THE TRIBUNAL


The Grand Jury of the Order: We have gathered here today to address a grave matter which has come to The Order’s attention. Ms. Librarian has taken it upon herself to investigate and collect witness reports. She will now speak.

Thank you for your opening words, Bruce. Members of The Order, the public, and my dog, I stand before you with an urgent message. Luca has been missing for certain periods of time recently and would never be able to detail what exactly they are up to. My apprentice, being a close companion of Luca, once confronted them on why they were so unavailable but they could not provide an explanation. Seeing as to how they are secretive in nature, they are a prime suspect in aiding a criminal that has breached the security of Tenebris. If an individual can somehow manage such a feat, they do not have well intentions nor any regard for the safety of the public. Luca passed the students a note from this dangerous person, risking the safety of others. I believe that there is no way to deliver such a message safely unless they themselves are working with the criminal. To suggest it was a coincidence would be extremely hard to believe.


The Grand Jury of the Order: Thank you Ms. Librarian. We will let Luca speak now.

Tch. Here goes nothing. As head student of Owlington, it is my responsibility to oversee the new students and make sure they find their way around the academy. As such, it isn’t unusual for me to show up in areas where other students of the academy may appear. On the day the note was found – which I’d like to add that I didn’t read – I was out to get some bread because I had a bread-shaped hole in my stomach that only bread could fill. I saw a student there and I thought they lost their shopping list, so I gave them the note. End of story. If I had known it was a message from Raza, I wouldn’t have handed it over. I would have reported it as per The Order’s latest announcement. I rest my case.


The Grand Jury of the Order: Ms. Librarian, would you care to explain why Luca is connected to the unfortunate explosion at the greenhouse?

You see, on the day of the arrest only a few hours earlier there was an explosion at the greenhouse. This happened the day after Luca gave a note to the students from Raza, who was able to bypass Tenebris security to install communication mirrors. All of this happening within a short of amount of time is far too coincidental. This leads me to believe that Luca was aiding a dangerous person with the motivation to harm the safety of the school.


The Grand Jury of the Order: We were told you were one of the first to be notified of the explosion. How did you know so fast?

My apprentice was delivering terrible quality fertilizer from a certain wizard to the greenhouse on my behalf. Before she arrived, she could see the explosion in the distance. She ran back to report to me in a panic and I acted immediately.
My word, I came here to have a good time and I feel very attacked right now.


The Grand Jury of the Order: Is this true, Jordania?

Yeah.


The Grand Jury of the Order: Please tell us about your involvement with the magical fertilizer, Mervin.

Very well then. It all started when I was a young boy. My parents said that playing with glitter was too messy for me and would ruin my outfits. But they were wrong! They didn’t ruin the outfits! The outfits were enhanced! Ever since then, I had a forbidden love of glitter and the deal of receiving free glitter after buying two bags of fertilizer was too enticing to deny!


The Grand Jury of the Order: This doesn’t explain how Luca came to be connected with the explosion at the greenhouse.

The proximity of the incidents–

The Grand Jury of the Order: Is coincidental at best. We believe it’s safe to say the greenhouse explosion was nothing more than a tragic accident. It sounds as if Luca was never involved with the fertilizer at all. But the note, they were directly involved with that handoff. Much more than circumstantial evidence.
As another student pointed out, the notes were everywhere. Luca’s unfortunate connection to one proves nothing, other than their innocent belief that they were helping another student. At best, they believed it a shopping list. At worst, a mere piece of trash.
If the note was trash, why hand it over to a student?
I said, at best, it was a shopping list. You always assume the worst, Imelda.
Luca has been spotted lurking near areas where some of these…unfortunate incidents occurred.
So we are to take mere coincidence as evidence of wrongdoing now, are we? Grand Jury, this is nonsense.
Not a coincidence. Where is Luca’s wand right now, at this moment?
You would know better than I, since it was last seen just before you used the knockout spell on them!

*Everyone starts shouting at once.*


The Grand Jury of the Order: Silence, silence! Quiet down. Ms. Librarian, would you care to explain the use of the knockout spell?

Given the circumstances, the Order gave me license to arrest them. I did what was necessary. I had to use the knockout spell when they failed to comply with the arrest. It is very difficult to arrest someone efficiently if they struggle.
The Order would never have condoned its use if they knew the target would be an unsuspecting child!
I’m not a child.
You are a child.
Hey—
Grand Jury, Ms. Librarian has targeted my apprentice in retaliation for her former apprentice being exiled years ago. Ms. Librarian is clearly still upset about a matter that occurred years ago and is acting on emotion rather than logic and justice.
I am not acting on emotions. I was doing my duty!
Your duty is to protect Tenebris, not force children into submission!

The Grand Jury of the Order: Rajani, on the days of the Wizard fair, can you please describe where Luca was and what exactly they were doing?
…I cannot say.

The Grand Jury of the Order: You can’t say? At a tribunal where your apprentice may or may not be condemned as a threat to Tenebris and the Order? Rajani, really.

If Luca goes to prison, we will know it was for the good of all of magic.

The Grand Jury of the Order: If you cannot speak in Luca’s defense, then one can make the assumption that you are involved as well.
Then I shall go to prison knowing I’ve done my duty to Tenebris.

The Grand Jury of the Order: Well then. While the greenhouse accusations are baseless and is a tragedy, we cannot ignore that Luca has been unaccounted for on specific dates and times. Handing over notes from an unknown person after the safety alert was too coincidental, even if notes happened to appear everywhere.

Outrageous. This is your evidence Grand Jury? Coincidental, circumstantial evidence at best?!
Spare us, Rajani. If you cared about Luca, you would give details of their whereabouts to acquit them.
If you paid more attention to your own apprentices, Imelda, perhaps Bal’s exile could have been avoided!
Are you implying that I’m a bad mentor?
Implication suggests the ability to detect nuance. I am stating that you are a bad mentor.
Let’s not get personal here, folks. We can all discuss calmly and —

Shut up, Mervin!
You two are always so touchy. It’s like I’m not even here.
You practice unruly magic and have not one ounce of empathy.
Empathy?! You speak to me of empathy when you would have an innocent child imprisoned for nothing!
I beg your pardon!
Pardon my tardiness. It seems I have come not a moment too soon since the most respected of our community has dissolved into petty threats and namecalling.
Marzipan. Good god, what are you doing here?
The Great Wizard?!?
Oh. My. Glitter! Someone pinch me! It’s a dream come true! Marzipan, here, in the flesh!!! Oh, wow, it’s so great to meet you! Can you please sign my staff?
I have been gone too long, it seems.
Doing important work, of course. Given the…circumstances.
It’s evident that the most important work was here.

The Grand Jury of the Order: Great Wizard, while your arrival is most…prestigious, we are in the middle of a tribunal…
On my word, Luca shall be freed.

The Grand Jury of the Order: …freed? Just like that?

Luca has done nothing that Rajani has not asked of them–asked at my behest. It is my fault they have been falsely imprisoned.
Falsely…?
Imelda, while your intentions were no doubt in the best interest of Tenebris, you have not been told…everything. Please, release Luca.
Finally.
Marz…
It is time, my friend. Too much has happened. Too much has been…unsaid.

The Grand Jury of the Order: For the love of magic, Marzipan, you speak in riddles too frequently.

I shall rectify that, then.
For some time now, magic has been…dying. Using the innovation of necromancy, Rajani has been helping mask some of the effects, but magic weakens more with each passing day. The most notable incident occurred in August, an illusion making people believe that the month didn’t exist. This…twisting of the magic of Illusion has all but drained that branch of magic.

In my void, I was unaffected by the uncontrolled magic, but I received many missives from the Order throughout August, often referring to the days as July 31st.

Most of you were present for the second, notable incident. At the wizard fair, the magic became uncontrollable and led to bizarre, nonsensical results. Because of the lack of magic and the dangerous effects the shortage caused, we had to take drastic measures. This year, we made The Seeking open to all , in hopes that the new students would be able to complete the scrolls and find the books.

Are you surprised, then, to learn that the Order does not themselves know where the books are? They’ve been missing for decades, only remnants of their contents remain in our possession, until recently, when we found pieces of pages that could only be from each of the three books of power. And so, with that in mind, we sent out everyone, even our acolytes, to look for the missing pieces.

The books contain the secrets to repairing the magical drain and replenishing it. We must find them, and quickly. Magic fails more with each passing day. We only have until the end of October, on the night of the blue moon. At that point, if we have not yet found the books…all hope will be lost.

As for Rajani and Luca’s projects, they are working diligently on the enormous task of slowing the drain. It cannot be stopped, only slowed.

Rajani and Luca must continue in their work. For the sake of magic itself. My own actions have failed the Order, I could have prevented this all, had I acted quicker. For that I am…truly sorry. I do not deserve the help of our wizards, of the Order, but I beseech you, please. Please help us find the books, before it is too late.

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