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Father Schyl’s Seven Sermons
Back Story for Beyond the Pale


The entire education of David Able Saul, serf child of much intelligence—which is to say quite rare—consisted of vulgar alphabetics, numbers and the memorization of Father Schyl’s Seven Sermons, which were not his at all, but read from a book elegantly written in calligraphy script, in a distant study, by a long dead hand, in the language of Latin, which belonged only to the dead ghosts of a long ago evil empire and to the priests, monks, abbots, priors, inquisitors, cardinals and pontiffs who ruled over men’s souls as knights, lords and kings ruled, in their unlettered way, over the gross bodies of their earthly subjects.

Father Schyl’s Sermons were:

1. Of the Moons

2. God’s Holy Decree

3. Of Just Christendom

4. Of Vile Barbary

5. Of Ocean and Sea

6. Of Sacred Calvary

7. Of Most Vile Delviltry

The Sermons will be placed in the narrative of David’s life at which point there content becomes relevant.

These seven sermons represent the entirety of common knowledge. Nothing more—other than the earthly details of the duty implicit in one’s station—is to be known by Man, unless one is elevated to the religious, literary classes, and then such knowledge as befits one’s station—from priest to Pontiff, shall be made known. To know a thing out of place—for a potter, for instance, to know of angelic interdiction—is a sin that must be purged, absolved or punished. Hence, David Able Saul’s clockwork mind, shockingly evidenced in the equations he submitted to Father Schyl—which travelled at the speed of a whipped horse from Angelsey to the Holy See in Italy—would normally require a trip to the Dungeons of Perdition. But David had been born to a time of tumult that shivered the Pontiff’s own soul—a Pontiff who grasped at the promise of a clockwork mind to mend the very fabric of a demon-haunted world.

Books by James LaFond

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