Year 485, The Battle of Mearcred Creek
Sir Moris, Sir Gerin, Sir Guy, Sir Harvis, Sir Selivant
The winter was a pleasant time for all involved. The harvest was ripe and the bounty was good. Many of the knights decided to open their hands in marriage to all suitors. Many found wives. The newly budded Selivant did not take a wife, as would be his decision for many years. He did not desire to care for a family he could not support.
While Earl Roderick may be their liege lord, their loyalty belongs to the king of Logres, King Uther Pendragon. He allows all knights to borrow the lands for their own well-being, and in the process he allows prosperity. Only 40-days of military service is required under the king’s request. Since land has been infected with Saxons during the times of Vortigern, the land has been ripe for war.
In this case, during the spring months, the knights were called to muster to join Uther’s army. Earl Roderick called his forces forth, dividing them as was needed. With the pressing matters of war, Earl Roderick knighted a new man, Sir Guy the Dark. He placed the new knights under Sir Ameg of Tilshead’s command. Sir Ameg, already a banneret knight, swelled his force to that of six knights.
Earl Roderick’s personal force marched east to the border of Sussex and Hampshire, close to the city of Chichester. Among army was a great host. The knights even had a chance to spot Sir Madoc, the bastard son of King Uther from a distance. Even for it’s size, there was a foul scent of disloyalty. Many lords did not send an army. Most prominent was missing was the Duke of Cornwall’s forces.
The host was still enough to persuade the attack to continue. His plan was rather simple: attack the borders of Sussex and kill as many Saxons as possible. Logres had better equipment, better horses (or in most cases, having horses) and the king was confident in his victory. The spirit of the battle was fierce, and it was clear that Uther desired to bring the Saxon invading forces to their knees.
The enemy, King Ælle, had amassed a counter force. The king of south Saxons was not able to muster a force large enough to compete, but he continued to field his troops. The foul Saxons have no concept of honor or prudence!
The two armies met on the border and clashed on a small creek, Mearcred. The two forces clashed, the Salisbury knights huddling close for a powerful charge. After successful initial charge, the banneret allowed the knights to find their glory as they wish. Many were able to kill a few Saxons, but with the exception of one knight, Sir Gerin.
Sir Gerin was looking for an enemy with the greatest glory. He fought deeply in the armies ranks searching for a noble to kill, and perhaps ransom. In the distance, he noticed a man who at least seven-foot tall. He knew if he would kill the beast, he would gain great notoriety in the eyes of Earl. He charged. The giant took a single swing of his weapon, a small tree, a dismounted the knight. He than continued to beat him into the ground until he no longer moved.
The fighting lasted for more than two hours, and in the end, King Uther won the day. King Ælle routed his forces deeper in Sussex. All involved knew this was a crippling blow to the south Saxons, but if they would press, they would have to deal with a much larger force.
All knights returned home with glory and tales for the women folk. Gerin, an ugly man to begin with, left with more scars.
The celebration continued into the year, so a decisive victory from the Saxons came with total surprise. Another kingdom of Saxons, one lead by King Aethelswith sailed north with many warriors reinforced by another Saxon King, Hengest. They landed on near Maldon. The duke of region, Lucius, musters an army south of Colchester. He is defeated, and forced to retreat back to castle of Colchester. British men and women are enslaved by the hundreds, and thralled into working as a Saxon labor force.
The sad news did not dishearten the knights of Salisbury. Maldon and Colchester was so far away, and they were here safe in Salisbury. This other upstart kingdom would suffer the same fate as Sussex from the hands of Uther, it was only a matter of time.