Act IV The Falling Action

The “Falling Action” feels like just that. There is still plenty of action but each piece of action clears the way for a conclusion.
The use of the Hero’s journey markers is somewhat symbolic. However there is no doubt that John’s sexual instruction is certainly a Magical experience for him.

Refusal of the Return

  • In the aftermath of Ximene’s escape, the Prince declares his betrothal to Ximene.  The opportunity arises for both Ximene and John to abandon their brief innocent affair. 
  • They both refuse. 
  • Encouraged by Lady Eleanor they declare their own commitment, putting John in even greater danger of being condemned as a traitor.

Thierry d’Arques

Finally news arrives from Don Fernandino. He has been critically injured but is recovering. The messenger is however mistrusted by everyone.

The Magic Flight

  • Because practical sexual experience is an integral part of Cathar Education, Ximene percieves John as clumsy and unimaginative in his approach to lovemaking.

Taking advantage of the Prince’s visit to Foix , she arranges for Lady Eleanor to give John some knowledge of sexual techniques.
Once inside the Château de Foix, John is given a condensed version of the Cathar “Transition”. This is instruction on how to give, recieve and partake in sexual pleasure. It is very much “hands on” in every sense of the words.Alyse and Pippa to give the practical experience. Or is it Alyse?

The Rescue

  • One of Du Guesclin’s agents manages to penetrate Château Foix with instructions to murder Ximene but the attempt is thwarted.
  • Ximene finally escapes from the Château
  • John’s personal rescue comes from Joan of Kent who convinces both Salisbury and the Prince that John’s devotion to Ximene is only what should be expected from a person of honour.

The Crisis

Ximene now believes that Gaston never intends to release her. To escape from the Château she requires assistance from John, the Prince and the Prince’s army


Plans are made for Ximene’s escape, and the Earl suspects that John has totally shifted his allegience to Ximene. Ximene makes plans of her own but so does Du Guesclin


Joan of Kent makes an unexpected appearnance and normalises John’s relationship with Ximene  to the satisfaction of both the Earl and The Prince. She has of course an ulterior motive.

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.