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The Great Pendragon Campaign Part 2

Merrick: Tell us how your plan begins!


Owain: How do you prepare for your feast?


Balen, You find yourself approaching a wing of the central palace that unlike the other two is completely unguarded. Knocking brings no response, though you can hear faint muffled voices. When you do enter, you find the insides are in good condition, well cared for. Continuing through you find private gardens, with a door leading into the central palace. Here, you find the trial you are to attend. There are twenty one knights, each in full armour here, and only two - Sir Hamm and Sir Estève that you recognise. Most of them nod in greeting however, the others who are closest to you stand to give you a fraternal hug. Those who don’t know your name simply greet you as “Brother”

The knights are seated in a large circle, and in the centre is a cage, though it is currently empty. Squires move from the interior of the wing to their respective knights, bringing refreshments and people are making general conversation. You notice that some of the knights wear red flowers in their hair, Sir Hamm is one of them, Sir Estève is not. Sir Hamm and Sir Estève however, are seated next to each other. There is seemingly no chair for yourself.

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Is the type of flower recognisable?

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Would Balen recognise a geranium? (which at this time are only common in what will become Italy)

No.

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Balen grabs a snack and surreptitiously waggles his ears at passing conversation.

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Owain has his squires draw a warm bath, and soaks the smell and dirt from the road away. He insists that his squires also have a good scrub, and that their outfits are looking suitably acceptable. Understanding the appropriate social conduct for court is part of the necessary training for the knights-to-be, as is knowing the appropriate occassion when to push against the them. If the Earl is available, he will parade his squires for review (essentially a very serious thing for the squires, but a private joke between Owain and the Earl, making the youngsters sweat a little under the scrutiny of their Lord). He makes sure his finest suit is looking at it’s best, with a fresh owl feather is his hat, and that the agate pommel of his sword is polished to a fair shine.

Is there a stock of gifts that the Earl has taken along from Salisbury at all?

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Owain, there are the gifts that Uther has sent for the Centurion King, but no, the Earl has not brought any gifts of his own.


Balen, you overhear three conversations, one on the best way to cook a suckling pig in the wilds, one on the best oil to use on cuirbouilli armour and one on whether circular topped or pointed topped doorways are more aesthetically pleasing. Before too long however, Sir Estève stands, and walks to the cage. One of the knights wearing a geranium opens it for him, and he unbuckles his sword, leaving it outside the cage before he enters. The knight closes and locks the cage. Sir Estève nods to him, and the knight - Sir Leonardo, turns to you.

“Sir Balen, isn’t it” he asks

“It is Sir, although everything beyond that is a little less clear. Are you all knights of this city?”

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“We are, and all shall be made clear once you swear your word that you do not know Sir Estève before he requested your presence here and have not entered into any agreement that might skew your ability to judge him fairly”

“My only recollection before today is his passing mention in a tale recalling the deeds of King Pellinore. If that will suffice I will duly swear.”

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“That does indeed suffice Sir Balen, please, take Sir Estève’s seat, you will make the number of votes up to twenty five, so there must be a result today.”

He addresses all of the knights, who stand to listen.

“We stand to hold Sir Estève of the Water to account for his actions before and during the siege. Did he uphold the standards expected of a knight, most importantly, did he betray us. If we vote in his favour after he has answered all of our questions, then he shall be granted entrance to our brotherhood, however, should he not meet the standards required, then he shall be banished from the city. If we find treachery in his tale, then his punishment shall be death. Take your seats Sirs, let the trial begin. Balen, have you any questions before we start of us, and would you open the questioning as our honoured guest.”

“Sir Estève can I confirm what I have seen with my eyes? That you are willingly submitting yourself to this process and understand it’s ramifications?”

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Well Owain would not have been carrying any gifts (even if he could afford them), so will just be presenting himself at Gaius’ villa at the appropriate time for the dinner.

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“Yes Sir Balen, I do understand it’s ramifications, however to suggest that I had a choice is not really true. We are here because we know that one of us has betrayed our country, forging a traitorous alliance with the Saxon bastards. We are under orders from our king to root out the traitor and form a brotherhood, and to expel those knights who will not. We have, between us come up with what we jointly consider a fair system to both vet membership of our new order and find the traitor, however, to suggest that I could not take part and remain living in the only place I have ever called home would be a lie.”

He shrugs dismissively “My colleagues know my misgivings about this way of doing things, I shall not repeat them, as I promised I would not once the final vote was held.”

Owain, you approach the wing of the palace guarded by the mercenaries, and are allowed inside.

You find a rather informal setting, cushions strewn over the floor where men and women sit, relaxed, spooning food from from bowls onto personal plates. There is no formal announcement, a few people glance at you curiously but there is no obvious place for you, but the whole scene is somehow very familiar to your life in Scandinavia.

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(As a famously Just knight Balen is satisfied that the process let’s all state their case and having a large group of peers satisfies him that one persons decision will not decide the fate of another’s.)

“State your reasons for inclusion in this order.”

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“If the only knights allowed to dwell within Eburacum are Order knights, then the only knights here to defend the city will be Order knights. Therefore, it means that the Order must admit those knights who have a proven ability to defend this city. Aside from the Hero of our city, Sir Hamm, you will not find any knight among our number who has done more than I.”

Sir Hamm, to your immediate left shuffles uncomfortably

“I led numerous sorties against the foe”, he continues “sometimes being the last fighting and the only of my men to return. I established food lines and rode them myself to bring much needed supplies into the city by force of arms. I have proven my worth and whatever vices some may think I hold, this is irrelevant.”

“Tell me. In your battles with the Saxons, have you ever been overcome by your hatred?”

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He furrows his brow “No, I never have. I always kept my head.”

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Balen nods.

“When this process is over, the Ordo is complete and the traitor unmasked, what will be the next priority of the Ordo, in your opinion.”

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