Friday, January 19, 2007
Earl Mortimer says
Back in the day, when we young bucks roamed Logres and fought only the Saxons and each other, we traveled with a squire. Even Sir Ebble kept fewer than five servants. Very small groups.
This spring, as I rode to Camelot for Pentecost court, I traveled with Buford (my squire these past ten years); my sons, Lancrius, Clarian, Elliott, and Darinel; my wife, Lady Betty, and her five ladies-in-waiting and my dear daughters, Anabel and her husband Sir Roderick, Oriana and little Ersilla and her wet-nurse, and my ward Lady Brandimante; my cousin and chief steward of my Salisbury lands Sir Caius, and his staff of nine; my Silchester chief steward, Sir Gasabal, his personal staff; and all the assorted butlers, chamberlains, castellans, foresters, cup bearers, not to mention all the dog-boys, mews-men, pavillion-hoisters, groomsmen...we numbered almost one hundred souls as we rode through those splendid stone gates.
I barely know everyone's name!
But once all the ladies gathered under the queen's care, and the servants got to work, it was just the knights of the realm left to socialize and enjoy the company of the martially-minded. Ah! And those of us whose habit is to not search for the bottom of every mead-horn and pint-mug noticed the absence of the Duke of Clarence. Troubling. But before we could discern just how much trouble that duke may be, a most unusual host arrived at court: King Today, who many say is lord of the faerie-folk. If you had asked me yesterday I would've scoffed at such tales (despite the source of many of them being my dear, departed brother-in-law Sir Trently and his tales of fighting demons in the service of the Fisher King, pshw). But today...imagine the shock in the hall as the men and women in Arthur's court began to recognize the faces of long-lost family members and lovers from their youth, riding in King Today's train!
Sharp-eyed Elliott, the dear boy, spotted my brother Lancrrius, missing these dozen years; Sir Uren the Timely and his unearthly wife Lady Ga; and Monroe. My son, my son! Had you been imprisoned in the underworld almost ten years? If I had known I would have come got you!
As soon as King Today had greeted my lord Arthur, his retinue dispersed through the court, and I was finally able to hold my child again.