In the Year of Our Lord, 1187, when Henry II was King of England, and Eleanor its Queen, Phillip Augustus King of France, Richard Duke of Aquitaine, (and I a beardless youth), God punished Christendom for its Sins, in that He suffered the Holy City Jerusalem to fall again into the hands of the Infidel Saracens.
Returning from the Holy Land priests, pilgrims, merchants and mynstrells all spoke movingly (to the crowds great and small that gathered around them) of the plight of our Lord's most Holy Shrines: the Holy Sepulchre defiled and the True Cross taken to some distant corner of Heathendom. These travelers told of the sorry plight and great valour of those few Christians who still resisted, besieged in their castles by the sea, praying fervidly for help- help from beyond the sea.
This disaster sorely disenheartened all folk, both high and low, and brought an end to dancing, the singing of ballads and the enjoyment of most other earthly delights by all good Christians.
Then the Pope in Rome, (this was Gregory the Eight, as is written in the Great Chronicles) decreed to God's Great Glory that all those that take up the Cross and go on Crusade against these Infidels should be cleansed of all sins. A great call was heard: God wills it! God wills it!
Soon a great host had taken up the Cross: Kings and princes, counts and dukes, knights, foot-soldiers, sailors, and so many others they cannot be numbered. Each took up the Cross, and their arms as well, and went for to seek God in that far off country.