My wife, Lady Courtney, asked to throw a party for the other knight's ladies, and I agreed to foot the bill for a dinner for unmarried knights and maids. The most eligible bachelors were Sir Basil Wallingford, Sir Hervis the Rebel, Sir Galligantis, and Sir Travar (son of Brian the Giant). The most noteworthy woman was Lady Jenna. The most eligible ladies were the daughters of Giles, Luceers, the daughter of Bernier, and the daughter of the eldest Wallingford.
The men jousters while the women talked. Sir Gavin jousted with Sir Travar, and Travar won by a broken lance. Then Gavin and I jousted and I won. Sir Giles jousted with Sir Hervis and won. I jousted with Basil and lost. Basil jousted with Galligantis, and Galligantis won. Travar and Giles jousted, and Giles won. Giles and Galligantis jousted for the right to dance first with Maid Megan, and Giles won.
The rest of us got drunk. We had a feast and then a dance. Sir Senorix stayed drunk the whole time, telling his story of dancing himself into the Feywild. Giles and Megan got along well. Later Wallingford returned with mushrooms and ordered Senorix to dance, and Senorix danced like a fool.
The next morning, we heard Jenna telling the women that she heard Sir Ulfius telling Ygraine that she was a traitor and Ygraine and Merlin told him that Arthur was the child of Uther.
The women told us that they wanted us to undertake a quest to see who was the manliest. Courtney put forth a quest to climb Mt Gorgon and get a piece of witches glass. Vivian said we should defeat the knight at St. Carolyn's bridge. Jenna said chastity is the best virtue, and so we should spend the night at the abbey of St. Whitemore. Vythalin said that love is most important and we would test that when we return.
We rode to the mountain. Gavin climbed to the top and got a number of black rocks. He gave me one, and Senorix climbed up and got his own. We then went to a bridge and fought a disguised Wallingford, and Senorix and I hit him. Then we headed to the abbey. Gavin and I barred the doors to our rooms and Senorix resisted temptation, but Giles gave his nun a kiss.
We rode back to the women. Gavin brought his woodland wife some doves on a stick. Senorix grovelled to his wife. Giles met with Megan and tried to romance her, but failed. Senorix won the overall quest and proved that the married men are more manly than the unmarried men.
A messenger from Robert arrived, announcing that Arthur had declared this a year of peace in celebration of the victory over the kings of the north, and that Arthur would marry Maid Guinevere of Camillard. We would be expected to bring gifts to Arthur and could ask for one in return.
I convinced Senorix and Giles to help me take back an abbey overrun with Saxons. We took it and headed to the marriage.
King Leodegrance gifted Arthur with a massive round table, able to seat 150 knights. Senorix gave Arthur the robe of Sir Ban and asked for the head of Cerdic. I gave Arthur the Abbey, and in return he gave me right to first charge next year. Giles gave him the axe of Aethelswith, and asked for the reinstatement of Giles the Elder's honor. Arthur granted the request and told the court that Elder Giles may go free and quest until he has redeemed himself. At the end, a peasant brought his strong son and asked Arthur to knight his son, who is the illegitimate son of Pellinore. The boy was named as Sir Tor, and was asked to sit at the high table. We noticed that Sir Gawain and his squire, Gareth, were angry at this, and complained that they would kill Tor for Pellinore's slaying of their father.
Gavin and Basil returned, and Basil returned with Sir Merl. Basil asked for the title of Oxford to be formally turned over to their family.
We saw Guinevere, and I was smitten by her. A white hart ran into the room, followed by a white hound, then 60 black hounds also ran in, following the white hound. Senorix and I were knocked to the ground by the rush of dogs. The white dog bit the hart, which escaped, and landed on the lap of a man who stood and carried the dog out. Then a woman walked in asking for her dog back before a black knight rode in and carried her off. Merlin said that we should send knights on a quest to puzzle out these mysteries. He suggested sending Gawain to find the hart and Pellinore to find and slay the knight to rescue the lady, and Senorix to find the knight and the dog, and get the dog, or slay the knight.
There was a tourney, with Logres side versus the rest.
Senorix quested for the dogs and ran into a dwarf guarding a path on behalf of Sir Pedapass and Sir Fellott who refused to let him pass. Senorix asked to speak with the dwarf's masters, and the knight told him that he had sworn an oath to Sir Abellas, the dog knight, to not allow any to pass. Sir Fellott and Senorix fought. Senorix won and then Sir Pedapass attacked him. Senorix beat him as well. The dwarf offered to join Senorix. He accepted Grond as his page, and ordered the knights to report to Arthur.
Senorix found a camp of four tents, and the white dog sat in the middle of the camp. A woman named Valerie came out, and called for the dog. She told Senorix that it was her dog, and things would go badly if he took her dog. He stayed the night and in the morning, she beseeched him to leave the dog lest violence befall him. But he took the dog. The next day, a terrible storms came upon him.
In the tourney over the land, Merl stumbled upon some Saxon spies, and killed them.
Giles came across a woman who told him that a lion had ravaged their livestock. He looked for it and it tried to eat him, but he was rescued by Sir Narow--the son of Rhynes the Giant.
I found Sir Lamarac and challenged him, and he defeated me, and I was taken captive.
Senorix camped for the night and Sir Abellas found him and ordered him to give back the dog or fight. They fought with lances and then hand weapons, and Senorix defeated him and Abellas yielded his claim on the dog. Senorix agreed to let Abellas go, and then a woman came out and begged for Senorix to kill Abellas for his crimes against her and her sister. But Senorix was unmoved and took Abellas and the lady back to Camelot.
At court, there was a feast in celebration of the winners of the tourney. Sir Ablemor rode in carrying a dead woman across his saddle. He said that the knight (Gawain) who chased the hart killed the hart, which was Ablemor's pet. Gawain was going to slay Ablemor when his lady-love threw herself in the way, and Gawain killed her. A bit later Gawain returned and relates the same story, but said that he was returning to Camelot with the hart when he was assaulted by Ablemor's soldiers and they were going to kill him when four maidens came out and begged for his life and shamed him for not heeding Ablemor's woman.
Then Senorix returned with his entourage and related his story. Arthur had Alemor executed.
That night, Pellinore returned, riding next to a woman. He told his story--he found a young girl with her dead lover who had been killed by a lion. But Pellinore left without helping her and completed his quest. When he returned to the young lady, she had been killed by a lion. At this point, Merlin spoke up and said that the young lady was Pellinore's daughter, and that great doom would come upon him. At this point, Guinevere whispered into Arthur's ear, and he stood up and said that we are supposed to be the example of true knighthood to the world, obedient to our king and dedicated to the protection of women. Our three masters should be God, our king, and our women.
Some names are already on the round table. Other knights are also called to the table, including Baldulf, Gawain, and Merl. 37 knights fill the seats, leaving 113 seats open.
Sir Gawain came to Merl and asked him if he knows of Castle Wakely--a castle in northern Silchester. The last Wakely died in the reign of Vortigern, and the castle has fallen into disrepair. Arthur wanted the valley and castle to be restored. Merl would be the baron of this land. There are parcels for five manors there that should be parceled out to other knights. Arthur was willing to give Merl three years to get it running again. He would take 100 peasants with him and 50 men at arms.