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The Death of Lamberto Fulvina - Episode VI

by Giampaolo Agosta and Giovanni Porpora

Episode VI
To Find a Culprit

Two days ago during a party at Palazzo Fulvina, Visconte Lamberto Fulvina was found dead in his bedroom with a woman, by his friend and rival Don Ricardo de Belcadiz and the politician and pawn, Count Seisyll Wittels.
Murder, by means magical and mundane was suspected. Now the search for a culprit begins.

Dramatis Personae

SIGNOR VITTORIO FULVINA, SON OF VISCONTE LAMBERTO OF VERAZZANO The fearsome Vittorio already rules Verazzano when his father is away in Glantri City. With Signor Lamberto away for good, Vittorio may be ruling Verazzano permanently.

UMBERTO FULVINA, BROTHER OF VISCONTE LAMBERTO OF VERAZZANO Signor Umberto enjoys life as much as the next Caurenzan. Whether he enjoys murder like many other Caurenzans remains to be seen.


VITTORIO: So it was Ricardo who screamed and not the woman? I mean, an elven scream, even a male elf's scream, still sounds so...
UMBERTO: No, no. The woman was already dead at the time. Apparently Ricardo panicked when the poison gas came wafting out of the bedroom.
VITTORIO: (Sarcastically) Or perhaps he saw the bodies, and has no real stomach for death.
UMBERTO: Bene, in any case, the Alphatian was the smarter one. He dispelled the poison cloud with some air spell or another. And when he found Ricardo in shock, he teleported the elf back to Prince Alfonso's tower in Glantri City. Quite efficient... (Pondering)
VITTORIO: Too efficient, maybe. Could Count Wittels be hiding something?
UMBERTO: If he is, caro nipote, he would have had to work fast. Between the time Ricardo screamed and he came down the stairs, the guests recall was a mere two or three minutes. The Alphatian had to dispel the poison gas, cast a teleportation spell on Ricardo, then fix the scene, hide the evidence and whatever else, then lock the door and come down the stairs in about three minutes.
VITTORIO: Nothing a haste spell can't do, zio mio...

(VITTORIO lets his suspicions hang in the air for a moment. UMBERTO neither accepts them nor rejects them. VITTORIO plays with his new signet ring, the ring of the Visconte di Verazzano, and finally breaks silence.)

VITTORIO: (Pensively) How do you think he died, uncle?
UMBERTO: You saw for yourself the scene of his death, Vittorio. We came in together.
VITTORIO: But all I saw was his body and the woman in the bed. And the blood.
UMBERTO: (Speaking like an expert) Well, his death was brought about partly through magic, and partly through mundane means. The dart on your father's shoulder was tipped with a poison that induces paralysis. Apparently, the killers knew of your father's power.
VITTORIO: I did not see a dart, uncle!
UMBERTO: (Continuing) The poison gas was a product of the breath of death, commonly known as cloudkill spell.
VITTORIO: Ah! La nube assassina.
UMBERTO: (Emphatically) La nube di Malapietra!
VITTORIO: But that is a powerful spell! Even I don't have the power to cast that magic yet.
UMBERTO: Si, si! The assassins knew just how powerful their victim was. The poison gas in itself could have killed your father. It most probably killed the Ethengarian. But the killers had to be sure, hence...
VITTORIO: They stabbed him. So many times!
UMBERTO: (Still calm) Stilettos, no doubt! The wounds would have been bigger if they had used knives or daggers.
VITTORIO: And how did they leave?
UMBERTO: Through the windows. They weren't locked when we came in.
VITTORIO: (Suspicious) How do you know so much about these things, uncle?
UMBERTO: Vittorio, we are Caurenzan. We should know of these things.

(VITTORIO pauses and lets his uncle's words sink in. Like it or not, VITTORIO had to work with UMBERTO in this matter.)

Vittorio: So what do we have to do now?
Umberto: Well, the first task is to clean up after the incident. That we have already done. Your father's body is being kept in his tower until the burial.
Vittorio: And the woman?
Umberto: She is also in the tower. In the dungeon.
Vittorio: Of course. (Musing) She is not Ethengarian?
Umberto: No, but she was well disguised as one.
Vittorio: (Moving on) And what of our second task?
UMBERTO: I have accomplished that easily enough! This morning I had it announced by the city council that the Viscount had died in an accident in his laboratory.
VITTORIO: Yes, the people of Verrezzano will believe that without question!
Now, our third and most difficult task: to find the murderer of my father.
UMBERTO: Or at least someone to blame...
VITTORIO: (Surprised) Dear uncle, why do you say that?
UMBERTO: (Angrily) Dannazione, Vittorio! There are so many possibilities, but we must find a solution soon. If we do not find someone to blame for the death, the Council of Princes will take the matter in its own hands. Your new title of Viscount, and the whole Fulvina family, will find itself in trouble! We must find a culprit soon!
VITTORIO: Calm down, Uncle Umberto, we haven't done nothing wrong, have we?

(VITTORIO gives UMBERTO a piercing look and all of a sudden, UMBERTO is caught in astonishment.)

UMBERTO: What in Rad's name are you trying to say? Have you gone mad? How can you think of such a thing, Lamberto. (Changing his tone, becoming accusing) I could say the very same thing of you! You weren't at the party.
Why not? And where did you stay that night during the party?
VITTORIO: (Ignoring the accusations) Ahahahaha! Don't worry, uncle. I was merely joking with you. We do need to work as one in these times. Let us make a list of possible suspects for the murder, and chose someone to blame.
UMBERTO: Why don't we start with Ricardo? I don't trust that elf. In fact, he might have been the culprit himself, what with that Rad-forsaken bet going on!
VITTORIO: No. Such a plan is out of his reach. You don't understand the way a young Belcadizian acts. If he had wished to kill my father, he would have challenged him in a duel with the rapier. And I say he would have easily killed him with the sword. Ricardo can do that without risking further investigations by the Council.
UMBERTO: But what if he thought your father didn't deserve such an honourable death? He knew your father was defenceless in the bedroom at that very moment. He himself told us so.
VITTORIO: No. Ricardo is of the impulsive kind, not experienced in politics and complicated plots. I repeat myself: such a trap is out of his reach.
UMBERTO: Then, he could have hired someone else to do this.
VITTORIO: So, why did he hire that woman to act as an Ethengarian?
UMBERTO: To ease our suspicions, why else?
VITTORIO: Bene, if you wish, we don't erase him from our list yet. Next, Count Seisyll Wittels. How could Count Wittels know that my father was defenceless?
UMBERTO: Because he planned to kill him.
VITTORIO: What puzzles me is, why should he? I haven't been able to gain enough information that would provide us with a motive. Moreover he has a lot of friends holding high charges. If we blame him for the murder, it will take a long time to find evidence of this, and we can't wait that long.
VITTORIO: (Inspired) So, now we know what to do next... (Smiling devilishly).

Who really killed Signor Lamberto? And who will be blamed for his death?
What do Umberto and Vittorio have planned? Discover this and more in the upcoming 7th episode of The Death of Lamberto Fulvina: At the House of Lords.