Richard bade his men stand down, and welcomed the bishop into their camp, despite the untrusting looks the company cast at the man. They would follow his lead, to the bitter end if needed, but they would not be happy welcoming a band of ushers and a bishop into their ranks. Richard waved them a calming gesture, asking for patience with the newcomers.

“My credentials,” Bishop Furl provided, proffering a scroll case that had hung from his belt. He handed it over to Richard as he approached, allowing his men to hang back. Richard took it with caution and removed several letters from within, scanning over each in turn.

“I’ve little trust for your Arch-Bishop these days, Furl. And though I’ve heard of Banadon I know him not. Certainly not well enough to tell a forgery from the real thing.” Richard said, dismissing each letter in turn, outwardly unimpressed. He turned to the final letter and raised an eyebrow thoughtfully. “This though, you carry a letter from my cousin Timothy. This I admit would be difficult to forge.”

“We were fortunate to have your cousin among those supporting King Banadon,” Furl replied, “and I am fortunate to have made his acquaintance. A good man with a bow, to be sure, though if the rumors are true not the most gifted of the family. It was Timothy that told me about your company, and who suggested that we may have our goals align.”

“His letter speaks highly of you,” Richard replied, “and his word is good enough for me.” He turned to address the gathered members of the Cheerful Company. “Everyone, let us prepare a welcome feast for our guests. It seems we have a victory to celebrate, and another to plan!” He threw his fists into the air, eliciting a cheer from the company, and spurring them to action.

Before long the camp was bustling with activity as the men and women prepared their feast, each taking turns to speak with the newcomers, begging for more news of the happenings in the north. Richard and his top lieutenants had retired with Bishop Furl and the Captain of the Ushers to Richard’s tent to decide on a plan.

All agreed that time was of the essence, the longer that Bishop Knott remained in control, the more the people of the Greywood would suffer, and so their plan was enacted the very next day, beginning with a raid on Knott’s keep. The group waited until the sun was setting at their backs, and sent out the regiment of Ushers that Furl had brought to begin the assault.

Slowly and steadily the soldiers of the church advanced against their brothers in faith, banging sword against shield to call them out of the keep. The Captain led the way, shouting out their intentions, their reason for coming, in the hopes that at least some of Knott’s soldiers would welcome the news, or at least choose to join them out of duty to the church. At the very least they hoped that many would be confused. Even so they were met with expected resistance, those loyal to Knott, and hoping to maintain power for themselves.

But the true goal of the assault was to pull the soldiers to the front of the keep, leaving few guarding the rear. The Cheerful Company made use of the distraction, slipping in mostly unnoticed, incapacitating the remaining guards that they found, and made their way through the keep toward the main chapel, where Bishop Knott would have been performing the evening service, and where he would have stayed to coordinate the counter attack. The Hood and his Company, along with Bishop Furl, burst in from the second floor. Everything had gone according to plan to this point, they had seen little resistance. And Knott was exactly where they had expected him. Unfortunately he was far more well guarded than they had expected.

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