Bishops and Pawns

The cries of the faithful went up across the spires of Milites Gravi, inscrutable to the common masses who knew not the poetic beauty of High Gothic. Not that an understanding of that noble tongue was needed to understand what was occurring. A planet wide lament, the cardinal has passed from this world to sit at the right hand of the Emperor with all the faithful and saints. None know how the great man passed, only that he has gone on to glory. Naturally stories are abound. Some say he met his end killing a thousand demons, like the famous victory of Futhark. Some say that he found martyrdom at the hands of the vile green skin and others whisper that his sacrifice allowed for the rescue of an entire planet of endangered Imperial citizens.

In the sanatoriums and asylums, they scream out that the Pilgrim is coming…

As the Ecclesiarchs sing their requiem mass, roving bands of penitents wander the cobbled precincts of Milites Gravi, flagellating themselves bloody and chanting the name of the departed cardinal so they can be sure that the Emperor himself, seated upon the Golden Throne of Terra knows it for sure. Common men kneel in the chapels and offer their meagre prayers in Low Gothic and factory cant. Less scrupulous men offer relics of the cardinal, proclaiming that he is sure to be sainted soon enough. Apparently the great man at had least two hundred fingers judging by their sales…

In the high cathedral, men and women of the rank of Abbot or above are called into the basilica of the faithful, there to commune and choose the next cardinal. Behind them servitors seal the entrances with adamant beams and plasticrete so that none may enter and none may leave until a new leader for the faithful is chosen. Sometimes this is a swift process, other times not so much. All keep in mind the tragedy of the passing of Cardinal Davarian, whose passing caused such great upheaval that no less than seven Abbots starved to death before a successor was eventually chosen.

Outside of the basilica, Mortariat reapers and sisters militant patrol the streets, offering the Emperor’s peace to those too disturbed and distraught by the passing of the cardinal. All the while looking to the stars as they know well that Crusade is soon to be calling and that the faith must have a leader sooner rather than later of the forces of the Ecclesiarchy are to make a truly meaningful contribution to the coming war.

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