Don Fernandino Story

Don Fernandino is a commander, not of Les Etoiles but of the Cathar religion in Occitan.

This position is unknown to other members of les Etoiles.

He has appointed a messenger in every major centre of population. Because of past experience messengers are recruited from a military background. They are trained to act as a paramilitary force if needed to eliminate a specific threat. In the area around Mazerou they are supported by the Knights Templar from the Templar stronghold at Bezu. When the templar houses throughout France were attacked on Friday 13th 1307 48 years earlier Bezu was untouched, because it was part of Aragon, not France. a system had been developed to use rockets, imported from the middle east as a way of announcing danger and summoning assistance from other messengers and from Bezu. A bonfire is lit to indicate the rallying point.

13th July Trastamara in Bordeaux

18th July (see Changed relationships) before he leaves on his tour Don Fernandino summonses all the local messengers to see if they identify any immediate threat. He discovers the existence of du Guesclin in Rennes le Bains.

18-23July Fernandino in Foix

18th July-1st August Trastamara in Paris

 ist August- 9th August Fernandino in Pamiers  learns of involvement of du Guesclin with inquisition.

4th August Trastamara in Dauphinoise

9th August – 16th August Don Fernandino in Auch

10th August Trastamara at Peyrepertuse

10th August -21st September Prince in England

15 August Trastamara meets du Guesclin

16th August du Guesclin gives up

18th August Fernandino returns to mazarou

(does he notice a change in Ximene??)

20th August Don Fernandino in Rennes le Bains

22nd August Don Fernandino leaves for Bordeaux

27st August Don Fernandino in Bordeaux

23 rd September finally meeting with Prince

2nd October fernandino leaves for Mazerou

8th October Don Fernandino arrives back in Mazerou

Don Fernandino is talented, resourceful man. He believes that the Cathar faith would be better served by the establishment of large Cathar communities along trading routes giving a source of continuing wealth and built-in security.

He has established a Cathar haven in the Toulouse, Albi Carcassonne triangle which has become known as Le Pays de Cockaigne (the land of plenty) the whole of this area concentrates on the production of pastel dye which is exported to fine cloth producers, mainly Flanders but increasingly England. The wealth created has made Cockaigne an independent nation in everything but name. Cockaigne is almost entirely within the area of Ximene’s inheritance and this is the reason Don Fernandino wants to gain control of her.

He believes however that his scheme would be easier to implement if Ximene were to marry the Prince. He works hard to make that happen but is continually thwarted by Joan of Kent.

When the treasure is discovered he wants to sell it to the English crown and use the money to support his schemes but an alternative of giving Ximene lands in exchange for the treasure is favoured by Ximene.

Ximene makes it clear that she, not Fernandino will decide how the money is used.

Don Fernandino finds himself sidelined and becomes involved in plots to remove the Prince. He believes he could then take over whatever structure Ximene manages to establish.

 He also puts pressure on Ximene to have a child, believing that he could have more influence on a child than he has on Ximene. His miscalculation is that the only person who Ximene will even consider to be the father of her child is John Stanley. John is by now an experienced military strategist and makes it clear to Don Fernandino he will tolerate no interference in Ximene’s initiatives.

Don Fernandino resorts to using the Castilian pirates to specifically attack Ximene’s ships, resulting in the second battle of Corduan.  Don Fernandino accepts defeat and proves over and over again that he can be trusted to work within Ximene’s developing organisation. In his later years he is tutor and mentor to Ximene’s son




The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.