The Crusades was a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The main aim was to recover the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
In 1144 A.D., the second Crusade began. Bennet du Paris sought out the legendary Tower of Power, the domain of the mythic "Eternal Pharaoh" in Akkaba. After traveling for hours through violent sandstorms, Paris finally collapsed and a voice spoke to him, asking if he was willing to risk everything to become one of the strong. Paris was then tested and his mutant powers manifested for the first time. Proving himself strong, Paris disappeared from the spot. Nur had teleported Paris on his Ship and transformed him into Exodus. After capturing the time-traveling Sersi and the Black Knight, Eobar Garrington, who was being controlled by the time-traveling Black Knight, Dane Whitman, Nur commanded Exodus to destroy the Black Knight. Exodus refused and turned on Nur, calling him a "false god". However, Exodus was no match for Nur and Nur stripped Exodus of his power and sealed him away in a crypt in the Swiss Alps, trapped in a coma like state with a curse preventing Exodus from leaving, yet others were allowed to come and go as they pleased.
During the Crusades the Knights Templar attempted an invasion of the African nation of Wakanda, however they were unable to defeat the tiny African nation as they defeated the European invaders with ease.
In 1187 A.D., Jerusalem fell Saladin of Egypt conquered it. King Richard the Lion Heart of England raised an army to retake the city. Edicts from Pope Gregory VIII prompted the Third Crusade to liberate the holy land from its Muslim conquerors. Among King Richard's knights was Eobar Garrington the Black Knight of that era.
In 1191 A.D., Richard and his knights had continued fighting their way to Jerusalem but the toll of supplies on their prisoners prompted Richard to send the Black Knight to meet with the Saladin of Egypt and make an exchange of the prisoners for the fragments of the True Cross in order to prevent the slaughter of the prisoners. However the Knight faced serious delays and was unable to return in time before Richard's confederates, King Philip II of France, Leopold of Austria, and Conrad of Monferrat convinced him to burn the 2700 prisoners alive, earning the ire of the Black Knight. The Black Knight attempted to slay King Richard, but realized he could not do so without changing history and refrained from doing so. Later Richard fell ill thanks to a conspiracy between Conrad of Monferrat and a mystic named Sabbah who used a spell to make him sick. Richard was saved when the Black Knight and Prester John exposed the conspiracy that ended with the King being restored to health. However King Richard ordered the Black Knight banished and his name stricken from the history books for the previous attempt on his life.
However, later that year King Richard fell ill once again and ordered the Black Knight to his side. He ordered the Knight to assassinate the Saladin of Egypt before his own death. At this time the spirits of both Garrington and Whitman struggled for control of their body. While Garrington intended to assassinate the Saladin, Whitman knew that to do so before the Saladin's destined fate would also alter history. Taking control again, Whitman prevented another assassin -- the Syrian Rashid ah-Din -- from killing the Saladin and allowed himself to be captured. King Richard, having apparently overcome his illness paid a ransom to free the Black Knight, who continued to serve by his side for many year thereafter.
In 1192 A.D., King Richard led his knights into further battle with the Saladin and his forces in the Saladin's homeland of Egypt. By this time both King Richard and his long time foe had developed a long respect for each other. During an attack by the Saladin's minions, King Richard and his knights were rescued by El Alemain. El Alemain was the brother of one of Richard's knights, Sir John O'Dare whose crew died of plague on their way to the battlefield. El Alemain vowed to his brother to fight for King Richard in the Crusades. Alemain proved his worthy to King Richard by defeating the Saladin in one-on-one combat, but allowed the Egyptian ruler to go free. Richard then dubbed El Alemain the Crusader. During this period Guy de Montfort, one of Richard's knights, attempted to assassinate the king. However he failed thanks to the intervention of the Crusader, although the hero did not have the evidence to expose De Montfort. Richard later sent the Crusader to save his knight Sir Quincy who had been captured by the Saladin.
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