The Gathering of 1093 AF

Sir Huw de Grognard
These are the observations of Sir Huw de Grognard who joined the Duke of Gloucester’s service. The Gathering host was Lord Feohtan of the Gryphons between 27th and 30th August. The Tarantulas were recognised as a new faction. After they split away from the Vipers.
Karlennon is not a murderer
On Saturday, the wife of the late Elias Karlennon of Eaton who had hosted the previous year’s Gathering, went on trial at the Ritual of Truth presided over by Floris Ilias. She was exonerated of the murder of Alam Harlis, the Indigo Mage and so could inherit the lands of Eaton. The murder had been perpetrated by a doppleganger.
Duel for Eaton
As the Ritual came to an end, Lady Karlennon was challenged by Lady Jessica. She said, “My son, Jaspar, was fathered by your late husband Elias and is the rightful heir to the lands of Eaton.” She demanded the trial by combat between her son, Jaspar and Lady Karlennon’s champion. Lady Karlennon chose Sir Bartholomew of the Dark Sun. This fight to the death was held in the duelling circle. Sir Bartholomew had the upper hand in the duel until Jessica used her magical powers to distract the valiant knight and Jaspar chopped him up with his great axe. Due to Jessica’s unfair intervention, Jaspar swore to Lady Karlennon and renounced any claim he had to the lands of Eaton. Lord Corvus banished Lady Jessica from the lands of Albion.
Heir of the lands of Eaton
On Sunday, all the factions gathered in the market place to listen to the pronouncements of Floris Ilias. He asked whether the Lord Generals would accept Lady Karlennon as the Keeper of Eaton. At about this moment Lady Karlennon arrived with a babe in her arms and stated that this was her son by her husband. This surprised the venerable Floris. All the Lord Generals accepted Elias, Jr. as the heir to Eaton with Lady Karlennon as regent until he should come of age. Then Brand appeared and asked the Lord Generals to choose which to support him or as he put it the inept Floris Ilias. The Bears, Dragons, Tarantulas and the Vipers chose Brand. The Gryphons, Lions, Unicorns and Wolves chose Floris Ilias.
Council of War
At about 8 AM on Monday morning, I walked the forthcoming battle with Lord Corvus of the Lions, Lord Wolf of the Wolves, Lord Feohtan of the Gryphons and Lord Cynewulf of the Unicorns. Corvus was elected battle commander. There was much discussion of how we might defeat the new Dragon tactic of the flying wedge. Lord Cynewulf had personally seen them practice this. They displayed an air of confidence to their troops that belied their doubts. I assisted in the mapping of the field but was dismissed when the planning started. The plan of the battle was rather uninspiring and negative. However, with many green troops what more could be expected? The plan seemed to be merely to stand on the hill in line and hope that the Celts would charge headlong and break on our shieldwalls.
At about 10 AM the Lions were presented with the Swords of Wayland by Floris Ilias. Lord Corvus asked for brave knights to wield them in the coming battle. He chose the five Knights of the Dark Sun and Kussack (the Lions’ Champion who had the previous year tried to kill him). This left one sword. He asked Duke Desmond to recommend a fearless knight. Sir Manwyddon of the Hunters was chosen by him.
At midday, the factions were deployed from right to left as follows:
The Gryphons led by Lord General Feohtan and the mercenary unit Odyssey was drawn up in at least four ranks;

The Wolves was drawn up in three ranks commanded by Lord General Wolf;The Lions including the Hunters and Wolverines were formed barely two deep. These were instructed to hold the ground between the Wolves and Unicorns. Too few to cover the 100 yards gap.The Unicorns were formed up at least six deep on the extreme left.Lord Corvus showed his confidence in his countrymen by placing his flag behind Odyssey, mercenaries in the pay of Lord Feohtan. The Mongols of the Gryphons faction were held in reserve behind his position. The Anree Slayers of the Lions lined up beside the Dragons on the opposite side of the battlefield.
The Scum and the Pizzens were lightly armed troops who acted with lion-heartiness supported the Knights wielding the Seven Swords of Wayland in their pursuit of the weird creatures conjured by the Celts and Tarantulas. I collected as many men as I could to the Hunters’ Banner. However, there remained a significantly sized guard around Corvus that meant that the Lions were much denuded of troops. We were the weakest link in the army.
Carrying the Hunters’ standard, I accompanied Lady Ailish O’Donovon and Baron Tarragon with the few Hunters and the Wolverines we were left with. These formed the only cohesive unit within the Lions Faction. This was easily broken by the Celtic charge. These soon reformed and fought with distinction in the left-centre of the army. The skirmishers were pushed back onto the close order behind them and were only allowed through only with great difficulty.
On dropping of the Lions Standard twice, Lord Corvus signalled the Anree Slayers to charge the Celt’s flank who was still coming onto the battlefield. The brunt of the fighting was undertaken by the Wolves and the Gryphons behind whom Lord Corvus stationed his flag on a knoll. Upon the death of Lord Feohtan, Odyssey withdrew from the line. Only after frantic negotiations from Lord Corvus did they rejoin the fight.
The battle won Lord Corvus was almost dragged from the field, so elated was he with his victory. He did not seem to remember the attempt on his life in the previous year. Fortune had certainly been good to us. We had been more united in defeat than the Celts had been in victory. The majority of the Tarantulas and the Vipers were unable to take the field against us – if they had done the day would certainly have been lost.