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    The Silver Wolf-For Crown Or Country: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
    Posted on Fri, October 18, 2019 by LordCeb
    CruelSummerLord writes "
    In just a few short weeks, everything would be in place. Count Fedorik would be dead and Idee would be at South Province’s mercy. The rest of the Iron League states, fractured by the conquest of Idee and the further disruptions of the Naelaxian agents, would fall one by one.

    Chapter Sixteen

    The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

    The next morning, Xavener received a letter written and signed by Theran, Caradoc’s wizard aide. There was no question it was from Theran, as Xavener recognized the wizard’s handwriting. It was delivered by one of Caradoc’s messengers, who would obey Theran without question. The wax that held the letter closed was stamped with Caradoc’s distinctive seal.

    In the letter, Theran detailed how he’d captured the adventurers Xavener sent to try and ruin Caradoc’s plans. He described them in detail, and Xavener knew they were that Seline woman and her friends. The letter concluded by telling Xavener that Caradoc and Xeravho were planning a suitable punishment for his interference.

    That disturbed Xavener more than a little. He knew that Seline and her friends were likely tortured or charmed into revealing why they’d raided Caradoc’s estate. In that case, Caradoc and Xeravho would almost certainly retaliate against him immediately…and several of the other nobles involved in the conspiracy would follow suit. Their plot was too important to let a loose end like Xavener continue to threaten it.

    Xavener knew he could be expecting visitors soon, and not pleasant ones. It made sense that someone as prideful and hot-tempered like Caradoc would want to punish Xavener not just for interfering with his plans, but for humiliating him in front of Herzog Chelor. Xavener could deny being involved in the plot, and he could likely muster enough support from other nobles who’d benefited from dealing with him to force Caradoc and the rest to lay off him. Norreck wouldn’t appreciate the attacks on his son either, and would muster House Darmen to defend him. The Naelaxians wouldn’t want a feud with Darmen, not at this point.

    Unfortunately, their attacks would still cause serious trouble for House Darmen and cost Xavener dearly in favors and prestige. That could be fatal, especially when dealing with his father.

    Xavener was about to plan what he’d say and do to mitigate the damage, when a stray thought crossed his mind. He wondered if the adventurers had bested Theran and whoever else Caradoc had guarding his estate, and were trying to trick him into anticipating an attack from Caradoc or Xeravho. If that was the case, he could punish them appropriately. He had to admit that he was also increasingly intrigued by the adventurers’ search for some kind of royal regalia. Whatever this mysterious crown or sceptre or other artifact was, it was obviously important for them to be taking the risks they had so far. The gods only knew how valuable such an artifact could be, not just in wealth, but also in power…

    I need more information, Xavener realized. If Caradoc and Xeravho really are after me , and they kill me…everything I’ve done…everything I’m seeking…it’ll all come to nothing. And if I’m exposed…

    He didn’t want to think about the consequences that would come from that.

    Fortunately, there was one resource he could consult. Doing so was a dreadful risk, but he was running out of time. He didn’t dare proceed without ensuring he knew everything he possibly could.  

    “I should have known!” Caradoc said, his face red with anger as he slammed the letter down on his desk.

    “What is it?” Xeravho asked as he came into Caradoc’s study.

    “Theran bested those adventurers Xavener sent against us. A couple of them surrendered to him and confessed that Xavener hired them. He’s bringing them here so we can interrogate them,” Caradoc said, smiling triumphantly.

    “And the bodies?” Xeravho said, reminding Caradoc of the instructions he’d given Theran before they’d left Caradoc’s manor. He’d ordered Theran to bring him the bodies of any of the adventurers killed in Theran’s ambush. He planned to interrogate the dead adventurers’ spirits with his magic to learn what they knew and to gather more evidence against Xavener.

    “He’s bringing them in tonight, once he’s had a chance to replenish his spells,” Caradoc said, folding up the letter again.

    The two noblemen were staying at a small, nondescript keep a few miles east of Zelradton with several of the other nobles involved in the conspiracy. To the public, the keep was the summer home of an eccentric merchant from North Province. It actually served as a convenient place for members of House Naelax to gather when they conducted some of their most secret operations.

    While Xeravho and Caradoc were the conspiracy’s leading members, the other nobles would contribute to the plan by smuggling the spies and assassins who would plant the false documents and kill Count Fedorik into Idee and Sunndi. The other nobles would help surreptitiously fan the flames between the Iron League states with agents that couldn’t be tied to the murder of Count Fedorik.

    In just a few short weeks, everything would be in place. Count Fedorik would be dead and Idee would be at South Province’s mercy. The rest of the Iron League states, fractured by the conquest of Idee and the further disruptions of the Naelaxian agents, would fall one by one.

    Caradoc smiled wickedly at Xeravho, and Xeravho returned his smile with a cold, pitiless stare that reflected his thoughts all too clearly.

    Weimar shook his head as he helped Ma’non’go lift a barrel of oil into the wagon the companions planned to use to reach the conspiracy’s headquarters. The enchanted Theran told Seline everything about the layout of the keep the conspirators were staying at, including its layout and defenses. Theran then told Caradoc’s manor servants, none of whom dared to question their master’s second in command, that the companions had gone over to Caradoc’s side. The servants were to help the companions in any way they could. They’d stayed in the manor during the previous night’s battle, and hadn’t seen the companions’ actions.

    Seline thanked Theran by telling him to get some rest and to study his spells, since they would need his help later that evening. She and Luna slept through part of the day and replenished their own magic. The rest of the companions took turns getting some sleep of their own in between preparing for what would come later that evening.

    “There’s something I don’t get,” Weimar said as he and Ma’non’go sat down to rest and get some water in a room where they could speak in private. “Why doesn’t this cabal go back to the Herzog and tell them about what Xavener’s doing? You’d think our efforts would be evidence enough. They won’t even adjust their plan because of us or Xavener.”

    You don’t know Aerdi politics, or you wouldn’t say that, Ma’non’go said. A change now would risk their chance to earn glory and fame. Most Aerdi aristocrats would rather die than give up such an opportunity.

    Besides, there’s too much riding on the conspiracy, Ma’non’go reminded Weimar. You recall hearing how angry the Overking is with the Herzog’s failure to regain the lands of the Iron League? That failure’s cost the Overking’s coffers a great deal of coin…and another failure, or even a delay, could cost the Herzog even more than that. If Chelor’s at risk of losing his head, he wouldn’t have any problem offering Ivid the heads of the conspirators in his place.

    “That makes sense, I guess,” Weimar said with a shrug. “How do you understand this so well? Did Lord Roas tell you?”

    What makes you think I needed Lord Roas to tell me? Ma’non’go said, raising an eyebrow.

    “Sorry, I-“ Weimar said, clearing his throat in apology.

    It’s alright, Ma’non’go said. Suffice to say that I learned a great deal about this kind of intrigue and betrayal in X’tandelexamenka. Try to imagine four false friends, men you cherished as brothers, who betrayed you and left you for dead. I’d have died alone in the jungle if Lord Roas hadn’t found me. It’s why I can’t bring myself to speak…the shock, the bitterness…it’s not unlike what Airk’s going through right now.

    All Weimar could think to do was pat Ma’non’go’s arm sympathetically

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    Re: The Silver Wolf-For Crown Or Country: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword (Score: 1)
    by samuelddarden on Wed, November 27, 2019
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    I believe that the pen is stronger. We are living in a modern age, its all due to the kindness of words not sword.. play prodigy game for free  to improved student current knowledge and ability in Math. Once you download the game your kids will surely look forward to their next study time! 

    Re: The Silver Wolf-For Crown Or Country: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword (Score: 1)
    by alfredlan217 on Mon, September 06, 2021
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    This is very interesting and great! There are good moral from the story! Thanks! call us

    Re: The Silver Wolf-For Crown Or Country: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword (Score: 1)
    by chrisjohn2211 on Thu, November 04, 2021
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    It is very wonderful! I like the plot and it is very good. Thank you! hvac columbia

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