The Taking of Tintagel

Military action

Spring A.D. 491

At the request of Merlin and aided by his magic, our knights help King Uther and Ygraine to attain their desire.

In the Spring of 491, King Uther, despite the threat still posed by King Ælle of the Saxons, gathered as much of his army as he could muster and made war on Cornwall. Duke Gorlois of Cornwall, knowing his forces were outmatched, withdrew his forces to Castle Terrabil and Tintagel.   During the siege of Terrabil, our knights were sent forward as messengers to speak with the garrison at Terrabil. Sir Brithael and his men rode out, and Sir Bradwen and Brithael, who had become fast friends in the past few years, now faced each other on opposite sides of the war. On behalf of King Uther, Bradwen offered promised the occupants of Tintagel that any who surrendered would be granted full amnesty. Brithael swore that none would take this offer, repeating what he had told Bradwen the previous year, "It is a knight's duty to fight and to die for his Lord."   Later, Merlin, once more in the guise of Kite the goatherd, came to our knights and asked them to follow him. He led them into the night, and by a lone dead tree they found King Uther pacing like a pent up bull. Merlin told Uther that our knights might be of service for they knew Tintagel, and Uther accepted and demanded that Merlin do what he had promised.   "Do you accept my price?" Merlin asked.   "Yes," said Uther, "If a child is conceived tonight he will be yours! Now get on with it."   With that, Merlin worked his magic and a glamour transformed the appearance of everyone there: Uther took on the likeness of Duke Gorlois, Merlin that of Sir Cador, Sir Bradwen of Sir Brithael, Sir Felix of Sir Jordan, and Sir Monroe of Sir Ralf.   After this, Duke Ulfius arrived with horses and was himself transformed to look like Sir Brastias, the Duke's bodyguard.   The party rode late into the night and arrived in the darkness at Tintagel. Making their way down the slippery cliffs to the beach below, they then ascended a narrow staircase that led to Tintagel's postern gate and were let in by Sir Humphries the guard.   Tintagel had been successfully penetrated.   Lady Ygraine came and eagerly met Uther in the guise of her husband and the two of them went off to do their business. Merlin and Ulfius, for their part, went off to make sure the ruse could be maintained. In particular, Merlin wished to make sure Lady Nineve would not pierce their glamour.   Thus, our knights were left in the guard house to deceive Sir Humphries. They gamed with him, and though and several points he grew suspicious, they managed to allay his suspicions.   Eventually, Lady Margawse came by and asked to speak with Sir Ralf in the hall. She flirted with him heavily and thus Monroe learned that Ralf and the young lady had apparently been having trysts. Monroe, however, in the form of Ralf, managed to excuse himself and she went off in a huff.   At this point, Sir Humphries excused himself to go to the bathroom and our knights were discussing how things were going when Sir Monroe spotted torches approaching on the beach. Very quickly, men arrived at the door and demanded to be let in—it was the real Sirs Brithael, Jordan, and Ralf. Our knights tried to keep them at bay, but Sir Humphries returned and let them in.   Unsure of who these interlopers were, but certain they were servants of King Uther using Merlin's magic, Sir Brithael had his men each attack their duplicate. Sir Humphries, unsure of who to attack, ran off to sound the alarm.   As the knights clashed, our knights learned that Duke Gorlois had been slain in the battle at Terribal. Sir Brithael fought madly, desperate to protect the honor of his Lady and unaware of what she was voluntarily doing. Bradwen and Felix, for their part, held back their blows, not desiring to kill their friends, but Ralf and Monroe clashed as fiercely as true foes. In the end, Bradwen slowly wore down Brithael's conviction, and at the last, Ygraine herself arrived along with King Uther, no longer in glamour, and told Brithael the truth. Seeing how his lord had been betrayed, Brithael was overcome with madness and fled into the knight.   The next day, our knights were tasked with garrisoning Tintagel and learned the news that Prince Madoc too had died at Terribal. The duchess retreated to her rooms and the King went mournfully about the castle.   Sir Felix visited Morgan, but she rebuffed his friendship, saying he ought to be erashamed and that "Gaius would never have let this happen!" It became clear to Felix that the tale had gone about that her mother had not known it was Uther that night and so her mother had been raped by him.   Seeing what their actions had wrought, Sir Monroe proposed to his companions that they should arrange the death of King Uther. Bradwen and Felix, though they agreed Uther had gone beyond the bounds of justice, would not agree to this.   Arrangements having been made for the funeral of Prince Madoc, the King and his men departed for Salisbury and our knights went with them. At the Giant's Dance, Prince Madoc was buried in a grave next to his uncle Aurelius Ambrosius and near where the grave of King Uther had already been prepared. During the ceremonies, our knights noticed that King Uther was noticeably more cold towards Merlin.   After this, our knights were summoned to Salisbury, where they were told by Count Roderick that news would soon go out that King Uther and Lady Ygraine were to be wed. While there, Saexwulf the Saxon came and requested hospitality of Count Roderick. After this was granted, he told Count Roderick how, while Uther was directing his armies to slate his lusts, King Ælle had led an army into Sussex and besieged and capture Pevensy, and had killed every man, woman, and child there, hanging them as a sacrifice to Wotan. This word, he said, would be going out to all the Lords of Logres. Though filled with rage, Roderick and our knights were bound by hospitality and could not attack Saexwulf.   Our knights, filled with this dark news, returned home. Sir Monroe even sought to set an ambush for Saexwulf, but to no avail. At home, Sir Monroe was approached by Sir Cerwin, who told him that Monroe's Squire Bob had revealed to him his intentions towards King Uther. "Uther is not just," Sir Cerwin said, "And I would support this plan if it could be done in secrecy" and thus he and Sir Monroe made a pact for the ending of King Uther's reign.   Meanwhile, back at Shrewton Manor, Sir Bradwen and his family visited Sir Felix. Bradwen expressed his concern that Monroe was being manipulated by dark forces and Bradwen and Felix made a pact to try and rescue their friend from these schemes.   In the Winter, word went out throughout the land that Queen Ygraine was pregnant.

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