### John Stanley- 24th September 1355

Next morning, early, they rode up to St Ferriol and called on Estavan. Ximene explained that they were investigating aspects of her inheritance and that they had been guided to Brenac church. She gave gave a brief summary of what they had found there.

Estavan smiled broadly. ‘That is just what I am looking for, a chance to do something different. Give me a little time to organize my affairs and we will go to visit this church.’

Whilst they waited they explored the village of St Feriole.

It was late in the year but on this day by lunchtime it was very warm. Far from the warning Maurice had given them there was not a soul to be seen.

There was little shade on the way to Brenac but when they entered the church it was comfortably cool. John showed Estavan the strange animals and the tablets on the the paintings either side of the altar.

Estavan nodded but then spent half an hour gazing at all the other paintings, studying each one in turn.

John broke into his reverie. ‘It is actually the two larger paintings which I showed you first, the ones either side of the altar, which we wanted some help with.’

Estavan put his hand on John’s shoulder. ‘Just give a little time John, I am as intrigued with the all these strange illustrations as you were when you first saw them yesterday. I want to get a feel for this mysterious place. What I am trying to establish is if there are any links to the other paintings in the church.’

Ximene pulled at John’s arm. ‘John I am sure Estavan knows what he is doing.’

Estavan eventually did turn to the task of interpreting the ‘tablet” paintings. He spent another half hour crossing and re-crossing the church to make comparisons. During all of these considerations he remained silent.

John became impatient. ‘Have you got anything to tell us Estavan?’

Again Ximene tugged at his arm. ‘John!’

Estavan grinned. ‘No, that is good. I am ready now. Just a liittle bit of explanation. I am intending to use the science of numerology to penetrate this mystery.’

He glanced at both John and Ximene through lowered eyes. ‘Science? Possibly!’

He took a deep breath. ‘So one way numerology is used is as an accomanyment to astrology, the linking of human potential to the movements of planets. It is in my opinion, just a party trick but many people like to think that their potential and future is linked to events beyond their control.

They reject the concept that their progrss through life is actually determined by their own energy, initiative or determination to succeed.

Numerology contibutes to this by assigning to every letter in the alphbet a numeric value. Consequently for any name it is possible to calculate a value and from that value to make an assesment of the character and potential of the person carrying the name.

So shall I give some examples?

‘John, J O H N.

J=1

O=7

H=5

N=5

Total for name=(1+7+5+5)=18=(1+8) =9.’

Estevan reached inside his satchel and pulled out a small book.

‘John number 9. Hmm. If you focus your attention on someone it will be impossible for them to escape. However you are a seeker. When you see injustice or suffering, you will not hesitate to devote yourself to rectifying it. More importantly, you will not then dedicate any energy towards receiving credit for your actions.

You will not force herself upon others.

When circumstances require, you can be a powerful force, strong enough to take over and bend others to your will. Yet your leadership qualities are in the higher realms of philosophy and justice. You change peoples minds!’

Estevan raised his head. ‘Do you recognise yourself John?’

Ximene nodded, John shook his head

Estevan turned his gaze to Ximene

X, I, M, E, N, E

X=5

I=1

M=4

E=5

N=5

E=5

Total for name ( 5+1+4+5+5+5) = 25= 2+5=7

Ximene number 7.

You are also a seeker, but more deeply a thinker, a searcher for the truth. You don’t take anything at face value you are always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. You know that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.

If you are a woman you will most likely be beautiful. You won’t like to fuss in front of the mirror, but you can be very seductive, deliberately seductive.

If necessary you will take on a room full of men in any discussion, totally unaffected by the fact that many of them have something completely different in mind than the quality of your argument.’

Estevan grinned. ‘Again I must ask do you recognise yourself?’

Ximene sighed. John chuckled

I will give you one other piece of information. The characterisation of both 9 and 7 are the ones above all others which can equally applied to both males and females. If you are, as I suspect, in a close relationship then the characteristics of both identities may become totaly merged so that that you act as one to achieve the same ends.

John pursed his lips. ‘And do you believe in this?’

‘No I don’t. I think of it only as a party game…but it can give some very interesting results

He sighed ‘But that is not why we are here, I only mentioned it to give you some idea of how numerology works. There are many other uses for numerology’

The two illustrations one each side of the altar are a classical numerogical display. All the floral work, scrolls, and and quasi heraldry should be ignored. The animals, which look like horses emerging from flowers, should also be ignored.’

He pressed lips tightly together, ‘What we are then left with is four tablets. It is the numbers which matter. The same puzzle could have been presented in a simple table but it would not have been as dramatic. These puzzles always rely on the combination and recombination of the numbers. The two illustrations are in fact a single numerology problem.’

He waved his arm. ‘We must start somewhere. So, the tablet on the right of the illustration on the southern side of the altar. Let’s call it tablet one.

He beckoned them into a position where they could see the illustration clearly. ‘It depicts a triangle followed by a Roman numeral V , this followed by a VI, then a VII.

The triangle is most important. It tells us that the purpose of this particular example of numerology is to solve a problem associated with a figure of some kind, probably a triangle. the angles of a triangle always add up to 180 degrees, an equal sided triangle has thee angles of 60 degrees and for the vast majority of triangles and typically they are between 30 and 90 degrees, so it is numbers of this order of magnitude we should be looking for.

Therfore in this particular puzzel we are not necessecarily concerned twith establishing a final single digit result but reviewing all the numbers which emerge as we progress.

The total on the first tablet is V+VI+VII.

This is XVIII, or 18 in Arab numbering. In numerology 18 could also be the sum of 1+8 = 9 or alternatively 1 and 8 . Remember those numbers. 18,9,8 and 1. add all these numbers together gives us 36, remember that also. 3+6=9.

So from this preliminary examination the number indicated to us in two different ways is 9. but at the moment we have no idea what that means.

Estavan cleared his throat

Still on the illustration on the southern side of the altar the second tablet on the left of the illustration, call that tablet two, has the roman numeral I followed by II and finally III.

The total is I + II + III = VI = 6. That’s it. Just a single number.

the end number from the first tablet is 9 and the end number from the second tablet is 6

If we now add them together 9+6=15, 1+5=6

Both 9 and 6 are obviously important

He cleared his throat again. His voice climed an octave. “Now if we look at the northerly picture, There are no numbers on the left hand tablet, Tablet 3 just undeciperable scribble, which I take it to mean that we are being given a message, however this is a numerology problem there are four lines of text with nothing below. add another 4 to our list of end numbers.’

The second tablet on the northerly picture certainly is unusual. The display uses exclusively Roman Numerals but on this tablet there is a number VV which does not exist in roman numerals. I have decided it should be ignore it.

Ignoring the VV the total is IV + XVI= XXX= 30 or 3+0=3

Adding the end numbers together gives 4+3=7

If however we look for a different solution therefore the total for the northerly picture is 30+4 = 34 , 3+4=7

Seventy Seven is a very powerful number.

It is the sum of the first eight prime numbers, and a multiple of both 7 and 11 which are Gaussian integers. This means that the multiple of these numbers is a blum integer.’

John and Ximene looked at each other. John blinked and Ximene ran her hand through her hair.

Estevan shook his head and laughed. ‘These terms mean that 77 is a really special number. It would take pages and pages to explain why but it is a very special number.

In numerology one rendering of Jesus Christ is the number 77!

Yes that is right Ximene the same numger as you!

He grinned and gave an exagurated bow.

‘But to continue,

7+7=14, 1+4=5

Adding all the end numbers together gives (9+6+4+3)=21.

Sddenly I am quite excited

suddenly we have 5 and 21 to join with 8 and 1

It means that we now have four numbers of the Fibonacci sequence. This series is generated by adding the last number in the series to the next lower number. thus, 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,79 are all members of the Fibonacci sequence.

The Fibonacci sequence is associated with what are called the golden ratios. The division of one number by the previous and next numbers in the series in the sequence is known as the golden ratio, and exept for very small numbers is a constant. either 0.681 or 1.681. Golden ratio’s have been studied by mathematicians for at least two thousand years.

Some people would say that use of these ratios produces effects that are attractive to the human eye.

They have been used in the construction of the Acropolis in Greece and even earlier in the construction of the pyramids in Egypt.

Others say that they are more than just pleasing to the human eye, that the golden ratio’s are part of God’s plan.

Shellfish when dissected show structures which follow the golden ratio. The petals of a flower and the seed distribution at the centre of the flower, even the proportions of the human face and body all are examples of the golden ratio.

Of direct relevance to our search is that the numbers we have identified are associated with the construction of a pentacle, which is perhaps the ultimate application of the phenomenon of the golden ratios.

The movement of the planet Venus as observed from the earth traces the points of a pentacle in the sky.

And there is more than that here

Going back to the 1st tablet. The number 18 is closely associated with a perfect pentacle. It is the origin of a different series, as is the sum of all the numbers of the first tablet, 36

18,36, 54, 72, 90,108. the series is made up by adding 18 to each number to generate the next number.

These all represent the angles applied in the construction of a perfect pentacle.

We have the proportions and the angles needed to construct a perfect pentacle. Consequently, there is no doubt in my mind that the coded information in these paintings tells us that we should be looking for a pentacle as well as a triangle.

Estevan prowled round the church. John and Ximene sat on a pew waiting for him to return. I see no sign of a triangle or pentacle within this church they must therefore be external to the church. for the clues to be found here I think it is quite possible that this church marks a point of the pentacle or triangle, possibly both.

John’s eyes opened wide. Ximene jumped up and danced on the spot with excitement.

If you want to identify the other points, an indication of the direction in which one of the other points lies is needed.

This information is undoubtably here. it is just a question of unravelling it

We haven’t quite finised with the first two tablets

We ended up with 9+6 = 15, or 1 and 5 or 1+5 =6, It has returned to 6 again

Now if we add the 6 from the second tablet to all the numbers derived from the first tablet

18+6= 24, or 2+4=6

8+6 = 14, or 1 and 4 or 1+4=5,

1+6 = 7

Add it to the total as well.

36+6=42, or 4+2 =6

He frowned and scratched his head.

.So at this has given us three sixes’s 666 is called the number of the beast; the devil’s number , so this may represent a warning to those attempting to solve the puzzle not to go any further.

He shivered but continued.

If it is a warning we well ignore it. At least for now.

If we sort these numbers in numerical order and add them up from the outside in.in two different ways

42, 24, 15,14, 7

42 +7=49, 4+9=13, 1+3 =4

24+14=38, 3+8=11,1+1=2

42+24=66, 6+6=12,1+2=3

These last two fill in the gaps in the fibbonachi series

14+7=21 and 2+1=3

Therefore , Taking all four tablets together the most significant numbers we can derive are

24.42,6,15,14, 7 30, 3, 34, 7, 74 and 11

put these in numerical order.

74 42,34, 30,24,15,14,11,7,7,3

ad them from the outside in

74+3=77=7+7=14

42+7=49=4+9=13 final fibbonachi number

34+7=41=4+1=5

30+11=41 =4+1=5

24+14=38=3+8=11

15=1+5=6

Now this again interesting the sum of the final derived numbers is14+13+5+5+ 11+6 =54.

However we have not done this for all the numbers derived from the first two tablets, those numers are 42, 24,15,14,9,7,1

42+1=43=4+3=7

24+7 =31,=3+1=4

15+9=24=2+4=6

14=1+4=5

Sum of final derived numbers isTotal 23

The total of 54 and 23 is once again that remarkable number 77 which I think has been giver to us confidence that we are processing the puzzle correctly.

He drew a deep breath and walked half way down the aisle before turning

We already know are defining a pentacle and a triangle. These numbers must therefore define the size and orientation of both figures.

For the pentacle we know the internal angles but we do not know the orientation or indeeed the length of a side. For the triangle we have lots of possibilities but no specific solutions.

Despite it being a remarkable number I don’t think 77 is involved in the solution it has simply been provided to confirm that we are on the right track. All the Fibbonachi numbers were provided to show that there was a pentacle involved but it is probable that some of the numbers are actually part of the solution

John groaned. ‘It all looked so promising but now you are telling us that we have learned nothing?’

Estavan smiled. ‘Not quite. on tablet 3 there were four lines of text, there could have been more. Therefore 4 must have a special meaning. if you look at all the chains of calculation only two end up with the single numeral 4. the calculted numbers in these two chains are 31 and 49. they are obviously very special numbers.

let’s suppose that one leg of the pentacle is 31 degrees north of east then where would the next point of the pentacle lie? Either 72 degees in a northerly direction or 72 degrees in a southerly direction. 72 degrees in a southerly direction is 41 degrees south of east or 49 degrees east of south.

Now i am particularly interested in the number 66 it is not part of the Fibbonarchi sequence and it is in the region of what we might expect to be an angle of a triangle. the single number derived from this is 3.

now suppose that the line of the triangle is3 degrees north of the line of the pentacle yjat would make it 34 north of east and 34 is the sum of the prime numbers of the 3rd and 4th tablets if the angle of the triangle is 66 degrees them the southern leg of the triangle would be 32 degrees south of east which is 9 degrees away from the 41 degees south we identied for the next point in a southerly direction an nine is the single diget number derived from the first tablet.

It seems to be a solution but I must warn you it is to a large extent speculative

The most obvious option in the working of the remaining numbers must represent the orientations of the pentacle, and quite possible the orientation and proportions of the triangle. Now we come to the orientation of the church itself which probably has a meaning. It is approximately midday so I can see where the north lies.’

He rushed outside. When he returned he was smiling.

‘I can tell you that the orientation of the church and probably the north easterly arm of this pentacle is approximately 30 degrees north of east. Because of the work we have performed here I am very confident it will actually be 31 degrees north of east. Thus we know that another arm of the pentacle will run at 5 degrees south of east.

“As I said when we started, this a typical Numerology puzzle which the ancients loved and excelled in creating. When you find the other points on the pentacle you may find additional clues.

He paused and looked carefully at Ximene and John.

“I do not know what has guided you here but you have found a place of great significance.

“As I said when we started, this a typical Numerology puzzle which the ancients loved and excelled in creating. When you find the other points on the pentacle you may find additional clues.

It was John and Ximene’s turn to glance at each other!

Estevan was still talking

I am now going to make a list of all the numbers and how many times they arose.

He started to make copies of the paintings. Ximene could see that he intended to continue to work on the puzzle. She took John to one side.

“I think we should show him the map.” she told him.

“I think he is right. The clues here were meant to lead a searcher to Château Mazerou but by an amazing stoke of fate we have already found what is there. Estevan is either a member of the shadows or a strong supporter. I think we should trust him. He will waste a lot of time trying to discover what we already know.’

John somewhat reluctantly agreed. It seemed to cut across the principles of need to know, praciced by the Earl, but in the current circumstaces it seemed sensible.

Estevan agreed to accompany them back to the Château. There he was able to make a complete correlation between the clues at Brenac and the map. He produced a wooden disc around the circumference of which were marked regular subdivisions of the circle. The center of the disk had been cut away to be replaced with cross wires, which allowed him to make measurements from any point on the map using the crossed wires as a sighting device. He pointed out that the angles at the points of both the pentacles were all exactly 36 degrees, one of the numbers which had emerged from his investigations.

The northern side of the triangle was three degrees further north than the adjacent side of the pentacle, which ran from Brenac to Compagne. 31 and 34 degrees respectively. The angle between it and the southern side of the triangle was exactly 66 degrees., which meant that the southern line, The line between Brenac and Quillian ran at 32 south of east southern side of the triangle ran 9 degrees north of the of the line between Brenac and Quillian

Estevan spoke in a quiet, almost reverent voice.

“All these were numbers emerged from my analysis of the Brenac paintings.

Everything on this map could have been dedeuced from the clues at Brenac but the map makes it much easier to visualize and therefore understand.” He put his measuring device away and looked carefully at the third side of the triangle.

“Ah!” he breathed. “Of course! The number 666 was not a warning but a location. The north south side of the triangle is in fact the Paris Meridien. You have now had confirmed the exact location of the three sides of the triangle which the strange creatures in the paintings at Brenac were telling us we should look for. I knew that the Paris Meridien ran somewhere through here but I had never had the need to locate it precisely.

In the years when Christianity first became the official religion of the Roman Empire, all distances used to be measured from Jerusalem, the centre of Christendom. At some stage the Franks decided to measure all distances from Paris. The reference point they used was the peak of the hill of Monmartre. The line running north south through Paris became the “Frankish meridien.” It came into widespread use when the Franks ruled virtually all of Europe. It soon became common knowledge that either by plan or by accident, if a measurement is made on the same latitude as Jerusalem, the Longditude of Paris is exactly 666 leagues West of the longditude Jerusalem. It is referred to by some people as the devil’s line!

He looked back at the map.

“So, the intersections which you have started referring to as the targets, lie on the devil’s line. Now that is something to think about”

It was at that very moment, unannounced and without any warning that Thierry D’Arques arrived.