Pendragon Grand Campaign
Feel free to tweak this as necessary.
- Vassal Knight
- Lord of Pitton
- Master of the Hunt
“Nos sumus falcon, vos estis rodent.”
“John, promise me you’ll be careful while you’re out hunting,” shouted Susan after her husband.
“That old shrew,” thought Sir John to himself. What did she know? Sir John Korsak was a great hunter. His ancestors had come to Britain with Claudius via the wild tribes of Germania. He knew these lands as he knew himself, for it was upon this ground that the Korsaks became full Britains.
By this time, the reign of King Constantin, the Korsaks were a respected family of hunters known for their falconry. John was one of King Constantin’s thousand knights, but though he survived many battles, he was fated not to survive this hunt. Alas, his noble falcon, Dorwain, had gotten on in years just as the British winters had grayed Sir John’s beard, and both of them became a bit nearsighted. It was something of a blessing in the end for Sir John, as he had only a second to notice Dorwain, who mistook his head for a tasty treat, enter his limited field of vision.
Though Dorwain, apparently belatedly realizing his error, pulled up, the sudden swoop started Sir John’s horse, which threw him with considerable force, and his brains were dashed out upon a flat stone.
Waste not, want not, thought Dorwain, who was found to be feasting upon the contents of Sir John’s skull when the corpse was found.
Sir William had already come of age and was on garrison duty when he received news of his father’s death. “At last!,” exclaimed Sir William, and at Pentecost court that year, he and his many brothers and sisters celebrated and feasted upon Dorwain. And the horse. Thus was Sir John avenged in Korsak eyes.
The gossip at court focused largely upon how anyone could have possibly known that Dorwain divebombed Sir John, since there were no human witnesses. Though this suggestion only increased in credibility as the feast went on, it was too late for Dorwain and horse anyway. Again, waste not, want not the feasters thought.
Not all in Sarum were so sanguine as to Sir John’s death. Earl Harold had come to greatly enjoy falconry and had depended upon Sir John in this regard. He was quite put out when Sir John died unexpectedly, and he immediately declared Sir William to be the Master of the Hunt. As a token of his new station, he gave to Sir William a young, spry falcon, which the Earl dubbed Shalar. To ensure that his new Master of the Hunt would be with him for a good long while, Earl Harold consistently assigned Sir William to garrison duty. This strategy, though sound at first blush, turned out to backfire considerably, as Sir William was slain by Pict raiders in his seventh year of garrison duty.
In memory of his fallen Master of the Hunt, the Earl morosely feasted upon Shalar at Winter Court, for somehow this was all Shalar’s fault.
Sir William’s eldest son, Douglas, was one year old at the time of his death, and Sir William left behind a pregnant wife, Catelyn. Poor Catelyn. 440 still had a few kicks in the head left for her. Her eldest child, Kym, died at the age of 5 that year due to sickness, after (somehow) apparently becoming wed to a pedophile named Sir Thom.
The first order of business was to have Sir Thom killed, and he was hanged for crimes against nature. After justice had been done, Catelyn soldiered on and raised Douglas, his infant brother Elian, and the new baby, Calder, to the best of her ability.
She became remarried to one Sir Trent, and they had three children, Caiona, in 448, Jareth, in 451, and Tudor, in 452. Catelyn loved Caiona and Jareth with all her heart, but not so much Tudor, whose birth killed her. She died cursing his name.
So it was that Douglas grew into manhood amidst his family’s salacious history. He squired first for his stepfather, Sir Trent, then later for Earl Hugh, who was to become Earl Roderick’s father. Like his father before him, he was named Master of the Hunt upon being knighted, and he had the good fortune of organizing a hunt for nobles during the Night of Long Knives (and was thus absent).
Prior to that event, the Korsaks had been apolitical to the brouhaha between Vortigern and the rest, having fought for Vortigern at the Battle of Kent but against him at Cambridge, merely because that was where their liege fought in both instances. However, after the Night of Long Knives, Sir Douglas began to hate Vortigern as he hated his mother-slaying younger half-brother.
Seizing the advantage, Sir Douglas married the newly-widowed Rebecca of Pitton and so became a Vassal Knight. However, he still retained the Korsak title of Master of the Hunt, and his wedding gift from his new bride was a mighty falcon, named Tassadar. Rebecca made him promise not to eat it, and Sir Douglas was confused, for his family had not apprised him of their shameful past and history of jumping to unfounded conclusions.
So it was that when Aurelius landed, Sir Douglas rode to battle for him at the Siege of Carlion and again at Mount Snowden. Here he distinguished himself by being amidst a group of knights who won the gate to the castle and allowed the main host to enter the city.
Those brave acts at Mount Snowden won Sir Douglas entry into Uther’s band of raiders, and many a Saxon skull was crushed by Tassadar’s powerful talons. Sir Douglas’ reward from the raids was a newfound love of travel and adventure, so that when the High King proposed a massive sea campaign against enemy navies, Sir Douglas leapt at the opportunity. Thus, he was there acquitting himself quite nobly at the Battle of Frisia.
The next few years were lean times in Salisbury as the nobility of the land had been devastated by the Battle of Windsor. Calamity came to the house in 480 when Saxons invaded from both the South and the East, overran and sacked Pitton, killing a number of house members, men, women, and children alike. “We learned this tactic from Sir Dominic, of House Brodrig, you limey bastards,” shouted the Saxons as they slew Caiona.
However, King Uther himself funded the rebuilding of Pitton, as Sir Douglas was among the select knights who fought and died at the High King’s side during the Battle of Salisbury. Which reminds me: Sir Douglas died at the Battle of Salisbury.
Fortunately, before he died, Sir Douglas had half a dozen children: Gordon in 464, Rhodri, in 466, and Rihanna, in 467 (who was carried off to Tassadar’s eyrie at the age of three – Tassadar would have been eaten but for Sir Douglas’ promise to Rebecca). They also had twin sons, John II and Alan, in 468, and Owen in 473.
In 488, having gained a few years seasoning as a knight, Sir Gordon became a full member of the Earl’s retinue and assumed the title “Master of the Hunt”.