VOL II Act 2 Planning Document

This act introduces new story lines. the most important of these is Ximes decision to take part in John’s training and her subsequent physical development. Du Guesclin appears to have given up in his quest to find Ximene. The Earl of Salisbury develops a relationship with Pipa, encouraged by Joan of Kent but it is unsatisfactorily consumated mutating into and arragement where Pipa becomes an extension of his rearguard. This is followed by Don Fernandino’s vist to Bordeaux The poor relationship with Castile is highlighed, which in the next volume becomes a major thread.

Chapter 24 — A Real Goddess

20th July — Chapter Ten of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

John and Ximene venture outside of Chateau Mazerou along the Valley towards Rennes les Bains. There John finds what he believes is the perfect site to recommence training.

Chapter 25 — Training

20th July –Chapter Eleven of thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene develops a conscience about the thoughts of possession or ownership of John which creep into her mind as she watches him train. She resolves to seek absolution by becoming his slave.

Chapter 26 — Developments

23rd July — Chapter Twelve of thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene joins John in his training programme

Chapter 1 Gods and Mortals

Chapter one of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

A repeat of the last chapter from Vol I in which John passes between heaven and hell.

Chapter 2 Critical Attention

22nd June — Chapter Two of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery –

John is saved from the battlefield at Monsegur and plans are made to move him to Chateau Mazerou, a safe house, where he may receive treatment from a skilled physician.

Chapter 3 Citizens Arrest

22nd June Chapter one of Thread B — Du Guesclin’s search

The arch-villain Du Guesclin arrives in Monsegur just an hour after Ximene’s departure. He is arrested  by the constable of Monsegur, Sebastien Sartre, but is still able to send Gerade, one of his men to look for Ximene 

Chapter 4 Valley of Gold

22nd June — Chapter Three of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene avoids Gerade’s searches but then outside of the village of Quillian she is accosted by an aggressive trader, who demands to buy the content of the cart. This would, of course, reveal the true purpose of their journey

Chapter 5 Safe House

22nd June — Chapter Four of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

John survives the journey but his long term prospects are far from certain. In the secret cellars under Chateau Mazerou, Ximene meets Estevan, the physician who they hope can save John’s life and Don Fernandino who she hopes will guide her to Sicily. Estevan treats John with a potion which will deaden the pain and promote healing.

Chapter 6 The Dowry

24th June — Chapter one of Thread C — The House of Navarre

Back in Chateau de Foix, Gaston de Foix is in the midst of facing up to the loss of Ximene. He sends his wife, Agnes of Navarre to raise money by claiming her marriage dowry which has never been paid by her brother Charles of Navarre.  

Chapter 7 Dedication

24th June — Chapter Five of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene becomes John’s nurse and takes to sleeping with him to help him withstand the cold nights. Several days pass with minimal improvement. As he feels like an intruder Guillam moves upstairs to the Chateau from where he is able to carry out surveillance of the surrounding valley.

Chapter 8 Through the Barrier

30th June — Chapter Six of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

John recovers sufficiently to get out of bed, exercise and walk with crutches. Estevan declares he will live but the question of whether he will be able to run or even walk unaided is uncertain. A side effect of the potion John is given is that he is losing contact with the real world. Ximene vows to stop sleeping with John. It is a vow she fails to fulfil.

Chapter 9 In Pursuit

30th June — Chapter Two of Thread B — Du Guesclin’s search

Du Guesclin is released from Monsegur and deduces that John has been injured. He comes to the conclusion that there are only two options for John to obtain treatment; the leper colony at Ax Les Therms and the spa at Rennes Les Bains. On the way to Rennes Les Bains, he passes within 100 yards of Chateau Mazarou

Chapter 10 Time for Action

4th July– Chapter One of Thread D —

King Edward receives a warning about the intentions of the Dauphin of France and Charles of Navarre. There are two conclusions there should be an invasion of Frankish territory and the black prince must marry Ximene. The King knows nothing about Ximene’s current situation. reveals Henry of Grosmont’s belief that he has a claim to King Edward’s crown

Chapter 11 Arrangements

4th July — Chapter One of thread E – Meanwhile in Bordeaux

Joan solves the problem of her accommodation in Bordeaux. The king has forced the Prince to promise he will never see her again and the Queen has demanded that she never see the Earl again. Joan knows that anything which happens in Bordeaux will filter back to London. Therefore she cannot take up residence in the palace of Aquitane. Ever resourceful she finds a solution

Chapter 12 Gypsies

4th July — Chapter Three of Thread B — Du Guesclin’s search

At Rennes les Bains Du Guesclin’s knighthood is discovered and he becomes a minor celebrity. One of his men discovers a house which was leased and payed for in advance but never occupied. The rest of the village is booked out  for the annual Gipsy festival. Du Guesclin wonders .

Chapter 13 In the Mind

14th July — Chapter seven of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

At Mazerou, despite continuing to make physical progress John feels detached from reality… It is if he is in a dream. Despite Ximene visiting his bed every night he feels no sexual arousal. He is in despair, Will he ever fully recover and function as a man should? Ximene shares his fears.

Chapter 14 Lady of the Sun

18th July — Chapter two of Thread E — Meanwhile in Bordeaux

Meanwhile in Bordeaux, Alyse de Perez, pretending to be Ximene in the hope of putting Du Guesclin off the track, is treated as a future Queen of England, something she thoroughly enjoys.  She is welcomed with a spectacular regatta on the Gironde and is referred to as ‘Lady of the Sun’

Chapter 15 Time For Recovery

20th July — Chapter Eight of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene discusses John’s listlessness with Don Fernandino and Guillam. it leads to a re-evaluation of future plans and in turn disussions about security. discussion of declares he must discover how Ximene’s plans were betrayed to du Guesclin. He also wants to sound out, if a deal is still possible to allow Ximene to go to Bordeaux rather than Sicily and perhaps marry the Prince. Ximene sees the latter consideration as a threat to her own plans. 

Chapter 16 Not Available

20th July — Chapter three of Thread E — Meanwhile in Bordeaux

Joan of Kent makes it clear that despite everyone thinking that Alyse is the future Queen of England and her spending a lot of time in the company of the Prince, in the real world the Prince is not available. Joan queries Alyse’s parentage and then asks if Alyse would like to meet King Edward

Chapter 17 Comprehension

25th July — Chapter eight of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Estevan stops treating with the potion. He almost immediately improves to the point at which Don Fernandino starts planning to leave Mazerou to investigate the breaches of security which led to the attacks on Ximene and his own kidnap. John initially reacts badly to questioning.

Chapter 18 Princess of Castile

20th July — Chapter three of Thread E — Meanwhile in Bordeaux

Henri of Trastamara, the illegitimate challenger to the throne of Castile, visits  Bordeaux. Joan of Kent wrinkles out from Lady Eleanor details of  Alyse and Juan’s parentage. Eleanor confirms that they are illegitimate children of King Pedro, the current king of Castile. Joan compares this information with claims made by Henri of Trastamara and concludes the genealogical records are being rewritten. The Prince decides to support Pedro, not Trastámara.

Chapter 19 Changed relationships

27th July — Chapter Nine of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Estevan discontinues the use of the portions he has been giving John who returns to reality almost immediately. Suddenly he begins to monitor his own progress and make plans for the future. he also begins to re-evaluate his relationship with Ximene, who he has come regard as a sister. Don Fernandino and Guillam leave for Bordeaux. Ximene tells Don Fernandino he must not come to any agreement with the Prince without consulting herXimene discovers that Don Fernandino plans to create a new organisation –The Shadow Without A Name to help Cathars avoid persecution. He is looking for powerful support and believes that if Ximene were to marry the Prince he could obtain that support. Ximene is horrified.

Chapter 20 Arousal.

1st August– Chapter Nine of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene suggests to John that their bed should be moved to a room at the top of the tower. They notice a strange mural on the wall. That night Ximene assists John to bathe and he is aroused, she is delighted by this totally unexpected event

Chapter 21 — A Real Goddess

2nd August — Chapter Ten of Thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

John and Ximene venture outside of Chateau Mazerou along the Valley towards Rennes les Bains. There John finds what he believes is the perfect site to recommence training.

Chapter 22 — Training

3rd August–Chapter Eleven of thread A — John’s rescue and recovery

Ximene develops a conscience about the thoughts of possession or ownership of John which creep into her mind as she watches him train. She resolves to seek absolution by becoming his slave.

Chapter 12 Secret Service

Thread E The secret service (1)

In Bordeaux, the Earl of Salisbury takes Pipa to one side and explains his dilemma. Joan has promised the Queen she will never see him again and the Prince has promised he will never see Joan again. This has fractured the link which has always enabled him to be effective as the Commander of the Prince’s rearguard. The Earl asks Pipa to be his eyes and ears at court. She accepts.

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.