|“||The Open Council, voting for our next king. A few hundred self-serving halfwits who can’t be trusted to vote for their own lunch without guidance.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Glokta is woken from a dream about Shickel, by Vitari. He has been summoned by Arch Lector Sult. Vitari leads Glokta into the Agriont, and then into the palace. The pair are admitted by the Knights of the Body into the royal family's wing.
Vitari motions him down a corridor where a sobbing guard and three troubled men are standing; Chamberlain Hoff, Lord Marshal Varuz, and High Justice Marovia. All of them seem shaken as they move aside to allow the Inquisitor inside. The chamber is opulent, even for the palace. In the centre of the room stands Sult, frowning at the floor which Glokta observes is covered in blood. The corpse on the floor has a gaping wound on one arm and its throat mauled, as though they were bitten. Crown Prince Reynault has been murdered.1 Sult reveals the true problem; the King has no siblings and with now no heirs, when he dies his successor will be elected in the Open Council,2 a body that does not hold the Inquisition in high regard.3 Recognizing their vulnerability, Sult orders Glokta to find the Prince’s murderer immediately.
Examining the body, Glokta sees an Eater’s handiwork; or at least the killer meant it to seem that way. He notices a piece of cloth clutched in Raynault’s hand, a square of white cloth and gold thread. Glokta recognizes it; a clue too obvious to ignore or to trust.
In the interrogation room, Glokta confronts Ambassador Tulkis with the crime.4 Tulkis denies his involvement, claiming the schism between the Emperor and the Prophet has led to this attempt to frame him. Glokta still demands he sign a confession. Tulkis refuses, knowing it would lead to war. However, Glokta surmises that if Tulkis really were an Eater he would never have allowed himself to be captured. Knowing the man before him is guilty of nothing, Glokta retires to speak with Sult. Sult laughs off his reservations and demands he just get a confession. Someone must pay for the murder and swiftly.
After obtaining the signature, Glokta asks Severard to find the Knight of the Body who was guarding the Prince’s chambers during the murderer. The truth is something Glokta cannot ignore.5
|Sand dan Glokta||Prince Raynault||King Guslav the Fifth|
|Practical Shylo Vitari||Ambassador Tulkis||Uthman-ul-Dosht|
|Arch Lector Sult||Practical Severard||Khalul|
|Chamberlain Hoff||High Justice Marovia|
|Lord Marshal Varuz|
Locations and Terms Edit
|Adua||The Union||Agriont||Knights of the Body||Open Council||Inquisition|
- Was Prince Raynault killed because he would actually have been too good of a king?
- The election rules are basically as follows. The Open Council is made up of the nobles from each of the territories of The Union. Each member of the council has one vote. Theoretically anyone in The Union can stand, who can realistically garner the support of enough nobles. Members of the Closed Council cannot stand to ensure impartiality, and do not seem to have a vote themselves. This doesn't stop the Closed Council from "influencing" nobles to vote for their preferred candidate; and their preference is a weak candidate so they can maintain their power.
- The Inquisition is disliked by the Open Council because many of the nobles lost money in the desolation of the Guild of Mercers.
- This is a nicely constructed conundrum, with enormous consequences and no easy solution. If The Union hadn't killed the Ambassador would the war with the Gurkish have happened, and would the schism between the Emperor and Khalul have widened. The crime isn't investigated properly due to the need for political expediency. Sult doesn't really care about the truth or is too busy trying to rig the election to give it a second thought. Other than Glokta, the only other person who might care who the real culprit is, is Marovia, but given the confession he can do little.
- Despite Glokta's flaws - he tortures, he's self-pitying - his desire to know the truth, is something that makes him rather laudable.