* The novel opens in 1790 in an abbey founded by King Charlemagne.
* The nuns are all called together by the Abbess who introduces them to two nuns from another convent.
* Marie-Charlotte and Alexandrine are there to bring bad news about revolution and violence occurring throughout the country.
* They also warn the nuns that the new head of the people's assembly, the Bishop of Autun, is not someone to trust.
* The Abbess and nuns vow that the Abbey's treasure should not fall into the hands of the Bishop.
* The Abbess goes on to explain that the Abbey protects a chess service from a historic match between Charlemagne and Garin.
* The match was played as if the men were in a trance until Charlemagne made a wager on the game.
* The wager was a blood wager which the Arabs believed can bring the wager maker paradise on Earth. When the...
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