Eleanor de Pedilla Details

Personality summary

Lady Eleanor De Pedilla Eleanor is waiting for the man she dreams of, not for herself but for Ximene. She can see him clearly, handsome, brave, honourable, and with magical powers. Eleanor enjoyed a privileged and protected childhood. Unfortunately from her late teens onwards she has experienced a series of  traumatic experiences. He strength is that she has emerged from this with her faith, hope and charity intact.Her weakness is that she has achieved this through a retreat into mysticism. She has become a perpetual innocent. She has come to regard her grand-daughter Ximene as an important part of the good god’s plan, in christian terms a “second coming”.  However she is acutely conscious that a good spirit needs practical support. In her own time of need, her former lover reappeared to reintroduce joy and fulfillment into her life. She now believes that a strong honourable man will appear who can deliver protection and love to Ximene.

This belief has become obsessive to the point where she is delaying all decisions concerning Ximene’s future welfare until the anticipated hero arrives.

Character arc.

There is no escape for the perpetual innocent who has come to believe some external force , or heroic person, will deliver all her ambitions and desires.

Application of the character arc

Lady Eleanor De Pedilla suffered trauma in her late teenage years.  Because of her privileged, protected child hood, the impact on her was rather more severe than it might have been. When he father Garcia Lopez de Pedilla was appointed constable of the Château de Prades on the very edge of Aragonese territory, she  found herself in a world which delighted her She wandered freely through the Plateau de Sault, delighting in the sunshine and mountains, feeling close to the Good God.  When it rained she hid in the shedherd’s huts which were scattered acrros the landscape if you knew how to find them.  She was taught about the mountains by Guillam de Clermont Dessou  who’s family had been dispossesed of their heritage during the Albigensian Crusade and now was reduced to a life as a shepherd.  Before long she had fallen in love with Guillam.

She knew that her father’s appointment was important because from Prades he was able to monitor Frankish encroachment across the border, which ran between Prades and Montaillou, the next village to the north. Eleanor and Guillam wandered freely on both sides of the border. He eventually took her to meet his mother who lived in Montaillou, in Frankish territory. Whilst she was there the forces of the inquistion surrounded the village and emprisoned the whole population in the church. Guillam helped Eleanor eascape but failed to rescue his own mother who after two years of questioning was burned at the stake as a heretic. Guillame left to join the Cathar resistance organisation ‘Les Etoiles de Mer and urged Eleanor to find another partner as he did not expect to return or indeed to survive.

Eleanor then married Roger Trencavel, who although he had estates in Sicily had returned home to live in his beloved Pyrenees. Raimon was also the heir to a large portion of Occitan ( Viscomptes of Albi, Carcassonne, Razes and Beziers). Again the lands had been stolen from his family during the Albigensian Crusade but he had no intention of claiming them. His family had wasted a fortune fighting torepell the fanks and had failed.  This was not so much an arranged marriage but a forced marriage. Garcia encouraged his daughter to marry Raimon to ensure that if the lands of Occitan were freed from the Frankish rule the eventual heir would be educated as a Cathar and therefore would be inclined to re-establish Occitan as a Cathar haven.

Eleanor complied.  She grew to love and respect Raimon but never forgot her love for Guillam.  Her Son Raimond was educated in a cathar cell in the Moorish state of Grenada where the Cathar faith was tolerated by the Moors. Her husband then died in a riding accident and Eleanor herself went to live in Grenada.

Maria de Pedilla

Her younger sister, Maria Juana and the children of Gaston of Foix were educated in the same cell in Grenada. Maria Juana at a very young age engaged in a love affair with Pedro I of Castille who had developed an admiration for the Moorish culture. When Pedro acceeded to the throne of Castille he moved south to Seville and commissioned the building of the Alcazar by Moorish archietects and craftsmen. Inevitably, deliberately, the finished result showed its Moorish inspiration. The good relationship between Castile and Aragon which had been forged during the wars against the Moors gradually  evaporated, as Aragon still had ambitions to sieze the remaining Moorish territories and saw the increasing contact between Castile and Grenada as a threat to that ambition.  Eleanors father had risen to a rank of govenor of the Frankish marches but was abruptly dismissed and then used Maria’s influence to join Pedro’s court in Seville.

Raimon formed an affection for Jeanne de Foix and she almost immediately fell pregnant. Her brother Gaston Phoebus offered them sanctuary at the Château de Foix, his isolated fortress in the northern pyrenees. It was there that Ximene was born.

For Eleanor tragedy was never far away. In 1347 both Raimon and Jeanne died under mysterious circumstances. It was the year of the black death but the death did not penetrate the Pyrenees. Some said that Raimon and Jeanne were the only two victims. Gaston Phoebus immediately declared himself to be Ximene’s guardian and Eleanor hurried north to see that Ximene was brought up in the cathar faith and was fully aware of her heritage. On the latter point she need no concern. Gaston  was soon promoting Ximene as the rightful heiress to Occitan and offering her hand in marriage to every crowned house in Europe.

Eleanor made one attempt to remove Ximene to what she regarded as a better environment in Grenada  but Gaston claimed his rights as guardian, which the Emir of Grenada respected.  He sent Eleanor and Ximene back to Foix under guard but with a gift of two pure bred arabian foals as a measure of his regard.

Guillame then re-appeared. The english had restored his family lands and Eleanor readily accepted him as her lover.

It was at this point that Eleanor’s mystical beliefs came to the fore. she saw visions of another, younger man who would care for an love Ximene. All decisions should be delayed until he arrived, because he wold be capable of everything Ximene could possibly wish for.

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.