Soundtrack: "Killing In The Name" by Rage Against the Machine
Journal: Siege of Terrabil


The player knights have court at Hertford

Special Guests

  • Praetor Gilles of Royston
  • Marshal Hemel Hempstead
  • Lord Shirburn from Rhydychan


"Do we fight for the king's desire for revenge on Cornwall for insubordination, or for keeping Ygraine his wife?"


  • Many footmen and investments in fortification being made on eastern and southeastern borders. Earthworks for Boxbourne and Sawbridgetooth. Both ditches include a moat with water diverted from the Lea river.
  • Marshal Hemel Hempstead: “We are going to war. The traitor Cornwall will finally get what he deserves! Bring your troops to Sarum.”
  • Iulia's London Family: “Another fleet of Saxons has landed in the south. Are their dead just rising up to fall upon us once again?! I swear upon the sacred bones of my mother, and she isn't dead, to attack them this summer. And Old King Hengest of Kent has died, and in bed at that. His son is going to be the next king of Kent.”

Comptal Conversation

“Our footmen to Cornwall! With Saxons breathing down our neck? I am leaving all my foot soldiers home to garrison my castles. I will comply with the muster with only my knights.”


  • Critical: One of Lord Shirburn's retinue, the household knight Sir Caralyn, was one of the Cymric men who raided High Wycomb last year. Confrontation can lead to an Honor duel. Sir Godfrey is the knight most likely to do so. He can use either Love (Family) or, if the confrontation works out as such, Honor. Lord Shirburn will speak for Sir Caralyn and lie to say he was not involved. If Sir Caralyn is put to the question himself, roll an Lie (4) then Honest (16) roll to see how Sir Caralyn answers. Sir Caralyn has no coat of arms.
  • Success: The Earl insulted Lord Shirburn. It is only through Lord Shirburn's hospitality that he does not become rude himself.
  • Fumble: Altercation with Lord Shirburn or Sir Caralyn. One or the other of them takes insult at the way a player character speaks with/looks at them, or just breathes wrong.


Dispute among peasants at Henlow

One of the lineage men (Gerther) took a sow from a commoner (Germine) and had it slaughtered. The meat was put to good use; but, the commoner cried foul. Gerther claimed that Germine owed him 5 hens and a rooster as well as did damage to his home. The sow was taken in recompense since Germine was not forthcoming with the chickens. Germine claims that he never did damage to Gerther's home; and, he will pay the just sum of 5 hens and a rooster when his current crop of chicks matures. Gerther's word means more than Germine's; but, what is the just course of action.

Godfrey must make a Just roll:

  • Critical Success: Godfrey proved to be an exemplar of justice and prudence. Gain a check in Just and Folklore. Increase passion Care (commoners) +1.
  • Success: Godfrey determined the right solution in accordance with the mores and standards of society. Gain a check in Just and Folklore.
  • Failure: The commoners are displeased. No benefit or penalty.
  • Fumble: means the commoners are quite angry, +2 hate.

The dispute triggers a head count by the Steward, showing more people on the manor than expected. A census reveals that there is 100 more able bodied people than expected:

  • Increase population to 600.
  • Add 1d20 levy.
  • Build a field now or they will become bandits.

Diane and Rhys

Appealing to Earl Hertford's love of family, that a child should be near its mother and the mother near the father will work. Allow Diane to stay at Hertford and full visitation rights to Rhys. Otherwise, Orate:

  • Critical: Allows Diane to stay at Hertford. Allows Rhys full visitation rights, whenever Rhys wants he has leave to stay at the castle. Rhys may freely visit Caercolun.
  • Success: Allow Rhys to visit Caercolun freely, though must stay at home much of the time to oversees fortification and protection.
  • Failure: Good access when child is in Hertford. Rhys cannot visit Caercolun.
  • Fumble: Diane stays in Caercolun and Rhys is unable to visit.

Mustering the Troops

King Uther marches his army on Cornwall. He is hasty, not even waiting for all his men to arrive. He leaves orders for the other contingents to follow as soon as possible.

Duke Gorlois won’t fight on the field. He has divided his army to defend two strategic castles, Tintagel, on the coast, and Terrabil, at a strategic road junction ten miles inland. His treasure and wife are at Tintagel, while his main army is at Terrabil ready to sally forth and strike the king in the rear if he turns toward the treasure storage.

King Uther sends three-quarters of his force to besiege Terrabil and the rest to Tintagel.

Player Hook

A choice of options exists for the player knights here. Gamemasters may wish to give them a choice of going to battle at Terrabil to get Glory, or to go to Tintagel and possibly witness an event that earns them none. No more need be said. If they want the Glory, they remain at Terrabil.

The Battle of Terrabil

Source: Malory I
The army assembles around Terrabil and sets up a siege. It is long and boring. One day, Merlin departs from the siege of Terrabil, destination unknown top all but himself. That night, before the king’s army can be strengthened by more troops reported to be on their way, the duke sallies forth and falls on the king’s army in camp.

++++Before the Battle
It is night. The knights are in camp relaxing and carousing when a sentinel shouts. A moment later, a trumpet blares and is cut off halfway through the call to arms. At the far edges of the camp — several places! — men shout, horses scream, and metal clashes upon shield.

This is a surprise attack, so none of the usual modifiers for commanders’ Battle rolls are used. Nonetheless, treat it initially as if it were a battle, but with just with 1 combat round per battle round.

Ask the players, “Will your knights don their armor before fighting?” They need not do so, and canrush off immediately to fight without armor (or perhaps just shields). If some knights wish to do this, have their squires or fellows shout warnings at them to armor up. “Fighting Cornish knights without armor will be fatal!”

If they wish, however, they can run away and fight without armor. There’s a good chance they will be killed or badly wounded, but sometimes people need a lesson on just how useful armor really is.

If they do not run off, they can do one of two things with their squires’ help: either arm, or prepare a horse. Both require a full round for the squire. As they perform one of these two things, they hear the battle coming closer and they see camp followers panicked, some wounded, rushing past them.

After one round, ask whether each knight wishes to rush to battle or to perform the other possible action (i.e., either horse or armor). If they wish to prepare for a second round, they can be both armed and mounted. Get their answers, but then inform them that before they have a chance to complete the second action, they are attacked. Those knights who chose to rush to battle this round are prepared and can fight back, while the skills for being unprepared (this round only).

  • Length of Battle: 2 rounds + see below.
  • Modifiers: As above (otherwise none).
  • Rounds 1-2: In each of the first two rounds, roll 1d6 for the player knights’ opponents
    • 1: Irish kerns armed with bows
    • 2: Footmen
    • 3: Armored guardsmen with great spears
    • 4: Young knights
    • 5: Veteran knights
    • 6: Notable knights

Each round, describe the melee and the sounds of battle; they can hear Prince Madoc shouting, “Rally to the banner! Rally to the banner!” and they can see the banner fluttering in the light of burning tents and supplies. They know it is their duty (and to their advantage) to rally there, and they ought to fight their way towards their commander.

  • 3rd round: Tell the knights they can see that Prince Madoc, now afoot, is hand to hand with Duke Gorlois, who remains mounted. The duke is shouting, “Stand aside! Send me your father.” Ask if the player knights wish to abandon safety and rush towards the prince, letting their next foes take a free hit upon them, or if they prefer to fight their way slowly toward the prince.
  • 4th round: Whether they ran to help or fought steadily, the player knights witness the duke send the prince’s weapon flying from his hand, and then chop hard upon the prince, cutting him from the neck deep into the chest! (This is a critical success for the duke against a fumble for the prince!) The prince stands, dumbfounded, deeply wounded and glaring at the duke, blood trickling out of his mouth and spurting freely from his wound.
    • Now player knights can choose. The blood-soaked duke tugs at his sword as he turns upon them and shouts, “Where is the king? Send me the king!” He is clearly impassioned with hatred, deadly and intent upon the business of destruction. Warn the players of the danger here, even to the point of telling them openly, “His Sword skill right now is 33, you know. Are you sure you want to fight him?” Be sure to describe pointedly that his sword is lodged in the body of the prince. If a player asks whether his sword is stuck (i.e., so that he is effectively disarmed), tell them that it appears to be stuck, “but you can’t tell how badly. He can probably fight against you.” Let the players decide whether to attack or not.
      • If they do, they each get a free attack upon the duke, whose sword is stuck firmly in the body of the prince. The prince collapses at the end of this round, and Gorlois’s sword goes with him; the duke reaches for the mace hanging from his saddle. As soon as the knights have struck the duke, his own bodyguard intervenes, all of them veteran knights on horseback, shouting, “Gorlois! Gorlois!” Treat them all as being inspired by their Loyalty (lord) passion.
  • 5th round: Fight on. More knights may intervene to help the player knights. Maybe they interpose themselves between the bodyguards and the duke, letting the player knights hack their foe to pieces. All the player knights may fall, but the purpose here is to kill the duke. If the players do not succeed, then other knights in the camp do.
  • 6th round onward: The fight rages on, but when his bodyguard set up the cry “The duke is dead!” his army loses heart and withdraws. Trumpets sound the retreat and they back out of camp, leaving behind fire and chaos along with the dead and wounded.
  • Post-Retreat: “On them! On them!” shouts Duke Ulfius, leading a band of surviving knights in pursuit of the retreating Cornish enemy. If any player knights are still hale, the Gamemaster may allow them to pursue the enemy to the castle, perhaps even entering the castle first and leading Uther’s forces in its capture.
  • After the Battle: The carnage viewed in the daytime is horrible. The castle is afire in places, with knights and men at arms milling around and the sounds of men shouting and women screaming from within.
  • Victor: Royal forces, but with serious losses.
  • Plunder: None.
  • Glory: 30 per round, plus any gained from defeated foes.
    • Killing the Duke: 250 Glory among any who helped.
    • Leading Attack into Castle: 250 Glory among any player knights who led the way.

Tintagel Castle

The player knights are with the king’s forces besieging Castle Tintagel, a fortress nearly impregnable by virtue of its natural features. It is built on top of an island with cliffs all around, and can be approached only from the mainland by a natural stone causeway that spans the water, wide enough for only 3 or 4 men, with troops subject to missile fire the whole way. The knights can watch a few assaults across the causeway, all of which end in disaster. Even after getting across the causeway, the castle’s walls and gates stop attackers. Uther sets up some trebuchets that hurl rocks and burning balls of pitch against the walls, but to little effect. The knights are bored. They can watch King Uther rage in his command post.

One afternoon, Merlin arrives in the camp and has a secret conference with Uther. Perhaps the knights hear the plans, but probably not. (Why should they be privy to the secret councils of the king and the Archdruid?) Still, perhaps they are on guard that night, when they see the king and his counselor silently depart from the tent, leave the camp entirely, and go to a nearby sacred stone in the distance. Merlin raises his arms and begins to chant, and a great thick fog forms at sea and moves in like a cliff to envelop the castle, the causeway, and the entire besieging camp.


  • Success: You hear the hollow clattering of hooves, the faraway shout of “The duke! The duke! Open the gate!”
  • Critical: You witness the postern door open, and Duke Gorlois strides into the castle. Perhaps the knights remain awake, out of curiosity, and before dawn notice the duke depart again, riding from the castle and becoming lost in the fog.)

The night is cold and long. The knights are relieved of their guard duty. The air is eerie, too cold, with strange sounds intruding into a sleep that is troubled by dreams of dragons and blood.

In the morning, messengers come with news both good and bad. The good is that Duke Gorlois was killed in battle and Castle Terrabil taken in a fierce night battle. The bad is that Prince Madoc, the son of the king, was also killed in the fighting. When Uther hears the news, sitting in state upon his throne set up in the war camp, he glances sharply at Merlin, who as always remains entirely impassive. Uther, hard as iron, takes on the visage of a man who has lost a son; he departs from the public eye to weep in private. Merlin shows no emotion, but appears exhausted. Ask the player knights to reflect upon these events. Surely the king is not the only one to have lost kin or boon companion in this fight.

The Next Day

The body of the duke is brought to Tintagel. Under flag of truce, it is borne across the causeway and taken into the castle. Even across the straits, the keening and weeping of those inside is easily heard. After a day, the king sends Brastias, under flag of truce, to the castle. He is admitted. Some time later he returns, with word for the king that the duchess has agreed to surrender.

Everyone is triumphant. The king announces that justice has been done: The traitor is dead and now peace and unity can return to the land of Britain. The duchess comes forth with her household, all dressed in mourning black, and surrenders to the king, who places her into his protective custody.

Temporary Assignment

Uther appoints keepers of the castles he has conquered, but never another Duke of Cornwall. He appoints Sir Thebert, a notable knight from Marlboro, as the temporary warden of Terrabil. Uther also (with permission from their liege lords) appoints the player knights, along with some other knights from elsewhere, as the temporary garrison at Castle Tinatigel. Uther announces that he is going to remain at Tintagel, at least until the funeral for his son. As the army packs up to leave, messengers bring word that the Saxon King Ælle has conquered another city in the south. Uther accepts the news, but it does not seem to make him particularly unhappy.

Royal Funeral

A royal funeral is held for the prince. Many nobles, including Earl Roderick, come to pay respects. Madoc is buried at Stonehenge, near his uncle Aurelius Ambrosius.


  • Success: You notice a gravesite that is being kept for Uther, for the unfortunate day he will die. You see also that Uther is deeply grieved by his son’s death.) Since Earl Roderick’s castle is very close, he is host to many of the visiting nobles. This is a good chance for the player knights to meet NPCs from other regions.

Glory: 50 Glory for attending.

Sussex: Saxon Victory

Source: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
More distantly, while Uther was engaged in Cornwall, King Ælle of the South Saxons was reinforced by another contingent of Germans brought over from the continent by his son Cissa. Together they lay siege to the city of Pevensey, and after starving the residents for weeks they assault the walls and slay everyone. Men, women, and children are sacrificed to Wotan, the bloody Saxon war god.

Uther’s Wedding

The king announces almost immediately his impending marriage to the duchess Ygraine, only a couple of months after the death of her husband; many courtiers consider it a clever and wise move on her part to secure the friendship and the protection of the king.

The preparations for the wedding are lavish and costly, and though many warriors complain that it is time to attack King Ælle to keep him from consolidating his victory, the king laughingly brushes them off and prepares for the wedding, which occurs in the late summer. In such a crowded social milieu, Gamemasters ought to prepare for many bouts of social interaction between player knights and allies or rivals, and/or with suitable ladies.

Glory: 50 Glory for attending.

Christmas Court

The player knights spend the winter in Tintagel, where Uther has ordered Aralyd to garrison the castle. Other knights are at Tintagel on similar duty. Meanwhile, Uther reviews the claims of the knights who served Gorlois. This is another good opportunity for the Gamemaster to introduce other knights or characters whom he wishes the player knights to know. In addition to any others the Gamemaster desires, at least mention (and show the arms of) these knights and groups:

  • Sir Verius (Glory = 1,800), from Clarence, who happily says of himself that he is “from the land of Dobunni.”
  • Sir Alain de Carlion (Glory = 2,200) from Estregales (Silures), vassal of King Nanteleod of the Silures.
  • Sir Cador of Cornwall (Glory = 3,300) from Wadebridge. A relative of the former queen and former knight of Duke Gorlois, Cador’s lands are rich with tin. Due to the wealthy mining operations, King Uther impounds Cador's lands and appoints a loyal Baron of his own. Sir Cador has refuses to take a liege and departs prior to the Christmas celebration. He hires himself, his well paid soldiers and trained lineage men out to the highest bidder. His original intent is to travel to Estregales and offer his services to King Nanteleod.

Many stories can be made in Tintagel. Maybe they have acquired an Amor (or Lust) for Ygraine, so they make up some excuse to visit. This is also a good time to introduce the three daughters of Ygraine.

  • Margawse, the eldest. A pretty and conniving woman, a bit rebellious, in her late teens. Of marriageable age, she is the object of numerous rumors regarding whom the king will marry her to.
  • Elaine, the middle child. A young woman, less pretty than Margawse and less clever than her younger. She is also of marriageable age, and rumors of dowry and betrothal also surround her.
  • Morgan, the youngest. A dark and brooding girl who watches everything and says nothing in the presence of her betters. Too young to marry, she nonetheless is eyed as a candidate soon for those who would want to get close to the king.

Gifts this winter are from King Uther, the temporary lord of the castle, and are sufficient to maintain the knights at their normal station (4£.) As a result, anything earned from the player knights’ own manors can be laid aside as treasure.


Rhys can try to convince Earl Aralyd to take him back to Hertford if he so desires. Both a Courtesy or an Orate check can be made, either one succeeding convinces the Earl to release Rhys. Rhys can later try to convince Sir Thebert if needed. Either a Courtesy or Orate check must be made to be released. At Hertford, Diane and her child will occupy Rhys' time.

If Rhys makes it to the Hertford court for Christmas then he spends time with his child and Diane. Diane requires of him to Win a Challenge: Player skill - 5, Unhorsed with Sharp Arms, Win Truth of Conflict with Elmig. Rhys is challenged by a Caercolun "Young or Average" knight till unhorsed to prove his innocence in his attack of Duke Elmig.

If Rhys does go to Hertford for Christmas he will not receive the 4£ gift from King Uther.


Sir Caralyn

Glory Gained: 50
Attributes: SIZ 16, DEX 9, STR 13, CON 19, APP 12;
Damage: 5d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 2
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 35, Unconscious: 9, Major Wound: 19, Knockdown: 16
Traits: Valorous 16, Honest 16
Skills: Dagger 5, Spear Expertise 15, Sword 17; Battle 10, Horsemanship 20, Awareness 7, Courtesy 5, First Aid 10, Read Latin 10, Recognize 10, Hunting 11, Tourney 0.
Passions: Loyalty (lord) 13, Love (Family) 18, Hospitality 15, Honor 15, Hate (Saxons) 14
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Lord Shirburn

Glory Gained: 100
Attributes: SIZ 15, DEX 11, STR 14, CON 15, APP 11;
Damage: 5d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 3
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 30, Unconscious: 8, Major Wound: 15, Knockdown: 15
Traits: Valorous 15
Skills: Dagger 10, Spear Expertise 16, Sword 21, Battle 16, Horsemanship 16, Awareness 12, Courtesy 10, First Aid 10, Heraldry 10, Hunting 10, Tourney 10.
Passions: Love (Family) 16, Loyalty (Lord) 8, Honor 16
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Irish Kerns

Glory Gained: 10
Attributes: SIZ 10, DEX 10, STR 10, CON 10, APP 9;
Damage: 3d6, Healing Rate: 2, Move: 2
Armor: 6+shield
HP: 20, Unconscious: 5, Major Wound: 10, Knockdown: 10
Traits: Valorous 8
Skills: Dagger 8, Spear 13, Awareness 10


Glory Gained: 10
Attributes: SIZ 10, DEX 10, STR 10, CON 13, APP 10;
Damage: 3d6, Healing Rate: 2, Move: 3
Armor: 6+shield
HP: 23, Unconscious: 6, Major Wound: 13, Knockdown: 10
Traits: Valorous 12
Skills: Dagger 6, Spear 10, Sword 10, Awareness 10

Armored Guardsmen with Great Spears

Glory Gained: 15
Attributes: SIZ 12, DEX 10, STR 12, CON 13, APP 10;
Damage: 3d6, Healing Rate: 2, Move: 3
Armor: 8+shield
HP: 25, Unconscious: 6, Major Wound: 13, Knockdown: 12
Traits: Valorous 12
Skills: Dagger 6, Spear 15, Sword 10, Awareness 10

Young Knight

Glory Gained: 25
Attributes: SIZ 14, DEX 11, STR 11, CON 14, APP 11;
Damage: 4d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 2
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 28, Unconscious: 7, Major Wound: 14, Knockdown: 14
Traits: Valorous 13
Skills: Dagger 5, Spear Expertise 13, Sword 15; Battle 10, Horsemanship 10. Awareness 10, Courtesy 5, First Aid 10, Heraldry 5, Hunting 5, Tourney 10.
Passions: Loyalty (lord) 15.
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Veteran Knight

Glory Gained: 50
Attributes: SIZ 14, DEX 11, STR 14, CON 14, APP 11;
Damage: 5d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 3
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 28, Unconscious: 7, Major Wound: 14, Knockdown: 14
Traits: Valorous 1d6+13
Skills: Dagger 5, Spear Expertise 15, Sword 19; Battle 15, Horsemanship 15. Awareness 10, Courtesy 10, First Aid 10, Heraldry 10, Hunting 10, Tourney 10.
Passions: Loyalty (lord) 15.
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Notable Knight

Glory Gained: 100
Attributes: SIZ 15, DEX 11, STR 14, CON 15, APP 11;
Damage: 5d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 3
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 30, Unconscious: 8, Major Wound: 15, Knockdown: 15
Traits: Valorous 15
Skills: Dagger 10, Spear Expertise 16, Sword 21, Battle 16, Horsemanship 16, Awareness 12, Courtesy 10, First Aid 10, Heraldry 10, Hunting 10, Tourney 10.
Passions: One or more (16).
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Duke Gorlois

Glory Gained: 250
Attributes: SIZ 8, DEX 5, STR 12, CON 12, APP 6;
Damage: 3d6, Healing Rate: 2, Move: 1
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 20, Unconscious: 5, Major Wound: 12, Knockdown: 8
Traits: Valorous 21
Skills: Dagger 3, Spear Expertise 19, Sword 21, Battle 20, Horsemanship 19, Awareness 19, Courtesy 6, First Aid 16, Heraldry 0, Hunting 2, Tourney 0.
Passions: Loyalty (Vassals) 16, Love (Ygraine) 18
Horse: Charger (6d6).

Manor Results

  • Lewarewich - Horrible wind and hailstorm. Bad 3£.
  • High Wycomb - Horrible wind and hailstorm. Crit care as liege men and peasants really pull together with the Percys. 6£ (cost 5£.)
  • Henlow - Dispute among peasants at Henlow. Godfrey is called in to adjudicate. Morcheidys develops a connection with a to sell wool. 9£. +100 population and +1d20 levy.
    • Madness of Sir Madog.
      • 490 Fall and Winter = Fall in with Bandits. Bow, Dagger, Hunting.
      • 491 Spring and Summer = death released you from his company. You receive the benefit of his largesse.
      • 491 Fall and Winter = You wandered the forest prophesying and were restored to you true self by wandering friars. You gain 1d3 prophecies of the future. Religion (your own).
  • Bushey - Terrible luck in your beautiful new manor. A fire ravages through it at midwinter while you are away. You come home in the Spring Bad. 3£. +3 Hate.
  • Boxbourne - Sax Raid yet again; but, the Earl keeps these lands protected by lots of footmen. 6£. Gain a ditch, rampart and moat. Increase glory by 1. Increase annual costs by 1£. The Earl sends and provisions 5 professional soldiers year round to man the ramparts.
  • Sawbridgetooth - Flood from the river ruined crops for the year. Bad harvest. 3£ (cost 5£.) Gain a ditch, rampart and moat. Increase glory by 1. Increase annual costs by 1£. The Earl sends and provisions 5 professional soldiers year round to man the ramparts.
  • Shefford - Incredible harvest and fine steward in Gentlewoman Obilot. 12£. +100 population and +1d20 levy.
  • Knebworth - Steward dies early in the year. Replace steward 6£ (cost 6£.)
  • Chesham - Fine weather; but, the steward waits over long to harvest the grain. The result is a bad harvest. Total of 3£ income (making the profit -2£.)
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