491 - Attack against Gorlois

Uther raged at the behaviour of Duke Gorlois of Cornwall who fled Uther's court in the winter. In the King's eyes, he was a traitor, and the matter had to be resolved. Come spring, Uther hastily gathered his army to march to Cornwall to lay siege to the two castles where the Duke's forces had been divided, Terrabil and Tintagel, with prince Madoc and Uther himself leading the assaults on the castles respectively.

The Duke himself stayed at Terrabil, where sirs Morris and Pellogres chose to be as well. The siege was long and boring. One night sir Morris asked to see the druid Merlin, who surprisingly welcomed the knight and said that he was expecting him. Sir Morris asked if the wizard knew any means of healing grave injuries, the likes of which the knight had suffered fighting the Saxons. Merlin was cryptic and ominous, as usual, and told that the knight should pay dear attention to his first-born son and listen to what he has to say when the time comes, as well as lay off the wine and the beer for good health.

Merlin left soon after, and at the hour of the wolf, the Duke's forces ambushed the King's camp, with Gorlois himself leading the assault. Madoc tried to rally his troops to the banner as the Duke steadily progressed towards the prince, shouting "Stand aside, whelp! Send me your father!". Madoc stood fast against the Duke, who stroke hard with his sword to dismember the whole weapon-holding hand of the dumbfounded prince, and quickly sent a terrible killing blow through his chest. The Duke frothed at the mouth, shouting Uther's name with a mad glee in his eyes, but his sword seemed stuck in the body of the now-dead Prince! Sirs Morris and Pellogres, who had been fighting their way to reach the prince, arrived on the scene and hacked away at Gorlois, sending destructive blows after another, soon reducing the Duke to a bloody pulpy mass.

The Terrabil forces soon lost heart and the castle was invaded in butchering fashion. The rising sunlight revealed the sights and smells of the carnage, blood, bodies and entrails everywhere, with the castle now on fire in many places and the sounds of men and women screaming inside.

At Tintagel, sir Plaine had joined Uther's forces. The castle was nearly impregnable, being situated upon an island, accessible solely by a stone causeway only four men wide. A few attempts at assault were made, but they ended in disaster.

One night, sir Plaine was keeping watch and witnessed Merlin arriving to the camp, meeting the king and soon retreating with him to a nearby sacred Pagan site. Merlin fell into a trance, chanting in a forgotten language, rising a fog that engulfed the whole site of the siege. Soon sir Plaine heard the clattering of hooves from the castle causeway, and a faraway shout "The Duke! The Duke! Open the gate!", and the gate was opened. The fog prevented view to the scene and sir Plaine soon fell asleep, waking up to a cold morning.

Messengers had arrived, telling that the Terrabil castle had been taken, and both Duke Gorlois and Prince Madoc were slain in battle. Uther and Merlin had returned to the camp, with Uther sitting on a cliff, clad in armor, weeping away in private for his lost son. At the sight, Sir Plaine felt kinship to the king as a father. Merlin, who stood near, appeared entirely impassive and tired.

The next day, the body of the Duke was brought to the castle under the flag of truce with sir Brastias. He soon returned with word from Duchess Ygraine that she agreed to surrender. The King announced that justice had been done, the traitor killed and peace and unity returned, and placed lady Ygraine under his personal protective custody.

Prince Madoc was buried in Stonehenge near Aurelius Ambrosius, Uther's brother and next to the site reserved for Uther. The king was deeply grieved by his son's death.

Soon after Uther announced his marriage to Duchess Ygraine. The wedding was held at late summer, with guests arriving from all over the realm. The feast was grand and continued for days.

Winter court was held in Terrabil castle, where sir Pellogres again challenged sir Jaradan to a duel over lady Jenna. Pellogres was inspired by his hate for the swordmaster and stroke with rage against him, falling him to the ground. Sir Jaradan agreed that Pellogres would indeed have won the duel, but that lady Jenna's love would be for her alone to give to whomever she chose. This didn't please sir Pellogres, who stroke a killing blow to sir Jaradan, ending his reign as the best swordsman in the county.

The winter was hard for Tisbury manor. Sir Plaine's wife Harriet had a son but perished herself. Filled with grief and frustration, sir Plaine named his son Damien.

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