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Lost Licinianus

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The Lost Licinianus is a legendary historical text that has not been read in its entirety for hundreds of years. Originally written by the Roman historian Granius Licinianus in the 1st Century A.D., it is said to pertain to the trial of Jesus Christ, and supposedly reveals that Jesus was never denounced by the Jews, but was instead tried and executed solely for political reasons.

Naturally, the Lost Licinianus has long been considered blasphemy, and anyone believed to be holding any part of it has been killed by the members of a mysterious Catholic sect known as the Conclave. As a consequence, it is impossible to find anyone who will admit to owning a part of it. However, sometime around 2007, a rumor spread that a partial translation of the Lost Licinianus had been acquired by Palmer Abrigaille, a reclusive collector of rare books. This led to Conclave agent Richard Celeste infiltrating Abrigaille's household in the guise of a manservant. Celeste spent the next three years trying to locate the book, but failed. Meanwhile, Abrigaille was slowly being bled dry by his nephew Merrill, who had hatched an elaborate scheme with a con artist, Dylan Weld, whereby Weld sold Abrigaille several books that had been stolen from other people, and then revealed that the books had been wrongly acquired and threatened to make Abrigaille's unwitting complicity public unless he paid exorbitant sums (adding insult to injury, Weld also repeatedly took sexual advantage of Abrigaille's mentally-ill daughter, Lenore, secure in the knowledge that her testimony would never be accepted in court.) Fearful that Abrigaille's mounting debts might lead to him selling the Lost Licinianus, Celeste killed him and Weld and made it look as though they had killed each other.

During the ensuing murder investigation, NYPD Detective Zach Nichols discovered Celeste's ties to the Conclave and thus deduced that Celeste had a strong motive for murdering Abrigaille. He also found the Lost Licinianus hidden in a palimpsest (a book whose original text has been erased and written over) held by Lenore.

The Lost Licinianus was sold to an unknown buyer shortly after Celeste was arrested. Its current whereabouts are unrevealed.

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