Saturday, October 07, 2006

528: the Perilous Forest

Sir Trently

Now that Arthur is the overlord of, well, just about everything short of the Holy Land (and deepest Africa, Wendimu reminds me), it's either go off adventuring or garrison duty or practice one's stewardship by staying home...ha! Court was full of the usual scuttlebutt: unrest in Ireland, Duke Hervis and his unquellable Saxon subjects, giant lions threatening the midlands, banditry on the king's road in Rheged. None of us were too keen on revisiting Anglia, and neither Sir Wim nor I had much taste for tangling with more lions, so we good knights of Salisbury decided to clear the king's road, as it would also give Sir Wim and young squire Garin a chance to visit relatives.

Before we left, Sir Leodigrance started making inquiries. He's pretty well-known, not just as the son of the illustrious first Marshall of Salisbury, but in his own right as an experienced campaigner. He's eager, I think, to take a seat at my lord Arthur's Round Table. However, one of the best-known stories about Sir Leo is that one I'm sure you've heard in the pubs and around the camp fires with your men, the one about Sir Leo using the favor(s) of Ulo's lady to lure her husband to his death, and the disgracing of his body before the armies and his brother, Ufo. It's a really catchy tune. Plus, Leo is old school and hasn't embraced the chivalry concept; he really is an old campaigner after the fashion of his father and his father's men. As a result, he couldn't get anyone to speak to the king for him!

Also, because of Sir Leodigrance's unreasonable fear of all things Malahaut, we did not take the good road north, but instead took another road to the city of legions (an unpleasant little town with an even worse reception; I don't recommend it, fellow knights) and then on to Wilderspool, a motte-and-bailey town with an abundance of hospitality though lacking much in the way of physical comforts. We next reached Wiggun, an impoverished manor located on not much more than a cart track, the people so pinched from hunger that we opened our bags and shared forth our meager travel rations with the caretaker's family.

From them we got passable directions north through the forest to Carduel, but the Perilous Forest proved treacherous, and even with a pair of hunters such as myself and Sir Leodigrance, we were soon thoroughly lost. We came across many marvels, some satisfying (the tomb of the murderous Sir Balin), some astonishing (the City of Glass). Princess Alis, who rules the City of Glass, diverted us from the northern roads by saying her brother, the king of these lands, was besieged by renegade forces, so off we went to lend a hand—as befits the King's Companions, and knights of the Round Table.

The lands about the City of Glass are wasted; everything is dust, or coated with dust, or turns to dust at a touch. Most unpleasant. Though not as unpleasant as the surprise that awaited us camped outside the White Castle of the king!

To be continued...

"We next reached Wiggun, an impoverished manor located on not much more than a cart track"
Did they survive solely on pies and pie production (also I hope there was a pier).
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