Trial and Jury of Hell

JP with LSP

After the escape of Jynieth thanks to Chris fake coughing fit, the church official had an actual coughing fit which resulted in him throwing up a fountain of blood and falling unconscious. Strangest of all things, the man never breathed better than ever before. Many of the knights were puzzled by this, but the Bishop took this as a sign that in reality, the goddess had acted, forcing the demon to flee and finally healing the mighty Purifier to breath at last.

However it was far from the truth, while the man slept he was given visions of a dark courthouse, made from bleeding black stone, and black fire lit candles, red as blood.

Chris found himself wearing a white robe, like a night robe many nobles would wear.

"Chris Van Binsul, the Man who saw the Face of Evil, Warrior of Words, the Purifier." A deep voice echoed as it spoke, sounded around the room, Chris heard the whispers of infernal of the same words spoken. At the spot where a judge would be sat a great cloaked being.

The cloak appeared as if it was created out of the night sky itself, spilling to the floor. From the darkness of the hood, were white eyes that gleamed like a black hole, and two horns stuck out, glowing like magma from the core of the earth. The being was huge, as big as three men stacked on top of each other. Behind it flapped great wings of black and grey smoke.

Chris trembled at the sight, "It's you." He noticed all around the room were various demonic shapes, a few he recognized as the head of Thurzal, behind a titanic sized dragon. Chris whispered to himself, "The Dark Court."

The great being, which Chris recognized as the Dark One spoke, "Step forward and be judged." The man straightened himself and stood before the Dark Court. "I know I am guilty, so release my family."

The court burst into wicked laughter after a moment of eerie silence.

The sound of heeled boots clacked across the stone floor. “Silence!” Jynieth shouted as she stepped into the dim light.

The Dark One waved his hand, silencing the laughter, Chris glanced over to Jynieth.

The large dragonic head spoke in a deep voice, "The morsel shrieks guilty even when he doesn't know what it's trial is about, delicious."

"Silence Drakor, Jynieth is the only one with permission to speak." The Dark One boomed, the dragonic head lowered back into a resting position.

“If he is unaware of what he is being tried for then you should perhaps tell him?” she said, making it sound like a question but indicating it was a demand. “I feel as though you are underestimating the man you’ve called here. You are after all The Dark Court. There are very very few reasons for you to bring mortals to this place. And most whom are brought to defend themselves know of their crimes beforehand. So explain why he is here and why I was chosen to defend him.” Jynieth demanded.

The Dark One spoke, "Chris Van Binsul, you are charged for the crime of disruption of the order of the infernal world, the destruction of sacred shrines of darkness, the murders of Tiekious, Zanoth, Yagin, Ezilkle, Vomntik and your assistance in the atrocities of the Church of Sarnia, in the name of your goddess." Each crime Chris was convicted of, the Dark One's eyes gleamed.

Chris looked up, confused at these convictions. "When was murder of a demon a crime? How did I disrupt the order of the infernal world? I also didn't destroy any sacred shrines, I only destroyed the makings of cultists." He spoke up defiantly.

Thurzal pulled out a large scroll of obsidian black paper, golden text burned like fire. "When a demon lord or an infernal is slain or destroyed, it must be done by an infernal who can replace their position of the order or the demon or infernal must have an heir, may it be from blood or promotion. If the demon lord or infernal is slain without an heir to earn their position, the death is recognized as murder by the Dark Court." Thurzal read the scripture on the scroll.

"Yes, Tiekious, Zanoth, and Yagin were sealed away by the church, they gained heirs, however these heirs were supposed to be temporary, you Chris Van Binsul slayed the three brothers, their powers could not be passed to their heirs, thus the current heirs are not officially seen as the rulers of those positions. We the Dark Court were forced to give our own infernal power to insure that all infernal beings saw the heirs as the rightful rulers. Ezikle and Vomntik were the guardians of the shrines you destroyed, slaying a guardian of a sacred shrine is also a heinous crime!" Thurzal shriek in fury, a woman in a snow white kimono had to calm the crow headed demon.

The woman spoke next, "The shrines you destroyed were placed by the races of old who still worshipped the elder gods, not mere cultists, not only did you desecrate memories of the deceased, you also violated a holy place, even in your church, ignorance isn't a pardon for crimes. Not to mention your actions that assisted in the growing power of Sarnia's church, which alone is assisting in a holy war, and some gods will not tolerate another forcing them away from their homes. This could cause even more issues for the mortals. The demons you purified were replaced in the end, but their power, their souls, will never return, never be reborn. You have taken away what is ours."

Thurzal then spat, "An eye for an eye Purifier, that is what I said, that is what I meant. However I acted on selfish reasons, however with your actions of saving Jynieth, you have gained the right to properly defend yourself, and your punishment shall either be crueler than what it is now, or it shall become much more merciful."

The Dark One boomed once last time, "Now, with the convictions in, the trial begins, everything said from here on will be used in your favor or against it."

Jynieth snapped her fingers and light traced an odd series of shapes on the ground that folded up like paper art to form a chair. Lowering herself down she crossed her legs and steeped her hands. “Well I do not condone the actions taken by Van Binsul, I must remind you. People within our service have taken it upon themselves on several occasions to slay angels and celestials and have desecrated shrines and temples at the whims of our brothers and sisters. To not see that those actions are two sides of the same coin would serve to prove you are foolish and disconnected from the reality you seek to preserve.” Jynieth said, “You seek to punish a man who did only what his god asked of him while when our followers do the same so few of us seek out a means to stop it. If I recall, Aldous and I are the only ones of the Prime Demon Lords to go out of our ways to snuff out our would-be cults.” she went on. “As such punishing him for doing the same as other demons or infernals would seek our prophets to do is hypocrisy unbefitting of one as powerful as you.”

Jynieth switched the legs she had crossed. “I seem to recall, you Thurzal sending a man to destroy the original Church of the Fair Lady. How is it any different? Because he failed? Do not lie to yourself, it is the very same thing. Success or not you were willing to do that same as the ones you hate, your anger is that they were successful.”

Thurzal clicked his beak, "Those shrines were not dedicated to us, but the Dark One himself. However, yes we have slain celestials and angels before, but their energy returned to the heavens so it could be used to recreate new angels and celestials. The infernals we lost will not return."

The Dark One chuckled, "I care not of my shrines, if I cared, I would have rebuilt them with a thought. I see no reason to pardon the mortal of this conviction. As for the infernal energy, my dear brother the King in White returned most of the energy from the slain demon lords, how did you think I re-established balance? The reason why they weren't reborn or reincarnated is because their souls themselves are somewhere hidden in the mortal realm. I shall also pardon Chris of these convictions."

Chris took a step forward, "I believe I know what the mighty Dark One speaks about. There was a demonologist a few years ago that was acting rather strange, if my memory serves right, he spoke with the head of a succubus, whispering in infernal, at the time the church simply thought him gaining information, but I suspect as such that he was possessed."

The lady of snow spoke, "Hidden possession, it sounds like Zanoth's speciality. If Zanoth was around, no doubt his brothers were close behind. Meaning they live to a degree. Thus, Chris didn't 'murder' them as Thurzal claims."

The crow headed demon seemed stunned, "Then what about my s- what of Ezikle and Vomntik? Do you mean they still live?"

Chris looked straight at the demon, "Yes, their essences are kept in a holy seal, like all demons I have, "purified" as you say, we could never destroy their essences, so we resulted in containing them in our vaults. With that out of the way, that leaves one last conviction, correct?" He looked at the Court.

The Dark one gave a nod, "That of course being your role with the church, you have the power to stop or even slow down their push for power, yet you have made no attempt to do so, or an effective one at least."

“Can one man stop a tsunami?” Chris said. “And why would I wish to stop my own church from rising in prominence as the great force in Aeran?”

Jynieth sighed, “This trial is a sham.” she said, “You have clearly already made up your minds on the verdict. Yet the first time seeing my family in years, and only hours after my escape. Which this man facilitated, mind you. You force a demon lordess to waste her time while you blather on and on about a mortal not stopping an entire divine-inspired organization.” she threw her hands up. “It stops being a punishment when you are not given the chance to be freed from it.”

The Dark One sighed, "Speaking the truth, this Trial has been concluded. Chris Van Binsul, you have been pardoned from your crimes, mostly because they were done by personal bias, and were of no real charge. When you awaken, your family will be awaiting your arrival at home. However, for my amusement, you will be keeping the Demon Rot."

Chris bowed his head, "Thank you, thank you for everything." The mortal began to weep in joy, finally after years of suffering had finally end, he knew he wouldn't leave unscathed, he knew that, and he had a feeling there would be a twist.

The Dark One waved it's hand dismissing him, Chris's body faded into the shadows, "That was just shameful Thurzal." The Dark One sternly spoke, earning a shameful groan from the crow headed demon. "The last trial we had wasn't so ridiculous, by the darkness, the last mortal trial we did was at least a dangerous creature, being Soularous's mortal son that nearly killed him"

Strange, Jynieth had never heard Soularous mention another son from the mortal realm, however over one thousand years ago he did go to the mortal realm to face something, he came back with the nasty x-shaped scar on his face he has now, among other scars. Perhaps they are related to each other, it's too much of a coincidence. From the reactions of the Dark Court, this unknown son of Soularous must be a real big issue.

The Dark One sighed, "Apologizes Jynieth, for being forced to come here."

“You are absolved.” she said. “Am I free to leave with trust that you will keep your word and free this man’s family?” Jynieth asked as she stood from her chair that returned to being the stone of the floor.

"They have already been free, '' he summoned forth an orb. Within the orb there was an older woman who looked confused, who grasped a young woman in fear, but once they saw the familiarity of Sarnia they began to weep tears of joy.

"Thurzal acted on his emotions, strange for someone so logical, but his sons were his weak spot. Jynieth, I don't seem to understand, so I shall ask you. Why do you all do such rash things for your offspring? Why don't you kill them if they become a threat? Soularous, Thurzal, Aldous, and many others put this value of family over everything else, what makes a bloodline connection so important?"

“Family isn’t just bloodlines, Family can be chosen. Family are people you can lean on when you need help. Caring for people doesn’t always mean you react in the most level headed way,” she explained. “If I’d not been freed when I was, this trial wouldn’t happen.” Jynieth continued, “Aldous would have wiped out the church entirely for what they did. Talking someone down from a threat is far better than killing them because of it. Everyone always has a reason for doing things, sometimes it's about getting to the bottom of it and solving the problem rather than creating new ones.”

The Dark One nodded in agreement, "I see now. Forgive me for the inconveniences. Watch over Soularous, he's always been an emotional one. Unless you have any questions for me, you may return back to the physical realm." His eyes gleamed in thought.

“You know how to contact me if you need me.” she said. “ I just wake up or do I have to pinch myself?” she asked.

There was a chuckle from the ancient god, "Awaken Jyneith." He commanded her, sending her off back to her physical form, even though the trial was pointless, it in fact was used to further the Dark One's plan, "Now, I have all of my pieces."

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