Excalibur


The wondrous sounds of polyphony were first heard in Logres this year. Damsel Gwenhwyfar and Lady Obilot learned the fine art and brought it to Hertford.

Winter passed mildly once again. Buds sprouted on trees long before Easter and songbirds praised nature's glory in the early days of March. The joy of spring also occupied our young knights' minds. Having whetted their appetite for battle at Mearcred Creek, the Pentecost court of 486 aroused an appetite for love.

Damsel Diane became increasingly coy in the last year since interacting with Sir Rhys. While on yet another falconry hunt Diane's chaperone and maid in waiting, Lady Tryamour, noted to Sir Madog that Diane ceased her incessant flirting with pages and younger squires. She seems now to only look to Sir Rhys, much to his amazement. Alas but she is still a young lass of thirteen and too young for consideration.

Sir Madog, however, let his desire for the ladies get the better of him. He was so bold with Damsel Morcheidys that he touched the nape of her neck unbidden, to which she took offense and returned to Castle Hertford. Left at falconry with Damsel Diane and Lady Tryamour, Sir Madog turned his attention to Lady Tryamour. Lady Tryamour welcomed Sir Madog's advances, doing her best to disparage Damsel Morcheidys. Still, Sir Madog already requested the hand of Damsel Morcheidys last Christmas. The Earl granted the boon so long as Sir Madog completed this year's quest to slay the Chiltern Witch. In truth Sir Madog lusted for land more than a woman, gaining him a Worldly check.

The hunt proved very fruitful in the end. The men brought back a partridge and a coney. The women brought back two men with bloated egos.

At court itself Sir Tydig made himself conspicuously absent. Lord Berkhamstead was also missing, though it went unnoticed by the player knights. They discovered much later that Lord Berkhamstead payed shield money for himself and Sir Tydig, claiming poor health and slow healing. Lord Berkhamstead's absence privately infuriated Earl Hertford, who intended Lord Berkhamstead lead the troops to Caercolun this summer. The Earl instead advanced Lord Berkhamstead's rival, Lord Hemel Hemptead, to Marshal.

Sir Aramine of Ad Ansam, rival to Sir Rhodri for Damsel Gwenhwyfar's affection, got the better of Sir Rhodri this court. It nearly came to blows the morning after Pentecost until Sir Rhys stepped in and convinced the knights that it was best to face each other after the campaign season ended. Later that night Sir Rhodri had the chance to speak with Gwenhwyfar alone after Sir Rhys drew away Gwenhwyfar's singing companion, Lady Obilot. For her part Lady Obilot did her best to teach Sir Rhys the intricate ways of the new polyphonic singing style; but, failed.

Damsel Feunete confronted the last of our lovers, Sir Morial, about his commitment to chastity. Sir Morial sensed that something was behind her words but could not respond fruitfully. Instead he decided to read the wondrous tales of Ulysses to her at the castle library. If there were any motive behind his actions they remained obscure to Feunete.

Questioning guests attending Earl Hertford's court, such as Abbot Gerther of Colchester or Marshal Silchester, gained the players much knowledge of the wider world. Æthelswith again landed north of the Thames in Caercolun, prompting Abbot Colchester to press Sir Morial to make good on Sir Morial's promise the year before. Sir Morial retorted that with leave of the Earl he'd make good on his promise and kill Saxons in Caercolun. Our knights also learned that Merlin returned to King Uther's side this year, which brought a mixture of joy and despite to various members assembled at Hertford's court.

After the Pentecost court Sir Madog received the dubious distinction to host Earl Hertford at Henlow Manor. It seemed Earl Hertford was upset with Praetor Giles of Royston and wished to have a word with the Praetor. However the Earl refused to accept Royston's hospitality, preferring to stay at his vassal knight's hall than in the wayward Praetor's town. It wasn't until after garrison duty was over in late summer that the player knights learned Praetor Giles did not attend court as summoned and had thus offended Earl Hertford.

From Henlow our knights patrolled round the great loop of Hertfordshire. The patrol split at Bishop Stratford, where the leader Lord Radlett stayed with half the patrol members to watch for Saxons from Caercolun. The battlefields of Caercolun were merely one day's ride from Hertfordshire and the patrol leader felt it wise to keep some knights close to the frontier. The remaining patrol, consisting only of our player knights, continued their rounds of the county. At Boxbourne they found Olyd the Tinker awaiting them. Olyd accompanied them on a short jaunt through London, which was the only road to the next part of their patrol route, and there sold Sir Morial a latin treatise on the Tutaminis Avaritia Ex Visigothes. At Bushey, the estate of Sir Rhodri, they encountered an enigmatic beggar whom they took prisoner and left with Sir Rhodri's liegemen.

After what seemed an interminable time negotiating the subtleties of court and chance occurrences on the road, our player knights finally reached their goal of High Wycomb. There they questioned the liegemen of Sir Certher, may he rest in peace. The liegemen had been watching the Chiltern Witch and the knights thought that perhaps these liegemen had acquired useful knowledge of their charge. The liegemen could give them only baffling clues of peacefulness and invulnerability to any aggressive acts. Finally the knights went to question the gap-toothed, old witch directly. The questioning led to only three things:

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  • Sir Morial burnt down the witch's hut. Sir Madog forced the peasants to stand by and let the hut burn to the ground.
  • Knowledge that the witch could only be harmed if "the circle were broken". Try as they might, nobody could bring themselves to harm the witch.
  • A preposterous Saxon alliterative poem:

Still circle stands unbroken
Silver chalice of the soul
In wood of Wotan's wold
Where maidens wakeless wait
Amidst the beech beats Britain's breast
Barred by blade I bear
A chaste man's clothes cast off
Unclad, communion claim of cure

After much debate and questioning local huntsmen, the knights decided to investigate three wooded vales a few miles to the north of High Wycomb. With a hunstmen guide, the players search the valleys. In the third valley, amid a beech forest, the knights found signs of habitation. A wooden bowl at a small falls, with a well beaten and very wide path leading away. They followed the path around what seemed the arc of a circle, ever turning slightly to their left. After some time they came to a wider clearing with a massive lean-to on their right. While exploring the shelter the witch appeared and addressed them from her perch on a ridge crest above them. Her voice was soft and old, as ever, but it carried on the wind as though she stood among the knights. She bid the knights begone, but they would hear none of it. Eventually she set her hapless creature upon them, a three-eyed giant. Then she turned and was gone.

The knights arrayed themselves for battle and waited for the giant to come down to the clearing. Seeing the knights pause, the giant halted his rush into the clearing and instead picked up a boulder. The hurled boulder crashed amidst the trees just over the top of Sir Rhodri's head. Not wishing to be target practice for the giant, our knights advanced. The giant then did likewise, ripping a dead tree trunk from the ground for a club. Breaking into full gallop, the heroes charged. Meeting at the edge of the clearing, the knights surrounded their foe and hacked at him. Sir Rhys did his best to fend off the giant's club; but, the giant was simply too strong. A crushing blow smashed Sir Rhys' shield down onto his own helmet with enough force to nearly lay him out upon the back of his steed. It is then that Sir Rhodri finally landed a good blow, plucking out the middle eye and bringing forth a frothing stream of blood. Unfortunately this also attracted the attention of the angered giant to Sir Rhodri. But the giant's fury came to naught. A scant moment later spears were piercing the giant on all sides. Blood was pouring from many wounds, soaking the ground. The giant fell back onto Sir Morial. Sir Morial had just enough time to raise his shield and spear. The giant sprawled across Sir Morial and his steed, Sir Morial's spear thrusting through the back and out the chest of the monster.

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from Merrowman at Deviant Art

Their foe dead, our knights took stock of the situation. As Sir Madog came to Sir Rhys side, intending to bandage his head wound, a low chuckle came from the wood beside them. Out stepped the strangest and most wondrous man that ever walked the soil of Britain. Tall and gaunt, with pale white skin and flaming red hair straight down to his waist, the man was most recognizable by the ebon staff with a polished jewel atop. Here came none other than Merlin himself.

"Fate has dealt me a poor hand, with you all so young. But you'll have to do. Aye. You'll do." With that the wizard rubbed an oily salve into Sir Rhys hair and chanted psalms in an ancient tongue. Sir Rhys found his wounds miraculously healed. The knights began to question Merlin as to how they might kill the witch.

Merlin responded simply, "Come with me. Leave the squires with your horses."

He turned and strode quickly uphill. Once atop the ridge the player knights looked down on a gorgeous lake. It formed the basin of a round crater surrounded by a steep ridge. Merlin wasted no time and bounded down, followed by our knights scrambling over the loose rock in heavy armor. No sooner had they the floor of the basin than the witch again appeared atop the ridge to the south.

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"Begone! You shall not enter the water!"

Merlin kept marching to the lakeside without breaking his stride. He turned his head to the knights and stated matter of factly, "Stop her."

The Chiltern Witch drew herself up, standing straight and tall in the fiery light of the setting sun. Rays of gold and red shone forth as anger filled her face. Black gaps where teeth had been lost now seemed fresh wounds splattering blood as she howled in rage. Her shrunken, wrinkled form glowed resplendent with power. She raised her shinning white sword and charged down the hill after Merlin. Our knights formed a line and set their spears against her. As the witch plummeted down the side of the ridge she bent to grab a solid branch for use as a cudgel. Then, with her arms outspread, the most frightening sight of all occurred. For her arms doubled. Where once there were two, now there were four. Two hands held a blade each and two a club. She dove into the line of knights, intending to force her way through them and to Merlin. Our valorous knights hove their spears into her. Sir Rhys made the killing blow, pining the witch to the ground through her side. She writhed in agony and died.

Meanwhile, Merlin shed his robes and floated across the water on a skiff. From the boat billowed clouds of mist silently across the surface of the lake. Sounds of the world ceased. All was still save the rolling mist from the drifting boat propelled forward by Merlin's low chanting. Of a sudden a hand thrust up from the lake. It was a lady's hand, fair and strong and clothed in white gauze. In it she bore a gleaming sword shining forth with a light of its own. Merlin reverently took the sword and layed it at his feet. As the hand dropped back beneath the ripples Merlin quickly donned his clothes and sequestered the sword. The skiff then turned and drifted back to shore. On dry ground again, Merlin turned and pulled his floating staff from the water. No sign of the boat remained. Merlin again never broke his stride. He walked briskly to the rise and started to climb once more, saying only, "Come."

The knights were dumbfounded, save Sir Madog who collected the witch's corpse. Once back with their squires, Merlin began to leave without a word. The knights tried to question him; but, the wizard seemed in a hurry.

"Shall we meet again?"

"Aye. We shall meet again, and soon I think. You've done a great service. All Britain is deeply in your debt."

With that, the archdruid entered the wood and was gone. Too late Sir Morial remember the plague of Voraxingluvius upon his lands last year. He shouted after Merlin, asking how one might rid themselves of a dragon. No answer was heard.

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Sir Madog directed the squires to prepare a trophy by removing the giant's head and packing it along. They then took the remains of both the giant and witch back to High Wycomb for burning.

Glory Gained: 100 for the giant + 100 for the witch + 50 each for helping Merlin = 100 glory each.

Their job done, the player knights wanted nothing more than to haste away to Hertford. Along the road the night found them them at the outskirts of Lord Berkhamstead's estate. Courtesy and groaning bellies demanded they pay the knight banneret a visit. Inside the elegant castle's great hall they found the collected household making final preparations for dinner. Noble ladies from across Lord Berkhamstead's vassal estates sometimes attended their lord's castle for summer meals. The player knights were not, however, expecting to meet Sir Tydig and Lord Berkhamstead themselves. Indeed, all the knights expected Lord Berkhamstead to have mustered with the Earl's forces to protect Caercolun. Nevertheless, here was Lord Berkhamstead in the flesh. After a formal exchange of pleasantries dinner was served. Sir Morial was seated alongside his younger brother John, who had married a lesser daughter of Lord Berkhamstead last summer. The other knights on patrol, however, were served ill by being seated among churlish household servants. Sir Rhodri, with an earnest sense of hospitality, took offense. It was an affront to his companions and an indignity against his station.

"My friends, this will not do. 'Tis better to sleep out on the road without supper than to eat among the rabble."

A tense hush settled over the hall as all strained to hear how Lord Berkhamstead might respond. Clearly taken aback by this response, Lord Berkhamstead paused.

"Perhaps that is best."

The player knights wondered what further tumult was to meet them now that they were deeply embroiled in the feud between Lord Berkhamstead and Lord Hemel Hempstead. Sir Morial began to worry deeply for his brother, John. As the knights mounted their steeds Lady Gwenonwy, wife to Sir Aramine of Ad Ansam, offered the hospitality of her manor but an hour away by horse. The knights gratefully agreed, though not without hesitation. Sir Ad Ansam was the rival of Sir Rhodri over the affection of Maid Gwenhwyfar. This fact was clearly unknown to Lady Ad Ansam, who rode in a carriage behind them with a new babe in her arms.

Lady Ad Ansam showed the knights what courtesy she could. A fine young lady, noble and loyal to her husband, deserved much better than Sir Ad Ansam delivered. The knights, particularly Sir Rhodri, stewed in their anger. Only Sir Morial took action by secretly relieving his bladder upon the closeted wrappings in which Sir Ad Ansam stored his armor. Sir Ad Ansam was in for an unpleasant surprise when he returned from campaign in Caercolun. Surely this would puzzle and frustrate the rapscallion.

Glory Gained:

  • Sir Rhodri: 10 glory for a public display of honor and passion
  • Sir Morial: 10 glory for comedic genius from the player

Back at Hertford, Earl Hertford's court was amazed at the player knights' tales of sorcery and adventure. Whatever its meaning, surely it was a boon for Logres. Merlin may be the son of the Devil but he still fought for Britain. Meanwhile Sir Rhodri was incensed at the state of affairs with Sir Ad Ansam and decided to take action. Muttering under his breath that his patience was wearing thin and he would soon skewer Sir Ad Ansam, Sir Rhodri sought the halls for Gwenhwyfar. Sir Rhodri set his mind that it was Gwenhwyfar and she alone he would wed. She was keen of mind, strong of spirit and most beautiful to behold. To the Devil with Sir Ad Adsam if the swine stood in his way.

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Sir Rhodri asked Gwenhwyfar straight away, "Damsel I ask for you hand in marriage."

She replied, "My hand is not mine to give. 'Tis Earl Aralyd that shall decide whom I marry."

"Then I will ask Earl Hertford. First I must know, does it please you? Only if it pleases you will I ask my liege lord for your hand. Does it please you, damsel?"

"Aye. It pleases me."

And so Sir Rhodri requested audience with the Earl to ask his question. After the tale of the Chiltern Witch and how Sir Rhodri threaded the puzzle to find and kill her, the Earl was well disposed toward him.

"I will grant you her hand on one condition. Her father, Lord Sains in Cornouailles, is dear to me. I would not give his daughter away without his consent. Should he give his consent then you may marry her straight away."

And so Sir Rhodri began plotting a course to the continent and King Idres' Cornouailles. It would take some time and careful planning. He knew not how he could reach Brittany. Yet his mind was clear. No messenger would suffice to ask the Lord Sains for his daughter's hand. He must go to ask her father himself.

After this the player knights had time to make good on Sir Morial's promise to Sir Elmig ap Lucius and Abbot Colchester. They mounted up and rode the king's road through London up toward Maldon. The road was busy with Cymric refugees fleeing their homes in Caercolun. Time an again they heard how unstoppable were the Saxons. Chelmsford and Maldon had already fallen, along with all the land south of the River Chelmer. Whole theods of Saxons were moving in and settling the land, killing or driving off all the Cymric folk - or at least those not sold into slavery. It didn't take long for our knights to find trouble.

Before the end of the first day from London the knights saw a thick column of smoke and heard screams from a lady in distress. Quickly arming to the points, the knights mounted their chargers and rode toward the screams. Breaking through the woods they beheld a gory seen. Peasants were bound and tied to one side in a large cluster, ready to be slaughtered or sold into slavery. The manor house was ablaze. Bodies were piled about the house. Worse still, a group of Saxon warriors were horribly defiling a lady beside the burning building. There was no time to waste. Our knights charged.

The Saxons grouped and formed a line to meet the knights. Though they were ill protected in soft leather and shield, they bore great spears set against the charge. Outnumbered four to one, our knights were unafraid. Blood and entrails flew as the chargers smashed into the line of spears. Many Saxons fell, skewered by a lance or trampled under hoof. Alas for poor Sir Rhys. Though Sir Rhys ran a Saxon warrior through, a spear struck home against his gullet. The blow threw him backward against the tail of his charger; but, his feet kept the stirrup. Yet his mail was torn and dark blood spewed out in gallons. He rolled and slid out of the saddle as his charger continued onward through the throng. Sir Rhys lay still, face down upon the earth. Sir Rhodri's squire leapt to his side and bore him away while the other squires fought off Saxons trying to close for the kill.

Saxons swarmed all around the knights. Frantically beating back the vile heathens, the other three knights saw Sir Rhys slide to the ground. Sir Rhodri tasted bile come up his throat. No Saxons would remain alive today. Sir Madog went blind with rage (critical passion roll.) Everywhere Sir Madog stabbed a Saxon fell. Sir Morial's boiling blood pounded in his ears. His sword sliced to either side, wet with the life of enemy warriors. Those few Saxons remaining alive fled, only to be chased down and killed by vengeful knights.

Glory Gained: 160 for Ceorl Levy = 40 per knight

Quiet for the moment, Sir Madog tried in vain to staunch Sir Rhys' bleeding. Sir Morial set free the prisoners and a few womenfolk rushed to aid the now collapsed form of the poor creature so brutally raped. Sir Rhodri vented his violent rage by personally ensuring each and every Saxons was truly dead. Then the knights rode for cover of the woods. Come morning they would ride to safety and find a chirurgeon for Sir Rhys.

Total Glory:

  • Sir Madog: 140
  • Sir Morial: 150
  • Sir Rhodri: 150
  • Sir Rhys: 140
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Another session starts here to finish off the year 486. It was a difficult session as I had a headache and was exhausted from a hard week at work. Also, we where down one player this week. So we had to play the session without Sir Morial.

Sir Rhys was bleeding badly. A gash in his torso forced apart muscles and cut into his stomach. Hasty sewing from Sir Madog couldn't properly close the wound. Hoping the village priest might be a skilled chirurgeon the player knights carefully carried their wounded brother to the church. They found the priest dead in the doorway, skewered by a heathen’s blade. Taking refuge in the church nonetheless the player knights made themselves ready for nightfall, their squires sent to gather booty from the fallen Saxons. Although clearly taken from the burnt manor house, the player knights felt no remorse for seizing goods Saxons had stole for their own use. The previous landlord was no more and the wealth would be better spent by Cymric knights still able to fight.

As darkness fell a great many campfires dotted distant hills overlooking the village. Thinking a Saxon army bore down upon them, the knights made ready to leave. As they crept out of the church they noticed two shadows among their horses. Sir Madog and Sir Rhys charged, bringing fresh blood stains to Sir Rhys already encrusted clothes. Sensing that perhaps not all was as it seemed, Sir Rhodri called out for the men to identify themselves. Before the men could answer Madog and Rhys cut them down, leaving them wounded and bleeding on the ground. Finally able to look into their faces after the heat of battle, the knights recognized these men for soldiers from Hertfordshire. The player knights tried their best to bandage and heal the men. They learned the men were scouts from Marshal Aramig's army encampment in the hills. Lord Hemel Hempstead and the Hertford knights were returning from campaign in Caercolun.

Sir Rhys was able to ride back to Hertford in a cart filled with those wounded in Caercolun skirmishes. There Lady Obilot nursed Sir Rhys to health, though years afterward ulcers would upset his stomach whenever he had strong drink. The kind lady did all she could to buoy Sir Rhys spirits. His interest in singing touched her heart and, being twice widowed, she decided that Sir Rhys would make a fine husband. She made clear her intentions to Rhys. But Sir Rhys of Boxbourne had already set his eye upon the damsel Diane, youngest daughter of the Earl, and denied Lady Obilot. Though he yet had to wait until she reached marriageable age, Sir Rhys was determined to wed the young lass. Lady Obilot remained persistent, even introducing her children to Sir Rhys in hopes he would take a liking to them. Yet Sir Rhys was firm. Still, this didn’t dissuade Lady Obilot from continuing to pay rapt attention to Sir Rhys for many months to come.

Strolling through the garden, our knights came across Sir Aramine of Ad Ansam once again speaking with Gwenhwyfar. He seemed demure, even depressed. When confronted by Sir Rhodri, Aramine conceded Damsel Gwenhwyfar. Indeed, Aramine was more interested in letting his lady love have her will by marrying Rhodri than pressing his case. And so the knights parted company not as friends; but, no longer with bitter enmity.

Before heading back to their manor estates, Earl Hertford informed the knights that Archdruid Merlin had invited them to the Royal Christmas Feast at Sarum. The Earl was quite pleased to be invited to the royal crown wearing and showered praise upon the knights for the deeds that led to the invitation.

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Although Sir Madog and Morcheidys planned to wed in Hertford at Christmastime, they decided to go ahead with their plans and marry in Salisbury on the tenth day of Yuletide. So it was that Madog had the great honor of King Uther Pendragon himself congratulating him for his marriage. Madog spared no expense on the wedding feast, completely draining his coffers to impress the assembled personages. With the blessing of Earl Salisbury, who was quite happy to have someone else pay the expense of feeding his guests for a day, wine flowed freely and pork fat sizzled in the fire pits all to the glory of Sir and Lady Henlow. Great contributions were also given by Rhys for his friend’s wedding (as was a fine dress commissioned for Diane.)

The week was filled with revelry and contests of all manner. Our knights joined a hunt but came home empty handed. Sir Rhodri and Prince Madoc arranged a horse race, where each entrant put one librum into the winner’s pot. It was a rich bet; but, Sir Rhodri felt confident he would win. Prince Madoc joined for the pure sport of it and happily payed ante, insisting only that the race be fair. In uncharacteristic recklessness, Sir Rhodri took the field with his magical horseshoe and easily won the race. He now worries that Prince Madoc will learn of the magic and demand the seven libra pot be returned, or worse.

At the Christmas Feast great gifts were given to all assembled. The greatest gifts of all were for royalty. Prince Madoc received several manors and Castle Windsor from his father. In return, Prince Madoc made a fine show of gifting booty won from Saxons in Caercolun this past summer. The king generously handed treasure out to those assembled, gifting even the player knights with one librum each. After the gifting was complete, the hall was astonished to see Merlin make a dramatic appearance. With a fine speech he brought forth Excalibur and gave it to King Uther, claiming that King Uther would ever claim victory so long as he remained just. During the course of dinner and entertainment the story of winning Excalibur was told and the player knights earned glory in the eyes of their king.

Glory gained: 50 glory each for helping Merlin

  • 20 glory to Rhodri for the horse race in with Prince Madoc
  • 20 glory for Madog for successfully telling the story of Excalibur, 28 glory for an exorbitant feast before the king to Madog, 25 glory for marrying Morcheidys
  • 20 glory for Rhys for successfully singing the song composed for Madog’s betrothal before the royal family
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Our knights also took the opportunity to socialize with the royal retinue. In addition to hunts, horseraces and weddings, there was much learned through gossip and discussion. Duke Caercolun was killed on campaign this past season. The duke’s heir, Sir Elmig, ascended his father's seat and announced his intent to marry Ilaine, Earl Hertford’s eldest daughter. King Uther commanded the royal navy be refitted and Prince Madoc was mustering volunteers to sail with him the coming year to burn Saxon fleets across southern Britain. Clovis, King of the Franks, captured Soissons the past year and now ruled all of what was the last bastion of the Roman Empire in Gaul. Praetor Syagrius, governor of the fallen province, had come to King Uther begging for forces to take back Soissons and Paris from the Frankish invaders. Syagrius offered half the treasure of Paris. King Uther declined and Syagrius left for Malahaut to rally others to his cause. Yet it seemed that in secret King Uther didn’t fully abandon thoughts of war upon the continent, for a clandestine deal was made with Earl Aralyd of Hertford. The Earl would be exempt from summons the coming campaign season if they made a distraction by heavily raiding the self-styled King Æthelswith of Essex, thus earning a better chance for Prince Madoc’s excursion. In addition, King Uther would aid the worshipful knights who helped Merlin across the sea to the continent. While on the continent the knights were to scout the Duchy of Manche and Calvados County with the king’s own spymaster, Olyd the Tinker. And so Rhodri would be able to reach Lord Sains, father of Gwenhwyfar, in Dumnonie this coming year to ask for Gwenhwyfar’s hand in marriage.

The harvests throughout Hertfordshire were fine again this year. In addition to booty gained this year from the campaign season, many lands were rich in crops.

The care and compassion shown to refugees of Brackengrot last year was well rewarded. Peasants from the destroyed hamlet worked doubly hard on Sir Morial’s plots, netting him an additional 4£ of goods this year. Along with 2£ and 120 denari gained in treasure from the killed Saxons plus 1£ from King Uther, Lewarewich’s treasury increased by 7£ and 120 denari this year.

Earl Aralyd’s visit was done to spite Preator Giles of Royston; but, in truth the victim was Sir Madog of Henlow. Though the rye harvest was quite good, supporting Earl Hertford’s retinue nigh on two weeks took a toll on Sir Henlow’s herd and stores. The commoners took pity on poor Sir Henlow and sequestered less grain from the steward’s prying eyes than normal. All told, sir Henlow lost 1£ this year in addition to the 4£ spent on the wondrous wedding feast. Sir Henlow lived richly this past year; but, his treasury is now depleted. All that remains in his coffers is the 1£ given by King Uther at Christmas. He does have two manor estates, with High Wycomb’s grant now controlled by him through marriage to Morcheidys. However, he now has to find and care for a knight to replenish Earl Hertford’s household. Madog also welcomed the news that his wondrous feline companion gave birth to another miraculous kitten, who grew strong and hale over the winter months and is already regularly catching mice in the root cellar.

Bushey discovered this past summer that his house was for some reason cursed. His cattle and ewes gave only sour milk, ruining his own larder and possibly devastating the herds if not promptly addressed. He’s yet to take any action to redress the situation other than to restock his larder with bartered cheeses. However, Sir Bushey’s steward worked the peasants hard in the fields and, through a stroke of genius, was able to find a buyer for surplus grains this summer. Sir Bushey ends the year with 4£ suprlus, in addition to the 7£ horserace pot, 1£ gift from King Uther and the 2£, 120 denari of booty. That leaves Rhodri with an additional 14£, 120 denari to add to his coffers. A new cousin joins the family with Rhodri's newly married uncle now gaining a newborn son.

Tragedy struck Boxbourne Hall this year. Again the harvest was fine and 4£ of surplus was gained, plus the 1 £ from King Uther and 2 £, 120 denari of booty. Yet come fall old Cadfael, steward of Boxbourne since the land's first grant to Sir Rowaine, developed a nasty cough. The man’s body was too frail and the cough turned into pneumonia, which by winter had claimed the life of Boxbourne’s most trusted officer. Rhys' uncle, a stalwart man who always kept watch over the manor house as a guardsman, also died this year. Sir Rhys has charged his mother to look over the lands and find a new steward in the coming year while Rhys is away on the continent.

Glory Total for 486:

  • Madog: 123 + 140 = 263
  • Morial: 50 + 150 = 200
  • Rhodri: 70 + 150 = 220
  • Rhys: 70 + 140 = 210

Images from Jim Fitzpatrick.

The session continued well into 487. See the journal for 487 for more happenings.

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