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Chapter Quest =LXXXIII=

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The condemned marched in line, their vestments of office worn above plain robes as they were arranged in a row upon the venerable entrance to St. Evengelion's Cathedral. Upon the flanks of the stairs stood fully twenty Astartes, their armor still bearing the marks of war they'd gained from the Betrayal at Varda, their hands placed upon the hilts of rested swords before them. The bells of the grand cathedral tolled five times for the condemned, the gathered witnesses ranging from nobles of the Governor's court to lowly beggars whispering that the bells would draw the Emperor's attention to this event.

Chapter Master stood beside the condemned as five of his brothers exited the Cathedral, bearing the anointed blades that would judge the Iron Monks before them. Several priests of the Cathedral offered prayers to the Emperor from the structure's doorway, empty containers of blessed water beside them. The five Astartes stepped between the condemned, all but the one nearest Chapter Master offering worried prayers to the Emperor.

Chapter Master surveyed the crowd as he unfurled the scroll in his grasp, banishing the whispers of the gathered. "These five do stand here before the Imperium and the Emperor to be judged by the Ordeal of the Blade for over one hundred crimes involving the Heretic Haran Dreifus. If you wish to admit your guilt to any of these charges, speak now and the Emperor's Mercy will be granted."

The silent priest simply turned his head toward Chapter Master and spoke. "Emperor forgive you, Lord Astartes."

With a simple gesture, Chapter Master signaled his Astartes to present the blades to the condemned.