Act II The Rising Action

Through John’s eye’s

Johns story has now merged with that of the Black Prince, but as we know the background,that story can be told through John’s eyes.A forth story thread emerges which is the planning for Ximene’s escape and the involvement of Don Fernandino.

John’s Progression

Acceptance of the new world

  • The journey nearly ends in disaster. The Prince makes an impetuous decision to maintain secrecy by entering Aquitaine through the always dangerous entrance to the bay of Arcachon. The ship carrying John is overwhelmed by rough seas but John distinguishes himself by rescuing many of his shipmates.
  • He throws himself into training in military techniques and again distinguishes himself.
  • John learns about the purpose of the journey and fantasises about meeting Ximene.
  • He is selected by Salisbury to join the Prince’s rearguard and soon learns it involves more intelligence activities than fighting. Salisbury becomes John’s mentor and ally.

Trials, allies and enemies

  • John learns about Du Guesclin and the fact he is shadowing the journey. He is then given first hand experience of Du Guesclin’s brutality.
  • John wins an archery contest attended by Joan. She decides that John might be a more suitable distraction for Ximene than Thierry. At the same contest John meets Pippa de Roet and makes an equally favourable impression.
  • He then saves a serving maid from a sexual attack and is in consequent promoted to be a member of the Prince’s bodyguard.  He realises that it is now virtually certain he will actually meet Ximene.

Ximene’s Progression

Acceptance of the new world

  • Ximene plans to escape during the hunt, during which she is to meet the Prince. She decides she must condition the guards to accept her leaving them for short periods. She gets help from an unexpected quarter, Gaston’s wife Agnes of Navarre.
  • She learns that Gaston is having a most unusual affair with her cousin Alyse Perrers who looks very much like Ximene.
  • In return for Ximene and Alyse co-operating in Agnes’ scheme for winning back the attention of her husband, Ximene is given permission to practice hunting.

Trials, allies and enemies.

Agnes comes up with a totally different idea to give Ximene the freedom she wants.  She proposes that Alyse and Ximene should swap places,with Alyse marrying the Prince and Ximene becoming countess of Foix, in a new creation of the title.

  • Ximene sees the advantage in a dual identity but prefers a solution whereby she marries the Prince and Alyse becomes countess of Foix.
  • Ximene and Alyse Set about eliminating and differences between them. They work on makup, hairstyles, dress sense, riding and singing but also on sexual preferences . For the plan to work there must be no way of telling them apart even by lovers and or husbands.
  • The plan is abandoned when Ximene discovers that Gaston has built an elaborate temple in honour of her. It is really Ximene who is the Object of Gaston’s desire.

The Unsuccessful Escape

Acceptance of the new world

  • Guillam asks a man he tutored, Don Fernandino de Henestrada to assist in  Ximene’s escape.
  • Don Fernandino still works for the secret society fighting against the Inquisition-  The stars of the sea – Les Etoiles .

Trials, allies and enemies

  • Meanwhile The Black Prince is negotiating with southern lords believing they are favorably inclined to give him their allegiance.    Du Guesclin captures and tortures one of the lords and gains an understanding of the Prince’s intentions, which he immediate conveys to the Inquisition.
  • Don Fernandino decides to break away from Les Etoiles, whom he believes have been infiltrated by the Inquisition.
  • He makes elaborate plans for Ximene’s escape but is kidnapped on the waterfront at Port Vendres. Because he is acting alone there is no way of letting Ximene know that the plans have gone wrong, badly wrong.
  • Du Guesclin plans to use the hunt to capture Ximene and deliver her to the Inquisition, for torture and execution. There will be no organised opposition to his plans.

The Chapters

If I was advised that Act I really finishes with Don Fernando’s appearance and immediate kidnap , I would not object.

15 The Passage

The first part of the secret journey ends in disaster;ships are wrecked whilst trying to undertake the difficult passage into the bay of Arcachon

POV 3rd person objective (John Stanley)

16 Agnes

A different kind of action for Ximene. Agnes is Gastons wife & Princess of Navarre. She totally disrupts domestic arrangements at the Château and elists Ximene’s help in a scheme by which Agnes intends to seduce her own husband.  Also introduces another sub plot when Phillipa travels with lady Eleanor to Clermont for the festival of the moon.

POV 3rd person objective (Ximene)

17 Dangerous

John experiences extended training by the freshwater lake at Biscarrosse. He is given the opportunity to gain promotion but turns it down He learns about the purpose of the secret journey and begins to fantasize about meeting the mystery woman Ximene

POV 3rd person objective (John Stanley)

18 The Knighthood

Du Guesclin is given a commission by the king of Franks . If Ximene decides to marry the Prince kill her! The threat becomes greater-now no matter what she decides someone wants to kill her!

POV 3rd person objective (Charles, Dauphin of the Franks) then Jaques de Bourbon,constable of the Franks

19 Training

Ximene finally gets permission to leave the Château to train her horses for the Hunt. She trains herself in how to elude her guards.

POV 3rd person objective (Ximene)

20 Don Fernandino

We meet the hero of the Cathar resistance, who it turns out has problems of his own. He is eliminated almost immediately which proves that in this story the risks are very high indeed.

POV Very short contempory omniscient opening then 3rd person personal (Don Fernandino) Contemporary Omniscient again Followed by3rd person personal (Don Fernandino)then3rd person objective (Kidnapper) Finally Contemporary Omniscient. Wow! But I really believe it could not be done efficiently any other way.

21 Alyse

Alyse has been in the story from the very beginning but suddenly she leaps to the fore. The fact that she has virtually the same external appearance to Ximene creates the opportunity for deception at the highest level. It is Gaston (or Agnes?) who devises the plan but Ximene and Alyse do not reject it.

POV 3rd person personal (Alyse) 

22 The Temple


Ximene discovers that Gaston is obsessed with her and has spent a vast sum of money creating a temple in her honour. To her it is another threat and makes her all the more determined to escape his influence

POV 3rd person personal(Ximene) 

23 The Earl of Salisbury

John has his first fleeting contact with the Cathar culture. He is sbjected to an unusual test and appointed to serve in the Prince’s rearguard under the direct command of the Earl of Salisbury.

POV Very Brief 3rd person personal (The Earl of Salisbury) followed by 3rd person objective (John Stanley)

24 The Progression

Reveals the fact that Joan of Kent  knows Ximene and in fact had a brief affair with her. She knows how ravishing Ximene can be and determines to find a way of distracting her from a marriage to the Prince.

POV  3rd person personal (Joan Of Kent)

25 The Deception

Gaston’s plan for decieving the Prince becomes Ximene’s plan. She however suddenly feels a need to exert her dominance over Alyse.It is not clear wether this is symbolic or sexually driven.  Perhaps she has become a warrior. It marks the end of Ximene’s development theme she is now prepared to attend the Hunt

POV 3rd person personal (Ximene)

26 Friends and Allies

For John another experience is the Rapid rising of the river Garonne, which threatens their mission. He also, without knowing it, makes contact with Du Guesclin who is tracking their progress

POV Needs action! was written to be  Contempory Omniscient but lapses into 3rd person personal (John)We even briefly see the thoughts of the Earl whilst still in John’s Point of View OOPS  

27 Amun and Amunet

John now comes into contact with some of the intricacies of the Cathar faith. What he observes puts the relationship between The Earl and Joan of Kent in an entirely new light.  A relationship starts between Phillipa de Roet and John Stanley which will confound and occasionally delight  him for the next thirty years,

POV  Moves between contemporary omniscient and third person  Personal (John)several times.  Perhaps needs more attention perhaps the moves ought to be more controlled?

28 Du Guesclin

Another contact with the dreadful du Guesclin.It is intended to acquaint us once again of just what he is capable of.

POV Starts with contempory Omniscient swithes to third person objective. In the first half and repeats the cycle in the second half

29 John Stanley

John’s first major progression. He wins an archery contest. Almost like a second initiating event in that he is given an opportunity, tries to refuse it and finally accepts.

POV Third party personal (John) but with a substantial slug in the middle of Third Party personal ( Joan Of kent) and it needs the switch. I believe the segment is too short to subdivide the chapters

30 Phillipa de Roet

An analysis of the relationship between Joan, the Prince and the Earl. This segment also gives us even more information about the Cathar religion. The fact that Phillipa chose Eleanor’s lover as a partner in her transition and that Eleanor was her instructress whilst she was learning to give and recieve sexual pleasure is just so different from the teachings of the Church of Rome. We also learn that she has developed a liking for John Stanley something which would endure throughout her life.

POV First half third person personal (eleanor), second half perhaps the most personal of the third person personals to date (Phillipa)

31 The Devil’s Agents

We learn that the Earl is vulnerable. John survives an ordeal. He emerges from the ordeal with measurable success but is challenged to think about his own sexuality

POV The first half Starts with contempory omniscient. Switches to third person personal (john) then to third party personal ( the earl).The second half then starts with  comtemporary omniscient and switches to third person personal (John)

32 Reward and Punishment

We learn that the Earl is an opportunist. The last stage in John’s progression towards the Climax. He is promoted to be a member of the Prince’s personal Bodyguard. This means he almost certain to meet Ximene.

POV Very brief contemporary Omniscient then Third person personal ( john)

33 Ruthless

John is given another promotion – commander of a small force to guard the Price during a risky personal visit to a church. Du Guesclin again shows his head and his brutality once again raises the stakes. He also is preparing for the climax.

POV  For the first time we hear what Du Guesclin thinks very brief contemporary Omniscient then Third person personal ( john)switch to Third person personal( du guesclin)Then a very brief but horrible Contempory Omniscient and then switches to third person personal( du guesclin) 

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