488AD (Part One): Invasion of Frankland

Rumours of a planned invasion of Frankland had been gathering pace over the year and so it was of no surprise when Prince Madoc announced that he would be taking half the British army over the British Sea to come to the aid of Praetor Syagrius, cast out of his lands by King Claudas and the Franks. Earl Roderick had been given freedom by Uther to choose between going with Madoc or staying to help him in his business and in the defence of our lands during this campaign. Undecided, he turned to us his knights for advice. Whilst many wanted to stay, uncertain about what might happpen if they left, my young knights and I were keen to go and seek glory, battle and plunder! Roderick agreed…

After a long and frustrating wait at the port until the winds were right, we set sail. The journey was largely uneventful, except for one incident. Dylan and the others, although Dylan most clearly, overheard a row break out in a meeting of the council. It sounded like Madoc was making an ultimatum to the gather nobles. Four weeks or one city? No one was sure what to make of that, and when Gaelavin tried to find our from Roderick what had happened, he was quickly put in his place…

Eventually we arrived. Disembarking took days! So many footmen, horses, knights and nobles, let alone the provisions that we had bought. Erec, Gaelavin and Dylan were posted once things started moving to guard Syagrius on the journey to nearby Bayeux. Here we hoped to liberate the city. On the way a small force of mounted Franks harried us. You can imagine the look on Erec’s face when Syagrius and his men left them to deal with them…

It should have been a swift and easy combat, but success in battle can never be taken for granted. Erec dispatched several with his lance. Dylan eventually overcame his foe. Gaelavin however was struck from his horse, and whilst lying prone, was smitten again. Overcome by his woulds he fell unconscious. At first it seemed as if he may die, but the first aid attempts of his Squire Morlak and then Erec himself brought hope. Only time will tell now…

Whilst Gaelavin was taken back to the ship to be tended, Erec and Dylan, with Morlak, headed on to Bayeux to catch up with Syagrius and Rodericks men. They arrived in time to see them attempt to force open the main gate. A small gap had appeared, but not more. Seeing his Lord’s attempts struggle, Erec and Dylan were suddenly inflamed with a reckless desire to help. Charging on their mounts they flung themselves at the gate, miraculously managing to avoid their own men and damage to their mounts. Erec reached the gate first and forced his horse into the gap and with great urgency, and some stress to his mount, managed to overcome the pressure from the Franks on the other side. Eventually victory was theirs and the doors were flung wide!

I cannot finish this account without mentioning again the bravery in combat and loyalty to his master of Squire Morlak. One day he will make a fine knight…

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