Chapter one – Tyranny:
The prince walked back and forth, pacing up and down his dinning hall. He had been doing this for some time. His well-made leather boots making a violent clinking and clicking noise as the metal grips on them makes contact with the floor. The prince is dressed in his light battle armour which is more for an attractive and fierce, yet noble look than for actual protection. This is the same armour that he always wears for meetings and travelling. He has his flag wrapped around his shoulder plate in order to hand down like a cape that covers the entire right side of his body, and ends just before his boots begin. His family crest is embroidered into it in gold: a Lion with its front right paw on a lamb, crushing it into the floor with a vicious and dominating look in its eyes and face.
A knock comes from the heavy wooden door of solid oak. “Enter!” A middle-aged, but beautiful woman enters with two of her guards in front of her dressed in golden armour, and two of the prince’s guards at the back escorting her in with the same armour as the prince, but without a cape.
“Take a seat honourable lady, I have been waiting.”, said the prince in a calm but loud voice, extending the ending of ‘good’ as if sarcastically repeating a nickname he didn’t agree with. “Of course.”, the countess replies in a tender tone and places herself at the end seat of the table so that when the prince sits at his throne at the head of the table, they can be directly in front of each other. Her guards stand by her side and relax in their stance, while his own guards stand at the door. The door being made with two openings so perfect to be guarded by soldiers.
Slowly with grace the prince paces up to his throne and then takes a seat. “So, the traitor has sent his bitch rather than himself? What a surprise!” He rolls his eyes signalling that it is not a surprise to him at all that this has happened this way. “Don’t talk to me like that Michael.” With this the prince raises his arm and outstretches it in order to point his finger directly at her as he addresses her, “And you! Don’t talk to me like you’re my ally.” She takes a moment to collect herself and speaks with a shaky, slightly shocked voice. “But we are your allies. The moment we received your message we came here to sort this misunderstanding out.” “We? We?! You’re not the lord of your castle! If he really was a man of honour he wouldn’t have sent his expendable whore! And he would of came here himself!” “You know that we are at war in Sebastian! He can’t just send himself elsewhere when his own city needs him night and day. Surely you understand?” The prince places his hands on the table edge tapping it with his fingertips in a rhythmic manner. “Yes, yes I do understand perfectly, and you do not!”
The baroness leans back with a sigh, as if to prepare herself for another verbal assault. “Explain, so I can understand and we can both know that we are allies.” The prince grits and grinds his teeth to one side in displeasure. “I know what your lord has been doing. How he uses you and you’re not the only one. He keeps me back with ally talk, but secretly places money into his schemes to usurp me! This region is mine! He shall swear himself to me or he can die! And he has failed the former already, so I intend on making him successful on the latter.” The baroness with a look of shock with her face turning pale speaks in a broken anxious voice. “But he has done no such thing…I don’t understand what you’re saying at all!” The prince pushes his hands back off the table in order to stand and raises his first finger as if to silence her so that he can speak and explain without being interrupted. “Then let me explain. Sebastian of the principality of the East has always been loyal to me. We see each other as equals and leave each other to be the prince of our region, and stay neutral. He has been relaying information to me and always has, and the recent information concerns your lord.” “Sebastian? You mean the rebel prince? The one my lord is at war with? What has gotten into you? We all know his past.” “No we all don’t, but I do. I know why he did what he did…It was just…it was in fair judgement.” “How is killing your own court a fair judgement?”
The prince walks over to his fireplace which is let and casts his armoured shadow on the wall behind him, he places his hand on the brickwork while looking down on the fire. “When your court is full of usurpers they deserve to be killed and made an example of. Note I said killed, not murdered!” “There is an example with justice and fairness like an execution and a trail. And then there is brutal slaughter and torture! Of which included his son and wife.” The prince stands up right with his hands by his sides looking at the weaponry on display on the fireplace. Two spears placed through a shield with a crest on the front of it, the very same crest as the one that is on his flag. He strokes the spear while talking, “Do you understand that when you have power the people below you show loyalty or they are removed.” “Yes, I understand that completely.” He gently grabs the spear’s handle and pulls it from the clip that holds it in place under the shield. He slides it out and places the tip on the floor so he can hold it like a javelin. “So, why do you disagree with me?” “I don’t…But how do you know such people were not innocent?” He walks over to his throne again while dragging the tip of the spear which makes a horrible and painful grinding noise upon the stone work of the floor. The baroness pulls a pained face as if the noise is actually hurting her. “You know their guilt by their audacity. Their blatant lies told as truths without a moments hesitation. The way that everything they say is said in order to persuade you of something.” “But would not an innocent person try to persuade you of their innocence? If they do not, they are letting injustice win.”
With this, the prince who has stopped at the side of his throne begins spinning the spear tip into the floor which oddly makes almost no noise at all except for the spinning whooshing sound that comes from a sword swipe. “Do you think that truth and innocence needs to be proved? Whether it is or not cannot be changed by persuasion, and the fact that you’re attempting rather than leaving it to fate and fortune shows me that you need to prove something to get something of value.” The baroness puts her hand to her chest to signal her honesty. “I value my city and my husband who is my lord.” The prince looks away from her, as if disgusted by her attempt at reaching out to him. “It is evident that you do value those things because you fear they shall be taken, maybe that…” His last word fades slowly in his hall and he stops talking as he realises something, and stands still with his eyes wide and wild like a child when they finally understand some perplexing puzzle or when a young child sees fire for the first time. The baroness fidgets in her seat, uncomfortable from the silence.
“Well yes, I value my own life too…” “I understand that…That is why he sent you…” “I don’t understand…” Just as the baroness finishes her sentence and leaves it lingering as an echo in the dinning hall, the prince throws his spear up in order to catch it horizontally and throws it with such speed and force that it doesn’t seem to travel through the air, but teleports itself into the baroness’s chest, splintering through the great oak chair she is sat on. The spear only stops as the tip reaches the brick work behind the chair, the spear lies impaled in the baroness and chair. Before her guards can get a chance even to react, the prince’s guards cut them both down from behind, severing one in half by the waist with a powerful sword swing and killing the other by ramming a sword through his back and out of his chest. The prince’s guards has been told to stay alert and to do as at the slightest hint of aggression from the baroness’s guards or the prince himself. The guards stand over their murderous work with admiration as the prince approaches the baronesses’s corpse. He leans down to her face and whispers “He sent you because he didn’t value yours.”
Chapter two – Diplomacy:
The baron having successfully defeat prince Michael’s forces stands upon the prince’s roof looking upon his own force, mostly being mercenaries that were employed to make this battle possible. The baron is approached by his general from behind. “Lord, we have found him. He was hiding in a hold that one of our ballistas had made in the castle walls.” The baron replies without turning around, “Bring him to me..In chains.” “Yes, my lord!” The prince is dragged towards the baron; he clearly has no energy or fight left in him as he lets his knees be dragged across the brick work of the floor as he keeps his legs docile to the soldier whop is dragging him. He is dejected. He is placed on his knees in front of the baron.
“My prince.” says the baron as he turns to face him and then looks down at this injured and dirtied little man who no longer portrays nobility in any sense. The prince remains silent. “If you won’t talk then I shall. Why have you done this? Why have you forced my hand and set all of this into happening?” The prince looks up at the baron, although tired and without any strength he still manages to look angry and somewhat fierce. “Me? Why did you force my hand? Why did you want what was mine? Why did you send your little bitch and not your to talk to me like a man? Why did Sebastian know about your scheming? I should have never trusted either of you! Look what that has brought me!” The prince attempts to spit at the baron but for lack of energy merely dribbles into his own face, running down his mouth and onto his scraggly beard which is covered in dust and hardened blood.
The baron walks around the prince circling him with his arms held behind his back. “How would Sebastian know my plans when I am at war with him? When the plans I used against him and within my own city are your plans?!” He points his finger at the prince and for the first time in the confrontation shows his anger at all that has transpired. The prince still looking up meekly begins to speak again, “Sebastian told me you were trying to usurp me…” “Then why would I be fighting Sebastian to keep him out or your land? You have became paranoid and idiotic in your solitude! even now, after taking your castle and having you on your knees, I do not want this kingdom…only my own city…” The prince looks at the floor and speaks again but in a weak and uncharacteristically passionless voice. “I have wrecked my own kingdom and mistreated my own people…And murdered…” “That is why I am here. I don’t care who you are, anyone who kills unjustly will fall by my sword and you have murdered my love.” “Yes…”
The baron walks behind him, unsheathing his sword and placing the tip on the back of the prince’s neck. “If you have anything to say, say it now.” The prince fidgets uncomfortably and then begins to speak. “Well…My last words, my once close friend, are advise. Don’t look towards fortune, she is heartless. And do not fear your friends, because they then become your enemies. Fortune is with you, but it will not last. I have brought you great pain and murdered your love, and with my death, I do it again…” The baron taking the prince’s pause as his acceptance of the execution pushes his sword onto his neck and forces it down into the rib cage. The prince spews blood for a few seconds and then falls silent. The baron takes his sword out with a crunching noise and lets the prince fall forward as a corpse. The baron takes the prince’s flag from his shoulder plate, torn and dirty with the lion torn off of it, but yet the crying lamb remains. He wipes the prince’s blood off his sword with it.
Chapter three – A lonely grave to fortune:
Upon a small mound lies a lonely grave stone. It has no date or name, just a poem engraved into it which reads:
Once great prince stands on his castle wall,
I am this man. Now in pain awaiting his fall.
Awaiting his fate and loss of throne,
Fate rides on a horse for me to atone.
Give luck and progress to my foe,
So each new day brings a new challenge.
With each new rise I’m pained with their success,
I fortuned my foe, and brought me only woe.
How my tears have wet this land,
How my scorn has blazed these people.
fortune thus traveling down this blade.
My foe, once a friend in past unmade.
Great and splendid you stand before me.
Friend, oh how you have become my foe.
Tears and pain, taken and tamed.
My deeds, now shamed, not to be renewed again.
“My last words, my once close friend
Before you put me to the blade,
I have but one thing to say:
Don’t pray for fortune to bestow
For fear of friend make him foe.”
“My fortuned foe, how you frown at me,
I have once again brought you pain.
Stole your love once before.
With my death I steal it once again.”