The skald lightly strummed his sitar as the crowded inn began to quiet down. As he gently played a light tune, his voice rang out and began to tell the tale of the fall of Volo Iverzech and his attempt to kill Ambassador Zhuge Liang cherished hero of the people.
Black was the heart of Volo, as a Lord of Freyrdawn. Working his people and servants harder then anyone else for half the benefits. Not few were the people who broke or died under his lash. It would probably still be this way if it wasn't for the arrival of the Exalted ones. Initially Volo hid his vile nature well and with numerous threats the exalted ones, did not notice his deeds at first. It was not until the raid of the horselords that killed many people and burned our crops did Zhuge Liang come and personally see his deeds. Zhuge was a firm but kind man and the suffering we endured was lessened by his deeds as we struggled in the aftermath of the raid. It was then Zhuge noticed the people who worked under Volo on his lands and ship were treated cruelly. Zhuge rebuked him and refused to give him aid for his deeds. As a lesson he did not punish him further but many of his people left and went to work for others. Volo hatred for his rebuke grew against Zhuge. Even though he helped save us and got justice for our people Volo's hatred seeped further into his bones. This was the first day he began to plot to end Zhuge Liangs life.
For six more months he seeped and wallowed in his hatred instead of improving himself and seeking to become better. To become worthy of praise not scorn. However Volo poisoned his soul and hardened his heart. Against such a virtuous ruler he plotted to lure Zhuge Liang to his home get him drunk and attempt to kill him. He waited until the exalted ones came to visit Freyrdawn again. They threw a banquet to honor and speak with the Lords of the city. Volo was cunning but he bathed too deep in his hatred and eventually left the party early after he was given an offer in private to reconcile and show he had learned how to be a better ruler. He said harsh words and abruptly left the party. Once Zhuge was informed he rushed out as soon as the formalities ended. Bringing excellent wines with him he went to Volo's home to see him. He was led into Volo's study where Zhuge Liang began a discussion with him to see why he was vexed so to leave such a joyous party. Volo feigned ignorance and began to share cups of wine with Zhuge that he brought. After one bottle was finished as Zhuge began opening a second bottle Volo Struck! He used Thick Vile barbed silver hooks longer than a man's hand and struck Zhuge in the back! Shocked Zhuge tried to turn to See what happened and Volo struck again another hook was swung with an even crueler strength slamming it into Zhuge Liang's chest perilously close to his heart. The steward of the house hearing the commotion came in and was shocked at the scene. Volo snarled for him to help but the servant rushed him instead. A savage swing to the leg caused the steward to fall and the second punctured his skull and ended his life of the brave and loyal servant. Volo you have done something that can not be undone! What grievance do you have to so savagely attack me and kill your servant. Although in great pain from the surprise attacks Zhuge Liang was ready now. A short scuffle later a third hook was lodged into Zhuge Liangs side but he was able to fire the Divine Lightning of Raikiri into him and took his life in turn. Having lost much blood and having Volo's body fall on him from this death lunge thet collapsed on the floor together. His compatraits saved him and made sure the wife of Volo was not harmed and safe.
The greatest part of the story however was the next day bringing the head of the assassin Zhuge Liang heavily wounded proudly stood on stage in the town square and gathered the people together. His words that day still resound in the souls of all those who heard it. Let me tell you now of his words.
Fellow citizens of the Sol Empire. I come before you in this sorry state in great shame and sorrow. Last night I was reminded of how lacking in capability I am in helping rule the Sol Empire. Lord Volo attempted to assassinate me last night as I went to try to ease a grievance in his heart. While three silver hooks of cruel design have wounded me his treachery and hatred scarred my soul. I come today to ask forgiveness from you all for being a ruler that is so poor that even his own people would raise their hands to kill him. I know I am inadequate, which is why I have strived to do great things and small things to make all of your lives better.
We stopped the Dis together, We defeated the horselords, rebuilt from the razed fields, built and are building new cities and homes for all, brought food, medicine, clean waters, removal of sewage, increased trade, Built the powerful southern wall, and so many other things together. We have broke bread and drank wine, shared in our sorrows and victories together. I believe this is what good and righteous rulers do. I have not suppressed your gods nor have we forced any upon any of you.
I mention all of these things to you today, for as I have said, we share our joys and sorrows together. People of Freyrdawn today my soul is wounded, heart broken, and flesh cut. Today we lost two people one brave and served, the other a Lord who let a lesson consume him into hate. For not catching his rot early I apologize. I do not know how many of you may have suffered from him but the fact that he did so under our rule is deplorable. I ask today for you to forgive me and pledge together with me that we shall forge ourselves anew. We shall set our sights higher, our morals clearer, our laws in iron, and our resolution to be inviolate. Today I ask you to work with me to make Freyrdawn greater that it is today and a legend that the future generations will speak of in revered tones. Lord Volo's death will not be in vain nor will the brave servant who fought him. Stand now with me for the glory of Freyrdawn and the Sol Empire let us purge our past grievances and together forge a legacy so powerful the gods sigh in admiration, the fae quake on the edges of reality, and the forces that seek to oppress cower before our might! For you all I pledge to give you my all! Long live Freyrdawn may she stand eternal and may the blessing of the Unconquered Sun shine upon our empire from now till the end of days!
With a grimace of pain he raised his right arm as he shouted this to the heavens. I believe truly that day Yu Shan itself trembled from the mighty cries of the citizens as they pledged again their loyalty and resolve to forge the legacy Zhuge Liang spoke of.