Palast, 14th day of Gildember, 432 AC
After Darkwatch Hour falling 24
Pantheon of Light Found Guilty of War Crimes
by Carteeg Struve, Staff Writer
Sanction - The surprise verdict was read by Sanction Court Judge Enpi Ceeya late last night after the three-year long trial in which five deities and former chief executive Valthonis were found guilty of mass genocide of the people of Istar, Aurim, and other civilizations listed in the class action suit.
"We are very relieved," said lead prosecutor Sue Uncomition. "The descendants of those murdered four centuries ago can finally have a good night's rest knowing these horrible beings will be behind bars."
Defense council Odila Windlass was disappointed. "I know there is no statute of limitations for these crimes, but 430 years was too long of a period for us to have a proper trial. The jury's verdict was based purely on emotion. We will appeal."
The Cataclysm was a controversial act committed by the Paladine and the other five gods of his gang around the beginning of the 4th Age resulting in the deaths of millions all over Krynn. The prosecution claimed that the act was part of a larger plan to cause worldwide confusion and disguise the fact that the gods had carried out the assassination of Kingpriest Beldinas Pilofiro, who Paladine had several political grievances with. Following the assassination, according to prosecutors, the gods went into hiding until the heat was off. Only then did they emerge, but the crime organization's leader began taking to disguises and aliases such as Fizban and Valthonis. The god resigned his position in 421 AC and changed his name again, but officials found and arrested the former god four years ago.
After the judge threw out the self-defense claim, the defendants had little hope for a not guilty finding. The situation turned even worse when cross-examination of Valthonis' youngest son, Solinari, revealed that Paladine's church had launched a war two decades before the assassination against the magic god's towers. Solinari, who was not charged in the conspiracy, tried to defend his father, but experts believed that the grueling cross-examination hurt his family's chances.
According to trial expert Chalcedony Rockdale of Flotsam, "I believe the biggest mistake was when Valthonis took the stand. He put forward the bit about Beldinas attacking him first, and that might had stuck. But when the judge asked him why he hit the entire empire with a meteor, Valthonis responding, 'Because killing only Beldinas would had allowed another to take his place.' He lost the trial right there. The judge made clear that self-defense couldn't be extended to those who might attack you. Even the jury looked disgusted."
The other gods were found guilty of conspiring with Valthonis in covering up the crimes and other lesser charges. They face seven hundred and sixty-seven million life sentences, which means they could be paroled in eight years. Valthonis however could get the death penalty.
A variety of civil charges are currently being processed against the Pantheon of Light, ranging from wrongful death to property damage.