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Sir Mad Munkee

Summerland & King Cadwy

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I'm writing a little adventure (my first!) to run at cons and in my campaign. It's set in 481: King Uther agrees, at the urging of Merlin and Count Roderick, to send an embassy to Summerland (before the invasion he's already planning in 482). The PKs have been doing a good job with diplomacy in The Marriage of Count Roderick, so they get sent. I'm planning on using it to inject more wonder into my campaign, since the rest of Uther/Anarchy is so dour and gritty. This adventure will get the PKs close to the happenings in the invasion, and, if the players are into it, Summerland will probably play a big role in my campaign.

The thing I'm trying to wrap my squishy brain around is what the hell are Summerland and King Cadwy exactly?

  • The place is described as mysterious and cut off, but it has an active market town (Bath) and trade with Logres in 480 already (before the invasion)?
  • It all sounds very fey – Avalon and three faerie gateways are there, Cadwy's son Melwas rides a green horse, etc. – but Cadwy is described as being pious and helped establish the first British Christian abbey (Glastonbury) in Summerland? If he's faerie or at least a faerie friend, why's he so Christ-friendly? I know religious conflict is consciously downplayed in KAP as written, but isn't Christianity still more or less the antithesis of fey, isn't it?
  • Cadwy's not a knight, but a King, but also one of four Counts of Logres. If he's recognised as a Count, wouldn't that mean he has sworn to Aurelius/Uther already?
  • And if he did, wouldn't he have been knighted?
  • The sheriff of Summerland, Sir Morien, is a knight, but he works for Cadwy, who's not a knight. So who knighted Morien?
  • Just an observation, not a question: in a side reference, BoUther says (pg. 99), "the Forest of Gloom is called the Forest of Glamour when entered from the west". Whoa. That's a hook right there, if ever I saw one.
  • Less important, but I'm curious: why did Cadwy's coat of arms change from BoWarlord to BoUther? Don't get me wrong, I definitely think a servant carrying a cup (the Grail?) fits Cadwy better than a blood red sword on the waves. Just curious.

Questions upon questions. Give me your take on Summerland, sirs! :)

Edited by Sir Mad Munkee

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48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

I'm writing a little adventure (my first!) to run at cons and in my campaign. It's set in 481: King Uther agrees, at the urging of Merlin and Count Roderick, to send an embassy to Summerland (before the invasion he's already planning in 482). The PKs have been doing a good job with diplomacy in The Marriage of Count Roderick, so they get sent. I'm planning on using it to inject more wonder into my campaign, since the rest of Uther/Anarchy is so dour and gritty. This adventure will get the PKs close to the happenings in the invasion, and, if the players are into it, Summerland will probably play a big role in my campaign.

Ooh, ambitious project. 

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

The thing I'm trying to wrap my squishy brain around is what the hell are Summerland and King Cadwy exactly?

Summerland is basically Faeirland, the Otherwise, annd/or like Logres during the Enchantment of Britain.

He's a sidhe, elf, fae, etc. That's why he is ageless, and why Uther couldn't defeat him in conventional battle. He's based in part o\n a legendary king and warrior from the Welsh sources. Beyond that he's hard to pin down because most of the information is  about an actual  historical king, Sir Cador of Cornwall, or a legendary king similar to Arthur.

The version in KAP seems to follow the Welsh version of the hero Cador, and the Fae elements are probably there to help smooth over some timeline problems with the character who is younger or older than Arthur depending on which version of the stories you read.  

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • The place is described as mysterious and cut off, but it has an active market town (Bath) and trade with Logres in 480 already (before the invasion)?

Bath was an old Roman settlement. Some legends of Cadwry claim he was of Roman stock. So he could have been a Roman who went fae.

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • It all sounds very fey – Avalon and three faerie gateways are there, Cadwy's son Melwas rides a green horse, etc. – but Cadwy is described as being pious and helped establish the first British Christian abbey (Glastonbury) in Summerland? If he's faerie or at least a faerie friend, why's he so Christ-friendly? I know religious conflict is consciously downplayed in KAP as written, but isn't Christianity still more or less the antithesis of fey?

It is very fae. In the early years Summerland is basically a faerie kingdom. 

As for why he's so Christ Friendly. Well, in most cases paganism is open to new gods, because it is polytheistic. If someone shows up and says their god is powerful and that people should pray or make sacrifices to him to prevent something bad from happening, most pagans will probably do so as something of an insurance policy. Best not to anger the gods. It's usually the monotheistic religion that has problems with the pagan ones because by definition monotheism has but one god. Its when a monotheistic religion tries to eliminate the other gods/religions that the troubles start. 

Now in KAP Christianity had been a cult, and one that had been outlawed for centuries and only recently became the state religion of Rome, and a major religion in Britian. It is also still very fragmented with different sects with different beliefs, which have been influenced by their local cultures, and so lacks the central authoity an unfied beliefs necessary to really get anti-anybody lyet. They are too busy working out the details of their own religion and arguing amongst themselves.  In Britain the religion has been heavily influenced by Celtic pagan beliefs, which is why the game has British Christianity alongside Roman Christianity. Look up Pelagius to see something about this. But in a nutshell,  at this time Christianity isn't quite as anti-fae as it will be in the later medieval period, and even has some pagan elements to it.

 Now you do seem to get the "one god drives out the many gods, " aspect to it, but that's a bit more complicated and most legends of the fae have them essentially exiled from the land to begin with.  

 

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • Cadwy's not a knight, but a King, but also one of four Counts of Logres. If he's recognised as a Count, wouldn't that mean he has sworn to Aurelius/Uther already?

He already had his Kingdom before Aurelius and Uther arrived, and they respected the strength of his position where they got there. Just like how the various kings who were kings before Aurelius arrived were still kings. Now once in power somebody could have tried to strip him of his rank and titles, but that's pretty much a declaration of war, and for the most part undesirable.

Aurelius being  prudent, realized that it wasn't worth the trouble and let things be. Uther being somewhat more rash, figured he could ovwerwhelm Cadwry and get him to submit, and, well, that didn;t work out so good.

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • And if he did, wouldn't he have been knighted?

I don't think he did, but if he had, maybe. Not every part of Britian ia\s feudal yet, and not every King a knight. Some parts of Britian never really adopt Chivalry. 

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • The sheriff of Summerland, Sir Morien, is a knight, but he works for Cadwy, who's not a knight. So who knighted Morien?

Maybe he'll post and let us know. ;)

Seriously, it was possible for any knight to knight someone else. Early on this was how it was generally done. As time went by, the practice was frowned upon because it was felt that if someone made a knight they should provide for their upkeep, so as to prevent the land from being over run with landless knights. Since the nobles were the ones with the means to support knights, they started to view the ability to make a knight as their own prerogative, or even their right, and knights (mostly) stopped doing it. In fact, If I recall correctly, in Mallory Arthur himself got knighted by the "Best Knight" or "Best Man" there, not by a King. 

So in game Morien could have been knighted by any knight. In game, in the later Periods this would probably be restricted to nobles, but there woudl be rare exceptions for Knights with tons of glory. If Sir So & SO, with 100,000 Glory knights you, your a knight.  

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • Just an observation, not a question: in a side reference, BoUther says (pg. 99), "the Forest of Gloom is called the Forest of Glamour when entered from the west". Whoa. That's a hook right there, if ever I saw one.

Yes, but what does that mean? Does the forest "act" differently? I don't think so. I just think that the people from the west, being more pagan, have a better idea as to the nature of the place. 

48 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:
  • Less important, but I'm curious: why did Cadwy's coat of arms change from BoWarlord to BoUther? Don't get me wrong, I definitely think a servant carrying a cup (the Grail?) fits Cadwy better than a blood red sword on the waves. Just curious.

There are a couple of possibilities, but I'll suggest the simplest. He didn't change his coat of arms! OK, now generally Kings and other high nobles often have more than one coat of arm. For instance Arthur is both King of Logres and High King of Britain and has the arms of both. Plus a closet full or others from the various kingdoms he conquered throughout the campaign. Cadwyr is both a King in his own right, and an (honorary) Count so he has both coats of arms. The Sword is the Kingly one, and the Cup/Grail the one as a Count.

If you don't like that reason he could have decided to change his arms (people did that), perhaps because of an experience with the Grail. That would make sense too, as the Grail is one of the major ties between celtic Paganism and British Christianity. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, but what does that mean? Does the forest "act" differently? I don't think so. I just think that the people from the west, being more pagan, have a better idea as to the nature of the place.

Actually, the full quote is:
"... the fact that the Forest of Gloom is called the Forest of Glamour when entered from the west, we may infer that Cadwy is more magical than martial, and acts accordingly."

Seems to suggest the forest is actually bizarre, not just a regional naming difference, and considering that the whole of Summerland is meant to be bizarre, and it offers many more interesting adventuring possibilities, I'll go with the former interpretation. ;) Also makes a sort of sense: if you're entering Summerland from Logres (the east) the forest is gloomy and forboding, but if you enter it from inside Summerland (the west) it's full of wonder. That'll confuse them PKs for sure. :D

18 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

There are a couple of possibilities, but I'll suggest the simplest. He didn't change his coat of arms! OK, now generally Kings and other high nobles often have more than one coat of arm. For instance Arthur is both King of Logres and High King of Britain and has the arms of both. Plus a closet full or others from the various kingdoms he conquered throughout the campaign. Cadwy is both a King in his own right, and an (honorary) Count so he has both coats of arms. The Sword is the Kingly one, and the Cup/Grail the one as a Count.

Makes sense, though I'd suggest a slight difference: the arms with the sword he inherited when his father Gwynn was banished, but he changed them to the servant and cup when he granted Joseph of Arimathea the land to establish Glastonbury Abbey.

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1 hour ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

Actually, the full quote is:
"... the fact that the Forest of Gloom is called the Forest of Glamour when entered from the west, we may infer that Cadwy is more magical than martial, and acts accordingly."

Seems to suggest the forest is actually bizarre, not just a regional naming difference,

It like the Forest Savauge or the Perlious Forest- a Faerie Land.  

 

1 hour ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

Makes sense, though I'd suggest a slight difference: the arms with the sword he inherited when his father Gwynn was banished, but he changed them to the servant and cup when he granted Joseph of Arimathea the land to establish Glastonbury Abbey.

Works too. He doesn't even need a reason to change them.

 

1 hour ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

And otherwise, thanks for your detailed explanations & ideas @Atgxtg! They help a lot! :D 

Loook up the stories about Geriant and Cador of Cornwall to find some of the roots of this.  

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Totally coincidentally I bumped in this in the KAP 5.2 book, pg. 178 under "Deities":

Quote

GWYNN
A.K.A. Gronw Pebyr, Meligraunce This is the Dark God who terrifies men, abducts the Goddess, enchants the Light God, and brings the cold hardship of winter to the world. He is the Wild Hunter whose hounds can be heard in the wilderness. 

And, um, wasn't King Cadwy's father's name Gwynn? And he's only described as mysteriously "banished"? Could he have somehow been elevated? :P 

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The coat of arms of Summerland in older products is based on the modern coat of Somerset. I'm not sure why it was changed but it does seem appropriate.

Cadwy's name comes from a Welsh form of the same name as Cador, the ruler of Cadbury... Part of the 'mystery' of the Summerlands is that it fills in the gap from the movement of Camelot from Cadbury Castle to Winchester after the 1st edition.

Gwynn or Gwyn fab Nudd is cognate to the Irish Finn Mac Cumhail, whose maternal grandfather is Nuada. Meliagrance, however, derives from Melwas, who is associated with Somerset in early medieval texts (as well as with Cornwall and Caerleon). Gwyn is definitely associated with the Wild Hunt in Welsh legend, but Melwas is not; it might be that Melwas ('princely youth') is an alias for Gwyn who does have a beef with Arthur in a fragment found in Culhwch ac Olwen.

There is, however, a Cadwr or Cadgwr in the pedigree of the (mortal) Welsh rulers of Gwlad y haf, so it may be better to make him a wizard or a fey ('bewitched or enchanted' knight - like the Green Knight) rather than a faerie. Greg and I discussed faerie knights and wizard knights (and so did some other KAP people) and the sense of it was that the faerie world was slated for a total revamp. The Book of Magic should provide a taste when it's out.

Speaking of Green Knight, compare his name to Gwyn-ap-Nudd.

Here is an authentic Morien of some interest, the black son of Agloval: http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/morien.html. He's even connected to the Grail Quest.

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11 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Greg and I discussed faerie knights and wizard knights (and so did some other KAP people) and the sense of it was that the faerie world was slated for a total revamp. The Book of Magic should provide a taste when it's out.

Now you got me drooling all over my keyboard.

 

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No relation to either of the namesakes. :P I simply liked the name and used it for my first Pendragon character, and it stuck. As for Knighting, I think I would point to Greg, who appointed me to his cadre of Household Knights, although like he wrote in my Book of Knights (I think it was): "We are all knights.". :)

As for Cadwy, you are not the only one who is confused about him, Sir Mad Munkee. As far as I can tell, Greg's thinking of Summerland and Cadwy did a quite abrupt change between Blood & Lust and GPC  - Cadwy is a very devout Christian and mortal king, with a very mortal family, and Summerland is repeatedly invaded semi-successfully by Cornwall without a faerie in sight - and especially Book of the Warlord & Uther - Cadwy is a wizard king and Summerland can take what Uther throws at it.

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