Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Special - Command Decision

With the campaigning season about to start, the Bishop of Ludlow has announced a reconstitution of his Battle Headquarters, reports the Ludlow Leader. The accession - some months ago, now - of the Bishop's Military Secretary, the Rev Duff-Postin, to the position of Chancellor of All-Ludlow (by the universal acclamation of both the Town and Ecclesiastical Councils) left a vacancy for the position of Bearer of the Great Standard. The despatch - around the same time - of the Rev. Stoker, Chief Exorcist to the Bishop and Battle NCO to Commandant Lasalle, on a goodwill tour to the French Central African Protectorate Independent Republic of Jojoba (President for Life, Chief Whoaroo) left another HQ position unfilled. It is thought that, after his stop off in Africa, the Rev. Stoker will head on to Ruritania and Transylvania (in search of Arrowsmith's rumoured new recruiting grounds) while the new Chancellor has already been despatched on a secret diplomatic mission of his own, apparently "much closer to home"...

The Bishop and his new Battle HQ in the grounds of Ludlow Castle
The announced changes reflect the growing importance within Ludlow of a new religious organisation, THe Order (of the Bishop) of Hereford Martyred And Sanctified, or the "Order of THOMAS" for short. Doubting - well, it could hardly be otherwise - the official reports to the effect that the kidnapped Bishop of Hereford is still alive and well, the Order maintains a different truth - that "their Bishop" has been assassinated by his captors, and - directed as they are by the former Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral, who fled to the sanctuary of Ludlow upon the fall of Hereford and capture of the Bishop - have vowed revenge. The interests of such a powerful - not to say, fanatical - political force in Ludlow needed to be assuaged.

The Bishop, accompanied by Commandant Lasalle, explains the command changes to an eager press
"It is a great pleasure" the Bishop told a hastily assembled press conference, "to announce the appointment of Brother Oswin as the Bearer of the Great Standard of Ludlow. And Brother Cadfael - with his well known 'Cup of Healing Herbs" - as Medic to the Expeditionary Force. I know that Abbot Ambrose, leader of the Order of THOMAS, is equally pleased by the recognition thereby conferred upon his noble Order. We must pray for all of our Headquarters Staff in the battles to come...."

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