Many Are My Enemies

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
- Psalms 57:1

King Æthelswith raided Hertford and Caerwent counties mercilessly over the past two years. Although men of Boxbourne and Harlow repulsed the marauders each time, Earl Hertford fears more assaults and sends a household knight to each manor along the Quinqueroi frontier. Sir John ap Morial, brother to worthy Sir Morial ap Morial of Lewarewich, arrives at Boxbourne after the first snowmelt to help Sir Rhys defend his estate against Saxon depredations.

Rhys doesn't know the blue and white device of the knight riding onto his demesne; but, the passant stag and colors assure him that the guest is a man of Earl Hertford. At the door Rhys recognizes John's face and offers a warm welcome. John shares sweet apple liqueur pillaged from Bayeaux last years over tales of raids in Manche and Calvados. Although the harsh spirits cause pain at Rhys stomach wound, he daren't deny himself such luxurious hospitality from a guest. The two talk late into the night of Saxons, Boxbourne's defenses, recent raids and the events of Logres.

Aiming to hunt for small game, the two men meet early next morning at Boxbourne's mews. With birds and hounds they mount rouncies to ride the estate. Partway to the tiny hamlet of Wormley at the edge of the estate the knights are shocked to see a lineage man rushing toward them. He breathlessly recounts the arrival of a throng of Saxons led by the same giant of a man who raided Boxbourne last summer. Rhys commands the lineage man to take a horse and ride to Roydon to raise the levy there. John and Rhys turn back to Boxbourne Manor to arm themselves.

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The knights' squires hustle to saddle chargers and lace points to their masters' hauberks. Commoners from Wormley flee past the manor house and into Hatfield Forest across the river, fearing for their lives. Saxons set Wormley ablaze and march toward Boxbourne. Raids in prior years were easily beaten off with a show of force. This year the Saxons clearly meant to seize land, for they wasted no time looting the herds or homes of Wormley. By the time the defenders were gathered and mounted, two lines of disciplined Saxons warriors trampled over rows of sprouting rye on a straight route to Boxbourne Manor itself. With enough horses in the stable to mount eight men, clan Boxbourne lines up to charge into the Saxon footmen.

Hooves rumble across cold, muddy ground. Black clods spray from horse hooves. The front line of Saxons spread out and plant spear butts into earth against the Cymric charge. Sirs John and Rhys bear down the middle straight toward the Saxon warlord, sitting tall in hauberk and helm on a saddled rouncy. Men of Boxbourne maneuver to both flanks and crash into the enemy. A mass of horse and warrior press into the Saxons, pushing them back. John and Rhys run straight through the Saxon line headlong into their leader, who raises high his sword ready to bring it down on a British skull. Rhys' spear catches on the man’s hauberk, ripped chain links flying through the air along with the splintered spear haft. The force flings the Saxon round and off balance, his sword flailing uselessly. John’s spear misses the Saxon; but, the Cymric knight’s shield smacks into the man’s back, sprawling him across the ground.

Those invaders not engaged turn and hurl themselves into the knights, surrounding both John and Rhys in a ring of footmen. They do their best to keep knights off their theign, prodding spears against horses and men to push them back and away. The Saxon leader get’s to one knee and lunges up, raising his blade just in time to knock aside Rhys sword. A trio of Saxon spearmen come at John’s right side. Although they cannot penetrate John’s chain armor, they heave together and throw John from his charger. Meanwhile, the lineage men and Saxon front line stall trading blows.

The Saxon thegn gains his feet. A lucky upward thrust from a spearman catches Rhys off balance and tumbles him to the ground. Thoughts of home and kin set to the torch fill Rhys’ mind. A deep anger begins to well up from within; and then, just as quickly, a vision of Diane comes to him. His heart aches as he realizes that he shall not produce an heir with the woman he loves as she is pledged to another. Anger flees and Rhys is left with a cold emptiness sapping strength from his arms. He strives to rise; but, his counterblows are half-hearted and weak.

To the left flank, Rhys’ cousin Landry sees his lord fall and flies into a rage. Seething at constant violence from Saxons come to steal his land and kill his kin, Landry screams out the first line of the family war chant. The men around him hear the call and rally. With swift strikes of his spear first one and then another Saxon falls. Rhys squire pushes through the circle of Saxon spearmen and leaps from his horse. As the squire reaches out a hand to help Rhys mount the Saxon thegn roars forward into melee.

From the ground John tries to pull away the Saxon leader’s attention, “Come face your betters, you Saxon coward! You’re nothing but a mongrel dog, you!”

The thegn turns to John, a froth of spit and blood smeared across coarse features. John rolls forward onto his knees, points his spear tip at the man and lurches forward with all his might. The Saxon meets spear tip with shield, brushing it aside as his sword comes swinging down under John’s helm. The blades slices through leather straps, knocks back the chain coif and slices deep into flesh. John’s body lands lifeless on the ground, his head lolling to the side. A flap of stretched, bloody flesh the only thing keeping John’s head from rolling across muddy soil.

The depth of John’s sacrifice barely reaches Rhys before he is again pressed into battle. Landry forces his way through Saxons to fight beside his liege and cousin. Together they hack at the Saxon thegn. Boxbourne men begin to close in around the Saxons. A downstroke from Rhys knocks off the Saxon’s helm and cracks his skull. Landry spears the reeling man’s back, metal tip erupting from the man’s stomach in a mass of black and red entrails. At the sight of their leader falling, the Saxon line falters and begins to flee. Few of them yet remain standing. Boxbourne men chase them down, running each one to ground with sword and spear.

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The raid is finished. To a man the Saxons lay on the ground dead and dying. Rhys is filled with a numb chill, more cold than the early Spring air of Logres. He numbly strides from man to man, stabbing each Saxon through the chest with his blade. Again and again the sword rises and falls, Rhys' weight crushing down heavily on each one. The few who still have breath within them scream as the blade falls. They cry for mercy in their barbarous tongue. Rhys pays no heed, leaving their corpses to feed the crows.

John is cleaned and arrayed along with his arms upon a wagon. Rhys and Landry lead an honor guard of Boxbourne lineage men to Castle Hertford, bearing news of the Saxon raid and Sir John ap Morial’s lifeless corpse.

The Earl is found examining fine tapestries toward one side of the great hall at Hertford, yet more of last year's booty.

“Earl, may I present you my cousin, Landry ap Rhywyn. At my side he fought a desperate battle against Saxon raiders. He singlehandedly felled eight of the brutes, and betwixt us we lay their thegn low. The Saxons came for our blood and land. Alas but Sir John ap Morial was lost. Yet through Landry’s heroics we were able to stave our losses to just brave Sir John and kill the lot of the heathens.”

Earl Hertford is saddened by the news and orders preparations for the funeral of the fallen knight. Suitably impressed with Rhys’ petition for Landry, he tries to learn more. “Tell me, young Landry, does Sir Boxbourne speak the truth? Did you fell eight men yourself?”

Knowing it a stretch of the truth, Landry still cannot resist the swelling of his own pride. “Aye, my lord. Eight of them.”

“Well, Rhys, if Landry proves himself as genteel at court as he is ferocious at battle then he will be ennobled before the year is out.”

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Copyright 0urobuos at Deviant Art

But a month after Easter brings the player knights to Hertford. Uther’s court is in Cirencester, a two week journey to the west. Among the gathering knights is Earl Hertford’s new son-in-law, Duke Elmig of Caercolun. The Duke seems stricken and silent, reserving words solely for the Earl and his family. Elmig travels only with his household knights and bodyguard, a paltry accompaniment for the man meant to defend Logres’ Saxon March. With the Earl the entire retinue is much larger at nigh fifty horses. The company travels slowly across the Chiltern Hills along the Iknield way.

En route Diane shies away from Sir Rhys. She spends a fair amount of time attending Duke Elmig, meeting Rhys’ gaze now and again with sad eyes. Some days out Rhys has a chance to speak alone with Diane at the noonday repast.

“What say you, Diane? How do you fair?”

“How do I fair? What do you see in me, Rhys? Do I seem happy to you? First I am promised to Lord Shirbun and now Duke Elmig comes to steal away my hand from the one I love.”

“The Duke? But he’s married to Ilaine your sister.”

“No more. My sister died giving him an heir. The child was blue and thin but still lives.”

Rhys is silent, not sure what to make of this news. Dark, low clouds of an early summer rainstorm blow over grassed hills. A burst of wind blows a corner of Diane’s cloak up into her face, half covering the hurt in her eyes.

Rhys finally opens his mouth, haltingly speaking, “An heir. Ilaine died in childbirth? But that means Duke Elmig isn’t married. That’s why he’s seeking you?”

Rhys holds his head in his hands, pacing back and forth. “Oh, I’m lost. I cannot compete against a duke. Now what I shall I do? This is terrible.”

Diane numbly stares at Rhys. Pulling her arms about her she withdrawals into her cloak, a stern set to her jaw. She turns to leave saying, “Yes. Its terrible. So is the death of my sister.”

Noticing the exchange, Morial comes to Rhys side. Learning of the news and Rhys response, Morial is dumbstruck. How Rhys could be so thoughtless to not comfort Diane shocks Morial. Any chance that Diane might find a way to save her love for Rhys is probably gone now that Rhys was so callous.

Later that afternoon as the horses were being watered at one of the many streams running along Chiltern dells, Marshal Hemel Hempstead approaches Morial. Morial is a knight of renown who aided King Uther and Earl Hertford many times. As Archdruid Merlin once said, this band of vassals was to do great service to the realm. Marshal Hemel Hempstead informs Sir Morial that Earl Arayld wishes to take Morial into his confidence and seeks Morial’s council.

Earl Hertford's words to Morial confirm what Diane has said. Earl Hertford is conflicted. Although Diane’s hand was promised to Lord Shirburn in order to bolster the border with Rhydychan, Duke Elmig is of a higher station and more strategic alliance. The odds of Ilaine’s child surviving the winter without its mother were slim. It would behoove the Earl’s dynasty to keep Duke Elmig in the family and marry Diane to him. Between promise and familial duty Earl Hertford looked for council on which way to choose. Morial speaks eloquently in favor of the Duke, claiming the fortune of Hertfordshire lay more dearly in the hands of Duke Caercolun than a bannerette from Rhydychan. Earl Hertford is convinced and must needs find a way to notify Lord Shirburn, whom the retinue will meet on the way to Cirencester.

Morial comes back to Rhys and consoles his friend. “At least Duke Elmig’s lands are under siege. He may die soon enough… er, not that I want such to happen of course.”

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Icknield Way
Taking to the road once more, the company soon sees a figure on the roadside ahead. The man is cloaked against rough weather, dark hair and beard streaked with gray. From the distance, his face can not be made out. Though beside him stands a charger geared with battle saddle, no insignia can be seen. At the behest of Earl Aralyd, Rhys and Morial ride forward to greet the stranger.

“Sirs, do you not know me? It is I, Madog. Come back from the dead.”

“’is Blood! So it is. Madog, we thought you lost. What happened? How do you come hence?”

Walking back to the retinue, Madog tries to explain what happened to him; how he wandered dark nights where he thought his soul a blasted wilderland of treachery and dismay; how a a saintly angel came and spoke of healing. Earl Aralyd and Marshal Caramig watch the men approach, speaking quietly to each other about who the man might be.

Morial speaks up, “Earl, this is Madog. He’s found us all the way from the Continent.”

“So he has.” The Earl looks down over Madog harshly from high on his saddle. “So he has. Henlow, you deserted us in battle. Fled the field in my hour of most need. You must make an account of yourself. For now, fall in behind. And get yourself a shield. Lewarewich, he’s in your eschille. You must discipline him.”

Madog is overjoyed that the Earl addressed him by his station. He feels a great weight lifted from his shoulders. Although the punishment is sure to be severe and he knows not how he will ever look his brother knights in the eye again, the Earl at least allows him to keep his ancestral lands and home. Madog falls in behind the long train of horses. Curled locks streaked with gray cover young eyes made old from too deeply peering into his own heart.

Passing Lewarewich lands and onward into Rhydychan, the company reaches Shirburn. Chalk hills surround the town and squat castle. Lord Shirburn brings the entire company into his great hall and throws a feast for Earl Hertford. Even Earl Rhydychan has come to Shirburn to greet Aralyd. Tension between Lord Shirburn and Duke Elmig is immediately apparent. Beyond earshot of others, the Earls have hard words with each other. Wishing to escape the charged atmosphere of Shirburn, the entire entourage travels to Oxford. There they meet Countess Rhydychan and Rhydychan’s retinue to Cirencester.

Hoping to extricate themselves from conflict, the player knights pursue their own interests in Oxford. Sir Madog goes to the Roman cathedral to pray for guidance as he faces the withering stares of his countrymen. There Madog finds himself kneeling beside Countess Rhydychan. She recognizes his presence; but, the two prefer to honor God in private contemplation. Afterward Madog covers himself in his hood and rides to the town's infirmary. There he enquires about any nobleman who may be sick and on death's door, so that Madog might provide some modicum of comfort. Madog is led to the bedside of an old gentlewoman. The lady's vacant eyes gaze into the distance, awash in pain. Madog takes out his harp and plucks softly at the strings until slowly the lady releases her white knuckled grip on the bedpost and lays back quietly on the bed.

Morial enters the famed Oxford scriptorium that Countess Rhydychan sponsors. There he finds a great treasure, a treatise on Voraxingluvius himself. Much of what commoners say about the drake is confirmed in the venerable tome. The molting of leafy feathers and regrowth every year was true, leaving Voraxingluvius vulnerable at certain times of year. In addition, Morial learns that Voraxingluvius must submerge his wintry heart in ice for a long sleep through the cold months. If the wyrm were near to Lewarewich as Morial believes, then there were many lakes and meers which could hide the beast for its winter slumber.

Rhys simply wanders aimlessly among the townsfolk, not sure how to measure his loss of hope.

Our knights finally reach Cirencester and the court. Duke Clarence, host of the court, has long been at war with his former vassal, Duke Gloucester. Years of conflict clearly have taken their toll on Clarence, with the spartan castle at Cirencester ringed in earthworks topped by armed outposts. Somewhat put out by all the unfamiliar faces, the knights keep mostly to themselves throughout court. One evening Sir Brastias walks the battlements with our knights, speaking of Saxons and sieges and traitors. Brastias makes clear that King Uther will muster his might to force Duke Gorlois of Cornwall to submission. Duke Gorlois' disobedience to King Uther has been suffered long enough and it is high time Cornwall be brought into line. Madog relates the concern he's heard from others at court that year that Saxons are more dire a threat then wayward Cymric lords; but, Brastias is firm that King Uther's will be done.

After the royal decrees and feast, Duke Elmig announces the news of the birth of his heir and death of his wife, Ilaine. He then publicly claims the hand of Diane, Ilaine's younger sister and daughter of Earl Hertford. The Earl consents at the leave of King Uther, which is duly granted. Rhys stands silently behind Diane while the words are spoken. He dare not reach out to her where these others might see. When the declarations are finished and people once again turn their attention away, Diane briefly rests her weariness upon Rhys shoulder and let's out a quiet sob. She straightens herself and strides away without a glance behind her. Rhys stands still, lifting neither arm nor voice.

In the night's small hours Rhys awakens from a nudge on his shoulder. He opens his eyes to darkness. Slowly the face before him takes form. It is Diane come to wake him. She presses a slender finger to Rhys' lips to silence him, then gently pulls at his arm to lift and lead him away. They creep soundlessly through the throng of sleeping bodies and out to the stables. Diane holds Rhys hand, guiding him into a straw lined stable. There she embraces him and gently pulls him down.

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Copyright C. R. MacTernan

Horses nicker in misty rain, waiting for squires to finish saddling them. Once again the army of Logres musters, this time to demand submission of the wayward Duke Gorlois of Cornwall. Trepidation fills many men, not least of them Rhys ap Rowain of Boxbourne. Three years running Saxons have raided his land. This past Spring the barbarous heathens fought with desperate need for murder. All the while King Uther fights everyone but Saxons. Now Rhys must leave to fight against Cymric men of Cornwall while the hordes of King Æthelswith continue to spill over the border and into Hertfordshire.

But with all these worries, Rhys broods more darkly on the woman he loves. Her kisses awoke a passion within him that seems to know no bounds; but, she is now forever beyond his reach. Her hand is promised to Duke Elmig. Earl Aralyd suspects that Rhys and Diane may do something rash and so commands Lady Tryamour, Diane's handmaiden, stay no more than three steps away for Diane's every waking moment. In the three days that Rhys stays in Hertford there is but this dark and early moment before Hertford's army rides off that Diane is able to slip away from Tryamour.

She reaches Rhys and wraps her arms around him in the gloomy rain. One kiss and, "I have not bled."

Rhys can do nothing but stare at Diane in confusion. The meaning of her words is slow to reach him and, by the time he realizes what was said, she is gone. She slips away just as Tryamour's voice begins to call.

The march to Cornwall is long and tedious. Rain weights the army's every step. At last they reach the appointed place. The stream known as Yeo travels through a treacherous and rocky ravine. Woods dot the hillsides on either side of the river. Knights on either side cluster in knots between the trees, tense and wary on the muddy hillsides. With this terrain and the footmen of Cornwall ready in the breaks, even if Uther wins the day it will be slaughter for the army of Logres.

King Uther rides forward to parley. Merlin walks beside his king, lanky red hair clinging wetly to bony arms and shoulders. The king yells, “One land, one king!”

“Justice!” shouts Gorlois back.

Merlin looks up at Uther and speaks softly, “Show him the sword.”

Uther draws Excalibur. It gleams brightly even in dim morning light. The sword light reveals archers hidden in the woods. The footmen gasp and withdraw. Duke Gorlois looks worriedly at his nobles around him, his face drawn long and silver beard matted against his chin. The duke gains no comfort from his officers. They too feel fear take root in their hearts as they gaze upon Excalibur.

“Behold the Sword of Victory,” says Merlin, “forged when the world was young.”

Gorlois motions for a few of his men to come forward. They hold a hurried parley. The duke then steps forward again toward Uther and shouts.

“And if I surrender, what do I get?”

“You get…!?” starts the king angrily. Merlin lays his long fingers on the mane of the king's horse and looks up at Uther. After a terse exchange Uther continues, “All the land from here to the sea, to hold for the king.”

“I accept!” shouts the duke.

A great cheer goes up from both armies. King Uther and Duke Gorlois retained their honor. All the peers acted nobly and with courage, yet much good was done for Logres that day. Gorlois and Uther camp together, spending the night drinking and talking. Late at night the duke goes away. In the morning, the Cornish army is gone and Logres breaks camp.

Aralyd once again brings Morial into his council. Hertford must travel north to where the forces of King Octa and King Eosa harry Duke Lindsey. Saxons roam freely across the countryside taking what they will and setting good Cymric families to flight. Knowing that Æthelswith threatens Hertfordshire, King Uther allows Earl Aralyd to send back one third of his force for defense of the county. Aralyd offers Morial the choice to travel back to Hertfordshire or to press onward to Roestoc and Lindsey. Morial chooses to take his eschille north.

The army travels to Lincoln where they split into small patrols that search for Saxon raiders. Morial's eschille is sent to seek Saxons wherever they might be and destroy them utterly. Our player knights decide to travel eastward to the sea. Once through an arm of the Deleable Forest, the eschille comes across a Cymric manor surrounded by a mass of refugees. There are wounded among the men and they speak of Saxons in the forests to the north. Meeting with the lord of the manor reveals that the village of Gen was just yesterday overrun by Saxon spearmen. Sir Gen, second cousin to the lord, lies gravely wounded within the manor hall.

Madog once more feels the call to heal imbued in him by his saintly benefactor from the weald of Manche. He asks to visit Sir Gen. A quick look at Gen shows that the wound itself is bad; but, not life threatening. A deep gash runs across Gen's inner forearm. Examining the wound, Madog sees feverish red streaks running up the arm from a weeping tear in the flesh. The wound festers. Gen is lost. Madog swears revenge for Gen if he can but find some men to help them reach Gen's village. Gen promises a squad of archers encamped with refugees outside, lineage men who have lived their whole lives under Gen. Feeling sorrow for the loss of a good and brave Christian, Madog again fetches his harp and seeks to provide what comfort he can.

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Copyright subedei at Deviant Art
The archers eagerly accept the opportunity to return and rescue their homes. They lead our knights across a lowland marsh and back into the Deleable Forest. Once in the wood the men make camp. Gen village is less than one mile off. No fire is kept that night for want of secrecy. Morial, Rhys and Madog debate late into the night how best to take back the village while Landry and Windridge take turns at watch. Nothing can be seen in the blackness under the twisted boughs of Deleable until the light of dawn turns the sky a silvery gray.

The eschille and their guides leave before the sun breaks the horizon. Archers are stationed at the southern edge of town, hidden in wood. One of their number is to wait 10 minutes and then sneak into town. There he should throw a torch on the thatched roof of the manor house and generally cause a ruckus. The knights wait a short distance into the forest on the northern side of town. At the first sign of commotion the knights plan to charge into town from the north while archers draw the Saxons southward. The hope is to catch the Saxon force out in the open with their backs to the knights.

The party finds Saxons awake and readying themselves for travel. Apparently the heathens raped and pillaged all they could find and intend to leave. After a short pause a cry raises from the Saxons in the village and our knights charge in.

Saxon spearmen are hustling south toward the archers in the trees when thundering hoofs bear down on them from the north. A contingent breaks off to face the row of Cymric lances. No army alive can match a line of charging Cymric knights. The spearmen fare no better. Men clash between a trio of stone hovels. The initial impact tears through at least three spearmen, leaving a bloody trail of gore strewn across the mud. One man ducks into a hut, hoping to be spared from the slaughter. A whirl of spear tips and blades careen around the horsemen. One after another Saxon falls. Windridge is knocked forward off his horse by a spear catching him behind and below the shoulder. Landing before the gaping door to one of the hovels, Windridge's squire leaps down to help the fallen knight. The Saxon cowering within finds the courage to leap out and strike at prone Sir Windridge; but, the spear thrust cannot break through the heavy hauberk. In a flash the knight is up on the squire's rouncy and wheeling around, blade in hand. Landry rides up behind Windridge and cracks the Saxon's skull with a downward swing of his sword. The Saxons take flight, with all but a few ridden down and slain.

By the time our knights make it back to safety, Gen is dead. Fever took him before he could hear of vengeance wrought. Their duty done, Morial's eschille goes back to Lincoln and are dismissed from King Uther's army. When they reach Hertford, Diane is visibly pregnant and doing nothing to hide her state. Countess Hertford orders Diane locked in chamber and requests Rhys be brought before the Countess. She excoriates the young knight, using every expletive a lady might command. She views Rhys as a stain of shame upon Earl Hertford and orders him to remain at the castle until her husband returns to deal with him. Rhys is sorely tempted to take Diane and run away; but, his love and trust of Earl Aralyd are too strong and he dutifully awaits punishment. All the other knights ride home to care for their own estates.

Earl Hertford is calm and thoughtful at the news of Diane's pregnancy (success on a Merciful roll.) He immediately understands what happened and why Diane acted as she did. Aralyd's thoughts are more for the well being of the unborn child than for revenge upon Sir Boxbourne or fear of Duke Elmig's response. The wedding with Duke Elmig is quietly postponed and Diane is sent to spend the winter in Amesbury, there to give her child to the nuns for safekeeping. Justice will come to Rhys and he will learn obedience at some point; but, for the nonce Rhys is sent back to Boxbourne to prepare for future Saxon incursions. Earl Hertford forbids Rhys to go to Amesbury or speak with Diane again.

Back home in Boxbourne, Rhys sends his squire off to Amesbury to find out what happens to Diane and the unborn child. He then settles in for a lonely winter.

Glory Total for 489

  • Landry: 1085
  • Rhys: 75
  • Morial: 40
  • Madog: 40
  • Rhodri: TBD solo adventure
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Wondrous Bull, Copyright C. R. MacTernan

Manor Events

  • Lewarewich - Sir Morial's mother collapses in the summer heat and dies. Next year a steward must be hired to take her place, unless Morial goes through with the wedding to Damsel Iulia early in the year. Though there is no steward to take old Lady Lewarewich's place, the commoners mourn the loss of their beloved "Nana" and assist greatly in the harvest. Concern check. 6£ income. Vineyard from 488 has taken root and is growing. Sir John is lost; but, his wife gave birth to a boy child to keep the family name.
  • High Wycomb - The monument to Sir Cergwyn the Bold seems cursed. A grass fire from the scorching summer heat caused the stone to crack and fall to the ground. Crops whither in the heat. 5£ income.
  • Henlow - Tragedy once again strikes Sir Madog. His page, the 8 year old grandchild of Lord Hemel Hempstead, falls into Henlow's well and drowns. Madog returns from wandering alone in Manche a changed man. His eyes are more distant and seem bent to the glory of God rather than worldly needs of his commoners. The difference makes him distant from his people and he loses point of Concern (Commoners). Morcheidys also gave birth to a son while Madog was gone, name Masog ap Madog. The ghastly summer heat mostly escapes Henlow's wooded glens. 6£ income. Two more lineage men from Percy are trained and armed.
  • Bushey - Sir Rhodri wakes one Spring night to the sound of a heifer mating. That in itself is not unusual; but, shortly afterward another lowing signals that a bull has mounted some other heifer in the night. Then another starts, and a forth. Going to the barn to see what miracle was underway, Rhodri find that a singularly fantastic bull with stamina that was nothing short of magical was mounting cow after cow. The bull was a stranger to Bushey's herd, seemingly come from nowhere. After his work was done, the bull sauntered from the barn out into the wastes never to be seen again. Most amazingly, every cow gave birth to a healthy calf that year, which made up for the withered crops from the summer's heat wave. 6£ income.
    • Solo Adventure: While everyone else was confronting Duke Cornwall, Rhodri were sent on border patrol along the paths through the Quinqueroi Forest leading a group of mounted sergeants. Since Rhodri may have his wife's kin in Cornwall, the Earl though it better he perform an absolutely essential duty at home. Rhodri also got to spend lots of time with his wife and children while learning the ways of the estate. Gain the following checks: Awareness, Battle, Folklore, Horsemanship, Intrigue, Stewardship.
  • Boxbourne - The Saxon raid resulted in not only the loss of Sir John's life; but, also much of Wormley hamlet was burnt to the ground. The commoners have no home in which to live and grumble that the landlord isn't doing his duty to keep them safe (1/4 village burnt, +3 hate.) Otherwise, the forests and river kept away the worst of the summer heat. 6£ income.
  • Shefford - Nearly decimated by the summer heat, Bleger's fortunes are saved by the wisdom of Lady Obilot. Through some miracle she is able to milk enough worth from the estate to pay the tithes and store food for the winter. 6£ income. Sir Blegir and Lady Obilot give birth to a boy, who is sickly; but, survives. With Lady Obilot's other losses from the previous years, Blegir now has an heir for both Shefford and Knebworth.
  • Knebworth - Again the forests help ward off the worst of the summer heat. Although Sir Bleger brings Lady Obilot to live with him at Shefford, incurring the cost of hiring a steward for the Knebworth estate, the manor brings in enough to cover all expenses. These expenses now include the upkeep of a household knight for Earl Hertford in the person of Sir Landry. 6£ income.

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