Of the lessons also gained from the history of mankind is the fact that greed and arrogance, when combined, lead the oppressor to do injustice not only to others, but to himself as well.
His Excellence, Lord Dantena van Torquaz has been tasked by the Holy See to assist the Kingdom of the West’s Closed Council in their investigation concerning disturbing rumours threatening House of Fulgam’s survival.
His investigation is getting tangled with the Manhunt for the Kingslayer, all colliding towards Amyr, the ‘impregnable citadel’. Richard Frates has been locked up in the Stormfyldd’s dungeons, but his public confession preceding his hanging leads to massive unrest and the Aldamer Riots.
MAJOR SPOILERS BEGIN
Arriving at the Hanging Tree, Torquaz recognizes Richard Frates, the legendary regicide, hanging amongst thieves and rapists – which an unenthusiastic Torquaz recognizes he was.
But this is the first of many surprises, news of the Aldamer Riots had reached every corner of the Imperial order, and the Emperor had dispatched the Ordo Malleus and its Greyknights, under the command of two knights of the Imperial Guard. Reaching the Greyknights’ camp, Lord Torquaz is welcomed by Saint Logan Reynar himself, a famed archer believed to be the most accurate marksman of his time. The Whitecloaks are also greeted by the Third Grandmaster of the Prime Knights, and longest reigning grandmaster of all time, Ragnar hoff Hammerfell, arguably the most powerful Imperial magi along with Ulthar the Wise. The later recalls meeting a young Torquaz and remembers his talent, but his reckless use of magic which he predicted will be the inquisitor’s undoing. Affirming representing the Prime order as a diplomatic ambassador, Torquaz suspects he has been tricked into acting as a weapon-of-mass-destruction if need be.
Asking who leads the Ordo Malleus, Saint Reynar affirms that Grandmaster Rhodes has reached Amyr cutting through the rebels with lethal force to free House Stormfyldd. Using the vows of secrecy of the Imperial Guard to his advantage, Torquaz gave the Warrick Records to Saint Reynar, asking him to read it only if a white raven – symbol of the Aldemer pacification – leaves the citadel. Reynar gives him before nightfall, or the Ordo Malleus will ‘purge’ the city, before looking at Grandmaster Ragnar.
Reaching the Amyr fortress, he arbitrates a truce between the Stormfyldd’s Crowned Prince and the rebels’ leader, Jacquemart, who holds Princess Brienne the Fair hostage, – a girl of ten, Torquaz promises them he will convince King Destrega to send a white raven as a sign of peace. Crowned Prince Deregoln agrees, willing to help rebuild the relationships between the Crown and the smallfolk. Satisfied with the outcome, Dantena van Torquaz, enters Amyr.
He then witnesses King Destrega, and his vile son beside him, bragging on his hanging of Richard Frates, a feat that no king could have dreamt of achieving. Disdainful of the monarch, Saint Alexia Rhodes states that if Frates died it was because he wanted to, having probably planned the Riot all along to destroy the Stormfyldds forever.
Interrupting the plans of butchering the rebellion to save Princess Brienne’s life by reminding Destrega of his feelings as a father, the Stormfyldd king agrees to meet Jacquemart and hear his terms of peace, thus sending a white raven outside the keep. Destrega the Lesser begs his father to consider his answer, before getting slapped.
Right after, the gates open, and war drums echo on the distance. The Greyknights storm on the city, and Saint Rhodes thinks she has been betrayed, before Torquaz faces Destrega the Lesser and tells him: ”A true nobleman always keeps a promise, milord’.
The Greyknights kill Deregoln, rebel Jacquemart for his murder of Princess Brienne, and Destrega the Greater commits suicide by jumping from the balcony, witnessing his kingdom crumble, burnt by Ragnar the World-Breaker’s unleashed fury. Destrega the Lesser takes advantage of the confusion to flee, and is rumoured to be crowned King of the Stormfyldds. Judgemental of Torquaz and calling him a vile man, Saint Rhodes declares Destrega the Lesser a false-knight, an apostate and a mere bandit.
Entering the castle’s archives, Torquaz finds the letter of divorce between late King Destrega and Sylvia, kept hidden not to bring shame, saying she was guilty ‘fornication’ with a mystery knight going by the alias ‘the Griffin Knight’, and Torquaz understands Malthan von Fulgam’s father is Godfrey of Lubac himself.
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