In every time of great change the Graal calls those who are ready to serve a deeper purpose.
Wulfaert van de Proost, a veteran mercenary from Flanders, never guessed such a journey lay ahead of him when he joined Pope Innocent III’s Crusade to punish the heretics of Languedoc. When he tries to stop an atrocity during the sacking of Béziers and fails, he is forced flee for his life. Hunted and alone, lost in a strange land, he stumbles onwards drawn only by an innate will to survive.
Constansa is the leader of a small community who, along with a local order of Templar Knights, guards the teachings of the Graal and keeps this mysterious object safe from the Church. Now the land is being torn apart by war the Graal is no longer safe and must be moved. She says goodbye to her home and her people and begins a journey that may well cost her her life. Along with her apprentice, Aicelina and her Templar protector, Lothar, she risks everything to find a place to hide it. When they find Wulf half-dead on the banks of a river, Constansa knows she must nurse him back to health and bring him into their group. Although she keeps their secret from him, she trusts that their meeting is fated and that Wulf’s destiny is entwined with their own.
Abbot Arnaud Amaury is the Pope’s own Legate and the leader of the Crusade. What his superiors don’t know is that he also harbours a secret ambition. His spies have brought him whispers of a holy relic of such importance that possessing it would secure his rise to even greater power. He recruits a monk from his own Cistercian order and tasks him to find this sacred object. Now promoted, Prior Guillem D’Engany learns of the goal of his hunt and becomes willing to use every bloodthirsty means at his disposal to secure the Graal for his own, equally ambitious ends.
As Wulf regains his health, he finds new hope where he least expects it and together with his rescuers, they make their way through the dangerous and unforgiving landscape of the Pyrenees. As their journey progresses Wulf discovers the heretics guard a dangerous secret, an object of such importance that they become hunted without mercy. Now he must choose, once and for all, where his loyalties lie.
The journey pushes Wulf to his limits but then he begins to learn about the power of the Graal, a stone with mysterious origins. He discovers how it transforms those who are called into its service. So Wulf begins a deeper journey, across the landscape of his own soul. As their pursuers close in for the kill, Wulf must find the courage to confront his greatest fears, protect the Graal and, risking everything, save those he loves.
For Wulf, nothing will ever be the same again.
Now Wulf was back to full health, he and Constansa set a good pace through the hills. They spent most of the time walking in a companionable silence, relishing the beauty of the land around them. Nature was in full ascendance, the fecundity of spring clearly evident in the new flowers and blossom that burst out into the fresh spring air.
They chose places to rest according to feeling rather than plan. Sometimes a soft seat of moss next to a babbling brook or the shade of a mighty oak would call to them, inviting them to rest and recuperate. In this way nature was their guide and Constansa took these moments to speak to Wulf of the spirit of these places, the aspects of the Earth’s living being that were unseen to the physical eye. Wulf could sense that these special places had a different quality to them. That somehow and in some way there was a clearer and deeper connection to nature there.
Constansa was an excellent teacher. She never spoke down to Wulf; rather she inspired in him the will to want to know more, to ask questions. In those rare moments where she felt she had no answer to give she was comfortable saying that she did not know and left Wulf to form his own opinion. Wulf, in turn, was an attentive and enthusiastic student and his insight and empathy were a pleasant surprise to Constansa. She relished these special moments where she could share the extraordinary perspective that was a part of her everyday life. To live in a way that meant you experienced many more layers of life than the average person, could, in some social circles, make you feel lonely amongst your fellow man. She had long ago learned to accept this and was so grateful to live in a community of people who could understand and share this view of the world. However, when someone like Wulf came along, willing to learn all she could offer, it was a rare treat to share in his gradual awakening. Sometimes it was like discovering this amazing depth to the world all over again, seeing it through the eyes of the student she initiated.
The path of the Graal was so different from the other philosophies and belief systems she had encountered. She recognised an underlying essence in them but the prescribed beliefs and heavy, wordy texts had nothing in common with her journey. For her it was about learning to open her eyes to see what was right there in front of her in a whole new way. Her connection with the Graal had transformed her experience of the world. From this connection her perception was continually renewed giving her a completely different understanding of life. At its heart this path was about rediscovering that the world, both inner and outer, was far deeper than most people had ever envisaged and to walk this path was one of the most incredible things she could imagine a man or a woman doing.
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