The Great Pendragon Campaign

485 AD

Session 3: 485AD

Court: Court is held at Leicester, in Lindsey.

Special Guests

· Sir Madoc, son of Uther

· Duke Lucius of Caercolun

Gossip

“It’s so terrible! I heard that a thousand Saxons landed to reinforce King Hengest! He’s the devil’s son, that’s for sure.”

“I’ll trust Prince Madoc to take care of us. He’s handsome enough, and he talks boldly enough. But the truth will depend on how he fares in battle, of course.”

“Well, I’ll say it’s too bad he is illegitimate. No bastard will automatically inherit. It’ll be difficult, you can be sure, unless his glory is truly great when the old king dies.”

“Listen, darlings, it’ll take something monstrous to get rid of tough King Uther. Madoc will have to be waiting a long time for any inheritance!”

“But don’t you think it’s bad luck to talk that way?”

“Say, did you know that Merlin has gone away?”

“Well, he comes and goes at his will.”

“Yes, but he is gone again, and at such a time…”

News

Madoc: “Spies say another Saxon army has landed in the east! Is there no end to these devils? His name is Aethelswith, but we don’t know his plans. The king has ordered Duke Lucius of Caercolun to be ready. But our army isn’t going to be distracted. We’re going to attack King Ælle, as we’ve planned, even though certain of our cowardly vassals are not reporting. Disloyal bastards, that’s what they are! Caercolun won’t be there, but that’s at the king’s orders. But that Cornwall — he’s the worst of the lot!” The army will assemble at Silchester.

Royal Conversation

“We are going to attack the Saxons under King Ælle. We will march out as soon as the roads are clear, with whatever troops have mustered. We do not need those errant nobles. No doubt they too are under attack from the Saxons, who must have emptied their lands to all come over here.”

Intrigue

“Merlin is absent because he is so exhausted from using so much magic last year to help King Uther win a victory in the Battle of Damen. But the king has promised to help Duke Ulfius of Silchester. “You do know, don’t you, that the mages must sleep when they use their powers to such a great extent? And the king is so impetuous without the magician’s guidance. I hope he is not acting too hastily!”

Events

Uther summons his army to meet at the city of Salisbury in early summer. Earl Roderick comes with all his knights, including all the player knights. The earl assigns them to a unit led by Sir Amig, the old knight who taught them alongside Sir Elad. You (the pcs) should feel comfortable with him leading. He is a banneret and also has his own 6 vassal knights. It is noted before the battle that some of Uther’s vassals did not show up for the muster. Among them, the most prominent absent lord is Duke Gorlois of Cornwall.

Battle of Mearcred Creek

Mearcred Creek is located in Sussex. After several hours of fierce fighting both sides retreat. Player Knights present: Sir Torus of Banverstock and Sir Frances.

Battle of Colchester

King Aethelswith takes a short sail from Kent with his continental army and also many warriors from King Hengest. They land near Maldon and pillage widely until Duke Lucius musters his army and meets them south of Colchester. The fighting is fierce, but the Saxons prevail and the duke has to retreat to Colchester. British refugees flee into the Quinqueroi Forest but are pursued and enslaved by the hundreds.

Christmas Court

Royal Court: The mood at the Christmas court is gloomy — one Saxon victory in Caercolun and one standoff in Sussex do not add up to good cheer. The king is absolutely foul, holding many secret conferences with his barons, and afterwards they are also in an ill mood.

Salisbury Court: Earl Roderick is pensive; he urges his new knights to practice hard at the arts of war. “This is no time for poetry,” he says.

Player Knight developments:

Sir Torus and Sir Sedwyn both marry women of means, inhereting a dowry of an extra manor. Sir Sedwyn’s wife becomes pregnant with child

To Be High King

Uther wants to be High King, but he cannot simply ignore or exploit the other rulers of the lands about him, for he has a greater objective to shape his decisions. King Uther is currently the legitimate king of Logres, the largest and single most powerful kingdom in Britain. Yet this is not enough for the ambitious Pendragon. His brother, Aurelius Ambrosius, and many other famous rulers before him were also High Kings of Britain. Uther wants this honor in part simply for the renown, but also because it gives him certain powers over the kings of the other kingdoms. He feels that, if he can muster all the kings together, he can drive the Saxons out forever.

Two ways exist to become the High King. Firstly, Uther can make war and conquer everyone, whereupon all will have sworn fealty to him. Second, he can use politics instead of force; he could be elected to be the High King by an organization called the Supreme Collegium. The greatest Briton High Kings were all elected: Constantine the Great, Maxen Wledig, Aurelius Ambrosius, and even evil Vortigern. Election legitimizes political powers and establishes authority. Uther wants to be elected.

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475-485AD
PCs get their spurs

Intervening years between sessions 1 and 2:

Year 475: year of the Great Hunt, when the young lordlings proved their mettle, especially Sir Alein. ;) Divisions between certain lords become more apparent.

477: AElle, a new saxon king, lands in southern Britain, and takes over the area we now know as Sussex….He names it south saxony. Aurelius Ambrosis, the Pendragon, High King of the Britons, marches to vanquish this new foe – but AElle’s forces are reinforced at the last moment by Kent’s saxons. Ambrosius is lucky to escape with his army.

478-9: The British Army goes a raiding by sea with a fleet of vessels, destroying the Saxon fleets as they lie birthed on the beaches of Britain, finally landing in Frisia, doing great damage to the saxons there. Earl Roderick went raiding. Ulfius too – and their friendship deepens. Saxon raids increase in Britain in revenge. New, harsher raids happen in Salisbury in 479…. how do these affect your lands and people?

479: Earl Roderick marries Ellen, daughter of duke Ulfius. Sir Blains misses the wedding. A deadly feud develops between the two men.

480: Saxons sail up the Port River into Salisbury. Ambrosius is poisoned by a false doctor whilst preparing for battle. he still rise to war, with Uther, his younger brother at his side. Ambrosius confronts them head on, whilst Uther attacks their rear, burning their ships, and then attacking their unprotected rear columns. Ambrosius dies in the conflict – but it is a great victory for the Britons. Uther is crowned King of Logres. Countess Ellen gives birth to a daughter, lady Jenna.

481-483: all is quiet with the saxons.

484: Saxons invade the North in great numbers, laying seige to Eburacum. Uther marches an army up north as fast as possible – but marches into a trap and a desperate battle- from which he is lucky to escape with his life. Many brave men die that day. Later that evening, Uther and his surviving men make a sneak attack under darkness on the Saxons as they lie around feasting and drinking, slaughtering them to the last man. Uther claims a great victory at the Battle of Mt. Damen. Lady Ellen gives birth to a son, Lord Robert.

485: more heavy Saxon raids. Uther has called for men of courage to gather at Windsor Castle. You (your lordlings) have been ordered to it to be knighted by Uther himself in a great ceremony! You are about to be knighted!

Session Two

The young squires Alein, Sedwyn and Owen gather at Vagon Castle to get their latest intructions and training from Castellan Sir Elad. First of all he puts them through their paces with a new fangled thing called jousting – it is not a major past-time yet – but you get the hang of it. Lord Owen’s skills on horseback quickly leave him to drop Sedwyn to the ground – but his jousting with Alein goes on for over an hour. Eventually, with both of them fading fast from exhaustion, Owen manages to smash Alein from his saddle into the dust. Huzzah lord Owen!

Elad calls for an early lunch after cooling down the horses after all that exertion. He then issues you new instructions; to investigate the village of Imber, to find out where their taxes have gotten too – they are overdue. Sir Geraint, some of you recall, is the local knight.

You spend the afternoon travelling there, getting to the bridge outside the village before dusk. Seeing carrion birds circling the village, Alein and Sedwyn charge their steeds forwards, onto the bridge, when out from under it leaps a giant Bridge Troll. The horses all start to panic…. A few of the travelling retinue along with Alein fail to control their horses, with Perin and Bernard thrown from their saddles. All hell breaks loose! The troll lashes into Alein, nearly breaking an arm….Bernard gathers himself, as does Nic Rivers to attack the beast hand to hand, whilst Sedwyn and later Owen manage to manoeuver their steads on the bridge in front of their enemy to valiantly fight alongside Alein. Perin gathers his wits and starts feathering the beast with arrows….. and finally after everyone has made a cutting blow against the monster, and with 3 arrows sticking out from its hide, Sedwyn shouts loudly and with a burst of energy and strength, ploughs his blade into the creature’s armpit and skewers it.

Riding into the village the party finds a sorry site: the villagers are still hiding in fear, and are feint from hunger. Somehow they organise a brief hunt to get meat for a feast to celebrate the death of the troll. Their lord died from the pox or something he caught between the sheets no doubt. The young squires demand to know where the taxes money has gone… and eventually Nic Rivers is instructed to go and search for it under the bridge – which he does – and he finds it intact there, along with the bones of various other folk.

The next day, the young squires set off for Vagon Castle and then Sarum to tell their tale, [and to revel/ modestly accept the glory their deeds bestowed unto them. And they were happy – for they had smote the hoary troll from the woods which lied in wait beneath the Bridge at Imber.]

From there, they travelled to Windsor Castle where they, and the other local squires from Salisbury were knighted by Uther himself, King of Logres.

The next day they go hunting in the woods around Windsor -and Alein and Sedwyn manage to hear and see the infamous Questing Beast (a lizard like creature) and then Sir Pellinore from Gales (Wales), who has been chasing it for several years now, with no care for the niceties of polite conversation, falconry or simply managing his estates, let alone defeating the Saxons. Alein and Sedwyn gain some glory.

& it is from Windsor that our tale will continue – in 2 weeks at a guess!! Uther you know is amassing an army in Silchester to go and fight the Saxons in late summer! You are hoping he includes you!

Please add to this any other musings! :)

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475AD
Player Characters as young squires

Session One

Year: 475AD the players had 2 pcs (or more): adult retainers from the Tisbury manor household Nic Rivers (stablemaster’s apprentice (Kelvin); Perin, chief scout/archer (Stephen); Marcellus, advisor (Manoj); Sir Merik, uncle/ veteran knight/ protector (Ad) + Bernard, the guard (Manoj) your young knights aged 10-11 (2 from Tisbury – Stephen’s pc, the heir Alein, and his ‘ward’ and friend Cymon the Saxon (Ad) plus Sedwyn (Manoj) and Owen (K) – who are friends.

The narrative was split into a) the Tisbury manor crowd travelling from Tisbury to Sarum and then onto Du Plain castle for a hunt, feast and melee with local lords, where intrigue over who would gain the hand of the Duke of Silchester’s daughter Ellen, aged 11…....

b) on the way they discover the near naked bodies of 2 men and a teenager in a ditch, looted and ambushed… the lad still lives – just …...his lord was a knight from Cornwall on his way to the hunt and melee…..

c) the pcs hunt down their killers, surprising them in their lair. Its a slaughter! Great bow work Perin (Stephen)! – and Sir Merik charges down the bandit lord. decapitating him in one go!

d) they take the bodies of the murdered and the villains to Sarum before travelling onto the Castle. Manoj’s schemer Marcellus, starts to convince the widow of Nolan, the now dead leader of House Tisbury, that she should consider a religious life and leave the House in his capable hands, I mean, the young lordling under his care….. Its in everyone’s best interests…. this upsets Merik when he gets to hear of what is afoot…. nothing at all to do with his feelings for the widow…..oh no…..

e) Word of Brave Sir Merik travels before them; Duke Ulfias and Earl Roderick welcome them at the Castle – esp the duke (Brian Blessed) – an OTT lord if ever there was one! he is so impressed with Sir Merik, that he is told he must lead the hunt on the morrow! Marcellus gets a kitchen boy to lose a mock fight with Alein in front of the lords in the hall – to get him some good publicity and to encourage his mother, widow Alanna, that he is a man now and doesn’t need her. Sir Blains, steward of Lecvomagus, vassal of Silchester, is seen angry that he is not talking with Ulfias – is rumoured to want his daughter’s hand (in marriage Kelvin, not as a momento!)

f) Next day – we kick start with the kids – who go exploring for Saxons etc…. with the Tisbury scout and horsemaster as guards….. and they find some! A quick combat later – and some quick thinking – and the Saxons are all dead.

Before the fight, the lads overhear Saxon voices – one sounds like a Brit speaking Saxon – in hiding, they disturb the peace and draw attention to themselves, and the try and hide harder whilst Owen gets help! Ad’s quick thinking gets his pc Cymon running from cover in front of the Saxons, so they see him and chase him, rather than find the others and kill them all slowly….. he runs back towards their guards – and fast (he is good at running!!) into the bow shot shooting range of Perin, the scout. He wounds 2 first blast, whilst 1 saxon gets stuck on a tree obstacle. Another couple of arrows take one Saxon down. Nic Rivers (stablemaster) axes and wounds a Saxon…. lower down the path, Alein bursts from cover to attack the Saxon aside the log – his sword hacks off the mail armour…..a single bow shot from Perin floors the man….who collapses bloody onto Alein, trapping him…. in the meantime cymon has swung around a tree at full tilt and joins Owen fighting a wounded Saxon. They try to take him down…. to be joined by Sedwin, who sticks his sword into the crack between the mans legs and shoves and twists the blade, urine, blood, shit and entrails raining down on his hand and arm…. the Saxon collapses in a heap. They are all dead. the lads are over the moon- and the lordships all take a Saxon torc each! They investigate the area where the talking came from – to find a clearing -and horse poo. The tracks tell them that the horse was missing its front right horse-shoe. An examination later in the castle tells them that is is possibly one of Blain’s brothers who was in the clearing – but it could have been 3 other knights…..

g) the hunt: Sir Merik is victorious with a small boar on the first day, and even more so the next with a bigger one.

h) Great celebrations that night – the lads’ glory is celebrated – not until Ulfias has teased them with an initial hostile/ angry reception – but the madman can’t contain his glee with their mettle! Manoj’s Marcellus manages to spin the events to shine more light onto his House’s lordling, Alein.

i) on the morrow, after a morning’s hunt is the Grand Melee – in which House Tisbury lines up opposite Blain and his men….. and Merik twats him unconscious before going head to head with Ulfius for the honour! ulfias knocks him down! Perin wins the archery contest – the best archer in the south!

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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