A Record of the Delfinian War

Book Three: In the Shadow of the White Tower

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Peilzen sends a messenger to tell Woll to surrender or his father will be killed. Earl Fernan is being kept in the North Tower, a high-security dungeon in the innermost circle of the Coral Castle grounds. Woll can't leave his army, so he asks Lee to try to rescue his father on his behalf. Lee takes Sharmian and a Royal Army commander she captured. Using the commander's position to gain entry to the North Tower, Lee overpowers the guards and frees the earl.

Sadly, Fernan had been gruesomely tortured and won't survive another day. While Lee cares for him, taking shelter in a small village, Sharmian fetches Woll to see his father for the last time. Fernan insists that, no matter what, Woll mustn't let Peilzen succeed. After his father passes away, Woll swears to kill Peilzen in revenge. The general and Nashias are concerned that his anger will cloud his judgment, but Lee supports him, relating that a similar thing happened to her. Woll's army engages the enemy forces surrounding Fort Maleba, winning the first battle against superior numbers.

Grand Chamberlain Brooks tells the king's allies in Coral that his investigation confirms what Peilzen said. To all appearances, Woll was switched shortly after birth with King Doluwa's son, who then drowned in his mother's arms. The only one who knows the truth about the switch is the castle's headwoman, yet she maintains that Woll is the rightful king, against all evidence to the contrary.

Baluro can't honorably support Woll if he's not truly of royal blood. He pays a visit to his best friend, Nashias, and tries to persuade him to abandon Woll before being branded as a rebel. Nashias refuses, saying he can't back out at this point, and they duel over it until Lee interrupts. Woll is also informed of the switch, but he doesn't care about being king anymore. All he wants now is revenge for his father's death.