Knights Rampant

The Cliffs of Tintagel

491 AD

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It was a frigid Christmas Eve in Sarum. Our heroes had arrived that day to fulfill their duty to attend Earl Roderick’s summons to feast in his great hall. Perhaps it was their general dissolution with the actions of their King, or just a momentary lapse in judgment, but the Knights each drowned themselves in their cups. Being bereft of judgement, an argument broke out between Sir Brith of Chittern and Sir Cadfael over the treatment of Brith’s son at the hands of Cadfael’s companion; Sir Rhydderch. Despite Marshal Elad’s best efforts to prevent the quarrel from escalating, the next morning dawned with Sir Rhydderch defending his honor against the grizzled Sir Brith, with practice swords in the courtyard of Castle Sarum. It was in the space of only a breath that Sir Rhydderch was bested by the old veteran, his breath driven from his chest as he landed on his back. Sir Brith, with great care, offered his hand to the chastised and Sir Rhydderch accepted, ending the nascent feud.

Later that day word arrived that King Uther was summoning his Knights to war, once again. However, this time it would be Duke Gorlois who would be the target of the King’s wrath, having spurned his “hospitality” the previous winter. The Knights mustered with Earl Roderick to support their liege’s claim and soon they marched into the fens and jagged coastline of Cornwall.

The Knights bore witness to what can only be considered a miracle, when Duke Gorlois appeared at the gate of Tintagel to join his wife at the precise time he was crossing swords with Prince Madoc 20 miles south, outside Castle Terrabil. The Knights had also witnessed Uther depart his tent with Merlin the Enchanter and while they were absent a great mist obscured the Duke’s approach. Next morning word came from Castle Terrabil that Duke Gorlois and Prince Madoc had slain each other in battle that very night, outside the walls of the distant castle.

Not two days later, the gates of Tintagel were opened as Duchess Ygrainne surrendered herself into the King’s protection and not 3 months later they were wed in a lavish ceremony in the great hall of Tintagel. Much muttering was overheard about the King’s obsession with a woman while yet more news of marauding Saxons in the south fell upon his seemingly deaf ears. The year drew to a close with our heroes tasked to a dull and prolonged garrison duty at Castle Terrabil, unable to return home to their families.

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