495 - The Infamous Feast of St. Albans

Although sick, Uther gathered forces for a major assault on the Saxons, who had taken over the castle of St. Albans. The royal forces gathered in Sarum, and the King himself would command the siege. Although noticeably ill and frail, Uther seemed to have regained some vigor, inspiring his men to do well.

Upon arriving in St. Albans, Uther noticed that the castle gates were open, and quickly ordered an infantry assault. The setting proved to be a trap, as the troops were quickly slaughtered upon entry, forcing Uther to retreat the rest of his troops for the day.

The following morning the Saxon army had gathered in front of the castle to meet the Britons in battle. Although vastly outnumbered, Uther had superior troops and much more cavalry on his side.

The battle raged fiercely, and it soon became apparent that Uther and his troops had far more skill and fighting will, and the table turned in favor of the King. The Salisbury Knights fought valiantly, with Sir Morris commanding the troops of Sir Pellogres (an odd sight for many), who had now become a banneret knight. Sir Plaine was struck down from his horse, continuing the fight on foot.

The efforts of the knights, however valiant, ultimately proved not to be enough when three massive Saxon Heorthgeneats with their great axes charged for Earl Roderick, who had been struck down from his horse as well, now laying on the ground. Two of them were stopped by Sir Morris and Sir Pellogres, but the third got a fatal blow through, severing the Earl's chest into blooded fragments of bone, guts and mail.

Uther's forces were winning the larger battle, however, and Sir Plaine had come to the aid of Sir Brastias, Uther's bodyguard. Together they quickly dispatched of the remaining Saxons in their vicinity, and the enemy forces started to break up. Soon the battle was won. Sir Morris, so fierce in his battlelust, tried to confirm other knights to his side in order to chase the fleeing Saxons and strike them down, when the madness of the battlefield struck him. So many men, Britons as well as Saxons, now lay dead, men with families, friends and lives, all for nothing. His own words now blaming him, Sir Morris was overcome with guilt, sadness and frustration, and he quickly rode away from the battlefield, away from St. Albans, and was not seen for months.

The Feast - Death of Sir Pellogres

After the battle, the survivors of St. Albans welcomed the King's army with open arms and threw a large feast in their honor. Proving so valorous in the art of combat, Sir Plaine and Sir Pellogres were invited to sit with the upper nobility and royalty of Logres in the hall, while the rest of the armed forces stayed in the yard. The feast was lavish, but the death of their Earl Roderick prevented the knights from truly enjoying the occasion, with Sir Plaine even completely refusing to drink any alcohol!

The new wife of Sir Pellogres and daughter of the late Earl, Lady Jenna, joined his husband for a few moments in the hall. She did not say a word, and quickly retired in her chambers. Sir Pellogres drank a few glasses of wine, enjoyed some courteous conversation with the nobility, and then followed her around midnight.

In the hall, Sir Morris witnessed a disaster. The celebrations had turned wild, with everyone loud and drunk except for the staff and the solemn Sir Morris. The celebrating faces started to turn red, people falling out of their chairs and onto the table, coughing as if choking, eyes gouging unnaturally large, and soon the royalty was vomiting wine, beer, food, and then blood. Within a few moments, the celebrations had come to an end, the sounds of joy replaced with a deadly silence and a foul smell of death, every surface covered in blood, tears, vomit and bodies.

Lady Jenna ran down the stairs into the hall, crying out for help for his husband who had fallen ill in their room. This was the first time she ever expressed any true concern for Sir Pellogres, and soon she fell to her knees with crying when she saw the massacre. The king, his barons, lords and advisers all dead, and a pale Sir Plaine and servants looking on in stunned silence.

The epilogue

The bodies of the nobility were sent to their families. For weeks black wagons criss-crossed the whole of Logres. The bodies of King Uther and Earl Roderick were placed in Salisbury for display for a period of mourning, with few nobility coming to pay homage to them. Hundreds of commoners pilgrimaged the site every day, however.

Sir Morris, now left to himself of the Salisbury Knights, attended the funerals of Sir Roderick, buried in Sarum cathedral, and Uther, who was taken to Stonehenge between his brother Ambrosius and his son Madoc.

During winter court the King's wife Ygraine retires from her position of Queen, leaving the royal knights unattached. Sir Brastias is sought after by many, but accepts none of the offers. Lady Jenna is evidently pregnant.

Sir Morris returns to find the land in anarchy. Sir Plaine explains the situation to him, and upon arriving home, he finds his son Igroß to have changed into a squat, ugly, brown creature that speaks in riddles and wails constantly for the rest of the time. Everyone claims that the change happened overnight around the time the feast of St. Albans. No one knows what to make of the creature, the legitimate heir of Sir Morris.

The houses of Broughton, Stapleford, Tisbury vow loyalty to Countess Ellen, the widow of Sir Roderick, who will rule until Robert, the legitimate earl of Salisbury, three years old, reaches adulthood. "There are no lords in Logres" becomes a common saying.

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