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Salisbury Knights - a playthrough of the Great Pendragon Campaign


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Year 516

The knights of Salisbury enjoyed some much needed rest at their various estates. Sir Alfred returned from his long stay in the Kingdom Inapercu. ‘What happens in Inapercu stays in Inapercu’ is all he would say. Sir Edwin returned much later than everyone else from Merlin's quest for the Thirteen Treasures and was of dark demeanor for much of the winter, ashamed of having dishonoured himself, but refusing to say what had happened. Sir Blackmore settled in with his new wife, who bore him a daughter in the spring.

In April, the knights returned to Carlion where King Arthur was holding court. A feast was to be held in honour of the newest member of the Round Table – Sir Bedivere.

The feast hall was crowded, Sir Bedivere and Sir Ysabel Starling enjoyed positions of honour near the salt. Because of the number of knights present, seats were not available for everyone and Sir Caoilfhionn and Sir Henri were amongst the knights who were sat on the floor with the squires. Sir Edwin was jostled  by a drunken Sir Agrivaine, but the two seemed to hit it off and became boozy best friends – spilling drinks and hitting on eligible young ladies. Sir Alfred continued in his attempts to woo Lady Jenna, but was interrupted by Agrivaine and Edwin’s taunts.  Alfred sulked for much of the evening until the musicians started up and Agrivaine swept Jenna onto the dance floor. Unable to stand it any longer, Alfred swooped in and danced Jenna away with an incredible display of timing and footmanship (Crit to his dancing!). Agrivaine just laughed and went back to drinking with Edwin.

After several hours of feasting, the proceedings were interrupted by messengers. Arthur rose to speak and told the gathered assembly that an army of Saxons and other freebooters had landed in Deira and had fast marched to Eburacum and taken the city by surprise. Barant de Apres, The King of 100 Knights had barely escaped, fleeing northward to Catterick. An angry Arthur ordered the army to prepare to march immediately – not willing to wait for a full muster. Bedivere and Ysabel glanced ruefully at each other, but then left to prepare. The army marched north and joined up with Duke Derfel and some of his forces before meeting the Saxons one afternoon north of Lincoln. Arthur's scouts informed him that the Saxons had stolen a march and were already forming to attack, having a sizable advantage in numbers over Arthur’s advance force, and so the Battle of Humber was joined.

 

The Battle of Humber

Arthur tried to form up his army but they were still disorganized as the first charge was sounded. Sir Lucas confidently led an eschelle of Salisbury knights, but up and down the line, Arthur’s charge was disastrous. Sir Lucas, Sir Alfred and Sir Caoilfhionn were all unhorsed, and the only knight able to hold their own against the Saxons was Sir Ysabel.

The knights tried to regroup, but as dusk approached, Arthur blew the horns to retreat. Sir Lucas – his confidence shattered by the first charge, yelled for his eschelle to make haste and retreat before thundering off, pursued by the Saxons. Arthur’s army retreated from the field and tried to regroup back at their camp. First Aid was given to those who had been wounded while Sir Bedivere and a few of the other round table knights tried to firm up morale. However soon the alarm was heard. The Saxons had swept into camp in a surprise night assault.

All was confusion in the dark and the knights fought desperately for their lives. Saxons ranged through the camp. Sir Alfred and Sir Blackmore were confronted by flashy looking noble Saxons, while screaming warriors threw themselves at Sir Caoilfhionn and Sir Henri. Sir Lucas faced down a young warrior with a mace, while Sir Ysabel found herself beset by the hugest berserker she had ever beheld. Sir Blackmoor was knocked unconscious by a blow from the butt end of an axe, and Alfred and Ysabel were both knocked flying by their opponents. Fortunately Sir Caoilfhionn and Sir Edwin were able to take care of their opponents and came to Ysabel’s aid just in time. Lucas, in a clumsy fight, finally bested the young Saxon. He turned and heard Sir Gawaine nearby calling for him to come with him, but Lucas refused and instead rushed back to find out the fate of his comrades.

With the skirmish winding down, Sir Ysabel and Sir Blackmoor were both unconscious - Sir Ysabel near death. Sir Edwin attempted first aid, but was nervous and wherever he touched Ysabel it only seemed to make things worse, as her bleeding started anew (Good old fumbled first aid rolls, she was down to 1HP at this point). Sir Bedivere appeared, and threw Edwin aside, taking Ysabel in his arms and bearing her to the hospital tents. Ysabel barely clung on to life with Bedivere refusing to leave her side.

In the pre-dawn light, Arthur and Gawaine and some of the round table knights were seen coming back into the camp. In the confusion, they had come upon a conference of the enemy commanders and launched their own surprise attack. In the ensuing fight, the Saxon commanders were all killed. Now in the morning light, as the Saxon troops looked around they discovered they had no leaders. Arthur urged his men to attack the Saxons in their confusion and the Saxons were soon routed and fled.

 

The Siege of Eburacum

Arthur rallied his army and marched in an attempt to cut off the Saxons who were trying to withdraw to Eburacum. The King of Malahaut joined Arthur, and together they laid siege to the city. Arthur sent his wounded back to Lincoln. Scouts reported the approach of another Saxon army and Arthur sent troops led by Sir Penelope to ambush them.

Penelope led from the front, and the first charge shattered the Saxons. The Saxons never recovered from their initial shock. The Salisbury knights repeatedly threw back a group of Germanic nobles and soon found themselves disengaged and in the rear of the saxon army. Spotting the enemy commanders, the knights charged and in hard fought fighting, vanquished them. The rest of the Saxons fled the field with some of the knights in pursuit.

Sir Penelope led the victorious knights back to Eburacum to join Arthur’s siege where she arrived to find King Arthur in mid-preparation to launch an assault – despite the army’s lack of siege equipment. Penelope tried to dissuade Arthur, as this seemed like a particularly bad idea, but Arthur’s blood was hot and he pressed ahead. Resigning herself, Penelope took volunteers to join the assault, and apart from the severely injured Sir Ysabel Starling and Sir Blackmoor (the ever prudent), the knights of Salisbury were eager to volunteer. The futility of the assault became immediately evident. Only Penelope (briefly) and Sir Lucas made it to the top of the wall. As the rest of the army reorganized and the retreat horns were sounded, Lucas reluctantly gave up his position on the wall and joined the rest of the army.

 

Autumn in Salisbury

The knights passed the rest of the summer back at their estates, but were called back to Sarum by Earl Robert for what he promised would be a ‘special’ feast. In the feast hall, the knights were in good spirits despite how Arthur’s campaign had ended. Sir Lucas and Sir Henri both flirted with, or more accurately, were flirted with by a beautiful woman, Lady Uffington. Henri was quite taken with her, and possibly slightly drunk, and disappeared with the Lady for an hour mid-feast. Part way through the evening, Earl Robert rose to announce the reason for the feast – his engagement. As he looked around he seemed to spot someone and beckoned a young lady forward - who turned out to be, Lady Uffington. Henri, who had also just reappeared and was fixing his small clothes, looked chagrined, torn between his new passion for Lady Uffington and his loyalty to Robert. At the end of the evening, Henri pulled the Earl aside and in as subtle a terms as possible, confessed that the Lady might not be as pure as he thought.

Earl Robert did not seem to take this news well, rebuffing Henri for so casually disparaging the lady's honor, and Henri quickly left court. The Earl and Lady Uffington were not seen out in public over the winter.

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