The Battle of Carohaise marked another turning point in the lives of the Salisbury Knights.
It all began as they were enjoying a few days rest in Bedegraine. There had been a feast which was enjoyed by all and King Arthur was appreciating the attentions of Lyzianor, the daughter of the Earl of Bedegraine. As Sir Miles and Sir Pelinore were practicing at swords with some young knights in the courtyard, a messenger rode in. He was out of breath and had clearly ridden hard.
“I have a message for the King” He said, in between breaths. “It’s King Leodegrance, King Ryons has him besieged at Carohaise”.
Sir Miles was quick to move the messenger along to see King Arthur. A quick word with the guards at the hall and he was allowed in. Sir Miles hung back as the messenger went forward to present the news. Sir Pelinore arranged some food and drink to be brought to the young lad.
King Arthur bid the boy leave to eat and rest. He then spoke with those present. Sir Robert of Salisbury and Sir Morians, Marshal of Salisbury as well as Merlin and Sir Brastias. They were in agreement that they should aid Leodegrance since he had been one of the first to swear fealty to the Boy King.
The order was given that any knights remaining should aid if they so chose. They had already gone over their feudal obligation of forty days but if they could give that bit more it would be welcomed. The Earl of Salibsury spoke with his knights and with the exception of a few all heeded the call to arms.
Later that day our knights Sir Miles, Sir Pelinore, Sir Olwen and Sir Caemes rode out with King Arthur and some 600 knights in haste to reach the besieged King Leodegrance in time.
It was a two day ride to reach Carohaise and the town was indeed besieged by King Ryons. King Ryons was using Ballistas in an attempt to break down the wooden gate but to no avail so far.
King Arthur sent a herald forward to talk with King Ryons to see if terms could be reached. It seemed not and over the course of an hour or so the two armies formed and a battle was imminent.
On the field of Carohaise King Arthur’s force of around six hundred charged at King Ryon’s six hundred. With a great clash Sir Miles led his brothers in arms against some young knights of Norgales and under the shouts and screams, bones broke, blood spilled and men and horses fell. Sir Miles was amongst them, a lance through his chest. The force had driven him straight from the saddle. His squire was able to drag him clear though and first aid was tried. He briefly opened his eyes only for them to close forever.
Sir Pelinore, Olwen and Caemes fought on, having got through the line of young knights they found themselves set upon by crossbowmen. They were right in the middle and bolts flew at them from two directions. They hacked and slashed at the footmen and when they managed to fight themselves clear and decided to pull back so they could get a proper look at the situation.
Sir Pelinore led them clear but it seemed the battle was over, the enemy thinned and were leaving the field. King Ryons was last seen riding fast to the west.
A feast was held in Carohaise and King Leodegrance greeted King Arthur with a warm smile and they embraced like brothers. Our knights mourned the loss of Sir Miles. A great knight sadly taken before his deeds could give any reward.
The Salisbury knights spent two days at Carohaise before they began their journey home. They had all managed to secure some plunder from the battle and were feeling good about getting home to family and bringing in the harvest.
The scene in Salisbury unfortunately was one of a county raided. The Saxons it seems and taken full advantage of the knights being away and had stolen many cattle and burned villages and homes. The harvest would not be so good this year.
Christmas court was a subdued affair and the food was more sparse than usual. Earl Robert was keen not to take too much from the peasants around Sarum. He spoke with Sir Olwen and said that Sir Vincent de Vallans, Cecillia’s father had capitulated at King Bors request and would allow them to marry. They would marry in the spring in the Abbey in Sarum. Sir Olwen gave the good news to Cecillia and she was pleased.
Elsewhere there were no new children arriving but a new knight Sir Rhodri was spending time with his Salisbury brethren.
This was the last session of an epic year. Three sessions to complete it and that doesn’t seem that unusual from what I’ve read elsewhere. This is certainly not a year to rush through. We also completed 511 this session and that report with follow. I still can’t quite believe that Sir Miles has gone. And to a young knight to. That’s the deadly nature of Pendragon and of medieval life in general.