Judge Daramid listens to each of your opinions and glances a few times a Luna when the mention of corruption from Lord Lubbert Oglethorp, giving the impression that he might have a questionable history.
Judge Daramid takes in a long breath gathering her thoughts. “This Penelope must be a special woman if you all speak on her behalf. Character witnesses can sometimes outshadow hardened facts and evidence. And in this case, there is no evidence, just testimony of witnesses.” She leans back weighing her options. “Very well. I will send word to Lord Oglethorp requesting a quick arbitration meeting beteeen he and the accused. Neither will receive council and both will have to agree to abide by the ruling of the arbitrator.” She looks to Abraham shaking her finger. “But no truth spells. Otherwise Lubbert will never agree to it. This is the best chance the girl has. I’ll draft an order making it so. Tomorrow.” She glances at her schedule. “First Bell. At the city courthouse.” Then looks to the others. “Agreed?”
“Could I have a private moment alone with Lady Aldred and her daughter? The rest of you can wait outside.” The Judge asks. Then rings a tiny bell which summons a middle aged man. “Ruppert, could you show my guests to the dinning room. I suppose the lion as well.”
Daramid and Luna meet for about 15 minutes before calling the group back into her study. “There is another issue that Id like to discuss with all of you. And from what Lady Aldred and Liliandil have both told me, you are the perfect people for the job.” She smiles, showing a bit of deception for the law herself.
Judge Daramid goes into great detail explaining to the group about the Beast of Lepidstadt Castle. She knows that people have different stories to tell about the creature- about its kindness and humanity, of how it has rescued loved ones or helped those in distress. Now that the time has arrived for such kindness to be repaid, however, no one dares to step forward and challenge the Beast’s reputation. As a judge, she has a keen sense of justice, and she fears the Beast will not receive a fair trial in Olfden. The people have blamed the Beast for too much and for too long. They want it to pay for its crimes, whether those crimes are real or imagined. In addition, the judge has some concerns about hte crime for which the Beast was finally apprehended. Murdering children.
However, to publicly announce her suspicions could put her at great risk, both professionally and politically. As one of the three justices presiding over the Beast’s trial, she is unable to openly intervene, other than insisting that the Beast be properly defended in court.
There is no question the creature is capable of killing. The beast is massive and prone to fits of violent rage, but the murder of innocent people, including children? She’s not so sure.
What she really needs is a group of people without local bias to uncover the real truth about the Beast and its alleged crimes. Ideally, someone to gather evidence about the Beast’s allege crimes and stand up in court to be questioned by the prosecution. Such speakers, the Judge motions to all of you, must have the bravery to stand up for another wrongly accused.“You have all proven to me that you are all more than capable of this.” She tells the group. “If the Beast is indeed guilty, then I can rest easier at night knowing that I gave it a fair trial.”
She advises you all to think about her request. If you decide to accept, you will need to register with the court clerks as volunteer defenders for the Beast and then can legally investigate and gather clues to help the defense. But it should never been know that we have spoken. And she warns about trying to make contact with Pippa while at the courthouse. At least until after their arbitration meeting tomorrow.