Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

The Battle of Enbourne

The time had come for the Saxons to be beaten back. As long as they remained, High King Arthur Pendragon’s rule could never truly be cemented, and so war was required. Manipulated and needled throughout the years into consolidating their forces under King Ælle, the entire army had been skrimishing throughout the winter. The time came now for the full force of Arthurian Britain to war against the Saxon Barbarians, and only leave one force alive at the end of the year.

Almost 15,000 men at arms marched out to meet the Saxons at Enbourne River, but were met by a force of over twice that in opposition. The Saxons had camped far at the other end of Enbourne River – the British could cross the river, but their retreat would be cut off. Despite some words of warning, Arthur was insistent that they show no quarter or cowardice, and the army crossed the river to meet the Saxons on their own terms. The size of the Saxon army appeared to work against them, as their full force could not be brought to bear against the British – or so it seemed.

The initial troops were not the largest, nor the best armed. Instead the Saxons simply through as many people as they could at the British with one goal in mind: Remove the horses. The attackers focused their axes and javelins on knocking the British off of their mounts, attempting to force them to the ground and remove their greatest advantage over the Saxon forces. The day’s fighting was fierce, and none burst through the other’s lines. After hours of fighting, the British had routed most of the lesser army, but even more Saxon reinforcements arrived and the next day heralded even greater battle.

The Battle of Donnington

Moving their lines forward to the besieged city of Donnington, the British were met with a new problem: The skies themselves were attempting to drown them. The torrential downfall made the ground slick and mud-stricken, and most knights who still had horses found themselves unable to keep themselves mounted in this downpour. What was worse, the heavier British armour was working against them in the mud, and most of the Saxons they were fighting were untouched by battle from the last day.

In this great fighting, Sir Everette fell to a group of Screaming Warriors and many other knights were hard-pressed. Seizing upon an opportunity, Merlin the Magician reached out with his magic and strengthened the great downpour. Curses from both sides echoed out, but his strategy became apparent: Now neither side could appropriately maneuver, and battle this day was impossible.

The British needed an advantage to turn the momentum back in their favour, and King Arthur hit upon it based off of a suggestion from Sir Cyrus – seize the high ground! Badon Hill was nearby, and if the British army marched there overnight, they could force the Saxons to attack up the hill towards them, once more restoring their height advantage and potentially tiring out the Saxons.

Many knights were injured or unable to keep up with the army marching through the night, and more than a few injured or overly loyal knights volunteered to stay behind as a Rearguard to slow and confuse the Saxon army. Among the volunteers were Sir Isadora, Sir Beorhtric, and Sir Peregrine. The exact fate of many of these knights were unknown, but their lives were sold dearly and the remaining army marched to Badon with enough time to prepare themselves for the coming battle.

The Battle of Badon

The next morning, the British looked down from atop their hill at the assembled Saxon forces. Arthur’s plan was clear: Ride to meet the enemy forces, but then hold the line where you stood. The Saxons would be forced up the hill towards you, but if the British army held firm they could grind down the barbarians against the sword and shield of the knights. It was not to be that simple though, for the assembled Saxon mystics and witches pooled their might, and summoned a mighty white dragon from the sky with which to devastate the British defenders. Refusing to allow magic to carry the day, Merlin stepped forth and single-handedly summoned the red dragon of Britain to oppose the Saxon’s dragon, and as the two titanic beasts warred above, so too did the forces below.

With a mighty charge, the British army met the Saxon defenders, and exercising the prudence that Arthur had urged onto them held their ground in The Killing Zone. Giants, berserkers, traitor knights, witches, the greatest forces that the Saxons had were arrayed against the British. Tragically, old Count Gariant was cut down under the glare of the Saxon magic, and many other knights suffered grevious wounds through the seemingly never-ending tide of Saxon forces.

Finally though the toll of the battle began to show. Strong-armed berserkers gave way to hordes of injured warriors on crutches, of blinded warlords and their retainers, the Saxons had truly sent everyone against the British regardless of condition, and ultimately the British line held – what few survivors who turned from the field of battle were ridden down and killed.

Half the knights of Britain died that day, and those who survived all bore some sort of wound to show they had been at Badon, but Arthur carried the day. The oldest foes of Britain had, finally, been driven from the island. Surely there were none left now to challenge Arthur – the Warrior King…

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Erathia Erathia

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