Bardic Chestnuts: Cedric of Abbotsbury

Brother Cedric of Abbotsbury

The life of Brother Cedric has proven to be a test of faith.  When Cedric was a young man he learned a great many lessons at the hands of his older brothers.  Most of these lessons involved bruises and even a broken bone or two on occasion.  It was his faith in the almighty that kept Cedric from lashing out in anger at his abusive family.  Instead Cedric focused his energy to the study of the Lord and began his work in the church.  
As a scribe, Cedric spent several years illuminating the Holy Bible.  Many times over, he wrote the words of the Father until he was so familiar with them that he could recite verses with both accuracy and fervor.   In time Cedric's manuscripts would be sought after by monasteries all across the Christian world.  Cedric had found the path that the Lord had wished him to walk. 
Unfortunately, tragedy would once again come into Cedric's life.  War was endemic all across the land, Northumbria soon was overtaken by Egbert as the new overlord. This pillaging was devastating, as brutal as Mercia before, and Cedric's abbey was not immune to the slaughter.  Raucous mercenary attackers took advantage of the chaos and looted the church.  Cedric and his fellow monks tried to resist, and in the confusion several candles fell over starting a great fire.  As the abbey blazed, Cedric watched his manuscripts and the beloved church burn all around him.  He prayed to the Lord, and succumbed in penitent grief. 
He awoke in the halls of a dark castle.  Crawling through the cavernous dungeon, Cedric made his way to the light of day. There he saw the sign of Christ carved into a tree.  Looking around the barren landscape, Cedric was certain that he had been saved from the conflagration by the almighty and put on a new path.  The ruined dark caverns behind him were home to savage men that Cedric did not recognize.  They began to emerge from the tunnels and approach him, but Cedric was not afraid. These mongrels took Cedric into their town nearby, where they forced him to carry lumber back and forth.  But Cedric did not complain, for he knew his time would come. 
Soon, Cedric was proven right. One day when he was out gathering mushrooms for his captors, Cedric was led to a grove with many fungi growing in the hollows of the rotten trees.  Cedric stepped just out of the way when a tree fell upon his captor and killed him outright.  Cedric was scared at first, but fear turned into gratitude as he saw what appeared to be the Christ mark scratched into the felled tree and an arrow pointing south.   Cedric took the cue and fled to the south, where he walked for forty days and nights with only the mushrooms and the spring water to sustain him.  
Still, Cedric grew strong and on the fortieth day he came across a large monastery. There Cedric learned of the world and he instantly knew that he had been granted another chance to make it right.  And with that Cedric joined the Society of St Paul and began working on his first of many magnificent illuminated manuscripts.  Eventually Brother Cedric would rise in prominence and help spread the gospel all across Alluvium. 

Posted on January 25, 2017 .