There is very little going on in the market square as the afternoon progresses into the evening. Many of the produce stalls are closed, and goods are loaded up in wagons in front of the market hall. The sun will set at a quarter of eight, so many hours from now.
Josef and Kazimir have had little luck, if they have tried at all, to discover the whereabouts or situation regarding Tiberius—only to discover, quite suddenly, that someone has aroused the judge into his chambers so that the prisoner can be presented at court at five bells. They have time to arrive and gather in the events.
Tiberius has had a fairly comfortable stay in one of the jail cells; as a mage, his hands have remained cuffed, but he has been fed, given water, a stuffed straw mattress to lie on. Upon being put into his cell, Tiberius hears the jailer remark, “Get comfortable. They’ll likely forget about you.
A cleric-monk appears about an hour later, speaks very little to Tiberius. He takes the time to cast a few spells, none of which Tiberius could be familiar with, before taking his leave.
At the quarter chime before the fifth hour, the jailer reappears with two guards. “You must be one of the lucky ones,” he says. “Got some friends in court, have you?”
Tiberius is taken into the court room, a small affair barely twenty feet by fifteen, with an imposing, raised desk and a wrought iron pillar affixed to the stone floor, to which Tiberius’ manacles are attached. There are four guards, the judge, a well-attired gentleman and both Josef and Kazimir in the room. The latter two were admitted only a few minutes before Tiberius was brought in. The stranger, Josef and Kazimir sit on a narrow, rude bench along one wall. Tiberius can’t help feeling the stranger is oddly familiar.
“This is the prisoner from the Merchant Guild Hall?” asks the judge?
Any attempt by Tiberius to speak will be quickly dealt with—Tiberius, being a bright fellow and having watched prisoners in the dock, wisely keeps his mouth shut.
“Yes, your Honor.”
“And who speaks for this man?”
The stranger rises. “I do.”
“You may proceed.”
“Your honor. I was present at the dinner in the Merchant’s Hall when this man’s honor was astoundingly and insultingly impugned by the action of the Hall’s concierge. The very idea that this man could stand in a public place and prepare to throw a spell in such a manner is utterly ridiculous and fully fantastical. This man is a well-known figure in the business world in Graz, in Syria, and is in the employ of the Baron von Furstenfeld, an upstanding gentleman and one of the Electoral College of the Empire, your honor. His faithfulness to the crown, to the wellbeing of his fellow man and to God is indisputable. I demand that compensation be made for this unforgivable attack!”
Tiberius is staring closely at the man—and then realizes from where he knows him. Some five years ago, the stranger—name of Johann Mizer, bought seven horses from the Baron. Tiberius remembers himself, Adelbert, closing the deal. He remembers too that one of the horses was half-blind, something the Baron chose not to mention.
The judge clears his throat. “I have spoken to the concierge. He feels he cannot be mistaken.”
“He must be,” says Johann.
“Adelbert Volkmann,” intones the Judge. “You have been examined by Father Durer and been found not to be a serious threat to the town of Dachau or any of the citizens therein. A writ has been found on your person, also, providing you with free passage through the Duchy of Bavaria. For these reasons it is decided that you shall not be given over to the Inquisition for further examination. This court believes that you could not have intended to throw a spell. Normally, you would be fined ten gold pieces and expelled from the town gates, but I will take under advisement the word of a celebrated and respected member of our community and suspend this sentence. You are free to go.”