Taking the Fall
It was warm, at least, as she was led to the block set on a high platform of the city square. In spite of the first, light drops of autumn rain, the weather was kind to the thinly dressed prisoner. I'daan found herself laughing slightly at her own priorities. She was being marched to her death in a tattered, dirty chemise, dark hair roughly hacked short the night before, and she was just happy it wasn't cold. It was absolutely ridiculous, but then, the whole thing was ridiculous. She, the quiet, studious child who had fought so hard from birth for the affection of her father and for the honor of the Dishan Clan, was to be executed for treason. Supposedly, she had poisoned the Queen and caused her to miscarry. In reality, I'daan had been framed by the Queen herself.
I'daan had been the one to discover the Queen's lies- the secret lover, the funding of the First Prince's plans to take the crown, the fact that her soon-to-be child was not her husband's. These were the true sins that the eldest daughter of Dishan would pay for. Not one single person in the crowd would ever know her innocence, and she laughed quietly again as she realized that was the most painful part for her. Not the jeers, not being paraded about in a undergarment barely holding together enough to cover her breasts, not even the sting of such an intimate betrayal as she was faced with. The fact that her death was meaningless and that the people of her beloved lands would never know that she had been true until the end, those were far worse than knowing who she would see when she knelt before the block.
"His Royal Highness, King Roudan Faloth and her Highness Queen Adol Dishan Faloth!" A clear voice rang out, silencing the crowd as the monarchs appeared at the balcony railing overlooking the square.
I'daan was roughly shoved to her knees, but she lifted her chin to face her little sister defiantly. The girl that she had loved and cared for all those years was gone and in her place stood a cold, calculating woman capable of anything if it meant getting what she wanted. Adol had been too spoiled. Now she was paying the price for her baby sister's greed. Openly she glared Adol and the husband more than old enough to be their father. There was no sense in courtly manners any more and she wouldn't suppress herself any longer- not on the behalf of her murderers.
"I'daan Somma Dishan, wipe that smile from your face. You face execution for your crimes of treason against the Dusk Court. Do you have any final words?" Roudan's voice was deep and gravelly with apparent irritation.
She couldn't help the laughter that bubbled from her lips as the rain began to pick up with the wind, "Why not smile? It is the last day I have to see your face! I may as well get in a little bit of real treason while I'm still breathing! LISTEN WELL, ALL OF YOU! Mark the dying words of this madwoman, you'll find your end some day. You'll see who the real traitor is as she holds the dagger already piercing your heart and I will laugh from the other side as you die, Roudan Faloth. And you! My dear sister, I pray the gods are listening. You deserve nothing more than the greatest of curses and to watch as your lies crumble around you, Adol. For every drop of my blood spilled on this earth today, I hope you suffer tenfold. I know if the Goddess of Vengeance granted me the chance, I would make sure of it, myself. May she bless the people of Orda with your short reign."
Without another word, she leaned forward and rested her head on the block, exposing her neck to the executioner. The man seemed almost in awe of the woman as he reluctantly lifted his blade high and let it fall on the King's command. It was over in an instant, blood pooling on the flat surface of the platform. Slowly, as the crowd dispersed for cover, a single drop rolled over the edge and fell to the dirt below. It was followed by another and another until it became a thin but steady trickle, mixing with the puddles building in the growing storm.
Somewhere in the darkness beyond death, something stirred just beyond I'daan's grasp. A soft, sweet voice filled the void. You have called and I have answered. You will be my chosen, my vessel.