The Empire Chronicles-Irayan of Stanyshaul Part 2 By: L. Craig Woods By: L. Craig Woods


The Empire Chronicles
Irayan of Stanyshaul
Part 2
By: L. Craig Woods

Editor's Note: If you have not yet read Part I of this story, please go to the Fantasy archive and look up last month's issue, first. Thank you. TDS.



Part II


Sometime later that evening, Theobold was in his quarters making a list of priests that he needed to contact in the outlying provinces, when he heard shouts from the courtyard below his window. Shortly after that, he heard people running down the corridor beyond his door. Sighing heavily at the interruption, he got up from his chair and made his way to the door. Stepping into the passage, he stopped a monk who was hurrying past and asked what had happened.

"Master Theobold," the monk cried, "a most terrible accident has transpired!"

"Indeed," he said, calmly. "What happened?"

"Prince Valyrae has fallen from his balcony and lies in the courtyard, below."

"How tragic," Theobold stated, without emotion. "I should see if I can offer any assistance." The monk agreed and hurried on ahead, while Theobold took a more leisurely pace down the stairs and into the courtyard, smiling to himself as he went.

He found that a crowd had gathered around a dark, unmoving lump which lay on the damp flagstones. Theobold pressed his way to the front of the crowd, until he could see the body for himself. Valyrae was no doubt dead; his body was twisted into an unnatural position on the flagstones, his head split open like a ripe melon, with gore spreading slowly across the stones.

Theobold heard people in the crowd murmuring about how Valyrae had been drinking heavily before retiring to his rooms, how he must have stepped out onto his balcony for a breath of fresh air to perhaps clear his head, how he must have moved too close to the low stone railing around the balcony and had lost his balance. The results were obvious: a tragic accident.

And a job well done, thought Theobold.

He decided that it was time to make his move. Noticing a Captain of the Guard standing nearby, Theobold went up to him. "Captain," he said to the man. The captain turned and was somewhat startled to find the First Priest addressing him.

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About the Author

Mr. Woods began writing rather late in life, but was always fascinated by the 'Cliffhanger Serials' that used to be shown before the main feature at movie theaters in the '30s and '40s... Click here for full bio
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