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Ayrfaw_by_Hortlak.jpg
Ayrfaw, copyright Hortlak at Deviant Art

Soundtrack: "Die Young" by Black Sabbath
Session Journal: Grinder

Spring Thaw

  • Sir Betlowe, Castellan of Hertford Castle, dies of stroke on New Year's Day.
  • Winter hunters from Shirburn appraising Lewarewich. Quite outnumbered.
  • Feeling jealous of Diane, Lilo shows an interest in Falconry.
  • Word arrives that King Uther will actually hold court this year and all peers must attend.
    • Earl Hertford is worried that the Saxons may come south before Pentecost and so gathers his nights to stay in Hertford Castle while away at court in Sarum.
    • The leaders of Hertfordshire, including all player knights, are to come to Sarum.
  • Octa, Eossa and the Centurion King spend the early summer consolidating their hold on Lindsey and gathering troops for a great push southward.
  • Who are the knights provided by Betlowe and by Stowemarket?

Court

Court is held at Sarum. Pentecost is June 4th.

Special Guests

The assembled army of Logres, plus many allies. Notables include:

  • Duke Ulfius of Silchester - Focused on keeping the peers believing that Uther really is in charge and urging Uther to show himself.
  • Earl Roderick of Salisbury - Focused on keeping the peace and hospitality.
  • Earl Huntington - Desperately trying to convince people to muster immediately and ride north.
  • Earl Uriel of Tribruit - Worried about the growing strength of faerie in his kingdom and the fact that some villages are being cut off by the thickening forest.
  • Duchess Diane of Caercolun - With her husband, Lord Norwich. The young children were left at Hertford Castle.
  • King Cadwy of Somerset - Ready to bring his knights.
  • Earl Tegwyn of Jagent - with his son, Sir Tegfan. Tegfan is still uncertain about Uther but Tegwyn swore fealty after the fall of Gorlois.
  • Earl Earddin of Devon - Close friends with Lord Cador, he is found always at Cador's side.
  • Steward Thebert of Tintagel - Stays close to Ulfius and Duke Clarence.
  • Duke Clarence - Stays close to Ulfius and Thebert. Adamant that the kingdom must meet the Saxons this year.
  • Earl Gerther of Wuerensis - Worried, in a rather irrational way, that the Saxons will chose to march into his lands instead of on London.
  • Earl Dadger of Marlboro - Quiet and reserved, mainly focused on finding a wife since his died in childbirth last year.
  • Earl Abbas of Dorset - Ready to bring his knights.
  • Earl Gorwyn of Southports - Ready to bring his knights, though wants to keep his footmen home to defend against marine assault.
  • Earl Hampshire - Only wants to send half the knights and footmen, worried that King Ælle of Sussex will take this opportunity to strike westward.
  • Earl Windsor - Totally subservient to Duke Ulfius.
  • Earl London - Focusing on building defenses as a fallback position should the army fail in the field.
  • Earl Rhydychan - Ready to bring his knights.
  • King Nanteleod - Will send 2/3rds of his knights and footmen; but, must keep some at home because of trouble after King Canan's death.
  • Lord Cador - Stays close to Earl Earddin of Devon or with Queen Ygraine.

Notably Absent are:

  • Duke Lindsey - Dead at Lincoln
  • Earl Lambor - Missing and presumed dead.
  • Earl Lonazep - Dead at Lincoln
  • Earl Sanam of Bedegraine - Still holding out against the Saxons in his wilderness county.
  • King Canan of Estregales - Killed in attempted coup d'etat last year. Squire Lak is trying his best to stay alive in the ensuing anarchy.
  • Duke Gloucester - Trying to stay afloat in the anarchy after King Canan's death.

Ladies

  • Ophelia of Knebworth - Ophelia is now of marriageable age and quite sought after for her looks. Suitors are somewhat wary given Knebworth's curse and the fear that Ophelia may inherit Knebworth if Obilot's young son dies.
  • Adwen apf Caramig - The Marshal is promising a newly built manor house and village of refugees from Essex to whomever marries his daughter. Adwen herself thinks only of going to King Uther's court. The fact that King's Court isn't held this year is greatly troubling to her. She is somewhat scornful of any mere vassal knight, particularly one in debt (like Lan.)
  • Glesni apf Owain - Hopes to kill a Saxon herself; but, really is looking forward to wooing the knight who shows the most vicious deadliness against the Saxons.

Gossip

Ophelia: “Don’t you think that we should go away now, before it is too late?”
Lady Odstock: “The king is here with all the knights of Logres. We are safe.”
Ophelia: “But how do you think Uther will fight, sick as he is? The men seem uneasy with it.”
Iulia: “Do you think we have enough supplies set aside, in case we have to run for it?”
Lady Odstock: “Well, I’ll say that I’m going to spend the night with that new squire if we’re that close to dying.”
Glesni: “Listen, darlings, Uther may be ill, but it isn’t over yet.”

News

Brastias: “They’re just Saxons, men. We have beaten them before; we will beat them again. They aren’t even smart enough to ride horses!”
Ulfius: “The Saxons wintered at Eburacum and have begun moving south. We are going to get them.”

Royal Conversation

None. The king remains ill but has called for a war council.

There is a hunt in the Camelot Forest to the south. Four teams put 1£ into a pot for the best prize. The player knights may join as one or more teams so long as they add to the pot.

  • Earl Uriel of Tribruit: Hunting 23 - Considered the finest hunter in Logres, Earl Uriel sets out with two of his favorite knights. They easily find a spoor for red deer and follow it through the wood. The trail is eventually lost without ever gaining sight of the deer.
  • Earl Tegwyn of Jagent: Hunting 19 - Another of the best huntsmen in Logres, Earl Tegwyn and his son go off with two of their household knights. The four men find a wolf pack who were themselves stalking a herd of fallow deer. Charging at the wolves as they began to spread out to attack the deer, Tegwyn and Tegfan both killed their prey. Tegfan received a gash across his horse's leg and was thrown; but, managed to spear the brute afoot. The other wolves escaped.
  • Earl Roderick of Salisbury: Hunting 2 - Never known for his woodsmanship, Earl Roderick plays the good host and resolves to go hunting nonetheless. He fails to find spoor.
  • Earl Earddin of Dorset: Hunting 10 - Earddin nearly bags deer; but, they escaped at the last minute. While slowly stalking his prey Earl Dorset came close enough to consider a dash but then was stymied by a mad charge from Earl Jagent. It seemed there were wolves stalking the same deer and the men from Jagent were after the wolves. Earddin is frustrated at Tegwyn and claims unfairness; but, Earl Roderick sides with Tegwyn.

Intrigue

The king is very ill. Many of his court feel he is dying, and some of them fear that he is not making the best decision to fight here. The Saxons have a lot of reinforcements. Earl Hertford asks Baron Landry to chose another man to stay and watch the court.

  • Critical Success: Overhear Lord Shirburn telling Sir Caralyn to not attend muster and make another raid while Hertford is down. Could also hear this on a critical success for Hunting.
  • Success: Ulfius is the one arguing that Logres' army should hang back and let the Saxons extend themselves into Hertford. This will allow the Saxons to spread themselves as thinly as possible and lose forces overcoming the garrisons of Huntington, Royston, Hertford and St. Albans. Roderick argues to try to save Huntington and Hertford.
  • Success: For someone else - Ulfius contends to elevate Lord Levcomagus to Duke Caercolun and will provide 30 knights to ride with him against Æthelswith.
  • Failure: Edon swears to fight a member of immediately after the battle with the Saxons.
  • Fumble: Edon breaks hospitality and draws his blade in the town to duel. There will be enough other Cornishmen to keep any other player knights at bay.

Sir Edon
Glory Gained: 25
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
Combat Skills: Dagger 10, Spear Expertise 15,Sword 19, Battle 15, Horsemanship 15
Traits: Valorous 12
Skills: Awareness 10, Courtesy 10, First Aid 10, Heraldry 10
Passions: Loyalty (Lord) 18
Horse: Charger (6d6)

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).

Another attempt can be made by Sir Rhodri to get Lucius ap Elmig as page. He must critically succeed at Intrigue; but, he can get a +5 for partnership with his wife. The best chance of success is to have Rhodri succeed and add the +5 to Gwenhwyfar's intrigue. Each must have a plan of attack. Failure means Lucius pages at Amersham.

Events

Flight of Hertfordshire

Earl Hertford arrives in Hertford on June 13th, eight days of travel from Sarum by the Ickneid Way. Earl Huntington continues on and reaches Royston on June 14th. Earl Hertford also travels to Royston to get the latest news. By June 15th he's back to Hertford; but, he stops at Henlow on the way to provide a token over the expected doom - a silver medallion of the green man (1£.)

Once at Hertford, Aralyd hears that Saxons are storming into Huntington and the people flee southward. Many refugees are on the road and most travel to London, thinking Hertford has no chance to stand against Octa and Eossa. If left to his own devices, will send folks out on June 16th, which results in many deaths on the road.

Æthelswith (June 16th)

As Royston falls, Æthelswith sweeps in from the forests to cut off any retreat toward London. If refugees from Hatfield northward haven't already gone to London then the road is cut off. Boxbourne and Sawbridgetooth are overrun.

Royston (June 16th)

Earl Huntington passed through just a few days prior to Saxons reaching Royston. By the time Earl Huntington reached his county the Saxons had already overrun much of it and refugees were streaming southward. Earl Huntington decides to send out as many scouts as possible to collect his fleeing vassals and return to Sarum. Earl Huntington himself leaves Royston two days before the Saxons arrive and surround the city. Royston is swarmed by Saxon ceorls. Even though the Saxons lose many untrained ceorl levies, the city is overrun and falls in a day.

Henlow (June 17th)

Ten thousand Saxons march within bowshot of Henlow Hall. With no palisade or motte or moat, putting up a defense is senseless. If the people of Henlow haven't fled by the early morning of June 16th then they won't be able to reach London before Æthelswith closes the London road. The Ickneid Way is still open until Hertford is seiged.

Hertford Castle (June 19th - June 28th)

With the fall of Royston, Earl Hertford orders a retreat to Sarum. It is a sorrowful day he sends many people to London, though his own retinue and that of Duchess Diane is sent to Sarum. Those sent to London are beset by Æthelswith along the way and many perish. Only the garrison of Hertford remains to slow the Saxons down as a rearguard so that the people and the knights might muster at Sarum. Volunteers are welcomed; but, Earl Hertford discourages knights to stay since it is fully expected that all will die. Also, the castellan is untried since old Castellan Uren died that winter.

The main part of the Saxon army surrounds Hertford.
Siege 20A/14D
DV 3/10/11
Intensity 30
TI 1 day

  • June 20th: 5A/11D - Disease (D), Intensity 37 - The food was hurriedly gathered and some had rot. A mild intestinal disease spreads through a fair number of the defenders. The few household knights staying in Hertford want to charge and make a run for safety; but, the castellan refuses citing the need to divert the Saxon army as long as possible. CON roll for any player knight in attendance. Anyone failing is at -5 for all rolls for 1d6 days.
  • June 21st: 9A/10D - Disease (D), Intensity 45 - The second day of disease spreads while people try to discern what is causing the plague. It will be found to be the grain, somewhat rotting. The problem resolves itself, however, as the Saxons scale the city walls at dusk and fight the defenders in the streets. Heavy casualties on both sides leave the city to Octa and Eossa while the bailey and castle remains under control of the defenders.
  • June 22nd: 11A/15D - Disease (D), Intensity 35 - Many are wounded and quite a few of those become infected. During this first day there is no fever for the infected; but, tension mounts. The Saxon army prepares a battering ram and builds many ladders. The defenders don't have enough stones left to throw.
  • June 23rd: 16A/19D - Disease (D), Intensity 45 - Fully half the defenders are now unable to fight. They were either killed in defending the city, succumbed to diarrhea from the ruined grain or are greatly weakened by high fever from infected wounds. With only about 20 fighting men remaining, the outer wall is easily swarmed by ceorls scampering up ladders. The defenders fall back to the main keep.
  • June 24th: 12A/19D - Disease (D), Intensity 35 - Full on dysentery strikes the defenders. With so many nursing one wound or another, and a few succumbing to febrility, a sickened substitute steward ends up passing on dysentery to almost all the defenders. Everyone fears the castle will fall very soon but all would give their lives to halt the Saxon army even one more day. Most of the Saxon army leaves while only a thousand or so warriors remain to finish the castle.
  • June 25th: 11A/22D - Countermeasures, Intensity 29 - A desperate gambit by a trio of defenders leaves the princeling in charge of finishing off the keep is captured and hauled back through an escape tunnel into the castle. The Saxons find the escape tunnel entrance and try to enter through it; but, the defenders seal it from the inside. Now there is no escape. The Saxons refuse to negotiate for their princeling.
  • June 26th: 11A/9D - Disease (D), Intensity 36 - Down to only a dozen defenders, those who were infected begin to die. Their bodies are burnt in the great hall in a solemn ceremony that leaves any who see it in tears. Morale is at an all time low. The Saxon princeling is strangled by the castellan.
  • June 27th: 20A/21D - Nothing, Intensity 36 - A day of stalemate. The bulk of the remaining Saxons leave, with only about 200 warriors remaining to surround the keep. It seems the Saxons may be content to leave the defenders alive rather than risk more lives.
  • June 28th: 8A/10D - Disease (D), Intensity 42 - All of the remaining defenders fall sick. One of the household knights takes it upon himself to open the gate and the defenders are captured. Hertford castle falls on the 9th day of the siege. All the prisoners are taken to St. Albans for interrogation.

Stowemarket (June 23rd)

Æthelswith's forces comb the area taking supplies for troops in Hertford. With little in the way of defense yet, the people surrender. Gewaine is given up to the Saxons as their lord. Gewaine's son, Gailen, flees and tries to reach Sir Bushey to tell the tale. Gailen rides hard through the night until his horse dies. He then goes afoot until he reaches London on June 26th, the same day that St. Albans falls. Gailen won't catch up with Sir Bushey until July 7th.

St. Albans (June 26th)

The Saxons get a late start on their march from Hertford to St. Albans. In actuality they spent the morning preparing ladders and working out an immediate assault. They arrive to St. Albans at twilight and immediately assault the walls. The defenders are surprised by the uncanny tactic and fall quickly. Inside is a slaughter. Many of the people flee, including most refugees from the surrounding countryside, Huntington and other parts of Hertfordshire. Any important NPCs as refugees in St. Albans must make roll a d20, with an 8+ meaning survival and escape or survival within the city itself. This means 40% of the people are slain.

Bushey (July 1st)

A troop of about 80 Saxon warriors, mostly ceorl levy from Essex, come to strip Bushey of food and valuables. The Saxons don't want a fight. They want the food and, if easily taken, valuables. Then they'll move along.

Chesham (July 1st)

A troop of about 80 Saxon warriors, mostly ceorl levy from Essex, come to strip Chesham of food and valuables. The Saxons don't want a fight. They want the food and, if easily taken, valuables. Then they'll move along. Some of the peasants give the Saxons a hard time and the Saxons torch some homes.

Muster at Sarum

The royal army musters at Sarum one month after Pentecost to ride north. This leaves barely enough time to muster all the knights from the far flung counties. Further counties are to bring their footmen to London for its defense should Uther fail in the field. By the time the army moves, Hertford Castle and St. Albans is besieged while Royston and Huntington have already fallen.

Battle of St. Albans

Uther's army reaches St. Albans on July 9th, a full two weeks after St. Albans falls. The Saxons work out a defensive plan as much as possible during this time, which leads to the trap described below.

As the royal army, roughly 1,500 British knights and 5,000 foot, closes on the city of St. Albans, the peasants who had been hiding come to the British camp and report that the Saxons took the city by surprise, slaying all the defenders and many of the residents. Player knights will be sent to help the refugees first, with the belief that Uther is to invest the city in a siege. This means the player knights are not involved in the disastrous first attack on the gates. This close to the city on the first day, it is expected that the player knights be in armor much of the time.

The player knights were, however, spotted by Saxon foragers. It is a force of 2xPKs Saxon scouts plus a thegn, who do their best to sneak up and attack. The scout leader must make a successful Hunting check (at 15) opposed by the refugees (Awareness 7) and by the knights. If he succeeds at the refugees then the scouts charge into the refugees by surprise. If the knights are beaten then the knights have no time to even mount. Should the knights be unarmored or the mounts unsaddled at the time then the knights are in big trouble.

Saxon Patrol
Glory Gained: 35
Attributes: SIZ 16, DEX 8, STR 14, CON 14, APP 11
Damage: 5d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 3
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 30, Unconscious: 8, Major Wound: 14, Knockdown: 16
Combat Skills: Sword 14, Spear 13
Traits: Valorous 12
Skills: Awareness 12, Horsemanship 12, Swimming 10
Passions: Honor 10

Thegn
Glory Gained: 50
Attributes: SIZ 18, DEX 9, STR 15, CON 14, APP 9
Damage: 6d6, Healing Rate: 3, Move: 2
Armor: 10+shield
HP: 31, Unconscious: 8, Major Wound: 13, Knockdown: 18
Traits: Energetic 16, Arbitrary 12, Proud 16, Worldly 17, Reckless 15, Valorous 15
Passions: Rechtschaffenheit 17
Skills: Awareness 10, Boating 10, First Aid 13, Folklore 10, Recognize 10, Battle 11, Horsemanship 14, Sword 17, Spear 14

Upon closer inspection, the army sees that the gates to the city are open! King Uther does not wait, but orders his forward units to attack immediately and seize the gate, and all others to follow as they can. But it is a trap. Some troops get inside the city and are slaughtered, and then for the rest of the long day the British archers shoot at the defenders and many good foot soldiers perish trying to get over the walls. The attack fails.

The army is generally depressed by this failure. Night falls, they rest fitfully. At dawn the next day, King Octa and his army of 9,000 file out of the city to meet Uther in open battle.

Battle of St. Albans

Source: Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Brittania
Length of Battle: 8 rounds
Battle Size: Large

Commanders

  • King Uther (Battle = 20)
  • King Octa (Battle = 19)

Modifiers

  • British are not confident: –5.
  • Uther has superior troops: +5.
  • Saxons are all on foot, so mounted knights get +5 to Combat skills.

The Fight

Normal. At some point, Earl Hertford's horse is struck down and his men must rescue him from Saxon warriors (maybe inspired by their hatred for the Cymric knights; perhaps a berserker or two are present).

After the Battle

Victor: Decisive Victory (Uther). The Saxons took many more losses, and the survivors slipped away as soon as possible. British losses are significant, but not horrible. The worst is that Duke Ulfius and Sir Brastias have both received grave wounds and are in the hospital.
Plunder: £10 of goods
Glory: 60 per round, x2 for Decisive Victory

The Infamous Feast

The army and populace are ecstatic. Cooks and servants prepare a huge feast at the castle in St. Albans. The nobles are to eat in the Great Hall, while the bulk of the army is to eat at makeshift tables spread in the bailey. Knights who were notably successful in the battle may have been invited to eat in the hall too. However, the bailey is hardly less magnificent.

Lord Berkhamstead sustained significant injuries and is comatose in the infirmary. Earl Hertford survives his fall well enough (or dies there) to attend the feast. Lord Owaine also attends the feast.

At the feast, the happiness of victory incites many to excess. Temperate/Indulgent rolls are in order. If indulgent, the knights drink enough to pass out early.

Special: Temperate. (Critical = “You didn’t drink anything.”) Remember whether this is so for each knight.

As well, Chaste/Lustful rolls may be in order. If lustful, a knight finds a willing lass to bed down with. They leave the feast and find some private place.

Knights who remain both temperate and chaste stay at the feast, filling themselves with good food, companionship, convivial pleasure, and the other emotions that come along with surviving a bloody battle.

Up in the Hall: Around midnight, everyone who has drunk wine or beer feels something awful happening inside them. They reel, then spasm, and begin vomiting food, then blood, and soon die from internal bleeding. The effect strikes suddenly and there is no cure, for this is the onset of a magical poison.

The only way a noble or knight can survive feasting in the Great Hall is by getting a critical success on a Temperate roll. Of course, the servers, many of them noblewomen, generally do not drink either.

In the Bailey: Many screams resound in the halls of the castle. What do the player knights do? Some may have passed out already, but may wake up from the sound. Others may be hidden away in the cow barn or some similar place, half naked with a laughing young lass, yet they may be distracted or alarmed by the terrible sound. (Or maybe not, in which case they will hear
of this only tomorrow.)

If any investigate up in the Great Hall, they witness the first fallen vomiting blood. It is clearly too late for them. The men are blue and purple, heaving up foaming red blood upon the tables, themselves, and each other. They stagger, gasping, and then crash upon the tables and floor, thrashing spasmodically. First Aid is useless, as is any other healing. The carnage is horrible; man after man falls to the floor, dying a horrible death.

If the knights witness this, whom do they seek? Uther? Earl Aralyd? Another? They can wade through the blood and vomit to find him if they wish. No matter, for he’s dead. They are all dead. All of them.

Panic, hysteria, and frantic, meaningless activity seize everyone in the castle, the town, and the nearby countryside. Gamemasters should ask what the player knights are doing. This is a crisis, and behavior in such circumstances is important. Checks may be given, rolls may be required.

At some point, the castellan’s wife asserts order. Servants begin the grim job of removing the corpses. It is clear that someone has treacherously poisoned the meal, probably the ale or wine (or both). Everyone who survives is devastated. Hundreds killed! Terrible enough, but look at the roster of dead!

The ruling class of Logres is virtually wiped out. The High King and just about all of his barons (except those in the hospital) have died. Earl Aralyd is dead. Marshal Hemel Hempstead is dead. Lord Owaine is dead. The land has no rulers. The mourning is keen and grievous for the many noble dead. Even Ygraine is sad — perhaps she was fond of the king after all? Or is she only worried about her safety now?

Funerals

The bodies are returned to their families, the dead borne on wagons with their best horses tied behind. A hundred black-shrouded processions crisscross Logres.

The body of Uther is taken to Salisbury for display, amid a mourning procession. Though it is the king, only a few nobles view the corpse: All have their own dead fathers, brothers, uncles, and so on. Hundreds of commoners visit every day of the journey, however.

Earl Aralyd lays in repose at Hertford Castle and is buried in the cathedral. Surviving player knights probably attend. Uther is buried at Stonehenge, between his brother Ambrosius and his son Madoc.

Glory: 25 for attending Aralyd's funeral; 100 for King Uther’s

Death of other NPCs

Each non-player character who acts as any kind of refugee after June 16th within Hertford (including St. Albans) needs to make a d20 roll. If the d20 is 15 or lower the NPC survives. All family members of PKs in the same situation must also roll.

Of the NPCs that are known to the PKs, only Lady Hemel Hempstead and the one year old grandson of Marshal Hemel Hempstead are caught and killed at St. Albans.

Where is Merlin?

Of course, the wizard is hiding from the king’s wrath. The king’s illness and the queen’s melancholy are probably both curses from the magician, it is commonly said, for he wants to take the throne of Britain for himself.

A Letter From Gales

King Nanteleod sends word that a large Irish army has invaded Gales, led by the King of Estregales with his knights and aided by hordes of mercenary kerns from Ireland. King Nanteleod was busy defending his land from them and could not aid Uther. (Of course, as a result, he avoided being poisoned.)

Christmas Court

Royal Court

Since there is no king and no heir, there is no Royal House. The king’s wife retires, and his knights are unattached until they find a new liege lord. Sir Brastias especially is sought after, but he spends considerable time traveling among the lords and entertaining offers from all of them, yet accepting none.

Hertford

It is a bad winter for everyone. The countess is grieving and despondent; the women are mourning and terrified; there are no officers to offer leadership. Make sure everyone is aware of the magnitude of this disaster. “There are no lords in Logres” becomes a common adage.

Explain the circumstances in Hertford: The heir to the seat is a 5-year-old boy, so his mother the Countess will rule until he is grown. She needs loyal knights to guard her and back her up. She is the legitimate authority, but only with the cooperation of knights to give force to her words. Will the player characters pledge to support her?

Lord Berkhamstead isn’t going to swear, he proclaims, and he is talking tough too about how it’s a time for strong men to rule, not women. (He’s trying to gauge the feelings of the other knights for one of them to be the actual leader here.) Sir Windridge, of course, is against Berkhamstead in this. He swears to support Countess Elaine and to protect the young heir with counsel and arms. So also will the new Lord Blelyd ap Caramig of Hemel Hempstead.

Allow the player knights to discuss what they will do. Of course they are expected to defend the countess and her young son, their future lord. Much of the future will be in their hands. If the player knights decide to swear to the countess, they all get a check to their Loyalty (lord) passion and also 1 point of Honor. The countess is grateful. Eventually, in the absence of another strong ruler to take the countess’s place, even Ad Ansam swears to serve her.

  • Fire at home to send Windridge home before people swore fealty to Countess Elaine.
  • Sir Tydig, who hasn't been able to fight, lost his wife to a Saxon rapist. He insists upon marrying Glesni ap Owaine and will put his brother (Sir Endig) up to fight Sir Gailen for her hand. If Gailen doesn't win her hand then Sir Tydig will.
  • Likewise, Diane is now single, though with child. What does Rhys do?
  • Nia, Glesni ap Owain's younger sister, becomes eligible. She loves dancing and will seduce whomever can succeed at a dance roll. If nobody succeeds, then Defi ap Caramig (the new Lord Hemel Hempstead's 27 year old brother) will do her and they get married.
  • Arawine insults Blelyd ap Caramig. "I knew your grandfather of the same name. He was a low born, presumptuous pest." Men pull swords.

Sir Endig
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).

Manor Results

Special Modifers

  • Hertford: Land was plundered (+2d6+11), with additional penalties in following years
  • Salisbury: +5 Fate due to King Uther's illness and death affecting the weather

Manors

All numbers do not include investment costs or income.

Boxbourne

The manor house and bakery are torched by Æthelswith's men. Most of the foodstuffs and herd were taken as well. Still, the fields were not torched and many of the peasants fled into the wood to survive. 3£ income, 3£ debt, +3 hate.

Betlowe

The commons of Betlowe long held the belief that the gentle folk of the forest need to be appeased with sweetmeats on the full and new moons. Though the sweetmeats were never eaten and always given to the destitute of Betlowe, still the people kept alive their tradition. With the Enchantment now coming into play, the legend becomes reality. To their surprise, the sweetmeats this year were found nibbled upon every fortnight. Sometimes only crumbs remained. In return for the favor, the faeries near Betlowe sent silver lamps floating over the fields during harvest. More was harvested than expected because of the late night work. Alas; but, the steward was duped of all Betlowe's gold by a traveling tinker and so still Betlowe is poorer at the end of the year. 3£ income, 2£ debt.

Sawbridgetooth

The food stores are plundered, much of the herd taken and many homes in the village put to the torch. Luckily the steward survived and returned to harvest what was possible. Most of the commoners also survived. There is no need to support the Earl's footmen any longer; but, upkeep on the moat and rampart will cost Sir Lan now (1£). 3£ income, 3£ debt.

Bushey

Hoof and mouth spreads through southern Hertford, Silchester and northeastern Salisbury cattle. Bushey is hit by it; but, this only results in less livestock for the Saxons to steal. Most of the foodstuffs are plundered. The commons once again bonded with their lord and shared all they could with the notable knight. 2£ income, 4£ debt, care increased.

Stowemarket

Though the crops did passably well, the harvest was still poor due to no steward being present to coordinate the peasant's work. Moreover, most of the sheep were lost. Who is the scoundrel that gave away Gewaine to the Saxons? 2£ income, 3£ debt.

Lewarewich

Possibly distracted by the loss throughout Hertfordshire and the many losses of her friends (and past lovers?), Iulia was unable to serve well at her distaff duties. The harvest partially rotted on the stalk. 3£ income, 3£ debt.

Heytesbury House

Hoof and mouth disease struck the cattle. Luckily cattle from Hertford and Huntington refugees were very cheap as they sold what they could not keep. And with the arousal of Uther came a welcome fertility to the land. Love for the kingdom also inspired the peasants and they gave all they could to the landlord and Uther's troops. Overall this was a fine year for Heytesbury,. 9£ income, 4£ surplus.

High Wycomb

Spared Saxon villainy and nurtured by the fine weather, High Wycomb had an excellent harvest. 12£ income, 7£ surplus.

Henlow

Knowing what was coming, Madog hid all his valuables and took the heard to High Wycomb. All that could be taken was spared. Though some of the crops were torched and some of the food taken, the Saxons were more interested in just passing through. This left Henlow surprisingly unmolested. Earl Hertford's silver medallion gift was still very appreciated. 7£ income (counting medallion, 1£ surplus.

Chesham

Plundered by Saxons, who also burnt down 1/4 of the village, the commons of Chesham begin to resent their lord for not protecting them. 3£ income, 2£ debt, +3 hate.

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