The Trial
 

Prellis the scribe

UP: Atlantic

    Aleph Aeirs, the mayor of Rivendell, had beenkept prisoner for quite some time now. Housed in a wooden fort owned by pirates,allies of Nostur’yl as the daemon would state it; he had eagerly awaited theday of his trial. A trial he and many others believed to be a farce, held on thegrounds of a broken contract between himself, on behalf of Rivendell, andNostur’yl the daemon.

A short while prior to the trial beginning, Aleph was allowed time with hiswife, Azrielle Aeirs and his counsel Adrian VanGorden. As the trio spoke of whatwas to happen, and updated the mayor on the occurrences throughout Rivendellwhile he was away, groups of people began to gather outside, with the witnessesbrought into the fort itself, as well as four guests picked by Aleph.

Nostur’yl appeared in his natural form, quickly cloaking himself in theillusion of the human mage. He spoke briefly to those gathered inside the fortas to what was to occur, then took a seat at the table which would serve as bothcounsel bench and witness stand. The last one to arrive was the judge, anancient wyrm known to most as the Lady Liane.

The trial set underway with charges presented by the daemon Nostur’yl, andrebutted by Adrian. Four witnesses were called from the crowd inside the piratefort; Craig, Merrick, GreyPawn and the defendant Aleph Aeirs, with bothNostur’yl and Adrian VanGorden questioning each in turn. The proceedings weresent throughout Sosaria and to those outside the fort, by way of communicationcrystal.

The final witness called by the daemon was the Oracle, the very being who hadimprisoned Nostur’yl so many years before. As the Oracle was unable to leavethe city of Wind, and Nostur’yl unable to enter, the Oracle’s testimony wastaken through the use of communication crystals.

Two questions were asked of the Oracle by the daemon, questions which were quiteexpected, given the nature of the trial. After each was answered, the daemonasked one final question of the Oracle, “Is there any way, outside of minerecovering all of the gemstones for mine self to be freed from the Abyss and ifso, how?”

Outrage over the question reigned through those assembled, with Adrianobjecting, as did many of the observers. Arguments were spouted from both sides,until the ancient wyrm spoke, “Ssssst.... proceed, daemon.”

Hesitantly the Oracle answered across the communication crystal, “Indeed...There is. The gems are held apart from you by my power. Should... Should I bekilled… You would be free.”

The remainder of the trial mattered little to Nostur’yl, as he sat in theguise of a human, a broad smile of triumph etched upon his face. Even whenAdrian called the daemon as a witness and questioned the very act of imprisoningAleph Aeirs, the smile remained upon his face.

As the trial neared its close, with the wyrm addressing the charges at length,the daemon Nostur’yl seemingly disappeared. The wyrm ignored this andcontinued, finally approaching her decision of guilt or innocence. At that verymoment, a voice came across the communication crystals, “They are here.”

The voice of the Oracle could be heard echoing off the wooden walls of the fortfor all to hear, followed by the sounds of battle. For while Nostur’yl wasunable to enter the city of Wind while the Oracle resided within, his allieswere not restricted as such. Truth of the matter could be heard across thecrystals, the sounds of battle raging and boots pounding on marble floors.

Shouts rose up from the people assembled, calls to aid the Oracle, as gate aftergate was opened to the very entrance of Wind. By the time they arrived it, wasfar too late, the corpse of the Oracle sprawled upon the ground, mere steps fromthe building that housed the healers of Wind, with no sign of the murderers insight.

While they stood in shock over the death of one whose company and advice theyhad come to cherish, halfway across Sosaria at the near empty fort, Nostur’ylappeared once again. A daemon of the darkest of grey, a form many had seen inthe past, only this time a form which was no mere illusion. Here stood the beastreleased upon the lands, a creature no longer bound to walk as a shadow.

“It is done,” he spoke to those who remained. Turning to the ancientwyrm he said, “Mine thanks Wyrm for your aid in the trial.”

Glaring at the daemon, the wyrm spoke, “You are unjust, creature. You shallpay for your deception...”

With those words, and a newfound enemy, Nostur’yl vanished, leaving the mayorof Rivendell to his freedom.




From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, August 4th 2000