As tall as Kratos, she had long blonde hair that had a bluish tint when caught in Sunlight. Adopted by Kratos and tutored by him, she watched over Alisha protectively from a distance. A fierce warrior skilled in all the arts of warfare she was a formidable force. Gifted in healing she was forthright but compassionate. Always wore her full set of leathered laminar armour and always carried her two-handed longsword.
Count Henry of Champagne
He was the Grand Master of the Prierre de Sion, the political and administrative wing who were the main force behind the formation and control of the Knights Templar. He taught Paul much about the order and many esoteric mysteries as well as political awareness. Educated Paul to what his father was and did and also his grandfather before and that he could bring his family tree back in line with the order and be part of its future. He loved Princess Isabella always despite her being married. It was an unrequited love that greatly influenced his being in Outremer, mainly clandestine, and his relationship with both Gerard and Reynald in later years.
Count Raymond III of Tripoli/Antioch
It was his wife Countess Eschiva, who was besieged by Saladin’s troops that resulted in Christian forces marching to Hattin. He became a count at just 12 when his father was killed by Isma’ili’s, the Assassins. This ultimately led to his deep mistrust of them and Al Rashid, the Old Man of the Mountains, but he was the most intelligent of the Latin leaders and sought a peaceful coexistence with other Muslims. By 1175 Raymond was an experienced and capable natural choice of leader to be regent ruling the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the name of the dying young Leper King Baldwin IV. As regent Raymond showed he was patient, careful and ingenious in dealing with factions. Calculating, he was also capable of adapting to changing situations something his hidebound contemporaries in Jerusalem rarely displayed if ever. He spent eight years as a prisoner in Aleppo where he learned to speak fluent Arabic and gained a considerable knowledge of Islam; plus admiration for his captors not hate. Unlike newcomers and crusaders, he saw Muslims as neighbours, not enemies. Muslims saw Raymond as shrewd and the bravest of Latin leaders who also concentrated on joint harvests and rain.
Countess (Princess) Eschiva
Raymond’s wife who held out against Saladin in her citadel at Tiberius. Previously married, she had four sons but none by Raymond himself. He became a good stepfather to them and treated them as if his own. She was an elegant and intelligent woman with dark hair and blue eyes and was admired by all who met her. In her early forties she was still very beautiful.
A quiet and enigmatic knight who always dressed in green. Even his armour was tinted green. Coming from a mysterious background he was often viewed with suspicion and intrigue. In his early twenties, he was tall and dark-haired and handsome but always behaved honourable and with conviction in his moral conduct. Became as close to Paul as Taqi had been.
Ishmael was a Bedouin Faris champion originally from Aleppo. Powerfully built and incredibly strong and even though he was only 36 years of age, he looked far older due to horrendous disfiguring injuries suffered when his entire family was murdered by a Christian raiding party. A quiet man but looked, listened and learnt much. He had a great understanding of medicine and healing despite being used as fighting champion by Umar Turansha. He wielded two large sabre swords sheathed across his back.
Ishmael the Tall
Was a Saracen Commander who was one of Saladin’s spymasters but cruel and sadistic. He hated all Franks and non-Muslims and was a fanatical tyrant. Worked hand in glove with Ashashin’s when it suited his cause and lured many of them into his own organisation. He supplied Gokbori’s troops as well as dealt in slaves. Despised and feared by many, his own men were mainly nothing short of renegades but all very highly trained and equal in skill to the Ashashin. He feared Paul for what he could do in Outremer knowing that he was from an ancient sacred bloodline that could claim a genuine and undisputed claim of legitimacy to the crown of not only Jerusalem but also to rule above all those of Europe and Rome.
Rashid al-Din Sinan
He was the Ashashin/Isma’ili Grand Master for over thirty years (1162-1193) and known as The Old Man of the Mountains. He worked closely with the Knights Templar, mainly the Prieure de Sion as they secretly sought cooperation and a fusion between the two orders. Very broad shouldered and tall he was fierce looking but fair. Very well educated he outstripped his contemporary’s both intellectually and physically. A whole mystique grew up around him as a semi-mystic leader with supernatural powers even. He was quick to further this myth to enhance his position.
He was an accomplished and experienced Knight Templar. Best friend to Nicholas he always had his back. He had great admiration and respect for Muslims and Islam as a whole whilst growing increasingly disgusted with the likes of Reynald and Gerard. He despised war mongers and liars. He never lied and found it difficult to understand those who did.
He was the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller’s from 1177 to 1187. A close friend of Paul’s father as well as being a kind and insightful Knight who also wished to work and live alongside Muslims in peace. Had many Muslim friends and learnt much from them; in turn, Paul learnt much from him. Tall and powerfully built with a great sense of humour he helped heal the deepening rift between his order and the Templar’s. He inspired Paul to consider becoming a surgeon of medicine.
An intelligent and forward thinking Knight Hospitaller. With a deep sense of duty and moral courage who was not afraid to speak out against any injustices. Not as tall as his fellow knights he nevertheless commanded respect with his strong persona and bearing. Handsome and always smiling masked his utter determination and commitment to all he did.
Master Roger de Moulins
One of Saladin’s leading Amirs/military commanders. Gokbori means ‘Blue Wolf’ in Turkish. He was the son of the governor of Irbil who had been a loyal supporter of the Great Zanghi whose conquest of the county of Eddesa had been the first step in recapturing lands from the Crusaders in 1144. He led the right wing against Saladin at Aleppo at the battle of the Horns of Hamma but changed sides to Saladin’s which had profound effects which led to Saladin’s success. Consequently, Saladin gave him the cities of Eddesa (Urfa) and Samsat but more importantly his own sister in marriage Al Sitt Rabia Khatun. He would have a lasting effect upon Paul in his later years. Gokbori as Blue Wolf went on to set up colleges, almshouses and hospitals and was responsible for patronising officially the unofficial birthday of Muhammad.
Muzaffar al Din Gokbori (Known as the Blue Wolf)
He was a man of religion known as Shaykh. Known for his bravery, prudence and good humour, he was an energetic naval and military man full of useful initiatives. He was a brilliant commander of Saladin’s naval fleet and personally led his Muslim marines in naval battles from the front. He developed a close bond with Paul and Alisha. His influence had a great bearing upon the direction Paul’s life would follow.
She died shortly after giving birth to Paul. After Paul experienced strange events within the Great Pyramid of Egypt at Giza, he was able to sense her presence and dreamt of her often.
She was Egyptian and immediately won the heart of Percival as well as becoming Alisha's best friend and business partner. Beautiful and elegant she was intelligent and funny.
She was the wife of Stephan, the Landlord of the Melissae Inn in La Rochelle. Outgoing and friendly, she suffered fools badly and was often outspoken.
Port of La Rochelle, France, Melissae Inn
Characters sat around the table as the Old man tells his story.
Stephan – The Inn Keeper.Gabirol – The Spanish Traveller. Simon – The Fishmonger. Wealthy Tailor. Genoese Sailor. Knight Templar. Knight Hospitaller. Ayleth. The Farrier. Peter – The Stonemason.
A truly enigmatic and mysterious character who stood over 7ft tall. Blue eyes that appeared to have flecks of gold in them similar to Alisha. He looked like a man in his early 60’s at most but with a full head of pure white hair. No one had ever seen him ever look any different despite the passage of time. Living mainly in Malta, he was powerfully built and unbelievably strong and exuded confidence but also a genuine sense of warmth and kindness. Always carried a large staff and had knowledge beyond his time those who knew him would often claim; especially in the sciences and medicine. Intelligent and extremely wise, he had an air about him of otherworldliness. Kratos was not his real name but one he had been given many years previously so simply used it. Always carried a unique staff and he could read people instantly.
A very elderly local priest from La Rochelle, he was quick to teach Paul much of what he knew about esoteric mysteries and religion, both Christian and Muslim as well as Hinduism and Buddhism. Taught Paul how to execute drawings and how to design and draught technical illustrations.
Saladin's brother, al-Adil was the governor of Egypt who answered his brother’s call to arms and led his forces out of Cairo towards Syria. After the battle of Hattin and fall of Jerusalem, the city of Jaffa made the mistake of resisting al-Adil, who took the city by storm and sold the entire population into slavery. Yet at the surrender of Jerusalem, seeing the Patriarch Heraclius and his priests leaving the city free men having each paid their ten Dinars as agreed with Saladin, laden with gold and silver and relics by the cartload, al-Adil was so moved by the sight of such selfish greed that he asked for a thousand captives as a reward for his services. Saladin granted this, and al-Adil immediately set them free. Saladin in his turn set free all the aged.
Saladin’s favoured officer and nephew even though he argued a lot with Saladin. Deeply religious and very generous he saved the day at the battle of Hamma against Muslim troops of Aleppo and Mosul in 1175. He fearlessly led troops in person and was physically courageous. Placed in the right wing of attacks and offensive position when the left was defensive. An outstanding commander he was never the less impetuous and obstinate. He had political ambitions for a bigger power base larger than Hamma which he governed since 1178. Also quarrelled frequently with Saladin’s son Al Adfal.
Humphrey of Toron
Son of Stephanie and her previous husband. Tall and pale skinned. Intelligent but at times too slow and indecisive. He thought his position afforded him certain privileges.