It had been nearly two years since the conclave. Two years in which the Church, in all its corrupt splendor, its faulty ways, had given itself a placeholder on the apostolic throne. Two years ago, they had failed in their ambitions to install Taft as Holy Father. The conclave had been deadlocked, and when neither Cardinal Meyer or Cardinal Taft were able to unite enough votes behind their bids, the conclave eventually collapsed in on itself. The result - a husk holding the reigns in the halls of St. Peter, frail, neither able, nor willing to do what was right for the Church. That was what Juun believed. These past two years had been transitional for him as well. When he had traveled undercover to Trier, he had used a faked Trivodnian passport to bypass Kashtanese and Kadiki border controls. He had met the other cardinals for the first time, his own status as cardinal in seclusion had given him all the theological training he could have ever hoped for, but had made him terribly wanting in the ways of the world that ruled supreme in the Curia. Now Trivodnia didn't exist anymore, taken by the red storm of Ivar's ambitions, and a naive old faithful had not been idle, expanding his network among his colleagues and the traditional orders, of which his own Ordo Solaris was the paragon. Under the influence of Taft, whom he had learned to respect and had tried to maneuver into the papacy, the Kashtanese cardinal had eventually joined the traditionalist society. The Ordo Solaris, that much was clear, was a rising power within the Church. And it was time at last to ensure its inevitably ascendancy, if the wretched carrion lords of Old Europe were ever to be dealt with, the Meyers, the Stewarts. He glanced at Taft. "A plot, then."