The Corvus Castrum
Shrieklich was hung from six chains in a dark armory. Dozens of workers were replacing metal and a severe burn struck the stump on his shoulder. Most of the flesh needed to be removed after his attack on Roost.
“Here I find the the terror of Warden. You were certainly the talk of the town but now I feel just terrible. You have no desire for personal power, or my power for that matter. You actually struck out at Roost in an attempt to cut a traitorous snake off at the head?”
“What do you want Hugo?” Schrecklich asked through the pain. “If you value your life you will never return to Avisland again.”
Hugo laughed. “Big words from the scary traitor. By taking action against my enemy you accidentally took all the credit for the attack. Well done.” Hugo said as he approached.
The pale light from the ceiling revealed the man. Two scars covered a cheek his black hair met his feathers. A single strip of hair on his head covered his scalp. It went all the way back like a horse hair crest on war helmet only shorter.
“I think your best chance of survival is to join forces. You entered my cause by accident with a fool hearty confidence in your own paranoia. Well they were out to get you, I counted on that. You lashed out at any you could identify as traitors. And you didn’t disappoint.”
“What do you mean?” Schrecklich said as metallic joints and artificial pieces connected to him.
“I mean, after I killed Lord Klau and dumped the body down south, your first inclination was kill the one who crossed you in the chaos. But that wasn’t it. You were sanctioned by Lady True of the Arbiters, your old love. How funny.
“Of course, my pain is your passion isn’t it.” Schrecklich said with a groan.
“Not usually, but this time you fell and fell hard. Lets review: Your old forbidden love forsakes you, uses you to kill political adversaries. She then climbs to power, prosecutes you for misusing your power and brings your horrific reputation to account, then you kill her for corruption as is your job in secret. Only to learn too late that my members of Roost under Lord Jack moved to kill the loyalist Arbiters, which you end up receiving the blame for.”
“I’m terribly unfortunate of late.” Schrecklich said as the hooks detached from his armor dropping him to the floor. His severed arm was sealed in capsule of metal.
“Remove his weapons!” Hugo shouted. His strong jaw grinned as he sake the game coming to a close.
“I won’t need them.”
The engineers of Bedded approached and Schrecklich released his claws over.
“I’ll continue because it’s just too good.” Hugo said with another laugh. He was as old as Schrecklich, the two in their early thirties. “Upon hearing of the Loyal Arbiter slaughter in the north from my forces, you go after the Roostmen responsible, you lash out at Lord Schutz since he sided with Lady True in your prosecution. But wait, Lord Schutz is not a traitor. You are branded a criminal and a traitor yourself merely because you are too hasty and impulsive.”
“So you’re going to kill me?” Schrecklich asked.
“If I bring back your corpse I can feign ignorance, and confusion and be welcomed back with open arms as a loyal dagger in the enemies back. Folter is aging and I’m poised to command Raben.”
Hugo drew his claws and approached in his own armor at speed. The first talon lashed out for Schrecklich’s throat but his one arm swatted it aside. The second claw came in at a hook but was diverted away. Hugo lept back and drew a mechanical weapon off a rack. But Schrecklich seized a chain from the ceiling in a yank ripping a metal brace from its support.
“Too slow Hugo.” With a vicious whirl, the chain circled the air in rings around Schrecklich. In horror Hugo sprayed metal at him as they bounced off the armor.
The metal whip came forward hurling the metal block attached to the end into Hugo’s head crushing it into his armor.
Schrecklich walked over to his helmet on one of the operation tables he had been moved from.
“This is the Commander of the Corvus Castrum, Lord Schrecklich of The Natch Kinghts. I hereby claim all forces under the Corvus Castrum. The Rebellion is over. The traitors have been identified or killed I order an immediate cease fire and a total surrender. If your loyalties were with my own you have made the ultimate sacrifice as we are most likely banished from this moment on. If your loyalties were with Lord Hugo, he is dead and you will be killed on sight if you do not lay down your weapons when the rest of Avisland arrives. A similar fate awaits you. Only now you will have a head start before I hunt you down and kill you after our respective banishments.”
End of Book One
Return to Avisland in Book Two:
Avisland: Herren von Rost
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