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First time here? Start reading here: How it all began….

“Who are you,” rumbles the voice.

“Gerwyn Fulke of Welshpool,” I reply.

I look up as I utter these words into the most intense face I have ever seen.  The face is covered in creases of time like the cracks on a cliff face.  Eyes the deepest of blue that only natures sapphires could come close to.  I notice a scar cutting perpendicular to the creases that looks to have been caused by a sharp weapon.

I work up the intestinal fortitude to ask, “who are you?”

He just stares at me.  I avert my gaze.  Looking in his eyes is like looking at a welding arc and from first hand experience I know that’s not a good idea.

As I look away I notice his companions.  Black or white mantles but all with one thing in common.  A red cross.  Templars.

I can hear the buckles of their sword belts clink against their maille armor.  The hot exhales of their well worn mounts.  But I can also see the looks of concern, anguish, and confusion on their faces.

“My name is Bernard Robelet,” the giant in front of me said.

I knew this name.  One of the Templars caught by the King of France’s people before he made it to the coast and eventually Scotland.  Now I know where I am and more importantly when I am.  Approximately 1314.  Jacques de Molay, The Grand Master, had probably already been burned at the stake.  The last of the order was fleeing to Scotland, which had been excommunicated by the church.

“Are you a brother,” Robelet asked heatedly.

I could only answer one way, “yes, I am”.

He reached in his saddlebag and handed me a bundle of fabric which unfurled and I realized I was holding the illustrious white mantle of the Templars.

“Put it on,” he said. “If we are to die, we shall die as brothers in arms.”

Honestly at this point that didn’t sound appealing but I put the mantle on realizing I was outfitted in maille with the chinking sword of the Templars strapped to my waste.

“It’s time to move,” Robelet commanded.

And so we did.

Through thickets and woods.  Across streams and trails.  A very steady pace was made.  Not breakneck but I could tell we were moving from away from something or someone.

Of course.  de Nogaret’s goons are chasing these men to the sea.  Hunting them relentlessly at the orders of King Phillip.

Finally Robelet reared in his mount and instructed the black mantled sergeants to set up camp for the evening believing de Nogaret’s henchman would not pursue for the night.

He was wrong….

Chapter 3: They Came in the Dark…