Archbishop Nikifor of Ladeisk
The Archbishop is an important Church prelate. In his official capacity, he is the owner of the land around Vladykino, and also has a summer estate at Malinka (among other properties, presumably). He controls a fighting force of 50 persons-at-arms. The archbishop only met the party members face-to-face once, after their second return from from Vladykino. The meeting took place right after Kesha and Yuri spied on his meeting with Zbigniev Dragutinovich behind closed doors. Contrary to the accusations leveled against him by the companions, the miller told the archbishop that it was the party members who attacked him, on his property, using vile sorcery. After that, he met with the companions as they ate in the rectory, and listened to Yuri's entreaties to send his men after the Kochmaki raiders. The archbishop refused his request, saying that his force was insufficient, and would only provoke the Kochmaki to do more harm. He said that his primary responsibility was to protect those of his dependents who were still alive, and to rebuild. He refused to help Yuri materially when the young men asked for funds to help redeem his family, but said he had no objections to him recruiting among the people of Malinka. Nikifor also examined the deed the chud' carried, and said that the land it referred to was the land on which Zbigniev's mill now stood. Although Kesha, through his mother, was still technically the rightful owner of the land, and, as he was being granted his freedom, could technically make his claim to it, doing so would be more trouble than it is worth, according to the archbishop. He urged Kesha to accompany Yuri on his quest, and to forget about the mill. Generally, the archbishop seemed to make his will known through his servitor, Father Oleg. As such, it appeared that the archbishop was also not inclined to punish Zbigniev, and the stable master Yulian, both of whom party members accused of sorcery. But it's not clear what befell those two after the party left Malinka. Archbishop Nikifor appears in Chapter 3.