me from Helgen, and he was grateful to know that Ralof made it out alive. He certainly seemed like he believed in what he was fighting for when I mentioned the war, unlike Galmar who seemed just blood-thirsty in my eyes. He certainly wasn't the monster the Imperials would have us believe he is, but there was something troubling in his eyes, or so it seemed to me at least. The look of a hidden tyrant, or a concerned countrymen? He told me about the Stormcloaks and the induction, and was surprisingly very respectful when I decidedly declined his offer to enlist. Like I said, I'm not entirely interested in becoming part of a civil war.
Before I left, he asked me to speak to Jorlief about a local matter that he was hoping I would help him with; he said an outsider with a sense of purpose as mine would be profitable in these circumstances. I agreed, and as it turned out, it had to do with the scene I stumbled across the other night. As I mentioned before, there's a lot of prejudice in this city, so everybody is pointing the finger at someone else, making it very hard for the guards to investigate. Jarlief asked me if I could look into it privately, and see if I could make heads or tails of what was going on.
Since then I've being doing some research at the palace to learn about Windhelm, and I've been talking to a lot of people, particularly at the inn where I'm staying, trying to learn about who might have the right mentality to be a serial murderer. Eventually a lady named Viola Giordano gave me a missive she had been handing out, warning people of this Butcher character. She directed me to Clan Shatter-Shield. Apparently their daughter was one of the first murders. I spoke to Tova, the mother, who was incredibly distraught, but knew nothing except some rumours about a local residence called Hjerim. I decided to check this out for myself and so I got the key from Jarlief. It is late now, however I plan to check it out in the morning.