Recurring dreams invade Ximene’s sleep. The dreams are generally more optimistic than her torments, but not entirely reassuring. When Ximene dreams, of the joyful fulfilment of her most basic desires but she cannot totally dismiss the threats and challenges.   In most of the dreams she manages to fulfil her destiny but in a world in which her safety and pleasure are effortlessly achieved.

Influenced by stories of the Cathar Secret organisation ” Les Etoiles de Mer”–”Stars of the Sea”  told to her by her grandmother’s lover, Guillam de Clermont, many of Ximene’s dreams are dominated by boats floating on water or in the sky, which in the dreams act as hiding places. She is protected from the world but is able to observe and influence what is happening. She can fulfil her destiny at minimal risk.

Ximene knows that the “Stars of the sea” was named after Isis, Mother God of Egypt, personified by Cleopatra. Images of Cleopatra intrude into Ximene’s dreams. One of the most frequent is of Cleopatra of bathing in ass’s milk, perfumed with strawberries and roses.  Ximene joins Cleopatra in the bath but then Cleopatra vanishes. Ximene is Cleopatra.

She meets Caesar, master of the World, but Caesar is not the master of Cleopatra. When he meets Cleopatra, he falls immediately under her spell.

In other dream sequences  it is a much larger vessel which carries her, swiftly and smoothly, to safety beyond the high seas.  The ship sails too fast for either the agents of rome or the fearsome pirates to catch her .

At her destination she immerses herself in a blanket of warm water in lagoons bordered by golden sand a perfect temperature for swimming.

In the nearby desert she sees Helios and Selene, the horses given to her grandmother by the Emir of Grenada. She sees them when they were very young being trained  to serve her. She helps in the training process and learns the secrets  of the Arab Masters of Horse.

In a search for safety and security she seeks the protection of an Eastern potentate, out of the reach of the Roman Church and it’s Inquisition. She allows herself to enter  the Emir’s harem, where she will be further isolated from those who would do her harm. The Emir is always a kind master, but she is now his slave.  She accepts the inevitability of her subjection to her masters will. It is so different from  the world where she must fulfil her destiny, where women are always in control and she seems to be responsible for everything and everyone.

Always she is rescued from the harem by a christian knight, he carries her back to to face her destiny. She is far from sure that she wants to leave the harem, but she is given no choice.

To realise her destiny she beomes a queen. To Ximene this is far more threatening than being the Emir’s slave. She walks through the rooms of the Palace finding no comfort in the grandeur. It is a cold and lonely place where there are no rewards only endless duty. She tries to imagine a place of warmth where she can retreat, but what is the point of retreat when she is always alone? The nearest she comes to a rewarding relationship is when she chooses those who will support her search for justice and freedom of worship. Even these closest supporters however separate themselves, seeing her love for them as unattainable and their love for her treasonable. In many dreams she must take her destiny in her own hands. She becomes a warrior, but the more competent she becomes in the use of arms the more enemies she seems to face.

In the worst of times, solace is always available from her best friend Phillipa who regardless of the circumstances always seems alluring, sensual and  happy. Ximene would love to emulate Phillipa but whatever she chooses to wear she always seems to project an image which is aloof , cold and unapproachable. Even clothes which on Phillipa would be attractive and fun do not give the result which Ximene is searching for. Ximene knows that in London and Paris, the fashion at court is for ladies to leave their breasts uncovered. Even in the dream Ximene is both tantalised and scandalised by the thought, but driven by a desire to project a different, warmer more vulnerable image, she imagines attending a dinner in such a dress. The dream returns over and over again to the point at which she enters the door and dozens of people turn round to gaze at her exposure.

Images and perceptions ebbb and flow through her mind, weaving themselves together until a nightmare is produced in which she finds herself fighting virtually naked against a succession of ever more powerful opponents. At this point she usually jerks back in to consciousness, a sweat covering the whole of her body.

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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