The Metropolitan glared as the crowd marched down the Marble Path. He had long considered himself possessed of a certain mental equilibrium that had seen him through life. Where other men panicked and made things worse for themselves, he stayed calm, trusting in the Seven and tradition to see him through. And so far they had, through a Church career that had taken him to the upper echelons of the faithful, and even his recent imprisonment.
Staring at the crowd making its way to the Hall of the Ancients, it was hard to avoid feeling that this lifelong tendency had failed.
The Metropolitan stiffened. No. He could not give way to despair. To do that would be to show the same folly as the men who'd engineered his imprisonment, or the fools now groaning in the garden below, after their panicked attempt to re-enter the Hall had caused the overloaded balcony they were on to collapse. Those men had failed to stay true to the Seven, mistaken their own lack of faith for realism, and been punished for it. He was going to remain true.
"If the Holy Light be with us, who can be against us?" he muttered under his breath. He turned from the window, and made his way down the hallway. His hand went to that foolish mask the Ancients had made him wear to be counted among their number, and tore it off.
He would face his opponents unmasked, in the guise his Gods saw.
And he would finish them.