High King Arthur was on the throne of Britain, and optimism had returned to the land at last. With the defeat of both the Saxons and the rebels last year, it was hoped that finally the British could unite and create a force that could secure their lands, and banish the Saxon barbarians for all time.
Despite all his achievements though, Arthur was still a boy in age, and many of his advisers offered him conflicting advice. Duke Ulfius supported immediately attacking the Saxons while they were still unprepared, while King Alain favoured aiding Saxon rebels to earn their loyalty. Sir Brastias and others proposed caution, and to strengthen their own forces before acting.
Ultimately Merlin the Magician counseled patience to which the boy King agreed. Sir Hervis de Revel was unwilling to countenance waiting when they had an advantage over the Saxons, and gathered a large group of knights together to launch a raid on Saxon lands. Though their forces were a great success, several knights noticed that Sir Hervis seemed more innocent in slaughtering Saxons – warriors and civilians alike. Though Sir Gwynhael was able to talk him down somewhat, more blood was shed during these raids than plunder taken for families.
The knights who remained were focused on rebuilding St. Albans and other British strongholds, but there was still a good time to break for festivities. Sir Eliwlod was getting married this year, and his family had spent a significant amount of their wealth to throw a party that attracted even the attention of Arthur and his court. The King used this as a setting for a great diplomatic conference, inviting many Queens and other notable Ladies to the festivities in order to celebrate, and hopefully forge a more permanent alliance.
Among the notable Ladies of Logres in attendance were Queen Petrie of the Golden Circle, Lady Elana, Lady Agrippina, and Lady Lay Rhosyn. From their intrigue they had learned that many of the Queens or other high nobility in attendance were attempting to arrange a marriage between their daughters and Arthur in order to better secure their position. Petrie herself made this attempt, catching Arthur’s interest. Lady Elana also used the feast as an opportunity to arrange a good marriage for her son, once he came back from questing, and gossip was gathered relating to the current state of Britain. All in attendance were appreciative of the extravagances shown by the O’Malley family, and the wedding was a great success.
The great feast afterwards was as raucous and celebratory an event as you would expect from an Irish wedding, though the Ladies in attendance became aware that among the envoys was Lyndogwen – now married to King Ryons of Norgales and no great friend of Britain. Lady Agrippina spoke to her as she was leaving, and confirmed that her hatred towards Britain had not abated over time. In more pleasant news, Lady Elana spoke to Queen Margawse’s eldest son, Sir Gawaine. The newly minted knight was quite taken with Elana and the many virtues of ladyhood that he said she exemplified. Queen Petrie also took the opportunity to invite Merlin the Magician to the Kingdom of the Circle of Gold, which the magician seemed quite pleased with.
That evening, a night of madness seemed to sweep over the sleeping guests, many of whom woke up to give in to their worst traits in fits of madness. Though Agrippina was not affected, Queen Petrie gave in to her desire to one-up everyone and began to get into a contest of boasting which, when finished, she fell asleep for. Ladies Bertrand and Elana both gave in to their suspicion, and began rooting around for secrets – eventually realising that Margawse had gone missing and sought her out. With Petrie’s assistance, they gained access to Tangley to search for the Queen, where Elana witnessed her in the midst of a tryst with King Arthur, a secret that she refused to speak to anyone of. In the courtyard, Lady Agrippina saw Lyndogwen fleeing Merlin’s tent, whereupon the magician awoke and rushed to the castle, seeming to end the madness over the assembled guests.
The next morning, few had memories of what occurred last night, and the party left on good terms. Nonetheless, the secret of the affair between Margawse and Arthur burned inside of Elana’s mind, and it would take on new significance in the years to come…