Campaign of the Month: August 2016
Oath of Crows
The Green Island
In the year 498 Sir Cadry, Sir Ennis, Sir Padern and Sir Mabsant travelled to Eire escorting the banished arch-druid Merlin. As usual, Emrys had been extremely vague when describing what the purpose of the visit to the green isle was. Fortunately for the sorcerer, Sir Cadry had always trusted the old man, even though he should know better than to trust strange old men handing out glorious quests on strange mountaintops.
Arriving in the kingdom of Lein, the company was greeted by the Stag King who ruled those lands. His accommodations were modest by the measures of Logres but at least he had a few knights who served him. During the visit to the king’s broch many conversations are had and the knights find out that Merlin knew in some manner that the poisoning at St Albans would happen. Sir Cadry loudly argues with the sorcerer about the fact that he could have prevented Sir Melkin from dying.
Leaving the King of Lein’s hospitality, the company is escorted by a certain Sir Aodh at the behest of the king himself. Sir Aodh is to act as the company’s guide. He warns them of the rivalling kingdom under the so-called Badger King and the savages who serve the aforementioned monarch.
During one of the nights on the road the party is ambushed thanks to the fact the Sir Mabsant had fallen asleep on his watch. The knights manage to defeat the ambushers but not before some of the savages manage to kidnap Sir Aodh.
The knights decide to rescue their guide instead of immediately proceeding with Merlin’s quest. As the noble fools they are, the knight walks straight into a trap set by the badger king and things almost end in violence. Fortunately, Sir Mabsant manages to keep his head cold and negotiate a settlement with the badger king which consists of the knights trading some of their shields and spears to the king in order to free Sir Aodh and Christian priest who had been kept prisoner for several years.
Continuing on their journey, the company ended up in a trackless forest in which they try to locate a giant who is supposed to know the way to stone circle that Merlin is looking for. Finding what first looks like an enormous stone, that then proves to be the aforementioned giant, the company negotiates for the information with the giant. The giant Himlinglevah wants help in finding the way out of the forest. Acquiescing to the demand the knights show the giant the way out. When all Is said and done and the giant about to depart for the far north where he comes from, Sir Cadry asks what brought the giant to south and it turns out that Himlinglevah has been searching for a sword for a long time. Sir Cady surmises that the blade in question is the Blade of Sigeberht, stolen a long time ago from the giants, and thus offer to restore the blade to the rightful owners. The giant is mighty wroth and threatens to eat Sir Cadry until he manages to explain that he knows who stole the blade and tells the giant where he can find the perpetrators descendants. The giant promises that his revenge will be terrible unless Sir Cadry keeps his promise and delivers the sword to the giant who will go and wait for it on Irelands eastern coast. On the other hand, the giant promises that the knight will have the favour of the giant king if returns the blade, that and the giant will in all likelihood seek out the fenris clan and wreak havoc on them.
Having at last reached the vaunted stonecircle, Merlin makes his preparations for the ritual about to take place. The arch-druid informs the knights that they can venture into the stone-circle when the full moon is at its highest and that they might find answers but that it can also be dangerous. He then leaves for the circle. Waiting for the right time, the knights argue about who will go and who will stay to guard the horses. At this time two wanders arrive. It turns out that it is Athanwyr escorting the boy wonder Taliesin once again. The two are also there to seek wisdom. After exchanging words between old friends, the two also venture into the circle.
Once the moon is at its highest the knights set of for the circle. Sir Ennis, Sir Padern and Sir Mabsant choose to go over the clear field toward the circle, where some Irish warriors and their families are preparing to worship at the stone circle. Travelling across the field, the knights are beset by the hounds of Annwn, said to drag mortals to the land of the dead if they manage to catch their prey. The knights flee into the circle but are almost stopped by the Irishmen who turn hostile. Mabsant draw the ire of the warriors and then rides out of circle, being chased both by hounds and men and then rides of into the mist. Once the other two knights are in the circle, the warriors and their families disappear.
Meanwhile Sir Cadry has not follow his comrades, but has instead ventured into the mists hoping to find his dead father within them, thinking that the mists might be a doorway between the worlds. He encounters two hounds of Annwn and slays one and injures the other. Walking through the mists he comes upon three test that test his devotion to his family, to the truth and to justice. He sides with his liege-lady instead of his uncle, speaks the truth when someone else tries to claim glory for his deeds and finally defends his friends right to a fair and just trial by combat. After the trials a large hound awaits him. Recognising the hound as Samladh, a diety in its own right, Sir Cadry is offered to proceed past the hound without any further hindrance or he can choose to receive either the gods curse or blessing or curse depending on the choices that he made in the mists. The knight chose to believe that he had acted rightly he accepts the hounds blessing or curse, and thus acquired a tattoo on the left side of his chest.
The knights finally meet up in the stone-circle. Within the centre of the circle sits an ancient man who turns out to be another deity. The old man offers a truth to each of them who has come. The knights all had their own questions. Sir Padern wishes to learn the complete song about King Vortigern and queen Rowena that he previously had only heard a part of sung by Taliesin. It turns out that it was Rowena who set Vortigern on fire in his tower rather than Merlin. Sir Mabsant sought to learn how the heartblade could be turned from its evil incarnation but mostly learned what was already known within the Anarawd family. Sir Ennis inquired about what had happened to his as a youth during the knight of long knives. It turns out that he ventured deep into the cave in the forest and came out on the other side. There a lady with dark hair waited for him and took him under her wing. Sir Cadry for his part were torn between many different questions but in the end he decided to find out once and for all who was responsible for the red wine barrels that had contained the poisoned wine that had killed his beloved little brother Melkin and King Uther, as well as many other noble men of Logres. He received a vision in which he saw the dark lady giving the barrels to a merchant heading for the feast. He finally saw her true face with her purple eyes without forgetting what she had looked like afterwards. She returned his gaze though and spoke to him indicating that she was aware about what he had seen.
Afterwards the knights met up with both Merlin, Athanwyr and Taliesin. Athanwyr convinced Merlin to use his magic to send the knights home through the stonecircle. The knights showed up in Stonehenge and almost half a year had passed. There they met their wives accompanied by Sir Leo who had all been looking for them. Heading to Sarum, the knights spoke with the countess about what had transpired and a messenger arrived to alert them that Hillfort was being raided by Saxon led by Saexwolf.
As chronicled by brother Philippos of Ambrius Abbey