Sir Brandegoris here...
After staying the winter in Leicester Count Idar took counsel with Sir Padern and they decided that the next course of action was to assemble all able knights and warriors and attack Willoughby, a nearby town on the Fosse Rd to the north that was protected by a pallisade and was in Saxon hands. Soon we all agreed upon this course of action, even Sir George, the Castellan of Leicester (appointed by Earl Lambor) decided to bring his twenty men and win some glory.
When we reached Willoughby we found it unprotected by any Soldiers. The populace submitted to Count Idar, and after letting Padern, Gwair and Gwalchmai burn a few saxon sympathizers we were off to the next closest Saxon outpost along the northern road, (Castle Hill), where we expected much more resistance.
At Castle Hill there was a token force but very soon Gwailchmai had the outer defenses burned to the ground and we were sieging the keep. It did not look likeky to fall however and we had almost lost hope and decided to leave when Gwailchmai had a conversation with the Saxon garrison commander and convinced him to surrender. Suprisingly they did so and were allowed to leave in peace. Gwair and myself had went earlier to the lord of Nottingham and tried to convince him to aid our cause but he was very reluctant. Even so, at this point we razed the nearby manors and then contacted the lord of Nottingham. We knew we did not have the manpower to garrison Castle Hill, so Idar gifted it to lord Nottingham (who promptly lost it to the Saxons later the same year).
After we returned to Willoughby we discovered that Sir George had decided to take a share of 1/2 the loot of that town as his own, and though Sir Padern had stayed behind to put a stop to it, (nearly coming to blows so I heard later), that wily old George managed to strip Willoughby of most of its valuables. Typical British behavior these days it seems!
Before heading back to Leicester word reached us from our scouts and later confirmed by Gwalchmai, that a small saxon host of 3oo warriors was at that very moment marching towards Leicester with the intent of besieging it! We quickly headed back to the city to prepare.
The city was assaulted twice over the week period, but Count Idar seemed to know what he was doing (he must have taught his wife Christine who on several occasions defended his old manor of Allington, from the Saxons), and we gave the Saxons a decent thrashing even though some 500 reinforcements had come to aid their cause. After the second assault the Saxons left disheartened and Leicester was once again safe for another year. I can still hear Idar on the battlements screaming his war cry " FOR ALLINGTON" ! How it heartened us all in those battles!!
I am most fortunate in my companions for they are the finest a knight could ask for in these dark and dangerous times!
During the battle we had sent word to Earl Lambor for aid and had been puzzled that he had not come to help. It was only in early December when he invited us to his court that we discovered what had happened throughout Northern Britian.
The Saxon King of Sorestan had attacked Malahaut and Roestoc taking large tracts of land, which is why we so easily invaded his southern borders. Once he solidifies his northern lands he will no doubt turn an eye towards Leicester. Without aid I fear for our future, for this Saxon King though dog he is, is very powerful.
The good news was that Earl Lambor was very grateful to us for stopping the Saxon foe as we did. If we hadn't it could have been disastrous it seemed, because the Earl had been away fighting in Gales with King Nanteleod of Escavalon who seems very close to conquering all of Gales!! It is our hope that this King Nanteleod will be of some assistance to us against Sorestan.
Also Idar has talked of a small expedition going near Caer Coelun next year and looking for refugees and fighting men to join our cause. The news at Court was that while Leicster was being besieged a new group of Saxons Called Angles landed and Devoured Caercoulun and slew the Young Duke Julian. The land is no more and many British are dead or enslaved. Is there no end to these Saxon vermin? They must breed as rats and Hares do. I wonder if its some heathen sorcery that allows them to breed so quickly. I hate to say it, but I fear that next year may be our darkest yet. Still no news of Brastias. I begin to lose hope of ever seeing him alive again.
Brandegoris was also married to the love of his life this year. Lady Priscilla is a very young and sweet girl who warms his heart and though times are dark, she is a ray of sunlight. Countess Christine helped Sir Brandegoris with the match for which he is eternally grateful. The wedding was very small and quickly done but was still very nicely done. Thanks must go to Idar who generously gave Brandegoris and Priscilla the rights to a nice merchants cottage in the shadow of Castle Leicster. Hopefully father Merle is correct and God will bless this union and make it fruitful so Bran can have many strong British sons!