Campaign of the Month: August 2016

Oath of Crows

Decay and renewal

492

Decay and renewal

Autumn

The autumn of 492 turned out to be a busy season indeed in Modron’s forest. Sir Cadry had been in a right foul mood after having returned home from appearing before the king’s court. Nothing had gone right and except for his wife and children, no one could get a peaceable word with him for several weeks. He would scream and curse about the fact that the arch-druid of Britain had been branded a traitor and banished from the isles. Unlike most others, he refused to denounce Merlin or believe that the magician had enchanted him or his brothers in arms.

No visitors were invited to come feast at Tisbury and Cadry himself only made the most perfunctory appearances at the court in Sarum. Some quietly wondered if the same sickness that had struck Sir Melkin was also afflicting Cadry. He was quite unlike himself in that he spoke little and had few counsels to give, whereas he would usually ramble on whether he had been asked too or not.

The truth was that he had to many things on his made concerning matters closer to his own home. During late summer Brangwen gave birth to a daughter who was born so weak that she didn’t survive her first week of life. The birth was also very difficult and Brangwen took very ill and was close to deaths door for several weeks afterwards. Never had Cadry appeared more frightened, not even when dying himself, than he did the following weeks when he hardly left his wife’s side. She managed to pull through some of it but the midwife on Tisbury informed the lord that the lady’s sickness was of a deep and dangerous nature and that she would need all the help she could get if she were to survive. At first Cadry ordered his chirurgeon, Bracchius, to do whatever was necessary to save his beloved wife, but when said healer told Cadry that he had no expertise with womanly diseases, Cadry would have thrashed the man if not for the calming words of his sickly wife. Desperate for any help possible, Cadry came to think of the abbey that his good friend Maelgwyn had raised but a few years back and he remembered that the good Christian had offered the healing of that house not just to Christian women but also women of the old faith. The one thing that would cause Cadry to swallow his pride would be a threat to the woman he loved, so with a heavy heart and a sour taste in his mouth he went to Chillmark, fell to his knees and begged Maelgwyn that he would honor what he had said at the hundred court. It was all done needlessly, for even before he had managed to utter his full plea, the kind Sir Maelgwyn assured him that he would personally put in his good word with the abbess. The only thing he requested was that Cadry would make an offering or donation to the abbey. Relieved, Cadry promised that of course he would and that he would even give a sacrifice to the Christian god, not just his servants if that would in any way save the light of his life.

After having taken care of his wife and having escorted her to the abbey of Raymond Nonnatus, Cadry had returned home since he wasn’t allowed to stay in the abbey. There he sat brooding and quiet in his hall for over a week. Then one day an obsession struck him and he woke from his slumber. He decided that if his wife were to make a recovery, she would need a good and safe home to return to. The hall that had served his father and grandfather and who knows how many Cellydon lords before him seemed paltry to his eyes and for the first time he saw the decay that infested its walls and its roof. He noticed the holes in the clay walls that had repaired over and over again, he saw that even though the straw of the roof was relatively fresh, the beams holding them up were sagging and rotted. How could he have seen past all flaws and faults. A more economically minded man would have made extensive repairs and let that be enough. Cadry however was struck by another idea. He would build a new home, a home worthy of the queen that he considered his wife to be, even though she wore no crown.

Having been given forest rights by King Uther the year before as a present at the kings wedding, timber turned out to not be a problem. Only skilled labour and all the other materials would have to be paid for. Said and done, Cadry hired skilled carpenters and gave them free reins with his purse strings as long as they built a new, large wooden hall and made sure that it’s roof was made of tiles, not straw. During the autumn and into early winter, a hall grander than any his forefathers had ever ruled in even as kings, had its foundations laid with the promise that come spring, walls would start rising and amenities would be installed.

The second thing that would have to be dealt with before his wife’s return home would be to ensure that no one and nothing threatened the inhabitants. Sir Dylan had set of two years ago to continue uncle Corwyn‘s quest to find uncle Garren’s final resting place and bring home his bones. Evidently the young knight hadn’t succeeded as of yet since Cadry’s household had reported during spring that they had once again spotted a restless wraith wandering around the sacred hill as if looking for an entrance. Something had to be done unless the curse of the dead would risk striking the living. Cadry summoned his uncle old squire Galran, now a knight in his own right, to ask him to retell any pertinent details of the quest. Unfortunately, Sir Galran had already left in the company of Sir Dylan a couple of years ago. He did however find out where Dylan and Galran had been spotted not too long ago thanks to Guilaume’s ardent inquisitiveness.

Realizing that this was a problem concerning matters beyond the ken of knights and might involve forces that could not easily be defeated a strong arm wielding a sword, Cadry took the roads. His quest carried him first to Stonehenge to consult with the druids there but no of that holy order could leave their duties to the dead buried there. Not letting himself become dejected, Cadry instead inquired where he could find his friend and mentor, the ovate Athanwyr. The druids gave him some vague and mystical directions, for it is ever in the nature of such sorcerous men to talk in riddles. At first travelling north and then west, a chance encounter on a road just outside of Bath in Summerland finally brought the knight and the ovate together. Explaining the situation and the quest that was about to attempt, Cadry beseeched his mentor to accompany him and guide him on the way. Athanwyr at first seemed reluctant, but having asked about what had happened to Merlin and what the second calling of the Lady of Crows had entailed, the ovate suddenly changed his mind and declared that Cadry’s roads would be his own the coming years. Returning home during early December, the two men decided that they would set out during spring the coming years to look for the walking wraith.

Comments

Exciting! Nice to see ho things are developing at Tisbury!

Decay and renewal
 

Let it be kbown that the order of Raymond Nonnatus would never refuse a pagan woman in need of their aid!

Decay and renewal
 

Holding a thumb for Brangwens recovery, it’s nice to have at least one truly happy relationship in the group :-P.

Good depiction of the tireless Cadry unable to sit still!

Also, the Christian god is strong. If he saves Brangwen where the old ways cannot, surely it is time to convert! ;-)

Decay and renewal
ikabodo

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