This whole debacle has raised some complications that I feel the need to put into writing to keep them straight in my head. To wit, the recent complications regarding the conflicts between the various churches regarding the Secret Hearth and the worship of Fallen Stars, and assassination in general. Specifically, I think it’s important to note who is and isn’t being charged for what.
I can’t help but wonder how it all would have turned out if we’d let the watch arrest them for attempted murder, instead of having the church arrest them for witchcraft.
Katosha Aristian is being charged by the watch with hiring assassins to murder her husband. Selena Petarkis and her father are not at present being held for attempted assassinations; the Senator has been charged with heresy, a crime for which Selena has been absolved by Lunor. I’m not sure if there is any principle of double-jeopardy here, but ultimately they were arrested on the spot by a representative of the church rather than wait for the Watch to conduct an investigation.
I mention all of this because honestly I find the good father’s outrage over the matter to be disingenuous. Had Selena contracted a godless lout such as, say, myself, to do murder for her, the church would have had no standing to intervene; the law they invoked was holy, not civil, and the crime was consorting with the servants of Atropos, not attempted murder.
You can fume all you like about justice being circumvented — I certainly intend to — Senator Petarkis is going to be excused of his sins in order to become a puppet of the church, while Selena Petarkis runs away with her lover, more or less consequence-free, but under he circumstances it’s hard to see their light sentencing and escape (respectively) as the moment at which it all went wrong. And though I have some sympathy for Selena based on what I suspect of her home life, her escape and her father’s deal-making have placed the truth of that matter beyond knowing, which makes me uncomfortable saying the little harpy’s escape was truly for the best.
The Artemisians exerted their rights within the holy writs to circumvent civil justice and achieve the outcome they wanted, over the authority of another. Then Lunor’s did the exact same thing, in a form that was, as far as I can tell, equally (im)permissible. Heavens know what goes in between all of these churches that I haven’t seen.