There was a hard knock on the door leading to Dax’s study.
“Come in, Gavon.”
As the door swung open Dax could plainly see that it wasn’t his dutiful assistant. Consulate Seneschal Archeusio Rex’Amon burst into the room in a flurry of white robes, his face lined with anger. Several men in heavy scale armor followed Archeusio into the room, their weapons drawn and gleaming in the lamp light.
“Dax, you have failed to contain the Pergisurcians as we ordered. They have fled Bestheda Garrison and are now running rampant, turning the populace against us! How could you have let this happen? The Consulate demands answers or you’ll hang for this!”
Dax stood slowly, meeting his accuser’s gaze.
“Archeusio, need I remind you that there are to be no drawn weapons in my presence? You presume to enter my home in the dead of the night demanding answers by swordpoint?” Dax motioned to the men behind Archeusio. “Do you ingrates even know who I am? I am Dax Orbidal, Grand Arbiter of The Consulate. I am the settler of disputes, the master of war, and my command is unequaled…”
Archeusio cut him short. “Except for The Six. Your command is granted by their grace and favor alone. Gloried Elder Markus Endrok hasn’t returned from the south yet and the Imperius has gone missing. The last communication we received from the Imperius is quite damning, if I were you I’d beg for my favor now before you incriminate yourself further.”
“Quit mincing your words, ‘steward’. Why would I require the pathetic favor of a worm such as yourself?”
“The Imperius was attacked! We lost one of our flagships to Linden, another shining beacon of yours that you failed to smother. Markus may be dead, and it’s on you! They haven’t even located the ruins yet, we just know that the ship was obliterated in the swamps by some sort of ‘super weapon’ on Linden’s ship. A ship, I add, that you commissioned to have built in the first place. A ship, I add again, that was stolen out from under you at the very moment of its completion! A ship, I add now thricely, that was designed by and was carrying the Mechromancer! Gods only know what he did to it afterwards. Do you have any idea what this means?! The Six do.” Archeusio’s eyes were wild with fury and his thin lips curled into a sinister smile. “It means that you have been stripped of your titles and lands and are now my prisoner!”
The three armored men were on Dax in the blink of an eye, the brawl short but bloody. Dax struggled feebly, his senses muddled from the pain spreading from his now broken jaw. They locked the manacles and gave Archeusio the key, then hoisted Dax abruptly to his feet.
“I, Archeusio Rex’Amon, hereby declare in the name of The Six that Grand Arbiter Dax Orbidal has been accused of treason by virtue of negligence and that he is to be stripped of his property and titles, at which point he is to be remanded to my custody until which time he can stand trial for his crimes.”
Three more armored men were waiting just outside the room.
“You three, take him to my airship and lock him to the ring in the floor. The rest of you have done a fantastic job and well, it looks like you’ve earned a tasty reward. Dax has two children downstairs, an older daughter and a young son. I think the boy would make for excellent target practice. As for the girl…” Archeusio looked over at Dax. “How old is she Dax? If I remember correctly she’s turned fifteen recently. Well, I trust I don’t have to explain to you fine men what a fifteen year old girl is good for.”
Dax struggled against his captors but was silenced by the crash of a scaled fist to the remnants of his jaw. He fell limp.
Archeusio eyed the room savagely.
“Take what you want but burn the rest when you finish. We leave before the sun.”
Watching from behind the bookcase Gavon knew what to do.