The Council of the Cursed (Sister Fidelma, Book 19)
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When Bishop Leodegar of Autun calls upon the church leaders from western Europe to attend a council, it is to be a meeting haunted by sudden death and intrigue. It's AD 670, and the Council of Autun is meeting to discuss serving a final devastating blow to the Celtic Church. But when a conflict between two delegate results in the murder of the chief delegate from Hibernia, the entire Council is in danger. Sister Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, arrive in Autun to act as advisors to the Irish delegation. Between the autocratic Bishop Leodegar and the malignant abbess, Mother Audofleda, a web of sinister intrigue soon spreads. The theft of a priceless reliquary box, the disappearance of women and children and rumours of a slave trade make this one of the most sinister puzzles that Fidelma and Eadulf have ever faced...
longer has, incidentally–summoned him to Bishop Ordgar’s chamber on urgent business.’ ‘When was this scene uncovered–the finding of the body of Dabhóc?’ ‘Well after midnight but certainly before dawn,’ Abbot Ségdae replied. ‘So when was this note delivered to Cadfan?’ ‘He says he was awoken in his chamber by a knock and the note placed under the door. He went to Ordgar’s chamber, knocked and a voice bade him enter. He did so–and immediately received a blow to the head. He knew nothing else
firmly in the Latin language that was common to them all. Abbot Cadfan’s scowl merely deepened. ‘Forgive my bluntness, Leodegar of Autun,’ he said, ‘but I have the ability to recognise an insult from an opinion expressed in genuine debate. I will tolerate no insults from the enemies of my blood and my people.’ The elderly, grey-haired cleric seated at Abbot Cadfan’s right side laid a gentle hand on his companion’s arm. He was Abbot Dabhóc of Tulach Óc, who represented Bishop Ségéne of Ard
asked next. ‘In fact, both men, when returning to consciousness, asked me what had happened. They said that they had no memories of it.’ ‘They claimed they recalled nothing?’ ‘Bishop Ordgar said he remembered taking wine, as was his custom before retiring and falling asleep. Abbot Cadfan said he entered Bishop Ordgar’s chamber, having been summoned there in the middle of the night, and was struck from behind and knew nothing else. I would say that the suspicion is more strongly connected with
should not be flippant about such matters, my brother. I simply wish, having found the circumstances that prevail in this abbey, that I had never asked her to come here in the first place. Anyway, the hour grows late. There is barely time to bathe before the evening meal.’ Someone was shaking him. He was aware of a voice calling urgently. Abbot Ségdae awoke, blinking against the light of the candle enclosed in a lantern that was held above him. ‘Bishop Leodegar says you must come at once!’
It might also help readers to place locations by observing that the Gaulish River Liga, the Celtic name meaning silt or sediment and Latinised as Liger, is now the stately Loire; the Gaulish river name Aturavos is now the Arroux, and the Rhodanus is the Rhône. The town of Nebirnum is now Nevers, Divio is now Dijon and the Armorican port of Naoned is now the city of Nantes. Contents Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight