(1310-11-10) Harsh Justice
Summary: In Tonnerre, Jean and Aurélie come across some disturbing news.
RL Date: Mon Nov 19, 2018
Related: Tonnerre plot
aurelie jean 

Somewhere in Tonnerre

It is a rainy afternoon when the banns of the Vicomte are made. There will be a judgment day for those criminals caught by the militia and the standing Watch on the Vicomte's orders. They are lined up on a platform, one where an executioner awaits with a sword that seems more like a flattened, sharpened hunk of metal than anything else. That said, it is sharp enough that a man as powerfully built as said executioner can sever the heads of the punished easily enough. Sitting on his dais, considering the common folk at large, the Vicomte sips from his goblet. Aurelie has been allowed to watch from behind the dais, but still standing, as someone of import but not on the same level as the seigneur of the fief.

"Next," the L'Envers says to his herald, who parrots his command. A man in chains is dragged forward, and his crimes are listed to the commonfolk. "Robbery, torture, murder. He's been seen consorting with the Tsingano and assisting them in some raids of the local farms."

That last causes the stirrings of murmurs in the crowd, as the L'Envers leans forward to study the man with eerie focus.

Aurélie listens and watches from where she stands behind the dais. Someone of import, yes, at least she looks that way, noble blood evident in her finely chiselled features, and in her attire that is both practical and fine. Dark red is the color of her dress that pronounces her pallor even further, strands of light blonde hair that have escaped the do become momentary victim of an autumn breeze, a soft tug there of the wind on her dark woolen cloak. When she hears the accusations brought forth against the next captive, Aurélie holds her breath and her green eyes widen just so. A palm is placed upon the curve of her belly, in an instinctive gesture of protection.

"Aurelie," Jean calls the woman to the fore, then snaps his fingers at his seneschal, who repeats the charges to the Vicomte, while he stares at the man. "It is, without doubt, that this individual is guilty of at least two of the charges levied, but not the other two. It is true that he has been involved in the raid of farms, and in murder. Would the wife of the victim step forward?"

And so there is a woman in a simple cloth dress, the hem of it is stained with mud as she curtsies and looks between the courtesan and the Vicomte. "Ask her the questions you wish, Aurelie. Let's see what you can glimpse."

She is called forth, and so Aurélie obeys, skirts rustling softly as she steps forward, somewhere to Jean's side. Her hands joined before her, and her chin lifted. Does she look a bit more pale as she gives the man under accusation a questioning look? And then, a faintly surprised flutter of eyelids, as Jean passes the role of questioner onto her. It has that gentle look in her eyes harden and her back straighten just a bit more. The wife of the man she regards then with a stern gaze that then is tempered somewhat by an empathetic smile.

"What is your name, Madame?", Aurélie asks then, her tone gentle, her look all the more attentive. "And please tell me… who was your husband? And how did he find his end?"

"My name is Noelle." The woman states, picking at the hem of her skirts in another curtsy. "My husband?" She seems troubled. Looking over to the man accused of murdering the man in question, she states, "I saw it, my Lady. He… picked up a maul and beat my husband's chest in with it. Over a gambling debt." She's intimidated, to speak so publicly, and not know what to do.

"My husband, Pierre, worked the farms for our seigneur. The grain farms. Now another works the land. Another who works for the miller." She goes on to add.

Aurelie spends 1 luck points on Investigation +roll.
<FS3> Aurelie rolls Investigation+3: Good Success. (1 8 4 2 8 3 8 6)
<FS3> Aurelie rolls Composure: Good Success. (8 8 1 4 5 5 1 5)

"You watched it all?", Aurélie asks with a touch of astonishment in her tone. "So you can confirm, that it was this man here?" Her hand lifts to indicate the supposed culprit, her gaze flicking briefly to regard the man before her attention turns back to the woman. Aurélie considers her for a long moment. "The miller, you say? So one could assume that this miller benefits in a way from your husband's death, as he now has someone working the land?", she wonders lightly. Another pause, where she bites her lip thoughtfully. "Did your husband go out to gamble frequently? It strikes me as odd for a simple peasant."

"Dice are everywhere, my lady. Sometimes he'd gamble part of our harvest." The woman states, fidgeting uncomfortably. "That was the man, yes," she nods, turning to curtsey again. "If I may be dismissed?" Whatever it is she's hesitating about, it's clear she won't easily contribute any more information.

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Persuasion: Success. (2 5 7 2 3)

Aurélie turns her gaze towards Jean, her brows wrinkling slightly. "No," this she tells the woman, her tone soft while her manner seems devoid of any mercy of dismissing her early. "Please, Madame. I am concerned. Where are you staying, now that your husband is dead? Do you have anyone providing for you?" It may be daring for someone of Alyssum canon, but Aurélie steps closer to the woman, regarding her with a somewhat kind smile. "Please know, that you need not be afraid," she murmurs into her ear, leaning closer. "But you need to tell us the truth… Who is it that you are afraid of?"

"My brother." The woman says. "He takes care of me, and my children." She stops in terror as Aurelie approaches. "My husband… he worked for another man, as well. Odd jobs. Fed his little band. They've struck in Namarre, in Camlach. They won't stop. And they have men here…" She murmurs in return. "Let me go, my Lady. I beg of you."

"Who?", Aurélie asks in a soft murmur, straightening. "You and I know that this is not right. That we can't allow people to roam our lands and plunder. I sense you are the good sort. Even you must agree with me, that we don't want our children…" Her hand finds the curve of her own belly, and Aurélie regards the woman with an intense stare, "to grow up in mayhem and war. Order must be upheld, Madame." Her eyelids flutter. "If you have reason to fear… We can provide the protection."

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Subterfuge+4: Good Success. (1 7 4 8 1 7 5 2 6 4 5 4 2)

"Look for the bartender. He will tell you." The maid says no more, and soon she's slipping away from Aurelie and disappearing into the crowd. Meanwhile, the man that was bound and awaiting judgment remains there. "Your sentence?" Jean asks of Aurelie, after she's done her questioning.

"My sentence?" Aurélie asks, turning now that the woman has disappeared to the crowds. "Murder is a harsh accusation." She looks towards the man in chains, and her lips twist into an expression of faint disgust. "It remains a crime, even when committed against someone of similar lack of morale. The man shall receive his sentence. He shall die by the sword. But…" And here a bit of uncertainty mars her demeanor. "I am not the Vicomte. I have little say here, Jean."

"He will be executed. See to it," Jean makes his decision after Aurelie advises him, and so he imparts this to her: "You are not the Vicomte, but you must be willing to make the difficult choice, and see to it that it is carried out, Aurelie. This is the prerogative of a noble, and their duty. Good on you to stick to your decision."

Aurélie nods. Even if her part has apparently been seen to, she looks towards Jean. "The things she said… I believe there will be more work. The bartender… she mentioned him, and that he would know more about the mess her husband has found himself in… Raiding both in Namarre and Camlach. Jean… Something tells me you would wish to look into that."

"I will." Jean replies, resolutely, before the axe falls upon the soon-to-be-executed man's neck. Blood splatters all over the platform, the wood painted the deep crimson peculiar to venal blood as it sprays out of the neck stump. He looks to Aurelie. "Send for the captain of my guard. You'll stay here for now, but we will chase after this raiding band. Kushiel's hand compels me."

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Composure-2: Great Success. (8 7 7 8 2 4)

Aurélie nods, lowering her gaze for a moment as if she were falling back into the patterns of her training. "I shall stay here," she confirms. Nevermind the gruesome display of the beheading, the sentence she had voiced and brought down upon the man herself. Not even a single twitch of a brow is there when the low thud of a head dropping onto the planks of the dais announces the successful execution of the convict. Her fingers fidget with each other in a playful way, and those green eyes lift to meet Jean's gaze. "You must promise me that you will be safe," his courtesan demands of the Vicomte de Tonnerre.

"I will be safe." Jean tells Aurelie, leaning down to kiss her on the lips. "Do watch the courtiers for me," he whispers, against her mouth. "Some of them might be aware of this. And I want to know who, why, and what they stand to gain." Cupping her cheek with his hand, he steps away, nods in a more or less courtly fashion and tells the guards, "Fetch my horse, gather fifteen men, we shall ride west. Now!"

Aurélie nods. Her lips pull into a faint smile as he presses his own to them. It will of course remain a chaste kiss, a demonstration of his preference for her in front of his courtiers. Speaking of which… "You can count on me," she whispers against his lips. "I shall see what I can find out…" Stepping away from him then, as Jean prepares to leave, she looks about for the maid and the guards that are seeing to her own safety.

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