The battle of Lincoln
Glory beyond measure
Gather round and hear the tale of the men of Salisbury and the battle of Lincoln, where two kings were laid low!
The summons to battle came early this year. Before the knights of Salisbury had even set forth to Sarum, the heralds arrived with urgent orders – come to Earl Rodderick, and bring half your forces, with provisions for 40 days. Our squadron of knights assembled, though missing Sir Tomas who had strangely failed to answer the call to battle. Sir Brychan was in command, and there was little opportunity for the party to deviate from their set course, as a punishing speed was set on the way to Lincoln. Knowing little more than the king had summoned them north, rumours abounded as to the purpose of summons; and in the minds of all was the vast fleet of Saxons that had landed last year.
Encamped north of the city, and waiting for news and orders, the party by and large disported themselves in a sedate manner, apart from sir Cynwrig and Sir Gerin of course. In their usual fashion they hunted out long lost friends only to make new ones; this time drinking with new allies from Esacavalon and Estragales, who had joined Uthers Army as fulfilment of the pact between brother kingdom. The next day came far too soon as the shout arms arrived before the sun.
Octta and Eossa were at the borders of Lincoln, and Uthers forces must hold the line between Glentham to the east, and Heswell Cliffs to the west. The sun was barely above the horizon when the two forces met. Duke Gorlois was on the left, Ulfius on the right, Prince Madoc leading the central force and the king himself commanding the reserve. Salisbury were placed in high honour in the centre group, commanded directly by the Earl.
As the sun arose, the Saxon forces came into view. Eossa and Octta on the plains, and a fearsome looking group of Fennrisget on the hills opposite Ulfius. Never before had the men of Salisbury seen such an array of enemy forces, with nearly 10,000 men arrayed on both sides of the conflict. This was to be a clash the likes of which the grandfathers talked of when remembering the times of Ambriosius and the traitor Vortigern!
The Saxon menace gave voice to a strange booming song of praise to their dark God Wotan, as two enormous ravens could be clearly seen wheeling above the Saxons forces like a benediction. The armies of Uther stood firm, but quailed at this omen, and all may have been lost but for a miracle!
A golden eagle, falling like a thunderbolt, and rending the two ravens asunder, landed between the two armies to devour the Ravens of Wotan. The armies of Uther took heart; for weather it was the Christian deity, Jupirter or the Moriggan herself, there was only one way to interpret this omen!
With a cry of “Uther and Logres” the young Prince Maddoc surged forward. Attempting to circle round behind the Saxon centre; the knights of Salisbury found themselves intercepted by the hideously twisted forms of Wyrding Giants – once men, but now distorted monstrosities swinging trees as weapons! The lances fell amongst the Wyrd-men and wrought a bloody path, but not without loss. Sir Erris battled through but was sorely wounded, as was Sir Brychan. Realising his troop leader was cut off and surrounded by five of the horrific Wyrdings, Sir Alain disregarded the orders of Sir Hearedoc and charged back towards his wounded friends. Cutting to his left and right he distracted the enemy enough for the others to get free but was quickly overwhelmed himself. Too wounded to return the favour, Sir Brychan had no choice but to retreat as hastily as his wounds would allow him and leave his companion, but never would this debt be forgotten.
For the rest of the long day Hearedoc, Saravinus, Gerin and Cynwrig fought the Saxons. Heothgonacht and Coerls were easily overthrown and sent to the other realm. A red swathe was cut by Sir Hearedoc, and Sir Savavinus was a fearsome butcher on the field of battle.
Sir Gerin, ably protected by Sir Cynwrig, was able to focus on the battle field as though it were board game at court. He caught the eye of many a Lord as he ran rings around the enemy commanders, capturing them, and laying low their greatest plans. But even his genius failed him in the end, and he was forced to hand the command to Cynwrig as his squire led him from the field to have his wounds treated.
As the afternoon wore on, the weary combatants rallied what troops they could, and surged forward once more. Then the shout spread across from the left flank, and was taken up by every true man of Logres – Gorlois! Gorlois has Captured Eossa!
Seizing the opportunity, Sir Hearedoc ordered his battered forces forward, surging though the Fennrisget berserkers covering King Octtas retreat. Stirrup to stirrup they battled Octtas Kings guard, and quickly felled them. As Saravinus rode past and snatched the last of his weapons from Octtas grasp – a hand axe of curious design and workmanship – Hearedoc and Cynwrig wrestled the Saxon King to the ground. Finding himself defenseless the King of the Saxons had no choice but to surrender, and the day belonged to Uther! Hardly able to believe their luck, the three companions clasped hands together over the bound king at their feet. Now this would be a story to tell their children in the years to come!
The Saxons forces fled back to their ship, as Uther mopped up the remaining defenders. Eomund (commander of the Fenrisget) fought a valiant rear guard action, and negotiated the retreat of their remaining forces off the islands of Britain. Sir Alain was found amongst the prisoners, much to the relief of all, not least Sir Alain himself.
Richly rewarded by the king and Merlin, the group handed over most of their prisoners, and distributed the ransom in the usual fashion. Those whose injuries were not too severe attended the celebratory feast in Lincoln castle. Perhaps the food was magnificent, perhaps the entertainment memorable and the tales told epic, but only two things stay within the minds of those present at the feasting that day: The overpowering beauty of Duchess Ygraine, and the way every man there, from the king down, fought hard to keep their white hot emotions in check as they gazed upon the perfection of her face and form.
After the feasting our squadron linger at Lincoln until their companions had healed. Well pleased fulfillment of their obligations this year, once recovered they returned home to their families. Though the welcolme is warm for most that winter, Sir Brychan Eurion finds his house in disarray