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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:44 am 
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Felix remains silent, sitting off to the side and watching the conversation as it progresses.

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:23 am 
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"Well, in theory..." and Arkady can see how much it's hurting Undul that he's in a position where it even makes sense to be making this proposal, "...if I had an equivalent proposal that... didn't require following the same course of action, then I... would be able to pick the proposal that best fit my preferred course of action."

Or, to put it in plainer language - if he gets an equivalent bribe for not voting Raven, then he can vote with his conscience and put away the money.

"Alternatively... if there were hard proof of what those pamphlets accused the Primate of. All I've heard so far is hearsay and rumours. Terrifying rumours, but... they're exactly the sort of rumours that anyone would make up if they really wanted to ruin him." He pauses a moment, and then adds "It would have to be extremely convincing proof. Leaving no shadow of a doubt, absolutely no possibility it could have been faked, or an unfortunate coincidence."

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:00 am 
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Arkady nods, then says: "I am going to be assuming you regard the trial Patriarch Vanire told you of as proven; several church knights here in this city were there, and it would be too easy to disprove otherwise. Tell me, how well do you know Primate Raven's voice your grace?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:24 am 
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"I regard it as proven that the trial happened; that there was magical interference; and that at the very least it was designed to look as if the Primate was involved. I consider the most likely explanation of the incident to be that he was, and is being, deliberately framed by some third party. As to the Primate's voice - I would recognise it if I heard it."

Undul steeples his fingers, and waits to see where Arkady is going with this.

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Arkady takes out his pad and activates the sound recorder. "This is a Terran machine, your grace. It can record and play back sounds." He then stops the recording and replays it.
Quote:
This is a Terran machine, your grace. It can record and play back sounds.

He shrugs and gives Undul a second or two to absorb that. "It's not very discriminating, though. If there are two conversations it can hear when it is recording, it will be recording both. Now let me show you why Primate Raven thought that Patriarch Vanire's cousin was dead, despite the fact that he clearly had not seen a body."
Raven and the Thief wrote:
"You know the castle of Count Radu(garbled)"

"(garbled)at do they look like?

"On the road between Darra and Sarrinium?"

"That's the place. I want you to meet with Krager, and have him pass a message on to Martel. He's to gather up all the men he needs, dress them in black armour have them *krrrssssshhhhh* banners of the Pandion Knights. They're to travel to Count Radun's castle. He's pious enough that he'll let them in without question. Once he's in, he and his men are to kill the menfolk His wife and unmarried daughters are to (garbled)"

"(garbled) almost as pale as a Styric(garbled)"

"(garbled) killed once they're done. Everyone is to be killed except the churchmen; make sure they witness it all, then let them go."

"And what's this?"

"Dunno. It was in thei(garbled)"

"(garbled) word of the atrocity to King Dregos?"

"It looks a bit like a crossbow stock. Without the crossbow."

"Yes, but I'll also want a fast messenger to let me know when it's happened. We can use this incident to have the Pandions (garbled)"

"(garbled) sort of weapon?"

"Dunno. Could be."

"(garbled) carry the message? He wouldn't expect to live afterward."

"Tell him to have the messenger drop Count Radun's signet ring in the coll(garbled)"

"(garbled)solutely no knowledge abou(garbled)"

"I'll know what it means as soon as I see it."

Arkady nods towards the pad. That recording is why Patriarch Vanire mustered the Pandions and rode to his cousin's aid. He, and the knight outside the door, heard this long before the battle at his cousin's castle. And both of them will swear to this. A battle against 200 mercenaries who arrived in the garb of Pandions under one of Martel's lieutenants. They will both be swearing to that too. A battle ordered by a voice you say you know." He shrugs, and continues: "There are a lot of other things we could be offering some proof for, but to meet the standard of no doubt that you just raised? in this case, you can take Primate Raven's word for it."

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:57 am 
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Patriarch Undul looks more than a little concerned; despite the fact that the distortions in the recording make it very hard to identify voices. "I... met a man once, at a fair," he says, uncertainly, "who had a truly amazing talent for imitating voices..."

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:08 am 
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Arkady nods. "I have heard such men too. They can be very amusing. But in this case there is one more detail. With Count Radun's permission, His Grace sent Primate Raven the Radun signet ring. Shortly after he got it, when a collection of kings happened to be in town, the Primate called the trial. Apparently he knew what it meant."
He shrugs. "If you wish, I'm sure Patriarch Vanire would be more than happy to confirm the fate of the ring as well."

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:00 am 
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Roger, like Felix, is trying to be inconspicuous and stays quiet. He would probably prefer to wait outside if not for the fact that outside he is anything BUT inconspicuous. For now, he listens intently to the conversation but every few minutes looks around the room.

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:15 am 
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Undul considers this argument, carefully.

"Hmmm. If true - and I will speak with Preceptor Vanire later on this matter - but if true, that would seem to immediately imply one of two possibilities. The first of these possibilities is as you say; that a Churchman, one who had made certain vows and agreed to certain tenets, went so far off the path as to embrace the murder of innocents... the second possibility that comes immediately to mind is that you, yourselves, are the ones framing the Primate. Perhaps you... faked his voice, for your... thing. And then you encouraged Vanire to send in the ring; but as soon as the ring was sent, you - or an accomplice - informed the Primate of the apparent death of Count Radun by other means. Possibly another recording, with a faked voice."

"Which implies either that a respected Primate went completely off the rails without anyone catching on, which would seem highly unlikely... or the smooth-talking strangers who I had never heard of before are lying to me. Which seems at least plausible." He waves a hand vaguely. "There may be other explanations. But those two are certainly the most prominent, in the moment."

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Arkady looks amused. "Anyone catching on? Ask the only patriarch who deals with him regularly what sort of a man he is; I am sure Patriarch Vanire would be happy to tell you. But as for us and our motives? We are, after all, being strangers. So how about if we ask a church man?" Arkady strolls over to the door, opens it, and waves Ulath in. "Sir Ulath is a Genidian knight. He has been with us pretty much night and day since we arrived in these lands, because we are working on the same mission to heal Queen Cehlana. Yes, Patriarch Vanire can tell you what we have been up to; but from him about half of it is hearsay. From Sir Ulath it is eyewitness testimony. No Terran trickery, just the word of a fellow sworn churchman."
He looks to Sir Ulath. "His Grace thinks we may be trying to falsely accuse Primate Raven of ordering the attack on Castle Radun, among other things. He has heard the recording, and questions whether we faked Ravens voice after we somehow found out about the attack that someone else had ordered."

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:49 am 
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Undul look over Sir Ulath.

"Well, clearly Elene, and you look Thalasian, which would seem to fit, but I don't know you personally..."

Sir Ulath reaches below his shirt and pulls out a pendant, presenting it to Undul.

Undul nods. "The pendant looks genuine. It could have been stolen, however."

"We do try to make that difficult, Your Grace."

"Difficult but not impossible," says Undul, stubbornly. "To back up an accusation this severe, I'd need to start out with a bit more proof of identity than that."

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:19 pm 
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Arkady asks: "Sir Ulath, do you know any spells which can be safely cast in here?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:37 am 
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"Yes, but that wouldn't help."

"Quite," agrees Undul. "While the Church Knight have special dispensation to learn the secrets of Styricum, it's not entirely unknown for other people to have access to... renegade Styric tutors. And if Vanire backs up what you told me about that trial, then it would seem almost certain that at least one of the villains in this story has access to magic. No, in order for me to accept you as legitimate, you would need to be vouched for by someone who I know is a true Knight, and to whom you are known personally... such as the Preceptor of the Genidian order."

"In Thalesia," snorts Sir Ulath. "Preceptor Vanire's in the city, he knows me."

"...Preceptor Vanire vouching for your identity would be acceptable," admits Undul.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:50 am 
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"Under the circumstances, I think Patriarch Dolmant would be willing to have an extra guest for dinner." Arkady observes. "Vanire is his guest whichever of his hats he is wearing. You could discuss matters with him and Sir Ulath together. And if needed afterwards, well, we could always meet again here later."

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:33 am 
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"Please know that it's not our intention to produce any sort of negative outcome," Felix speaks up, attempting to persuade Undul of their intentions. "We just want the best election result for all involved who are acting in good faith."

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