Standing from his chair at the council, Winterborn looked around at his peers with a calm, almost apathetic expression. Someone had run a razor over his face, and he seemed to have slept the night before, at least shortly. "Before the headsman earns his boots, let me recall this to ye all. I voted with the majority, as I was unsure of the ways of this court. You all know that I am but a lad compared to the rest of the council, but I have learned much during my short days here." Lifting his greatsword by the leather belt secured to the sheath, he set it on the table and pushed it away.
"I'll have done with this fightin' and backstabbin'. These politics are no place for me, and all I've done since rising to these lofty heights is make things worse. If ye want me gone, I'll go. Straight back to Aber, and ne'er return ta' court. If it's traitor ye call me, I'll walk myself down ta' the block and set my chin on top, without chains or a sword at my back. My service is to Her Majesty first, my people second, and m'self last. None of you has a hold on me of fealty or debt, nor does any man or woman I haven't mentioned." Again, he cast his eyes over them in a look that was far different from the wary enthusiasm of just a few days before.
"I am no rebel. I have no ambition but to serve mine estate and the people bound to me, and I to them. If it's my head the council wants, fine. There'll be one less man among you who gives a damn about Her Majesty's well-being." He sat again, looking drained. "Make your choice. Live or dead, you'll have done with me."