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Cry for the Wolf, Chapter 9. by Richard WalkerSUMMARY: The politics of achieving Rhiarra's marriage, a great feast, and a greater oath, rashly sworn.
"I hereby swear to defend the Light and Mother Church and to turn my sword ceaselessly without mercy against its foes, to protect damsels, widows, and orphans, and all those seeking aid in just quarrels, against all foes who live and can die.
I swear to heed the Light's command that my fellow man should be loved as oneself, to heed and honor the words and oaths of others as I would have mine own received and honored, to respect and uphold the rank, honor and name of my brothers of this knightly order as I would have mine own treated amongst them, to avoid all Vice and base actions, to love Truth above all else, to defend the righteous and avenge injustice, to be humble and courteous in all things.
In these oaths lies my honor and my duty, for which the Church commends me to my great heavenly reward, to be borne thence by the great spirits of Light themselves.
By the Eternal Light, before whom these relics are holy, I swear of my own free will to be loyal to the Eternal Light and Holy Mother Church, and love all It loves, and hate all that It hates, in accordance with the Church's rights and secular obligations; and never, willingly and intentionally, in word or deed, do anything that is hateful to It; on condition that Mother Church keep me as I shall deserve, and carry out all that was our agreement, when I subjected myself to Her and chose Her favor.
These things I swear ever to do, without reservation, let or exception even to the end of my days, through just loyalty to the Light, for truly the Light will be gracious to him who is duly faithful to the Light and Holy Mother Church."
The oaths sworn in the ceremony of investiture for creating a sacred knight of the Orders of the Light.
"Uhhhhn!" Abbot Sagacious eased out of the saddle as gently as he could, grateful for the mounting block that stood in front of the gate to the handsome stables at the side of the pebbled court of Red Friars Royal.
"Oh, Buckets of Blood, that was awful!" He leaned yet upon the saddle and flexed his stiff knees, only afterwards stepping gingerly down off the block, ignoring the helping arm proffered by the stable-hind. The stable-hind's face twitched as he struggled not to laugh and Sagacious stopped and stared at the poor man until he subsided with brown eyes suddenly turned cold and hard as agates. The abbot's bony old behind was sore and his legs complained bitterly at their labors, especially his knees, but he stubbornly refused to give up riding. He couldn't decide if it was because he had ridden too long, which was a distinct possibility, or not often enough, which was not only possible but probable with all the business of the abbey eating up every moment of his time, or just the encroaching weight of his years. The last he vehemently rejected, though he knew in his heart that it was at least partly to blame. Raised in the martial traditions of the noble family of which he was a younger son, a cousin in what degree he had never been quite sure to the powerful and lovely Marchioness Lucinda of the Low Marches, he had ever been noted for his skill at and love of the hunt.