The Wheel of Justice Begins Turning
(Crossing, Zoluren: 109 Lirisa 359)
The Prydean padded through the open door, tail curling in an undulating arc.
"It was most interesting Baresh. I caught scent of that Elven warrior mage again .. apparently she is the bailiff for the Court. Curiosity led me on a trail after her and I found myself in the amphitheatre."
"Not only did I see a judge’s chair, a witness stand, and a jurist bench, it appears I stumbled into the picking of the jury for the trial of the empath. Again I tell you Baresh, this town is full of information."
"And the odd thing is … not everyone realize’s they are giving it."
"There was some squarrelling and quabbling amongst the prospective jurors, as well as much squirming and fidgeting. Finally the bailiff had to suggest that if they did not stop, she would start dropping names."
"Energy and it seemed, some hackles, raised as the Elothean empath was brought into the amphitheatre. She looked a little worse for wear, but then, most of the touchers I’ve seen are rather … bruised. Her head looked a little tender, with cuts and bruises showing clearly about her neck and right hand. Her eyes, though a crystal blue seemed haggard and draw, but that could be nothing other than my imagination. Seemed to make some in the crowd wonder a bit about that Dwarf that’s supposed to be guarding her."
"Anyway … let me go on … I can see a glint of curiosity in your serving lass’ eyes. The empath did manage to find voice when those in the amphitheatre called out questions about her wounds. "No. Let the world see them," was her response when someone from the crowd asked if they could heal her. "
"As the chosing of the jurors progressed her shoulderlength silver hair seemed even longer as her shoulders seemed to bow under some kind of weight. Even the tattered shadow-gray robe she wore seemed too heavy for her to support, at least that’s it looked like from my vantage point."
"Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get close enough to read the sign that was attached to the heavy silver chain, and some heavy manacles binding her. As it was my poor tail was almost trompled a few times. Some of those in the crowd had the awareness of a flat tin whistle."
Faelkal shakes his head, one tufted ear twickering to the side as he gazes across the bar.
"The Elothean judge did define treason." Fae alters his stance a little bit, working his mouth to one side to imitate the voice of the judge, "The definition of treason pertaining to this case shall be the Offense of attempting through overt acts to overthrow or cause undue harm to the government or its citizens of the state to which the offender owes allegiance. For those perspective jury members, you are to use this definition while deciding the case and no other."
When asked how the empath plead, the Elf defending her stated, "Your Honour, the defendant pleads Not Guilty."
"There were so many machinations that went on .. I can’t possibly relate them all to you. But I shall give you this to chew on for awhile."
The Elf defending the empath asked the prospective jurors these questions, "Are you familiar with this case, and are you willing to put aside any preconceptions if so?", "Have you ever committed a crime?", "Do you consider yourself a citizen of Zoluren?"
The Human prosecuting the case asked the prospective jurors, "If presented with a barrel of apples, do you judge the quality of the fruit by the make of the barrel or by the virtue of the apples?", "In a good barrel of excellent apples, is it ever possible that one of those apples could be rotten at the core?", "If the barel was the empath guild and the apples the empaths within it, would your previous two answers still hold true?"
"Odd don’t you think Baresh? What could have been going through the minds of those two?"
"Twelve jurors were chosen and six alternates. I could tell you who they are .. but they’re been ordered not to discuss this case with anyone not even other jurors." Fae shrugs. "Why tempt the circle?"
"An incident partway into the chosing of the jurors further complicated matters, when it was discovered that the empath was doing poorly because she had not been feed within a decent amount of time. Again some eyes were trained like daggers upon the Dwarf with the ice-covered heart tattooed on his arm. It was a tense moment, and wound up with the accused empath declaring her trust in the Elf defending her, to allow her leave to return to where she is being held."
"The Dwarf was charged with feeding her and I didn’t quite catch what he mumbled, there was quite a bit of noise, even though silence had been called for."
"Another tense moment occurred when a Rakash warrior mage punched another man while both counsels and judge were conferring at the bench. Seems at least two pirates had been among the crowd. One pirate (an elothean by the smell of him) said, "get im boyzzz". I couldn’t see well, but I think he was wearing a wide-brimmed dark hat, a heavy grey baladrana with silver embroidery trim and a simple bracer of some sort. He looked a bit scraggly and old from the glimpse I could get of him before two rather fierce looking enforcers made their way to him to … shall we say .. encourage him to leave."
"After that last fracas the court ordered counsels to make their opening statements. I tell you Baresh there was a lot of hot air blowing around that amphitheatre."
Fae tilts his head to one side and winks at the barkeep, pitching his voice to almost perfectly imitate the Human prosecutor’s final sentences in his opening. "Jelantha’s actions resulted in the pain of others. Caused harm to others. Lead to the darkness of Chaos that we ALL strive against. That is the FACT of the case, and that is what we will show you here in this court."
Then, turning to face the other direction, his tail smoothly curling up to rest on the floor, Fae mimicked the Elven voice that spoke for the empath. "We are here to determine one thing, and one thing only — whether the empath Jelantha committed treason against the province of Zoluren … And so I ask that you disregard anything you may have heard or may yet hear by those associated with the prosecution; that you ignore the attempts of certain persons to sway your minds before the trial has even begun; that you keep clearly in mind that my client is *not* being accused by the province of Zoluren, but by a handful of private citizens like you and me."
"Interesting eh, Baresh? Looks like this trial has some of your citizens up in arms. May prove to be illuminating. I’ll see if I can get some standing room when the trial begins to give you more information if you’re not there yourself."
Fae leans forward one last time, lowering his voice, "By the way, have you heard of a path to the dra…."