489AD: To Cornwall!

After the success of the siege at Bayeux, our King Uther, decided to turn his attention back to our shores. Time to sort out Duke Gorlois of Cornwall, who had repeated scorned his duties to his liege. Next would no doubt be the Saxon lords Octa and Eosa, but first he needed to consolidate his forces. Madoc ordered half the army to be brought together in the Summer to deal with him, whilst Duke Lindsey would hold back the Saxons in the north for a while longer.

And so we gathered. The mood was joyful and determined, and yet our knights were not so buoyant. Having talked to others and looked around, they grew increasingly concerned that there were not the full quota of men here. What would happen in Cornwall. They feared defeat.

As they approached the site of battle, they sought audience with Earl Roderick, and were given permission to go ahead and scout out the land. Normally an unknightly act perhaps, but deemed prudent in the circumstances. Over-nighting near the battleground, they set out to scout the site at dawn. Before too long they realised that the lie of the land was not suited to Uther at all - in fact, by advancing directly he would be easily taken on the flanks and from in front. What is more, the land being of a horseshoe shape, from every side, the Cornish would be on higher ground…

Splitting into three, they carefully advanced to see what men might be hidden where. As suspected, Erec found archers and knights hidden on the right flank. Dylan, Pedivere and Gaelavin found the same on the left. Aradoc, found none - in fact the reverse, he was found one! Spotted by an archer in the trees, for a while he seemed to be in trouble, until he overcame his foe and executed a 'tactical withdrawal' with unseemly haste.

Reporting back to Roderick they advised caution and recommended that Uther be advised to attack on a flank, not advancing directly as planned. They also suggested devious schemes involving setting the forests ablaze to distract and force out their opponents in order to remove their height and cover advantage. Roderick agreed to take their suggestions to Uther. Uther, however, was having none of it. Confident in his abilities he was not to be distracted himself. They would march directly upon the recalcitrant Cornwall!

Roderick gave permission for our knights to take a unit to one flank to see if they could still win some advantage, an opportunity they took. Taking the left flank they advanced through the trees until they were able to fall upon Gorlois' men. Battle soon commenced, with Erec and Gaelavin ably dispatching their foe. Soon they also became aware of smoke and fire. Someone had taken heed of their advice? No matter, soon after combat commenced, the sound of Uther's battle horn was heard over the noise of swords clashing and the screams of dying men. Fighting ceased as in the horshoe somewhere Gorlois and Uther met to parley.

Although distant, their voices seemed to strangely ring crystal clear (perhaps the art of Merlin was involved?) bringing their words to the knights. Uther called on Gorlois to surrender, to which he responded, demanding justice. Merlin was heard urging Uther to show Cornwall his sword. A sound on blade leaving scabbard and a gasp. Merlin this time, behold the Sword of Victory! But if I surrender what do I get? Uther's decision, all the land from here to the sea. Cornwall …I accept!

And so the battle for Cornwall came to an end, and as the celebrations draw to a close we were glad. It was clear that had Uther not succeeded in his parley, we would have been sorely pressed to overcome Gorlois…

Next? Talk is of marching upon the Saxons in the north…

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