Yes, I’m a crusader, and I’m damn proud. Two years ago I was a farm boy, doing whatever I was told, and dreaming of a better life. When the chance came, I joined up without looking back.

To start with, weren’t nothing special. March here. Camp here. Get in this ship. But stick with it, you reach Portugal. Nice country, and for winning a battle, you get to eat like a lord. Then there’s France. Sicily. Their lord, he was rude to the King, so we sacked his city for him.

Then there was Cyprus. Another enemy, more victories. We took the whole island that time. Plunder. Drink. Meat. Women.

There ain’t nothing like the battle. Getting stuck in, your mates at your sides. Fighting like you been taught. Killing the heathen, and then taking their stuff. Sure, you take some knocks, and some of you don’t make it, but what the heck? Farm boys are always dying, or being hung for something. I know I’m not going to live forever, I just want some fun on the way.

And these foreign countries. They have different foods, you can eat like it’s Christmas every day. There’s wine, only for the lords at home. Done that, drunk til I chucked. Women – all sorts, some keen, some less so. If I were back on the farm, I couldn’t even dream the stuff I’ve done.

And then there’s the King. Richard. He’s incredible. The other kings and lords don’t like him, but he gets it done. When we got to Acre, all the others were just sitting around outside, waiting for the walls to fall down. Richard arrives, he takes control. Sure, he orders people about, but someone’s got to do that. Do what he says, and we take the walls, the Muslims surrender.

He doesn’t even take any stick from Saladin, the Muslim general. When he won’t pay the ransom for the prisoners like he said he would, King Richard just lines them all up, and kills them all. Them Muslims won’t mess with him again.

So look at me now, two years after being a farm boy. I’m a soldier. I got muscles. I got scars. I got proper metal armour, real weapons I can use. I know how to fight, and I know how to kill.

Yes, I’m proud of being a crusader.

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