The Second Call of the Crow

It came to be in the year of our lord 492 that the sons of the bannermen heard and heeded the second call of the crow. Five of the sons were present in the Stone circle that early spring night; Cadry, Maelgwyn, Gamond, Melkin and the newcomer Morcant. My blood runs cold as I try to describe that frightful night or the appearance of that ghastly lady of the crows. Her features seemed to dance and shift in the light of the stars and the moon and when we came away no one could with any certainty describe her visage. The sons, brave as they were, felt little fear as they gathered around the smiling Lady and presented their tribute: blood from their noble veins. The ladys request was as nebulous as it was concerning; she told them that they during the year would be summoned to garrison duty in the castle of Tintagel, a castle they knew well from the war they had fought during the previous years, and there, during a full moon, would meet Merlin in the forest to the south of the stormy shore. She made them swear that they would serve the wizard, thrice curse his name, in whatever he asked them before she let them depart from her presence.

Spring came and went and the lady’s words came into fruition. Count Roderick, a brave and just lord by all accounts found trustworthy, asked them to accompany him to Tintagel and there serve their garrison duty in the king’s presence. So the weeks past until the full moon illuminated the windswept rocks and hills of the western shore. The five sons of the bannermen rode south searching for the treacherous Merlin and as the lady had foretold they found him searching for help. The brave men, unknowing at this time of Merlin’s treacherous nature, followed the wizards commands and followed him to a narrow gorge where they were told to wait for his return. Unknowing of the wizards malicious true intentions with his trickery and deceit they swore to guard the pass from anyone trying to come through.

For hours they waited until they saw the wizard running through the mist and high grass towards them. Behind him they heard the booming of battle horn, the baying of a multitude of docks and the ominous sound of heavy hooves. They closed ranks as the wizard passed and not a moment later fully armed knight rode out of the mist and befell our brave heroes. They fought valiantly, keeping the pass safe and letting the wizard escape behind them. Yet their hearts sank as they saw the banners and heard the voices of their foes for they were the kings men sent after Merlin. Lowering their arms they realized that bold Sir Brastias had fallen to one of their blows and it was only through great work that he survived his mortal wound. Apprehended they were sent away as prisoners, awaiting a treacherous trial.

As recorded by Maelgwyn ap Ceiwyn, lord of Chillmark.

The Second Call of the Crow

Oath of Crows EllenMsbck