‘OPEN THIS DOOR! YOU ARE SURROUNDED!!!!’
Robert wakes up with a start. He heard loud banging at the door. He immediately wakes his comrades up. ‘Chris, Carol, wake up! And ready your weapons!’
‘Wh... what?’ Chris lazily gets up and grabs his sword, Wyrthal. Carolyn hastily grabs her apprentice’s staff and together with Robert they run to the door. The loud yells are heard outside.
‘OPEN THIS DOOR OR WE’LL BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!’
They see Rollo and Uli at the door, and Eni hiding behind the kitchen wall. Rollo opens the door immediately. About 10 – 15 gruff-looking soldiers are standing outside the house, and about twenty more surrounding it, as though it is a siege.
Rollo and friends wonder what this is all about, and they soon receive an answer from the squad leader.
‘Rollo Bigstumble! You and your human friends are under arrest! The mythril greaves were stolen two hours ago, and you are the prime suspects! Follow us to face trial before the council!’
Robert speaks up to stand for his comrades. ‘We seek no enmity with our fellow dwarves, and we have done no evil, so we’ll come quietly.’
‘Good! Men, tie them up, seize their weapons and take them to the castle!’
Chris who is just coming out from the house after he finished wearing his armor is flustered to see himself suddenly being held and tied by 3-4 dwarves. He bellows, ‘Hey! What’s this all about?’
Chris is about to shake the guards away and draw his Wyrthal, but Robert yells, ‘CHRIS! DON’T! We don’t want to hurt them! If we do, there’ll be more reasons for them to sentence us to death!’
Chris lowers his Wyrthal. A dwarf soldier takes it away from Chris’ hand. Then Rollo, Robert, Chris and Carolyn, all tied up, are taken away from Falambum Vale to Ylbarra Citadel.
In Ylbarra, people are mocking them and throwing things at them along the way.
‘Is this what you did to repay our kindness?’
And the crowd is also calling them names, the worst ones they can think of. Chris’ head is hit by what appears to be a rotten egg. He yells, ‘Hey, watch it, kid!’ as he sees the little boy who threw it.
The ‘walk of shame’ doesn’t end when they enter the castle. People in the palace scrutinize them scornfully, and they are whispering among themselves, mostly about confirming their theory that humans are all greedy beings, about Rollo who has been completely influenced by greed, and the falseness of Vadisian teachings.
The trial starts immediately as they enter the center dome, this time they don’t have to wait until they are summoned before the Grand Trow and the Council of Grad.
‘KNEEL!’ The guards push Rollo and friends forcefully to kneel before the throne. The Grand Trow leaps into his feet with utmost rage as he sees the ‘culprits’, and talks with a much louder voice than before.
‘YOU! You have stolen the mythril greaves, haven’t you! Where is it? Surrender it to me NOW!’
Rollo speaks calmly, ‘We don’t have it. We didn’t steal it.’
‘LIAR! Guards, bring forward the evidence!’
The bailiff moves forward, bringing a tray with a dagger on it and puts it on the stairs to the throne. Chris looks at the dagger and his face turns pale. It’s my dagger, he thinks.
‘What are your excuses now? This was found in The Chamber of Peace where we kept the greaves. The guard was knocked out, and the greaves were gone.’
Chris speaks up, ‘Yes, it is my dagger. But it was hidden beneath my own greaves. It must’ve been stolen from me last night.’
All eyes are fixed upon Chris. Carolyn gives him a jab on his back, murmuring something that sounds like, ‘That’s what happened if you don’t check your gears often.’
Haägi continues, ‘Stolen from you? That’s ridiculous. That’s a lame excuse for your greed and carelessness. Just admit that you stole it!’
‘No, O’ Grand Trow! I did not! And neither did my friends here!’ says Chris desperately.
‘You all in league with each other! I’ve sent troopers to Rollo’s house to search for the greaves. It was not there but it must be hidden somewhere, but we’ll find it for sure. Therefore, I found you all GUILTY and the penalty will be death by decapitation tomorrow at down in front of the people! Myvar Trow has spoken! What say the council?’
‘Death by decapitation!’
The sixteen council members all shout in turns, giving an unanimous verdict that Robert, Chris, Carolyn and Rollo are guilty as charged.
Fear shows in Christopher’s face. Carolyn is disappointed by the one-sided justice. Robert is thinking hard, with his wide eyes. Andreas a.k.a. Rollo falls on his knees and prays in his thoughts, ‘Oh, Vadis, let Thy will be known.’
The guards immediately take them to the dungeons, and throw them together in one cell in a very violent manner, and the door is locked before them. Chris yells and bangs on the cell door, still with his armor intact, and making a loud racket. ‘Hey! Release us! It was a mistake! We were framed!’
Carolyn snorts, ‘Yeah, The Grand Trow himself framed you, remember? We gotta find an idea to get out of here. Ah! Let me try melting these iron bars. Maybe we can escape.’
‘No, Carolyn!’ says Andreas, deeply worried. ‘Even if we escape from here, there’s still a citadel and a vast maze to go through. If a dwarf spots us, better make sure that four can win against tens of thousands. Even it will be difficult for Thürlam to win in this situation. Better find another plan or wait for Vadis’ miracle.’
So, they decided to wait for a better opportunity. Maybe they can arrest the real thieves, although it’s almost impossible to do so because of the smells of treason and conspiracy that enabled the thieves to breach into the heavily fortified citadel and escaped far away from there with the loot.
We sponsor this link :