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Power and influence in the shadow of the cathedral

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The clear starlit night sky robbed the warmth from the sleeping city. Stéphane de Champs, standing in the Mâitre Paris Quarter, shivering, pulled his cape closer around his shoulders. He really wanted to have been at home with his wife and son; but he had to fortify his influence in the quarter, as his opponents were already too close for comfort. The fear of losing his position had made him need to be here at this late hour. Yesterday he had already made good his relations with the Seminary by visiting there.

The excursion to the bank had also been worthwhile. After his last three visits there, he could expect to get four gold coins today - enough, to influence certain respected citizens. Also bribing the city guard with a gold coin had proven extremely worthwhile. Today he had already taken his privilege at the residence. Now he was uncertain on the way to the guest house, how much wage he would expect there. The thought to the friendly landlady quickened his pace. She always had a friendly word to say, and her gossip could prove useful. As he quickened his pace, he was already planning for tomorrow. Should he visit the Cochhouse first, to look in the market places of the city for secret messages?

Or should he rather… - Huh, what was that? A black shadow, which moved quickly in front of him and disappeared between the grills of the storm drains in the gutter. Rats! It took his mind off his thoughts. He expelled a deep sigh.

Now he would have to deal with pest control first thing in the morning, to take control of these hated creatures. Tomorrow, the hospital would now be his first port of call.

And instead of the meeting he was to have with the beautiful lady-in-waiting, he would now have to visit the doctor. And then on Sunday he would he would go to the cathedral to see the bishop, who would recompence his numerous flock in a beneficial way. But could Stéphane motivate enough of his fellow citizens to come to the cathedral, to appease the bishop?

His concern grew as he approached the silhouette of the mighty cathedral, whose two towers soared into the night sky, graced by the gentle light of the full moon. His fate would be decided here. With a further sigh and offering up a prayer up, he continued - to Notre Dame…