Richard the Lion-Hearted
Richard the Lion-Hearted, the English king who leads the Third Crusade to the Holy Land. He is proud and egotistical; the other leaders in the crusade resent him and also his methods. Ill of a fever, he is healed by a Muslim physician sent to him by Saladin, the leader of the Muslims in the Holy War. An attempt is made on Richard’s life, but a slave saves him. Richard finally realizes that the crusade is a failure.
Sir Kenneth, Knight of the Couchant Leopard, who is really David, earl of Huntingdon and the prince royal of Scotland. He has taken a vow not to reveal his true identity until the Holy City is taken in the crusade. He will not break this oath, even to save his own life. Disguised as a Nubian slave, he is severely wounded by a poisoned knife while saving Richard’s life. Richard sucks the poisoned wound and saves him. He is in love with Lady Edith Plantagenet, the king’s kinswoman, but they cannot marry because he is a poor Scotsman and she is of royal blood. When Kenneth’s true identity becomes known, they do marry.
El Hakim, the physician sent by Saladin to heal Richard. He makes a potion with a talisman he carries, and the potion cures Richard. El Hakim is really Saladin in disguise. He gives the talisman to Kenneth and Lady Edith as a wedding present.
Lady Edith Plantagenet
(The entire section is 467 words.)