490AD (Part One): Into the Forest Sauvage

Having shamed King Cerdic the previous year, taking him in battle and ransoming him back to his cowardly sons, the Countess now had sufficient funds to finish the fortification of Sarum. This acheived, her people were freed to spend their time for once thinking upon other matters. Little Erec, a little reckless like his father before him, and maybe flushed by his recent victories, took it upon himself to begin wooing the Countess Ellen. This seemed, for now, to acheive little but humouring her, but no doubt Erec will continue his quest to win her heart.

With the women playing hard to get, Erec suddenly recalled the other matter that he had neglected the previous year - the disappearance of his cousin, Cousin Erec, who had been enfoeffed to hold Little Erec's Manor of Medbourne on his behalf (see: 496AD: Liberating Medbourne from Sir Gorboduc the Fiend). A year on his whereabouts were still unknown. Word had come shortly before they had marched on Prince Cynric that Cousin Erec had gone in search of a reputedly holy well, the water from which had healing properties. The Steward's message had said that Erec had believed that sprinkling this water upon Medbourne would lift the curse that had lain on it since Gorboduc had defiled it. He had gone in search of this well, but had never returned...

And so Gaelavin and Erec, together with squires and hounds set off for Medbourne, keen to discover Cousin Erec, and to restore Medbourne to its rightful situation. Strangely, the forest had grown since they had previously been there. Initially confident of their direction, they soon lost track and found themselves wandering aimlessly under the boughs of Sauvage. This wood had developed a life of its own since their first visit, and paths seemed to move from place to place, never going where they had done so before. It was also slightly disconcerting that Erec's Fae armour, won from the Knight of the Ivy Tower (486AD: Sir Erec deafets the Knight of the Ivy Tower!), had taken on a gentle green glow.

The days seemed to blur into each other in the dull world under the thick canopy above. No one was certain which way they had travelled and how long they had been there. Even climbing tress to survey the Forest from above had little success. It seemed as if they may be fated to wander here forever. Their stumblings were eventually broken by a wild shriek! Out of the undergrowth leapt a wild man, clothed in nothing but bark, tassled unkempt hair and mud. "Leave me alone, don't disturb my peace!" As much as they sought to obtain information from him, and engage him in conversation, they acheived little but to realise he was a hermit who had been in ther Forest for too long. Eventually they gave up and left once more to stumble through the undergrowth.

Just as they were about to give into their despair, they spotted ahead, scavenging in the thicket, a peasant farmer. Hailing him, they discovered that he knew of Medbourne - indeed it wasn't far from here, and he would escort them there. Relieved, they accompanied him as he took them to the Manor and the Steward waiting within.