Sullivan lowered his massive figure into the oversized chair. It was plush, firm, and called the ornate windowless room home. The marbled flooring was clean enough that it’s white surface reflected and amplified the sconces which illuminated the confined place. Once comfortably settled the well-fed nobleman stared at his faithful attendant.
”So, a few peasants are upset. I still don’t understand all of the fuss you’re making.”
Carlisle shook his head. He’d long served as the advisor and executor of the Weiroon estate. He was loyal. Reliable. And most importantly he wasn’t a complete idiot. He cleared his throat and stated calmly, “sir, it was a few peasants. After the events of last week, well, it’s become something much larger.”
A smile crept across Sullivan’s broad face. With glee he said, ”well, yes, but that was necessary.” The glib expression on his face matched the overwhelming joy in his brown eyes. He had been dispatched to Vel Uri, a remote township not far from the Cortosi coast, in order to deal with a famine that had caused public unrest. The baron of Weiroon saw to it that the mayor was executed for his inability to deal with the troubles and he had crucified a few of the supposed leaders of the peasant revolt.
Then, last week, a group of peasants sat outside the former mayor’s lavish estate and yelled for justice after a child had starved to death. Sullivan gave a rousing speech to the gathering crowd, extolling the virtues of Anirian society and insisting that additional food rations were on the way. When the rabble screamed out that he was a liar he had his cohort of soldiers gather up the most vocal of the peasants. They were tortured for a few hours and then tied to stakes and burnt in a large funeral pyre. It was only fair.
“Right. I’ll level with you sir, some of the soldiers we brought from the capital have defected. The peasants outside have swelled to a number that our remaining soldiers cannot contain. We can barely keep the doors barricaded and I have reason to believe a group of the commoners have pooled what little funds they have to put a bounty on your life,” Carlisle paused to clear his throat. Hoping to allow the reality to set in for his superior. He spoke once more to relay his plan, “sir, at this stage I believe the best course of action is to whisk you out of the manor in secret and get back to Vel Anir. I do not know how much longer our contingency of soldiers can keep you safe.”
Sullivan Weiroon rose to his feet. His back straightened, his top hat adjusted, he spoke only after staring down his house steward for an uncomfortable amount of time. ”Carlisle. You are of lowly birth. You provide me with an answer that is, quite obnoxiously, from the mindset of someone of low birth. We will not leave. We will not abandon the township. I have a plan.”
Unbeknownst to Carlisle the second-in-command of House Weiroon had brought a bit of a guarantee with him. A dreadlord with a particular set of talents. He was not fearful of some wild mob and he felt confident that whatever paltry sum the commoners had gathered would be far too small to hire any assassin who possessed the slightest level of competence.