The next fourty-five minutes are taken up by Edgeworth making his way to the Library district and following Illyvalen's somewhat circuitous directions to the Soladas library in question. He's somewhat annoyed to spot the library where his adventure began in the distance from this spot, but simply shakes his head and keeps his eyes open for Tikra as he looks around, then enters.

Fortunately, Tikra is readily found at a table strewn with books in the library's open central area. Althea is not there, but the presence of open books gathered around the pulled-out seat across from Tikra suggests her absence may only be temporary.

Edgeworth clears his throat.
Tikra looks up from her reading and over at Edgeworth, then nods in acknowledgement.
Edgeworth: I understand that there was an incident earlier. May I have a seat?
Tikra: That is probably advisable. Althea should be back momentarily.
Edgeworth nods grimly and fetches a seating mat.

Tikra resumes her reading for the moment. About a minute later Althea emerges from a row of bookshelves, carrying a stack of about three books. She stops suddenly and blinks as she notices Edgeworth, but makes her way back to the table momentarily.

Althea sits down and looks to Edgeworth. "I'm guessing congratulations are in order."
Edgeworth: Far more likely than not, but I've been told that something disconcerting occurred at the same time.
Althea: So I understand. Perhaps we should move on to that matter now...
Tikra nods.
Edgeworth nods with a firm expression. "While I'm hardly an expert on this sort of thing, I can't imagine that what Illyvalen described would not entail matters beginning to spiral out of hand."
Edgeworth: However, I didn't press her for a complete testimony.
Althea: For my part, I witnessed a vision of... well, light of a similar nature to that from your temple, as well as spheres of light of different kinds. It's somewhat difficult to describe, though I recorded what impressions I could.
Edgeworth blinks, but his expression returns to complete determination quickly. "Please present this statement, if you would."
Althea nods and sifts through some papers, pulling one out and proffering it.
Edgeworth accepts it and reads... soon becoming wide-eyed.
Edgeworth: That's... almost precisely how I experienced the climactic moment of my communion!
Edgeworth: Granted, the emotional content is absent, and certainly you've described some points differently than I might have, but nonetheless...
Althea: Unless I've missed my guess, you've prepared Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts and Mending.
Edgeworth recoils and sputters.
Althea: I did tell you, I may not practice magic but I have studied it.
Edgeworth hands the paper back, staring awkwardly at Althea. I feel almost as though I've been viewed while showering...
Edgeworth shakes his head. "Er... a-anyway, that would seem to corroborate the sum of my impressions and Dil's theory."
Althea takes it and inserts it back into a stack of papers. "As for the rest of the 'incident', I have no memory. Tikra will have to attest to that."
Edgeworth looks to the kobold...
Tikra: After you were unresponsive for a time, we realized you were probably having a vision. When Illyvalen questioned you, you responded in his language. "The prosecution is ready."
Althea nods...
Tikra: After that, David began to question you. He asked, "Who stands accused?" You answered, "Falsehood, ignorance, and injustice."
Althea blinks.
Edgeworth: That's certainly an... enchanting notion. However...
Edgeworth: What would inspire her to make a statement so grandiose?
Althea: Remember, I was occupied with that vision at the time.
Edgeworth: You mean to imply, then, that these visions are all-encompassing?
Althea: Indeed.
Althea: Were it not the case, I'd remember more.
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Hmmm... Perhaps we ought to hear more."
Tikra: David asked, "Is the defense ready?" You answered, "The defense is ignorant of its status as such."
Althea: Hmmm...
Edgeworth simply nods slowly.
Tikra: David asked, "Who presides over such a grand trial?" You answered, "Infinite truth."
Althea raises an eyebrow.
Edgeworth looks to Tikra with an awed glint in his eye. Certainly, the notion of such a trial is a moving one.
Tikra: At this point Illyvalen interjected, inquiring as to your wellbeing, to which you responded, "The witness in question is currently occupied in her role."
Edgeworth frowns in concern, uncrossing his arms. "That must have been a rather disturbing response."
Edgeworth: It certainly explains Illyvalen's level of concern when she arrived at the Archive.
Althea: It makes sense, though. I was occupied in precisely that way, and rather obviously so.
Tikra: I asked how frequently you would be called to that role; you responded, "Regularly throughout her life. This will not and has not changed."
Edgeworth slams the table with his palm. "HOLD IT! Who could possibly testify to such a thing?!"

Several of the other patrons shush Edgeworth.

Althea: We need to work on your indoor voice...
Edgeworth recoils. "Gkk..."
Tikra: I do not have an answer to that question. Though I begin to suspect that perhaps you do.
Edgeworth stares at Tikra in disbelief. "On what basis?!"
Althea sighs. "Let's save this part of the discussion for later, please?"
Edgeworth glowers. "Very well."
Althea: At any rate, that is useful to know...
Tikra: David asked, "Did the prosecution call this witness?" You responded, "Yes. The prosecution calls witnesses autonomously."
Edgeworth: ...
Althea: ...
Tikra: David asked, "What would you have this witness establish?" You regained awareness at this point, forestalling a response.
Edgeworth still seems too stunned at the previous statement to react to this one.
Althea nods slowly.
Edgeworth: ...I... but... how could... that's...
Althea: I... think this may narrow down somewhat our search for the cause of the fixation of my visions...
Tikra nods.
Edgeworth's gaze progresses from shocked to disturbed.
Edgeworth then shakes his head firmly. "We oughtn't jump to conclusions. While we know that the first and fifth statements are true in some sense, the rest call for further scrutiny."
Althea: As long as we can conduct that scrutiny without the shouting; it would be rather problematic were we to get thrown out of here for being disruptive.
Edgeworth looks irritated, but doesn't argue.
Althea: Honestly, much of what was said sounds rather thematically familiar. Were your faith an established religion, it sounds like those statements could represent a defining myth for it...
Edgeworth raises an eyebrow. "Mythology is far from my area of expertise."
Althea: It resonates both with a lot of things you've said, and with personal imagery such as the nature of your temple... A grand trial for you and anyone like you to prosecute against society's great evils, presided over by no less of an agency than truth itself; you yourself indicated you were unsure any mortal was fit to fill that role...
Tikra: You did appear somewhat enamoured of the idea...
Edgeworth glances aside awkwardly. "Er... admittedly so."
Edgeworth shakes his head, then lifts his finger to his temple. "In any case, if the purpose of those statements was merely to communicate something of that nature, I see no reason to dwell upon them. That leaves only the last two to consider."
Althea: It's worth giving them some consideration, given that they will have some amount of truth for you and your experiences, even if it's not literal.
Althea: But yes, the latter part is of the most pressing relevance, probably...
Althea: Tikra and I have been doing some additional research into visions, to try to determine if there's anything that might help explain why all of my visions since your arrival have been connected to you in some way...
Althea: Though we haven't found all that much of use as of yet.
Edgeworth looks grim. "The proposed explanation is... rather unsettling. That being said, it's also unverified."
Althea: We'll have to see what we can do in terms of finding ways to verify and explore that. It does occur to me that it might in some way explain one of the Medani scion's observations that neither she nor I had an adequate explanation for at the time.
Edgeworth: Oh?
Althea: She did say that when observing you while her spell was active, she found it somewhat difficult to look away from you.
Edgeworth looks more grim. "So she did..."
Althea: I do know that if nothing else, abjurations against divination work just as well against involuntary visions as attempts to scry and such. Though obtaining an enchanted item meant for that purpose would have to wait until we've left Zilargo, and it would be a relatively extreme form of protection.
Althea: In particular, it would mean I wouldn't be able to assist even with nightmares, nor tell if something happened like when you collapsed the other day...
Edgeworth frowns. "I see..."
Edgeworth: Were this shown to be true, is there any way I could gain control over this... tendency?
Althea: I really can't say. I'm trying to look into this as much as I can without setting our schedule back...
Edgeworth hmms. "This leaves only the second-to-last statement to consider. It, above all others, begs the question of from whence this... testimony came to begin with."
Althea shudders slightly.
Althea: Under the circumstances, it seems unlikely I was merely autonomously relaying something I'd observed or divined...
Edgeworth's expression hardens again. "Given that your vision seemed only tangentally related to your words, that much seems obvious."
Althea: In all likelihood, that speaking was a direct result of the influence of whatever drew me into that vision.
Althea: Some religions, notably followers of the Silver Flame, have a concept of the divine speaking through various people, but it's rarer and far more controversial in other faiths.
Edgeworth holds his head in his hand. "You can't seriously be suggesting this."
Althea: The Blood of Vol might consider the possibility of one's Divinity Within speaking, but not likely through another individual...
Tikra: It seems the most obvious interpretation would be that this 'infinite truth' was speaking, whether it represents an outside force, or your perception of part of yourself...
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "One of the many things I've learned in my time as a prosecutor is that the obvious interpretation is not necessarily the correct one."
Althea: ...it might be wise to do some research on some of the instances where this has happened in the past. I know I've heard vaguely of a few cases of this happening among followers of the Host...
Althea: Certainly whatever acted here was limited; overwhelming enough to act without my volition, but not enough to damage me...
Althea: Moreover, it's been said you in particular called me, so it should seem to follow that some agency of yours was involved in speaking, if not a conscious one...
Edgeworth: ...
Tikra: The prosecution calls witnesses autonomously... what other witnesses has he called, then?
Edgeworth: What have I unleashed in pursuing this truth?...
Althea: Unless you count quori I'm not aware of any, but I suppose I would not necessarily be...
Tikra: Given where we are, it would be foolish to assume some have not already begun to take notice.
Althea winces and nods. "True."
Edgeworth: ...Indeed.
Althea: At any rate, finding out the true nature of what has occurred may help not only with your and my peace of mind, but likely would further the Foundation's understanding considerably.
Edgeworth nods.
Edgeworth glances aside awkwardly. "Concerning the suggestion that some aspect of myself can be held responsible for something as... peculiar as this, I must confess that in the moment, I had the impression of being in an enhanced state."
Althea: ...because you were the light?
Edgeworth: Indeed. Furthermore, given that I was apparently enduring something greater than what I ultimately failed to endure just yesterday, I'm left to consider the possibility that this impression coincided with reality.
Althea: It's also true that the connection linking us during my visions seems to have become stronger of late. We both share greater awareness of each other during your dreams than seems normal...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Can such a phenomenon be considered 'normal' to begin with?"
Tikra: ...so I have come to understand...
Edgeworth blinks and looks to Tikra. "You as well?"
Tikra looks at the table. "Only once, though I am not as prone to nightmares as I understand you to be..."
Edgeworth looks away uneasily. "I had thought that tendency to be a thing of the past. It seems, however, that it has not yet starved to death as I'd believed."
Althea: It certainly seems as though your recent nightmares have related to your current struggles in coming to terms with difficult aspects of the truth you now face...
Edgeworth: Moreover, unlike those of the past, they and the other significant dreams I've had since my arrival seem to serve as vehicles for truth themselves.
Tikra: Perhaps that in some way makes you fortunate, even should you bear greater risk as the cost...
Althea: ...
Edgeworth peers at Tikra. "Oh?"
Tikra: Even nightmares aid you in your quest for evidence.
Edgeworth smirks. "Heh... a valuable reversal indeed."
Althea: Back to the earlier point about the growing link between us... it is possible that I'm partly responsible for establishing the basis for such a connection in the first place...
Edgeworth glowers at Althea. "In what way?"
Althea: As I mentioned earlier while trying to talk down the Medani scion's racing conjecture, I did tag you with a psychic beacon when we first met. The effect of that beacon only lasts twenty-four hours, but given that you did have a nightmare during that time...
Althea: It's certainly possible that the beacon made my witnessing that first nightmare more likely, and might have influenced things enough to be partly responsible for the extent to which my visions have been fixated upon you...
Edgeworth raises his finger to his temple for a moment, deep in thought...
Edgeworth: ...Magnetism?
Althea: Hmm...
Edgeworth: It seems analogous. An "autonomous force", as it were, drawing in something that already came into its range...
Althea: Which raises the question of whether this fixation is a constant or a recurring phenomenon... Certainly, should I have a vision unrelated to you at any point, that would be a good sign, but the longer that fails to happen...
Edgeworth: There is also the possibility of waxing and waning, rather than simple persistence or repetition. Indeed, one could speculate that if my divinatory affinity could be likened to a magnet, then this dawn it may essentially have been an electric magnet.
Althea: I'm sorry... "electric magnet?"
Edgeworth's eyes pop wide and he chokes. It hadn't even occurred to me that I was approximating the term...!
Edgeworth: Er... my apologies. That was... um, my best attempt at translation of the concept.
Althea shakes her head. "I think you're going to have to provide a bit more detail to make sense of it, then."
Edgeworth: Essentially, in my own world, we've discovered that electricity and magnetism are interrelated, and that it's possible to use properly-directed electricity to greatly strengthen a magnet temporarily, creating an "electromagnet", as they're known.
Althea: Hmmm...
Edgeworth shakes his head. "Given the implications, however, I rather hope I'm wrong."
Althea jots down some notes before inquiring, "And how long does this strengthening usually last?"
Edgeworth: Until the electricity supplied to it is cut off.
Althea: At which point it returns to normal strength?
Edgeworth: Precisely.
Althea: ...is the extent to which the strength increases fixed or variable?
Edgeworth: I'm neither aware of that nor do I know that the analogy would necessarily extend quite so far.
Althea: Hmmm...
Althea passes the paper on which she's been writing to Tikra, who studies it for several moments before simply shrugging.
Althea: I wonder if perhaps some form of weak abjuration might be able to simply offset this 'magnetism'... though to deal with more than just the base level of attraction, we'd have to be able to work out just how strong it was becoming... and it would certainly be complicated if it turns out it's not always the same strength when thus amplified...
Edgeworth: We ought to determine whether this line of inquiry has any merit in the first place before attempting to devise countermeasures.
Althea: The concept isn't inconsistent with any of my observations thus far. We'll have to see what further research turns up.
Althea: ...for that matter, if the nature of the phenomenon is strongly similar, I have to wonder if there would be a way to measure the strength of this 'draw'...
Althea: Even as strong an effect as this morning's incident had, it's not entirely clear how much of the impact was directly due to that draw; it was a significant event of a kind I might well have witnessed anyway even without and most especially with a preexisting link to you...
Althea: If it's an amplifying effect, then a stronger initial draw could result in far more extreme results...
Edgeworth: Then I suppose we won't know the true nature of the problem at hand until tomorrow.
Althea: We should at least know more of its nature then.
Edgeworth: Indeed.
Tikra: In the meantime, we have much to research before the concert.
Edgeworth: Is there anything I can do to help? Aside from reaching the taller shelves, of course.
Edgeworth smirks.
Althea: Once we finish up here, we were planning to head over to the Tabernacle; their libraries would prove a better resource for pursuing research into... incidents like these.
Althea: There should be at least some relevant works in Common if your reading skills are anywhere near as strong as your verbal skills.
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "I assure you, my understanding isn't so superficial." Even if I understand only some of the factors that contributed to it.
Edgeworth: Indeed, in the process of learning to harness my new capabilities, far more daunting questions have presented themselves...
Edgeworth frowns. Not the least of which is whether that sixth statement can be taken as truthful... and if so, how that can be the case.


Once Althea and Tikra finish their business in the Soladas library, they lead Edgeworth to one of the Tabernacle's, not all that far from the large, ancient, fortified building that was the original Library of Korranberg and still serves to guard its most precious and obscure tomes.

Over the course of a few hours' effort, the three track down and compare a number of examples of gods or divine forces allegedly speaking directly through mortals — typically divine casters in the midst of their daily prayers, but a few examples not entirely unlike that morning's turn up as well.

Eventually, however, the time for the concert draws near enough that the three of them need to begin the long walk out of the depths of the library quarter and towards the concert hall, not all that far from the center of the city...

Edgeworth simply shakes his head as he walks.
Althea: Well, it's pretty clear we've got a strong, discernable pattern that fits with the current situation.
Edgeworth: Most certainly, albeit one which hasn't been sufficiently questioned before.
Tikra: Such events have been rare enough to appear isolated when one is not searching for like circumstances...
Edgeworth rubs his forehead. "Even so, I find myself further appreciating the Archival Foundation's willingness to do more than simply take matters at face value."
Althea: I trust then that you'll not take offense if I don't find my experience moving enough to convert me to your faith.
Edgeworth smirks. "Not in the least. Quite the contrary, I would have been disappointed to see you react in the typical fashion."
Althea: No confirmed cases of it happening to a psion, though, so it would be difficult to say whether any differences could be expected overall in my case...
Edgeworth lifts his finger to his temple. "For that matter, none of the cases that involved someone other than the divine caster so absorbed involved involuntary visions, though given the rarity of both phenomena in question, that may not necessarily be meaningful."
Althea: Mm. Given that there are a number of key similarities between visions and scrying, it's entirely possible that both are equally capable of creating this situation. Alternately, whatever is fixating my visions on you might also be responsible for creating a significant-enough connection to make the difference.
Edgeworth frowns in unease at the mention of the cause of fixation...
Edgeworth: Furthermore, it is entirely possible for both to be factors, particularly given how... unusual this phenomenon is.
Althea: We won't really know unless it happens again. Or unless we find out it happened to more than just myself...
Edgeworth: ...
Tikra: Most cases involved those at least open to the religion of the cleric being targetted by scrying or divination. There might not be that many who qualify.
Althea: Difficult to say... I would think the most likely candidates might well be members of the Foundation...
Edgeworth: Would any of them have reason to scry on me, however? For that matter, do any of them share in your... condition?
Althea: Not that I know of, but I haven't looked into it. We also don't really know to what extent proximity is a factor; there are other Archives...
Edgeworth nods, still frowning.
Edgeworth: I cannot say that I find the idea of several people having observed that experience to be comfortable...

Further discussion is forestalled as another familiar halfling steps into the intersection ahead of the group, looking over to the others and nodding, waiting for them to approach.

Edgeworth half-frowns, but doesn't change his pace.
Tikra looks to Nathaniel, then briefly over to Althea.
Althea nods slightly in acknowledgment to Nathaniel.
Tikra looks back toward Nathaniel with a neutral expression.
Nathaniel waits for the group to reach the intersection before speaking up. "Glad to see you decided to attend after all. It should be an impressive performance." He falls into step with the group.
Althea nods slightly. "It would be kind of silly to skip out on it just to avoid you, especially after what's happened..."
Edgeworth blinks at the sudden change of language, but doesn't pry.
Nathaniel falters slightly in his pace and sighs. "...sorry if my presence is bothering you. I almost considered not attending myself, but then Illyvalen practically insisted I come with you all. I think she thought she'd somehow caused an argument or fight after what happened the other day..."
Althea puts a hand to her forehead, sighing. "I should have figured something like that. I really should have said something to her about all that, it's predictable enough she might jump to conclusions... It's all right, I don't mind, as long as you keep things professional."
Nathaniel bows slightly even as he walks. "If that is to be my role to portray, I shall endeavor to perform it with distinction."
Edgeworth does his best to focus on the language rather than the apparent personal issues in play.
Nathaniel: If it is not too personal to inquire, however, I understand there was something of a troubling... incident before I arrived this morning...?
Althea: We're still in the process of investigating that, but there are at least some known precedents.
Edgeworth nods. "Indeed, this situation may differ from the phenomenon's usual form only in that Althea's vision was involuntary — a distinction likely to be meaningless."
Nathaniel: Then this is something that normally befalls scryers?
Edgeworth: Within particular narrow conditions, yes.
Althea: Generally those who perform scrying or divination upon a divine caster during his prayers, and who are also typically predisposed to being at least open to the views of that divine caster's faith.
Edgeworth twitches slightly in annoyance at the word 'prayers', but doesn't openly complain.
Nathaniel: I take it the examples you've found thus far have been relatively benign in their consequences?
Edgeworth: Most consequences described related to the scryers' personal reactions to the experience rather than any sort of direct side-effects.
Althea: Mm. Suffice to say, I'm not ready to convert to his faith, so if the typical rarity of the experience holds, there may be little further consequence to the experience.
Nathaniel: Forgive me for saying so, but you don't exactly sound convinced of that.
Edgeworth frowns dourly.
Althea: ...there are reasons the experience might be less rare than usual in this particular circumstance, but we'll have to deal with that if and when it becomes apparent...
Edgeworth: We'll have to see what happens come next dawn.
Nathaniel frowns. "I... see. Are there any precautions that can be taken, at least?"
Althea: Not until we know more. Even if I could prevent another occurrence, it's important to know whether it would happen again before taking any steps to prevent it...
Nathaniel looks like he's about to say something further, but simply lapses into silence, appearing disturbed.
Edgeworth crosses his arms even as he walks. "If you have further worthwhile contributions, it would be for the best if you were to speak of them."
Nathaniel: I fear I have little to offer from within the confines of my prescribed role...
Edgeworth frowns in confusion, but only briefly. "Hrm..."
Edgeworth: There was a useful aspect to the incident, however — it allowed Althea to serve as a witness to my success this morning, thereby verifying it as such.
Nathaniel replies somewhat icily, "So I gathered."
Althea nods. "I think the fact that I recognized the spells you prepared was relevant?"
Edgeworth uncrosses his arms and looks down at one of his hands. "Indeed, though I fail to understand how you managed such a feat in such an unfamiliar... er, environment."
Althea: Each spell has its own telltales regardless of the form in which it resides.
Althea: With sufficient experience and skill, one can learn to recognize them in almost any situation.
Edgeworth: If that's the case, then clearly that's another skill I'll need to master.
Edgeworth nods.
Nathaniel speaks up to fill the momentary silence that follows. "It is a shame you'll need to leave so soon... I gather that an even more interesting performance may be due in the relatively near future."
Althea: Oh?
Nathaniel lowers his voice a bit in mock-conspiratorial whisper. "There's quite a bit of buzz about the orchestra receiving a copy of a rare work in the near future. A reliable source informs me that someone's promised to provide them with a copy of Teghran's first symphony."
Edgeworth looks to Althea and Tikra to gauge their reactions. It's a rather awkward thing to be entirely ignorant of the cultural achievements of this world.
Tikra doesn't react to the news; whether it has any significance to her at all is unclear.
Althea blinks. "Was that ever performed outside of Menthis? I would imagine getting ahold of a copy would require a good deal of effort or luck, quite probably both..."
Nathaniel: Certainly no public performances that I've heard of. The second was the only of his symphonies to ever be performed by the Korranberg Symphony Orchestra, though I did get a chance to attend a performance of his third once at the Phiarlan enclave in Zolanberg.
Althea sighs and shakes her head. "I'm not surprised you had to go to Zolanberg; I get the sense Phiarlan doesn't think names like his will draw 'the right sort of crowd' in more broadly affluent areas."
Edgeworth frowns. "For what reason?"
Althea looks up and shrugs. "The quality of his music speaks for itself, but little else does. Teghran was born into poverty, tried to follow a dream, struggled for patronage, got the briefest sliver of recognition but couldn't build on it, continued to produce remarkable works as his patrons gradually lost interest, and eventually died without a copper to his name..."
Edgeworth shakes his head slowly. "In short, the archetypal 'starving artist' despite his best efforts?"
Nathaniel: Efforts and undeniable talent.
Tikra: Neither effort nor talent are proof against hardship and ruin...
Nathaniel falters slightly in his pace, seeming surprised by Tikra's comment.
Edgeworth looks between Nathaniel and Tikra, then nods grimly. "Indeed, it can take but a single person intent on one's suffering to ruin one's life — or, for that matter, to end it."
Edgeworth glares despite himself.
Tikra: ...
Althea: ...
Nathaniel looks at Edgeworth, then Althea, then back to Tikra. "Well, there's a cheerful thought..."
Edgeworth: It is one I must contend with regularly.
Edgeworth spreads his arms. "After all, it is my duty to expose the truth behind high crimes."
Althea: Much as we all may have to, it is probably best not to dwell on such a sentiment, particularly once we meet up with Illyvalen.
Edgeworth side-eyes Althea.
Edgeworth: You ask rather much, though I can at least concede to refraining from any further discussion of the matter.


The group continues in relative silence, eventually reaching a rather ancient-looking stone concert hall. Despite its age, however, it's very clean, comfortable, sturdier than it might appear, and has plenty of room for the crowds.

Given the limitations imposed by their divergent sizes and the fact that their tickets were purchased relatively late, the group's seats aren't great; they're just beneath a balcony, at a dividing point between human-sized and gnome-sized seats.

Various musicians are milling about the stage or practicing sections of their parts. At one point, the conductor approaches a nervous-looking gnomish lady with a flute.

Illyvalen chatters excitedly but with restrained volume to Tikra, oblivious to the stares her companion has been attracting since entering the concert hall. "...and the building itself is even older: it dates all the way back to the Dhakaani empire; it's been standing here for probably nearly 6000 years..."
Edgeworth's eyebrows raise at that assertion.
Tikra nods politely, keeping her attention on either the stage or the group, pointedly ignoring any attention from the rest of the audience.
Nathaniel: Indeed. It was renovated back in the early years of modern Korranberg, about 25 centuries ago, but long before that it was enriching goblinoid culture just as it enriches gnomish culture today.
Tikra: ...
Althea nods and looks to Edgeworth. "I don't know if I mentioned much about the Dhakaani empire, but back before humans migrated here from Sarlona, there was a huge goblinoid empire that spanned the continent of Khorvaire."
Edgeworth half-frowns briefly at Tikra's darkened expression, but his expression goes neutral in an instant as he looks to Althea and nods. "You had not."
Althea: It lasted for about 11 centuries in total, starting about 6100 years ago, but the invasion of the Daelkyr about 5400 years ago left it in tatters.
Edgeworth: Four hundred years is quite the time to struggle, though not unheard of. The history of one of Earth's continents includes a culture that clung to the name of a fallen empire for over eight hundred years.
Althea: I'm not aware of any similar situation on Eberron lasting that long.
Edgeworth: Hm.
Nathaniel: Unfortunately, while we know various things about Dhakaani culture from surviving buildings, artifacts, and oral tradition, very little music has survived from that time. We can only speculate regarding the works performed here all those millenia ago.
Edgeworth looks grim. "To lose evidence is a troubling thing, though unsurprising in such a situation."

At about this time, the conductor silently instructs the orchestra to ready themselves, causing those practicing to go quiet. At about the same time, another gnome walks up to the edge of the stage and traces a rune while singing a few words in a strange, complex tongue softly.

A vague twinkling sound is barely audible briefly, then the gnome clears his throat, a sound now easily audible from a distance. The words he says next are also strangely loud: "Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you. Please enjoy Allairyn Serias's second and third symphonies, as performed by our orchestra and conducted by Rabbalap Marggin Adredar."

Polite applause comes from most of the audience. Illyvalen and Nathaniel join in immediately.

Althea quietly whispers a translation to Edgeworth in Common.
Edgeworth nods while softly joining in with the courtesy.
Althea joins as well after the aside.
Tikra simply watches the stage silently.
Edgeworth: I'm left to wonder why that... spell was apparently sung rather than spoken, but this is hardly the time for such inquiries.

Several seconds after the applause dies down, the woodwinds begin softly, slowly growing in volume. The brass then joins in with a similar crescendo, adding a countermelody...

After what can be assumed to be the first two movements, the third opens with a mix of violins and oboe-like instruments — first at a moderate volume, then more simply and softly as the nervous flutist from the start stands.

Ellymoha takes the few moments afforded by the timing of the piece to steady her nerves before raising her instrument.

Despite her apparent unease, she begins her part with the grace afforded by well-practiced skill.

Edgeworth looks impressed. My status as an amateur in her field is all too apparent in this moment.
Edgeworth's fingers move along roughly with a part that repeats...
Nathaniel blinks as he notices the pattern of movement, but doesn't comment.
Ellymoha continues her solo for nearly two minutes before the melody transitions back to strings and woodwinds, allowing her to ease her concentration and return to her seat. Strangely enough, however, she doesn't seem to be relieved by the completion of her part; she looks every bit as on edge as she has since before the performance...
Edgeworth raises his finger to his temple, looking seriously at the flutist. Her performance was remarkable; why should her distress continue? Is there a still more difficult solo for her to come?
Althea frowns slightly but doesn't say anything.

As the third movement continues and is followed by a fourth, the disquieted flutist is not called upon for any further solo performances. As the music dies down, the gnome who spoke before returns to the stage and repeats his sung spell, announcing a twenty-minute intermission.

Edgeworth stands from his seat and stretches.
Althea looks between Edgeworth and Tikra. "So, what did you think?"
Edgeworth: It was rather impressive — particularly the flute solo in the third movement.
Edgeworth glances over at the flutist headed behind the scenes with a half-frown, however...
Nathaniel nods. "That was Ellymoha Cissot Adredar, and her talent as a performer is well known."
Edgeworth looks to Nathaniel with a smirk. "I can certainly understand why."
Althea: Is it just me, or did she seem... oddly disturbed?
Illyvalen: Huh? Um, I didn't really notice...
Edgeworth frowns. "It did seem strange that her unease persisted beyond her solo."
Nathaniel: Mm. I've never seen her get nervous about a performance like that...
Edgeworth brings his finger to his temple again. "Then perhaps it's a personal matter rather than anything to do with the performance."
Althea: Probably.
Nathaniel nods.
Tikra speaks up after a few moments. "I am unaccustomed to music of such length and complexity. I believe I can understand the fascination it holds for some."
Tikra: As interesting an experience as it has been, however, I do not know if it is one I would be comfortable repeating on a regular basis.
Edgeworth glances aside. "Unfortunately, as the pace of civilization in my own world increases, fewer people have the patience to dedicate the time to enjoying such music. On the other hand, our recording devices allow means by which to place music in the background of our lives."
Althea: We have magic that can do something similar, though I suspect not as versatile.
Edgeworth nods.
Nathaniel: The simplest version enchants an object for a short period to search out a song recently played in an area, and reproduce it on command.
Edgeworth blinks. "It reaches into the past?"
Althea: Mm. I noted some of my own powers offer similar capability in that regard.
Nathaniel nods. "Which is rather convenient when one needs to pin down details of the origins of an ancient artifact, say."
Edgeworth: Hm, you did indeed... I'm left to wonder the full extent to which such potential has been explored.
Edgeworth: Though I find it hard to believe that my life could have grown quite that simple...
Illyvalen: I'm going to go get something to drink, does anyone else want anything?
Edgeworth nods to Illyvalen. "A beverage would be most appreciated."
Althea: Maleko, extra strong. The same for you, or would you like to try something else? They should have a few sweetened fruit drinks.
Tikra: I do not require anything.
Edgeworth: I prefer less sweet things than most.
Edgeworth: If they have any sort of tea available, even a weak example would appeal to me.
Nathaniel: I'll accompany you.
Illyvalen nods. "I'll see what I can find."
Edgeworth makes a sweeping bow. "Thank you."

Little else is discussed as the intermission continues. Illyvalen and Nathaniel return with refreshments shortly before the conductor signals the orchestra to readiness once again.


Serias's 3rd goes by without any new developments showing themselves. Once the concert is complete, Edgeworth again stands and stretches... then looks down and clutches his stomach.

Edgeworth frowns. "Perhaps I've had too little to eat today."
Illyvalen: Huh, I didn't see you since you left the Archive in a hurry this morning. What have you been up to today, anyway?
Edgeworth begins to edge his way out from the rows of seats. "We primarily sought records at the Library of incidents similar to the one this morning."
Althea: Mm. Even with Tikra's assistance we were occupied for quite a while, though I should think we'd have made far less progress without it.
Tikra shrugs but doesn't comment.
Althea: I haven't known all that many who are that good at sifting through such complex information so quickly as the two of you seem to be.
Edgeworth shrugs and shakes his head. "Efficiency in such matters is a vital skill for a lawyer, and the organizational system used at the library is surprisingly simple for the volume of information present."
Tikra shrugs again. "I have been fortunate to find a role where such a talent serves me."
Althea: At any rate, I suspect we all could use something to eat. Shall we find a place for dinner?
Edgeworth nods. "Indeed."
Nathaniel: An excellent suggestion.
Illyvalen: Sure.
Tikra shrugs noncommitally.

The group makes their way out of the concert hall and starts on their way back towards the Library district — or more accurately, the gnomish restaurant at its edge.

Nathaniel: So, I gather you dabble in the arts somewhat yourself?
Althea blinks and looks to Nathaniel, then to Edgeworth. "Hm?"
Edgeworth glances aside awkwardly. "Er... I would consider that an overstatement, though I have played the flute since I was a boy."
Edgeworth: Music was among the few pastimes my mentor saw any constructive use for, so I've been in the habit of practicing for fifteen minutes every day for quite some time.
Edgeworth: It's good for the mind, after all. A pity that I've been in no position to continue since I was, er, deposited here.
Nathaniel nods. "I noticed you seemed to be attempting to pick up and practice miss Cissot's part during the concert."
Edgeworth smirks. "I suspected as much when you broached the subject."
Althea nods. "I understand the feeling. I left my own instrument back in Sharn, but given it may be a while before I return, I might have to see if I can arrange to have it sent to me at some point..."
Edgeworth grins and looks to Althea. "You play one as well?"
Althea: I'm no bard, but I do have a little bit of skill with the violin.
Illyvalen: Aw, it's too bad you didn't bring it, we could find Mister Edgeworth a flute and have our own mini-concert.
Edgeworth: I rather doubt that either of us has learned to play the same pieces of music.
Illyvalen: You could teach us, then!
Althea: Er, I don't know that that would be feasible given time issues...
Edgeworth looks awkward. "Furthermore, I've focused solely on playing solo for well over a decade; I'm in no position to teach anyone accompanying parts."
Tikra glances around slightly nervously.
Illyvalen glances toward Tikra. "Is something wrong?"
Tikra responds quietly but simply. "Yes."
Althea blinks and looks around herself, frowning.
Edgeworth snaps to seriousness at that assertion and looks around... "I've yet to observe this sort of unease in the populace here."
Nathaniel: Hmm... Now that you mention it...
Althea and Tikra both look toward the upcoming street to the left, then nod to each other. Althea starts heading in that direction.
Illyvalen: Um, so what's going on?
Edgeworth follows without hesitation or comment.
Tikra: It is not clear, but the cause may be nearby.
Nathaniel: Is it wise to be heading nearer to whatever it is, then?
Tikra: Wise or not, it is better we remain together than apart.
Edgeworth glances over his shoulder at Nathaniel. "To say nothing of the importance of understanding sudden changes in one's situation."
Tikra heads after Edgeworth.
Illyvalen hurries after Tikra.
Nathaniel frowns, but follows the group.

The road quickly leads to a small, currently-deserted park, within sight of a road lined with various crafters' shops. The reason for the desertion is readily apparent when they arrive: a gnome in middle-class clothes lies in a pool of his own blood there, the wound through his stomach very obvious.