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Pendragon - RPG

Discussion in 'Games & Giveaways' started by tirial, September 17, 2020.

  1. Threadmarks: Introduction

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Arthur's Coat of Arms

    It is a time of myth and legend, a time lost to history, when dragons guarded hordes, and damsels must be rescued from towers. A time of chivalry and knights and kings, of courtly love and jousts and tourneys, of battles and quests and heroes. A time for a group of squires to be knighted, to take up their shields and seek out glory for their family and their name.

    It is AD 531.

    It is the Court of King Arthur Pendragon.

    Midsummer, 531

    It is a rush and a bustle at Midsummer in the court of Earl Robert, Lord of Salisbury, where two squires kneel before the throne clad in their finest. One at a time the Lord draws his blade, places it on one shoulder and then the next.

    A fine young man is dubbed Sir Jowen. He is clad in maille, of fine quality, and many whispers go around the court of his glorious lineage. He has much to live up to.

    His companion, dressed in leather armour of poorer quality becomes Sir Antor of Demdike. The whispers here are different, for the accent in which he takes his knightly vows is that of the North, of Rheged, a dangerous and untamed land.

    Among the watching heiresses one a surpassing beauty, clad in a gown blue as the sky, applauds with delight as the Earl raises each to their feet. Lady Elena is new to the court, but rumours abound of the wrong done her that was made right by these two brave young men.

    "Do honour to this court, and uphold the knightly virtues and you will bring glory and honour to your family names. I have no doubt that you will not let me down. Let the festivities commence!"

    A pretty scene, but will it actually play out that way. Let us go back to April of that year and find out.
    Last edited by a moderator: September 17, 2020
  2. Threadmarks: Upavon 1

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    April 531, Upavon

    The feast is in full swing in the small Manor near Upavon, in the lands of Earl Robert of Salisbury. Two squires are at the lower table, with space to themselves as the Manor is not a rich or well-staffed one. At the upper table sits Sir Alwyn, the holder of the manor, a bluff bulky old man whose voice carries as he relays his tale of ventures as a squire in Uther's army where he lost his legs. His companion, Sir Dyfi, an older knight in poorer clothes listens raptly for Sir Alwyn's skill in the saddle is legendary. As the main course, the stag they ran to ground in today's hunt, is served Sir Alwyn holds up a hand.

    "Peradventure, sirs, I have been told that two ladies await without. I regret I cannot rise. Antor, Jowen, show them in!"
  3. Threadmarks: Upavon 2

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Jowen and Antor rise. As they leave the hall Jowen goes ahead, knowing the stables well, while Antor follows more slowly and makes sure the way is clear (and that the walls are not moving).

    In the stables, two fine palfreys are being tended by the groom. By the door, two damsels are waiting demurely. Both are dressed simply and modestly, though their attire is of fine quality. The first, the elder, bears herself with unmistakeable nobility. She has blonde hair fading to grey, though her face is barely-lined, and her dress is in the courtly style. Most remarkably, however, she wears a hood that covers her eyes.

    The younger with her is garbed in black, a dress, a hood, and a veil that conceals her face entirely, though the grace of her movements as she assists the elder is apparent.

    "I am the Lady Enide" the elder says, worn from the travails of the journey, "and I pray you, sirs, that I may speak with the Lord of this Manor."​
  4. Threadmarks: Upavon 3

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    The Lady Enide is unfamiliar to the squires though alongside her own blazon she bears the coat of arms of Sir Danan, a most honourable knight who lives some weeks' travel from here. Bowing, Jowen opens the manor door as, at the far end of the Portico, Antor opens the door to the Great Hall that the ladies may proceed.

    "Welcome, my Ladies," Sir Alwyn booms "I pray your forgiveness, for I do not rise to greet thee due to a lack of ability, not lack of courtesy. What brings thee to this hall?"​

    "My Lord, Sir, I am the Lady Enide, and this my niece the Lady Elina" the elder says, "I am widowed, gentlemen and ladies. My husband perished this winter passed."​

    "Sad tidings, my lady," Sir Dyfi says, "for I knew him well. He was a most noble and valiant man."​

    The Lady Enide inclines her head, her nobility not lessened by her grief. "Our son, Sir Daine the younger, was absent for we have two manors, my husband's, and my father's estate of Rimchurch. My son now resides in the castle of Rimchurch, where he was dispatched to manage his father's affairs. Alas, his father did not survive, and sent my son only one last letter setting out the principals of knighthood and commending the manors to his care."

    "Now I must seek the aid of knights to right a grave wrong. My son travelled to the neighbouring castles to inform them of his father's.death."

    He was ill-treated and churlishly used by those brutes who call themselves Lords. They challenged him, and in those challenges were the knightly virtues reversed and made mock of. They did not even acknowledge his bereavement, and my son has now decided that the true path of knights is that of the braggart and the churl and that knighthood has no place for honour."
    Lady Enide stops, her distress obvious. Lord Alwyn's heavy fist thumps the table."Rank villainy! Even pages and squires know better," he decrees, furiously. Taking a sip of wine, the Lady continues her tale of woe.

    "He has become a tyrant on his own lands, hated and feared by those he should protect. Worse followed, for my niece the Lady Elena, was to join an abbey. She holds a little land and her father's manor in her own right under the stewardship of the abbess. My son, to my shame, removed her from the abbey and claims rights to the manor.

    "In my shame I have masked my face, for I cannot bring myself to see the shame my son brings to his name. This then is what I ask: for some brave knights to go to his manors, and return with him to the brutish lords to prove that a good and decent man following the virtues of knighthood can win the day."
    Sir Alwyn scowls. "I would like nothing more than to aid you, my lady, but I move slowly these days. I can but send my squires to Salisbury for aid and offer you the safety of this hall and what meagre hospitality I can."

    "Nay, sir, " Sir Dyfi speaks, "For I shall take this quest-" as he makes to rise, his hand flies to his side, where he had been sorely smote by the beast's antlers before the knights brought it down. "I regret, I may be unable to take a quest of such urgency." The Lady Enide lowers her head, though the truth weighs heavy on her.

    "I thank thee for thy hospitality, but in truth I fear the aid of Salisbury will come too late. Hast though none other who can aid us?"​
  5. Threadmarks: Arrive at Rimchurch

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    In the morn the knights depart, riding at full haste for the manor of Rimchurch. The Lady Enide and Lady Elena make much debate among themselves, for it seems the Lady Enide does not approve of actions advanced by Lady Elena. By the second night they do not raise the matter again, though it seems hardly settled.

    And so within a week's space the knights come unto the lands that have fallen to Sir Daine, and find much woe. The fine vill of Rimchurch is beset indeed, the grain in the fine fields cut before its time, and the churls managing the cattle survey the knights with much fear. From the trees before the village are hung corpses, four men and a women, and the Lady Enide blanches.

    "Nay, but that is Iavus, the Reeve, who hangs there. What ill-deed has befallen him?"

    And fully mightily the knights ride on toward the village, a dark and sorry place indeed. Sir Jowen's sharp eyes spot the mark of horses, ridden at speed through the town, wheeling as if for battle though there are churls here alone. Sir Antor feels a chill as he spies the thatch torn and part a-fired beneath the dirt and recalls the Pictish raids on his homelands. The forest road forks, the crossroads splitting once to the vill and the other path winding ever upward towards the castle that looms above it.

    "Sirs," the Lady Enide says, struck by great emotion, "Some great ill has befallen Rimchurch while I took my leave. Make we all haste to the castle of my son this eve, sirs, or wish you that we tarry here the night?"
  6. Threadmarks: Rimchurch 1

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    "The castle has a chapel with a graveyard where such should lie," the Lady Enide says, "and yet the bodies off these goodfolk are displayed like wolfsheads and churls. I know me not what they could have dared that such a fate befell them."

    The knights ride most warily towards the vill of Rimchurch, heeding the threat of outlaws. The churls keep their heads down as they spy the knights, scurrying into hovels and closing the entrances as they can, seeming in great dread.

    A greybeard stands in the square between the huts, bent with age as he leans upon a cane as knarled as he himself. The badge he wears marks him as Reeve, though he is old by far for that busy role.

    Lady Elena the sharp-eyed spies the man's features, so alike to one that hangs from the vile branches before the vill. When he speaks his voice cracks like wind.

    "What business have you here, sirs?" he says, not discourteously. "I know not your devices. Seek you employment as knights, the castle lies yonder."

    It is fair plain to Sir Antor that the greybeard speaks of the castle with disdain not suited to his station, and yet fear that none should feel for their Lord. Sir Jowen's concerns are elsewhere, with the lash mark the lies across the greybeard's arm.

    "Or, sirs, have ye business with us or others thereabout?"
  7. Threadmarks: Rimchurch 2

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    At the name of Lady Enide, the churl straightens, and bows as best he can.

    "My Lady, it is shame to see you under such circumstances. Your husband was a good man and a just Lord, and he is sorely missed. We sorrow with you for the shame of your son. Such hospitality as we can offer is yours." It is strange and unusual thing to see a churl console a Lady, but the Lady seems to have common cause with him. He raises his staff and wooden doors and cloth hanging are opened curiously. "We thought, as your son did, that you had left him for his Lord's court."

    "Nay, good Reeve, I have travelled the long roads to Salisbury, to bring good knights here to rightfully chastise my son, and return him to the path of a knight." The Lady Enide says. "These are named Sir Jowen and Sir Antor, of Upavon in Salisbury, newly knighted. But what has happened here?"

    "Lady Elena, to see you well makes my heart glad." The Reeve says, "but what has happened here is no words for a Lady's tender ears."

    "The Lady Elena," says Lady Enide, "thinks to ride with knights to chastise my son. It is right that her ears not be spared if it keeps her from this folly."

    "As you will," the Reeve bows again, leaning most heavily upon his staff. "Two nights hence knights came riding from the castle. Sir Daine's new knights, in their cups, sought amusement in their pillage of the vill, and fired the fields. My son, the Reeve, and four of the stalwarts went to the castle to appeal Sir Daine's mercy and protection from such."

    "And the knights fell upon them before they could see their Lord?" Lady Enide asks. "Such an action is beyond all honour. That my son should hire such vile followers into his household disgraces me."

    "Nay. They returned from the castle with their Lord," the Reeve says, "Sir Daine had cruelly used them to make sport, and tied them behind horses and did hang them on the trees for his amusement. He was in great wrath that churls dare address him and made most vile threats to any who took them for burial."

    "Sir Daine has thirty such men in his sad castle. I pray you Ladies, Sir Knights, for the sake of your honour and your lives dare no further."

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