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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Tanuchan

Werewolf XV: The Name of the Rose

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Brother Thibault rarely dreamed. On this night, however, he watched a loaf-sized stone, placed carelessly in the window of the hive room, fall and strike the nose of the wolf who had nudged it aside. No, it had been a dog the last time. . .A wolf, now, in the abbey, fled from the bees which streamed out from the window. Beestings pricked the wolf, and the monks milled around and bleated sheep's cries. In the dream, he stretched his lye-stained but unknotted hands in front of him and, as the beekeeper told him to, picked up the stone--

 

He woke up when he fell out of bed into the freezing night air. From afar, he still heard the beekeeper crying out about bees and stones. Brother Adrian was not in the cells, and why was he shouting at this hour? The old monk looked around his room as best he could, half-blind in the dark, and saw no one. He crept back into his bed and closed his eyes. Whatever had happened could wait until the day had begun--this was no holy hour--and other monks were around so that Brother Thibault would not have to explore alone. He fell asleep again with the first words of a child's bedtime prayer on his lips.

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A shadow slips into the basement of the smithy during the night, and after some time the soft buzzing of a lone bee is heard in Brother Adrian's confinement cell.

 

"Go, Brother. The one who was in vigil outside is sleeping; you know the way out... as you said, the stones on the winter storage are tight but not sealed. Your travel sack is by that wall, outside. No, not a word. I know also your Confessor betrayed you, and it's only because the Abbot's lips are Sealed that you would be handed to the Inquisitor who's coming. The Lord knows you are no heretic, Brother Adrian. Go with His blessing."

 

Brother Adrian looks at the bee that walks on the back of his hand. "Thanks for bringing me some company."

 

 

Early next morning, while the monks meditate, the Abbot talks quietly and almost affectionately to a monk in traveling clothes.

 

"Go with His blessing, Rabano of Toledo... you must look for expiation and indulgence somewhere, as I cannot give you any of them. What you did, you did to save your brothers and all this Abbey stands for. Unfortunately Brother Adrian escaped, but now we know what to look for. You must take care on the road."

 

Both walk through the garden, and soon a sleepy Francis join them carrying a travel sack. They stop at the gate.

 

"Francis will go with you until the next village, Rabano. He will help you, and being far from the gossiping environment of the kitchens for a while will do him good. He bears a letter to the village Head, and he will come back with provisions we need."

 

"Alone, Father?"

 

"No, not alone. But that's not your concern anymore, Rabano. It's time to go."

 

Rabano of Toledo, once a master copyist and respected as one who has been the longest in the Abbey, bows his head and takes his leave, the burden of a broken Seal of Confession heavy on his soul. Francis yawns, and takes his place leading the mule.

 

 

 

As the day goes on, Rabano stumbles along on a path down the mountains. Not used anymore to such traveling, he looks at his water skin, already empty. His thirst increasing, he asks Francis about water, and the young servant remembers a spring along this particular trail.

 

True to his memory, soon Francis points to the spring, beyond a bend in the road, a natural jet coming out of a rock wall and falling into a deep pool, the natural beauty increased by the marble lip, it's utility increased by its capacity. Rabano redoubles his speed at the sight, but even in his great thirst he stops when he sees the sign. It hangs directly above the sprout of the fountain, and how anyone got there to put it against the blank wall six feet above the water, twenty feet down the rockface, is a minor mystery. The greater mystery is what the sign says, faded, starting with a W. The greatest mystery is why his name is on the sign.

 

Rabano stared for a moment, curious and confused, when he notices a noise. A buzzing. Looking around, he comes face-to-face to a monk. With a madman's strength, he grips Rabano.

 

"YOU-Broke-The-Seal," says Adrian. "It's the only way I could have been betrayed."

 

Rabano pales, but before he can say anything Francis yells and rushes in, slamming into Adrian. Rabano is thrown against the rocky wall, hitting his head and falling to the ground, unconscious. Adrian leaps with surprising agility and grabs Francis.

 

"You, such a busybody... always whispering, always paying more attention to other people's work than yours... I know who started the gossip about my bees..."

 

Adrian slams him into the lip of the fountain, which robs Francis of his breath. Then, Adrian holds his head into the water.

 

"And you took me away from my bees, they will die without me." Adrian pulls him up to allow him a breath. "You killed my bees. You bastard."

 

Francis coughs but as he tries to take a breath he is held under the water until his murderer feels the body go limp.

 

Adrian starts to smile, when suddenly he is pushed into the pool by a still dizzy Rabano. As a result, both of them fall, grabbing each other in a desperate struggle to not sink, neither being able to get a grip on the smooth marble sides of the fountain.

 

Rabano suceeds in removing Adrian's everpresent beekeeper's helm, seeing his face for the first time in memory. The face he saw was heavenly, bright blond curls, a perk of a nose, fine teeth, limpid eyes.

 

The expression he saw was diabolic, as hands clutched his throat but failed to keep him off balance. Then he was losing strength. His vision began to dim. The last sight he saw was that beautiful face.

 

 

 

At the Abbey, that same night, the sermon mentions the Apocalypse...

 

"The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water - the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." (Revelation 8:10-11)

 

 

 

 

Two days after Adrian, Rabano, and Francis had set off the Abbey, the news come of the finding of Rabano's and Francis' bodies, drowned in the spring. And, with them, a beekeeper's helm and a wooden sign where some faded letters were reinforced and now read "Wormwood".

 

The Abbot shakes his head, silent, looking at the visitors that enter the Abbey: the legations expected, and with them, Bernard Gui, Inquisitor.

 

 

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

OOC: Francis/Katzaniel was an innocent servant. It's now Day Phase. You have about 46 hours from this time-stamp to post your accusations! Scorecard at OOC thread

 

The phase is about 2 hours shorter than normal on account of an unmanageable time for me on Thursday... sorry for the inconvenience! And good hunting!!

 

Thanks to Vahktang for writing most of the killing scene, which I adapted on account of having a servant and not a monk being killed :)

 

Edit: Corrected some grammar and added the "Wormwood" explanation at the end... teach me to not write half-asleep!

 

 

(late edit for font after board change)

Edited by Tanuchan

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"Francis?" said James, wide-eyed. "Oh no."

 

Both servants lowered their eyes. Jacob, the news-bearer whispered, "He was a good friend." James nodded.

 

Though none of the monks noticed, the servants observed a day of silence of their own.

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The news about the unfortunate deaths of a Rabano and Francis had travelled fast through the abbey, and suspicion and distrust once again befouled the atmosphere. Relieve had been replaced by increased feelings of fear and reverence.

 

Brother Gulzar was in the gardens when he heard the horrific stories from Brother Rhys. Together they were working on planting Valerian, for the munks that, like Brother Gulzar, had trouble sleeping lately. (his recent dreams were still weighing down heavily on his conscience)

 

"I had hoped that they had found the culprit, but apparently I was wrong."

 

Brother Rhys bend over to pluck some weeds from between the herbal plants, "Yes, or maybe Brother Adrian had an accomplice..."

 

"Do you mean to say...do you think... that there is another Brother who strayed of the path?"

 

"Not one person could have taken Rabano and Francis on his own, they were too strong. Plus the fact that Brother Adrian has escaped from the smithy, he must have had help with that..." Brother Rhys looked him in the eyes.

 

"But who? Do you think it has been Brother Philips Hue? He has the keys of the basement..."

 

"I don't know...maybe it was Brother Igottafiln, I heard he has asked the abott for keys so he could observe everywhere..." Brother Rhys let the words hang in the air.

 

Brother Gulzar raked the ground and thought this theory over.

Brother Igottafiln had been acting strangely lately, but then he did have the official responsibility to report all these horrific incidents, and it wouldn't be the first time that the messenger would be blamed.

He probably just didn't feel all that happy about having to write letters at moments like this to his superiors. It was strange how he had supported Brother Adrian though...maybe he knew more. Brother Gulzar shook his head, he could simply not imagine Brother Igottafiln doing these things.

 

"Do you really think Brother Igottafiln..." he shook his head and explained Brother Rhys his reasoning.

 

"I don't know, only God can see the truth in cases like this, and there are a few people that have been acting rather strange," Brother Rhys replied when Brother Gulzar had laid down his arguments.

 

"Haven't we all been acting rather different from usual? We are all upset about what has happened.If you think like that, even you could be guilty, and me. I mean, it's been 3 days since our last little disagreement, and here we are talking like old friends." Brother Gulzar grinned.

 

Despite the circumstances even Brother Rhys smiled, "Hard times, make friends out of enemies, dear Brother Gulzar."

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Despite the grim news of the death of poor Francis and Brother Rabano Brother Caire notices a strange silence about the Abbey.

 

It is almost un-nerving, and certainly unusual, almost as if all those who remain have elected to take vows of silence... or at least vows to talk only in whispers and only when spoken to.

 

Content to leave others to their thoughts Brother Caire entertains musings of his own. Perhaps it's the presence in the Abbey of renowned Inquisitor, Bernard Gui, or perhaps it's something else... the silence pervails.

 

After morning prayer seconds before leaving the chapel a question comes unbidden to Brother Caire's lips and he whispers it for all those with sharp ears nearby to hear... "Who let him out?"

 

Suprised by the utterance from his own lips Brother Caire turns before he leaves to gaze upon the representation of the Lord at the front of the chapel for several long moments before he turns to leave for his duties and the day ahead.

 

None the less, the question sticks to the minds of those who heard it, and of those who hear it repeated... "Who let him out? Who let Brother Adrian out of his confinement? Who indeed?"

 

Aside from that one utterance Brother Caire keeps his own counsel on the matter saying no more, but throughout the day his mind works on the question with the feeling that the answer might be very important indeed.

 

~~~

 

OOC: No accusation as yet, just starting the ball rolling again. :)

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Brother Mathieu was very upset by the news of the recent deaths. The air in the Abbey is so thick that the herbalist feels nauseous. Even tending for his beloved herbs wasn't relaxing enough. The events that are unfolding in the Abbey are constantly haunting his mind. Brother Gulzar left Brother Rhys for a moment and checks on Brother Mathieu.

 

- Brother Gulzar, I'm so speechless when it comes to express how I feel...

 

- I know, Brother Mathieu. However, did you noticed anything strange about Brother Igotafilm, lately?

 

The question startled Brother Mathieu. After a moment of thinking the herborist answers.

 

- Well, I didn't noticed anything much about him. Why?

 

- There's rumors that he might have asked for keys.

 

- Keys? Really? Hum... Pretty strange. Perhaps we should confront him about this.

 

Gulzar nods.

 

- Perhaps...

 

While Gulzar returns back to Brother Rhys, Brother Mathieu is now pondering about these rumors.

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While Brother Caire strolls back through the gardens to the scriptorium he overhears part of a conversation taking place...

 

"Not one person could have taken Rabano and Francis on his own, they were too strong. Plus the fact that Brother Adrian has escaped from the smithy, he must have had help with that..." Brother Rhys looked him in the eyes.

 

"But who? Do you think it has been Brother Philips Hue? He has the keys of the basement..."

 

He continues walking and the voices fade to a mumble behind him, but the words stick in his mind, "Brother Philips Hue? He has the keys of the basement..."

 

Brother Caire resolves to contemplate the implications of that which he overheard very carefully, for though they echo the doubts that he'd had not 24 hours before regarding Brother Philips Hue, he had no desire to expose himself to sin by accusing another without proof...

 

"God guide us all." Brother Caire prays as his feet take him to his daily tasks.

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Having finished the recordings he had planned, Brother Thomas took some scrap parchment, his quill and ink, and headed for Dinner. Spying several of the fellow monk, he rubbed his temples gently, and shook his head, as he approached them. Suffering from a particularly bad migraine, Brother Thomas listened to them, as they uttered various rumors that had been floating around the abbey.

 

So unlike them. So unlike those children of the Lord that they were. It was unnerving, and unsettling. Certainly, there had been deaths, and certainly, Brother Adrian had been imprisoned.... and released... Yet, he could not abide by the fact these, his brothers, were casting aspersions on one another.

 

Scrawling quickly, he thrusted a note into the hand of Brother Gulzar, and left in a huff.

 

My brothers, it is not appropriate, nor is it fair to say things about those who serve the Lord, same as you, or I. Give one another the benefit of the doubt, same as you would yourself, for we are all, in the end, the children of God. 'Thou shalt not cast aspersions on thy neighbour'.

 

OOC: Edited an error in which I said my character had been imprisoned and released, and after some thought in the matter, I think I will go ahead and accuse Sweetcherrie- Brother Gulzar. Redirection from yourself, perhaps?

Edited by Knight

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Brother Gulzar reads the note that was slipped in his hands by Brother Thomas,

 

My brothers, it is not appropriate, nor is it fair to say things about those who serve the Lord, same as you, or I. Give one another the benefit of the doubt, same as you would yourself, for we are all, in the end, the children of God. 'Thou shalt not cast aspersions on thy neighbour'.

For a moment he stands there staring at the paper, he looks around to speak to Brother Thomas, but the man had already dissapeared.

 

On the other side of the room he saw Felipe sitting down, ready to have his diner. The boy looked tired, he must have been working hard today. Brother Gulzar decided to have a chat with the young man, and walked over to sit next to him.

 

"Is this seat taken?" He asks as he points out to the place next to Felipe.

 

Felipe quickly empties his mouth, "No, please..."and he makes a gesture of invitation to Brother Gulzar.

 

"You look tired?" Brother Gulzar says as he sits down.

 

"Ah well, I had a few extra jobs to do today, I still had to scrub Brother Thomas his cell, and I hardly slept last night."

 

"Why is that? ...Don't answer, I shouldn't be prying into private business. You should ask Brother Mathieu to make you something for a good sleep, the man does wonders with valerian."

 

"I will, thank you," the novice mumbles.

 

"Enjoy your diner."

 

Brother Gulzar leaves the diningroom, mumbling to himself, "So, he hasn't slept right...wonder what he was doing...and he went back to clean Brother Thomas's room. Maybe he is affraid that we think it was him...maybe he was out of bed last night...maybe he tries to make others look guilty while it is he that has done it all along..."

 

OOC: I accuse Venefyxatu - Felipe

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(OOC: Sorry, low on time at the moment, realized i'll prob be in class at deadline. I'll post if i can still, but I'll also accuse Venefyxatu - Felipe)

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Brother Caire loses himself in his work and contemplation for the rest of that day, most of which passes un-noticed.

 

Some of his time is given up to looking to the Lord for guidance, some is dedicated to praying for the state of his own soul, for try as he might he cannot rid himself of his earlier suspicions.

 

He resolves to beg forgiveness and absolution for this too in confession for he cannot shake the feeling that there is more to Brother Philips Hue than what there appears to be.

 

So much opportunity for him to do wrong, great physical strength, Brother Adrian escaping from his cell... yet, so little actual proof. Brother Caire wished for the moment that he was better able at uncovering herecy like some more experienced of the Dominican Monks... instead he turned to that which offered so much peace in the past - prayer.

 

"Forgive me Lord, for I fear I have sinned by harbouring suspicions against Brother Philip Hue..." yet... "I beg of thee my Lord, strengthen my soul against the devil, lest he take me, lest he take us all."

 

~~~

 

OOC: I still accuse Brother Philips Hue.

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Brother Alcott returns to his cell, and sits down heavily. Putting his head in his hands, he runs the dreadful events through his mind again.

 

Brother Adrian, waiting for the Inquisitor...leaving with Rabano and Francis...Francis and Rabano dead...Brother Adrian, the murderer. Though he himself suspected Adrian, Alcott was not prepared for the brutal truth. Dear Lord, what will become of our abbey? Such a stain... Brother Alcott stumbles to his feet, thinking he must go to the chapel, and pray. But a thought sneaks into his mind, whispering sinisterly. You could've been such a stain. If someone found out, like they found Brother Adrian out, that could be you waiting for the Inquisitor. No...no! I confessed my sin, the Lord forgave me. I did my penance and my soul is clean now! But they wouldn't know that, would they? They wouldn't care, either. They'd be frightened, after they've already discovered so many sinners in their midst. Better safe than sorry, they'd think. The Lord would guide them! They would not! We are all sinners here.

 

The monk shuffles faster, but he can't run away from his thoughts. Reaching the chapel, he gratefully sinks to his knees in front of the altar. Lips moving fervently, he prays for many hours, cleansing sin real and imagined from his soul. When at last he emerges, Alcott walks slowly to the dining room. He runs into Brother Gulzar leaving.

 

"Brother Gulzar, good evening." Brother Alcott smiles and greets his fellow cordially. Gulzar appears deep in thought, however, and Alcott starts to move past him. Probably suspecting someone; that one's always been a little base. No, I mustn't think that. Lord, give me the strength to love my fellows as You do. Though he fights to keep his thoughts devout, Alcott can't help but feel, in the back of his mind, that Gulzar's never been as devout as his brothers. He is a little odd...but he couldn't have, could he?...

 

OOC: Apologies about the lack of posting. The blue text here is used to distinguish the two thoughts in Alcott's head. Accuse Brother Gulzar/Sweetcherrie.

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Over the last hour or so, Good Bennet had noticed that the monks seemed to be more withdrawn than usual. After hearing bits and pieces of a half-dozen whispered conversations, Bennet thought he had a good idea of what exactly was going on:

 

-Someone was still sending people to God (Good Bennet wasn't sure whether this was a good or bad thing because the Fathers all said it was good, but they didn't look like it was a good thing)

 

-Father Adrian the beekeeper had been sending people to God, but left the monastery to be with God himself (which was good, because he was scary)

 

-Francis went to God with Father Adrian (which was either good or bad, depending on whether going to God was good or bad. Maybe. This is all kind of confusing)

 

-Someone is still sending people to God (Bennet was pretty sure this was bad)

 

-Onion soup would be served at dinner (which was almost as bad as the person sending people to God. Maybe God would want Bennet's soup, because he wouldn't want it. If people were going to God, they could take the soup with them. God may be hungry. Bennet didn't remember any of the Fathers saying anything about giving God food. This didn't seem quite right to Bennet. He should get God something to eat)

 

As Good Bennet picked up his bowl of onion soup, he happened to see Felipe sitting at one of the tables. He looked tired. Sending people to God would probably be tiring. And Felipe was always getting penances. And penances were only given when you were being bad. Sending people to God was bad (maybe).

 

Felipe is sending the people to God!

 

Good Bennet was about to tell Father Gulzar, who was just leaving the dining room, when he noticed the bowl of onion soup in his hands. He stared at it for a few minutes, wondering how it got there, then remembered his plan to give God some food. So, he set off for the chapel instead, pushing Felipe to the back of his mind.

 

ooc: Accusing Venefyxatu-Felipe "the Eternally Punished"

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Felipe, sitting at the dinner table pushing his food around his plate, was too tired to eat. All these penances were adding up. He barely had time to sleep anymore, let alone eat or kill people! No, he was sure nobody would suspect him, since he was constantly busy with penances.

Brother Philips, the one who had taken a vow of silence, might've done it though - pretending not to know about poisons, never having to explain where he'd been because he didn't speak. The fact that he'd found nothing in his room didn't prove anything - you could hide poisons no matter where and a smart killer would not keep his tools near him.

Or Good Benn.... what was he thinking! He really needed sleep, if he was accusing the poor man of these murders!

 

No, it was probably Brother Philips - he would stick with his first thought.

 

OOC : I caught up :P It's not much, but it's better than an ooc line :)

 

I still accuse Brother Thomas, aka Knight.

Edited by Venefyxatu

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"He shouldn't have worn that hood all the time," Brother Thibault rasped, "We could've seen that woman plant the seed of the devil in his face and have exorcised it! Ought to be praying over her also, brother, and that's not a task I envy. . ." He rambled on and on, heedless of whatever God or man was listening. The head copyist had banished him from the scriptorium for disturbing the silence, and Brother Jehan had blocked the door to the workshop with his own body. His escort, poor Brother Thomas, had tried to push a note into his hands, but the old monk had squinted at it and commented, "I'll need to have someone else read this to me later," and his tongue kept wagging. They stopped at the door of the empty blacksmithy, but a few minutes later, Brother Philips came around the corner, carrying two pails of water in which to cool his works.

 

"Brother!" he barked, cutting into Brother Thibault's monologue by setting the buckets down a bit too hard. "Why so many words?"

 

"Because we're next! You and me! The copyists aren't dying, the people who do the real work, they're dying!" Brother Thomas's expression wished, very much, to impose a penance on a brother over whom he had no authority, yet Brother Thibault ignored him and spoke up to the burly blacksmith. "I came out here to find out how many visitors we still have within our walls! This didn't start with Brother Adrian! It's not going to end until we get all those foreign people out of here!--"

 

Brother Phillips had stepped behind Brother Thibault, reached around him, and placed one hand over his mouth. The old monk, after the initial shock of being manhandled, tried to turn away but the blacksmith sorrowfully held him fast. Brother Thomas nodded to the blacksmith, then retreated across the lawn to the safety and quiet of the main building. Brother Phillips watched the door shut and felt when his prisoner stopped talking, then released the old monk, lowered his head, and waited for Brother Thibault to deliver his penance.

 

Instead, Brother Thibault bowed his head before Brother Phillips. "That was necessary. . .fear had hold of my tongue. Bless you, brother," and his voice quavered as he gave the blessing. "Part of what I said was true, brother. Accusing our brother monks won't save us, as we lived in harmony for many years before this began. Isn't that so, Brother Thomas. . .Brother?" Brother Phillips pointed across the lawn. "Pity. He should have heard that. Now, how many visitors were there? . . ."

 

He left the taciturn blacksmith and walked down the path to the herb gardens. Under a small cheesecloth tent grew a row of seedlings, unusual for the winter. Brother Mathieu, lining the lower edges of the tent with rocks to secure it against the mountain winds, looked up and greeted Brother Thibault. "Brother, I am reluctant to ask again, but are the poultices only for two days? No one had rebandaged my hands today," said Brother Thibault, showing his bare hands.

 

"It was Felipe's turn," Brother Mathieu whispered.

 

They conversed quietly, and spoke in their vernacular that few other monks understood. One whispered 'absinthe' and the other crossed himself. Brother Mathieu listened, then looked at Brother Thibault with disbelief, and a short argument followed. This stopped in a moment when the bells signaled a change of hour, and Brother Thibault looked towards the kitchens with surprise as the kitchen helpers emerged in pairs, each pair carrying a large kettle. Brother Mathieu leaped to his feet, scattering small rocks, and shouted to the helpers, "Wait! I haven't told you to serve the soup yet!" He sprinted to the kitchens, leaving Brother Thibault to shuffle towards the dining hall alone, but not unwatched.

 

ooc: Accusing Brother Igottafiln.

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Summoned by the Abbot himself - Felipe knew that this could only mean trouble, especially with the number of times he'd heard his own name being connected to the murders lately. As he hurries through the corridors he really tries hard not to run into anyone, not to speak a word that could upset anyone. He knocks on the Abbot's door and waits until he is allowed in.

 

 

Much later, a deathly pale Felipe leaves the Abbot's room and moves as in a dream. He automatically avoids others, uses the paths he'd been sweeping only a few hours ago instead of walking across the lawn, and goes into the cellars. That is the last time in a very long time anyone sees him.

 

 

 

The Abbot writes a note in his personal journal, shaking his head from time to time.

 

Novice Felipe has gotten so many punishments that he hardly has time to eat or sleep in between. With all his other duties, he was becoming more and more careless. Seeing that our Lord wouldn't wish our novice to be lost to Him because of multiple penances, I set one to him that will keep him several weeks in solitude, sleeping as little as possible and praying every waking moment with only the bare minimum of food and water, that will be left at his confinement in the cellars at regular intervals. Thus deprived of further distractions, and denying his body the comforts it is used to, his soul will hopefully be fortified and his mind sharpened, to the glory of our Lord.

 

He adds in his mind, while re-reading what he has written, And also in this way I will keep him away from Bernard Gui. Who knows what he would end up doing and that Bernard could take as sign of heresy!

 

 

~~~~~~

OOC: Novice Felipe/Venefyxatu was a most scatterbrained novice, but innocent of all murders. It's now Night Phase. Wolves/Seer/Baner, please send me your targets in the next 24 hours. I'll start day phase sooner if I get all your PMs, so as to try to avoid the usual inactivity period of the weekend :) .

 

Venefyxatu, you're free to post Felipe's thoughts and actions during his penance time, and even describe where he is. Remember that you're out of the game, so no trying to influence your friend's votes! (Maybe you can have some interaction with Katz' other servants - if you find a way to, after all you are under penance! :P).

 

Thanks to Venefyxatu, who wrote most of his 'lynching' scene!

 

 

(late edit for font after board change)

Edited by Tanuchan

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As the monks learns about Felipe's innocence, Mathieu prays for the brother's health in his penance. He hopes that there, he'll be safe from the evil that plagues the abbey. Evil... who would have thought that such word could be even thought in a place that should be God's shelter.

 

Will it strike again tonight? If so, on whom? Brother Mathieu shivers of terror just at the thought as he perfectly knows that probably no one is safe. But God is still there to guide him and the monks during these harsh time, like He always did. May Him lay them His strength.

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He turned around again, and punched his thin pillow. Brother Gulzar had been having sleeping problems ever since this drama started, but this night it was even worse.

 

"I have accused two innocent men, even that poor Felipe who has been doing nothing wrong but working too hard."

 

But it wasn't only feelings of guilt that deprived him of his sleep, fear was also playing a big role. He had never been feeling more scared in his whole life, one by one his brothers were leaving or dying, and he felt helpless.

 

For what seemed like the twentiest time he kicked back his sheets, and set up straight.

 

"I should ask the Abbot for help," He got up from his bed and slipped on some clothes.

 

He walked to the door and reached out to open it, He stood there with his hand on the doorknob, "I can't disturb him now, he will probably attack me thinking I'm the killer, when I go to his room at night."

 

He turned around and walked to the window. He stared down and saw shadows moving from building to building, "I should ask God for guidance...and a good night's rest," he thought with a little sarcasme, "Now I'm even seeing ghosts."

 

He took of his clothes and went back to bed, only to lie awake for the rest of the night.

Edited by Sweetcherrie

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In the chapel, Brother Thibault almost smiled when news of Felipe's new, overreaching penance reached his ears, but rearranged his face to prayerful dignity. The abbot was keeping the novice out of the inquisitor's way before he had a chance to spill communion wine upon him or something equally disastrous. It was. . .security, for Felipe's soul and for the abbot's rule. The Lord worked in mysterious ways, but it was good to be reassured that He was watching over the brothers.

 

Some of the younger, less pious brothers--copyists and librarians--had begun to wonder and speculate about the next sign of the Apocalypse. Brother Thibault did not speculate with them. His skill at reading had never been good, even after the blood of his head was no longer nourishing his hair instead of his brain. He knew the prayers, and that was enough. He finished his repetitions and looked up from the rail, waiting for someone to assist him to his feet, and wondered why there was a wooden bowl sitting on one of the windowsills.

Edited by Quincunx

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He finished his repetitions and looked up from the rail, waiting for someone to assist him to his feet, and wondered why there was a wooden bowl sitting on one of the windowsills...

 

"Ah, thanks, Brother," murmurs Brother Thibault when two hands grab his elbows from behind and help him to his feet.

 

Grateful for the help, as always, and for the company, Brother Thibault turns to see who is the helpful soul. However, all he sees is a monk deeply shrouded by his hood, who keeps him secured firmly and leads him out of the church.

 

Once outside, the elderly monk takes a feeble step towards the cells, but a murmur comes from within the hood, a voice that the older monk recognizes but can't quite place. "Brother, I need your advice... come, please."

 

Both monks walk towards the astronomy tower; seldom used, it leans over the northern cliff, a low building in spite of the name the novices have given it, and almost hidden behind the stables. Brother Thibault seems lost once again in his own thoughts, never really noticing that he's being almost dragged into the building. All of a sudden, almost on the top of the dark staircase that leads to the floor open to the sky, books are pushed into his hands. Brother Thibault looks at them, surprised, and then around him, suddenly alone.

 

"Brother? Where are you?" he calls in a strangled whisper, swaying quite a bit without support, his feeble knees feeling the weight of the books.

 

He sighs in gratefulness as he feels two hands again grasping his shoulders. And a second later he screams weakly, flailing arms that can't stop his fall. Silence and darkness shroud him.

 

 

 

It's not until Prime next morning that the frantic monks and servants that have been looking for Brother Thibault since Matin find his cold body sprawled at the foot of the stairs. Some books scattered around him are richly illuminated and illustrated with astronomical themes: stars, the moon, the sun...

 

 

"The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night." (Revelation 8:12)

 

~~~~~~~~~~

OOC: Brother Thibault/Quincunx was an old and innocent monk. It's now Day Phase and you have 48 hours to place your vote.

 

Being the weekend, exceptionally I may extend day phase until Monday evening if I don't have enough participation... though never count on that, for I may also decide to keep the deadline ;)

 

Scorecard at the OOC thread.

 

Quincunx, I had to kill Brother Thibault... but you can keep participating, either as a ghost, or maybe with your voice echoing on the walls, haunting the living ones with memories of you :) It's wonderful to read your posts, so I hope you can find a way to keep posting! *hugs*

 

 

 

(late edit for font after board change)

Edited by Tanuchan

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Just before dusk of that day, a monk in a heavy hood stood in a niche in the wall, flanked by thick pillars which rose to support separate arches. Concealed among casks of sacramental wine was one open barrel of snowmelt, fed by a pipe which dipped below the surface of the water, and a stack of tightly woven cloths with strings tied to the corners. The hooded monk picked the strings of one cloth out of the freezing water, catching a falling drop on his fingers before it struck the water, and tied it around his face without dislodging his hood. Shivering, he moved deeper into the niche and stepped sideways behind a frieze of Saint Ambrose, into the outer passages of the library. Thibault had entered by the gate of Saint Ambrose, over thirty-five years ago, and his patron needed to retrace the straying monk's footsteps.

 

He stepped quickly past the braziers of laurel leaves and juniper buds, shivering as the mask dripped icy water down his neck. As Brother Thibault had done, he turned right instead of left and walked into the better-lit corridor. The pine torches clogged the corridor with smoke, being set closer and closer to the floor as the path twisted and doubled back on itself, until they were set into pits in the floor instead of rings on the walls. The choking smoke now also smelled of sulfur, and the hooded monk stepped slowly, crossing himself even before the streaks of red appeared. Set into the dead end, leering out through the smoke, heated iron sculptures captured by Syrian Christian armies stretched out yellow-painted arms, too many arms, into the smoke. The hooded monk dropped to his knees and repeated, word for word, Brother Thibault's terrified pleas to God on that long-ago night.

 

The hooded monk shook the dust of the floor from his knees when he rose and quickly retreated to the proper passageway. This one was lit by dim phosphorescent fungus, grown in clusters along the walls and unreliable as St. Elmo's fire. He wound around a series of masonry baffles set at hip and knee height in the broad corridor, hurried past the braziers by the gate of Ruth, and walked for long minutes in a pitch-black spiraling corridor. Just before the second false wall, he pulled his hood down firmly over his eyes before stepping around it. Sunlight, the last traces of sunset, bounced from prism to prism, from the top of the abbey to this subterranean chamber, painfully bright. In the center of the circle stood a pre-Christian statue of Winged Victory, painted and gilded, with a polished silver-inlaid gold halo scattering sunlight in a nimbus around her head. He hurried past the statue without risking the temptation of looking at it and vanished into another unlit corridor at her back, part of the true path to the library.

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Joseph, like so many around the monastery recently, could not sleep. He kept seeing images of the first dead body, a peculiarity Joseph had thought. Something that he had never seen before, and therefore something interesting and - dare he admit it? - cool. Francis had not thought like that. Francis had had only respect for the emptied body, making them pause for long enough to close its eyes. What was the significance of that gesture? There was no soul remaining, so why the need for respect? Of course, Francis had not believed in souls, so perhaps that was it. But Joseph felt like there must be something more, something almost sacred about the action.

 

But now Brother Venancio, and Brother Thibault, and Francis himself were dead. Joseph wondered vaguely to which sphere Francis had gone, but made himself stop thinking about that.

 

And so many had left them. Filipe, for whom Joseph had always harboured a great respect, had been given the ultimate punishment. Anyone who watched closely could see that all the monks were only so used to punishing the novice that they did it without thinking; he wasn't really all that bad. Joseph lay for a long while feeling sorry for Filipe.

 

Suddenly he realized that he could help. No servant was ever looked at askance for wandering around at night, or in strange places, because it was assumed that they belonged wherever they were seen. Servants had to clean even the remotest of locations, after all, and servants did not necessarily receive the day shift. Joseph cringed at that; he had had to clean the lavatories only last fortnight, and the week before that had been scheduled from 3 am to noon.

 

Joseph got up and dressed quietly, then stole away to the kitchens where he prepared a few small meals, nothing that would quickly go bad. Then he grabbed a mop and pail (for further disguise) and headed off toward the imprisoned Filipe.

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Brother Gulzar had awoken with a heavy feeling in his head, the start of what would be a magnificent headache. After reading and meditation the heavy feeling had matured into a full grown brainkiller.

 

He got dressed and walked downstairs to speak to Brother Mathieu before breakfast, and ask him for a cure for his headache.

Upon entering the kitchens he saw Brother Mathieu was sitting down at the table, the man had laid his head in his hands, and looked miserable.

 

"What's wrong?" he was strangely scared for the answer.

 

"Brother Thinault has been killed last night, they just found him in the astronomy tower, at the bottom of the stairs."

 

Brother Gulzar felt his heart sinking, and slowly sat down in the chair next to Brother Mathieu, "I should have paid attention, when I saw those shadows moving last night..." he whispered.

 

Brother Mathieu looked at him, "You saw shadows moving last night?"

 

"I thought I was imagining things."

 

Brother Mathieu thought about this new information for a minute, "I can't blame you, I keep seeing the same dark figure in my dreams..."

 

"I wish we knew what to do."

 

Brother Mathieu sighed, "So do I, my dear Brother Gulzar, so do I."

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Brother Mathieu and Gulzar are both strained by the last event. Mathieu prepares for both men a conconction that will help them to relieve some of their headaches. While drinking it Mathieu shares his worries.

 

- These shadows that you mentionned... I'm glad that I'm not the only one who saw something strange lately. At least, we know that we're both still have some sanity left. Brother Thibeault's death is painful, he was such a remarquable fellow, even if we do have our share of arguments in the past.

 

Gulzar ponders for a moment.

 

- I've heard that you did have a dispute with brother Thibeault. Care to detail that for me.

 

- It was one of these meaningless argues that you're used to laughed at. It was about absynthe and you know our views about this beverage.

 

Gulzar nods.

 

- Yes. It relieves me to know that, at least, it had nothing to do with these dreadful times. Thank you for this conconction, it made my headaches gone.

 

- You're welcome, Brother Gulzar. I'll check over the servants about the breakfast and I shall be joining everyone.

 

- Don't you mind, Brother Mathieu, if I stay with you.

 

- I don't. Let's go see how the servants are doing then.

 

Bother monks head for the kitchen, knowing that it's probably for the best that they should stay at least in pair.

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Brother Rhys walked, dejected, through the garden once more. The day of his arrival at the abbey still clung to his memory. Seeing so many of the brothers gathered together at one spot, working together, had been greatly uplifting. And now.... his thoughts trailed off.

 

Brother Felipe, locked down in the dungeons working on some pennance, probably due to the suspicions that many of the brothers, him included, had placed on him.

And he'd just been at this very spot, not five days ago. Yet it seemed like an eternity.

 

Brother Francis, murdered in cold blood, probably by the lunatic Adrian. And the poor soul whom he'd been escorting, poor old Brother Rabano, killed also. And this very path, why, he had been sweeping it on the first day.

 

Brother Thibault, slaughtered as he prayed. He had seemed so cold at first to Rhys, yet after the first day or two of Rhys's presence he had warmed up some.

 

'Dear God!' thought Rhys, 'Are just me, and Brothers Mathieu and Gulzar the only ones who remain of this group that just was standing here less than five days ago?'

 

Brother Rhys fell to his knees, and then fell flat on the ground, beseeching the Lord to remove the terror that filled this abbey, this abbey that now seemed to be an outpost of hell rather than heaven. As the hours lengthened, and the light of the sun rose to its apex, Brother Rhys still remained, praying fervantly for the safety of his brothers, for their protection and safety from the evil that seemed to fester in this place.

 

Only when the church bell chimed that it was time for reading and meditation to begin did Brother Rhys stiffly rise from his lonely prayers, startling a passerby who did not see him facedown amongst the rhubarb. Slowly Rhys moved to the Aedificium, to study books in the floor of the copyists below the library. As he came in, he immediately found the Holy Word of the Lord, the Bible, comfort to all in dark hours. As he slowly turned the beautifully illustrated pages, he came to the book, chapter, and verses he had been seeking.

 

Ecclesiastes

Chapter 3:1-8

1 omnia tempus habent et suis spatiis transeunt universa sub caelo 2 tempus nascendi et tempus moriendi tempus plantandi et tempus evellendi quod plantatum est 3 tempus occidendi et tempus sanandi tempus destruendi et tempus aedificandi

4 tempus flendi et tempus ridendi tempus plangendi et tempus saltandi 5 tempus spargendi lapides et tempus colligendi tempus amplexandi et tempus longe fieri a conplexibus 6 tempus adquirendi et tempus perdendi tempus custodiendi et tempus abiciendi 7 tempus scindendi et tempus consuendi tempus tacendi et tempus loquendi 8 tempus dilectionis et tempus odii tempus belli et tempus pacis

 

(Above is Latin from the Vulgate, official Catholic Translation of the era)

 

 

(English version of Ecclesiates 3:1-8 NIV)

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

 

 

As Rhys read this, he knew what must be done. Though there had already been much sadness that had fallen upon the abbey, the true killer must be found. Otherwise there would be little hope for a future for any of the monks and servants at the abbey.

 

Now was a time for war, a time to speak, a time to find those responsible for the deaths of his fellows.

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