Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

Year 514 - The Wedding of King Arthur
A joyous union, and a sorrowful reunion

Spring Weddings

With the uprising of King Lot behind them, everyone in Britain hoped there would never be war between the British again. It was time to focus on a higher calling, like warring against the Saxons. It would have to wait though, because High King Arthur Pendragon was getting married this year. Arthur had fallen head-over-heels in love with Guenever, the only daughter of King Leodegrance, and a lavish wedding was in order for all nobility and knights of the land.

Almost all knights were in attendance, but only Sir Peregrine and Sir Gwynhael managed to attend the mass in person, while Sir Dragain ran from the sound of the church bells and Sir Esme began ranting to anyone who would listen – of whom there were few – that Paganism was being unfairly denied these days. Following mass and the exchange of the vows, came the true success – the gift giving!

Sirs Peregrine, Dragain, and Gwynhael all presented their gifts and asked for nothing in return but the King and Queen’s happiness. Sir Esme did the same, but also asked for her children to be knighted when they came of age which Arthur agreed to – and everyone realised was probably a better thing to ask for. Following gifts from the royal couple, the wedding feast began!

The knights had many fun events during the day, Sir Peregrine delivering a great toast to those who would listen, Sir Dragain talking to many of Faerie Lore, Sir Gwynhael entertaining many with her singing and Sir Esme demonstrated her rebated sword skill in impromtpu challenges. The feast was interrupted by a great commotion as a hart, sixty-one dogs, a woman, and a black knight all burst upon the scene causing great confusion and commotion. In the aftermath the lady had been kidnapped, and Merlin the Magician told Arthur this was a great wonder, and knights should be assigned to solve this.

Sir Gawaine was tasked to bring back the white hart, Sir Tor was told to bring back the white dog, and King Pellinore to rescue the lady. Sir Gawaine’s quest ended in disaster with the tragic slaying of a Lady, while Sir Tor was successful in his own. King Pellinore also succeeded at the cost of ignoring a Lady in distress, but the woman who was kidnapped was Nimue, the new Lady of the Lake. The assembled knights applauded these stories they took no part in, and the wedding was a great success for all concerned.

Summer Questing

As the knights were released from service, Sir Dragain asked his three friends if they would accompany them to the land of Gwaelod in search of his missing brother Aos-Si. Many years ago his druidic brother had set off for the Cumbrian land in search of their mother, the Countess Traymor. It had been many years since they heard from him, and one of the rebel kings from last year was King Gwynfor, the son of the long-dead Count Gwyddno and the assumed ruler of the land. With the rebel lands now subjugated, it was hoped that they could discover the truth of what happened to the two missing O’Malley family members.

Gwaelod was as inviting as history remembered it, being covered in endless rain – even by British standards – and the ever present smell of the sea. Still though, the peasants were wealthy and inviting, and the Tower by the Sea still stood like a beacon drawing the knights in. Sir Peregrine needed to wash some mud off of her clothes, leaving the other three to greet the new King Gwalchmei – who was found to be a one year old baby. Countess Traymor was in attendance and serving as the chancellor for her grandson, and greeted her son and his friends warmly, and was more than happy to put them up for a time. Unfortunately for Dragain, his brother Aos-Si had been thrown into the dungeon under the orders of the old King.

Traymor said she was unable to “free” Aos-Si, but welcomed the knights to stay as long as they wished. From talking among the castle, they learned of the importance of the line of Kings in Gwaelod, and if it were ever broken the dam that held the sea back would break, flooding the kingdom, and killing any who remained inside. A point of view held to be bad. They also went to the dungeon to speak to Aos-Si, and learned that Gwalchmei’s mother disappeared shortly after the death of her husband. Needing more information, Dragain and Esme went to ask a nearby village for more information, while Gwynhael and Peregrine stayed behind to interrogate the castle workers.

Traymor and Gwalchmei had retired, but the group in the castle noted that there seemed to be a lot of food heading to the dungeon, and theorised the missing queen might be down there. Dragain and Esme learned little from the village, but they were attacked by a water monster on the way back to the town which was apparently a common occurrence inside of this kingdom. Pooling their information, they went to the dungeon to free the imprisoned Queen

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Year 513 - The War of Kings
And everything was going so well...

Spring Mustering

As winter gave in to spring, word was filtering down through the British command structure that a great battle was on the horizon. King Lot had accused Merlin the Magician of stealing away and murdering newborn babies in the North, and had demanded the magician be turned over for execution. High King Arthur Pendragon rejected all such notions, stating that Merlin was the finest man he knew and those charges were baseless. With King Lot being unwilling to compromise, war seemed inevitable and Earl Roland charged his knights to make ready.

Before the battle though, a great amount of gossip swept through the land. Some were troubled by Lot’s accusations of Merlin. Arthur did not deny the event happened, but remained resolute in his faith that Merlin could not be involved, and for most – though not all – that was enough. Troublingly though, Merlin told the High King that he would not be at the battle, his efforts were needed elsewhere and Arthur would have to lead his troops to victory on his own.

As the eve of battle dawned and Merlin was nowhere to be seen, some in the camp grumbled accusations against the wizard, but Arthur was unbowed, and believed that his knights would carry the day. Aid came from an unexpected quarter, as Sir Balin and Sir Balan – both still exiles after their murder of Nineve – arrived at Arthur’s camp with the shackled King Ryons. The pair had snuck behind enemy lines, battled, and captured the king, who now spat curses at the beardless commander who would oppose him.

In the morning the knights of Logres made ready to face down the Cambrian men, supported by the Cornish troops of King Idres. King Lot however was nowhere to be seen, nor was his army. Arthur’s troops had the advantage numerically, and it would have to be enough as the Battle of Terrabil commenced.

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Year 512 - Britain Divided
Many destinies are written this year

Spring Courtliness

With High King Arthur slightly more secure in his throne, the High King took to the old King’s Route, once traveled by King Uther Pendragon in days of old. His tour took him to Durrington, where he was hosted by Lady Elana in a lavish feast. Mid-feast, Duke Ulfius was well into his cups and accused former Queen Ygraine, now one of the resident clergy, of being unfaithful to Uther through fathering a child that could not have been Uther’s. Ygraine stated that the child was borne to her by a vision of her dead husband Duke Gorlois who appeared to her the night he was killed, and this was the child stolen away by Merlin the Magician. Merlin in turn, revealed that this child was Arthur, and the true heir to the Pendragon legacy. Ygraine and Arthur embraced as mother and son, and Queen Morgan, who was visiting her mother, also warmly welcomed her brother.

Later in the year, conflict struck when Sir Cynehild was brought in to court, badly wounded from a joust by a mad knight at a fountain. Though several knights in attendance offered to go and joust this upcomer, Cynehild’s squire Griflet asked to be knighted to get his chance to avenge his master. Arthur agreed, but Sir Griflet failed in the challenge and returned injured. Arthur then appointed Cynehild’s former squire Sir Everette to attempt the challenge.

Sir Everette rode out with several companions – Sir Tacitus, Sir Collete Magnus Pullo, and Sir Glorn. The knight at the fountain was the famous King Pellinore, and though Sir Everette intended to face him, in her passion she succumbed to madness and fled – leaving Sir Glorn and Sir Collete to ride after her. Sir Tacitus faced Pellinore in her stead, and managed to triumph over the King by dishonourably striking the King’s horse, unseating him. Unbowed, Pellinore demanded the fight continue.

His challenge was answered by King Arthur, who had followed to view events. Drawing Excalibur, Arthur fought with Pellinore, but Excalibur broke in combat and Arthur was badly wounded. Both Sir Everette and Sir Tacitus struck at King Pellinore who was horrified at his own actions, but the fight was stalled by the arrival of Merlin. The magician stabilized Arthur’s wounds, and Arthur acknowledged that his own pride had broken Excalibur. Vowing to fix it, he set off on a quest alone – and returned the next day with the sword renewed.

Still later in the year, a strange maiden came to court with a sword belted around her waist. She told Arthur that it was said this sword could only be drawn by the best knight in the land, and she had come to find such a court. After many knights gathered attempted to draw it, an unknown poor knight named Sir Balin managed to draw the blade. The maiden asked for the sword’s return, but Sir Balin’s twin brother Sir Balan told him to keep it and they would adventure together. Naming himself the Knight of Two Swords, Sir Balin kept the blade and the maiden left despondent.

Nineve, the Lady of the Lake shortly came upon the court in search of that woman saying she had stolen the sword, and demanded her head from King Arthur. When Arthur refused, she turned to Sir Balin to demand the sword’s return, but Sir Balin responded by drawing the blade to kill Nineve where she stood. He explained that Nineve had killed his mother in turn, but Arthur would accept no excuses, and banished the brothers from his Kingdom – only his respect of Hospitality prevented ordering their execution on the spot.

Prince Lanceor of Ireland volunteered to chase down the pair, and Sir Tacitus rushed to follow the knight, but arrived only in time to witness Prince Lanceor’s death at the hands of the pair. He attempted to talk Lanceor’s amour out of rash action, but she too slew herself. Prince Mark, who was conveniently nearby, ordered his men to build a tomb to commemorate the pair whose actions had touched him.

Summer Battles

With a crazy spring of intrigue behind them, it was with relief that the Knights could turn their attention to a more noble pursuit – finally crushing King Heraut de Apres and bringing Malahaut to heel. A good-sized force of Logres troops made North to make their attack, and were reinforced by knights from King Pellinore, who was humbled by his actions earlier in the year. The Logres forces crossed the Bassus river where they were met by Malahaut, and also surprisingly reinforcements by King Nentres of Garloth.

The two armies were roughly on an even keel, but Malahaut had chosen its location on a hill well, and were fighting desperately for their home Sir Tacitus led a small unit of knights in the Battle of Bassus River, and though Sir Everette was badly wounded in the fighting, the knights of Logres acquitted themselves well – though none as well as Sir Tacitus, whose zeal earned him a lot of respect from the assembled knights.

In the end, King Pellinore slew both King de Apres and King Nentres, and the armies were routed. Arthur offered good terms of surrender and vassalages to the heirs of both Kings, and forbade excessive looting of the lands from his subjects. Nonetheless, rumours spread that King Lot had accused Merlin of stealing babies from the North, and outright war with Lothian seemed to be in the future.

And unnoticed almost by all, Sir Djaq O’Liam had slipped away on another quest…

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Year 511 - A Hazy Night of Illusions
One Night of Madness will echo through time...

Spring Raiding

High King Arthur was on the throne of Britain, and optimism had returned to the land at last. With the defeat of both the Saxons and the rebels last year, it was hoped that finally the British could unite and create a force that could secure their lands, and banish the Saxon barbarians for all time.

Despite all his achievements though, Arthur was still a boy in age, and many of his advisers offered him conflicting advice. Duke Ulfius supported immediately attacking the Saxons while they were still unprepared, while King Alain favoured aiding Saxon rebels to earn their loyalty. Sir Brastias and others proposed caution, and to strengthen their own forces before acting.

Ultimately Merlin the Magician counseled patience to which the boy King agreed. Sir Hervis de Revel was unwilling to countenance waiting when they had an advantage over the Saxons, and gathered a large group of knights together to launch a raid on Saxon lands. Though their forces were a great success, several knights noticed that Sir Hervis seemed more innocent in slaughtering Saxons – warriors and civilians alike. Though Sir Gwynhael was able to talk him down somewhat, more blood was shed during these raids than plunder taken for families.

Summer Madness

The knights who remained were focused on rebuilding St. Albans and other British strongholds, but there was still a good time to break for festivities. Sir Eliwlod was getting married this year, and his family had spent a significant amount of their wealth to throw a party that attracted even the attention of Arthur and his court. The King used this as a setting for a great diplomatic conference, inviting many Queens and other notable Ladies to the festivities in order to celebrate, and hopefully forge a more permanent alliance.

Among the notable Ladies of Logres in attendance were Queen Petrie of the Golden Circle, Lady Elana, Lady Agrippina, and Lady Lay Rhosyn. From their intrigue they had learned that many of the Queens or other high nobility in attendance were attempting to arrange a marriage between their daughters and Arthur in order to better secure their position. Petrie herself made this attempt, catching Arthur’s interest. Lady Elana also used the feast as an opportunity to arrange a good marriage for her son, once he came back from questing, and gossip was gathered relating to the current state of Britain. All in attendance were appreciative of the extravagances shown by the O’Malley family, and the wedding was a great success.

The great feast afterwards was as raucous and celebratory an event as you would expect from an Irish wedding, though the Ladies in attendance became aware that among the envoys was Lyndogwen – now married to King Ryons of Norgales and no great friend of Britain. Lady Agrippina spoke to her as she was leaving, and confirmed that her hatred towards Britain had not abated over time. In more pleasant news, Lady Elana spoke to Queen Margawse’s eldest son, Sir Gawaine. The newly minted knight was quite taken with Elana and the many virtues of ladyhood that he said she exemplified. Queen Petrie also took the opportunity to invite Merlin the Magician to the Kingdom of the Circle of Gold, which the magician seemed quite pleased with.

That evening, a night of madness seemed to sweep over the sleeping guests, many of whom woke up to give in to their worst traits in fits of madness. Though Agrippina was not affected, Queen Petrie gave in to her desire to one-up everyone and began to get into a contest of boasting which, when finished, she fell asleep for. Ladies Bertrand and Elana both gave in to their suspicion, and began rooting around for secrets – eventually realising that Margawse had gone missing and sought her out. With Petrie’s assistance, they gained access to Tangley to search for the Queen, where Elana witnessed her in the midst of a tryst with King Arthur, a secret that she refused to speak to anyone of. In the courtyard, Lady Agrippina saw Lyndogwen fleeing Merlin’s tent, whereupon the magician awoke and rushed to the castle, seeming to end the madness over the assembled guests.

The next morning, few had memories of what occurred last night, and the party left on good terms. Nonetheless, the secret of the affair between Margawse and Arthur burned inside of Elana’s mind, and it would take on new significance in the years to come…

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Year 510 - Kings Near and Far
Two Kings stand with Arthur, and two stand against

Summer Questing

The forces of King Lot had been beaten back, but they were far from defeated. With a large army still in his land, High King Arthur heeded the advice of Merlin the Magician and asked for knights to volunteer to reach courts all across Britain. Envoys were sent to local Kings like King Idres and King Pellinore, but some were sent further abroad, with one group accompanying Nineve to France in order to ask for help from King Ban and King Bors. On this quest went Sir Matthaus, Sir Djaq O’Liam, Sir Peregrine, and Sir Glorn.

The boat ride to France was mercifully calm, though no knight is ever happy to be on the water. Upon landing, Sir Djaq immediately set upon finding French luxury goods and other fashion items that caught her eye, and instructed her squire to stay behind to secure these goods for her. Setting off for the deGanis Kings, Nineve cautioned them to keep focused on their goal, for forces might try to distract them from their quest. Some days later, the knights all spied a mighty lion in the forces that roared at them in challenge. Though Sir Djaq fired an arrow at it and prepared to ride it down, the other knights called on her to return, and they were able to remain focused on their objective.

The deGanis court of Kings Ban and Bors were quite welcoming to the foreign knights, and the two kings pledged to bring their armies to assist King Arthur in Britain in the name of friendship. As their forces gathered Sir Peregrine and Sir Matthaus each excelled in tournaments of hunting and falconry, while Sir Djaq made very close relations with one of the French cousins of the king, eventually extracting a promise of courtship to be made for the future.

Mindful of the time constraints, after two weeks the Knights set off for Britain with their new companions, but Nineve seemed agitated – complaining that they would not arrive in time. Diverting the convoy to a nearby forest, they walked in it some distance when a great fog arose and the company seemed to lose its way. When it faded, the assembled knights found themselves in Britain – on the outskirts of a battle between King Arthur and King Lot. Wasting no time, the knights rode into battle, and King Lot – sensing another classic Nanteleod Claw closing around him – was forced to retreat.

The celebration at Bedegraine lasted long into the next day, with Arthur in particular drawing the eye of Lyzianor – daughter of the Earl of Bedegraine. The next day, Merlin instructed the knights as to the hidden location of chests of Roman silver which they dutifully and honestly retrieved. Arthur made gifts of the silver to all who were present, though awarded the bulk of the money to the French knights who had turned the tide.

With friendship between the two Kingdoms, Ban and Bors returned to France, along with Sir Djaq who realized her squire would still be waiting for her across the ocean. As the army began to disperse, Arthur received word that King Leodegrance was under siege by King Ryons. Remembering that Leodegrance was among the first to swear fealty to him, Arthur swept up what knights remained and made a hard ride to assist his ally.

The Logres knights arrived at Cameliard in time to join the Battle of Carohaise. Sir Dragain led the remaining contingent of Goblet Knights into the battle, but the fatigue from riding as well as the large number of King Ryons’ barbaric fighters meant that the battle was gradually turning against Logres. A combination of Leodegrance riding in to assist the King as well as the late hour finally forced King Ryons’s hand though, and he withdrew from the battlefield, though in better shape than the Logres forces he was leaving behind.

Finally winter came, and with it 510 came to a close. Much had happened over the course of the year, and the destiny of Britain had been mightily changed as a result. Everyone felt that after years of Anarchy, a new age was finally about to dawn…

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Year 510 - The Crowning of the High King
Britain displays just how united it really is

February 2nd – Candlemas

Candlemas came, and as he did before, Arthur again drew the sword in front of the assembled Lords of Logres. Many more Lords now sword to Arthur, including most prominently Duke Ulfius and Duke Corneus, and Count Gariant all swore to follow Arthur, as well as many smaller bannerettes. Notably though, Earl Roland refused to swear fealty to Arthur, and instead returned to Salisbury to contemplate his next actions.

Roland turned to some of his closest knights for council. Sir Isadora had no strong feeling about Arthur, but warned strongly against allying with King Idres who she said could not be trusted. Sir Peregrine, Sir Cynehild, and Sir Gwynhael all echoed this sentiment to their Lord. Regarding this young boy king, only Sir Peregrine was quite impressed with him and recommended allying with the new High King. Neither Sir Cynehild nor Sir Gwynhael was willing to commit to swearing to Arthur, although they noted the tide was trending that way.

March 21st – Easter

For a third time Arthur drew the stone, and many of the remaining lords of Logres now swear to Arthur, but Roland continues to refuse. King Lot was now openly recruiting forces against Arthur’s legitimacy, and envoys on both sides were sent to Salisbury to court the Earl to their side.

Seeking council again, Roland found a much more unified approach from his allies. Sir Gwynhael now believed that the sword in the stone was an appointment from God, and Roland should swear to Arthur immediately. Sir Isadora spoke of the danger of not coming over to Arthur’s side, as they would be surrounded by enemies with King Lot’s reinforcements far away. Both Sir Cynehild and Sir Gwynhael remained anti-Cornwall, but were both in favour of allying with Arthur.

Facing a unified voice from his knights, Earl Roland resolved to swear at the next – and final – drawing of the sword.

May 1st – Pentecost

At the final drawing of Excalibur, Earl Roland finally swore fealty to Arthur, as the last of the King’s future vassals to be named. Arthur is declared King of Logres, and a great celebration was held for all in attendance. At the end of it, Sir Uren and Sir Beorhtric were both released from their watch on Excalibur, with the two of them having been far less than cordial during the fight. Though they swore to uphold their honour, Sir Uren pointedly departed for Malahaut, telling Sir Beorhtric exactly what route he would be taking.

Following Sir Uren for a duel to finally settle their feud, Sir Beorhtric was instead attacked with javelins by several Malahaut knights in attendance. The northern knights gained up on the one lone knight downing him, but Sir Uren decided to let his foe live and bear his shame, and sent him back to Logres with his squire.

May 10th

As Sir Beorhtric was in recovery, he missed King Lot’s northern army arriving to lay siege to Carlion – where Arthur had been crowned. Arthur initially prepared for a siege, but at Merlin’s advice, ordered his knights to prepare for battle. The knights assembled to combat Lot’s superior forces, but Arthur drew Excalibur and the sight of it emboldened Arthur’s knights, while unsettling Lot’s – some of whom abandoned the King’s forces to join Arthur.

Sir Isadora led a force of Goblet knights in battle to success, but the turning point of the battle came when the citizens of Carlion streamed out of the city to support the Boy King, catching Lot in a classic Nanteleod Claw. Unprepared for fighting the numerically superior peasants, King Lot withdrew for Arthur to claim victory.

Thought not all swore to him, Arthur was now the High King of Britain, and it was time to make his claim on the kingdom felt…

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Year 510 - The Tournament of London
A new age dawns, both uniting and fracturing the land

January 1st

The time had come for Britain to find a High King. With Saxons rampaging throughout the lands, and the dissolution from the death of King Nanteleod still echoing through the land, the surviving members of the Supreme Collegium took the extreme view of hosting a tournament, the prize of which would be the High Kingship itself. A prize that Earl Roland aimed to win for himself.

Gathering almost all of the knights of Salisbury, he wagered on the bitter snows of winter keeping his enemies away and journeyed to London. Many Lords had already assembled their knights, including Count Gariant, and perhaps ten thousand knights all told were assembled around in London. IT was a great time for merchants who were peddling their wares directly to the many, many knights available.

So much was on sale for this new tournament. Improved armour, fancy caparisons for horses, painted heraldry, weapons made particularly for rebating, many knights spent hundreds of Librum and things seemed truly hopeful. However as the day of the tournament drew closer, it was interrupted by one of the guests. King Idres arrived, and stated that this tournament was unnecessary, for one of King Uther Pendragon’s line yet lived – Sir Eliwlod was in fact the bastard son of Prince Madoc.

The tournament was thrown into disarray, as some Lords, primarily Duke Ulfius, believed that Eliwlod should be appointed by default, while more – primarily King Lot – believed that the tournament should continue and this was pointless. Ultimately Sir Eliwlod proposed a solution: If this was come down to destiny, all knights should attempt to pull the sword in the stone, and if any could then they would be named High King. These terms were accepted, though not always happily, and none managed to pull – though Sir Aquila believed that the sword did move slightly under Sir Eliwlod’s hand.

With that claim settled, it was discovered that King Idres had left shortly after his allegations and could not be found. The assembled knights waited for the next day, and the true tournament started. Earl Roland and his knights stood firm in order to fend off challenges, and also try to restrain their strength so that they did not accidentally slay their opponents. The tournament had barely advanced half an hour though when a great commotion began to echo across the grounds. The sword in the stone had been drawn!

Rushing over, there were only a few people standing by the stone, most notably a young knight named Sir Kay and his squire. Sir Kay held Excalibur in his hand, and though he initially claimed to have drawn it, he quickly corrected himself that it was actually his younger brother – Arthur – who had drawn it. Opinion on this act swiftly divided the many lords present. Of the higher lords, only King Leodegrance would swear fealty to Arthur at the time. King Lot was the most vocal in opposition, as this boy was not even a knight. Many others – including Earl Roland – remained silent, waiting to see where this went.

Before the crowd could devolve into violence any farther, Bishop Dubricus and Merlin the Magician both arrived on the scene to de-escalate the situation and propose a compromise. Ten knights would be chosen, and each would choose ten knights of their own to stand guard over the stone and in a month’s time Arthur would draw the sword again in order to prove his rightful claim.

The crowd then dispersed, to await Candlemas in a month’s time, and the momentous events would commence…

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