Approach the Throne
This is the forgotten Matter of Europe - a Song of Courtly Love and Betrayal, Adventure and Misfortune, sung by two Emperors, a Pope, a King, a Duke and two Counts. It is 1100 AD. In the east of Europe, battles are underway between Christians and Muslims, between Latin and Greek speakers, and between the Church and Crown. King Baldwin of Jerusalem, valiant knight and lusty bachelor, has wrested a sacred talisman from the Eastern Empire - the Palladium. With it, his kingdom and the civilisation it represents is in the ascendancy, and all fall before his sword. Yet he has a weakness - love - both for one woman, his mother, as well as his fellow man. Will it be his undoing? If it were up to Caesar Nicephoros Bryennius, Panhypersebastos, First Minister of the Roman Empire, Baldwin would not be the only one to fall. He schemes for the ancient crown of the Romans, and nothing can stand in his way. Nothing, perhaps, except his wife ... or himself. Four of Baldwin's knights, too, are struggling with their place in the world. Though they have risen high in Baldwin's service, their real love is questing after pilgrims. Thus they seek to lighten Baldwin's load, by offering him a service, while embarking on a great quest of their own. One that will lead them places that even they scarcely realise. Lowest on the ranks of society, below the common gaze, is Nicephoros' escaped slave, Jacob. He vies simply for freedom - the purest desire. Yet, in seeking to use the Palladium to achieve his goals, he stands to change the fate of all...
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CITEAUX ABBEY 1 80
PILLARS OE HERCULES
ARRAs 1 1 5
abbey Abbot Alexiad Alexius Anna Antioch arms asked Axouch Baldwin battle began Bernard Bishop Blachernae Boulogne brother Burgundy called century Champagne church Citeaux Constantinople Count Hugo Count of Champagne court crown Crusade door Duke Duke of Burgundy Emperor Empire Eustace eyes face Farama father feast fell ﬂanked gates Georgios God’s Godfrey Godfrey’s gold Greek guards hand head Hector Holy Land honour horses Hughes Hugues Hugues de Payens Jacob Jerusalem Jews John John’s Khazar King Baldwin King’s Kingdom knew knights Knights Templar Lastovo lingered looked Lord Louis monks Mother Narentine Nicephoros noble nodded once palace Palladium Patriarch Pope pulled pushed replied Rhodes rode Roland and Gondamer Roman Rome Saint Omer Sire smiled soon statue stood sword Tancred tell Temple things thought throne took town Troyes turned Venice voice Waleran walls West Francia wine words yonr