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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:53 am 
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Arkady nods and starts studying the court. Nate wants to use an RDF? That may work, God willing. Unfortunately he doesn't have one. But he knows he's good at reading people; perhaps if someone is directing this from here in the room he can work out who it is.

(tag If You Want Something Done, Do It Yourself at need).

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Over the course of the next several minutes, Arkady carefully studies the various people in the courtroom.

He doesn't know that much about magic, but he has seen a few people casting it. Sephrenia wriggles her fingers and pronounces strange words to cast magic. Piper seems to do the same with music. The Church Knights - whatever they did to make their swords affect the smoke demon used involved both word and gesture, with some similarity to Sephrenia's style. (This makes sense, as she is supposed to be their tutor.)

No-one in the room is pronouncing strange words. But when it comes to finger-twiddling...

Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: +0 Total: +5 Target: +5

After five minutes of careful observation, Arkady notices that there is exactly one person who keeps his hands out of sight behind a desk all the time. This same person, on close examination, is the only one who never glances over at the various Kings, to see their reactions; it's as if he is the only person in the room who knows with certainty what those reactions will be. He's good at controlling his reactions, at keeping his face still... but his smug grin is perhaps a little too smug, his confidence a little too sure.

If you want something done, do it yourself. It seems that Arkady isn't the only person in the room familiar with that philosophy. The only person who could be maintaining a continuous regime of finger-twiddling is the Primate Annias Raven himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Arkady leans over towards the others of his party, and quietly says "Primate Raven is the only one in this room who could possibly be casting a spell, his are the only hands that are always hidden. He is also acting as if he is. He is too sure, and he alone is never looking at the jury."

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:09 pm 
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Felix keeps a watchful eye on the Primate and the surrounding people. He begins thinking up arguments and counter arguments to apply when the spell is stopped and they're able to mount a successful defense.

Roll Rapport to establish aspect Objection!

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:24 am 
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"This is appalling!" yells one of the assembled Kings, leaping to his feet. "There is no defense that can stand up to this outrage! There is no -"

Piper blows a single, discordant note on her pipes. Everyone stops for just an instant as the spell shatters; Theresa blinks and gasps. But by far the person who has the worst of it is the Primate; his eyes roll about in his head, and one gets the impression that if he wasn't sitting down, he'd fall over.

Vanire takes the opportunity to step up in the sudden silence and speak. "Your Highnesses, I do agree that the crimes described are indeed beyond the pale. However, I do have a witness who I believe will be able to completely exonerate me."

"One witness?" asks the same King who was talking earlier - a large man with a large, bristly beard. "How do you expect a single witness to stand up to these accusations?"

Primate Raven shakes his head vigorously.

Vanire nods, and Count Radun steps forward. He reaches up, and lowers his hood. "Well, to start with," he says, "I think I can safely say that rumours of my death have been more than a little exaggerated."

"Radun!" gasps one of the Kings. "You're alive, my boy?"

Count Radun nods. "I am. Incidentally, Uncle, my daughter loves the kitten you sent for her birthday. Though she has developed an unfortunate habit of trying to get it to wear a bonnet."

King Bristle-beard frowns at Count Radun, then turns to glare at Annias. "What. Is. The meaning. Of. This?"

"Um, um," The Primate scrambles desperately. "Um, I, I do apologise, your Highnesses, I, I had heard the tales from these - clearly lies! Clearly liars! Guards! Arrest these false witnesses! Take them away! Put them in the dungeons! At once!"

Felix: Rapport: +4 Roll: +2 Total: +6
Raven: Resolve: +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4


Felix's watchful eye on the Primate suggests that the man has no case, no backup plan, and suddenly a good deal to be worried about. His entire plan is collapsing around his ears, and - well, it's probably impossible for him to squeeze any sort of victory out of this situation anymore.

Aspect established - though I'm not entirely sure how objecting at this point will really help much.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Arkady leans over towards Vanire and says quietly "Master Vanire: I apologize if this is out of turn, but perhaps the Primate's witnesses should be cross examined? They might not be the only ones conspiring against you."

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Felix keeps an eye out for any other danger that might rear its ugly head. He does recall that, every time one of the Primate's plans has been foiled, a demon has showed up.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:21 am 
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Vanire nods. "Just a minute, please!" he calls out to the palace guards escorting the 'witnesses' from the room. "Don't take them away just yet, we're going to need to ask them a few questions in a minute. Let's see if we can find out why they made such outrageous claims, shall we?"

The guards hesitate, glancing nervously at the Primate.

"What possible use can we have for just asking them?" asks the Primate. "We already know they're liars!"

Vanire raises an eyebrow. "Dear me," he says, with clearly feigned surprise. "Are you afraid of what they might say? Do you suspect they might implicate someone... close to you, perhaps? Possibly even yourself?"

Primate Annias Raven glares daggers at Preceptor Vanire, but waves at the guards not to leave the room. Sending the prisoners out now would send clearly the wrong message to the gathered Royalty.

"And while I have the floor," continues Vanire, "I would like to ask Count Radun to tell us the whole story. Because this conspiracy goes a lot deeper than a few false witnesses."

Radun steps up again, and briefly summarises the events around the attack by the false Pandions. There's nothing in his summary that the party haven't seen for themselves; though the focus of his narration is on the plot against his life - the overheard conversation (but no mention of how it was overheard, and referred to vaguely enough that the Primate might suspect that the conversation that had been overheard had been between two of his underlings), the arrival of a small group of genuine Pandions in advance of the fakes (again, no mention of the trucks, or how they had got there), the arrival of the fake Pandions and their subsequent defeat (with no mention of explosives, but he did mention that the Terrans had made "significant contribution" to the battle from the ramparts). When Radun is done, Vanire gives his own statement, again avoiding making any direct mention of the Terran's technological advantages and keeping the focus of the narration on the plot; though he draws attention to the presence of Adus - "a well-known associate of the renegade, Martel, whose reputation I am sure you are all familiar with" - and Adus' subsequent death at the tendrils of the demon which had been somehow hidden inside him.

By the end of their statements, the conclusion is clear - and the Primate Annias is the first to state firmly that the matter at hand was "clearly a dastardly plot by the former Pandion Knight, Martel, in an attempt to further ruin the institution that gave him his skills" - a summation that earns him a very nasty glare from every Knight in the room. (Annias tries to use this to claim that the statements from the false witnesses are no longer necessary, but no-one is buying that).

Unfortunately, the statements from the false witnesses are not very informative. Both of them remember only being offered a sum of gold to come to the Palace, at a certain time, and make certain claims - they don't seem to remember much of the person who offered them gold, save that he wore a brown cloak with a hood. No matter how much King Bristle-beard bristles his beard at them and yells, though, their story remains adamantly unchanging - a brown-cloaked figure about whom they can recall no details gave them a sum of gold and told them what story to give the Court.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:03 pm 
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While Kind Bristlebeard is yelling, Arkady comments to Vanire and Radun: "Believing that kind of slander from those two isn't the kind of judgement anyone would expect from a man advising His Highness, is it?"

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Felix keeps all of his attention on the Primate. Anything he can pick up to make a guess towards future encounters with Raven would be most useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:05 am 
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"No, it's not," whispers Vanire. "Unfortunately, there's nothing actually illegal about having bad judgement."

Over the course of the entire trial, all of the Terrans have the opportunity to closely study the Primate:

Felix: Empathy: +3 Roll: +3 Total: +6
Primate: Rapport: +3 Roll: -1 Total: +2
Felix is sure he remembers that Church officials - with the exception of the Knightly Orders, who have a special dispensation - are forbidden from practicing magic. It seems that among the Primate's other Aspects is one labelled "Hypocrite".


Nate: Empathy: +0 Roll: +2 Total: +2
Primate: Rapport: +3 Roll: +0 Total: +3


Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: +0 Total: +5
Primate: Rapport: +3 Roll: +0 Total: +3
Arkady's "Heart's Secret" stunt allows him to dig to the core of a person's motivations, and find what is most important to them. In this case, a careful study of the Primate reveals that there is something missing; the man wears plain, severe black clothing and gives himself no grandiose titles; his attacks against his political enemies are ruthless but he never stops to revel in either wealth or power. He is, in fact, Disinterested In Political Power And Wealth - which implies that his current position may merely be an early step in a longer-range plan.


Roger: Empathy: +3 Roll: +1 Total: +4
Primate: Rapport: +3 Roll: +2 Total: +5

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Arkady considers that but decides it's something to discuss later. "Very well. Now how will we be getting back the signet ring?"

Afterwards he glances down to the girl next to him, reaches around her with one arm to give her a hug, and says quietly "And before I am forgetting, thank you Piper. That was well played, although I do not think he liked the tune. Perhaps he is tone deaf."

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:01 am 
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"It's a shame we couldn't get more out of the 'witnesses'," Felix mutters to Vanire.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:14 am 
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"He's clearly very good at covering his tracks. I feel heartened though that Radun's survival has caught him off guard at least." Roger says quietly.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandions On Trial
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:45 pm 
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"If he has the ring on him," whispers Talen, "and if I can get close to him..."

"Odds are that the ring is lost," whispers Vanire (while, on the other side of the room, King Bristle-beard reams out the Primate for being a compete and utter idiot). "Anyone found in possession of it will quickly be associated with this plot - even if the Primate still has it, I imagine he'll find some way to dispose of it pretty promptly. Case in point -" he nods to Felix - "he's ensured that his fake witnesses don't have any useful information to impart." He nods at Roger. "But you're right. Radun's survival did lose him a lot of ground, and he won't have the political standing to try this sort of thing again for, oh, months at the least."

Piper returns Arkady's hug, accompanying it with an innocent giggle. She really does have "cute" down to a fine art.

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