A lot of well-dressed men were in the room. Silk robes and fine hats they were wearing. Golden rings encrusted with rubies and diamonds were strangling their fat fingers. These were Grian’s elite, the nobles who controlled the Kingdom.
A buzzing noise filled the room with their voices intertwining. All of them were speaking, some shouting, none were listening. Every one of them had something to say and no time to hear the others.
Suddenly, everyone stopped! As if time itself sized to exist, the movement, the shouting, the spitting, everything froze. The blood from the angered nobles cheeks was starting to retract, making their faces look more human.
The King entered the room. Fasach took a seat at the head of the table. The noblemen followed and sat only after he did.
A cold silence filled the room. Tension was building up and one could feel how unsettled all those present were. It was a known fact that King Fasach had no love for the nobles. In his eyes, they were just some uncultured pigs that had no other interest than to stuff their faces with the most exquisite food Grian had to offer and the stories about what some of them were doing to poor young women made Fasach grin with disgust. They would sell their own mothers for profit, filthy pigs.
Nonetheless, he had no other choice than to collaborate with them, as even a King couldn’t rule a Kingdom without the nobles backing him up. It was another sacrifice he had to make for the good of Grian. At least for now, he couldn’t make any moves against them. There was a bigger foe he had to destroy first.
-My dear Lords, I have summoned you today because new information about the assassination of King Craiceann has come to light.
As it has been clear to me from the start, Rioghachad was involved in this despicable act. It appears that the assassin was part of a Guild, Fius Dubh and his orders came from one M.G., a Northerner.
Unrest filled the room. The nobles felt incommodious in their chairs. The simple mention of the name Fius Dubh sent chills down their spines. Many of their predecessors fell victims to these murderers, both from Grian and Rioghachad.
-But, my King, this doesn’t prove that Rioghachad had anything to do with the assassination. Those barbarians killed nobles from both kingdoms in equal measure. Their allegiance is only to gold and silver, nothing else. – a morbidly obese noble protested.
-That is true, my Lord! I do not intend to move against Rioghachad just yet. My aim is this Guild. I want to hunt each of them down and to destroy every memory of their existence. I will spare none that have moved against this Kingdom and my brother. This is why I have summoned you all here.
Let it be known, from this day onward, the Guild known as Fius Dubh is to be considered the greatest enemy of Grian and I shall not rest until this threat is shattered into pieces.
Go back to your provinces, speak clear and long of this news. Arm your guards and send patrols on the streets. I want every household, every barn, and every piece of land in Grian combed. This Guild will be rooted out and its every member will be made an example of.
-Sire, what of M.G.? How are we supposed to find him?
-Don’t worry about that, my Lord, for M.G. I have another plan. He’s mine but he doesn’t know it yet. You go and do what I asked!
-Go now, all of you! It is time for Grian to fight back its attackers and show the world that we are not to be messed with.
The nobles got up and left the room. Some looked quite motivated and determined, but the majority seemed scared. They were fearful of the Guild. They figured that it would be safer for them to leave these assassins alone instead of poking at them. After all, a lot of noble heads fell at the hands of the Guild.
King Fasach remained in the room as the last of the nobles left. His plan was now in course. He made the nobles aware of the enemy. He knew how scared they were of these assassins and he planned to feed off that fear. Fasach knew that the nobles will mobilize their entire forces, not out of loyalty for Grian, but out of fear for their own heads.
This had two distinct advantages for him. First, he didn’t need to send on the hunt in the entire Kingdom The Royal Guard, meaning it could be used for other purposes. He already handpicked a team made up of the best soldiers in Grian to send incognito to Rioghachad in an attempt to search and destroy the base of operations of Fius Dubh.
Secondly, he could see how every noble reacted to this news and how they will work in their provinces. Teams of the Royal Guard were already sent to every province to aid the local forces, but they will also report back on how the Lords and Governors enforce the hunt. Fasach will have an eye on every noble that way.