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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:18 am 
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The Immortal Phoenix
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In reflection, things had certainly been better then they were now.
Upon the knights return to Salisbury, Galan finally informed them of the sad fate of Sir Aaron. Of the curse and the cauldron and Aarons demise. Of how he had met Absolom and his sacrifice, as well as the two serfs who had become warriors.
Thus did Galan suggest they hold a wake to celebrate the fallen.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:59 pm 
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The events of Owen's first year of knighthood affected Owen in a number of ways. Owen found that he was more honest thanks to his confrontation with Sir Lycus. Alain's campaign against the Saxons left its mark upon Owen by increasing his already intense hatred of saxons. Owen's awareness had also increased as well and he now paid greater attention to his surrondings. Owen's squire Cai became more proficient in the healing arts benefitting from owen's considerable knowledge in the field.


Once he had healed enough to resume his training Owen focused on improving his bladework with the goal of becoming as proficient as the great swordsmen of salisbury like Sirs Alain and Jaradan.

That winter while still recovering from his wounds Owen had a passing fling with a pretty peasent girl on his manor. But it was a fleeting thing and nothing ever came from it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:29 pm 
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John's winter was spent resting a recuperating in Idmiston. His crops were good across his lands and manors, despite Miranda being bed ridden. Over christmas she gave birth to Johns first daughter, whom he named Gwendolin.

Johns adventures over the summer had changed him dramatically. His experiences with the creature on the moors had robbed him of some of his bravery, though he had recovered much of this thanks to his dealings with the giant. But his face would never be the same again, with deep scars running criss-crossed across it. He had become more trusting of people, but also more vengeful and withdrawn. His hatred of the Irish in particular had gotten worse. He also learned more of the heraldry of the kingdom.

His training regime throughout winter was focussed heavily on his sword once more. Combined with his many experiences over the summer his sword work was rapidly becoming stuff of legend throughout Logres.

He also continued to ride and train with Aurelion, who was slowly approaching the age he would become a squire. His own squire, Melion was teaching the young man much of the world of fairies and goblins, the squires experiences with the otherworldly this summer teaching him much.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:50 am 
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493 AD

Britain suffered under a particularly heavy snowfall this winter. Dolorous as the weather was, it was as nothing compared to the state of Logres after the King's lust had led him upon the invasion of Cornwall. Word came from the north that the King was seen less and less in his own court, let alone at the head of his armies as had been his wont. Opinion turned more and more against him, as brigandry and Saxon raiding grew ever fiercer upon all fronts. The battle at Magouns had been a turning point for many people - while the Court had censured Sir Alain's actions as foolhardy, many felt that he had only done what Uther ought to have done in the first place, and that the Pendragon had abandoned him. One of the heroes who had found Excalibur! - and now cast aside, betrayed to his death, along with the hundred knights that had accompanied him, the flower of Logres' military. And no one had seen Excalibur. None could remember when it had gone, but all remembered Merlin's admonition to Uther long, long ago, that only an honourable king could wield it. Already songs were starting to circulate around Britain about Sir Alain's last stand, casting that knight as a glorious hero cut down in his prime with all his followers in a battle compared with the last stand of Leonidas at the Hot Gates in far-off Greece a thousand years earlier.

Or so the songs went. The survival of Sir Alain, Sir Owen, Sir Jaradan and Sir Aneirin was far from common knowledge across Logres. Indeed, Sir Alain had sunk into a malaise following the massacre at Magouns and his own maiming. It was as if his spirit had been broken, and he was no longer the same man he once had been. His former companions worried about him, but he scarcely acknowledged their presence. It was almost as if he had died at Magouns, and his soul was merely waiting for its battered body to catch up to it.

If Sir Alain was forgotten, Sir John was not. Word began to spread that Sir John, last of the knights who had retrieved Excalibur, had gone on an unsuccessful quest to find Merlin, and his victory over the giant Cawr was also spreading throughout Logres. Across the country, men spoke of Sir John Giant-Slayer, his valour and honour, as one of the last true heroes of the final age of Logres.

Young Sir Owen also was the centre of attention, but it was far less positive than that attracted by Sir John. Following his killing of Sir Lycus, that knight's family had sworn a blood oath against him. Oh, there was no way to trace the raiders that began to harry his estates back to them, or the robbers who carried out attempts upon the young knight's life whenever he took to the road, but for all that there was no doubt about who was behind it: Sir Lycus' sons, Sir Andreus and Sir Creon.

It was Sir John's reputation that made him a natural choice for the Earl's quest. Sir Owen's unfortunate feud with the sons of Sir Lycus meant that he was best removed from Salisbury as well, to allow time and the Earl's gentle words to settle the strife between his vassals. And Galan, the Pictish mercenary of consummate strength-at-arms, was a good choice as well for any task that might be dangerous. Thus the three were summoned to Salisbury early in the New Year by Earl Roderick, where he gave them troubling news and their new task.

"Ever since the Battle of Lindsey, the Saxons in the north have been broken and leaderless," the Earl said. "Would that it had stayed that way! But with the King seeming weak now, a group of Saxons banded together and attacked the castle where their Kings, Octa and Eosa, were imprisoned. The castle was burned, and now the sons of Hengest the Accursed are rallying their people around them again. It's the last thing that we need! With Aelle stronger and stronger every day in the south, and now the Saxons rallying in the north... it's a good thing Aethelswith in the east is content to hold his borders, or we would truly be in trouble. But we need allies. I have word from the King ordering me to send Sir John north to Malahaut, to the Centurion King in Eburacum, to negotiate a truce between Logres and Malahaut. If we can aid them against Octa and Eosa, we might be able to count on their help against Aelle. That bastard might be content with raiding for now - but mark my words, the time will come when his army marches for conquest, not loot, and we'll be hard pressed to stop him then."

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:47 pm 
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The winter had proven to be a miserable one for Sir Owen. The raids on his estate and the attempts on his life had left him on edge and had stirred a hatred for Sir Lycus' sons inside the knight and their ignoble tactics. The time would come when Sirs Anderus and Creon would get their just desserts but for now Owen would not retaliate. He had also been saddened to see Sir Alain's so broken by his expiriences in Magouns.

If anything Owen was looking forward to the trip to Malahaut. For it would give him a much needed reprieve from the malicious plots of Lycus' sons. He was leaving young James at Winterbourne Stokes confident that Anderus and Creon would not stoop so low as to attack a small child. As a plus he would be traveling with the famous Sir John, a priveledge for a knight who had only recently come of age.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Taking his instruction with quiet acknowledgement, John was nevertheless not pleased with it. Another long trip North was his, and his travelling companions were a far cry from those he had started his mission as a knight with. Though Galan had proved himself a capable warrior and a good companion he was no knight, and Owen had slain John's friend Sir Lycus. Though many had thought the old knight to be underhand and sly, he had never let John and his companions down - slaying the Frankish champion at Bayeux and rescuing them from the siege at Pitton Manor. No, John was much more reserved in his judgement of Sir Owen who seemed unlike his cousins Aldrydd and Aaron. Besides, if his family history was anything to go by he would be dead before John and John was tired of seeing his friends die.

'It would have been better for the king to have Slain Octa and Eosa when he had the opportunity,' spoke John bitterly.

Nevertheless, John gathered what supplies he felt they could carry and set off, following the same path that Aaron and Galan had taken the previous year, though he was careful to mark the areas where they had met misfortune so the group would not make the same mistakes.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:52 am 
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They were going to go north, again. While the curse had been broken, a small chill ran up his spine thinking about it all, even still. A stout lager eased the nerves, together with Sir Johns desire to avoid their previous path. Hopefully, should they finally reach past the wall and to his homeland things would improve. Given how things had faired since he moved south for work, the Pict could only hope.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:36 am 
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As the group was about to leave, there was a commotion at the great hall's door, and one of the guards entered, dragging a young peasant boy behind him by the scruff of his collar. "Begging your pardon, my lords," the guardsman said. "This young rascal has been trying to gain admission into the hall all day. We turned him away - and he's been trying to sneak in ever since!"

Earl Roderick frowned. "What is his purpose?"

"My gran told me to," the boy grumbled. "Told me to find Sir Alain and give him this," and he produced a crude iron nail. "He owes her, he does, and I'm here to collect on it."

The guardsman clipped the boy around the ear. "A knight owes the likes of you nothing, boy!" he snapped. But the companions had heard the story of Sir Alain's exploits of the previous year. His gran must be none other than Dwyvach, the old woman who had saved Sir Alain's life. Of course, Sir Alain was withdrawn to his estate in a depressive malaise.

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Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:40 am 
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'What does Sir Alain owe you boy?' asked Sir John, already annoyed at the interruption before they had even left the gates. 'Sir Alain is at his estates, and is not seeing visitors. If it is money he owes you, I will repay it for him. Other than that, I doubt there is much he can do for you, willing or otherwise.'

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:45 pm 
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"He don't owe me, he owes me gran," the boy repeated. "But Gran said I should see him and ask to be his squire, so's I can become a knight!" He stuck out his chest proudly.

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That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:58 pm 
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'A peasant cannot become a squire or a knight just like that,' scowled Sir John. 'You have not got the upbringing, the training nor the money to become a squire, let alone a knight. Besides, as you can see we all have our own squires already.' He sighed. 'Sir Alain is needing a squire, but even if you were to qualify, I doubt he would have need of you right now.'


'I can offer you money or food or land on my estates if you wish, but we cannot make you a squire.'

He looked questioningly to Earl Roderick and Sir Owen, who had had more dealings with Sir Alain over the previous summer than he.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:41 pm 
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"Boy you certainly have more then enough spirit to become a squire, I'll give you that. But one needs more then spirit to become a squire and progress along the path to knighthood. To do so takes a lifetime of training and dedication and given your origins it is unlikely you would ever attain knighthood even if you work for the rest of your life as a squire. Knowing this do you still desire to be a squire?" asks Owen impressed by the boy's daring.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:08 am 
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The boy's expression grew truculent as Sir John enumerated the reasons why he would never be able to become a knight. "So what if I don't have money or stuff? I'm going to be a squire, and I'm going to be a knight, and I'll be the strongest knight of them all! Just like Sir John the Giantslayer! Not a feeble knight like you!"

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"Ask every person if they've heard the story,
And tell them, loud and clear, if they have not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:11 am 
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The faintest whisper of a smile crossed Galans lips. The lad surely had a fire to him that would not be doused. Were the world different and he was of the position to do so, he very much knew he would take the boy as his own squire.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:22 am 
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Owen was tempted to laugh at the boy's ironic words but kept his composure.

"Boy you should treat this man with more respect for this is none other than Sir John The Giantslayer! Yet despite your disrespectful tone I would make you my own squire if it were possible. However I cannot as I already have a squire and it would be unfair to him if I were to take you on as well. The same applies for Sir John. Though perhaps we could find someone else to mentor you?"

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:27 am 
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The boy blanched when he heard just who he had insulted. His bravado was no longer enough to carry him through; he now looked like what he was, a scared and lonely young man who could see his dream vanishing in front of him. Yet for all that his lower lip was starting to tremble, his furious young pride was keeping him from the tears that might otherwise come.

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That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:35 am 
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Scared brow furrowed. "Where has your fire gone?" The Pict standing out from the crowd to face the boy. "Where is the spirit that lead you to break your way in, taking no prisoner with your demand?" Lips curling into a lopsided grin. "That is a lad who I could train to be a warrior." Arms folding over his chest as his brown eyes appraised the kid.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:37 am 
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"Got plenty of fire, ugly!" the boy shot back furiously. "I bet I'll be a better warrior than you one day! You're not even a knight!"

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That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:41 am 
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Now there was the hint of malice to his poise, that certain something that said should he chose he could do very bad things to you. "Time robs even the greatest warrior of his strength. Yet they can still teach mouthy lads a lesson or two."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:45 am 
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"Don't much matter. If you don't, one of them will. So much for knights always keeping their promises," the boy grumbled.

"Watch your tongue, whippersnapper!" the guard shouted, raising his fist again.

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"Ask every person if they've heard the story,
And tell them, loud and clear, if they have not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:52 am 
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Galan raised his palms and shrugged. "That is your choice," watching the guards upraised hand. "I offer to teach you to be a warrior, a fighter, a survivor." His expression questioning, but unphased should he hear no.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:02 am 
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"What is your name, boy?" Earl Roderick said, finally stepping into the conversation. He looked somewhat amused by the whole affair.

"Brian," the boy said, earning another cuff around the ear.

"Keep a polite tongue in your head, boy!" the guard said. "Call him My Lord." Brian stared at the guard with malicious eyes, then turned back to the Earl.

"My name's Brian..." he said, and deliberately did not finish the sentence.

"You're an impudent whelp, Brian," the Earl said. "Unfit in every way to be a knight. You and the Pict are well suited to each other. I suggest you take him up on his offer - it's that or back to your farm - after being beaten for your cheek."

Brian looked at the Pict sullenly. "Fine!" he said. His eyes said more: One day, you'll all pay for this.

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"Ask every person if they've heard the story,
And tell them, loud and clear, if they have not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:11 am 
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"As my Lord wishes," for a moment he thought about bowing or something but gave up thinking about the mechanics.

"I hope you've got your gear packed lad. We're just leaving on a mission north, and you're coming."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:48 am 
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Watching the boys anger abate, John relented slightly. 'Being a knight is not everything you would expect Brian,' he spoke as they rode along. 'You realise the Giant nearly killed me twice. And that is not to mention the courtly graces and politics involved in our role. I do not like them at all.'

He smiled slightly. 'Sometimes I envy our Pict friend. He gathers much fame and glory, and money if he so wishes, yet does not have the same responsibilities that are required for a knight. It it is theses things you wish - adventure and glory, you could do much worse than learn from him.'

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:22 am 
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After a few false starts getting Brian sitting on the new pony without falling off, the group had finally departed on its way north. Thus had the first lesson begun, when you get thrown down, jump right back on, especially during, certain, exercises.
The first nights stop then lead to the second lesson, beer is your friend and best drunk with others. Thus did Galan get Brian rip roaring drunk.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:33 am 
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As the group stopped for the night in a small town outside of Winchester, Brian took to his second lesson eagerly, ignoring what the others might think. It took him some work to drown the first drink, but after that he continued with a ruthless dedication that was impressive in its single-mindedness. He might was drinking a weaker beer than Galan, to be fair, but when Galan was forced to give up his carousing for the night, Brian still seemed to be going strong, and had taken to flirting with the serving maid, an older woman who stilled possessed a fine figure, and who tolerated his advances as she seemed to find him cute rather than attractive.

The next morning, Galan awoke hung over (as usual) but was soon right after sampling the hair of the dog that bit him. Brian was green-tinged and vomiting messily outside the inn. He had been doing so for much of the night, and was now mostly retching, for there was nothing left to expel - but still he continued. There was no way the group could continue to travel until he had recovered.

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"Ask every person if they've heard the story,
And tell them, loud and clear, if they have not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:43 am 
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The Pict shook his head at the sight, though there was plenty of mirth on his face.
"You have shown yourself a stout drinker, though perhaps a little less lesson two next time. We should see what concoction they can whip up to help you feel better." Slapping the young man on the back between retching bouts.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:21 pm 
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'No more drinking,' growled John as they finally set off. 'It is a long an dangerous journey North, and I want us to make good time, and all alive. Or have you already forgotten what has happened in the last year?'

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:37 am 
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"No," eyes tightening just a fraction. "Though as you say, we need not drink perhaps so much on our way." Followed by a quick wink to Brian behind the knights back.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:42 am 
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Brian did not return the wink. Whenever he ate anything, he would only vomit it up again shortly thereafter. He had become extremely ill as the result of the overindulgence, and swore sulkily at the Pict whenever Galan spoke to him. It was some days before he was able to travel again, and even then he was still unwell.

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"Ask every person if they've heard the story,
And tell them, loud and clear, if they have not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot."


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