Thursday, July 26, 2007

548: Loholt returns home

Count Mortimer relates

I was chatting with Earl Robert before heading down to Pentecost court. He said that, last year, an invasion force of French landed in Cornwall, followed shortly by another of...I believe he called them Sara-mens. From Spain or some such. Ha! I bet Mark wished he'd paid his taxes now.

Anyway. Another of my lord Arthur's customs at Pentecost is to not only hold it at Camelot, but to start the proceedings with some little show—some of the younger knights call them "miracles." The miracle this year? I remember my son Lancrius telling me about Logrin the giant, who apparently wouldn't stay dead. He and his fellows rode north several times at the request of a charming young lady, killed this giant and rode home, only to hear over the winter that he was back and still rapacious as ever. Well, this year at court the lady with the giant problem, a Lady Jeanette, shows up with a small chest. I was actually gaming in the back of the hall and missed most of this, but they say that the chest contained a severed head, and that the chest could only be opened by the man who had separated the head from its rightful body. Of all the knights assembled, it apparently was that old blowhard Sir Kay who got the chest open. I know that because Kay upset our gameboard rushing out of the hall. I got up to see what the commotion was all about and saw my good and right lord King Arthur weeping upon his throne, staring into a small wooden chest...containing the head of his son, the good Sir Loholt!

That was the last any of us saw of Sir Kay.

There was no feast that night; rather, the king and his closest advisors held a vigil in St Stephen's, and three days later all the knights in Camelot escorted the king and queen and the head of Sir Loholt to the grounds in Salisbury where lie the bodies of Uther Pendragon, his son Prince Madoc, and King Arthur's oldest son, Sir Borre. The head was interred; I hear that an honor guard rode north with the Lady Jeanette to recover the rest of the good prince's body and bring it home.


Summer in Salisbury—indeed, much of the southern lands, from Dorset to Kent—was stinking hot, the hottest summer I can remember. Oh, it was miserable! The very air felt turgid and putrescent. It's no wonder a fever spread. The commoners are calling it the vlad velen, or Yellow Plague: the husband of my oldest sister's daughter died, as did my younger brother Lancrius, his son's two young children, and my cousin Caius's wife. What a shame.

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