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b5Step into the world of the Eagle and Dove.

For those who have not been here before, 'The Eagle & The Dove' is a story I have been researching and developing for over 20 years. The idea first originated during my travels through Southern France and the mountains of Andalusia in Spain.  Unfortunately, due to family and work commitments, I never seem to find the time to write as much as I would like, but despite all the interruptions, I am finally getting closer to finishing the work.

Synopsis:
 
The Background:  The Eagle & Dove is a story of love, loyalty, companionship and bravery, set in Spain and southern Europe in troublesome and dangerous times. Religious persecution of Jews, Gypsies and Muslims by the fanatical Inquisition of the church left a trail of pain and shame that soiled the name of the God these zealots worshipped.
 
Characters:  Gypsies, Eagles, Spanish Inquisition, soldiers, mercenaries, farmers, lords and ladies are just some of the people you can meet in the world of the Eagle & Dove.
 
Introduction:  Here we are introduced to the region of Spain 'The Guadalquivir' where Legend has it that the story originated.  There is a description of the landscape as it stands today, along with general information concerning the valley and how it came about that I was inspired to write the story of the Eagle & Dove. Read the Introduction
 
Prologue - The Beginning:   Introduction to one of the main characters and an event that will shape the future. - Read extracts from the Beginning
 
Ballad of the Eagle & Dove:  An old Gypsy song which grew up around the legend of the Eagle & Dove - Read the Ballad of the Eagle & Dove
 
zfl im 1013Part 1: Of those that will be free:  In the first part of the story, we are introduced to the Gypsies, their culture and way of life. We will also come to meet and learn about some of the main charachters who make up this group of Romany nomads. We also discover their histiry, cultures and we learn that they are somehow intertwined with the Eagles. ;

Chapter 1: Ballad of the Gypsies:Traditional Gypsy ballad describing their way of life. - Link to Ballad of the Gypsies

Chapter 2: Arrival & Encampment: Six weeks before Canana falls from the nest, the annual olive harvest is about to commence and the Gypsies are arriving in the valley. There is great excitement throughout the valley, as the appearance of the Gypsies signifies the olive season is about to get underway. - Read an extract

Chapter 3: The Harvest:  With the beginning of the New Year and the start of the harvest, the Gypsies split into separate work groups and accompany the farmers to their plantations. The work is long and hard under bad conditions but the Gypsies know that they have to endure it until the harvest is over. The money from the olive picking is essential to the continued survival of the whole group. The Gypsy convoy, along with the gread horse herd accompaning them, winds their way through the velley to their pre-selected campsite. - Read an extract

Chapter 4. Francisco Habir Lomez: Called Habby by the clan, he is one of the tribal elders. Although relatively young in years, he is renowned for his quick intelligence and his sense of fair play. He is appointed group leader of the work force assigned to Manuel Herria, a rich and cruel employer. On their way to their place of work, Habby reminisces over his experiences and the affinity he now has for this part of Spain. - Read an extract

Chapter 5: Pierre the wise: .Pierre is an honorary member of the clan, born to a rich merchant family he was a genius who taught in the richest courts in France. When sent to Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue, he falls in love with the count of Aigues-Mortes young wife. When the jealous count discovers this, he has Pierre kidnapped, tortured and blinded. Cast out into the street to die, he is found by some young Gypsies. - Read an extract

Chapter 6: Manola the Healer: Barley alive and badly mutilated, Pierre has been discovered by the Gypsies who fetch Manola. Manola is a traditional natural healer, one who uses mostly herb and plant lore to perform her cures. As well as her herbal lore, like most natural healers, Manola also have an ancient healing method which are gifted to very few people. Despite the majority of the Gypsies misgivings about the chances of Pierre surviving, she uses her gift to save Pierre.. - Read an extract

Chapter 7: Manana. At the time the young eaglet was falling from his nest, we come to meet Manaña, daughter of Habby and student of Pierre. Blessed with green eyes, a sign that she has been touched by the earth mother, Manana has also inherited the power of healing, but as yet is unaware of the full potential she posses.  - Read an extract

Chapter 8: Discovery.Meanwhile, Manana lies at the bottom of a ravine overwhelmed by a strange sense of fear finds herself face to face with a Great Eagle, one of the worlds most dangerous creatures. - Read an extract

537 wg eagles Part 2:  Of ancient friends and foes:Part 2 is about the 'Great Eagles', what they are, their history in the valley of the Guadalquivir, their habitat, customs and physical make up.  We also get to know the individual eagles that make up the last of the 'Great Eagles' of the valley.

 
Chapter 1:  Ballad of the Eagles.A Gypsy song about the Eagles of the valley.  Origin unknown.

Chapter 2: Remera. Canana's mother Remera, is searching for food, now the olive harvest has started food is even scarcer due to the busy activities of the humans. Remera reflects on how rich and bountiful the valley was when the eagles first came, than how their troubles began with the arrival of man. How this trouble turned into hatred, eventually leading to the decline and death for the eagles.

Chapter 3: Cylor.We are also introduced to Cylor, Remera's now dead mate, and Canana's father. Remera recalls the day she and Cylor went on the hunt and spot what looks likes an easy target.  Cylor decides he will attach, despite misgivings from Remera. 

Chapter 4: Death in the valley. When on the hunt.  Cylor has been ambushed and is fighting for his life. Remera observes the battle with the farmer and the inevitable outcome.  She joins the battle and the bloody carnage that followed sends shockwaves through the farming community.

Chapter 5:The Search.  Remera feeling uneasy speeds up her hunt and is rewarded when she spots a dog running through the open fields towards the olive trees. Meanwhile the owner of the bitch has also noticed the Eagle, sensing that the bird would attack he prepares an ambush. Francisco Habir Lomez (Habby) spoils the ambush injuring the farmer in the process.  Remera takes her prize and returns to the Eyrie only to find her uneasiness was well founded and Canana has probably fallen to his death. She undertakes a desperate search but to no avail, assuming that he is dead and has probably been taken by scavengers she returns to the nest determined that she to will leave the valley as soon as her remaining offspring is capable of flying.

gypsies fire1Part 3: Of myth, magic and medicine:  This part deals with how the central characters meet and how the relationship develops between the Eagle and the Dove.  It also explains how the eagles and Gypsies are entwined by past events and how the destiny of both is unavoidable. Paco tells Habby a legend about an Eagle who once took the form of a human, and how the destinies of Eagles an Gypsies became entwined. Returning home Habby finds that Manana is still missing and asks the clan to search for his daughter. The search finds Manana and bring and the wounded eaglet back to the camp. As she continues healing him a growing bond of trust and affection starts to develop between the bird and human.

Chapter 1: Mañana's Song. Old Gypsy lament sang for generations.

Chapter 2: The sound of omens.   Mañana's father Habby, sacked for saving Remera, returns to the camp to talk with Paco the chief elder. Paco also tells Habby a legend about an Eagle who once took the form of a human, and how the destinies of Eagles and Gypsies became entwined

Chapter 3: Torches in the valley. Returning home Habby finds that Manana is still missing. Troubled by the day’s events, he wastes no time in deciding to start a search. Habby asks his fellow Gypsies for help to find his daughter. Tired and wary as they are, everyone is eager to assist.

Chapter 4: Moonlight Medicine. Mañana now fully recovered realises that the young eagle needs help. Somehow she discovers she possess an amazing skill at healing and in darkness begins to heal the eaglet. Fatigued and near to hypothermia from the cold, she notices torches and familiar voices heading her way. Climbing out of the ravine she runs towards the approaching torches and explains what has happened

Chapter 5: Return to camp. Carrying both Mañana and the wounded eaglet back to the camp, Habby realises that despite the late hour he must call a meeting of the elders to discuss this new situation.

Chapter 6: Midnight Meeting. When the day’s events had been told the elders debate until the early hours of morning. Finally, it was decided that their duty is to heal the eagle as they are honour bound by history. They also stressed the need to keep it a tightly guarded secret because of the possible threat from the valleys inhabitants.

Chapter 7: Harvest Healing. Mañana and a few selected helpers have placed the eaglet in one of the provision wagons which made available. Habby meanwhile sets out to find work outside the valley. At the camp, Manana continues to heal the eaglet that is slowly but definitely growing stronger. As she continues her healing, a growing bond of trust and affection starts to develop between the bird and human.

Chapter 8: Departure. 12 weeks after their arrival, the harvest has now finished.  The Gypsies prepare to leave the valley following ancient roads to avoid patrols and bandits. T In the valley, summer is coming to the valley; Remera has taken a few chances while hunting to ensure that her remaining offspring will grow strong quickly, so as to leave the valley as soon as possible. A messenger from Gwyl the lord of all birds arrive and informs them that the Eagles have found a new home a great distance away, and that he has been sent to guide them there. Shortly afterwards the great Eagles leave the valley never to return.

Part 4: Of Men and Gods

Chapter 1: Song of the valley.

Chapter 2: On the road. The Gypsies are heading for Genoa, then onto their annual pilgrimage to Sans Maria de la mer, following ancient roads to avoid patrols and bandits. As Canana has not yet healed, it is decided that they will take him with them until he is fully recovered and fit to fly. Habby leads a separate party to Seville to attend the annual great horse fair.As the eaglet’s strength returns, it becomes increasingly difficult to conceal him. It is decided that now he can fly once again, he must be released back into the wild. Manana disagrees and points out that he would not be able to hunt for himself and that he would soon die. Nether-the-less, the risks are too great and when they get near towns the risks would be greater. Reluctantly Manana concedes, but when she tries to persuade Aguila to fly away, he simply keeps following her back to the camp.
In the meantime, Habby and his Caballeros’ make the way with the horse herd to Seville where they are hoping to sell them to raise more income for the tribe. On the way they fight off a band of mercenaries who were trying to steal the horses.

Chapter 3: Mañana's choice. Mañana finally decides that it is her responsibility to return Canana back to the valley where his mother may find him. Taking a horse and some food she sets off early one morning to return to the Guadalquivir. On horseback with Aguila flying above, Manana rides back to the valley. By the time they have returned, Remera has already left for the new lands.

Chapter 4: Devils child. Mañana decides to help the bird develop its natural skills and using herbal lore, she concocts sleeping draughts which she administers to farmers protecting their herds. When they fall asleep, Canana has time to pick his target and practice his techniques. Soon fear is sweeping through the valley, as the story of an eagle that takes the form of a green eyed girl and enchants God fearing farmers. Later it is discovered that the girl and eagle are not one and the same, and Manana is branded a witch and named 'Devil Child'.
Father Jerez the valleys leading cleric, is despatched to Linares and the camp of the inquisition with the tale of the devil child that is plaguing the valley. He is given three investigating priests and 20 soldiers including three Indian trackers who had been shipped to Spain from the new American colonies. By this time, Cana has become skilled enough to hunt by himself

Chapter 5: Inquisition. Mañana finally bids goodbye to the eagle as they both head their separate ways. As she is riding out of the valley, she is captured by Father Jerez’s search party. She is bound and taken back to Linares where she is imprisoned and put to the question by the inquisition. After a few days of interrogation, it is decided to send the girl to trial for witchcraft in Ubeda the provincial capital.

Chapter 6: Canana's quest. Saddened at his departure from Mañana, Canana decides to search out the other eagles. Having no indication of where the new lands may be, he decides to let instinct guide him and to hope for news on the way. As he flies over the lands, he notices how in many places man killing his fellow man and he realises that creatures who seem as intent on destruction as they were was would eventually destroy every thing he came in contact with.
After an arduous journey following information gathered from many sources, Canana reaches the home of Gwyl and the remaining great eagles.

Chapter 7: Return to Guadalquivir. Habby receives a message saying that Mañana has disappeared almost 6 days ago and rides immediately home to gather any information he can. It is two weeks of searching before he finds that in all probability, she has taken the eagle back to the valley. Choosing 5 companions they pick up her trail from stories of a girl that rides with a devil bird above her. Habby meanwhile has arrived back in the valley and has heard of his daughter’s fate. He sets about on forming a plan to rescue her resolving to die himself if necessary.

Chapter 8: Ordeal by fire. The trial begins and Habby and friends in disguise sit through the proceedings waiting for the chance to rescue Mañana. In the trial Mañana defends herself and in many ways her plain honesty and simplicity makes fools of the priests and wins her the sympathy of many of the onlookers. She is eventually found guilty and sentenced to death by fire.
On the way to her place of execution, Habby and his companions put the plan to rescue Mañana into place. During the rescue Habby kills Herrera and Father Jerez, but three of Habby’s companions and six solders are also killed. Pursued by remaining solders and the inquisition, Habby, Manana and the two remaining companions ride east along the banks of the river heading for the mountains de Segurra and safety among the many marshes and forests surrounding the great lake del Tranco.

Chapter 9: Canana's choice. Canana arrives back in the valley and watches as Habby and his friends attack the wagon bringing Manana to her execution and make their escape. He then follows the fugitive’s progress, not wanting to interfere in the hope they would escape. Unable to shake of the pursuit due to the remarkable tracking skills of the American Indians, Habby and his followers are finally trapped on a cliff face. The battle is short, Habby and companions are killed and Mañana and her mount are forced over the edge. It is then the solders see the eagle he is plummeting down following her. When the solders reach the edge they can only see the dead horse below. Of Manana and Canana there is no trace and no more is heard.

EPILOGUE

What legends say happened?

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