Monday, May 8, 2017

The Journal of the ex-Lord High Constable, Part 9

I was woken in the early hours by Allaster informing me that Vijur was meeting with the Duke and Earl Esben. I suspected Esben would attempt further subterfuge. However I decided to let him play his game, because I don’t plan on playing it with him, I’m going to smash the board and bring down his world come the morning. It will also be a good opportunity for our future king to show himself to not be easily manipulated, or further prove to me how unready to rule he will be.

At dawn the captains and lieutenants of the North mustered as I ordered.  The Duke may have taken it upon himself to hastily appoint Cuylar Dane as my successor. But it is a military matter. And as such should be handled with the appropriate customs. When I handed Cuylar my pin of office, I could feel the old rivalry between me and him wash away.

Having Cuylar on my side is of absolute importance to me. I need to have someone I can rely upon in the coming future to take up position as Lord High Constable, and I could think of no better man.
After the short ceremony I introduced Cuylar to Magnus, and welcomed talks of the elven treaty he brought to the city at a later date. Even if I fail today I was assured that matters would be appropriately handled.

I then took Cuylar aside and gave him my first command as Regent of Dorn. Or rather a command to be enacted the exact moment I become Regent. With Conall’s deciphered documents I presented him with evidence of Earl Esben’s involvement in manipulating the realm. More importantly a list of locations and persons within Erenhead who work or belong to him. Together we created a strategy to simultaneously assault all of Esben’s holdings and arrest his agents. It was an ambitious plan, and we didn't have much time to prepare it. But between us I am confident in our victory, I must strike while the iron is hot!

Marching the the arena, I ensured Erenhead knew of my arrival. The city was quiet with anticipation. As if it was holding its breath, waiting to see what would happen. Our drums and bagpipes shattered the silence with Dornish anthems of our nation's past greatness. As I passed the common folk, they saw the future ruler. They saw that I was bringing back an era of that greatness.
At the arena however, not was all it should have been. Vijur stood side by side with Earl Esben and the Duke.
I knew our dear king was easily manipulated. But this?
A proclamation was read. Duke Ivass Tourbalt was to step down, anointing Vijur as the true king of Dorn. Of course with the addition of Earl Esben acting as regent.
I was ready to denounce Earl Esben before the people. But in his new position I had to adjust my words. Calling for the musicians to play their instruments over the crowds uproar, I turned their attention back to me and said my piece.

I called out to the people.
I called out that I came here as a true honourable Dorn. Here to lay an end to an era of treachery.
I called out for house Redgard, and that I would lead our country back into greatness.
I called out Earl Esben’s intrigue. I exposed his lies and threats he had made. Producing the finger of my boy I told the people how he was trying to use my family as leverage over me.
I called out that Dorn would not stand for this manipulation any longer.
Cuylar Dale rose and backed my claims. At that point things had turned and everyone knew it.
Every house present had listened to me. I was no longer the only one calling for Esben blood. The signal given our soldiers closed in and arrested Esben
Most people present failed to notice the flaming arrow that shot into the sky. Not me. I approached the dais with the knowledge that as I walked up the steps; Esben’s web of intrigue was being pulled down across the entire city.

The moment changed when Jahzir: Outraged by the unfolding events. Called out the dishonour of the whole thing, and took it upon himself to end the Dukes life. Without hesitation Vijur drove Wyrmclaw into Jahzir’s chest. Magnus and the available Galdrs tried their best so save the Sharif’s life, but after much effort failed.

This was a great waste of a good life. Jahzir, although headstrong was a man worthy of respect. And his killing may put Dorn in a difficult position diplomatically. I hadn’t banked on having to deal with such matters so early of my coming to power.

With the drama ended, all eyes remained on the stage. Calling out for a hail to King Vijur Dane and Regent of the realm Fergus Redgard, everyone kneeled. As I stood there with Vijur, I saw  uncertainty in his eyes.

However as regent I bear no uncertainty.
I shall be steadfast for the sake of Dorn.

Honour the name.