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Dramatis Personae

Sir Carabad, as played by James
Sir Phelot, as played by Jed
Sir Cibno, as played by James

CHAPTER the FIRST

In which Earl Robert and Sir Carabad talk of love and war.

Let it be written that on the 517th year of our Lord, King Arthur rode once again into the northern fens to wage righteous war against the treacherous Saxons. This time, however, he mustered the entire army of Logres, whose ranks included over 4,000 knights and 6,000 foot. Amongst them rode Earl Robert's brave knights of Salisbury, whose valor and piousness were known throughout the kingdom.

On the eve of battle, Earl Robert called valiant Sir Carabad into his tent for a brief conference, during which they spoke of courtly romance and love. With Sir Carabad's gentle nature accentuated by his lack of beard, the Earl asked him for a boon. The Lady of the White Horse Vale had agreed to marry, but required a unique trinket as proof of the Earl's undying love. Since the Earl was constantly beset upon by matters of state, he asked that Carabad aid him in fulfilling this request during his yearly wanderings.

Carabad, taken aback by the nature of the request, immediately agreed. Overjoyed, the Earl toasted the young knight and gave him the rare honor of commanding a brigade of knights in the upcoming battle.

CHAPTER the SECOND

In which Sir Carabad and Sir Phelot attempt to boost morale.

Sir Carabad returned to his camp and set about readying his men for the following day's battle. There was dire talk about the previous year's stalemate, and how King Arthur seemed incapable of winning a battle without the aid of Merlin, who had myseriously disappeared from court.

Sir Phelot, one of the newer knights, attempted to stifle this scandalous chatter by singing a glorious song of war. Unfortunately, his choice in lyrics was poor, and the subsequent descriptions of men being skewered by spears and having their eyes pecked out by carrion birds left the men feeling awkward and depressed. Carabad salvaged the situation with a quick speech about King and country before the knights retired to an evening of religious vigil.

The following morning, King Arthur's army rode upon the city of Lincoln in the Duchy of Lindsey and found it sorely besieged by King Cheldric's Saxon horde. As the two forces assembled for battle on the plain, Carabad once again attempted to boost his brigade's morale. Sir Phelot offered to sing another song, but was advised that his unique lyrical gift would be more appreciated at the end of a hard day of slaughtering Saxons.

CHAPTER the THIRD

In which battle is joined and Sir Carabad is grievously wounded (again).

And so King Arthur, with Excalibur raised over his head like a shining beacon of righteousness, led the army in a triumphant charge against over 11,000 screaming Saxon savages that were led by King Cheldric of Saxony.

Sir Carabad and his men tore into the first line of spearmen and immediately began swinging their swords in earnest. Key amongst them was Sir Cibno, Sir Carabad's former squire, who seemed to behead a man with every swing of his sword. After the battle, the men asked him where he learned to fight, since his tutor was obviously not Carabad.

Nonetheless, Carabad's masterful tactics prevailed against all manners of Saxons — chanting spearmen, grunting spearmen, and wailing spearmen alike — yet, as the battle wound down, the poor knight took a spear in neck and fell to the ground in an awesome cloud of blood. Worse still, his squire seemed to be missing, so there was no one to drag his broken body off of the field.

Determined to protect their wounded leader, Sir Phelot grabbed the battle standard and rallied the men in a circle. Together, they drove off the remaining Saxons until Sir Carabad could be attended to.

Thus the Battle of Lincoln ended most victoriously.

CHAPTER the FOURTH

In which Sir Cibno fights with rocks and Sir Phelot fights with sticks.

Their army broken, the Saxons retreated northward towards Hadrian's Wall. King Arthur vowed to put an end to these annual wars once and for all and, upon gathering up the tattered remains of his army, gave chase. Sir Phelot and Sir Cibno, miraculously unscathed by the day's battle, joined in the pursuit while Sir Carabad was tended to by penitent friars.

The Saxons' familiarity with the area gave them an edge and they managed to stay just a day or two ahead of King Arthur as he pursued them through the ravaged Duchy of Lindsey, the Kingdom of Malahaut, and the realm of Nohaut. Hadrian's Wall, now a crumbling effigy to the Romans, did little to slow the chase. One week later, the two armies found themselves wandering around the Caledonian lowlands.

Seeking some sort of advantage, King Arthur asked Sir Phelot and Sir Cibno, two of the healthiest-looking knights available, to gather as many men as they could and to ride hard and fast in order to encircle the Saxons. As luck would have it, the Salisburian knights caught the remaining Saxons in a rocky valley and managed to jockey their horses to the only obvious exit. Sir Cibno began rolling boulders down upon them while Sir Phelot, inspired by Hadrian's Wall, proceeded to build a log palisade to block their passage. King Arthur's men arrived from the south, and the trap was sprung.

The siege lasted for another two days until the Saxons, desperate for food and rest, attempted to storm the palisade. The final battle was brutal and short, and with a heavy heart, King Cheldric bowed his knee to King Arthur. Most wroth, King Arthur bade him to vow that neither he nor any of his fellow Saxon war chiefs would ever sully the lands of Britain again.

CHAPTER the FIFTH

In which the army winters in Gorre while Salisbury is ravaged.

With winter fast approaching, King Arthur is forced to winter his army under the hospitality of Sir Bagdemagus in the Kingdom of Gorre. Must feasting and rejoicing ensues, but alack, the merriment was short-lived.

In February, a combined force of 30,000 Saxons — including King Cheldric the oath-breaker — landed on the shores of Southport and commenced raping and pillaging Salisbury, Silchester, and the southern counties of Logres.

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