"History is never done, especially not with Cussians. And we are only just getting started with it." - Dr. Xaphan Hammond; New Model Nativist, volume 8, March 1992 issue "Cardinal Xaphan" first passed that pithy, if often horribly misquoted to the masses in the spring of '92, but it had always been present in the Cussian collective subconscious. Outsiders, even other Engellkin had an incredibly hard time grasping just how viscerally connected to the past the "Cavalier Midengells" truly were. That stemmed from Nativism, first and last, but it was a trait that permeated all quarters of society, even those on the outer margins. The stubbornly persistent Indigene Animists, Shamanists and Totemists rejected nearly every aspect of modern technology to live amongst their ancestors, by maintaining and "sharing" in their Neolithic lifestyle and traditions. The inoffensive and pacifistic Quakers, who happily segregated themselves from the wider "heathenized society" of their native land, would never forget that their Lord and Savior had revealed the way of friendship and grace to them in Beautancus. It was even true for other, more controversial breeds of Cussian Fictionals, none more so than the faithful sons and daughters of Tibur, scattered and few as those that yet remained now were. Short of being Chiricahua, Kawetseka or Tascalora, one would be hard pressed to name any group that had fought harder against or suffered more savagely at the hands of Cussian Nativists than had the adherents of Tiburan Catholicism. For most of those that remained, that suffering was precisely their reason for doing so. The Hebrews of old had been savaged beneath the lash of Ashur and Chaldea for far longer - and they had abided in their faith. The Holy Patriarchs and Sainted Martyrs of the early Church had persevered in the face of far more direct and pitiless persecutions by the pagans of Ancient Tibur - whom they had, in the end, converted one and all. God's grace worked on God's time, in the hearts of men and nations. Theophilus St. Amand was but one among the number that lingered in this strange land. The history of his family in these lands predated their possession by Engell or Cussian, and had weathered countless Indigene warpaths and Nativist reprisals in those centuries. Of those, the final years of the Troubles and the years immediately following them had been the worst by whole orders of magnitude. Despite their deep local connections and having avoided any association with the Milites Domini or the Nameless Kingdom, his family had been forced to change their name (which now read as "Sandman" on all of their legal documents) to avoid the state-mandated pogroms and asset seizures. All the same, most of their fortune and many of their properties had not survived the slow collapse of the Old Confederacy. They'd held on though, long enough to bounce back with the rest of Beautancus in the boom of the 20th century's third quarter. Theophilus, or as he was known to most of the world - "Phil" - had parlayed that into further success in his own time, but now that it - his time - was drawing to a close he felt the compulsion to honor the ancient faith of his forefathers more and more. He loved his friends and neighbors dearly, they weren't bad people. He worried for their souls though, and had amended to do what he could to save even a few of them from the damnation their wrathful pride would no doubt have purchased. Phil was already a noted booster for a number of charitable organizations and Relief Societies within the city, including the very one that Ralph and Vincent were working in. He also contributed directly to Holy Tibur's missionary efforts to Westernesse, going so far as to host them in his own home when needed. He'd been aware that Vincent would be coming for some while now, but word of his arrival and how to make contact had lagged some weeks behind. The word had finally arrived though, around the same time the great blaze on the waterfront had broken out. It had taken some time to get into this part of town, but Phil was confident he'd timed his arrival to catch Vincent before he left for the day. And there he was, walking out the door. It had been a rough day for everyone in the medical field in this part of the city today, and some of the weight of it seemed to linger on the young missionary's features. Phil wasted no time, and made a beeline right for him. "Sir, excuse me, but do you have the time?" As Vincent turned Phil could not help but beam - he always loved this part. Dangling from beneath his palm was a tiny, silver charm - an ikhthus.