Author Topic: Valen Galaphile - Visit From the Higher Powers  (Read 1846 times)

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Offline Dray

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Valen Galaphile - Visit From the Higher Powers
« on: June 18, 2005, 09:39:24 PM »
-    Johan thought that if not for the serious demeanor of those assembled in the great hall before him, he would have reveled in the otherwise natural, splendid tranquility of the place.
-    The front and back walls were curved as if the room were on the outside part of a large circular building. The high vaulted ceiling was well over sixty feet and consisted of living wood with multiple branch supports that were as thick as beams. After the twenty foot radius wooden floor at the front of the room, the floor ascended in incremental platforms up to the back stone wall behind him. This back wall was almost completely taken by ten large cathedral openings to the outside, from where the smell of summer and a warm breeze was flowing through. Each elaborate stone window had small sapling trees growing from pots near the sills. There was also a massive amount of blooming growing vines throughout, which hummingbirds by the dozens happily tended too.
-    Each platform was lined with two rows of benches, with the back bench supported higher than the front. Each bench was a beautiful green and black marble slab. Each slab was supported by a living wood floor that reached up with branches that looked like appendages. The space had the appearance of a lecture hall, or auditorium. Johan judged by the stance and position of the current occupants it was currently being used as a court room.
-    Ten human women were currently sitting behind a high bench with their backs to the front wall, facing members of the trial and the audience. The audience in which Johan and Dray were now part of. The room was full of spectators, so much so that some people were standing in the aisle at the opposing ends of the benches. Johan wondered then, why he and Dray could possibly sitting, as they seem to have just arrived, and were non-corporeal. Someone should have tried sitting in their spots, inside them, by now. But alas, no one did.
-    The curved front wall, behind the judges, was entirely covered in the biggest most elaborately detailed mural Johan had ever laid eyes upon. It depicted a lush, dense deciduous forest that appeared to go into the horizon and beyond. Johan was startled as he realized the painted trees had their leaves rustled by the breeze coming in from behind them. The marble table-top in front of the judges was the same upon which the audience sat. It was the finest stone that Johan had ever touched (in the mortal world). The green and black surface had the feel of velvet and not stone, and was warm, as it were living.
-    As in the typical court room, the prosecution and defense teams had tables facing the judges. These tables were the same marble material with the living floor suipporting them as well. The finely woven wicker chairs behind them were full of people who had their backs to the audience.
-    Johan leaned over to ask Dray a question when he was interrupted by a man at a table to his left.
-    "In closing, I ask the Order's indulgence to review for one last time the events of the past three years and process them as factual evidence for the judgement of Sheyin of the Draykell," stated the man with stern contempt. The man appeared to be in his early thirties, wore a commoner's outfit similar to the garb the members of the audience wore.
-    The man continued, "Fact. She joined with a half-human while still in the service of the Order." While speaking he walked around the desk so as to face the defendant directly and reveal to her his loathing for the audience to see.
-    "Fact. She shared the location of the tower with the outside world, endangering every member of the Order."
-    "Fact," he now lowered his voice for effect, "she returned with this half-human, violating our most sacred law."
-    He paused, walked around the defense table and to the edge of the trial floor, facing the audience. "Fact, she now carries his child within her womb, an abomination not belonging to the Order." At this statement a tumult of whispering rushed through the audience, which had not seemed privy to this information until now. A judge raised her hand for quiet. It was given.
-    "As a representative of the laws and regulations of the Order of the Living Tower, Storian of the Shane, what are your terms?" she asked.
-    "Imprisonment for the half-human, execution of Sheyin of the Draykell and her unborn," he stated with dire confidence. The crowd went into an uproar, Johan could here multiple questions of the prosecutions position, and expressed horror at the sentance. A few, Johan noted, only a few he heard agreed with the sentance.
-    Storian sat behind his bench, alone, clasped his hands together as the representative for the defendant stood. Storian had captured Johans' attention to such a degree that he had not carefully looked at the others. The woman, most likely the defendant Sheyin of the Draykell, was quite young and beautiful. She did not seem to have any significant belly from child. She had fair skin and long flowing black wavy hair. The representative was surprisingly even younger. He appeared that he was barely the age of majority and Johan wondered what circumstances would allow a young boy to participate in such a grave and important matter.
-    "Jgeh'Triag of the Draykell, closing matters." Said the judge who spoke earlier.
-    The boy walked away from the table, approached the judges bench, nodded at them and turned towards the audience. He then looked at Storian and smirked. "Facts Storian? But what of the truth?" he asked him. Johan immediately realized why this boy was here. His melodic voice had presence, his stance a perfect balance of command with humility. He owned this court, he had all in the audience already hanging on his very word. Even the humming birds didn't flinch.
-    "Truth. Sheyin of the Draykell," he spoke the name with pride that bounced off the walls, "was on a mission for the Council. A mission she achieved successfully. A mission the Council cannot share the details of with this audience, due to the timeliness of the disclosure not yet at hand." This brought yet another round of whispering that was immediately silenced by the judges quieting hand.
-    "Truth. The half-elf, Meh'yatsett Galaphile, not only saved the life of our beloved member of the Order, but was also key in the success of this mission," the audience was again quiet in anticipation.
-    "Truth. Sheyin was gone for three long years, in that time she needed to expose the Living Tower only a single time. To a trusted human, in order to complete the mission. It is a disappointment to both the Draykell House and the Council itself, that we cannot divulge more information here in this trial to equit Sheyin of this charge." If a pin dropped, it would deafen the first four rows.
-    "Truth." Jgeh'Triag paused, and smiled at his charge. "During this mission she and Galaphile fell in love. The danger of the mission drew them together and they bonded." He turned and looked at the audience. "She carries a human child within her." He didn't flinch as the crowd exploded in a juggernaut of discussion. This appeared to be the crux of the matter, Johan thought.
-    "Truth. The success of the mission will forever change the prosperity for the Living Tower for...."
-    "That is enough Jgeh'Triag" interrupted the judge as she returned her hand to quiet the audience. It took considerably longer this time. "You have been warned she stated in a hushed tone over the bench. The quiet statement spoke volumes to Johan. He guessed that she had warned Jgeh'Triag before, and like a two-year old child wanting only to show his parents that he could fly, the child had not heeded, and jumped off the house anyway.
-    The judge continued, "As a representative of the defendant Sheyin of your Draykell House, and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Order of the Living Tower what are your terms of a guilty sentance.
-    Johan was taken aback, 'Was that it then? Was she already deemed guilty?'
-    Jgeh'Triag turned to the judges and calmy said, "If found guilty of all accounts it is the wish of the House to have both Meh'yahtsett Galaphile, Sheyin of the Draykell and her unborn child executed immediately." The audience once again went into a frenzied uproar. Johan was uplifted by the fact that most in the audience felt betrayed by this shocking desire of the Draykell House.
-    The judge, the same woman who had conducted the trial thus far, raised her hand for quiet. Silence was given in anticipation of what was to come next.
-    Jgeh'Triag continued. "But if found not-applicable to these charges, it is the wish of the Draykell House that Meh'yahtsett Galaphile be exiled to the Outlands and set free." Whispers returned, but the defense continued. "As for Sheyin, if found not-guilty for each and every one of these charges, then the Draykell House proposes the following." The whispers silenced, the judges sat up in their chairs, the hummingbirds left the room and Johan wished he had that damned pin.
-    Johan was amazed at Jgeh'Triag, this boy owned the room. When he next spoke he let not a pause or an intonation break his grasp of them all, they listened on every word.
-    "If Sheyin is absolved of these charges, she will be exiled from the House of Draykell and reinstated as the sole member of the new House of Galaphile. Her and the human child she carries will be given the rights and opportunities to that entitlement of a new House."
-    The audience sat in dumbfounded silence.
-    After Jgeh'Triag took his seat in the shocked silence the judge addressed the court. "This Council will consider the evidence, and both representatives requests. This trial is closed." With that, the Council of Ten stood together and took their leace from the hall. As the audience began to depart, some talking frantically, most others in hushed tones, Johan turned to Dray.
-    "That's it? Tell me that we are going to come back for the decision?" he asked.
-    Dray chuckled. "No, no my friend. The resulting decision was disclosed in private and the sentance made known to all after-the-fact. It was very anti-climatic I am afraid," Dray said. The two of them still sat at the bench. They would not leaving the hall in the same manner as the audience.
-    "So the girl lost?" asked Johan disappointed.
-    "Oh no, the defense one." Dray stated matter of factly. "Sheyin, a powerful Druid in her own right, was not about to be lost or for that matter executed by the Council of Ten. The offer of Jgeh'Triag and the House of Draykell was quite ingenious. They had given the Council a way out of the matter without getting their hands bloody. Sheyin placed in another new house made her less a political threat to Houses that considered her so, while also of course maintaining her right to live. Valen and Sheyin were allowed to live in a new House of Galaphile, changing the structure of the Living Tower for the first time in over five hundred years. In fact, had this clever plan not been devised by Jgeh'Triag Draykell, Valen may never had grown up and saved the Living Tower from extinction many years later.
-    "I take it your going to explain the dynamics of that last statement in further detail?" asked Johan. "I am the Overseer of this world after all.
-    "Of course, my friend, of course. Come, we have other matters to tend too, let us be off." Dray said.
-    With a nod from Johan, they vanished from the Living Tower.