During the Crusades nearly ten centuries ago, in the Middle East. The quest for a sacred chalice purporting to hold all the secrets of the universe - the Iranian version of the Christian Holy Grail.
The story takes place in 1186 of the Christian era… the Frankish lands – Jerusalem, Tripoli and Antioch – are in their last throes of existence, under attack by Saladin who reigns over Cairo and Muslim Syria. Turks and Kurds are fighting over the lands of Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan. But while Muslims and Christians fight for the control of a few holy places, another battle is raging to defend a power that is not quite of this world, but is the bedrock and protector of its equilibrium. This “Pole of the World”, as it is nicknamed, vanishes over time and is born again in various forms, eras and places. For Muslim people it is a prophet they call Khidr, the “Green One”; it is Elijah for the Jews and the Christians and for the latter sometimes also St George. But all that is just speculation because its face is known only to the Seven Horsemen, its most faithful servants, recruited from the Forty Saints of the world, who roam the lands, sometimes visible, sometimes invisible. As their vision carries both into past and future and they can easily perceive all aspects of events, their behaviour seems to be very erratic to the average mortal.
The story of the Rose of Jam, or how the chalice containing all the secrets of the universe was lost and found again, is an episode in this long history of the Forty Saints. It began in a Syrian castle held by Norman lords, where lived the most improbable of earthly creatures to which the Pole of the world could possibly confer this mission: Sibyl of Terra Nuova.