“Wait,” Stigander rumbled.
Everyone froze, looking at him expectantly.
“There is still one order of business. You two.”
The two men who had brought Runa to them stiffened, although they did not – quite – yelp.
“You are sworn to Ulfr, the son of the Weaver, are you not?”
“Y-y-yes, sir,” stammered the one who had done most of the talking thus far.
“You now stand before Stigander, son of Raen, rightful ruler of these lands. Will you forswear your false lord and swear to me?”
They stood staring at him, the muscles in their jaws working, but no sound came forth.
“I would be willing to overlook much, were you to renounce the usurper and join us in our fight.”
One of them looked like he was about to choke on his tongue. Finally, he exhaled loudly. “We cannot, your lordship. We are compelled.”
Stigander nodded brusquely. “Bind them…
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