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HFQ Official Snippet #5

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HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:27 am

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She seemed extraordinarily calm for a woman who’d already acknowledged that the “Sisters of Saint Kohdy” — whoever the hell they were — had murdered an unknown number of young women to keep their secret. Then again, if they’d recruited her when she was only fifteen, she’d spent better than thirty-five Safeholdian years — thirty-two standard years — in that Sisterhood.

“At any rate,” she said, “by the time the War Against the Fallen was winding towards a close, Saint Kohdy had come to question much of what he’d been told by the Archangels. We know from the parts we can read that he’d met someone — someone fighting to the bitter end on the other side — who’d convinced him that what had happened to Armageddon Reef didn’t necessarily prove Shan-wei had fallen into evil. For that matter, after talking with him, Kohdy had come to question whether or not Langhorne himself had loosed the Rakurai on Armageddon Reef. The Fallen who’d taken up Shan-wei’s struggle after the destruction of Armageddon Reef had insisted it was Chihiro and Schueler who’d turned to evil, not Shan-wei, but Kohdy had always brushed those assertions aside. After all, Shan-wei was the Mother of Lies, wasn’t she?

“But according to his journal, not all the seijins fought under Chihiro and Schueler’s banner, whatever The Testimonies might tell us today. Some fought for the Fallen, instead. They were called demons by the Archangels and by Mother Church, but Kohdy had met them sword-to-sword. He’d come to doubt their demonhood even before one of them defeated him, and his doubt grew still stronger after the ‘demon’ not only spared his life but revealed a totally different truth to him. I don’t know exactly what that truth was — it was shortly after that point he began writing portions of his journal in ‘Español’ — but it made him question which side he was on. It took time for those questions to ripen, and by the time they did, the War Against the Fallen was almost over. The rebellious lesser angels had almost all been hunted down and destroyed. The servitors who’d fought for the Archangels had largely withdrawn to the Dawn Star, the last of the ‘demons’ fighting for the Fallen had been driven back to their final fastness in the Desolation Mountains, and the Archangels must have been preparing their final assault.

“And that’s where the journal ends.”

Merlin stared at her.

“That’s where it ends?

“Yes,” she sighed. “He never wrote down his intentions — unless he did it in Español — but the Sisters’ tradition is that he’d decided to take his questions directly to the Archangel Schueler, the Archangel he most trusted to answer him fully. Whether that’s true or not, he made a final trip to Zion . . . and died there.”

“How did he die?” Merlin asked softly, and Nynian shook her head.

“We don’t know. The Order of Saint Kohdy — the Sisterhood’s parent order — was formed when his body was returned to his family. It was created and charged with preparing and maintaining his tomb, just as other orders had been charged to do for many of the other fallen seijins, and it was granted a benefaction for that purpose. I suspect if he hadn’t fought so strongly, been in the forefront of the battle against the Fallen for so long, the Sisterhood would never have been formed at all. As it was, the Sisters quickly found themselves pushed to one side, largely ignored by the rest of the Church. This was in the period immediately after the Fallen’s final defeat, you understand, after Schueler and Cihiro had departed in victory — the period in which I think the remaining Angels were waiting for the last Adams and Eves to die before purging The Testimonies.

“During that interval, the Sisters’ original benefaction was exhausted, and the Church ignored or misfiled — intentionally, I’m sure — their requests for additional funds. So, left to their own devices, they solicited voluntary contributions, largely from members of their own families to begin with, and invested them. By the time The Testimonies were edited, their investments were returning an income comfortably greater than the Order required to maintain itself and Saint Kohdy’s tomb.

“The Mother Abbess of the Order had realized Kohdy was going to be cast from Mother Church’s canon of saints well before it actually happened, however. According to the Sisterhood’s records, her brother was a vicar, as their father had been before him, and it would appear, even though she was careful not to say so in so many words, that her family’s connections warned her of what was coming.

“She was very old by then, almost a hundred years old, and she was no Eve. Her health was poor, but that wasn’t the reason she died when the Order was officially . . . disbanded.”

Nynian’s voice had gone very low, very quiet, soft enough a normal human ear would have had difficulty hearing her over the sound of the blizzard beyond the embassy’s walls. But Merlin Athrawes had a PICA’s ears. He heard the ancient grief — and the anger — in those words all too clearly.

She sat silent for endless seconds, staring down into the fire’s incandescent heart once more, then shook herself and looked back up at him.

“Not all of the Sisters were prepared to abandon Saint Kohdy, even at Mother Church’s command. They might have accepted the decree if any of the Archangels had issued it, but only the last of the lesser Angels remained, and the Mother Abbess had known Kohdy, just as she’d known — had spoken with — both Schueler and Chihiro when she was a very young woman, before their departure. Neither of them had ever cast doubt upon Kohdy’s sanctity, and that was enough for her. So she refused the decree, she and her sisters, and that, Seijin Merlin, is the reason there’s no Abbey of Saint Kohdy today. And why no one ever bothered to officially proscribe the Order. When the Sisters proved . . . intransigent, the abbey — and everyone in it — was destroyed in the middle of the night in a ‘blast of holy fury,’ the last Rakurai of the War Against the Fallen. A blast which, strangely, was never recorded in any of Mother Church’s official records.”

Merlin stood very still, looking down at her, and her nostrils flared.

“But the fact that there’s no Abbey of Saint Kohdy doesn’t mean there’s no Tomb of Saint Kohdy,” she said quietly. “The Mother Abbess had moved the saint’s body to a secret tomb well before the abbey’s destruction, just as she’d moved duplicates of the Sisterhood’s records . . . and Saint Kohdy’s journal. And she’d taken advantage of the way in which she and her immediate predecessor had been forced to find alternate funding. A core of the Sisterhood was established in the secret abbey she’d created, and she’d divested the Order of a third of its investments. Those investments — and the income from them — were outside Mother Church’s records, and they provided the surviving Sisters with the funds they required after the rest of their Sisters had been blotted away without warning or any opportunity to argue their case.

“They were made of stern stuff, those Sisters, and what had happened to the rest of their Order convinced them their Mother Abbess had been right to set a new path for their Order. It’s followed that path to this day, with its Sisters individually members of Mother Church and yet apart from her. The Sisterhood’s done a great deal of good over the centuries of its existence, Seijin Merlin, but always from the shadows, never admitting its existence.”

“And today?” Merlin asked when she paused, and she smiled again, even more crookedly than before.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by evilauthor   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:41 am

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Oh ho ho! Looks like the Sisterhood may be even more ready to believe the Truth than we realized!

Also, it seems Kohdy was NOT an angel. The story as told in the journal would make no sense if he were. So he's either an Adam or one of the first generations born on Safehold.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by CSB   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:12 am

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runsforcelery wrote:...This was in the period immediately after the Fallen’s final defeat, you understand, after Schueler and Cihiro had departed in victory...


There's a *lot* in that phrase that undercuts what we thought we knew of the period--for one thing, "departed not died" was the exact explanation for the disappearance of Langhorne, Bedard, and the others following Kau-yung's nuke.

I don't get how the timing works, though. If the end of the War Against the Fallen, Year 0, "the Fallen's final defeat", and the departure of Schueler and Chihiro all happened at about the same time, how did Clyntahn end up with a bust of Chihiro created by a *second-century* master sculptor *from life*? Did Chihiro depart and then return?

Even that doesn't work, since the Mother Abbess of Saint Kohdy was not an Eve, was "almost a hundred years old" when she died, and had talked to both Schueler and Chihiro "as a very young woman, before their departure." This seems to imply that Schueler and Chihiro's "departure" was final and probably some time around Year 0.

The biggest question, of course, is who was that final Angel that obliterated the original Abbey of Saint Kohdy.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by BobG   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:25 am

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CSB wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:...This was in the period immediately after the Fallen’s final defeat, you understand, after Schueler and Cihiro had departed in victory...


There's a *lot* in that phrase that undercuts what we thought we knew of the period--for one thing, "departed not died" was the exact explanation for the disappearance of Langhorne, Bedard, and the others following Kau-yung's nuke.

I don't get how the timing works, though. If the end of the War Against the Fallen, Year 0, "the Fallen's final defeat", and the departure of Schueler and Chihiro all happened at about the same time, how did Clyntahn end up with a bust of Chihiro created by a *second-century* master sculptor *from life*? Did Chihiro depart and then return?

Even that doesn't work, since the Mother Abbess of Saint Kohdy was not an Eve, was "almost a hundred years old" when she died, and had talked to both Schueler and Chihiro "as a very young woman, before their departure." This seems to imply that Schueler and Chihiro's "departure" was final and probably some time around Year 0.

The biggest question, of course, is who was that final Angel that obliterated the original Abbey of Saint Kohdy.

I think the biggest question is why did they go to that much effort to destroy the Abbey?

-- Bob G
SF & Fantasy: The only things better than Chocolate.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by pokermind   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:09 am

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Image

Hmm the plot thickens.

My thoughts Kohdy died after talking about his doubts to the angels. Murdered?

RFC wrote:...

“Yes,” she sighed. “He never wrote down his intentions — unless he did it in Español — but the Sisters’ tradition is that he’d decided to take his questions directly to the Archangel Schueler, the Archangel he most trusted to answer him fully. Whether that’s true or not, he made a final trip to Zion . . . and died there.” ...


Makes me think he was an Adam with a NEAT that allowed him to learn Spanish quite possibly from the 'demon' who defeated him.

He was removed from the official saints so none of his surviving records would have the stamp of official CoGA of veracity. All his exploits turned into tall tales in the present story line time. It's common knowledge that the stories of Sejen Kohdy are for children not to be taken seriously after all ;)

I think the biggest question is why did they go to that much effort to destroy the Abbey?

-- Bob G


Not really, the last minor angel had to stamp out any open resistance to the absolute power of the CoGA, thus the Sisters had to be exterminated for defying God. After all, "If treason prospers, none dare call it treason."

Poker
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"Better to be hung for a hexapuma than a housecat," Com. Pang Yau-pau, ART.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by Tanstaafl   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:21 am

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Woww, RFC, I can only say Wooowwwwww.
What a way to send so many speculations to the dustbin.

This snippet appeared much sooner than I anticipated.
Thanks for this snippet and its early release.

My new speculation is that Kohdy was an Adam, was connected to a NEAT after capture where he learned Spanish and discovered Cervantes.

And another speculation is that the side of Chihiro and Schueler lost the power struggle in the church and they did not survive the War against the Fallen.

And I have the question about how many of the fallen were followers of Shan-Wei and how many were just on the losing side in the succession war among the (arch)angels?
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by bunyipbelle   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:33 am

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Thank you for the snippett RFC.Wow! The tale becomes more and more fascinating. I can't wait to read more about the early history of Safehold and the sisters of Saint Khody.
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by Alistair   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:49 am

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Wow!!
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by OlorinNight   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:50 am

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OMG!! This is getting better and better! And this snippets actually answers many points that were raised by the previous one...

Waiting for the book is getting more and more difficult.

CSB wrote:
I don't get how the timing works, though. If the end of the War Against the Fallen, Year 0, "the Fallen's final defeat", and the departure of Schueler and Chihiro all happened at about the same time, how did Clyntahn end up with a bust of Chihiro created by a *second-century* master sculptor *from life*? Did Chihiro depart and then return?



Remember that the bust was rumored to have been made "from life". The story may have grown over the centuries...
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Re: HFQ Official Snippet #5
Post by isaac_newton   » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:53 am

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Great - thanks....
:D

One thing I seem to get is that Kohdy was called Kohdy, and widely known under that name as a doughty warrior, long before his spanish phase started, so maybe not from Don Quixote after all?
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