Excerpt from FISKUR: Book Two of The Gemeta Stone
Some of the color had drained from Kristan’s face, but he shook his head again. Daazna stepped to the door and threw it open. His commander, together with a cluster of soldiers, still waited in the hallway. “Come here, and bring two guards,” Daazna said, and stepped aside to let the three men come into the room. “See this pretty lad, gentlemen? This is Kristan Gemeta, the heir of Fandrall. I was told he was a weak, fainting little coward, yet somehow he’s eluded us for years, and now, rather than take the soft sentence of joining the Lost Men, he’s elected to taste Gomon’s whip. Take him downstairs, tell Gomon to give him ten strokes, and when it’s done, let me know. I’ll be in my chambers.” He chucked Kristan mockingly under the chin. “Courage, Gemeta. Don’t faint when you see Gomon’s whip.”
“I know you didn’t take it,” Kristan said.
Daazna’s heart gave a great heave, and then seemed to stop beating entirely. “What?”
“The blue glass ball. I know you didn’t take it.”
A flush of shame and rage crawled up Daazna’s face, as if once again, he stood humiliated before Fandrall’s court, clutching the coin that symbolized Robert Gemeta’s pity. “Simeon said I did,” he said. His voice was no more than a croak. “Your father believed I did. Everyone in the castle thought I was a thief.”
“You were done an injustice,” Kristan said. “And for that I’m sorry.”
Daazna slapped Kristan so hard that only the guards’ grip kept the young man from falling. “How dare you?” he hissed. “How dare you pity me? I am the Wichelord. I killed your father and took your crown and destroyed your kingdom, and I’ll grind you to paste before I’m done with you.” He spun to the commander. “Tell Gomon to give him fifteen strokes. Now get him out of my sight.”