The Commander waits in the ruins of an old border fort. The Blight had overtaken it on both sides, and the sickly-sweet smell was pervasive. His master stepped from the murky depths of the shadows, and snapped ‘Report, minion’.
He composed himself quickly, the Myrddraal’s gaze was ever unsettling, no matter how many times they met. ‘Master, the treaty with Shienar is stable, and a similar accord is in place within Saldaea. Our troops bolster their own, even the damane are permitted.’
The Commander paused briefly, pleased with himself. ‘I have made laid the early foundations for a treaty with Mayene also. I allowed them to believe we took their claims of their whore leader being a descendant of Hawkwing seriously. This may pave the way for a strike on Tear, and their supposed angreal cache.’
‘Continue this work, minion’, hissed the Myrddraal, as it stepped back into the shadows.
The Commander led his torm through the Ways anxiously. He had been summoned to speak to the Deathwatch. His distaste for them was well known. Young upstarts thinking that swearing an oath made them more than just men. Regardless, this was a cause for concern. His plans were moving ahead well, and his favour with the Great Lord was high. Setbacks could not be allowed.
As he rode through the Oceans of Grass Gate, he noticed the area was strangely deserted.
‘Lord Meren di’Aran Kafar, you are placed under arrest by the order of Lord Silvak. Drop your weapons at once’.
A wave of panic spread over the Commander, followed by the cold flame of anger. That these arrogant boys thought they could take him in his own city! As fast as the impulse to attack came, it left. His white knuckles loosened the grip on his spear, and he spoke a word to his mount, sending it to the Morat’torm stables.
‘Very well, lead the way’.
Another day, another talking to. The same dour Seeker came in day in day out.
‘Are you a friend of the dark? Have you had dealings with the Shadow? Where were you on the 15th of Choren?’
As ever, the Commander spoke not at all. He had answered these questions once, and saw no need to repeat himself.
The sound of a heavy step and keys jangling woke the Commander. This was not one of his usual visitors. The tread was too heavy, and confident.
The panel slid open on the door, revealing a Deathwatch General known to the Commander.
‘Lord Meren di’Aran Kafar, you are hereby sentenced to death by hanging. Come with us.’
It was dawn when he emerged from the Tower, and the streets were empty. It would do the Empire no good to know what was occurring, so no news was spread. He walked the familiar streets in a daze. That this could happen to him!
He was led onto the gallows, looking out across the city he had loved for years. Words were said by the chattering Seekers, puffing out their chests to one another.
Eventually, one stepped forward to begin the execution.
The Seeker for Truth breaks abruptly from his furtive steps and approaches you.
The Seeker for Truth says 'Kneel, Meren, and meet your fate.'
You nod at him.
You kneel solemnly on the ground.
The Seeker for Truth grips your hair and chin roughly, jerking their head back, staring deeply into their eyes.
The Seeker for Truth leans intimately close and begins to speak.
A gust of wind whistles past, the words stolen away on the breeze, unheard by any but the accused.
The Seeker for Truth whispers to you, 'My friend, I am surprised to see someone of your station here. Thankfully, this trial is nigh complete, and you are nearly free to go.'
The Seeker for Truth whispers to you, 'Go, that is, to your master.'