RavenPolar's Great Pendragon Campaign

487 - Sailing and Raiding

From the journal of Sir Guy de Woodford

Journal of Ser Guy De Woodford
Year of our Lord 486

After a somewhat exhilarating winter which found me with manors and horses I would never have dreamed of, and the soon to be father of a child, my wife and I were called to Ser Roderick’s court to attend the arrival of the King, Uther and his entourage.

Gwiona and I attended and saw our friends there, Ser Dalan and Ser Leon.

The feast was called as the Kings son, Prince Madoc Had returned from a journey upon which he had collected treasure, a lot of treasure, and glory beyond belief. The feast was an outstanding affair put on by the lord, and fun was had by all. Then came the giving of gifts from the King to his subjects, my friends and I received some very fine fashionable clothing, and then the prince gave the king his gift, 7 chests of wondrous treasures, fine cloths from lands afar, gold and jewels the like I have never seen, spices from across the shores.. Such wonders were beyond our belief, and that is when the gift of Windsor Castle was given to Prince Madoc a mighty gift indeed. And the king again handed out more gifts to his subjects, to my wife and I he handed handfuls of silver, the king was most generous. But after the king had given gifts, Merlin appeared as if from nowhere and bore a truly magnificent gift, a sword, beautiful and gleaming in the light. My friends and I recognised this sword; we had helped Merlin retrieve it from the lake.

Merlin pointed us out to the king, bade him watch us as we strive to help our king in his struggle with the Saxons.

After the feast, the king stood and addressed us all. He called for knights to attend him on his campaign against the Saxons, we jumped at the chance to prove to our king we were worthy of Merlin’s praise.

We spoke to Ser Roderick and we were advised on our options for the upcoming summons. We could travel with the court of the king, Ser Roderick and Merlin and assist in the negotiations with Lindsay, North of the border, or we could sail with the Prince Madoc and raid along the coast, to strike fear into the Saxons. We of course chose the latter, not only for the glory of fighting the Saxons alongside the prince, but to have representatives of Ser Roderick in the prince’s court, showing his presence all the way. Gwiona was not pleased, in fact she bade me sleep in the kitchen with the hounds, ranting about going off and sinking in a ship off the coast just as we are expecting our first born. But I pointed out that I am a God fearing man, and as long as I put my faith in God, all will be well. This mollified her a bit, but as soon as she saw me sending Elric, my squire out on errands before the journey, the atmosphere between us turned as frosty as it was on a snowy morning north of the wall! I showered her with compliments and she came round before I left, leaving on bad terms with the wife is not a good idea. I shall advise Dalan and Leon of that! I also had an inspiring idea, why not have Gwionas friends over for a feast whilst I was away, and she can shower her ladies with the compliments from my friends, it should hopefully make courting the women easier, as the poems they composed for their ladies were quite interesting, and Dalan`s was downright insulting.. Something about her trunk? Apparently he likes women with large rear ends and it didn’t come across quite as well as he would have liked. I must admit, Leon and I were howling in to our cups! Best poem I have heard in a very long time.

We sailed from ………., the weather was nice and the sea was calm but we made good time according to one of the sailors, we were heading to Pevensey apparently.

We set ashore in Pevensey and awaited the Saxons in the morn, they came and seemed a rowdy bunch, nothing that we haven’t faced before though so battle was had! Leon of course lead the charge on our wing, he seemed to have the best idea of a plan, so naturally we followed and backed him up to the hilt. Leon led and feinted, the Saxon fell for the well executed feint and dodged the non existent blow, I followed up and threw my shield in front of the Saxons axe, and Dalan nearly clove him in two, Leon finished him off. Looking around for more it seems the forces had split and run at the first charge. Lowly Saxon cowardly scum. We set sail from Pevensey and headed to Dover where we landed and gave the Saxons battle, as before Leon led the charge. The fight was going well, Dalan landed a mighty blow on a Saxon hurting him immensely whilst I drew the attack of the other and parried it with my shield. Leon roared, drawing the attention of the first Saxon which allowed Dalan to hit again but the foe was only distracted for a second as he swung back at Dalan and landed a blow which Dalan managed to shrug off. Leon and I both swung at the second Saxon at the same time, unfortunately for him he forgot he had a shield on his arm and we cut him two, by this time Dalan had despatched of his foe and the day was won again as the cowardly Saxons retreated for a second time in two encounters! When are they going to stand and fight? We set sail from Dover after the battle and headed to a place called Maldon, when we arrived it was dark and there was no enemy in sight, we sailed in, put ashore and destroyed every ship we could find. It was a successful night and mead was shared around our campfire, Leon needs to calm his drinking, “riding the oar into battle” is not a good idea. After leaving Maldon we were expecting a few days’ good sail, but it didn’t turn out like that. The Saxons attacked us whilst at Sea, and this fight was harder than the last. Apparently they had saved their best, Leon with the tactics again lead the charge from deck to deck, Dalan and I both saw blows coming from either side of Leon that would have cut him in half so we threw ourselves in the way, we knew he would do the same for us. All I could see was figure of Leon stood above both our bodes, fighting and raging at the Saxons, he defended us, he saved our lives and drove the Saxons back singlehandedly. The Saxons were beaten back from our boat and they retreated again! I will tell Gwiona to order a hog for a feast in his honour when we return, we shall invite the ladies and hopefully Leon and Dalan’s valour will shine through, although I think Indeg will take a while to get over that poem. We put ashore somewhere even the sailors weren’t sure of, and Dalan and I saw the surgeon. He patched us up as we all heard the sound of an approaching army, the Saxons had arrived, Leon led us in the charge, even though he had had no rest since the previous fight, seeing to our squires, seeing us to the surgeon, taking our equipment to the smith for sharpening, then back to fight! Dalan was in a rage! He cut a Saxon in half, clean in half! Right through his shield, armour and out the other side, I would never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I took the hit from a Saxon as I saw Dalan coming form behind the foe and had to move my shield as again Dalan cleaved someone in half, if I hadn’t been quick enough my shield would have been shattered just like the two Saxon shields he had hit already today. Leon, not to be outdone, danced aside from a stroke and drove his sword up to the hilt in a charging Saxons chest.

All I can say is teamwork my friends! It has saved us many times.

We then headed to Yarmouth where we stayed for a week to resupply, I wrote Gwiona, telling her of our journey so far, asking how she was, seeking news on the pregnancy, I know I wont receive news but I like to write to her, I asked her to order the boar for the feast, and have some crockery ordered from the earthenware seller for a gift, I have a feeling there will be a wedding soon. After a week we set sail again, heading for the coast of Lindsay, we put ashore and headed for battle again. Dalan had the plan this time, and Leon and I encouraged the plan, Dalan charged and was too quick for his opponent, two quick blows chopped his foe in to pieces, Leon momentarily lost his concentration and a Saxon hit him on his sword arm and he dropped his sword, I parried a blow meant for Leon’s head whilst he searched for his sword. I took the attention of the onrushing Saxons as Dalan again killed another, Leon found his sword and we were hard pressed to defned ourselves as nobody wanted to go near Dalan. he was terrifying to behold in the middle of the fight! And we were glad to have him on our side as Leon and I finally fell, seeing our bodies hit the ground, Dalan raged and charged the Saxons, cutting them down to a man. Praise to both Leon and Dalan on this venture as they have both saved my life. A larger feast will be thrown, to celebrate friendship and our lives.

We sailed home from Lindsay, it was a peaceful journey, we had time to look at the coastline, to chat and rest!

It didn’t take too long for us to get home, Gwiona was huge, obviously I didn’t her tell that, I do want more children! I had a drunken priest land on my doorstep and offered him justice, he appealed to me and I gave him a final chance, he is now preaching the word of God in Woodford.

My manors did exceptionally well in their logging ventures, I now have some money to spend on furnishing my manor. I have paid for an ornamental garden for Gwiona, to have her sit somewhere in peace and quiet and relax. She loves the place. I will place an order for a surprise gift for Gwiona, something to remind us of our first Christmas with a child.

I knew my order for Earthenware crockery would not go to waste; Leon and Adwen announced their plans to wed and were wed in a nice ceremony. He received a rather large dowry, im impressed, Leon will be a baron soon I think, but I wont let him forget his “riding an oar” in to battle idea!

Good news, I have a son, a beautiful strong healthy boy, my first son will be named Bruce Leon Dalan Woodford.

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