Sunday, April 02, 2006

Conspiracy of Shadows (Season Two, Session Four)

Stepping back from the chase to the brothel we follow the two Alexander's on their trip to the castle records. The priests are waved past the guards with barely a second look. The castle is humming with military activity but the soldiers are intent on carrying out their duties and the arrival of monks is no concern of theirs.

Soldiers with several of the large hunting wardogs that Jenkaz is famous for guard the inner bastion's gates. Little Alexander immediately steps forward and sets about pacifying the huge brutish dogs, the dogs quickly submit to the monk's stroking and mummery much to the disappointment of their handlers. Little Alexander explains that they are here to read the court rolls and note down the recent judgements in the King's Court. When the guard protests as to the late hour Little Alexander sternly reminds him that given the requirements to be at prayer five times a day there is no better time than now to attend to scribal duties.

Chastened the guard takes them inside the castle and down to one of the cellar vaults that contains the court records and a pasty looking scribe who is illuminating the manuscripts of a new proclaimation on gate taxes.

Little Alexander distracts the scribe while Big Alexander finds the treason trial records and starts making notes on the proceedings. Little Alexander decides to try and look at the Chancellor's financial records for the trial on the pretext of being interested once again in the results of the gate tax. He gets the scribe to take him to the Chancellor's office beneath the bastion while Big Alexander sees whether it is possible to alter or remove the trial record.

In the Chancellor's office one of the clerks is happy to show Little Alexander the gate toll receipts but when Little Alexander expresses an interest in the treason trial the clerk turns cold and advises him not to be to interested in matters of state. Alexander takes the hint and returns to the court records, in their absence Big Alexander has come to the conclusion that the scroll is simply too large to steal outright and in too final a state to be worth altering now. Instead the pair decide to take their leave and return to the Pilgrim's Quarters.

There they meet up with Sedziwoj and crew returned from the brothel. Plans are made to leave the city and meet outside the walls. In the meantime Sedziwoj and his men decamp from the Pilgrim Quarters to occupy one of the empty houses in the Old Town.

In the morning Anatoli escapes from the thatch and bumps into Kaspar who is trying to buy bread. Soldiers are already searching the empty houses looking for Anatoli so Kaspar tells Anatoli to meet the others in an abandoned shepherd's hut outside the city. Sergei trys to warn Anatoli that Sedizwoj is angry with him and has told his men to murder Anatoli. Kaspar and Sergei then return to Sedziwoj and warn him about the approaching soldiers while Anatoli hides in a latrine.

Sedziwoj leaves the house and walks up to the cathedral. During the night meeting Little Alexander told him that his cousin Michal is one of the attending priests there and gave testimony at the treason trial that Sedziwoj had not been seen with his father for many months. Trusting in the ties of family Sedziwoj meets with him in the crypts of the cathedral and tries to get some additional information about the trial proceedings other than what was contained in the court records. His cousin does not know much but does say that the content of the cell's petition was known before they arrived and that a certain clerk in the scriptorium had frequent secret meetings with the cell members. He also tells Sedziwoj that Beker was given an easy post in the guard of the silver mines after his royal pardon. Sedziwoj later contacts the clerk who is a member of the Order of the Closed Book and asks the clerk to write a letter to the head of the Order telling him to expect the remaining cell members in the Holy City soon.
Post a Comment