La Rochelle, France
Friday, October 13th
Year of our Lord 1307
It was nearly the dawn of a new day but Éliane still hadn’t slept. She found it difficult to sleep at such a time. Her young son’s future was at stake. He was old enough now to become a page and she could think of no better place for him than with the Order of Poor Knights of the Temple. It was a misnomer of course. Each individual member may be poor, expected to give up all worldly possessions upon joining. But the Order itself absorbed all that wealth, and the Order’s exploits had made it richer still. So much so that it was able to fund the cost of governing a kingdom. Her son would never want for a thing.
However, the Order was not as favoured as it once was. So she was restless. All of that wealth and the power that came with it made royalty jealous and suspicious. Philip IV of France especially wanted to discredit them. His crown was most indebted. For years he’d tried to wipe that slate clean by getting rid of the Order. This time they stood accused of heresy and sodomy. And this time was different because this time Philip had the backing of a papal agent
Clement himself had not been receptive to Philip’s accusations. The Order was Christian, after all, and founded with the Church’s endorsement. But Éliane knew that wasn't the only reason he was unreceptive. There was no love lost between the papacy and Philip. The Order was not the first powerful obstacle in the way of his ambitions. Despite his intrigues falling short against the late Pope Bonifant, he still wielded much authority. So it made sense that an aspiring member of the Church would attach himself to Philip.