|“||It's hard to stay calm when you're terrified, helpless, alone, at the mercy of men with no mercy at all.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Inquisitor Sand dan Glokta1 walks down the gloomy hallways underneath the House of Questions, the headquarters of the King's Inquisition, the agony of each step a reminder of his horribly crippled body. Eventually, he comes face-to-face with a truly ghastly obstacle, a small flight of stairs. Despite a fall, he makes it to the bottom and to the door of his interrogation chamber. Inside the white-walled, blood stained room sits his prisoner, Salem Rews, a fat, naked member of the merchant Guild of Mercers, who has been evading the King’s taxes. Next to the prisoner lurks Practical Frost, Glokta’s assistant muscle.
The interrogation is barely underway when it's interrupted by the arrival of Practical Severard. Severard calls Glokta away to meet with his boss, Superior Kalyne. A bit priggish, Superior Kalyne berates Glokta for his overzealous pursuit of the Mercers, who up to now have been able to operate with impunity relative to the crown. Glokta notices the fine furnishings in the Superior’s office, and surmises that Kalyne is complicit in allowing the merchant’s writ of freedom. The Superior seems on the verge of throwing Glokta to the wolves, when Practical Severard saunters in with a chest of confiscated Mercer gold. Eye’s wide with greed, the Superior’s relents and Glokta escapes with just a warning.
Before Glokta can get back to his interrogation, he is interrupted yet again, this time by Arch Lector Sult, the overall head of the Inquisition and one of the most powerful men in The Union. As the conversation develops, the Arch Lector reveals elements of Glokta’s past. He is a nobleman, a former champion fencer in The Contest, and a Union war hero; a man once destined for greatness. However, he was captured in the war with the Gurkish, and tortured and broken for two years. After he was released in a prisoner exchange, the only option open to him was the Inquisition, where he has slowly risen through the ranks. At the end of their heart-to-heart, the Arch Lector orders Glokta to add another name to Salem Rews’ confession - Sepp dan Teufel, the powerful Master of the Royal Mints.
Glokta finally returns to his interrogation where he finds the Rews' tongue loosened. Rews pens his confession, including Teufel. But, a torturer’s work is never done; tonight, Glokta and his Practicals must arrest Sepp dan Teufel.2
|Sand dan Glokta||Sepp dan Teufel|
|Arch Lector Sult|
Locations and Terms Edit
|Adua||The Union||House of Questions||King's Inquisition||Guild of Mercers|
|The Gurkish Empire||The Contest||First Gurkish War|
- Glotka, ladies and gentleman. He's pretty screwed up, right? His legs barely work, he missing all kinds of teeth, his spine is crooked, and he’s got some severe nerve damage. The author gives us a man who truly has nothing to lose. Death would be a relief from pain. What is such a man capable of?
- There's a nice little foreshadowing near the end of the chapter where Glokta says "That
swine [Salem Rews] won’t last six weeks in the North."