The Trial of Harper Master Jueann
The Trial of the
Century will start in 30 mins. You
can @go harperhall to watch it in person or addcom ov=OOCvision
then ov on And you can watch it like television--entered by Jueann on
MOO Time. (28 seconds)
Main Hall and Ballroom
Main Hall and Ballroom
visions of walls washed in a muted blue and a staircase and balcony of white
Northern marble form the large vista of the Harper Hall's largest space, the
floor underfoot of fine Lemos hardwoods. But no balls will be held here
tonight... A far graver purpose has taken over. At the head of the room a large
raised dais has been erected, the Harper's crest in prominent display, ready for
the arrival of the MasterHarper. To stage-left of it sits a lower table and
chair for witnesses. Facing the dais from across a forty-foot gap are larger
tables for the Defense and Prosecution, while along the left wall are
comfortable seats for the jury. Ropes cordon off the court area, but leave the
majority of the large space free for crowds of onlookers, a few benches provided
for those of rank.
from a bit of artistically carved lintel are nine firelizards. You see
Damista, Liesana, Reeba, and Kirsyn are here.
Iisana walks with a
confident strident step in through an arch from the great hall.
From the balcony
above, Qovin walks in from the Dormitory Lounge.
of dulled amber gaze from amongst stretched and taut features, slightly almond
in their shape, retaining the quickness of a sharp mind turned hawkish and wary.
Framed by wavy, waist-length chestnut hair, her face remains expressive and
delicate, but with skin sallowed from stress and cheeks hollowed by weight loss
a thin frame can ill afford. There remains a determined strength to her sculpted
jaw. She stands five and a half feet, figure slight and long limbed but past the
coltishness of youth, 'though subtle curves have also been diminished by lost
weight. Scars of old bone breaks appear on her right leg and left arm, and her
hands show the marks of a career harper: slight callouses on her fingertips and
one more prominant on the web of her right thumb, along with the faint
blue-black tinges of old inkstains. A white linen blouse with ruffles at collar
and cuffs contrasts with a sharply cut vest of black velvet, while a full skirt
of fine grey wool rustles quietly as she walks. **clook Liesana for more
details** Two firelizards are
perched on her shoulders.
cord and double loops in white and rich blue couple with a blue tassel and a
binding thread of gold to denote a Master of the Harper Craft. A red ribbon
interwoven further indicates that the wearer is posted to the Smith Crafthall.
She is a young adult of about 28. She is awake, but seems rather distracted.
healthy woman in her early twenties, somewhat short in height and slender in
build; however, her muscles are surprisingly well developed for that of a young
woman. Her long brown hair is tied back in a single ponytail with a long leather
cord. She has her father's bright hazel eyes and her mother's slender pointed
nose and fair complexion. She has a birthmark on her right forearm which looks
like, well, a birthmark and nothing else.
is wearing a rich dark blue vested tunic over a light blue shirt. She wears an
ankle length straight skirt matching her tunic. She wears shiny ankle high black
boots, with tiny silver scroll clasps. Blue and white woven into a double cord
knot of single loop and elongated tail, spruced up with silver thread and
sporting one tassel of harper blue, denoting the bearer as a Junior Journeyman
Harper. She is a young adult of about 29. She is awake, but seems rather
Jayt walks in.
From the balcony
above, Qovin goes home.
Liesana is already
over at the table allotted to the Prosecution, transferring a stack of neatly
written notes from an attaché case to the area in front of her seat as a
Guardsman and two recruits bring boxes of evidence, kept under close watch, in
from where they'd been stored. The
young acting-Crafthead looks gaunt and drawn, but all signs of stress
been subsumed by the cool control of the mask she's wearing entitled Madam
Ylisa walks in from
the Harper Classroom.
Damista walks in, a
Master of the Herdercraft. Her head
held high as walks. She looks around
and then asks in general, "Where is the jury to be?"
Her harsh voice a result of the fires in Keroon a long time ago, yet
still soft as her brown eyes gaze about the room.
Rosuma walks in.
Entering the room,
Reeba looks neither to the left or to the right but dead ahead.
Walking over to the defense table, she places her notes neatly upon the
table and sits down. She remains
fairly still except for the slightly noticeable twitch in her right hand.
Her eyes, glazed and distant, she is alone in her thoughts in a sea of
fairly quickly after Damista. Of course she won't admit that she got hopelessly
lost and so had to follow the nearest person with a Masters knot that she could
see. "Good question." she echoes, coming up behind the Herder, arms
folded across her chest and glancing around with a faintly forbidding
Rosuma makes her
way slowly in, her eyes silently sweeping the assembled masters, nodding to
those she knows, and giving a very broad, honest smile in Lies' direction before
casting about for a seat in the jury area and settles herself in, waiting
patiently for the trial to begin.
Recruit, polished and formal and starched to perfection in a dress uniform, has
apparently been named to escort the arriving jury to their place.
"This way, masters," he
intones in a bass rumble, guiding them past the cordon and over to the jury
seating along the wall.
Collin goes home.
Toomin walks in
through an arch from the great hall.
Damista follows the
Guard recruit to the place designated. She
stays quiet now and settles into her char quickly.
She is ready, not there is just the waiting for it all to begin.
organizing her own notes, and takes a seat, interlacing her fingers and giving
Rosuma a grave nod in response to the smile.
For reasons of sanity, the legist has to keep her personal and
professional selves almost completely separate in this case, thus explaining the
faint, fencer's nod she gives to Reeba, ordinarily one of her best friends.
Iisana was too busy
looking around to see the guard recruit start to lead the masters away, and
hurriedly tries to catch up with an 'I meant to do that' look in her face,
moving quickly to a spare seat, giving the masters already seated a smile and
nod of acknowledgement before she plants herself down, tugging at her sleeves.
Ylisa glances round
the exalted company as she emerges from the classroom, then threads her way
through the gathering to stand inconspicuously at the edge of the room furthest
away from the action.
Reeba watches as
the jurors enter the ballroom and finds their appointed seats in the makeshift
jurors box. Reeba studies their
assorted knots, badges, and colors and jots down notes on each.
Only recognizing a few, a worried look graces her face.
She glances over to Liesana but notes she is not in much better shape
than she is at the moment. Sighing,
Reeba finally looks behind her to see the various masters who have chosen to
attend this sad event.
quietly and without fanfare, a certain professional detachment allowing for the
unruffled solemnity of her features. It seems to be a skill the Harper's share.
Her eyes linger on Liesana a moment before then moving to the boxes of evidence.
It is there her gaze remains for a long moment, the only change of her
expression hinting at inward reflection. The passage of the jury registers only
at the edges of her attention, the boxes eyed as if holding all the secrets of
life while she moves to her seat. She turns her attention outward again, over
all of the assembled. When she speaks her voice is clear and sounds out over the
low murmur: "I call this court to order." Short and sweet.
small woman of medium build, Oriana seems to have gone unnoticed by her passing
turns. Her complexion is pale from
lack of sun and her eyes and mouth are defined now by small creases at the
corners, but her full, light golden hair and the blush in her cheeks signal
health and a life of satisfying mental, if not physical, activity.
Her blue eyes are bright and keenly perceptive, her shoulders slouch just
slightly from too much deskwork, and she bears herself with an air of assurance
that is independent of her surroundings.
tunic is of a deceptively simple cut, lightly tailored with only the slightest
of collars. A tiny silver pin shines
at her throat as a center to covert, harper blue embroidery, the delicate undyed
fabric sliding over her small frame with the soft, natural shimmer of fine woven
sisal. The skirt matches; the cool,
silvery sheen flows through the
ankle-length fabric in an freely moving cascade even as she remains still.
Matching slippers, the soft, comfortable and elegant kind, complete the outfit
with miniature, harper-blue embroidery just at their very edge.
Her hair, full and golden, is swept up neatly into a soft frame for her
face, held in place by a pair of pearl-inset combs.
A green firelizard is perched on her shoulder. At her right shoulder, a
small pendant sapphire is strung in a complex interweaving of blue, white and
yellow. She is an older adult of about 57.
Jueann comes out of
the Harper Office with Brithia and another guard standing beside her as she made
her way to where she is suppose to stand/sit.
She looks careworn, a bit frazzled, but her eyes are so sad behind her
glasses. She smoothes out her skirt
as she nods to Oriana, then to Reeba. She
does glance to the other Masters sitting in the Master section, counting noses
and sighs again. Shaking her head,
squaring her shoulders. Let's get
this show on the road.
gentle nature hides her true age. She
seems timeless with her brown hair with streaks of grey.
When asked about her true age, she'll smile and say, "A lady should
have some secrets." Her brown
doe-shaped eyes glows darkly of love and warmth. Wisps of
curly strands of hair halo her face as the rest of her long hair is pulled into
a single fat braid. A pair of lenses perch on her dainty nose. Around her neck
and rest over her heart, a gold chain peeks out.
is wearing a clean white short-sleeved tunic that is slightly unlaced in the
front. A dark wide tightly-laced leather girtle the rest comfortably under her
well-endowed bosum down to her slim waist, protecting her blouse. Her navy blue
skirt shows past ink-stains, but try as she might, she just can't keep it clean.
On her girtle, a big leather brown pouch keeps her archives supplies and
anything else she needs for the day. her tunic from most of the ink stains.
Braided into her Harper Master's knot are the colors of Ista Hold.
is an adult of about 43. She is awake and looks alert.
Damista watches as the accused comes out. Now for the evidence and testimony. She will form her opinion as they are presented. Liesana glances over at Jueann as she makes her entry, and nods to the guards already present, who pull up a chair for the Istan Crafthead, a look of concern visible on her features for a long moment, before she once again succeeds in donning the mask required by her duties. Standing, she bows to the MasterHarper, and then takes the floor with a minimum of fanfare, waiting for silence as she faces the Jury and the audience to make her opening remarks, hands smoothing her skirt in a single sweeping motion, as highly schooled as a dance move.
Radel walks down
the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.
Reeba nods to
Jueann as she sits down and then turns quickly to watch Liesana begin to weave
her words of her opening remarks, hoping beyond hope that she'll make a bad
Radel runs into the
room and slides to a halt at the very back and then, trying to be unobstrusive
takes the closest available seat, looking worried and grim.
Oriana does not
quite settle into the chair, but rather sits on it as if a moment from standing;
her posture is rigidly formal and her gaze is hard as stone. Jueann's nod is
returned with the faintest inclination of her head, but there is no softening in
her manner. She, like Liesana, will need it all for the trial ahead. Said
prosecutor is accorded a nod of attention, Oriana's eyes moving to the young
Harper Master as she awaits her remarks.
Liesana's voice is
measured and cadenced as she speaks to the jury, her words chosen with care.
Regardless of how much Liesana would personally hope her Crafthead and
friend will get off, it would be dishonorable to do any less than her best.
"You have all been summoned here today for a simple purpose: To
weigh the evidence that will be presented to you, and to make your best decision
as to whether the evidence presented supports or refutes the charges laid here.
The sensational nature of this entire incident, not to mention that both
the accused and the victims are members of our own rank might lead you to
question the results of your decision, but the results are not your concern. Any
judgments made or not made will fall on the heads of the Harper Hall, and on us
alone, so I ask you to approach your
ruling with open minds and clear heads, and we will see that justice, however it
may fall, will be dispensed. Thank
you." That said, she bows again
to Oriana and returns to her seat, nodding to Reeba as she passes.
Jueann sighs and
stares ahead, standing there like a finely carved statue.
The only sign of stress is the clenching and unclenching of her fists as
she waits for charges to be read. The
guards look almost bored. Brithia
glances at Jue with a bit of concern but says and does nothing.
Parvati walks in.
Reeba takes a slow
deep breath and expels the negative energy she has been feeling into the
atmosphere. A quick look over to the
alleged murderer, her craftmaster, her friend, she stands up slowly.
She nods her head repeatedly, "Master Liesana is the greatest legal
mind in Ista, of this there is no doubt. She
is also a very honest and honorable harper which means you should be able to
accept everything she offers as fact."
her head from Liesana and then back to Jueann and then on to the jurors,
"Alas, while Master Liesana will show you many facts this day, there is one
fact that she can not say as the lead prosecutor.
She can not say that she is certain of Master Jueann's guilt.
The fact is she is innocent and we mean to show you that any of a number
of persons could have perpetuated this crime.
We will show that many had the motive and means to do the crime.
There is no link to Master Jueann that can not be made to most of the
harpers currently here in Ista." Reeba
takes another hasty breath, "All
we ask is that your minds remain open to what is fact and what may be fiction.
Thank you." She
sits down faster than she had hoped, looking a bit too relieved that her opening
remarks are finished.
Oriana's eyes form
the nod that her body does not allow, an acknowledgement of Liesana's words and
the care chosen for them. Reeba is the next subject of her regard, her eyes
skipping over the accused. When both finish, she clears her throat again to
speak, without saying anything further to the jury: "The charges stand as
thus: Harper Master
Istan Crafthead at the time of the alleged crime, is accused of the murder of
Harper Master Poirot. Madam prosecutor, would you please present your
guilty. She just stands there, until
Brithia places a hand on her shoulder and whispers something.
Jue nods and takes her seat as Liesana starts her case.
Nothing to do now but wait and listen.
look over at Jueann as she rises again, although not so obviously as to be
easily spotted. She needs to sink
into the persona of The Prosecution more fully before she can allow herself to
do that. Collecting a set of copies
of the same report, she hands them to one of the legal apprentices turned clerk
to pass out to the jury, the defense and Oriana, keeping one for herself.
"The hide you have just been handed contains a synopsis of Healer
Senior Apprentice Alain's findings from the autopsy performed on Master Poirot's
corpse. I urge you to study the
details as much as your stomachs will permit, but I draw your attention to his
conclusion: Master Poirot was first
drugged unconscious with liberal quantities of aconite, and then died of massive
blood loss after his throat was cut. Bruising
around the wound suggests that the murder weapon, while sharp enough for the
task at hand, was dull enough that pressure was required to breach the skin.
I will be presenting further evidence to support the Prosecution's case
that Master Jueann was the murderer. Any
questions, Madam Defendant?"
Damista takes the
hide and looks it over with a cursory glance.
The document is set on her lap as she looks it over.
Brown eyes look up towards the Defending Harper.
Reeba looks towards
Jueann with a meaningful stare as if to tell her to remain in her seat.
Reeba hears the question and stands as she shakes her head, "No
Master, the defense completely agrees with Master Liesana's assessment of how
the crime was committed."
Liesana nods again
to her opposing counsel, again with that hint of the fencer, and moves onwards,
cuing the Guard handling the evidence to remove two more things from the box.
An empty medicine vial, and a letter-opener knife with dried bloodstains
still on the blade. "Prosecution would like to enter these items into the
evidence as Exhibits A and B. And
the Prosecution would call Master Jueann to the stand."
Now, Liesana's glance flickers over to settle on Jueann, the young master
steeling herself for the most unpleasant part of her case.
Jueann stares off
into space, like a statue, her hands clenching the arm of her chair as she
listens to the gruesome details surrounding the late unlamented Master Poirot.
through the document, balking briefly as she reads some of the contents, before
a mask of stoicism settles over her features and she resumes listening to the
counsels with as impassive expression as she can manage.
A Guard, appointed
bailiff, shoulders his way over to where Jueann sits, and briefly swears her in.
"Do you, Master Jueann of Harper Hall, swear on your name's word to
Jueann blinks and
comes back to herself looking up at the guard,
Ohh.... Yes... I swear. Where
do you want me?"
tries to smile encouragingly at the formal craftmaster. Reeba looks relatively
comfortable that Jueann will not surprise her with her remarks but only wishes
she would look a little less scared and/or guilty in front of the other masters
not knowing how they might interpret her demeanor.
remain seated, Master Jueann," assures
Liesana, letting a note of warmth creep through her facade before she retreats
into it again. Picking up the empty
medicine vial, she hands it to the older master, asking steadily
"Can you identify this, Master Jueann?"
Jueann takes the
offered vial, looking at it closely as she returns it to Liesana. "Yes....
" she sighs looking up at Liesana, "Master Jaqui
gave it to me. It contained aconite to help with night sweats and hot
flashes." Looking pale but composed, Jue tries to divorce herself from all
this and yet.....
Liesana nods, and
paraphrases for the jury's benefit, still letting that note of warmth remain in
her voice. "So this vial
belongs to you, and Master Jaqui can attest to giving it to you...
Now, I'm a daughter of Herder parents... I know that aconite can be quite
toxic if herdbeasts or runnerbeasts eat it... Did Healer Jaqui mention any
warnings about it to you?"
Siallon walks in.
slightly, "She did. She said
one drop in either wine or tea every few hours.
She said too much will kill. A
drop was all I needed to help with the discomfort."
slightly since she /is/ a herder Master and knows of the medicine.
She watches Jueann for a moment before looking at Liesana. She tilts her
head and listens carefully.
"One drop." she
repeats. "Pretty strong stuff,
I'd say. Now, this vial was found
empty beside Poirot's corpse, as the jury can read in the report I've handed
them. About how much /should/ there
have been in the bottle at the time?"
Jueann sighs and
shrugs, "About two-thirds full. The
stress you see, Poirot... " she licks her lips, "The situation was
wearing on me."
Reeba tries very
hard not to sigh at Jueann's last response and scolds herself for not coaching
Jueann on how to respond. Never give
them any more than they ask for....never, unless it helps your cause that is and
that last comment didn't help Jueann.
slightly. "Two thirds of that
vial, mixed in with the cup of wine found beside the body.
No wonder the office showed no signs of struggle."
she notes, not availing herself of the opportunity to make a dig at
Jueann. That's not only
unprofessional, it's more likely to backfire with the jury.
"Still, as the Healer's report notes, it wasn't the aconite that
killed him. It was this."
she lifts the bloody letter opener. "Can
you identify this for me, Master Jueann?"
Jueann blinks and
looks at the knife, "My letter opener.
I've had it for turns. It's a
bit dull but still functional."
Reeba leans back in
her chair, unworried about the current testimony and hoping to show that
instilled confidence to the jurors.
states Liesana. "I'd say it
still functions very well. So, we
have both murder weapons here and identified as belonging to you...
Can you tell me where you kept them, normally?"
"Normally, I keep the vial on my table in my apartment and the knife in the
Harper Office in the desk drawer." She sighs.
Liesana nods at
that. "So the knife could have
been accessed by anyone, I'll admit," she
allows. "But what about the
vial of aconite? That's dangerous
stuff... did you keep a lock on your
door at all?"
"Sometimes then sometimes not. I
either kept in my apartment or on me. My
mentees needed access to my apartment, I'm very forgetful."
slightly as she watches and listens. Her
brown eyes noting expressions as she watches the proceedings.
Iisana seems to be
scowling at her whole proceedings, leaning back in her chair, arms folded and
glowering. The belligerent expression is merely a sign of the Miner's intense
concentration on the questioning taking place before them. She snorts faintly,
almost inaudibly, at Jueann's declaration of her forgetfulness, shaking her head
slightly in disapproval.
allowing the answer. "But you
kept close tabs on the aconite, since you had to take it daily?"
she presses onwards. "You'd
have noticed, for example, if someone had taken it prior to the murder?"
"Well, I would've noticed if it was missing from my apartment.
I don't think I would've left it in the Office."
Siallon goes home.
"So the bottle
of aconite, as far as you know, was in your possession up until it was found
beside the corpse." sums up
Liesana. "Thank you, Master
Jueann, no further questions. Your witness, Madam Defender."
In the audience,
Harper Apprentices watch with wide eyes. This
sort of drama in the higher ranks /never/ gets seen in public like this.
"Better'n'bubbly pies." comments
one lad to another. Beside them, a
pale girl with magnificently golden hair watches, looking paler than usual.
One of Jueann's mentees?
Quietly Reeba has
been chomping at the bit to ask questions which showed how circumstantial all of
the evidence really is and now she has her chance.
But first, to address something that made more than a few master jurors
shift in their seats. "I know
you've been through a lot Master Jueann, I just have a few questions
really." state Journeywoman Reeba as she stands and walks towards the
jurors. Facing Jueann but standing
next the masters who would decide the harper master's fate, she asks
forgetfulness is hardly a new phenomena is it?
I mean, you are not known as the Confused Harper for these many turn for
nothing, are you?" Her
momentary brevity finished Reeba adds, "However, you are also dealing with
a health issue that has as one of its symptoms as Forgetfulness.
Were you told that forgetfulness was a sign of your current
"Actually, I getting more forgetful as the turns roll on but I'm not that
bad. Ohh I forget to eat and sleep
from time to time and I always lose track of time but I'm not *that* bad.
I think... Am I? I mean, I'm
just starting my Change of Life a bit early that's all."
Jueann's answer would appease the jurors, Reeba moves on to address the whole
aconite issue. Holding up her notes,
she peruses them for a second before looking up at the accused.
"Based on your own testimony, this is your bottle of aconite.
However, you are not the only one who had access to this bottle or to the
aconite, isn't that correct? In
fact, this is your second bottle of aconite that you were given. What happened
to the first bottle?"
"My fire lizards got into a tussle and knocked the first on off the table
and broke the vial. I sent Niara for
a refill and the broken vial. Besides Niara, Liesana knew, so did my mentees.
I'm always sending them to my apartment for this and that."
Liesana has retaken
her seat, and sits with fingers interlaced, and her chin resting on top of them,
tense and formal as she watches for mistakes to pounce on.
Damista listens and
nods slightly. She isn't that far
behind Jueann. She nods though as
she has her own mentees run errands for her.
nodding her head, "So, not only did a number of harpers know about the
aconite, they also had access to it since they were often sent to your
apartment. If I have read the
account correctly, you even told everyone present at the table how dangerous the
drug was and that more than a few drops were deadly."
Trying not to go too slow or to fast and only praying she's coming across
as a good defense would, she looks directly at the jurors and asks loudly,
"Master Jueann, based on what you were told by Master Jaqui, if someone had
placed 2/3 of your bottle in a single mug of Klah, what did Master Jaqui
indicate would happen if someone received that high of dose?"
MasterHarper," calls Liesana from her seat with an unhurried air.
"The poison was placed in wine, not klah.
Alcohol diminishes the effects of many drugs, and in any case the wine
Jueann sighs and
waits for the ruling if she should answer or not.
Reeba raises her
hand in a dismissive way, "I retract, and corrects her question.
It was in a cup of wine. The
question remains, what did Jaqui infer would happen if you, yourself, took a
dose so high regardless of the drink it was mixed in?"
"It would have a slight bitter taste and then death in minutes."
Oriana's eyes shift
from person to person as the truth is slowly exhumed. She says nothing, content
for a moment to hear the arguments now and weigh later. Despite the less than
plush chair, she refrains from shifting uncomfortably; she's too wrapped up in
the maybe's and whatif's and possibilities Reeba's argument postulates.
Mimi walks in.
minutes....death in minutes" Reeba says repeating the words as if in a
mantra. "Then tell me please,
if a murderer knows that the poison given would eventually kill an individual,
what need would there be to use a knife? I'll
answer it for you, there is none. There
would have been no need for you to use a knife since you knew he would have
died, what was it you said Master Jueann...'death in minutes'."
Reeba looks over to Jueann, and then asks another question that she can
now indeed answer, "You wouldn't have needed to use the knife because in
time he would have died anyway. However,
the murderer did not know this so they only knew that the poison would perhaps
render him unconscious. And as you
said many knew you were taking the aconite and some had access to it.
That leaves someone who used the opener.
How many people knew that
kept the letter opener in the office?"
creaks ponderously as Iisana shifts; remaining seated for a long period of time
has apparently caused her bum to go numb if all her sudden shifting is anything
to go by. She tries to surreptitiously stretch and resume listening to the
testimony, however disturbing the talk of death is.
Jueann shrugs at
Reeba, "I kept it in the drawer in the Office.
Why did they have to use mine? I'm sure if you looked, you will find
several others there. The Office is
restlessly squashed between a pair of stiff journeypeoples from other halls,
looking quite uncomfortable between the pair, but her discomfort is ever so
slightly overwhelmed by concern for Jueann and interest in the trial.
and I'm sure as craftmaster, you are forever talking with harpers in the office
so many would indeed know of its existence.
That is all for now Master Jueann. Thank
you for your continued patience. Master
Liesana?" Reeba says as she quickly returns to her seat hoping that the
questions went over well with the jurors.
Damista's face is
immobile and emotionless. Many of
the Herders know this look for when they are in trouble and the Herder Master is
deciding their fate. What this means
for the Harper Master, though, is not clear.
"That will be
all from me. Thank you, Journeyman
Reeba, and thank you, Master Jueann." Liesana says simply.
"The Prosecution would
like to restate their findings that Jueann was in possession of both murder
weapons, one of which was accessible by a very limited circle of people.
The Prosecution would also draw your attention to the line in the medical
report given stating that the murderer most likely used the aconite to subdue
the victim, hinting that they could not overpower them physically.
The Prosecution would state that Master Jueann is capable of the method,
and, living in the Hall, had the opportunity.
For motive, I next call Journeywoman Mimi to the stand."
Oriana nods to
Reeba, a wordless thanks. Her gaze lingers on Jueann a moment, before her
attention turns to Liesana. Her lips purse in a moment's thought that never
reaches voice, the MasterHarper turning a solemn look on Mimi.
Jueann sighs and
remains seated in her chair. Back to
staring off into space as she listens to the trial.
Mimi stands up,
edging her way out from between the other Harpers, sets her shoulders and
confidently walks up to the stand. Cool as a cucumber. If there are cucumbers on
Pern, of course... She did /so/ love those classes of Liesana's where she got to
be cross examined and questioned and..well...she was really pretty good at them.
She's ready. Yup. Gulp. Heh. She takes the appropriate seat, hair only a /bit/
more frazzled than
shoulders his way over again, and pauses in front of Mimi to swear her in too.
"Do you, Journeywoman Mimi of Harper Hall, swear on your name's word
to answer truthfully?"
Mimi gives an
affirmative nod, "I do."
Liesana nods to the
bailiff as she steps forward and he steps back, and gives Mimi the same hint of
warmth that Jueann received, still predominantly emotionless.
"So, Journeywoman, you're well known as someone who knows the
various news floating around the Hall..."
she begins. "What can
you tell us about Master Jueann's relationship with Master Poirot?"
Mimi would smirk
slightly at the comment, but is a bit to nervous to do so immediately, although
she probably will upon later reflection. "Oh they didn't like each other
too much. But, what can I say? Not many people did. Master Poirot wasn't a
doesn't actually move, subtle changes in her demeanor give the impression of
sitting straighter, as though this is a question she's been waiting on. Mimi is
subject the possibly uncomfortable gift that is her intense regard.
"Just answer the question please, Mimi," she coaches the
witness. No, she's not supposed to
go on about how others might have done it, even if Liesana as not-prosecutor
would be quite happy about it. "So Master Poirot and Master Jueann didn't
get along. Can you tell me why that
Mimi falls silent
quickly. Oh yeah. Mimi as non-prosecuting witness would've been happy with going
on about how others have done it, too. But she's been nabbed as a prosecuting
witness, therefore she must also do her duty. "Master Poirot was always
sticking his nose where it didn't belong and was always trying to dig up
information about Master Jue that he could use against her and was always
pointing out the tiniest flaw that he could find. Oh yeah, and he harassed her
mentees," and other apprentices, for that matter, "and she didn't like
that too much either."
Mimi," states Liesana easily, not smiling, since that would be in bad
taste, and not to mention past her powers of theatre.
"So do have any idea why he was so keen to go after Master
Jueann?" she asks next.
Mimi fidgets with a
nail, just picking at it slightly while her hands rest in her lap. "Well, I
suspect, since he was always going off on how he didn't like how things were
here, or was always stickin' his nose up at us, that he thought if he put Jue
out of business, then he could try and weasel his was into a crafthead position
here." Of course, that's only a speculation, but Miz tends to be good at
deciphering motives after so many years of deciphering gossip stories.
Aladden walks in.
Liesana waits a
long beat to see if Reeba will catch the speculation and jump on it, in which
case she has a counter-argument prepared...
Standing, but not
leaving her table Reeba decides that rapid-fire questions may sit better with
the still patient master jurors. As
such, she asks "Journeywoman Mimi, is it not true that Master Jueann had
already recalled Master Poirot back to Fort Hall at the time of the
so his chance of removing her and becoming crafthead was negligible?"
Masterharper!" calls Liesana sharply. "The
Defense is questioning out of turn!"
Mimi opens her
mouth to answer, "Y-" but is quite quickly cut off by Liesana before
she gets barely a third of a syllable out.
noted and sustained," Oriana says in a level tone, a not entirely
unsympathetic look turned on Reeba. "Please refrain from making your own
questions during the prosecutions turn. You are allowed objections--" Hint,
hint? Or as much as she'll give, still under the mantle of duty. "--but do
not question the witness."
"I beg the
MasterHarper's pardon, I took the lengthy pause from Master Liesana to mean she
was finished with her line of questioning. Apparently
I was mistaken." Reeba responds to the HarperMaster.
Oriana nods at
Reeba, accepting the apology and granting her pardon in one fell swoop, then she
glances back at Liesana and Mimi. "Continue, please."
Liesana shakes her
head slightly as her pause to leave room for objection-purposeful sloppiness?-
is misinterpreted, and decides that trying to helpfully compromise her position
as prosecution is doing more harm than good.
"So, of the various people at the Hall who had a reason to see
Poirot gone, would you say that Jueann's reason was the strongest?
That she had the most to lose, if he deposed her as Crafthead?"
Now it was Reeba's
turn to object. "Objection!
The witness can not speak to all the motives found within the Harper
Hall!" she says a little to much like a shout.
Mimi attempts to
answer again and gets a /little/ more out this time at least, "Well, I
th-" but is again cut off by an objection. Mrf.
refrain from speculation," Oriana intones, tone so perfectly level it
sounds very much like she couldn't care less. "Or leading the
witness." A look goes to both Liesana and Reeba, but she doesn't call
either on that count.
Reeba looks to Liesana to see in which direction she goes next with the witness.
Master Oriana." replies
Liesana. "Several public
arguments took place, of which the witness was certainly aware.
But I will rephrase." she
admits. "Journeywoman Mimi, from the various conversations -you yourself-
have been involved in, would you say that Master Jueann had a motive to see
Master Poirot dead?"
Fiiinally. Mimi can
actually /answer/ something. She begins to say something or other, but closes
her mouth, and after a moment responds with a simple, "Yes." Just
answer the question.
nods, and returns to her stance in the middle of the court.
"Thank you Journeywoman. No
further questions. The Prosecution
submits that Jueann has been proven to possess motive, method, and opportunity.
The Prosecution rests." And
rest it does, gingerly taking a seat again.
"I have only
one question for this Journeywoman. Mimi,
based on the various conversation you have had with others of this harper hall,
are you aware of any other harper who would have liked to see Master Poirot
dead?" Reeba says to the witness as she stands up by the defense table.
Mimi raises a
slight eyebrow at Reeba. Well, isn't that a wicked obvious question? But, oh
yeah, she needs to prove a point. And she answers with a quick, sliiightly
At this question,
the apprentice lads in the back elbow each other and make comments about who
else might've wanted the man dead. Or
gelded. The girl with the golden
hair pales suddenly, and silently slips out the back.
A weak stomach?
Oriana simply adds
Mimi's answer to a mental tally as she folds her hands before her, fingers
interlacing as she rests them on her knees. "Thank you, Prosecutor,"
she says, her gaze turning to the defense. "Journeyman Mimi, you may step
down. If the defense would call their first witness?"
Mimi gives a polite
nod to Oriana and returns to her seat, one eye flickering towards the girl
slipping out and back to her own chair, which she takes a seat in. And Mimi
certainly has her own idea or two on whodunit.
Reeba clears her
throat and stands erect, "Thank you MasterHarper.
The defense calls Master Liesana to the stand."
Reeba's eyes have gone cold, trying not to think about what she is about
Jueann is just
sitting there, letting the questions, comments and arguments flow over her.
Does it seem she doesn't care or afraid? Actually, she has always had a
hard time being the center of attention. So she just stares off into space.
Radel watches one
of the other possible suspects get up and walk out so he himself gets up a
couple of seconds later and follows the golden haired girl out, trying to keep
her within his sight.
comment on the unusual turn of events, merely nodding, standing from her seat at
the Prosecution's table, and moves to a seat at the witness stand, giving Reeba
an understanding look as she lets the mantle of The Prosecution drop to become
herself again. As the bailiff
scuttles in again, she swears that "I do swear on my name's word to tell
the truth," and then folds her hands, waiting patiently, oblivious to any
uproar over the oddity of the situation.
uncomfortably in her seat, the sensation or lack thereof in her bumb having
nothing to do with her discomfort this time, dark eyes flickering around in
slight confusion. Isn't it a bit unorthodox to call the opposing counsel? But
what does she know? She's a miner. She knows rocks.
The time has come
that Reeba has dreaded, to interrogate her friend and mentor.
"Master Liesana, is it not true that Master Poirot had already been
recalled back to Fort Hall?" she asks short and to the point, no dramatics
from her just cold questions.
flickers a little, before she, too, slips into a formal mask.
Easier on herself, as well. "It
is true that I overheard Master Jueann tell him she'd messaged Oriana, and that
she told him to pack his bags and be gone by the next day.
However, I never saw a letter of recall with my own eyes."
Jueann blinks and
comes back to herself for a moment, as she listens to Reeba and Liesana.
She knows she isn't doing her case any good by being so distracted but
she can't help it. She hates crowds.
With a momentary
glimpse at the MasterHarper, Reeba nods "I will call the MasterHarper if I
must but we'll suffice to say that her stated intent was for him to go to Fort
and thus her position was relatively safe as crafthead.
Hmmm, with Master Poirot dead, and Master Jueann accused, you were
selected as temporary crafthead. Often
such an appointment is made permanent, so it would seem that you too could have
had a motive, isn't that correct?"
Iisana chews on her
lip, frowning, rather curious to see if it's possible for a witness to object to
their own questioning.
possible," allows Liesana in a cold drawl.
"However, I was provably at my posting at Smith Hall when the murder
occurred, and Jueann herself gave me the temporary appointment.
Unless you are suggesting I possess some Lessa-like quality of being able
to influence others' minds, the motive you assign me is on shaky ground."
"I would ask
that you answer my questions with a simply yes or no but since you do elaborate
I will address that as well. You
have dragonrider friends do you not? Thus
time is not an issue once you decided to kill the man.
A simple favor to an unknowing dragonrider could have had you here and
back in the blink of an eye." Reeba says letting the explanation sink in to
the jurors numbed minds. "I, in
fact, believe you Master Liesana because you would not have done this any more
than poor accused Master Jueann. But
you did have a motive, you did know of the aconite and opener, and you did have
access. I will call
several other harpers who had even greater motives, access and knowledge never
fear. What I'd like you to now
answer is this, during your investigation, did you not find that several
apprentices, were in fact, harassed by the Master Poirot?
Some to the point of tears? "
Liesana lifts an
eyebrow. "So you're suggesting
that dragonriders would assist in murder?"
she asks, ignoring the yes-or-no rule again.
"Be careful, Madam Defendant, you're on dangerous terrain there.
But yes, you have your facts correct.
My own fosterling was so harassed. However,
she and others came to me, and I confronted Poirot on the matter."
One of the dangers
of a trial is that while one may not lead a witness, the witness may say
whatever they wish within the realms of an answer. Oriana sits quietly
throughout the back-and-forth, the tension in her posture never changing; she
simply maintains the same stony stillness she's held all along.
slightly as she looks up at Liesana and shakes her head and sighs again.
She still remembers those reports.
Reeba lifts her
eyebrow in return, "Not to banter with you Master Liesana, but I suggested
that a dragonrider could have given you a ride, not knowingly help in the murder
while you seem to think a Harper Master was quite capable of that same
murder." Reeba stops short and
turns away from Liesana momentarily, trying to rein in her emotions.
"I am sure you were quite upset with how your fosterling was
treated. Again, I would suggest
that, to some, that was more than enough worthy of murder.
Of the others that were /interviewed/ like your fosterling, did they also
know of the Master's aconite? Of the
Liesana shrugs, not
looking in the least bit guilty or threatened.
"To some. Not to me.
But I will grant you your point. Yes,
conceivably, others with a motive could have gotten their hands on the murder
weapons. The pool of top suspects is limited to Jueann and her mentees,
Bingo, point taken!
Reeba nods, "Thank you Master Liesana, there are, in fact, numerous
persons with motive and means in this case.
I have no more questions at this time."
Unsure of whether Liesana could cross herself, Reeba looks at her notes
and clearly states, "I'd like to call Apprentice Christatha to the
definitely edged close to split personalities from recent stress, but not enough
to cross-exam herself, so she simply nods, and abandons the witness stand,
scanning the audience to find the summoned apprentice, and her golden hair.
gone!" the call is raised.
"Took off out t'back, she did!"
The apprentice boys of earlier are being helpful it seems.
"Hey, think she was hiding something...?"
Reeba calls for the
guards, "Fine her and find her quick, she was my lead suspect of the
Well, the golden
haired apprentice did leave a while ago, but those observant people in the room
might have noticed the fact that she had a tail on her too. Radel left following
the girl so it shouldn't be too hard to find her...
Jueann turns around
and stands. She doesn't say anything
but just stands there, looking from Reeba to Oriana and then to where her
mentees should be sitting.
in her chair, blinking rapidly, the unexpected occurrence apparently serving to
bring Iisana's consciousness level to a slightly higher one. She sits up in her
chair, leaning over to listen to whatever it is that the master next to her is
muttering, whispering something back.
Oriana rouses from
the professional-stone mode she had been in, a faint frown creasing her brow as
the call goes up. Before people can begin to murmur and speculate, she raises
her voice again. "Quiet, please," she says, before anyone can really
get going. She nods at a pair of guards who detach themselves to begin the
search. She rubs at the point between
eyebrows a moment, then says, "The trial is suspended until the witness if
recovered. Prosecution, Defense -- please step here a moment." Any further
words are not for the crowds to hear, and it all dissolves into -- well, it's
not -order- in this courtroom.
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