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- Main article: Professor Killings
Mael Stronghart was originally a prosecutor working in London. He pictured a brighter and crime-free London, but he was unable to do anything with that vision. He eventually figured out that another prosecutor, Klint van Zieks had been working under the alias The "Professor", a known serial killer in the area of London. Stronghart took this as a chance and proceeded to blackmail van Zieks, then ordering him to kill the Lord Chief Justice at the time so that he could assume the position, he saw that Lord Chief Justice as too soft to fight against the darkness of London. He also had him kill two more nobles before and after that murder.
Japanese exchange student, Genshin Asogi, begged him to move the police force into action regarding the Professor, but Stronghart wouldn't have any of it without "decisive evidence". Genshin killed Klint via duel and found out about the blackmailing, Stronghart decided to frame him as the Professor. He wanted to tie this up and protect Klint van Zieks' secret to keep the law running as smoothly as possible, he didn't want the people to know that a fellow British noble was responsible for the killings. So he roped detective Tobias Gregson and doctor John Wilson into a forging scheme. First, Gregson would collect a group of thugs together and attack Genshin Asogi, stealing his trademark ring. Second, Stronghart helped Gregson argue for Klint's autopsy report to be done despite him being a noble with the House of Lords. Third, Wilson would keep his assistants, Courtney Stevens and Yujin Mikotoba, busy during the dissection and pretended to find the ring in Klint's stomach, coming to the conclusion that Klint had swallowed it to provide proof for his killer. Despite the discrepancies in Klint’s death, dying of a stab wound to the heart rather than having his throat torn apart by a hound like the others, he was treated as the last of the Professor's victims and Genshin Asogi was arrested and tried as the Professor.
A secret trial was held by orders of the Queen as she was afraid this incident might spark a war between their country and Japan, Mael Stronghart was the prosecutor. Before he was transported to Barclay Prison, Stronghart ordered him to write a will, asking that all his personal affects be sent overseas to his son, which was later given to Barry Caidin. But Genshin had Klint van Zieks' will he wrote before the duel which not only admitted his identity as the Professor, but also pointed to Mael Stronghart as the one who threatened him to continue killing. Stronghart realized this, so he approached Genshin for a deal: keep the will secret and accept a guilty verdict at the trial, and he would arrange for Genshin's escape from prison so he can go back to Japan. Genshin refused to agree until Stronghart brought up the prospect of never seeing his family again, and then caved in. Klint's younger brother Barok, insisted that he'd be replaced as prosecutor for his first trial, Stronghart allowed but he stayed next to him to help.
When Genshin received the death penalty, Stronghart involved Sithe, as the coroner who "confirmed" Genshin's death after execution and sent a letter to Barry Caidin to keep others busy. Genshin was buried alive, so Stronghart and Seishiro Jigoku, who jumped on board after Stronghart promised him the Minister of Foreign Affairs' position back in Japan, would head to Lowgate Cemetary to help dig Genshin out and begin his journey back. But then a grave robber dug Genshin out of his grave before them and saw him, he realized that he'd tell people that his death was faked, they'd be ruined. So Stronghart gave Jigoku a gun and coerced him to shoot Genshin by explaining that the both of them would be exposed if the scandal was uncovered to the public. Once the grave robber fled, the two reburied Genshin Asogi.
The Reaper of the Bailey
Mael Stronghart then started to bring a 'curse' upon Barok van Zieks not too long after the Professor Killings. In his desire to create a world of order and safety for the people of London, he created a secret organization that would kill those that managed to escape guilty verdicts. The public, believing it to be a true curse, called it 'The Grim Reaper', or 'The Reaper'. The first of them was Chalan Musgrave, head of a criminal organization in a trial that Barok headed. Musgrave threatened the jury and was crushed by a concrete block under a construction site three days after; rumors began to spread that this "The Reaper" was actually Klint's ghost attached to Barok, bringing down justice where the latter could not. These rumors were spread by Stronghart, as he knew Barok would cling to that moniker to hold onto something of his brother's.
Stronghart involved people like Tobias Gregson, who would carefully investigate the targets and come up with the best way to eliminate them. Asa Shinn, London's most notorious assassin, was the primary assassin. John Wilson was involved as well, he changed the autopsy records of those killed by the Reaper, Courtney, with her surname now Sithe, took his place after Wilson was invited overseas. Gregson and Wilson only accepted doing as Stronghart says on the condition that Barok would not be held responsible for the Reaper killings. Barok eventually took a five year leave of absence as he was unable to bear the burden and pressure that came with being labelled as the Reaper, only coming back when Ryunosuke Naruhodo came to London.
Eliminating all who know
- Main articles: The Adventure of the Great Departure
Mael Stronghart began to realize being Lord Chief Justice wasn’t enough to fulfill his desires of an orderly, crime-free London. There was an international scientific investigation symposium coming soon, it will give him the opportunity to become Attorney General, he knew he had to get the job no matter what. But to do that, he would need to cut off a few loose ends regarding his past: those of Inspector Gregson and Dr. Wilson specifically, as they were the only remaining individuals that knew the truth about Klint's false autopsy. To do this, he blackmailed Seishiro Jigoku with the truth of Genshin's death, and created a "Target Switch" assassin program. Using the recently established Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Navigation that allowed criminals in a foreign country to be extradited to their consulate, England and Japan would switch assassins. However, the exchange went awry due to both assassins being compromised, and thus Stronghart used Jigoku himself instead to eliminate the remaining loose ends. Although, Shinn successfully killed Wilson, Genshin's son Kazuma Asogi was supposedly killed before he could make it to England.
Giving Naruhodo Assignments
- Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room
After Naruhodo replaced Kazuma as exchange student, he and Susato Mikotoba went to Mael Stronghart. The Lord Chief Justice reluctantly agreed to this replacement, but first Naruhodo has to prove himself. Stronghart decides to have him defend Magnus McGilded since no one else wants to defend him. Naruhodo was successful against his trial with Barok van Zieks, but McGilded died shortly afterwards in a fire. This was the first death of one Barok had prosecuted that wasn't orchestrated by Stronghart.
- Main article: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro
Because of his impressive win, Mael Stronghart declares Naruhodo a bona fide defense attorney. He also has a new client for him, Japanese man Soseki Natsume, then he introduces the two to Tobias Gregson.
- Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story
Mael Stronghart received a telegram from Yujin Mikotoba requesting her daughter to come back to Japan. Naruhodo was banned from practicing law due to leaking an important government secret that was about an assassin exchange program orchestrated by Stronghart.
- Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul
Six months later, Kazuma Asogi made it to England on a cargo ship. With no memories and identification, he was taken to Scotland Yard, where he ended up meeting Stronghart. Impressed by Asogi's knowledge of law, Stronghart decided to have him train under Barok van Zieks to become a prosecutor. Stronghart also raises Naruhodo's ban, being impressed that although he's only a substitute, he's taking his research very seriously.
- Main article: The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
Still believing Kazuma Asogi to be dead, Seishiro Jigoku contacted Mael Stronghart saying he was coming to the international scientific investigation symposium, and planned to kill Tobias Gregson himself. Remembering Jigoku was prosecuted by Barok for smashing a witness stand, he got the idea to lure Gregson by sending him on a fake "The Reaper" mission. Stronghart sent Kazuma Asogi with him as the assassin, though in truth he was to kill Gregson. Despite Kazuma quitting after hearing the truth about his father, Jigoku managed to kill Gregson.
Jigoku intended to frame Gregson's accomplice, "Hugh Boone," for the crime by throwing off the time of death and changing the crime scene. However, it was Barok who ended up discovering the body, and was subsequently arrested. The idea that the feared prosecutor killed the legendary inspector put all eyes on Scotland Yard, and the symposium was delayed as a result. A setback to becoming Attorney General, Stronghart deemed it necessary to end the trial as soon as possible. He appointed Asogi as the attorney, and ordered Maria Gorey to hide any information in the autopsy that would arouse suspicion. However, Naruhodo was able to deduce the time of death could have been thrown off, and after connections to the professor case were revealed, the trial was suspended until the next day. Stronghart finally decided that in order to get the results he wanted, he would have to take over as judge.
- Main article: The Resolve of Naruhodo Ryunosuke
Although Stronghart repeatedly tried to end the trial as quick as possible, it became clear that in order to find the truth, Jigoku would have to testify. Having been found escaping aboard the SS Grouse by Herlock Sholmes and Yujin Mikotoba, it would take until the next day for him to return to England, and the proceedings were once again halted for the day. The following day, details about the assassin exchange came to light, and Jigoku was found to be the one behind Gregson's murder.
Following this, Asogi attempted to continue the trial in order to convict Barok as the mastermind behind the assassination exchange, his reasoning being that Gregson had revealed Klint van Zieks's autopsy had been forged 10 years earlier. However, Barok and Naruhodo quickly realized the mastermind was in fact Stronghart, who handled the "Professor" case beforehand. Stronghart attempted to quickly end the trial to avoid further questioning, but was pressured to proceed by the people in the gallery, thanks to the intervention of Sholmes.
It was soon revealed that it was not Genshin, but instead Klint, who had acted as the Professor, and that Stronghart had bargained with Genshin so that Klint's will remained secret and the law of England was protected. Stronghart admitted to these claims, as well as being the head of the organization behind the reaper killings. However, Naruhodo discovered Klint's will inside Karuma, revealing Stronghart to be the man behind the Professor as well, and had ordered the killings of most of Klint's victims.
Despite the accusations, Stronghart had one more trick up his sleeve: Since there was no proof that he acted directly, Stronghart could not be tried for his crimes. Furthermore, he appealed to the gallery that if any of his actions from the past 10 years became public, it would spell an end of order in England. Yet his final plan was soon dashed, as Sholmes appeared through hologram and revealed he had been broadcasting the trial to the Queen from the very start. It was then decreed that Stronghart was to lose all of his powers, and be tried for his crimes publicly. His efforts the past 10 years destroyed, and his path to Attorney General crumbling, Stronghart collapses at the judge's podium while the scale behind him breaks off and intensely burns "guilty," and is subsequently arrested.
Mael Stronghart was a man with an eye for time, often apologizing for his tardiness. He also cared a lot regarding how "early" or "late" a person is, counting from minutes to even seconds, as he constantly did with Ryunosuke Naruhodo.
Stronghart was also typically viewed by others as a humbled man who only wanted what was best for the Great British Empire, and would typically do anything he could to ensure that the empire would be the best it could be, especially within its law. He vowed to get rid of the "darkness" lurking within it. Thus, he held great pride for the Great British Empire and thought highly of his own country. However, his love for his country eventually clouded his judgement, to the point that he wanted to control its law system with an iron fist so that it would be free from all sorts of crime.
- His Japanese surname "Vortex" refers to a violent whirlpool, or a point of violent and chaotic activity. This possibly refers to how Stronghart has been the cause of many incidents across both games he has appeared in.
- His full English name is a play on "maelstrom", which is a synonym for vortex.
- "Mael" is a name of Celtic origin meaning "chief" or "prince", which may be a reference to his occupation as Lord Chief Justice.
- "Hart" shares a pronunciation as heart, which when combined with vortex or maelstrom, can be used to describe a source of chaos, with his full English name sounding like "maelstrom heart".
- "Stronghart" may be also a pun on "strong heart".
- The first breakdown Stronghart has in The Resolve of Naruhodo Ryunosuke is similar to Damon Gant's breakdown in Rise from the Ashes in that both characters clap with a high frequency. Unlike Gant's breakdown, Stronghart claps by raising his hands upward. Perhaps by coincidence, the two characters also have a somewhat similar appearance, and both had a high rank in law enforcement (Lord Chief Justice and District Chief of Police respectively).
- The other similarity is, they are willing to sacrifice innocent lives to aid them to rise in power. Stronghart ordered Klint van Zieks to kill his own mentor, so he could become the next Lord Chief Justice of the Great Britain, just like how Damon Gant killed Neil Marshall to secure his position as the District Chief of Police.
- He is also similar to Matt Engarde. While they never physically killed anyone, they hired assassins to kill people for them.
- Like Justine Courtney and Seishiro Jigoku, Mael Stronghart is one of the only three judges in the entire series to be named.
- He is the first, and so far only, presiding judge to be the episode's primary culprit.
- He is the first, and so far only, presiding judge who is shown handing down a verdict to someone other than the defendant.
- He is the second judge in the series to have never been shown handing down an onscreen verdict for the trial's defendant, following the younger brother of the modern-era judge.
- He is the second judge to be arrested for murder following Seishiro Jigoku, although unlike Jigoku, he did not commit any murders himself, thus being guilty of conspiracy to commit instead.
- He is the third judge to hand down an onscreen "Guilty" verdict that isn't later overturned, following the modern-era judge and Justine Courtney.
- He is the fourth culprit, following Olive Green, William Shamspeare, and Seishiro Jigoku to have debuted in a game earlier than the one in which he is caught.
- He appears in six episodes, which is more than any other culprit in the series to date.
- "Twitter / nurikazu_: え～、りゅうのすけ168、あそうぎ174、すさと153、ほーむず183、あいりす120、じーな160cm…となっております。 オマケで…ほそなが178、ばんじーくす192、ボルテックス196cmでございます。あくまで僕のなかでですが。" Twitter. 2015-12-15. Retrieved 2015-12-23.