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The Death of Lamberto Fulvina - Episode VIIby Giampaolo Agosta and Giovanni Porpora
At the House of Lords
Nine days ago the corpse of Lamberto was found in his bedroom near that of an Ethengarian woman. Lamberto had been killed but the identity of his killer is still unknown. The new Viscount of Verazzano, Lamberto's son Vittorio, and his uncle, Umberto, had been trying to find someone to blame for the death before the Council of Princes investigates the murder.
PRINCIPE ALFONSO DE BELCADIZ, SUPREME JUDGE OF THE COUNCIL The Prince of Belcadiz has been called to investigate the death of the nobleman, Signor Lamberto Fulvina. Nothing has been said about the fact that his son, Don Ricardo de Belcadiz, is somehow involved. Silence is a good way of saving face-or concealing the truth.
SIGNOR VITTORIO FULVINA, VISCONTE DI VERAZZANO The son of the murdered Signor Lamberto, he is more concerned of finding a culprit to blame for his father's death than of finding the true killer. Is he merely concerned for his newly-acquired title, or is he hiding something more sinister?
SIGNOR UMBERTO FULVINA, UNCLE TO VISCONTE VITTORIO FULVINA The brother of the past Viscount of Verrezzano has more experience in Glantrian politics than the present Viscount. He has deemed his services necessary for Vittorio to succeed as Viscount, and perhaps also to conceal any secrets he might have had about his late brother.
LORD SEISYLL WITTELS, COUNT OF WYLON
The Alphatian noble is more pawn than politician in this game of lovers, bets, Ethengarian prostitutes, and dead nobles. He greatly regrets his involvement and is trying to save his name and reputation.
LORD EDELMIRO PIEINANTS, ARCHDUKE OF WESTHEATH Political schemes in Glantri run wide and deep. How this Flaemish lord is involved in the death of a minor Caurenzan noble remains to be seen. His SPOKESMAN speaks for him at Parliament.
PRINCES, LORDS, SPOKESMEN AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NOBLE HOUSES When an important session is discussed in Parliament, such as the death of a fellow noble, nobody misses the event, as opportunities to rise-or to fall-are everywhere. Such is the way of politics in Glantri.
ONE WEEK LATER. THE HOUSE OF LORDS IN GLANTRI CITY.
Prince Alfonso de Belcadiz, the Supreme Judge of the Council, presides over a special session in Parliament, to discuss the death of Signor Lamberto Fulvina, former Visconte di Verazzano. The son of Signor Lamberto and the new viscount, Vittorio Fulvina, details the exact circumstances of his father's death. Should these be found insufficient by the majority of the gathered nobles, the House of Lords may move that an investigation will be necessary, and the succession of the Viscounty may come into question.
VITTORIO: (In the middle of his speech) ...beyond such a refined scheme, Alceo Boero reacted swiftly by trying to attack us with a short sword he had hidden near his desk. We then tried to capture him without killing him and submit him to the authorities for this minor assault. But as Boero tried a desperate move to escape, he slipped on the floor and badly knocked his head on the floor, dying at that very moment.
(Murmurs arise from the Lords, and many give surreptitious glances at VITTORIO. Prince ALFONSO remained unmoved.)
VITTORIO: (Nervously adding) The physician sent by the Council of Princes had confirmed this.
(The murmurs seemed to have been suppressed for a while. Prince ALFONSO still did not move an inch.)
VITTORIO: (Continuing, more comfortably this time) On the night of my father 's death, Alceo Boero was seen leaving the main hall by some guests a few minutes before my father was killed, and was quoted to have said that "he needed to fix something". This was confirmed by the honourable Don Ricardo and the honourable Count Seisyll Wittels of Wylon. (Emphasising the words, although his meaning remains unclear)
(Count SEISYLL nervously nods in approval, apparently not sensing any hidden meaning in the speech.)
VITTORIO: (Concluding, more emphatically) For this and for what has been presented to you before, I am convinced that Alceo Boero was the culprit behind my father's death. I therefore request the House of Lords to accept this explanation of my father's death, and that no more investigations shall be performed on such a painful event, for the welfare of my person, my family, and my beloved viscounty.
(As VITTORIO finished, clapping begins from the side of House Sirecchia.
Many nobles begin talking, but most already begin clapping. Prince ALFONSO finally makes his first movement since the beginning of VITTORIO'S speech, to signal that the floor is open. Before ALFONSO can grant permission, the SPOKESMAN OF ARCHDUKE EDELMIRO PIEINANTS begins to speak. VITTORIO takes his seat, and the man seated behind him, who now leans forward conspiratorially turns out to be UMBERTO.)
SPOKESMAN OF ARCHDUKE PIEINANTS: (Verbosely with very grandiose hand movements) Supreme Judge of the Council, Prince Alfonso de Belcadiz, Prince of Belcadiz, Marquis of Alhambra, and Warden of the Marches. Eminent Princes of Glantri who have honoured our humble gathering with their distinguished presence. Prince Francesco di Malapietra, Prince of Caurenze, Viscount of Sirecchia, Chamberlain of the Land. Prince Georg von Drachenfels.
(The SPOKESMAN goes on and on with much pomp and grandiloquence. He greets every Prince of Glantri present and enumerates all their titles and ranks, a parody of the typical Alphatian form of address. Many of the Lords are obviously bored or irritated. UMBERTO takes the opportunity to whisper to VITTORIO.)
VITTORIO: Who is that man? (Worried)
UMBERTO: (Whispering) The Spokesman of the Archduke of Westheath.
VITTORIO: Ah, Pieinants. Is he Alphatian? I though Pieinants was Flaemish?
Why does his Spokesman speak like that?
UMBERTO: (Irritated) Will you never learn? He is simply mocking the Alphatians. (Changing the topic) Ascolta, now is not the time for lessons on political etiquette.
VITTORIO: I know! Why is he speaking against us? He is for Westheath, isn't he? Isn't Westheath full of Thyatians?
UMBERTO: Exactly! And they all hate their ruler, thanks to. (Gives a knowing look at VITTORIO.)
VITTORIO: (Understanding) Ah! So he is our enemy, and he wishes to.
UMBERTO: Si! Now listen to what he has to say, and remember what we discussed.
(The SPOKESMAN finally finishes his introductory greetings, much to the relief of the House of Lords. The Alphatian Count SEISYLL Wittels is clearly flustered.)
SPOKESMAN: (Still with much energy and long-windedness) . the great House of Lords. I would like to begin by introducing myself, I am the humble servant of the humble spokesman for Lord Edelmiro Pieinants, Archduke of Westheath, a Distinguished Member from the Guild of Spokesmen.
(The SPOKESMAN rambles on. Count SEISYLL throws his arms up in the air in defeat. Many other lords, Alphatian and otherwise, also make sounds and gesture of exasperation. VITTORIO takes the opportunity to speak to UMBERTO again.)
VITTORIO: Do you think Alceo was connected with Pieinants? UMBERTO: It doesn't matter now! He was the easiest to blame. And even if he were, well, then.
(UMBERTO tries to finish his sentence but his attention is drawn to the SPOKESMAN who is now directly addressing VITTORIO with a sinister stare.)
SPOKESMAN: (Glaring at VITTORIO) Presently, I would like to address the honourable Lord Vittorio Fulvina, the new Viscount of Verrezzano and the son of the late Lord Lamberto Fulvina. Speaking for Archduke Pieinants, I would like to declare that I greatly appreciated your explanation of your late father's unfortunate death. But I would like to point out that you have not clarified one important issue, and that is (dramatically) motive! What are Alceo Boero's motives? He was a close childhood friend of your late father, was he not?
VITTORIO: (With much hatred in his voice) He was no more my father's friend than you are! As I have told you before, he envied my father's success and he finally took his revenge!
SPOKESMAN: (Still challenging VITTORIO) Come now, Lord Vittorio. This does not sound reasonable at all! Envy! How could we believe such a thing?
Harrumph. Milords, my concern is but a noble one. I fear there is something strange going on in one of our beloved Viscounties. I do not care about Alceo Boero, a mundaner who is allegedly capable of such a task against one of the might House of Lords all by himself. There is surely something wrong with this. I merely want to be sure there was no one else behind Alceo Boero. (Raising his voice into a crescendo) I want to be sure that no one killed your father with the intent of wreaking havoc and sowing chaos in our beloved Glantri! I reject this request, and move that this Parliament to conduct a full investigation in the matter of the death of Signor Lamberto Fulvina! And I deem that such a noble goal worthy to be shared by the majority of the House of Lords.
(Satisfied with what he has just accomplished, the SPOKESMAN sits down, while the muttering in the hall grows louder and louder. VITTORIO is apparently very nervous and realises his mistake in becoming emotional and taking the political attack personally. UMBERTO is sits silently shaking his head. Prince ALFONSO de Belcadiz calms down the nobles and takes the floor.)
ALFONSO: As Supreme Judge of the Council, I shall now call on The House of Lords to vote, on whether we accept the explanation presented to us, and close the matter on the death of Lord Lamberto Fulvina. A vote of "yea": shall be given for those who accept the explanation. A vote of "nay" shall be given for those who wish to conduct a full investigation.
(The voting process begins. The Lords raise their hand for the vote of "yea" or "nay, as clerks count the votes. VITTORIO is still a daze the whole time.)
VITTORIO: (Blankly) If they vote for an investigation, we will lose the viscounty.
UMBERTO: (Trying to rouse VITTORIO) Do not look so nervous! They might become suspicious of you!
VITTORIO: They already are! They believe I had something to do with my father's death!
UMBERTO: That is true. But still, that doesn't mean they will vote against you?
VITTORIO: (Looking for encouragement) How will they vote, zio?
UMBERTO: Bene, Principe Francesco suspects you, but he does not want to lose Verazzano. He will vote for you. And so will all the nobles who were somehow involved in the affair.
VITTORIO: Including Belcadiz?
UMBERTO: Si, the Supreme Judge himself would not want his son's involvement to be further dug up. Alhambra will vote against an investigation.
VITTORIO: And Wittels?
UMBERTO: He will not want his name dragged further into this. And if ever that Flaemish spokesman succeeded in anything, he succeeded in winning the Alphatians to our side.
VITTORIO: What about House Linden? Or Klantyre? Or. or.
UMBERTO: Zitto! We know there will be those will not vote for you. Do not panic!
VITTORIO: (Scared) Prince Erewan just voted 'nay'. He voted against us! We need more votes! Buon Rad! We are going to lose!
(Prince ALFONSO calls for the votes to be tallied, then to be announced to the Parliament. All this time, VITTORIO is sweating and breathing heavily.)
ALFONSO: The votes have been tallied. The two-thirds majority of the House of Lords present at this session vote 'yea'. The House of Lords accepts the explanation presented by Lord Vittorio Fulvina. There will be no more investigation in the passing of Lord Lamberto Fulvina. The matter is now closed.
(As the session adjourns, VITTORIO leaves the Parliament smiling.)
There is still much to be revealed in the next, last, upcoming 8th episode of The Death of Lamberto Fulvina: The Epilogue.