The Great Pendragon Campaign

AD 492

Standings:

1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,173 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (2,725 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,583 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,392 Glory)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,746 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,391 Glory)
7. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,358 Glory) (absent)


In the spring, the knights convene back at Castle Tintagel, in Cornwall. Uther is to preside of the marriage of Ygraine’s daughters to the kings of the north. Ygraine is due to give birth in the summer, and wants to be at her home.

The marriages proceed with problems. It is a glorious affair, and, as Sir Brastias (Uther’s bodyguard) confides in his young drinking buddy Sir Lug, it seems that Uther has something other than war on his mind for once.

Spring passes and summer breaks over the land. The knights ride seemingly endless patrols. There is not much opportunity for glory, but there is little danger either.

One morning on patrol, they are surprised by Merlin. “Knights, I need your help yet again.” He heads off into the thin forest without checking to see if they are following. Sir Lug is suspicious but follows with the rest of them.

They are quickly in unfamiliar territory, despite having patrolled this area many times prior. “Is he taking us into Faerie again?” wonders Sir Uwain. No response.

Finally a clearing is reached. Merlin turns to the knights and says, “I need you to wait here. When I return, I will probably need protection. I am counting on your to do your duty for King and Britain. Will you wait?”

“We will wait,” the knights assent.

“Wait here, then. Be ready. Stay on your horses.” Merlin strides off into the woods.

Hours pass. Then, a distant noise: men on horseback. The knights ready their lances and shields.

Merlin walks swiftly into a clearing. Some of the knights notice that he is carrying something. Sir Uwain thinks to himself, “It’s a baby!”

Merlin says merely, “Delay them,” and exits on the opposite side of the clearing.

The sounds of pursuit get closer. A group of knights in full arms and armor burst from the trees! Our Heroes prepare to charge!

“What are you doing?! We are king’s men, on king’s business!” yells the unknown knight. The players all make Heraldry rolls and fail miserably. “The lead knight’s shield has an upraised mailed fist on it,” I tell them.

The players distress and discuss their arms briefly. “What does yours look like?” I ask Sir Lug’s player.

He holds up his character sheet, upon which he has drawn a cross-eyed smiley face. “Goddammit, Jeremy, that is not what your coat of arms looks like.”

“Oh,” he says, “well, then I guess it looks like Sir Brastias’, except more greenish. So what does that make mine?”

“Uh, it makes it a green-tinted upraised mailed fist.”

Comprehension dawns as they realize they are facing Uther’s right-hand men. Brastias is fuming. “So help me God, if you do not stand down immediately we will cut you down! Where is that dog, that traitor, Merlin?”

Sir Nidian and Sir Morien pretend to lose control of their horses and they block the path temporarily. Brastias and his men force by them. “The king will hear of this!” he snaps.

Our knights sheepishly follow Brastias. Merlin is nowhere to be found. Camp is set, but Brastias makes it clear that they are not welcome at his fire.

In the morning they wend back to Castle Tintagel. They are informed that Sir Brastias has accused them of treason. This is concerning; treason is a capital offense. There will be a trial, presided over by the king; in the meantime they are confined to quarters. They send word to Earl Roderick.

Several days before the trial, two of Roderick’s men, his marshall and his local bishop, come to question the knights so to better represent them.

The trial is brief. Queen Ygraine calls for their blood. Brastias tells his story. Roderick’s men tell how the knights were clearly ensorcelled by Merlin’s foul magics. Uther asks the knights to speak for themselves. They speak and give a reasonable accounting of their loyalty.

Finally, the marshall stands and states that Earl Roderick gives his word on the honor of these men. The knights are impressed; as well they should be — Roderick has now joined his fortune with theirs.

A famous monk stands and declares that all of Uther’s problems are because of Merlin. Cast him out! “Kill him,” hisses Ygraine.

Uther pronounces judgment. The knights are innocent, having been tricked by Merlin. Merlin is condemned to death. Let the news go out to be read in all public places.

The knights return to Salisbury. They privately thank Earl Roderick for his trust and faith, and pledge their lives and service.


Standings:

1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,379 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (2,944 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,856 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,742 Glory)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,769 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,550 Glory)
7. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,519 Glory) (absent)

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