hit counter code Giannas Repose
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Gianna's Repose
Author: Keith Haney

The resonance of the door slamming behind her caused her to cringe. Gianna's temper tended to manifest itself at inappropriate times and she chagrined at the loss of control. At twenty years old Gianna had fully claimed the mantle of womanhood. Her athletic frame was suitably supple and womanly, but the ardent physical nature of her calling suppressed her softer features to some degree. Though she was assigned a position of command, she was given to childish notions on occasion. She knew her position within the church could ill afford these bouts, but it seemed this was a necessary outlet for her in her piously constrained lifestyle.

The room in which she stood was largely veiled in shadow. Thin shafts of light exploited the ill-fitting shutters covering the tower window. The ambient light and her intimate knowledge of this room allowed her to navigate a path to a wooden tree stand on the far side of the room. She removed her sword belt in the process. Absently she draped the weapon on the stand as she moved to open the shutters. Pausing for a moment, her eyes to adjust to the light. The parade grounds below her were snow-covered. Small sections had been cleared to allow for construction too large to be contained within the workshops of the great keep. Gianna marveled at the deadly machines of wood, iron and rope that were assembled in the area near the north tower. The siege equipment had been instrumental on the battlefield. How strange it was to see these powerful weapons of war deconstructed and strewn about like children's blocks.

She fixed her gaze next to the small encampment of soldiers near Danver's Hall. The building was impressively tall and still cast its shadow across the improvised camp site even at this late hour of the morning. The clearing was host to a small band of soldiers recently placed under her command. Though they answer to Lance Company; her command. They still flew the colors of their disenfranchised unit Trinity Company. She had allowed them to keep the banner, as it seemed to give the men a sense of unity that made them the effective fighting unit they were. Gianna lamented the events of last winter and the harsh punishment inflicted on her former fellow commander Lady Celeste Rahmel and the former staff sergeant Enzo Vittorio.

 

As she gazed down upon the company of soldiers she she focued on the middle distance between them. Introspectively she contemplated the nature of events leading to Celeste's arrest an incarceration. How was it that she had erred in this fashion? Celeste was the very model of purity and devotion. I myself had looked to her as proof that the vows of celibacy were attainable and worth while. What had caused her to change her intentions so abruptly? The Monsignor had alluded to the intervention of the father of lies in this matter, but there was no outward sign of his presence. Satan was well known for his devious ways, but he must have an opening in which to make his case. How could Celeste have the slightest chink in her armor? Then there was the issue of the staff sergeant. It was true he was an attractive man and a valiant soldier. He was not the first she had encountered and seemed to hold no undue power to charm outside his physical aspect. This was indeed a matter that required more scrutiny. The Monsignor's inquest was more of a formality than an investigation. Perhaps a discussion with friar Cenzi may offer some insight into the dealings between these two and any outside, or other world influence.

Gianna retreated from the window and added a log to the fire in the small hearth in her room. With the conclusion of her activity in the quest she would have time to look into this matter while she waited for the snow to thaw. Once the fields were clear, her duties would mount and preparations for the 5th crusade would occupy her time entirely. For now there would be time.

***
The friar was enjoying the blue skies and whistling a catchy tune he had learned last fall. The song was a bit of a guilty pleasure for the heavy-set holy man. The words associated with the tune celebrated one man's conquest over a coveted lady of the evening and deprecated a noble man's inability to attain a similar satisfaction. In his line of work it would not due to be whistling a pub songs that celebrated carnal conquest, but he enjoyed the tune none the less.

His morning duties required him to visit various civilian households performing clerical duties for the families that wintered here in support of the military action. Today the blacksmith was welcoming a new daughter to his house and a blessing was in order. The blacksmith's wife was a sturdy woman and bore the pregnancy well. The child was healthy with threshed wheat grass colored hair.