Vemion delenda est

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Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Baris » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:19 pm

And, finally, I submit that Vemion must be destroyed.

He's just going to keep trying to kill us. He's tried twice in the last few days.* We've lost yet another squire, (Alas, poor Uldis, we hardly knew ye), strained our relationship with Cekiya, and we've expended a lot of blood, sweat and effort responding to his actions. It's time to put him on the defensive.

So I want to open discussion on whether we should pursue this goal, and how.

Obviously, I am of the mind that we should actively pursue this goal. Is there anything else major on our plate?

And how:

We talked a little bit about it in session about calling Vemion out. I think that the fact that Kolorn can be a witness to Vemion's skulduggery can help give us some legal cover. Matt said it would be the word of an earl vs a baron, and there is something to that. But I submit two points:

Dead men tell no tales.

Once Vemion (and his wife) are dead, the land passes to Thilisa, and Ewen, while not exactly an earl if I recall, will be married to someone of equal rank.

Now, I'm not talking about issuing a challenge to Vemion- that would put the ball in his court. I'm thinking of just straight up and killing him if we can catch up to him on the road, before he gets back to his domain. Then we use Kolorn's story as legal cover.

Alternatively, we send Cekiya after Vemion.

*This is assuming Vemion arranged for both the attack at Danyes' party and the assassin. Which is odd, and another possible topic for discussion. It can't be that Danyes hired the assassin to cover his butt after 20 men at arms failed to kill us, because the assassin must had been hired before the attack (Cekiya got the letter the night of the attack, and the assassin needed time to be hired, have a crisis of conscience, and arrange the herth akon). Did Danyes want to kill us for other reasons? If not, who instigated Danyes to have Kirl hire this assassin, if not Vemion?

Alternatively, it might make perfect sense the attack on the party and the assassin were both ordered by Vemion- he wanted to be extra sure Ewen was dead.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:23 pm

Send Cekiya after the wife, and Baris and Aeomund Thomas Beckett the Earl.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Arva » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:28 am

I think that Sir Ewen should take care of the wife. One deryni to another. We are not sure what she is capable of and Ewen is in the best place to defend himself. That's not to say that we can't act as distractions.

I think that the Lady Bresyn is the bigger threat. She is playing her own political game that we don't even have a clue on. Also, once she produces an heir (or rumors of her being pregnant come to light) the more suspicion is on Ewen. We need to take her out first and the we can deal with the Earl.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:57 pm

I think this needs to happen in one fell swoop ala the end of the Godfather. Picking around the edges won't help at all. Would not worry about suspicion, when they are both dead it won't matter. Ewen has the support of several of the heir apparents to other Earldoms, the support of Kolorn, is a direct vassal of the king, and is the first knight of Kaldor. All of these things establish his rights and justness. When they are all dead if its done neatly and preserves the stausus social quo and doesn't turn the kingdom into upheaval everyone will look the other way whether they believe him to be guilty or not.

The Earl doesn't like him, has banished him, and can conceivably be accused as having tried to kill him. ( the evidence of Kolorn would be of value here). So after we kill him we can lament his loss, bow our heads at the falling out of families and then by acclamation proclaim Sir Ewen had no hand in it. I'm going out on a limb, but if Harn follows earth's feudal customs we can relieve Sir Ewen of guilt by acclamation. Basically this means that Ewen swears he didn't do it and other influential people swear they don't think he did it either and the matter is closed. Having actually done it or not doesn't matter, it's a mechanism for everyone to move on. The word of the first Knight of Kaldor, coupled with some a few high placed nobles will seal the deal.

I don't think the Earl will be missed and the King and realm should be happy about the succession of Vemion being cleaned up one way or the other.

I agree that Breslyn is the mot dangerous, but I don't think Ewen is the answer.

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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:10 pm

Edit: whether it was me or autocorrect what I meant was approbation.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Goreg » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:18 am

Sir Aeomund wrote:All of these things establish his rights and justness. When they are all dead if its done neatly and preserves the stausus social quo and doesn't turn the kingdom into upheaval everyone will look the other way whether they believe him to be guilty or not.

The untimely death of an earl by definition puts the kingdom in upheaval. At this point, we know the prince thinks well of Ewen. We do not know if the king does. Although the deeds at Caer Olokand have given him a reason to be somewhat friendly to Ewen, the fact remains that the knight is an adventurer who has come into his domain and risen far too swiftly up the ladder. If he has an ounce of brains, any mysterious death that leads Ewen to become one of the major powers of the realm should make him suspicious.

Justice doesn't matter. The only way to get the king to acquiesce in the killing of Vemion is to make sure His Grace thinks it is in his own interest. This may take a while. Either Ewen finds a way to align the king's interests with his own against Vemion, or he waits until he has enough power to take on the king immediately afterwards.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Goreg » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:19 am

Kaelyn wrote:I think that the Lady Bresyn is the bigger threat. She is playing her own political game that we don't even have a clue on. Also, once she produces an heir (or rumors of her being pregnant come to light) the more suspicion is on Ewen. We need to take her out first and the we can deal with the Earl.

I very much agree with this. Due to the political structure of Kaldor, we will likely have to endure Vemion's presence for some time. Bresyn's power and pregnancy make the situation far more critical. If she could be removed (before having the child), we can fend off Vemion for as long as we need to.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Matt » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:34 am

Sotor wrote:
Kaelyn wrote:I think that the Lady Bresyn is the bigger threat. She is playing her own political game that we don't even have a clue on. Also, once she produces an heir (or rumors of her being pregnant come to light) the more suspicion is on Ewen. We need to take her out first and the we can deal with the Earl.

Bresyn's power and pregnancy make the situation far more critical. If she could be removed (before having the child), we can fend off Vemion for as long as we need to.

It must not be forgotten that she is a Deryni of unknown power. Rahel has warned Ewen to be careful around her, suggesting she does not know the full extent of Bresyn's abilities.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:46 pm

Can we prove or fabricate evidence that Vemion had his previous wife killed?


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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Matt » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:57 pm

Sir Aeomund wrote:Can we prove or fabricate evidence that Vemion had his previous wife killed?

Possibly, but the evidence would have to be very conclusive. Plus, the fact that she died in Minarsas puts the "crime scene" out of reach. Medieval forensics frankly aren't up to the task.

If someone highly placed like an earl or a royal started harping on it however, that might be a different story. Trick would be to get that started.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Baris » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:01 pm

Isn't there some prince whose good side we are on?

I'm not suggesting he'd lie to help, but if we were to see him, and discuss the situation, he might of his own accord come to our aid, or we could ask.

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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:48 pm

Not for nothing, but there is also the King's sister who is a priestess in Varayne. Which happens to be a fief of Sir Ewen's and one in which Aeomund was the Bailif.

I prefer the direct approach of killing the Earl, there is a clock ticking should he have another child. Convincing the King to act or to excuse a direct attack would take to long.

Is there a high crime we could accuse him of?


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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:47 pm

One word: tourney


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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:08 pm

Sorry to be so late to the conversation.

I agree that, if an Earl is killed, the response of the King will be the predominating factor influencing the outcome. A few thoughts about the above conversation:

Thilisa is well-liked in the kingdom, by commoner and nobleman alike, to the best out our knowledge. The one glaring exception to this is the King, who had the hots for her and was repeatedly spurned by her. She ultimately married Sir Ewen.

Thilisa would be the most sympathetic, and logical, figure to lodge a complaint about the murder of her mother. Not sure how that plays if her father is killed and she inherits, however, given the above.

The King's relationship with Sir Ewen is not clear. He obviously did not like me in the beginning. In spite of the Thilisa thing, the relationship seems a bit thawed at this point, I think, but I would be reluctant to credit it with warmer qualities than that.

Given the concerns you have all raised, as well as the factors I just mentioned above, I am frankly sceptical of the odds of overcoming all of this when Vemion goes down by invoking the Friends of Ewen Defense. Haven't we remarked often enough on how many Earls have tried to outright kill Sir Ewen in the past year? Try Osel, Neph, and Vemion, which by my count is a simple majority. Balim is certainly not an ally, either, so that only leaves the Prince, and (at the baronial level) possibly Orsin Firith. Not very good odds.

This is why I think our only course of action is to positively and convincingly frame another nobleman for the murder. Ewen can skate clear if they have a scapegoat, and if the superficial facts support the idea that the scapegoat killed Vemion.

I would suggest Kolorn. Fear of dispossession is a clear motive. Hell, Ewen could even testify in truth that his men tried to kill me too... :twisted:
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:12 am

Short term objective: search the house across the street

Midterm: frame Kolorn for the death of Vemion, hold a tourney to raise prestige

Concurrently we need to marginalize and then destroy Breslyn.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 am

Bresyn, being a Deryni, will be protecting her new husband. Also, if she is already pregnant, or becomes pregnant, then she would be bearing the heir who would deny Thilisa and Ewen the earldom. Both of these facts suggest that she is the primary, and not the secondary, target. We should anticipate a scenario where we will need to kill them both at the same time.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Baris » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:00 am

Sir Ewen wrote:Bresyn, being a Deryni, will be protecting her new husband. Also, if she is already pregnant, or becomes pregnant, then she would be bearing the heir who would deny Thilisa and Ewen the earldom. Both of these facts suggest that she is the primary, and not the secondary, target. We should anticipate a scenario where we will need to kill them both at the same time.


Yes, if anything, Bresyn needs to die first. I like the idea of framing Kolorn, but are we sure he isn't more useful to us as an ally?

I suppose his special usefulness ends when Vemion does- he would become Ewen's vassal once Bresyn and Vemion were taking care of, and would have to do what Ewen said in any event.

I suppose there's nothing stopping us from making use of Kolorn while framing him at the same time.

1. What do we do with Kolorn that is helpful to us?

2. How do we frame him?

We need to manufacture some evidence. There's no CSI: Tashal, so if we plant some of Kolorn's heraldry on those guys who tried to kill us, what's to stop us? Or did we dispose of the bodies? I don't remember.

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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Kolorn's value as a resource is rather diminished since we killed most of the Bastune troops who survived Ovendel Field. He still has his privilege of rank, of course, and he still has his property. Teddy has a good question regarding how to use these, but we should remember they devolve from Vemion, and can be abruptly seized by him.

We also need a pretty tight alibi and solid evidence. It's almost certain Karsin Ubael the Younger would attempt to pin Vemion's death on Ewen and so inherit the earldom himself.

I rather suspect this could end in a Deryni battle between Bresyn and Ewen, so things could get messy. Note that Ewen has never fought a fellow Deryni, only "defenseless" humans, and she may well be more powerful than Ewen.

Given our multiple experiences with earls sending troops of men to kill us, the pattern tends to be No Heraldic Insignias on the troops involved. So wouldn't it seem fishy if insignias were planted at such a crime scene?
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Baris » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:09 pm

Sir Ewen wrote:Kolorn's value as a resource is rather diminished since we killed most of the Bastune troops who survived Ovendel Field. He still has his privilege of rank, of course, and he still has his property. Teddy has a good question regarding how to use these, but we should remember they devolve from Vemion, and can be abruptly seized by him.

We also need a pretty tight alibi and solid evidence. It's almost certain Karsin Ubael the Younger would attempt to pin Vemion's death on Ewen and so inherit the earldom himself.

I rather suspect this could end in a Deryni battle between Bresyn and Ewen, so things could get messy. Note that Ewen has never fought a fellow Deryni, only "defenseless" humans, and she may well be more powerful than Ewen.

Given our multiple experiences with earls sending troops of men to kill us, the pattern tends to be No Heraldic Insignias on the troops involved. So wouldn't it seem fishy if insignias were planted at such a crime scene?


Well, that's our experience becasue we're experienced in skulduggery. Maybe other nobles aren't? Plus, maybe we could say we found one heraldic vest under some armor- one soldier forgot to take his off, the rest did, because they were ordered by their dishonorable lord to participate in this cowardly attack upon our persons, in violation of the king's peace, etc.

Can Rahel assist/train you against Derynia? Maybe she knows some shielding powers, or has access to items that can protect you.

Tom and I were talking the other night, and we had the idea that maybe Rahel or the Morgannettes could come to Raven Hall to provide some scrying cover? Maybe they could also train Ewen or help him in combat against Bresyn?

I still think the fact that we have a PC assassin in our party is something we need to consider. If not directly against Vemion or Bresyn, maybe she could murder an ally of Vemion or two?
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:23 pm

I do have Shields, and pretty good ones at that, so Sir Ewen is not without defenses. I'm just saying his foes have been undefended , thus all of the exploding heads. Bresyn will have weapons and shields herself. But your idea is good; perhaps Bresyn should not be my first Deryni combat. I can ask Rahel about sparring sessions.

I agree that Cekiya should have someone to murder.

Come to think of it, why not use something Vemion has possibly made himself vulnerable with? The fact that he is away from his earldom, and not holed up in his castle?

If Vemion is travelling covertly, with Bresyn and a small guard, can we not kill them, dispose of the bodies, and then play the long game and wait until he's declared dead? We could even reprise the old Earl of Osel line, and have him found dead overseas, or concoct some variant that doesn't seem too similar. As long as we know he and Bresyn are dead, Ewen can be patient and wait for the best opportunity to claim the earldom.

On the other hand, can we frame Bresyn postmortem? The foreign wife could be made into a figure of suspicion, especially if she's no longer alive to defend herself. Or frame Karsin Ubael, so he's not a pain in Ewen's ass down the road?

Just thinking out loud here...
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:23 pm

Deleting repeated post...
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Baris » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:34 pm

Sir Ewen wrote:If Vemion is travelling covertly, with Bresyn and a small guard, can we not kill them, dispose of the bodies, and then play the long game and wait until he's declared dead? We could even reprise the old Earl of Osel line, and have him found dead overseas, or concoct some variant that doesn't seem too similar. As long as we know he and Bresyn are dead, Ewen can be patient and wait for the best opportunity to claim the earldom.

On the other hand, can we frame Bresyn postmortem? The foreign wife could be made into a figure of suspicion, especially if she's no longer alive to defend herself. Or frame Karsin Ubael, so he's not a pain in Ewen's ass down the road?

Just thinking out loud here...


I don't know about framing, Matt might have to give context about what kind of evidence is appropriate. (Signed confessions?)

Maybe we could get some of Vemions servants to confess in open court? Ewen just has to brainwash them. :)

Or torture a confession out of them.

We have to not look at torture from the modern perspective. From the medieval perspective (to the masses anyway) torture didn't lead to false information. No one would say something false if they didn't mean it.

I'm reading "The Blade Itself" by Joe Abercrombie (sooo good!) and the scene I just read was the unmasking of some merchants in open court, accusing other merchants of treason (partly becasue they dodged taxes, but mostly for the political maneuvering of the head Inquisitor). "But they were tortured!" one of the nobles (who is going to be screwed by this revelation) says. "And how else would you have us treat traitors and criminals?" the Inquisitor asks.

On the plus side, we have the advantage in that what we want confessed to is actually true. :) Well, the part about Vemion trying to kill us, anyway.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Lord Ewen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:01 pm

I guess my modern view of torture is the medieval view - I think we should torture our enemies. Frequently.

But contemporary considerations aside, I think we may be talking about two possible plots here. I was referring to framing somebody for our future crime of killing Vemion & wife, while perhaps you are talking about pinning the Bernan House ambush on Vemion, no? The problem with that is, even if "convicted" of disturbing the King's peace with that attack, he's not in danger of losing his earldom for trying to slay us, is he? It's not like the act was Lèse-majesté or something just because Ewen is one of the King's land-holders, right?
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Sir Aeomund » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:12 pm

If Ewen is at a tourney he is hosting he can't be peronally implicated in the murder.

Something we need to consider as we'll is that if this is a game of chess than both queens are pregnant. If Vemion hates Ewen enough to kill his wife and remarry, what's to stop him from killing Thilisia and her child. Killing Thilisia would solve his probably just as easily as having a son. While Vemion personally may not come to this conclusion some of his retinue might.
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Re: Vemion delenda est

Postby Goreg » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:37 pm

Sir Ewen wrote: The problem with that is, even if "convicted" of disturbing the King's peace with that attack, he's not in danger of losing his earldom for trying to slay us, is he? It's not like the act was Lèse-majesté or something just because Ewen is one of the King's land-holders, right?


It seems like there would be some consequences for assaulting a direct vassal of the king.

It also seems like someone should notice those bodies soon. The stink is going to travel. And then someone is going to demand some answers about why there's a fine house filled with dead folks.

Perhaps Ewen could declare that an attempt had been made on his life, name Vemion, and ask the king for a trial by combat, either by the principles or between champions.
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