Based on the novel of the same name by Maurice Druon, Les Rois maudits (The Cursed Kings) is the second television adaptation of this seven-volume book which is widely agreed to be an accurate representation of actual events. It is the early 1300's and the treasury of France, under the rule of Philippe IV (Philippe le Bel or Philippe the Beautiful), is empty. The king decides the only solution is to raid the treasures of the Knights Templar (amongst others) and concocts various charges of treason, heresy and deviance against the Knights and their Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Having confessed under torture to the crimes of which he is accused, de Molay is condemned to be burned at the stake. With his dying breath he curses the king, the king's advisor (Guillaume de Nogaret), the pope (Pope Clement V) and the thirteen succeeding generations of their families. There follows one of the most dramatic periods in French history, half a century of political intrigue, murder, treason, war and famine, which ultimately culminates in the 100 Years War.