1. Sir Nidian of Haxton (1791 Glory)
2. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1769 Glory)
3. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1703 Glory) (absent)
4. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1627 Glory) (absent)
5. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (1307 Glory)
Last year, our knights were instrumental in helping to secure Uther's passage through Somerset. This is important because it will help Uther directly confront his passively-rebellious vassal, Duke Gorlois of Cornwall. THIS is important, because if Gorlois falls into line and starts supporting Uther militarily, then Uther can finally have a real chance to expel the Saxons and bring peace to the peace to war-torn Albion.
All Gorlois has to do is acknowledge Uther as the high king. Surely something to which any stiff-necked, prideful noble would happily submit.
But insurance is always desirable, so Uther summons his nobles to Cirencester, preparing to march his army on Cornwall. Our knights and their lord, Earl Roderick, are marching as well. The mood is grim -- no one wants to wage war on fellow Britons, when the Saxons are occupying Kent, in the southeast, and threatening Lindsay, in the north.
King Cadwy joins Uther at Somerset, but doesn't bring any troops. Our knights are sympathetic, recognizing that Cadwy is caught betwixt the twin horns of Uther and Gorlois, and cannot risk throwing in his lot unless the winner is clear.
Gorlois meets them in Cornwall. Taking advantage of the terrain, his army is up in the hills, amongst the trees. At the foot of the hill is a stream that Uther will have to charge across. Even assuming equal numbers, this is a receipe for the slaughter of Uther's army.
The morning of the battle, our knights nervously prepare. Sir Nidian will be the battle commander of their group (having overtaken Sir Lug in Glory, the honor is his).
Uther rides out under a flag of parley. Merlin is at his side. No one realized he was here. "One land, one king!" yells Uther, loud enough for all to hear.
"Justice!" Gorlois yells back, but rides out to talk to Uther, stopping a prudent distance away.
Merlin speaks softly, but his voice carries to all: "Show him the sword."
Uther draws Excalibur. A gasp rolls over the field. The Cornish troops withdraw a few paces.
"Behold, the Sword of Victory," says Merlin. "Forged when the world was young." Again, he speaks softly but his voice carries eerily.
Gorlois, visibly shaken, steps back to confer with his earls. He steps back and shouts at Uther. "And if I surrender, what do I get?"
"You get?!?" sputters Uther, but Merlin interrupts him with a gesture. The two of them hurriedly discuss in low tones. Uther nods and continues. "You get … all the land from here to the sea, to hold for the king."
"I accept!" shouts Gorlois. Both armies cheer! A crisis, and a senseless bloodletting, is averted. The camps are joined, drinking and feasting goes on into the night. Gorlois leaves sometime before dawn, and Uther's army the next day.
After a few days on the road back to Cirencester, Uther tells Roderick that -- seeing how an extended Cornwall campaign is not necessary -- he will go to Lindsay to fend off some of the Saxon raiding parties. Our knights are pleased for the chance at a little solid action against the real enemy. Except for Sir Uwain, whose player has not had the best of luck fighting Saxons.
The Saxons refuse honest battle, so our knights group up and hunt for a raiding party. They find a party of six Saxons and, thanks to Nidian's hunting skills, manage to come upon them unawares and they are despoiling a farmhouse. Nidian leads the battle and they charge! The Saxons are surprised but manage to fight back as best they can. Which is not good enough! The knights make so much Saxon-kebab with their lances, putting down three of them in the first pass. The other three break and run. They manage to capture one -- it is the leader! They truss him up and frog march him to Lindsay, exchanging him for ransom.
During the Winter phase, the weather mostly cooperates. Decent harvests, plus the ransom for the Saxon war band leader, means a good year.
Standings, not including anything gained by Cyfan or Teryrnor during Winter 489:
1. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2026 Glory)
2. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1894 Glory)
3. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1703 Glory)
4. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1627 Glory)
5. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (1451 Glory)