Alas, once more the day has been a dark one…
Squire Wort managed to bring Vertrigan back to Sarum where he was laid in the Earl's Hall and tended. Drifting in and out of consciousness, things didn't look good for him, but by skill and prayer, the Earl's attendants managed somehow to keep him this side of death. Just.
Gaelavin too made it back to Sarum, although on the way in characteristic style he decided to call in on fair Bronyth at the monastry to ask if he should continue in their quest with her favour.
Squire Cedric made it out of the forest too.
And so together they presented themselves to Roderick to explain the failure of their quest so far, and the fate of Sir Erec, wounded and held for ransom by the Knight of the Ivy Tower. Although frustrated by their lack of success, concern for Erec (and for his own honour) Roderick agreed to pay the requested ransom. At this point, mysteriously, the Knight of the Ivy Tower's attendant, the childlike dwarf, suddenly appeared to receive the payment. Gaelavin and a new companion knight, Sir Dylan, were given permission to follow the dwarf who had immediately left. Leaving the hall, they discovered that he had slipped from sight.
And so they ventured back into the trees to search out their fellow in arms, Erec. Moving through the trees with haste, they soon came to the clearing where the Ivy Tower had stood. I say had, as on their return they reported to me that it was no longer there. Instead there were only the undergrowth covered remains of a ruined building. Could this have been the Tower? It was in the same place, but looked as if it had been but rubble for centuries. No sign of Knight or dwarf, or in fact any clue as to what had taken place their only a few hours before.
Moving over to the ruins to investigate, they discovered 'sleeping' Sir Erec. With care they lifted him and returned to their Master….
….Eleven weeks passed before Erec and Vertrigan were well again, eleven weeks of rest, frustrating for these men of action
All was not quiet in that time, however, with the Knight of the Wolf still in his charge, and Erec injured, Roderick had to find a new champion. At Gaelavin's suggestion, Sir Dylan was given the opportunity to prove himself. At the first pass, their lances clattered, but no injury was done. Alas, on the second pass, Sir Dylan was thrown from his mount with a thundering blow. Thus proved free of guilt by God, the Knight of the Wolf quietly nodded to Earl Roderick and rode from them, a free man.
As the year drew to an end, there was one more event of note. Tensions that had been rising between Gaelavin and Vertrigan over Vertrigan's sister Tagen came to a head. A challenge was issued, and they met with drawn swords to settle the affair. Freshly healed, Vertrigan was once more dispatched to his bed to recover - a lucky blow it was thought, if Vertrigan had managed to land one first it may have been very different…