The Sins of the Father

Yesterday’s review of RASHOMON wasn’t just chance. Obviously I hope you enjoy the film, but I wanted to prepare you for today’s undertaking.

In perhaps the largest joint effort the Hyperion Institute has ever attempted, I asked 7 other writers to come together to give you a Rashomon story of our own. Some day I’ll recount the war stories of how this came to fruition, but for now I’d just like to say the seven worked very very hard.

We started with two paintings. One, a murder scene.

The second: bishops of the Church discussing what was to be done.

The seven writers each were given a character and told to work independently: they didn’t even know who else was involved.

The result is truly Rashomonic: 7 descriptions of a murder. Not a single one in agreement.

Or do they?

Here is our Cast of Characters (and who wrote each story)

  • Man in Bed – Majere (Majere’s story was written by Mariemm3 of A Take on the World)
  • Woman – Crynne, a prostitute. (Crynne’s story was written by Rennratt)

(from painting 2)

  • Man Pouring tea – Aldoux, a servant. (Aldoux’s story was written by Tiff, of No Accent Yet)
  • Man in the Black Robes - Bishop Janiff (Janiff’s story was written by Lady Jane Scarlett)
  • Man in the Light Purple Robes – Bishop Beddleton (Beddleton’s story was written by an author who wishes to remain anonymous)
  • Man in the Dark Purple Robes – Bishop Dominic y’Nobe (y’Nobe’s story was written by Sea Hag, of Monkey Barn)
  • Man in the in Red Robes – Bishop Valetti, the head Bishop (Valetti’s story was written by Kapgar)

In addition, I told the group these few “facts” they could work with:

  • Crynne, a prostitute, is caught in the murder room by the four bishops (but not Aldoux). She is the presumed murderer, but they did not actually see her commit the crime.
  • Majere was killed by a stab-wound to the chest, which may or may not be related to the pattern visible there.
  • Majere was an up-and-comer in the Church. He was also Bishop Valetti’s son, an obvious no-no. Bishop Janiff is aware of this.
  • Bishop Beddleton was having an affair with Aldoux. Majere was aware of this.
  • Bishop Dominic y’Nobe runs the Brothel where Crynne worked. He knows that she’s seen him there to collect money.

Sounds like a rousing game of Clue, doesn’t it?

We present to you now our Rashomon story. It’s a bit of a time commitment, I know, but totally well worth it. At the end will you be able to say you know what happened?

I guess you’ll find out.

The Sins of the Father

As the senior Bishop, Valetti was obligated to conduct the initial inquiry. Would that this were not upon his shoulders. Would that he could grieve, collect himself, and prepare for the funeral.

Bishop Valetti decided to conduct the interrogations—he preferred interviews—in his private chambers. There was explosive potential in the testimony he was about to hear, and best to keep it away from prying ears.

Bishop Valetti scheduled the whore first. Crynne was her name. It was presumed she did it—after all, they found her there in the murder room, blood on her naked flesh! Best to hear her story first. If she confessed, perhaps no one else need be put out by the ordeal of testimony.

Bishop Valetti was about to tale a servant to summon Crynne, when Dominic y’Nobe pushed his way in from the outer room.

“I must speak with you!” y’Nobe exclaimed. He seemed agitated, almost distraught.

“Very well my son. Please. Sit down.”

Bishop Dominic y’Nobe’s Story

Bishop y’Nobe left the chamber, striding purposely. Valetti watched him go, his expression thoughtful. He noticed his servant poke a head in.

“The…woman is ready when you are, my Lord.”

“Send her in.”

Crynne came in hesitantly, obviously distraught, but fire in her eyes. If she was guilty, she held it close to the vest. (Speaking of vests, Valetti was quite relieved that Crynne had been given clothes. He was very uncomfortable around women without attire. Very uncomfortable.)

Normally the accused would stand before the Bishop, but uncharacteristically Valetti motioned to a chair. Once seated, Crynne began, slowly at first, then picking up speed.

Crynne’s Story

Janiff was next. Valetti was wary of the man. In line for head Bishop, perhaps Arch Bishop in five more years, Janiff had somehow been passed over. He never said a cross word to Valetti, keeping the proprieties in perfection. But Valetti still felt the unseen daggers in the shadows.

Bishop Janiff’s Story

The only one left was Beddleton. Always an odd duck, Valetti had his suspicions. He wondered what the testimony would bring. The servant ushered in Beddleton and then withdrew, and Valetti leaned back to listen to what would no doubt be a most peculiar tale.

Bishop Beddleton’s Story

When Bishop Beddleton left Valetti began to rise, wishing to walk in the gardens as he pondered. The servant popped a head in apologetically.

“I’m sorry, my Lord, but servant Aldoux wishes to have a word with you.”

This was most unusual. Aldoux was a man-servant to Beddleton, often serving the bishops when they met in conclave. Aldoux hadn’t been at the murder room. Could have evidence? Perhaps even about Beddleton?

“Show him in.” Bishop Valetti said gravely. Best to see what this was all about.

Aldoux’s Story

Bishop Valetti called the other Bishops together. For that matter, he called Aldoux, too. The man was in it now, that was for sure. The other four men looked at each other calmly, but the sign of nerves were there. A cup rattling a saucer. A robe fretted with that didn’t need it. Bishop Valetti made them sit awhile longer, and then told the men what he had decided.

Bishop Valetti’s Story

And that was the end of it. Six stories, six different solutions. If only…if only the dead man could speak!

Majere’s Story

Now that truly was the end. Majere would have no reason to lie, would he? Then again, did he reveal everything? For that matter, did he reveal anything? What did this keeper of secrets take with him, and will we every know the truth?

The story's already starting to fade. The Murder scene becomes like a oil painting, the memories blurring together.

And those Bishops. Are sticking together? Will their stories change, or have they become as intractable as stone?

You know what they say: The Sins of the Father are visited on the Son.

The End


tiff said...

I just read every single word, and am proud to be such talented company.

Y'all are some kind of twisted, though.

Hyperion - congratulations! It's DONE!

Lady Jane Scarlett said...

Hyperion, This was a great project. All the stories are fabulous! Congrats!

Chelle said...

Well done.

Weaves together nicely. Love it!!

Sea Hag said...

Wow, that totally exceeded my expectations for this project. I especially loved Majere's part, and the twist that he even had a part.

rennratt said...

I love the transitions - and the contradictions!

Well done!

Dragon said...

Great job, everyone! I wish I had your talent.