I am sure that the news is beginning to spread. If you don’t already know, you will know soon.
I write you with great trepidation. I have never hesitated to confide in you in the past, but it is unclear of who we can trust these days. Know that it is not your person that has made me question, but that events that have unfolded over the last several days.
There was chaos in the streets of Himmelviel. The Empress was dead, cut down by one of the most trusted and revered in the empire. Who was, in fact, a dragon. There were no magical signs of this switch. It was completely unknown to us. I fear who else may have been switched without our knowing. I attempted to find any enemy agents in my own ranks in the guild. None were detected, though I don’t know if the dragons are able to hide from that sort of magic as well.
The wizard was able to scry and locate the real Captain. It seemed the best course of action was to rescue him, and clear up at least some of the fear and confusion surrounding the empress’s death.
We were soon introduced to the archer’s long lost companion, only to discover he has been working with Rossinar. His strength is useful, but I do not trust him. Anyone who is in league with Rossinar is willing to overlook the atrocities he has already committed. I question Baldir’s judgement and his motives. Though he was enthusiastic at the prospect of fighting dragons. He will need to be watched.
With the help of the trickster, we set off on our mission, deep into Draconis. Stealth and speed were our greatest allies here. We fared well until we reached the hoard. It was guarded by two invisible, fiery demons. My training allowed me to detect them. Not all of my companions were so lucky. We dispatched them soon enough. But then the constructs flanking the vault doors came to life, and a rather large dragon exited one of the vaults. Surely our missing companion was behind that door.
The wolf was able to free A, who struck the killing blow to the dragon. We clothed and disguised him before returning to the capital. He was determined to face whatever punishment lay before him, though I did not want to see him killed in the streets on his way.
It had been a long day, and I returned to the towers to rest before an even longer one dawned. I had no idea just how long it would be.
I checked in with my agents in the city. Rumors were still flying. The truth seemed to be the most outlandish of them all. B said nothing unusual had happened while we were away.
I proceeded to the trial for A, only to learn that C had turned Q in to the palace guards as well. I am sure that he did not go willing. We were called to testify on our friends’ behalf. Though I had no reason to lie, the cone of truth was unnerving. The Archer disclosed secrets that were unknown to the empire as a whole, and caused a great uproar.
But then the wolf caught my eye and pointed to the roof. A figure had been watching the proceedings. I feared for our friends lives, or the lives of any of the high value targets in the room. I am sure the person did not see me exit, but he was gone in the short time it took me to reach the roof. I scanned the surrounding rooftops for a sniper, and saw Rossinar’s retinue entering the city.
The day just kept getting better.
A was cleared of all charges. Q was found guilty, but was given trial by ordeal. It was more than he could have asked for, really. The city had no reason to spare him.
The council of kings was called to hear the reading of Issobelle’s will. My station allowed me to be there, but I was more concerned with a threat to the people attending than the reading of the will. I was foolish.
I am sure you know what happened next.
I left the council before anyone could stop me. No one noticed me leave. I started home, but realized that would be the first place my friends would look for me. So I zig-zagged through the city, occasionally climbing to rooftops and coming back down, until I wound up in the slums. The burned out husk of a house you pulled me from still stands. And it is relatively quiet. I have not been there since I gave up the name of Rose. I don’t think anybody had.
I wasn’t thinking clearly, or I would have realized the wolf would find me. What I was not expecting was the man who grabbed me as I jumped out the window. I failed to knock him loose and brought both of us back to the towers. He would not let go of me until the wolf arrived. Then the kid seemed to realize who was in the room with him and became awestruck.
By naming me twice, Issobelle had cornered me. I could not go back to my old name, nor remain who I am and be unnoticed. But my accepting would also mean men like Duke Fredderich, Rossinar, or Victonous could not claim the throne for themselves.
I gave the Scarlet Sorceress my somewhat reluctant blessing, and stayed in the tower with B to wait it out. Alcohol may have been involved. Either way the vote goes, I am now a target.
V returned sometime later with the news. I still don’t know whether it is a good thing or not. But she also had more information. A had officially stepped down as captain of the knight wardens, and given up his sword.
What a way to start my reign.