We returned to Dhunmoor. A crowd had gathered in the central courtyard. A well groomed man, adorned in silks inlaid with gold trim, addressed the crowd. His voice washed over them.
As we approached, his words reached out to us. He spoke of the misdeeds of our pasts, the shadows of our history. He spoke of neglect for our people. I slipped through the crowd to the man’s rear, when I heard Katara address the man. His double-talk riled Katara to anger. Nix began to speak of our deeds to aid the people as I continued to move unnoticed through the crowd. The man twisted every argument, drawing outrage from the crowd. Wade threatened the man, which he used to draw sympathy from those around. He then turned his speech towards me, of my absence from the capitol, of the name I went by prior to the establishment of Nicenia, of my sins that brought so much death to those I loved and held dear, of those I failed to protect.
“If you have offense with me, then let us discuss them." As I placed my hands on the man’s shoulders, he quivered under my grip.
“Ah, I see you decided to attend after all," he proclaimed, confidently hiding the nerves I loosened. “And just how do you intend to save these people from the retribution that took your tribe? Will you hide in your castle? Will you let them die like so many before?” His words sank deep.
“I have paid dearly for my sins and found atonement in these lands. I patrol the lands and the wilds. I rest among nature and not behind stone and mortar.” I spoke solemnly.
The man continued to twist our words and incite the crowd. Nix attempted to coerce the man to leave, but he refused, proclaiming, “I am the voice of the people! If I am silenced so easily, then who will stand up for their needs?”
Here, Katara steped forward. “Sir, you are hereby under arrest, under the authority of Baroness Katara Hakoda, for misleading the good people of Nicenia, and inciting civil unrest. Warden Akiros Ismort, take this man into custody and confiscate his belongings. Make sure he is fed and generally cared for. A formal trial shall be set before the ruling council at the rising of the next moon.” Katara spoke with an authority I had not noticed before.