YEAR 543

The year ended in the ADVENTURE OF THE LOST EAGLE in which Pagan Knights and their allies rode into the far North, a land of mist and wild Picts. To recover an ancient symbol from the times of the Legion. For one of the squires a personal quest. On his choices alone would success or failure depend.

After a long and difficult search in disguise, they found the Eagle in a holy barrow, used by the wild Picts as a sacred shrine. Many tribes had gathered there to enact an ancient rite of passage for their boys who were to become Warriors. Getting the Eagle and escaping with it were two very different things. In the end a desperate subterfuge and a long chase by the Wlyd Hunt, in which the Knights were saved by Nimue’s guides and the Fay Knight of the Silver Lance, resulted in the successful return of the Eagle into the safekeeping of the Lady of the Lake. To be used once more when the Great Boar of the North descends upon the Red Dragon of the South.

In that same year it was rumoured that three Knights of the Table Round and their companions were still missing in the Great Forest Adventurous. Also still missing was King Arthur’s Son, Prince Loholt.

YEAR 544

Year 544

At Camelot during a winter feast held in honour of an upcoming marriage between a noble of Escavalon and a Frankish Princess. The Franks or the French as they are now more often called. Started an argument that divided even the Round Table Knights! Only the wisdom of Arthur saved the situation and a challenged issued to prove the point, that tournaments were indeed as valid to prove ones martial prowess as battles and the hard lessons of war. The ADVENTURE of the EIGHT TOURNEY CHALLENGE was to prove that young knights who had not been tested in battle were as good a knight as those who had. Many Round Table knights sponsored many of the young knights (over 200 Cymric) and helped with advice and arranging entrances to many of the tournaments. The whole year was spent on the Tourney Circuit. The first was the Tirocinium, which was won by Sir Guy. An occitianian in service to Earl Robert. Also deserving a mention was Sir Elad who won the Challenges, perhaps spurned on by his Sister, the lady Eleri, who travelled with her brother. The tournament however was overshadowed by the death of a very promising young knight. No less than kin to Lancelot himself, who was found dead in the woods during the Hunt Challenge, whispers of murder were never proven, who had anything to gain for killing such a courtly and handsome boy of a knight?

The Pentecostal tourney proved difficult as expected with the French knights getting a pasting. During the tourney the ADVENTURE OF THE WEREWOLF.

Led our knights to finding a missing Round Table knight and the foiling of a vile plot.

In the Mayors Joust set in London our Knights joined the jousting team of Sir Seriol, and performed magnificently earning great glory and considerable wealth.

The Grand Tourney proved to be another difficult one for our young knights as one of their number Sir Elad had been kidnapped! They chose to find their companion but they missed the boat to take them to their next tourney up north. They found Sir Elad who did not remember any of them? Sir Elad’s secret had been revealed, that Sir Elad was in fact Lady Eleri!

This resulted in the ADVENTURE OF NOT A LADY and the tourney of the Lady knight, as well as the battle of Stopham. There were encounters with a strange knight who seemed to be able to change his appearance at will and others who bore an unknown shield device who aided the Saxon Lord Sir Oeric. The real Sir Elad was found (the Father had not been so fortunate) and the family lands saved by the actions of Lady Eleri who is now known as Sir Eleri the newest member of the knights of Kenilworth Castle, the only order of lady knights in Britain.

Then they found a small tourney near the Anglian hills. During the celebrations, before the jousts began, a Great Green Wyrm arose from top of the mound where the new extension of the Lords Manor was to be built. A young proud knight called Sir George cried out “By my Faith, this fell beast is mine alone, or let my Life’s blood be spilled!” and rode up the hill to confront it. As any honourable knight would know this as a call to single combat no other could interfere. The battle did not last long as Sir George’s horse slipped and the Green Wyrm bit him in two! At this point Sir Aeron rose from his sickbed, dressed his shield towards the beast without armour or horse and claimed single combat! He smote the beast with three mighty blows and its head was removed from its body. Sir Aeron then walked down the mound and fell into a swoon as his old wounds burst forth with his life’s blood. Fortunately Sir Eleri’s healing skills were up to the task and Sir Aeron survived. The knights decided that day to form a fellowship and swore mighty oaths to be each other’s sword brothers and be known for evermore as the “Knights of the Green Wyrm”. As for Sir Aeron, he gained the name of Dragon Slayer.

The Old Anglian Melee was next and only some of the French Knights did well or so it seemed.

Next were the Castle and Archangel Tourneys in which Sir Aeryn Gwyllwyn won the Archangel tourney overall. Though many knights had stayed away due to the presence of a “lady knight”.

The eight tourney challenge ended with a young French knight being named the victor, though this was challenged by Sir Eleri who claimed that other more experienced knights had disguised themselves as Sir Armend and took his place to win him victories. This resulted in a trial by combat between Sir Eleri and Sir Armend in which Sir Armend won, thus proving before the Judge of Battles who was right and who was wrong…Certain knights were still missing, and a disturbing rumour was circulating in court that Sir Geharis brother to Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth, Sir Agravain and Sir Mordred, had murdered their mother Queen Margawse (half sister to King Arthur), who he had found laying with their hated rival Sir Lamorak.

Year 545

The ADVENTURE OF THE SPECTRE KING saw the rise of the dead Saxon king Hengest and the deaths of many knights of King Eifion of Roestoc. It proved impossible to destroy by mortal means until its secret was uncovered and finally laid to rest by Sir Aeryn Gwyllwyn wielding the blade of Duke Eldol at the site of King Hengest defeat and execution.

Next was the return to Anglehearth and the tourney of the Green Wyrm. This became the ADVENTURE OF THE GHOST KNIGHT. Where Sir Caradoc succeeded in winning the Ghost Lance and allowing Sir Ferran too finally defeat the Ghost Knight and return to health. The knights also encountered a Fay Knight, known only as the knight of the Golden Shield and passed his test.

They then signed up for a campaign in Anglia the ADVENTURE OF THE FEN WAR. In which they came across the dark face of war and the horrors within the fens. During the campaign they had time to hunt but they ended up on the  “other side” and the ADVENTURE OF THE CHALLENGE OF THE 7 FAY KNIGHTS.

They proved thanks to the Knight of the Golden Shield intercession that mortal knights were worthy to be called knights. Upon their return they hunted a marsh Demon which Sir Afan heroically leapt into the dark waters and slew the beast, but they were nearly undone when they ventured upon a mysterious Isle. Only Sir Eleri’s previous mercy to Saxon prisoners and her gaining an Old Saxon talisman prevented the Saxon dead warriors from slaughtering all of the knights. Only upon her oath that they will bring their murderer Sir Cyldno to them by this time next year that they will remain on the isle and not bring destruction upon the Cymric lands. This is the ADVENTURE OF THE ISLE OF THE DEAD that remains unfulfilled as the winter draws in. The Knights return to Camelot and agree to meet again the following spring. While there they pick up information that King Mark of Cornwall had left after his huge ransom was paid to Arthur and his Knights. News also from Escavalon that all knights must return to the Kingdom without fail. The Orkney brothers and kin were all absent save for a very quiet Sir Gawaine and Prince Loholt amougst others were still missing. Only one knight Sir Tathan remained in Camelot for Christmas and witness to the event that followed.

“There hales in at the halle dor an aghlich mayster,

One the most on the molde on mesure high.

Fro the swyre to the swange so sware and so thik.

And his lyndes and his lymmes so long and so grete.

Half etayn in erde I algate mynne him to bene.

And that the meriest in muckel that myght ride.

For of bak and of brest all were his body sturn.

And all his fetures folwande in forme that he had ful clene.

For wonder of his hewe men hade.

Set in his semblaunt sene.

He ferde as freke were fade.

And overal enker grene.”

The Green Knight entrance from the poem “Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight”

Sir Gawaine takes up the challenge from the green knight and hews his head off, the green knight gets up and strides over to were his head lies and picks it up and gets on his huge horse and informs Sir Gawaine that he will be waiting for him at the green chapel a year hence!

The dread mist saga prologue

A great feast had been prepared celebrating the marriage of Chief Thurolfs sister to King Grinwalds 3rd son Hamir of the far eyes. Many hours had passed of eating, drinking , bragging, feats of strength, wit and axe throwing. A few of your clan had fallen foul of the excesses as well as some of Grinwalds. No blood feuds had yet been started and no wereguild owed. But the night is early and much can change.

Though the storm outside blows hard and the rain falls like silver daggers to soak even the hardiest. No one wants to get wet so it seems that no fights tonight. Praise be to Odin, for he is wise and strong and keeps us safe. Then likened to a bolt of lightning through the fire slit in the roof falls a huge iron shod spear, spilling out burning wood from the fire over the throng!

What omen does this portent, then the runes glow amber along the haft of the spear, like dying embers in a fire. Thurolf rises from his seat and cries out for the wise woman. Outside the wind blows and the rain lashes down hard. Thurold points towards you, bring me the wise woman now. It is deep into the night and she lives up the hills to the north, a good hour in the day. But it is dark and she is needed now, speed is essential. Out into the night you must go, and the wolves are hungry of that you are sure.

So begins the saga.

Voyage Into Darkness (2257 segment)

It was the dawn of the third age of mankind, approaching the tenth anniversary of the Battle of the Line and the end of the Earth-Minbari war. December 2257: Babylon 5 has recently opened its doors as a diplomatic station, and is a centre for trade for humans and aliens located in neutral territory.

The EarthForce explorer vessel Lancelot is on a stop over at Earth to resupply and perform some crew transfers before starting a mission of exploration on the galactic rim. Captain Horatio Grisham commands; he has a reputation for being something of a maverick. Rumours are circulating that he’s been assigned this mission to lower his profile.

En route from Babylon 5 are members of a survey team that includes both military personnel and civilians (who either have specialised skills thought to be useful on the mission, or special knowledge about the region where the ship is heading).

The central characters of Babylon 5 were equipped with greatly differing agendas, lots of secrets, and fought amongst each other to a great degree. This made for great drama, but running this type of game would make it hard to keep everyone involved, and I don’t think I’m up to it at present.

Player characters will all be members of the aforementioned survey team. This gives everyone reason to work together and provides scope for civilian and alien characters despite being based on an EarthForce vessel, but doesn’t prevent them from pursuing their own agendas (rather like Crusade).

That said, having Narn or Centari in the group would complicate things, due to the enmity between those species (and certain other reasons). Having such characters would complicate a number of plots I have in mind and likely force the group in a certain direction once galactic politics reach boiling point. Should the group include representatives from both, and then party in fighting could reach extreme levels. I’m not going to rule them out entirely, but if people would like to play a non-human then I’m going to look more favourably on Minbari and League characters (since they tend not to have entire species out for their blood for extended periods of time)!

I am planning on starting with beginning level characters, so the Lancelot comes complete with an NPC captain, but he might not be around forever. Then there is the other advantage of the survey team, which is that that it lets me nudge the PCs off in a shuttle and remove the spectre of someone standing over them. Grisham is a representation of the EarthForce command structure, not an NPC who will micromanage the players.

I have made a resolution not to let the canon railroad the plot. JMS’ masterpiece will be vulnerable to player machinations, and certain plotlines I have in mind will see player involvement in events that could dramatically alter the course of the Shadow War. This has the advantage that I can let players dabble with key events without having to stop them breaking the plot, but means that the TV show could become increasingly less reliable as a guide to what is happening as time goes on.