Monday, September 29, 2008

Where the HELL is Norway?

Calodius here......

My lord Sir Lucius of Caerwent has asked me to accompany him to the foreign land of Norway this year of 520AD. I of course am pleased to go! Count Edar the most widely traveled man among us believes that this Norway will be a pleasant land with mild weather and beautiful scenery, just Like Beyeaux which he once visited on the Northern coasts of France. He believes that the two places must be close to one another. The great and cunning Arch Druid , Merlin the enchanter said the journey would take a month or more! My Lord Lucius believes that he is having fun with us at our expense. He says the world is probably hardly that big. And also, it is well known that Count Edar is none to fond of the old pagan , so we have taken what Merlin said with a grain of salt. I for one cant wait to leave on the morrow. I will continue writing later when I have something Interesting to say.

Woe is me!!! God seems to have abandoned our cause and we havent even found Norway yet!

We have made what I percieve to be poor time in this endless sea, which boils like a black cauldron full of vile poisonous liquid! Truly , the sea has not stopped heaving for a full day since we departed. I have been terribly ill for all three weeks. Percy, my lord's body servant, and the lady Portia, my lords mistress have also been quite ill. I can't tell if my lord's four men at arms are ill or not because they are always indulgimg in too much drink and vomiting anyway. Filthy Brutes! I feel that I have made a mistake by coming on this voyage. I am a latin tutor of no small skill, and I could have stayed behind in Nottingham and kept a fine lifestyle, but Sir Lucius seemed so confident that no real danger would occur and I would see the world's Glories! I should never have accepted his offer to tutor him, then I would be eating roasted pheasent and drinking spiced wine in a warm comfy hall right now. Intead I am on one of the only two ships left of the ten that had made up Count Edars' entourage. The other eight were lost in the huge storm that whipped us about yesterday. The captain has been hugging the frisian coast all day and is trying to limp into a port. After some rest we understand that the Count wishes to stay along the coast and look for any signs of the other ships that may have washed up. Oh.. tragedy and misery!! We are a poor and sorry lot indeed. The only person who is still optomistic is ,strangely, my lord sir Licius, who seems unconcerned with the loss of the other ships. I think he has been drinking with his men at arms, or maybe, he is just a cold hearted bastard. I don't know. I'll write again later if I manage to stay alive. May God protect us. Amen.

God is great Indeed!!! Somehow we have managed to find four more of our ships, and we have made it to Denmark, which I understood to be the capitol city of Norway until last night when it was explained to me that sadly we had not reached Norway. Norway apparently is yet FARTHER north still! Jesus' frozen balls!!!! These lands are accursed. I hate them. Not even any wine here or anything that resembles civilized ways. After some misadventure which ended in the burning of a small coastal village, we were lucky enough to find two of those strange " longships" that the saxons use. These ships were full of men who called themselves Danes. When we asked if that was the name of their SAXON tribe they bristled and quickly explained that they are NOT saxon. They are indeed very different and Hate the saxons. I really can;t tell the difference. They are all big, unwashed, smelly blond men with poor manners and grooming standards who drink too much and talk too loudly. The only difference of note , if there really is one, is that perhapd the Danes use swords as their most common weapon instead of so many axes like the saxons. These Danes escorted us to their king Hrothgar, which was fortunate since he was the very person Merlin had said we should seek, for he is said to be a noble and strong King, and if we can win his respect he just might help us locate Quen Elaine. The King's hall Hereot, is very large and impressive, even though made of wood. Though this land is very rustic
it is a welcome rest from the sea. We were feasted and entertained for 3 days after Count Edar presented his hefty gifts to King Hrothgar(25libra worth). The only trouble that we have come accross is unfortunately Sir Lucius' fault. While trying to make small talk with some danes he mentioned that he knew some Danes back in Britian named Holgar and Colgrim ingvison. He praised these two Danes as great and honourable warriors worthy of much respect. Little did he know that these Danes had fled to Britian long ago to escape King Hrothgar's wrath!!!! Hrothgar, who was very angry at hearing of the Danish brothers exsistence, Said they slew his own father and that we must tell him where he could find the Ingvison brothers and their Son/ nephew ingvi. Long story short, the crafty old King offered to aid Count Edar by taking him to where Queen Elaine was being held in Norway, if we would later take some of Hrothgars men to Britian and show them where the Ingvisons were located. What could the count do?? He is charged with retrieving the high kings sister, his own wife. He did what he felt that he had to do, and accepted the deal. Now on the morrow all the knights that came with the count will go and try to rescue the Queen. The rest of us( the retinue's) will be left here as " Guests" of King Hrothgar. Hostages more like. Sir Lucius told me no worry, and that all would work out, but I just cant seem to shake this feeling of impending doom. Hopefully I will live to write again.

From the keen mind of Sir Bledri:

I just can't believe Norway turns out to be a real place. Stranger yet, there supposedly are no Saxons there. There are a different people, called Danes. While they look like saxons, they are violently quick to point out they are not, and that they hate the saxons. This makes me feel good. I had a horrible nightmare once that the whole continent was full of saxons, breeding and building boats to come across to Britain. These Danes seem like decent lads, if a bit rough around the edges. Their King Hrothgar seemed impressive, but lacked the aura of majesty one sees around our King Arthur.

We go now to rescue our Queen, Edar's wife, from the clutches of (no doubt) evil Norwaymen, or Norwayans, or whatever the hell we are supposed to call them. Whatever their name, they will rue the day they stole our Queen and brought down the wrath of Edar and the Leicestermen. I don't care if there are only a handful of us, I get the sneaking suspicion that this whole debacle will end with blood. Norwayite blood!

Sir Amadis here...

...and mighty glad to be on solid ground again. I would die happy were I to never again cross the seas...alas! that one more voyage faces me if I want to see the soothing green hills of Leicester again.

The further on we sailed the stranger the lands became. I commented on this to Blaen, my new squire, who until our adventures in Garloth had never been farther north than the Maris. And that only once. The lands of Frisia reminded me of Sorestan, and the people reminiscent of its inhabitants—conniving and untrustworthy, though dependable enough when fighting for their lord—but then we left that land and travelled to Dane-mark.

As my lord Count Edar negotiated with the Danish king we Leicestermen tried to keep ourselves busy: gaming (not my thing), hunting (I helped Sir Lucius trample a rabbit), lounging about in the hall with Hrothgar's men (nah)...Sirs Bledri, Lucius and I fairly shot out the door on market day, a fun-enough diversion. Several stalls had heaps of "amber" which to our eyes was pleasing but which the merchants heaped like coal. Sir Lucius took it into his head to purchase some for use in a game board for our lord, and accepted the merchant's price at face value! I could not help myself and stepped in to bargain for it properly. (Fortunately the most-Roman Sir Lucius did not seem to notice my actions.)

Then we got the bad news: the land called Norway we seek lies over another sea! As preparations dragged on I found a new distraction, one much much better than any peasant market. It appears a custom among the Danes to permit those of their women with the build and temperament to take up arms for their kings and lords. These women are accorded all the rights of any nobleman's warriors! King Hrothgar indeed had several of these women-warriors in his hall, as gap-toothed and hairy as the men. However, one of oh my. I have never seen a woman like her before. She is almost as tall as I, and just as strong, but fair of face and possessing hair the color of mead sparkling through a precious glass goblet. At first I thought of catching her eye as one might with any maid or willing lady in the hall, with fine words and courteous gestures, but Sir Gwalchmai said no. The way to woo this one is by treating her as a brother. So, then! We have arm-wrestled, boxed, and traded lance blows...she has bruised my ribs, blackened my eyes, and broken my nose.

But I have stolen a kiss and consider myself ahead of the game with her.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

519: Pict ' nicking

"Eight points?! Is that how they do it in Ganis?"

Sir Lucius here....

Well. my first bit of knightly adventure took place not in Logres, but in the wild Nothlands of Strangorre. I followed the prudent, er, I mean VALIANT, Count Idar of Leicester to his Kingdom of Garloth to rescue his Queen Elaine who is also the High King's sister. We didnt find anything until we reached the capitol of Windesan, which was inhabited by Saxons who claimed not to be saxons. My first glimpse of these giant men was an experieence. They are truly huge. I wasnt scared of them though, I was up for a brawl. Count Idar sent Bledri to insult them mildly, but ultimately ask them nicely , to vacate the land, and what do you know... they said they would not leave. So we left. We found out from them that their KING or whatever they call him, absconded with Queen Elaine, and took her to some far off place called Norway. We all assumed they were lying and made up such a silly name, but later we were to find out it was true.
We knew there was little to be done there so we joined the High King in Strangorre and helped him lift the siege of Alclud. The picts were easily the smallest people I have ever seen. There were several that did noy clear 5 feet tall. Saxons are 7 feet tall, picts 5 feet . Strange. These picts were no easy meat however. what they lack in stature is made up for in Passion! WE BESTED THEM AT lOCHLAND ! haahh!!!! I came away with only one small scratch, and it was from falling off my horse. I have never been a good rider.
Alclud Was easy as well for me. A few nicks that were treated with first aid. I dont know why these northerners whine so much about their inhospitable wild lands full of barbarians. These picts were even easier to kill then the irish. I must say that the wild welsh hillmen are the toughest barbarians that Ive encountered thus far. I have not fought saxons yet however.
After the battle King Arthur gave the picts VERY VERY liberal terms. All I can say is that he is Very progressive. He leaves a lot of enemies behind him!
I was not so fond of the picts so after we let them go from their island strongholds in the loch, I took the liberty of relieving them of their possessions. Arthur was too easy on them in my opinion. They must be taught consequence or they will do such things again. I am a little richer now. I might get rid of my hardened leather, and get some of that fancy reinforced chain. I also would like a squire now that I can afford the upkeep. There was a good boy named Marcus in Caerwent where I hail from. Maybe I will send for him. He is quite clever and resourceful.
We went back to the loch Lomond and on the 40 islands that the picts were hiding on there were thousands of eagles. Eagles of prophecy everyone was saying. The picts told all of us that if one of there wise men was rewarded he would ask the eagles a question for any knight who wanted it. The eagles are omnipotent he said and if the answer to to your query was yes then all the eagles would screech in unison. I had no profound questions so I passed.Sir Bledri is much more clever then I imagined. I thought him as dimwitted as that Brandegoris chap but he proved me wrong. He asked the wise man if Queen Elaine was truly in Norway and the eagles screeched. I dont like superstition but even I was impressed by that. Normally I waould say the eagles were all trained to do that, but either way, Arthur and Edar believe it so it seems that Norway may indeed be a real place and that we will be going there soon to save the Queen!
What an exciting time we live in. Lady Brianna doesnt seem very passionate in love with sir bledri, but they seem to have a good working relationship. If he continues to be this clever then my Lords worries ever his daughter are unfounded.
Well... I am going to go pack for my trip to Norway. It seems I may get to face these Saxons after all.

Greetings from Sir Bledri

519 finds Count Edar, 10 knights and 300 footmen traveling north. I'm glad we are on the move. After such a harrowing time at Bardon, some might be wanting a rest, but the fight for the freedom of our homeland seems to never end. The Irish and the Picts are trying to take advantage of the recent strain battle has had on our King's land. The saxons as well. But they will find out the Britons, especially Leicestermen, fight to the bitter end.

The short story is that we found out she is in Norway. I hope there are saxons there: we seem to be running out of them here! Ha! I was sad to leave living saxons behind us at Wandsand or whatever the hell it was named; I can't keep all of these northern names straight.

Besides Edar, I seem to be the Old Man now. Strange, it seems like yesterday that I was the new kid. I remember demanding that if I lived through our battle with the Black Annis that I should be made a Candlebee. It appears that I might very well be the last name carved into the Pillar of Resistance. Still, if I am the last, then that means the saxon menace will be over. I vow that while I live the name of Candlebee will continue to strike fear into the hearts of those foreign beasts.

Sir Amadis here

Spring this year was welcome for me, as I had grown tired of the inactivity forced on me by my convalescence. Mother was not happy about my participation in the town's Easter rites, but I was eager to plunge into the scrum and win one for Medbourne. (Alas! Those Hallaton bastards carried the day.) I could only stay for a drink or two before riding pell-mell for the Count's court.

Now I find myself in strange lands indeed, my lord's lands in Garloth, soon to embark for a place called Norway in search of his queen...I am hoping this Norway is a rich land, for in the battles we fought reaching this seaside castle I lost my charger and all his gear. I also lost Twdfwch, my squire, amid the blood and mud of Alclud. My lord was generous enough to rehorse me, and I have drawn another young squire from the pool, but I must resolve to do better in the future for the sake of my family. It is all well and good for me that I am well fed and housed and that my lord can afford a charger as if it cost no more than a copper penny. But I must keep my family's needs in my thoughts, and be a better knight each and every day.

Friday, September 5, 2008


We're not gaming this Saturday, but I thought you might enjoy some photos Greg took while in Leicestershire:
I imagine that's what old Sir Padern would've seen standing outside Leicester looking toward the manor of his friend and companion Sir Brandegoris. The dark line of trees in the background is on a ridge—the ridge upon which sits Tilton-on-the-hill. It's funny; when we all sat around looking at Greg's map of Count Idar's lands in Leicestershire, we thought Tilton was actually on a hill.

Every time we get a character who can read, they die. So maybe the sign or one like it is there in our campaign...I'm sure our knights would look on it as simply a hitching post.

Oh, and Skeltington? Those guys are bastards. Everybody in Tilton knows it.

Ah, the Pillar of Resistance. Almost all of the Candlebee's names are on it now, and their corpses buried around the old duchy. Out of that group of Lindsey resistance fighters, who survived St. Alban's and the Saxon onslaught, only Idar and Bledri are left, with Idar the only surviving original member. Even the duchy of Lindsey didn't survive, as Arthur partioned it into counties between Idar in Leicester and Dyrfel in Lincoln, plus a little for the lord of Lambor...and the Black Annis. That's right; we haven't forgotten her.