29 Common Knowledge — Copy

‘People are not sure he is a real person. Whenever anyone escapes from the Inquisition, credit is given to Don Fernandino. People assign him the supernatural powers of being able to appear and disappear at will.’

Ximene Trencavel – 17th March 1355

Two days later, early in the afternoon, Ximene patted the bed. ‘Come Pipa, sit beside me, there is something I must tell you.’

Pipa obeyed instantly, almost jumping onto the bed, swivelling as she did so, lifting a leg, drawing it in, cuddling her knee in her arms and resting her chin on it.


‘I think you know that I have been proposed as the future wife of the Black Prince?’

Pipa chuckled. ‘I could hardly have missed it.’

‘And that I have insisted that certain conditions must be met before I would agree to such a marriage?’

Pipa chuckled again. ‘I could hardly have missed that too; Alyse cannot stop talking about it.’

‘And that I will meet the Prince during the Count’s summer hunt?’

‘Common knowledge. Alyse cannot stop talking about it.’ (I would not repeat this sentence here.)

At Muret?

‘Well, sort of, yes. Not directly but lots of people are helping to make preparations for the hunt and yes, I believe it will be at Muret, which incidentally is very close to my father’s castle at Beaufort.’ Pipa lifted her other leg onto the bed and fell back against the pillows, hands now behind her head. ‘What are you driving at Ximene? Suddenly I feel nervous. What have you not told me?’

Ximene paused. She rolled over to lie alongside Pipa. ‘When I leave for the hunt I will never return to Foix, I intend to use the hunt to escape from the Comte’s control.’

‘Where will you go?’

‘Sicily, but it will be as if I have vanished without a trace. Once I am free I will then conduct negotiations with the Black Prince.’ Ximene kissed Pipa’s cheek. ‘I am telling you this because I want you to know that I am not abandoning our relationship, that it is precious to me. I will find a way of letting you know where I am so that you may then join me.’

Pipa sat bolt upright, ‘But how are you going to do this? The Comte will not allow it, he will stop you.’

‘No he will not. I will have help, Guillam and Don Fernandino.’

‘Don Fernandino!’ Pipa shrieked. ‘People are not sure he is a real person. Whenever anyone escapes from the Inquisition, credit is given to Don Fernandino. People assign him the supernatural powers of being able to appear and disappear at will. Without such powers, many of his escapes seem impossible.’ She shook her head. ‘He is then a real person?’

‘Yes, he is a real person.’

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

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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.