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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Tanuchan

Werewolf XV: The Name of the Rose

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After a restless night sleep filled with dreams of winds howling and snow fit to chill the very soul Brother Caire wakes early to pray and prepair for the long day ahead.

 

Upon finishing morning prayer the sounds of servants voices raised in alarm causes Brother Caire to rush to the chapter house where he is in time to see several brothers removing the battered mortal remains of Adelmo of Otranto.

 

After a moment's consideration Brother Caire can recall seeing Adelmo doing some illustration work on one of the library manuscripts the previous day. Saying a quick prayer to the grace of the departed's immortal soul Brother Caire moves in closer to those talking trying to discover what befell the poor soul.

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Brother Mathieu is deeply saddened by the lost of his fellow brother. However, he wonders why this fine monk met such an horrid death. With the help of the cook, Mathieu gathers the most herbs he could salvage from the snow and the cold. The chef monk looks at Mathieu and asks the brother about the death.

 

- It is... horrible... I apologies, no words cannot express my feelings accuratly.

 

Brother Mathieu fears that there's foul play at the Abbey. Who wanted Brother Adelmo dead? That's what all the monks have to find out.

 

(OOC: No accusation yet.)

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Brothers Thomas and Joseph, briefly united by the weight of unsaid words, knelt in the chapel without acknowledging one another by sight. Their rosary beads flicked in unconscious agreement, with Brother Joseph leading by the time it would have taken to say "Our Father" aloud, and Brother Thomas silent in the refrain. Their devotions sang together unclogged by voices, upwards from memories of Adelmo the man, Brother Adelmo the questioning spirit, towards heaven. . .

 

The creaking of failing flesh was enough to break the thread. Brother Thibault stepped carefully up to the rail and sank into place beside them. "I can trust you two, my children, not to carry tales," he whispered, "but I felt the evil come into this abbey and mistook it for my own sin. That is the Lord's cross to bear--mine is to keep this evil from spreading further." He glowered at Brother Thomas (smart enough to hide his smarts), "It's a repentance for having ignored the sign God sent me. As I confess this freely in you, I humbly request your aid in my repentance." With a firm grip, Brother Joseph (he didn't know him, but God would) lifted Brother Thibault to his feet and escorted him to the door of the chapel, then returned to the rail and tried to follow the rosary once more, focused wholly on each bead.

 

Face firm, the old monk shuffled along the paths to the blacksmithy. Brother Phillips (God's hand in all things) scraped the edge of a blade with a slashed file, drawing out a series of jaw-grinding squeaks while murmuring a prayer. Slowly the shrieks of the metal faded and the keen edge of a broadsword appeared, tempered with the blessing of Saint George. He set down the good file and blade, stopped reciting, and wordlessly held out his hand.

 

"No hide-scraping knives today, brother," corrected Brother Thibault. "Just tell me how many horses that need re-shoeing have come with the visitors, and how many visitors you saw in total." Brother Phillips held up the proper number of fingers, then returned to the recital and sharpening of the blade. The metal spit sparks as Brother Thibault wandered away, towards a knot of furtive and chattering monks clustered on the flagstones.

Edited by Quincunx

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Brother Rhys finished his worship at prime, leaving the beautiful church of the abbey in deep sorrow and consideration.

 

Who would have done such a thing? Brother Adelmo had seemed such a quiet, kind monk. Surely no soul should see a reason to have harmed, much less killed, this servant of the Most High. And the illustrations that Brother Adelmo had left behind! Why, they were nothing short of magnificent.

 

Rhys decided to take another trip over to the garden. Perhaps he could see about assisting the servants in some of the work there. Gardening always seemed to relax him, to loose the troubles of this world.

 

With a heavy sigh, Brother Rhys walked towards the garden, reluctant to face the thought that one of the abbey's servants had done such a thing, and even more unwilling to consider that one of his fellow brothers. . . no, he could not even bring himself to think it.

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Felipe had gotten up earlier than the other novices to do the extra Matins he'd been charged with for a remark he didn't even remember so news of Brother Adelmo's death reached him rather late.

He passed by a few monks who were quietly discussing the news and trying not to speculate about who could be the sinner hiding among them.

 

"... terrible, Brother Adelmo."

 

"Brother Adelmo isn't terrible, he's a nice man.", Felipe muttered to himself. Unfortunately for him, Brother Gregorius had sharp ears and was one of those to whom punishing Felipe had almost turned into a habit.

 

"Brother Adelmo was no terrible man, young novice. You shall pray two Hail Mary's and two Our Fathers to repent from your sinful thoughts."

 

With a murmured apology Felipe hurried on, starting to worry what was going on, and why Brother Gregorius had spoken in the past tense ...

 

 

OOC : I don't see how I could accuse anyone yet, so no accusation.

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Brother Thibault joined the cluster of monks on the path, nervous copyists for the most part. Brother Caire kept looking over his shoulder back at the scriptorium, and wondered aloud, "We scribes have no reasons to go to the hillsides, we do not gather wild herbs or herd the sheep or work the fields."

 

"That is not always true, brother," Brother Rhys replied. "I had come out here to tend to the garden and remind myself that life still flourishes in these walls. See, even the servants in the graveyard are finding solace in the digging, trees and grass, life everlasting." He indicated Francis and the others, shoveling steadily, and Brother Gulzar looking between the cluster of monks and the servants.

 

"You would not go to the mountainside so soon after you arrived, not after losing your brother monk to the same fate! No, he wasn't killed out there. . .he could have been taken from anywhere," concluded Brother Caire, again looking around.

 

Brother Thibault shook his head. "It would take a strong man to carry a body from here to the mountain, brother, and I am not that man any longer. We serve God with our minds, not our bodies. But these visitors, oh yes, they are strong." He pretended not to notice both monks' outraged looks and the sudden end of muttering amongst the rest of the circle. "What about that furtive Roman? Whose business sent him here? What of that woman, yes that woman, who visits for Adrian and claims to be his sister? And Brother Phillps tells me that he expects even more horses to be stabled in the next days!"

 

"Brother," ventured one of the resident monks, bowing his head deferentially, "I fear that you are just spreading tales--"

 

"It's not tales, it's truth!" Brother Thibault retorted, pointing his gnarled finger. "If I told tales I'd be telling them against those librarians, but they couldn't have done it!" He folded his arms defiantly across his chest and, since no one dared challenge his age, marched off to the scriptorium without even his daily visit to the vellum workshops.

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Brother Adrian is up with all the other brothers.

What his sister had told him that afternoon did not lend itself to sleep anyway.

He has observed the corpse, but refrained from getting close.

When glances were made at him, he left, returning to his bees.

The chamber here was close, and warm, much warmer than his own cell.

But that was what the bees needed.

He poured out a liberal dose of the liquid used to keep the bees thriving in these cold climates and higher elevations.

Then almost cursed himself for having pride in God's works.

He sighed.

Pennance again.

No one would enter the chamber without his careful preparation in fear of being stung.

There was the swarm incident of several years ago that was still talked about.

He removed his bee keeper garb, then his habit, standing naked to the bees.

If he was stung, it was God's will and he would remember the pain and be grateful for the penance.

None did.

He took that as a sign, and spoke aloud, softly.

"Who here could have done such a thing. Was it an outsider?"

He dared not ask if his sister or her entourage had anything to do with it.

"Was it someone of the Abbey? Or someone associated with the church?"

There it was. The buzzing changed.

It was sign.

Adrian began to list names, listening closely for a change.

He goes through the list three times to confirm, three times for the change, before he is sure.

He redresses, checks the hives one last time, then leaves, careful to keep the cold out.

Now, how to convince the others while not revealing how he had figured it out...

 

OOC: I accuse Brother Benedicte.

Because the bees told me to.

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Brother Benedicte, the rumours said. Francis was in a position to know that Brother Adrian had started the rumours, and that seemed like a sin, for anyone believed in sinning. Francis knew better - there were things you did for yourself, which were usually classified sins, and there were things you did for others. Not very many people did things for others, and that included all these self-professed non-sinners. At any rate, Francis wondered what use Adrian could have for saying bad things about Benedicte. Perhaps Adrian had done something himself... but perhaps he knew something that he didn't want to say.

 

Francis did what he could to continue the rumour among the servants, as well.

 

OOC: I'm not saying Vahk's character started out to spread rumours, but I am saying it has *become* a rumour, at least among some people.

 

OOC2: I accuse Cryptomancer - Brother Benedicte

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Brother Gulzar was supervising the servants who were digging the grave; a large group of monks had formed a circle around them.

Every time one of the heavy shovels hit the earth, they flinched; probably hating burials as much as him, especially if they were of friends.

 

The Brothers around him were all whispering speculations about the murderer.

The latest rumours said that it had been Brother Benedicte.

Brother Gulzar ran this name through his brain.

He didn’t know much about the man; he hadn’t seen him around that much yet.

All he knew was that Brother Benedicte was a scholar… didn’t he do something with liturgy and sacraments, yes, that was it.

 

“Hey, you!” He said looking at two of the servants, who were whispering animatedly, “come on, keep going, we want to have this finished before dinner, besides I’ve got more to do than watching you work!”

 

“… why doesn’t he go do that other stuff,” he heard one of the servants mutter. He decided to ignore it. He could understand that this wasn’t a pleasure for them either, and they were doing this job during their precious hours of rest.

 

Whispers floated towards him, “…. isn’t he a friend of Bernard Farhaven, that other scholar? Yes, I saw them together in the library the other day…”

 

Bernard Farhaven, another name he hadn’t heard of yet. If these two were friends, maybe they had done it together?

 

 

OOC: I accuse Cryptomancer - Brother Benedicte. reason: It's a guess, but he's one of the poeple I haven't seen writing yet, and it's guessing at the moment anyways. sorry, nothing personal.

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Brother Caire watches Brother Thibault march off and carefully consider's his accusation before speaking his thoughts quietly to the rest of those gathered.

 

"There is... possibly some truth to the words of Brother Thibault. We do have many outsiders amongst us who might have done this evil deed, yet I am fearful that we may fall to sin should we accuse without proof. The teachings of my own order tell us that it is evil's way to create mistrust hoping to set the forces of good off against one another, and this must not be. Perhaps... perhaps we should all pray for guidance in this matter, that the truth shall be revealed."

 

With that Brother Caire moves off towards the chapel, clearly intending to take his own suggestion literally. On his way, he hears other whispers, some servants accusing Brother Benedicte of falling to do evil's work and a sadness settles on his soul that mistrust should come so quickly to the Abbey. He hurries on to pray.

 

OOC: Still no accusation. I was hoping someone would post something that would influence me and my vote more strongly :( I'll wait for a few more posts to come in I think.

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Though he tries to focus on his beloved manuscripts, Brother Alcott feels restless and his thoughts refuse to settle. At last he gets up and leaves the scriptorium, since there seems to be no help for it.

 

As Alcott leaves the scriptorium, he spots Brother Thibault walking forcefully towards the scriptorium. He steps aside to allow the older monk to pass. Someone must have ruffled his feathers....is it just the usual fussiness or something more? Continuing his path, the quiet monk sees the abbey is busy as usual, but it seems to him there is a more sinister air. Passing through, he hears quiet conversations,and wonders at what he hears.

 

Accusations, suspicions...when did they decide it was murder? And Brother Benedicte... Alcott was reluctant to believe the culprit, if there was one, was a monk, and especially a scholar. He had always respected scholars and their thirst for knowledge, and Brother Benedicte, if a little enigmatic, did not seem like a murderer. But even you thought there was something more going on than just the accidental death of a brother. So...who is it, since that is the most accepted reason? One of the servants...they do not serve God as devoutly as we do... The monk's thoughts trail off, and changing course, he heads for the chapel, intending to pray. Ahead of him he sees Brother Caire, and Alcott quickens his pace to speak with him.

 

"Brother Caire!" Catching up with the other monk, Brother Alcott gladly seizes the chance to discuss the supposed murder. "If I may ask, do you truly think it was...murder?" His voice drops on the last word, for to speak it aloud seems to sully the air of the abbey.

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Brother Thibault slowed after Brother Alcott had passed him, thinking to turn and deliver a blessing onto him, a man of the abbey and a copyist, closest to the deceased and possibly also in danger--but the brother, so scrupulously polite, did not stop. His footsteps echoed in the corridor for a few moments after he left, covering Brother Thibault's surprise. Why, this murder had everyone neglecting their duties! He continued to the scriptorium and confronted the head copyist, who concealed a frown and the accounts page on which he had been writing. "Where is the page poor Brother Adelmo had been illuminating?" asked Brother Thibault.

 

The head copyist stepped down from his stool and walked to a desk away from the doorway, dark with age. He touched his inkstained fingers to the wood. "It had been lying here when I saw it last--the minium dries so slowly. Everyone knew not to touch it for at least a day," he wondered aloud.

 

"It's missing? You let a page of three autumns' ago cowskin go missing?" Onto that dreadful vellum, from the year I was training the new vellum maker, you wasted minium? he silently added.

 

"The librarians might have taken it," mused the head copyist. Brother Thibault spun around before the evil thoughts could reach his mind. For the second time in as many days, he retreated to his cell with spite in his heart, and so agitated that he could not think in Latin:

 

Sire Pere, qui es en caeus, sanctifiez soit li tuens nons; avigne le tuens regnes. . .

 

After forty-one repetitions, a servant came into the room with clean cloths and a clay jar of prepared bryony. Careful not to interrupt, he squatted by Brother Thibault and applied the poultices to his hands while the old monk completed his allotments of prayers. He rose, but Brother Thibault beckoned to him. "Stay awhile," said Brother Thibault, "the prayer has cleared my mind. You are not obliged to this, but would you join me in another prayer, this one for the first innocent to be killed?"

 

The servant started back in fear. "Another?!"

 

"Yes, child. . .the first died on the paths outside of this monastery. Pray for him as you would pray for any lost soul whose name you never knew."

 

ooc: Accusing Brother Rhys.

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Brother Caire pauses in his trip to the chapel as his name is called from behind him. Turning he sees Brother Alcott who catches up, even as the words leave his mouth...

 

"If I may ask, do you truly think it was...murder?"

 

Brother Caire's face grows troubled. "This... death worries me, truely it does. I hear everyone, even Brothers who should know better spouting suspicion and speculation. I greatly fear the hand of the devil has been laid on this abbey and we are going to face much darkness in the coming days. Walk with me?"

 

As Brother Alcott nods his agreement Brother Caire sets off on his interrupted journey to the chapel and he continues to speak.

 

"As to the possibility that poor Brother Adelmo was indeed murdered. I fear that he was. I have not heard that it was his practice to take walks along the cliffs at night so I fear he had help in his demise. I am afraid that I am without direction and not wanting to be influenced unduely by the rumors circulating I have decided to go to the chapel to pray for guidance. Will you join me?"

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Brother Mathieu went back from the kitchen and was drawn by the arguing between his fellow brothers. He sighs and looks for Brother Thibeault for a fill in. After that he reflects for a moment.

 

- I hate doing this, but perhaps this my dear friend, brother Gulzar is perhaps right. I'll trust his judgement.

 

(OOC: A vote against Benedict-Cryptomancer)

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Brother Rys overhears two of the servants whispering as they come out to the garden, and he catches the words "Thibault", "accusing", "Rhys", and "murderer". As they see him looking their direction, they glance innocently to the side, though darting looks of terror back at him.

 

His heart heavy with sorrow, Brother Rhys turns to look back to the mountains from which he had come, far from his native Wales. Apparently Brother Thibault had decided that Brother Maynard of Cwmhir's death had been of his design, and that he had killed poor Brother Adelmo as well. His sorrow had nearly dissipated, to be replaced by feelings he had rarely felt: annoyance, and slight anger. Though he knew that he would probably spend the rest of the day in the church asking for forgiveness, and talking to the confessor, he could not help the thoughts that were going through his mind. Why would this man become so accusatory? Had his age caused dementia, along with having been in this abbey most of his life? Or was this just a sheltered man's fear of outsiders?

 

And all these accusations of Brother Benedicte just astonished him. He simply could not see how all of these brothers could be so zealously accusing one of their own. Surely there would not be a murder. He did not even wish to think about how much more the community of brothers would degenerate if another one of them . . . no,he didn't even want to consider that there would be another death.

 

With these thoughts to accompany him, Rhys left the garden, walking slowly and sorrowfully to speak to the Lord about these disturbing thoughts, and the rumor he had just heard.

 

(OOC:Abstaining from accusing for the moment)

 

Edit: disliked my original wording, typo

Edited by Akallabeth

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Brother Adrian was passing through one of the corridors whenhe came across Good Bennet. The giant noticed instantly that something was worrying the beekeeper. "Fadda Adian, wha's wrong?"

 

It was a sign of how much stress the monk was under that he didn't even attempt to correct Good Bennet's habit of referring to the brothers as "father." "It's all this fuss about Brother Adelmo..."

 

Good Bennet's face clouded even further. "Wha'bout Fadda Admo?"

 

Oh no, Brother Adrian thought, no one's even bothered to tell the poor boy what's going on. The news just spread so fast, it's easy to remember that poor Good Bennet wouldn't understand any of this. After all, I don't think he's ever had to deal with something like this before. As if any of the rest of us have any experience with this type of thing. "Brother Adelmo was hurt sometime last night and he's gone to live with God."

 

"Fadda Admo commin back, right?"

 

"No, Good Bennet, he won't be coming back. Sometimes people get hurt or old and they go to God and don't have to be hurt or old anymore. Do you understand?"

 

"No." The statement seemed less an answer to Adrian's question and more a simple negation. "None fadda gota God. Fadda's stay here. With Good Bennet. Bennet's good. Bennet's been good. Fadda Admo'll come home. Good Bennet tell God." Before Brother Adrian could try to calm Good Bennet, he was already running down the corridor, on the brink of tears.

 

For a moment, Brother Adrian stood there, shocked, trying to decide whether to go after Bennet or to spread the word of God's indictment. God help the poor boy. God help us all.

 

ooc: Abstaining

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Brother Thibault flexed his fingers slowly, half-closing his hand, and smiled. The poultice was working well, and soon his fingers would be nimble enough to again handle a skin in treatment. Although nothing could make his arms strong once more to stretch or scrape skins, and treading in the lye pits was the task of a novice, perhaps he could return to the workshop to powder skins and cut pages. Thoughts of the murder slipped from his mind as he thanked and blessed Brother Mathieu, then turned his steps towards the vellum workshop.

 

On the path, though, the foundling Good Bennet (kept childish by his father's sin) rushed up to tower over him. "Fadda Ti'bo!" he boomed, "stay here!"

 

"What's this, child?" inquired Brother Thibault as the foundling blocked his way.

 

The old monk flinched when Good Bennet laid heavy hands on his shoulders and cried, "Don't go to God. Stay here!"

 

Brother Thibault's face went pale at the blasphemy--"God is here, child. God is everywhere!" he exclaimed.

 

Good Bennet looked upwards in fear. Fear? From this child who knew the Most Merciful and did not flinch before the Most Terrible? "God got Fadda Admo! Make Fadda Admo come back. Make God go home."

 

--and Brother Thibault understood. "Hush, child. No one will take you away from us. Why, it would take three of us just to lift you." He stopped, chilled by his words, and wondered even as he soothed Good Bennet's fears. There were only a few strong strangers, but a much larger number of pairs of people who could carry a body. No one was safe, alone. "Child, I will prove to you that you are safe. Walk with me awhile. I will take you to the vellum workshop and you can crush the dry bones for our powder."

 

"Not allowed."

 

"Today you will be allowed! We monks can't take all of God's good works for ourselves," Brother Thibault finished with a nod. Good Bennet trailed uneasily behind the old monk as they continued along the path to the workshop, and the pair were admitted where neither one could seperately enter.

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"Did you?" asked the boy at the washbasin, rubbing a wooden bowl with the cleaning cloth.

 

"Yeah," replied Francis as he swept the kitchen floor. "What else could I have done? If one of the Brothers asked you to pray, what would you have done?"

 

"Of course I'd pray," was the answer. The boy looked firmly at the bowl and murmered, "I believe in God, why wouldn't I pray?"

 

"Oh yes, I forgot that you believed all that. Still, it was rude of him to ask. Surely he knew that not all the servants do? Surely he knew that none of us would dare to refuse the request? It feels so weird. I mean, if there is a God, I wouldn't want to ask him for anything. Seems a little selfish. He'll either forgive me, or not, and not be affected by any ramblings. Yet all these religious types, they ask God for things all the time. Do they think they deserve better, just because they're born with a fierce loyalty to an unseen force? Their certainty is not born of any holiness... they are not better than us in any way!"

 

The other shrugged. "He is only trying to cleanse himself of his sins. And sometimes, it feels better to pray alongside another. I really doubt he thinks himself better than you, Francis, else he would not have asked for your company. Look, it can't hurt to ask God for forgiveness, now can it?"

 

Francis fiercely attacked a pile of dust with the broom. "I keep forgetting you're like one of them. Why do I talk to you about these things?"

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"As to the possibility that poor Brother Adelmo was indeed murdered. I fear that he was. I have not heard that it was his practice to take walks along the cliffs at night so I fear he had help in his demise. I am afraid that I am without direction and not wanting to be influenced unduely by the rumors circulating I have decided to go to the chapel to pray for guidance. Will you join me?"

 

"Gladly, Brother. Though we are all servants of the Lord here, we are not without weaknesses. I cannot help but think Brother Adelmo's death is not the only sign of the Devil's influence among us. In a state of uncertaintity such as this, I feel the only choice I have is to turn to the Lord for guidance, and have faith." Brother Alcott speaks slowly, still straightening out his thoughts. The two monks approach the chapel and Alcott stops, just before the doors.

 

Brother Caire halts a step ahead and looks back at his fellow monk. "Why do you hesitate?"

 

Alcott opens his mouth to speak, but then closes it. Shaking his head, he says "Nothing. It is nothing. Please, let us continue." No, I cannot voice my suspicions. It would be better to wait until I have received the Lord's holy guidance. Who I am to turn away from God and place my faith in my own thoughts? No, I am but a humble sinner, lost without the Lord.

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Brother Phillips finished the series of prayers and put down the hammer. this sword was already finished, he knew he was just wasting his time. He knew what he should be doing, but still he didn't feel like starting that project just yet. All his years at the abbey, only other time had he been asked to do this particular projecthad been over a 7 years ago and that person had died from old age. He wasn't too comfortable with untimely death, but he had his own reasons for that. Still he had already recieved word that grave had been dug. No use putting it off any further. He grabbed a handfull of nails and went to look for some long boards.

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The news spread soon after Vesper, when the Abbot had chosen to give the news: in about two days there would be two legations coming to the Abbey on secular business. One lead by Michael of Cesena, and the other by Bernard Gui, men who defended the views of two opposite sides lead by the Emperor and the Pope.

 

While the presence of Michael of Cesena was murmured about in tones of respect and sometimes worry for his well being, the name of Bernard Gui brought other whispers as well. Bishop of Galicia, but keeping the activity of Inquisitor, he was feared by heretics and saints alike.

 

 

"For years Bernard was the scourge of heretics in the Toulouse area, and he has written a Practica officii inquisitionis heretice pravitatis for the use of those who must persecute and destroy Waldensians, Beghards, Fraticelli, and Dolcinians." (The Name of the Rose, U. Eco)

 

* * *

 

A monk waits for the Abbot when Compline is over, hood concealing his face.

 

"You, Brother?"

 

"I've sinned, Father."

 

The Abbot nods, and a half hour later the monk leaves, stumbling and with hands covering his face in shame. From the shadows, the Abbot observes with a sad face and, shaking his head, draws a deep breath and leaves for his own cell.

 

May the Lord be merciful and give you strength in your penance, Brother. My lips are sealed, and I will pray for you.

 

 

 

Some of the monks notice the absence of Brother Benedicte from Matin and Laud, and fearful glances are exchanged between the novices. To the relief of more than one Brother, though, he is seen at breakfast, eating alone, and then at Prime. However, as the several monks leave for their alloted duties, some notice that a mule is packed for travel and a servant hands Brother Benedicte his traveling sack.

 

As the monk leaves in absolute silence, ignoring the soft calls of his brethren, the Abbot blesses him and turns to the gathered Brothers.

 

"He leaves in penance, under a vow of silence and led by our Lord's will. We must not speak ill of our Brother, nor speculate on facts that only the Lord understands in full. Let's remember Brother Benedicte's wise words and work here, and pray for his soul."

 

 

But even the Abbot's stern look can't silence all the voices for long, and the day passes with whispers and murmurs being heard with a frequency that would scandalize even the most flexible of the monks.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

OOC: Brother Benedicte/cryptomancer was innocent. His sins, known only by his Confessor and the Lord, have put him under a most severe penance, of which a vow of silence in the mundane world is the only visible sign.

 

It's Night Phase. Wolves/Seer/Baner, send me your targets within 24 hours from this time-stamp. For RPing purposes, you have the whole day ahead of you (from Benedicte's leaving soon after Prime until you retire after Compline). Don't accuse or speculate, please.

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With an uneasy feeling Brother Gulzar watches Brother Benedicte leave the Abbey. The silhouette of the Brother and his donkey stand out black against the fiery sky of a new dawn.

 

When finally all he can see is a tiny black dot he turns around and walks of to the library, filled with guilty feelings.

Maybe if I had been less quick with my accusations...but I did what I had to do...I hope God will forgive me for this....

 

Drowned in his thoughts he walks straight into Brother Alcot, who was just leaving the library.

 

"Brother Gulzar, goodmorning, what brought you here so early?"

 

"I need to look up something on Bryony dear friend. Brother Thibault seems to benefit greatly from the poultice made by Brother Mathieu, and the main ingredient, Bryony, comes from my gardens. But at the moment it doesn't seem to want to grow anymore, and I will try to find out why not.

 

"Maybe I can be of help?, I remember to have seen something on Gods healing herbs the other day..."

 

"That would be great, thanks"

 

Together the monks find the book with the herbal remedies.

 

"I'm sure that you will find what you were looking for in this book." Brother Alcot smiles.

 

"Yes, about the Bryony, yes, thank you." Brother Gulzar turns and leaves the library. He can't help thinking, "...but for absolution only God can help me."

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Inside the workshop, Brother Jehan glared at the stacks of unfinished and unripped vellum, then regarded the nervous old monk and ignorant layman, two people who never so much as spoke together normally. His eyes, accustomed to squinting over defective patches, softened a bit. "Take this, brother," he said, reaching into a dimmer corner and selecting a triangle of cowskin which had been slashed by a careless skinner. "Show Good Bennet all the steps that we use. Have him practice. We haven't that much need of pouncing powder." Brother Jehan pointed his eyes at the mortars and pestles which were smaller than Good Bennet's hands, and Brother Thibault nodded.

 

"Come, Good Bennet. Take the skin," he began, and waited until the foundling turned it over unhappily. "Yes, it doesn't look much like vellum now, does it? It's still bloody, and furred, and dead. But even with all that, it was still part of God's work, and we can change it so that is ready to serve His purpose once more. We need to take this hammer and punch and put some holes around the edge, like so. . ."

 

Instead of the weeks which the process usually took, they performed the tasks one after another ("It weakens the vellum, but we'll ignore that for now"), Brother Thibault droning instructions both practical and religious, Good Bennet working with exaggerated slowness after he ripped out several punch-holes while stretching the skin. Hours later, the cowskin had changed into a rippled, smudged, over-powdered piece of hide, but Good Bennet regarded his first scrap of vellum with satisfaction.

 

"I must go attend to other duties now," Brother Thibault told the foundling, as they exited the workshop and Brother Jehan heaved a silent sigh of relief. "Some day, you can take that to the scriptorium and they will have you make your mark upon it. God bless you, child," and he pointed his poulticed hand to the scrap of vellum before shuffling down the path. Good Bennet put the scrap into his pocket, but immediately took it out again and admired it some more.

Edited by Quincunx

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Adrian returns to the winter hive area, a sheltered place in the monastary.

He is glad the murderer is gone.

He harvests the honey and the wax, humming almost like a bee.

 

Then stops.

'Brother Benedict was innocent?'

'I prayed for an innocent man to be sent away?'

 

He stops and takes what product he has away, giving it to the other brothers who will take the raw materials and complete it into finished products.

As always, he retains his beekeeper outfit on where he could be observed.

There are many rumours why he wears the gauze at almost all times.

He is unbearably ugly.

He is more beautiful than can be said.

He keeps bees with him at all time within the folds of his clothing.

He likes to make faces at you while you are talking to him.

 

No one knows exactly.

 

He then goes to the chapel, kneels in the second most uncomfortable place there (the first most uncomfortable place already being occupied) and prays for guidance, and forgiveness.

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Prayer for guidance had left Brother Caire without answers, but with a sence of peace, an inner sence that the rumors particularly regarding Brother Benedicte were unfounded. It is therefore with some shock and great sadness that he watches Brother Benedicte riding from the Abbey with the Abbot's announcement.

 

As the day moves on in the Abbey and the whispers and rumours return with a vengance, and through it all Brother Caire listens with a very heavy heart and he fears that the devil is not through with this Abbey yet. :(

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