Manors/Knights in Attendance
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- Sir Liam
- Glory: 734
- Libre: 9£
- Child Born: Son (Irish Heritage)