Introduction

It is Spring in the year 1244 of the year of our lord.

Since the first call to arms by the Pope, the armies of Christendom have sought salvation in the most noble and holy of goals, the securing of the Holy Land for the faithful.  

To take the cause of Crusade is to undergo a journey that in the words of Pope Urban will “…take the place of all penance”. Thousands have flocked to the banners of great kings and knights, each driving the Saracen back and securing the route for countless pilgrims to come after him.

In this year of our lord the Kingdom of Jerusalem is especially in need.

The great leaders of Europe seem keener to squabble over secular matter, paying Outremer no heed.

The Emperor of the Germans, by no means Holy and Roman, besieges the Pope in Italy, forcing him to flee to France to seek safe haven. 

The kingdoms of England France are locked in a war triggered by a line of succession, the fields of France once again awash with blood.

The ongoing re-conquest of Spain grinds forward, demanding more resources and manpower; nothing can be spared.

The Latin Empire, founded less than a lifetime ago struggles like a smothered man to breathe, beset by treacherous Greeks intent upon retaking their capital.

Even the holy orders, most devote servants of God to defend the cross are hard-pressed. The Teutonic Order is spread thin, fighting against the Prussians and other heathen’s in the northern realms, leaving the hard-pressed Hospitallers and Templars to man crumbling fortifications with barely enough men to watch the gates.

Opposing the forces of Christendom is the House of Ayyub, controlling Egypt, Damascus, and most of the countryside surrounding Outremer. The descendants of Saladin, these tireless villains assail and harry the Latins at every turn. 

Word too creeps West of a truly terrifying foe on the edge of the horizon. Consuming all before them like no plague on this earth before, the men of the steppes push West yet again, crushing all who stand in their path, right to the gates of the Holy City itself.

In the midst of this swirling tempest, another vessel arrives in the busy ports of Acre, crowded with Franks of every stripe in the Holy Land for as many varied reasons as the characters and intentions behind them.

Will you be the next savior of the Holy Land, a moral and righteous adherent to the cross and dispenser of Justice? Is Outremer a chance for you to rebuild, to escape, to establish a new life beneath the hot sun and weight of ages? Or will you merely become another body buried under the ever-shifting sands?

Introduction

Shifting Sands wkoppin wkoppin