|“||I have a conscience, but it’s a feeble, withered shred of a thing. It couldn’t protect you or anyone else from a stiff breeze. You could not even guess at the things that I have done. Awful, evil, obscene, the telling of them alone could make you puke. They nag at me from time to time, but I tell myself I had good reasons. The years pass, the unimaginable becomes everyday, the hideous becomes tedious, the unbearable becomes routine. I push it all into the dark corners of my mind, and it’s incredible the room back there. Amazing what one can live with.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Glokta writes to the Arch Lector updating him on events in Dagoska. Carlot dan Eider and Korsten dan Vurms have confessed to conspiring to surrender the city to the Gurkish without a fight. He has not uncovered the assassin who killed Davoust yet, but is confident he soon will. Lord Governor Vurms has also been detained as the father of a traitor, and will be sent back to the House of Questions as soon as possible, along with Inquisitor Harker; neither man has committed any crime, but both are incompetent. The Union has so far repelled the Gurkish, but the worst is still to come with catapults now having been brought into range. Regardless, Glokta assures Sult that The Union will hold firm.
Next, Glokta visits Carlot dan Eider in her cell. Vurms has already revealed most of the plot and his head now decorates the gates, but he demands more details. If she won’t tell, Glokta will be forced to start cutting. Her body deflates and she tells her story. The Union and the Spicers administration of Dagoska has been an orgy of greed, incompetence, and oppression of the natives. And in fact, the Spicers are almost bankrupt, having spent massive sums on the walls and mercenaries. Realising that defeat to the Emperor was inevitable, she approached the Gurkish and agreed to help to hand over the city without bloodshed. She offered the governor’s son money to forge his father’s signature on orders to open the gates. When Davoust discovered their plot, she informed the Gurkish of the problem, and he simply disappeared the next day.
Her betrayal, she argues, was victimless. Even with Glokta’s improvements, the city eventually will be lost but now with the loss of countless men, women, and child. Glokta has her sign a confession and asks the only question left unanswered; who is the Gurkish assassin? Eider concedes she does not know. Of no further use, Vitari loops her chain around Eider’s neck and begins to strangle her. As she weakens, Glokta has a crisis of faith and orders Vitari to stop; Eider may still have some use, he argues unconvincingly.
From his room, Glokta observes the Gurkish catapults pounding the city. His servant Shickel steps into the room but he waves her back, admitting he’s expecting a visit from the Gurkish assassin. She responds simply "A visitor, eh?", but her voice is different than before, and Glokta realizes that Shickel is the Gurkish assassin. Glokta can’t help chuckling at the irony that Harker, the Inquisitor he stripped of his rank, was right to have Shickel detained.1
As she moves to kill Glokta, she admits to killing Davoust and eating him. Before she can strike, Severard, Vitari, and Frost descend on her. After breaking bones that won’t stay broken, they wrap Shickel in layers of heavy chain. Glokta has someone new to question.
Locations and Terms Edit
|Dagoska||The Union||Kanta||The Gurkish Empire||Battle of Dagoska|
|House of Questions||Guild of Spicers||Eaters|
- It's interesting to see how often characters are actually wrong.