Most of the group heads out to seek the apothecary whose words apparently so influenced Ellymoha, while Nathaniel escorts her to the Medani enclave for further examination.

The "alchemy market" turns out to be a small stretch of street in the Tangibles Market whose selection of shops seems to have grown around the central presence of a different House Tharashk storefront than the one Egmon is being held at. One small storefront even bears the griffon mark of House Jorasco despite this district's overall focus on goods.

Edgeworth looks to the House Tharashk storefront in question with his finger raised to his temple. Interesting. Does some aspect of House Tharashk's prospecting business relate strongly to alchemy?
Althea follows Edgeworth's gaze and nods. "Among other things, House Tharashk sells dragonshards here. Khyber dragonshards are in significant demand by those who work on elemental binding."
Edgeworth nods. "I see... We have more pressing business to focus on for the time being, however."
Edgeworth looks over the rest of the storefronts in an attempt to figure out which one belongs to the apothecary they seek.
Tikra gestures toward one storefront in particular.
Edgeworth bows appreciatively, then quickly heads for that particular building.

While he does trip a bell as he enters the store, Edgeworth finds that the area in which customers can freely roam this shop is small, covering only two shelf-filled walls. The rest of the store is hemmed off by a long L-shaped counter, though many things are on display on a pair of shelves directly behind both stretches of said counter. The positioning of those shelves suggests a great deal of room in the portion of the room they block from view.

Edgeworth: Huh. I suppose this "Rayhan Loeb Dalian" must wish to take careful stock of all but the most innocuous purchases in their store.

A familiar-looking customer is already present at the counter, talking with a gnome behind it with yellowish-blond hair and indigo eyes wearing a white smock.

Dil blinks at the familiar figure. "Illyvalen?"
Edgeworth follows Dil's gaze at his words.
Illyvalen looks over toward the group in some surprise. "Oh! I didn't expect to see you all here..."
Edgeworth: Nor did we expect to see you again this soon, though it's not that surprising given what I've heard. The trail of the truth behind the incident has led us here.
Rayhan looks up at Edgeworth's words. "Incident?"
Althea: The matter Ellymoha Cissot Adredar discussed with you recently has... led to a rather dramatic and terrible event. We were hoping we could speak with you about that conversation.
Rayhan frowns in confusion. "Ellymoha Cissot Adredar? The flutist? I don't recall anyone that famous coming through here recently..."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "The conversation in question was not here. Allegedly, it took place at a tavern near the waterfront."
Rayhan scratches her head. "But my next sea shipment isn't due until tomorrow..."
Illyvalen blinks in confusion, looking back and forth between Edgeworth, Althea and Rayhan.
Althea blinks. "Are you saying you don't have any recollection of being told about an incident of someone pouring an unknown substance into someone else's drink...?"
Rayhan: What? No, nothing like that.
Edgeworth narrows his eyes. "For the record, are you in fact Rayhan Loeb Dalian, or have we mistaken you for someone else?"
Illyvalen: What... what are you talking about...?
Rayhan looks baffled, though less the bafflement of someone facing an odd accusation and more that of a person confronted with an unexpected puzzle.
Rayhan: No, you have the right person...
Althea frowns, thinking...
Dil raises an eyebrow, intrigued himself.
Edgeworth looks away from Rayhan briefly with a thoughtful look in his eyes, tapping his finger on his arm. "Strange... I'm quite certain there isn't any deceit in her voice or manner."
Illyvalen: Why would she be lying?
Edgeworth: I don't know. It is certain, however, that what we have here is a massive contradiction between her testimony and that of Miss Cissot!
Rayhan tilts her head at Edgeworth's firm declaration in an unfamiliar tongue.
Illyvalen blinks. "What... did she say?"
Althea: ...Ellymoha Cissot Adredar gave us an account of a rather disturbing conversation in which she spoke of Egmon putting something in Chidellof's drink, and in the course of that conversation became convinced that Egmon wished a blood duel between himself and Chidellof, and that Talbo had to be warned of this...
Illyvalen's eyes widen. "Then he was the one who poisoned... but... that doesn't make sense..."
Edgeworth fixes his firm gaze on Illyvalen. "So you have made progress in your analysis?"
Illyvalen: Yes. I came to get a few additional supplies and such, but I'm pretty sure I've worked out what it was I detected in the samples...
Illyvalen: It looks to be a kind of resistance-diminishing poison... meant to render the target more succeptible to other poisons, diseases or body-affecting magics.
Edgeworth stands straighter, uncrossing his arms and clenching his fists once his arms are hanging straight. "In other words, something that could be highly relevant depending on how precisely the spell that blinded Chidellof works."
Althea: If it's the spell I believe it is, then yes...
Dil frowns, let down that this portion of the conversation leaves him largely out of the loop.
Edgeworth: Then if Miss Cissot's testimony stands after our newfound contradiction has been cleared up, that poison would almost certainly be what was put into the drink, for two purposes. First, to make it more likely that the spell of blindness that was cast on her would take effect, and second, so that it could be mistaken for the source of the blindness itself.
Althea: Those could hold in any event, considering the evidence thus far and Chidellof's own testimony.
Edgeworth: In the face of a contradiction of this magnitude, I can imagine three possibilities. There are of course the two obvious ones; either Miss Cissot is lying or Miss Loeb is. The third option is that both are telling what they believe to be the truth, but some other factor has complicated the matter — for example, a disguise.
Althea: The theoretical arcane caster assailant could easily adopt a magical disguise.
Edgeworth nods. "As you had mentioned before."
Illyvalen: I don't think Rayhan would lie about something like that...
Edgeworth: Furthermore, she had the bearing of someone speaking honestly. She would have to be an exceptionally skillful liar for me to be mistaken on this matter.
Althea: Whereas our previous witness was vague in much of her testimony and rather nervous, but... it did seem like she was relating what she was sure of... and it did seem likely that someone was "pushing her" to tell Talbo...
Edgeworth: Mm. While we cannot rule out the possibility of either of them deceiving us, it seems more likely at this juncture that the source of our contradiction is a third party, most likely our as-yet unknown arcane spellcaster.
Althea frowns in thought. "I suppose, though, that our arcane spellcaster might know enough to simulate the effects of such a compulsion... and we certainly haven't ruled out bardic magic as a possibility..."
Althea: We'd be talking about someone who's better at magic than most people who study such things, but not necessarily an extremely rare talent...
Edgeworth nods slowly. "Shall we continue questioning Miss Loeb with all this in mind? There is, after all, the question of where such a poison as Illyvalen has discovered could have come from."
Althea nods.
Edgeworth turns back to the counter. "I apologize for our behavior just now, Miss Loeb. I don't suppose you've heard of the 'dramatic and terrible incident' Althea alluded to in our earlier questioning?"
Illyvalen smiles apologetically and a bit nervously at Rayhan but remains quiet for the moment as Edgeworth speaks.
Rayhan: Many interesting things happen in a city as large as ours, but the most "dramatic and terrible" thing I've heard is an impossible-sounding rumor.
Althea: That sounds about right.
Rayhan shakes her head. "Do you expect me to believe the Trust would look away from its own purpose on such a basic level?"
Edgeworth takes on a mostly neutral expression, a slight frown in his eyes. "I realize that this must be difficult to accept, Miss Loeb, but we saw the body and inspected the crime scene ourselves."
Illyvalen shudders at the memory, but nods. "W-we... we have to do what we can... I'm trying to help Mr. Edgeworth find out... why... why this could..." She breaks off, seemingly unable to continue.
Tikra advances silently to Illyvalen's side.
Rayhan's eyes widen in disbelief.
Rayhan: The strangest part is that the Trust would not just allow a murder, but allow one that's a spectacle. It would be less strange if it allowed its own methods to be used. Even then, I wouldn't expect a member of House Sivis to be allowed to be murdered without exceptional reason.
Edgeworth raises a finger to his temple. So she believes that if the Trust allowed a murder at all, it would involve someone being quietly eliminated in the shadows...
Edgeworth shudders. To think that anyone could suggest such an idea so calmly!
Althea: I don't disagree that exceptional reason would be required, but I'm afraid we don't have a satisfactory explanation at this time for what has occurred.
Edgeworth: What we know of what happened is primarily that the incident involved a great deal of manipulation to set up, making it all the more strange that the Trust did not intervene.
Edgeworth: Illyvalen's contribution to this is to investigate one aspect of what was done to the victim's wife in order to manipulate him into his ultimately suicidal attack against Egmon Niralamba Santiar.
Illyvalen manages to recover her composure enough to speak, though she does take hold of Tikra's arm. "I've been analyzing samples of bodily fluids... I believe she was poisoned..."
Rayhan looks concerned yet mildly intrigued. "What sort of poison? Is this why you've come here?"
Illyvalen: Mostly, yes. I need to do a little more to be completely sure, but... it's definitely some kind of bodily-resistance-weakening poison...
Rayhan lapses into apparent thought. "Interesting... Those take skill to create. If an alchemist isn't careful, they'll introduce weakness, frailty, and obvious illness as symptoms, and can even risk killing the victim."
Edgeworth stares at Rayhan, seeming unsettled. Do her customers know that this woman finds poisons to be an academic curiosity?
Edgeworth clears his throat. "This was an ingested poison that was placed in a glass of water."
Edgeworth: The victim furthermore indicated that there was a faint, detectable taste.
Edgeworth pauses for a moment. ...I suppose that out of context, realizing that such traits could be identifiable might seem as strange to others.
Rayhan: Hmm... That might be sentry's soporific. Not the most conventional choice...
Althea frowns. "I'm not sure I've ever heard of that..."
Illyvalen shakes her head. "It's not very common, so I'm not surprised. It's made somewhat similarly to common allergy-suppressing medicines, but there are a number of key differences... er, the important part is that its effect lasts for 24 hours and significantly diminishes the body's ability to cope with poisons, environmental hazards and the like..."
Illyvalen: As well as magic that behaves similarly...
Edgeworth: So if nothing else, she's no longer in danger from it now that some time has passed since her exposure. It's fortunate that you even spotted the aftereffects.
Illyvalen nods slowly. "If we'd waited much longer, I don't think I could have..."
Edgeworth turns his attention back to Rayhan, his eyes stern. "Has anyone with the skill to make that particular poison bought the ingredients from you at the proper time to have had a dose at the ready two days ago?"
Rayhan shakes her head. "Not all of them, nor have I sold any of the ingredients to people I don't usually sell them to."
Edgeworth: What about unusual quantities among your usual customers?
Rayhan: Well, Rabbalap Marggin Adredar did buy more than usual. Apparently his sister wanted to see if the anti-allergy medicine she makes for him would work for someone she was trying to gain the favor of for the sake of a game.
Illyvalen: Did it?
Rayhan shrugs. "I haven't heard about it from either of them."
Illyvalen: Oh well...
Althea glances at Edgeworth. "That's a striking coincidence..."
Edgeworth puts his finger to his temple. "That was the conductor for the concert, was it not?"
Althea: Indeed.
Illyvalen: Oh. Is that significant...? He didn't seem unusual then.
Edgeworth: No, but he is the second person related to the concert who has come up during this investigation.
Edgeworth: It may well be nothing more than a coincidence, but if those ingredients have not been bought in unusual quantity from anyone else, then we must follow the evidence to him next.
Althea: Was that all that seemed out of the ordinary?
Rayhan: Well, I was surprised that Zemershil didn't pick the ingredients up herself, but that was all. I thought she must have just been busy.
Althea nods.
Althea: But no one else needed unusual quantities?
Rayhan shakes her head.
Edgeworth taps his finger against his temple, then grins. "Are either of these two skilled with magic?"
Rayhan: Rabbalap's magic is only of the typical kind, but Zemershil has studied... some kind of arcane magic, I'm not sure what exactly. She's never had the musical talents of most of her family, so she entertains with illusions instead.
Althea: Sounds like possibly an illusionist or beguiler, perhaps some kind of sorcerer...
Rayhan considers. "I don't think she's an illusionist; I've never heard her talking about spellbooks or heard of her seeking out scrolls."
Edgeworth's features harden.
Althea frowns in thought. "If she were a beguiler, it's unlikely she could be the culprit; that discipline doesn't lend itself to one critical spell used on the victim..."
Rayhan suddenly looks confused. "Culprit? Victim? Have I missed some piece of all these puzzles?"
Althea blinks and looks at Edgeworth. "I suppose I have been getting a bit accustomed to dropping back into English; we've effectively omitted a good deal of context so far."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "To be fair, at first it wasn't clear that it was safe to speak of that context in a way she could understand."
Althea sighs slightly.
Rayhan seems curious rather than insulted. "Is 'English' the name of that language you were speaking?"
Althea looks back to Rayhan. "It is. Illyvalen can tell you more later, as she's been studying it. At any rate, we have a profile of a suspect for the person who poisoned Chidellof, based on other actions that appear to have been taken the night before her blindness manifested."
Althea: Particularly, that the Blindness spell was most likely used to inflict her condition, and the poison may have been administered in part to ensure that it worked.
Edgeworth: And in part to deflect suspicion from the very possibility that its casting was involved at all.
Rayhan frowns. "What a strange series of events for the Trust to let happen. Not as unbelievable as the murder in broad daylight, but..."
Dil puts his finger to his lip. "It does seem like if having something to investigate was all they wanted to allow, the poisoning and blinding would have been enough."
Tikra shakes her head. "Curiosity is insufficient cause to breach the safety of this place; it is only enough to lift the veil."
Edgeworth: Thus does the same question rear its head again in a more refined form...
Illyvalen shivers.
Althea: I think it's pretty clear that this isn't something that played out only because the Trust wanted to watch an off-worlder figure it out. ...I'm just not sure anything else is clear about why it happened...
Rayhan's eyes widen in what seems to be amazed realization.
Rayhan: So that rumor also has something to it...
Edgeworth grits his teeth. I can't say it's comfortable to be regarded as an outlandish rumor.
Illyvalen: Oh, yes, he speaks a whole lot of languages I've never heard of anywhere! I've only had time to learn any of this 'English' though...
Illyvalen sounds a bit disappointed about the last part.
Rayhan looks to Illyvalen and grins. "It sounds like excitement is following you lately, both good and bad."
Illyvalen: I guess so...
Edgeworth clears his throat and taps his finger on his arm. "I beg everyone's pardon, but personal reflection on recent events can wait until after we've found the truth behind these crimes."
Althea nods. "It's too early to be certain about their involvement, but I think we'd best have a talk with Rabbalap Marggin Adredar... and his sister..."
Edgeworth: Verily. We'll most likely need Mr. Salyrria's help again.
Althea nods. "I'll contact him." She closes her eyes and begins concentrating.
Edgeworth looks to Rayhan. "Miss Loeb, if it would not burden you, I ask that you write down your assertion that you did not visit the waterfront the day before yesterday, as well as the fact that Rabbalap Marggin Adredar bought additional anti-allergy ingredients."
Rayhan: Huh? Oh, that's different. All right.
Rayhan takes out a sheet of paper and a fountain pen from under the counter.
Edgeworth: I would appreciate it if you took out enough to allow Illyvalen to write down her own preliminary results as well — if you would, please.
Edgeworth looks to Illyvalen in mid-sentence.
Illyvalen frowns in confusion as she takes a pen and paper from her own bag. "Er, why would you need me to use Rayhan's paper for that...?"
Edgeworth smirks, amused and pleased. "Heh... I see."
Edgeworth: Anyway, once you've finished with the poison analysis, I would like you to run an analysis on the blood samples we gathered at the start of this as well. I presume you would have access to sufficient skill to perform one better than Althea could have at the spur of the moment, and that while you're here you could gather any materials for it you lack.
Illyvalen: Yeah, I can manage that...
Edgeworth bows with a sweep of his arm. "Thank you. The results should prove to be of use in proving what we observed now that the crime scene has apparently been cleaned."
Edgeworth: Though I must admit, it is troubling that any authority would either do or permit such a thing in circumstances such as these.
Illyvalen quickly fills out a page in neat, small handwriting.
Rayhan looks up from writing and over to Illyvalen. "Do you need me to retrieve any of the materials for you?"
Althea frowns slightly even as she concentrates.
Illyvalen looks up briefly from her own writing. "I'll need some changeling blood for the best results. I should have the necessary reagents for the rest already."
Dil smirks. "This time, I think I can let you have a free ride."
Edgeworth stares at Dil. Is it proper to point out such a thing so boldly in front of someone who makes a living at selling such things?
Illyvalen hands her page to Edgeworth. Most of it is full of tables of shorthand notations that mean nothing to him, followed by either numbers or mathmatical glyphs, but a small summary at the end reads: "Results consistent with alchemic resistance-weakening poison, possibly sentry's soporific."
Edgeworth nods, filing the report in his organizer.
Althea looks over to Edgeworth. "There's been a slight hang-up. Seems something about our request got the receptionist at the enclave suspicious and they all but threw Nathaniel out."
Edgeworth is startled out of any spoken reply to Dil. His eyes widen at the resistance Nathaniel faced.
Dil: That's strange...
Illyvalen: Huh?
Althea: When I contacted him, he was on his way to request the assistance of one of his own contacts, a bard by the name of Bripmalon Marggin Adredar...
Edgeworth recoils with a step backward. "What?! Under these circumstances...!"
Althea: Yeah, I had about the same thought. ...though if I'd had that reaction I probably would have lost my channel. I advised him to hold off and head back to the Archive for now until we can reevaluate our options.
Edgeworth stands straighter again and nods firmly with a glower. "Most of us should head there immediately, then. Tikra, remain with Illyvalen; under the circumstances, I wish to leave no one unattended."
Tikra nods.
Illyvalen: You... you think it's that...
Edgeworth: Potentially so, yes. I think it's highly probable that our culprit has realized that just because the Trust is apparently turning a blind eye to the matter, that does not necessarily mean they have nothing to fear.
Althea: It's a wise precaution to take under the circumstances. We're operating within an exception to the Trust's normal behavior, and we don't know how far that goes.
Illyvalen: !
Tikra: ...I will defend Illyvalen at any cost.
Rayhan looks enraptured, as though the fearful discussions were some sort of play.
Edgeworth nods. "Thank you." He looks to Rayhan, hesitates at her unexpected expression, then offers her a nod before taking the now complete and signed note and striding out the door.
Illyvalen looks back and forth between Edgeworth and Althea, looking bewildered and frightened.
Dil grins and shrugs sheepishly. "Well, if I want to keep observing him, I suppose donations will have to wait for later."
Illyvalen: But... but I don't...
Tikra: We have accepted this burden, and we must see our roles through.
Dil heads out after Edgeworth.
Illyvalen: Aren't you scared...?
Tikra: ...It would be foolish not to be. Nevertheless, I will do what I must.
Rayhan frowns at Dil's departure. "I was hoping I could negotiate with him..."
Tikra: I do not believe you will let your fears stop you either, once you have finished expressing them.
Illyvalen stares at Tikra for a moment, then lowers her gaze and shakes her head. After a moment, she responds. "B-but... I... I don't ever want... to see you hurt like that again... not even to save me... if... i-if..."
Tikra: I have not forgotten the price you asked of me, though payment I cannot consider it. But if you would ask me to save my own life at cost of yours... that is beyond what I can give.
Illyvalen looks for a moment like she's about to burst into tears... but for once she seems to contain herself. "I... I... L-let's go then..."
Althea nods solemnly to Tikra, then looks to Illyvalen. "Try not to worry too much, it's just a precaution. If I thought we were in clear and immediate danger, I would not allow us splitting up, even if it did slow us down a bit."
Althea heads after Edgeworth.

The return to the Archive is thankfully uneventful for Edgeworth, Dil, and Althea. Nathaniel and Ellymoha aren't there when they arrive, but given the difference in distance to travel that is to be expected.

Edgeworth pauses in the shop portion of the building, knowing full well that Nathaniel and Ellymoha would need permission to go further in.
Althea looks over the display cases. "One thing we still have to figure out is how we are going to manage the required spell under these circumstances..."
Edgeworth nods grimly. "Indeed, particularly as we have no idea whether at this time we're facing only our culprit or a web of their allies."
Dil: Well, one possibility would be to rush you through one lesson I'd hoped we could take our time with later...
Edgeworth looks to Dil with a raised eyebrow, crossing his arms. "Oh?"
Althea: There should be a scroll of Greater Detect Magic available here... while it's beyond your ability to cast on your own, you have a strong enough talent with divination magic that you may be able to manage casting from a scroll...
Dil: Though there is a trick to that — every divine scroll you encounter will be scribed by someone who doesn't share your faith. You'll have to reconcile your own beliefs with those of the creator.
Edgeworth looks deeply uncomfortable. As though it weren't trying enough to fill a defense attorney's role with little notice.
Nopplebin observes the conversation from behind the counter with mild interest, as though seeing a variation on a theme.
Althea: I understand that it can vary a lot between individuals how well one tends to cope with it; Vassals of the Sovereign Host tend to do somewhat better overall due to that faith's tendency toward syncretism...
Dil: In case you were wondering, deipotents' potential for use of scrolls of differing and even opposing faiths is another of the "contradictions", as you put it, that inspired the work of the Archival Foundation.
Edgeworth takes a breath, calming himself somewhat. "I see..."
Althea: ...given the fact that this is an Archive, I wonder if they might have one written by a follower of the Blood of Vol. While I would hesitate to suggest any religion of Eberron as being "compatible" with your faith, I wonder if their perspective wouldn't be a little less... offensive to your sensibilities...
Nopplebin frowns. "Venrach does help us keep scrolls stocked, even if he doesn't really seem to like it."
Dil puts his finger to his lip. "I guess you haven't met him, Althea."
Althea: I don't recognize the name, so I suppose not.
Dil: He's pretty opportunistic, but he does make good on his debts. He's provided a lot of help to the Archival Foundation, especially when it comes to more obscure aspects of necromancy. He was doing some experiments in the third basement just last week, but he's currently with an expedition exploring some caves in the Seawall Mountains supposedly abandoned by an irvhir tribe.
Althea: Sounds interesting. In any event, if he's penned a scroll of Greater Detect Magic, perhaps that would be a good option to work with.
Nopplebin: One moment, I'll check...
Nopplebin looks through a glass case against the wall behind the counter.
Edgeworth: Why that religion in particular?
Althea: Even though you connect with something greater than yourself when you commune, you still understand divine magic to be a power of mortals, not gods, if I understand correctly.
Edgeworth: It is something we have the capacity to use as a tool, despite our not having designed it and the probability of it not having been "designed" at all. That potential to make use of it is our own, even if what is being wielded is far greater than ourselves.
Dil can't keep a brief glint of skepticism out of his eyes at the comment about it not being designed.
Althea nods. "As I mentioned in our brief overview of religions shortly after we met, the Blood of Vol reject any gods that might exist as tyrants, and seek instead to unlock divine potential within themselves."
Althea: Some of the, er, specifics of their symbolism might not map especially well to your faith, but I figured the overall concept might be a bit less alien to your thinking than that of more mainstream religions.
Nopplebin opens the case she was searching and pulls out a scroll. "Here we are."
Dil puts his finger to his lip. "There is one other thing you have in common with them that comes to mind: they also have some level of focus on the material, even if it's more specific with them."
Dil: Specifically, they consider blood to be the primary carrier of their Divinity Within, which is their explanation for why there's no hope left for people who can't escape Dolurrh.
Edgeworth: OBJECTION! Merely telling me the points that do not contradict will not allow me to overcome the contradictions that do exist!
Nopplebin jumps slightly.
Althea shakes her head slightly, seeming torn between amusement and annoyance.
Dil looks to Althea and shrugs. "He does have a point..."
Althea: The key point to understand about the Blood of Vol is that their faith's highest goal and duty is to defeat death itself. Each follower is called to do what they can to advance the standing of the living in the fight against death.
Althea: They have a somewhat... different perspective on undead than most, as a consequence of that.
Edgeworth winces at that.
Althea: An adherent of the Blood who became a lich to extend their life... would be viewed as something akin to a martyr to the cause: someone who sacrificed their very own divine potential in order to help ensure that others could achieve theirs.
Althea: Indeed, the high priest of the Crimson Monastery in Atur is a mummy.
Edgeworth stares incredulously at Althea. And this is her idea of the closest match to be found? My impression is of a religion of teenage rebels.
Edgeworth: Indeed, I cannot help but think that such a path would better suit the arrogant perfectionism I was led to at such an age than the better man I've since rediscovered and become. Certainly, at that time I thought of myself as a punisher both of the sins of the outside world and of myself.
Edgeworth: That being said, there is certainly a crucial difference. These people seem to have great faith in humanity, or rather mortal sapientkind; I, by contrast, drowned in excessive doubt.
Edgeworth: In my studies here, I recall reading references to adherents of the Blood of Vol as "Seekers"; presumably, they seek this "Divinity Within" they regard as a truth hidden within their blood. Indeed, I also recall reading that they regard attaining divine magic as one of the greatest successes they yet know to be possible.
Edgeworth takes a deep breath. Certainly, I will admit this: I had to spend nearly a year looking within myself before I could really start wielding the truth after having been in the dark for so long, and had to briefly do so again to discover a new way to apply the truth's power here. That may well be the single most important truth they have on their side, even if they are foolish to look no further.
Edgeworth: Indeed, they apparently consider that step along the path so immensely important that they will do things most consider unspeakable just to allow others to take it.
Edgeworth gulps, reaches for the scroll, unrolls it... and frowns in confusion. "Er, what language is this?"
Althea: Hmm... I have a guess, but if you could hold it a bit lower...?
Edgeworth kneels down and holds it somewhat to his side to allow Althea a clearer look.
Althea: Mm, yes, that's Draconic.
Dil: Just so you know, not all the writing is part of the incantation — some of it is part of the structure holding the scroll's magic in place or artifacts of the scribing process. So you can't just sound it all out knowing what the incantation means and just have it work that way.
Althea nods. "Under the circumstances, I think I ought to look into arranging permission to bring the helm as far as the storefront; it's probably the best way to meet some of the more basic logistical requirements of the situation."
Edgeworth smirks. Ah yes — that device's usefulness has indeed yet to end. I may have outgrown the need to wear it simply to communicate at all, but both its capability for making other languages understandable and for deciphering magic would apply here.
Edgeworth: Very well.
Nopplebin unlocks the door into the back room and opens it.
Althea disappears through into the back room.
Dil: I've never really understood why they like Draconic so much for their purposes, but they do claim the roots of the faith stretch back farther than even Aerenal's history.
Dil shrugs.
Edgeworth: I do seem to recall Althea mentioning a "Vol" family who once bore a "Mark of Death"; perhaps they had a hand in laying some of those foundations as well, if it's truly so old.
Edgeworth: But now is hardly the time to debate history that I barely know.
Edgeworth: Is there anything else one must know about the use of scrolls?
Dil: Only that scrolls of rarer spells might be more useful to us than to you in the long term, so if you end up owning any you should weigh your options.
Edgeworth nods, still peering at the odd writing. One would almost swear tinges of dark maroon and dark brown were swirling through this writing, if one didn't know better.
Edgeworth: Anyway, I certainly know the proper purpose of Greater Detect Magic from the truth's perspective as part of the world of justice; going beyond merely revealing evidence of the fundamental truth that magic is part of this world, it reveals evidence of what part magic played in a particular incident.

After another few minutes, Althea returns to the storefront bearing the aforementioned helm. She heads toward Edgeworth and Dil, handing the item to the former.

Edgeworth rolls the scroll back up, holding it in one hand while accepting the helm with the other. Being relatively used to putting it on without ruining his hairdo by now, it's only a minor challenge to repeat the process one-handed.
Edgeworth repoens the scroll and blinks at it, briefly disoriented at understanding all he's seeing when he didn't just seconds ago.
Edgeworth: ..."I awaken my comatose power to see magic beyond the death imposed on us both"?
Edgeworth: It would seem that the Blood of Vol considers more than the mortality of living beings to be unfair...
Edgeworth: Furthermore, it seems that many of the same runes are used in the writing and the magical constructs. Curious...
Edgeworth: Is it normal for the Draconic alphabet to be used for magical purposes?
Althea: Indeed, it's one of the most common, as is Giant.
Edgeworth: I see... I don't suppose you could provide some guidance concerning how each of these words is pronounced?
Edgeworth points to each word of the incantation in turn.
Althea reads them off in clearly enunciated Draconic.
Edgeworth: Thank you.

Any further consideration of the scroll is momentarily interrupted as the storefront's main door opens, Nathaniel and Ellymoha both entering.

Edgeworth stands and turns to face the others, rolling up the scroll again in the process.
Nathaniel glances at Edgeworth, then Althea. "So, would you mind explaining exactly why we needed to come back here instead of enlisting help?"
Nathaniel: You didn't get past calling it "unwise under the circumstances" earlier.
Edgeworth's expression firms. "Evidence is making the Marggin family begin to look suspicious. Until we know more, it is risky to trust them with any important duties such as this."
Edgeworth digs out the statements Rayhan wrote down for them.
Ellymoha looks at Edgeworth almost incredulously. "You can't be serious! A Marggin?!"
Edgeworth: It is a possibility, though the evidence is scant as yet.
Althea: ...and with as much as family means to the Zil... we really can't rely on family members to potentially indict one of their own...
Nathaniel frowns as he looks over the document that Edgeworth hands him. "...I suppose with as difficult to believe as what we've already encountered has been, it would hardly be fair to call this out as a leap too far... but it's hard to imagine Rabbalap being involved in something this..."
Ellymoha reads over Nathaniel's shoulder. "What? But I know I saw her... why would she say she wasn't there?"
Edgeworth: Whoever is taking these actions is apparently a skilled arcane caster. In a place such as this, I understand that to make the ability to cloak oneself in an illusion especially likely.
Ellymoha: You mean... I was talking to... an imposter?
Edgeworth: It's probable, though to be certain we need to verify a number of things. First, I intend to use this to verify whether or not you were, in fact, "pushed" to make the report to Talbo you did.
Edgeworth holds up the scroll even while putting the statements away with his other hand.
Nathaniel raises an eyebrow, asking in a skeptical tone of voice, "You are already that capable?"
Dil shrugs. "Even if he didn't have an affinity for divination magic, he'd be capable enough to try..."
Nathaniel frowns slightly at the word "try" but nods. "I suppose..."
Edgeworth: Of course, we should also have others verify Miss Loeb's alibi. Presumably people would have noticed if her store was closed at an unusual time.
Edgeworth unrolls the scroll again, then leaves it hanging from one hand while holding out the other with his fingers in an odd configuration.
Edgeworth: In a sense, I suppose the Blood of Vol conceives of gods as murderers.
Edgeworth: Can I yet see beyond what they would consider the untimely death of something more abstract than themselves?
Edgeworth gestures while reciting from the scroll, "I awaken my comatose power to see magic beyond the death imposed on us both."

The scroll flares black and crumbles, and Edgeworth falls to his knees while hissing in pain.

Edgeworth: Agh!...
Althea's eyes widen, and she looks to Dil.
Dil nods to Althea. "Right."
Ellymoha: What happened...?
Dil is quick to kneel next to Edgeworth, chant something firmly while gesturing with one hand, and touching him with a hand shining faintly iridescent lavender.
Edgeworth's breathing eases, but he doesn't seem to have completely shaken things off.
Edgeworth: What sort of energy was that?!
Nathaniel staggers backward, shaking his head. "What... what did you do?"
Althea winces and shakes her head slightly. "...that was the energy of the plane of Mabar."
Edgeworth stands, glowering. "Why was I not warned of this difference?!"
Dil looks sheepish and apologetic.
Althea: ..."Because I thought it was obvious" doesn't seem like the best answer under the circumstances...
Althea: ...I did mention that not all clerics have an affinity for positive energy. Clerics who are Seekers are predominantly channelers of negative energy.
Nathaniel looks around the room, seeming bewildered.
Edgeworth looks to Nathaniel. "What precisely is wrong?"
Nopplebin: Um... that'll be 112 galifars and 5 sovereigns...
Nathaniel: I... can't see right... out of one eye...
Althea looks up in alarm. "You're blinded?"
Nathaniel: N-not exactly... I can— gyaah! What the...?!
Nathaniel stares past Nopplebin as if looking through the back wall.
Edgeworth recoils. What have I done?!
Nopplebin looks behind her, than back at Nathaniel, confused.
Ellymoha: What? What is it?
Nathaniel: I... think I just saw a shade walk through the counter and wall...
Edgeworth stares at Nathaniel, dumbfounded.
Edgeworth: To think that in attempting to reach for a truth normally beyond my grasp, I might cause someone to hallucinate...
Althea frowns. "What do you see if you only look with that eye?"
Nathaniel reluctantly closes his left eye and gazes unseeing around the room. "Just a gray wasteland... and maybe a few more shades off in the distance..."
Edgeworth appears disturbed. That sounds far too much like Althea's description of...
Althea nods. "Sounds like somehow, instead of seeing evidence of magic, you're seeing evidence of death."
Althea: More specifically, it sounds like you're viewing the plane of Dolurrh.
Nathaniel blinks rapidly. "'s gone."
Dil shakes his head, finally standing back up himself. "You have a few things to learn about how to push people to grow, Althea."
Nopplebin: Um, who's going to pay?
Althea: I've got it.
Althea fishes in her bag, then places twelve pieces of platinum on the counter.
Nopplebin looks surprised at the denomination used, examines it carefully, then finally places it in a locked drawer, removing 7 pieces of gold and 5 pieces of silver which she hands back to Althea.
Althea accepts and pockets the change.
Nopplebin updates a document in another drawer.
Edgeworth slides from horror and unease to clear frustration.
Nathaniel shakes his head, regaining his composure. "So... what now? We still don't have an answer to the questions you were attempting to address."
Dil shrugs. "It would be risky for me to try this way too... and I don't think Edgeworth's going to put up with many more surprises."
Althea sighs. "There are a few options. For one, we could simply try again; your previous experience might help you cope better in a second attempt."
Althea: Another thought is that you might have an easier time working from a spellbead, if we can acquire one for the appropriate spell.
Edgeworth: I'm sorry — spellbead?
Althea: A spellbead is an enchanted bead. In some ways it splits the difference between a wand and a scroll; it's consumed in a single use, but it's less complicated to use. Not to mention that it can be used by arcane or divine casters regardless of whether the spell imbued was arcane or divine.
Althea: They are most commonly created by artificers, since they can't effectively make scrolls the same way that typical arcane or divine casters do.
Althea: We won't likely find spellbeads here or at any place mostly accommodating casters, though. The best bet is probably the local Cannith enclave.
Dil: There would be some risk in using a spellbead too, but you at least shouldn't be surprised by unexpected energies or have to struggle to figure out how one form of the spell turns into another.
Althea nods. "In many ways it would be similar to using a wand, though you would need to provide the incantation. That at least would draw upon your own imagery."
Edgeworth raises his finger to his temple. "It sounds rather like a physical manifestation of a prepared spell, more so than a scroll is."
Edgeworth: Am I beginning to grow accustomed to discussing such things?
Althea: While artificers are more limited in what they can accomplish due to their focus on items, as well as the liabilities inherent in their methods, many artificers believe that their approach to magic is more fundamentally pure than what ordinary spellcasters can manage; their methods being agnostic to the distinction between arcane and divine magic tending to be seen as evidence thereof.
Dil shrugs and smirks to himself.
Edgeworth: Perhaps no one understanding of magic in this world is yet complete, despite enough being known to allow it to be applied to good effect in advancing civilization.
Edgeworth looks around at those in the room sternly. "While there may be some merit in debating the nature of magic, it's far from the most pressing truth at hand. We still need to verify whether or not my own suspicions about the true origins of Miss Cissot's drive to warn Talbo are correct."
Nathaniel seems to have mostly recovered his composure at this point. "...I suppose we can stand to grant another chance under the circumstances, though I can't say I'm pleased to have to turn away from more experienced help..."
Althea: He has used a wand correctly before, and this was his first attempt with a scroll. I don't think it's that likely we could see anything like... what just occurred.
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Furthermore, I was operating with incomplete information."
Edgeworth starts towards the door. "Anyway, we haven't the time to waste."
Nathaniel frowns, not that reassured by Althea's comment and even less so by Edgeworth's brusqueness. He mutters under his breath, "...but if anyone else suffers another 'accident'..."