The Saracen Blade Author:Frank Yerby The Saracen Blade — The teeming world of the 13th century witnessed bright colors, banners fluttering against the sky above the lists at a tourney, fair damsels with their long hair caught in cunning nets of gold thread, clad in silk and samite, velvet and ermine and bejeweled noblemen flaunting the arrogant insignias of their proud houses. This ... more »world contrasted the sober brown and black of monks with the scarlet and gold of lordly bishops. The clean, bright gleam of a crusader's chain mail worn by nobles and knaves alike warned all that this valued war above everything. This is a story of crusaders turning their savagery on Christian and heathen alike, plunging the world into the mindless barbarism. from which it has yet to emerge. This is a time when conspiracies, assassinations and proscriptions from Pope and King alike maintained the Holy Roman Empire in continual chaos and ceaseless war. Miserable serfs, wearing coarse jerkins smelling of dumb sweat, bound to their lord's service forever forced to labor on lands which can never belong to them . These despised masses, beaten at their masters' whim, always hungry, old and toothless at forty, dying in the nobles' and priests' wars by the thousands knew not of the gentler rules of chivalry and knighthood. Heredity, rank and privilege were the rewards bestowed upon evil and ruthless men.