Pendragon: Chivalry is Magic

Year 521 - Arthur Is Missing
Talking Eagles and Traitorous Sisters!
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Year 518 - Kill Merlin
The best kind of vengeance is family vengeance
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Year 518 - BADON
Let those born in years hence, know what it means to have stood at Badon

The Battle of Enbourne

The time had come for the Saxons to be beaten back. As long as they remained, High King Arthur Pendragon’s rule could never truly be cemented, and so war was required. Manipulated and needled throughout the years into consolidating their forces under King Ælle, the entire army had been skrimishing throughout the winter. The time came now for the full force of Arthurian Britain to war against the Saxon Barbarians, and only leave one force alive at the end of the year.

Almost 15,000 men at arms marched out to meet the Saxons at Enbourne River, but were met by a force of over twice that in opposition. The Saxons had camped far at the other end of Enbourne River – the British could cross the river, but their retreat would be cut off. Despite some words of warning, Arthur was insistent that they show no quarter or cowardice, and the army crossed the river to meet the Saxons on their own terms. The size of the Saxon army appeared to work against them, as their full force could not be brought to bear against the British – or so it seemed.

The initial troops were not the largest, nor the best armed. Instead the Saxons simply through as many people as they could at the British with one goal in mind: Remove the horses. The attackers focused their axes and javelins on knocking the British off of their mounts, attempting to force them to the ground and remove their greatest advantage over the Saxon forces. The day’s fighting was fierce, and none burst through the other’s lines. After hours of fighting, the British had routed most of the lesser army, but even more Saxon reinforcements arrived and the next day heralded even greater battle.

The Battle of Donnington

Moving their lines forward to the besieged city of Donnington, the British were met with a new problem: The skies themselves were attempting to drown them. The torrential downfall made the ground slick and mud-stricken, and most knights who still had horses found themselves unable to keep themselves mounted in this downpour. What was worse, the heavier British armour was working against them in the mud, and most of the Saxons they were fighting were untouched by battle from the last day.

In this great fighting, Sir Everette fell to a group of Screaming Warriors and many other knights were hard-pressed. Seizing upon an opportunity, Merlin the Magician reached out with his magic and strengthened the great downpour. Curses from both sides echoed out, but his strategy became apparent: Now neither side could appropriately maneuver, and battle this day was impossible.

The British needed an advantage to turn the momentum back in their favour, and King Arthur hit upon it based off of a suggestion from Sir Cyrus – seize the high ground! Badon Hill was nearby, and if the British army marched there overnight, they could force the Saxons to attack up the hill towards them, once more restoring their height advantage and potentially tiring out the Saxons.

Many knights were injured or unable to keep up with the army marching through the night, and more than a few injured or overly loyal knights volunteered to stay behind as a Rearguard to slow and confuse the Saxon army. Among the volunteers were Sir Isadora, Sir Beorhtric, and Sir Peregrine. The exact fate of many of these knights were unknown, but their lives were sold dearly and the remaining army marched to Badon with enough time to prepare themselves for the coming battle.

The Battle of Badon

The next morning, the British looked down from atop their hill at the assembled Saxon forces. Arthur’s plan was clear: Ride to meet the enemy forces, but then hold the line where you stood. The Saxons would be forced up the hill towards you, but if the British army held firm they could grind down the barbarians against the sword and shield of the knights. It was not to be that simple though, for the assembled Saxon mystics and witches pooled their might, and summoned a mighty white dragon from the sky with which to devastate the British defenders. Refusing to allow magic to carry the day, Merlin stepped forth and single-handedly summoned the red dragon of Britain to oppose the Saxon’s dragon, and as the two titanic beasts warred above, so too did the forces below.

With a mighty charge, the British army met the Saxon defenders, and exercising the prudence that Arthur had urged onto them held their ground in The Killing Zone. Giants, berserkers, traitor knights, witches, the greatest forces that the Saxons had were arrayed against the British. Tragically, old Count Gariant was cut down under the glare of the Saxon magic, and many other knights suffered grevious wounds through the seemingly never-ending tide of Saxon forces.

Finally though the toll of the battle began to show. Strong-armed berserkers gave way to hordes of injured warriors on crutches, of blinded warlords and their retainers, the Saxons had truly sent everyone against the British regardless of condition, and ultimately the British line held – what few survivors who turned from the field of battle were ridden down and killed.

Half the knights of Britain died that day, and those who survived all bore some sort of wound to show they had been at Badon, but Arthur carried the day. The oldest foes of Britain had, finally, been driven from the island. Surely there were none left now to challenge Arthur – the Warrior King…

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Year 517 - Siege of the Castle of Joy
It's literally Good vs Evil

With winter still raging around them, the knights left Cornwall in search of defenders who would heed the call of King Pellam to come to the Castle of Joy

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Year 515 - Beowulf
Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon hú ðá æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Spring Envoys

With High King Arthur Pendragon’s throne secure, and his wedding to High Queen Guenever complete, it was time for the King to return the many gifts he had received from abroad in a show of largess. Practically speaking, this was primarily to show off his own force of arms, and cement relationships with foreign courts. Though King Ban and King Bors were already solid allies of his court, Arthur wanted to ensure as many alliances as possible. To that end, Sir Aquila led a party consisting of Sir Aethswild, Sir Peregrine, Sir Matthaus, and Sir Collete Magnus Pullo to the kingdom of Zealand.

King Hrothgar of Zealand was renowned for his hospitality, and the knights were greeted with open arms by the Danes. Though they greatly resembled the Saxons that had plagued them, these warriors were noble and hospitable, and brotherhood was easily found. Sirs Aethswild and Matthaus accompanied the Danes on a hunt, capturing a fine red deer for the feast that evening. Sir Peregrine demonstrated horse combat from Britain compared to the animals there, and Sir Collete flirted with the handsome Danish men, securing herself a husband to bring home.

That night much partying and drinking was had, and the knights retired inside the mighty hall with a hundred warriors in seeming comfort. The peace was shattered by a mighty blow to the heavy doors, flinging them open, revealing a hideous monster beyond. Sir Aquila was torn to pieces before he could wake up, and though dozens charged at the creature their blades were turned away by its skin, and it slew many before retreating into the gloom.

The knights gave pursuit, but the creature was soon lost in the woods. Horrified, King Hrothgar swore to track down the beast and bade the knights wait so no more harm would come to them. Furious at the death of Sir Aquila, the four knights joined in the hunt and tracked the beast in the morning. They came to a series of shallow lakes and ponds, but lost the trail there. They did however witness a golden deer harassed by a dark wolf that Sir Matthaus recognised as a sign. Testing it, the beast could not be harmed by sharpened sticks, but was driven off by blunt stones.

That evening, the knights blunted their weapons at a blacksmith, and waited for the creature with Beowulf, the mightiest warrior that Hrothgar had. Again Grendel burst into the hall, but Beowulf’s strong arms held the beast in place while the Knights attacked, heavily wounding the creature. With a furious roar, Beowulf ripped Grendel’s arm off, and again it ran off. The group set off in pursuit, finding themselves at the lakes they were at in the morning, but now could see a small hall under the water, magically lit from below.

Sir Collete waited above, but Beowulf and the other three knights dove below into the stronghold, where they confronted Grendel’s Mother who had brought the corpse of her son back to her hall. Using her horrific magic, she summoned skeletons to fight the Knights, while Beowulf grappled with the hag. Sir Matthaus found a great sword on the wall that caught his eye, and as Sir Peregrine and Aethswild held off the skeletons, he retrieved it and used it to slay Grendel’s Mother in a single stroke.

King Hrothgar and Beowulf both pledged their friendship to the foreign knights, and pledged to honour them as the King would his own vassals. Though the quest was a success, their hearts were still heavy as what was left of Sir Aquila’s body was borne back to Britain, the first Round Table knight to fall…

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Year 514 - The Wedding of King Arthur
A joyous union, and a sorrowful reunion

Spring Weddings

With the uprising of King Lot behind them, everyone in Britain hoped there would never be war between the British again. It was time to focus on a higher calling, like warring against the Saxons. It would have to wait though, because High King Arthur Pendragon was getting married this year. Arthur had fallen head-over-heels in love with Guenever, the only daughter of King Leodegrance, and a lavish wedding was in order for all nobility and knights of the land.

Almost all knights were in attendance, but only Sir Peregrine and Sir Gwynhael managed to attend the mass in person, while Sir Dragain ran from the sound of the church bells and Sir Esme began ranting to anyone who would listen – of whom there were few – that Paganism was being unfairly denied these days. Following mass and the exchange of the vows, came the true success – the gift giving!

Sirs Peregrine, Dragain, and Gwynhael all presented their gifts and asked for nothing in return but the King and Queen’s happiness. Sir Esme did the same, but also asked for her children to be knighted when they came of age which Arthur agreed to – and everyone realised was probably a better thing to ask for. Following gifts from the royal couple, the wedding feast began!

The knights had many fun events during the day, Sir Peregrine delivering a great toast to those who would listen, Sir Dragain talking to many of Faerie Lore, Sir Gwynhael entertaining many with her singing and Sir Esme demonstrated her rebated sword skill in impromtpu challenges. The feast was interrupted by a great commotion as a hart, sixty-one dogs, a woman, and a black knight all burst upon the scene causing great confusion and commotion. In the aftermath the lady had been kidnapped, and Merlin the Magician told Arthur this was a great wonder, and knights should be assigned to solve this.

Sir Gawaine was tasked to bring back the white hart, Sir Tor was told to bring back the white dog, and King Pellinore to rescue the lady. Sir Gawaine’s quest ended in disaster with the tragic slaying of a Lady, while Sir Tor was successful in his own. King Pellinore also succeeded at the cost of ignoring a Lady in distress, but the woman who was kidnapped was Nimue, the new Lady of the Lake. The assembled knights applauded these stories they took no part in, and the wedding was a great success for all concerned.

Summer Questing

As the knights were released from service, Sir Dragain asked his three friends if they would accompany them to the land of Gwaelod in search of his missing brother Aos-Si. Many years ago his druidic brother had set off for the Cumbrian land in search of their mother, the Countess Traymor. It had been many years since they heard from him, and one of the rebel kings from last year was King Gwynfor, the son of the long-dead Count Gwyddno and the assumed ruler of the land. With the rebel lands now subjugated, it was hoped that they could discover the truth of what happened to the two missing O’Malley family members.

Gwaelod was as inviting as history remembered it, being covered in endless rain – even by British standards – and the ever present smell of the sea. Still though, the peasants were wealthy and inviting, and the Tower by the Sea still stood like a beacon drawing the knights in. Sir Peregrine needed to wash some mud off of her clothes, leaving the other three to greet the new King Gwalchmei – who was found to be a one year old baby. Countess Traymor was in attendance and serving as the chancellor for her grandson, and greeted her son and his friends warmly, and was more than happy to put them up for a time. Unfortunately for Dragain, his brother Aos-Si had been thrown into the dungeon under the orders of the old King.

Traymor said she was unable to “free” Aos-Si, but welcomed the knights to stay as long as they wished. From talking among the castle, they learned of the importance of the line of Kings in Gwaelod, and if it were ever broken the dam that held the sea back would break, flooding the kingdom, and killing any who remained inside. A point of view held to be bad. They also went to the dungeon to speak to Aos-Si, and learned that Gwalchmei’s mother disappeared shortly after the death of her husband. Needing more information, Dragain and Esme went to ask a nearby village for more information, while Gwynhael and Peregrine stayed behind to interrogate the castle workers.

Traymor and Gwalchmei had retired, but the group in the castle noted that there seemed to be a lot of food heading to the dungeon, and theorised the missing queen might be down there. Dragain and Esme learned little from the village, but they were attacked by a water monster on the way back to the town which was apparently a common occurrence inside of this kingdom. Pooling their information, they went to the dungeon to free the imprisoned Queen.

After doing so, the Queen called the knights to come with her to free her son so that they could leave this cursed land – which Countess Traymor opposed. Despite being uncertain, the Knights sided with Countess Traymor to protect the land, and returned Queen Eliuned to her cell. Countess Traymor promised to raise King Gwalchmei to assume his duties, and though uncertain, the knights returned home to tell of their adventure.

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