Templar’s Prophecy


In the year 1350, An English pilgrim, Martin Harlech from the town of Cirencester in Gloucestershire, has struggled from his West Country homeland to the Kingdom of Makuria in Nubia. There he desperately seeks to be cured of leprosy in The Church of the Archangel Raphael in Banganarti, known throughout the Christian world for its healing. Unexpectedly, he meets a fellow countryman, Hugh de Farleigh, whom he discovers was a Knight Templar survivor of the disastrous Battle of Acre and had been sold into slavery in Nubia.

The story fast forwards to 1395 when the Lady Apollonia of Aust is urged by her steward to come to his aid in the town of Cirencester. He has found himself unable to deal with the heavy hand of the local Augustinian abbey which presumes to be the lord of the manor of Cirencester and expects villein service from all of its citizens.

Apollonia is the daughter and sister of an earl. She is wealthy in her own right, but now in her late 40’s and thrice widowed, she finds herself in need of protection from those who may wish to marry her off again because, she says, her wealth makes her desirable. To help her steward deal with deliberate frustrations from the local abbey, she meets with the prior, its temporary ruler while the abbot is serving in the court of King Richard II. Prior Parlwald is an evil-living canon who seeks to manipulate everything and everyone to increase his personal wealth.

Physician Benesec Raphael de Farleigh, the Nubian grandson of the Templar, Hugh de Farleigh, has been forced in 1395 to leave his homeland because of its conquest by Islam. He has come to his ancestor’s home in the West Country of England, only to learn that he is the last survivor of his ancient family. de Farleigh also discovers that two of the grandchildren of the pilgrim Martin Harlech reside in Cirencester, enabling him to reestablish their families ties after more than four decades of separation. Physician Benesec recalls a frightening vision, frequently experienced by his Templar grandfather, of an English king’s vicious action against the Church and he longs to assure himself that it has never happened.

A murderous attempt is made against the life of Prior Parlwald and his iniquitous conspirator, the abbey sacrist. Through the Lady Apollonia’s friendship with the scholarly sub-prior, gang-land crime perpetuated against the town from within the abbey is arrested and the murderer of two Augustinian canons is revealed.

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