Campaign of the Month: August 2016
Oath of Crows
Feuds and Family
Our newly minted knights gathered in Sarum come spring for the easter feast, enjoying for the first time their position as part of the exhalted few of society and enjoying the respect and curtesy of their peers.
Duke Eldol of Glevum had summoned them to his hall at Hillfarm in Salisbury, and lord Roderick gave his leave to attend, provided the young knights returned forthwith, as a large procession into Silchester to meet the kings Eyre, with maid Ellen in attendance, was underway. Visitors to the Count’s court, famous knights Meliodas of Lyonesse, Segurant the Brown and Arnoullant the Fair impress all in attendance having hunted wyvern in Salisbury, thought to be Arnoullants mythical dragon. A dragon, he claims, he will one day slay. Arnoullant is wounded and brought to care.
Guests of Duke Eldol of Glevum
The four friends ride to Hillfarm and meet Duke Eldol, who receive them, exchange talk, and pay the taxes on Maelgwyn’s and Cadry’s land as return on the favour their fathers did him on the night of long knives. Gamond and Melkin ask for whatever Eldol deems appropriate in the future. Rifts in the Duke’s family are evident as he leaves, gone to hunt bandits in the morning at an age of over a century. He seems to detest his son. His guests stay and feast.
A wounded dove flutters against the tent, and is found. It is attacked by a falcon, who wounds Cadry as he picks it up. Gamond cleaves the Falcon in twain and finds an egg under its wing. He returns it to its nest, where a second dove is wounded and many eggs broken. A pagan priestess who bandages Cadrys hands tell them that this is a sign of something to come, something important. Saving the egg will have consequences.
Ambush on the road and a potentially disasterous feast
The sons of the bannermen return to Sarum and travel with Count Roderick through Silchester to reach the kings Eyre and maid Ellen in time to lay claim to her hand. On the way, the procession is ambushed by mercenaries, Saxons and sergeants. Gamond is struck down, severely wounded, and would have been captured if not for the intervention of Melkin. Cadry is likewise wounded, but not badly, and he and Maelgwyn hold the van long enough for the train to rally and drive the attackers off.
At the old Roman city of Venta, where rules Baroness Pomponia – one of the few and canny women of power in Logres – Lord Salisbury’s procession all partake in a grand feast. While on the feast, Madoc is seen sneaking off into the garden, followed by what is clearly a married lady. Her husband, Lord Martinus, searches for her and only due to the intervention of the bannersons is a major social disaster averted. Maelgwyn diverts the angry husbands’ attention and Gamond explains that nothing untoward happened, Madoc is an honourable man and would not do anything wrong. Afterwards, rumour has it that Roderick would not have been able to marry maid Ellen had the feast been interrupted, but it is not clear why…
Dire tidings and a dark curse
Back in hillfort the four young knights discuss their wedding gift for their lord, a stone relief made of bedrock from Hillfort and precious metals. Word reaches them that a woman, actually two, have come to Ludwell village and Gamond, then Cadry, and lastly Melkin and Maelgwyn visit the village. It is Anwyn and Brangwen, and both of the former knights act the lovesick fools. Anwyn miscarried, and has been feeling sick since. Gamond speaks to her, and she wants his help saving her brother’s life, a brother who has joined bandits now that many of the former Limitanii have sought more lucrative ventures.
Merlin arrives in the forest, asking the young men of the episode with the dove. Someone will be born because of the decision they made, a woman who will change Britain forever and lead many men to their doom. Merlin also says Gamond is cursed.
Putting two and two together the bannersons race to reach Sarum before the wedding. Maelgwyn arrives first to find the wedding in full swing, and the rest only as the feast itself is well underway. With an impassioned plea Gamond sways Sir Belias and gains entry, having kept the most critical consequence of the curse a secret. Belias, as a result, now mistrusts Gamond intensely. Despite being a wise decision, keeping secrets is something seen askance.
Roderick and Uther are told of the curse of the Faerie meat surprise, eaten by Gamond and the high ladies, as well as Domina Maria Sorviodunum. The meat carried a curse, anyone having eaten it becomes unable to beget children, and women may fall barren if they try to bear such a child. Gamonds theory is that Sir Blains of Silchester, the presumptive author of all of Salisburys recent woes, struck Ellen so that none other would have her, knowing the cure himself. Roderick is furious and accuses Roderick point blank of all ill, both on the feast and on the attack in Silchester. He flatly denies it, and only leaves as he is told by Ulfius and under threat of the King’s hospitality. Roderick is furious all through winter, but acknowledges that the former squires did exceptionally well under the circumstances, fending off many threats. Come next year though, he expects the curse to be broken…