Excerpt: Judgement & the World


Excerpt from Judgment & the World:

The Dragon Hall had been set up like a court. A very ancient and wizened little old lady in a black robe sat at the judge’s bench. She was an extremely powerful Dragon, almost 5000 years old. Her human form was so gnarled and wrinkly that she had no discernible race; her hair was snow on iron. Her eyes gleamed gold, like the predator she was.

The jury box was to Raziel’s right as he entered the room facing the judge’s bench. The jurors were a mix of Guardians and Dragons. He had no idea how they had been selected. Two desks faced the judge’s bench. The prosecutor was closest to the jury. The table for the defense, where Raziel sat with Charisa Borboleta and Michael Lambent, was on the left. The prosecutor would be Eleni Bendox, the Gorgon.

The Magician played no formal role in the trial. He sat in the benches for spectators, as if only curious about the outcome. And yet Raziel knew that none of this would be happening if Alephander Guiscard had not set it in motion. What was the point? What was the Magician trying to prove and to whom? Raziel glanced backwards at him, and the Magician acknowledged his attention with a cryptic smile. Was this all just petty payback? For ten years, since the day of the Massacre itself, Raziel had been part of Michael’s team tasked with bringing the Magician to trial for this same crime. Did it simply amuse the wizard to turn the tables on his former inquisitioner?

They did not handcuff Raziel, or in any other way magically restrain him. But Chet and Vass acted as bailiffs. In addition, there were more than three dozen Dragon warriors discreetly placed around the edges of the room and on either side of every doorway.

The defense had tried to have the case thrown out on a number of grounds: Not all of the Guardians had yet been called to service, the trial should be held by human law in a human court, etc. The prosecution had patiently responded by listing court cases explaining why magical crimes had to be tried by magical courts and that Transpherical Law superseded human law in such cases. The ancient judge decided in the Prosecution’s favor on every motion.

Finally, the Prosecution and the Defense each took turns presenting their main argument for the trial. Raziel entered a plea of Not Guilty.

Eleni Bendox delivered the Prosecution’s argument to the jury. “You will see that Raziel had the ability to commit the murders, the opportunity to do so, and above all… this fallen angel had motive. The same motive that made him desert the cause of Lighthaven and the Guardians, and to turn on his closest friends and allies. We can all understand what drove him to murder, even if it required mass murder to kill the single target he was after, but we cannot forgive or allow the crime to stand. Raziel fell in love with the wrong woman.

“And when she rejected him,” Eleni continued softly, although her voice carried to every part of the room, “Raziel was willing to cast the whole of the Seven Spheres into war—into damnation itself—just to get revenge on the woman who wronged him.”

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