The walk and the promise of chess opponents give Edgeworth enough to focus on as he and Althea make their way to the library district, then more specifically to Jorthem Hall in the Morridan college's set of blocks.

The classroom where the chess gathering is to happen is a large one, with pairs of desks of the same height pushed together, covered in pastel landscape tablecloths, and chessboards placed on top serving the needs of players. Both seating mats and booster seats are offered for the sake of opponents of wildly divergent size. One windowless wall is covered primarily with a curtain which also features a landscape, though to judge by the size and the lack of light leaking through the thin cloth, it's probably covering up the room's chalkboard. Another, smaller wall features the room's one window.

Edgeworth looks around at the dozen-and-a-half makeshift chess tables with approval. "We seem to have arrived ahead of everyone else. Is the game as popular here as the number of boards would make it appear?"
Althea: No, but we are limited by the size of the classroom after all.
Edgeworth begins to frown at the 'no', but then looks surprised at the elaboration. "Do you mean to imply that there's commonly a wait?"
Althea: There can be. Depends who shows up to which event. Particularly later on things can get a bit competitive, so a lot of folks like to get in some games early on before any organized matches get underway.
Edgeworth smirks widely. "Then I hope this proves to be as invigorating an evening as possible."
Althea: Think you'll make it to the final rounds?
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head, arms outspread. "It's entirely possible, depending on the level of competition here. I wouldn't expect to outdo the best chess players in my own world, but finding a challenge has been a challenge in itself."
Althea: Morridan prides itself on such skills as these, but this is the open group, not a fully organized tournament. We'll just have to see who shows.
Edgeworth looks between one of the human-sized setups and one of the gnome-sized ones. "Who decides the seating arrangements in this situation?"
Althea: Black.
Althea: Assuming there's a choice left to be made.
Edgeworth nods. "Are the sides typically chosen at random in the open group? I presume them to be so in the tournaments."
Althea shrugs. "I don't think there's a hard and fast rule, but I've never seen a dispute over it either. I'd imagine if there was one random would be the way to go."
Althea: Come to think of it, I think some of the competitive types like to go with challenger's choice on that.
Edgeworth grins. "I see."
Edgeworth: Do you yourself play?
Althea: Sometimes, yes.
Edgeworth crosses his arms, looking confident. "Then perhaps we should avail ourselves of the opportunity to choose our seating arrangements."
Althea nods.

The two quickly settle specifics enough to seat themselves at one of the human-sized "tables" by Althea's choice and begin a game. By the time most of each side's pieces that weren't captured early have come into full play, other people, primarily gnomes, begin to trickle into the room...

Althea considers the board carefully before repositioning a black bishop.
Edgeworth looks briefly annoyed at that move, then looks the implications of it over.
Edgeworth glances between that bishop and his queen, then considers Althea's remaining rook before moving a knight into position to capture that bishop next turn if it stays where it is.
Althea considers momentarily before advancing a pawn to immediately lower-right of the bishop.
Edgeworth grins before advancing his knight to its other obvious possible move... "Check."

A young, frail-looking gnome looks over at the unfamiliar utterance, looking at Edgeworth, her eyes lighting up with a sudden realization as she starts making her way over to the two.

Illyvalen: Oh! It's you, isn't it?! The guy from 'Earth'!
Edgeworth blinks, then looks over and down at the speaker.
Edgeworth pauses before replying, "Indeed."
Althea chuckles. "Illyvalen, Miles Edgeworth. Edgeworth, Illyvalen. She's been working with me on a couple different projects."
Illyvalen: Ooh, is that that 'English' you were talking about?
Edgeworth pulls out from the makeshift table and stands in order to bow. I only hope her enthusiasm doesn't prove to be oppressive.
Edgeworth looks back to Althea. "Projects of what sort, if you're at liberty to divulge that information?"
Illyvalen grabs a spare chair to carefully drag over, clearly more interested in any conversation here than finding a game.
Althea: She's collaborating with me on some medical research, and there's also a larger archeological and anthropological project going on involving a number of us.
Illyvalen quietly repeats some of the more complicated-sounding words being spoken to herself.
Althea: She's also the linguistics expert of our group. She knows far more languages than I do.
Edgeworth actually looks relieved at that. "I see. That explains how, um, energetic she seems."
Althea: Mm, she has been pretty eager to meet you ever since I offered up a sample of something I remembered you saying to me when I first encountered you.
Althea: So, you gonna stay for the whole thing this time?
Illyvalen: Huh? Oh, yeah I dunno, maybe. The early part's usually more fun.
Edgeworth nods, then looks back to the gnome. "A pity my Common is still too poor for us to discuss anything in depth."
Althea nods. "I could always translate if need be, but I suspect she'll be content just to listen to you talk for a while."
Althea: Can't really disagree too much there, some folks do take it pretty seriously. The guy you forfeited on last time was pretty upset and all.
Illyvalen: ...wasn't really a forfeit, we didn't even have a game.
Althea moves one of her knights back to capture Edgeworth's.
Edgeworth seems too focused on making sense of the Common to notice immediately, but the fact does register quickly, prompting him to reseat himself.
Althea shakes her head. "When you win ten times in a row, and then decide to quit for the night while there's still a challenger, that counts as a forfeit."
Edgeworth smirks, then moves a rook boldly to Althea's side of the board, to a spot where his remaining bishop protects it now that the enemy knight is out of the way.
Althea ignores the rook, moving her other bishop across the board and capturing a pawn.
Edgeworth raises an eyebrow and looks Althea's closer pieces over more carefully...
Edgeworth recoils. "Mrrgh?!"
Illyvalen peers at the board and grins. "That's just like you."
Edgeworth grits his teeth, growling slightly as he moves his queen to capture the bishop in question before it has a chance to back his king into a corner.
Althea nods slightly and moves a knight into place, capturing the queen. "Check."
Edgeworth moves his king aside.
Illyvalen: So, you know a bunch of other languages too, right?
Edgeworth looks to Illyvalen, putting a finger to his temple while trying to make sense of that rapid question.
Althea: Illyvalen, I know you're curious, but if you get him speaking all of them at once you won't figure out any of them...
Illyvalen: Aw, it won't hurt to at least hear a sample of each, right?
Althea shrugs and looks to Edgeworth. "I don't know if you caught any of that, but she's asking about the other languages you know."
Edgeworth: Ah, is that it... She speaks quickly enough to be difficult to understand.
Althea: That she does...
Althea: You might want to speak a bit slower, he's not that good with Common yet.
Illyvalen: Oh. Oh! Right, right, sorry. I'll-try-to-slow-down-a-bit.
Edgeworth: Thank you.
Edgeworth clears his throat. "Die andere Sprache die ich haben langjährige praktische Erfahrungen in Deutsch ist."
Illyvalen stares, fascinated. "What's that one called?"
Althea: Perhaps it might be best if I just translate it into Common?
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "No objections."
Althea: The other language in which I have many years of practical experience is Deutsch.
Illyvalen: Ah.
Illyvalen does a reasonably credible job of repeating Edgeworth's comment, albeit her accent clearly needs work.
Edgeworth grins. "Ihr Geschick an das ist offensichtlich."
Althea: Her skill in this is obvious.
Illyvalen grins and blushes slightly. "Uh, thanks."
Edgeworth stands and bows. "Nichts zu danken."
Althea: You're welcome.

Over the next few minutes, Edgeworth demonstrates a few other Earth languages, even while continuing to play chess with Althea...

Illyvalen continues to mimic Edgeworth's demonstrations, seeming to get a little better at imitating his accents over time.
Edgeworth: ...Unfortunately, we've now reached the limits of what I can demonstrate — unless, of course, you wish to hear more of one in particular.
Althea continues to stare at the board as she repeats Edgeworth's line in Common. After an additional pause, she sighs and sets her king on its side. "You'd have me stalemated at the least in a few more moves. Still, I hope I put up an interesting fight."
Edgeworth grins. "Indeed you did."
Illyvalen: Well, so English and Deutsch, those sounded like they had some sort of common ancestry, I think?
Edgeworth looks to Illyvalen, then looks mildly impressed once he manages to parse the sentence. "Indeed. English in particular was further influenced by one of the descendants of Latin."
Althea continues to translate Edgeworth's comments.
Illyvalen: Mm, I thought I heard something like that.
Illyvalen: So which of those languages is most common in your world?
Edgeworth: That depends in part on how one counts. English is particularly widespread thanks to the influence of powerful countries over the centuries, but China is an especially populous country.
Illyvalen: Hm.
Edgeworth: Latin in particular is technically a dead language, primarily of scholarly interest. I know it in part due to its presence in the legal world and in part due to its linguistic influence.
Illyvalen nods.
Edgeworth: It's strange to consider, now that the subject arises, that Latin is at once a language of law and science and one of a powerful religion — not to mention a favorite for fictional spellcasting.
Edgeworth lapses into a thoughtful, uneasy frown.
Althea sets the pieces back up on the board, meanwhile. "Perhaps you should give Illyvalen a try. She's definitely one of the better players here."
Edgeworth snaps out of his reverie. "Really? Then she should certainly be worth my time."
Illyvalen: I guess I don't really know which one I should focus on. I'm guessing you'd probably prefer English, though, since you seem to go back to that whenever you're not trying to demonstrate one.
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head after a moment. "I would have the simplest time teaching either that or German — er, that's what Deutsch is known as in English."
Illyvalen nods.
Althea finishes setting up the pieces. "Do you want to take a turn, Illyvalen?"
Illyvalen: Oh, sure, if you don't mind or anything.
Edgeworth taps his temple and grins. "Of course, I presume this will be an equal exchange. After all, I'm still only scarcely able to deduce what you're saying from context."
Illyvalen nods excitedly as Althea translates. "Oh, sure, I can help you with your Common. I can help you with Gnomish too if you want. Or Elven, or Halfling, or Dwarven, or Goblin, or Draconic, or—"
Althea: Easy, easy. He's not going to be in Korranberg indefinitely, there's only time to cover so much.
Edgeworth: Er, right...
Edgeworth glances away uneasily. "To say nothing of my having, er, other subjects to pursue as well."
Illyvalen: Right, right, sorry. I get a little carried away sometimes. I've got other research I can't neglect either. But I'm sure I can find time to help with Common.
Edgeworth looks back with a near-smile. "Thank you."
Illyvalen smiles widely. "You're welcome."


Over the next several hours, Illyvalen and Edgeworth play three games of chess, only the second of which the prosecutor manages to win. During this time, more people filter in until the room starts to get fairly busy. Most of those present are gnomes, along with some humans and dwarves, and the occasional elf, half-elf, halfling, or warforged.

Edgeworth grits his teeth as he lays down his king again. "It's fortunate that you and my late mentor will never cross paths."
Illyvalen: Oh?
Edgeworth looks aside with a frown. "Suffice it to say that it was necessary for me to learn how to appear to go down with a fight in the event that we might compete."
Edgeworth: That isn't to say that he wasn't remarkably skilled, however.
Illyvalen: A sore loser? Yeah, some of the competitive types can get a little scary sometimes.
Edgeworth looks to Althea with a question in his eyes, as he's unable to fill in every blank on his own this time.
Althea repeats Illyvalen's statement in English.
Edgeworth looks grim at the characterization of his mentor as a mere 'sore loser'.

Some conversations stop abruptly and some murmuring is freshly begun as a kobold enters the room, looking around.

Althea: Ah, I was wondering if she'd show today.
Edgeworth looks over at the newcomer who caused the sudden shift in atmosphere.
Edgeworth: You know her?
Edgeworth: How does one discern the gender of her species to begin with?
Illyvalen looks in the same direction as Edgeworth and waves, calling out. "Hi, Tikra."
Althea nods. "She's on the research team I'm working with. I'm also her roommate while I'm staying in Korranberg."
Edgeworth nods. "I see."
Tikra looks over toward Illyvalen and Althea and nods, slowly making her way over.
Tikra: So, this is the strange man you spoke of?
Edgeworth simply observes for the moment. Yet another language...
Althea nods. "Seems he has some talent with chess; he bested me, and even Illyvalen once out of three games."
Tikra nods. "He intends to compete, then?"
Althea: I gathered as much, though that was before he faced Illyvalen. He is interested in the opportunity to play with various people, so I suspect he'll stick around for a while.
Althea: Tikra, Miles Edgeworth. Edgeworth, Tikra. She is I believe the only kobold student at the Library of Korranberg, though her reasons for being here are a subject she's rarely comfortable discussing much. She is quite accomplished academically, though she's relatively new to chess as yet.
Edgeworth stands in order to bow. "A pleasure, Tikra." She's rather different from what I would have expected a creature referred to as a kobold to look like.
Tikra nods curtly. "It is not often I hear of one who has managed to defeat Illyvalen. I gather he will be one of the stronger competitors tonight."
Illyvalen: Do you want to take a turn then? We still have a little bit before the serious folks start deciding what order to challenge in.
Althea: The language being spoken now is her native language, Draconic. The kobolds claim their race's ancestry back to the progenitor wyrms... er, I never did explain this world's creation mythos, did I?
Edgeworth sighs. "You did not."
Edgeworth: I suppose I'll have to endure this tale...
Althea: While the stories told by various religions explaining the creation of this world vary, the majority agree that the origins lie with three great dragons: Siberys, Khyber, and Eberron.
Althea: Siberys is said to have placed the stars in the sky, while Khyber is said to have followed in Siberys' wake, consuming them.
Althea: Eberron remained apart from them and brought life to the empty void.
Edgeworth simply listens with crossed arms, occasionally tapping his finger.
Althea: Eventually, Siberys confronted Khyber, and the two fought viciously.
Althea: Khyber emerged the victor, shattering the body of Siberys into countless fragments. And then Khyber turned on Eberron.
Althea: Eberron did not strike back, but evaded Khyber's attacks, circling about, until Khyber was exhausted.
Althea: Eberron enveloped and imprisoned Khyber within her own body, becoming the surface of the world we know. The fragments of Siberys' body formed a circle about our world.
Edgeworth: It's obvious what "circle" you refer to. Earth has no such ring, though some planets further from the sun do have them. One in particular is known for an especially spectacular set.
Althea: Siberys became known as the Dragon Above, Eberron as the Dragon Between, and Khyber as the Dragon Below.
Althea: Some versions also hold that during this time before the world, the progenitor wyrms discovered or created the Draconic Prophecy, and their struggle was born from the desire to control the outcome.
Althea: The drops of Siberys' blood which fell upon the world's surface became the dragons who inhabit Eberron. The blood of Khyber from under the surface became the fiends which eventually found their way to the surface to attack the dragons.
Althea: For that matter, the dragonshards are said to be fragments of the progenitor wyrms' bodies, hence being categorized and named by relation to each.
Althea: The dragons were at first defeated by the fiends and retreated to Argonnessen, while the fiends ruled Khorvaire, Sarlona and Xen'drik. Thus remained things for countless ages.
Althea: Eventually, with the discovery of the Draconic Prophecy and an alliance between the dragons and the couatls, the war began anew, and eventually the couatls sacrificed themselves to seal the fiends within Khyber.
Edgeworth: Hmm.
Tikra looks impressed at Althea's rather lengthy exposition.
Althea: The dragons, weary from war, retreated to Argonnessen, leaving the remaining continents an empty wasteland.
Althea: Kobold legend holds that their race was formed from blood of the progenitor wyrms shed in the battle before the world was formed.
Althea: There are two known kobold subraces, the iredar said to be descended from Eberron, and the irvhir said to be descended from Khyber. There are also stories of a third, the irsvern said to be descended from Siberys, but no clear proof of their existence is known.
Tikra stares at Althea for a moment. "It sounds as though you are far better versed than I had realized, seer."
Althea shrugs. "I pick up things as I can. At any rate, while still limited, he is coming along well with Common, and should be able to follow if you keep things simple."
Tikra nods and looks to Edgeworth. "I would test your skill myself, should you be interested in a match."
Edgeworth looks to Tikra and puts his finger to his temple for a moment. Eventually, a near-smile spreads on his face. "I would indeed."
Illyvalen offers up her seat to Tikra.
Tikra nods politely to Illyvalen and takes a seat.
Althea: It's worth pointing out that Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber may not be the only progenitor wyrms; some hold that there are many other "Dragons Aloft" representing the orbiting planes.
Edgeworth raises an eyebrow.
Althea: This is getting a bit into speculation territory, but I have come across some supporting research from those who have shared the notion... It's conceivable that the three progenitor wyrms may actually represent what were originally three separate planes drifting through the astral plane, that collided with each other, resulting in the birth of the material plane as we know it.
Edgeworth looks distinctly surprised. Revision of myths to match newer thought? That's rather unusual.
Althea: This might help to explain the unusual astral properties of the material plane, such as being able to attract other planes into an orbit, and projecting out the unusual partial mirrors of itself that are the ethereal and shadow planes.
Edgeworth: Hmm... I couldn't begin to speculate on that matter.
Tikra gathers her pieces and sets up her side of the board.
Edgeworth looks back to Tikra, noting that she's already chosen her side and nodding.
Edgeworth: Creation myths in my world are far more varied and far less mutable, though as I'm not a student of mythology I couldn't go into specifics about any of them.
Edgeworth: In any case, none bear the slightest resemblance to what the evidence suggests to be the truth of the matter — a truth incompletely understood, mind you.
Althea: ...I wouldn't say the reinterpretations I'm proposing are something that would go over well with everyone, but science does lead us in new directions, and we cannot simply discard older knowledge in so doing; there are undeniable factual and historical truths connected to these stories, however fantastic they may seem. Puzzling out how the truth fits together is no simple matter, and simply ignoring pieces that don't seem to fit won't get us to the right answer...
Edgeworth hmphs. "Much of what was called 'knowledge' in the ancient world bore more resemblance to poetry describing the world than to anything resulting from deep examination."
Edgeworth: The earliest logicians even insisted that any logic that contradicted religious scriptures must necessarily be wrong. It was only when mankind freed itself from such restrictions that true progress began.
Edgeworth moves a white pawn forward by two, freeing his queen-side bishop.
Althea: I cannot think of any precedent for that within the history of the sciences on Eberron. Where the modern religious doctrines of Eberron disagree, science can usually find little solid ground on which to arbitrate any such dispute.
Edgeworth blinks. "You speak as though science is older."
Tikra moves the corresponding pawn on her side.
Edgeworth brings the bishop out, to the edge of the board.
Althea: I could not say precisely what came first, but science and religion both date back to civilizations now long gone.
Edgeworth: Huh...
Edgeworth: If that's the case, then what they refer to as "divine magic" must be an extraordinary puzzle indeed not to have been unraveled before to anyone's knowledge.
Edgeworth: Then again, it sounds as though conflict is not entirely unheard of here either...
Tikra brings out her knight on the opposite side.

Tikra sets up her offensive gambits and tries to dominate the game from very early on, but Edgeworth manages to subtly defuse her advances and get in behind her defenses until she is reluctantly forced to admit defeat. By this point, the tables are full, with many spectators watching and making predictions on likely winners.

Several gnomes seek out Illyvalen, but she mostly defers such challenges to Edgeworth, who fares quite well for some time. As the pool of those actually still competing starts to dwindle, however, the challengers become much more of a match, and shortly after midnight someone has won their right to go against Illyvalen directly.

Edgeworth stands from his seat and bows to the challenger who defeated him, though it's noticeably wobbly...
Illyvalen yawns. "Well, I guess I couldn't put off challenges all night. You did really well, though."
Althea stands as well and looks to Edgeworth. "You look like you could probably use some rest. Shall we call it a night?"
Edgeworth looks to Althea, yawns, and reluctantly replies, "Indeed."
Edgeworth then turns to Illyvalen and bows again. "I'm glad to have helped."
Illyvalen smiles and nods to Edgeworth as she takes Althea's offered chair, repositioning it in place of the one Edgeworth was occupying.
Althea: I think we're going to take off for the night. Have fun.
Illyvalen: Okay. See you soon!
Edgeworth heads for the door, saying over his shoulder, "Goodbye."
Illyvalen waves. "Bye!"