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Very well, Mr. Justice. I never thought I'd be saying this, but you may burn the evidence.

The Founder's Orb is a Khura'inese relic that is associated with the founder and patron deity of the country, known simply as "the Holy Mother". In 2020, the orb was unearthed during an excavation and subsequently kept in Tehm'pul Temple. It is said to grant immense spiritual power to whomever solves its riddle. The relic consists of a glass orb with a "crown" and a base. A wax coating normally obscures the contents of the orb completely; melting it reveals a gold statuette of the Holy Mother that includes her face. Since depicting her face is the greatest taboo in Khura'inism, the statuette in the Founder's Orb is the only depiction of the Holy Mother that includes her face, making it key to channeling her. The Song of Ceremony's verses are actually cryptic instructions for using the Mitama Key to open the treasure box containing the orb, and then melting the wax coating with fire.

Unearthing and theft[]

Treasure room

The box in the treasure room of Tehm'pul Temple.

The Founder's Orb was unearthed during an excavation sometime in 2020. It was kept in the treasure room of Tehm'pul Temple for the next eight years, being removed only once a year to be carried to the royal residence for the New Year's Rite. To scare away potential thieves, rumors were spread that anyone not of royal blood who looked directly at the orb inside the box would be blinded. The Mitama Key was kept in the possession of whoever currently held the position of head monk at the temple. Ahlbi Ur'gaid, a young monk-in-training, would often sneak into the treasure room to look at the treasure box, but was too scared to try to look at the orb itself.

As the legends said that the orb would grant spiritual power upon whoever solved its riddle — and spiritual power was an absolute requirement for a would-be monarch — the queen's husband and Minister of Justice, Inga Karkhuul Khura'in, set in motion a plan to overthrow his own wife using the orb. Inga had the head monk, Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin, steal the orb for him, leaving behind the empty treasure box to keep the theft a secret. However, Inga was unable to solve the orb's riddle on his own, and so used a politician called Paul Atishon as an intermediary to have the orb sent to Dr. Archie Buff, a foreign archaeologist residing in Kurain Village near Los Angeles, to be studied.

The first clue[]

Main article: The Foreign Turnabout

Some time later, a guard at Tehm'pul Temple named Paht Rohl, seeking money to support his family, decided to steal the orb and sell it on the black market. Upon picking up the box, however, Rohl realized from its weight that it was already empty and confronted Ur'gaid, whom he suspected of being the thief. Witnessing this, Andistan'dhin killed Rohl to silence him and framed Ur'gaid for both the murder and theft.

Phoenix and the box

Wright solving the riddle of how to open the treasure box.

It was during Ur'gaid's subsequent trial for the murder that the secret of how to open the orb's treasure box was made public. Phoenix Wright, a foreign defense attorney who was representing Ur'gaid, deduced that a clue to the box's opening mechanism was hidden in the second verse of the Song of Ceremony: "When the butterfly embraces the mitamah, the favor of the orb is bestowed." Realizing that the Magatama Key was in fact called the Mitamah Key, Wright placed it in the butterfly engravement on the back of the box and succeeded in opening it, showing that the Psyche-Lock-shaped lock on the front was a decoy. While the orb itself had already been taken, this clue allowed Wright to prove Ur'gaid innocent of both crimes and have Andistan'dhin arrested.

The second clue[]

Main article: Turnabout Revolution
Buff research notes

Buff's notes about the orb.

Meanwhile, the Khura'inese rebel group known as the Defiant Dragons sought to prevent the orb from falling into the wrong hands and was negotiating possession of it with Buff, who had already signed a transfer agreement saying he would give the orb to them. In an attempt to prevent the Defiant Dragons from obtaining the relic, Atishon tried to deceive Buff by telling him that the rebel group was dangerous. This, in addition to the fact that Buff had found out from news reports that the orb had been stolen, caused him to refuse to hand it over to either Atishon or the rebels, and led to an argument with a Defiant Dragons member called Datz Are'bal when he came to the doctor's study to retrieve it.

Buff and the HM

Buff lighting the orb on fire and revealing the Holy Mother statuette.

That night, Buff managed to solve the second part of the orb's riddle, which was hinted at in the Song of Ceremony's third verse: "Offer thy prayers as fervent as fire. Only then shall the Holy Mother return." By heating the orb with fire, Buff managed to reveal the face of Khura'in's founder, the Holy Mother, hidden within. To keep the orb safe, he took it to Mt. Mitama near Kurain Village and hid it deep inside the mountain's caves. Upon returning home, Buff was murdered by Atishon in a desperate attempt by the latter to take the relic for himself, but the politician was unable to find it after the deed was done.


Justice heating the orb with a lighter.

The next day, the leader of the Defiant Dragons, Dhurke Sahdmadhi, arrived in the United States to secure possession of the orb, though at this point the coating had been restored. With the help of his foster son, defense attorney Apollo Justice, Sahdmadhi investigated Buff's study and figured out where the doctor had hidden the orb. Sahdmadhi and Justice retrieved the orb from the Mt. Mitama caves, but Atishon, having changed his plan, invented a story about how the relic they were carrying was actually the Crystal of Ami Fey, which had been stolen from his family the previous year.


The Holy Mother's face revealed.

The case was brought to trial, with Justice representing Sahdmadhi and the Defiant Dragons, and Wright representing Atishon. Based on testimony from Archie Buff's daughter Armie, Justice figured out how the doctor had solved the riddle; he heated the orb with a lighter, thereby melting the wax inside and revealing a Holy Mother statuette inside that depicted her face. However, Wright pointed out that, contrary to what the legend said, Justice did not feel spiritually powerful. The final verse of the Song of Ceremony stated: "Descending upon us in all her glory, the founder bestows the greatest power known." Considering this, Justice realized that one had to channel the Holy Mother with the aid of a spirit medium in order to gain the spiritual power mentioned in the legend. To do this, the Holy Mother's face and true name needed to be known, but depicting her face was taboo in Khura'inism and no one alive knew what she had looked like, hence why solving the riddle of the orb was necessary to channel her. However, there was still one piece of the puzzle missing, as only the queen of Khura'in, Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, knew the founder's true name. Following this revelation, Justice managed to free Wright from Atishon's blackmail. Then they traveled to Khura'in with the orb and Sahdmadhi.

Catalyst for the revolution[]

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Ga'ran breakdown

Ga'ran lying defeated in the Pool of Souls after her failed attempt to channel the Holy Mother.

Shortly after their return, Justice Minister Inga was murdered and Sahdmadhi was quickly arrested as the prime suspect, but not before he was able to give the Founder's Orb to Justice. Justice then left it with Are'bal so that Queen Ga'ran, who was strangely obsessed with it, would be unable to find it, despite the queen ordering a strip-search of Justice. Before Sahdmadhi's trial, Are'bal returned the orb to Justice, who would later use it as the final piece of evidence needed to dethrone Ga'ran (after proving her as Inga's killer) by forcing her to prove that she could channel spirits. She failed to do so, thereby making her rule illegitimate according to the only Khura'inese law she could not change. After the resolution of the trial, the Founder's Orb was returned to Tehm'pul Temple, with Ahlbi Ur'gaid, who also acted as a tour guide, deciding to write a review on it.