Case 10: When Wizards' Wars Went Wrong

  • Antonius' body was recovered. Well burnt bones were. Using one of his enchanted devices as an AC an InCo spell suggested the remains were Antonius
  • Jerome points out that the lack of a sigil on some spells comes down to his success in using certain Quesitorial magics that require a degree of discernment (ie. he failed his rolls on those)
  • He admits he may have made a mistake (botched) on the eyes on stalks spell while trying to read the magical traces.
    cj x

Octavius answers, "But my point is that we have no independent proof that it is indeed Gorax' magic that brought down the tower. All we have is the defendants' unverified word. Will they submit to examination under Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie?"

"I don't need independent proof. There is a reason Wizard's War is conducted the way it is. Guernicus himself resisted the idea of Wizard's War, but only relented because Flambeau would not have joined otherwise. As a means to limit the harm that can be done in a Wizard's War, it is the responsibility of the combatants to conduct the war in a manner that minimizes the loss of life and property to non parties. Gorax was there. The tower was destroyed. The conclusions are that Antonius destroyed his own tower. One of the three magi destroyed the tower to frame Gorax and provide a justification for his killing and to also kill Antonious, for some unknown reason, or that Gorax himself brought down the tower. Which is more reasonable, without having direct proof? Gorax was there, during an active Wizard's War, and Perdo Terram trace was discovered. It is certainly possible that the three defendants and/or Antonious engineered his own death as a means for retaliating against Gorax without any repercussions, but I don't find that reasonable, only possible."

These threads are helping, because it helps identify how tight a case of defense and/or prosecution needs to be. And that it is presented tightly, as well. Probably questions and comments from the Tribunal need to be limited, as well. And I will further note, that we are only seeing evidence from the prosecution. Does the defense not have any evidence besides testimony to offer?

For some reason I read it as a Creo Imaginem effect, not a Rego...which is even more odd.

By the way...where was the sanctem marker placed. I know it was on the third floor, dispite the fact that at he must have used the first floor as frequently. But for my question it's this part that matters. On the outside of the tower or the inside?

And if we are going to ask them to submit to the Frosty Breath, then I ask that they repeat their testimony under it. Sure it's take multiple castings, but it's cut down the wiggle room...

As for the frame up theory, I feel we need a little more evidence.

Octavius sneers, "So you would have us decide upon incomplete fact? You are the one making assumptions, sodalis. Not I. I am asking for facts, not suppositions. Two magi were killed here, and you seem just as happy to brush this under the carpet rather than render a decision based on facts."

Turning back [strike]the the defendants[/strike] the rest of the Tribunal, Octavius repeats his request that the defendants be interrogated under Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie.

((OOC: I could advance many different scenarios where Gorax was actually killed illegally. I'm not advancing them IC because it wouldn't fit Octavius' modus operandi. For example, Gorax may have arrived at the covenant to prosecute his WW, but was ambushed by the other magi, so that collapsing the tower was a response to that attack. A botch from Hyeronymous on an casting of Pit of the Gaping Earth could have caused the collapse, and the magi are covering it up. Etcetera etcetera. But for the records, it is likely that Gorax did it and suffered the consequences. It's just more fun to argue otherwise. :slight_smile: ))

EDIT: Completed a sentence, fixed a typo.

Let me just see if this works... The Queasitor Jerome, renowned for his weakness with Finesse, attempts a Creo Imaginem spell to show the actual layout of the covenant, which may well provoke more questions, but assist the assembled Tribunal in coming to a decision! (Apologies, I'm working on a poltergeist paper and only had a few seconds to scrawl something and upload it)

cj x

Sophronia Tremeris rises and smiles, "We will never have perfect facts and understanding of the events. So...yes. I would rather let these three go free, even in the event they are guilty, to serve as an object lesson to prosecute a Wizard's War with extreme care and precision. I do not like the idea of an indiscriminately prosecuted Wizard's War. Finding them guilty and having them Marched only legitimizes indiscriminate Wizard's Wars. Something my House has intimate knowledge of, to be sure."
((Sophronia just Godwinned this discussion. :smiley:))

No magus is required to submit to InMe magic. However Valeria agrees to submit to Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie on questions regarding the incident. The other two accused do not for now. You may ask six questions :slight_smile: The Presiding Quaesitor agrees to cast the spell and ask the questions you come up with...

cj x

"Was Antonious's death part of an orchestrated plot, by or including the three of you now accused in Gorax's death, designed to frame Gorax for his murder?"

((Of, course, the one maga that agrees to answer is the one least implicated in the attack...))

"Can you tell us what happened, from the time you became aware of Gorax' presence? Please tell us what you saw."

((Sophronia is obviously attempting to railroad this, so I am taking the opposite track. :stuck_out_tongue: ))

OOC:For myself the most determining factor is the perception of time and/or the theory of passing events, during this time period. Using present thought, it is very easy to break down the events in packets of time that, when manipulated, provide "step by step" scenes which you then can argue the appearance of guilt. Or the opposite. However, the Ars Magica/Aristotelian view of the passing of time, a subject which I am at best amateurishly bad at, may not see events in the same way.

It is quite possible, and from my POV very likely that, that there is NO way of separating the events into packets small enough to the medieval mind to make the argument that the three accused magi could have reasonable considered the attack by Gorax over. Certainly if hours or even a significant portion of a hour had passed, then you could argue that the three accused pursued the fight long past "the heat of the moment". During this time period testimony was considered as substantial as, if not more so, than physical facts, and if I am not wrong, testimony was considered the ultimate proof, when the source is given weight by the court. With this in mind, if all witnesses attest that the attack on Gorax, from the three accused, happened as the tower collapsed, then there is no way, considering the medieval perception of the passing of time, to draw the conclusion that the fight was in anyway vengeance but rather a response to a illegal attack on property and possessions of the covenant as a whole.

Again I just don't think that those of this time period would break down events by the minute or second, but rather as a "scene" if you will of a play. This occurred, then this responded, then this was the end.

I would say that had Gorax survived the initial attack, and subsequent immersing, then quite possibly it could and should be argued that they had a obligation to save Gorax's life and turn em over for a hearing.

"No." - detects true.

Actually, I'm taking the view that since it's a concentration spell one has to ask concise and pointed questions. We have no idea of the Presiding Quaesitor's concentration ability. And 6 questions is probably reasonably 15 minutes. It's not likely that such free form questions and answers can be asked and answered.

OK, I think we may be a little hard on the poor Quaesitors sometime. There is no way with Queasitorial magic as described in HOH:True Lineages to break down the spells by order of casting once they have all decayed to Trace 0, which has happened by three days when poor Jerome shows up. And if you think it's easy to work out what happened by magic, just for reference, here is a map of the area of the covenant Jerome investigated. The magics are coloured according to the core rule book Intellego Vim ruiles as best as I could quickly managed - big splodges are where the spell was cast, and the dots show the traces of the area of effect. Note Jerome restricted his investigation to the direcetly effected area to prevent accusations of scrying, and all three accused magi agreed to the investigation, and the fourth magi who returned just before Jerome arrived (Catarina, who was away on the night of the attack) also consented.

I think Jerome did pretty well. I offer the map not because I think you will find it amazingly useful in your description, but to show what the Queasitors are up against. Jerome creates this with a Creo Imaginem for the Tribunal to view, again having asked consent from the accused.

cj x

I think you are completely correct. Even today narratives are structured in terms of linguistic convention and inferred causality, rather than strict timing. In 1220 this was even more so I presume...

cj x

Valeria says "I screamed: I was not expecting the attack so soon. A shadow appeared at the window of Antonius' tower _ I remember jumoing as the light cast on the wall in front of me changed, thinking the shadow was a second magus entering through the wall. I ran away. Heironymous ran with me. We heard Gorax whisper a spell behind us, but we headed for Tower 2. Then there was a loud spell, Perdo Terram, and Antonius' Tower collapsed. The screams were terrible. Gorax was still standing there but I saw the debris from the forge had set stuff on fire. I cast Mighty Torrent of Water forcelessly, raising the Duration to Diameter with my Flexible Formulaic Magic. Heironymous made a pit and Gorax fell in it. Suddenly there was a huge wave of water from the library roof, and I was knocked over. I cast a Perdo Aquam spell to destroy the water, and barely made it, becoming fatigued, but my Scorching Winds of the South slowly evaporated away the water. Heironymous went to the pit which was filled with water, I changing myself with Eyes of the Cat so I could see in the dark, and then being blinded by a bright light that suddenly filled the courtyard from behind me. Heironymous used Intellego Copus to find the body, and to check if it was alive. Clara cast Bind Wound on Gorax - I remember laughing as Gorax was so obviously dead as my spell showed. I found Antonius' corpse. Then I ran to the villa and cried."

cj x

Something I've been wondering about. How strong is their Aegis? Gorax was able to do an awful lot while within supposed foreign Aegis. By her testimony, he cast 3 spells. And what was this other shadow? Where was Clara in all of this?

The Aegis is level 30.

Clara decided she may as well testify. Her account...

"I had been at Gorax's covenant since late afternoon, trying to negotiate an end to the Wizard's War before it began. Gorax was completely relaxed, but refused to explain why the War was declared in the first place or why it was needed. I left an hour before the deadline -- Gorax was still there, and as I flew back on my mechanical wyvern I saw no way Gorax could be there before me. Gorax was a Terram specialist after all, and pretty slow as Terrae magi tend to be.

As I approached the covenant I flew in carefully, the courtyard is not a big landing strip. I came in just over the wall, just as the tower collapsed, and losing control in the confusion I went in to an emergency landing, and my wyvern's legs (the landing gear) struck Gorax it seems, who fell in to a pit. As I landed created a light (I'd been flying in the a dark) which lit up the courtyard. I saw Heironymous and Valeria by a pit, so I went over. My wyvern was up to the knee joints in water, the whole courtyard was deeply awash. I got to the pit as they found Gorax. I cast Bind Wounds, then Valeria ran off, so I attended tot he grogs wounds and looked for Antonius. I asked Heironymous where Catarina was and he said she was away and so I went and talked to Valeria, and calmed her a little before flying off to find a Queasitor. Oh and I looked to see if Gorax had any vis - no, just a small brass key, the purpose of which I was unsure of, so I put it back in his clothing. It wasn't vis! Valeria got rid of the water. Heironymous didn't do much of anything that I could tell"

cj x

Do you mean Gorax here?

What do you use as casting tokens in your Aegis?

When did you know that Antonius was dead?

And a question for Jerome have you seen this key and if so have you investigated it?

Yes sorry edited above to be correct. :frowning:

... little brass keys. :frowning:

When Valeria cast Intellego Copus magics on Gorax. I had tried a Bind Wounds spell.

cj x

And a question for Jerome have you seen this key and if so have you investigated it?