OK, I think something stats light this year as I'll be busy...
CASE ONE: The Affair of the Murderous Grog
Magus Gallius of Flambeau and Maga Rhiannon Ex Misc. have a long standing feud, that has twice escalated to inconclusive Wizard's Wars. Following peacemaking attempts by Julia of Jerbiton, the argument between the two finally appeared settled. Then this year at Tribunal while both magi were in the session, Rhiannon was summoned outside to take an urgent message, and stabbed by Cedric, Gallius' shield grog, before being drowned in a barrel of ale provided for the grog's entertainment. The rest of the turb were missing at the time, sent on a mission by Gallius that morning to de;liver a message to a local noble.
Rhiannon's outrages sodales wish to being a case against Gallius and the unfortunate Cedric. Cedric claims that Rhiannon insulted him, goaded him, and then cast magic upon him, so he defended himself as best he could, stabbing her, and then when she fell unconscious attempting to revive her by immersing her face in the ale. Gallius claims he was not involved, and this is not a matter for Hermetic Justice, as Grogs are outside the Code of Hermes having not sworn the Oath.
Please fell free to ask questions, and cast spells to find the truth (just ask me if you want to say Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie), but who is legally in the right? Should Gallius be tried for a High Crime? And what of Cedric? We can vote on the outcome - register your opinion, and your case for the prosecution or defence!
Are there any spell traces on Cedric? Has he recently been subjected to sufficiently powerful magic that the most skilled quasitor at the tribunal can detect? (Or perhaps not the most skilled but the one thought to be the most skilled.) I'll bear in mind that there are Perdo vim spells that can make spell traces decay exceptionally quickly. (Edit: Sense the lingering magic from HoH: True Lineages is the sort of spell I was trying to describe)
I'd cast this spell first because time is critical here, and further magical investigation of the grog will mess up attempts to use it.
do we have anyone who can cast a spell to repair any damage to the Grog's memory of the event? before we use peering into the mortal mind? (Edit: The Good Witness again from HoH: True Lineages was the spell I was thinking of here prior to peering into the mortal mind)
Rhianon is no longer a maga because she's dead. Is there a social reason not to use whispers through the black gate?
I can see this thread becoming unwieldly...with 30 posts and the attendance comments on them, can I suggest adding a commentary thread, and a post only thread? This can easily be accomplished by editing the first post and adding (commentary) to the title and reposting the first post in a new thread and then providing a link to this thread to make those comments, and asking people to use it. Or is this going to be on a blog somewhere else?
You want a different thread for each case? I fear that might take up too much space on the forum. It would be a new thread each day? I'll let the mods advise me on how to proceed.
Right: having reviewed the Guidelines for InVi in True Lineages, more info is available.
The murder happened within the last half hour. The spell traces are commensurate with a 3rd magnitude spell in that time frame. The Tech/Form were Rego Mentem. The precise spell is unknown. The most important part is the sigil: Cedric's hair has cobwebs (Rhiannon's sigil in), and the Queasitor confirms the sigil on the spell he has detected in apparently that of Rhiannon, not Gallius or any other magi.
Whispers Through the Black Gate is a good choice I guess, but while dead Rhiannon is protected by her Parma Magica until sunset. I make that about two hours. Given she was paranoid, renowned for her skill in Parma Magica and a powerful Mentem maga, amy be better to wait. As to the appropriateness of casting it on a fallen maga, well up to you all
Is there a way to verify that it is actually the body of Rhiannon, and not simply a created simulacrum used to make her appear dead? Did she have a familiar? A known Talisman, which should still be on her body?
Considering the magi present, it might be possible to blow the Parma down from the body (using either a high-powered Wind of Mundane Silence of a more specialized spell) in order to cast investigative spell more quickly on the body. Also consider that it is now really easy to acquire an arcane connection to the body, making Penetration much more efficient.
I would strongly oppose casting any further divination magic on the grog. There's a real risk that it might unwittingly reveal secrets of other magi. What if some sodalis had cast some spell on Cedric to ... encourage him to have some... fun together?
For the same reasons, I would strongly urge caution before casting divinations left and right on the corpse we see in front of us -- which incidentally certainly resembles that of Rhiannon, but can we be sure? In the latter regard, I would encourage Rhiannon's sodales to try to locate her, understanding that they do so bearing full responsibility with her in case she is not dead and she does not wish to be found. Should they find out this is indeed her corpse, it would be a starting point.
Incidentally, I would also try to find out, by mundane ways, who summoned Rhiannon with an urgent message. And see if we have a physician on hand who can confirm whether Rhiannon died by drowning or stabbing: the notion of keeping the maga's head down in a barrel of ale to revive her seems preposterous.
Well, we've done the InVi spell so now we can cast others on Cedric without messing up that evidence. I suggest a sequence of peering into the mortal mind, the good witness, peering into the mortal mind again (to check for discrepancies) and frosty breath of the spoken lie so the testimony can be witnessed.
Absolutely not! This is indirect scrying on our sodales. What if it reveals Gallius's magical secrets? Or those of some other magus? On the other hand, we could torture the grog (non-magically though!). That would be more appropriate. In ancient Greece and Rome slaves were not allowed to render testimony unless under torture.
There might be a case against peering into the mortal mind though Gallius could give permission but neither the good witness which just restores the grog's memory to the grog nor frosty breath cast on the grog not Gallius which is verifying the truthfulness of a mundane giving mundane testimony should be construed as scrying upon Gallius. It may be politic to allow Gallius to be present and object to specific questions.
The good witness certainly risks dredging up details of other magi's affairs that had been conveniently forgotten by the target. One thing that I'd stress is that this scrying may damage magi other than Gallius, so Gallius' permission is not sufficient.
Though I agree that Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie would not count as scrying on one's sodales if the right questions are asked. It's a very, very fine line that one has to thread, but it's possible.
Taken above, other evidence must be gathered... And it also limits even Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie. Basically, magi can't be forced to incriminate themselves, nor can magic be used to discover evidence that incriminates the magus, if he hasn't given permission.
It seriously limits the applications of Intellego allowed under the Code, as it should be. Want to forecast the weather? No problem. Speak with a stranger in language you don't know? Great. Keep your sanctum under surveillance? Absolutely.
Cast an Intellego spell on a stranger to see if he has bad intentions? Better cast it forceless, and hope you are not targeting a Redcap.
Excellent thread! I believe on thread per case would work best, but yes, that would take up forum volume.
I find that extent of paranoia about the use of Intellego unacceptable. Casting Intellego spells on a mundane is NOT scrying on a magus, it's scrying on the mundane (unless this mundane is used to spy on magi or so on). Any information the magus was foolish enough to let bloody-mundanes know may very well be public knowledge.
Given the Code's limitations on scrying a magus' servant, however, Gallius' permission now needs to be asked for. After that, it's time to investigate the servant. If permission is not granted, I, for one, will assume the worst.
The question of raising Rhiannon's ghost is more tricky, but given that all of us would surely want our killer found I suggest a public raising (once her Parma is down) and questioning would be appropriate.
As a ghost, Rhiannon has no rights, strictly speaking, but this is an unaccetable state for a respectable maga to be in. I suggest a request be made for a Criamon to grant her the Gift of the Enigma once this affair is concluded - if this is the ghost's wish, at least.
Yairus, of House Criamon
Edit: Oh, and someone find out who told her to go get that message, and see who it was from.
Gallius consents for the grog to be magically questioned. He assures the Tribunal Cedric knows nothing about other magi's business, but asks permission to veto any given question asked of Cedric with Frosty Breath of the Spoken Liethat may prove intrusive. (I'll answer the first twelve questions asked to Cedric on this thread while he is under the influence of the spell).
Rhombia, a covenant mate of Rhiannon demands justice and calls for Gallius to be marched immediately! She also demands the immediate death of Cedric.
No one saw a messenger approach Rhiannon. She simply asked the Praeco if she might step outside, as she had been summoned on urgent business.
Using her voting sigil as an Arcane Connection an InCo ritual is performed: it confirms the corpse is here, and Rhiannon's, or at least someone who owns or is strongly associated with that voting sigil.
An InCo spell reveals the body is human, dead, female, and died by drowning. Her clothes are not cut, there is no blood, and no stab wounds at all (despite Cedric's claims ot have stabbed her repeatedly) Rhiannnon also carried a dagger, and a wand, as well as a letter (in the form of a sealed scroll) addressed to the Praeco.
The Praeco reads the letter, and find it is "in the event of my death, be it known that I have been slain by Gallius of Flambeau, who vowed before the Feast of St. John (three days hence) to kill me, and take revenge upon me, and to bring utter destruction upon my works and reputation. I hereby leave all of my worldly goods to Alyssa of Southam, my apprentice, who shall be gauntleted at the earliest opportunity, having finished her training." It is signed and sealed Rhiannon Ex Misc, and dated last week.
Alyssa is present at the Tribunal. She is not in the Council Chamber however.
Rhiannon's Parma Magica incidentally was knocked down by the Praeco's orders to allow these spells to be cast.
An attempt is made to summon Rhiannon with Whispers Through The Black Gate, using the corpse as an Arcane Connection. It fails completely, her spirit failing to respond.