From Sureshot the Assassin

In this scene, Prince Rothan arrives at the keep in Harmon where his friend Durbar, The Sureshot, is being held and tortured. He confronts his father and brother about Durbar’s arrest.

Rothan did not disappoint his brother. The very next day he arrived in Harmon and headed straight for the keep. It was nightfall when he reached the city, and found his family eating dinner.

He stormed through the doors of the keep and stomped toward the dining room making a clatter every step he took. He was still wearing his riding boots, dressed in his leather armor, and was armed with his sword. His men tried to keep up with him but lagged behind. He flung open the doors of the dinning room and searched the room for his brother. The servants sensed that a family feud was about to take place, and scattered. Orthan spoke out first.

“What is the meaning of this!” he roared. Rothan ignored him and addressed his brother.

“Why have you arrested my friend?” he bellowed. Warren was shrunk back in the face of his brother and so appealed with his eyes to his father. Orthan stood up to overpower his son’s fury. “Get out of here! How dare you barge in here with these demands while we are eating. Go change your clothes and remove your sword. Do not ever come in here like that again.”

“I am not leaving until I know under what charges you have removed my man from training and brought him here!” shouted Rothan unshaken by his father’s commands.

“Treason,” answered the Duke calmly and confidently.

“Treason? He hasn’t committed treason.”

“Yes he has. But you were so taken in by him that you did not even know it. He has plotted to assassinate me, as well as you and your brother. If you had eyes you could see it too. Ask your brother,” Orthan said motioning to Warren who was still seated. Warren did not miss the opportunity to side with his father against his brother.

“It is true brother. He and his father plotted to kill us and take the seat in Harmon,” said Warren

“How would they do that—they are not royal?”

“Durbar is,” explained Warren. “He is our cousin.” Now it was Rothan who was stunned. He straightened up and relaxed his arms. He broke his glare with his brother and stared for a moment straight ahead not focusing on anything in particular. His mouth fell open and he took one step backward as though blown over by a gust of wind. He rested his hand on the palm of his sword but it was not an offensive move, but rather a natural reaction of the news as Rothan paused to consider it.

“How did I not know?” Rothan asked calmly, regaining his wits.

“Because he deceived you my son,” said Orthan approaching the prince with his arms open for embrace. “He needed to get close to you in order to carry out his plan.” Rothan considered the charges, and rejected them.

“No! I do not believe it!” shouted Rothan as he eluded his father’s hug. He ran out of the room and into his own quarters to consider what he had learned. Orthan used his son’s disobedience against Durbar, rather than holding Rothan accountable.

“You see. Look what that man has done to my own son. He has turned him against me. What am I going to do with him?” he bemoaned.

“You should watch him father,” suggested Warren seizing his opportunity. “He is liable to side with the bowman. We cannot trust him now.”

Orthan heard his son’s words, but even then he did not wish to drive his older son away. Instead he wanted him to accept the woodsman’s fate, and participate in the hunt for Adar. He underestimated the connection between the two men. While Orthan and Warren returned to dining after the interruption, Rothan decided to see his friend.

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