Case 13: The Case of the Queasitor who Wasn't

Staying with the Provence Tribunal tonight, a stranger there, Penelope of Ex Miscellanea found herself wronged as she perceived it in a book trade, having given a large quantity of vis for a book that subsequently turned out to be quite worthless, even as a text for apprentices. (A Greek speaking magi, she bought a copy of Lord Alister's Shorter Latin Primer, only to discover this Level 3 Quality 10 book is written in... Latin). Angered at having been taken advantage of by the covenant she had been staying at, she set off to the Tribunal to bring a case, and on the road met Byron of Guernicus, a very plump and jolly magus, who happens to know Classical Greek. Believing him to be an expert on the Code, she immediately offered him three pawns of vis for legal advice, and another three pawns if he would represent her here at Tribunal.

However on arrival he made a terrible job of presenting her case to the quaesitors, who laughed loudly at her misfortune and suggested she abandoned the case at the preliminary hearing, and then grew angry at her deeply personal insults, until finally the Hoplite Pedro challenged her to Wizard's War for insulting prominent magi. At that point an elderly magus, Androcles, who happened to have apprenticed in the Thebes Tribunal asked her in Greek why she was upset - and soon it became clear that Byron had utterly mistranslated her words to the Quaesitors, and indeed had made them sound offensive out of it seems pure malice. Furthermore Androcles asked why she had asked an expert gourmet rather than a Queasitor to present her case? When Penelope pointed out that Byron was a member of House Guerbicus, Androcles of Flambeau pointed out that not all House Guernicus magi are Quaesitors - Byron failed his Gauntlet three times, and was then accepted in to the House, but never achieved Quaesitorial status, and is instead the leading expert in the Order in Provence on the gastronomic arts. He also has a malicious sense of humour.

Penelope now appeals to the Tribunal for justice. Opinions?

cj x

Salve Sodales,

It appears there may be several minor breaches of the peripheral code.
If Penelope saught to purchase a book to help her learn Latin, and received this book that clearly will not, the covenant did not abide by the terms of the purhase. They should be compelled to teach her Latin, and perhaps pay a penalty. If Penelope purchased a book by title, and received that book by title, the code was not breached. However, even though the covenant may be innocent within the letter of the code, they certainly defrauded a magi in spirit. I move that the covenant be entered into this findings as one who seeks to deprive Magi in fair trade. Unless perhaps they wish to apologize and provide recompense?

As for Byron, there are two issues to be considered here. It is true that not all Guernici are quaesitors (and not all quasitors are of Guernicus). My first question: Did Penelope ask Byron to represent her as her advocate or as a quaesitor? If the latter, he misrepresented himself as a quaesitor and should be punished. If the former, then no crime was comitted.

However--I do think there was an attempt to commit a crome here. Byron deliberately misrepresented her case and mistranslated her words to the presiding quaesitors. He went so far as to move Pedro ex Flambeau to declare Wizard's War on her! This, to me, is approaching a high crime: His actions at misrepresenting her approach fraud. In particular, one could make the case that he was trying to have her murdered--a wizard's war with a hoplite will only end one way.

To sum, the covenant may be guilty of a breach of trust regarding the book. Byron may be guilty of misrepresentation. He is certainly guilty of attempting to cause harm to her and should be sanctioned.

My, but is that Penelope a proper rube ! How much did Penelope pay for a book on a mundane ability like Latin ? There are mundane tutors available for mere silver !

That said, she is a maga and has been defrauded. The last offense is the easiest to adjudicate. Byron accepted vis (and a rather large amount ! ) to represent her at the Tribunal, which he clearly and deliberately failed to do; specifically, by mistranslating her word. That is equivalent to stealing the vis, and therefore depriving her of her magical power, a High Crime and a violation of his Oath. He should be immediately forced to return the vis, thus repairing the damage and pay her double that amount as an additional fine.

And when the Primus of House Guernicus hears of it, he won't be amused, and there will probably be additional in-house disciplining, quite possibly ending in an expulsion from the House. Oh, and good luck applying to House Miscellanea to take him in afterwards :slight_smile: But this is House matters, not Tribunal matter.

As for misrepresenting himself, unless he specifically told her he was a quaesitor or an expert on the Code, or at least told her he was an expert in the context of a conversation regarding her case, then he didn't: any magus can act to represent another. No offense there.

As for the book, that is harder to adjudicate, as the circumstances are unclear, notable regarding what the covenant told Penelope she was buying. The adjudicators should suggest to both parties that the sale should be declared null, with the covenant getting the book back and Penelope her vis. But if they do not agree, then a lot of nitpicking regarding the exact wording of every conversation regarding this book is called for...

Sodales, greetings all.

I do not see any crimes committed by the seller of the book. While regrettable it is not a crime, and this will teach our sodales Penelope ex Miscellanea to take a look at the book before accepting to buy it. She asked for this and got this. The fact that she did not know what she was buying is her own fault. She is a maga of an august Order. Surely she can survive the ordeal. My parens taught me than through hardships you get stronger and I am sure this is a rather minor case, so that she will get slightly stronger, but the damage is minimal, so not much problem here. I myself can offer to buy the book from her if she feels like parting with it. My apprentice is almost able to read vulgar languages, so he needs to learn how to speak latin on his own in brief anyway, and such a book would be useful. If it is open to be enchanted with an animation spell that makes it fly, the better. I can offer a pendant of Fifth magnitude penetration with Thoughts within Babble inscribed in the central spiral in case she is interested. I would demand more than the book for the trade, but she might be interested given her travelling interests. The main lesson of this whole circumstance is that clearly the word can be more powerful than the sword since it does not haver a twist at the start and goes straight for the heart.

The case of Byron, magus Guernicae is another matter. He did not commit a crime UNTIL he misrepresented her (and even that can be questioned since he was representing her, even if really badly) but when she got an intended declaration of Wizard War on her doorstep by one of our most respected hoplites it means that he can be charged by bringing ruin on her sodales by his acts. That is an escalation that is extremely hard to justify under any circumstance. Only the presence of the second Greek speaking magus averted disaster.

In fact, of our senior Quesitor and our esteemed Praeco allow me, I myself accuse him of the crime and would press the tribunal to include this process in the order of the day. I would sufggest that Byron Guernicae pays her double what she paid for the book in vis and makes a public statement of regret. he endangered her, but thanks to our steemed sodales that can also speak the language of Aristotle as well as Latin we do not have to regret an unwanted loss, so a heavy reprimand might suffice. If our esteemed Hoplites (that have been made to look like fools by accusing her of something she did not commit) agree not to declare Wizard Wars on him, at least. Looking at their faces I am not so sure this will be easy.