Adventure of the Knighting Ceremony
Wherein the funeral of Sir Herlews becomes the starting point for the final stage in our characters’ journey to knighthood. After the funeral, they travel with their mentor Sir Elad to Vagon where they undertake their final trials, including a quest to Imber for a hunt. Bandits are encountered, leading to fierce retribution both against the bandits and the squires themselves. From there, they return to Vagon to make their report and then to Sarum for Pentecost Court and their fated moment.
Squire Finnian (1080)
Squire Gordon (1070)
Squire Henry (1126)
Squire Keith (1091)
Squire Kendrick (1126)
Squire Marcus (1106)
Squire Marcus Scipio (1101)
Squire Pedivere (1091)
Sir Aldwyn, uncle of Sir Kendrick
Sir Elad, Castellan of Vagon
Old Garr, priest of Imber
Prince Madoc, son of Uther
King Pellinore, ruler of Gomoret
Earl Roderick, ruler of Salisbury
The story began with seven of the eight squires en route to Tisbury for the funeral of Sir Herlews. Once there, they met their newest and most unexpected number, Squire Pedivere – the second son suddenly thrust into the responsibilities of lordship and pending knighthood. They also met Prince Madoc, son of Uther, who came to pay his respects and to help organize the armies of Logres in anticipation of a spring campaign against the Saxons. Present, too, was Earl Roderick and many of the most notable knights of the county. Many were the tributes paid, with Madoc speaking most passionately.
The Journey to Vagon
Very early the next morning, the squires left with Sir Elad (their mentor and Castellan of Vagon). The exhausted Pedivere was carried down and propped up onto his horse by his brothers, while Squire Kendrick lent his fellow Roman Christian a hand as Marcus Scipio slept on oblivious to the clamor around him. They made their way through Modron’s Forest, much to the discomfort of Squire Keith, who was the target of many tall tales and jibes by the out-of-sorts Pedivere. The squires reflected on the funeral both between themselves and in their own private musings.
When they arrived at Vagon, they were tested in their swordsmanship and use of other weaponry as well as tested in courtly ways. The next day, the true fun began (and a crowd gathered to watch) as the squires squared off against each other. First off was a lancing turn at target dummies and the infamous quintain. Most of the squires had some degree of success, but others (particularly poor out of practice Pedivere) were thumped soundly by the quintain’s stone.
After that was a horse race. Catastrophe struck as both Pedivere and Marcus Scipio’s horses crashed into each other and threw their respective riders to the ground. Squire Kendrick came to assist, forfeiting his chance for glory. Squire Pedivere suggested that the three of them have an alternate race so that they could have their moment. Meanwhile, in the race proper, Squire Henry won handily, followed closely by Squire Finnian. Most laudable was Squire Gordon’s third-place finish, which he managed despite being de-horsed at one point.
In the follow-up race, Pedivere’s horse immediately bucked and threw him to the ground again. The others raced on, though, with Squire Marcus Scipio finishing first, followed by Squire Kendrick. Squire Keith, who joined in the race in an attempt to atone for his fourth-place finish in the previous meet, found no better fortune this time around. He came in third.
The Journey to Imber
Squire Henry won the right to lead his peers thanks to his victory in the lists. He elected to leave the next day, particularly in light of injuries sustained in the race and joust (most particularly Squire Gordon, who was forced to remain in Vagon). That night, Squire Marcus’ antics with a local lady led to a heated confrontation between him and Squire Keith (more concerned for his own reputation than Marcus’ eternal soul). The next morning, Henry set a traditional course for Imber, particularly in this early spring: over the plain, up through the hills, and then down to Imber. This took them through Shrewton, where they conversed with Sir Sir Aldwyn Worboys. Tentative plans were made for a feast on the way back from Imber.
Imber and The Hunt
Imber was a relatively large village that relied more on game in the forest than farming. They easily found Old Garr, a sardonic man whose virtues of priesthood apparently included having a lusty mistress and living with her. Still, he proved a capable woodsman and quickly set them on the trail of the bear. At that point, it was a competition with each squire electing to stay on their own. Poor Squire Marcus Scipio got lost right at the start and never recovered, only finding his way to the others when he stumbled upon Squire Henry.
The bear, an old and savage thing, was found by Squires Kendrick and Marcus (along with the hounds that Garr brought). Kendrick laid into the bear with a mighty lance strike. The bear was distracted by the hounds which allowed Squire Marcus to strike at the creature with his great axe. At this point, Squires Pedivere and Keith bounded into the clearing. When Kendrick went to administer the killing blow, Marcus attempted to parry it with his axe. His intentions were honorable – he hoped to divine the nature of the bear’s sudden aggressiveness – but the two were about to come to blows over the matter until Squire Keith rode up and beat down their blades with his own.
Squire Henry on the other hand had a remarkable encounter – he discovered a strange creature that seemed part snake, part lion, and part leopard. Most curious and disturbing of all was the sound of baying hounds that eminated from the creature’s insides. Squire Henry was transfixed as the creature drank heavily from a stream. Both were roused from the moment by the sound of crashing brush. The creature bounded off just as a knight on horseback came into the clearing. Henry recognized the standard as the de Galis clan of Gomoret. The knight asked (without introducing himself) if “Glatisant, a peculiar creature” had been seen. Henry told what he saw, and the knight raced off with a hunter’s cry. When Henry recounted this tale later on, Old Garr told him that Glatisant was the fabled Questing Beast and the knight none other than King Pellinore himself.
That night in Imber, a mighty feast was held. The claws were presented to Squire Marcus and, for dealing the most damage and the killing blow, the pelt to Squire Kendrick. The plan was to leave early on the morrow for Vagon. Squire Henry was asked to tell his tale many times. He obliged, but each time left him more and more convinced that if he had acted, he could have slain the beast himself and gained the glory for besting a king and confronting a creature out of legend. Thoughts of the hunt followed Henry into his dreams that night.
Bandits on the Plain
En route to Vagon (with a planned stopover in Shrewton) and just past Orcheston, Squires Pedivere and Marcus Scipio noticed smoke to the south. While Squire Finnian stayed with the other horses, the rest of the squires rode into the fields. They came upon a burning farmstead and a group of nine bandits pillaging it. The farmer was knocked out and his wife and young daughter being violated. While Squires Marcus Scipio and Keith encouraged the group to make an ordered charge, the others did not wait and launched forward.
Squire Pedivere accosted three loading a cart with grain, slaying one and meleeing with the others. Squire Henry and Squire Kendrick slew one each and moved onto the others, with Henry taking a slight wound from a sword strike. Squire Keith arrived and quickly aided Squire Kendrick by subduing a bandit before moving to check on the women. He placed his cloak over the young girl and put her on his horse for safety. Quite soon, the remaining bandits were surrendering.
The two rapists had attempted to flee, but were ridden down by Squire Marcus. They pled for mercy, but Squire Marcus calmly got off his horse, drew his great axe, and began attacking them. At this point, another group of rescuers, knights from Shrewton led by Sir Aldwyn, arrived at the scene. Seeing Squire Marcus’ action, Sir Aldwyn dismounted, called for the squire to stop, and then struck him roughly across the face, reminding him of his duties to his liege lord. Marcus accepted the rebuke silently.
Sir Aldwyn took charge of the situation, taking the bandits (alive and dead) for transport to Sarum. The victims came, too, as did many of their possessions which Squire Pedivere had braved fire to pull from the burning house. From there, the squires returned to Vagon and made their report to Sir Elad. Squire Kendrick gifted his pelt to Sir Elad, who promptly gifted it back, saying that he was an old knight and better for a young knight to have a good story to tell his children. At Sir Elad’s behest, they prepared that night to tell their tale to the Earl, electing Squire Pedivere for that honor.
Sarum & Knighthood
Along with the contingent from Vagon, the squires arrived at Sarum on the eve of Pentecost Court. Squire Pedivere regaled the crowd with their tale and so too did Sir Henry when the Earl asked him for an account of the curious tale of the Questing Beast. When Squire Henry suggested that he might one day capture the beast, he was gently warned by the Earl that such a pursuit was a dangerous thing. At the feast that evening, many individual congratulations were offered, most especially from Lord Orcheston for the defense of his lands. That night, the Christian squires (Roman and British alike) held vigil in the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pagan squires went out and celebrated lustily, with Squire Marcus dragging along an initially reticent Henry.
The following morning was Pentecost Mass and after that the beginning of the Pentecost Feast and the Earl’s court. Reminding his subjects that King Uther Pendragon would be arriving later that year for a summer offensive against the Saxons, the Earl asked if any present were worthy of the honor of knighthood. At that point, Sir Elad stood up and gave a good accounting of the squires. The squires then came forward and in grand ceremony were knighted by Earl Roderick.
A great clamor went up as the new knights were swept from the hall and into the courtyard for their ceremonial leap. Of that leap, the only truly memorable moment was poor Sir Henry’s faceplant into the mud when he attempted his leap. An embarrassed silence fell over the crowd, punctuated only by some nervous tittering. Half the group had made the Leap, the other not. All of them had made it to the most important prize of all: knighthood!
Their ceremony complete, the knights looked forward to new adventures.
10 glory for attending the funeral of Sir Herlews and meeting Prince Madoc (all squires)
10 glory for finishing first in the primary race (Squire Henry)
10 glory for winning the Squires Tourney (Squire Henry)
10 glory for the Imber Hunt (all squires except Gordon)
15 glory for finding and fighting the man-eating bear of Blakemore Wood (Squires Kendrick and Marcus)
10 for administering the final blow (Squire Kendrick)
15 glory for seeing Glatisant and meeting King Pellinore (Squire Henry)
10 glory for taking the fight to the bandits outside of Orcheston (all squires except Finnian and Gordon)
90 glory for each killed (6) or captured (3) bandit (11 split amongst all squires except Finnian and Gordon)
1000 glory for being knighted (all squires)
50 glory for being titled Vassal Knight (all squires)
10 glory for making The Leap (Squires Finnian, Gordon, Kendrick, and Marcus Scipio)
Total possible glory: 1161