The Easter court in the year 490 is held at Warwick in Wuerensis. It takes a good couple of weeks for the knights of Salisbury to travel with their retinues and attendants. The Earl is in good cheer as all seems well. Duke Gorlois is said to be there and it seems Uther is getting most of the nobles onside.
During the feast in Warwick Castle, Sir Alafon notices two knights quarrelling. It appears Sir Mathew, he shy of one finger who displeased Sir Cerdoc in the previous year, is in an altercation with Sir Tryfan, Sir Cynlas’ ex brother-in-law having been married to the now departed Malt. Sir Alafon calmly strides over and stands in between the two knights and engages Sir Tryfan in conversation. This annoys Sir Mathew somewhat, who pushes Sir Alafon to the side and explains he is not talking to him. Alafon ignores this and turns his back on the young knight once more. Sir Mathew then chooses to bundle Sir Alafon to the ground. Both knights make no skill of this and collapse as if drunk. Sir Tryfan offers a hand to Sir Alafon and helps him rise. They leave talking about better things. Sir Mathew appears too drunk to have realised what is going on and is ejected from the court by the steward.
Some dancing ensues and the various Salisbury knights take their wives to the floor for the latest dances of Logres. Sir Cerdoc who is of course without wife dances with a lady of the Wuerensis court. His heart is clearly not in it though as he doesn’t make a good account of himself.
Sir Tryfan is again seen arguing although this time he slaps a serving maid and Sir Cynlas sees him. Cynlas’ then takes him to one side and asks him to stay his hand in future. Sir Tryfan leaves court and takes to his bed. Sir Cynlas is left to speak with the girl and apologise on his behalf. The girl, although still sore of face and teary eyed accepts graciously as Sir Cynlas presses a penny into her hand.
The Lady Ailwen, daughter of Sir Peryf, Castellan of Warwick is enamoured somewhat by Sir Rodric. She has heard tale of his prowess and speaks with him. She does not explain who she is the daughter of and appears without her hand maidens. Sir Rodric is pleased to speak with her, she is fair of face, tall and lithe. Qualities he admires although he is not fussy. He accepts her invitation to be shown ‘the castle’s many fine features’.
Later on Sir Cynlas notices Rodric return and then a few moments later the Lady. He sees her then talking with the castellan. He mentions this not to Sir Rodric. Will he reap what he sows?
Talk at court is about battle. It seems the Saxon Kings Octa and Eosa are moving south towards Lincoln with a large army. They are joined by Eomund from Saxony. Prince Madoc and Sir Brastias speak of bringing them to account. Preparations are to be made to leave in a few days. Time for war.
Just outside Lincoln the British army catches its first glimpse of the Saxon host a mile in the distance on a large field. It seems like the perfect spot to slay the dogs. The army lines up it it’s usual formation of three battles. Uther holds the centre, Duke Gorlois the left, Duke Lindsey the right. Salisbury is in the centre and this brings much cheer to the Salisbury knights who can see King Octa in the Saxon ranks ahead, his banner blowing in the late spring breeze.
Sir Amig asks for Sir Cynlas to take his place beside him – He would have his council for the coming battle. It is late afternoon by the time the armies are lined up and it seems battle must wait for the morrow.
As the sun breaks over this field in Lindsey, the crows fly high in anticipation of the coming slaughter and the Salisbury knights climb onto their mounts ready to do their duty. They look on one another, pray to their Gods and eye the Saxon line ahead. Uther calls for his men to be ready and then a trumpet sounds. Spurs dig into horses flanks and the ground shakes with the thunder of 2,000 horses charging the Saxon line. Our Salisbury knights make short work of the bowmen that were their first foes. They then clash into a line of spearmen and are nearly caught off guard. They hack and slash for what seems like an eternity but the sun is only a little higher off the ground. The battle rages on for about five to six hours before there is a cheer from the left flank as King Eosa has been captured. The Salisbury knights are all still alive and only Sir Cynlas has taken a wound. They fight on and a shout goes up as the centre of the Saxon war machine collapses. The knights push through and see King Octa ahead with his banner, his heorthgeneats protecting him. The knights charge and fight their way through his bodyguard. This seems to cause them no problems but it is Sir Cynlas who is through, along with Sir Cerdoc to face King Octa. Sir Cerdoc offers the King the chance to surrender but he spits on the ground in reply. They both charge. As he ducks Sir Cerdoc, he is caught full in the chest by Sir Cynlas and goes tumbling from his horse. He is seriously wounded but alive and the Salisbury knights claim his ransom.
After the battle many are dead but the Saxon’s have been routed and the day belongs to Logres and to Uther. A victory feast is held at Lincoln and the whole castle gives way for feasting, drinking, dancing and Uther’s wandering eye.
The victory feast at Lincoln is a lively affair. The knights of Salisbury are invited up to the high table to speak with Uther and Sir Cynlas tells his tale of the capture of King Octa. He is honest in his account although still boasts proudly of the part he played. He did strike the king a mighty blow after all. After a little drinking and the tales of battle, a bevy of fine beauties enter the great hall. They line one side, each lady as beautiful as the next but the eyes of the hall are drawn to the lady in the middle who steps forward. She is a captivating sight – A lady of such elegance and allure that the hall is at once silent. She recites a poem, her voice angelic. This is the Duchess Ygraine, wife of Gorlois and it seems Sir Moelwyn and Sir Rodric are smitten by her. Sir Rodric almost forgets to breath, he has never seen a sight as such.
As the poem comes to an end and the hall erupts in applause the Duchess Ygraine and her cortège leave the room. Uther is speechless and staring after her, this is not lost on Gorlois who is silently fuming. Sir Rodric even goes after Ygraine, hoping to steal a word or two with her. Her handmaidens keep him at bay though and he doesn’t press the matter.
After a few days of feasting the Salisbury knights depart for their homes. The Earl speaks with Sir Alafon and announces he has found a good match for Sir Alafon eldest sister Lyn. The dowry Sir Alafon is putting forward is £5 and that has secured a young knight called Sir Gunda of Sutton. He fought well at Lindsey and Roderick believes him to be a good knight. Sir Alafon agrees to the match and she will be married off in early spring.
In December the Christmas court is to be held in London with all the important nobles of Logres in attendance. Duke Lindsey, Sir Brastias, Duke Gorlois and the Duchess Ygraine as well as King Uther and Prince Madoc are all there along with the usual retinue and retainers. The feast is the standard fair but the Salisbury knights have noticed that King Uther is not his usual self. He is withdrawn from conversations that they have overheard. The Duchesss Ygraine appears with her husband at this seems to have Uther’s attention. After several days of court Duke Lindsey is given permission to leave as is Prince Madoc. After another week Duke Gorlois is still being kept there. He is fuming and believes he is being held prisoner.
Sir Rodric goes to find the Duchess Ygraine to try and speak with her but finds Uther’s guards near her chambers and they do not let him pass. The Earl of Salisbury is happy staying in London at the moment as he has more things to discuss with King Uther but says they will leave in a few days time.
It’s a cold, cold night and there is a light covering of snow on the ground. Sirs Moelwyn, Cynlas and Rodric are still awake and hear a commotion outside. It sounds like horses being prepared. Sir Cynlas looks outside and recognizes the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall preparing to leave. He runs to Salisbury’s chambers to let him know what is happening. Sir Sir Rodric heads to the courtyard to intercept them leaving. Sir Moelwyn rushes to speak with some guards to get them to rouse the King.
Sir Cynlas speaks to the Salisbury chamberlain to get a message to the Earl about Cornwall leaving. He disappears inside the room leaving the knight of Bedwyn in the cold hall.
Sir Moelwyn sees the guards head along the corridor that leads to the King’s bed chamber but they seem to tarry outside and chat amongst themselves.
Sir Rodric gets down into the courtyard and sees that the gate is open, he spots an unknown Lady with Cornwall and his wife but can’t identify her in the darkness. He rushes to the gate house to try and get it closed but a fog descends followed by a snowstorm. He can hear the neighing of horses but not see anything. After a few moments the snow storm stops and the fog lifts. The courtyard is empty save for some rather alarmed guards.
Salisbury arrives at his door and speaks with Sir Cynlas and is rather alarmed by the news of Cornwall leaving. He heads to Uther’s chamber. When the door shuts to Uther’s chamber a silence is held, as the guards and knights present strain to hear what is said. Uther erupts, something is thrown and clatters against a wall and they hear the words ‘Traitor’ and ‘There will be war for this’. For the next day or so, no one dares to speak with Uther save for Sir Brastias.
This was a great session again. All the knights are really started to come alive and I players seem to be enjoying their roles. For all the danger of battles in Pendragon combat does not seem to vex these knights and again they get through with only one wound counted among them.