Saturday, January 19, 2008

496: Iron Men of Lindsey

—What happened to you?
—What? It's a battle with Saxons; I'm on the ground.

Greetings from the savage battlegrounds of Lindsey. My name is Sir Gwair. Really, it should be Sir Lucky-to-be-alive. I should have died so many times before. Sometimes it is my unquenchable hatred of the Saxon swine that sees me through. Sometimes an opponent slips and falls onto my lance. And sometimes... At the Battle of St. Albans, things sarted so well. The Saxons folded under the fury of the men of Lindsey, but then one lucky Saxon struck me down. One moment I was riding like a champion of cymric vengeance, the next moment an axe nearly split me in two. All was dark for a time...

I awoke to feeble consciousness only for a moment, but there, disguising her noble features in peasant rags, was Lady Lillbourne, healing me with what could only be magic powder. So great was my wound, there had to magic in that poweder, or else the Gods guided her hand. From the brink of death she called me back, and I am hers now.

My companions were much too kind to note it, but Lady Lillbourne had nursed me back to health before. (I noticed Idar looked after my honor by claiming I went to help our local guide when he ran in fear from that awful hag. I will not call him a liar, but will say he is too kind.) Anyway, it was during our roaming of the Forest Sauvage that I espied a magic Bull. I have much knowledge of Faerie lore, and thus knew that if this bull could be captured, he would grant great prosperity to a herd of cattle. Sadly, my knowledge stated that the only way to capture it was to cut the tendons in its back legs. Approaching, the beast panicked and gored me. A sad day for Sir Gwair. The lesson, my friends, is don't attack magic bulls. Just don't.

So I wake up in the care of the Lady of the nearest town, Lillbourne, as I had suffered a grievous wound and required chirgury. I would find out later that good Sir Padern, good noble generous Sir Padern had made sure I would have an easy convalescenece, going so far as to ensure my caretakers would be easy on my eyes as well as my wounds. Ah, Padern. Good man.

Such is my energetic nature that even wounded I had the old magic. Delerious, I knew not the situation of my nurse, only that I had skipped across death's black watery surface like a smooth stone (not for the last time!) and now wanted more than ever to feel alive, and she was a beautiful yound woman, tending to me intimatley. Such life she has! It was with great reluctance, to my shame, that I didn't want to heed the call of battle. I would that my wounds, and her tender care, had lasted forever.

But to battle I had to go. She pleaded to go with me, and I said war is no place for a Lady, but only the thought that her husband (her husband!) would most likely be at the battle prevented her from travelling with me. Alas, I played off the news of her married state, being the Lusty Sir Gwair, but was saddened.

Dressed in a peasant disguise, this young woman followed me to the battle and for the second time brought me back from death. I know I have an powerful effect on women, and often they seek my company, and I love this because I love women of all shapes and sizes and colors. This I am proud of, for my religion values the vigorous power of men and women. (I'm still not sure how these damn Christians can breed so much when their religion values chastity.) But this event could not be chalked up to my natural animal magnetism. I am proud, but have lived too long to be that vain. No, this was a greater devotion that led this great woman to risk the danger of an open road in a land at war to seek me. Padern forgive me for saying this of Beatrice, but would either of my previous wives have come for me this way? I am struck by such an act. As I said, I am now hers, and may all forgive me, am hoping poor Lord Lillbourne fell heroically in battle.

As Idar noted, we have thrown in with Sir Brastius. It seems all that is left for us is to hunt Saxons, which suits me well. Had their foul kind not landed on our shores, I may have been able to better care for my eldest son, Goreman, who died. We have been roaming the countryside, slaying Saxon filth. We were ambushed during our raid of Newark, but overcame them. Brandegoras (Steve) slew their chieftan in single combat. I was struck low by a saxon axe again. It seems my hate of their kind was not enough, but I don't know if it is possible to hate them more. I will certainly try. No Lady Lillbourne this time, but Idar healed some of my wounds and kept me from passing on. If Brandegoras had not defeated the chieftan, and had Brastius' horsemen been a little later... well, lts best not to think of what if...

Sir Idar reporting

After returning from the battle at St. Albans we returned to Lindsey to take stock of the situation there. My manor at Allington had not been harmed, but Sir Padern and sir Gwair both had their holdings pillaged. Of course I offered them the hospitality of my home - an offer I extended to the handful of Lindsey Knights that survived. In all, there were nearly twenty of us and we were uncertain of how to proceed. Sir Padern suggested a bold attack on Lincoln to drive the saxons out, but I was uncertain - we numbered to few to lay siege to a city.

As we deliberated, a column of knights approached - Sir Brastius and 30 knights of Logres were determined to bring the battle to the saxons. He spoke boldly of fighting the saxons on the run, fighting as if we had no homes to return to. I was reluctant to leave my home. Allington had become one of the last civilized holdings in Lindsey - I didn't want to abandon it. I eventualy came around to understand that sooner of later the Saxons would find it and attack in force, so our best way to protect it would be to give the saxons something else to think about.

While I considered my options I looked to my wife and children and saw the dread in thier eyes at the thought of my leaving. Suprisingly, it was Brastius coming to my side, telling my family of my acomplishments on the field of battle in service of the Duke and the King. While I had related these stories to them before, hearing of the "Great Sir Idar"from a knight of Sir Brastius' stature brought a new shine of wonder to my sons eye. I determined that I would fight beside my fellow candle bees under Sir Brastius and that we would drive the saxons from our lands. I urged my fellow candle bees to send their families to Allington as a fortified strongpoint, to keep them safe for as long as possible.

As the year has progressed, Allington has grown as we send refugees to the manor. Though I am not able to spend the time there that I wish to, I am pleased to know that my home is thriving while I am away. The saxons have learned that it is not safe for them to travel at random across the countryside - a lesson we will continue teaching them. One day we will drive them out of Lindsey


The year 496 saw many many saxons fall to the blades of Brastias' iron men of Lindsey.
After harrying there patrols and fighting through one ambush, the men of Lindsey used there not insignificant powers of persuasion to move the heart and mind of sir Brastias and convince him that the only choice that lie before the iron men was to sack ....uhh....liberate newark and free our people during a nightime raid. As expected there were a few unforeseen complications, but after some hard fighting which left one unnamed saxon chieftain dead, the people of newark were ushered into their new and prosperous life at sir Idar's fine manor where they will no doubt be made very comfortable and be given every available luxury.
During the newark "incident" I found the loyalty of the three companions i was with very compelling. As my brother-in-law the late Sir Rhun o Fulbeck was once a stout and sure-hearted companion of theirs, I was not overly surprised when I came to realise that each would gladly die for the other. I resolved then and there that Should I continue to smite down saxon chieftains with abandon, and unman their warriors, that I, after atttaining enough respect should like to become one of these tried and true blue companions that call themselves the Candlebees. Such a modest and quaint name and yet each peasent looks to the stars in wonder even at the mere whisper of the title. I tell you, the day I am awarded my own small piece of land in this world I will immediately build myself an Apiary and the without regret or hesitation burn it to the ground , with the keeper if necessary, just so that I may be wothy of the title Candlebee. Until next time, may saxon chiefs Quake at the mention of The Lindseymen and their warriors void themselves at the utterance of my name...Sir Brandegoris


Gweiddi my fellow Marchog from a junior brother of the band. I am known as Gwalchmai son of Huon. I was but newly knighted and serving my Lord of Lindsey when he did fall at St Albans. Upon returning to our homelands I found that my father had been slain & his head spitted upon a spear in front of his castle by foul Saxons. Such was my anger so in flamed that to that end I was the first to proclaim myself eager to follow Sir Brastius into the wilds for to slay Saxons. Though I am but newly a knight, I have been, blessed by the Almighty, strengthened by the courage of my brothers in arms, & honored to hold up my end in combat. I have left many a Saxon nobles head upon a spear in return for the foul deed they did my father. The Spirit has guided my mind & gave me some little wisdom so that I have been of assistance in inspiring and offering suggestions (such as using a lost manor in the forest as our base) to my fellows whose great experience I am learning from. The Lord has preserved me from aught but minimal harm, and has strengthened my arm in combat. My His name be lauded & may he comfort my father's Soul in Heaven.


I am Holgar, a Dane traveling far afield who took service with the Duke of Lindsey. Though wrongly imprisoned for using guile through hospitality & gifts to prevent Saxon Sorestan from raiding our lands in Lindsey I remained loyal to the Duke. I and my elder brother, Kolgrim, did strongly wield blade against Saxons when called upon and were re-imprisoned after offering valiant service. Still when Lindsey fell to the Saxons who then struck off our bonds & offered us life in exchange for betraying Lindsey & swearing fealty to the Saxons we were willing to choose death before betraying our oaths. Odhinn smiled upon us & Forseti knew that we had kept true. Thus they blessed my brother and I and lent us powerful Galdr so that as I traced runes of breaking fetters & the Aegirhjalmer upon my hands we became full of Wod! Filled with such power we quickly over-powered the large number of guards around us. Taking such gear as we could make use of we did slip forth from the fallen city and have made our way south to offer our swords to Duke Ulfius.
Hail Odhinn! Hail Forseti!
Hail my brother Kolgrim!
My Bragi is that we shall by strong deed, demonstrate our honor & restore our names in the eyes of all True folk! By the Rung of Ullr, by the bed of rest, by Odhinn's high hill, this do I swear!


What Holgar said.
—Kolgrim Ingveson

Sunday, January 13, 2008

495: Refugees

—Sigh. Minus 6. If I had Chivalry I'd be minus 3 and could be brought back.
—If you had Chivalry you wouldn't be Sir Gwair.

Old Sir Padern here...

Wow, the one time i indulge, after that fierce battle outside St Albans, what happens? Christ. Maybe the priests are right, and all sins of the flesh are best avoided.

I shall put my two Glory points into Sword, as my weapon will see a lot of use in the coming months. I aim to kill me a lot of Saxons.

494: Out of the Way

—Is it a pagan ceremony?
—No. Well, no. Yes.

Old Sir Padern here...

Well, the Duke still wants us to lay low. The common folk have not forgiven us for betraying Merlin and it's causing the Duke some trouble. So off we go, again, not to harass Saxons but to—get this, look for elephants. I know! Sir Idar was the only one of us who'd even heard of elephants. But the Duke wants to send us, loathed by heathens and magicians throughout the land, to look for a denizen of the Forest Sauvage, a magical faerie beast known as an elephant. (I long ago stopped asking, "Why?").

A stupid waste of time, if you ask me, and the Duke certainly doesn't. Who cares what the common folk think? Once we were out of Lincoln I started meandering: oh, let's go visit my wife's manor. Oh, let's go see Idar's hunting lodge and have a go at some stag. Oh, let's visit Rhun's cousin's manor; didn't he serve a fine pudding? (We skipped that one; Rhun think's his cousin is an asshole.)

After about six weeks of sight-seeing we finally entered the musty old forest...and promptly got lost. Well, I suspect we were lost, though Idar kept his cool as he scanned the ground for trails and "sign." You know, the typical Candle Bees outing. I think the loss of Rhun and Graid to the witch outside Leicester threw him off. Yes, Graid and the ever-generous Rhun were killed by a hag of the woods, more spider-like than human. Too bad.

As a result of our little vacation in the woods, we were late to a muster of Lindsey troops. As we exited the woods we were greeted with fleeing knights and squires, common folk...and Saxons. Lots of Saxons. The closer to Lincoln we got the worse it got. We went no farther north than Flinton Hall, where I gathered my lady and infant daughter, a wet-nurse and one hand-maid, and rode cross-country to Idar's fortified Allington Hall. Weeks went by, and the only word we were able to get was the Duke and his family were captured or killed, Lincoln taken, and Saxons overrunning the county. Sir Gwair tried to find his children but found his hall abandoned. He couldn't reach Leicester. I found Flinton Hall burned to the ground and Aubourn Hall occupied by Saxons; I couldn't reach Lincoln. So here we sit in Allington Hall, sharpening stakes for a palisade and hoping the Saxon army doesn't find us: three knights, two squires, and several hundred common folk, cattle, and pigs hiding in one little hall.

Sir Idar again...

Sir Padern is overwhelmed with the tragedy that has stricken our lands, but I feel it is important that the passing of two candlebees be more carefully recounted.

I appreciate that I had the privelege of hosting my friends in Allington and that we were able to bring down both a stag and a bear. Rhun's gift to my household was most welcome, and will always have a place of honor.

Although we had been sent to the Forest Sauvage to find the Elephant, we leared of a witch preying on people new Leicester. Between rumors of the Elephant and sitings of the Witch, we were convinced that the witch had to be stopped or the peasants would not survive. We found our way to the site of the attacks - I have seen battlefields with less carnage strewn about. The witch suprised us with a horrid keening, which drove our peasant guide mad with fear. Sir Gweir had to follow after the poor fellow to keep him from injuring himself. Sir Graid and I charged the creature, for it was so disfigured I cannot say that it was human any longer. Graid's horse proved the swifter and the creature fell on him as he charged. Graid is a powerful warrior but this creature knocked him from his horse and spat a bile on him that disolved his armor while he wore it! I charged the beast in an attempt to knock it off of Graid, but my lance skipped across its back and the beast barely noticed my attack. Graid was pummeled into unconsciousness as I wheeled around for another charge. Sir Rhun could not sit by and let Graid fall, so he charged the beast as well. His battle cry caused the creature to let out another shriek and launch itself at him. My horse panicked at the sound and I spent precious moments having to bring it back under control. Sir Rhun and the creature battled, with it bashing him about the head and shoulders. finally heaving up and disgorging more bile, this time at brave Sir Rhun. As my horse came back under control, I could only watch in horror as Rhun fell, with the creature still upon him. With a call to my fallen candlebees, I raced directly at the creature, heedless of my own safety, and piered its back and chest with my lance. I then severed the beasts head that it might be brought back to the duke as proof of the beast. Sir Gweir and Sir Padern arrived and we sought to aid our fallen comrades, but it was too late - the had passed from this life. We brought our friends back to thier manors for burrial, and after much weeping, returned to our duty.