The Samhain Festival of 1095 AF
Friday 27th October 1095 AF
The Samhain Festival is held by Jaddvor Erland, Lord General of Cornwall, to celebrate the opening of the Coliseum. The festivities are not in full swing. Jaddvor Erland greets me warmly.
The High Incantor of House Chreotha, Lady Sullage with her faithful bodyguard, Chazymyr inform me that their house will not again side with House Naxos D’Fey. So they will stay under the protection of the Bears.
I meet many of my friends within the Dragons. Talking to Silkin ap Palarran, Joint Lord General of Cymrija, upon many things, I expressed my concern over the kidnap attempt upon Lady Ailish at the Gathering who was not her usual watchful self. This was later retold by him to Lord Fig and Baron Lachlan, Duke of Dalriada.
Lady Ailish asks me to distribute cake to whoever would partake of this luxury. Baron Lachlan, Lord Fig, Olaf the Kender and Lord Chancellor Marot advanced upon me threateningly just outside the Temple. Baron Lachlan had misunderstood my concern for Lady Ailish’s safety who had been so distracted by her love for his lordship when an attempt was made on her at the Gathering. The interview ended when he had eaten all of Ailish’s cake. He had finally understood where I stood and we parted as the friend he had always taken me for, since I had stood in defence of him at the Lion’s Council with his sword in my hand. Lord Fig did not help the discourse as he twisted all my words as if they were insults. He warned me that any threat or insult upon the character of his beloved will be taken as one against him. A better champion would be harder to find.
The ‘trainee Kender’ who reminds me of Lady Katrina and Olaf the Kender are interesting creatures. Their idea of ownership of belongings is interesting. ‘What is yours is mine.’ The trainee Kender has a fascination for feathers and ribbons whilst the other has interest in shiny objects like daggers.
The singing is very impressive with Lady Lysandra and Lady Ailish O’Donovan joining the chorus. Baron Lachlan asks Corvus whether he would like to hear their songs. He greets the Dragon’s Songs with good humour. He seems to have mellowed somewhat but as set in his views as ever. Roxanne will not arrive until Sunday.
Kusack has Albion of the Dark Swords of Waylund stolen by the Fey. To get it back he must drink one of five draughts, only one is allegedly poisoned.
The rotund Ravens’ Emissary in the dark green with two rows of brass buttons had his throat slit with a venom blade and is left for dead by his attacker. After 20 minutes he is discovered in the dark corner where he lay. The Incantors did their work. I had walked earlier passed his slumped body who I thought was only drunk. He had been drinking so merrily the last I saw him. After, life had returned to him, he was closely interviewed. His attacker as described by him was a man of a slight build, medium stature and close cropped dark brown hair or black hair. He was unable to describe what the attacker wore. It cannot be any of the Harts present.
Many comments upon the strange behaviour of Kusack came to me from various Lions. It seem that all men of Albion have a common bond after all. Kusack is normally referred to as ‘sword looser.’ That ‘oh so reliable’ Arthur Hart Thorn of the Harts Corrupt (COP) informs me that he will remove the problem completely. The Harts are accused of having sanctioned poisons, which is untrue. This can only be attributed to the despised House Veladorn of the Slayers using a Ritual to replicate the poison that used to eliminate Duke Anree at the Gathering.
In the morning, Baroness Zircon laid out her stall of fine weapons. Most of her patrons are Lions who have been starved of quality blades. Kusack buys one gracefully crafted daggers and a Gladius short sword of the finest Albion steel. He is so in love with cold steel.
He crudely insults Lady Karlennon to all the Harts he can find. Most resist the temptation as he is beneath contempt. An guest insulted is an affront to the host. Earl Tarragon, being a suitor to Lady Karlennon, pours a flagon of beer over Kusack’s head at hearing those well rehearsed words and challenges him to an affair of honour with long swords.
At little later, Kusack attempts to slice Malik open with his newly purchased dagger who just turns the blade aside with unconcerned ease. Earl Tarragon and Sir Huw are witnesses. This adds more spite to the duel between Kusack and Earl Tarragon supervised by Rupert (Whoopert) in the Coliseum. Strangely Tarragon allows Kusack to use his great sword. Tarragon with deft swift blows easily defeats him despite his injured knee.
At about midday, Kusack accuses Morgannia of HBS of the attempted assassination of the Raven. Sir Bedevere and four other Lions arrest Morgannia. As he is thrown into the jail, Morgannia states, “If I had wanted him dead, he would be!!!” His weapons are surrendered to friend, Sir Connall. Through my advocacy, they have no evidence as the only witness is the victim who previously described to me a man so unlike Morgannia. He is of medium build with long black hair shaved at the sides and carries a pair of scimitars strapped to his back. So he has been framed. Morgannia was one of those who had discovered the Ravens dying body. The Lions may use this to go on a Hart hunt. A Hart is placed next to the Cage to observe that nothing untoward happens to Morgannia.
As I am talking to my client, Kusack comes up and slips the blade of his newly purchased Gladius short sword easily through the bars at Morgannia, who staggers backwards with the sword in him. It is not Was Kusack trying to murder him or give him a sword? The Lions are unable to impede me from healing the unfortunate victim. Sir Bedevere demands that Morgannia surrenders the sword but I tell my client to refuse as I do not want the evidence to disappear. Sir Bedevere accepts this grudgingly. He places Kusack under house arrest and incompetently removes his weapons. I take from Kusack his two daggers secreted on his person and give these to Sir Bedevere.
Outside the jail, three young Drow ladies cut down Kusack to size and terrorised any that would heal him. These later kept captive Malik who they stated was more their size.
Kusack accosts Lady Lysandra in his usual clumsy way. The atmosphere between them is enough to make a sensible man retire. Her patience is admirable. I remove from him a dagger again and this temptation is given to Sir Bedevere.
About half hour later, Kusack returns with yet another dagger in his waistband. This I remove and give this to a person that is above recrimination, Lady Lysandra who thrust it into her boot. Sir Bedevere does not take kindly to me reminding him of his negligence. I then return to my good friends who are singing various ballads. A little later, Lady Ailish requests victuals for Morgannia. There are no guards, so I go to look for Corvus and Jaddvor Erland as things are up. Arrive at the time when Kusack is dropping charges against Morgannia in order to slip away from his own noose he has made for himself. Jaddvor accepts this too readily and is adamant that this is closed. I bring suit against Kusack on various counts.
- 1. Bringing false witness against Morgannia, since he has dropped the charges.
- 2. His attempt upon Malik’s life.
- 3. Carrying weapons whilst under house arrest.
- 4. Attempting to kill Morgannia or is it to pass the sword to him?
- 5. Defaming Lady Karlennons character.
- 6. Insulting Lady Lysandra.
The latter has most effect upon Jaddvor as he is the suitor to Lady Lysandra. By the time I finish my opening statements, Morgannia is brought from his confinement and the rest of the Harts are gathered with the welcome support of the Dragons. The exchanges are heated especially between Kusack and Lady Ailish. Jaddvor makes Kusack promise not to malign the names of Lady Karlennon and principally Lady Lysandra. In return the Harts promise not to ‘verbally play’ with Kusack’s easily injured pride. Jaddvor has not honoured his guests with due respect they deserve. and the serious charges are not taken seriously. The ‘court’ dissolves with both Kusack and Morgannia given their weapons. Steel, who is prepared to defend Kusack in any subsequent trial, has words with me upon various aspects of law that is rather entertaining for me at least.
There is an alarm that strange creatures causing paralysis are reeking havoc in the catacombs below the Coliseum. Both Baroness Zircon and myself volunteer our services to attend to the many unfortunates. The warriors allow us through and neglect to protect our backs. I am paralysed and gorged by the creature. Steel pours a potion from a nearby paralysed man that cures my paralysis and wounds but alas not my stomach. Able to move, I am able to remove the other man’s paralysis and we evacuate the tunnels. On passing through the exit, I am paralysed again and the creature gnaws my leg causing me to fall of him. Kusack almost kills me in order to get at the creature. He then refuses to allow Zircon to heal me until she turns her wrath on him. How short warrior’s memories are? I had healed him only moments earlier.
An hour later, the man who had his ‘cure all wounds’ potion used on me demands recompense. He identifies himself as a member of House Naxos D’Fey. Having no money, I petition Lady Ailish for three silver. I will never allow myself to be in debt to such a House.
An hour later, Lord Fig returns to the singing throng to report that he has just foiled a Kusack attempt to murder ‘the sad old man’, Corvus. Many of the Dragons cannot understand why he bothered and put it down to something about being a Lord General. The Lions haul Kusack into the courtyard, where Baron Lachlan confronts him with the usual exchange of words. Lachlan’s sword arm needs practice. Due to the serious charges against Kusack the duel is postponed as he does not want to cheat the hangman’s noose.
Just after the evening meal, strange sounds are heard emanating from the temple. A necromancer has raised a Wraith with many Skeletal Lords. The necromancer is dead at the hand of his creation. Baron Lachlan interposes himself in front of his adored Lady Ailish. The Dragons and myself are quickly armed with whatever shields and swords adorn the walls. Olaf the Kender is slumped in a chair. Silkin asks me to attend to her. With great difficulty, I carry the lifeless body to relative safety so I can administer to her safely. I leave her to find Lady Ailish. I am struck from behind by three mortal blows and collapse unconscious on the ground. Silkin and Lady Ailish each grasping an arm yank me to safety. All the Harts and the Dragons are alive and unhurt.
Corvus in his clumsy manner instructs an Incantor Wedge to be formed. There is so much confusion. Finally the wedge moves of to the Coliseum Arena. Meanwhile candlestick in one hand and shield in the other, I lead Morgannia, Sir Connall and a few others to the Catacombs. These are traversed about four times and we send word to Corvus that everybody should stand down as the creature has disappeared. He ignores our advice so we return to our drinking cups. The Wraith has taken Kusack with the Dark Sword of Waylund.
At midnight, Silkin ap Palarran retires to the private life of his barony and gives his joint Lord Generalship of the Cymrijan Dragons leaving Lord Magician Arcane in sole charge. The relief he feels is so obvious. Caradog is still alive but none of the Dragons had anything to say good about him.
Kusack returns as a man possessed with his and everybody else’s destruction and uses his Dark Sword of Waylund with great dispatch. He is finally brought to his knees and then seems to crumble to dust. As the Philipe de Viper Blanc, Master of the Roles and Dean of York takes the Sword, he convulses on the floor and foams at the mouth. Through strength of will, he places the evil sword in the corner of the Hall and puts a line of warding around it. With that he collapsed as if dead to the world. Corvus is taken ill with others that had been wounded by Kusack’s sword. Observing, such an orgy of panicked incantors use up their power up before they think, I wish never to see again. The only man that concerns me is Marot of the Dragons. Both Ailish and I administer to him as best we can. Malik generously donates his potion that ‘cures all disease and poison’ worth over two gold. After administering another cure all poison, Marot revives.
Our host, Jaddvor Erland, came into our sleeping area to ask for assistance of Lady Ailish and Lady Lysandra to remove the top knot that had been tied when someone had slipped him a sleeping draught.
Lady Roxanne arrives and Corvus fusses over her. She and not Corvus holds court.
Some strange contagion that causes arguments amongst friends. The Lions blunder around to solve the problems. The instigator of the contagion is caught and is brought into the long hall. He is thrown to the ground. Lady Roxanne with such a evil gleam instructs that one of the firesticks be given to her. The Raven offers his firestick with the bayonet fixed but she refuses by saying, “I cannot bear edged weapons. My pact with the Swords of Waylund forbid it.” Does she not realise that she is no longer their guardian? Using Sir Bedevere’s firestick, she beats the lower regions of the victim until the screams fill the Coliseum. Sir Bedevere asks, “Shall I remove his genitals my Lady.” She replies, “Of course but they cannot be worth much now.” He hands her the victims prize and joy that he so expertly removes. She revels with blood tumbling down onto the floor and weighs them in each hand. This spectacle is watched with amazement by all the Dragons and most of the Harts.
A strange monk selling the ‘Holy Relics of Kusack’ arrives at our singing throng. Lady Lysandra seems to have cornered the market.
From the tavern anti-room comes a noise that disturbs one sole. A demon is sighted and then dissolves in yellow shimmering light and voice is heard that says, “It is my body and I require its return.” A creature like yet unlike Kusack emerges from the room screaming, “Harts face me, you cowards and spawn of the devil.” It is soon discovered by some brave Dragons that only Harts can harm him. Connall and Lady Ailish O’Donovan lead the attempt to drive him back into the Temple where Morgannia waits with the enchanted club that cannot leave this place. Kusack is swarmed by Harts and collapses on the ground. It is not certain that his head was removed before he crumbled into dust. It is lovely to see the Lady in such good spirit. So triumphant.
The card school is lead by Vixen Roxanne and she matches her guile with Baron Malik. At this, I leave as I do not wish to see any more slaughter.