By the power invested in me by the Church ofTthe Way of White, I General Rusq of Thorolund, hereby orders elite knight Viria to travel to Havel's fortress (commonly known as sunbeam crossing) with whatever army available to her (be they soldiers or mercenaries) and to claim the fortress as property of the church.

Once control of the fortress has been seized, elite knight Viria is to open the envelope containing further details about her mission.

Elite knight Viria, daughter of Dinostra, and faithful follower of The Way of White. You are hereby tasked with a holy mission, entrusted to you and your subordinates by the Church. The fortress you now occupy is the last remaining western accuss point to The Land of Lords.

In ancient times, Bishop Havel was tasked by the Gods of Anor Londo to guard the crossing over Sunbeam river, and to provide passage over it for the faithful. And so he ordered the building of Havel's fortress. For a thousand years, pilgrims from all lands west of Balder journeyed to Lordran by means of this fortress.

Elite knight Viria, your orders are as follows:

1) To seize control of Havel's fortress, and to make camp within its walls.

2) To prevent any enemies (undead or otherwise) to capture or destroy the fortress.

3) To allow safe passage to all travellers from Astora, Thorolund or Catarina who wishes to cross the river into Lordran.

4) To arrest any travellers deemed an enemy of the Church, or an enemy of the Gods.

These are your orders. Follow them in the name of the Gods, until such time you are ordered otherwise.

May the sunlight guide you.

General Rusq

" There you have it. The reason we are all here."

The woman, dressed in the finest armor money could buy, put down the letter and placed in on the round stone table. A single candle illuminated the group of six people who were seated around it. The letter was picked up by the large, bearded man in chain mail armor who sat on the opposite side. His eyes darted across the page and then with a raised eyebrow, looked back at Viria.

"Is he bloody joking?" he said. Viria sighed.

"Are you doubting the authenticity of my orders?" she asked.

"Oh no" he responded. "Im doubting the sanity of your superior!"

"General Rusq" began the slender woman on his left "is extremely high regarded in Thorolund. He has deep connections with the church, and they have the highest faith in him. To question his orders, and thereby the church, could be considered...foolish. It could, one might say, even be considered treason. Are you a traitor Bern?"

Although the face of Elion showed no expression, her voice was filled with amusement. Bern however, seemed unamused.

"How DARE you!" he bellowed. "I did NOT join the army to have my loyalty insulted by a common thief!" He looked at Viria, and said, in a calmer voice: "I'm just saying that this task was given to Havel centuries ago. There are no Gods left in Anor Londo, and I doubt They care what happens to this fortress. It no longer has any strategic value. This whole thing just... It seems like a waste of our time."

"To you perhaps" said the knight seated right to Viria. " But this is no less a holy mission. Havel's fortress have been guarded by the faithful for hundreds of years. I consider it an honor to continue such a noble legacy."

Viria smiled. "Thank you Klerno." She turned to Bern. "I understand your frustration Bern. I doubt guard duty was what you had in mind when you joined my command. Still, guarding this fortress is what we have been ordered to do, and guard it we shall. If anyone else have a problem with our situation, I'd prefer if they spoke now. Derius!" she turned to the man dressed in simple robes on her left. "You have been awfully silent! Do you have anything to say?"

The cleric named Derius looked up, apparently surprised he had been spoken to. "Me? My Lady, I very much agree with knight Klerno. This is a holy mission! To abandon it would be to betray the memory of Havel the rock, and the very Gods we serve! Berns concerns actually remind me of a passage in The book of Urdas. May I? Hrm."

And Fina departed from the chamber.

And the soul of Urdas was filled with sorrow, for he thought himself abandoned.

But after a time he was filled with great joy, for even thought the Goddess had escaped his sight, She had not escaped his heart.

And Her power filled his soul, and he knew Her eyes would always be upon him.

Such is the nature of the Gods.

"Thank you Derius. Very inspirational." Viria said.

Derius nodded. "I hoped it would be".

Bern rolled his eyes, but remained silent. Elion turned to him. "And how do your pet feel about this mission of ours? It seems rather upset by the change of scenery."

Berns eyes narrowed, but before he could respond, Viria raised a commanding finger. "Elion! Enough! There is no reason to speak of her as if she were a dog!" Elion gave Viria an apologetic bow. "As you wish, my lady."

Viria stood up. "All right. Unless anyone else has anything to say, I think it is high time we explore this place further. I want every room checked for weapons, I want all entrances closed, and I want all of you to make yourselves comfortable. Rest assured, we will not leave this fortress for a very. long. time.

As their commander left the room, one by one the rest of the company rose. Klerno put on his helmet, and began walking towards the courtyard. Elion made a theatrical gasp, and then silently moved down the stairs to the dorm. Derius made a motion to follow her, but then turned around and followed Klerno instead.

Bern remainded seated. He sighed. His head turned to his right. "And what do you think, Gwy? What are your opinions about this Great Holy Quest?"

The read-haired woman did not respond, nor did she acknowledge that she had been spoken to. She simply sat on her chair, eyes staring blankly in front of her. Her only motion was a slight shudder.

"Cold huh? Well, Im sure there is a fireplace here somewhere. Even cleric knights need to eat, right? Come on girl. Let us find a place to warm ourselves."

The large man rose from his seat, and left the room. The woman remained motionless for some time, but then rose and followed him. The candle burned for another minute, its flame slightly illuminating the empty council chamber. But eventually its flame faded. And all that remainded was darkness.