Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

Year 479 - The Adventure of the Bear Knight
A Knighting of three Promising Squires

Manors/Knights in Attendance

What Has Come Before…

High King Aurelius Ambrosius has been waging a campaign around the waters of Britain for well over a year, and his campaign to crush the Saxon fleets has been a resounding success. Now he and his brave knights have landed on the continent and begun wiping out the Saxon armies in force.

The Saxons though have not taken this in kind. In retaliation, the Saxons have stepped up raiding in the heartland of Britain, driven ever inward by the press from the High King’s ambition. With the finest Knights of the land out with the High King, lands lie all but defenseless before the rampaging hordes.

Many have fallen, and many more are afraid. In these turbulent times, rulers always have an eye out for promising squires. Three such squires have been brought before Duke Roderick of Salisbury in these troubled times…

Summer Session

Squires Caelus, Gariant and Liam all stood in the court of Sarum before Duke Roderick, their 21st birthday not long off and the day of their knighting approaching. To prove their worth, the three squires were asked to procure the food for their own knighting feast. They were dispatched to the Camelot Forest under the care of Sir Amig for this relatively simple hunt.

En route to the forest they partook in the hospitality at the Castle of Ebble. As the squires ate their breakfast in the entrance hall, a young Lady entered the hall desperate to get the attention of Sir Amig. Intercepted by the squires, she introduced herself as Lady Elana, and informed them that her father Sir Melianus had been cursed by a witch, and she needed help to undo this. As Caelus brought the case before Sir Amig, Gariant and Liam saw to Sir Melianus to understand the curse. Fortunately it was quite straightforward: to understand: Sir Melianus had been turned into a bear.

Faced with the prospect of a witch, his most hated of foes, Sir Amig immediately rode off in pursuit of this sorceress, instructing the three squires to bring the Bear-Knight to follow him. En route to the Sorceress, the group were assaulted by a trio of wolves where the mettle of Gariant was proven, as he soundly slew all three beasts. Unfortunately, Liam was badly mauled by one of the creatures, and an attempt by Caelus to draw upon his family honour merely left him in a state of melancholy at not being able to defeat the beasts.

With one squire physically injured and another psychologically injured, it fell to Gariant to pursue Sir Amig to find out what had happened. At the end of the road he met with the crone sorceress Meroe, who informed him that she had been awaiting him. Indicated a small falcon in a cage next to her as Sir Amig, she asked whether or not the squire had come to fight. Prudently choosing diplomacy, Gariant asked what it would take for the crone to undo this curse. She informed him that she had been feuding with a nearby giant, and if they slew him and brought back some hair as proof, she would release the two knights from her sway.

While he was away, the ministrations of Lady Elana were thankfully successful in stabilizing Liam, and snapping Caelus out of his melancholy. After making camp, the three attempted to persuade Lady Elana to return to her manor, but she insisted on waiting in case the witch needed to have her father present in order to undo the curse. Fortunately they were able to persuade her not to accompany them on their journey to slay the giant, which they undertook with great haste.

The giant Piram proved simple enough to track down, as he lay in a glade nearby cooking a sheep on a spit. Though Liam suggested simply charging it down on horseback, Caelus approached it in an attempt to parlay with the creature. Piram proved simple minded and innocent enough for a giant, but despite Gariant’s misgivings, the three squires engaged in combat with the giant and, outnumbering him, managed to put the creature down. Though Liam wanted to take a trophy, Caelus was touched by the innocence and saw to it that some nearby peasants gave the creature a good Christian burial. Gariant wisely remembered to retrieve hair from the creature, and they set off to the sorceress’s hut.

With the giant dead, Meroe proved a hospitable host for the evening, with her hearty stew invigorating the squires, especially the still notably injured Sir Liam. In the morning she fulfilled her word and released Sirs Amig and Melianus from the curse, and though Sir Amig wanted to slay her, he grudgingly relented as doing so would break the rules of hospitality.

They were on their way home when suddenly the three remembered that their original purpose was to hunt a boar for their feast, and they set off into the woods nearby to do so. Liam managed to quickly track down a creature and together with Caelus slew it, and brought the meat back to Sarum for all to enjoy. Duke Roderick received a tale composed and performed by the trio with great humour, and the three were officially made knights of the realm. Granted their own manor, they swore to defend the land and their lord from invaders.

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Year 480 - The Finest Wine in the World
A time of great change comes to Logres

Manors/Knights in Attendance

Spring Gossip

Prince Uther had called his Easter court in Sarum this year, and the knights all gathered under Duke Roderick’s hall for the yearly catch-up and gossip, as well as to hear the progress of the war High King Aurelius Ambrosius had been waging against the Saxons plaguing their lands. Among the knights who had experienced the adventure of the Bear-Knight, it was good to meet up once more now hale and hearty, and to share in the revelries and joy of having their own lands. Seated near the notable Sir Gwyllim, tales and stories were swapped as to events that had transpired in the last few months. Sir Caelus was still revelling in his good Christian marriage to the lovely Lady Elana, and Sir Liam had welcomed a new son into his family so all had seemed well in the land.

Among the knights and nobles gathered was one rather striking young man which the ear of good Sir Caelus caught as an un-knighted man Sir Madoc, who claimed to be the bastard son of Prince Uther here to seek legitimacy. As Caelus wormed as much information as he could out of the gathered crowd, Sir Gariant spent some time plagued by his Lord’s hounds, Sir Gwyllim caught a bit of a stomach bug from the food, and Sir Liam excused himself with Lady Junah to indulge in the fruits of a healthy Pagan relationship. It was thus that Sir Liam had missed the declaration by Madoc that he was the son of Prince Uther, and the Prince’s subsequent acceptance and impromptu knighthood of his bastard child. The celebration renewed, it was a time of great revelry for all of Logres, one that all the knights could appreciate – even Sir Liam once his friends filled him in on what he had missed.

Summer Adventure

The next day Prince Uther and his court departed to continue his campaign against the Irish, with the newly knighted Sir Madoc at the front of the army to persecute his father’s war. For Sir Gwyllim and the rest, Duke Roderick had his own mission for them: He had heard that in a county far to the West, there told tales of the Greatest Wine in the World. If the knights could head there to procure some, perhaps by paying some small favour to the lord nearby, it would be a great boon to the court of Sarum to present this to the High King in order to toast his continued victory. With that, Sirs Gwyllim, Liam, Gariant and Caelus all eagerly accepted their Lord’s request, and made for the Tower on the Sea and the court of Count Gwyddno to negotiate for some of this wine.

Their journey was long by horseback, but reasonably calm. As they arrived in the rain-plagued county they found that the ever-growing storms dampened their spirits somewhat, but found the people to be inviting and friendly, always eager to welcome these knights and point them on their way. It was not until the Tower of the Sea was in sight that their journey was interrupted by a confrontation with an ancient crone prophecizing that there was a prisoner inside of the tower, and none who set forth to steal her could succeed in their quest. Cackling as she vanished, Sir Liam was sure to send his squire to thank the Crone for her words of wisdom and leave some coins for her. Though some wished to pursue and learn more, the ceaseless rain banished those thoughts and they moved to the castle itself.

Despite the dreary weather, the castle was warm and inviting, and in exchange for a promise of upholding the rules of Hospitality, the knights were bade welcome into the Tower. Shown to a private, well-furnished room to dry off and make ready for dinner, the four briefly discussed the old Crone’s prophecy – as those are words to be trusted above all else – before making their way down hoping to inquire with the Count as to what service they could perform in exchange for his wine. They were made welcome by Count Gwyddno, who broke out wine rumoured to have been brought back from far off Italy to celebrate their arrival. Unfortunately they learned that the Count could now hold his liquor, and he swiftly drank himself into unconsciousness before he could be approached.

Indeed alcohol rather than food was the norm at this event, and both Sir Gwyllim and Sir Liam quickly saw to engaging in a drinking contest with the other knights of the hall, with Sir Gwyllim emerging triumphant – and slightly conscious – over his opponents. Sir Gariant and Caelus were politely questioned by Countess Traymor as to the benefits of treasure and fine wonders they had previously seen, but they chose to focus on what their wealth would buy rather than what could be acquired. Seemingly displeased with the answers, the Countess retired and the party gradually broke up, though Sir Gwyllim was pulled aside and asked by the Countess to rescue her from the horrible conditions she had found herself in. Though sympathetic to her plight, the Knight found himself unable to Trust her words, nor to feel any great sense of Mercy, and she was left to her own devices.

The next day the Count was sleeping off his drink from the previous knight, and all but Sir Gwyllim rode out with Sir Seithenin in order to inspect the countryside and watch for Mermen or Wyrms as the old knight put it. Sir Gwyllim engaged in a Gwyddbwyll tournament, and did respectably for himself, though he sensed the Countess’s displeasure with him. That night, another feast was laid out with Count Gwyddno quickly drinking himself unconscious again. This time the Countess Traymor inquired to the knights as to the benefits of an extra-marital affair, and though most balked at it Sir Liam took her up on the offer and found the Countess quite an intriguing conversationalist, and despite his notable Love for his wife felt an Amour begin to grow for the Countess. That night, she again approached him and made the same offer as was made to Sir Gwyllim, but Sir Liam chose to accept it and take any method needed to free her.

At the feast the following night, the Countess’s plan was to get the Count drunk again, and then steal her away in the night. Reminded by Sir Gariant and Caelus of their promise of hospitality, as well as inspired by an old Pagan legend being told around the camp fire, Sir Liam instead challenged the Count for the right to free the Countess. Three challenges were then laid before the knights, with Sir Gariant choosing to abstain out of politeness for his situation. A drinking contest was first proposed, where Sir Caelus failed and Sir Gwyllim yet again carried the day. The next was a wrestling match against the old Crone from the crossroads, where Sir Gwyllim was eliminated but Sir Liam handily defeated the Crone. Finally was single combat with the Count, where Sir Liam’s martial prowess overcame the old man, and slew him. With that, the Countess was free to travel and pledged her eternal love to Sir Liam, and the cup of the Count – out of which any wine drunk would seem the finest wine in the world – was theirs.

Fall Battle

Arriving home, the armies of Aurelius Ambrosius had gathered to make war against the Saxons that had been raiding the land of Salisbury. Riding out with their group, they found themselves embroiled in a large battle where nonetheless, King Aurelius clearly had the advantage. The first hour of the battle went well for the knights. A devastating charge saw many Saxons scattered before their lance, and the subsequent withdrawal to set up another Lance was met with equal aplomb. All knights performed well for themselves, with Sir Gariant and Sir Gwyllim even finding time to take a noteworthy prisoner that they would hope to later ransom to the Saxons.

Tragedy struck in the second hour, where after what seemed to be a successful charge, High King Aurelius Ambrosius was slain by the Saxons hordes! Great terror and confusion spread throughout the knights of Logres, and the Saxons seized the advantage. With their lines disorganised, Sir Gariant took command of his nearby friends and attempted to lead an orderly withdrawal from the midst of the Saxons. Sir Caelus appeared to be driven mad by all that had happened, and fled the field of battle. Confronted by a mass of Saxon foes, Sir Liam was driven to the ground and was near death, but somehow his Squire managed to pull him from the field of battle. Sir Gariant relied on his magical Chivalry to escape without too much harm, but Sir Gwyllim truly rose to the occasion here, as despite being outnumbered he handily slaughtered all before him and nigh single-handedly cleared a path for withdrawal.

Retreating with Sir Liam to the rear lines, the group nevertheless witnessed the heroic rally of the army by Duke Gorlois, who turned the British back to his cause and drove into the heart of the Saxon hordes, slaying one of their heathen Kings and turning what seemed to be a crushing defeat into a miraculous victory. Though the Saxons were broken, the High King was dead and heavy was the hearts of all who had witnessed this tragedy – Britain was without a King.

Winter Wrap-Up

The body of High King Aurelius Ambrosius was interred at Stonehenge, attended by all of the Collegium of Britain who could attend, as well as many Lords of the land and their household knights. The King was quietly laid to rest in a sombre ceremony, and then all minds turned to who next would succeed the King. Prince Uther was the natural candidate as the High King’s brother, but after much debate he was not elected as High King of the lands – to his befuddlement and rage.

The land now much less united, the Knights were released to return home. Thankfully on the way they were reunited with Sir Caelus, whose mind had been healed by a poor Knight who had taken pity on his ravings, and the four returned to their manor to prepare for the turbulent times ahead…

Summary of Major Events

History Events

  • High King Aurelius Ambrosius is Killed by Saxons
  • Prince Uther appointed King of Logres, but not elected High King.
  • Sir Madoc is knighted, and acknowledged as Uther’s legitimate Heir. He is now Prince of Logres.
  • The Adventure of the Finest Wine in the World is completed.
    • Countess Traymor legitimately rescued, and becomes the Courtesan of Sir Liam.
    • Cup and Wine retrieved, providing Glory and Libre for all involved.

Rewards Earned

  • Sir Caelus
    • Glory: 490
    • Libre: 9£
  • Sir Gariant
    • Glory: 670
    • Libre: 15£
  • Sir Gwyllim
    • Glory: 845
    • Libre: 15£
  • Sir Liam
    • Glory: 734
    • Libre: 9£
    • Child Born: Son (Irish Heritage)
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Year 481 - The Conquest of Bedegraine
King Uther goes to war... with his own people

Manors/Knights in Attendance

Spring Conquest

With the death of High King Aurelius Ambrosius behind them, the land of Logres looked towards its future under King Uther and hoping he could save them from the Saxons plaguing their lands. It was not as though the lands of Salisbury languished in the winter though. Sir Gariant found himself forced to defend his family’s honour in a duel, and Sir Liam welcomed two girls into his family: one his own, and one from his liege lord. Sir Gwyllim found his adventures having secured him new fame and rumours of an unknown rival in Uther’s court, and Sir Caelus was still lost to the throes of madness following the disastrous Battle of Salisbury.

When the call came out in the Spring for the Knights of Logres to gather, it was hoped by many that this would be a year of striking back against the Saxon hordes. It was to the surprise of many that their target instead was the Kingdom of Bedegraine: A free British county located to the Northwest. According to Duke Roderick, the county had refused to pay tribute to Uther as he had not been appointed High King, and thus they owed him no allegiance. While true, Uther proclaimed that any Britain who would not stand with him against the Saxons would be against him.

The invasion force went largely unchallenged: The forces of Logres vastly outnumbered the knights of Bedegraine, and though the King of Bedegraine was able to prevent Uther from pressing into the heart of the Kingdom, they could not defend their territories from the raids of the Knights. Forced to confront Uther or lose his Kingdom, the forces met in open combat. The result was swift and inevitable, with their superior numbers the Knights of Logres devastated those of Bedegraine, and Uther personally slew their King in open combat.

Following the battle, the forces of Cornwall arrived in the evening, and to Sir Gariant’s keen ears, the Duke Gorlois presented his deepest apologies for the weather preventing him from joining the battle. Uther was not prepared to accept excuses, and levied a great fine against the Duke of Cornwall – a fine that Sir Gariant knew was not justified under the law.

The victory feast was slightly humbled by the knowledge that it was bought at the war between British forces, but was still a night to remember. Both Sir Gwyllim and Sir Liam found the sight of King Uther to inspire a great loyalty passion inside of them, while Sir Gariant found that Uther failed to inspire any emotion in his heart. During the feast, Sir Gwyllim found his fame from the battle had earned him recognition, and he spoke with Prince Madoc personally for a time, sharing stories as to their battles and mutual hatred of Saxons. Sir Liam composed a ballad celebrating the English battle and victory which was presented personally to King Uther to his approval. Sir Gariant found himself talking to Duke Gorlois, and found he had quite a lot in common with the older warrior. Making a good impression on the Duke, Sir Gariant was personally introduced to Lady Ygraine, and found himself both charmed and envious of the Lady.

The subsequent honours given out favoured Sir Gwyllim and Sir Liam, while spurning Sir Gariant – rumours had it that the King had been rewarding those who showed him particular Homage, thus explaining why Sir Gariant had been excluded. However from his position in the hall, he was in position to see that Sir Brastias seemed particularly displeased with the honours bestowed on Sir Gwyllim. With favours paid out, Uther congratulated his assembled men on their great prowess, and swore that once all of Britain was united under his rule, the Saxons would be excised from their lands in almost no time.

Summer Hunting

Returning to Salisbury, the Knights decided to spend their summer performing extended vassal duty and hunting down lawbreakers inside of their land. Near the village of Brunton they found word of Bandits camping nearby who were harassing the nearby peasants. Attempting to hunt them down, Sir Liam noticed a suspicious man watching them, and followed him back through the woods. His superior hunting easily managed to track the villain unseen, and the three quickly found themselves on the outskirts of a camp, with the man attempting to warn his companions of the presence of the Knights.

Sir Liam and Sir Gariant spoiled that illusion by charging into the midst of the bandits and fighting them. Sir Gwyllim intended to follow them, but his dramatic horse rearing only served to spill him onto the ground. The bandits had no great battle combat, but a few of them were impassioned enough by their hatred of knights to pose a threat. That threat was in fact brought to stark point when Gwyllim and Gariant had finished their foes, to find Sir Liam down on the ground with two bandits standing over him. It seems his mighty Warflail had finally backfired on the Irish Knight, as well as a lucky strike from the bandits felling him to the ground.

The bandits attempted to bargain for their own survival with Liam’s life, but Sir Gwyllim would have none of it. With a burst of speed belying his age, he quickly surged forward and in one strike, felled both bandits and saved Sir Liam. He was still badly wounded, and as Sir Gariant applied First Aid and tried to keep him stable, Sir Gwyllim rode to Tangley to find Lady Junah and her mighty foreign concept of “Medicine” to save Sir Liam. Thankfully, Gariant was able to stabilize Liam, and Junah was able to stabilize and save her husband’s life.

With the sour taste of the conquest of Bedegraine behind them, and Sir Liam badly wounded, the Knights retired to their manors to wait out the rest of the year, and steel themselves for whatever would come next year.

Rewards Earned

  • Sir Gariant
    • Glory: 172
    • Libre: 5£
  • Sir Gwyllim
    • Glory: 183
    • Libre: 7£
  • Sir Liam
    • Glory: 197
    • Libre: 4£
    • Child Born: Daughter (Irish Heritage)
    • Child Claimed: Daughter (Cymri Heritage)
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Year 482 - The Conquest of Summerland
Magic and Steel clash across Logres

Manors/Knights in Attendance

Spring Invasion

With the kingdom of Logres expanded through the conquest of Bedegraine, the news in the court this year was if King Uther would be focusing on bringing war to the Saxons, or against those who refused to acknowledge his claim as High King. The answer soon came down from his court – it was to be war against King Cadwy of Summerland this year. The great mineral wealth of the province had been vastly reduced to trade agreements rather than tribute, and the King demanded of his subjects that they take the land that was rightfully owed to him. As Summerland was located in the county of Somerset, this was quite simple for the knights of Salisbury to marshal their forces – and provided an opportunity for them as well.

For years, Duke Roderick and King Cadwy had engaged in minor skirmishes and arguments over territory bordering their land, and with the King’s planned invasion he was confident that the much larger force of Uther would win the day heavily. As such, he pledged only the mandatory 1/3rd of his knights to Uther’s cause, and resolved to settle the remaining dispute with the forces left under his command. As he viewed this as an issue critical to his own people, he desired Sir Amig to lead the border battles, and thus nominated Sir Gwyllim to act as commander of the Salisbury forces for this expedition. The elder knight accepted this, and commanding a force including Sir Gariant and Sir Liam, set off for Somerset.

The march into Summerland went mostly uncontested as expected, for the knights of the Kingdom could not engage the forces arrayed against them in great numbers. The knights took the time to do some light raiding to bolster their own treasury, and during one such raid encountered the Cornwall forces led by the Duke Gorlois, who remembered and warmly greeted Sir Gariant. Apparently the Summerland forces had adopted a similar plan as Bedegraine before them of defending key entry points to King’s castle and allowing the knights to run unchallenged throughout their border lands. Nonetheless, as the army had not consolidated if a gap in the defenses could not be found they would have through the swamp in order to reach the rendezvous with Uther in time.

Acting on the Duke’s advice, Sir Gwyllim led his troops to one of the contested bridges occupied by the Summerland forces. Outnumbering them 2:1, but with the defenders having the advantage of a fortified position, Sir Gwyllim was confident they could take the bridge, but not without suffering some rather severe losses. Though his inclination was to charge, Sir Liam proposed an alternate solution: He, Sir Gariant and Sir Gwyllim challenge the three best Summerland defenders to single combat, and the winner of this mini-tournament would be forced to cede the position. With an impassioned speech, Sir Carver leader of the Summerland forces agreed, and a duel was laid out.

Sir Gwyllim and Sir Carver naturally faced off first, and though Sir Gwyllim summoned a mighty passion in himself at the thought of completing his mission for King Uther, the passion that Sir Carver held for his liege lord was no less explosive, and after one heated exchange of blows, Sir Gwyllim was felled heavily wounded – though still alive. The terms of their battle had been to the death, but Sir Carver refused to slay a downed foe, and the Salisbury forces were able to retrieve their commander. Sir Liam was next up, and with his mighty warflail flashing, easily slew Sir Dorian, the knight who had been sent against him. The third combatant, Sir Bellingham, was so incensed by this that without waiting for Sir Gariant to step up charged the bridge and swung at Sir Liam, but found the Irish knight more than a match for him and died as well. Ashamed at his forces breaking their word of honour for the duel, Sir Carver gave a potion that had been provided to him by King Cadwy to heal Sir Gwyllim and tended to the knight’s wounds. He then yielded the bridge, and ordered his forces to grant passage to the Salisbury forces so long as they gave their word to cease their raiding until they met up with King Uther.

Though his pride was shaken, Sir Gwyllim was the first to lead his forces to meet with those of King Uther, who by now was incensed at the delay for his forces as he had been encamped against the forces of Summerland. Most were forced to detour through the swamp, and arrived far later than he had been hoping – with the Duke of Gorlois yet again arriving last to the battle. Still, once his army was assembled at dawn with the mists breaking over Summerland, Uther ordered his forces to line up and gave the order the charge. The forces of Salisbury and the knights of Logres in general tore through the enemy as if they weren’t even armoured: for in fact they were not. In the pre-dawn light, the army they had thought opposed them was revealed to be crude figures of mud and reeds, fashioned into not-very-passable figures of knights. Cursing magic, he screamed to the skies for Merlin, cursing the fabled magician for not being here to see through this deception.

As Uther cursed amidst the mudmen, a voice called out to him asking him to parlay with King Cadwy. His family had been sent as hostages to ensure his safe passage, and Uther carried himself to meet with the King, appointing the Salisbury contingent to accompany him. As he strode inside the tent, the mists again rose up and Sir Liam and Sir Gariant became overcome with passion and began talking with the mud statues as if they were real. Though Sir Gwyllim did not suffer as poorly, he too was taken to distraction by the atmosphere and thus they, and indeed all knights present, did not hear what occurred between King Uther and King Cadwy. Uther eventually emerged from the tent shaken, and proclaimed that Cadwy had surrendered and Summerland was theirs. The host of Logres was invited in to a feast in King Cadwy’s court, as they rode off.

Quite honestly, no one believed what had occurred, and at the victory feast Uther publicly accepted the vassalage of King Cadwy and granted him the title of Count, and it did not pass unnoticed that King Cadwy still did not support Uther as High King. The hospitality was plentiful, but everyone seemed too busy gossiping to truly enjoy it. Sir Liam sought out Sir Carver who was present, and the knight of Summerland indicated that the King seemed well warned of the invasion, but that given that there were so few casualties and everyone had accepted fealty, could it be called a bad thing. Sir Gwyllim spent his time attempting to determine what exactly had happened, and eventually pieced together that the terms of Cadwy’s “surrender” closely mirrored all existing trade agreements, and so they lost very little. As well, he found out that Merlin had warned Uther against invading Summerland, and when Uther ignored him left from court on his “own quest”. After a slight interception by Sir Brastias, Sir Gariant met with Duke Gorlois, and the Duke carefully expressed his displeasure at having to conquer parts of Britain while the Saxons remained in their lands. Still, rewards were given, fealty was accepted, and Summerland was folded into Uther’s domain.

Summer Siege

On return to Salisbury, the Knights were released from their yearly service and were free to go about their business. However, as he was still recuperating from his injuries Sir Gwyllim was visited by Prince Madoc, who was putting together an invasion plan of his own. He suspected that his father had desired the mineral wealth that King Cadwy possessed, and he sought to reclaim one of the iron mines of Britain that had been seized by the Saxons and return it to British control. As such he was visiting many landed knights asking for their support and their family forces in this fight. He hoped to get eleven such pledged manors which would then lay siege to the mine at Nantwich. Agreeing to help, Sir Gariant and Sir Liam once more pledged to follow Sir Gwyllim, and the three of them set out to muster their forces and siege the Saxon mine.

Though they would be required to bring most of their family forces with them, the knights decided to further supplement their forces with hired mercenaries and siege equipment, and Sir Gariant decided to call in a favour from Sir Mecanus, a travelling mercenary who he had befriended over the summer. Bringing in a few more mercenary knights in exchange for clearing a favour he had promised, they set out to lay siege to Nantwich and its surrounding area. Along with Prince Madoc and the other knights of Logres, they settled in for a long siege. It was fortunate that they brought siege equipment as the Saxons had fortified the location, but Sir Gwyllim’s tacitcal acumen allowed them to easily resist the forays of the Saxon forces with only a nominal loss of their peasant forces. Raiding the surrounding area for libre, they found that their allied forces were doing equally well, and finally as fall was dawning the Saxons were forced to engage them in battle.

Fall Battle

The battle of Nantwich was a defining moment for Prince Madoc, as it was a chance for him to act independent of his father for the first time, and he set out to inspire his troops to follow him into the jaws of Hell. The charge led by him into the Saxons was a resounding success, and the knights entered the Killing Zone trampling down a number of French mercenaries that the Saxons had brought in. With the battle joined, Sir Gwyllim led the combined forces of Tangley, Littleworth and Harnham – and over the next hours found opportunity after opportunity to flank and strike down the Saxon forces. He always seemed to catch them just when they were disordered, and saved the fiercest of fighting for himself. His companions were no less successful however, and united the three knights led their forces to strike down Saxon after Saxon.

The battle was clearly going in the favour of the Britains, as the Saxon forces seemed to never recover from the initial charge of the battle, and between the carnage they suffered and the British organisation they soon ordered a retreat. Sir Gwyllim ordered a pursuit of the Saxon forces, but unfortunately he ran into a rearguard of frothing berserkers who seemed fresh after the long hours of the battle. Recognising the danger, and exhausted from the combat Sir Gariant attempted to fight defensively but nonetheless was struck a mighty blow by the Saxon berserker, but nonetheless people could swear that it was as though some inner light of his managed to deflect the worst of it and he survived, although grievously wounded. Sir Liam and Sir Gwyllim both laid into their foes, and with that the Saxon army was broken, though not defeated.

Prince Madoc’s camp was unable to stabilize Sir Gariant immediately, and Liam’s squire was sent to fetch Lady Junah, who arrived in time to yet again save another badly wounded knight. Prince Madoc, flush with success, distributed plunder and pledged to fortify this area until he could fortify the area, and congratulated all the survivors on their great contribution. Presenting his success to King Uther, the King was indeed mightily pleased, and was more than willing to grant favours to those who had distinguished themselves. To Sir Liam, who been planning to build a Deer Park in his nearby region, he was granted hunting rights in a nearby Chace for his family to enjoy. To Sir Gwyllim, for his great service leading the battle Uther pledged to pay for an armoury to sit on his land so that other knights could be outfitted as he was. To Sir Gariant… nothing was asked for, nor granted. The King seemed to, for his own reason, refuse to acknowledge Sir Gariant’s contributions as being worth notice.

Nonetheless, the knights returned for the winter flush with success against the Saxons. Despite this, they knew they might need to hire more men to shore up their forces, as now the Saxons would have reason to seek revenge against their family specifically. However, that just reaffirmed the need for striking back against the Saxon menace. Which they were sure that King Uther would be getting around to any year now…

Rewards Earned

  • Sir Gariant
    • Glory: 395
    • Libre: 21£
  • Sir Gwyllim
    • Glory: 545
    • Libre: 22£
  • Sir Liam
    • Glory: 660
    • Libre: 36£
    • Child Born: Son (Zazamanc Heritage)
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Year 483 - The Worshipping Picts
A legendary figure triggers a startling change

Spring Questing

February had not yet even come to an end, when the Goblet Knights were summoned to Sarum at the request of Duke Roderick. His reasons for summoning Sir Liam O’Mally were quite simple: The Irish Knight had been quite vocal in asking people to come hunt at his new Chace last year, and the Duke had to decline. King Uther Pendragon had finally allowed people to court the Lady Ellen, and he was leaving with a small retinue of knights and a large amount of treasure to ply his case. Sir Liam asked if he could help compose a poem for him, but wound up coming off as a bit presumptive.

For Sir Gwyllim, the Duke had wanted to thank him profusely for the fine job he had done raising the young knights under his care, and that he was hoping to appoint Sir Gwyllim the Marshal of Salisbury once the current Marshall retired. In addition though, the Duke wanted Sir Gwyllim’s counsel as he had a visitor who had asked for Sir Caelus and Sir Gariant by name. This visitor was none other than the legendary Merlin the Magician, who had a quest for the group.

Merlin was not particularly forthcoming with details, other than he requested Sir Caelus and Sir Gariant to escort him to the land of Lothian and a specific ritual site there by March 21st. With a few days of preparation there would be sufficient time to make it there, but no more than two other knights or he had foreseen great disaster befalling them. Naturally the two proposed Sir Gwyllim and Sir Liam to accompany them, and the knights made ready for their quest. Attempting to gather information as to why they might have been sent with Merlin all they could ascertain was that the Standing Stones were an ancient site of worship, and that the date corresponded to the Spring Equinox.

The journey through the territory of Logres was uneventful, but to reach Lothian required passing through Malahaut, and so the Knights were forced to rest at Ebauracum. Merlin said he would collect them in the morning and that he had his own activities to attend to until then. With Sir Caelus taking pause to tour the city and extol the superior virtues of Roman architecture, the remaining knights made their way to the castle of the Centurion King of Malahaut, where they were met by Sir Uren, his stewards. Hospitality was extended – although they detected a slight note of incivility to the invitation. This was an impression that would be confirmed several times over that night. Sir Caelus made his way to the castle in time for a feast, after a brief encounter with some failed pickpockets and a quite apathetic town watch.

Sir Uren seemed intent on needling the knights all evening. First he falsely attributed the slaying of a great wyrm plaguing their lands to them and asked if they were here to claim the bounty on it, which the knights denied preferring honesty. Then, when Sir Caelus noted they were fed only the most basic fare, he challenged Sir Caelus to a duel to first blood for insulting his honour – only for Sir Caelus to decline and be sent from the Hall for banishing the rules of Hospitality. Next he boasted about the wine he had sampled once in Gwaeodd, and that the Knights had likely never tasted its kind only for Sir Liam to point out the group’s adventures there, the slaying of Count Gwyddno, and the saving of Countess Traymor as his consort.

Blustering and angry, Sir Uren challenged Sir Liam to a duel as well, and when Sir Gariant attempted to intervene the Malahaut knight challenged him as well. Sir Gariant excused himself as Sir Caelus had, but Liam boasted that he could fight the other man right now. To this pronouncement the knights of Malahaut, with a practiced air, swept the feast hall aside and a fight was joined. Though Sir Uren was wise enough to challenge Sir Liam to a battle of swords, nonetheless Sir Liam managed to triumph and score first blood. At further provocation from Sir Uren it seemed another challenge was forthcoming, but Sir Gwyllim – who up until now had remained quiet and modest – talked down Sir Liam and the pair retired for the evening.

In the morning – after Sir Caelus had noted a weakness in the Malahaut over-reliance on the strength of Roman walls – the group made ready to leave, but Sir Uren had one last request. His men had captured two pickpockets who were accused of stealing from Sir Caelus, and asked each knight to strike one down in order to enforce their King’s justice. Though in the right, with Sir Caelus absent they refused to strike down men without all the facts, and left them to their fate – which Sir Uren was only too happy to dish out. Meeting with Merlin at the gate for first dawn, the group set out North to Lothian.

En route, the knights noticed a curious habit of Merlin’s to stop and peer at several hidden lakes along the way, and accompanying him at one point Sir Liam thought that he had seen a shimmering island in the middle of it, but that vision passed quickly. Though he suspected this was a sign of the Ladies of the Lake, Sir Liam chose not to tell the more Christian members of the party, and the group put it down to the Magician’s eccentricities.

The halls of King Lot were much more welcoming than that of Malahaut, and though he was not expecting visitors this early he promised to hold a great feast before they departed his lands. Merlin had again given them a day’s leave, so they happily joined in the hunt. Sadly the thick forests of Lothian were too much for them, and they soon became lost inside them. While trying to pick up a beast’s trail, Sir Gwyllim and Sir Gariant came across a wounded Pictish barbarian and a knight of Lothian each badly wounded. Sir Gwyllim executed the Pictish barbarian, and blowing the hunting horn summoned the Goblet Knights and King Lot’s men, who tended to the fallen man and sent for help.

As his knights went for assistance, King Lot took the other knights in a hunt for any other Picts in the area, and found them taking refuge in an ancient shrine in the woods. The Picts disarmed themselves claiming sanctuary, and King Lot noted that if he were to do anything it would look poorly on him with the knights who were particularly pious, and that he could not order his men to do anything either. Then he gave the group a pointed look, and left. Sir Caelus, Sir Gariant and Sir Gwyllim were all overcome with piety at the shrine and went inside to pray, while Sir Liam was left to decide what to do with the Picts who were clearly delighting in the foolishness of British knights. Their mockery proved too much for him, and despite standing on sacred ground he quickly cut down the three of them where they stood.

King Lot was grateful for his actions, and with the carcass of a deer he found en route to his manor held the promised feast, and the Knights departed again with Merlin in the morning. The equinox was nearly upon them, but they reached their destination as the moon was high on March 20th, and Merlin told them to make camp outside of the stone circle. When questioned as to why they would not defend it a little closer he, as per the norm, would not explain himself – only that come dawn he would complete his ritual and they could return to Logres.

Sir Liam and Sir Caelus remained on watch through the night, and about an hour before dawn saw a faint light and heard sounds as though people were moving about in the circle. Rousing the other knights, they rode forth to investigate, but found an early morning mist once more curling about them: a troubling sight to all who remembered the power of King Cadwy. No sooner had they ridden into it than Caelus, Gwyllim and Gariant found themselves face-to-face with a group of surprised, worshipping picts in the middle of a ceremony. Sir Caelus quickly rode to face the largest warrior while Gwyllim and Gariant allowed the Picts to arm themselves, and they soon made short work of the warriors while the remaining PIcts fled for the forest.

Sir Liam though had not emerged with the others. As he rode into the mist, he found himself before an old man with a silver hand, seated in a throne of brambles. Recognising this as an ancient Pagan God of the Irish, Sir Liam humbly asked why he was here, to which the God singled him out for embodying the Heathen virtues of old last year, and requested him to become a champion of the old ways, one that would be needed in the years ahead. Seizing the honour, Sir Liam accepted and only as the God lay his silver hand upon him did he think that maybe he should have asked for some more information first.

Nonetheless, from the perspective of his friends he emerged from this mist shortly after the Picts had been driven off, his heraldry now replaced with that of a snarling dog, and a similar tattoo etched in silver on his chest. Further questions were cut short by Merlin, who strode forth and – to Caelus’s notice and slight befuddlement – gathering up a small amount of blood that Caelus had spilled during the fight, began a silent ritual in the stones before announcing they were done and it was time to return to Logres.

The tale of their journey made for a good story for Duke Roderick, whose claim on the Lady Ellen had proceeded successfully in the knight’s absence – though he did refer rather darkly to a Saxon ambush along the way. Sir Caelus confronted Merlin about the strange sorcery, to which Merlin simply responded that Sir Caelus should be proud that he was the type of knight this land would need in the days ahead, and the knights returned to their various manors for the year.

Summer Solo

Exhausted from their long trek this year, the remainder of 483 passed without much incident. Sir Caelus had an interesting stint on Garrison duty, when he saw some bandits raiding the Sarum treasury and moved to hunt them down – though a few managed to escape. He was invited to join a hunt with Duke Roderick, though without much success and a debate with a strange peasant woman led him to find some new insights into his own skills.

Sir Gariant quested for more adventure, feeling strangely invigorated by what had happened up North. Although nothing of particular note happened, he did resolve several small disputes among the common folk of Salisbury, and found his Concern for the local common folk strangely re-invigorated by their talk.

Sir Gwyllim found the armoury commissioned by King Uther had been completed, and at the King’s request had the first sword it had made presented to him in an elaborate, if uninspired ceremony, for which he was greatly honoured and talked about by the court. Although the deed was simple, it did result in his name being carried throughout Uther’s court once more.

Glory Rewards

  • Sir Caelus – 236 Glory. 1
  • Sir Gariant – 271 Glory. 1
  • Sir Liam – 511 Glory. 1
  • Sir Caelus – 706 Glory. 1 (Damn ridiculous high Glory solo.)
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Year 484 – The Siege of Eburacum
Omens of the Future are told, and a great Knight falls

Spring Parties

The new year did not start with the most auspicious of timings: Sir Gariant found his manor hit by an unfortunate streak of bad weather, forcing him to resort to raiding the nearby Saxon kingdoms in order to shore up his wealth. Sir Gwyllim was grappling with the challenges of being appointed Deputy Marshall of Salisbury in a time when war was being visited against British Kingdoms instead of the Saxons. Sir Caelus completed a Roman church upon his land, only for the priest to be gripped in a fit of prophecy that he had to repent his sins or face death, and Sir Liam was stuck trying to arrange his first large social event on his newly completed Deer Park.

Although he cast his net far, Duke Roderick was busy preparing for King Uther’s pronouncement of another war to be waged that year, and only a handful of knights actually managed to attend: among them Sir Carver and Sir Melianus who both held the Goblet Knights various degrees of affection. Although the mood was slightly grim, Sir Liam nonetheless hosted several contests for the knights to prove themselves: though none was quite as anticipated as that of an impromptu test of weapon skill. Sir Liam refused to be dissuaded from participating in his own tournament, and in front of his family successfully War-flailed his way to victory, ultimately defeating Sir Gwyllim in the finals to seize the top position. Fortunately the tournament rules required all weapons to be rebated, but there were still a few injuries noted amongst the knights present from his strikes.

As the festivities drew to a close, Sir Gariant was approached by a peasant server who asked for the knight’s help in finding her younger brother, who had wandered off to play and was last seen going into a small copse of woods nearby on Tangley’s estate. Once Sir Gariant informed the rest of the group, Sir Liam ordered everyone else to stay away, and the Goblet Knights moved to investigate the forests alone – as according to Sir Liam this was a realm where the faerie lands drew closer to our own. The quartet split up to search the woods that, while small from the outside, seemed thick and pressing inside. Fortune was with them, as Sir Liam, Caelus and Gariant all came across the young boy – as well as Sir Gwyllim who had apparently arrived first. The sound of the horse drew the attention of Liam and Gariant, while Caelus realised something was wrong and watched as the Gwyllim in the forest smiled obsecenely and vanished, while behind them Sir Gwyllim was riding up the path, apparently having arrived late.

Sir Liam knew at once the creature was a doppelgänger – an omen of death – and asked Sir Gwyllim to accompany on a ride as the situation was explained. Sir Gariant, not recognising what had happened, brought Sir Caelus to talk to Sir Carver to see if the vassal of King Cadwy had any further information. To their luck he did, and filled them in on the full story: the doppelgänger appeared to someone who was soon to die, and would try to kill them in order to claim their life. However if it could be killed instead, it would utter a prophecy concerning how the person was to die in the first place. Reuiniting with his friends, the four resolved not to leave Sir Gwyllim alone that night, until Sir Gwyllim realised that his son and squire Judicael was missing from the hall. Questioning the guards found that he was last seen heading back towards the faerie woods with “Sir Gwyllim” accompanying him.

Heedlessly rushing through the forest, Sir Gwyllim was almost taken by surprise in the woods by the creature he was hunting, but it was intercepted by Sir Caelus and Sir Gariant, the later of whom cleanly slew it in one blow. Forewarned as to the danger of its last prophecy, Sir Caelus quickly covered Sir Gwyllim’s ears as the creature breathed its prophecy: You are a good man, Sir Gwyllim. And a fine knight. And with that ominous note, it died.

Summer Invasion

The pronouncement of death affected all of the knights differently, oddly it seemed to affect Sir Gwyllim the least – outwardly anyway. There was little time to reflect though, as Duke Roderick ordered his knights to assemble to march under the banner of Uther. This year, they were heading North to Eburacum, ostensibly to aid King Heraut de Apres with battling the Picts. Of course with the strategic news the Goblet Knights brought back last year, it was presumed by many – including Prince Madoc – that the King intended to allow the Saxons to weaken Malahaut before conquering it himself.

The road to Malahaut was full of much gossip and debate among the British forces for the weeks it took to ride North, but finally the great city of Eburacum came into sight, and with it the sight of the Saxon camp besieging it. Encouragingly, Sir Gariant noted that the Malahaut defenders seemed to have whittled the invaders down to a skeleton force, and King Uther gave the order to make ready to attack. As the army shuffled about in reorganisation though, a great battle cry went up – the attack had come, but it was the Saxons who had ambushed the Britains.

The Battle of Eburacum, as it came to be called, was a complete disaster for the British forces. Sir Caelus was knocked unconscious in the initial Saxon charge, only barely rescued and carried from the field by his squire. Sir Gwyllim went mad with passion and charged off, requiring a concerted effort from his son to bring him to his senses, at which point he reconvened with his own forces to lead them to safety. The fight out was a massacre, and even joined bySir Melianus’s household mercenary Herr Waldek it was not without cost. Waldek was separated from the group and despite a valiant fighting retreat was captured by Saxons, and Sir Liam and Gwyllim were also taken down by Saxons in the dying hour of the battle and carried to safety.

Though Sir Caelus was not badly wounded, Sir Gwyllim was on the verge of death, and Uther’s healers were not able to stabilize either of them. Fortunately, Lady Lupina had entrusted an ancient healing potion to her husband before leaving for the battle, and that managed to bring Sir Gwyllim to safety if not consciousness. Uther was on the verge of ordering a full retreat, when Merlin the Magician appeared and instead urged the group to counter-attack while the Saxons were drunk on victory and mead. Using his magic to bring those who could still fight back to consciousness, and empowering the knights present with a great sense of purpose. However, Sir Liam saw that Merlin’s spell was visible to him in the form of a great dragon, and Sir Caelus began praying and actually resisted the effect of the spell, causing him to fight at just his normal strength. Nonetheless, Uther gave the order to charge and the counter-offensive was begun.

The Battle of Mount Damen was every bit the victory for the Logres knights as the one just hours earlier had been for the Saxons. King Octa’s men were drunk and expecting the British forces to be crushed, The British knights fought with great purpose, and the Saxons were handily driven before them. King Octa ordered a retreat after realising his position could not be salvaged, and the camp was taken. Tragically while hunting down the retreating Saxons, Sir Liam’s passion overtook him and he struck himself in the neck with his own warflail, but again Sir Gariant’s potion managed to save him – though this time expending itself in the effort.

King Uther met with the Centurion King, and though the Malahaut knights asked for help to crush Nohaut once and for all, the British knights were too badly injured and instead Uther declared the day a victory and retreated. Those who were captured by the Saxons were returned, and a great cheer went up over the decisive victory of Uther, and in no small way Merlin as well.

Fall Tragedy

Though Sir Liam was aware that Sir Gwyllim’s life was still in danger, he was only brought back from the edge of death and no further by Sir Gariant’s potion, and he spent the return journey unconscious. As many knights lay dead, Duke Roderick released his knights to return to their manor and bring all knightable servants to Logres, as King Uther was going to pay for many knighthoods to bring his forces back up to strength.

On his way home, Sir Gwyllim encountered Merlin again standing in the road, who asked the aged knight to accompany him for awhile. Though his words were disarming, Sir Gwyllim detected a clear air of malice, and thus was not surprised when Merlin attacked – for apparently no reason. Though Sir Gwyllim put up a valiant effort, and Merlin was exhausted from his spent magic, he was no match for the sorcerer, and at the edge of his manor fell to the ground, dead without a wound…

And as he fell, countries away, Duke Gorlois and Lady Ygraine welcomed into the world the birth of their newest child

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Year 485 - The Missing Horse
A New Generation of Knights arise to carry on the fight

Spring Funeral

As the knights of Logres passed the winter uneventfully, gradually all became aware of the tragic and mysterious death of Sir Gwyllim. Having survived the Battle of Eburacum, the aged and famous knight was found dead along with his horse on the outskirts of his manor of Littleworth, apparently without a mark on either of them. Though the cause of his death was unknown, much of Salisbury gathered to mark and commemorate his passing.

Sir Judicael, his son, former squire and now Lord of Littleworth, inherited his manor and composed a song to remember his father that would truly linger through the years. His friends and allies, Sir Liam, Sir Caelus, and Sir Gariant each composed their own recollection and even Sir Cynehild, daughter of Gwyllim and twin of Judicael having been newly knighted herself memorialized her father despite being overcome with melancholy at the attempt.

Earl Roderick, freshly elevated from his success at the battle, along with Sir Amig, Sir Carver, Prince Madoc, and even Sir Uren were all in attendance at the funeral feast to Sir Gwyllim. Sirs Caelus and Cynehild each did their best to drown their sorrows in alcohol, Sir Cron attempted to show off the best Irish dancing which she was capable of, and Sir Gariant once more encountered Sir Uren, but the pair decided this was not the right time for their feud and politely excused themselves.

Having celebrated a life long lived, and friendships made, the knights of Salisbury dispersed to their various accommodations. Unfortunately, upon returning to Harnham, Sir Gariant found that his mighty Destrier had not been properly cared for and had escaped its pen while he was away. Desperate to find it, he reached out to his friends to join in the hunt. Sir Caelus immediately pledged his aid, and though Sir Liam was absent, Sir Cron came to join in the search as well. Sir Cynehild was incidentally visiting, carrying a message from Duke Gorlois that she had tpp overcome with grief to deliver at the funeral that Lady Ygraine and he were celebrating the birth of their newest daughter, Morgan le Fay. Upon hearing of his plight, she too offered her assistance, and they rode off in search of the horse.

Summer Hunting

The trail of a destrier was easy enough to follow, and the quartet did their best to hunt the horse where it had fled. Unfortunately it seemed to have headed south, past the Avon river and south into the forest near Ebble. Tracking it through those woods showed some amount of success, but even as Sir Crom was confident that she was closing in on it, it put on a burst of speed and managed to escape. The four were forced to abandon the hunt, regroup, and try again to find it.

This time the horse’s tracks led to the nearby manor of Clarendon, known by Sir Caelus to be governed by Sir Gwyn – a notably Selfish knight. Any horse found wandering his lands could be legally captured by the Lord, but there was still the chance that it could be found beforehand. Heading to Clarendon to make an inquiry, as they rode through the village the knights found themselves despised and even had rocks thrown at them by silent, angry peasantry. Despite this nigh-unthinkable breach of the code of knightly conduct, the knights held their tongues and rage in check, and moved on to the manor.

Clarendon itself was a lavishly decorated manor, and although expecting a hostile approach, the knights were warmly greeted by the steward who was eager to present them to her Lord, and sent a group of men to stable their horses. Making an excuse to stretch his legs, Sir Gariant managed to get a good look at the horse pen off in the distance, and managed to see that his mighty destrier was indeed mixed in with Sir Gwyn’s herd.

Meeting with Sir Gwyn, he gave every sign of being happy to meet the knights and was rather dismayed to hear of the trouble they suffered at the hands of his peasantry. He resolved to hold a great feast with whatever he had on hand to make up for it, and presented the knights with a fine set of clothing from his own supplies to make up for it. In their lavish guest quarters, Sir Caelus and Sir Cron both tried to determine just how Sir Gwyn could afford such a lavish lifestyle, only receiving news that the peasantry was very productive… once proper methods were applied.

The feast was a surprisingly elaborate affair given at how short a notice it must have been thrown together. Though confused, the knights initially had a fantastic time eating and gossiping, until partway through the feast they noticed that Sir Gwyn and his sergeant, Sir Hellenel, had moved away from the festivities. Sir Gariant and Sir Caelus both excused themselves to follow, while Sir Cron flirted with a passing servant who told her that the peasantry had risen in revolt – again – and the lords were off to put down the rebellion. As Sir Cron could not excuse herself, she sent the servant to fetch the knights who returned with Sir Caelus to spend this news. Meanwhile, Sir Cynehild had a truly fantastic time continuing to indulge in the drink that had been provided.

Sir Gwyn, noticing Sir Caelus in the hall, detoured to talk to him and Sir Caelus asked for a tour of the grounds, which the knight was all too happy to accept. This cleared the way for Sir Gariant, once properly informed, to reach Sir Hellenel without introduction, and came across the knight preparing to order his troops to fire crossbows into an angry mob below. Challenging the knight that there was no valour in this, his words drove Sir Hellenel into madness as he tried to invoke Sir Gwyn’s name to defend himself. Screaming incoherently, Sir Hellenel launched himself off the battlements at the peasants, whereupon they swarmed over him. Though Sir Gariant exhorted them to calm themselves, they tore the cruel knight apart. With no other knight present, Sir Gariant ordered both sides to disperse and put an end to the violence tonight, which was granted.

Come morning, Sir Gwyn’s reception of the knights was notably cooled, and he demanded a blood price from Sir Gariant for the death of Sir Hellenel. Sir Caelus defended their actions, but was unable to salve the knight’s fury. Dismissing the knights from his halls, Sir Gwyn informed them that as they were unable to deliver vengeance, he has already ordered a retaliatory raid against the peasantry for killing his man, and indeed outside the knights saw one of the nearby hamlets aflame.

Departing, they reflected on their good fortune for not having mentioned Sir Gariant’s horse, as it’s possible that Sir Gwyn might have killed it out of spite. They thought about lodging a formal challenge with Duke Roderick, but upon arrival at Salisbury learned that their forces had been summoned by King Uther Pendragon. A new Saxon king – King Aelle – had landed and was trying to march North to Nohaut and King Octa. He would be stopped as he entered Salisbury and crushed!

Fall Battle

Mearcred Creek saw the knights have a great advantage over their Saxon opponents: Fresh from abroad, the army was entirely on foot, which gave them a great chance to assert their superiority over their foe. In addition, they were still comparatively lightly armed and armoured compared to the Saxons they had been fighting. King Uther ordered a charge against the heaviest armed berserkers inside of the enemy lines, and the British forces easily broke that line.

With Sir Amig back in command of the British forces, the now standard response was to withdraw and prepare to charge again, which went well. However, following their withdrawal they saw a great opportunity: the Saxon Battalion commander had left himself exposed, and the knights oversaw a great charge against him. The initial push went well, but as reinforcements moved in Sir Caelus, Sir Crom and Sir Gariant all screened the bodyguards to allow Sir Cynehild a chance to take a shot at the commander, and she handily struck him down – dealing a great blow to the Saxon forces.

Unfortunately when trying to hold off three foes, Sir Caelus had been laid low by a powerful greataxe blow, but his squire managed to recover him and bring him to safety. Sir Beorhtric, the former squire of Sir Caelus, was so enraged by this he charged to avenge his fallen mentor and stayed with the British forces for the rest of the fight. The battle continued to go the British way, until finally Uther called a halt to the fight, feeling that the Saxons had been damaged enough to no longer pose a great threat. Though the army was close to victory, it was not enough to prove decisive.

Still, King Uther was highly pleased with the performance of the Salisbury knights. Cursing the absence of Duke Gorlois and the Cornwall knights – doubtless claiming Irish invaders again – he lamented that but for another company he could have crushed the Saxons decisively. Still, he saw fit to grant manors to Cron, Beorhtric and Cynehild for their fine performance that battle, and was effusive in his praise of the knights.

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Year 486 - The Sword Lake
A series of trials result in a momentous accomplishment

Spring Gossip

The inconclusive battles of 485 still weighed heavily on people’s minds, especially the news out of Lindsey that King Aescwine had defeated Duke Lucius, and was now rampaging throughout the countryside. Coupled with news from the continent that the city of Soissons had fallen, and Praetor Syagrius was sending envoys to convince King Uther to pledge aid to retake his kingdom. Though most balked at the thought of leaving their homeland and its barbarian troubles to fight barbarians abroad, the knowledge of the wealth in the ancient Roman cities was tempting to many.

Prince Madoc was vocally opposed to the idea of supporting the French, and instead resolved that later in the year he would be calling upon the Knights of Salisbury to launch retaliatory raids up North. This, coupled with the news that Merlin the Magician had been sighted in court, gave many hope that it was going to be time for another stunning victory similar to the one at the Battle of Mount Damen.

It was not all good news however, as Sir Gariant was informed by Earl Roderick that, following his actions last year, he had been brought up on a charge of conduct unbecoming of a knight by Sir Gwyn, and would have to report for trial either this year or the next to resolve this issue. Confident that he would have nothing to fear, he resolved to face justice, though his friends saw to it that he would not face it alone. Sir Liam and Sir Cynehild volunteered to sit on the jury to ensure a fair trial, and Sir Caelus pledged to stand by Sir Gariant during the trial to share in his defense. With that, the knights got their affairs in order and prepared for the battle of honour.

Summer Justice

The court was packed with knights, including rather distressingly the presence of Sir Uren, who was known to relish the chance to embarrass any Salisbury knight, and Sir Greid, a knight whose wife had killed herself following an affair with Sir Beorhtric, another Goblet Knight. In addition, there was a new member of Sir Gwyn’s household: the legendary Saxon mercenary Ceolward, freshly knighted and inducted into Sir Gwyn’s household following the death of Sir Hellenel.

The thrust of Sir Gwyn’s argument was simple enough: Sir Gariant had words with Sir Hellenel during a minor uprising on Sir Gwyn’s manor of Clarendon. Sir Hellenel became incensed, and his actions caused him to throw himself off the battlements, whereupon the peasants he was about to order the death of killed him. Sir Gariant, as the only other knight present, then ordered both sides to stand down and go their separate ways. It was argued that by not calling for the deaths of the peasants there, a retributive strike on the village was necessitated by a code of honour, and thus Sir Gariant should have to pay for the restitution of the entire village.

Sir Gwyn’s case was straightforward enough: The breach of honour and hospitality was clear, but so was the Pride in being a knight over the peasantry, as well as a musing from Sir Ceolward about how any such action must be punished with immediate vengeance rather than being allowed to let lie.

Sir Gariant focused on the same argument he used with Sir Hellenel, that ordering the death of your peasants from the battlements via crossbows was not a valorous action, and that he was appalled by the death and only sought to forgive any further trespass that night. Sir Caelus pointed out that it was better of Sir Gariant to energetically do something rather than nothing, and that he should not be faulted for showing mercy to the peasants rather than seeking their death.

Ultimately, the majority of the jury found in favour of Sir Gariant and, as expected, Sir Ceolward asserted his right to trial by combat instead of the verdict. Sir Caelus stood to face the mighty Saxon, and driven to fury by the thought of an assault on the Goblet Knights proved to be an even more furious opponent than the Saxon. However, Sir Ceolward left himself open and, though Sir Caelus drew first blood, Sir Ceolward responded with a blow that nearly cut Sir Caelus down where he stood, and had a less skilled surgeon than his wife Lady Elana been present, he doubtless would have died.

Still, Caelus had struck the first blow, and Earl Roderick pronounced him in the clear. Sir Gwyn’s honour was impugned for the case, which he took with grace and departed.

Fall Adventure

Sir Caelus was still recovering from his massive wound, and Sir Cynehild refused to leave her townhouse in Sarum this year, so the two were not present at the announcement of the Lindsey Raids. Earl Roderick went on about the chance for vengeance and plunder that could be had, but added that sadly some knights would have to remain behind on garrison duty. Unfortunately, the knights left behind included Sir Liam, Sir Gariant, Sir Beorhtric, and Sir Judicael. With the forces of Logres assembled, the Goblet Knights watched them ride off, and moved to serve their garrison duty during the plundering.

The lands of Salisbury were quiet this fall, and it was with equal parts relief and sadness when they were approached by an old man who had lost his goat, and demanded the knights retrieve it because they knew their rights. Just pleased to have something to do, the knights tracked down the goat and Sir Caelus approached it while his companions moved to prevent any possible escape. Their mundane task was interrupted by a massive three-eyed giant, who had emerged from the woods on his own. Sir Caelus, struck with fear, focused on ushering the goat out of the woods while Sir Judicael fled outright in horror.

Sir Liam and Sir Gariant were undaunted by the challenge though, and controlling their mounts charged the creature. The thing threw a boulder at Sir Gariant, and uprooted a tree stump to try and strike down Sir Liam, but thankfully both strikes missed the knights. The two retaliated by cleaving the giant’s head producing two shorn segments and leaving one behind – each containing an eye. As Sir Judicael fled, he was confronted by the old man who reminded him of his Forgiving nature, and that he should forgive his own fears – causing him to turn and rush back to his friends, though not until after the fight had been won.

With the giant slain, the old man emerged from the woods and revealed himself to be Merlin, and that the knights had passed his first test. Leaving behind their horses and squires, the four accompanied him deeper into the woods which seemed to twist and change around them. Suddenly they found themselves on the shore of a great lake, one not known to any of the knights to be near the area where they were. Striding confidently onto the surface of the lake, Merlin called that the knights were to protect him from the dangers that were coming. As they wondered what that could be, a dark green creature in a parody of a knight on horseback burst out of the woods and attempted to run him down.

Sprouting four arms, each with a sword the same colour as its body, the thing managed to strike Sirs Beohrtric, Judicael and Liam, but Sir Gariant avoided its blow and managed to slay it. Their reprieve was short though, for as it died the knights that were struck were pulled under the water and – trapped by their own chainmail – began to struggle to free themselves. Sir Gariant stripped off his own armour, and working in concert with the others they eventually all got free – Sir Judicael and Liam requiring rescuing, while Sir Beohrtric’s natural affinity with swimming did the job for him.

Panting and tired, the quartet looked for Merlin who was now striding back across the water, complimenting the knights on a job well done. Asking him what the purpose was, the magician declined to say, but did invite the group to Christmas Court this evening.

Winter Court

The Christmas court was held in Sarum following these events, and the knights gathered to partake in Uther’s hospitality. Though the raid on Lindsey was derailed by multiple groups of roving Saxons, there was still enough plunder for a decent celebration. All knights were given a handful of silver by the King, and then the time came for gifts to be presented to Uther. Prince Madoc seemed to have the best offering with ten chests full of plunder, and a Saxon battle banner presented to his father.

Suddenly, Merlin entered the hall and, with a great speech, presented to the King Excalibur, the Sword of Victory. As Uther wondered at his gift, he asked how the magician came by such a treasure, and Merlin indicated the four knights who had assisted him earlier, saying that the tale would be theirs to tell.

As the evening turned int one of copious drinking and tale telling, the year closed with Uther still staring and Excalibur, and perhaps failing to notice Merlin’s advice regarding the importance of remaining Just…

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Year 487 - The Submission of Lindsey
The reluctant Lords of Britain react differently to Excalibur's discovery...

Spring Negotiations

The four knights who had discovered Excalibur the last year were definitely the talk of Logres. Both Sir Beorhtric and Sir Judicael used their new-found boost in status to arrange favourable marriages for themselves with Earl Roderick, both managing to secure wealthy heiresses which greatly elevated them in terms of financial status in the county. Though Sir Judicael did not understand the significance of the request, he also assented to Earl Roderick’s request to marry his sister Ilse to Sir Gwyn at the aged knight’s request. It was truly going to be a year of marriages all around.

But come spring, the knights were summoned to serve as part of the retinue for King Uther Pendragon, who wished to tour his Kingdom and assert authority over his more reluctant vassals. The first stop would be North to Lindsey, where they would take hospitality with the Duke Corneus, who of late had been demanding protection while offering little in a muster. Accompanied by Duke Ulfius, Earl Roderick, Merlin the Magician, and a host of other nobles of Logres – though both Somerset and Cornwall were conspicuous in their absence, they road to camp.

Upon arriving at Lindsey, the King was informed that Duke Corneus was away and had been summoned, and his entourage were to be entertained until their arrival. Sir Liam stayed behind in Lindsey to flirt and pass the time with some attractive peasantry, while Sir Beohrtric, Sir Judicael and Sir Gariant went hunting to pass their time. Sir Beohrtric and Sir Gariant managed to find and slay a mighty bear, while Sir Judicael was lost and came across a creature later identified as the legendary Questing Beast. When he attempted to approach the massive creature, it fled into the woods – pursued closely by the equally famous King Pellinore. With the King only pausing to find his direction from Judicael, he then rode off in pursuit of the Questing Beast, leaving a confused Sir Judicael behind him.

Duke Corneus eventually arrived at Lincoln, and a moderate, yet unimpressive, feast was held. Though the care of his hall was somewhat diminished – a fact readily apparent to all knights – when the time came for entertainment, King Uther called upon Sir Liam to recount the tale he had witnessed the previous year. At the dramatic moment when Liam had slain the beast and Merlin had reappeared, Uther brought forth Excalibur to demonstrate the great treasure won, to the amazement of the Lindseymen present. With Merlin explaining the importance of Excalibur, Duke Corneus publicly reaffirmed his commitment to Uther as his King, and the rightful King of Britain – something that Uther was clearly more than pleased to hear.

Summer Diplomacy

With Lindsey having submitted to King Uther, his mind turned far afield, and he requested of his knights to go out and bring other members of the Supreme Collegium to him, so that he could demonstrate his worthiness in person. Due to their familiarity with the region, the Goblet Knights were sent to Malahaut to invite King Heraut de Apres to Lincoln. Though Sir Liam ultimately declined to go, Sirs Beohrtric, Cron, Cynehild, Gariant, and Judicael all took up the request and rode North into Malahautian lands.

If they were hoping for this to be easy, their visit to Eburacum was quickly defeated by the presence of Sir Uren, and the absence of King de Apres. Although no one was happy to see Sir Uren, he swiftly informed them that the King had passed by recently, and was last seen heading for Richmond Castle to attend the court of Duke Geoffery. Putting together a small party for their escort – including himself – the knights set off for Richmond.

At Richmond Castle, Sir Uren introduced them to the court who informed them that they had just missed the Centurion King. As they sent out riders to look for them, Duke Geoffery requested if they would be willing to take a small test at a nearby cavern. Strangely unwilling to talk about the specifics other than they would face a test of spirit and that little danger was involved, the Knights agreed. Sir Beohrtric noted that Sir Uren seemed on the verge of laughing at several points, but ultimately could not find a reason to turn them down, and the five departed.

A Christian Priest led them to the cave and gave them each a torch. Some knights chose to go without arms or armour, and some with. Upon entering the tunnels, despite the close nature of the cave, each of them became lost and faced a similar set of questions. Sir Judicael found himself unable to make a decision and abandoned the cave, but the other four all saw it through to the end.

Ultimately they were unsuccessful, and upon emerging they found that the court of Malahaut had gathered, led by a jeering Sir Uren – who now revelled in the sight of the four knights who had completed the trial completely without a stitch of clothing. With their squires hastily covering them, Sir Uren went on to say that fortunately he had intercepted King deApres, and he was on hand – both to witness the humiliation, and to coldly decline King Uther’s “request”.

As the knights were escorted back to castle Richmond, Sir Judicael realised that although most of Malahaut had mocked them, Duke Geoffery seemed legitimately saddened by their failure, and privately he reassured the knight that he would continue to send worthy challengers to attempt the Caves. The other knights were less forgiving though, and Sir Beohrtric challenged Sir Uren. First he challenged him to a battle of composition, which the Malahaut knight handily won. This was followed by a challenge of swords – which Sir Uren won again. Unable to forgive the arrogance of the Malahaut knight, Sir Beohrtric swore vengeance on him and his household, before Sir Gariant forcefully reminded the knights they were there on diplomacy and left.

King Uther was hardly surprised at the recalcitrance of the Centurion King, and acknowledged the knights’ service done to him, before releasing them from their yearly service.

Fall Events

The knights each attended to their solos and the news of marriage. Sir Judicael married Lady Wynflaeth, and Sir Beohrtric married Lady Dyanne, both in lavish ceremonies due to their inheritance. Sir Judicael also put up the dowry for his sister, and attended the wedding of Lady Ilse and Sir Gwyn, formalising ties between their household.

Sir Liam returned home to most troubling news. While he was away, his manor of Tangley was invaded by Saxons, headed by Einhard the Grey, the Saxon who previously headed the Mine of Nantwich. Though Lady Junah handily managed the defenses of their manor, she thought to ride out to challenge his army in Battle – a move that ended in disaster. Sir Liam’s uncle was slain, and Lady Junah herself was taken prisoner. It was only Einhard’s surprising act of mercy that prevented her from being slain then and there, and he released her with a warning to her husband that he would be back.

Sir Liam, naturally, pledged vengeance against the Saxons for next year, but news came down that the requests of Praetor Syagrius had reached the King, and next year Prince Madoc would be taking half of the Logres army overseas, to conquer the land of Gaul…

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Year 488 - The Conquest of Frankland
Britain invades Gaul, and not everyone comes home.

Spring Mustering

The rumours had been coming in all winter, and now it was official: The army of Britain would be heading to Frankland this year. The treaties from Praetor Syagrius and promises of a fantastic reward had finally tempted King Uther enough that he pledged a full half of his army – both knights and footmen alike – to retaking France and Paris. The remainder of the army would be held in reserve in case Logres was attacked, but would be unable to prosecute war any further. As Uther was needed for matters of state, control of the army was turned over to his son – Prince Madoc.

Earl Roderick would be leading his forces in person, and recruited many of his most famous, eager and accomplished knights for the task. Sir Liam requested to be excused, as he had to hunt down the Saxon who attacked Tangley last year to ensure the safety of his family. Nonetheless, Sirs Caelus. Cron, Cynehild, Gariant, Sir Gwold, and Judicael all answered the call, and stood ready to invade France.

Unfortunately the invasion hit a bit of a bump at the outset, for the shipmasters of Britain claimed that the seas were not conducive for sailing. With absolutely no ability to vet this information, the knights were left to amuse themselves. Sir Cron took up hunting, and hunted down a nearby wolf for practice. Sirs Gwold and Cynehild engaged in a practice brawl to test their skills, which Sir Gwold triumphed in. Sir Caelus took the time to get to know Praetory Syagrius, and a lot of enjoyable conversations were had about the superiority of Rome and its citizenry.

Finally the day came when the peasants claimed the seas were favourable, and the army set off. Though some noticed that Earl Roderick seemed pensive about the journey, they nonetheless arrived with little trouble. As their ships were among the first to arrive, Praetor Syagrius rode out with Sir Caelus in patrol of the nearby area, accompanied by his friends. During the long, long discussions about Rome they were unexpectedly ambushed by Frankish barbarians who had somehow tracked them down. Sir Caelus fought a spirited defense of Syagrius, requiring Sirs Cron and Cynehild to guard his back to ensure no harm came to him while he ensured no harm came to the Praetor.

Fortunately they were successful, and the lightly armed barbarians were driven off or slain. Greatly pleased, Syagrius exchanged his gladius for Caelus’s sword, and swore it as proof of the indestructible alliance between Britain and France. Back at camp, when the rest of the army disembarked. With the army assembled, the time came to march on their first stop: The city of Bayeux

Summer Assault

The nearby city was a strategically important decision, and fairly well defended by the Frankish mercenaries. However, in the face of the British army, as well as reinforcements from the Roman troops, the city was hard-pressed to maintain its defenses. In less than a week, the walls were being breached by footmen, and the city was in danger of falling. The first gate to fall was that closest to the Salisbury forces: an opportunity for glory as well as great danger. Though some of the knights wondered if prudence was the better option, Sir Cron recklessly led the charge herself, and in the face of a Goblet Knight in danger her friends soon followed.

As the first knights to breach the walls, they were hard-pressed by defenders. With crossbow bolts raining down on them, Sirs Caelus, Cron, Cynehild, and Gwold were swarmed by defenders. Both Cron and Caelus found themselves unhorsed and attacked, while Cynehild and Gwold were easily cutting through the defenders with their two-handed weapons. Wise to the pattern from his brother, Sir Gwold rode to defend Sir Caelus, leaving Sir Cron exposed and – tragically – her attackers got in a series of lucky strikes that viciously wounded the Irish knight. Though the Salisbury forces seized the gate, Cron had fallen. Caelus frantically plied all of his Roman knowledge of Chirurgery, but her wounds were too severe, and Sir Cron did not survive the night.

In the hard light of the morning, Bayeux had fallen and Preator Syagrius consoled his new friend that Sir Cron’s death would not be in vain, and the conquest of Gaul would be completed in her name. Unfortunately, Prince Madoc disagreed, and decided that no more British knights would die on this foreign land. He was calling off the invasion. Syagrius was shocked and argued that Uther had pledged his aid, but Madoc was not his father and in charge – and he would not be budged.

Earl Roderick ordered the knights to agree, and though Sir Caelus attempted to encourage people to pledge their plunder to the Romans, the Earl overrode him and ordered them back to the boats. Many of Syagrius’s retinue defected to the British, including Isadora, a foreign mercenary and child of Sir Liam’s and Cron’s father. Earl Roderick accepted her claim of kinship, and in memory of Sir Cron granted Isadora the heirship of Woodford, and an impromptu knighthood. With a comrade dead, and Syagrius cursing the British name, the army sailed home.

Fall Tidings

Back in Britain, the news of Cron’s death was carried to Tangley by Earl Roderick and the surviving Goblet Knights. In the interim, he had engaged in a hunt throughout his woods for Einhard the Grey who had attacked him last year. They were drawn into a battle between his troops and the forces of Tangley, and Sir Liam ended him in a single, decisive battle. His joy at that was quickly subdued at the news of his sister’s passing. Cron was buried at Woodford, with the newly-minted Sir Isadora now ruling over it.

If any were hoping that Uther would discipline his son for quitting the field of battle, their hopes were lost for he was pleased with his son’s performance. Their treasury was boosted, and their ranks replenished by foreign mercenaries now swearing loyalty. All that was left, he ominously announced, was ensuring that Duke Gorlois and Cornwall fell into line. Next year, his army would march west, and Gorlois would either bend at the knee, or be crushed under his heel…

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