Gossip, Trickery, and Other Things

Princess Talis walked down the hall toward the servant’s corridors, a letter in hand, and a smile creeping across her face. When she arrived she gave instructions for a servant to take it the Count of Dumont—a man always looking for more power. He would fall easily enough for her trap. Now, she had but to wait.

In a few minutes, she sat across from her father in the royal throne room. A few hours passed, a few servants scurried about excitedly, and the Count of Dumont strode boldly in, “King Kadezar! Hail! I have special information relayed to me from a trusted source that I must alert you to immediately!” The Count spoke with all the dignity of a wounded soldier returning from a valiant battle—victorious.

King Kadezar looked very surprised but nonetheless gave a quick command for the room to empty. When it had been executed and the doors closed, he spoke, “Speak Count Fresna, and let your words be true!”

“My King, it is with the most loyal heart that I give you this information, the key to eradicating the Raksha!” At once the King leaned closer, intense and excited.

“Go on, Fresna, and speak plainly.”

“I came by this information on the most reliable of sources, a spy in the kingdom of Gurdabain. He sent me this letter,” at this the count flashed a letter with a red seal, waving it around, and Talis was forced to hide a smile. The plan had gone far better than she could have hoped for.

“Very well, what does your spy say?”

“He has told me that King Quantando of Gurdabain has discovered a way to kill the Raksha, and this is why they have had no problems with the infestation for three years. He has also told me that they wish to keep this information from you so that you are more vulnerable to them.”

The king stood up quite suddenly, rage exploding from his chest, “How dare he!”

“My Lord,” Count Fresna spoke, attempting to placate him, “King Quantando only does so out of fear, because he knows you are so much more powerful than him!”

“Yes, well, go on,” the king sat back down, having finished his huffing and puffing.

“Right, my spy tells me that the only way to kill a Rakshi is at midnight and that furthermore, the blade that pierces its flesh must be slathered in sap from the froderine flower.” The count bowed once more, looking quite pleased with himself for relaying this useless information.

The King scratched his brown beard, deep in thought. “Artedemus,”

A squire standing next to the steps stood at attention, “Yes, M’Lord?”

“Where do froderine flowers grow in my kingdom?”

“In the Northern province of Duginshire, M’Lord.”

“Yes, very good Artedemus.”

“Forgive me my Lord, but that is not all,” the Count spoke coolly.

“Well, then, go on. We must hurry if we are to seize this advantage, Fresna.”

“Yes, Your Grace, most certainly. My source also informed me that a war band of the Raksha is swarming along the northern border near the village of Cordon as we speak. If we do not send men they will all die. I advise we attack them now, while we have the element of surprise.”

The king bent in thought, then abruptly raised himself from his seat, “Artedemus!”

“Yes, M’Lord?”

“Rally the men! We move at dawn!”


https://pixabay.com/en/imperial-castle-castle-cochem-56078/  -photo creds


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