The Setting of Sirith

Captain Fordrellon had had a wild-eyed look to him when Saul had first met him, and it wasn’t the fact that he was a wuyon’mar that gave that impression. No, he acted like a man possessed — not quite in the manner that Lord Kobold had been — more like… ah, yes, that was it. Like one of his young sons caught doing something wrong, trying desperately to find an excuse that Saul would believe to escape his cuffing.

The captain was even more wild-eyed now, as he rode up the farm lane with a couple of men on his flanks, as if the Beast of Saltern itself was after him. He pulled up his rinaan harshly and then sat and stared at Saul for a good long moment. Saul didn’t quite dare ask him what he was about.

“Where is he?” the captain growled out.

“Where is who?” said Saul, trying to keep his temper. “The Lord Baenarn? He has already come and been gone for a fortnight–”

“No, you fool,” said Fordrellon. “The Zil–the old lord. Sirith. Where is Sirith?”

Saul swallowed, recognizing he was treading on unsolid ground here. Captain Fordrellon had never been quite right after the war, and now he seemed to have finally lost it. Yet, if his scowling companions were anything to go by, this wasn’t the time to knock some sense into that thick paladin helmet of his. “I don’t know what you are talking about,” Saul said carefully. “I–”

“Not Sirith,” said Fordrellon suddenly, cutting him off. “What did that man say — Chard. His name would have been Chard. He may have been in a disguise, so you would not recognize him, but that is the name he took.”

“That’s… not possible,” said Saul, and he gave himself a shake. “Chard is a good boy. Nothing like the old lord. By Carro, we would have known–”

Maybe he had — maybe he had been.

“I’ll be the judge of that!” snapped Fordrellon.

“What are you planning?” said Saul warily. He still couldn’t believe that sweet Chard had been that… that villain… and Fordrellon looked wild enough to murder someone.

Fordrellon clearly struggled with patience for a moment, but it seemed his paladin training won out in the end. “The Lord Baenarn would have me take him into custody. There is to be a trial.”

Saul wondered if this trial would be any more fair than those run by the Lord Kobold had been, but he said nothing.

“Well, man? Where is he? When did you last see him?”

“Not for a fortnight,” said Saul. “He said he wanted a holiday. Man never tells me where he goes and why, and I’ve always honored his privacy. That’s all I can tell you, ser.”

“But you will tell me if he returns.”

Saul eyed the wild-eyed wuyon’mar, his gaze drifting from the mar’s face down to the sword at his belt. It would be a death sentence for the boy if he were to reappear, but if he truly was Sirith…

“I will.”

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