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.
The day of Aksinya's ecclesiastical trial has arrived. Aksinya is seated in the Chapel. The first question is that of her identiy...
Inquisitor Esposito stammered, “If it pleases the Archinquisitor, the promotor fiscalis should first establish the identity of the accused.”
The Archinquisitor frowned at him, “Very well. This is not the usual procedure, but I will take the advice of the advocatus reorum and first prove the identity of the accused.” He faced Aksinya, “Little girl, what is your baptized name? I know it is not Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”
Aksinya nodded, “What you say is true. My baptized name is not, Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”
The courtroom let out a sound between a gasp and a groan.
The Archinquisitor smiled, “Then what is your baptized name?”
“My baptized name is Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.”
The Archinquisitor glared at her, “Preposterous.”
Aksinya stared him down, “My father was Grand Duke George Alexandrovich Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. He died of tuberculosis before I was born. My mother was Princess Nina Vladimirovna Golitsyna, nee Bockmann. She later married my adopted father Count Andrei Nikolaevich Golitsyna. I was given my adopted father’s name and all rights to the name by him.”
A whisper started in the courtroom, “She claims to be a princess.”
The Archinquisitor half stood, “Quiet in the courtroom. Preposterous, I say. You claim first to be a Countess and now to be a Romanov Princess.” He slowly lowered himself back into the Bishop’s seat.
“I am a Romanov Princess and a Countess and I insist on being addressed properly.”
The first question that falls properly to the court is the identity of the accused. Note, the inquisitor Esposito reminds the Archinquisitor of this. The Archinquisitor has information that he thinks is accurate, and he does not wish to allow Aksinya any opportunity to grandstand. Let us assume the Archinquisitor's information is not exactly as accurate as it should be.
The Archinqusitor knows some, but not all. Does this scenario seem familiar? His information is correct, but not complete. He addresses Aksinya as "little girl" again. Do you remember the only other being who addressed her as "little girl?" It was Asmodeus.
The Archinquisitor attacks immediately with a very knowledgeable question. No one asked this or knew this except the Bockmanns. What is Aksinya's baptized name? This is very important in the Catholic and the Orthodox Church. When you are baptized, you are given your name. Your baptized name is your official name in both noble and ecclesiastical circles.
Aksinya acknowledges this point--her baptized name is not Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna. The courtroom reacts because Aksinya's acknowledgement is as good as announcing that she is truly an alleged and not a real countess. Can you imagine the thoughts of the spectators.
A little on Russian names. Aksinya's name is her given name, her patronymic based on the first name of her father, and her family name, the name of her father. She announces that her baptized name is Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. If you are a student of the Russian nobility, you will note that this is the family name of the Russian Tsars. This is the last name of Tsar Nicolas. That is why the Archinqusitor reacts as he does.
Aksinya simply explains that her father was Grand Duke George Alexandrovich Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. The real Grand Duke did die of tuberculosis and was unmarried. He left no progeny. I chose him for this reason. I chose Aksinya's mother as a historical figure because of the way she died, but ultimately they are historical figure whose history I borrowed and molded to the needs of the novel. By the way, if the Princess Nina (a real person and a German and Russian Princess) married the Grand Duke, the patronymic and the family name would have been Aksinya's. So, you have a bunch of real historical information packed into a very simple couple of paragraphs. The Princess Nina did indeed remarry, so if she had any children of her first husband, the second would have adopted them.
Do you remember, I hinted at this about Aksinya through the whole novel. You might have figured it out if you dug deeply enough, but I didn't want to make it easy to find. I wanted you to be just as surprised as the Archinquisitor and the spectators at the trial. Based on her lineage and her name, Aksinya does indeed claim to be a Russian Princess.
Aksinya has made a claim. The Archinquisitor is in danger of looking like a fool. Who do you think set this up, and what do you think the outcome will be? Can Aksinya really succeed in defending herself or is this a false hope? Tomorrow, the proof of Aksinya's claim.