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 acknowledged as a Russian Princess. Now the rest of the charges will be made known...
Aksinya sat in the Bishop’s chair. She smoothed her soiled dress, “We may now proceed. Please continue, Archinquisitor. I am ready to hear your accusations against me.”
The Archinquisitor hid his face for a moment. He stood and stepped off the platform.
The inquisitor bowed toward Aksinya, “Princess Aksinya, may I approach?”
“Please do, Inquisitor.”
Inquisitor Esposito stepped beside her and whispered, “You are not wise to infuriate the Archinquisitor. You have embarrassed him before his own court.”
Aksinya whispered back to him, “The verdict of this trail is already known. I simply settled the first point.”
“Yes.” He stood.
Aksinya waved, “Please proceed.”
The Archinquisitor returned to his papers, “Very well, Princess Aksinya. We have established your rank.” He cleared his throat, “The first accusation is therefore moot. The court acknowledges your right as both a Russian Princess and a Russian Countess.” He paused just a moment to take a deep breath, “The next charge is that you did commit sorcery and by this sorcery did murder your own family, steal the goods from the estate of Count Golitsyna, cheated merchants in Wien, and escaped Russian justice.”
Aksinya rested her elbow on the arm of the chair and laid her chin on the back of her hand, “I admit to sorcery. I am guilty of that great sin. I have confessed it and am forgiven. I have not paid the price for all the evil I committed because of it.” The Archinquisitor was about to speak. Aksinya raised her hand, “I did not murder my family. I did not steal the goods that already belonged to me. I did not intentionally cheat the merchants in this city. I am not certain there is Russian justice. As a Princess, I am Russian justice. Do you have any witnesses to any of these charges?”
“To the charge of cheating, there are witnesses, but if you acknowledge them, they are also moot.”
“I will accept that and any secular punishment. I believe that is well beyond this court.”
“Yes, you are correct Princess. Then let the court record read that the Princess Aksinya is guilty of theft and that shall be left to the secular courts. There are other charges.”
Aksinya won a short lived victory, but for the moment, she is in charge and the Archinquisitor can't do anything about it. The Inqusitor Esposito approaches her and tells Aksinya something she already realizes. Perhaps the inquisitor is used to stupid nobility. He states the obvious. The reason I do this is because it is a trick of the writing so the reader doesn't miss this point. I don't think my readers are stupid, but this makes the point that has been present through the entire set of events. Aksinya embarrassed the Archinquisitor. I don't tell you the results of this, but I want you to realize that it is purposeful and that Aksinya knows the trial is rigged against her. We all realized this. I also wanted to show that Aksinya is truly in charge.
The next set of charges are much more serious than the first: sorcery, murder, theft. Aksinya is not worried about the outcome. She is poised and thoughtful. She confesses to sorcery--that is her great crime after all. She then claims to be innocent of the other charges. The Archinqusitor turns to the last charge of cheating the merchants of Wien. This is not really an ecclesiastical charge. Aksinya and the Archinquisitor agree to move that to the secular trial--I told you before, this would happen. This is an acknowledgement of it. From this interaction, we realise that Aksinya is well versed in law--as a Russian Princess, she is law.
Still, there are the other charges--many of them false and ones that could only be known by the demon. What we must realize is that Asmodeus purpose in bringing Aksinya to trial is not to condemn her or to bring about her righteous confession (she already confessed and in the court confessed--that should be enough for an inquisitor). The trial is not about Aksinya--the trial is about all those around her. This is how the demon will bring about her torment. Tomorrow, proof of the charges.