"Who is this Abbess?" Quinn asks. From Biggins, no lover of nature and natural things, he gets a grunt, but Alais tells him, that she's the leader of a group called The Seekers of Truth - "very wise, and really very clever."
Clearly, for Alais, she is a friend and a mentor. Mr Biggins is less enthusiastic but then, as Alais says, he's a city boy.
But will the Abbess's wisdom and cleverness be any protection against the dark forces that are growing around Alais and Quinn?