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519 AD

Earl Robert of Salibury was to be wed to Lady Uffington of the White Horse Veil in June of 519. Although King Arthur was occupied with the Anglish rebellion, the rest of Logres attended the wedding and tournament in hopes of celebrating life in the aftermath of the appalling casualties suffered by the realm during the Battle of Badon Hill. For most, it would prove to be a huge disappointment.

In the previous year, the knights of Earl Robert had gone in search of the Questing Beast, venturing into the Perilous Forest where they became liegemen of the King of Swine, lord of the forest's pig-people. They looked for a tower amid the wood to find clues of the beast, and instead found a woman's skeleton, chained to a desk, where she had been writing in her diary of being held captive by a giant. When the giant appeared at last, most of the knights fled into the woods; Sir Carabad, however, did not understand this was a strategem, thought his friends too cowardly to avenge a maiden, and went insane with frustration - venturing into the forest alone. And as Sir Hervis killed the giant, they realized one of their own had been lost and they couldn't find him. A year passed.

In which our knights recover Sir Carabad, but not his dignity

Two weeks prior, Sir Hervis and Sir Pellandres the Proud returned to the Perilous Forest to search for their comrade-in-arms, the mad Sir Carabad, who had lost his mind during the Adventure of the Questing Beast. Using his keen sense of smell — his family was known for their large and incredibly sensitive noses — Pellandres found an incredibly large truffle, but not his insane friend. Sir Hervis tried a different tactic, and attempted to lure Sir Carabad from the forest by playing a song on his lute — the same song he played when he last saw Carabad at the King of Swine's court. This brought Sir Carabad lilting out of the forest as if he were partaking some sort of fantastic dream.

Sir Carabad was in decent shape, but his pants were missing. He quickly recounted his year of savagery, in which he was haunted by enormous animals, laughing hags, and marauding giants. He also admitted to losing a joust against Sir Porcus, one of the King of Swine's knights, and forfeiting his pants as a result. The knights decided to pay the King of Swine a visit to reclaim the missing trousers and Sir Carabad's dignity.

The King of Swine was glad to see his errant knights return, but his interest in their stories of Badon Hill was eclipsed by his interest in Pellandres' massive truffle. Meanwhile, Sir Carabad challenged Sir Porcus to rematch, which he swiftly lost. Pellandres offered Carabad an extra pair of pants for the return to Salisbury.

As they departed, the King of Swine warned Sir Pellandres that leaving the Perilous Forest with his truffle would be dangerous, because it was a faerie thing that would surely cause him anguish if he were to eat it. The king graciously offered to dispose of it, to whit Pellandres was quite grateful and handed it over.

In which the Steward of Levocamagus and his men ruin everything

The knights arrived just in time for the wedding of their lord and liege, and joined the subsequent tournament in earnest. Much to their dismay, the Steward of Levocamagus, their enemy and rival, and his band of knights had occupied the camp adjacent to theirs. Amongst his host was foul Sir Aelfric, who had been landed the year prior for defending the Steward against marauding Saxons. Determined to make the Steward pay for his continual raiding of Salisbury, Sir Hervis challenged Sir Aelfric to trial by combat.

The following day, Sir Hervis and his friends were attacked by a band of hooded ruffians. The assassins were swiftly dispatched, but not before Sir Carabad was woefully stabbed. One was left alive, and in return for mercy, named one of the Steward's household knights, Sir Morris, as the mastermind behind the attack.

The knights brought this information to Earl Robert, who found himself in a rather sticky spot. This was a most grievous breach of hospitality, but the Steward was the vassal of Duke Ulfius, one of Salisbury's closest allies. The Earl arrested Sir Morris, but was forced to leave the Steward to his devices.

In which Sir Carabad finds a kindred heart and Sir Hervis is stabbed in his artery

Grievously wounded and still somewhat batty, Sir Carabad was forced to retire from the tournament and took it upon himself to woo Lady Mardule of the Raven Hair. Much to his surprise, she was extremely interested in his tales of despair, death, and madness. She shared with him some of her poetry about graveyards and ghosts, and he gave her the journal of the poor maid who had been chained to a table by a giant for 50 odd years.

The following morning, Sir Hervis met Sir Aelfric in single combat. The two decided to forgo the civilized custom of using rebated weapons, and instead fought for blood. With a furious clash, the two rival knights fought on behalf of their lords. Unfortunately, luck sided with Sir Aelfric, and Sir Hervis was brought down with a brutal blow that would have split a lesser man in twain. The foul Saxon knight threw his sword down and spit on his opponent in disgust before riding home to his manor in Levocamagus.

All told, the wedding was something of a disaster. The knights returned to their manors to sulk, and the peasants were listless for the remainder of the year.

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