Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

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

Summer Questing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 2nd – Candlemas

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

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

March 21st – Easter

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

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

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

May 1st – Pentecost

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

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

May 10th

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

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

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

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

January 1st

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Year 509 - Sir Gorboduc The Fiend
As the situation worsens, old allies return...

Spring Threats

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.

Summer Adventure

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!

Year 508 - The Great Nanteleod Campaign
A decisive battle is held, yet goes disastrously wrong.

Spring Marshalling

King Nanteleod sent the word far and wide this year: The army of Logres would meet up with his, and together they would march on and end King Cerdic of Wessex. It was a bold and ambitious plan, and to the eye of Count Gariant one that was risky, yet could pay off great rewards if it worked. The forces of Logres were for the most part willing to join up with Nanteleod to join – but not all.

Prince Uffo of Silchester came to court as the army was mustering, bringing with him a missive from Duke Ulfius, saying that Nanteleod was being too arrogant and his overconfidence would doom their army. Silchester would not be sending knights, and Uffo urged Salisbury to do the same. Surprisingly, Sir Beorhtric came to the defense of Nanteleod, and argued the prince down. In the end, Earl Roland agreed with his knight, and ordered an all army deployment to join Nanteleod.

Before the army could ride out though, one knight did not answer the call. After years of plying his romance, Sir Carver had his amour towards the former queen Ygraine answered, but the Lady would not break her vows towards God. However, unwilling to live without the other, Carver took up the Cloth of the British Christian church, and the pair retired to live out their lives serving the church of Durrington

Summer Battle

The Battle of Netley Marsh was the largest since the Battle of Eburacum in Uther’s day. Around 10,000 combatants on each side faced off with each other, ready to settle the fate of their respective Kingdoms. King Cerdic had chosen his battle well, for the terrain was unfavourable to the horses of a knight, giving them a small advantage. Some understood then Gariant’s analysis, but their troops were still superior, and the order was given to charge out.

Sir Isadora led her own eschille consisting of Sir Beorhtric, Sir Heddwyn, and Count Gariant into the battle. An early opportunity led them into behind Saxon lines swiftly, and they prepared to wreak havoc on their lines. As they charged forward however, out of the Saxon’s many tents rode hundreds of horsemen, led by King Idres – the Cornish forces were waiting to reinforce!

Hard pressed by these reinforcements, the Salisbury forces were forced back, but with fierce fighting, again Isadora led her troops to the rear line, whereupon they turned and fell on the Saxons, greatly devastating their lines. King Cerdic gave the order to retreat, and the Logres army made ready to pursue and crush them. At this moment of victory, came a great tragedy – a knight that none recognised rode up to Nanteleod in the confusion, and slew him in a single great blow.

This knight was recognised by some as Prince Cynric in disguise, and he and his disguised retinue caused havoc behind British lines, attempting to refocus on Earl Roland. Sir Esme, Sir Brud, Sir Peregrine, and Sir Aethswild all fought to reach their Lord. Though blows rained down on them, they arrived just in the nick of time thanks to the heroic actions of Sir Cynehild taking the blow for Earl Roland. Unable to slay the Salisbury Lord, Prince Cynric tried to retreat, but was dealt a ferocious blow. Unfortunately, they were unable to seize the Prince’s injured body as his troops led him back to safety.

The death of Nanteleod still collapsed the Logres lines, and the army was forced to withdraw. Thankfully Isadora led her troops out of there, but more than half the army that rode to Netley Marsh died there, and the Cornish/Saxon alliance was left free reign to plunder the land. The rest of the year, the knights stayed in their own manor, unable to challenge the greater forces. Their fields were razed, their lands looted, and it seemed that the days which were so bright earlier were now dark once again.

And yet it was out of this deepest despair, that a new plan of hope would arise, for Britain could not afford to put off crowning a new High King any longer…

Year 507 - The Dowry of King Leodegrance
A call for aid reveals an unusually circular table

Spring Feasting

The year opened with Salisbury riding high. King Nanteleod had unified most of Cambria, and the lords of Logres were predominately coming around to accepting his rule. Both King Idres and King Cerdic were silent following their defeats in the previous year, and even the weather seemed to be favouring the lands. The good tidings led to the Lady Elana to call a feast in order to spread her fortune throughout the land.

Sparing no expense, she procured many odd dishes – the vulture being a particular favourite – and many knights of the realm got to enjoy themselves. Sir Isadora took a small tumble that was passed off well, Sir Aquila was notably forgiving towards a slight done to him at the feast, Sir Peregrine embraced her newfound piety, and Sir Heddwyn managed to do absolutely nothing notable at all.

As the feast wrapped up, the next goal of Logres was revealed: Take back London from the Saxons that had conquered it! King Nanteleod would throw all his forces into supporting Duke Ulfius, and the barbarians would be driven back. Earl Roland agreed, and the army got ready to march. For a chosen few though, a request for aide from an ally had to be honoured. King Leodegrance of Camliard had requested help following a raid from King Ryons.

Sir Dragain was the only knight to leap at the call, owing a former allegiance to King Leodegrance. For the rest, Sir Beorhtric, Sir Heddwyn, and Sir Aquila also answered the Earl’s request, and separated from their forces to ride north to Cameliard.

Summer Quest

King Cameliard graciously received the knights, and thanked them for coming to his aide. His request was a simple one – he and his men had been attacked by King Ryons, and the Northern King had stolen from him an item that was to be of dowry for his daughter later in life. His knights had clashed with the thieves to forestall their escape, but it was believed they were making their way north to the Perilous Forest, whereupon he would lose them. No more than a handful remained, and he asked that the knights ride to try and pick up their trail, and retrieve the item.

The Northernmen were heavily weighed down by a massive wagon pulling the item through the woods, and Sir Beohrtric was easily able to pick up their trail and pursue them. Though their quarry had indeed made it into the Perilous Forest, their trail was indeed slow going and the knights were able to catch up to them. A pair of enemy knights, and half a dozen mounted soldiers escorted the wagon through the forest. Though Sir Aquila proposed an ambush, the rest of the knights eschewed such a tactic, and instead opted to face their foe in open combat.

The Knights of the Perilous Forest laughed at the Salisbury demand to surrender, and confidently stated that King Ryons would be arriving soon, and it was they who should surrender to him. With discussion impossible, a fierce skirmish begun and though the Salisbury knights were outnumbered, and their enemy fought with passion, ultimately the men of King Ryons were slain, and the wagon reclaimed.

The thought turned to the possibility of capturing King Ryons, but as all were injured from battle and King Ryons was said to be descended from a giant, it was thought better to complete the quest. Their exit from the Perilous Forest was a challenge, with large rats and shadowy birds dogging their heels, but eventually Sir Beohrtric led them out, and back to Cameliard.

King Leodegrance was quite thankful, as the item retrieved was originally intended for King Uther Pendragon. a mighty round table to seat him and his best knights. With the fall of the Pendragon line, he now wanted to entrust it as dowry for his daughter Guenevere. Thanking the group again, they were welcome to rest at Cameliard to regain their strength in his Hospitality.

Fall Conquest

King Nanteleod meanwhile was not idle. With his army assembled, Duke Corneus launched an attack on London, and King Nanteleod cut off the reinforcing Saxons and slew them, winning the day for the Britains. With London back in British hands, great honour was bestowed on those who fought, and many knights took the time to try the legendary sword in the stone that was in the courtyard there, though none could pull it out.

The land resumed its peaceful ways, and some knights even ventured as far north as Malahaut to attempt The Richmond Caverns for the first time in over a decade. With Nanteleod proclaiming that next year King Cerdic would be the one to face his vengeance, it seemed that at last things were going the way of the Britains…

Year 506 - The Golden Rose
Amidst military campaigning, a moment of reflection is sought

Spring Liberation

The call for battle went out early to the Salisbury knights this year. Earl Roland summoned his army to assemble at Sarum, as the plan was to meet up with the forces of King Nanteleod in order to liberate the county of Summerland before King Idres could muster an appropriate defense. With frost still on the ground, the knights of Salisbury marched out to confront the Cornish occupiers.

Perhaps used to their tactics, King Idres marched to oppose the two-pronged attack, and bolstered by both Irish and continental mercenaries his numerical disadvantage was slight enough to not pose a challenge. However, as the Battle of Bristol commenced , the forces of King Cadwy emerged from the swamp to threaten Cornwall, and King Idres recognised that as defeat was likely, chose to order a retreat. Somerset was liberated!

A fine victory was won, but King Nanteleod refused to rest at this. Thanking those present, he announced that outliers he had dispatched before the battle reported that King Cerdic had taken their absence as an excuse to march on Salisbury. No doubt expecting the Cornish forces to weaken the British army more, King Nanteleod now commanded a force larger than the one he set out with, and ordered a march back to Sarum.

Sir Isadora had been mustering for a Siege with what forces remained, but as the army marched to their defense, she rode out to meet up with the collective forces, and counter-charged Cerdic. The Wessex forces were now apparently allied with Port, and though the fighting was intense, the Battle of Sarum was eventually won by the British forces. King Cerdic and Prince Cynric both managed to escape, but the knights won a decisive victory over both groups threatening them, and a great celebration was held that day honouring all who fought.

Summer Questing

With the Cornish and the immediate Saxon threat beaten back, the knights got to enjoy a pleasant summer questing and adventuring. One such morning found Sir Cynehild summoned to meet Nineve along with some of her friends for a quest. Answering the call came Sir Dragain, Sir Gwynhael, and Sir Carver, and the four rode to meet the Lady of the Lake.

Nineve explained that she had heard rumours of a beautiful golden rose growing in the North, and asked the Knights to promise to quest to find it. Each giving their word, Nineve smiled and said that the path would no doubt reveal itself. Less than a minute after taking their leave, the group found themselves set upon by a knight in rusted armour, who claimed to be the protector of the Golden Rose, and came to stop them from claiming it.

The Rusty Knight swore that if they could best him in contests he would reveal the location of the Golden Rose, but if they failed they must swear to give up the quest. Expecting an attack, the Knight instead confronted the knights with a ferocious test of singing

Year 505 - A Party of Rare Occurrence
In the midst of a war outbreak, a great party is thrown...

Spring Fling

The turnaround of fortunes for Salisbury continued to boost the spirits of all present. Though the growing threat of raids from King Cerdic and King Idres was present, that was no excuse for the nobility of Salisbury to not throw a massive party. Seizing on the initiative, Lady Emlyn of Tangley resolved to do just that! Her manor had been well defended from the recent attacks, and it was time to relax and revel in the years of relative peace. A great invitation went out to the manors of Salisbury – barring the disloyal ones under Sir Beorhtric of course – to attend in late Spring.

The party was a great social success spanning many days, where the various courtly skills of ladies were tested. Unfortunately the last day was beset upon by truly awful weather, but the day was saved by the arrival of Lord Sampiro out of Sommerset, who had also been stalled by the storm, and asked for entry with his entourage and great supplies he had been escorting for his own manor. His arrival was met with such grace that many Ladies present both male and female were taken with him, and he extended an offer to meet him at his manor later in the year to return the favour of the hospitality shown.

Summer Courtesy

Four notable Ladies of Salisbury answered the return request for a party, and along with some other noblewomen journeyed in the summer to the court of Lord Sampiro for a five-day feast which would be held in the return. Lady Elana, Lady Sundrenia, Lady Agrippina, and Lady Wynflaeth were all in attendance at the first day as the richly appointed hall where tapestries hung over very window and dozens of torches burned in the rafters to light the way.

Exquisite dishes and fine conversation took place that evening, as Lord Sampiro again wined and dined the Ladies of the court. That night, some reported odd sounds howling from outside, but were unable to make anything of it. In the morning Lord Sampiro was taken poorly and would not be available until evening, so an exploration of the manor was made. It was well staffed and protected, and gossip had that many soldiers were once in the employ of King Idres himself, but now served at the court of Sampiro. Lady Elana was particularly disturbed by this, as one of the knights there was Sir Lewis O’Malley, who had sworn revenge against Sir Carver and his family for the death of Lord Hassan O’Malley.

That knight was renowned for his violence, yet he seemed completely uncaring as to the presence of Elana even after gentle questioning. In the evening, Lord Sampiro boasted that all his men would serve him faithfully, and no one would come to any harm under his manor roof. At night, again deathly echoes came throughout the hall, but though the sound seemed to come from outside, it could not be heard out the window, nor deeper into the castle.

The next morning, with the Lord absent, a resolve was made for thorough investigation. Lady Elana and Wynflaeth went to the basement – the one place they were told to avoid – to try and see who was down there. Lady Agrippinia went to the roof to check on their erstwhile host, and Lady Sundrenia attempted to convince her in-law Sir Lewis to return to his senses.

In the basement, Lady Elana and Wynflaeth found a woman chained in a silver cage, crying tears of blood. Recognising the creature as a mythical vampire, Elana questioned her who said she was imprisoned here by her husband, and that if they would free her, she would kill him and permit them to leave – for if they left with her husband alive they would surely be hunted down. All that was required was a tapestry from above to hide herself from the sun’s rays.

With Wynflaeth and Elana agreeing to this, they moved to get a large banner to cover her, only to find Sir Lewis – roused to action by the words of Sundrenia, in a rage and ready to kill Elana. As she fled to the basement, Lewis was in hot pursuit, and burst into the room with the female vampire intending to kill. Working her own magic on him, Lady Sampiro briefly subdued him long enough for Elana to release her, whereupon the vampire knocked the knight out in a single blow.

Lady Wynflaeth arrived shortly with a tapestry, and they were told to leave as the female vampire ascended to the height of the tower. Lady Agrippinia had failed in her attempt to gain entry to the Lord’s room, but as she watched the pale creature from the basement stalked up the stairs, slew the steward blocking her way, barged into the room and ripped the head off of a slumbering Lord Sampiro, before telling Agrippinia to flee.

Three of the Ladies, having had quite enough of this adventure, all fled while Lady Sundrenia stayed behidn to ensure Sir Lewis would survive. When he awoke, he spoke of the urgency of retrieving a box, an errand he had been sent on by King Idres before leaving. Fortunately, the pair accomplished their task before they were noticed, and fled the scene.

Each group went their separate ways back to their homeland, with the tale of the nocturnal host that few would readily believe…

Year 504 - Cerridwen
To rescue a friend, the knights must surpass immortality

Spring Coronation

The new year was an optimistic one for the people of Salisbury. With The Silver King defeated and his Kingdom broken, the mood was optimistic. Unfortunately, King Idres was not idle the last year and had begun an invasion of Summerland, conquering much of King Cadwy’s lands and driving the King and his knights into the swamp. This year, among the visitors Princess Junah and Prince Boudwin were in attendance, as well as Sir Alain, and Prince Cynric – a tense group.

The mood refused to be dampened though, for Roland, their heir of Salsibury, had demanded to be knighted despite his young age. Pressing Sir Peregrine his former master into knighting him, he then ascended to Lord of all Salisbury knights. During his coronation feast, he made no secret of his plan to march on Sir Beorhtric and the traitorous knights who had refused to stand with his mother, and now him.

Not all were eager to attend a Siege though. The news of the fate of Sir Cynehild had affected all Goblet Knights, and they were eager to march off in search of her. Duchess Ellen informed them that Cynehild had left at the request of Nineve in order to placate the anger of the sorceress Cerridwen. As Cerridwen had proven all-but-immune to normal attacks, Nineve had left to try and determine the source of her immortality, and find a way to surpass it.

Her words were well-timed, for Nineve chose that moment to return and request the help of a handful of knights to rescue Sir Cynehild. Sparing Sir Matthaus, Sir Dragain, Sir Gwynhael, and Sir Peregrine for the quest, the four knights set off with Nineve while the remainder of Salisbury made ready to defend their lands, as well as besiege Sir Beorhtric.

Summer Slaying

Nineve revealed to her four companions that Cerridwen had learned her spell of protection from four ancient hags that had long ago plagued the land of Britain. She had managed to track down three of them, but was no closer to discovering their weakness. Time was running out for Sir Cynehild though, and she asked for the Knights to ride with her and try to slay the creatures while there was still time.

The group headed North into Cameliard where they witnessed a knight whipping some peasants for intruding on his lands. He was in the right by the law, but Sir Gwynhael implored him – privately at the request of Sir Peregrine – to forgive the peasants before finishing their punishment and Sir Dragain offered to pay for the lost food. The knight agreed, and in thanks the peasants revealed that they had only strayed from their grazing lands because of three horrible creatures in the mountains. The strongest of them had set off to try and confront the creatures, but had not returned.

The mountain passes proved a little difficult to navigate in, but Sir Peregrine easily tracked down the site of a skirmish where there were two blood trails: One heavily wounded one leading into some nearby caves, and a lightly wounded one heading up the mountains. Choosing to follow the lightly wounded one, they journeyed for a day and a half to the top of the hills, at the summit of which was set another cave. As Sir Dragain let out a mighty Irish taunt, the three hags emerged from the top of the hill where they had been hiding to argue with the group.

All but Sir Dragain charged up the mountain, braving the rocks hurled by the hags to confront them. Sir Peregrine and Sir Gwynhael were first in the fight, with Sir Peregrine using his great skill at Grappling to pin and immobilize one of the creatures, while Sir Gwynhael was hard pressed by her opponent’s razor-sharp claws. Sir Matthaus found his climb impeded by many hurled rocks, but also came up to confront the creatures. Unfortunately, their weapons – though varied – proved unable to penetrate the Hags’ skin, and Dragain’s taunting failed to elicit the secret of their weakness. The weapons could knock them down, but no damage could be found.

The battle was interrupted by Sir Gwynhael’s squire, who came out of the cave bearing a small, peasant’s dagger that had some blood on it. Furious at this, the Hags redoubled their efforts to strike down the knights, but though all were unskilled with a dagger, they brought down two, while the third one fled. Sir Peregrine wanted to pursue it, but Nineve felt with its weakness uncovered another could kill it – the priority now was Cerridwen

Fall Rescue

Cerridwen’s glade was again located, and Sir Cynehild’s squire wept openly to see Nineve coming to save her master. Once more trying to protect the Knights from Cerridwen’s bewitching, the Knights found that Cynehild was down by a lake with a massive knight in red looming over her. Coming out of a magnificent pavilion was Cerridwen, whose allure was immediately felt by all knights present.

None fell under his sway, but Sir Gwynhael and Sir Matthaus refused to give in to her blandishments. Sir Dragain and Sir Peregrine approached, as if under her spell, but Cerridwen saw through Dragain’s deceptions. Asking Peregrine to slay his friend, he instead turned and drove his dagger deep into her chest. Though it was a mighty blow, Cerridwen did not die, but did yell for her giant knight to kill the others.

The fiend roared and was intercepted by Sir Gwynhael and Sir Matthaus, while Sir Dragain and Peregrine fell on Cerridwen with their daggers. They were joined by a wounded but furious Sir Cynehild, and the three again dealt a ferocious blow to the sorceress, who repeated her trick of turning into a thrush to escape. The tiny form eluded their daggers, but the fiend knight had been brought down, and Sir Matthaus called for the falcon he had brought earlier to hunt down the thrush. It raked the creature slightly, but it was enough to knock her from the sky. Turning into a human as she fell, Cerridwen lay on the ground badly wounded, and if she survived the fall, she did not survive Cynehild’s retribution.

Winter Tidings

Sir Cynehild was rescued, though badly scarred from her experience of constant fighting. Returning to Salisbury, Nineve promised to try and help her get through her ordeal, but it would be some time. Unfortunately, though the army in no way was beaten, the Siege of Over-Wallop ended in an inconclusive result.

Their band was stronger, but their enemies remained many, and there was no sign of relief on the horizon…

Year 503 - The Silver King
A Threat to Salisbury is dealt with once and for all

Spring Planning

The year opened with a fire lit in the breasts of the Salisbury knights. No longer would they be content to be on the defensive: Their walls were strong, their army was ready, their allies were gathered, and they were going to take the fight to the barbarians in their land. With that resolution, it was a surprise to the Knights when Duchess Ellen summoned them to discuss the possibility of paying tribute to Prince Cynric again.

The Wessex prince had arrived with a demand for tribute – twice the usual rate to defend, but also three times the rate to fight alongside the Britains. The Duchess proposed actually taking up the Prince on his offer of defense, and committing her entire army to wiping out The Silver King once and for all. Though continuing to pay Saxons was distatseful, the thought of marching to battle to wipe out an enemy caught the ear of all present, and it was eventually agreed on.

The call went out for mercenaries, and one more group arrived to assist: Praetor Syagrius had arrived on the island at some point, and offered the services of him and his mercenary army to the Salisbury knights in exchange for a payment of 500 Librum. The expenses this year were great for the Salisbury knights, but many notable knights came forward with enough money, including Sir Isadora, Sir Esme, , and Sir Peregrine.

With the Saxons left watching their lands against incursions from King Idres, the Salisbury army set forth to settle things with The Silver King. Fortunately they did not march alone, for en route they came across a large force of Hartland troops sent by Count Gariant to reinforce them, led by Sir Gwynhael herself.

Summer invasion

Marching North into what had once been Gentian, the Salisbury army was soon met by a massive force to oppose them. Composed of two disparate elements, one portion seemed to be a group of rabble and soldiers, large but untrained, while the other seemed like something out of myth and legend – an army of the fair folk. The Silver King could be seen extolling the faerie army, and from the halo of light around him, the troops suspected that this was Calthabor, back for revenge.

Sir Isadora had been given the honour of leading the Salisbury army, who gave an impassioned speech and led her troops into battle. Under her command, she swiftly cut through the enemy army, routing the rabble and even scattering faerie knights under her sword. As she approached the enemy rear for a flanking action though, a terrible trap was sprung. The Silver King charged Praetor Syagrius’s men, and rather than opposing them, Syagrius joined up with him. Calthabor then removed his mask and passed it to Syagrius, revealing him to be the true Silver King.

The battle threatened to collapse at that moment, but even with the now outflanked position they found themselves in, Sir Isadora held firm and her troops fought off the two armies arrayed against them. Finally breaking to the enemy rear, she directed her troops to wreak havoc on the enemy forces. Sensing weakness, Calthabor himself led his troops to challenge them. His bodyguards were fierce, but Sir Gwynhael managed to defeat her opponent, and challenge Calthabor. The Faerie prince, though blustery, proved to be her lesser in a fight, and Gwynhael slew him in one blow.

With Calthabor’s death, his forces disappeared as if they were fog in the morning. Now lacking an army, Syagrius attempted to retreat, but found his exit cut off by reinforcements from King Nanteleod, who had launched a simultaneous attack in the North. The Roman commander was defeated and surrendered, leading to the destruction of Argent utterly.

Fall Campaigns

Syagrius knew execution was likely, but managed to bargain for his life with a secret that he had. Sir Cynehild, missing these last few years, was currently being held and tortured by Cerridwen the Sorceress. In exchange for her location, he was banished to the continent to face the wrath of King Claudas of France. Though the Goblet Knights were eager to rescue Sir Cynehild, the army itself stayed with Nanteleod to go and reinforce Duke Corneus against the Saxons.

The battle at Lindsey was perfunctory, as the much larger force of Logres and Cambria easily outmatched Sir Uren and his mixture of Cymri and Saxon forces. They were forced into an early retreat, and Lindsey was finally relieved. In gratitude, Duke Corneus swore a pact of friendship with King Nanteleod, adding to the Cambrian’s powerful allies in Logres.

For Sir Cynehild, the Goblet Knights rode North to Cumbria, and a secluded glade where Syagrius claimed she could be found. Before they could enter, they were met by Sir Cynehild’s squire who begged them to go no further. Apparently this was a plan between Sir Cynehild, Nineve, and Duchess Ellen to stall for time to find out how to defeat Cerridwen once and for all. Though none liked it, eventually all knights turned back, swearing to return next year to rescue her come what may.

Winter Contemplation

None of the Goblet Knights were happy with Duchess Ellen, but she promised to explain them in the spring. This was not the only bad news of the year, for Duke Ulfius was attacked by Essex, and the city of London had fallen into Saxon hands. In spite of that, the news was optimistic for the coming year. Two threats had been removed, and Nanteleod seemed stronger than ever.

For the first time since the death of King Uther Pendragon, there seemed to be hope in the land…