The next morning, Svert had a rude awakening.
Ten armed guards kicked down his door, and had him surrounded before he was fully awake.
“Get up boy, the Council wishes to speak with you.” said the one at the door.
“Good morning Captain, always a pleasure.”
They marched him down to the lower level, the whole time Svert’s mind was racing, why was the council summoning him? Had Zoldák failed? Was this finally his chance? The guards pushed him through the large doors of the chamber and shut them behind him. Svert walked into the center of the room and stood in the darkness. Neither the candles nor torches were lit.
‘They must be worried about me.’ Svert thought with a self-satisfied smirk.
“Do you know why you are summoned before this Council?” said a voice to his upper right.
“Would it have something to do with those trees I destroyed yesterday?” Svert asked mockingly
“Silence!” the same voice shouted “the Council does not care for a stand of dead pines. We have called you here for a more serious matter.”
‘Yes! This is my chance!’
An amused scoff came from his high left “Oh, no Svert. This isn’t what you think, Zoldák has yet to fail or succeed. No, this is about your little spy. Bring him in!”
Dra was dragged in by two guards, he was in the form of a skinny black dog. Muzzle and legs bound by barbed chains, enchanted so he could not shift back to human.
“I’m sorry Svert, they found me.” said Dra.
“Yes, we found him and will punish him in due time. Now that that is taken care of, we can discuss what you are really here for.”
“You mean there is more? Having my friend bound in chains isn’t enough?!” Svert shouted.
“Compared to what we could do, chains are nothing. You can attest to that can’t you?”
Svert took a step back.
“Good, now we have an assignment for you. If you complete it, your friend will not suffer as much as he normally would. Complete it, and he goes free. If not… well, you can imagine.”
“Fine,” Svert growled, “what does the Council wish me to do?”
“We do not wish anything.” The voice from high center said “We order you to quell the talk of rebellion in the city of Finás.”
“I see, you point me in the opposite direction of where Sovos is, so I’ll stay out of Zoldák’s way.”
“SILENCE! Do as the Council orders and your friend goes free.”
“So, I go to Finás and kill a few people, is that it?”
“No, the will of the Council is this: the talk has inflamed all of the people against us. Destroy the city and everyone in it. We give you permission to do whatever you wish when you are there.”
“You’re not just saying that are you? To give yourself an excuse to kill me later if I do?”
“IMPUDENT BOY!! The greatest of storms announce themselves with the smallest of breezes, do as the Council commands!”
‘Those who have power will do anything to keep it I suppose.’ he thought.
“Very well, I shall do the will of the Council .”
He turned and stormed to the doors without looking at Dra. Without Dra, he wouldn’t have eyes and ears on the Council, that would be a problem in the future.
“Svert, you will come back for me, won’t you?” Dra asked.
Svert didn’t reply. He hated to admit it, but they had given a perfect task, just the thing to release all of the anger he felt. It had been far too long since he had been let off his chain. His mind was already picturing how Finás would look as a pile of ash and soot near the sea.