The Story So Far
Duke Gorlois’ flight from Christmas Court the previous year left King Uther in a state of blinding rage. When spring rolled around, he was adamant – he would see the Duke dead once and for all for his disloyalty. Only the quietest, most secret whispers spoke of the king’s other possible reason for wanting the duke out of the way.
News of yet more Saxons, this time in the south, cause Earl Roderick to leave his foot soldiers in Salisbury. Lady Diantha’s second disappearance keeps Sir Keith in Cholderton for the second year running. His comrades, along with the vast majority of the Salisbury knights, ride west the Earl and King Uther – west toward Cornwall.
Surprisingly, the Duke does not take the field against them. He retreats with most of his force into Castle Terrabil, while his wife, children, and treasury are hidden away in his capital at Tintagel. Uther rides west with a 1/4 of his force. With him go Sir Henry and Sir Marcus the Little Giant, the latter eager for another glimpse of the Lady Ygraine. The remaining knights remain in the siege of Terrabil under the command of Duke Ulfius and Prince Madoc. It is there that Merlin first reappears after many months…
Sir Finnian, Sir Henry, Sir Keith, Sir Kendrick, Sir Marcus, Sir Marcus Scipio, Sir Pedivere
Sir Dagonet’s Jest (Funniest Moment)
Paul – Sir Marcus Scipio’s reaction to something his wife said to him.
Gabe – Not to lapse into self-flattery, but we had a good laugh over our next assignment being Castle Really Horrible.
Incursion of the Fae (Eeriest Moment)
Paul – In the space of about three minutes realtime, we lost two characters, another one went unconscious, and all of a sudden Sir Finnian found himself facing an enraged Sir Gorlois alone.
Gabe – Madoc’s grisly death, being cleaved asunder by Gorlois’s sword – shocking because it was so unexpected.
Sir Dalan’s Charge (Best Heroics)
Paul – Rushing to the prince’s defense – gallant, foolish, valorous – was a fitting final heroic act for Pedivere and Kendrick. Sir Finnian and Sir Marcus the Roman deserve credit, as well.
Gabe – Julian, Sir Marcus Scipio’s unflappable war horse, brings high distinction to his breed once more.
Armor? Nay! Battle? Yay! (Dubious Decision)
Paul – The book actually contains this passage: “If they wish, however, they can run away and fight without armor. There’s a good chance they will be killed or badly wounded, but sometimes people need a lesson on just how useful armor really is.” I dismissed it, thinking that lesson well-learned already, but apparently not.
Gabe – It was perhaps a mistake to passively wait for developments outside Gorlois’s castle for days without trying to put up field fortifications, illumination, or a sentry system.
A Dream of Camelot (Best Roleplay Moment)
Paul – The eulogies for the fallen knights, all of them good, but my personal favorite was Keith’s for Sir Pedivere.
Gabe – Sir Kieth was convincing as grievously wounded in the aftermath of the duel.
Wily in Wylie (Luck of the Irish Award)
Paul – Sir Keith should have been the third player character to die that night, but survived through an amazing series of lucky combat and passion rolls. Sir Finnian likewise should have died, but improbably held off Gorlois long enough for other knights to finish the job.
Gabe – Sir Marcus Scipio, for marrying the lovely Lady Indeg, who is perfect in every way and has no flaws about which any husband could ever have any complaints at all, ever.
Leap of the Macsuls (Luck of the Polish Award)
Paul – Sir Kendrick will never make that trip to London now and Sir Pedivere died in the defense of the man he hated most in the world.
Gabe – Deceptive/Honest rolls working at cross-purposes as Marcus and Marcus Scipio try to conceal Sir Kieth’s participation in a duel during the King’s wedding celebrations.
Honoring Those Who Honor Us (Pat on the Group Back)
Paul – An emotionally draining session that saw two characters depart forever. Just as a nod to the amazing ways a tabletop game can take you to unexpected places: it was both ironic and poignant that Pedivere died as he did – rushing to Madoc’s defense, having fumbled his Hate (Madoc) roll and giving himself over to his duty as a knight instead of his hatred as a man. It brought Pedivere’s fumbled intrigue roll from 486 full-circle, telling an amazing and tragic tale of two men never meant to occupy the main stage of our story.
Gabe – Good recovery from a sudden and unforeseen loss — speaks well of morale — Tom was especially swift and diligent in generating a new character and getting him into play before the session was wrapped.
After somehow surviving extended combat against Duke Gorlois, Sir Finnian was too busy feeling lucky to wonder when his Irishman’s luck was going to run out. He was a natural gambler so when his thoughts turned too morose, he just looked for the next roll of the dice. When he finally lost his last roll, Finnian hoped his end would be as swift as Pedivere and Kendrick’s.
Sir Henry soothed the pain caused by his companions’ shocking deaths with a trip to the forest to continue his hunt for Glatisant.
The year 491 found Keith questioning his faith in his fellow knights, in King Uther, and in the Lord. Just two years prior, he had been celebrating great personal success and spectacular victories for the realm. When had God abandoned him?
Keith regretted formulating a prideful concept in his mind, that he had achieved all he’d set out to in life. He was a knight who had led his forces to victory, he had married above his station, he had produced an heir, and he had strengthened Cholderton. He had everything he’d desired, but it seemed it was not to last.
Always a man of God, Sir Kendrick was ready to meet his Maker. Whether his Maker was prepared for the great ordeal of meeting Sir Kendrick was another matter altogether.
Pedivere and Kendrick dead…the king’s own son and the duke, as well. Two friends lost all for the king’s obsession over a woman. After what I witnessed, there can be no doubt that sorcery was involved in both ends. Magic has a price, a lesson that I hope the king has learned. As knights, all we can do is soldier on and hope our liege can return to his senses.
Sir Marcus Scipio
This is a time of uneven fortunes. The King loses a son and gains a wife. I lose two friends and gain a wife. Sorrow moves with joy like shadow moves with light. Where can we seek constancy in such a fickle world? Only in our cause; only in the cause of the realm: let it be defended, united, and brought to a state of prosperity in our time.
The rest is silence.