England, 1191. Richard Lionheart has left the realm bankrupt and leaderless in his quest for glory. Only Prince John seems willing to fight back the tide of chaos threatening England - embodied by the traitorous 'Hood.'But John has a secret weapon: Guy of Gisburne, outcast, mercenary, and now knight. His first mission: to intercept the jewel-encrusted skull of John the Baptist, sent by the Templars to Philip, King of France. Gisburne's quest takes him from the Tower of London to the hectic crusader port of Marseilles - and into increasingly bloody encounters with 'The White Devil': the fanatical Templar de Mercheval.Relentlessly pursued back to England, and aided by the beautiful and secretive Melisande, Gisburne battles his way with sword, lance and bow to a bitter confrontation at the Castel de Mercheval. But beyond it - if he survives - lies an even more unpredictable adversary.