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The Pulp Swordsmen: Cercamon the Troubadour –

The Pulp Swordsmen: Cercamon the Troubadour

Sunday , 11, February 2024 1 Comment

I wrote about the adventures of Pierre Faidit of the Sword a couple weeks back. Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur had a sometimes companion of Faidit, Cercamon the troubadour. Cercamon had some solo adventures chronicled by Brodeur.

Story Title Issue of Adventure
Before Midnight Dec. 10, 1921
The Sword of the Prophet Jan. 10, 1922
With Song and Sword Jan. 10, 1923
Judgement by Steel March 10, 1923
The Black Thief May 10, 1925
Brothers-in-Arms Dec. 30, 1925

Cercamon is a Gascon, slightly short to medium height but powerfully built, shoulder length black hair and green-blue eyes. He can enthrall an audience with songs of chivalry but also the best swordsman of western Europe next to Pierre Faidit.

“Before Midnight,” “The Sword of the Prophet,” and “Brothers-in-Arms” are all adventures with Pierre Faidit.

“With Song and Sword” is Cercamon’s origin story. An orphan raised by troubadour Orso and taught in both song and swordsmanship. A captain of the garrison of Niort kills a drunken Orso. Cercamon kills the captain in a fair fight but has to flee. A series of misadventures force him into the city of Poitiers. Count Bertand of Armagnac takes Cercamon into his service. There is some quick thinking to save Cercamon from execution.

“The King’s Choice” (1137 A.D): Cercamon is sent on a mission to Paris with a proposal to marry Alienor, daughter of Duke Guihelm of Aquitaine to young King Louis VII. Count Thibault of Champagne’s henchmen capture Cercamon. Count Thibault wants to marry his daughter to King Louis. Cecamon is given parole within the castle. Alienor shows up in Orleans to beguile King Louis. In the meantime, Cercamon has found that Alienor is a vile person and Duke Thibault’s daughter would be better for King Louis. Cercamon finds himself a hunted man at the end of the story.

Judgement By Steel”: Weeks after the events in “The King’s Choice,” Cercamon has taken service with Raymond-Berenger of Barcelona. There is an accusation by an envoy of Navarre, a judgement by steel by Barcelona’s military commander, and a conspiracy to take Barcelona. Cercamon is given authority to uncover the conspiracy before enemies of Count Raymond-Berenger can move.

“The Black Thief”: Duke Henry of Anjou and Normandy makes ready to take England. Cercamon is back in the good graces of Henry and his wife Alianor. He is sent to deal with a brigand, “The Black Thief” in Gascony. The local lord took possession of the castle years before killing the ailing Lord Jaufre. Cercamon finds the mystery of Lord Jaufre’s missing daughter and has to figure out how to deal with the Black Thief and a tyrannical local lord.

All the Cercamon stories are included in Altus Press’ The Adventures of Faidit and Cercamon. Brodeur knows his 11th Century France, the culture, the scheming, the chivalry. If you enjoy historical adventure, check it out.

One Comment
  • John E. Boyle says:

    This Adventures of Faidit and Cercamon sounds more and more like the kind of stories I’m looking for. And it’s in paperback from Altus Press (unlike their edition of the Grey Maiden stories from Howden Smith which is Kindle only).

    Thanks again!

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