Dil departs for the library district to meet up with Nathaniel, while the rest of the group pairs off to see to Lalitamah's visitation rights; Althea and Tikra head to the Tharashk enclave, while Edgeworth and Illyvalen head to Egmon's place to meet with Lalitamah. Once things are arranged at her end, Althea mentally contacts Edgeworth to inform him of the arrangements made, only to learn from him through the fleeting channel established that Lalitamah wasn't home to discuss the matter with but they'd slip a note under the door. Once that's done, the two groups meet at the gate of Chidellof's house as planned...

Althea looks at the rest of those gathered. "So, we know that Ms. Vadin is... sensitive to certain things at the best of times, and this is not the best of times by any stretch of the imagination. We need to all be mindful of our attitudes, behavior and speech..."
Tikra silently nods.
Illyvalen: Um... I'll try to be careful...
Edgeworth nods grimly. "Failure to do so could prove quite literally painful for us, should she correctly judge our position."
Edgeworth glances aside. "It's a wonder that she's managed to get by in such a culture as this at all."
Illyvalen cringes slightly.
Edgeworth: I certainly wouldn't expect Franziska to be tolerated for long, after all.
Althea: I'm hopeful that won't become an issue, but Tikra and I will be as attentive as possible should things prove riskier than anticipated.
Edgeworth looks to Althea. "I presume you wish to lead the conversation, so you ought to be the one to knock."
Althea nods and walks up to the door, knocking twice.
Edgeworth follows Althea silently.
Tikra and Illyvalen follow Edgeworth, the latter still looking a bit nervous.
Chidellof opens the door after a long moment... and looks far over Althea's head. "Are you here to start accusin' Talbo of stuff he'd never do again?!"
Edgeworth: ...
Althea: I'm sorry to disturb you so soon after you've received terrible news, Ms. Vadin...
Chidellof blinks, then lowers her head to face Althea with an irritated but unfocused expression. "Yeah, well, it'd better be important, whoever you are!"
Althea: My name is Althea d'Jorasco. I'm an acquaintance of Belgiwig, by way of the Archive. ...I also was among those who witnessed the scene of Talbo's murder...
Chidellof grabs Althea's arm. "Witness?! Well, come on in and tell me what happened already!"
Edgeworth's eyes widen.
Tikra is at Althea's side almost instantly, but ultimately simply follows the two quietly once it's clear Chidellof's sudden movement is not an attack.
Illyvalen looks back and forth between Edgeworth and the others.
Edgeworth frowns, shrugs with a shake of his head, and follows the others in, gesturing for Illyvalen to do the same.
Illyvalen follows Edgeworth.

Chidellof all but drags Althea down the hall and into the living room, releasing her next to a gnome-scaled couch.

Chidellof: So how'd he really die and who've I gotta teach not to do that?
Edgeworth rubs his forehead.
Chidellof: And who's the bunch that followed us in anyway?
Althea: We're... still investigating the full details of what led up to the incident... I can tell you about what I saw, though it may not answer all your questions... The others here were with me when we reached the scene. Tikra helped me apprehend the suspect, and the others aided in other ways...
Edgeworth takes a moment to write a note in Common on one page of his organizer, then hand it to Althea.
Chidellof directs an attentive glare in Althea's general direction, cracking her knuckles in anticipation.
Althea reads the note quickly and nods before continuing. "When we first reached the scene, your fiancé was already dead... a trail of blood allowed us to apprehend our suspect and the likely murder weapon. While I would normally wish to be somewhat discreet on a point like this, given the details that is probably futile... the weapon was a longsword, and is consistent with the injury that was sustained..."
Chidellof: A longsword? After the war like this?! There's only one guy I know who carries one o' those!
Althea: That does tend to single him out somewhat, yes... we are still trying to piece together questions regarding motive...
Chidellof: That 'atheist cleric' the rumors are talkin' about showed up sayin' Talbo must've attacked first! Can you believe that?! I mean, sure, the smarty-pants figured out what happened three years ago and then there was the sheath, but c'mon!
Edgeworth stares at Chidellof awkwardly.
Althea: While I might fault his manner, I regret to say that that claim... does seem to be supported by evidence thus far discovered...
Chidellof throws a punch at Althea... or rather, where Althea was the second before, as the seer stepped aside the moment she finished speaking.
Edgeworth gives Althea an affronted glance.
Tikra quickly steps behind Chidellof, speaking in a stern and very uncharacteristically menacing tone. "You will not be permitted to harm the seer or her companions."
Illyvalen stares at Tikra...
Chidellof goes pale. She opens her mouth to speak, but seems at a loss for words...
Edgeworth takes a step backward. Certainly my mentor would have been impressed.
Althea blinks at Tikra, seeming rather surprised by her delivery.
Althea: ...um, yes, well... As was just mentioned, I am a seer... which I'm afraid does mean that even though I arrived after the act had taken place... I was still able to witness it myself...
Althea: Talbo... does seem to have had your knife, for reasons we can only guess at for now...
Chidellof: But... but it's still crazy! Whatever you thought you saw, it... it...
Althea: He tried to attack, whatever his intent in doing so. I understand it's not in his nature to resort to violence to resolve problems... Which means anything that could have motivated such an act would have to be exceptional...
Chidellof glares at Althea, teeth gritted in frustration at her illusory helplessness...
Althea: I spoke to Belgiwig earlier today... he tells me that your blindness is quite recent, and that the cause was believed to be blinding sickness...
Chidellof: Well, yeah, I woke up blind yesterday mornin', and the day before some of the water I had at work tasted funny... You think that's why?
Edgeworth: ...!
Althea: It's possible, but to be quite frank, I have a feeling that perhaps we're supposed to think that's why. There are enough things about this situation that don't add up to make me wary about accepting anything at face value...
Edgeworth looks to Althea questioningly.
Chidellof: "Supposed to think"?
Althea: Someone wanted to cover up the fact that Talbo attacked first. Given that, there's clearly someone involved with a motive to obscure the facts of the incident.
Edgeworth frowns and writes something down again...
Althea: This brings me to the major reason why it's important that we meet with you... I think we need to establish as clearly as possible what the true cause of your blindness really is...
Chidellof: And how d'ya wanna do that?
Althea: One of my colleagues here is an accomplished healer. Another of us has access to some useful magic for the purpose of detecting possible causes.
Tikra speaks up again, her tone lacking any hint of menace this time, though conveying little of any emotion. "Tainted water is a possible carrier of blinding sickness."
Chidellof nods...
Edgeworth finishes writing down the objection he would have voiced... only to suddenly blink in puzzlement at something. Variable.
Edgeworth repockets his organizer and lifts his finger to his temple...
Althea: Indeed. Taken on its own, the idea of blinding sickness due to tainted water as a cause for her condition is credible, albeit the timing is rapid enough to be somewhat uncommon.
Althea: Moreover, Belgiwig indicated that Talbo had been warned of your exposure.
Chidellof: But if that's true, why didn't he do somethin' before I went blind?!
Althea shrugs. "I don't have an answer for that. At least not yet. But it might have had an impact on his thinking once you did go blind..."
Edgeworth looks between Althea, Tikra, and Chidellof, seeming increasingly irritated about something.

Sensing his discomfort, Illyvalen does her best to reach up and give Edgeworth a comforting pat on the back...

Edgeworth jumps slightly at the touch. "Gkhah?!"
Illyvalen winces and cowers, withdrawing her hand.
Chidellof spins to glare in roughly Edgeworth's direction. "You!"
Edgeworth meanwhile spins to glare down at Illyvalen. "Don't sneak up on me with such things!"
Illyvalen: I-I-I-I-I... I'm sorry! I d-didn't mean to...
Althea rubs her forehead.
Althea: Yes, he was one of the witnesses as well. I asked him to remain silent lest he provide further offense, but he does have an important role to play...
Edgeworth: Indeed, though silence has forced me to play less of one than I would prefer.
Chidellof: If that "role" has anythin' to do with smearin' Talbo more, you can forget about it!
Illyvalen looks to Chidellof. "Um... I kn-know he can be kind of scary and mean, but he's not that bad... most of the time..."
Edgeworth eyes Illyvalen.
Althea: He is, it should be noted, with us and under our protection, though I do expect him to act with discretion while here...
Chidellof flexes her fingers in frustration.
Chidellof: Hunh, fine...
Edgeworth glances at Althea disapprovingly, but doesn't comment.
Althea: On the point of his role, in the short term one detail in particular is quite relevant: he is in fact a divine caster, and has prepared spells useful for an investigation of this nature.
Edgeworth: Indeed. Specifically, I can fill a gap in mundane approaches to diagnosing your condition.
Chidellof: Huh?
Althea: ...Blinding sickness is not the only possible cause of sudden blindness of this nature.
Edgeworth: Furthermore, at least where I'm from, disease is rarely used for criminal purposes — as a living thing, it's far too unpredictable. I have the impression that the same concern applies here.
Chidellof: Criminal? Wait a sec, what're you sayin' here?
Edgeworth crosses his arms with a grin. "When we spoke before, you asked whether perhaps Talbo had been enchanted to take such actions. However, magic is far from the only way to manipulate someone."
Althea nods. "I would imagine that a threat made against you... might qualify as a sufficiently exceptional motivation. After all, it's clear that you are a formidable combatant, but being blinded as you are puts you at a significant disadvantage. If an assailant wished to harm you, inflicting a condition like this would make doing so much more feasible..."
Edgeworth: Belgiwig characterized the information Talbo passed along as a "warning" — but a warning about what? Certainly, were it only a warning that you were exposed to a disease, I must agree with you that it seems strange that he wouldn't act immediately.
Althea: Indeed, catching blinding sickness early would be important, were a credible warning of exposure received. A mundane healer can treat the condition if it's caught before the onset of blindness, but once blindness has set in, magic is required to treat it fully.
Edgeworth: In the context of the Trust's existence, however, a warning of a conspiracy to physically harm a person would be implausible enough to cause someone to hesitate, would it not?
Chidellof: Hey, hold on! You're tellin' a pretty big story, but can you prove any of this?!
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "This is why we need your permission to conduct an examination of you, Ms. Vadin. We can't know whether there's any truth to this speculation until you cooperate."
Chidellof: ...Well... if you really think someone's screwed with Talbo...
Edgeworth: It's a distinct possibility.
Althea: And important to investigate fully while we have the chance, given that how it was accomplished may speak to who could have done it.
Chidellof sighs. "Then let's get it over with already."
Edgeworth looks to Althea, given her leadership act.
Althea nods. "Let's start with what shouldn't be there. If you could take a look for signs of magic?"
Edgeworth raises his hand into position. "Very well."
Edgeworth focuses himself and begins to gesture. "Mundi prima videam evidentiam veritatis."

The impression Edgeworth has upon casting this weaker spell is more of a cracking than a shattering, but the sense of being filled with light that only needs partial direction from him is the same. This time, when the energy is properly shaped, it's as though a blurry mask of impossible colors has been added to his vision, and focusing his eyes on this new band requires conscious effort...

Edgeworth glares in Chidellof's direction, his eyes now more grey-blue than purely grey...
Chidellof frowns and waits...
Edgeworth: It's almost as if I've been seeing the world through a colored lens all this time without realizing it...
Edgeworth turns to Althea after about twenty seconds. "There is most certainly some form of energy around her head."
Althea nods, then frowns. "I suppose you don't have much training on distinguishing the finer details of spell auras as yet..."
Althea: Nonetheless, I'd call that rather suspicious under the circumstances.
Edgeworth nods firmly. "Verily."
Chidellof: Wait, when would anyone've had a chance to cast a spell on me without me noticing?!
Althea: That's a very good question.
Althea: If the aura left on you is from a spell that blinded you... and you woke up blind yesterday morning... then it most likely would need to have been cast while you were asleep.
Chidellof: Even if the Trust let someone thinkin' that kind of thing break into our house, it woulda been obvious someone came through!
Edgeworth meanwhile seems to be peering at Althea's torso curiously.
Edgeworth: I suppose she did previously claim that she bore some enchanted items...
Illyvalen looks a little confused by the conversation so far.
Althea glances at Edgeworth, then adds, "Illusion school, for reference. I'm guessing it looks different from the aura you saw on Ms. Vadin?"
Edgeworth: That it does.
Edgeworth: Though I presume that does very little to narrow things down, simply by virtue of how many schools of magic there are.
Althea: Indeed not. At any rate, I think it might be wise to examine the area where Ms. Vadin slept that night. The spell I suspect might well be in play does not have the most stringent requirements regarding the placement of the caster and target...
Chidellof: It's my room. Last door on the right comin' in. And don't touch anythin', got it?
Althea nods. "It shouldn't be required."
Althea looks to Illyvalen. "In the mean time, Illyvalen can start looking for signs of disease."
Illyvalen: Um, okay...
Chidellof: I guess.

Edgeworth follows Althea back into the hall and to the end of it and allows her to open the door to Chidellof's room. A low bookshelf beneath the window in the center of one wall is stuffed with a variety of books, and there are a number of ceramic figurines atop it. Small tapestries depicting steps for various exercises hang from the walls, and a large one depicting what seems to be an elaborate kata hangs on the wall above Chidellof's rather simple bed at the left side of the room. A case at the right side of the room displays several weapons, including a space for something about the size of the knife sheath that was on Talbo.

Edgeworth's gaze, now grey again, roams the room with interest, ultimately settling on the bookshelf.
Edgeworth: It appears as though any attempt to climb in would have been noticed.
Althea: Indeed. However, it might not have been necessary for the caster to have entered the room.
Althea steps into the room, her eyes fixed on the window. As she reaches the bed, she crouches slightly, looking up from just above the bed's surface out the window.
Edgeworth steps in after Althea. "Is it possible to cast a spell through glass?"

From her vantage point, Althea can see the roof of a gazebo.

Althea: Not a spell of this nature; however, should this window have been open, it would seem there is a position from which the caster could have targetted Ms. Vadin.
Edgeworth: Which natually begs the question of whether it was open, and if so, how...
Edgeworth double-takes at the window.
Edgeworth: There's no latch or lock!
Althea: Mm, that's not unusual in a major Zil city like this.
Edgeworth glares at the window. "Then the question of how this window could have been opened is simple to answer. I am, however, left to wonder whether there were any witnesses to this."
Edgeworth kneels next to Althea to get a look at the vantage point she mentioned.
Althea: Particularly given where the caster would have needed to climb, I have to wonder about that myself.
Althea: We should probably get a better look outside.
Edgeworth nods. "Agreed."

Edgeworth lets Althea lead the way outside for the sake of keeping up appearances. The iron fence that surrounds Chidellof's property is ten feet away from this side of the house and has no gates on this side. On the other side of the fence, the next house's property features a 10' high, 15' wide white gazebo fifteen feet away from said fence, one side being about parallel with the front of Chidellof's house. Further back, a row of bushes is rooted five feet away from the fence, such that they'd be obvious from a more direct look out Chidellof's window.

Edgeworth looks through the fencing at the gazebo first. "From this distance, it appears as though it would be a simple matter for someone of your size to climb up the woven pattern of wood on the sides of the gazebo."
Althea nods.
Edgeworth: Someone closer to my own size would most likely find the spaces between the wood planks more awkward — too small to act as full handholds and footholds, yet large enough not to allow all of one's fingers to be spread between multiple holes.
Edgeworth: It's far from decisive on its own, however, given that someone skilled at climbing would likely be able to compensate.
Althea: Indeed, we certainly can't rule out someone larger at this point, but it does seem more likely we're looking at someone in that general size range. Gnome, halfling, goblin, kobold, etc.
Edgeworth frowns as he looks further back towards the bushes. "However, someone on that side of the fence would be in no position to open the window."
Althea: Not by hand, but any arcane caster who could cast such a blinding spell could as easily open a window with a cantrip. They'd probably need to be closer than the gazebo, but they could still do it from the other side of the fence.
Althea points to the bushes on the other side of the fence.
Edgeworth holds his finger to his temple while looking at the roughly fifteen feet of open space between the bushes and the gazebo, then points at the space in question. "Would that not present a problem concerning stealth?"
Althea: It could present a challenge, but not one that would be difficult for a hypothetical arcane caster to overcome. Illusion spells such as Invisibility could go a long way.
Althea: If they were pressed for time or short of materials or movement space, even Swift Invisibility could cover a trip that short.
Althea: They would become visible again upon casting a spell, but they could be magically disguised as well, to misdirect possible witnesses on their identity.
Edgeworth frowns and nods. "I see..."
Edgeworth: Rising to the challenge of working with a much broader range of possibilities won't be easy. I'm fortunate to have someone like Althea to help rather than someone who would waste time entertaining absurd notions like the gazebo coming to life.
Althea starts heading for the window. "At any rate, while arcane abilities are likely involved, best to rule out mundane possibilities decisively if possible."
Edgeworth grins. "I presume, then, that you have a means of fingerprinting the window?"
Althea nods. "If there aren't prints, it doesn't entirely rule out someone opening it by hand, but it narrows the possibilities of how it could have been done."
Edgeworth approaches the window and looks it over. "Exterior wood is often sufficiently rough for traces of leather or fabric to snag when someone applies pressure to it; given that I rather doubt that other materials for gloves yet exist in this world, we should probably search for those first."
Althea: Given that gauntlets would likely damage the wood and make noise, gloves probably would be the main mundane option to consider.
Edgeworth blinks, then nods.
Edgeworth: I suppose it's to be expected that metal armor is still in use here.
Althea: There is some possible magic that could prevent leaving fingerprints, but all in all that would be far less likely than simply using the cantrip I mentioned before.
Edgeworth: For what reason?
Althea: The spell in question can be used by druids and rangers, but neither discipline has access to the kind of magic that would inflict blindness in the way we're looking at.
Althea: It's not unheard of for people to mix paths like that, but anyone who had access to arcane magic capable of blinding someone could easily just use the cantrip I mentioned.
Edgeworth nods. "In other words, even here, the simplest solution is preferred unless proven impossible. Do you have a magnifying glass?"
Althea removes a box from her pack, opens it up, and hands over a convex glass lens with a small handle attached.
Edgeworth bows, than accepts the offered item.

The next several minutes are occupied by Edgeworth examining the window in detail with the magnifying glass, then the pair of them making use of the fingerprinting powder from Althea's inquisitive's kit. Given his size, the prosecutor-cleric can easily dust areas out of Althea's reach.

Edgeworth: That was refreshingly familiar.
Edgeworth smirks. "It appears that there's little room left for doubt that we're dealing with a true spellcaster, most likely of the arcane variety. At least two different spells were involved in what happened the night before last, and additional ones would have made matters easier still."
Althea nods.
Edgeworth: While we haven't ruled out wands or the like given that Dil did once mention a means of "tricking" magical objects, it seems highly unlikely that a black market in harmful wands would survive for long in a place such as this.
Althea: Agreed.
Althea: Notably, based on the best information we have, that would seem to rule out our suspect having done this himself, though it doesn't really speak to the likelihood of any connection between him and the caster.
Edgeworth looks over to the gazebo. "We should head next door to investigate further."
Althea: Indeed.
Edgeworth wastes no time heading out the front gate and entering the unfenced property next door...
Althea follows Edgeworth.
Althea: We should probably inquire with any residents as to anything they might have witnessed.
Edgeworth stops a few feet from the gazebo. "Dusting this for any prints that might have been left in the course of climbing it seems prudent as well, not to mention examining the bushes closest to Chidellof's house for any signs of passage."
Althea nods.
Edgeworth kneels down and holds out his hand. "Given my reach, I'm better-suited to deal with the forensic aspects. You can speak with the residents."
Althea nods and hands the inquisitive's kit to Edgeworth before heading for the door of the nearby residence.

While Edgeworth takes a few minutes to dust the side of the gazebo facing Chidellof's house, Althea finds that the residents aren't home but a maid who asserts that the owners would have been home but asleep at the time and haven't acted as though anything odd happened the other night is.

Althea thanks the maid and returns to the gazebo to check on Edgeworth's progress.
Edgeworth turns to Althea, looking rather satisfied with himself. "It is as I suspected — there are signs of someone of your stature having climbed the gazebo on this side."
Edgeworth: Given that they were of the familiar sort, I doubt that this was done by a kobold, for what it's worth.
Althea nods. "Kobolds are a pretty rare sight in a city like this anyway."
Edgeworth then looks grim. "Unfortunately, given the uneven texture of the wood, I haven't been able to find any prints clean enough to match with a suspect."
Althea shakes her head. "Even if you could, there's no guarantee an arcanist capable enough for this wouldn't have altered their fingerprints..."
Edgeworth shifts uneasily at that. As though there weren't enough ways to frame a person in my own world.
Althea: At any rate, the owners are out, but the maid indicated that neither of them gave any indication of being aware of something unusual happening the other night. Though she did notice that there were some broken twigs on the bushes yesterday.
Edgeworth sighs. "Given her job, I presume that she pruned them away. I'm left to wonder how bewildered she would be by the concept of swearing an affidavit."
Althea shrugs. "To whom would we present it, considering the circumstances?"
Edgeworth smirks. "Inevitably, we'll find ourselves confronting someone directly involved in this crime. Even away from the courtroom, I've found myself needing to prove the guilt of those I suspect of wrongdoing."
Althea rubs her forehead and sighs. "If you really think it's that important, I could ask her to write it down, but let's leave terms like testimony or affidavit out of it? Attempting to explain the impossible absurdity of our situation to everyone we meet is trying to say the least."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Very well."
Edgeworth suddenly blinks.
Edgeworth: It happened again. I haven't had the time to actually study the laws of Khorvaire, and yet...
Althea grins slightly. "I'm starting to wonder if Illyvalen should be starting on Gnomish with you rather than continuing to go over Common."
Edgeworth looks aside awkwardly. "Er... I would say that there isn't enough time for such an effort to make any difference, yet the evidence suggests that somehow, I'm learning more about Common than I'm explicitly being taught, observing around me, or deducing from either or both."
Althea nods. "It's probably good for you to be drawing on your other strengths like that. It does seem like trying to learn new vocabulary explicitly may almost be something of a crutch in your case."
Edgeworth appears uneasy. Setting aside the fact that it's alien for something of this nature to be a "strength" at all, I haven't been trying to draw on it in this way to begin with.
Edgeworth: As accurate as such knowledge has been thus far, I still can't help but remain concerned about the level of trust I should afford it...
Edgeworth: Certainly, much of what I'm doing involves drawing on Illyvalen's coverage of Common etymology, and yet the first and most extensive of these... episodes predates that.
Althea: I know Dil's been trying to stress the importance of being open to and exercising your intuition, given your preference toward relying on your mundane strengths...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Given that my mundane strengths are entirely under my control while... this will at times manifest without my attempting to make any use of it whatsoever, it's only reasonable that I would prefer the former."
Edgeworth: And I certainly don't wish to become a man who acts on premonitions without proof.
Althea shrugs. "It's also generally the case that people will prefer methods and means that are familiar and backed by skill and experience to those that are unfamiliar and underdeveloped, but yielding to such inclinations tends not to be conducive to growth."
Edgeworth frowns. "Indeed not, but I would still be more comfortable if this lacked the involuntary aspects."
Althea: The involuntary aspects are what set you down this path in the first place. It's arguable that you could not have come nearly so far without them, and certainly not so quickly.
Edgeworth grits his teeth and winces.
Edgeworth glowers away from Althea. "...Once we have a statement from the maid, we should check Illyvalen's progress."
Althea nods and heads back to the door of the residence.

After troubling the maid to write down the details about the bushes, Althea and Edgeworth make their way back into the living room of Chidellof's house. Illyvalen seems to have progressed past more basic diagnostic steps and is currently transferring yellow liquid from a cup to a smaller glass vial with an eyedropper; several other vials already have the liquid in them, a few noticeably discolored.

Althea: Making any progress in here?
Chidellof is squirming impatiently at the far end of the couch.
Edgeworth wrinkles his nose briefly at the smell, but doesn't comment, instead just watching Illyvalen expectantly.
Illyvalen glances up, her hands remaining steady even as her voice seems to register surprise. "Um, I think so. She doesn't seem to be sick, exactly, certainly nothing that I think would explain blindness, but..."
Edgeworth: But?
Illyvalen: Well, some stuff seemed kind of off, so I kinda thought I should look more closely and well, I think I found some kind of poison or something, maybe? I'm not really exactly sure what it is, it didn't seem to cause any of the symptoms poison normally would, but... well, there's definitely something there that shouldn't be...
Edgeworth's expression firms. "Which most likely explains the strange taste Ms. Vadin referred to."
Illyvalen nods. "I think I'm going to have to take this sample back to the Library and do some further tests once I've looked up some more information."
Edgeworth nods.
Illyvalen: Whatever it is, though, I don't think it's a natural poison. Probably alchemy.
Chidellof: Well, yeah, who'd settle for less?
Tikra: Someone who lacked the means.
Chidellof: Besides, most poisons found in nature stand alone anyway. If this didn't do anythin' I noticed by itself, what good would it do in somethin's stinger?
Althea: For our part, I think we verified that there's good evidence an arcane caster, most likely a bard, sorcerer or similar discipline, did take steps to be able to put a spell on you while you slept.
Edgeworth lifts his finger to his temple. "Why those in particular?"
Althea: We can't rule out wizards and the like entirely, but there's a question of how one obtains the knowledge; a scroll like that would probably be hard to come by in a society like this one.
Edgeworth smirks. "By the same logic that makes wands as unlikely to be involved, I presume."
Althea nods.
Althea: Sorcerers in particular tend to be more intuitive in their approach to magic; they may not need to come across or research the spell in that way in order to master it. The situation is not altogether different for bards as I understand it.
Tikra: They say Khyber grants such powers to those he favors...
Chidellof: They say that about anythin' magical people don't like, but sorcerers do like talkin' about all three of 'em.
Tikra shrugs. "It is an old belief, and I recall too little to speak much on the matter."
Edgeworth simply crosses his arms as he listens to the discussion.
Chidellof shrugs. "I can't think of anythin' more than that off the top of my head either."
Althea: It's particularly common among kobolds to view the source of their magical gifts as one of the progenitor dragons, and necromantic magic does seem to be common among the irvhir from what little I've heard, not to mention unusual among the iredar...
Althea: And among other races sorcerers often speak of a mystical connection to the progenitors.
Althea: At any rate, a sorcerer's own nature is probably more relevant to what spells they can wield than the circles they travel in or the information they can get at.
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Hence it being more likely in this country that someone of that nature would have the ability to cast such a spell than someone who took a studious approach to arcane magic."
Althea: Exactly.
Althea turns to Chidellof. "It would seem that our caster squeezed between the bushes lining the fence on the neighboring property, used magic to open your window, then ascended to the roof of the gazebo on the same property. From there they had a direct line view of your bed, and could have cast Blindness; the spell has sufficient range to not present a problem."
Chidellof: You don't say... That's a lotta trouble to do somethin' like this.
Edgeworth: Given that the person responsible would have to be sufficiently motivated to act despite the existence of the Trust, it should come as no surprise that the culprit would go to great lengths.
Chidellof: That's another thing — why didn't they stop whoever did this to me if it happened like you're sayin' anyway?!
Althea: That is the question that keeps plaguing this investigation...

Meanwhile, Illyvalen has been gathering up and carefully sealing and packing various containers, making sure the samples she's collected are secure for the walk back to the Library district.

Edgeworth frowns dourly. "And the more moving parts this scheme is proven to have involved, the more vexing that question becomes..."
Althea: We can only hope that the bigger picture coming into focus sheds some light on that issue...
Althea: There is at least the beginnings of a suggestion why they might not act to protect Egmon, but as for the others involved...
Althea shakes her head.
Chidellof: Well, hurry up already then!
Illyvalen: I-I'm sorry, I'm almost done!
Chidellof: And what's protectin' Egmon or not got to do with anythin' when Talbo's the one who died?!
Chidellof punches the couch cushion next to her.
Althea rubs her forehead slightly, but replies without any tone of frustration or impatience. "There are many places and ways the Trust could have intervened throughout this matter; they chose none. Any explanation we might entertain would need to address them all. I think we are far from such an answer as yet."
Edgeworth uncrosses his arms and raises his finger to his temple. "At least two things happened that anyone reasonable would consider criminal acts, and one seems to have led directly to the other."
Althea: Most likely any cause for inaction is also shared between them...
Edgeworth: Furthermore, we know of a third action that might not necessarily have been considered criminal by Zil standards in isolation, yet contributed to the chain of events that led to the incident in which your husband died.
Edgeworth: In effect, there were at least three acts that could have been stopped in order to allow Talbo to live.
Chidellof: You can't be sayin' what I think you are! That's crazy!
Edgeworth: Unfortunately, I can think of no other common tie between all the incidents than the resulting altercation.
Chidellof leaps off the couch with her fists balled.
Althea reacts quickly to the movement, reaching out with telekinetic force to grab hold of Chidellof before she can commit further aggression.
Chidellof struggles against seemingly nothing to no avail. "Wh-what the heck?! Hey! What's going on?!"
Chidellof tries harder, but only manages to lose her balance and become pinned to the floor.
Edgeworth stares at the spectacle with wide eyes. Thus does it grow clear how serious Althea was in her claims of combat prowess.
Tikra looks back over to see Chidellof suddenly wrested to the floor by Althea's sheer force of will. Giving an impressed look toward the halfling, she quietly speaks. "My apologies, seer..."
Tikra makes her way over to Chidellof, kneeling down and doing her best to adopt the earlier menacing tone. "We hope this is sufficient demonstration that our intent to protect those here is in earnest."
Chidellof: Hmph. You sounded just as freaked out that this happened a second ago!
Illyvalen looks back and forth between Tikra, Edgeworth and Althea. "Uh, um, m-m-maybe w-we should just g-go..."
Edgeworth glares at the downed Chidellof, standing straighter, and begins to speak with firm authority mixed with a vein of hatred. "Do not attempt to follow us. Unlike some other forces of law we can name, we have no reason whatsoever to turn a blind eye to someone who would commit assault."
Chidellof nods as best she can under Althea's grip, whimpering.
Tikra looks back over to Illyvalen and Edgeworth, stands, and quietly returns to Illyvalen's side.
Edgeworth silently waves Tikra and Illyvalen towards the door out.
Illyvalen finishes gathering up her things and makes her way out the door as quickly as her burden allows. Tikra follows part of the way before looking back, waiting to help cover Althea's retreat should it prove needed.
Althea makes her way slowly back toward the hall, maintaining her gaze and hold on Chidellof. "My apologies, Ms. Vadin. I hope to have better answers for you when next we meet."
Chidellof: Damn the Six...
Edgeworth backs away towards the doorway into the hall, turns and nods in appreciation to Althea, then walks past her to the door out.
Althea gestures urgently toward the door for a few moments before breaking concentration and eye contact and making her own way quickly down the hall.
Tikra follows Althea silently.

After the door is shut behind them and they've made their way to what they hope is safely far enough away to rest, the group takes a few minutes to regather themselves and talk.

Illyvalen: That was scary...
Tikra: It seems I was not much use in ensuring our safety. It is fortunate that my assistance proved unnecessary...
Edgeworth simply looks irritated at the whole affair by now.
Althea shakes her head. "You were the one who got her to go that long without reaching the point of being enough of a threat that we had to flee; we might not have been able to investigate at all otherwise..."
Edgeworth takes on a more neutral expression. "Indeed, our findings here have given us a much-needed foothold in our search for the truth behind the current incident."
Tikra shrugs. "At any rate, your response was impressive even by the standards of Morgrave. I believe I have been underestimating your capabilities."
Althea shakes her head. "My circumstances have been... unusual. At any rate, we should see if Dil and Nathaniel have returned, and whether Belgiwig is ready to talk."
Edgeworth: Indeed, I recall bearing witness to a claim that Althea possessed "massive, uncontrolled talent" in need of harnessing...
Illyvalen: I should go back to the Library to do more research and tests...
Edgeworth nods to Illyvalen. "Very well."
Illyvalen makes her way off toward the Library district.
Edgeworth shakes his head as he starts back towards the Archive. I suppose it hadn't occurred to me that perhaps Althea has some inkling of what I'm having to endure.
Tikra glances at Edgeworth but doesn't say anything.
Althea looks to Edgeworth. "That bothers you...?"
Edgeworth looks to Althea. "If you're referring to the extent of your power, it was... startling, but not disturbing."
Althea frowns, but doesn't comment further aloud. She does offer an additional observation via a Missive. Take it as a basis for perspective; I too am not strong enough to face certain foes...
Edgeworth looks puzzled for an instant, then disturbed.
Edgeworth: I'm left to wonder just what the full extent of my own capabilities will ultimately be. Though some hints have descended through these... connections thanks to the way I apparently attract knowledge now, I've already been informed of possibilities beyond even those. Yet, will it be enough to allow me to burn away this world's most dangerous lies?