Sir Ector's Holding.   Posted by Swimdoll.Group: 0
 GM, 12 posts
 a male ministrel
Tue 27 Jul 2004
at 23:49
Sir Ector's Holding
The first stage of the game will begin here, shortly after Arthur is crowned there is a tournament held by his former guardian, Sir Ector.

  I'm giving you these details just so you have some idea of background to plan. :)
 GM, 19 posts
 A DM for the first time,
 bear with me!
Fri 30 Jul 2004
at 22:03
Sir Ector's Holding Beginning
I will be putting a general introduction post here and then giving each of you your own threads to answer to.
 GM, 20 posts
 A DM for the first time,
 bear with me!
Fri 30 Jul 2004
at 22:10
Re: Sir Ector's Holding Beginning
  It was a glorious day at Sir Ector's holding. Surrogate, and very proud, father to the newly crowned king, he was the host of the first great tournament since the coronation only weeks before. It was a prestigious honour to host this gala for the king and his new bride, Guinevere. He was determined that not a guest would be disappointed.

    As Robins, sparrows, and swallows flitted and twirted about overhead, despite the presence of the hooded falcons on the man-made perches below, long rows of tents had been erected on the Wold outside Ector's castle. Many were knights, over 100 standards fluttered outside the multi-coloured tents were squires tended equipment while their masters and occasionally, ladies, socialized at the castle and grounds. Others were merchants, with so many flocking to Ector's holding, their were people to feed and goods to sell. The air was constantly filled with the smells of cooking fires where everything from the simplest gruel to the finest pheasant could be had for a price. Ale tents sprung up where raucous laughter could be heard, and games of chance could be played. Minstrels sang and fools delighted in open areas where coins and occasional good-natured cat-calls were thrown in their direction.

    The land was at peace. After years of civil war between Celt and Saxon, the invaders had been pushed back, and the people that made the island their home, both Celt and Saxon were no longer living under terror that existed in the dark times before. The future promised hope and the mood of the place reflected that from the most common farmer to the greatest lords and kings that were in attendance.

   Sir Ector himself was a busy man, entertaining the many guests that entertained into his castle so that all would feel welcome and receiving regular reports from his seneschal as to the preparations for Arthur's arrival some time later in the afternoon. He wanted all to be perfect for the new king and it was shaping out to be just that. The tilt yard had been transformed from simple training ground to a List that could be the finest in the world, fit for a king. Though Arthur would not joust, if he did, he would not be disappointed in the setting. Bunting was draped from well-constructed baldachins, with rows of bleachers stretching beyond that for the peers and lesser nobles. The opposite side of the lists were set aside for Arthur's many subjects who would be in attendance to either see the young man raised at Ector's and who was now king, or for many to catch a glimpse of the fabled hero for the first time. There were other contests as well, set up for many warriors who made up the ranks of Arthur's armies, including archery, wrestling, fencing, and cudgels.
This day was special for others as well. Today a few young squires would receive their spurs. All of them had fought in the wars alongside their knights. Their bravery proven many times over. Among them was a young man named Sir Pedivere. Although, as one of Sir Ector's squires he had been fortunate enough to have met Arthur before, today he would be knighted by him and before his liege, Ector.

    For days Pedivere had spent in prayer and fasting, considering the responsibility he was about to undertake. Being knight, as Ector had told him many times, was simply more than fighting. It was about being just and noble, holding a position of responsibility to God and king, fellow knight and common man, one and all. It was a burden that he willingly undertook and filled him with excitement to receive his family's crest and wear them in battle. His space had been reserved in the lists for tomorrow as at the end of this day, he would be a knight.

     When in the afternoon a flourish of coronets announced the arrival of Arthur, he did not rush out to join the throngs to greet the king. These were the last hours of meditation on the road ahead of him. It was difficult to concentrate, knowing that the goal was now within reach, but the discipline of years of training held him in place as knelt at the tiny alter in the tent his father had provided him.
The priest came for Pedivere late in the afternoon, announcing with a pleasant smile that it was now time. Pedivere was led out, dressed in a white robe with 4 other squires to Sir Ector's Chapel. The path along the way was lined with well-wishers and knights with whom all of them had served. It was gratifying and difficult to maintain their solemn composure in the face of the ground swell of emotion. He saw his old friend Calis among the throng, one of the last faces before the chapel itself, it seemed his friend had staked out a place hours before and had not budged in an effort to see his friend as far as he could before the chapel's interior was closed to him.
With their swords hanging about their necks in the scabbards that they would soon wear, the 5 proceeded inside the chapel Incense hung in the air, the light of the sun glittered through the few stain-glassed windows and candles lit up the dim. Among the benches in the sanctuary were relatives and closest comrades of the squires, each clutching items that had been blessed and would soon make up the vestments. Pedivere saw from the corner of his eye his parents, his lady Eleanor, and strangely, a royal cousin whom he had not seen in years.
At the alter stood the king, smiling broadly, this was one of his most pleasant tasks, and he enjoyed rewarding the bravery of his followers. All of the 5 young men before him richly deserved it. Beside Arthur, Ector, host and liege to these 5, he too looked on proudly, both at the young men who would be knights, and at the young man who was both son and king to him. Finally the bishop stood by in attendance, ready to bless these five in their new lives.

Sir Ector stood at the alter and spoke eloquently a poem to the squires:

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven ,

Blossomed the lovely stars,

Guardians of the people,

Guardians of the land,

Lost is he who has not honour,

Lost is he who has not love,

Only when one is pure of heart,

True of soul and sound of body,

May he count himself among us,

We the Knights of The Round Table.

    The ceremony was proud one, each squire in turn was questioned by the king about their service, and their intentions. The king, his face solemn, charged them their oaths of chivalry. One by one he spoke their duties.

"Never do outrage nor murder.

 Always flee treason and fight for Britain, even unto to death.

 When called upon, defend the rights of the weak with all one's strength

 By no means be cruel but give mercy unto him who asks for mercy

 Always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succour

 Never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows

Do not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods or lay down one's arms in a just cause.

Defend the rights of the weak with all one's might.

Seek wonders, but none before honour or break faith for any reason.

Be hospitable to anyone according to his ability.

Whether in honour or disgrace, to make a report with the greatest fidelity to truth to those who keep the annals"

   With that, the king smiled at the 5 young men before him, he nodded, looking each of them in the eye before stepping back and motioning for the companions of the squires to step forward. Sir Pedivere's cousin Manfred came forward, holding the squire's breastplate and greaves, he smiled as he helped snapped and strap the armour in place onto the knight's body before stepping back. Next, his paramour, Lady Eleanor, a long time love, knelt by his feet, attaching his spurs with some difficulty born of unfamiliarity with the things. Finally, his parents, proud of their son's accomplishment draped a mantle over him, emblazoned with the family crest, a rearing unicorn on a green field. With that, he knelt at the alter again as his sword was taken from his neck and given to the bishop. It was laid on the alter and blessed along with the other swords of the either squires.

   With the soft ring a brilliant light filled the chapel, it was a glittering light, like the sun shining off a rippling pond. It was Excalibur, the king's famed sword, unite of the land and protector of its peace. The king moved from squire to squire touching the blade from shoulder, to shoulder, to shoulder, upon reaching Pedivere, the words echoed in his ears, the words he had heard uttered at other knighting, the words he had heard in his dreams. "In the name of God, St. Michael, and St. George I make you a knight with the right to bear arms and power to meet justice." The king smiled down upon his as Ector stepped forward with Pedivere's blade, handing it to him. He clutched it before him like a cross, holding it reverently until the ceremony was completed.
Exiting the Chapel to a flourish of coronets and loud cheers, the party, the King, the Bishop, Sir Ector, the party of new knights, and their companions made way to Ector's great hall for an awaiting feast and the company of the knights of the Round Table.

   They were all there, Launcelot and Bors, Percivale, Gwaine and Kay, and so many other heroes. Her royal majesty Guinevere greeted each of the new knights as they walked and reached the gauntlet of well wishers of knights. The queens' beauty blessed all of them, her kind words of congratulations, made hearts raise in triumph. She truly was the most beautiful woman in the realm.
A sumptuous feast followed the reception. The wine and mead flowed freely and the new knights were made to feel as welcome as anyone possibly could. They were now part of a brotherhood of arms, though not members of the Round Table itself, they were nonetheless, knights. Not only were knights present but many princes and courtiers as well, the power elites of Britain and representatives of much of the known world were in attendance, it was a heady thing to experience. Sir Pedivere, with Eleanor, adoringly at his side, took it all in savouring it. The food was sumptuious, the musicians, including his long time friend Calis, were spectacular, and atmosphere was one of wonder and delight, laughter was heard throughout.

   During the meal, comely blonde woman wearing a purple kirtle and wearing a chain of office appeared at the hall's door. Ector's seneschal Quinton accompanied her. The most curious thing about her trappings was the chain of office, she was no merely lady of court, there was something officious about her.

    The pair deftly made their way among the assemblage to the Norwegian Prince, Lot. After a curtseying to the man, she leans in to speak in his ear, meanwhile Quinton scurried off to the head table and spoke in a similarly discrete manner to Sir Kay, Arthur's Seneschal. The expressions of both Kay and Lot soured, and they rose from their places to leave for several moments with Quinton and the lady. Many moments passed and the party continued virtually without notice of anyone else. In time, Quinton reappeared first, then Sir Kay, the other two remained away from the hall.

   Sir Kay spoke first with Merlin, then with Arthur. They remained, grimacing briefly at whatever news Kay bore, but returning to masks of merriment for the benefit of the celebration. Without any means of learning more about the concerns of Norway, Pedivere turned back to his lady and Manfred to the lady of court whom he was keeping in stitches with his charm and wit and all was forgotten at the bottom of a cup of mead.