"But for my two cents, religion in Eberron is about faith. You can have a cleric without a god, but she still has to believe in SOMETHING, and passionately so."
— Keith Baker, The Ask Keith Baker FAQ

Thanks to the Zil willingness to accommodate the needs of human-sized people, the buildings and towers of Korranberg aren't unusually compact as one might expect of one of the great cities of the gnomish homeland of Zilargo. The streets, however, are filled with enough gnomes, ponies, riding dogs, and dire rodents for it to be obvious what the predominant size of the population really is... and the storm-grey-haired, burgundy-suited man unconscious in an alley off of one of the side streets clearly doesn't match. The man isn't very deep in the alley, so is peered at or prodded by the occasional curious passerby, and in at least one case a mother pulls her child away from similar behavior. Eventually, though, he begins to stir...

Edgeworth grunts and twitches, then pulls himself to a crouching position, shakes his head, and checks his watch.
Edgeworth: Half an hour...
Edgeworth stands and looks out at the street... then sighs and rubs his forehead.
Edgeworth: Then again, perhaps I should disregard that. Measurements taken within a dream are rarely accurate.
Edgeworth: Aside from that, the shadows are far too short for it to be late afternoon.
Edgeworth: At least this dream appears to be elaborate enough to investigate. I suppose the mental exercise couldn't hurt.
Edgeworth steps out onto the sidewalk and attempts to get the attention of various passersby. "Excuse me... If I might have a word... Hello?"
Edgeworth blinks as one of the gnomes responds in a way he doesn't understand aside from the confused tone.
Edgeworth clenches his teeth in irritation. Naturally they wouldn't speak a language from a family I recognize. For once I fear my own mind might in fact be too logical for my own good...

A young female halfling with straight shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes, wearing glasses and a backpack and carrying a small sack, approaches from the direction opposite the library district.

Edgeworth switches languages for the next passerby. "Entschuldigen Sie..."
Althea blinks as she overhears an unfamiliar language being spoken.
Edgeworth: Können Sie helfen?
Edgeworth growls as he still fails to get responses in languages he can even identify the origins of, let alone understand.
Althea clears her throat and asks in clearly-enunciated Elven, "Can I help you?"
Edgeworth looks over at this smaller-nosed munchkin, frowning. "I'm sorry, I don't understand..."
Althea repeats herself, this time in Goblin.
Edgeworth repeats his statement of confusion in German.
Althea hesitates for a moment, then repeats her question in Kythric.
Edgeworth stares before asking in Japanese, "何を聞きますか?言語ですか。"
Althea sighs and shakes her head before invoking a bit of her power. "Nevermind, I guess we skip to the direct way."
Edgeworth glares down at Althea. "I don't care for being toyed with! Why didn't you speak English in the first place?!"
Althea: Because it's a lot easier to converse in a language I actually know.
Edgeworth: OBJECTION! You're contradicting yourself just by saying that in this language!
Edgeworth points down at Althea accusingly.
Althea: Heh, not really. You know the language, so I'm basically cheating and using your knowledge. Sort of.
Edgeworth sighs in frustration, crossing his arms. "I suppose for a denizen of a dream that might be possible."
Althea: Dream? ...I'm afraid this is a long way from Dal Quor, sorry.
Edgeworth blinks in confusion even as he begins tapping his finger on his arm. "I'm sorry — 'Dal Quor'?"
Althea: The Region of Dreams. It no longer orbits this plane, and hasn't for a very long time.
Edgeworth: What on Earth are you talking about?
Althea mulls over this. "If I'm guessing the intended meaning correctly, then I'm not talking about anything on 'Earth' most likely."
Althea: It seems that that translates to Eberron, but since it's also a proper name, I'd presume it refers to whatever plane you're from...
Edgeworth peers down at Althea dubiously. "You mean to suggest that this is not, in fact, some sort of elaborate dream, but rather that I've somehow found myself whisked away to another planet entirely over the course of a mere half-hour?"
Althea frowns and seems deep in thought for half a minute. "An Eberron-like body moving through the material plane as well? Hrm..."
Althea: I'm afraid any such knowledge is beyond my expertise; I've mostly studied the orbital planes.
Edgeworth: I suspect that if I ask about these "planes", she'll spout some sort of nonsense about mystical higher realms, so I'd best remain closer to what passes for reality.
Edgeworth: I presume that "Eberron" is the name of this... place.
Althea: Yes, it is the name of this "planet" as you say. Eberron lies in the midst of the material plane, which contains the ethereal plane and the shadow plane. It lies at the center of astral plane, or as much of it as is known. The other planes orbit the material plane within the astral plane.
Althea: Though I think it translates a little differently than your language's 'earth'.
Althea: For one, I don't get any sense of a reference to anything like The Dragon Between.
Edgeworth rubs his forehead with his fingers. "You can't be serious."
Althea: It's not all exactly common knowledge, but that's basically the structure of known existence...
Edgeworth appears impatient. "Can you prove even a shred of anything you've claimed since we began this discussion?"
Althea shrugs. "The library is not far from here if you wanted to do your own research. ...except you probably can't read Gnomish. Hrm..."
Edgeworth: Aside from this discussion of... "planes"... you've also made rather brazen claims concerning how we're able to converse at all.
Althea: Oh, that? I'm a seer, it comes with the territory.
Edgeworth huffs and rolls his eyes, then turns and starts down the sidewalk.
Althea follows at a little bit of a distance.

It isn't long before Edgeworth finds that he's made his way from surroundings reminiscent of a Renaissance-era city to those reminiscent of a very old college. Streets have partially given way to paths, alleys entirely to lawns, and much of the apparent variety of purpose to a focus on seeming students.

Edgeworth looks around wonderingly. Is this the so-called "library" she mentioned? It reminds me of descriptions I've heard of Oxford...
Althea: ...I suppose you could inquire with House Orien, I understand some of their heirs can travel through the astral plane. Though I would imagine such a service to be quite expensive.
Edgeworth jumps slightly at being addressed again, then spins and glares daggers at Althea. "Why are you following me?!"
Althea: For one thing, you're going where I needed to. For another... I don't know how far you expect to get without knowing any languages used here. Most people don't know the right spell or power to communicate in... foreign languages.
Edgeworth appears much more irritated at the words 'spell or power'.
Edgeworth: I'd much rather know the truth behind this charade of yours than continue to indulge it!
Althea: Exactly what is it you object to here, again?
Edgeworth: That I'm supposed to accept the sort of unscientific nonsense you've been spouting from the first word as true without any sort of proof!
Edgeworth crosses his arms again, glowering angrily even as his finger taps impatiently.
Althea: ...if I'm not making sense to you I suppose it could be that this particular power is partially failing somehow, but it seemed to me like we're conversing at least semi-coherently...
Edgeworth: The words themselves are clear. I merely doubt the message.
Althea: Am I to understand then that you have some particular basis to believe that every single thing I have said to you this whole time has been a lie?
Edgeworth smirks, unfolds his arms with a shrug, and shakes his head. "Most if not all of your claims lie outside the realm of possibility as I know it to various degrees. In the absence of proof, I would consider that basis enough."
Althea ponders this for a bit. "I suppose if you are indeed from somewhere outside all known existence, then all known existence would be outside the realm of your own known existence... Nevertheless, you are in fact here, regardless of whether from your perspective here should even be..."
Althea: Or does the nature of existence in your plane allow for the possibility that you are not actually here even when material evidence suggests that you are?
Edgeworth taps his temple. "Dreams as I know them don't involve any different plane of existence — merely immersion in what the dreamer's mind generates. In other words, a delusion."
Althea: ...now that's quite a conundrum. How does one prove to someone that they are not merely hallucinating everything they see, hear, or otherwise experience?
Althea: Drawing on the tenuous connection this plane has at all to Dal Quor would be problematic for a wide variety of reasons, so I do not think I can demonstrate anything about the nature of dreaming...
Althea: But perhaps we should be more basic. After all, you did claim everything I was saying was untrue. What would you have me attempt to prove?
Edgeworth: Were I to extend the benefit of the doubt to the idea that this is, in fact, happening — which, given its consistency thus far, is an acceptable concession — the truth of your claims concerning the language barrier, how you're supposedly circumventing it, and how some others may also be able to use some "spell or power" to do the same begs to be proven.
Althea: Hmm. Unfortunately, the power I'm using is limited to affecting the user's own understanding, though there is a spell from the Divination school which can be imbued upon another, should a sufficiently knowledgeable or prepared caster be found...
Althea: I take it such a spell hasn't been developed yet in your own plane?
Edgeworth scoffs. "You speak of 'developing a spell' as though it were some sort of computer program."
Althea looks a bit confused at that response. "...no, mathematics is an entirely different field of study."
Edgeworth looks confused himself briefly, but then shakes his head. "I'm sorry, I suppose the apparent level of technology here isn't sufficient for that to have made sense. A computer is a type of machine that can be programmed to serve a wide variety of generally nonphysical tasks. Most people simply obtain copies of programs that already exist for their needs, however."
Althea: I suppose it might be somewhat analogous. Most arcane casters learn spells that are the results of others' arcane research. And wizards at least tend to keep their spells written in spellbooks.
Edgeworth stares in disbelief at Althea. Is... she actually serious in her claim?
Althea: Even divine magic is probed for an understanding of its secrets by some, though more than a few consider such efforts borderline sacrilege...
Edgeworth winces and rubs his forehead as a headache begins to build. "'Divine magic'."
Althea: I take it these broad distinctions in types of magic don't correspond to how things work in your plane?
Edgeworth: Magic itself isn't how things work in my "plane", as you put it.
Althea frowns and looks a bit confused at this. After a moment, she responds, "Then why does your language have a word for it?"
Edgeworth glares down at Althea witheringly. "Because the concepts of magic and gods were how people explained the world around them before humanity conceived of the scientific method."
Althea: ...fascinating. That probably deserves some further exploration at some point. At any rate, I am no caster, so I cannot prove much of how magic works. I do have a small number of enchanted items, but mostly I rely on psionic powers rather than magic...
Edgeworth sighs in frustration. "And that's merely the terminology used to give magical concepts a seemingly scientific veneer."
Edgeworth: Ergo, you sound like nothing more than a charlatan!
Althea: Hmm, it's true that there are some noteworthy similarities between magic and psionics, despite their significant differences... If you would have evidence of one serve as proxy for another...
Edgeworth merely folds his arms and taps his finger once more. The 'Well?' is reflected in his steely eyes rather than spoken.

The sunlight gradually starts to increase in intensity.

Edgeworth shields his eyes. "Wh-what the..."
Althea: It's of more general utility in somewhat more dark locations, but you get the idea.
Edgeworth looks around for any sign of a more mundane source of the increased brightness as best he can under these conditions.
Edgeworth: We do have technology that can safely replace fire for such purposes. Even if I see no additional light sources nearby that appear active...

The light level abruptly drops to normal, but continues to dim a bit, until the sky looks closer to early sunset than near noon.

Edgeworth blinks, and unease flickers through his eyes. This doesn't appear to be any sort of smoke...

An annoyed student yells out the window in Common: "Hey, stop playing with the light, some of us are trying to get work done!"

Althea looks up sheepishly as the light returns to normal. "Sorry."
Edgeworth looks away from Althea in a vain attempt to conceal the vulnerability in his eyes.
Althea: The psionic disciplines are somewhat rare on Khorvaire, they're pretty much a cultural import from Sarlona. I just happened to have had the chance to study under someone sufficiently experienced in it.
Althea: Magic is far more common around here.
Edgeworth regathers himself quickly, firming his expression. "...Another sense of 'magic' in my world is the art of illusion and misdirection — making the impossible appear to have happened."
Althea: Well, that gets back into the first conundrum: how can anything prove it's not a potential illusion or delusion if one holds everything to be potentially either...
Edgeworth: When things aren't as they appear, the trick is to uncover evidence to that effect.
Althea: But if everything is presumed delusion, isn't any such evidence also potentially false?
Althea: I personally don't see any way to disprove such a sweeping generalization as "nothing is real".
Edgeworth: I did say that I would concede the point of this being reality for the sake of useful argument, did I not?
Edgeworth: That merely doesn't preclude the possibility of deception within that reality.
Althea: Well, then, you witnessed me alter the ambient light levels, and you haven't offered any evidence that either I did not actually do so or that I did not do so by the means I claimed to. You merely suggested it could be 'illusion'. So what, in such a context, do you hold illusion to mean?
Edgeworth: Essentially, the art of concealing evidence for purposes of entertainment.
Althea: Whose entertainment, yours or mine?
Althea shakes her head.
Edgeworth side-eyes Althea. "It certainly isn't my own."
Althea: So, because you could not discover evidence of my falsehood, you accuse me of simply concealing it in some unspecified way.
Althea: I am starting to get a certain sense of futility about all this...
Edgeworth: If you aren't willing to present your case further, then I'll be on my way.
Edgeworth turns, about to head deeper into the library district...
Althea: As you wish. Take care not to get into trouble, this isn't the most forgiving of locales.

A flash of rainbow light briefly covers Althea, and Edgeworth's brisk walk away slows as an unfamiliar chime rings once in his head.

Edgeworth looks around for the source of the "sound" even as he holds his head briefly, then he shakes his head and continues at his previous pace.
Althea sighs, shrugs, and moves on toward one of the buildings.

Within an hour, the displaced prosecutor manages to find the nearest building on the Library of Korranberg campus that is a literal library, but a quick browse of the titles seems to only further confirm that his "shadow" was right — no language or even script he's familiar with can be found there. If nothing else, however, it does provide Edgeworth with a quiet place to sit and reflect...

Edgeworth: Given that there do seem to be consistent written forms here, none of which I recognize, this appears even less like a vivid dream. My concession to that young lady may have to become more than hypothetical...
Edgeworth sighs. A pity that I'm essentially illiterate here.
Edgeworth puts a finger to his temple in thought. This appears to be a prominent college campus... If the "wizardry" she described does indeed exist, surely there's evidence of —
Edgeworth shakes his head violently. What are you thinking, Miles?! Are you so easily convinced to seek evidence of something like... like that?
Edgeworth stares downward uneasily. And yet... would it really be the first time?

Eventually, a familiar halfling comes through and begins browsing the shelves.

Edgeworth looks over at the rather small young lady and frowns. Is her presence a coincidence, or did she merely decide to be less obvious in her attempts to follow me?
Althea assembles a stack of about six books and heads for a table.
Edgeworth: In either case, I'd best not disrupt her.
Edgeworth crosses his arms and closes his eyes in consideration. ...If no such evidence exists, yet I seek it out, what harm would be done save to my dignity with regard to this one lady? What am I afraid of?
Edgeworth: If it is as she claims... that this is a different "plane"... that would seem to corroborate...
Edgeworth shudders.
Edgeworth: Furthermore, if magic is a science here, it becomes harder to deny that things were as they seemed that time. It may be, as she implies, that it's something we haven't taken the time to understand, perhaps due to the apparent rarity.
Edgeworth gulps, then shakes his head, then audibly chokes back a sob before turning his head away from Althea and grabbing one elbow with the opposite hand.
Edgeworth is silent for a few minutes before finally tensing up. If I can't bring myself to face the truth, am I any better than whoever it was that truly lied that time? Does it matter whose lie it really was if I'm too cowardly to surpass either?
Edgeworth lets his elbow go and stands, glaring into the distance. Haven't I already decided that the truth stands above even the law? To face it is the only proper course!
Edgeworth: I'll banish this weakness within me and any lies without!

A pale sky blue flash, faint but still noticable in indoor lighting, suddenly bursts out from Edgeworth.

Edgeworth recoils. "Wh-what the hell was that?!"

A number of readers nearby shush Edgeworth with varying levels of irritation.

Althea sets aside the book she's studying and approaches Edgeworth, speaking quietly. "I thought you said you didn't have magic where you come from."
Edgeworth: Gkk — I — but — I don't! I-I mean —
Althea: Keep it down. This is a library.
Edgeworth glares daggers at Althea's eyes and hisses back, "I know that!"
Edgeworth: But I don't have any idea what just happened!
Althea: Unless I've missed my guess, that was divine magic, or an attempt at such at least. Were you trying to banish something?
Edgeworth's eyes widen. "I-I beg your pardon?!"
Althea: I'm a scholar, I may not practice divine magic but I have studied it.
Edgeworth tries to hide his fear behind another glare. "Do you expect me to believe that some... some higher power has given me magical powers?"
Althea: The traditional view would hold that you exercised a power granted to you by some particular god, presumably the one you worship. The truth as I understand it is a little less clear cut; your own personal religious convictions are what sustains such abilities.
Edgeworth: OBJECTION! I'm not religious!

Even louder irate shushing is provoked by Edgeworth's outburst, and a few Common and Gnomish mutters for good measure.

Althea: If you can't control such outbursts, we should really not be discussing this here.
Edgeworth balls his fists and grits his teeth. "Nrrrgh..."
Edgeworth starts for the door.
Althea follows.
Edgeworth heads for the side of the building so as to not get in the way of foot traffic. "Now, if you'll explain how you're so certain that I spontaneously developed a power that supposedly stems from religious beliefs when I have none..."
Althea: Simply put, you clearly do, whether or not they are rooted in something that normally falls under the purview of whatever you consider to be 'religious'.
Althea: In a sense it's exactly as you put it before; you believe in someone or something as a higher power, and that gives you magic.
Althea: ...in all likelihood you're also carrying something on your person that could in some sense represent a holy symbol in the context of whatever that belief is...
Edgeworth facepalms. "This is the most preposterous thing I've ever heard."
Althea: If you were inclined to try to learn more, and assuming you're being honest at all to me in your denials, I'd suggest the Archival Foundation would be a better resource to you than any of the religious organizations...
Edgeworth: ...
Edgeworth: I have no motive to lie concerning this, miss. ...What is this "Archival Foundation"?
Althea: The Archival Foundation is a society dedicated to studying divine magic as an academic discipline rather than a matter of religious faith.
Edgeworth puts a finger to his temple. "The ones you mentioned previously as controversial, correct?"
Althea: Indeed. They've made some significant strides in understanding many of the underpinnings of divine magic, and are responsible for much of why I can tell you something other than the 'traditional view' I mentioned.
Edgeworth: I see...
Edgeworth pauses to take a deep breath. "...In that case, the path to the truth is clear."
Edgeworth: And unsettling as it may be, what choice do I have but to walk it even now?
Althea: I have some contacts with the Foundation, as I've helped with some research at times. Though I'm not sure how you would go about solving the lack of a common language. There is divine magic that can help with that, similar to the power I'm using, but it's advanced enough it would probably take a long time to learn.
Althea: Though there is a more easily grasped spell which could at least let you listen to and read unfamiliar languages.
Edgeworth crosses his arms.
Edgeworth: Then if these people are all that you say they are, surely something can be figured out. Furthermore, I do have a good head for languages; if I'm to remain here for very long, I'll simply learn.
Althea: I'd definitely prioritize learning Common, then, it's spoken pretty much everywhere. Were you to remain in Zilargo, Gnomish might also be useful, but if you'd end up far afield others might serve better...
Edgeworth bows. "I apologize for my earlier behavior. My name is Miles Edgeworth."
Althea: Althea d'Jorasco.
Edgeworth nods solemnly. I wish I could say it's a pleasure, but the circumstances are far too uncomfortable for that to be the case.

Althea leads Edgeworth out of the library quarter and through the streets of Korranberg. Eventually, at the edge of the divide between more organized streets and an open-air market, the two of them arrive at a squarish two-story building. The sign over the door is a well-weathered picture of an open tome, but nailed to the door at about gnomish eye level is a far newer-looking sign — a bald, green-skinned angel facing left with its wings extended behind it, a book under his or her arm, and a yardstick along its wing.

Edgeworth looks between the two rather obviously differently-aged signs thoughtfully.
Althea nods. "Suffice to say they've become more open about their aims since the end of the Last War."
Edgeworth: "Last War"?

Edgeworth pulls the door open, tripping a bell. Several shelves of books fill what seems to be the front half of the building's first floor. At the far end of the large room is a counter, behind which is a cheerful-looking gnomish girl and a glass case that's newer than the other furniture, filled with rolled-up and tied sheets of parchment.

Althea: That's something of an involved topic. Suffice to say this continent has been embroiled in conflict up until about two years ago.
Edgeworth nods grimly. Perhaps as involved as our World Wars...
Nopplebin looks up curiously at Althea's apparent new companion. In Gnomish, she mutters, "I wonder how he makes his hair do that..."
Edgeworth grins. I appear to have made some form of impression.
Althea waves. "Hey, Nopplebin."
Nopplebin looks down from Edgeworth to the more familiar halfling and waves. "Althea! Who's this human with you? ...Er, he is a human, right?"
Althea: ...to be honest, I'm not entirely sure. He mostly seems it.
Edgeworth glances at the bookshelves with a melancholy expression.
Althea: Fair warning, he's an unusual case. There's... something of a language barrier in play. He doesn't even know Common, and what he does know I've never even heard of before...
Nopplebin scratches her head. "Huh. Well, if you haven't I definitely haven't. Is this about a Comprehend Languages scroll, then?"
Althea: Eventually, perhaps, but I imagine that a bit of training may be in order first. More particularly, he's shown some definite affinity for divine magic, despite claiming to follow no religion, god or other higher power. I figured this would be the best place to try to get something like that sorted out.
Edgeworth simply observes the conversation for now.
Nopplebin blinks. "That is so weird, but I guess you've got a point..."
Nopplebin reaches under the counter and takes out a keyring, then heads to a door in the back and unlocks it.
Althea: I suspect it's not as weird as it sounds. He... probably just has a narrow idea of what qualifies as one of those, would be my guess...
Nopplebin shakes her head. "I think if I tried to make sense of that I'd just make my head hurt..."
Edgeworth walks over to the door, though doesn't open it, realizing he's the guest here.
Althea heads for the door.

The back area of the store has a few extra shelves of books, but the main features are a small printing press, bookbinding equipment, and a pair of desks for scribing. A flight of stairs at the far end of the room leads upward.

Edgeworth glances approvingly at the press before heading for... the bare wall under the staircase?
Althea: Not bad. Few would catch that at a glance.
Edgeworth turns, shrugs, and shakes his head with a smirk. "You claimed that this store's association with the Archival Foundation was a secret until recently. The sign over the door appeared roughly as old as the building itself, and to have the local association be upstairs would be too obvious — to say nothing of the fact that if this store is built like many old-fashioned sorts in my own world, upstairs would be the owners' residence."
Edgeworth smirks more smugly still as he puts a finger to the side of his head. "Furthermore, to not have a closet here would be a waste of space unless that space were being put to use in some other way."
Edgeworth scrutinizes the area, trying to figure out just how to open the secret door that must be there...
Althea: Indeed. Are you by chance some sort of inquisitive?
Althea hangs back a little, curious to see if Edgeworth manages on his own.
Edgeworth seems mildly puzzled by that word choice, but only briefly. "I moonlight as such, primarily to compensate for the often questionable efforts of the local police, but I'm technically a prosecutor by trade."
Edgeworth kneels down, examining some of the stonework at gnomish eye level in more detail.
Edgeworth fiddles with a loose stone; when that doesn't prove to be enough, he does so while pushing on where he thinks the door is.

Sure enough, operating the release while applying pressure to the door itself causes it to open inward, revealing a narrow staircase downward parallel to the one above it, lit by everburning torches.

Althea: After you.
Edgeworth stands and bows. "Thank you."
Edgeworth heads down the stairs...
Edgeworth looks up at the everburning torches hanging above them on the way down. "Curious. I feel no heat from those..."
Althea: It's a light evocation, not a flame proper.
Edgeworth: Huh.
Althea: I presume the only reason it's flame-like is for familiarity's sake. Or perhaps it's also symbolic...
Edgeworth shrugs noncommittally before opening a door at the right of the staircase's bottom.

This room is considerably more open than those upstairs; it seems to have the same area as the front and back rooms on the ground floor combined, without tall shelves to obstruct the view. Two of the walls are nothing but built-in bookshelves, and there's a cross-shaped human-thigh-high bookcase in the center of the room that seems to informally divide the room into quarters, but tables, desks, and chairs of varying heights are the primary furniture apparent.

This room is considerably busier than the others as well, looking akin to a university library in that reading, writing, and quiet discussion seem to be the primary activities taking place amongst the roughly ten people here. This doesn't even seem to be the full extent of the complex, either; a guard rail walls off a staircase at the far end of the room that leads even further down.

Aside from books and scrolls, a number of pendants, brooches, and charms are scattered about. The only symbol that seems to be a fixture of the room itself, however, is a far larger representation of the angel with the book and the measured wing, which hangs on the wall next to the stairs down.

Edgeworth steps further forward, clearly impressed, to make room for Althea to get by. "This is...!"
Althea heads over to one of the tables and addresses an apparent half-elf. "I've run into something of a conundrum you might find interesting, Dil."
Dil doesn't look up from whatever he's writing, but does acknowledge being addressed with a "Hm?"
Althea: Self-professed atheist with an affinity for divine magic.
Dil: And he doesn't follow a religion that doesn't necessarily rely on gods?
Althea: He claims to be entirely non-religious. Found the idea that he could possibly be calling on a higher power ridiculous.
Althea: But I saw him botch a turn attempt apparently entirely by accident.
Edgeworth takes a step towards the incomprehensible-to-him conversation, trying to at least figure out what the articles and prepositions and such are.
Dil sets his pen down. "Now that is interesting... whether as a case study or a prank."
Althea: I can't swear it's not the latter, but he does seem sincere.
Dil: It's only fair to give him a chance. Fortunately, this isn't a magical scroll, so it can wait.
Dil looks over at Edgeworth. In Common, he says, "Hello, good sir, and welcome to our Archive."
Edgeworth simply frowns in confusion.
Althea: ...he also has a bit of a language difficulty. I haven't been able to work out to my satisfaction exactly where he's from, but we don't have any common languages known, despite us both knowing several. I had to rely on my powers in that regard.
Dil: Then I count myself blessed to be ready to deal with that, at least for a few minutes.
Dil stands, then begins to mumble something while gesturing...
Edgeworth peers dubiously at the thin, pointy-eared man.
Dil steps towards Edgeworth and reaches for his hand.
Edgeworth backpedals, pulling the hand away while staring in shock at Dil.
Althea: He needs to touch you in order to complete the spell.
Althea: I did mention there are some differences between magic and psionics.
Edgeworth appears dubious for a moment, but then sighs. "Very well."
Edgeworth extends the hand Dil was reaching for.
Dil shakes it.
Edgeworth: Um...
Dil lets go and steps back with a weak smile. "I would help with both sides, but at least what little I can do halves your work, Althea."
Edgeworth glowers. I didn't understand that...
Althea nods. "He can understand you now, though I'll still have to translate for him."
Edgeworth: ...I see. That is consistent with the description of the weaker spell she described.
Dil looks relieved.
Althea: I've mentioned some basics about magic and psionics, but apparently both are relatively unknown where he comes from.
Edgeworth crosses his arms, noting that Althea is now addressing Dil in English as well. "Indeed. Furthermore, I have no idea why I'm here or how I supposedly wielded this so-called 'divine magic'. I'm only entertaining the idea at all because I felt it an instant before I saw it, and the faint flash of light in question did come from me."
Dil looks intrigued and thoughtful. "Hmm... He really must be from someplace different if even the idea of divine magic makes him skeptical. You said it was a turn attempt?"
Althea: That's certainly what it seemed like, yes.
Dil: It does sound like one...
Dil pulls out a strangely-shaped, palm-sized bone object with purple stripes painted onto it.
Dil speaks up over his shoulder. "It won't disrupt what anyone's doing if I channel some energy here, will it?"

There are a few murmurs in the negative.

Edgeworth: What is he doing?...
Dil: All right, thank you.
Dil holds the symbol up, closes his eyes, and firms his expression. He shimmers lavender for a split-second before light of the same color shines consistently from the symbol for a few seconds.
Edgeworth half-frowns as he narrows his eyes. "Is that supposed to be a demonstration of what I seemingly did, only properly?"
Dil nods.
Dil points to his own symbol, then looks at Edgeworth questioningly.
Edgeworth: I don't believe I have anything quite like that.
Althea shrugs. "I suspect he merely doesn't recognize it for what, in this context, it is, but how that can be the case is another curious matter."
Dil: Well, if he's "not religious", of course he wouldn't have a "religious" symbol. But what other symbols does he have?
Althea: Are you carrying anything symbolic? Perhaps pertaining to something important to you?
Edgeworth thinks for a moment. There are two things that would qualify. Of the two, the cravat is perhaps too specific in its current meaning...
Edgeworth: Which only leaves...
Edgeworth huffs and shakes his head while digging through his pants pocket. I can't believe I'm even considering this.
Edgeworth pulls out a gold lapel pin half an inch across that features a red gem in the center and four white "arms" something like tiny folded fans radiating out from it.
Edgeworth looks miffed as he explains, "It's a badge of my office. It merely identifies me as a prosecutor..."
Edgeworth: It isn't as though I worship my job.
Althea: It's a place to start.
Dil grins. "But if you did, it would explain why that would work."
Althea repeats Dil's comment before commenting herself: "It is important to you, no? Moreso than just to keep busy and earn a living."
Edgeworth recoils. "E-even if that's the case, that's not even close to a religion!"
Althea: We're not trying to invent a religion to convert you to, we're just trying to piece things together.
Dil puts a finger to his lip. "I don't know... to some Sovereign Host followers, working is worship of the matching god."
Edgeworth sighs and holds his head with his free hand.
Althea adds in a quiet aside, "I still haven't worked out why he's quite that sensitive about the issue."
Althea repeats Dil's observation in English.
Edgeworth harumphs and looks away. "The only goddesses associated with that job are just convenient symbols now. No one literally believes in them, and certainly not myself."
Dil: But some religions don't have gods, just philosophies.
Althea repeats Dil's comment.
Edgeworth glares at Dil. "Philosophies which are still based on irrational things that are impossible to prove or disprove! Don't insult me by implying I'm such a man!"
Dil looks to the ground. "I'm sorry, sir. If you don't like that idea, you probably won't like the life of a cleric, even if it does mean that you can learn divine magic. But there is a way out..."
Althea repeats before adding another aside: "He made rather a big deal about proof earlier, we went around in circles a bit about proving how I could even understand him."
Edgeworth: Then tell me! I never asked to have this... this "magic" imposed on me!
Dil: ...Abandon your most cherished beliefs, and the magic won't come to you anymore.
Althea staggers slightly, but repeats the line faithfully after a moment's hesitation.
Edgeworth points straight at Dil. "OBJECTION!"
Edgeworth: You would have me abandon justice, the truth on which justice depends, and the rationality that allows us to uncover the truth?! Perish the thought!

A pale blue wave travels over Edgeworth and to the lapel pin grasped in the hand he's not pointing with, which flashes the same color.

Dil smiles. "Oh, thank the Traveler. It did work."
Edgeworth blinks and lowers his pointing hand while raising the one holding his badge.
Edgeworth opens his fist to look at the pin in bewilderment...
Althea nods. "That was quicker than I had expected things to go."
Dil shrugs. "I did only have twenty minutes..."
Althea: True.
Dil looks back to Edgeworth. "Now, do you need time to think, or do you want to try again now?"
Althea repeats Dil's query.
Edgeworth: I... I'll need some time for consideration, yes.
Edgeworth appears almost numb with shock as he keeps staring at his badge.
Dil nods and turns back to his seat. "I'll go back to writing, then. Good luck."
Edgeworth: ...
Althea bows slightly and heads back near the staircase.
Edgeworth seems not to notice...
Edgeworth takes a couple of minutes to recover sufficiently to stagger to an unused human-scaled table, pull out a chair there, and collapse into it. He sets his badge on the table, by now looking at least as contemplative as stunned.
Edgeworth: It makes no sense... How could that count as a religion? Aren't such things precisely the opposite of the sort of thinking that causes people to retreat to systems of irrational belief?
Edgeworth: Does that mean that somehow, it's irrational to think such things here? ...No, that can't be the case. Otherwise, why would such a place as this exist and have apparently achieved any results?
Edgeworth: ...I understand too little of this world. I've barely explored the city and seen how it operates. I don't believe I can grasp the truth without a clear understanding of the local context.
Edgeworth stands, takes his badge, and repockets it before tracking down Althea.
Althea remains waiting near the staircase.
Edgeworth clears his throat and tries to look composed. "I need to see what everyday life is like in this place."
Althea nods quietly and gestures toward the stairs.
Edgeworth begins to climb.
Althea follows Edgeworth.