Your past is represented by the Moon. It can mean fear or bewilderment, or signify that you have been misrepresenting the truth.

Your present is shown by the Hanged Man. You are taking time to reflect on what you're doing.

What will aid you is the energy of the High Priestess. The Priestess senses the hidden, the potential, what's out there.

You are hindered by the Hermit. This is interesting because the Hermit and the High Priestess are similar cards. While the Hermit seeks solitude, however, the Priestess is open to the world and its mystery.

The attitudes of others are shown by the Page of Cups. They are intuitive, reacting to their emotions.

Your actions are shown by the Four of Pentacles. This card shows the impossibility of stopping change. You may want to control your path to something safer, but it simply cannot be done.

Finally, the outcome is represented by the Four of Cups. Where the High Priestess is a card of understanding the world and those around you, the Four of Cups is a card of understanding yourself.


Edgeworth finds himself at the top of the outdoor steps of the courthouse, but it sits alone in a blasted wasteland beneath a skyless void. In his right hand is a shortsword, while his left wrist has a golden chain wrapped around it, from which dangles a larger version of his badge. Not far from the bottom of the steps, a dark-grey-robed woman who looks like a well-preserved walking corpse and has a visible old sword wound through the middle of her torso is cackling. She's surrounded by spectres, shadows, wraiths, and ghosts, most of which look eager to attack.

Edgeworth hefts the sword with one hand, clearly disturbed through his gritted teeth and glare.
Edgeworth: I won't allow you to make a mockery of this place again!
The lich laughs mockingly. "Haven't you done your share of that as well?"
Edgeworth: Grrnnngh... Unlike you, I came to an appreciation of how to do my job properly — how to enable the truth to come to light!
Lich: Even if that were completely true, does that really make up for your past?!

Some of the apparitions surrounding the lich chime in: "You were all too happy to cooperate if it helped your case; remember?" "You should have known I wouldn't have made that mistake." "You learned as well as I'd hoped, boy."

Edgeworth swallows uneasily at that final, deep-voiced assertion.
Edgeworth shakes his head and glares straight at the lich. "The past cannot be changed! To simply proceed along a better path upon realizing the error of one's ways is all that can be done!"

Another of the lich's entourage pipes up: "OBJECTION! I can testify to the fact that you haven't changed enough! You won't admit that you've seen me help Phoenix!"

Edgeworth begins to look nervous. "B-but that was a ruse! I-it had to be..."
Lich: If none of it was real, then how do you explain how I died?!
Edgeworth: Er, well, th-that is —
Lich: You'd just rather see me as the criminal than him!
Edgeworth's eyes widen with panic as a male shade is seemingly forced to the front with a wave of the lich's hand.

"I'm sorry, Miles."

Edgeworth grits his teeth and forces his attention back onto the lich. "OBJECTION! This is... this is...!"
The lich tilts her head. "Coercion? Or are you afraid to consider that much?"
Edgeworth recoils. "Grrnk!"
The lich waves a hand forward, prompting the mass of incorporeal undead to fly up the staircase at him. "Let's see how far you're willing to go!"
Edgeworth panics and slices at a redheaded ghost and her burly aide to no avail — the sword simply passes through.

"Hmph. Didn't I already say that there's nothing that can be done to punish the dead?"

A calm voice rings out within Edgeworth's head. I'm not entirely sure what's supposed to be going on right now, but I think it might be best to point out a couple things: one, this is in fact a dream, and two, none of these... people are at all likely to be who they appear to be...

Edgeworth blinks. "Wh-what the...?"
Edgeworth looks around for Althea in confusion, though finds it difficult while dodging attacks.
The lich can be heard cackling in the background.
Althea: I'm not actually here; this is your dream. I'm just witness to it for reasons I can't get into at the moment. If you weren't already tapped out from practice I'd suggest you try turning them... If I think of anything else I'll try to let you know.
Edgeworth: I fail to see how that fact would be of any consequence in the context of a dream.
Edgeworth cries out as he's raked by two of the creatures assaulting him thanks to his divided attention. He falls to his knees and the sword clatters to the concrete as he finds even staying on his hands and knees to be a feat of strength now.
Edgeworth grabs the symbol dangling from his left wrist with that hand and begins to raise it...
Lich: You fool! If you make use of that, we've already won!
Edgeworth hesitates... then looks to the lich with a rather hostile smirk. "That's not true — nor, for that matter, are you!"
Edgeworth: You're either a very poor actress or see echoing my fears as more important than playing the role you've taken on.
Lich: What nonsense!
Edgeworth: Furthermore! Concerning those fears, lest I forget, the true winner of a debate must not be any individual — rather, it must be the truth!
Edgeworth: While it is true that to use this in such a situation would be to acknowledge the purpose ascribed to it and all that implies, if all that is true, is that not my duty?!
Edgeworth struggles to raise the oversized badge-on-a-chain above his head, but once he does, pale blue light radiates from it to encompass the area. The ghosts scream and dissipate...

The lich shields her eyes, her form melting away to reveal a grotesque creature resembling a black-and-pink snake with a multi-eyed brain for a head and arms ending in crab pincers branching off of said head.

Edgeworth collapses to the concrete, clutching his head and trembling with pain...
Althea: That one's real. A tsucora quori. They inhabit this plane and feed on dreamers' fears.
Edgeworth seems to be in too much pain to do more than open his eyes and look around at Althea's comment.
The tsucora slithers towards the ramp at the side of the stairs up...

Althea's voice resonates within the quori this time. It's too late. All illusion has been cast away. He knows what you are and what you want. You will get nothing more out of this.

At the same time, the ramp suddenly becomes more stairs, almost as though to emphasize the point.

The tsucora hisses.
Edgeworth manages to look smug even through his agony for a few seconds before collapsing face-first.

The entire scene begins to waver, and the quori falls out as though the ground had lost its substance...

Althea awakens rather suddenly, sitting up and looking around a small dorm room from the lower bunk, trying to get her bearings. A female kobold looks over from a seat at a small table and shakes her head, appearing somewhat amused.

Tikra: Do you ever sleep without such interruptions, seer?
Althea looks over to the table. "At home, on occasion, I do; I think circumstances are conspiring to prevent such things while I'm here."
Althea sits up on the edge of the bed, reaching for her glasses, a book, and a pen from a small endtable, opens the book and begins scribbling furiously in it, even as she continues talking.
Althea: This time at least, it was a matter I am not so far removed from as to make the knowledge useless.
Althea: The human I briefly mentioned last night got targetted by a quori... Somehow I ended up witnessing the whole thing, so I could at least psychically warn him.
Tikra shakes her head. "I gather from the rather fantastic tale you presented, that he was unfamiliar with and ill-equipped to handle such threats..."
Althea: Yes. In all the breadth of topics covered, I'm afraid I neglected to mention the dangers of nightmares. It may be lucky that I intervened as I did; were he to have discovered that quori's true nature on his own, I don't know what might have come from such a confrontation.
Althea: As it was, it seemed to have spun a rather elaborate ruse from the more troubling elements of his own past, and at first he was disturbed and panicked enough to react as was desired. Once he got his wits about him, though, he immediately started to see through the farce; I have to admit, he has some incredibly sharp observational skills.
Tikra makes a disgusted sound. "Such memories are burden enough without being twisted by meddlers..."
Althea: He seems to be the type not to easily discuss such things, so I haven't and probably won't pry. I'm starting to piece together what I can, myself, but I can be certain of little more than that it involves some kind of 'sin' against his 'faith', the courts where he's from, and I think the dead, somehow... I've got a sneaking suspicion it involves magic as well, despite his insistence it doesn't exist where he's from...
Tikra snorts. "Because of it, you mean."
Althea grins. "It does seem a denial too fervent to be wholly credible. Certainly something about the very idea upsets him more deeply than simple offense at superstition."
Althea: Still, it's something he will need to come to terms with himself, in his own way. I get the feeling pursuing divine magic will eventually lead to that, anyway.
Tikra shakes her head again. "You do lead quite the strange life, seer."

Meanwhile, a fair distance away from the library district, in one of Korranberg's Ghallanda inns...

Edgeworth starts awake with a twitch and a small gasp.
Edgeworth rolls over, pulling the covers in closer. That nightmare grew remarkably strange near the end.
Edgeworth: Furthermore, I hadn't thought Althea to have made quite so strong an impression as to make an appearance in one, so to speak.
Edgeworth: Peculiarities aside, however, it is certainly true that I must accept that which is shown to be the truth... however personally trying that truth may be.
Edgeworth attempts to get back to sleep...

After getting another hour's fitful sleep, Edgeworth treats himself to a simple breakfast before heading back to the Korranberg Archive. As he's not used to the locale and lacks a map, he's careful and deliberate in making his way there, but he does eventually succeed.

Edgeworth steps into the first basement and takes in the current atmosphere. He frowns at some of the stares he earns.
Dil looks up from some absurdly elaborate-looking writing preparations on one of the tables and approaches Edgeworth. "Ah, good morning."
Edgeworth seems thoughtful for an instant at the greeting.
Dil: I'll be right back.
Dil heads downstairs for a few minutes, returning with the helmet from yesterday.
Edgeworth accepts the magical device and puts it on even as Dil casts his own spell.
Dil: There we are. I'll be too busy today to help with much until this evening, so the best thing to do for now would be to give you some basic reading material.
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Hopefully you mean that."
Dil grins gently. "Oh, don't worry — there's no point in trying to make you grow faster than is possible."
Edgeworth: ...Very well.
Dil heads over to the bookshelves on the right side of the room and pulls out three tomes.
Edgeworth seats himself at an unoccupied table.
Dil sets each of the books down in turn. "This one is an overview of how different religions view both divine and arcane magic. The head of our Archive was the original author, actually. This next one explains the eight basic schools of magic — categories of effect instead of spellcasting styles."
Edgeworth: It's still difficult to believe that I'll be reading such things as I would any nonfiction...
Edgeworth: And the last?
Dil chuckles. "I went to the trouble of finding an elementary school Common textbook for you. It's meant for children who technically already speak it, but it should still help."
Edgeworth nods appreciatively, reaching for that book first. "Thank you."
Dil smiles, then returns to his elaborate setup. "I can't be disturbed while I'm scribing this scroll and it'll take several hours to do, but reading alone isn't too much to ask of you, is it?"
Edgeworth appears mildly insulted even as he opens the grammar textbook. "Most certainly not."

While Edgeworth occupies himself reading, Althea makes her way to another library where a number of students and researchers are gathered in various small groups. She makes her way to a table not too far from the entrance, occupied by a nearly middle-aged, tawny-haired female gnome with ice-blue eyes; a younger gnome girl slightly smaller than Althea herself, with pale silvery-blue hair and sapphire eyes; a male halfling about Althea's age with black hair and russet eyes, and a tall red-haired human with gray eyes.

Althea sits down at the group table, pulling out some sheets of paper. "Morning, what's up?"
The older gnome peers at Althea for a moment before sighing and shaking her head.
Berdmol: After that cryptic missive from yesterday, I'd think you'd be the one to answer that question.
The younger gnome smiles brightly.
Illyvalen: Hi Althea! I found a few more reports and we talked a bit about the next dig, but you didn't miss too much.
The halfling grins slightly and shakes his head in an exaggerated manner.
Nathaniel: I have to agree with Berdmol; if we must suffer through your absence, the least you can do is share the cause. What unexpected circumstances so suddenly befell you?
The human looks around the table briefly.
David: Not that I necessarily agree how much we all need to hear about this, but shouldn't it wait until everyone's here?
Althea shrugs. "I told Tikra about most of it last night."
Nathaniel: Then by all means, don't leave us in suspense.
Althea: I encountered a strange human on my way back from the market yesterday. He spoke no language I've ever heard, and a great many I haven't. Had I not had a suitable psionic power to breach that particular barrier, there may have been no way we could even communicate.
Illyvalen: Really?! Did you find out what his languages were?
Althea: His native language is something called "English." It's a strange language, sounds something like: "OBJECTION! You're contadicting yourself jest by sang that in this language!"
Illyvalen stares wide-eyed at Althea. "I don't even recognize any linguistic roots. Where is he from?"
Althea: That is an even greater mystery. He had no knowledge of planar cosmology or the astral plane itself. He called his home "Earth" and described it as a "planet." Apparently, it's some kind of Eberron-like body circling a sun within the material plane, or some other plane much like our material plane.
Berdmol: That... sounds pretty far-fetched.
David: Indeed. I think you may have been taken in by some sort of hoax.
Althea: Don't think I hadn't considered the possibility. However, there is ample evidence against any simple explanation for his situation, regardless of whether every detail he has provided is entirely true.
Berdmol: Such as?
Althea: For one thing, he seems to come from a world without magic, at least as we know it. In his unfamiliar environment, he managed to spontaneously make a botched turn attempt without trying or even apparently knowing such a thing was possible.
David shakes his head, looking skeptical.
Althea: He was later provoked into a repeat performance over at the Korranberg Archive. He's definitely an unusual case; he espouses belief in no religion of any kind, and was deeply troubled by the implication that having divine magic meant he had such beliefs. It took quite some time and effort to even begin to reconcile matters.
Berdmol: My, my, you do attract the weird ones, don't you?
Illyvalen: Did you find out what his beliefs were?
David: Really, an atheist cleric? What utter nonsense.
Nathaniel: But quite the story no matter what the truth of the matter is. So what did you learn about him?
Althea: It seems that his 'faith' ties in with his job as a prosecutor. He believes in "justice, the truth on which justice depends, and the rationality that allows us to uncover the truth."
David stares at Althea. "That's a religion?"
Illyvalen looks thoughtful.
Althea: So conflicted was he over the thought of his convictions being 'religious' that he feared he had found himself in a place where truth itself was something he could not count on. Much of yesterday was spent touring the city so that he could observe how people live here. Particularly how we utilize magic in our everyday lives.
Nathaniel: So that's what kept you scarce the whole day, then.
Althea: I spent quite some time explaining Zil culture, the Dragonmarked Houses, dragonshards, elemental vessels, warforged, Talenta halfling culture, planar cosmology and manifest zones, the nature of the sun and moons, geography, religions, the natures of arcane and divine magic, wizards versus sorcerers, ritual magic, scroll scribing...
Althea: Partway through this, he came to terms somewhat with his ideas on the implications of having divine magic, by defining it more in the context of faith than religion.
Illyvalen: That seems kinda weird...
Nathaniel: Perhaps not. After all, even an atheist may likely have faith in the falsehood of religions.
Althea: Mm, there's definitely some of that present, as thoughtful as he is on many subjects; the idea of even associating something he believes in with religion clearly frightens him with the sense that, if they can be so tied, they must be false...
Althea: Moreso magic troubles him, though he grudgingly accepts the evidence of its existence here. He insists it represents nothing but trickery and superstition in his world, though I get the sense that there's something a bit disingenuous about his denials.

An immediate response is forestalled as the kobold from earlier enters the library, provoking a few stares and murmurs, though the majority of those present seem to have little reaction. Her approach to the table elicits a brief nod of acknowledgement from David and Nathaniel, a vaguely disapproving glance from Berdmol, and a smile and a wave from Illyvalen. She quietly takes a seat next to Althea.

Althea: Hey, Tikra. Just getting everyone caught up on the matter from yesterday.
Tikra nods.
Althea: He did talk quite a bit about some of the advances of his world. Many of the kinds of things we've learned to improve or adapt through arcane magic, his people have managed through machinery. They also know a bit more about the place their "planet" holds in its plane, in part because while it has only one moon, other planets also circle their sun.
Berdmol raises an eyebrow. "That's one way to clarify things, I suppose. Did he say much about these other... 'planets?'"
Althea: Not a great many things, but apparently they are without life.
David: Hmm. How exactly do they know that?
Althea: Very powerful telescopes, and vessels that can travel beyond the sky. Some that even accommodated men wearing special suits to protect them from the environment; apparently that changes too when you go beyond the sky, almost like entering another plane.

This claim earns Althea incredulous stares from Berdmol and David, and a purely fascinated one from Illyvalen. Tikra simply shakes her head slightly.

Nathaniel: Quite the romantic notion, visiting the moons and the stars. But the thought of it all being lifeless and sterile undercuts that a bit, don't you think?
Althea shrugs. "At any rate, he also got some practice with turning. He's more powerful than one might expect, but he ended up finding his limits the hard way. It made for a unique account of the experience, at least."
Nathaniel: So you've said a lot about where he says he's from and what he believes, but what's he actually like?
Althea hesitates for a moment. "Honestly? He's kind of a pain. I mean, he's gone through a lot of upheaval and has a lot to cope with, and I can appreciate the stress he's under, but he's been trying my patience quite a bit under the circumstances. I've held my temper thus far, but I don't know if I'll be able to continue indefinitely."
Nathaniel holds his hand to his chest in an exaggerated display of feigned shock. "The gentle seer losing her poise? Unthinkable!"
Berdmol: That would be something unusual to witness...
Tikra: He does sound the type to try one's patience, from what you've described.
Althea: He's a very sharp, perceptive and intelligent man, and clearly someone of deeply-held convictions he's not shy of sharing. He... seems rather guarded, emotionally, though. I'm pretty sure he's been through some kind of deep trauma. He's not very easy to forge a connection with...
Tikra nods without comment.
Nathaniel: So when do we meet this unusual individual?
Althea: ...I'm not sure it's a good idea to expose him to too much attention. He's already becoming the talk of the Korranberg Archive, and he's really not used to Zil culture at all.
Illyvalen: Awww... I want to hear more of his languages...
Althea: Maybe once he's had a chance to acclimate...
Berdmol: I think it'd be best if you focused on the languages in front of you for now. We've still got a lot of material to cover.

Meanwhile, back at the Archive, Edgeworth spends the next few hours studying the Common tome primarily, though he does bring himself to give the others a look. Before he knows it, it's almost noon...

Althea slips into the first basement shortly after quarter to noon and approaches Edgeworth's table quietly.
Edgeworth is too busy poring over the children's textbook to notice immediately.
Edgeworth eventually reaches the end of a chapter and sticks a bookmark in, appearing thoughtful.
Althea speaks in a soft voice. "So, have you mastered Common yet?"
Edgeworth blinks and looks up and over at Althea. "Ah, I hadn't noticed your arrival. But to answer your question, it's only been a day and I haven't even practiced."
Edgeworth grins and taps the helmet he's wearing. "However, this sort of assistance should allow mastery to come far more quickly than would otherwise be possible."
Althea nods and takes a seat at the table. "...I must apologize. While I covered a great many subjects regarding the nature of matters here, I neglected to warn you of the dangers Dal Quor can pose even to those with such tenuous connection as merely dreaming..."
Edgeworth frowns in puzzlement briefly. "That's the, er, 'plane' you initially thought I had mistaken this for when I expressed doubt that any of this was real, correct?"
Althea: Yes.
Edgeworth: Is there a reason why you're broaching this subject now?
Althea: There is.
Althea: Firstly, it should be noted that the nature of my... powers is such that I sometimes bear witness to things without necessarily explicitly attempting to do so.
Edgeworth rubs his temple in irritation.
Althea: On that basis, I am aware that you had a nightmare this morning. And that a tsucora quori attempted to use it to feed off you.
Edgeworth appears dubious, yet uneasy. "If that's the case, you should be able to state what it was about."
Althea: I will endeavor to do so. ...bear in mind that I do not have the ability to place what I saw in the context your own memories provide, and that I will be working from the perspective of different knowledge and experience in describing matters.
Edgeworth simply crosses his arms and waits.
Althea: You appeared to be defending an elaborately-architectured building amidst the empty wasteland of Dolurrh...
Althea: You were armed with a sword and a larger version of your holy symbol.
Althea: The quori had taken the form of a lich, and appeared to be impersonating some acquaintance of yours. I would presume someone who has died.
Edgeworth looks disturbed. "Th-that's quite enough."
Althea: While quori attacks are not particularly common, the fact that you were attacked upon the very first night you came here does raise some concern...
Edgeworth peers. "You speak of these 'quori attacks' as though they're some sort of real consequence to dreaming."
Althea: Precisely so. The ramifications are potentially quite serious, as a successful attack is at minimum highly disruptive to one's wellbeing, and in rare cases can be fatal.
Edgeworth recoils. "F-fatal?!"
Althea: To individuals of lesser constitution, yes. I don't know your capabilities well enough to say whether the risk could be that bad in your case.
Edgeworth stares into the distance, eyes round with shock. If what she claims has any truth to it whatsoever, would I have survived to adulthood in this place?
Althea: It's unlikely, but it does happen. More common symptoms include simple aches and pains or sometimes becoming comatose for a relatively short time...
Althea: The most typical harm is nothing a simple healing spell won't relieve. On the other hand, at a minimum you won't get proper rest if you've been fed on in that way...
Edgeworth: Is this... phenomenon well-documented, and its connection to these alleged creatures proven?
Althea: ...yes, at least among those who study the planes in depth, or have... other causes for familiarity with the inhabitants of Dal Quor...
Edgeworth crosses his arms again, though looks less detached than he usually does upon doing so. "You have claimed to be the former."
Althea: That is correct. Not everything to which I am personally privy is publically available, but if you are looking for some additional research material, the Library should be able to accommodate.
Edgeworth frowns. "In short, for all practical intents and purposes any evidence isn't yet available for me to review. After all, I rather doubt I have the necessary privileges to remove a book from the premises, and I'm essentially functionally illiterate outside the Archive."
Althea: I should be able to procure a few titles, if you believe it would not interfere with your other studies.
Edgeworth nods grimly, unfolding his arms. "Evidence is everything."
Edgeworth glances aside uneasily. "By the same token, I can say with confidence that no such dangers exist in my world."
Edgeworth: If these claims of yours have any truth to them, then I hope to find a lead concerning how to return quickly.
Althea: Worse dangers have occurred here. The quori are limited in how much they can reach given the current planar interrelationship; while Dal Quor still orbited the Material Plane normally, we had to defend from a quori invasion of Eberron, though that is a matter of ancient history at this point.
Althea: And I already mentioned the invasion of the daelkyr, though I may have neglected to name them.
Edgeworth: ...If what you say is true, then making sense of events here sounds far more difficult than I'm accustomed to.
Althea: Perhaps. You appear to have very keen observational capabilities even out of your element, however; I have a feeling you may adjust fairly well in that regard at least.
Edgeworth smirks.
Althea: I believe honing your newfound capabilities here may assist you with that as well. It's a fair bet to say that your faith provides you with the "Truth" domain of divine magic, which among other things should provide you with aid in performing divinatory magic.
Edgeworth: ...
Edgeworth: Again she makes a statement about my potential capabilities that seems correct for no apparent reason...
Edgeworth looks to the table uneasily.
Althea: If you would like me to leave you to your reading, there are a few other things I can work on in the mean time.
Edgeworth: That would probably be for the best.
Althea nods and pulls out a book of her own, as well as a pen and a few blank sheets of paper.
Edgeworth looks to the Common textbook, then to each of the others; after a moment's hesitation, he reaches for the one describing the basic schools of magic.

Over the next several hours, Edgeworth not only finishes the Common textbook, but manages to make a great deal of progress in studying the basic categories of magical effect. The latter is a considerably slower process thanks to magic being a much more unfamiliar and uncomfortable subject for him.

Meanwhile, Dil continues the complex ritual of scroll-scribing he's been undertaking. Eventually, its completion is marked by Dil touching a large rune on one of the scroll's corners only to stagger seconds later. Though clearly fatigued from the process, he sighs in relief, rolls up the scroll and ties it in that shape, then begins cleaning up his workspace.

Edgeworth glances up at Dil's departure, but quickly returns his attention to studying.
Edgeworth continues for a few pages at a gradually decreasing rate, but soon shakes and then holds his head...
Edgeworth places a bookmark in the book, closes it, and staggers to his feet.
Althea looks up. "Ready for something else? How long have you been at this, anyway?"
Edgeworth looks at his watch and blinks. "Has it been ten hours already?"
Althea shakes her head. "And I thought I got lost in books. I suppose we'd better scrounge up something to eat before anything else, then."
Edgeworth: Clearly, given that I'm rather lightheaded.
Althea: You still up for Gnomish food or shall we see what that Inn has going for supper?
Althea: ...I suppose I probably should have prepared lunches or something, thinking about it, but between getting back late and having so much to do this morning... ah well.
Edgeworth: I believe trying a different local dish would be most desirable.
Althea nods and starts putting her materials away.
Edgeworth removes the Archive's helmet slowly.