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Middle Ages Europe

In three days I set sail for Jerusalem with my brothers at arms. To be perfectly honest, I do not know what to feel. The Pope’s preaching that was announced after the Council which was heard at Clermont was quite moving. Our emperor is in great distress. The Moors are sweeping all over the east like wildfire, destroying everything they come upon. They have left ruins of cities in their unending quest for more land, more wealth, like the savages that they are. The church has been so moved by their transgressions and the plight of our people, especially since they had taken the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The Pope says that it is time to act; the Pope has declared the matter so grave the he promised indulgence any Christian who took the Crusader vow and set off for Jerusalem. If only my father had lived to see this day, he might not have suffered the way he did. I dare say that I have no need of the Pope’s favor, but my soul calls out to me. It tells me Clarisse, it tells me to draw my blade and fight for our emperor, for our God and his sacred land. Sir Dwayne Stark shall not stand aside while the rest of the armies of Christendom march to battle. I will defend our honor and restore my father’s good name.

I was able to speak with Bishop Pycelle the other day, he told me a great deal about the Moors. He has been to Jerusalem you know, he has seen what those savages do to the people living there. They are heathens, men who worship vile gods of gold and silver. They drink the blood of their fallen foes and eat their hearts. Bishop Pycelle assured me that it was God’s will that guides my men into this great and holy war, like God’s cleansing of Sodom and Gamorrah, the Crusades will strike down the Moors in Jerusalem and drive them back to the hells from which they came.

We shall deliver them unto the Lord’s justice and make them pay for their atrocities. The supplies that my men bought from Lyon just arrived. They are wonderful works crafted by Gibborn the blacksmith. I want to make certain that my men are well equipped for their task at hand. I owe it to their families to ensure that they are fighting with the sharpest blade and sturdiest armor. I have heard rumors from that other knights are not as generous, but I don’t pay them any heed. Surely a knight would always take care of his men the best he could.

These people who accuse some of the nobles of cruelty may just not know how troubling the times have become even for them. My uncle Baron Strombound for one has told me about his ills. Bad crops had troubled his farm lands and depleted his stores. He has sent his two sons with me to win glory for their house. I believe it to be such a noble gesture of him to send his very own sons to battle, young as they may be. I will guard them with my life and make certain that no harm falls upon them while I breathe. There is talk about lands and riches to be gained from the Crusades. I’ve heard it from some of the other knights’ men.

I think it poor that they would think about such concerns when their commanding lords are thinking about how to best save the holy land from Moorish corruption. Christianity is a noble religion; these knights’ men should understand that we will be going to battle not to gain riches or take land, but to spread the Holy Words of our Lord. I miss you terribly my darling. Each day that passes by tears a part of me from my duty, but I know that I must remain strong. How I long to hold your hands once more, to walk with you on the fields outside our Castle in Longshire and bathe in the early morning sun.

I miss our afternoon picnics, the plums and sweet pies that you always make, I miss seeing the wind blow at your long, silky hair and I miss losing myself in the stare of your eyes, I miss hearing you laugh most of all, that cheerful sound that is sweeter than any music heaven could play. I hope that you are praying for me always, my love. I know that God will guide this journey and bring us all back safely. We fight the noble battle and we shall emerge triumphant. Wait for me, my darling. I will fight will the zeal of the lord in my spirit and a longing for you in my heart.

My faith shall keep me fighting until the battle is won and my heart shall keep me alive so I may see you again. I love you terribly.

Sources:

Treadgold, Warren. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford: 1997. Riche, Preston. The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press: 1993. Kagan, Ozment. The Western Heritage: Since 1300. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York: 1991. Wood, Ian. The Merovingian Kingdoms. London: Longman Group: 1994. Strayer, Joseph. Dictionary of the Middle Ages. New York Press: 1989. Lockhart, Robert. The Crusades: A Historical Account. Gottfried: 1995.

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