News arrived the king was coming to Sarum for court this year.
Our lord departed early to make preparations for the arrival. He took squire Belias with him; he of the Bard Breath.
In the meantime he had an assignment for the rest of us. Before heading to Sarum Jorah, Roland and I were to go north and assist one of the villages with a man-eating bear.
During the hunt I got separated from the others and had an encounter with king Pelenore and what must have been the Questing Beast.
By the time I managed to find my way back to the others they’d killed the bear.
When we came back to the village we noticed a group of thugs accosting one of the farmers. I offered them a chance to surrender and face judgement, but these villains attacked. But naturally they were no match for us.
Back in Vagon castle we were met by sir Nidian, the Earl’s constable. We were to accompany him to Wynchbank castle to meet lady Ellen, and see if she would make a good match for marriage for our lord.
Later we went on to Sarum. Now this is a place one has to see with his own eyes to believe. The size of this place is unbelievable.
We took quarters in the barracks, and met prince Madoc, son of prince Uther. He seems a fine man.
And we received news we were to take part in the feast later that night. I thought this strange, especially with a number of knights not being able to enter the hall. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from having a good time.
Prince Madoc was to be knighted. He then went on to say there were a group of squires present who were ready to be knighted. He meant us ofcourse. We were called forth to recount our encounter with the bear and the bandits before the king and the court.
That night we spent in silent contemplation, the traditional vigil in Sarum cathedral. And in the morning we swore our oath and received oursword and spurs.
To me, the vigil was a beautiful experience and I got to reflect on the meaning of this landmark, and pray to our Lord. Prince Madoc and Belias did the same. But I had the distinct impression our pagan friends Jorah and Roland got bored well before midnight.
After the ceremony the gathered knights prepared for another feast, but we never got to that. A messenger rode up while we were still being congratulated with dire news of a Saxon landing on the coast.
We were going to war.
The king decided to send lord Uther with an army to go and kick the foul Irish back into the sea.
The knights of Sarum were chosen to stay behind and guard the lands against a possible attack by the Saxons.
A wise decision as the day after news arrived of a big Saxon raiding party.
When the army left to intercept these barbarians it seemed the king would not join us. However he did at the last moment and I noticed he didn’t look good. I asked our lord about this, and he told me in confidence the king had been poisoned by a Saxon agent and it had been a close call.
The battle itself was touch-and-go. At one point we were hard pressed, especially when the news spread the king had been killed. But lord Gorlois of Cornwall saved the day with a valiant charge carrying the late king’s colours.
During the winter I asked our lord to intervene in a marriage. I felt the need to do this soon as my family is quite small and I did not want to risk this line to die out if I were to fall in battle.
I feel lucky now, as he was able to arrange an agreement and was soon married to the beautiful lady Helen. She also brought an considerable dowery and 2 manors.