Lord Almighty from his heavenly throne turned all-seeing eyes on Syria, where the camp was a crusading army. For the sixth year, the warriors of Christ have fought in the East, many cities and kingdoms submitted to it, but the Holy City of Jerusalem was still a stronghold of the infidels. Reading in human hearts as in an open book, He saw that out of many glorious leaders only the great Gottfried of Bouillon was fully worthy of the Crusaders’ story of the sacred feat of the liberation of the Holy Sepulcher. The Archangel Gabriel carried this message to Gottfried, and he reverently accepted God’s will.
When Gottfried summoned the chiefs of the Franks and announced that God had chosen him as their superiors, a murmur arose in the congregation, for many of the leaders were not inferior to Gottfried either in the nobility of the clan or in the exploits on the battlefield. But then Peter the Hermitage raised his voice in support of him, and to the last heeded the words
of the mastermind and honored counselor of the soldiers, and the next morning a mighty army, in which
Under the banner of Gottfried Bouillon, the color of chivalry of all Europe rallied, and marched on a campaign. The East trembled.
And now the crusaders camped in Emmaus, in view of the Jerusalem walls. Here, the ambassadors of the king of Egypt appeared to them in the tents and offered to give up a rich ransom from the Holy City. After hearing a decisive refusal from Gottfried, one of them went home, the second, Circassian knight Argant, burning with the desire to quickly expose the sword against the enemies of the Prophet, galloped to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem at that time was ruled by King Aladin, the vassal of the Egyptian king and the angry oppressor of Christians. When the crusaders went to the attack, Aladin’s army met them at the city walls, and a fierce battle ensued, in which the number of non-Christians fell, but brave knights too many. Crusaders suffered especially hard losses from the mighty Argant and the great virgin warrior Clorinda, who came from Persia to help Aladin. With Clorinda,
the incomparable Tankred came together in battle and struck her helmet with the blow of a spear, but when he saw the beautiful face and golden braids, devoured by love, he lowered his sword.
The bravest and most beautiful of the knights of Europe, the son of Italy, Rinald was already on the city wall, when Gottfried gave the army the order to return to the camp, for it is not yet time to fall to the Holy Castle.
Seeing that the bastion of the enemies of the Lord nearly fell, the king of the underworld summoned his countless servants – demons, furies, chimeras, pagan gods – and ordered all the dark power to crush the Crusaders. The servant of the devil was among others the magician Idraot, the king of Damascus. He ordered his daughter Armida, eclipsed by the beauty of all the virgins of the East, to go to Gottfried’s camp and, using all female art, to bring discord into the ranks of the soldiers of Christ.
Armida appeared in the camp of the Franks, and none of them, except Gottfried and Tankred, could not resist the charms of her beauty. Called Princess Damascus, by force and deceit deprived of the throne, Armida begged the leader of the Crusaders to give her a small detachment of elite knights, in order to overthrow the usurper; in exchange, she promised to Gottfried the alliance of Damascus and every help. In the end, Gottfried ordered the election of ten brave men by lot, but it was hardly a question of who would lead the detachment, the leader of the Norwegians, Gernand, at the instigation of the demon, started a quarrel with Rinald and fell from his sword; the incomparable Rinald was compelled to go into exile.
Disarmed by the love of knights Armida led not to Damascus, but to a gloomy castle that stood on the shore of the Dead Sea, in the waters of which neither iron nor stone is drowning. Within the walls of the castle, Armida opened her true face, offering the captives either to renounce Christ and to oppose the Franks, or to perish; Only one of the knights, the despicable Rambald, chose life. She sent the others in shackles and under reliable protection to the king of Egypt.
In the meantime, the Crusaders led a regular siege, refurbished Jerusalem with a rampart, built cars for storming, and city residents fortified the walls. Bored by idleness, the proud son of the Caucasus, Argant went out into the field, ready to fight with anyone who would accept his challenge. The first to Argantha rushed the brave Otto, but soon was defeated by the infidel,
Then came the turn of Tankred. Two heroes came together, as Ajax and Hector once did at the walls of Ilium. The brutal battle lasted until the night, and without revealing the winner, and when the heralds interrupted the duel, the wounded soldiers conspired to continue it at dawn.
For the duel from the city walls, Hermione, the daughter of the King of Antioch, was watching with a sinking heart. Once she was a prisoner of Tankred, but the noble Tankred gave the princess freedom, Hermione undesirable, for she was burning with an irresistible love for the captive. Erminia, skilled in medicine, set out to enter the camp of the Crusaders in order to heal the knight’s wounds. For this, she cut off her marvelous hair and clothed in Clorinda’s armor, but on the outskirts of the camp she was discovered watchdogs and rushed after her in pursuit. Tankred, thinking that something was kind to his heart warrior, because of him endangering life, and wanting to save her from his pursuers, also started following Hermitage. He did not catch up with him and, getting off the road, was deceived into the enchanted castle of Armida, where he became her prisoner.
Meanwhile, it was morning and no one came out to greet Argant. The Circassian knight began to bear the cowardice of the Franks, but none of them dared to take up the challenge, until Raymond, the Toulouse Earl, finally came forward. When the victory was almost in the hands of Raymond, the king of darkness seduced the best Saracen archer to release the knight into the knight and himself sent her flying. The arrow pierced the articulation of the armor, but the guardian angel saved Raymond from certain death.
Seeing how insidiously violated the laws of the fight, the Crusaders rushed to the infidels. Their fury was so great that they almost crushed the enemy and did not break into Jerusalem. But not this day was determined by the Lord to take the Holy City, therefore He allowed the infernal troops to come to the aid of the infidels and restrain the pressure of Christians.
The dark forces did not abandon the plan to crush the Crusaders. Inspired by the Fury of Alecto, Sultan Soliman with the army of nomad Arabs suddenly attacked the Franks camp at night. And he would have won, when the Lord did not send the archangel Michael, so that he would deprive the unfaithful help of hell. The crusaders perked up, closed the ranks, and then the knights liberated by Rinald from Armidino captivity arrived in time. The Arabs fled, fled and a mighty soliman who, in the battle, deprived many Christian warriors of their lives.
The day has come, and Peter the Hermit blessed Gottfried for an attack. After serving a moleben, the crusaders, surrounded by siege machines, encircled the walls of Jerusalem, the Wrong fiercely resisted, Clorinda sowed death in the ranks of Christians with her arrows, one of which was wounded in the foot by Gottfried himself. The angel of God healed the leader, and he again came out on the battlefield, but the night darkness that had come down forced him to give an order to retreat.
At night, Argant and Clorinda made a sortie to the camp of the Franks and set fire to the siege vehicles with a mixture made by the magician Ismen. When they retreated, persecuted by the Crusaders, the defenders of the city slammed the gate, not noticing in the dark that Clorinda was left outside. Then Tankred joined her in battle, but the warrior was in unfamiliar armor, and the knight recognized the beloved, only by inflicting a fatal blow to her. Raised in the Muslim faith, Clorinda knew, however, that her parents were Christian rulers of Ethiopia and that at the behest of her mother she should have been baptized in infancy. Mortally wounded, she asked her murderer to perform this mystery over her and the spirit had already given up Christianity.
That the Crusaders could not build new cars, Ismen let a host of demons into the only forest in the district. None of the knights dared to enter the enchanted thicket, with the exception of Tankred, but it was beyond his power to dispel the magician’s sinister charms.
Despondency reigned in the camp of the crusading army, when Gottfried in a dream revealed that only Rinald will overcome sorcery and that only in his time the defenders of Jerusalem would tremble at last. At one time, Armida vowed to cruelly take revenge on Rinaldo, who had beaten off the captive knights, but hardly saw him, as she was inflamed with irresistible love. I’m young, her beauty, too, struck in the heart, and Armida moved with her lover to the distant enchanted Happy Islands. To these islands, and went for Rinald, two knights: the Dane Karl and Ubald. With the help of a good wizard, they managed to get to the ocean, the waters of which had previously only traversed the streets. After overcoming many dangers and temptations, Gottfried’s ambassadors found Rinald who had forgotten about everything amid the joys of love. But as soon as Rinald saw the armor, as he remembered the sacred duty and without hesitation followed Karl with Ubald. Furious, however, Armida rushed to the camp of the king of Egypt, who from the recruited throughout the East the army went to help Aladin. Inspiring the eastern knights, Armida promised to become a wife to the one who in battle would defeat Rinald.
And now Gottfried gives the order for the last attack. In a bloody battle, Christians crushed the infidels, from which the most terrible – the unconquerable Argant – fell by the hand of Tankred. The Crusaders entered the Holy City, and Aladin took refuge with the remnants of the army in the David Tower, when clouds of dust rose on the horizon, then the Egyptian army was approaching Jerusalem.
And again the battle began, cruel, for the soldiers of the infidels were strong. In one of the most difficult moments for Christians, she was taken to the rescue by the soldiers from the David Tower of Aladin, but everything was in vain. With the help of God, the Crusaders took the upper hand, the Necrists fled. The king of Egypt became a prisoner of Gottfried, but he let him go, not wanting to hear about the rich ransom, because he did not come to trade with the East, but to fight.
Dispelling the infidels, Gottfried and his companions entered the liberated city and, even without taking off the blood-soaked armor, knelt before the Holy Sepulcher.