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"So.. Sir Rupert is dead."
The Bishop nods watching his friend carefully.
"The came to my church with Sir Ruperts seal, claiming to be on a mission from him, i wasn't sure, but they claimed to be looking for Lady Sinclair, and since I suspected she was on the back road and that is infested with bandits, it would be sensible to send them.
If they find Lady Sinclair, they can bring her back safely, if they are killed by bandits, they are no longer my problem. I also sent a missive to Sir Rupert, so I feel partly responsible for what happened."
Sir Gregor shakes his head in consternation.
"I don't understand. They came through, killed everyone. According to the scribe Sir Rupert hired, he was knifed, robbed and then healed and sent on his way none the wiser. They storm their way into the presence of Lady Jeanette, who, after they slit the throat from behind (Lady Jeanette told me, she was horrified but didn't know what to say) of her handler treat her with exceptional kindness. (I don't mean to speak ill of our dead friend Your Grace but it seemed he was slightly more.. persuasive than I had realised with Lady Jeanette, she appears alright now though).
They then come and lie to you. Find Lady Sinclair and see her safe home, before finding and killing Sir Rupert and his men.
I inspected the bodies myself your Grace. Several were cut down from behind or there throats slit."
Bishop Williams sips his tea watching Sir Gregor closely. "You understand that you are the only one left? Lady Jeanette and Lady Sinclair between them can do an exceptional job of looking after your estates, you can gather hedge knights. I am sure "Lance" would be willing to join you now Sir Rupert is dead. Are we looking at another Red Coat war milord? They were certainly Lorian I believe in the most part. There were guns and three corner hats.
I don't understand what they want."
Sir Gregor shrugs "A few weeks ago, I would have said that Lady Delphi was a staunch ally and friend. Smoothing peace between us, but according to the witness I have she just stood back and let Sir Rupert be cut down. It occurs to me that she has been there at every-single loss we have had. Sir Michael, Sir Rupert." His voice chokes a moment. "My son. All dead. We have to assume she is either incompetent or she is a very subtle knife for her masters, or for whoever that Abbott works for. I do not think she is incompetent."
The look at each other. The Bishop nods ever so slightly.
As the Bishop stands, Sir Gregor takes the knee.
"Your Grace, bless me, for I am a penitent in need of succour. I seek your blessing in the Lords work"
"My Son, you have come to me in penitence, and the Lord has seen you. I give my blessing for your request. Your Crusade into Lorien will be backed by the Church. Those that surrender will be given clemency. Those that have been charged with murder will be meted punishment. Raise your force and do what must be done with my blessing."
Sir Gregor raises to his feet, clasps Bishop Williams tightly and then walks out of the church with tears on his face and buoyancy in his step.