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The Great Pendragon Campaign Part 2


#9963

To some more than others… Ryia thinks to herself. She hasn’t seen her brother since the ceremony, and he left before she had a chance to talk with him. It was perhaps a small mercy that Evelynn would likely not remember her mother, but Ryia and her brothers know it’s not easy growing up without a parent. Cynian had to stand in for their father since their mother’s new husband wanted nothing to do with the responsibility. Now he had to do the same for his daughters. Ryia swallows her sorrow and pity and tries to focus on the task at hand.

The Earl doesn’t believe in her after her thoughtless comment, but there is a benefit for being cooped up in Salisbury for all these years. What she lacks in physical finesse she makes up for in her experiences with people and customs from various places and positions in society. She’s determined to prove her knighting was not a waste of time.


#9964

Balen pauses.

“Are their any specific questions you want answered? Any topics we should avoid?”


#9965

Owain thinks on this a little as they ride on. The most effective way to ingratiate themselves with the various groups would be to go slowly and concentrate on one each. If an individual has a particular bad time, they could then consider swapping around.


#9966

Balen volunteers to go see the knights. It’s what he would have done anyway, he’s made the journey here at least twice before, knows a Knight by name, and his involvement with the capture of Octa should help reinforce his competence.


#9967

“Not at this time, no. I need to get a feel for the court first, we know very little about life in Eburacum, Malahaut and the North since the siege, and I don’t want to be blindsided by anything. Just, as I say, don’t give them the impression that we are here with hostile intentions, extend the hand of friendship, or in your case, rekindle those friendships where you can.”


#9968

“Well, let me change into my best clothes, try to polish the journey out of your armour and let us ride on the city.”


You ride towards the gates of Eburacum. The gates however, remain firmly shut. A cry rings out “Malahaut greets Lord Roderick, and bids him welcome in these lands. Sir Hamm, a knight of the realm is to be dispatched immediately to speak with you and act as your servant while you are here my lord, however, I regret to inform you that Eburacum is not open at this time and may not receive visitors.”

Earl Roderick mumbles “A game of court, or something more serious.” Then louder to you all “One of you ride to the gates and deliver the message that we have heard and understood, the rest of you, let’s find suitable lodgings in sight of the gates.”

Who rides to the gate, and the rest of you, as you look around the abandoned buildings outside the walls, you see a watermill, a modest granary - unlike the Logres granaries which are held high off the ground on mushroom shaped staddle stones, this is a wooden, Roman style horrea held off the ground by wooden legs.

There is also what appears to be a peat cutters hut and a charcoal burners hut.


#9969

Owain will signal to the Earl’s squire bearing Salisbury’s banner to join him as he spurs his horse forward to call up to the gate guards.

“Earl Roderick of Salisbury returns the greetings of Malahaut and bids you good day. We will await Sir Hamm within sight of these gates.”


#9970

Sir Balen sits unmoving.

Which version of Sir Hamm will it be? He wonders.


#9971

Merrick lightly furrows his brow at the barring of entry. He wonders, like the Earl, if this is a courtly game or the sign of something grave.

He decides to do what he is commanded and inspects the abandoned buildings to see which would be the most secure and suitable place for the Earl to stay in.


#9972

The buildings are about equal in terms of comfort and security, it’s more of a symbolic choice to make, what will your choice communicate to your hosts.


#9973

Are all of the buildings made of wood? And do any have multiple entrances?


#9974

After inspecting the possible dwellings, Merrick thinks to himself: Well… If we choose the granary, that could be perceived as us wanting to take from them… If we choose the charcoal burner’s hut, that could be misinterpreted as being hostile… It seems like the best options may be the watermill, or possibly the peat cutters…

He rides back to the Earl and reports his findings, “There are four locations which will be suitable for lodging in the short term, Sir. My idea, at first, was to stay in the watermill to symbolize productivity and prosperity we may wish upon them; however, this could be perceived as a slight against our hosts as they are in troubled times with the Saxon invaders. So, perhaps we should stay at the peat cutters as a gesture of humility. It has been said and is known, Malahaut is very proud and this lodging may show that we are not beneath sharing in their troubles symbolically by taking refuge in more a humble structure,” he screws his face up a bit and continues, “But it also may paint us in a negative shade…”

“I know the others are looking into the accommodations as well, and probably have their own recommendations and ideas, but ultimately will defer to your judgement on which building we will choose.”

(I was assuming that you were wanting others opinions to be shared, if not, the last lines can be stricken.)


#9975

(Balen would prefer the mill. At least water is nearby.)


#9976

(Ryia also preferred the mill at a glance)


#9977

(The mill is probably the most solid structure, and is Owain’s first choice too. The decision between the peat cutter and charcoal burner’s hut probably hinges on what type of fuel you prefer to burn, with little difference in the type of building. The granary is an odd Roman structure, and thus seems a little off - Owain has does not have fond memories of other Roman dwellings from under Cholderton, so would choose to avoid it).


#9978

The mill is a large structure, but with very little room inside, thanks to the machinery. It has long ground to a halt, and the condition of the parts mean that it would be foolish to try to get it running again.

Nethertheless, the Earl ensures each of you have the room you need around the hearth, and before long, you hear the great gates of Eburacum open, and Sir Hamm, and his squire ride out.

Sir Hamm is barely recognisable, to look at his face, he bears not one, but two impressive scars. The first cuts vertically across his left eye and nose, the eye is milky white and blind, while the nose is disfigured and twisted. The second scar cuts from his mouth to his ear, most of which is missing. Despite the horrors and injuries this man has so clearly suffered, he cracks a broad smile at the sight of Balen, and dismounts to embrace you all in turn, saving a respectful bow for the Earl.

“Well met friends” he declares, “I am at your service!”


#9979

Balen bearhugs the other man.

“Hamm! Good to see you, certainly more so than last time. How can I be of service to you? Who is this young squire? I trust you are giving him a fine schooling?”


#9980

“Ah, young Ahlen here, he’s my cousin, he’ll make a fine knight one day. Ahlen, go make up some mulsum for our guests, he adds posca spices, something he picked up from the monks… a long story… My Lord, how may I serve you?”

The Earl shakes his head “Speak with my knights Sir, attend to their needs, I need only rest for the time being!”

Ahlen sets a pot near the fire and drizzles in some honey and dried spices before adding some wine to mull.


#9981

Balen nods.

“Lencten, help Ahlen.”

He gestures, “A son of a preacher himself, I am sure they will have some idle chatter. I’m not sure if you remember Sir Much, my former. Travelled to Bayeaux and Lindsey with me, but certainly less pious than this one.”

Balen absentmindedly scratches his own ear. “You bear the scars of battle well, is there any way I can assist you? I have a handful of coins, Roman and more, I’m sure your traders would except them.”


#9982

“Could you please tell us how Malahaut has fared the over last two years, Sir Hamm? Since the battle at Lindsey we’ve been mostly in Cornwall, which feels a world away from here. I have had little news from the north.”