This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue.
Chief County Magistrate Hal Aphedor
Human, Age 57
Native Language: Anglic
Skills: Advocate-2, Admin-2, Broker-2, Carouse-0, Diplomat-0, Drive-0, Economics-0, Electronics-0, Flyer-0, History-0, Investigate-0, Language: Vilani-1, Persuade-1, VaccSuit-0
Wealth: Cr100000, MCr56 stake in a magisterial yacht, TAS Membership, CR14000 Annual Pension
Hal spent his youth rising through the planetary government of a minor world, finally serving as its economic minister where, due to the stresses of the job, he suffered a heart attack. As a reward for his years of loyal service, the Baron recommended him for an open seat on the county magisterial court. It was a comparatively easy job, he discovered, so long as one didn’t think too much. The court’s chief magistrate was a bit of a control freak, always hinting (sometimes bluntly) how everyone should vote, and Hal always took these hints and did what was expected.
Within a year, however, Hal was befriended by another member of the court who, on one occasion, complained bitterly about the rulings they were being forced to make. In his youth, Hal had heard rumors and, in some instances, saw firsthand how loyalty could be tested and how those found wanting could lose everything. To express personal sentiments, therefore, was foolish, particularly to a recent friend, and so he suspected that perhaps he was being tested.
Hal immediately reported everything to the chief magistrate and cooperated fully in the ensuing investigation. When the chief retired a few years later, Hal, though still a junior member of the court, was chosen to replace her.
Hal now takes orders directly from the Count or, more often, from the Count’s chief of staff, and just as his predecessor used to do, he discreetly lets the other magistrates know how they should vote on cases where the Count has a stake in the outcome.