Alyse Details

Personality Summary. (Developed with the assistance of character writer 3.1)

Young Alyse Alyse is a strange mixture of naivety and opportunism. Intellectually gifted her high expectations of life are unfulfilled and she slowly becomes a cynical bitter opportunist.Alyse tries to attain control. Purposeful and wilful, she believes that she can manipulate anyone to her point of view and that in the end whatever is good for her will be good for everyone. She does a deal with Ximene to impersonate Ximene after her escape believing that this will provide her with contacts with powerful men.  At this level, she has immense amounts of self-confidence. Alyse is brutally honest, and will do almost anything to advance her cause.

Those who are not too close to her admire her decisiveness and perseverance. The flaw in her approach is that her wilfulness doesn’t always take into consideration the needs of those around her, steamrollering them, overpowering them, and relying heavily on her ability to control them. Control is a real issue for her. She expects other people to stand up for themselves. Alyse is uncomfortable with relationships were she does not have control, but when her softer side surfaces, it gives her that much-needed third dimension.

Character Arc.

Alyse psychologically changes imperceptibly toward a more unhealthy condition. Two failed relationships and the fact that Ximene outmanoeuvres her makes her dominating and destructive. Not being people oriented, she becomes destructive to those close at hand, the people she considers weak. In the process, she becomes more isolated which raises the anxiety level, creating reckless behaviour and a lack of personal control, which becomes her Achilles heel.

Application of the Character Arc.

Alyse never really knew who her mother was. She was told and she suspected that she and her twin brother Juan were born to Maria De Padilla and King Pedro of Spain when they were both only 14 years old.  The two young children passed through a number of homes before lady Eleanor, Alyse’s Great Aunt took them under her wing.  This meant that Alyse took on the role of protector. In order to look after herself and her brother Alyse had to grow up fast. By the time Lady Eleanor took responsibility Alyse had to adjust to the loss of the family leadership role. As an adult, she always tries to compensate by attempting to take the leadership role in every situation, learning that this is the way obtain the outcomes she wants. This controlling nature may have driven away followers, leaving her a little lonely. She compensates by turning to study becoming an outstanding scholar and a broad based artiste of considerable talent. Despite the fact that she is close to being Ximene’s twin she acquires a reputation as dowdy and dull. She decides that she can break this mould by becoming the mistress of powerful men and looses no time in making a start on what is to become a career path.

Alyse’s character flaw is based on the incorrect belief that the world is an overly demanding place and the only way to get what she want is to be powerful and force her will on others.

She encourages Gaston( Ximene’s uncle and guardian) because supports her learning and uses her to fulfil his fantasies. He makes her feel glamorous not dull.  She becomes disillusioned when she learns that it is Ximene Gaston really wants.  She decides to punish Gaston by helping Ximene escape.

She is then attracted to Piers de Windsor but discovers he is homosexual. At this stage she is well along the way to becoming a bitter, but attractive sexual predator.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

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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.