For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Aksinya is a captive in the residence of the Cardinal of Wien awaiting an ecclesiastical trial for sorcery. The Inquisitor Esposito came to speak to her about her defense...
The inquisitor ignored her, “There are other charges.”
“The first is that you impersonated a member of the nobility. Do you have any proof that you are noble?”
“Do you know where it is?”
Inquisitor Esposito cleared his throat, “Can anyone vouch for you?”
“My aunt and uncle, the Freifrau and Freiherr Bockmann. The Freiherr is my mother’s brother. I am related to the Herzog Bockmann of
The priest’s expression turned bleak, “They have both declined to testify either for or against you at trial. They are in the process of legally disowning you because of this incident.”
Aksinya lowered her head. Her voice was soft, “I understand.” She spoke more loudly, “What of the other charges?”
“There is a charge that you kidnapped and kept an apprentice to your sorcery, the Lady Natalya Alexandrovna Obolenska.”
“That is true. I did. I am confessed. I harmed her soul and mind.”
Frau Becker and Frau Mauer gasped.
Father Esposito cleared his throat again, “Yes.” He turned away his head, “There is another charge that you seduced the mind and soul of a Herr Ernst von Taaffe, a member of the Austrian nobility.”
“I did that also. I am clearly at fault.”
The Frauen couldn’t hold back their gasp again.
In inquisitor continued, “The other charges relate to your use of sorcery. They are that you used sorcery to murder your family, steal the goods from the estate of Count Golitsyna, to cheat merchants in Wien, and to escape Russian justice.”
Aksinya’s eyes widened, “I did not murder my family, the Bolsheviks did that. I did not steal the things that belonged to me already, although I did use sorcery to bring them here toThe inquisitor chuckled at the last. Then his face turned serious again, “There is much to recommend these charges.”
. You can lay the charge of cheating on me. I did not know that was the case at the time. I am still culpable. Of Russian justice, I cannot speak. I’m not certain who rules Austria , the Bolsheviks, the nobility, or the Parliament.” Russia
Now we get the full list of charges against Aksinya. They are many and devastating. She will have problems with just one of them, but there are many more than one. It would seem that someone who is privy to very private information about Aksinya proffered the charges. Can you guess who?
Do you see that Aksinya is unable to prove who she is? It is as if her identity and person were taken from her. Do you remember that she was so proud of her house and her nobility? Now she has neither. The demon has conspired to take away her very being in the world.
Things have gone so far that Aksinya's aunt and uncle are in the process of disowning her. They want nothing more to do with her. This is how far everything has come. Aksinya is an embarrassment to them, and the best way to get rid of an embarrassment is to make it go away. We do get more information about Aksinya. We find that she is related to a Duke in Germany. A Herzog is a German Duke.
The charges against Aksinya get worse and worse. She kidnapped and apprenticed Natalya. This could be a capital charge. Aksinya simply confesses to it. The degree of the charge is the reason for he response of the Frauen. The next charge is as bad. Aksinya seduced the mind and soul of Ernst. Aksinya acquiesces to this charge as well.
Then there are the charges of sorcery. Aksinya already confessed to sorcery, the charges just make everything worse. This is when we see the true fruit of Asmodeus' actions. Aksinya is accused of murder, theft, and flight from justice. These are capital charges.
Aren't you glad that Aksinya stands up for herself. She will not accept these false charges. She confesses to the use of sorcery, but not to murder, theft, and flight from justice. We also see the destruction that Asmodeus has wrought. He has brought on Aksinya a charge of theft in Wien. We know the charges are false from Russia, but there are charges from Wien.
The world in crashing down on Aksinya. She has little defense. The inquisitors will have a strong case against her--or will they? Tomorrow, more on the charges and defense.