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The Trial
Aleph Aeirs, the mayor of Rivendell, had been kept 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 the day of his trial. A trial he and many others believed to be a farce, held on the grounds of a broken contract between himself, on behalf of Rivendell, and Nostur’yl the daemon. 

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

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

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

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

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

Outrage over the question reigned through those assembled, with Adrian objecting, 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 be killed… You would be free.” 

The remainder of the trial mattered little to Nostur’yl, as he sat in the guise of a human, a broad smile of triumph etched upon his face. Even when Adrian called the daemon as a witness and questioned the very act of imprisoning Aleph 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 and continued, finally approaching her decision of guilt or innocence. At that very moment, 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 fort for all to hear, followed by the sounds of battle. For while Nostur’yl was unable to enter the city of Wind while the Oracle resided within, his allies were not restricted as such. Truth of the matter could be heard across the crystals, 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 after gate was opened to the very entrance of Wind. By the time they arrived it, was far too late, the corpse of the Oracle sprawled upon the ground, mere steps from the building that housed the healers of Wind, with no sign of the murderers in sight. 

While they stood in shock over the death of one whose company and advice they had come to cherish, halfway across Sosaria at the near empty fort, Nostur’yl appeared once again. A daemon of the darkest of grey, a form many had seen in the past, only this time a form which was no mere illusion. Here stood the beast released 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 ancient wyrm he said, “Mine thanks Wyrm for your aid in the trial.” 

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

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

Published: August 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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