91– Black Magic

Other that this brief discussion John was given no time with Ximene. He was summonsed to meet the Prince, who was still in his camp outside of Carcassonne.The Prince greeted John like an old friend, giving him a private audience.Things move on apace. Other that the deer hunt when I first met him, this is the first time I have spoken to him without either lord John or the Earl hovering in the background.John learned that the Prince had been busy.“ You and your colleagues achieved something that I could not, a clear cut victory!’John was about to object but the Prince cut him off .‘No just one but two victories! Whilst I have been camped here the good citizens of Carcassonne have come to tell me of their preparedness to swear allegience to me. I have been invited to make a tour of the bastide and have been able to surveyed the damage’He chuckled‘You did a good job! But then I have learned that you usually do!His eyes gleamed with delight.‘I thought you might like to know that you are absolved from any guilt for the destruction of the Bastide. Current opinion is that I did it. There are two versions. The first version is that I have invented a secret weapon, which is capable of wreaking havoc at a great distance. The second version is that I am known as the Black Prince because I am a master of the occult. According to this second version it was a spell which caused the destruction!”The Prince’s shoulders shook as he laughed.“I do not mind which version they believe. If it means that they are prepared a to change their allegence, I don’t care. I hope these legends get spread around, it would make my enemies a little more apprehensive when they go into battle with me, I will not complain. Apprehension is not known to lead to good decision making on the battlefield!”He adopted a more serious demeanour.“Now something for Ximene . There were bodies were still lying around the scaffold when I entered the Bastide. The guard you killed with your throwing knife John, was known to me. He was a Stuart a member of the Garde Ecosse the bodyguard of the French king composed entirely of the sons of Scottish nobles.’‘You knew him well?’The Prince was obviously considering how much to divulge“One of the titles the Earl of Salisbury holds, but does not use is King of Mann. He does not use it because in truth he has never managed to take possession of his kingdom, the Isle of Mann which lies in the Irish Sea half way between Ireland and Scotland.’The Prince hesitated but saw the John was hanging on his every word.“I know the man you killed because I have been in negotiation with him over the future of the isle. He is the son of the Scottish Pretender. At one point they were prepared to swear allegiance to the English King in exchange for sovereignty over the Island, something they cannot obtain from the Scottish King.’Another hesitation‘We refused because we believe that the Earl is the rightful inheritor of the kingdom, being a descendant of the original Viking Kings.’‘And the reason for him being here?’‘For this man, a member of the an elite French guard to be here may mean Ximenes suffering, was not a despicable accident of fate, but a deliberate plot to kill her in such a way that no blame could be attached to the French King!”Johns mind raced, as he tried to test out the implications of what he had just been told.

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.