collapse

Welcome to the Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

Welcome to Rhemuth Castle!

KK Chat is at 7pm Eastern on Sundays, except on the first Sunday of the month, when it is at 5pm Eastern to accommodate fans in the UK and Europe.

Come join us in chat! And Happy reading!

Pin yourself on the member map.

Author Topic: In Penance  (Read 4026 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline drakensis

  • Moderator
  • Baron/Baroness
  • *****
  • Posts: 178
  • Karma: 5
  • Gender: Male
In Penance
« on: April 19, 2015, 04:35:35 am »
"Bless me father, for I have sinned."

There was a long pause and Father Hudriod turned his head slightly to glance at the screen. From the shadow, the man offering confession was still there. He let the silence continue, waiting for the man to fill it. A young man, well-spoken and not one of his parishoners. His accent... northern? A hint of the borders although only a hint.

"Father, three nights ago, I killed a man."

Hudriod swallowed. Not the usual small sins then. Forgive me, Almighty, for praying for something more interesting than daily sins worthy of small penance. "How did this happen, son?"

"It was premeditated, father. I climbed the wall around his home at night and used the branches of a tree to reach the roof of his house. It was quite easy to open the latch of his window shutters with a narrow blade and from there I had access to his bedchamber as he slept." There was something matter of fact about how the man finished: "And then I cut his throat open with the same knife."

"Tell me why you did this," offered the priest in what he hoped, realising his knuckles where white where he clasped his hands.

There was a dry chuckle. "Why I killed him? Why I did it like a thief in the night? And that is hardly the worst of my sins, father."

"From the beginning, to the end, son."

"I admire your composure, father." The man beyond the screen shifted slightly. "This isn't your ordinary confession, is it. I'm sorry."

"This is why I'm here son. God is all knowing, the confession is for your benefit."

"Hmm. Well, I am not here to confess his sins for him. Will it suffice to say that I believe he has given false testimony and that I am quite certain that he arranged the disgrace of an innocent woman who chose to end her own life as a result?"

Hudriod nodded, mind racing trying to think of any recent news of murders and of suicides. "Those would be crimes that can arouse hatred."

"I would like to say that I do not hate him. It isn't quite true, yet, but I think perhaps I can forgive him one day. He faces a higher judge now and that should be enough. My method..." The sound of the chair creaking suggested a shifting of weight. "It was not chivalrous, father. Not what a knight should do, perhaps. He was Deryni though and had I faced him openly I do not know how it would have gone. Badly, I suspect."

"A Deryni." Hudriod felt his stomach sink. Two or three days ride, away. There were already stories spreading about a bold knight having ended the schemes of the sorcerer Viggo, who had deceived Lord Abelard into naming him his cousin and heir. Lord Abelard who had died of a broken heart after his daughter's shameful behaviour disgraced her. But this tale seemed more sordid than those tales.

The priest could think of some of his brothers who would say that it couldn't be a sin to kill a Deryni, no matter the circumstances. Some of his teachers would have said the same. But others would have disagreed. And in any case, the man offering confession was clearly too troubled to accept such a simplistic answer. "I see why that would pose difficulties given your decision to... kill this man. Very well. And you have said there are other sins."

"Aye. These things I have told you are evils I have done. Perhaps needful evils, but nonetheless... Yet there are good things I have not done. I have heard lies said, about myself and also the man I have killed. And I have let those lies stand, rather than telling the truth."

"Why did you do that, son?"

"I think... I was proud, father. And I think I was also afraid."

"Ah."

"Afraid, yes. These lies make me out to be... things I am not. They claim I faced... the man in chivalrous battle. That God aided me in this... which would not be for me to say. I suppose I have at least attempted to steer them from blasphemy in that. But still, they make me out to be a hero and as having slain him for being a Deryni, as if his deeds wouldn't have merited it were he as human as you or I."

"And your fears are because...?"

The man leant forwards. "I know men's hearts, father. They do not take kindly to learning their heroes have feet of clay." Intensity raised his voice. "They burned his body. They heaped his name with so many crimes I doubt they can all be true. And at that same time they hail me for fighting through all his guards and slaying him in single combat. I fear their wrath if they were disappointed."

"Did his guards not tell them differently?"

"His guards fled, for the most part. I showed them their masters head and I told them his silver was unguarded. After that most of them weren't inspired to avenge him. Those two who did... well, father. I gave them every chance to leave. I didn't slay them by stealth. Perhaps I should have said I killed three men, but those two made their own choices and I must believe they were at peace with those choices and where it led them."

"The silver didn't tempt you, son?"

The penitent chuckled drily. "I told them where his silver was, father. Not where he hid twelve new gold sovereigns. I suppose I must add theft to my sins, from whoever is counted as heir to the property in question."

"That sounds accurate, son."

"So. I have committed one murder, one act of theft and numerous sins of omission in the field of challenging falsehoods. I also killed two other men although I can account that in some degree to be self-defense." The knight sighed heavily. "It's not really been a wholesome week for me, Father. For this and for such sins as I may have forgotten, I am truly sorry and ask pardon of God, penance and absolution of you."

Hudriod frowned, trying to think of something suitable. "Sir Knight, you've taken the law into your own hands, and then broken the law yourself and allowed the truth to be obscured. It's clear to me that you are contrite, but these are not small matters." He looked at the carvings on the screen, hoping for inspiration.

As so often happened, the sight of one of the saints and angels did indeed spark a solution. "It's also clear you have a strong arm and a desire to make good your failings. In penance for these sins, I charge you to make a pilgrimage south-east to Djellarda, where the Knights of the Anvil. On your journey  you are to offer your protection to fellow pilgrims on the road, as those Christian knights do, and to do so without seeking recompense or reward."

"I will do as you have instructed me, father. May God forgive my sins."

"Go in peace and know that God does forgive you."

Hudriod composed himself as the knight left and then offered a rueful prayer to God, thanking him for delivering to him what he had asked for in the opportunity to direct the knight to what might be a better cause.

When he finally rose and made his way out into the church, he found one of the deacons waiting for him, almost dancing from foot to foot. "Is something wrong?"

"Well, not wrong, Father Hudriod. It's just that... someone's dropped coins into the baptismal font."

"That isn't unheard of, Godwin. Usually it means someone wants to make an anonymous donation."

"Yes, Father. But I think they're gold!"

Hudriod blinked and half-walked, half-trotted to the font. There, before the eyes of the deacon he counted out the coins as he took them from the font: twelve gold sovereigns, each freshly stamped with the face of King Charibert.

Offline Jerusha

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Karma: 17
  • Gender: Female
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni
  • Favorite Character: Alaric Morgan
Re: In Penance
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 09:46:04 am »
Nice story, Drakensis.  You leave me wanting to know more about the knight and his travels. And our good priest.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • *****
  • Posts: 573
  • Karma: 11
  • Gender: Female
  • Favorite Character: Alaric Morgan & Rhys Thuryn-May they be Family.
Re: In Penance
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 12:28:19 pm »
Drakensis, I would like to know, who is King Charibert and from where does he rein? Interesting beginning. I look forward to tales of your Penitent Knight on his pilgrimage south.

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1936
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Re: In Penance
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 12:28:29 pm »
I agree. Now I want to know the whole backstory.  :)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline drakensis

  • Moderator
  • Baron/Baroness
  • *****
  • Posts: 178
  • Karma: 5
  • Gender: Male
Re: In Penance
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 01:35:40 pm »
Drakensis, I would like to know, who is King Charibert and from where does he rein? Interesting beginning. I look forward to tales of your Penitent Knight on his pilgrimage south.
Charibert Roi de Bremagne, elder brother of Meyric II who was father of a certain Jehane-Julienne-Adelaide de Besancon (better known as Jehana).

I haven't fact-checked this against the latest book, but the codex has Charibert as King of Bremagne from 1076 until 1107.

Hudriod du Mollard doesn't have his own entry in the codex but he does appear in someone else's as Bishop of Coroth from about 1103 to 1116.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 01:38:41 pm by drakensis »

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1936
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Re: In Penance
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 03:02:04 pm »
Drakensis, I would like to know, who is King Charibert and from where does he rein? Interesting beginning. I look forward to tales of your Penitent Knight on his pilgrimage south.
Charibert Roi de Bremagne, elder brother of Meyric II who was father of a certain Jehane-Julienne-Adelaide de Besancon (better known as Jehana).

I haven't fact-checked this against the latest book, but the codex has Charibert as King of Bremagne from 1076 until 1107.

Hudriod du Mollard doesn't have his own entry in the codex but he does appear in someone else's as Bishop of Coroth from about 1103 to 1116.

Ah, so that's why those names sounded so familiar!
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline revanne

  • Donor
  • Earl/Countess
  • *****
  • Posts: 461
  • Karma: 12
  • Gender: Female
  • Favorite Book: King Javan's Year
  • Favorite Character: Father Joram MacRorie
Re: In Penance
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 03:29:37 pm »
Fascinating story - I did feel sory for Father Hudriod, wanting something a little more exciting and then feeling guilty when he got it

I hope that there is lots more of this.
"All the worlds a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Aerlys

  • Duke/Duchess
  • *****
  • Posts: 112
  • Karma: 7
  • Gender: Female
  • Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem.
Re: In Penance
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 03:42:26 pm »
Another fascinating addition to the fanific collection. Looking forward to more.
"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

 

* User Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

* Recent Posts

01.Character Creation by Bynw
[Today at 03:29:31 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday KK! by Jerusha
[October 18, 2017, 06:55:26 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday KK! by Evie
[October 18, 2017, 04:28:45 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday KK! by DesertRose
[October 18, 2017, 03:51:58 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday KK! by Laurna
[October 18, 2017, 02:23:18 pm]

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 28
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Top Poster

Evie Evie
1936 Posts
Elkhound
1077 Posts
Alkari
696 Posts
DesertRose DesertRose
630 Posts
Laurna Laurna
573 Posts

* Most Karma

Evie Evie
Karma: 28
DesertRose DesertRose
Karma: 19
Jerusha Jerusha
Karma: 17
revanne revanne
Karma: 12
Laurna Laurna
Karma: 11

* Online Time

TheDeryni TheDeryni
115d 20h 24m
Evie Evie
104d 7h 14m
DesertRose DesertRose
93d 4h 20m
AnnieUK AnnieUK
53d 22h 35m
Alkari
32d 18h 16m

* Forum Staff

Bynw admin Bynw
Administrator
TheDeryni admin TheDeryni
Administrator
DesertRose admin DesertRose
Administrator
Evie admin Evie
Administrator
Shiral gmod Shiral
Zipper Sister
Unicorn636 gmod Unicorn636
Zipper Sister
Laurna gmod Laurna
Donor
EvilEd gmod EvilEd
Global Moderator
revanne gmod revanne
Donor
KK gmod KK
Our Queen
gmod Alkari
Donor
AnnieUK gmod AnnieUK
Donor
Jerusha gmod Jerusha
Donor

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 617
  • stats Total Posts: 16378
  • stats Total Topics: 1901
  • stats Total Categories: 12
  • stats Total Boards: 127
  • stats Most Online: 181

* Calendar

October 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 [19] 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

No calendar events were found.