Chapter 5: A matter of faith

Those who wish to investigate the missing churchgoer can start posting here. What do you do in order to find out the truth? I’ll assume that this thread starts right after the council meeting. Justus may be asked to join but otherwise walks to find the silversmith and then returns to his chambers.

The weather outside is a somewhat cold evening in the spring and there is still light outside.

[color=red]Mein sodales, what say we pay the good Father Gerald a brief visit and find what correlations we may? I can stop in for a short bit and discern what I can before calling it a night. Short of objections or a majority deciding it better to wait, those of us who would will head for Father Gerald's.

Krispin, agreeing entirely, walks briskly along with Heinrich. He hopes to catch Father Gerald before he leaves the covenant. [color=red]"I think our watchword here is discretion. We’re not forcing anyone to attend Mass, and we’re not accusing anyone. The last thing our covenfolk need is to fear that we will interfere with their lives any more than we already are. I think overt use of magic should be avoided as well, although more subtle investigations may be appropriate." Once they meet up with the priest, Krispin greets him warmly and ushers him into a room where the magi can interview him.

[color=red] "Well, Father, first let me say that we are indeed curious about where your wayward flock has gone. However, we do not think it would be right or proper for our Council to force anyone to attend your services – this is, after all, a spiritual matter and as such we will leave it in your hands. If we discover why your parishioners are wayward, we will inform you, but we have agreed to leave regathering your flock to you, as is traditional and proper." Krispin gets a passing servant to bring them a few modest refreshments, and then joins his sodales in questioning the priest in earnest. He keeps the tone of the conversation casual, light, and unaccusatory. The last thing we need is a ticked off priest.

[color=red] When did you first notice parishioners were wayward? Has it been like this since the beginning, or is it recent?
How many are missing services?
Who is missing? Anyone we would know?
What have you done about it?
Why do you believe they are not attending services? What could they be doing instead?
How do you feel about all this?

Because their priest has proved himself at least odd and perhaps not entirely trustworthy, Krispin will also try to use Intellego magics to get a better handle on what’s up. He uses Probe the Secrets in what he hopes will be a fruitful way, casting it Deftly throughout the conversation and using it to monitor the priests heartbeat, level of excitement, and balance of humors throughout. Lines of questioning that make him nervous or give him pause may merit further investigation...

[color=blue]Heinrich could certainly do something similar with his Intellego bag of tricks. Hopefully it’s worth at least a bonus to our Folk Ken. Frosty Breath would solve this problem, but seems too direct. It'd be nice to just Pose the Silent Question, but one makes do with what one has available.

[color=red]Q: When did you first notice parishioners were wayward? Has it been like this since the beginning, or is it recent?
A: a few masses ago I noticed that there where some covenfolk missing. I noticed a redhead who started attending my sermons and sat at the front then moves back as time passed and finally disappeared.
Q: How many are missing services?
A: I don’t know there are lots of missing each service, I take it that some covenfolk like to sleep. But there are those missing that have seemed most pious and that worries me.
Q: Who is missing? Anyone we would know?
A: No one that I can name, but look for the redhead.
Q: What have you done about it?
Not much. There are so much more evils haunting these lands so I felt that it where a wise decision to speak to my lords first. Although I have begun to preach about the importance to not live in sin in order to strengthen the moral fibre of my flock.
Q: Why do you believe they are not attending services? What could they be doing instead?
A: Sleeping, drinking, worshiping the devil. I don’t know.
Q: How do you feel about all this?
A: I fear for the immortal souls of my flock.
Father Gerald answers is most honest and reveals not to hold anything back.

(once everyone is done questioning)

Licking his fingers of pastry as they finish up their conversation, Krispin thanks the priest for taking the time to talk to them. [color=red] Very good, Father. Any idea where I can find this redhead?

I go looking for her in the village, unless Father Gerald directs us elsewhere. Krispin often takes walks in town and even chats with those among the covenfolk who will talk with him, so this shouldn’t be too unusual.

With the directions of the good father the redhead is found. She is the daughter of a woodsman and for the moment she helps out with shaving some sheep. She is quite easily found but difficult to get to speak to alone. There is little difficulty to know why the good father noticed her.

Coming upon the girl shaving sheep, Krispin smiles for a moment and then decides what he’ll do.

Coming up behind her as she’s wrestling with a particularly ornery ewe, he goes around to the other side, grabs the sheep and holds it in place (Animal Handling), talking soothingly to it all the while. His expression is otherwise bland and he appears amused and generally oblivious to whatever her reaction might be.

He smiles. "[color=red]Need a hand?"

Heinrich simply and disarmingly says - [color=red]I, for one, need some help in brushing up on my sheep shearing skills. Heinrich wonders how the hell we can be smooth about this as he is not feeling very ept.

[color=blue]ooc-What is our general status as far as the area folk might be concerned? Can we expect to be identified as the manor's gentry? Are our locals expected to know any more about us or might we think it likely that we might be taken as strangers?

As the magi gain the attention of the redhead she almost drops her sheep shears out of surprise. [color=red]My lords… how may I bee of service? The young woman bow her head slightly but stills retain control of the sheep. The other covenfolk stares at the magi, this happening will give them gossip for months.

[color=blue]OOC: You can't go anywhere without be recogniced.

Seeing the crowd that has gathered, Krispin speaks softly to Heinrich in [color=green]Latin. [color=red] "Heinrich, I think we’re attracting enough attention as it is. Plus, I rather doubt you’re dressed for a good sheep-shearing. Why don’t you disperse the crowd a bit – charmingly, of course – and then question the girls parents or husband. Try not to accuse anyone. I’ll handle matters here."

Krispin rarely if ever wears finery, and villagers have seen him walking the streets and working in his own garden and in the forest, so, though he’s acting strangely, he’s not acting that strangely - for him, anyway. He turns back to the girl

[color=green]German:[color=red] You can be of service by letting me help you finish up here. No point in letting the last light go to waste. It’s a bit too much work for one person anyway.

Krispin genuinely helps her finish shearing the sheep, ignoring or waving off her protests. He just won’t take no for an answer. He chatters blithely to her all the while as the sun sinks toward the horizon, totally oblivious to how strange this must seem to her. Eventually, once she’s actually talking back a bit, he broaches the subject they came about.

[color=red]So, what do you think of Father Gerald?

Heinrich replies stiffly and sotto voce- [color=red]Ahem, yes. Good idea, it seems. Turning back towards the lady. [color=red]Well, fraulein, mayhaps it's better if I see where your family is and announce ourselves. I presume they're home? Heinrich heads for the threshold.

[color=red]Herr? Frau? We come from the manor and are paying a visit.

The redheaded young woman smiles. [color=red]I have uttermost respect for father Gerald he is after all our man of God here in the village. Is there something wrong with the good father?

Inside the house are herr und frau Krantz ( don’t know if that is such and good name, but something will have to do…). Both of the bow in uttermost respect for their lords and the master of the house asks. [color=red]My lord is there anything wrong? How may I be of assistance?

Heinrich states - [color=red]Guten tag, Herr. Guten tag, Frau. I am Heinrich of Saxony. We - Master Krispin and myself - are here simply to inquire as to the well-being of the flock at our church. Father Gerald had noted your - I presume - daughter's presence at church. She is red-haired colored and outside with the sheep?

Well, apparently she and perhaps others have not been attending and we want to be sure of their well-being and find out if there are concerns or issues. But please, be comforted in knowing we are not ecclesiastical wardens, just that we are concerned for our village citizens. Could you tell me more about your daughter with regard to church?

The parents draw for their breath and replies.[color=red] My lord it is our daughter outside. She is our bellowed Hildegard, we have been trying to get her to go to church, but you know… perhaps… my lord the pleasures of the youth. She likes to spend time with some young men; we try to make her think about her soul. We will try our best to do our lords bidding and bring our daughter to church and out of the hands of the young men that are wooing her. Your will will be done. The parents bow once again.

Heinrich listens responsively - [color=red]Mmm hmmmm... I see. Well, you do honor to your daughter and this community by the expectations of chasteness - I presume - and a godly life. She, of course, needs to be continuously directed to a life of virtue and as little vice as possible. Have you by chance noted anything particular about her friends or their actions? I ask to be thorough. Have you seen her friends at church? Do they keep to late or odd hours? Anything that seems beyond the normal temptations of youth or laxness?

The father responds. [color=red]No I have not seen anything strange and the youngsters in the houses next to ours are her friends. If you see a tall handsome young man with brown hair and large hands then you see her sweet heart. A good lad. I think that is simply perhaps a bit laxness and a bit of the hot blood that youth carries with it.

Krispin pursues a similar line of questioning with the girl, using the Probe the Secrets trick he used earlier to get an idea of how truthful she’s being.

[color=red]“He’s told me that many of his parishioners aren’t coming to Church, including many young people. Any idea why that might be?”

The truth telling magic’s discover that she is blatantly lying. She goes to a place of worship, she and her parents and a few others goes to the silversmith instead for worship in the church.

Heinrich thanks the parents for their testimony and tells them he will discuss with his friend. Heinrich moves to outside and to rejoin Krispin.

in Latin [color=red]Krispin, I don't see much happening here to lead me to suspect much of anything at this point. [color=blue]Presuming Krispin gets Heinrich up-to-date succinctly

mildly - [color=red]Oh really! Silversmith? Mmmmm... There could be a lot more going on here if this involves our lycanthrope neighbors. I can requestion the parents using arcane methods unless we'd like to take another approach.

OOC: Er, this went by a little fast. I’m almost certain Intellego Corpus can’t be used to force her to tell me something she doesn’t want to. As a lie detector, it’s probably just a few shakes above mediocre. Did she break down and volunteer the information? Did I realize she was lying, call Heinrich in and Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie her with the good-cop, bad-cop routine (which would have been my next move)? If we’re handwaving to move on, that’s fine, I just want to be clear.

Who is the silversmith? What do we know about him?

Questions for the girl, once the silversmith information is out:
[color=red]Why do you visit the silversmith instead of going to Church?
Do you parents know where you go on Sunday?