Sunday, March 29, 2009

532:part2; The Tower of Spite

Sir Arddur sadly reporting:
After my companions and I left Camelot and journeyed to Leicester, Prince Aedan recieved some type of message from an errant knight. He did not say what the message held, but immediately said he regretted that he would not be able to accompany me upon the quest for my son. As Aedon was leaving we noticed nearby, a knight that then eagerly came up to us and said that as a man of Leicester he would be happy to accompany us. His name, he said was Sir Quillam. Ahh I remembered the young man now. He has but lately been knighted, but if is heart was so stout then.... We welcomed his aid and we were off with our guide Sir Emelyn. He led us all the way to Carduel in Cambenet. And then to the forest of Inglewood. Cynfyn sent father Odio back to Carduel with one of his squires for company after he heard how treacherous the forest and mountains were. After a grueling time spent wandering aimlessly( Sir Emelyn left us at the forests edge!, even though Sir Bledri gave him a good tongue lashing. ) We finally came upon........ Peasants!!!!! We thought them bandits so Cynfyn immediately skewered one with his crossbow(seriously though, why were they skulking in the underbrush and hedges?). We gathered the two men up and we went to their village. We had to send a peasant search party out for Sir Gherrin, as he had lost himself in pursit of a peasant earlier.
The whole time we were at this dilapitated peasant village full of 3 walled hovels, we were miserable. These people had so little food that many of my companions felt it prudent to share some of their own rations with these dirty commoners lest they immediately faint from malnutrition. Cynfyn was especially gracious. The peasants Then said that the reason for their desolation was a beast. They could not describe it for it came in the night always, but it had eaten chickens by the score and whole oxen at a time, as well as knocked holes in buildings to get at small sheep which it devoured by the dozen!!!!!!! WOW! So now we were excited! Leicestermen HO!!!!!!!!!!!! Hazzah!
So we corraled our horses and set out the hunting dogs as bait/ a warning. Then a watch was set. Sometime after midnight I heard the dogs begin to whimper and pull away, and I knew the beast was coming. I awoke the others and then before they could even wipe the sleep from their eyes I saw it. Four hovels down and behind one. It seemed as big as a horse. So in the typical leicester way I charged. My companions bid me to wait for them but glory waits for no man!!!!!! So i set upon the beast and to my very great surprise it was quite a bit larger than a horse. I had heard Sir Priamus of Alexandria once tell the story of an Olyphant, and from the way he described it this beast was roughly the same size. It's legs were a little taller than the turf roof of the hovel! Not knowing what it was yet, and seeing only a snapping maw I struck and felt my battle axe bite deeply. It .... Yelped!..... Hmmm... But soon my companions had taken my example and thrown caution to the wind. They began hewing at the dastardly thing and soon, the beast was slain. I am not even certain weather one of us was touched by it. But we grabbed torches and we the went to see what we had slain. It was a .... HUGE FOX? So it was. An Hovel-sized fox. This forest wasnt cursed... it was tragically silly! We had a quick laugh, and Gherrin insisted on making a necklace out of one of the beasts 10-inch long canine teeth. CynFyn in his usual style declared that the tail would be fine for him as he would make it into a helmet plume. Or perhaps a Lance cozy. The tail is after all, about 10 feet long or so. But it will certainly distinguish our good friend on the field of battle. After the melee we noticed that Sir Bledri was no where to be seen and as we spoke of it, we all agreed that indeed , no one could say that he had battled the creature with us.......And then we all shook our heads ruefully and cursed our selfishness. Bledri had stayed behind with the mounts and performed the meager duties of a squire( as ours had no doubt run away at the sight of the beast) and he gad given all of us the honor and Glory to share. What a prince among men!!!!!! So we had the huntsman skin the creature and preserve the hide, then later we presented our generous companion with it in thanks for his modesty.
Next day we had some peasants lead us through the cursed mountains and there we saw the tracks of Giants! But we had no fear because we had our own Round table knight Sir Bledri among us. And we were hardy as well. We were unlucky this day however for we ran across no giant. Mores the pity.....
Finally after a grueling travel filled with quite a bit of trouble controlling our mounts, we made our way over a rise and there before us was an old and decrepit tower. Nasty place for a son of mine to be raised. I wouldn't have it. As we approached, a knight rode out of the keep and Introduced himself as the knight of Ash. Appropriate because on this desolate hilltop ash covered everything. I told him that I had brought my brothers in arms and come to this strange tower to claim my son who is being held captive here against his will. I know this because CynFyn professes a great knowledge of all things fairy, and said to me that this was an Unseelie group, which translates to Villanous. Very handy is sir CynFyn. The knight of ash politely refused me and so I politely rebuffed him and his four knights most impolitely road out as if to accost us. So we fought them. They were armed like no mortal man ever could be. Only Gofannon's smith's could have made such beautiful armour and such biting weapons. Actually beautiful even as they struck us. Their mounts were as wild beasts, huge and powerful, and evil. Our own mounts wanted very little to have ado with them but like all men of Leicester we were master horsemen, so our problems were not overmuch to deal with. We fought as demons and smote like boars such huge buffets that it was terrible to behold, and Had there been ladies present they would have wept for sheer pity to see such noble knights do so much in manly deeds at arms.
I fought the knight of ash and as i did so my blood boiled and my heart swelled and i thought of a child of mine and Fiona's locked in yon tower helpless and scared and mistreated and then I could contain my anger no longer, but as he grew faint I grew mighty And i told him that no one may mistreat a grandson of the great line of My father Brandegoris Scourge of the saxon wastes and so I slew him at the last.
As i looked up CynFyn was having ado with his in a most civil manner. Jousting! Ahh.. Dear CynFyn, what style. I then saw that Sir Gherrin was unhorsed and contending desperately with his own knight and that sir Quillam Was in the same plight. As I moved to aid them I spied sir Bledri and was reassured. He had slain his foe easily. He looked like the battle lord of old. Glorious to behold. I helped both Gherrin dispatch his foe and then saw that Bledri was coming to my other companion's aid. So I went to watch Sir CynFyn gain honor by destroying his knight foe. As i watched Cynfyn took a bad fall unfortunately, and so I came to his aid and dispatched the fool. KEEP MY SON FROM ME!!!!!!!!????? I yelled at the corpse as I turned to watch My other companions deal with the last fiend. I swear that I have never seen a more villanous sight then what I am about to tell you. Sir Bledri had clearly vanquished his foe and so asked him to surrender. The man said That he would not and so Bledri did as was his knightly duty and right and made to strike. Then Bledri in a moment of tender mercy hesitated, and it was that benevolent mercy that betrayed him, for in that moment of hesitation the villain struck my good Lord down..... We all pounced on the man and we were arguing over his fate. We wanted to hang him as a common thief, but in the end we had mercy and as Bledri showed us through his own mercy, and we forgave the foe, on the condition that he disarm and lead us to his master. The captive introduced himself as the knight of the raven and said he would take us to his lord master. He did so and we met the old master knight with the long gray hair and beard.
While speaking to the Lord of the spiteful Tower, we saw ushered before us tree children and two large green furred dogs.As I told him that I came for my son he said that one of the three children before me was my son, and that I would have to choose one child, then the other two would be devoured by his canines!!!! What a monsterous proposal. I nearly attacked the old Lord there, but refrained. Taking the advice of the pious sir Quillam, a most useful and knowledgeable lad, I allowed him to use his Cross and to examine the children. When the first two recoiled and the last was only mildly uncomfortable, I knew it was my child. Plus he was well made. I was confused though because instead of being 7 years old as he should have been , he was nearer 14 years old. I chalk it up to fey magic. True to his evil word the Lord let his dogs devour the other boys.
At the end I took my son, Gandid ,by name and vowed to never return to this place if he would allow us safe passage out of this realm. It was agreed and his huntsman led us by a different route to the castle of Penrith.There we sent for father Odio and had Sir Bledri's body blessed and packed in salt, then wrapped the coffin in the fox fur. It was a magnificent site. We then sent word all along the King's road and to all neighboring counties,of Our champion's death, and made a slow and glorious procession to Leicester to bury Sir Bledri and inscribe his name on the Pillar of resistance. The weeping of all the common folk and Lord's and Ladies alike was almost too much to behold. So sir Bledri gave his life ,that I may find my illigitemate child. What a faithful friend. My father no doubt greets him in heaven even now. I must go and concsole my 1/2 brother Extavias. Though he was not Bledri's true son he was raised at Tilton with His mother and Bledri since infancy. He is distraught. I will tell Gandid, my son, of this year whenever we celebrate a feastday so that he always remembers the lesson of faithfulness and friendship. Goodbye old friend and may God take you to paradise. When I return I will beg Lord Edar to make me a Candlebee So that I night Honor Bledri , my father and all the others who came before!

Perseus, Son Of Sir Bledri speaks: My father was a great man. Difficult times forged the steel of his blood thusly. Bardon, Bedigraine, Carrowhaise, so many great battles... Pain and loss and betrayals and triumphs. This is the man who brout back the Obelisk of Minerva and the statue of David back from Rome! Yes, that statue of David! This is the man who fought five elite banner guardsman and a battalion commander and slew them all...While majorly wounded! There are too many stories to recount. My father had his flaws, but he was always true to his lord and land. Even when Medbourne burned to the ground, and the peasants were on the brink of banditry, Bledri spent ten Librum to keep them fed! Perhaps King Edar had some influence there. I know he was sorely struck by the loss of Sir Amadis, as they were friends. The Candlebees meant a great deal to my father. I should like to be a Candlebee. Perhaps even more than a Round Table Knight. Well maybe. I think my father would be disapointed if I didn't become a Candlebee.Now, as they bring my fathers body to be buried and his name inscribed on the Pillar of Resistance, I see the evil his swordarm attacked and his shield guarded and the responsibility his tireless shoulders bore, and I wonder if I will not buckle under the pressure. Will I ever be equal to this great man? No. I must be better? He would expect it of me.
March 29, 2009 12:25 PM

Sir Cynfyn speaks...

Write that thing, about fightin’ Jesus and who I am and all.

Truthfully recorded by Brother Odio, servant.

Sir Bledri is dead. I can speak at all only because someone needs to faithfully record his last adventure.

Since he waits this long I will write. My lord sighs and stares at his fireplace. Not Lady Lizabet, young Cyngarn nor the newborn stir his melancholy. Christmas was miserab…

We are knights of Leicester first, bound together by duty. We are candlebees, together by virtue. We are friends, together by choice. When one of us is in need, we are all in need. And it was Sir Ardur who needed us, son of the great knight, Sir Brandegoris Hambone.

King Today’s court was here—pah. Weird looking foreigners, funny accents. Every meal was just decadence and gluttony. We were told to stay sober and not mingle with the foreigners. Most of us did just that. But the young are susceptible to the exotic, I hear, and the wine they say was exquisite, that piping music was a distraction. Many among us seemed agitated by them, others almost somnambulant. So it was the magic that made young Sir Ardur lead us, stumbling, among the foreigner’s side of the hall to where an old man sat with his daughters.

“You’re a wonderful old man,” said Ardur, and began addressing a girl who quickly flew into a rage and began striking him with the magical bag she was carrying, and all the other women at the table threw pieces of apple at him and young Sir Ardur flinching and enduring it as she screamed and the old man droned on but who could hear him anyway and finally we just grabbed Sir Ardur and dragged him away before the High King should see this disturbance.

“My son is a prisoner,” he said, “I am going to go get him.”

Beware of Listeneisse! Avoid that wasted land that took a man as great a Sir Bledri! Goblin knights, they were, monsters in human form scoffing at our sacred order with their perverse mockery of our ways. I killed them. They killed Bledri, my friend.

He weeps into his hands. L Lizabet touches him. He is like the stone effigy ordered for Sir Bledri’s grave. He rode like that the whole way back. It was at the Tower of Spite. He shakes off his wife.

We brought him back in a great procession, covered with the fur of the giant fox we slew, and whose tail will grace my helm ever after, in Sir Bledri’s memory. Crowds lined the streets and wept as we passed. He is to be buried in Leicester, but the priests are arguing about which cemetery he goes to. I told Odio to put him in Fighting Jesus’ cemetery, but he told me not to talk about that in the city, and that Count Edar would settle this, as Sir Bledri wanted.

Well, look, here is Lizabet weeping too. Why you hardly knew the man, wife! Come, up now and tell the girls to get supper on the table. Out of the way, Odio.

Later, by Odio. My lord is so struck with grief he does not even report that he has been granted three new manors and their knights as his gift for life, and also the title of Banneret. Despite the loss, Sir Ardur did collect his boy now. No wife, except that crazy apple woman if she comes back, FX say no. And apparently he’s still got plenty to learn that they didn’t teach him in the courts of Camelot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

532:PART1: A year of Wonder

Sir Arrdur here...

What a sttrange year. We were called to Camelot with nearly every other knight of Logres to welcome a foreign King of such splendor that we would never behold his like again( so we were told). We went to Camelot which was dreadfully crowded. King Edar had to set up camp out side on the grass near the northern gates. We had to run of a minor lord of Kent to make room for my Lords retinue. Shortly afterword The Count of Lindsey sent knights to demand that we move and Sir Bledri had to joust down his man so that we could keep our spot. The man fell nearly dead at the first pass. Lindsey left without one word.
As I was raised from pagehood in Camelot I took Prince Aedon, and Sir Gherrin around and introduced them to some of the nobility. Prince Aedon is most interested in an Marrying a fine upstanding rich British wife with blue blood! "I know just what you mean, " I said, and we were off. We ended up leaving Gherrin very soon. He had no patience for it all. He is but 22 years old and Is not interested in marrying. i told him not to wait. Get the dowry now! But he wont listen.
So we dropped him off at the posh and upscale temple of Venus, wheSir Bledri confides:I still do not know the whole story of the disappearance of Sir Amadis. I have not said much, but it has troubled me greatly. Amadis was always a straight arrow, but it must have been an evil event that forced him from beloved King Edar's lands and the commraderie of his fellow Candlebeess. I feel his loss every day and wonder if I will ever be up to my elbows in blood, with him at my side, shield to shield. All of this courtly, intigue stuff gives me a headache. What is wrong with me that I long for clear enemies and battle? I recall being scared out of my wits at Bardon, and numerous other battles. Perhaps in my old age, i no longer fear death. I will die with the hot blood of war pouring out of me, of this I am certain.
March 27, 2009 3:02 PMre he must have had fun, for he did not reach camp again for some 7 hours! What a Tomcat he is.
Aedon did meet some nice prospects and waited until the feast to speak with them. He did not hit the mark exactly, but by night's end he did hit A mark! She wasn't rich, but then again ... Maybe she was! anyway, he lost her before morning.
The king was referred to as King Today of Overthere. In retrospect it sounds strange, but at the time perfectly reasonable. Most guests acted as if everything was normal, except VERY VERY elegant and posh to the extreme. All admitted that King Today's court was the finest in exsistence. I know it was ... it was Fey!!! I had experience with it. I once went OVERTHERE! And helped the fey King Tessia on a quest. And I met his lovely daughter. We had relations, because of her enchantements im sure. Bledri says she slept with us all, but I dont recall that and I know my Fiona. She wouldnt have done that. I couldnt take my eyes off of her unless it was to look at guenivere. I tried several times to approach Fiona the Fey, but her brothers would not let me. In a drunken moment I approached her and was escorted away by one of Arthur's pages. I gave up all hope and Got stinking filthy drunk that night.... which was unfortunate since the next day I had to joust against King Today's knights. I went down in my first pass and spent an hour getting out of the armour that i had just gotten into. Poor Extavias and Cadamar. They had to do all the work.
The last feast saw king Today give a speech about how Arthur was a great King but his knights were trespassing on Overthere too much. I was named personally as a trespasser because of King Tessia's quest. King Today went on to berate me becuse I apparently got My lady Fiona pregnant! Then last year when we were captive in the sorceress Cammiles dungeons my lady Fiona contacted me there and was trying to tell me of my son and help me escape but she says that I did not recognize her! I dont know what she is playing at , but it is not humorous. Anyway... Her father King Tessia complained and now King Today is punishing me for the slight. He says that I can not see my son ( who is now 5). He says that he is being raised by someone appropriate from the Overthere kingdom.. He said that to start the relationship of adventure between Arthurs Kingdom and his own off right, he would issue this first quest... I was told that I could have my son if I could take him from a tower in Listenesse where he is being held as ward. I went to pack right away, and my good companions Sir CynFyn, Sir Gherrin, And Prince Aedon all wished to aid me. Even sir Bledri said that for the friendship he bore my father he would aid me. So we are all prepared to go. I hope when all is said and done we will prosper for this...... My Lord Edar said to us at the last " Do not forget gentlemen, that King Todays realm has been freed from the old truce and just as we can now freely come to his lands so can he and his come to ours. Be ever watchful."

Sir Lucius speaking.....
What a strange year. Camelot was magnificent. Me and My wife completely fell in love with the King of Overthere and his retinue. They more than brought back the elegance that Britian once shared when under good Roman rule. It was fabulous, and At the end of it all I was happy to talk to many of King Today's retinue. They are the most sophisticated men in any realm, i'll wager!!
Everything was nearly perfect, except when that spoiled little ninny Arddur displeased King Today. Imagine acting like such a fool. And begetting a bastard child on His daughter!!!!! He is lucky the King found it in his heart to impose a simple quest and not demand Arddurs head from our High King on the spot! That is what I would have done. It would serve the brat right. Arddur is no Brandegoris( his father would be very dissapointed in his pampered son), that is for sure. Sir Bledri asked me if I would help Sir Arddur in his quest and I flatly refused. The man is an imbicile I told him. I will not aid him. If he was a roman christian this illigitamate child thing would not have happned. British Christians are getting to be as bad as pagans!
As I told Sir Bledri, If Sir Amadis had not quit the court of Sir Edar he would probably have helped. He loved to go on fool quests. I can not believe he left Edar's court. Especially at it's height. Edar is a King in his own right and I am sure his generosity and Largesse will soon show itself with appointments and gifts. And Amadis was supposed to be a Candlebee. But he left his brothers. A pity. He was brave beyond belief. A little queer at times. He was a good man though and i liked him. he will be missed sorely. I hope to run across him again and I will tell him this... I do not like or trust this Sir CynFyn. He is new blood in my eyes and he is ever trying to weasel his way up the ladder of success. he is oily as a snake and I am proud enough to say that it was not I that helped pull Sir Amadis away from CynFyn. And now that Amadis the Annis slayer is gone and CynFyn the too good is in, I am glad I never counted myself a Candlebee. he seems to be exerting too much influence over my young friend Sir Ellidyr as well. Ellidyr will not see anyone nor talk. He has said but 2 words to me since his return and they had to do with guard duty. When I try o find him to continue his fencing lessons he is always gone, Out riding or sulking in his room. He rides a lot these days. I went out to find him after he had been gone for 4 days in the rain. I found him Stinking drunk attempting to drown himself in a small spring. He was a mess and could not talk. I took him to my manor, and made him comfortable, but when I woke early he had already gone some time in the night. I finally cornered him one day just outside of Bunny on his way back from CynFyn's manor. the only reason he said that he was unhappy was because he had a secret Irish love that would not return the favor. I should have known. But that was hardly an excuse for Drunken depression for monthes on end not able to perform your knightly duties. He then said that he felt guilty about the raiding in Ireland and about some of the things he had had to do there. Now that made a little more sense. I assured him that he would get over that and that he had followed orders and been a good kinight. CynFyn was correct in one thing. The irish are damned wicked bastards. They were resisting and bringing it on themselves. Maybe it wasnt entirely true, but whatever needs be said to get the man to snap out of it was true enough . I asked if he had at last known a woman while abroad and he said no, He was saving himself for his love, the one he would marry. Gods Blood! What a dandy. If he just bedded a few fine women he would be good i think. Put his head back on straight ya know? I let the matter drop... until now. I was one of the first back to Leicester after the Camelot feast, except of course for Arduur and his Quest companions. To my surprise I spied Ellidyr coming out of the castle chapel with blind old father Merle ( now 89 years old). Merle i thought was senile but it appears not, for when I later cornered the cheeky old bastard I forced him to tell me the truth. He at first said it was the Irish lass that stayed on at CynFyn' manor of bunny as a slave, then it was because of wartime tragedies, but I could read the blind bastard like a book( I even know that he can see a little out of his left eye). he finally said it was because he betrayed his lord Edar when in Ireland. Together with Sir CynFyn they Took money off the top of Edar's cut to enrich themselves, and he felt guilty. I guess he would, the nieve little pup. he is so good-hearted that he doesnt know that that is expected in this day and age. Edar knew when CynFyn wanted the post that he wanted to enrich himself. Its accepted. Accepted as a reward for your good service. That is why I am trying to get Edar to appoint me as his lawyer and to make me a baron. I am useful at court and can help Edar on legal matters such as the De Ganis Clan stealing his rights to Lambor when old Lambor was evicted. Instead Roman law was flung around like shit by the DeGanis clan and made Sir Blamore the new Baron of Lambor. i hope to find through law, a way to get those lands back to my Count. then maybe he could name me as Baron owing fealty to him. If he did you can bet i would pocket a little more than MY share, and Edar would look away while I did so! It is the way of the world. I wish I could talk to Ellidyr about it but for now it is just safer to sit on the situation. Ahhh how difficult life can be sometimes... I hope he will soon snap out of it before something dreadful happens.

Sir Bledri, Candlebee and Knight of the Round Table speaks:Oh, what strange visitors we have in our lands these days! King Today of Overthere, and his otherwordly retinue arrived, seemingly only to tell King Arthur that he has loosed his fey knights on Britain. They are strange folk. I almost wish for the days when it was saxons who ran amok in our lands. At least you knew where you stood with them. We kill them, or they kill us, rape our women, and take our land. very simple. This whole idea of 'adventuring' knights seems silly. What is the point? Perhaps King Edar will send me to Ireland to be Marshall of his kingdom there. I think I could do the most good there. I think Medbourne would do better in Edar's hands.On a lighter note, Lindsay's Champion tried to move in on our pavillion territory at the big hubbub at Camelot. Foolish. One pass. Thats it. I may be old, but I am still dangerous. Also Arrdur knocked up King Tessia's daughter. We are going up north to claim the bastard. Sounds like a lot of fun. These Fey knights will find that the men of Leicester are frightening foes.
March 27, 2009 10:09 AM

Sir Bledri confides:I still do not know the whole story of the disappearance of Sir Amadis. I have not said much, but it has troubled me greatly. Amadis was always a straight arrow, but it must have been an evil event that forced him from beloved King Edar's lands and the commraderie of his fellow Candlebeess. I feel his loss every day and wonder if I will ever be up to my elbows in blood, with him at my side, shield to shield. All of this courtly, intigue stuff gives me a headache. What is wrong with me that I long for clear enemies and battle? I recall being scared out of my wits at Bardon, and numerous other battles. Perhaps in my old age, i no longer fear death. I will die with the hot blood of war pouring out of me, of this I am certain.
March 27, 2009 3:02 PM

Sir Amadis here...

Another miserable voyage across the Channel, but I don’t remember much. I was in such internal agony over leaving my lord, my companions…but so it goes. I made my choice, and so did they.

As we made our way south I directed my energies to accepting jousts from the swarms of knights on the roads, many of whom stationed themselves at a notable landmark—a bridge, a ford, a crossroads—and offering to fight all comers. Very well then! I let myself loose upon the French. I left Sir Sigibert unconscious on the road next to his mount…Sir Ingomer kept his saddle, but was sore wounded by my trusty Leicester spear, ceded the contest to me. So, too, did a knight of great repute among the Franks, Sir Rigunth, whom I left bleeding and reeling from my buffets. Sirs Clovis, Childeric, and Charibert were good enough men, but I them I killed, which in the case of the distinguished Sir Childeric, I regret. Their horses and arms I took, as is the custom in this land, but I let the wounded men keep their arms and mounts since they had such a visceral souvenir of our encounter.

The old kingdom of Ganis we found swarming with Franks, conquering the lands from the de Ganis clan, who all seem to have fled to Arthur’s court. We had some troubles on the road, but by then the Franks recognized my coat of arms and were on better behavior.

After many months of travel through warn-torn regions, we finally came to Gilet, a village up the river from Sagunto, the old Roman town. The new king, Theudis of the Visigoths, has a summer palace near here, in a place called Valencia. The heat is very staggering on the plains and in the mountains; it is only on the coast, with its cooling breezes, that our little party got any relief.

In Gilet we finally met my lady’s people, a large if not particularly wealthy family of cavalrymen. Their hospitality was as good as we would have received in Logres, and they made much fuss over my lady, the women of the household gathering in “their little lost child.” After the hardships of France and Ganis, Desdemona was comforted to be accepted so readily by a family she had never met.

The menfolk are not yet sure what to make of me, a knight of Logres newly arrived from the fabled land of King Arthur, and a knight of the legendary Idar of Allington. As I told them of our travels through France I could see them warming up to me as I recounted the good French knights I left injured by the side of the road, or lying dead on the ground. They bitterly hate the French, especially their former Queen, Chrotilda, for that people’s role in the death of their previous king, just this last year.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

531 part two: Battle of the sun

Sir Arddur here...

After a month of hopelessly languishing in the Lady Camille's dungeon, I was permitted to speak with her. She seemed most agitated, and not at all as composed as she had at first seemed. I soon discovered why. She was soon to be under attack and was most distressed. She would not tell whom was the attacker, but asked if I would , by my honor, fight for her on the condition that I would be released after the battle. Having no choice I consented.
I soon found that most of my fellow knights had faced the same bargain and had likewise consented. All but our friend Gherin. He had refused her. Most noble of him. I'm sure that all of the rest of us, Myself, Sir Amadis, Sir Aedon, and the saracen S'aid, all felt a bit of shame. But for now we were free. We soon noticed other knights that had been freed. A great many of them, and as I talked to a few of them and they said thay had been imprisioned there for years. They all took their oath to do battle for their freedom. As we were preparing our unit for battle and just seconds away from our first charge against our unusual opponent, We had a huge surprise! Joining our ranks for the charge was good old Sir Bledri! He had also been imrisioned Since Amadis had already begun the battle as our commander, Bledri let him retain that honour.
As we charged we noticed that besides the knights we had on our side there were other warriors. To our shock and horror we began to see clearly that our comrades-in -arms were Goblins from darkest dreams, and twisted monsters from folklore. Myself , I had been to the otherworld of the fey and so was perhaps a little less surprised, but still i was uneasy. Who's side am I on? I became convinced that I was now on the wrong side.
Soon I was proven right. The other side came as the sun reached it Zenith and blinded us. I saw knights in armor of Gold and silver, with designs never even before imagined. There were dwarves, and animals, and all manner of creatures I can not name, but all seemed to glow brightly with righteous fury. I knew from the beginning that we were doomed. But an oath is an oath sio we all fought hard for the vile traitorous. We started out well enough but after fighting the strange dwarves, we then fought knights of silver and gold and fared horribly, and then fell prey to a hoarde of pictish knifemen. Our companion S'aid went down in the fray, never to be seen again. I will remember him fondly, evn though I only knew him for a short time. I enjoyed his tall-tales enormously. We then fell in with a foreigner call Wexford or Wexond I think. He was a Jute or Dane or something, and we all know king Edar's fondness for northerners, so we immediately befriended him.
In short we were routed and had to retreat back to the castle. When we got there we found it in total dissaray already. It seemed the castle was under attack from the REAL world as well as the fey one. We took the confusion as an opportunuty to liberate our friend Gherin who was still in the dungeon. We met some resistance and there a few knights were slain and one wounded, before realizing they were friendly. They were knights of Camelot and soon we met good sir GRIFLET the Marshal! It sems that King Arthur and several other Round Table knights were imprisioned just as us knights had been and Sir Lancelot had escaped with the help of a friendly maiden. He had just returned with the army to liberate the others including the King. Now shame was upon me. It seems no other of our knights had agreed to fight for this evil Lady Camille. They rather stayed in prision. Even our Good High King. Never shall I be in the wrong again.
We all got out of the castle and it soon crumbled away into the marsh. Soon it was over and Camille disappeared. The rebellion seems subdued a little for now. As my Count's Stewards are loking After Tilton and I am free to travel, I brought Meg and my son Osric with me to winter in Camelot. I also stopped into Surrey to see my sister Matilda. She had been married to a wonderful Saxon knight of Surrey named Edmond. She now has eight children and several fine manors. Good for her. As she was raised in Camelot with me she says she has really missed the life there. The excitement. She says edmond isnt one to tarry at court unless necessary. Poor girl. I am lucky. My family and I stayed with my Lord Sir Colgrevance of the round table at his residence in Camelot over the winter. He has always been a gracious Lord ever since knighting me.
As I sat talking with my lord Colgrevance I was priveledged to also speak to my Lords Sir Bors, Sir Lionel, and Sir Ector De Maris. They were visiting My Lord's manor as was I and the conversation was quite stimulating. Benoit and Ganis must be wonderful Lands indeed to have produced such a noble strain of knights. The conversation turned to my beautiful, but base-born, saxon lover Meg. The mother of my only child Osric. They all admire her great beauty and demure bearing. But all agreed after some discussion that I need to think of putting her aside and marrying to procure a legitimate heir. I am 28 , and not getting any younger. I suppose that next year I will do so. But I will NOT put Meg in a nunnery. It would slowly kill her. I will find some Lord at another court to allow her to stay there with my son and grow old. I will pay her upkep and my son's. Perhaps Lambor now that the old Lord is dead and Sir Blamore de GAnis is the new Lord. he is Kin to these good ganis knights and as they suggested it, I will most certainly agree. But where to find a suitable wife? They said they would keep an eye out.
I have been keeping an eye on my 1/2 brother Extavias over the years and visiting him regularly. Though we have different mothers, we are as close as natural brothers. I am going to equip him and make him my squire next year as he will finally be old enough. Cadamar , my current squire, will teach him all he knows, and Cadamar is an excellent squire. When Extavias is knighted may allow him To have Tilton-on-the-hill, or else have Cadamar steward it for him or myself. I will see. After this year I am hoping next year is calm.

Sir Ellidyr here......
I am headed home from Oriel, King Edar's new Irish land. I went there with CynFyn, Edar's Luitenent,and he was to administrate the Land while I was to help clean out rebels.I had never performed such a task and I must admit... I was ill suited to it. Years ago When I was first a knight , i came to ireland and King Edar's own men worked with others who took slaves. I freed those slaves woyh my own librum. Now... I am the one enslaving people and burning their houses and stealing their valuables. I know this is the way of war, but it feels so wrong. These People are fighting for their land and I must break their spirit. But... As CynFyn Points out regularly... they are a wicked people with wicked ways and magics. They profess Catholic Christianity but Pagans abound in the hills and countryside practicing their foul arts. CynFyn says so, and I believe him. After all, look at how they gave Count Edar hospitality then murdered his retinue while they slept. They killed them with foul magic. And in their Beds. Shameful. So... I will do my job. I find that I feel better about it after some strong drink. Then I am able to block out all the screaming and cries.
There is a girl too who I think I love. She is Irish, and as beautiful as the dawn. But She see's me as her master and we hardly speak. She is young but not too young. 22-23 perhaps. When I asked she said that my men amd myself had been responsible for making her a widow. She speaks to me and I can see her anger deep deep inside, but on the surface is simply fear, and complacency. Almost no emotion. This is worse then her anger, for how will I ever tell her how I feel? She hates me as I hate myself. And i drink some more. And I raid some more. I can't wait to leave this cursed Isle.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

531 Part One: Saxon Rebellion!

Sir Arddur ap Brandegoris reporting ;

Last year I was charged with helping Sir Lucius and a few other knights guard Edar's realm. Sorry... KING Edar's realm. It was fairly peaceful, but after Sir Amadis recovered from his broken leg, he led us out to beat up some cheap Lambor raiders.It was fun.

What was not fun was me taking care of my manor, Tilton-on-the Hill. Ever since I got it back from Sir Bledri who was keeping it safe for me until I came of age, I have had ill luck. The manor saps far more income than It can generate. I find that I really do not wish to deal with this problem now. I am twenty-seven, and have no wife, only my saxon lover Meg.She is obviously more of my slave , as Saxons can't just run free, but I do treat her as kindly as possible. I wish to go erranting for a year or two and find adventure and hopefully a wife. I have no son of my own, although i have a suspicion that Meg may be with child. there is a difference in her lately that I can not account for. I believe that I will ask my Lord Edar to release me from my holding for a few years and see if he could take over the manor for me. Perhaps he will know how to straighten it out. everyone see's how all of my king's lands prosper, especially Allington. I will have no income these years, but then again I dont have any now either.

This year A new warrior came to court. A stranger from the north African land of Zazamanc. His name was said. He apparently had heard of the fame of my High King Arthur and King Edar. He had come to see the fabled lands of Britian. He seemed unimpressed for the most part. So we took him to Allington to impress him. While there a knight named SIR Henri , who serves Duke Hervis de Revel of Anglia found us on his travels. He was on a mission to recruit willing knights to aid his Lord Hervis in Anglia. It seems that the saxons were once again in rebellion! There was one immediate problem however. The knight Sir Henri had recognized my coat of arms. He the proceeded to make a very rude statement about my father, the great Sir Brandegoris bringing his bravery into question. Proposterous! My father still has songs sung of his greatness. How he killed a Saxon with naught but a hambone. That is one of the greatest, but most importantly he with the son of Count Edar, Sir Seriol, were the heroes of the battle of Bardon, breaking the power of the witches at the cost of their own lives! Coward indeed! So you can see why I was upset. I did know that Duke Hervis and my father had some type of conflict early in their lives, but I couldnt tolerate such insults in my presence. Henri assured me that that was his Lord's point of view and not his own. I decided to go and sign up to kill saxons,. After all, they killed my father and a lot of other good britons. They were spared and so should have learned their lesson.
We traveled to Anglia and on the way near the huge city of Norwich we found a couple of horse traders from a place called Alexandria. They looked quite a bit like our new friend S'aid. He assured me that though they did bear a resemblance they were very far away from his own homeland. They were tough traders but very hospitable. They gave us a drink unlike any other. It was rich and black, and a bit bitter. An aquired taste to be sure, but the effects on the mind and body couldnt be denied. It was called Coffee, and when we were done trading they even let us take a little as a gift. It's most peculiar quality was to give a man much more energy and too focus ones thoughts. A great marvel indeed. During the trade negotiations good Amadis was minded to turn loose of his magnificent Fey charger Lew! I was stunned. But ever since Amadis had seen S'aid's horse, A magnificent arabian courser, he had to have one. They were not as strong in a fight but were beautiful and sleek and by far the fastest horses any of us had ever seen. These traders likewise loved the fey charger. They wished to gift their King with it so they gave up much to Amadis. Two Arabian courser stallions, and 5 breeding mares, as wel as 2 smaller horses. Amadis will soon be able to start breeding stallions.
After the trading we met with Duke Hervis who was mildly Rude. He simply sidestepped his comments about my father when confronted with them. He did say that we could prove him wrong by serving the him and doing well, then it might just change Hervis' feelings about my family line. We were not afraid to fight and so we accepted whatever charge was given to us. We wound up patroling a ten mile area and guarding it from saxons. We patroled for 2 weeks making easy coin, but we kept glimpsing strange things.We kept seeing a huge column of men ( over 100) and they looked like saxons. They were all afoot though they dad have wagons full of loot and many groups of cattle ,sheep, and boar with them. We tried several times tro track them but an unnatural fog and some evil magic was certainly at work. We might never had found it if it were not for the Irish Prince Aedon. King Anguishes of Ireland's son. He pulled off all armor and tracked the column and found that they WERE using magical fog to conceal their castle. He told us of this and we all decided to make ready to follow them when the time was right. In two days time the columns came again and retreated to their castle through this living fog. We dashed in after them on horseback. ( actually, i did first. I just couldnt take another week of boring patrol). Once through we realized that these saxons were mostly ill equipped commoners, and second rate warriors. We scatttered them but could not make the gate at the causeway before it closed. Sir Gherrin captured a peasant and being a peasant himself until recently was able to really communicate with him well. The peasant said that the castle was the castle of a saxon Witch named Cammille. Damn. We all hated sorcery. We decided to stay in place until the gates were opened. If the gates were not opened so much the better. That would mean this small handful of us were sieging the castle well. We slaughtered some livestock to eat, set watches, and waited. We slept on the perfectly manacured launds, and there was a huge topiary flower garden all over the grounds. At first the Garden was comforting but soon made us uneasy. amadis. aedon, and myself talked about it and we all thought in one way or another thge garden must be the key to the witches power. so we attempted to destroy the whole thing. After that was accomplished we felt safer. Unfortunately that very night the living essence of that garden turned very evil and attacked us attempting to smother us and at last we all fell, and now we sit in a small and dank dungeon of this witch. The bright side? As i see it the bright side is ... at least we are somwhere in the castle now......