The Trial of Angelique

Enter the haunted world of the classic television series. Become one of the residents of Collinsport, and witness the beginning of the many curses to befall the Collins family.

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The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:24 pm

Sufficient evidence is presented to the local magistrate to produce a writ of summons, directing one Angelique Bouchard Collins to appear before a tribunal of three men learned in the law, the purpose thereof to determine whether or no she be guilty of the crime of witchcraft. Although evidently much distraught, she makes no effort to avoid arrest. The case causing much interest in the community, the trial commences with all due haste.

There being few men of law in the community save those appointed to the tribunal, Reverend Trask is allowed to serve as prosecutor, due to his familiarity with such cases.

Serving for the defense will be a young man called Peter Bradford, who is studying law. One may find some irony in the fact that he also serves as the sole gaoler in Collinsport, entrusted to keep Angelique in custody, but this also affords him much time to interview her and prepare his case.

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Before formal trial begins, the members of the tribunal request that all interested persons submit their opinions regarding the defendant's character. Of particular interest are the statements of those currently enhoused at Collinwood. These will not be considered evidence, nor be taken under oath, and shall thus not be made a part of the decision of the court; rather they are intended to give the judges some background for this extraordinary case.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:23 pm

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Millicent says, "I must confess that I had litle to do with Mrs Collins either before or after her sudden wedding. She was quiet and dutiful, and I never saw reason to think ill of her."
Spoiler:
Millicent was wrapped up in her romance with Nathan, and barely noticed Angelique at all.


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Josette says, "Angelique, for so I cannot help but still think of her, was my maid for some years before her marriage to my former fiance. In that time she conducted herself in such a way as I never questioned her character - indeed I had resolved to remain on good terms with her even after what happened, a sentiment which at the time she seemed to reciprocate. It is only recently that I have formed a contrary view, though I presume you would wish to wait to hear such things when I have sworn my oath."
Spoiler:
Josette is aware that as a proverbial woman scorned she may be perceived as having reason to portray Angelique in a bad light. Thus she wants to appear fair and save her negative testimony for the trial itself.


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Nathan says, "I have been placed into service with Mr and Mrs Collins, for reasons which you may know - and if you do not, are not really germaine to this present case. I have found her a considerate employer, attentive wife, and good Christian woman. When she was simply Miss Bouchard, I took little notice of her, and like any good servant she did not invite it."
Spoiler:
Nathan cares little for the truth in this matter, but defending Angelique puts her in his debt - especially if he can use the time she is imprisoned to find evidence of her guilt with which he can blackmail her.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:51 pm

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Reverend Trask prepares his case against Angelique, the centerpiece of which is the music box in his possession that everyone saw Angelique gives Josette. He also has the testimony of several witnesses of the various events that could only be attributed to witchcraft, though not all of them can be tied directly to Angelique. As the prosecutor, he will lay out his case in court rather than give his own testimony, though he encourages the witnesses to make statements of what they have observed. He does point out that he believes that she has used her knowledge of herbcraft to get Barnabas Collins to fall in love with her, and that she then tried to use the music box to make Josette melancholy in order to get her to take her own life, so that there was no chance his feelings for her would return.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:00 pm

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"I have never seen Angelique wrong me in any way," says Victoria, "and when she was Josette's maid she was helpful to me, her fellowservant. However, the incident with the music box that Angelique gave her clearly shows her ill intent toward Josette. I was worried about Josette as she became increasingly melancholy after she received it, so I accompanied her on her walks. One day, she attempted to throw herself from Widow's Walk while under its influence. Fortunately, I was able to save her life by taking the music box from her grasp and closing the lid. I felt its influence myself for the brief moment I held it, as I felt a wave of homesickness, but it went away as soon as I closed the box."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:16 pm

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Once in court, Josette will confirm the account given by Victoria. "Angelique gave me the music box when I spoke to her and promised I would not stand in the way of her marriage to Mr Collins. She said she had intended it to be my own wedding present. Its music, I can only say, captivated me. It filled me with a conviction that I did not belong in this world. On the day Miss Winters spoke of, I would surely have thrown myself from the cliff top without her intervention. Since the box was removed from my possession, these feelings have abated."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:38 am

The magistrates are much interested in the music box, which is currently in the possession of Reverend Trask. Obtaining said object from that gentleman, they examine it closely. As far as they can tell, it is simply an artfully wrought contrivance, which produces a pleasant melody when opened.

"The court shall retain this object as evidence. You may call your first witness, Reverend."

Spoiler:
You may presume that the testimony concerning the music box from will be part of the formal testimony rather than go through all that again. I will take on the role of any non-player characters you wish to call to the stand.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:46 am

Spoiler:
I almost forgot your request to have the Countess read the cards for you.

Add one to your Perversity for dabbling in cartomancy.

"Ah, my poor little child, you have had your heart broken, just like my niece Josette, eh? Men are beasts! That was why I was never so foolish as to marry. Let me see what the cards have in store for you.

I see a stranger. Yes, you will meet him in a dark place. There will be danger; great danger! But he will protect you, and you will fall into his arms. Beyond that, the cards do not say. Be careful, my child."


Spoiler:
let's see if you can find anything while working for the Collins. WIS 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
1


You discover a button under a dresser drawer that opens a secret compartment. Within it are two crudely carved wax dolls, dressed in bits of cloth that suggest the garments of a man and a woman. They are tied together with a ribbon, which you remember as the one lost by Victoria Winters.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:19 pm

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Spoiler:
Millicent thanks the Countess, thrilling inside at the reading she was given - and the slightly antinomous feeling of having sought it out. She wonders who this mysterious saviour will be.


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Spoiler:
Nathan takes the dolls and finds a place to hide them elsewhere on the estate.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:06 am

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At the outset of the trial, Reverend Trask delivers his opening statement: "In the course of this trial," he says, "I shall prove that Angelique Collins is a witch, guilty of multiple crimes, including murder and attempted murder. A maid from Martinique, she first seduced her mistress's betrothed, using her knowledge of herbs and potions to induce him to fall in love with her. Not content with that, she then caused him to breach his promise to marry his fiancee and to marry her instead, breaking apart his family and causing a tremendous scandal. But even that was not enough for her! No, she wanted to make sure that her new husband would never again be able to return to his first love - by causing her death! In front of many witnesses, from whom we shall hear in turn, she gave her former mistress a music box. This box was yet another instrument of her witchcraft, causing the innocent victim over time to fall into a state of deep melancholy. If not for the quick thinking and action of a servant, she would have cast herself from Widow's Walk. Once the music box was taken away from her, she eventually recovered from her melancholia. Angelique Collins is also responsible for other crimes. She caused a thief, Benjamin Stokes, who was employed as a servant by the Collins family, to steal personal items from people in their house with which to work her ungodly magic. When he was caught stealing, he said that she would kill him if he talked - and then he was struck dead by witchcraft in front of myself and Jeremiah Collins! Yet that was not even the end of her depravity! She wouldn't even let his body rest in the ground, but instead used her powers to turn him into an unholy creature of the night - a vampire! This vampire was responsible for two murders of women. Lt. Nathan Forbes was wrongly accused of the murder of one of them, and he was acquitted right here in this courtroom. The two of us then tracked the vampire to its lair, the Collins family crypt, which was otherwise unoccupied. We found the fiend in a coffin. It was Ben Stokes, a man I had seen die, with the blood of his victims still on his lips! I slew the vampire, but not before it made one final condemning statement, which you shall hear in due course.

"I now call to the stand my first witness, Miss Josette DuPres."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:23 am

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"Perhaps the music box only affects women," remarks Victoria when she observes the music box being handled. "I know it affected Josette and me. Perhaps a woman should examine it to confirm this."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:17 am

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Once called by the Reverend, Josette offers the testimony I posted before. She also makes clear that, "It is not until after the box was removed from my possession and my wits began to recover that I came to fear Angelique's intentions. Only then did I approach Reverend Trask to seek his counsel in the matter."


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Spoiler:
In light of Josette's testimony coming first, Nathan has another idea. He takes the dolls and steals into the main house - claiming, if he is spotted by a servant, an errand on behalf of Barnabas - and hides them in Josette's room in a place where a maid is likely to find them. [Josette is also of a suspect religious bent, being a Catholic, has reason to blacken Angelique's name, and is a primary witness against her - if he can get Angelique acquitted by framing Josette, then Angelique will be in his debt] Having done this, he will return to the house to seek more evidence he can hide as blackmail material, as per his original scheme.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:59 am

Mr. Handy wrote:"Perhaps the music box only affects women," remarks Victoria when she observes the music box being handled. "I know it affected Josette and me. Perhaps a woman should examine it to confirm this."


The magistrates consider this point.

"It would seem that you have some knowledge of the arcane arts yourself, young woman," the eldest remarks. "Nevertheless, we shall take your advice, and observe the alleged effect of this device upon a person of the female sex, other than yourself or Mademoiselle Dupres. (I trust I am using the Gallic form of address without error.) Who do you suggest as the object of this test?"
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:23 am

Peter Bradford rises to make his opening statement, and to cross-examine the first witness.

"The defense does not deny that there has been a spate of supernatural activities in Collinsport in recent days. However, gentlemen, let us not rush to judgement to lay blame at the feet of one to whom no shred of real evidence points! Sirs, you have heard even those who most wish to accuse my client of witchcraft speak of her kindness, her gentility, her humble manner. Are these the characteristics of a servant of Satan? Would one who wields supernatural power be content to serve as a lady's maid for many years, then take upon herself the burdens and cares of housewifery? Nay, would she not rather set herself up as a queen?

"My learned opponent has failed to mention one other unnatural phenomenon observed lately, most likely because it does not follow logically from his accusation of my client. I speak of what every common gossip knows, although the persons involved have been at pains to conceal it. I refer to the passion, inexplicable even to himself, of Jeremiah Collins, a gentleman of unsullied reputation, and a member of the most highly regarded family in Collinsport, for a common governess, Miss Victoria Winters, a woman of no known family, whose arrival in Collinsport remains a mystery. I ask you, gentlemen, what possible motive could my client have for inducing such an irrational love in the heart of Mr. Collins? In your wisdom, sirs, I am sure you can imagine another person who would benefit from such an alliance; but I say no more."

He questions Josette.

"Miss Dupres," he begins gently, "I am aware of your painful circumstances, and I have no wish to burden you further. Let me ask just one thing. Do you have any reason to believe that the music box, if indeed it prove to be enchanted, was rendered such by the hand of Angelique Collins? Is it not possible -- I merely say possible -- that such a spell was cast upon it by another, knowing that blame would fall upon my client?"
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:31 am

Spoiler:
I almost forgot about the book. In brief, it is of course the book of the Collins Family History brought from the future. To you, it will seem a very strange volume indeed, bound in such manner -- uncut pages, etc. -- as you have never seen. References to a Civil War, and then First and Second World Wars, in which men of the Collins family did -- or will? -- participate are alarming. Images in the latter part of the book do not resemble either drawings or paintings, but something else entirely, of almost unbelievable realism.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:18 pm

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:He questions Josette.

"Miss Dupres," he begins gently, "I am aware of your painful circumstances, and I have no wish to burden you further. Let me ask just one thing. Do you have any reason to believe that the music box, if indeed it prove to be enchanted, was rendered such by the hand of Angelique Collins? Is it not possible -- I merely say possible -- that such a spell was cast upon it by another, knowing that blame would fall upon my client?"
"I confess I cannot say this is impossible, sir," replies Josette, "though I never witnessed the box in presence of any but Angelique or myself until after its effect on me had come to pass."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:47 pm

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"I know very little about it," says Victoria. "I just noticed that the only two people it has affected are women, and young women at that. We do tend to be more emotional. That would explain why the men who examined it were not influenced. Perhaps Millicent Collins would be a good choice to try holding and opening the box, if she is willing. Brief exposure to it did me no lasting harm, so it should not be harmful to her either."
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:51 pm

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"We have already established a motive for the defendant to wish you harm, Miss Dupres," says Reverend Trask when he gets the chance for redirect examination. "Do you know of anyone else with such a motive, or is she the only one?" The book of supposed prophecies he found in the vampire's lair has disturbed him, and he cannot explain it. A vampire may live, if you could call it that, for a long time, but he cannot explain what one would be doing with a book detailing future events, let alone how such a book came to be. However, it has no immediate bearing on the case, which is his current top priority. He can worry about it later.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:06 am

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"No sir, I can think of no other," replies Josette.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:07 am

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"Thank you, Miss Dupres," says Reverend Trask. "I have no further questions. I would like to call my next witness, Miss Victoria Winters." He knows what the defense's strategy is to discredit her, but he needs her testimony, and he believes he can defuse the defense's attack plan in his own questioning. The thought has occurred to him that Angelique and Victoria could both be witches, but he has to deal with one at a time, and Angelique seems more dangerous to him.
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Re: The Trial of Angelique

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:52 am

Spoiler:
I will presume Millicent can be persuaded to subject herself to the music box, if only with trepidation.


Upon experimentation, a brief exposure to the music box produces pleasant memories of New York City within the mind of Millicent Collins. A longing to return there fills her tender heart. Given recent experiences, this is perhaps only natural.

Spoiler:
Let's see if a servant discovers what you placed in Josette's room. WIS = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
11
To your frustration, it seems you have concealed the dolls too well; it would have been unconvincing to have simply let them remain in plain sight. Let's see if you discover anything else at the Old House. WIS = 9
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3
Whilst assigned to clean out the ashes from the fireplace, a chore which has remained undone for some time, you discover, buried deep beneath the ashes, tiny bones. From what you can determine by assembling them into their original form as well as is possible, they must have belonged to a bat of unusual size; larger than one would expect to find in this part of the world, and more closely resembling those you had seen whilst on a voyage to a tropical portion of the Spanish territories of the New World.


Victoria Winters is sworn in, ready to be questioned by Reverend Trask.
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