Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Question of Viewpoint

11th Byol, YT 331                                                                            a ladder, Old Imperial Hunting Lodge

'Tell me the sources of each thing you or your fellow spies have been told about the names and ranks, purposes and histories of all societies, cabals and persons associated with the true Tzar na Tjlaria' he asked. 'Answers will count even if defamatory.'
It had been dangerous for a moment but Fridthjof had the upper hand now and he meant to use it.  
'For each answer I will give you an item of your belongings that were taken when we arrested you'.
The little witch-woman perched on the ladder a few feet below the trapdoor was fair to look on and had a knowledgeable look to her. He would enjoy playing games with her psyche. With the trapdoor in one hand and others nearby he knew he was secure. The pain where he had taken blows had been easily blotted out. He listened to the answers but concentrated more on not showing signs of how much he already knew. It would be useful to know how much the enemy thought they knew, but far more useful to have this little one at large and in the enemy's inner circles. He was sure that the big warrior who now stood further down the long ladder was contemplating action. But he had clearly been shaken when the Infernals took control of him yesterday And the shock of seeing whatever manifestation Imbirtljan had chosen to show them had also affected his psyche. Fridthjof did not consider him a threat at the moment.  
'Provide information about any other conspirators working for the Usurper which could only be known by a close friend or colleague.'
More information from the little Byzantion wench. Certainly omitting a few names that she considered important. Enough detail to be sure that she had actually spoken with some of these people. Yes, little Helena could be the best one yet. Numbers would not work in spite of what the Imperial Secret Council had ordered at Gylwics. A few key people were far better than hundreds of "living golems"  
'Tell me any useful and accurate information about any notable persons in the True Tzar's service (this will count as two answers if sources are also attributed)'.
Fridthjof had the first surprise in her answers to this question. The names included all of the Imperial Secret Council! He must find an opening to find out the source of these names. Did the enemy have other spies?
'List all cabals, societies, and persons of the True Tzar known to you. List any signs, sigils, or marks associated with each cabal, society etc.'
He judged that they did not have much knowledge. Not enough to pose as a dark brother or mage for more than a short time.  
'Describe any persons in the True Tzar's service.' He would have to make the escape look good. He had authority to release any captives but it wouldn't do to show his hand. He would use the Daous woman to take the note to Dacian. She was useless and whined incessantly now that the warrior had thrown her mate from the clifftop. If she came back she might be useful again. If she went home then he would have something that could be twisted into evidence of disloyalty against both Helena and Dacian.
'Describe each encounter with each cabal, society, etc'
Most of the answers to this question were known. Minor mistakes and serious blunders by incompetents. The business below Gylwics was galling. So much work ruined by this band of spies. But it was a mistake and he had advised against the whole thing from the start. At least the stone-kin Olorin who led them then had fallen from favour since. Clearly they could not yet distinguish the members of the secessionist faction from the dark brothers who had infiltrated it.
The second surprise had been Olvyr Hnufa's direction of the spies to Hring's lair after the encounter at Vadlat Manor. Newly appointed Counsellor and already seen aiding the Tzar's enemies. This was gratifying! Knowledge that could be used against her faction whenever he needed it! How typical of the arrogance of these demon-possessed. Too much self-indulgence and weltschmertz.
'List all persons who have provided this information'
Nothing new here. Clearly hiding some names but then there would be opportunities to find out who. Given enough information about them and he could haunt their dreams too. Once in the dreams of any of these then all of their psyche was his to rearrange too. And when he was finished the Secret Knowledge could command them or the Infernals could punish their disobedience. The mages of Fyhar Gora were still struggling to 'heal' the abductees of Gylwics.
'Describe each person who has discussed these things with you. Prove your knowledge of these persons with personal details'
Again the girl was trying to keep some secrets. Well, he did enjoy breaking down a stubborn opponent.
'List all written sources of intelligence'
So the list of names was found in the village in the hidden valley. Well, the men who guarded that entrance could easily be rounded up and dealt with before anyone else found out and sought to use it against him. Perhaps one of them could be persuaded to implicate another Counsellor before he died. One falls and another rises. Ladders can be used to ascend and descend. Fridthjof saw himself climbing the ladder very high indeed.

1 comment:

Red_Cardinal said...

Very interesting Ross, especially -

"Clearly they could not yet distinguish the members of the secessionist faction from the dark brothers who had infiltrated it." in relation to Olorin.