Session 3: 485AD
Court: Court is held at Leicester, in Lindsey.
· Sir Madoc, son of Uther
· Duke Lucius of Caercolun
“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…”
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.
“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.”
“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!”
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.
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.