|“||Did you all just come here to stand around speculating? If so, there's a quiet cell in the dungeon which has just become vacant... You can speculate all you want in there.||„|
|~ Darklaw/The Great Witch.|
High Inquisitor Darklaw (true name: Eve Belduke), also known as Darklaw, is one of the main antagonists in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. She is the High Inquisitor of Labyrinthia, where she worked to rid the town of witches. She is also the only person normally able to meet directly with the town's "creator", the mysterious Story Teller.
Eve was the daughter of Newton Belduke, and was the childhood friend of Espella Cantabella. After a terrible fire killed the entire population of their town, she was forced to change her name to Darklaw in order to hide the truth about the incident from Cantabella, and aid her friend's father, Arthur Cantabella (the Story Teller), in fabricating a new town called Labyrinthia to seal Espella's memories, as she thought she was responsible for the fire, while actually it was Eve's fault.
When her father committed suicide because of the lie behind the town, she wanted revenge against the Storyteller, so she decided to lure Professor Layton to Labyrinthia to reveal the truth about the town.
Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney
Darklaw was first seen as the Great Witch, as she and a fellow group of witches were chasing Carmini Accidenti while he was driving in his car with Espella. The Great Witch managed to stop them by bringing two statues in front of them to life, causing them to crash on top of a tree. As the Great Witch was about to capture Espella, Inspector Chelmey arrived at the scene, making her and the witches flee.
Later after Espella met Professor Layton at his office, the Great Witch appeared and flew away with Espella. Luke asked the Professor what that was. The Professor replied by telling Luke that it was a witch.
While investigating the tower bridge, they saw a cloaked figure who disappeared after they noticed it. There they found Espella and rescued her. But as soon as they did, the witches appeared. The professor then came up with an idea. As Espella and Professor Layton ran from the witches, they were stopped by the Great Witch, as she appeared in front of them. The Great Witch removed Espella's cloak from her, but was shocked to see that it was actually Luke in disguise while the real Espella escaped on a nearby moving boat. Furious, the Great Witch warned Professor Layton and Luke about the dangers they put themselves into involving Espella, telling them that they've walked into the "middle of the story." She then disappeared. After wondering what she just said, Professor Layton and Luke planned on meeting Espella at the port to give her back the book that she had with her earlier. However, the book started to open by itself, revealing a page containing a picture of Professor Layton and Luke. The book then teleported the two of them inside of it.
Darklaw was seen later at a courthouse in London, disguised as a teacher from a school called Owl Coot University, where she met Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey for Espella's trial of the assault of Olivia Aldente on the freighter she was on.
After Phoenix cleared Espella's name, Darklaw congratulated him and left with Espella. Once they left, Maya noticed that Espella dropped her book and decided to look at it. Just then, the book started to flip its pages on its own, revealing a page with a picture of Phoenix Wright and Maya, which teleports them inside of the book as well.
During the parade of Labrynthia, Darklaw was seen giving out the Storyteller's recently written story to the town's residents. She then noticed Professor Layton and Luke amongst the crowd, seeing her plan going into play. The story that she handed out stated that a girl will be trialed for using witchcraft to burn two men alive. Darklaw sent a flower selling girl named Kira to frame Espella Cantabella, who was walking home until she ran into the crooks, Muggs and Robbs. This was Kira's chance to frame Espella by casting the spell "Ignaize", resulting in burning the two men and framing Espella. However, at the end of Espella's trial, Phoenix Wright revealed to the court that it was Kira who was the true witch. As punishment, Kira was sent to the flames.
After the trial, Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright went to the Inquisitor's hall where they saw Darklaw having a conversation with Inquisitor Barnham, ordering him to question Espella in the dungeons. After Inquisitor Barnham left, Professor Layton asked Darklaw why Espella is being held prisoner. Darklaw revealed to them that Espella is believed to be the Great Witch Bezella: a legendary witch who burnt down the town years ago, making her the source of all witches. However, Darklaw refused to reveal any more information about it, as she told them to find out more information for themselves.
Later that night, Luke and Maya went to search for Espella's cat, Eve. While searching, they ran into Darklaw patrolling the bell tower, as it involved an incident that happened a while ago. As Luke and Maya asked Darklaw about the incident, Darklaw explained to them that the belltower had appeared out of nowhere, and it involved an alchemist murdered three months ago whose death was unsolved. Upon seeing Maya Fey, she came up with an idea.
The next morning, Maya Fey and Phoenix Wright went to investigate at the alchemist's house. There they met his butler, a young man named Jean Greyel who welcomed them to his estate. While Phoenix was searching in the basement, Professor Layton appeared before Maya, alerting her about the arrival of a witch. However, they were too late to stop it as Darklaw appeared before them, disguised as the Great Witch, who turned the Professor into a gold statue. Once Luke arrived, a witch's staff appeared at Maya's feet, thus leading her to be accused of being a witch.
As Maya's trial began, Luke was one of the witnesses seen at the stand, angered at Maya for what he believed she had done. During the trial, it was revealed that it was Jean Greyel, who is actually a girl, who placed the witch's staff at the crime scene, thus framing Maya.
Greyel revealed to everyone that she grew up with a poor family and wanted to save them by turning a leaf into gold, but accidentally turned her pet goat instead. Fearing that she and her parents would be prosecuted for being witches, she ran away and tried to kill herself by jumping into a lake. She was later rescued by Newtown Belduke, who allowed her to stay at his house, provided that she pretend to be a boy. Although she wasn't accused of turning the Professor into gold, she was still accused of being a witch, which is a crime in and of itself in Labyrinthia, and had to be executed. However, Espella volunteered to take her place, as she revealed to everyone that she is Bezella, making the court attendants seize her. However, as they freed Maya from the death chamber and placed Espella in it, Maya interfered and freed Espella. Espella escaped through a secret tunnel with Luke while Phoenix tried to save Maya, but was too late, resulting in Maya's death.
At the Storyteller's palace, Darklaw was seen having a discussion with him, who entrusted her to take care of Espella. Once she appeared outside, she mentioned the advent of a "new story", which Inquisitor Barnham overheard, causing him to investigate further by following Darklaw.
The next morning, while Luke and Wright were in the marketplace, an explosion occurred there. As they investigated, Phoenix found a little bell, which made a Shade appear and take it. The Shade tripped over Luke, and as it turned towards Phoenix Wright, it was revealed to be Kira. After discovering that Kira somehow survived, Phoenix Wright and Luke went to investigate at the witches' court, along with Espella. There they discovered that the chamber actually led to an underground tunnel, where they found a horse wagon that led them to the Eldwitch Woods, the place where the Shades resided.
There at Eldwitch Woods, it was revealed that Maya was still alive, as she was being chased by a group of Shades. She was nearly captured by them until Professor Layton, who was also revealed to be alive, showed up and saved her. The two of them fled to the village outskirts. Once they reconciled, and after Maya explained to the professor about what happened to him during her trial, the Shades appeared before them and were about to capture them. However, the Great Witch soon came and dismissed them, as she decided to let them stay in the Eldwitch Woods to uncover the mystery before disappearing. Professor Layton recognized her from London and was suspicious about her identity.
Later, as Professor Layton and Maya investigated deeper into the Eldwitch Woods, an incident occurred at the Great Witch's room that involved her disappearance. As the Shades believed an outsider had attacked her, Professor Layton assumed that the culprit who attacked her must still be in the room, disguised as a Shade. They began to question the Shades present there and discovered that the culprit in disguise was none other than Inquisitor Barnham. However, he explained that he didn't kill the Great Witch as he encountered her, revealing that she actually escaped. As Professor Layton and Maya searched the room, they found a hidden passage way behind her throne. The Shades believed that they were the ones responsible for the Great Witch's disappearance and urged them to return her to them at once. Inquisitor Barnham, on the other hand, withdrew his sword and used it to cut the chandelier above them, scaring the Shades away. He then returned to Labrynthia to protect the Storyteller, while Maya and Layton went through the hidden passageway.
As Maya and Layton followed the passage way, they were led to an underground, ancient ruin. There they hear the Great Witch's voice, telling them that the answer lies within the ruins, but then revealed to them that she is not Bezella. Soon after, Espella, Luke, and Phoenix Wright also discovered the ruins, where they found Maya and Professor Layton. As they made their way there, they discovered a pedestal with inscriptions. It stated that the ancient culture worshipped the bell, known as the Bell of Ruin, but the bell was believed to summon an evil entity that brought calamity upon the natives. Therefore, the bell was sealed away and given a warning not to be rung.
As Espella found out about this, she began to have a vision of her past, which Darklaw revealed to her as she was speaking to her in her mind. After witnessing that tragic event, Espella abandoned the ruins.
When Professor Layton, Maya, Luke, and Phoenix Wright went looking for her, she was seen at the bell tower's belfry, facing the Storyteller and all Labrynthians. She summoned a fire dragon before the group of the people that killed her own father, as he mysteriously decided to give up on his life. After Espella was apprehended by the knights, Inquisitor Barnham ordered them to treat her with care, as he believed that she was only accused, not guilty of being Bezella. However, High Inquisitor Darklaw butted in, telling Inquisitor Barnham that she will be taking his place in court, for knowing that he was interfering with her plans. Outraged, Inquisitor Barnham revealed to Darklaw that he followed her to the Eldwitch Woods and discovered that she was the Great Witch. Darklaw was impressed but asked him if he has any information about it. Although robbed of consciousness, he didn't have any proof that it was her. Because of that, Darklaw took what he said as treason and ordered the Vigilantes to arrest him.
As the final trial began, Maya had to be disguised as a Vigilante, after what happened to her in the last trial, while Professor Layton and Luke went to the Storyteller's palace to look for clues. As they begin to question Espella, she testified that her pet cat, Eve, who followed her to the bell tower during the incident. However, as Phoenix referred to the footprints sketch, there were no paw prints of Eve on it, revealing that Espella has no recollection of tonight's incident. Espella then became confused after realizing this and fainted.
The judge was about to adjourn the court until tomorrow until the captain of the Vigilantes objected, as he and the other Vigilantes who guarded the bell tower claimed they saw what happened. During their testimony, the Vigilantes stated that the footprints they saw on the steps looked different than the ones in the sketch, meaning that there was another witch around at the time. Inquisitor Darklaw pointed out that Espella was the only one in the bell tower as she revealed her pendent to the court. Phoenix, however, had proof that it wasn't Espella by showing the court a robe that he found at the bell tower. Phoenix recognized the shape of the pendent on a mechanism at the bell tower, believing it was the key to access it. Darklaw allowed them to use it on the bell tower, but warned them that they only have one chance. At the bell tower, Phoenix used the pendent on the device, but saw nothing happen.
Back at the courthouse, Espella regained consciousness, as the court is about to determine her fate. Just then, Phoenix Wright interrupted, as he pointed out that Espella already has her pendent on her person, showing that there are two pendants needed to access the belfry. They used the two pendants on the mechanism, which activated and summoned a series of stairs leading up to the bell tower. Once they make it up there, they found the Bell of Ruin and a person hiding behind it. The mysterious figure showed itself to be Kira.
During Kira's testimony at the court, she told the court that she was ordered to kill the Storyteller but was attacked by someone. She managed to rip something off her attacker, which Phoenix revealed it to be the other pendant. The court believed the attacker used the spell Fainfol to knock her out, but Phoenix revealed that it was something other than magic as he looked into the Grand Grimoir and saw that the spell is effective the second after it's heard. Meaning that if Kira did hear the incantation, she wouldn't be able to rip something off her attacker. Wright believed it was sleeping medicine that knocked Kira out as she stated that her attacker covered her mouth. Kira also stated that the person attacked in front of her, revealing that Kira was actually covering up for someone. Phoenix managed to figure it out by pointing out Darklaw as Kira's attacker to the court. Wright looked back to the previous trial when Inquisitor Barnham said that the only person who has access to Newton Belduke's concoctions was Darklaw.
Phoenix wanted the judge to call Inquisitor Darklaw to the witness stand, but the only problem was that the trial can't continue unless someone takes her place. Luckily, Professor Layton appeared, but was standing on the opposite side of the courtroom as he claimed that Espella is indeed the Great Witch Bezella.
As Darklaw testified, she testified that she went up the bell tower and saw Kira wearing the cloak of invisibility, the same cloak Phoenix Wright found earlier that only residence of the Eldwitch Woods can see. As they pressed on, Kira stopped standing up for Darklaw since she abandoned her and the Shades, and revealed to the court that she saw Darklaw carry Espella to the bell tower with the invisible cloak over her. This made Darklaw admit that she carried Espella up the stair along with her pet cat and had a fight with Kira, confirming that the pendant was hers.
Darklaw revealed to the court that she is not only a Shade, but also their leader, the Great Witch. She explained to them that Shades are people who were sent to the flames and reside outside of Labrynthia in the Eldwitch Woods. Phoenix exposed the trick of the chamber, shocking all Labrynthians. At first, they didn't believe in it. But then, Maya appeared from her disguise, proving it. Kira explained that if she could kill the Storyteller, she would return to her old life. Darklaw stated that Shades have one purpose in the town and that was to make magic look real as she revealed that magic doesn't actually exist in their town. The Shades were the ones responsible for framing Espella for burning Robbs and Muggs, whom they later turned into Shades. They were also the ones who kidnapped the Professor and replaced him with a golden statue. In order to alert them to do their tricks, the Shades used small bells, the same kind of bell that Wright found at the marketplace. Furthermore, Phoenix Wright looked back in Kira's testimony, saying that Darklaw was the Great Witch but abandoned her role after she believed that she assassinated the Storyteller. In other words, she was not the one who ordered Kira to kill him. The true person who ordered Kira to kill the Storyteller was none other than the storyteller himself. The reason why Darklaw wanted to kill him was because she believed that he didn't care about Labrynthia anymore. Professor Layton pointed out that Bezella was absent from the story and only appeared in the Legendary Fire. Even though nobody saw what happened during that time, Professor Layton indicated traces of the fire around the town. However, he then proved that there was one person who remembered that incident and it was Espella. Espella admitted that she destroyed the town and was Bezella. After hearing that, Darklaw believed her role was fulfilled, causing her to vanish from the court room. After she left, Professor Layton wished to call one more witness to the stand. That person was none other than the town's creator, the Storyteller, alive before them in person.
As they testified him, they learned that he is the president of Lebrelum Inc, a pharmaceutical company that is known for developing an anesthetic, and that Labrynthia is a research facily hidden from the real world. The residence there gave up on their lives and signed a contract with Cantabella, who hypnotized them with anesthetic ink that he wrote with in the stories he gave away in the parades. He also explained that a tragic event has indeed happened to the town, ten years go, which no resident has any recollection of, except for Espella, who she believed saw a fire dragon attack the village. Because of this, Espella was summoned back to the witness stand and had to describe the dragon. She drew a picture of it on a piece of paper. As Phoenix saw it, he claimed that it wasn't a magical creature that Espella saw as he pointed out that it's still at the belfry. The court checked there and found a fretwork of a dragon that matched the drawing of Espella's. As they returned to the courtroom, Professor Layton stated that when Espella woke up, she saw the town burning through that same fretwork, making her believe it was a fire dragon attacking it. He and Phoenix Wright also reminded everyone that two pendants were acquired with Espella having had one of them, meaning another person was with her at that time and also witnessed that terrifying event. Espella thought it was her cat, Eve, who was with her, but Professor Layton showed everyone a photo that he found at the storyteller's palace. In that photo was a young Espella and another girl, each wearing a pendant. After seeing the photo, Espella started to have trauma as she struggled to remember the other girl. As the judge asked Phoenix, he pointed out that it was Darklaw, who suddenly reappeared in courtroom next to Layton. Darklaw revealed to the court that Eve is actually her real name. Curious about how the fire started, the Storyteller testified that pure silver contaminated the water, which makes anyone fall unconscious after hearing pure metal being struck.
As Professor Layton asked the Storyteller his story of the incident, the Storyteller told everyone that he was once good friends with the Alchemist, Belduke, who helped him acquire the bell and build the tower for it. They both created the pendants and gave them to their wives, revealing that Eve is the daughter of Newton Belduke. Eve explained to them that the bell tower was covered in a giant blanket and was burnt after lightening from a storm struck it. Newton witnessed this and committed suicide, making Eve plot her revenge against the Storyteller as she blamed him for her father's death. However, Professor Layton wanted to hear Eve's side of the story, making her testify in court again. In her testimony, she said there was a mechanism for ringing the bell that even a child could operate. As she later explained the incident in her point of view, Espella began to panic and flee towards the bell tower.
Espella was seen at the belfry, believing she doesn't deserve to live anymore. Before she could do anything, Professor Layton told her to be brave as the truth hasn't been figured out yet. Phoenix Wright pointed out that Espella said she fell unconscious next to the fretwork, the second after the bell rang. If that was the case, the contraption for ringing it should be near the fretwork. Espella went to search for the contraption and found it on the other side of the fretwork. This showed that Eve was the one who rang the bell as she was the other person who was with Espella around the time. Professor Layton explained to Eve that her and Espella's memories were altered to protect their minds. After knowing the truth and realizing what she's done, Eve donned the robe of invisibility and fled. Espella was then seen standing on top of the roof, saying that it doesn't matter if Eve rang the bell or not as she believed she was to blame. Espella then jumped off and was about to kill herself until a hand mysteriously appeared, revealing it to be Eve. Eve held onto the handrail, as she was saving Espella, but the handrail started to break. As they fall, they mysteriously floated in the air. Professor Layton learned from the storyteller that there is an illusion responsible for hiding the secret of Labrynthia, which could only be broken by a certain "spell". He and Wright decipher it, which revealed several machinery around the town. Luke was seen operating in one of machineries that was carrying Eve and Espella.
Feeling sorry for her past action, Eve apologized to Espella and the Storyteller. The storyteller, however, knew that Eve rang the bell all along as he hid it from her for her own good. Eve thought her father cared about the town more than his daughter, which made her leave him. But the Storyteller revealed that Newton always thought about her as the town was also built for her. Eve thanked Professor Layton because she was the one who brought him to Labrynthia as part of her plans. However, she never planned to bring Phoenix Wright as he involved himself with Espella's first trial in London. As Professor Layton, Phoenix Wright, Maya, and Luke prepared to leave Labrynthia, Eve was seen at the bell tower, alongside with Eve the cat.