15 December 2012
Pendragon, AD 493
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) (absent)
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)
AD 493 opens on a somber note. King Uther is withdrawn, grieving over the death of Madoc and the loss of his infant son. The Saxon kings, Octa and Eosa, have escaped from captivity and are reportedly gathering their armies again in the north, Saxon warriors are flocking to their banners.
In the midst of the spring court, doctors come and go from Uther's chambers. No one else is admitted.
Earl Roderick is sent a message. He is to travel to Malahaut and formalize an alliance with the northern kings, in anticipation of the Saxon attack. He takes his knights with him.
A long journey north; the weather is clear and bright but does little to lift the knight's spirits.
Entering the city of Eburacum, the knights are generally snubbed and refused entrance to the court. They rent a house and mill about town, sending their squires on errands, mostly carrying messages to and from Roderick. They notice several well-dressed Saxons in town, moving about freely with no harassment from the town guard. This is alarming but they can detect no immediate threat. An urgent message to Roderick get a quick response: Saxon representatives are also here at court, negotiating against Uther.
Days pass as Roderick negotiates with the northern kings. The knights follow the Saxon envoys in the markets and overhear them plotting to attack Uther while he is weak from his illness. A frantic message dispatched to Roderick, followed by hours of white-knuckled, impotent waiting. Finally he shows up at the knights' house with his entourage, a grim expression on his face. "We ride at dawn."
The Salisbury men leave. Nothing is said, nor needs to be.
An hour south of Malahaut there are signs of an ambush ahead. The knights want to melt into the forest and out-tactic them, but Roderick will have none of it. "They will die like dogs," he says, ordering a charge into the trap. Saxons, of course.
The battle is joined, back and forth for several minutes, then Roderick himself joins to fight alongside his men. The knights' superior equipment and training turn the tide. They slaughter all the ambushers, cutting them down even as they break and run. There is no celebration. The squires strip the bodies and leave them for the ravens.
At Christmas court, little is improved. The king is still ill. Octa and Eosa are still marching south. War is coming.
1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,622 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (3,233 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (3,065 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,928 Glory)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,792 Glory)
6. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,691 Glory)
7. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,650 Glory)