The Series Summary
The Brethren Rise opens in 1323 London as Richard and his parents, Mary and Philip Armistead, begin their journey to Shrewton with their friends, Norwood and Isabel Hardwin. They arrive in Shrewton and are met by an old family friend, Angus Aundray, the Baron of Shrewton, and his wife, Annora.
After a short period of joy and prosperity, tragedy strikes in the form of a plague, taking the life of Annora Aundray, leaving Angus devastated as he quickly leaves Shrewton. As winter dawned, life became harder still as Norwood vanishes while Richard and Philip find Isabel under the spell of another horrible plague and watch helplessly as it takes her life as well.
Philip then journeys off to find the source of this plague as it spreads throughout the town, leaving death in its wake. As the weeks pass, Phillip, with the help of Angus, is able to quarantine the plague and subdue it and return to his own home. As he returns home, however, he is attacked by a mysterious figure who follows him and murders both he and Richard’s mother before the boy’s eyes.
This event serves as a catalyst for Richard’s journey in The Brethren Rise, as he runs away from home. On his way out of town, Richard meets Angus who tells him he should escape to the town to Durrington. Richard takes this advice which leads him on his way to Stonehenge. There he meets a man, Andrew Freeman, in the middle of the night studying what he called ‘the Alignment’ who takes him in and raises him as a son.
Within this new life, Richard grows up, becoming a blacksmith like his father before him, befriending a young man - Edmond Caddarik - and eventually forming the Brethren with Henry Forwin, Andrew, and Edmond in 1329 under the oath,
"On my honor, in union with the Brethren, I hereby pledge to do God’s will in all my power. To Heal all Offences. To help those in need. And to Protect the Earth and those in it from whatever perils should come."
The Brethren grew and prospered for seven years, welcoming help from Roger Wilson, Angus, and another whom Richard knew in London, Bennet Burnell, coming to a head in 1336 when Edmond received a letter from the eastern kingdoms crying for help. This letter leads Richard and the Brethren across the English channel to France to meet with King Edward III in his absence from England. As the Brethren make there way to France, Richard experiences a crisis as Roger’s allegiance to the Brethren is put to a test and his own rage over the death of his parents torments him daily.
Once in France, Richard leaves with Edmond and twenty of the Brethren to meet with King Edward at Château de Dourdan, but find the castle desolate and ransacked, the King gone, and a hostile enemy in his place. Richard and Edmond separate from the Brethren and search the castle for the King and any other survivors, finding out that the castle was destroyed by one, the Adversary, and his army of Varanus – reptilian creatures.