Thursday, July 13, 2006
523: the Sons of Ulfius Revolt
Sir Monroe speaks
When Leo heard that the sons of Ulfius were defying the king, he practically jumped out of his seat and ran to the high chair shouting, "I'll go! I'll go!" So off we went on one of the most boring sieges in the history of siegedom. I don't know how the old man stands it! He and Sir Griflet stand around, consulting maps, pointing over the walls, pondering. Ladders are dispatched, the catapult adjusted ever so slightly...and the day wears on, only to be repeated the next. Leo and I finally grabbed Uren and Cadfael and snuck off on some impromptu "tax gathering" missions in the countryside. Not that we found much—at first. But then, ho-ho! We came across Ulo's manor, guarded by a bunch of non-comps and his young, comely wife and her hand-maidens. Well, the next thing we know, but we're sleeping in the straw of the hall and Leo is waltzing off to Ulo's bedchamber with Lady Yvonne on his arm! And then we stayed a second night!
We didn't want things to get too hot, so we left the next morning, after Leo persuades the lady to give him a token. We just about died laughing on the ride back to Silchester. And Leo doesn't waste any time; as soon as we're back in camp, he gets a fresh horse and rides past the marshall and dad and their maps right up to the front gate. He starts shouting for Ulo to come out and fight light a man, starts remarking on very private areas of Ulo's lady wife, then starts to wave around a pair of Lady Yvonne's panties!
Ulo was out that gate pretty quick, challenging Leo to one-on-one combat. Oh, you should have seen the sheen of hate in their eyes. And when their lances met, Ulo's shattered, and Leo's went clean through Ulo, who landed with a thud on the ground. Sir Uren tried to give Ulo first aid (I think; he was laughing while tending him), but it didn't seem to do any good, and Ulo shortly thereafter died.
So now everyone's standing around the corpse, while Leo's squires remove Ulo's armor (what was left of it) and capture his riderless horse, when Leo starts pissing in Ulo's shield. Then a bunch of the knights from the army started to do it, too. Can you believe it? And then they start goading Leo, who really doesn't like the sons of Ulfius one bit, and Leo...Leo ties a rope to the Ulo's foot, ties the other end to his saddle, and starts to ride around in front of Silchester's main gate, dragging the corpse and screaming taunts at Ufo standing on the wall.
When Earl Robert found out, oh, he was livid. So were most of the old-timers, too, frankly. Earl Robert dressed down Leo right there in front of the entire Salisbury court. But instead of being shamed into right and courteous behavior, I think it had the opposite effect on Leo. He's not gung-ho about Earl Robert anymore, not like he used to be. And I think Earl Robert noticed.
[bloggers note: us players pretty much knew, when Greg said to Fergie, "If you fumble here, you will disgrace yourself and drag the corpse in front of Ufo..." Because of course with that kind of warning Fergie rolled a 20. And later on, when Greg gave the same kind of warning while all the characters were in front of Earl Robert, Fergie again fumbled. I like that kind of dice-rolling.—Suzanne]
Sir Mortimer enthuses
I took the Lady Betty and my six children to winter court at Camelot this December. I don't go in for that sort of thing much—I much prefer cozy fireside evenings with the locals and my trusty steward, dogs lazing in the straw, the women quietly stitching in the kitchen. Ah, Durnford! Was there ever such a lovely manor in all of Salisbury?
We made the trip even though young squire Ronald passed away at the age of 16; a tragic accident on the practice field laid my little son low. He never regained consciousness, and two days later died. We buried him in the family plot beside the chapel. Fortunately, my son Monroe is a fine, strapping young man. At Arthur's court, Sir Brastius told the assembled that he was retiring (!), and that the new Marshall, young Sir Griflet, would be marching against the sons of that scrufulous Ulfius, as they have not rendered unto the king that which is Arthur's; namely, taxes.
As soon as the weather warmed and the roads were not so muddy, I had my men gather up all my stored siege equipment and I took a large contingent to Silchester. Oh, how happy I was to advise young Marshall Griflet on exactly where along the wall to dig, where to burn, where to press our attack. I love besieging castles! And with my son at my side...it was a fine, fine summer. Sure, the siege was inconclusive—but we'll root them out next summer. And have you heard the bawdy ballads they're singing about young Sir Leodegrance? Ha! You should.
I have a lovely new palfrey this spring, and a fine new set of clothes and a pretty new hairnet...but I find my thoughts turning, not to my husband as they have in years past, but back to the Forest Sauvage, back to the King. The leaves seem less green to me this spring.
I can hardly believe it—I keep pinching myself, but it's not a dream: the Earl has given me permission to wed my beautiful Nia! Finally, all the years of secrecy will be behind us, and we can live as knight and wife.
It's funny how things work out. When I was dressed down by King Arthur in front of the entire court and Round Table, I would have guaranteed you that I'd carry that shame to my dying day. Now, though, I look at it as the start of my romance with lovely Nia, because it was after that that I approached her father, the good Earl Belinger, to ask for his tutelege in all things chivalrous. Then I met Nia, and, well...
I have one year to prepare Crowborough to receive such a beautiful bride. Wish me luck!
Another year where I did not venture beyond the borders of East Meon. Mostly, I drank. And fought with Lady Gertruda, but just to relieve my boredom. The estate's not looking too good these days.