483AD (Part Two): Knight Of The Ivy Tower

All is not well. Of the three knights that set out this very morn, only Squire Cedric has returned relatively unscarred - although I fear for his mental state. He has seen so much over his few years, and little has been good. So what has happened to the three? Let me tell you what I know…

The Fate Of Sir Miles Vertrigan
As they headed into the woods south of Sarum following the uncertain lead of Cedric, a loud snap was heard to the East of their path. Calming Erec's reckless streak, they spread out to investigate, disturbed by the sudden realisation that the birds had stopped their song. Vertrigan was unable to keep his horse quiet, and lured by the noise, was attacked by a man of significant proportions, a giant of the legends. Before he could get a blow of his own in, Vertrigan was thrown from his horse by a wild swipe of a branch this beast held, and rendered near to death. His life was no doubt spared by the arrival of Gaelavin and Erec who with great feats of arms, slew the creature. Vertrigan regained consciousness briefly to urge them to 'complete the quest' before swooning once more, broken by his wounds. Saddened by his fate, in an act of generosity Gaelavin poured his potion down his throat, with the hope that this would keep his spirit in him until the squires could get him back to Sarum and help.

The Fate Of Sir Gaelavin
It had become clear that Cedric had no clue where he was or where he was leading them, and so Gaelavin and Erec pressed on into the undergrowth to see if they could discover more about this Giant. Before long they found the charred remains of his fire and pot containing rabbit stew. Cedric was sent up a tree to find a vantage point from which to see where they should head next. The tree, however, proved unwilling to let his ascend to the top, and he descended disappointed that once more he had let his new master down. One thing he did discover though was that they were near the river, and so they headed thence. Upon discovering the river, Erec became aware of a presence behind them. He swirled around to see a dwarf - the child like figure that Cedric had recalled from his first encounter with the Knight of the Ivy Tower. Mute, the dwarf beckoned them to follow. Retracing their steps, he led them into a clearing they had but recently passed. But now an ivy clad tower stood in it, with a red and white pavilion set before. By the pavilion was mounted a proud figure in armour with lance held high. His shield? An Ivy Tower. This was the man they had been sent to face.

Looking them in the eye, the Knight introduced himself and invited them to share a meal before they locked their lances in combat to determine their freedom and fate. Refusing his hospitality they demanded to joust first. A decision they were to regret.

At this point Gaelavin prepared to set his lance. In preparation he sought to think of his Lord Roderick who had charged him with this quest, hoping to be inspired to great deeds in his name. All he could conjure though was the overwhelming majesty of the knight before him. Dashed by this picture, his valour left him, as did his mind. Turning his horse he fled into the forest, cowled by his fraility…

The Fate Of Sir Erec
Sir Erec was made of greater metal than poor Gaelavin. He too was aware of the Knight of the Ivy Tower's worth, and yet he locked his lance in his stirrup and they met in fierce combat. Thrice they met, landing blows on each other. Erec fought magnificently, and yet his blows seemed not to pierce the Knight's defences. On the third pass, Erec himself was struck, a fiercesome blow to his shoulder which cast him from his stead. As the clouds of unconsciousness drifted over him, he was heard to mutter something about wishing he had accepted the dwarf's broth…

The Fate Of Squire Cedric
And so it was that Cedric's master was vanquished by the Knight of the Ivy Tower. With nothing to offer as ransom for him, he departed, sent to Roderick for aid. As he travelled he met with Gaelavin, still in the throws of despair, and together they went, wondering what would happen to them and their companions now…

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