My first task as a knight! We knights of King Edar are to escort a maiden of Queen Guenevere's court. At the feast where we received this order, I was in rare form. Many people I have seen, thanks in great part to my father's glory. I was able to attend many functions with him when I was a child. Remembering all of my courtesy, I greeted and recognized EVERYONE at court! Briton seems very much smaller than I recall. Even the pages and handmaidens I recognized. I'm sure father would have been proud. We spoke with High King Arthur about Edar's claim to lands north and south of Leicester, namely Lincoln and Lambor. The King was reminded of his oath to Edar on several occasions to confirm Edar's rightful claim. But, it seems the King's broken word to the Aquitainians is more important. It seems the King will try to mend one broken oath by breaking another. Not a very noble thing to do, if you ask me. Still, being King must be difficult. No matter what he decides, someone will be pissed off. Derfyl, or this new Count Bedigraine, or Edar. Edar made a wise suggestion that he be made Duke of these disputed lands, and that way everyone keeps what they have, and the strongest and most glorious among them, (Edar), takes the rightful position of rule. We will see.
As we rode south through Lambor on our way out of that land, we were confronted by several knights entering. Round Table Knights! There was Sir Lionel, and Sir Bors, and another knight whom I fought but just fumbled my awareness of his name. Anyway, to my shame, I was defeated on each pass. At least I lost to a Round Table Knight. This Sir Lionel made rude noises about my Lord King Edar, then knocked Sir Lucius off his horse when confronted. Sir Cynfyn and all us Leicestermen took immediate offense and a melee ensued. Cynfyn got the better of everyone, wounding terribly Sir Lionel. The fight was broken up when Sir Bedigraine road through. I think many grudges were made that day. These de Ganis knights are going to be trouble, I think.
I am Sir Cynfyn, Lord Bannerret of Medlarwod and Bunny, Knight of the Candlebees, and Odio here will record this. I swear it.--O
Our old friend Sir Gwalchmi came in late winter, bearing word from King Arthur for King Edar. Our lord was summoned to come early to the High King’s Whitsun court. We set off at the end of April, in a cold rain and raging rivers. We traveled by the King’s Road and got late to Lambor in two days. The steward, a new fellow there, seemed nervous. The next several days were clear and brisk, and the roads were crowded as always. No events delayed us—it is the King’s Road after all—until south of Kinetown.
A procession of knights approached from the south. As we were travelling south the commoners were already clearing the road. They all bore the arms of Aquitaine, notably many of the de Ganis clan. King Edar hailed them as fellow Round Table knights—three of them, Sirs Lionel, Blioberis and Bors. I heard, indeed, we all heard, Sir Lionel slander our own good king and of course I will never allow the honor of my King Edar to be shamed so I rode up and challenged the dog, “to joust” I said and rode off to gain distance. He took his spear and we each broke lances. When rearming Jerry found a lance head in my shield, where I had used a harmless jousting lance! I saw that others of us were also fighting, so took my best spear and charged against his attack. Round Table he might be, but this knight dashed him down, and then his brother Blioberis too, dogs both of them. I was prepared to knock them all down, but the fighting was over. Gwalchmi had broken one of them in two—I doubt nothing now of that dragon story! Another even greater procession came about the bend flying the banners of Marshall Sir Griflet and High Butler Sir Bedivere among dozens of knights. Fighting stopped.
Sir Bors apologized for the high spirits of his men, and while the many dead and wounded were borne off, slipped away. Sir Bedivere explained that they were going to Lambor to invest Sir Blioberis with the title and rights of earl to Lambor. King Edar showed nothing when this as said.
King Edar wasn’t silent on the ride though. We discussed the insult that King Arthur had given to him by bestowing promised lands onto a court favorite. Countess Valery said she wanted to return home immediately. King Edar has patience as great as his sword skill, though, and great faith in the sovereign. We reached Camelot in mid March, and after a few days of welcome and feasting our lord was taken, with a few key advisors, to the king, in his bedroom. I do not know how it is done, but the room was actually warm, though there was ice outside.
King Arthur told us he needed an escort for his niece to Paris, who was to marry into the family of King Claudas. He wanted King Edar to go, who balked, and finally King Arthur asked what was troubling our lord and so he brought up the matter that the High King had violated his oath by giving away the lands he had promised to Count Edar at his coronation, and swore again at his wedding. Our good king explained that he owed many favors to the de Ganis, and tried using argument, flattery, appeals to past friendship and every other diplomatic art short of threat and coercion. King Edar, ever in the right, parried each argument and came back to Justice each time. At last the king, admitting nothing, said he would make a final judgment on this next autumn. As an act of generosity the high king gave King Edar a great treasure to repair his castles. Our lord assured him that this would be done.All of us of Leicester are shocked at King Arthur’s arrogance, and many bold and foolish words were said at first, until King Edar silenced them. He bestowed upon me leadership of the escort to France while he would go home to Leicester and repair fortifications, as ordered. He’ll confer with his wide-flung family and friends, hire some armorers and fletchers, and stuff the castles with provisions.
Sir Amadis here...
A very interesting country, this land of Carthaginiensis. They have many strange and divers customs, one of which they call the siesta, whereby each family retires for several hours after their dinner. I found it odd at first, but with the great heat of the day I find it enjoyable to take my ease and wait for the cooler evening hours. Both the low- and high-born take this siesta, and also keep hours late into the night—on all nights, not just feasts or holy days.
And in the afternoons, thus refreshed, the caballeros—that is, the knightly class—entertain themselves by fighting dangerous animals. At first I was amazed to see these men engage with beasts whilst on foot, but they persuaded me to try it, and it was quite fun. Because I prefer to fight with my spear, in the style of Leicester, they call me the Pickador, Amadees El Pickador. As we waited for King Theudis to return to Toledo, they tried me on successively larger and larger bulls. Finally I went into the village ring with a great brute of brindle bull. This was an older animal, and clever too, and managed to slip the tip of a horn into my flesh and ripping upward. Ooh, that hurt! I went over the top of his head, sliding off his neck and hitting the dirt before I managed to stand up and thrust at him with my bloodied spear. That did him in, and I sank to the ground, just about done in.
A month or so later I was well enough to ride with my new cousins to Toledo, where I was introduced to the king, who has asked me to join his household. As charming as the seaside life is in little Gilet, I accepted. Seven of my cousins will join me in Theudic’s household, and in a few week’s time we march to meet the French in the north of Spain.