Ieval Boralail looked into the darkness swirling within the goblet of wine he held.
"Where are you, Kal?" he asked in a groan.
In the many months since his son disappeared, the mayor of Brost had become more and more reclusive, keeping to his manor and seeing no one, for the most part.
When he had opened his doors recently, it was to two individuals who had shown the county and the Queen herself what service and selflessness looked like: none other than the Magistrate-turned-Justicar, Sir Lucas Remmington, and the Deputy Magistrate Sir Berogrin Hobblefloppy.
The mayor's face fell as he recalled the way they came to his home to speak on official matters. Funding and the like- it was definitely a political visit, he thought... And they didn't know a single thing about his son.
His grip tightened at the edge of the chair-arm. It was a nervous habit that he kept doing in spite of it causing his fingers considerable pain. And yet it was something to feel- and so he would dig his fingernail into the veins of the wood- poorly lacquered, it would cross his mind, amidst a flurry of other anxious thoughts. The county was being set ablaze, one small fire at a time, and Brost's enemies were chipping away at it on all sides. At least, one could argue, he had the military experience of the Lords of Noromath to rely upon.
But did he? Even in the months preceding the death of Roderick Llanistaph the Liberator, his fellow lords had slowly crusaded for more power, for more influence. The Agis Knights had been moving up ever since the fall of Tejarn Gate- it seemed there were more than one company sitting at the ready to sup upon Brost and her misfortunes...
A terribly loud and urgent banging erupted at the front door to the estate. Someone should be headed up to him to let him know, he grimaced as he thought.
Ieval gathered his robe about him; he usually didn't dress fully if he didn't have to. Reaching for his lantern to widen the shutter, he carelessly spilled his wine. Turning to it with a curse, he lifted the goblet and took a moment to refill it and take several long drinks from it. Whoever would be bothering him at this hour of the night wouldn't be sparing of his need for luxury. Or perhaps, his need to quiet the angry voice that accused him of failing his son.
He descended the stairwell with no great urgency, even as the banging outside was even more and more urgent. At the landing on the foyer, he saw his servant arriving from another wing.
"Expecting someone?" Ieval asked with mock amusement, lifting his lantern to shine light at Bergor's feet.
"Nay, milord. Shall I get the door?" asked Bergor, his face showing faithful in the dance of lantern light even as the flash of steel could be glimpsed through the front windows. Whoever was here, they were armed.
"Thank Chauntea for you, Bergor." Ieval braced himself somewhat, closing the lantern's shutter so as not to blind whoever might be entering. He then let his other hand rest at his side, so as to show that he was unarmed.
The large door was swung wide with a heave, Bergor grunting with the effort and stepping aside. On the other side, a raised gauntlet was poised to continue banging on the door, but then refrained.
"Mayor Boralail- on the orders of Lord Knight Iybn Sakir El Agis, you are to come with us." The purple cloak stated the words as a demand, and two other cloaks stood aside him, their weapons brandished openly, their steeds near.
"I don't believe I have a choice in the matter," the mayor replied gruffly. Tying his robe around his waist and finding the larger coat placed around his shoulders by Bergor, Ieval cringed against the cold air invading his home.
"Where are we going?" Asked Ieval, silently ordering Bergor to lock the manor behind them.
"You'll be enjoying a stay at Southspire Hold, where it is safe, Mayor." The purple cloaks were marching double-time and even the steeds seemed angry. Ieval noted the flanks of the beasts had been spurred on furiously; it had been a hard and fast ride from the Tejarn Gate. They'd have trampled anything or anyone in their path, tonight.
As they stepped through Northgate, knights on duty exchanged glances at the movement. They took notice of the Knights of Agis and their guest but turned practiced glances well the other way. The less they were told, perhaps the better for the operation- whatever it was.
"Are you going to tell me anything, I wonder?" Ieval asked with some impatience as they stepped earnestly onto the Tethir Road.
Turning to cast a glance at the Mayor of Brost, the cloak answered, "Lucas Remmington has been assassinated."
Eyes widening, Ieval joined the others in a spirited dash toward the Spire.