The year started well, with even the appearance of the usual Saxon tributes: Prince Cynric and Prince Aescwine both appeared again, but were joined this time by Prince Kinniarc of Kent. With the victory last year over the Saxons of Anglia hanging over them, the court of Duchess Ellen was feeling ready to send them home empty-handed. Nonetheless, the Duchess informed them that with growing clashes with The Silver King, and King Idres showing signs of again pushing eastward, paying one tribute might buy time for an alliance to form.
An alliance was indeed under consideration. Duke Ulfius was hosting several notable Lords of Logres in Silchester this year, to discuss the possibility of formally allying with King Nanteleod. Ellen felt to stay behind to continue her parlay, stalling and eventually paying tribute solely to Wessex. In exchange, Sir Aquila, Sir Carver, and Sir Esme were dispatched along with an honour guard including Dragain, to meet and discuss matters in Silchester.
Also in attendence were Count Gariant of Hartland, Duchess Haywen of Rydychan, and Count Anwill of Huntland. Though Coutns Gariant and Anwill were quite open towards the possibility of an alliance with Nanteleod, Duke Ulfius seemed unimpressed by King Nanteleod’s lack of actual combat prowess. Duchess Haywen would be interested, but admitted her knights were also not in favour of swearing to a foreign King, and she could not commit without their willingness.
The conference was interrupted by a woman named Lyndogwen, who wore the robe of a Priestess of Avalon. She denounced Duke Ulfius as a coward, and accused him of lying to all present. At this, Sir Uffo threw himself at the group only to be restrained by Sir Esme. Duke Ulfius ordered all to be quiet, and acted as if he knew what was happening. The Priestess went on to claim that many years ago, she had an affair and bore a child to King Uther Pendragon, and that this child should now be the rightful King of Britain!
In the confusion, several knights dressed oddly in full plates of armour entered, the largest and most impressive of which was Calthabor, the proclaimed son of Uther. Ulfius admitted the affair, and that at the advice of Merlin the Magician sent the child away. Legally, that was all there was, the child was not claimed and any attempt to be legitimzied was gone. Still, Calthabor asked if Ulfius would partake in a tournament – the prize of which was revealing the true resting place of King Uther’s body.
As more shock echoed through the hall, Calthabor accused Ulfius of digging up Uther’s body and burying him somewhere else – an almost unthinkable act for a noble of his stature to engage in manual labour. Duke Ulfius denied nothing, but at the advice of those present saw nothing to be gained from the combat, and turned Caltahbor down. With one less impressive flourish and glimpse of his unseemingly attractive appearance imprinting himself on many knights present, Calthabor departed – swearing vengeance.
Recognising the danger, Duke Ulfius privately informed Sir Carver of what had happened. To respect Uther’s last wishes, Ulfius had him exhumed and buried in a faerie land with the help of Merlin. As other knights might have fallen under Calthabor’s sway, Ulfius entrusted only Carver with the secret to gain access to the other land – an old church held a crescent gem that would gain them access.
Telling a small white lie to his friends, Sir Carver set off following Ulfius’s directions. Arriving at a run-down church in the woods the four knights were confronted by thrice their number in well-armoued knights in full closed helms, declaring the group unworthy and unable to enter. Testing the knights Sir Dragain stepped forward – and was brutally cut down by three of the knights.
Enraged at the loss of their comrade Esme, Carver and Aquila were on the verge of violence until Sir Esme remembered words of Merlin spoken to Calthabor that a true knight would know that they are worthy and the three stepped forward – and through the illusion blocking the church. Sir Dragain was alive and well, along with a Christian priest and an older woman.
The priest said he will be happy to help in exchange for aiding the woman – Sir Hafren. She was a knight driven mad with shame at failing to slay a great wyrm in the forest. Taking up the quest, the four departed, and though Sir Aquila was overcome by horror at the sight of the beast, the remaining three managed to hold their own and deal enough blows to the creature that they emerged victorious.
Sir Hafren, coming to her senses at the death of the beast, thanked them and was taken into Sir Dragain’s household. The priest, true to his word, gave them the gem they sought and told them that at the full moon to follow its light. Doing so, they went from the dark of midnight to a brightly lit plain, with a gentle grove under which was a single grave – that of Uther Pendragon.
Knowing what they must do, the four knights immediately set their squires to work exhuming the old King, and bearing his body respectfully back to Silchester. Duke Ulfius thanked them, and had Uther interred in a Christian graveyard, where no faerie could reach them.
The quest had been long and arduous, but it seemed that at last the line of Pendragons would truly come to an end…