The angry crowd murmurs in confusion at Scarlet’s entreaty for calm. Several of the louder rabble-rousers are shushed and various half-formed questions are all shouted at once.
“Where is she?”
”Why did you attack her?
“What’s a compulsion?”
As the mob mills about, uncertain what to do, another contingent of troops arrives, led by General Carson. The small man halts his men a few paces back from the unruly townsfolk, keeping them in tight formation with spears ready. His eyes widen in alarm at the sight of the Duchess standing before the mob, trying to calm them, as her sister helps a wounded soldier stumble back from the line.
“Step back from the Duchess and disperse!”, shouts the sweaty man, gesturing ineffectually to the crowd. “Go home before you get hurt!”
The angry murmurs begin to rise again, as do the shouts of outrage.
“We deserve answers!”
”We want to see the Oracle ourselves!”
”She promised to answer our questions!”
Scarlet sighs to herself, marveling at the never-ending idiocy of the men around her. Before she can speak, Armando bursts out of the door and hurries to her side.
“Your grace, please come quickly. Faisal is storming toward the dungeon and demands your presence there. I fear something terrible may be about to happen.”
“Armando, Do you not see that I am occupied!”, the duchess says curtly. “If I do not pacify this riot soon there will be a massacre. Not what our duchy needs after a bloody war! Faisal is a grown man and can handle himself!”
After witnessing the expression on the ranger’s face, the duchess nods her head apologetically for her abruptness and calmly tells him, “But as a precautionary measure, round up the council members and some of the men near by and take them with you to the dungeon. In the event Faisal attempts to jeopardize the life of our prisoner or any innocent bystanders, refrain him by any means necessary.”
Armando nods and as he departs, Scarlet adds. “Armando, whatever problem may arise, avert it quickly.”
With that he takes off grabbing several men with him.
Scarlet takes in a deep breath once more and turns to face the screaming crowd. She gestures with her hands and casts a lightning bolt.
The cries of outrage and anger subside to murmurs of confusion as the mob and troops look up to view the blinding lightning in the sky above them.
“Silence!!!” Scarlet commands, startling the crowd.
The chatter dies and the priestess turns her attention to the General.
“General Carson, if you want to keep your job, order your men to lower their spears. Now!!”
At her command, Carson signals his troops and they obliging withdraw their weapons.
“These people are not a threat. They are upset that the Oracle is incarcerated and are concerned for her well-being. They simply want answers which I was about to give them before you arrived.”
“So you want to know why I attacked her? She charged at me with a blade and would have ended my life. At the time I did what I thought was necessary to refrain her and perhaps in a moment of weakness I may have used more force than needed. Though I never intended on killing her for when she fell, I healed her immediately. We are still unclear whether the attack was meditated or if the spell that she is currently under has influenced her. Therefore she is under our care until the spell is lifted. Until then, she must be restrained for my safety and ultimately hers. We also believe that she has some involvement with the war and we are holding her for questioning. As soon as we receive more information, we will disclose it to the public. Now if you please excuse me, I have a pressing matter that I must tend to…”
As Scarlet orders the guards to close the portal, a protester shouts, “Wait! Where is she?!!”
Scarlet addresses the protestor in crowd. “She is held in a holding cell where she is receiving the required care and protection. She is well fed and has all the amenities she needs. ”
When she turns away from the crowd, several protestors shout in unison, “We want to see her! We want to see her!”
The duchess sighs impatiently. “Very well. She is only allowed one visitor for today. Who wants to go?”
A raise of hands goes up within the crowd. “I want to go! Pick me! Pick me!”
Scarlet chooses a man from the mob. As he pushes his way through the crowd towards the duchess, she tells Keston. ”He has 15 minutes. Search him first and wait for my order before sending him down.”
She then instructs the guards to close the gates and without a moments notice, she hurries down to the dungeon cursing Faisal under her breath.