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…
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.