The death of King Nanteleod still echoed throughout the land. Logres and Escavalon no longer seemed able to coordinate their actions, and many of the small counties and kingdoms reverted to isolationism. The situation was not helped by the acts of both Prince Mark and Prince Cynric who once again both showed up to demand tribute from Salisbury. The appearance of Cynric was especially contentious given that he was the one who killed Nanteleod through a tactic that was widely viewed as dishonourable.
The Saxons’ demand was simple: Triple the “ordinary” tribute in order for protection. The demands from Cornwall were for a single tribute, but also that the children of Sir Liam O’Malley who had betrayed him be turned over for execution. Discussing this option with his trusted knights, Earl Roland reached the decision to deal with neither power. Expecting a swift retribution, the word went out to all loyal knights to retreat to the walls of Salisbury, and prepare for a siege.
With the bulk of their forces behind the walls, a small group was needed to journey out and scout for an attacking force. So it was that Sir Heddwyn, Sir Aelia, and Sir Gwynhael found themselves patrolling the North of Salisbury when a woman ran up to them begging for the knights to help her with a threat. Noting her reluctance to specify what she needed help with, Sir Gwynhael refused to pledge to aid the peasant… who in a flash was revealed to actually be Merlin the Magician!