Cast of Characters

Helena: daughter of Cardel, forced to marry Alaric

Alaric, Baron Merclif

Lady Margaret: Alaric’s mother

Earl Cardel: lord of Cardel Castle and Carleigh

Gerald: oldest son of Cardel

Percy: youngest son of Cardel

Robert, Lord Wyham: King Henry’s trusted advisor

Sir Hugh Belwick: Merclif’s castellan, military administrator of Merclif

Lady Elizabeth Belwick: Hugh’s wife and Margaret’s best friend

Damien Langston: Cardel’s steward and Helena’s friend

Antony Renwold: Merclif’s bailiff/steward

Lady Clare: married to Sir Bernard, mother of Nicholas

Sir Bernard: husband to Lady Clare, most senior knight at Merclif, second in command to Belwick

Denners: Merclif’s falconer

Lady Dorothea, Bamchester: Helena’s foster mother

Maximilian: wandering jongleur

Rupert, Lord Bamchester: Dorothea’s son

Father Michael: the chaplain at Cardel

Father Thomas: the chaplain at Merclif

Sir William: King Henry’s knight

Sir Edgar: Cardel’s seneschal

Sir Roger: experienced Merclif knight

Sir Gordon: experienced Merclif knight

Geoffrey: Merclif soldier

Matthew: Merclif soldier

Ralph: Merclif soldier

Laurence: Merclif’s chief cook

Sadie: villein child, four years old

Betsy: Sadie’s mother, works in the dairy

Ogden: Sadie’s father, villein

Place Names

Merclif: Alaric’s castle, built around 1100, now 50 years old

Mersted: name of river and valley

Mersthorpe: name of village

Cardel Castle: built around 1145, now 10 years old

Narhex: Cardel’s estate in the north

Carleigh: village near Cardel Castle


Gaenor: Alaric’s prized peregrine falcon

Geneir: Alaric’s horse

Guaire: Alaric’s horse

Gwylan: gyrfalcon Alaric trains