Assassination of King Fernando II

From Dragon Eye Atlas

King Fernando II of Fonticia was murdered in 93 BV while spending a few days in his hunting château. The assassins bypassed most of the guards unseen, killed three of the especially trustworthy and loyal royal guards with poison bolts and, after a brief struggle, overcame the king himself in his bedchamber.

In investigation by his son, Crown Prince Regulo, found no clues in the three days until it was terminated when the council of royal advisors to the late king decided to bring the entire royal family to the safety of a never disclosed castle. Prince Regulo protested initially, but was convinced through the efforts of several councellors.

A second investigation started by the council found evidence pointing to a guild of assassins operating out of Hampy. Relations with the island republic were reasonably good at that time and the assassination put a considerable stress on diplomacy as Regent Quintin Lebeau requested the cooperation of the Hampy government in strict words, threatening war in all but words.

The republic complied and a joint investigation lead to the delivery of seven culprits to Fonticia just two weeks later, a month after the assassination. The seven were tortured in Fonticia and their tongues pulled out with hot pincers before being convicted in a public trial for conspiracy to regicide and attempted sowing of conflict between the nobles houses of Fonticia, allegedly in a plot to weaken the realm and prepare an invasion by Hampy rebel forces keen on restarting the Hampy-Fonticia war.

The leader of the conspiracy, a minor Hampy noble who had been cross with his own government for years, was executed on the spot by the blade. Of the remaining, all were found guilty. Four were executed the next day by emasculation followed by splashing them with hot oil and finally quartering by horses. The remaining two had been found guilty of only assisting the conspiracy and were executed by short drop hanging.

But the event had still to take its full toll on the realm. Fernando's wife, Queen Odette, could not stand the demise of her husband and pulled the crown prince down with her into despair and paranoia. Rumours appeared that a court intrigue and not a foreign conspiracy had been behind the assassination.

Two months after the executions, with the royal family still hidden away in an unknown location, the royal council proclaimed that Prince Regulo had fallen sick to despair and was unfit to rule for the time being. With the wounded realm in dire need of a new king, it proclaimed King Valerian III as the new ruler, cousin to King Ferdinand and the closest relative to the late king outside his immediate family. King Valerian III had not always been in good relations with Ferdinand II, but he took up his duty and brought a number of changes to the realm politics as well as exchanging many court officials and even nobles. These later acts led to further rumours that the entire affair had been a staged palace coup, which ebbed away as the gossipers found no evidence for their claims or themselves in the dungeons.

The royal family emerged from hiding one year later, with Prince Regulo never having recovered from his despair. Only the youngest daughter, Ivette, returned to court, having been married to Valerian's oldest son, who was just two years younger than her and had just come of age. The remaining previously royal family retired to their family seat.