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The Chevalier Mark Andrew Ramsay finds himself catching the worst of three worlds as battles rage in two of them and intrigue develops in the third. The Queen of the Abyss, the Queen of the Center and the King of the Tuatha de Danaan may be more than the venerable Knight of Death can handle at one time, but he may have more going for him than everyone suspects. He must protect the Order and the Order's interests from the evil powers that have usurped Omar Kadif's empire since the Prophet suffered an unfortunate accident. Meanwhile, he must try to win over his wayward son, Luke Andrew and recruit enough power to put down a threat to the woodland elves. Just when he thinks things can't get any worse... well... he must face his own worst nightmare.
The Company of Women is the eighteenth installment of the Assassin Chronicles continues the adventures of the Knight of Death, the Chevalier du Morte, Mark Andrew Ramsay, poor Knight of Solomon's Temple. He is the assassin for the Red Cross of Gold, a sub-order of the Templar Knights as they have survived underground for well over a millennium. He was born the simple son of minor Scottish nobility in the thirteenth century, but his life took a turn for the bizarre when he fell in first with the Templar Knights in Jerusalem and then later with the Red Cross of Gold after the fall of Jerusalem. For a thousand years and then another thousand years he has striven to right the wrongs not only of his own life, but those of the world in general. Being immortal is not all it's cracked up to be.
“Have we heard from Lavon?” Mark Andrew asked Montague as he entered the Seneschal’s office and closed the door.
“No sir, not yet.”
“I have been unable to contact him, your Grace.” Montague turned slightly in his chair and looked at the news broadcast running on his television. He had seen it a hundred times by now, but he did not want to look directly into the Grand Master’s eyes. Not with liar, liar written all over his face.
“And Simon, the younger?” Mark Andrew leaned both hands on the oak desk.
“No Sir.” Montague shook his head. “I have been trying to sort out these records and make sure everything arrived safely. As you know, we have had two more deliveries from St. Patrick’s and…”
“Look at me, Brother,” Mark Andrew’s voice took on an ominous tone.
Montague turned slowly and raised his eyes to the Grand Master’s face. Ramsay’s complexion was dark with anger.
“You are lying to me!” Mark told him bluntly. He turned back to the door and threw it open. Konrad von Hetz stepped into the room and looked up at the ceiling. The jig was up.
“I would know what is going on, Brother,” Mark Andrew said and glanced at Konrad and then at the Seneschal. “You can tell me or I will know the hard way.”
“Brother… your Grace.” Konrad met the Master’s gaze. “I will tell you what you want to know. There is no need to do anything rash.”
“Rash?” Mark’s mouth fell open in surprise. “Rash. I find it a bit rash that my Knights are plotting behind my back. Keeping secrets from me. Where is Dambretti and Simon, the younger? Did they go to New Babylon? I gave strict orders. No one was to leave here without my express permission.”
“Yes, your Grace. That is… those are your orders,” Montague said quietly.
“But there are questions, your Grace,” Konrad said darkly. “We have had news of the underworld and things going on there…”
“What things?” Mark backed up and sat down in one of Montague’s leather armchairs.
“Are you aware of the fact that Corrigan has taken up with the Tuatha de Danaan and is now waging war as their king with the help of Lugh, the Dagda, against the faeries in what is known as the Center? Sam and his… her people.”
“Her people?” Mark Andrew repeated the words inanely. “Sam is a she?”
“Yes,” Montague spoke up. “I have been down there, your Grace. You have been acting very strangely since your return from the underworld. I thought it in the best interest of the Order to investigate things there. And I must say that I am appalled by the place. It is unnatural… unholy.”
“Are you aware of the fact that someone who bears a remarkable resemblance to yourself is now the King of the Center and is leading Queen Sam’s forces against the Tuatha?” Konrad asked him point blank.
Mark Andrew closed his eyes.
“Aye,” he nodded. “I did not think that it would be good to spread such news about. It is very disturbing… even to me.”