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Correspondence between Cardinal Pietro Colonna and Marsilia Colonna

My dear child,

It warms my heart to know that you are doing well. Are you enjoying your journeys? Do your companions treat you well?

It came as a surprise to both myself and to His Holiness that the English King should want to keep you in his company, or to at least make use of your services. His Holiness has doubts, but is thankful that he may be kept in the know regarding these strange and dark things. I myself have no hesitation of your capabilities. Your father raised you to be just as capable as any man I ever met. I know that you will continue to do good work, and continue to befuddle the men around you.

Your family is well, but misses you greatly. Your sister’s wedding is soon. No one has the heart, I hear, to tell her that you will likely not be there to see it. But I know the two of you have many happy memories in the future together that will more than make up for the lost time.

Boring politics: It seems that his Holiness’ Plan has gone off magnificently. It’s a shame that we could not stop the sea battle at Sluys, but it seems your gift has secured peace among God’s people at an auspicious time.

Be well. Be safe. Let us know of any news you have.

Your Uncle,
Pietro
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Dearest uncle:

Your faith in me warms my heart and kindles my closeness to you and our God. I am fearful of the course ahead of me. While I am sure that I have been drawn into a battle against evil that would help us to save the very souls of men, I have been offered a power to combat that evil that frightens me. Is power from a source other than the Lord inherently evil? Can an evil power be used to achieve good? Or is it perhaps the destiny of my soul to be sacrificed for others to retain their humanity? Of course, I know what path our Christ would follow, but he was also tempted, and he had wisdom I do not.

My companions are from many walks of life and entertain many conflicts, but they have done me no harm. I miss my family greatly, and it pains me to deceive them about my purpose, but I fear that telling them the truth would cause them more grief. I am unsure what to choose.

I need your advice now more than ever.

All my love,
Marsilia

P.S. I have met your colleague Cardinal Roger and he seems to share your sentiments about the current situation about the threats to the church. Perhaps you may speak with him the next time he is in Avignon. He is currently in our company, providing holy inspiration to some of the Irishmen.
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My Dear Child,

Are the words you speak to me fully true, and absent of rhetoric and metaphor? Are you truly being offered such a power, that you suspect is not of God? What fearful creature has offered this to you, and what cost does it demand in return? Take heed to project your faith and see if he falters. Pay close attention to his eyes, and see if he can bear look at the Holy crucifix. If he can pass these tests, then he must not be in pact with the Evil One, as even he is not immune to strength of faith.

All things natural and beautiful are of God, and that which is not of God is surely of the Devil. Still, there is no path you can take in life that was not meant for you by God. I loathe to think that you are meant to be a sacrifice, but perhaps this is meant to be your burden to bear.

I think it necessary, even if you commit to this course of action, to return to Avignon as soon as you can. There, you and your comrades can be purified directly by His Holiness. A blessing of that strength could surely purify any harm done to your soul by making a pact with whatever power may be.

Perhaps I can make arrangements before you arrive to have some of your family visit as well when you are here. I'm sure they would be happy to see you.

I know Cardinal Roger well. He shares our views, but we must be careful about speaking them so openly. Assume always that someone else may read your messages before they reach may. One never knows who is watching.

Stay safe, dearest child. Go with God.

With Great Love,
Your Uncle Pietro
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Marsilia writes another short note to her uncle:

My dearest uncle:

The king has most generously gifted me with a great token of God, and with that and the symbol of the Holy Cross, I will implore our companion to reveal their true nature.

We must currently journey to Scotland, but I would greatly appreciate a visit for all in Avignon when the time is right. A friend I have made has also expressed a desire to meet with my father for business, so it might be visit he could make for profit as well as his piety.

Unfortunately, I have had a disturbing encounter with the bishop at court here, who indulges in the sins of the flesh with those who may not choose to lie with him. I have asked the bishop to confess to his cardinal and cease his activities, but should he fail to do so, I feel it should be made known to someone, for the king here seems a pious man who deserves better in his court. He seems predisposed to threaten me for discovering his activities, but I merely sought to investigate an oddly-acting handmaiden who I thought might be a danger. I have informed Cardinal Roger to guide him back to God, but it is a worry that one off the path has the ear of such a powerful man.

I will, as always, try to shine the light of God as you have shown me.

With love and prayer,
Marsilia
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[[While the Knights stay at the fort of Gylys Gray outside of St. Andrews, Scotland, this letter is delivered. It bears the papal seal, and is addressed to Marsilia on the exterior envelope.This letter is in response to one penned by Marsilia, in which she reported her imprisonment at the hands of Lord Chalk.]]

To my niece,

These are very dark accusations you make. No mind as young as yours ought to be asked to be burdened with such things. I would wish it possible that the grace of God would see it that you and your darling sisters might lead lives free from the cruelties and perversions of dishonest men.

I will ensure that his Holiness hears these charges and take them seriously. He will surely launch an investigation and punishment will be dealt. However, I fear that it may not be to your satisfaction.

His Holiness holds a tenuous grasp on his allegiance with the English King. With England and France on such an uneasy peace, I'm not sure Bishop Venator is an ally His Holiness will be eager to eschew. We may pray for the best, and hope that God punishes him for his treachery.

To more important matters: Are you safe? Are you well? Do you or your kin need aid? If the English King is truly your enemy now, I'm sure you'd find little resistance to your presence here in France.

My doors remain ever open to you should you be in need.

With undying love,
Your Uncle
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Dearest uncle:

I do hope that His Holiness will dissociate himself with this kind of perverse villainy, in the least. The king may choose through which vessel he wishes to relate with God.

For the time being, we are safe, and travelling again to a town we have freed from the invasion of fell creatures. We will seek to eradicate these demons with the help of the power vested in us, which I trust has been conferred by God, but I will be ever wary of trickery and always seek to protect the innocent.

I hope to direct our party to seek your advice before the journey becomes too treacherous, but I will write to you again when I may. Please let me know anything you can about the king's disposition to these charges.

With love and faith,
Marsilia
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[[While the Knights stay Glin this letter is delivered. It bears the papal seal, and is addressed to Marsilia on the exterior envelope.]]

My dearest niece,

I have been informed by His Holiness that I am no longer to discuss this matter of wicked Bishop under the King's purview. It seems that he is dealing with it in whatever capacity he deems fit. That will have to be enough for us, for the time being.

I must admit that the delineation of your journeys fills me with a deep enthusiasm that I have hardly felt since I was a boy. Even the tales of the crusades, as pious and grandiose as they are, do night fill me with the same degree of righteous vigor that your stories do. Have you laid the fell beasts in ruin?

I wish you fortune in your travels. I hope that you and your companions may come to Avignon again soon. I should like you look upon your face once again, to know in my mind as well as my heart and soul that you are safe and doing God's work.

With undying love,
Your Uncle
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Dearest uncle,

I have done what I can to set this servant of God on a more righteous path; may God forgive me for stepping in, but I do hope I have assisted in His work. He works through us, and I have done my best to be guided by His hand.

We have destroyed many monstrous creatures, laying to rest the fears of the people of Glin for the time being. They can continue to do honest work and live in peace for the winter.

We hope to come and receive the blessing of His Holiness after the winter passes and travel across the channel eases again. Trade, too, will be more free at that time. If it please you, I would like if you might reach out to my family to tell them that the Master of Coin of the English crown wishes to extend a proposal to the Colonna family and others who might seek business with the English people. Despite misunderstandings, they do seem to be earnest servants of God, and perhaps mutual profit might be found.

Though my father has allowed me freedom in my learning of the family dealings, I am not sure he would be comfortable with the notion that English nobles would beseech me on behalf of our family. I do not wish to impose a position upon him that might offend his honour, but I do wish to advance our family if the proposal is fair. If you might pass along this business to my father on our behalf, I do feel he might take it well. Perhaps remind him that he has two more daughters who need good marriages!

I look forward to recounting these travels to you when we see one another.

In love and faith,
Marsilia
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