Chapter 2: Back at the covenant

Justus: [color=red]I will go and study our prisoner, perhaps my skill with exotic magic can determine what magic’s that lies within her. That will tell us if she is at least skilled in some tradition or if she is an unpolished gem.

Justus goes away and return after a while.

[color=red]She has a minor aptitude for shape shifting but there is only a fragment, it seems like there has been no formal training. No sings of any parma or any other magic resistance. Justus pause a while and continues to speak. [color=red]If we choose to make rape within marriage criminal we give woman ownership of their bodies, such thoughts can have other effects in the long run. Perhaps there we bee further demands from the covenants women go get equal rights. Personally I can see merit in the fact if we could get our covenant to work like the Order of Hermes, a meritocracy where men and woman have equal rights and opportunities. But such changes a rather radical. We need to bee cautious in this matter and think through our cause of action.

Thanks for the investigation, Justus. And good points, too, as always.

I remember a couple of jews in my former covenant, the woman seemed to be more a partner than subservant to her husband. Christianity is a lot like judaism, if I understand things correctly. Couldn't we find a way to enforce this like something prescribed in the bible? Like... Eve is supposed to come from adam, so hurting a woman is like hurting yourself and, thus, you shouldn't hurt women?

Or we could introduce such things gradually. If we treat women and men equally, we'll instore habits which will endure. And next time someone rapes a woman, we'll judge him as an agressor, or something.

But I can't see any reason why any man could do this kind of things to a woman. As you said, the OoH is living proof that women can be as able as men, and I wouldn't be subservant to any man.

[color=red]I can expect that most of the men and woman does an equal amount of work in each of the household and as everybody knows it is the woman who is the most important of them two. It is in the eyes of the law that a wife is the property of her husband. If we challenge that fact then we might challenge the men’s feelings of manhood and that can provoke an ugly response if not handled right. I am no theology expert but I think that upsetting the natural order of things could be classed as heretical. Personally I think that the man got what he deserved if the woman’s tale holds true and I don’t want to see her hang. Perhaps we must be more certain than what we are now if we are going to depend our covenants future on our decision. What do you think? One can clearly se that Justus is troubled by the difficulty in the dilemma.

[color=red]I agree that we risk upsetting the balance of things within the covenfolk so we shouldbe careful. Do any of us have effective investagive magics such as Necromancy, Eyes of the past or an efficeient truth spell so we can perform a full investigation. We should also use intellego Vim to check for traces of spells on the deceased and the women . I beleive Justus has the most talant in these area's. Although as we lack specialised investigative magics I fear we will be able to learn little.
Perhaps someone should speak to those who knew the deadman to determine his recent actions

Justus: [color=red]I will prepare and perform a ceremonial casting and try to determine the presence of powerful magic’s or perhaps recent magic within the young woman but I don’t have the skill to read her mind or in some other way determine if she lies or not. Unless there is anything more I go and prepare the magic and meet you later here.

[color=red]Could you check the deceased for magic as well

[color=red]I will try, Justus replied and walked out of the room.

Mariella turns to the other magi
[color=red] I suggest we interview the freinds of the dead man and the widow. None of us are going to fit in well but I suggest I or Ardeth interview the widow , while Manius and the other one of us interview the freinds of the deceased

Manius smiles from ear to ear listening the conversation. Then.
[color=red]Why do you want to speak with the relatives? Bring the women here and I will say she was the killer or not. Or did she confess the act?

[color=red]Try to pay attention Manius, we already know the women confessed to the killing some time ago. It may be that she didn't fo it but it seems likely that she did. We are concerned here with the context of her actions . We would like to know if magics where involved or if there are any other interesting activities of the man.
This is because before we rule on the case we wish to know all the details in particular as many of us are inclined to solutions which will not mesh well with the custumery law of this land

[color=red]Do you know these laws? Or anybody else?

[color=blue]Justus grew up in the area so even if he has no formal training in the law he has a “gut” feeling for how the law works in the area and knows a few common values.

When Justus returns some time later dazed and are having trouble to stand up properly. He sits down and tries hard not to collapse.[color=red] I haven’t found any evidence of magic in either the victim or the woman.

[color=red]Thanks you justus, takes some rest.

I thought about this while ou were investigating.

We have 3 problems here:

  • The woman being a potential valuable apprentice
  • The murder case
  • The rape

Currently, unless I'm wrong, none of us can train her as an apprentice, nor will one be able unless some seasons have passed by.
We could point out that she owes us 15 years of service, pay her debt, and seel her to another covenant for vis or favors. This wold also ensure that she doesn't stay where her presence can remind the villagers of her, and she'll be safer far from here.

[color=red]It seems we have no magical influence here so we must decide on the facts we have available.
I am somewhat prejudiced as I believe the womens gift probably contributed greatly to events leading up to the assault on her and her killing the man in self defense and I have no need to punish her. However I agree that in the eyes of most of our covenfolk she has committed murder and they will wish to see that she is punished.
Given that I agree with Ardath that we would be best to send her to another covenant where she hopefully can be trained as a magus . However I dislike the concept of selling a human being so I think we should find someone willing to train her and hope for a gift or good will in return , selling a human is too much like slavery which is too much of a sin for me.

Oh, is she gifted? What would be her cost? Is she young enough to learn hermetic magic?
Mariella do not think this is slavery. We only offer opportunities both to her and a magus who want an apprentice.

[color=red]Well, not exactly selling. I do not intend this woman to be a slave. Just... Let some covenants know that we've got a potential apprentice that we can't train due to our poor ressources. Thus, we can't keep her, but wish for her the best of conditions, like books, vis, this kind of things. But, more than all, we wish her to live in a covenant populated by generous magi, who'll treat her finely.

I'd had that asking a covenant to pay us some vis (and also the money we spent to the family) wouldn't be selling another human being, just asking them to compensate our expenses and efforts in finding them an apprentice.

[color=blue]She is gifted and even if she is a bit old (18 years) she can be trained as a maga of the order. The lineage of Pralix introduces older magi into the order a quite frequent basis (that’s frequent for training apprentices).

Justus: [color=red]What are our options here? Do we get rid of the woman to another covenant or shall we keep her here? Should we let her take the full penalty for her actions or shall we relive her in some fashion? I think that we must punish her in some way; otherwise we are legalising murder in some extent even if the circumstances drove her to murder her husband who tried to rape her. We must allow her to repent her sins, lest we are damning a soul to hell. If we send her of to another covenant how do we handle the villager’s wrath? If we decide to make her one of our apprentices how does that make us look in the eyes of our covenfolk? If she didn’t got the blatant gift or rather had the gentle gift we could have let the people decide if they where presented with the full story of her life, but I fear that such action will only result in one judgement. I think that the mob is a blood thirsty one in this case…

[color=red]I am rambling here… Justus pauses and continues. [color=red]To answer Ardath three statements here is what I propose… First of all, I think that we should try to mould our society here on the same model as the Order of Hermes, we make it a meritocracy where everyone has an equal chance. Second I think that the murder case is a rather simple one, she confessed unaided by magic to have murdered her husband that she had fled from because of his abuse when he tried to rape her. Thus her action send an unrepented soul to the afterlife, robbed us of labour and she chose to murder a man. After all it would have been a different case if she hade been raped and reported it to us. I wished that we could find some alternative that was between death and freedom when it comes to her case but that is still where an acceptable punishment to the villagers. If potential apprentices where more common would our opinions be any different? Are our decision affected by the fact that she has the gift? Third I think that we should work for equal opportunities for all, and punish all who beaks the law. Thus we must enforce law against violence even within marriages. My conclusion is that I think it is best if we hold a public trial where all of the population of the covenant hear her story and perhaps not judge her simply upon the blatant gift. That is after all the only non sinful option as I can se it that doesn’t bring the wrath of our villagers upon us. Perhaps we can suggest a penance for the rest of her life.

Sigh... I must agree.

Hey! I've got an idea. Her blatant gift is an obvious disadvantage to her in any trial. So, we could cast some spells on her or the crowd that would offset this partially. I, for exemple, could cast an Aura of Ennobled Presence on her.

We can also use the trial to point out the fact that rape is forbidden, and send the message that, if she had came to us, the man, not her, would have been punished.

[color=red]I disagree. Completely.
We are saying that if you are attacked then you should wait until the attack has finished then come and complain.
Perhaps she could have come forwards after an earlier incident in which case we could have prevented this . However those with the Blatant gift do not expect a fair hearing they would expect us to side against them.
The Killing was Self defense as I say in the same situation I would have done the same except I would have used magic. If I had not been trianed as a magus it could have been me.
I except that she must be punished but I see no need to turn to mob justice , if we wish we can settle this by trail by Combat the dead mans freinds appoint a champion and I kill him. That I beleive is customary in some parts of Germany.

Mariella looks somewhat angry and determined

[color=red]Send her to another covenant and tell the covenfolk what you will , slavery, exile or even death I don't mind but I will not have the gifted judged by the mob. Nor will I abrogate our authority over the covenfolk we are the Lords of this place . It is OUR law not theirs

[color=red]You have a point Mariella her blatant gift would doom the trial, Justus replies. [color=red]But I think that once basic principle of our laws should be that any violence is wrong. The only ones allowed to use force are the magi, the guard and the militia. For all others is forbidden. We must not forget that she did in fact kill a man, had he not been killed we could have punished them both in a way for different crimes. Even if we send her to another covenant and explain it to the covenfolk in some way, how do we make sure that she makes penance for her crime? I think that it could however be of value to have her here as an apprentice, she could be are link to the denizen’s of the forest. Shall we reconstitute the law in public and judge her by it as we see fit. After all we are the lords of the covenant. If we increase the rights of some underprivileged groups and make all servants more equal we should gain some favour and set our guards to enforce the new law in a rigid way. Perhaps throwing an extra feast or two in order to secure our covenfolks trust is us. What do you think?