500AD (Part Two): The Trap is Sprung!

As the sun rose, the hunting party gathered outside the walls of Sarum, keen for the chase. Already the two Saxon princes were sparking at each other, goading one another with their boasts of supremacy. Today Erec and Gaelavin were joined by their companions Sir Maelwine and Lady Guenloie, who now reunited were quickly alerted to the plans that had been lain the previous night.

Thinking ahead, they sought to subtly divide the two parties even further, so that when the dead Saxon was found, the natural response was clearly that one from the other Kingdom had done it, rather than it being an act of violence by the men of Sarum. Gaelavin (?) called from bread to be passed around, with one roll being noticably larger than the rest. When this was selected, he made sure that the person who took it was congratulated on chosing the best on offer - again goading the other party...

Eventually the hunt started, the scramble of hounds and horses as people sought for a trail. The Saxon Aecswine (or rather his hounds!) picked up a scent quickly and chased off in pursuit. Prince Ceyln was not so succesful, and before too long found himself and his men wandering aimlessly in the undergrowth. Sir Erec gave chase, following Aecswine, determinded to keep a watch over him, and when opportunity arose, through his comradery, to increase the tensions between the princes and feed his pride. Gaelavin and Guenloie opted to follow Ceyln and to seek out an opportunity to ambush one of his retinue should they stray from the group - although to be honest, it wasn't so much that Guenloie chose to stay behind in this way, it was more a case of her horsemanship letting her down... Maelwine decided to hunt properly, although whether this was from a desire to win or an attempt to make the hunt appear authentic and provide cover for the others' activities was not so clear.

Chasing the trail on their steads, Aescwine, Erec and Maelwine pursued successfully a bear. Ably Erec and Maelwine laid blows upon the beast, but did not fell it. This honour was left to Aecswine himself. Although they would have liked to have been the ones who had slain the creature, our knights did not object too mightily - Aecswine's success further increased his sense of triumph and helped them through their congratulations 'befriend' him and play him into their trap. Indeed, Erec called for his bard to compose a song to celebrate Aecswine's success (including their part in it too, of course) and have it sung in his honour!

Meanwhile Guenloie and Gaelavin hung back, seemingly frustrated in their hunt. Patiently they waited for one of Ceyln's men to drop from the back of the party and become isolated. In time this did indeed happen. Swiftly they slew him, leaving behind the Saxon weapon they had earlier purloined and a cloak fastener from one of Aecswine's men that they had managed to snatch in the thick of the hunt. As soon as the deed was done, they returned swiftly to the fray, hoping that none had noticed their deeds.

As Aecswine returned triumphantly to Sarum Court with Erec and Maelwine, bard still declaring their glory, the cry went up in the woods. Discovering the body of his man and the broach and and axe beside him, in fury Ceyln stormed towards an unsuspecting Countess to demand justice, this foul deed having been committed on her land

Unknowing of who actually committed the crime, Ellen left Erec to detain Aescwine whilst she dealt with Celyn. Aescwine refused to stay, and leaves in haste with his forces , leaving Ceyln fuming in Sarum demanding tribute or forces in recompense. To save the Countess' blushes, Maelwine put himself and his men forward to serve him in the coming battle. Erec and Gaelavin had succeeded in their plans. As long as Maelwine survived his brave offer, all the visit the Saxon princes had cost them was the guilt of knowing what they had done - but it was only a Saxon. In return they had further increased the tensions between the warring Saxon parties. Perhaps they would be too caught up with each other now that they would forget Salisbury for a while...

Since this Chronicle was posted, the following 'correction' was submitted by Erec's player...

Not too far from the truth (as I remember it...)

although... I might mention that the roll was a joint thought - two minds working as one - and in actual fact I feel that it was Erec who did the mighty wounding of the bear, allowing the Prince only the small privelege of finishing the poor, very nearly dead, creature off. Also... you appear to have skated over the glorious way in which Erec was able to persuade the Prince to flee the court - against his better instincts! No wonder Erec has to keep a Bard!!!!