Stronghold of a King
Caer Pendrinn has been a fortified stronghold since the fall of the Empire around 500 A.F., when it
was constructed by Mark, duke of Cornwall.
For the next twenty-five years Cornwall was ruled from Caer Pendrinn as an independent kingdom,
during which time Mark took Igraine, only daughter of the Pendrinn, as his queen. The story of
Igraine’s quest for the Swords of Waylund, the murder of Mark, and the consequent annexation of
Cornwall by Albion has been written elsewhere by Albione historians.
The Killing Sands
At low tide, spanning three hundred yards between Caer Pendrinn and the mainland, is a stretch of
white, flat sand. In times of peace, a series of wooden stakes are driven into the sands at around five
yard intervals, to mark the narrow twisting route of safe passage. All else is treacherous, due rapidity
with which the roiling tides sweep up the Bristol Channel to submerge the estuary quicksands. These
stakes can be easily removed in times of water and later replaced by the local guards, who have an
instinctive understanding of the shifting tides born of a lifetime’s association with the Pendrinn
Many lives have been lost on the Killing Sands, and some say that, as a result, the Caer has more
than its share of unquiet spirits.
In the year 789 A.F., regional unrest arising from a dispute concerning war taxes erupted into full
rebellion and a bid for Cornish independence, led by the then Baron of Pendrinn. Stephen III sent
Crown troops under the command of Captain John Robart of Keswick to put down the insurrection.
Having stormed through the rest of Cornwall, Captain Robart prepared to lay siege to Caer Pendrinn,
to where the Baron had retreated. Shortly before midday, an hour before low tide, the Captain and
his men rode out onto the Sands with a last demand for capitulation. The Baron appeared high
above on the Caer ramparts, and sent his herald out to parlay. Back and forth went the messages,
and as time passed the cavalry horses became increasingly skittish. Then, within the space of a few
short minutes, the tides swept around the sands, cutting off retreat to the mainland. All but twenty
men and thirty one horses were drowned, including Captain Robart.
As the King became ill and died shortly afterward, the momentum of the Cornish military campaign
was lost and it was left to his daughter Queen Igraine to negotiate a settlement in the first few
months of her reign. As a result, the Dukes of Cornwall acquired the post of Steward of Albion.
Although there has been considerably conflict in Cornwall in the three hundred years since then,
there has never been any further talk of independence.
Dame Meylor of Pendrinn
Meylor of Pendrinn has lived in a tower room at the Caer for longer than anyone can remember. She
is said to trace her ancestry back, mother to daughter, to Vivianne, daughter of Morgaine, who was
the daughter of Igraine of Cornwall and elder twin sister to Arthur. But to her great-grandchildren,
she is ‘Grandmamma’; and astute, sharp eyed but rather distant figure, someone to be revered
rather than loved.
Those to whom she is not related are far warier of the Lady. Although she must be more than five
scores in years, time has not carved its mark as deeply as should be expected, and this speaks of
something not aright. Fae blood? It has not shown in her daughter and granddaughters, although
they have a habit of dying young – so who can tell? Sorcery? Perhaps… but there is nobody of a mind
No-one knows what happened to Dame Meylor when the unliving rose up out of the Channel and
marched into Cornwall. Certainly, she was still at the Caer when Henry Constantine finally cleared
out the last of the abominations, after the Battles of Bristol and Exeter and the Lions’ Exodus. It has
been suggested…well out of her earshot…that the Unliving commanders saw the light of battle in the
Lady’s eye, and faced with such an overwhelming willpower, decided t let her tower alone.