The Easter court this year was held at Silchester. Many lords were present as usual but the king was in attendance but ill health had him bed ridden. Sirs Brastias and Ulfius were speaking on his behalf. The talk is that the king is distressed at the death of his son Madoc and the disappearance of the unnamed infant. Queen Ygraine is also, as one would expect, distraught over the disappearance of her young son.
Salisbury speaks with the knights present and explains that Sir Alafon is being held at Warwick Castle over the murder of Sir Tysilio, the champion of Warwick. It seems some witnesses came forward over the winter time and he is being questioned by the Castellan.
Sir Cynlas is now the only original knight of the young knights knighted in 485. He is now joined by Sir Morians and Sir Caulus this year. Sir Morians is a knight of slight build and one would think him not capable of holding up a sword. He is, however, a capable swordsman and is renowned for his dancing, flirting and being a good honest man. He is a pagan. Sir Caulus is a bear of a man in comparison. He has been giving the land of Sir Cerdoc who died childless and is renowned for being an energetic knight and one who has a love of birds of the feathered kind. He is hairy and hides his features behind a huge beard. He is also a Pagan.
On the way back from Silchester the knights are riding ahead and spot a band of men on the horizon. A closer inspection reveals there are five of them and they are on horseback. Sir Cynlas leads the knights whilst sending Sir Judhail back to inform the earl. As the knights get closer the foe aim their spears and charge. Sir Cynlas manages to get the men into some order and they receive the charge. A sound of steel on wood, horses neighing and men dying fills the air. Sir Cynlas puts his knight down and continues to fight well. The two new knights battle their foes and give a good account of themselves. After a good few minutes of fighting the Salisbury knights are victorious and it seems the leader, Sir Edern, is the bastard brother of the Steward of Levcomagus, the nearby town. The Steward is an enemy of Salisbury as he was one of Countess Ellen’s suitors but Salisbury got her hand in marriage. Sir Edern survived the blow from Sir Cynlas barely but is alive. Earl Roderick orders him to be taken to Sarum where he will be treated for his wounds. There he will be ransomed.
Once back in Salisbury the knights depart for their homes before returning to Sarum a week later for an errand to Malahaut. Uther has need for Salisbury to go to see the Centurion King and again try to get him to make an alliance. Salisbury asks Sir Cynlas if the two new knights are worthy of coming to which he answers in the affirmative.
The small contingent of knights leave Sarum bound for Malahaut. The journey north is uneventful and takes a couple of weeks, the shock that awaits them at Ebucarum knocks the wind from their sails. As they approach the gates Sir Morians sees saxons on the battlements. Sir Cynlas rides in with Sir Amig and the two are approached by the Steward. The Steward explains that the saxons are there as envoys to try and negotiate an end to hostilities. The Salisbury knights hatred for saxons burns deep and it is difficult for them to hold their tongues and keep their swords in check. The Earl leaves to speak with other lords present and the knights are left to wander the castle.
The following day the earl leaves for the great hall in the afternoon and the Salisbury knights are left to drink and make merry. They are in another hall with some northern knights and the saxons. There is a lot of drink as one would expect and some boasting from the saxons. Sir Morians takes up one saxons offer for an arm wrestle. The saxon is slightly taken aback when they are about to start and Sir Morians kisses him. This causes the saxon to overturn the table and try and catch the little knight. In swinging wildy at him he manages to break his hand on a pillar and then the steward breaks the fight up.
Our knights are soon to learn that the northern knights and the saxons are hear to form an alliance with the Centurion King and rise up against Uther. They leave the hall to talk with the earl who comes steaming from the great hall. Sir Cynlas confronts him with the news and the Earl slaps his squire out of the way one the boy tries to adjust his cloak. He feels he is being kept out of many conversations and that something is afoot. It seems also that the saxon kings Octa and Eosa have escaped their prison and are rallying troops to the north.
‘We must leave for home tomorrow before dawn’, says Roderick. ‘We can dispatch a rider to the King and inform him of this awful news’.
The Earl gave the knights the express order that they were not to get in any trouble and do anything that would delay their early departure. Sir Cynlas was listening but he does have a habit of letting trouble find him. Whilst in the hall he caught wind of some saxon boasting. Sir Cynlas, being the proud Briton he is did not let it lie when one saxon, Bosa Osricson, declared saxons better than any knights from the south. Many words were exchanged and the long and the short of it was that there was to be a fight to first blood at dawn on the morrow. This might be tricky seeing as the knights were meant to be leaving before dawn. Sir Cynlas left to speak with the earl.
The following morning the earl and his knights left for Sarum minus one Sir Cynlas. He was still abed waiting for his fight. The earl had allowed the knight of twenty and eight years to fight the saxon dog but to then catch up with the column.
The fight between the Bosa Osricson and Sir Cynlas lasted for a few minutes before Sir Cynlas managed to find a way through and cut the saxon to the belly. The wound was large and deep and the saxon collapsed. Cynlas wiped his blade on his foes leather jerkin and left the field at speed so as to catch up with the earl.
Sirs Morians and Caulus were riding at the head of the column again when Sir Cynlas caught up with them. He had just given his news to the earl and was now explaining to his young comrades what had happened. Sir Morians cut him off when he saw a line of infantry on either side a some hills in the path. Sir Cynlas, never one to hold back, rode ahead and the two young knights followed. The earl also seemed keen to find out what was happening and trotted forward with Sir Amig following.
On the hill just on the edge of a tree line were more saxons. Our knights seemed to be outnumbered but saw no choice but to attack their hated foe. In the clash of arms that followed, Sir Jaradan was cut badly to the arm and Sir Caulus was badly wounded, and was lucky to survive. After a few minutes the fighting was done, Sir Cynlas and Sir Morians chasing down any saxons that attempted to flee.
Sir Caulus was unconcious and bleeding badly from a wound to the chest. The earl sent a priest forward to tend his wounds and convey him on a litter back to Sarum. There he took nine weeks to recover from his wounds. He is now, however, more prone to sickness due to wasting slightly from the wound. He will carry this for the rest of his days.
The Christmas court is a subdued affair. The earl is quiet and pensive, talking with his men about trying to secure other alliances for Uther. If the northern lords move with the saxons the whole of Logres could be at war.
This was a good fun session. The first in my new abode in Southampton. John is now playing Sir Morians after Sir Moelwyn was banished from Salisbury. Bob is now playing Sir Caulus as Sir Cerdoc had been killed by a Wyrm the previous year. Pat was unable to make the session and may be dropping out permanently. The previous year his knight had murdered Sir Tysilio in cold blood and it works for the story if he was put on trial for this.