1227.2t Line of Dimication

I think the fourth "gate" is really the portal to Harco, now that you mention it.
((When you say "guest": do the Tribunal bosses give casting tokens to each of the gazillion magi in attendance?))

Anyway, if Tranquillina doesn't even know the name, then we gotta start there, no gate queries. Let's see. Can she grab a moment with Celeres? Maybe he's happy to not be running the days any more and is just enjoying the tournament as a spectator.

If not that, who are the "Tournament officials" who organize and judge the events? One of them must have been the one to get the ball rolling on an investigation after Praxiteles's death.

The judges are Guernicus Quaesitores not from Normandy. Do you want names, do you want to start digging around with them or Celeres? We'll assume Celeres.

Some inquiries of Celeres, who does receive you, and as to who's giving out tokens, it's any of the magi who were part of the Aegis ritual. Those are: all members of Confluensis and Cunfin, and probably someone or multiple magi from Mons Electi and any and all Redcaps who expected to be at the Tribunal. We never went through the Crowbar thread to solidify that, so it can be anyone or all from Mons Electi.

"Salve, Celeres," Tranquillina greets him respectfully. "I come seeking information about the investigation into the sad matter of Praxiteles's death in the Dimicatio yesterday. I feel as one of the hosts of this Tribunal, and the only such from the Founder's House, that I should be in possession of the best information I can gather in order to field the inevitable questions that will come our way."

"Even though the Tournament officials are most closely involved, I thought you might be able to direct me to the Quaesitors who investigated Praxiteles's death. In particular, I heard that there were two Quaesitors from Houses other than Guernicus. Do you know their identities? It might be that their explanations will be more accessible to me."

((bumping this thread, just in case it got lost track of))

((It may have been a phantom post, that didn't display on the forum, but displays when you view the thread.))

"Since Bilera was present, I felt it best to leave the matter in her capable hands. She resolved a dispute for me some time ago. And her judgment, skill and leadership is simply impeccable. I'm not privy to the details of the investigation, only that it was resolved." Celeres goes into a treatise on magic theory explaining how when a spell botches, it still retains hallmarks of the sigil, and that Valerian's sigil was part of the spell, but changed, much as one would expect for a botch. "So, while the events are unfortunate, I believe it was entirely accidental."

((hate phantom posts :angry: ))
((Posting a few comments at once here - let's imagine the conversation flows smoothly over a few minutes among the topics....))

"A dispute, you say?" Tranquillina inquires. "I imagine I could learn something of Hermetic law, if you cared to go into the tale."

It is a measure of Tranquillina's stress and fatigue these days that she feels a little impatient with Celeres's tangent - normally there would be no end to the amount of Hermetic-theory talk she would enjoy. "Of course an accident is the only plausible conclusion," she says with measured words. "I simply feel that as one of the Tribunal hosts, I should be armed with the best information, to forestall any wild theories to the contrary. I shall contact Bilera to see what she has to say; I am sure she will be forthcoming." ((Tranquillina's hiding her suspicions here, so let's make a guile roll: Com 3 + Guile (faking confidence) 4 + stress die 6 = 13.))

"By the way," she adds before departing, "we at Mons Electi are very proud of our new role as long-term hosts of the Normandy Tribunals. I thank you for putting the matter to the public. As it happens, have you heard from any who were displeased with the decision? I would hope the impression we have made this week was suitably positive."

After Celeres's responses, but before seeking out the Guernicus Prima, Tranquillina will run around looking for fellow Mons Electors, asking if they have any advice for her conversation with Bilera.

Celeres is probably a bit too busy to relate the tale, and declines the offer.
"Well, as a host, you should understand propriety. Those questions should be referred to me or the Presiding Quaesitor. I think there will be a full report, and I will ensure that it is disseminated along with the Tribunal Tourney results, so that all magi of the Tribunal will be made aware, even those who are not present." When Tranquillina asks about his proposal, he shakes his head, indicating he hasn't heard anything, but she gets the sense that he hasn't really tried to get input, nor does he want input...

Tranquillina senses she has taken enough of Celeres's time. She respectfully expresses her gratitude to him and takes her leave.

A part of Tranquillina* knows that Celeres is right about queries being referred to Bilera, and that she should drop her personal inquiries. But her suspicion has been aroused (and, to be honest, her sense of justice), and she finds herself seeking out the other magi of Mons Electi, hoping for some advice or inside information on what to expect from the infamous Geurnicus maga. She finds little success, though: Alexei is far too busy taking conversations with Normandy magi, who are all no doubt trying to curry favor with the new Chief Hoplite or push some agenda or other. Roberto is standing nearby, seeming a bit unsure about his exact status in these political games, but not backing down from the scene. She suspects that neither of the other Flambeau would be particularly helpful, and Fiona has been nowhere to be found since the fatal bout the day before.

  • ((namely, the player-of part! :laughing: ))

Finally, Tranquillina Leaps back to her sanctum to put herself together. After restoring her Parma Magica once the sun sets, she makes sure that there is no illusion upon herself, no Aura of Ennobled Presence or New Visage. I will not give this Quaesitor even one slight reason to indict me, she vows to herself. She even balks for a long moment at changing her talisman's appearance, before suddenly rolling her eyes at the wolfskin and changing it to look like formal Hermetic robes, with the Bonisagus insignia plainly visible. She frowns at her straight hair, not really long enough to put up formally, but makes a deliberate effort nonetheless.

Once she is ready (which takes a few additional long, deep breaths), she Leaps back to the Tribunal city and goes in search of an audience with Bilera.

Tranquillina's efforts to find Bilera go on for some time. No one seems to know where she is staying. Finally, she runs manages to track down Cavillor who tells her that Bilera is not staying in the Tribunal city, but returns to her sanctum every evening after the event has completed, and before the night time activities begin. He offers to send a message on Tranquillina's behalf, requesting an audience.

"Your offer is a great kindness to me," Tranquillina allows, "particularly given your pressing duties as Presiding Quaesitor. If you would, please tell her...." Tranquillina pauses briefly. She doesn't want to say something so benign that Bilera will simply ignore her message, but neither does she want to offend the Prima of a House that seems determined to ruin her covenant. "Please tell her, I regretfully report hearing that a few Tribunal guests have disapproved of the composition of the Quaesitorial panel that investigated Praxiteles's death. As one of the hosts of this Tribunal, I feel I would be shirking my duty not to be armed with the information necessary to defend against such complaints." She deliberately takes a deep breath to calm herself. "I respectfully request a moment of Prima Bilera's time to clarify the process that took place. I am ready to meet her at the Administration Building at her earliest convenience."

"We do not require the approval of others in this matter, Bilera, in her wisdom, determined that a full Tribunal was not necessary." Cavillor looks at her directly. "Mattheus was present when the full case was presented, he agreed that it was an accident based on the findings of the prosecuting Quaesitor and the team who investigated. It was a tragic accident, and nothing can be done to bring this back. I am considering suggesting a rule that spells used for attack must be mastered in some manner, so that the user can cast the spell safely."
When Tranquillina seems to insist upon seeing Bilera, "What do you really hope to gain my talking to Bilera?" He looks about and pauses a moment, closing his eyes, "In any discussion with Bilera, you will come out the loser. Oh, you may find out what it is you say you want to know, but at the end of the exchange, she will know so much more about you. Proceed at your own risk." Straitening up he says, "You said you wished to meet Bilera in the Administrative building? I can relay your request, if you really so desire it. He looks at Tranquillina with a look hoping she decides not to follow through.

((Folk Ken roll, to try to determine if Cavillor's advice is intended in Tranquillina's best interests or for his own purposes: Per 2 + Folk Ken 3 + stress die 0 (no botch) = 5.))

Tranquillina looks at Cavillor's face, fruitlessly trying to read the motivations behind his words. "Seeing as how you too were present when the full case was presented," she gambles, "perhaps you can comment on one detail for me, so I do not in fact need to bother Bilera. I am quite impressed with the level of rigor applied to the forensic analysis of the spell that occurred. Yet it would be standard procedure, if I am not mistaken, to also employ Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie upon the surviving magus to probe his intentions. Was Valerian asked, under influence of that spell, whether he intended to harm his Dimicatio opponent?"

Tranquillina doesn't get the sense that his advice is self-serving.
"He was not asked. There was deemed to have been enough evidence that asking was unnecessary."

"In troth? That surprises me - such an easy step to take. Still," Tranquillina says with forced casualness, "those of House Guernicus know best the proper procedures. Ah, but there was a Quaesitor from outside your House taking part in the investigation as well ... Verban, I believe?" - she invents the name on the spot. "Gruff fellow, of House Bjornaer? I am terrible with names...." ((Big old Guile roll needed here: Pre 2 + Guile 3 + stress die 8 = 13.))

"The evidence was such that we had little reason to question Valerian. And then there is the fact that a magus may not be compelled to submit to Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie. As to the Bjornaer, why do you need to know? They've come, they did their duty, the revealed their findings in an official record, which will be read at the next Tribunal. Bilera, made a judgment and no one part of the matter objected to the findings. Rataxes, the Verditius Quaesitor is much more approachable, however."

"Very well, I appreciate your time," Tranquillina finishes.

((I wonder if there's any more mileage to be gotten from this thread. I mean, a meeting between Tranquillina and Bilera would be great theater! But it's doubtful that any more information would be revealed about the investigation. (possibly about Valerian's new assignment, if Bilera were forthcoming - which seems unlikely) And meeting up with the Bjornaer Quaesitor, even if that were to happen, wouldn't be with any particular goal in mind at this point - just for the sake of playing a scene.))

Is Tranquillina watching the final event of the Dimicatio? Marcus is in it.

I've totally lost track of time and schedule in this thread, but assuming she's able, then sure thing.

((Nothing I'm seeing suggests a long period of time, of more than a day...))

"Well, Tranquillina, you do get around," says a female voice who sits down next to her to enjoy the event. "Do you think Marcus will repeat as Dimicatio champion?" Bilera asks, but with a tone of voice that suggests she's not really interested in the answer to the question.

Tranquillina had been stifling a fatigued yawn during the interminable buildup to the Dimicatio final, so her mild startle at Bilera's voice turns into an odd squeak. "Ah, um, Prima Bilera. Please join me. If you like." In her addled state, she thinks that the elder maga was referring to her sexual exploits, and wonders whether somehow Bilera has confused her with Fiona. She decides to stay neutral and wait patiently for the conversation to bring clarity.

"I fear I have not been in this Tribunal long enough to know the competition," she responds to Bilera's small talk, using it as an excuse not to make eye contact. "I cannot make an educated judgment on the matter; certainly I shall not be joining that gaggle of wagering magi over there." She shudders involuntarily at the amount of visible vis being staked on the outcome of the match.