Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

Year 490 - A Prisoner of Courtesy

Uther wins a great victory... only to throw it all away

Spring Vengeance

As promised last year, Edynfed returned to Littleworth to challenge Sir Judicael and al of Gwyllim’s line for vengeance around his ignoble birth. Prepared, Judicael refused to fight his half-brother, insisting that all could be forgiven and he could be knighted and join his family. Edynfed was unwilling to give up his hatred, and said if Judicael was not going to fight him, he would move on to his next target – Sir Cynehild. Confident that fighting his sister would kill one of them, Judicael again agreed to the duel, and incapacitated his brother with another mighty blow. He again required surgery, but that placed him under the care of Lady Cyneburh, who refused to allow these constant attacks on her children to proceed. By the morning, Edynfed had passed away.

At Durrington, Sir Carver was plying his case to wed Lady Elana in honour of the memory of Sir Caelus and for his family, but for the rest of the county, preparations for war were being made. With the major Lords of Logres behind him, King Uther summoned together Duke Ulfius, Earl Roderick, Duke Gorlois, as well as many other lesser Lords in order to march North to declare war on King Octa and King Eosa, and relieve the land of Lindsey.

Over 2,000 knights made the march up to Lincoln to relieve the beleaguered Duke Corneus and his forces. The Saxon invaders were finally set to pour down into Logres, but instead their forces consolidated, and the knights of Britain faced down over 10,000 Saxon barbarians who were set to pillage their land. Orders were given, and the army formed up to charge.

Summer Battle

The forces arrayed were so large that the knights were split into three camps. The Salisbury knights found themselves arrayed under King Uther, and opposing the Saxons led by King Octa. With an impressive first charge into the Saxon lines, the Salisbury forces again found themselves under the command of Sir Amig, who maintained consistent if not overly imaginative tactics of charging and withdrawal.

For a large part of the battle, the Salisbury knights had an excellent showing for themselves. Sir Liam used his Warflail to devastating effect on the Saxon troops, and despite a brief bout of madness from Sir Cynehild, she also managed to reconnect with her troops and inflict great damage on the Saxons. Sir Beorhtric and Sir Gariant were equally steadfast, and though the Saxon ferocity seemed only to grow, they cut a bloody path across the battlefield.

An opportunity arose when Duke Gorlois managed to break through the Saxon lines and capture King Eosa, so disorganised, Sir Amig seized on the opportunity and led his own charge on King Octa. Clearing a spac,e, Cynehild, Liam, Beorhtric, and Gariant all assaulted the Saxon King and his bodyguards. Despite their prowess, the bodyguards proved driven to fervour by their loyalty, and managed to knock out Sir Cynehild almost immediately. As the knights fought for Cynehild’s squire to pull her out, Sir Liam then fell to a blow from King Octa, and as Gariant fought to defend him, he too was dropped by the Saxons. Overwhelmed, Beohrtric ran from the battlefield, and the King survived. Sir Liam and Cynehild had been rescued, but Sir Gariant had been captured.

All was not lost though, as the Saxon lines were weakened enough that Earl Roderick could rally his forces to charge in and capture King Octa himself. With both their kings down, the Saxon lines quickly broke, and Britain won the day. Fortunately, Sir Gariant was rescued in the ensuing struggle, and all of the Goblet Knights – somehow – survived. With that, a great feast was held in celebration of the victory. Sir Liam had distinguished himself enough that he was invited to the great victory feast held in the main hall, where he along with the assorted nobility witnessed the Duchess Ygraine celebrating their victory. Sir Cynehild would also have been invited, but was still unconscious from her wounds.

Fall Retribution

The aftermath saw all sorts of celebrations occur. Prince Madoc led a series of retaliatory raids into former Saxon territory. Sir Judicael, after receiving assurances from Sir Meliodas that Cynehild would be cared for, joined Sir Isadora, Sir Gwold, and Sir Beohrtric on raiding the Saxon lands. Venting their years of frustration, many of the knights came back much richer and better prepared to face the years ahead.

For Sir Liam and Gariant, they chose to attend with Uther, and were thus present to witness him ordering most of his army North to Malahaut. Meeting with King Heraut de Apres, the Kings affirmed a pact of friendship between their people, and pledged to support him for the High Kingship. Not only them, but Kings Eurain, Garloth and Uriens all attended him or sent vassals, who were all cowed by the sight of Excalibur. This display finally caused Liam to suspect that the sight of the sword of victory might have powers beyond the ordinary for Lords of this land.

Sir Cynehild, recovering at Lincoln, caught up with Sir Meliodas, and was informed that Duke Gorlois affirmed to recognise his claim to the land of Lyonesse, and the future rule of that land. She recovered there and rested with the Cornish knights, and when Uther returned most of the Lords there asked for permission to leave which was granted for all of them – except for Duke Gorlois, whom Uther asked to spend more time with to affirm their friendship.

This request lasted for weeks, with Gorlois daily requesting permission to leave, and Uther constantly finding reasons to ask him to stay.

Finally, one night, during an unseasonably early snowfall, Sir Liam, Gariant, Cynehild and Beohrtric were on nightly watch, when they became aware of a commotion in the stables. Duke Gorlois was loading his family for leaving – without the King’s permission. Though Liam advised the Duke to remain, Gorlois insisted that a knight had no right to tell him how to live, and that he would not allow Uther to continue with this improper behaviour. Though Sir Liam left to inform Uther of what was happening, Sir Cynehild, Gariant and Beohrtric all agreed with the Cornish knights, who set off in the sudden snowstorm. As they road off, Sir Beohrtric saw Nineve amidst the flurries, apparently conducting some great ritual.

King Uther, incensed at this unforgivable breach of hospitality, began ranting that Gorlois needed to be taught a lesson. Despite the council of Duke Ulfius, Uther swore that when the snows abetted, the Logres army would march on Cornwall, and make them pay. And unlike last year, it did not seem as though there would be a diplomatic solution this time…

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