The Secrets of Kings: Episode 4

7:30 AM

Prince Fell: Brother to King Corbin

October 8, 1384, 3:31PM

“Come in! For fuck’s sake... stop that blasted knocking!” Fell yelled.
Fell looked up as the door inched open. His young servant peeked hesitantly through the door, his eyes alert and attentive as a result of his utter terror of his master. Fell perked his eyebrow in amusement. He knew he was feared by everyone around him. He had earned his hard reputation on purpose and watching how it affected those around him was one of the largest joys in life. “Well are you just going to stare at me or are you going to tell me why you are here, idiot?”
“M...m’lord, D...Duke Cross has arrived from...from Frowena and would like a...a...a word.” The servant’s voice shook and stuttered beyond measure as he delivered the message.
“Well, SEND. HIM. IN.” Fell took the time to emphasize every individual word to further upset his servant. The young man quickly scuttled away to fetch Duke Cross and Fell curled his lips into a devilish sneer. He was incredibly amused by the power he could exercise over those who helped to run his home.

As he waited for his servant to fetch Duke Cross, Fell raised himself from the slouch he had been in and rearranged his body and cloak to take up as much room as possible. It was his prerogative to impart his perceived greatness in both literal and symbolic ways to ensure that no one questioned his position or actions. Taking up space, he had determined, was a particularly effective method of achieving this end.
Just as Fell finished constructing his desired look, the Duke entered the chamber. Fell motioned to the tattered chaise sitting across from him. “What news have you from Frowena?” he asked the Duke.
The Duke’s face fell a bit as he sat in his usual spot across from the Prince. Fell and Cross had grown up together and, as a result, the Duke was fully aware that Fell’s temper was quick to ignite over undesirable news. So, he proceeded with caution.
“I suppose that now would be a good time for me to ask if you prefer the good news or the bad news first.” The Duke replied.
Fell rolled his eyes at his old friend. “News is news, Cross. People should really disabuse themselves of the notion that one piece of good information will in any way soften the blow of another. At the end of the day, I will be happy about one thing and unhappy about another. No ordering of those pieces of information will change that in the long will it?”
Cross nodded slightly, taking deep breaths to get himself passed the belittlement he was being subjected to. “Of course, My Lord.” Although these two were long time friends and typically refrained from such formality, Cross had learned long ago that there were certain instances in which appeasing Fell through recognizing his naturally obtained authority was a way to keep his anger in check. Cross calmed enough to continue. “The  Queen gave birth. It was a Prince.” He articulated slowly.
Fell’s anger rose and infested his entire being. His cheeks and ears began to burn red. He swiftly rose from his seat and began ransacking the room; pulling down tapestries, smashing glass, and knocking over loose furniture. All of his efforts in trying to prevent the production of a new heir had all been in vain. This tantrum went on until nearly everything was on the floor and Fell had nothing much more to disrupt but the quiet, so he screamed relentlessly for another several minutes.
Cross sat calmly as Fell’s calamitous rage unfurled around him. It was not the first time he had seen the prince succumb to the violent whims of his unchecked anger and he had little doubt that it would not be the last. He learned long ago that allowing Fell to just expel his vitriol in a private space was the best thing for everyone. On more than one occasion in the past, he had attempted to calm the prince, only to have Fell escape the chamber in which he originally contained his rage, and continue throughout his home where other rooms and sometimes other people became casualties of his unreasonable fits of outrage.  
Once Fell had spent every ounce of his wrath induced energy, he flounced himself back into his chair, slouching and disheveled. “Give me the good news. And it had better be good, Cross!” He snarled, seemingly unaware of the hypocrisy of his previous stance on good and bad news. Fell watched the Duke give a small nod and he leaned forward in anticipation for news that he might actually enjoy hearing.
“It’s the Queen.” He began. “She died in childbirth.”
The Duke watched as the Prince’s slimy lips curled into a devilish grin. “Most excellent!” The Prince announced with elation. “One less person in my way and no chance for another.”
“Unless the King takes another wife…”  The Duke began. As soon as the words slipped passed his lips, he began to regret them, however, he also knew that he was one of the only people in the land that was brave enough to confront Prince Fell these kinds of truths. He examined the Prince’s cheeks and ears, shocked to find no crimson.
“My brother is loyal to a fault. I would be more surprised if he took another wife than if he did not.” He stated. “Especially now that the late Queen has given him a son… But tell me, Cross, what of our other pursuits in Frowena? Now they are even more important than ever before”
“Well, My Lord, there have been three people placed in the castle who will be feeding us information for the foreseeable future. Two of these individuals are in positions that have a certain degree of access to the royals. We may be able to use them if and when the time is right to move our cause in a certain direction…so to speak.”
“Most excellent.” Fell responded. He rose and stepped over the wreckage of his previous tantrum, moving toward his drink table, one of the only pieces in the room that remained undisturbed by his rage. He poured two generous glasses of ale and brought one to his long-time friend, raising his own in a toast. “To a new phase in our plans for Frowena.”
The Duke raised his own glass and touched its rim to the Prince’s.  “To the next phase.” He echoed.

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