Tainted Victory – Chapter 8, Part 1 (Page-a-Day)

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Chapter 8: The Fallout 

Following the chaotic couple of minutes the whole party reconvened in the king’s war room on the third floor of the castle. It sat directly above the king’s throne. It was a large room with a singular round table. Tapestry hung from the wall. Windows looked out onto the courtyard and ruined the city below. On a good day the light from outside would make the colored bricks and tapestry pop. This was not a good day. The sky was a ruined gray overcast. One look would tell you it was as cold as it felt outside. The party lit candles and placed them around the window sills and along the seats of the table. 

They placed the dragon’s egg at the center of the table. It sat on the same runic throw pillow from back in the vault. The rainbow scales brought out an array of colored lights from across the walls. It was a sight they never had seen or could describe until now. Reds and blues intersected into a purple. Blues and yellows fused into a greenish hue  

Siguard sat in the corner of the room. His body tied and chained to one of the sturdy chairs. He was still out. His head was slumped forward and resting on his chest plate. The gases kept him out longer than Hugh thought. Even with that everyone in the party kept a distance from his unconscious frame. 

The air between the party was stale. Everyone took a seat around the ornate table. Goblet was the only one slouching and readjusting himself. Everyone else kept their eyes wide and heads oscillating. Hugh placed a messenger bag on the table and removed the knife he had taken out of Raisor and laid it on a cloth. He took the dish with the scales and placed them next to the knife. He then removed a magnifying glass and tweezers and placed those on a second cloth.  He picked up the bag and placed it back at his feet. 

“Who would like to go first?” Olivier asked. He had his staff resting across the arm rests of the chair. He placed his wrists along the staff and let his hands dangle off the side. 

Hugh raised his hand. “I feel I should,” He said. “I examined the body. Specifically the wound we predict was the fatal blow, and then the hands after Goblet noticed that his hands were burnt in some way.” He stood up, then grabbed the knife. He held it between his hands to show he was not going to attack. “From what we saw upon finding the body Raisor was stabbed with this knife and bled out. That remains consistent. He was indeed stabbed. The only piece of information that is new was that if you look at the wound it appeared to have been twisted.”

“Why would you do that?” Claudia asked. “Stabbing is stabbing, right?”
    “Twisting the blade,” Hugh demonstrated twisting the knife blade, “opens the wound to make it harder to patch, and makes you bleed out faster.”


“What about the burnt hands?” Evelyn asked. She quietly massaged her singed hand under the table. 

“Good question.” Hugh picked up the bowl of dragon scales. “I pulled these off of Raisor’s hands. They were embedded in the burn marks.” He handed the bowl to Goblet. Goblet scooted the bowl down the circle. “Using a magnifying glass I could compare the scales in the bowl to the material this egg is made out of.” He pointed to the radiant stone in the middle of the table. “They match. I also used some chemical tests to make sure it was indeed dragon eggs.” 

“Well I’ll be,” Olivier said. “It really is a dragon egg.”

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