Calefacto of Tytalus is tried for High Crimes.
After a short break for magi to gather refreshments, Celeres issues a call throughout the coliseum to come to order and convene for the Tribunal. "Hear ye, hear ye. I call to order this Tribunal in the matter of Calefacto of Tytalus raiding a vis source belonging to Montverte. I turn my gavel for the proceedings over to Proctor, the Presiding Quaesitor of our Tribunal for him to manage the legal proceeding."
Proctor stands and rises.
"For the prosecution we have Aristarcus and for the defense we have Laetitia."
Marcus rises from his position near the magi of Mons Electi, "Pardon the interruption, Proctor. but Laetitia was unavoidably detained by business in the Tribunal of the Greater Alps and has asked me to stand for her. I am familiar with the case and prepared to take up Calefacto's defense."
Valerian stands at the interruption looking for the source, but Proctor buts a hand on his shoulder and Valerian sits.
"Your substitution is subject to the defendant's approval." Proctor replies coolly.
"I approve." Calefacto calls out as he is lead onto the stage, taking his place at the defendant's table.
Proctor does his best to hide his displeasure at the sudden change, but can't find any additional reason to object, he looks at Aristarcus who shrugs his shoulders, which is clearly not what Proctor wanted. "Very well, Marcus, you are his advocate."
Marcus floats down and takes a seat next to Calefacto.
Aristarcus calls Rotgiers Flambonis to the stand for his first witness. Rotgiers details that he and a team of grogs discovered vis was missing from a seisin. Some investigation found that it had been harvested. The means of harvesting was mundane, not magical. Rotgiers claims that a hair was found at the scene, a hair belonging to Calefacto. Aristarcus doesn't ask any additional questions.
Proctor turns to Marcus, "Do you have any questions for the witness."
Marcus replies, "No honored Quaesitor, I have no questions for the House traitor."
"Objection." Aristarcus calls out.
"Yes, I object to his change of House too, but the Tremere probably won't take him back."
"Presiding Quaesitor, I object, Marcus is making a mockery of this proceeding!"
"I thought Hermetic trials were a test of legal merits, but this appears to be turning that convention on its head, testing facts, in public. Rotgiers testimony was one of facts, which is normally read into the record for a public Tribunal and stipulated by defense and prosecution in the private proceeding. Publish the agreed upon facts, and submit them to the gallery. Since we're getting into facts, I felt the introduction of new facts was warranted. It is a fact that Rotgiers changed Houses, and I have the Exarch of Tremere prepared to testify on whether they would accept him back into the fold. So, what kind of trial are we going to have?"
Proctor looks nervous, Valerian looks livid, Rotigiers is confused.
"We don't have an agreement on the facts."
"I'm sorry, what? Do you mean that the facts of the case have not been fully determined?"
"The previously named defense counsel was previously unable to come to Confluensis." Aristarcus finally concedes.
"Yes, I know. So, we now do the public airing of facts, since it is not by her choice that she was unable to come. I have a letter here from Laetitia indicating she requested a meeting be hosted at Val Negra or Valnastium or Mons Electi. It is well established that these choices were rejected or ignored, she further stipulated that it is convention of the Quaesitores to meet wherever, and charge fees to the Tribunal accordingly, but that was rejected in this case, and Calefacto was required to present himself at Confluensis."
"Marcus, I find you in contempt. Valerian, escort him from the proceeding." Proctor says, and Valerian starts to rise.
"Not so fast, sleepy head." Marcus says to Valerian. Turning to Proctor, "I object to Valerian being your bailiff. He is unfit to hold the office of Chief Hoplite and has committed repeated crimes in the Tribunal, and even now is guilty of the High Crime being tested here, depriving a magus of his personal power. I call Petronius scholae Bonisagi of the covenant of Laurus Argenti in the Rhine Tribunal to the stand to impeach Valerian's standing as your baliff, and any possible testimoney he might be called on to offer, should Calefacto have to stand alone and defends himself.
The gallery gasps audibly.
Proctor looks fit to explode.
Valerian looks cornered.
Calefacto cackles with glee.
Rotgiers is confused.
Aristarcus shrugs, as if capitulating to the mess of this trial, as if he is not responsible for what is happening.
Celeres rises, far more quickly than one would expect of someone of his age, and with a commanding voice, "Sir Knight, Valerian, hold your ground. Excuse me, Proctor, I would hear more from this Petronius, an honest and forthright scholar is he. And there are numerous irregularities of this matter before the Tribunal already, that allowing him to speak can surely be allowed."
Petronius stands and nods formally to the Praeco, "I stand ready to provide testimony if called upon, Celeres Praeconis Augustus."
Proctor rises, "I recuse myself as Presiding Quaesitor in this matter against Valerian. I object, for the record that this is unseemly." He looks about as if searching, "Praeco, I suggest that Cavillor be named Acting Presiding Quaesitor for this proceeding, although I reserve my rights as Presiding Quaesitor for the Tribunal, generally."
Those with an OoH check of 9 will know that Cavillor is seen as a weak Quaesitor, often losing legal arguments to Aristarcus, Proctor's Filius, and those who are defended by him often pay large, almost punitive vis fines. It is likely, had Marcus not stepped up, Cavillor would probably have been appointed to be Calefacto's advocate, and would end with him being Marched, or paying a rook or more in vis.
There is a commotion, as Cavillor takes the gavel from Proctor, and Proctor sits in the gallery. Astute observers also see that this gives him a vote. On another side of the Coliseum, another commotion is taking place as a maga and her entourage enter. The maga is Ariel, Prima of Flambeau.
Cavillor, once settled, in an unsteady voice says, "Petronius scholae Bonisagi, you are called forth to bear witness."
Once Petronius is seated, Marcus asks, "It's come to my attention that Valerian owes you vis, and you have made efforts to lodge a formal complaint in this Tribunal of deprivation of magical power, but it was never heard. Are these facts both true, and will you stipulate to them under Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie.
Petronius listens carefully to Marcus' questions before answering, "It is indeed true that Valerian owes me vis, that I have been trying to recorver for the last three years. I sent notification to this Tribunal's Quaesitores over a year ago that I wished to bring formal charges against Valerian for deprivation of magical power, using redcap messengers. I did not receive any acknowledgement of this, though the redcap assured me it had been delivered to the appropriate clerk."
"I sent further letters, seeking confirmation that my case would be heard at this Tribunal. Still no answer. I finally had to travel in person to Confluensis." The Bonisagus pauses here, sending an irritated look at Proctor. "Let me just say that the visit was... unpleasant. Efforts were made to convince me to drop my complaint."
"I still do not know if my case will be brought up before Tribunal. It is one of the reasons why I am present, though I reside in the Rhine."
"I have no objection to repeating this testimony under Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie, should someone wish to dispute it, provided that the one who does so is also subjected by the same."
"To whom did you bring your complaint, when you visited Confluensis in person? Was it a mundane servant of the covenant or House Guernicus, or a magus?" Marcus asks carefully.
"I object, Cavillor. The question is out of bounds, as a Quaesitores investigations are private." Aristarcus calls out. Cavillor is about ready to speak, and looks ready to capitulate to Aristarcus, but then Marcus speaks while grinning broadly.
"That sounds like an admission that there was a Quaesitorial investigation. I would like the results of that investigation read into the record, now." Aristarcus appears stunned, as if he stepped into a trap of his own making.
Cavillor's demeanor changes, and he appears to think on it for a moment, "Yes, Advocate Marcus is correct, if there was an investigation, that needs to be read into the record. Testimony that Petronius previously provided needs to be read into the record here, and the parties to that questioned thoroughly. I have never met Petronius before now. Petronius, who questioned you? Was anything recorded?"
"I was first met by mundane servants, who claimed that no magus was currently available to meet with me. They were," Petronius' tone is tinted with dark humor, "quite insistent that word would be passed to their masters and that there was no need for me to remain at Confluensis." He shrugs innocently, "I was... quite insistent, shall we say, and prevailed. I first met with Quaesitor Aristarcus, who claimed that no letters had been received, before I even mentioned them, and then brought forth a series of excuses why my claim couldn't be made. Let's see if I remember some of them."
Petronius ticks off his fingers as he enumerates, "that I should present my case before my own Tribunal," another finger, "that it was too late to bring forth a case for this meeting," yet a third finger, "that a case against a Guernicus had to be brought to the Primus of the House," this time the finger is raised instead of only being ticked, "I cut him off at this point, stating, a bit sarcastically I must admit, that did this need to be done on the six Thursday of a month with two full moons, while wearing knitted satin underwear?" A few snickers can be heard in the crowd at this.
Serious once more, Petronius continues, "At that point, I insisted that Aristarcus lead me to a more senior Quaesitor. I had to insist quite a bit, to the point of Certamen." He looks at Aristarcus in puzzlement, "You really thought that, because I had not been offered a token to your Aegis, you would be able to beat me, didn't you?" A little wave of his hand, before he concludes, "After that I was able to meet with Quaesitor Proctor, to whom I presented, again, my case against Valerian. The arguments he tried to use to dissuade me from pressing my claim were... less humorous."
"As Aristarcus is implicated in the testimony of Petronius, he must be questioned as a witness. Because he is a witness in these proceedings..." Marcus loses his train of thought smiles at the totally twisted nature of the proceedings,"Aristarcus is currently the prosecution in the case against Calefacto, but he is now in the position of being an advocate for Valerian. He cannot be both a witness and an advocate. We need an advocate to stand with Valerian, while I continue to prosecute."
Aristarcus looks ready to object, but then one can see the mental gymnastics going through his head and he then sits calmly looking at Cavillor. Cavillor appears to be doing much the same, perhaps taking a bit longer than Aristarcus did, "Very well, I call forth any Quaesitor in good standing to stand with Valerian."
"Pardon the acting Presisding Quaesitor, but Proctor and Aristarcus have been named, as well."
"I find this entire affair distatesful, but I am unwilling to open multiple cases to impeach Valerian's future, possible testimony, and his worthiness to continue as bailiff. Don't push me, Marcus. We will resolve this matter, and if necessary other matters will be resolved in a more tidy manner." Cavillor appears well suited to adjudicate, and not argue, he finally appears to have developed a spine he never had.
While the exchange between Marcus and Cavillor takes place, the Guernicus members of the Tribunal or audience, which has continued to grow as the magi in attendance at the Tribunal have started to hear rumors of the circus of this trial, try and shrink out of view. In fact, Fiona recognizes one Quaesitor is Whitburh Frithowebba, from Loch Leglean, and as soon as she realizes who she is seeing, the Quaesitor promptly disappears from her seat. Whitburh didn't appear to notice Fiona had seen her.
Finally, when no one volunteers, Cavillor calls, "Augustina Tytali, The Traitor of the House, I am calling on you to continue where Aristarcus can not. We will take a short recess for you to confer with the involved parties, we will meet back here in an hour."
((This is an opportunity for the PCs to mingle with the assembled magi of the Tribunal and/or confer with themselves.))
Tranquillina can't place where she heard the name Cavillor before, except possibly who his parens was ((Int 3 + OoH Lore 1 (specialty in lineages) + stress die 4 = 8 or 9)); but Proctor's movement into a voting position was not lost on her. ((Per 2 + Intrigue 2+2 + stress die 8 = 14))
She also tries to remember what she has heard about Augustina Tytali. ((Int 3 + OoH Lore 1 (specialty in lineages) + stress die 5 = 9 or 10))
She will certainly be outfitted in one of her best and fanciest dresses, not explicitly Hermetic except for her visible Bonisagus fibula. Her hair will be done up formally for the Tribunal; otherwise she leaves her appearance unaltered, except that she will use her cloak's Aura of Ennobled Presence effect at the beginning of the day.
When the recess begins, Tranquillina will hurry over to Aristarcus; her goal will be to see what information she can get out of him (pertaining, for example, to his instructions either for the present day or for Petronius's visit to Confluensis), and - if an opportunity presents itself - to influence his choice of testimony. ((I note the Intrigue mechanics on HoH:TL page 24, although we'll probably start with in-character interactions.)) "Salve, Aristarcus," she will greet him kindly. "As one of this Tribunal's hosts, can I arrange food or drink or anything for you? I know your time during this recess is precious."
(If for some reason she is unable to speak to Aristarcus, she'll head for Ariel instead.)
((So, Whitburh saw Fiona and left, but doesn't seem to realize that Fiona has seen her, then?))
Fiona is sitting in the gallery, as inconspicuously as someone of her size can, and watches the whole thing with keen interest. She's still a little fuzzy on the specifics of what exactly transpired between Valerian, Roberto, and Alexei last year, but she's knows that Valerian was responsible for Apollodorus's death (even if they can't find concrete proof),
When she sees Whitburh, she tries not to show her surprise at seeing the Quaesitore so far from home (Com 2 + Guile (Hiding true feelings) 3 + die roll of 3 = 8, and wonders why she's there.
She looks around to see if she recognizes any other Quaesitores, or anyone else from Loch Leglean.
During the intermission, as she gets up to stretch her legs, she looks for Whitburh.
Aristarcus and Proctor quickly steal themselves away. Tranquillina follows them around the corner, never quite being able to catch up to them, and when she rounds the corner...they're gone.
Maybe a some Awareness rolls are in order, or a quick discussion with Marcus, who is looking smug, but not too smug.
Alexei is quite amused at the proceedings. Subtleties and manipulations were never his method, but he, like anyone, could appreciate the beauty of a trap sprung and its quarry captured. There were still many slips that could be exploited, as his Parens said' "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip"
At the arrival of Ariel he makes his way to her and greets her with a bow and salute. "Salve Prima, salve. Your servant." he intones. "I hope you find these proceedings as...interesting as I."
No one else from Loch Leglean. And...I'm not sure how many Quaesitores Fiona knows.
Um....two, I think? Unless anyone else from Guernicus showed up after that whole kerfuffle with Apollodorus's apparent demise. Oh, unless she met any at Durenmar back when she was scribing.
Ok, a couple of Awareness rolls, with Per 2 + Awareness 2 (specialty in being watched): stress die 0 - what do you know, Tranquillina's first botch! (The second Awareness roll, in the unlikely case that it matters, is stress die 7 for 11, 12 if being watched.)
If nothing comes of chasing Aristarcus, and she sees Alexei already talking to Ariel, she'll be happy to seek out Marcus. But let's see what the botch fairy brings first....
Tranquillina feels like everyone is judging the hospitality of Mons Electi quite poorly. She's heard snippets of conversation which suggests that the facilities are substandard, and the location for the Tribunal, the coliseum and the attendant Tournament is of shoddy construction. And people seem to be purposefully avoiding her.
Roberto is quickly trying to catch up. He looks for Alexi or Issen and asks them to fill him in. Roberto was in the city all day on buisiness and was peeking in on Andorra in his spare time...
I can read up myself I suppose
Roberto does look around for anyone he knows that might be here. Wirth? Santiago? Halvard? Marcello?
Or maybe he might sidle over towards the Prima's entourage and try and meet Ariel.
Tranquillina's distress grows and grows, as her smiles of hospitality are met only with sudden pauses in conversation. This is not good, she frets. Just as Marcus comes up to her, ready to open a conversation, she suddenly decides something needs to be done. "Begging your pardon, sodalis," she hurls at Marcus, and goes to find Korvin as quickly as she can.
"Salve, Princeps," she says, a broad smile painted on her face for the rest of the attendees to see. She continues through her teeth in a low voice, "Keep smiling, and come with me. Our Tribunal has problems that I cannot discuss in public."
((PM sent to jebrick.))
Isen went in for the trial, thinking he had to come, but really not eager to endure the hearing of all these legal proceedings. The turn of events was a pleasant surprise to him, but still, these shenanigans bore him to death. If possible, he'll have brought Adeline with him, just to have someone to talk to (and who can actually give him pointers on who's who and what's happening).
Adeline is fascinated, and will take notes, figuring everything she learns might be useful some day.
Wirth is enjoying the tribunal fair with Clara and Edward, and the boy's joy and amazement knows no bounds. He is not actively looking for roberto (he figures they'll have time to catch up and has other things on his mind), but is sure looking around just in case.