Sunday, July 18, 2010


Here's this Blog's first trip over to the Crusades! This period offers a fruitful hunting ground for well-researched historical fiction, made all the more acute by modern east-west tensions. To mark the July 2010 launch of The Swords of Faith by Richard Warren Field (Strider Nolan Media), here’s an extract from the opening scenes. Saladin's near annihilation of the Christian army led to the capture of Jerusalem later in the year, subsequently tempting Richard the Lionheart from Western Europe to try to take Jerusalem back.

“Lord God, this battle is over,” Count Raymond of Tripoli lamented. Pierre watched Raymond’s horse carry him toward Pierre through the middle of the slow-moving column. Pierre again recalled how dark Count Raymond was for a European. Raymond’s family, though originally from Europe, had lived and ruled in Outremer for three generations. Pierre, also third generation Outremer, felt an affinity with his leader. But the usually confident fifty year old noble, with a distinguished nose shaped like a hawk beak, like a Roman emperor, or a Greek hero, radiated dejection. “We’ve been betrayed. We’re all dead. The Kingdom of Jerusalem…” Raymond took a huge breath. “…is finished.”

“My Lord Count. We-” The defeat in Raymond’s voice staggered Pierre. Pierre sensed that bringing Raymond out of this mood could be crucial to his survival. “A charge, my lord. A charge to the lake. We may be trapped, but a charge to water can save us.”

Raymond stopped next to Pierre. He removed his helmet. “Pierre. My worthy young knight.” Raymond paused. “We just met with King Guy. I begged him to order a charge. But the Templars in the rear have fended off attack after attack. They’re tired. They have the king’s ear. I don’t. They have convinced the king…”—Raymond drew in a deep breath— “…to order a halt.”

“Halt!” Pierre’s eyes widened. “He orders us out of Sephorie and has us pass the Tu’ran Springs without filling water carts, and now he won’t order a break-out to the lake?”

“King Guy… will not listen to me.”

Pierre tilted his head in disbelief. How could the king ignore the advice of Raymond of Tripoli?

Where and when are these men having this conversation?
A) The Horns of Hattin on July 3, 1187
B) The Springs of Goliath on September 2, 1260
C) The Plains of Acre on September 21, 1291

Click 'comment' below to have a crack at this...

1 comment:

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

Oh heck, I don't know.. but I'll take a crack at it. A. The Horns of Hattin in 1187, mostly the timing seems right to get Lionheart's attention.

I am mor familiar with a different Count Raymond... IV of Tooulouse.. real fodder for dark comedy, he. As Emperor Alexios II said to him, "Ray, old buddy, you do know 'Toulouse' is your name, not your mission, right?"

My own work inprogress is about the Crusade of 1101.. can't wait to see that one here!

Nan Hawthorne