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Dragons of Britain

The

THE JOURNAL OF GAMING IN ARTHURS BRITAIN

The Maidens Oath

A Pendragon adventure to right a grave injustice


Scholars of the Cycle: Wace, Bard of Jersey
Good Times, Bad Times: Age of Arthur Intrigue
Running the Great Pendragon Campaign
Fiction: Where faeries keep their treasures
Whispers Around The Realm

Spring 2013

STYGIAN FOX

Then all the councillors, together with that proud tyrant,


were so blinded, that, as a protection to their country,
they sealed its doom by inviting in among them (like
wolves into the sheep-fold), the fierce and impious
Saxons, a race hateful both to God and men, to repel
the invasions of the northern nation
- Gildas Sapiens, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae XXIII

Contents
2
3
4

The Tragedy of Britain

The Maidens Oath


A Pendragon Adventure
by Dave Elrick

17
24


28

Contents
Noble Edicts
Editorial by Steff Worthington

Planning & Running the GPC


A look at the Great Pendragon
Campaign by David Larkins
Bibliophilia: Essential Reads
An article on essential Arthurian
books by Christopher Payne
No More Bad Black Knights
An NPC title table
by Chris Payne & Lucy Rhodes

32

Words, words, words.


Article by Steff. Worthington

36

Good Times, Bad Times


An Age of Arthur scenario by
Paul Mitchener

47

Whispers Around The Realm


Plot nuggets and ideas

49

The Otherworld
Music for Arthurian games by
Steff Worthington

50

Wace, the Bard of Jersey


Article by Steff. Worthington

52

Where Faeries Keep Their Treasures


A fairy tale by Steff. Worthington

62

Gratitudes & Complimentaries


Links to our contributors

Writers

Steff. J Worthington,
Dave Elrick, David Larkins,
Christopher Payne, Lucy Rhodes, &
Paul Mitchener.

Artists

Steff. J Worthington, Wyldraven,


Chonastock, needanewname,
Michael Phillippi, Oliver Diaz,
Elandria, Ashensorrow,
Rita Marifoldi, Brian Carey,
Luminareh, Eirian Stock, Melissa
Salvatore, AnaRasha stock, Ecathe,
Dorian, Arthur Rackham.
This issue is dedicated to Angelina,
Josh, and all who believe, or wish
to believe, in the wonderous.
Cover art:
Rainy Landscape by Wyld Raven
http://wyldraven.deviantart.com/

Direction & Editing


Steff. J. Worthington

Copyright
Dragons of Britain is a magazine dedicated to the
world of Arthurian gaming & RPGs King Arthur:
Pendragon is copyright 2013 Greg Stafford &
Nocturnal Media. Age of Arthur is copyright 2013
Wordplay Games. This free fan based magazine is
not for sale and is a work of fiction. No similarities
to real world people (still living or sleeping
underneath a hill) or events are intended.

Submissions & Contact

steffworthington@hotmail.com
We are eager for submissions and this magazine
can only continue with your help. Please e-mail
your submission idea to the address above.

Noble Edicts
Whats in a tale?
Where do we draw the line between
the fantastic and reality? Is a story
so much more enjoyable for having
the unrealistic elements inserted in it
than dealing with purely the facts?
We as grown adults tend to restrict
ourselves to the facts but children
need more nourishing fare.
Our fairy stories seem to build on a
natural sense of curiosity and wonder within all of us and games that
deal with a nearby, but distinctly
seperate, realm such as Call of
Cthulhu: Dreamlands, Age of Arthur,
Pendragon, and Changeling: The
Lost, keep these themes running in
our hobby time.
Yet not all fairy stories are for children. We need not look just at the
brothers Grimm for tales that are, to
say the least, a little unpleasant to
modern parents sensibilities.
In some dark tales, the wolf eats
grandma. In other older tales its
much worse. Celtic fairy tales have
some of that darkness too. A sense
that a tale isnt just entertainment
but also to teach about the sad fact
that life can be dangerous for innocent folk and its best to stick to the
path and not to wander. To do as
your parent tells you because its for
the good of your health.

As the child of publicans I gained a


habit of seeing strangers as proxyaunts and uncles and regulars in the
pub were some kind of strange familial off-shoot that always seemed to
be visiting our house. Yet even here,
I was warned not to speak to those I
didnt know. Not so much in the style
of a fairy tale because, you know,
that would have been weird.
Although one of our neighbours
when we lived at The Raven in Fflint
did seem particularly Troll like.
Fairy tales these days seem to be
subtle ways of teaching us how to
combat adversity, bullying, and
hopelessness. Nothing wrong with
that but there seems to be very little actual danger in them, nor much
wonder. Stories with actual fairies in
them seem to be thin on the ground
or are the sanitised and manufactured intellectual property of Disney
(dont even get me started on The
Sword In The Stone).
But fear not, there are still intrepid
youngsters that brave the perils of
a good old fashioned mythical yarn
with a sword, a bag full of dreams,
and a full heart. I dedicate this issue
to you.
For
Angelina
&
Josh
Both brave hearted & true.

The

Maidens
Oath
A Pendragon adventure by David Elrick
during the Period of Unification

Scenario Travel
Conditions
This scenario is ideally
played at Easter and as
such player knights may
find that their biggest
impediment to completing their journey is the
weather. Its likely there
will be frequent and
demoralising rain during
this time, especially in
good farming land like the
vale of Gloucester.
GMs should feel free
to improvise the effects
this sometimes muddy
and sodden ground or
rainbursts will have on
travel times and, rarely,
on horsed combat skills.
The reasoning here is
not to hinder the players but to provide local
colour and eventful
happenstance to what is a
relatively flat and calming
countryside in comparison to the rest of Britain.
Travel rules can be found
on p.99 of the Pendragon
rulebook (5.0 & 5.1)

The Maiden's Oath


A Pendragon adventure
by David Elrick
The following adventure was originally written to be run at games
conventions and so was designed
to fit into a four-hour slot.
The adventure is structured in
parts (or nuggets) which detail the
important scenes, although the
players can encounter the parts
in any order (within the limits of
geography, obviously), or wander
off as they wish. Events outside the
parts given should be determined
by the GM.
This adventure also works quite
well as an introduction to Pendragon for new players as the various
parts of the system (traits, passions, skill use & combat) are introduced at different points in the
adventure.
The adventure is set in 519 AD, the
year following the great battle of
Badon. It begins at the court of the
Earl of Salisbury and takes place in
Logres and Sugales.
It was originally run with six player characters five knights and
one other (the maiden of the title).
It can be run with any number of
players, although I recommend
that one plays the part of the lady
Elianor (tip: pick a confident, talkative player to play the Lady Elianor. She has a lot of speaking in
the first part and she can drive the

plot, especially in the latter part of


the adventure). The players handout for lady Elianor is reproduced
at the end of this adventure.
This would make a good start for a
campaign, with the player knights
playing sons of knights killed at
Badon who are now taking over
their fathers manors. The player
knights would have been at Badon
too (either as knights or in their final year as squires) and their glory
scores should be adjusted accordingly.
I have not detailed the Ladys maid,
although either the GM or the player playing lady Elianor should consider it. She can be played for comic
effect (sighing over the handsome
knights; squealing during attacks;
etc). If stats become important, use
the Maid in Waiting stats from the
rule book.
Plot Summary
It is Easter 519 AD. The PCs have
gathered at Salisbury to pay fealty
to their liege lord, Earl Robert, and
are at the Easter feast, but there
are some new knights and many
empty seats due to the great battle
at Badon the previous year. There
are rumours that lordless manors
will be shared out amongst the survivors and there is much anticipation.
A young woman holding a sword
bursts into the chamber demanding justice. Her father was one of
the Earls vassals and was mur-

Map of Sugales/Gloucester border

dered a couple of days previously


by a knight that he had befriended and offered hospitality to. The
knight killed her father, took his
magic sword and fled north. She
wants to be knighted and she also
wants help hunting him down so
that she can kill him.

some bandits.
Skirting Bath, they pass Badon hill
and the site of the great battle. Pressing on, they reach the ferry across
the Saefern, the ferryman confirming that they are on the right track,
and track him to a castle in the Black
Mountains.

Following a suggestion from Earl


Robert, they travel to the giant ab- On the Escavalon shore, they follow
bey at Amesbury, where they hear the road to a castle where they find
some news of the renegade knight. their quarry. A battle follows and the
story ends.
They then take the old forest road Part 1 A Good Feast Spoiled
towards Bath, where they meet

Adapting the Scenario


This scenario was written
for King Arthur: Pendragon but can, with little
effort, be adapted to Age
of Arthur or any fantasy
roleplaying system or setting.
A damosel in distress is
the very staple of most
medieval adventure
stories.

Magna draconis arturius rex


8

shouting for justice. The chamberLocation: The Great Hall, Salis- lain follows, his desire to eject the
bury Castle
woman warring with the fact that he
is unable to touch a noble woman
Date: Easter Day 519 AD
even one holding a sword. He is
pleading with her to come out and
It is Easter 519 AD. The PCs have hell take her to the rest of the ladies.
gathered at Salisbury to pay fealty to their liege lord, Earl Rob- What do the characters do? Rememert, and are at the Easter feast in ber they are not armed as this is a
the great hall. Only the men are feast. Also, culturally the sight of a
there, the women are elsewhere woman holding a sword is just plain
in the castle.
wrong to them. Let them react. The
knights should be shocked and posThere was a great battle at Ba- sibly scandalised by the appearance
don the previous year and many of a lady in armour. Although we
knights were killed there or died wouldnt think a lot of it in our culin the winter of their wounds. ture, in their culture it is an imposSome knights have been replaced sibility (one of my players described
by sons or brothers, but there are it as roughly akin to a haddock
still some empty seats at the ta- singing the intro to Toscanini). This
ble, indicating lordless manors. might be a good point to introduce
There have been rumours that Passion rolls.
lordless manors will be shared
out amongst the survivors and There will certainly be two chances
there is much anticipation.
to roll against Hospitality:
The servants have cleared away
the food and restocked the wine
and mead. Earl Robert sits at the
high table and his dogs (red setters) snooze by the fire.

1. coming armed and armoured


into the court;

The tables are set out in a U formation, with the Earl at the base
of the U and the knights down
both sides. The open end of the
U faces the double doors leading
out of the hall.

The woman whacks the chamberlain over the nose with the sword.
Before anything else can happen,
Earl Robert commands the chamberlain to leave the woman.

2. when the story of Arawns treachery is told.

There follows a question and answer


Suddenly the doors burst open session, where the woman demands
and a young woman holding a the Earls assistance in hunting her
sword bursts into the chamber fathers murderer. Her father was

The knights all know Elianors father


as he was another vassal of Earl Robert. They would remember him as
being older than them by maybe 20
years or so and being a calm, quietspoken knight.

There will be several volunteers


amongst the NPC knights, but the
The knight killed her father, took PCs should want to go (otherwise
his magic sword and fled north. this adventure is over for the playShe wants to be knighted (not too ers).
likely) and she also wants help
hunting him down so that she can Earl Robert suggests that, in the abkill him. She has her grandfathers sence of solid information about the
renegade knights destination and
sword and armour.
with no track to follow, the player characters first stop should be
Possible checks at this point:
Amesbury Abbey. Monks travel to
and from the Abbey and they may
* Just
have news of this knight. The players are free to ignore this advice and
* Vengeance
rush off to Elianors fathers manor
Or whatever else they ask for.

Lady Elianor with her Grandfather's Arming


Sword but sans his armoured array

Magna draconis arturius rex

one of the Earls vassals and was


murdered a couple of days previously by a knight that he had befriended and offered hospitality
to (this should cause a reaction as
it is a basic insult to hospitality).
Rolls against Hospitality are certainly valid here.

Magna draconis arturius rex


10

in search of clues (or wherever else archery in the fields below the Abbey
they may think of).
(the Abbeys patron was an archer).
Pious checks would be appropriate for anyone wanting to get the
Archbishops blessing before they
depart. Part 1 takes place in the
middle of the day. Even after equipping, they easily have time to make
it to Amesbury before dark.
Part 2 Amesbury Abbey
Location: Amesbury Abbey
Following a suggestion from Earl
Robert, they travel to the giant abbey at Amesbury, where they hear
some news of the renegade knight.
It is a short journey to Amesbury
perhaps 2- 3 hours in total.

The monks greet the characters, although there are some odd looks at
Lady Elianor. A woman dressed as a
knight attracts a lot of attention.
Any Pagan knights should only attract
attention if they do something to do
so. The monks are not so concerned
with converting pagans as the Archbishop is (although they wont turn up
the chance if it is offered). Their place
in heaven is assured by other deeds.
The abbot (Abbot Barnabus, although
he will allow them to call him Brother
or Father Barnabus, even though it is
technically inaccurate) will listen to
their story and then they will be fed
and allowed to do their own thing for
a while. Eventually the abbot will call
them back and tell them that a knight
answering to the description of Sir
Arawn was seen on the old forest road
to Aquae Sulis (Bath).

Reactions to the lady while she is in


armour will be mixed. Some people
will make the sign against the evil
eye, while others will just ignore
her. You can make a lot of this if Elianors player plays along, but dont
push it if it gets uncomfortable.
The players now have a choice they
can take the kings road to the Saefern
Amesbury Abbey at this point is one crossings, hoping to get ahead of Sir
of the great Abbeys of the kingdom. Arawn (and hoping he is going to EsComparable to the Cathedrals at tregales and not to Cornwall), or they
Wells or York (i.e. not the top one, can take the forest road.
but very high up in the Church). A
Benedictine abbey, called the Ab- If the party choose to stay at Amesbey of St. Mary and St. Melor.
bury overnight (a good idea as fightThe Abbey dominates the town and ing bandits in the dark will be a lot
is split into a vast monastery, a nun- tougher), Pagan knights might find
nery and a great church. Accom- it uncomfortable. In one game I ran,
modation is also available at the one Pagan knight went off and stayed
monastery, although the knights at an inn in the town and got roaring
wont be stopping this time. On the drunk.
way in, they see peasants learning At Amesbury, the Father Abbot will of-

good point to practice the combat system.

If the players take the old forest


road towards Aquae Sulis (Bath),
they will meet some bandits. If you
are playing this as an introductory
adventure for new players, this is a

There are bandits spread out on both


sides of the road in the rocks and trees.
They will attack from cover, attempting to split and unhorse the party.
These bandits were footmen from one

The old forest road is a cobbled road


which leads through the forest towards Aquae Sulis (Bath).

At one point in the road, it narrows


as it passes through a shallow valley
in the surrounding countryside. The
Part 3 An Encounter on the For- trees cluster close to the road at this
point and the road is overlooked by
est Road
ridges on either side. Awareness rolls
Location: On the road between should warn the players of trouble
ahead.
Amesbury and Aquae Sulis (Bath)

Magna draconis arturius rex

fer Elianor and her maid the chance


to go through to the nunnery to
freshen up (and to sleep if they stay
overnight). This is partly because
she is a lady, but also because news
like a woman in a Monastery travels fast and some of the monks will
find any excuses to be in that part
of the abbey...

11

Introducing Suitable
Pathos at Badon/
Baddan
As mentioned in the
main text, the Battle of
Badon Hill (Lat-Mons
Badonicus, Cym- Mynydd
Baddan) should stir up
all sorts of emotions in
the players as it is the
very hour of their bright
shining, their triumph,
and their sorrow. In terms
of the message of Badon,
it is there to be a counterpoint foretelling in theme
of the Battle of Camlann.
Obviously the pride felt
at Badon will eventually lead to sorrow where
Arthur falls.
In some tales Arthur is
relieving an ally atop the
hill who is under siege by
the Saxons. He attacks
and breaks the siege so
profoundly that the survivors retreat back along
their approach and along
the Thames valley. Some
even return to Germania.
In other versions, it is
Arthur who is under siege
made prominent by the
focus a few scholars place
on Arthurs shield, Peridwen. One of these scholars
though is Geoffrey of
Monmouth and great care
should be taken in regarding his works as they are

12

of the armies that faced Arthur at


Badon the previous year, and they
were scattered and hunted after
the battle. They may be Saxons or
Cymri who backed one of the opposing kings. They have been living rough in the woods all winter
and are hungry and desperate.
They are also better armed than
usual bandits. Use the foot soldier or Saxon warrior stats from
the rule book. There are the same
number of bandits as there are the
player characters (including Elianor). When over half their number are slain or defeated, they will
attempt to flee.
Part 4 The Battlefield
Location: Badon Hill, North of
Bath
Skirting Bath, the characters pass
Badon hill and the site of the great
battle.
The actual battle of Badon took
four days, starting at Silchester
with the British line falling back
to the final position on the slopes
of Badon hill. After the killing of
the Saxon kings and the breaking
of the Saxon line, the Saxons were
chased back down to the Thames
valley.
The road leads through a vale under the lee of Badon hill. On the
hill, flags mark the final on of the
British line (think the plain flags at
Culloden).
This is an eerie place. The wind

blows through the long grass here


and whips the flags with a snapping noise.
Off the road, in the longer grass,
characters tread on discarded and
broken equipment (shoes, axehandles, etc) anything useful
has long gone.
The Badon battlefield is likely to
be an important scene. It is a place
that the players remember well
and should bring back memories,
good and bad. Passion rolls are
very appropriate here, and melancholy as a result of failed rolls
should be all too explicable. Play
this to as much detail as you and
the players prefer. In one game I
ran, the players were inspired to
orate a eulogy for the fallen.
Part 5 The Ferry
Location: The banks of the Saefern
River
Pressing on, they reach the ferry across the Saefern just about
dusk. The Saefern is wide and fastflowing here and the ferryman can
take no more than three at a time.
He is an old man and is helped by
his grandson, a boy of perhaps 12.
The characters should ask about
Sir Arawn. The ferryman will confirm that he crossed yesterday
morning (more if they lingered at
Badon) and that he was heading
for the Black Mountains near the
Dean forest. If allowed to carry on

he will tell them hair-raising stories about faerie hunts and lost villages in the Dean forest.
In several of the games I ran I
placed a little run-down monastery off the road just after the crossings, run by a holy Abbot who was
always in the chapel praying and
a group of old men and boys. But
camping out under the trees would
be a good alternative - especially if
the ladys maid is at all the nervous type...
Once on the Escavalon shore they
can either head straight for the
Black Mountains, or they can turn
aside and head for Carlion. There
is nothing relevant to this adventure for them in Carlion, although
it can provide a chance to recover
from any wounds and re-equip if
the battle with the bandits went
badly.
Part 6 The Black Mountains
Location: The Black Mountains in
Escavalon
On the Escavalon shore, they follow the road up into the hills. The
road gets steadily less civilised
As they reach the foothills, they are
confronted on the road by three
large dogs, barking at them and
blocking their way. Their owner, an
older knight with only one eye, will
ride up behind them and call them
to heel. Eventually he will have to
get down and pull them away.

He apologises and introduces himself as Sir Goronwy, also known


as Le chevalier avec un oeil. He invites them to spend the night his
castle. The dogs growl the whole
way home.
The castle is comfortable, if a little small. Sir Goronwy has only a
few knights and staff and his wife,
a wizened older lady called Lady
Helen. Everyone is friendly, if obviously not used to having guests.
The knights and lady will be assigned rooms in the main keep.
Everything is a little old-fashioned
and some things have obviously
not been used for a while.
At dinner (or before) sir Goronwy
tells them that they get very few visitors as they are off the main road.
Beyond the castle, the road goes up
into the Black Mountains, or down
into the Dean forest. He will confirm the missing villages story, but
he has no knowledge of the faerie
hunts.
Sir Goronwy will be interested in
news of the outside world. He owes
allegiance to the Lord of Escavalon,
but he has not been summoned to
court for two or three years and is
a little out of touch. There are always things to do here and his castle controls one of the passes from
the mountains where the hill tribes
still intrigue.
Sir Goronwy and Lady Helen are
about ten years out of date with
news and everything, although

full of fantasy.
In either event, knights
should feel trepidation
at nearing such a place.
If they did not take part
in the battle then it has
a fearsome reputation.
If they did, then their
own memories of such an
event may create problems
for normally composed
knights. It was huge battle
of a size seldom seen and
no one wouldve escaped
that tumult without some
injury, be it physical or
psychological. Only knights
who were never there
would blithely boast of
great deeds without touching on the horror.
Theyd have heard friends
screaming but would have
been unable to help, even
the dying screams of the
enemy would have had an
effect on them. The most
heroic and valiant warrior
on that day will shake a little in his armour when the
word Badon is uttered.
Its fearful reputation may
be enough to have that just
one word mean so much
more than the location.
The player knights may
be aware of what such a
tremendous victory it was,
but not of its eventual
result. This battle, and a
later one at Chester, are the

13

main reason the Welsh and


Cornish nations still exist.
The Saxon advance was
broken for a time here and
without Badon, the Saxons
may have pushed the
Cymric into the sea. We
can glimpse at what may
have happened from the
battle of Chester in AD615
which saw a British defeat
and severed Wales from
the Old North. As a result,
with other factors, the
Cumbrian language and
culture became extinct.
Those young knights, hurriedly made in desperation, would now be secure
in their war-mettle and
would be aware that they
have been tested and come
through (despite carrying
wounds and losing both
friend and loving lord) for
after Badon, what is the
worst that God or Cernnunos can throw at us?
While the location is
unknown, it is this editors
belief that the hill that is
now the disused Charmy
Down RAF base 3 miles
north of the town of Bath
is an excellent candidate.
Sadly, criminally even,
a barrow of the Beaker
Peoples was flattened to
make way for the airfield
in 1940.
http://goo.gl/Bsnbyl

they know about Arthurs coronation and subsequent marriage, but


not much else. Sir Goronwy missed
Badon because of a pretty nasty little uprising by the Welsh tribes. As
a consequence, they will be hungry for any news. In Lady Helens
case, this will include any gossip
from the court and news of the latest fashions in one game I ran,
the woman playing Elianor played
on this by telling Lady Helen that
women were wearing armour this
year.
He knows of the family of Sir
Arawn. They live further up the
road, close to the eaves of the great
forest and are not to be trusted.
They have raided his lands in the
past, although not so much in recent years. The father was an evil
man, called the Black knight. He
had five sons, one of whom was
Arawn.
If told the story so far, he is not
surprised to hear about Arawns
treachery.
He will provision the knights and
point them on the road. He will
also offer to keep the lady safe here
until they return (this should cause
some argument, but he is sincere
in his offer and will be very slow
to take any offence). He will not go
with them. This is their quest, not
his, and he has to live here after
they have gone.
Part 7 The End of the Story
Location: The Black Mountains in

14

Escavalon
A battle follows and the story ends.
From the castle of Sir Goronwy,
the road splits. One way leads up
into the mountains already dominating the skyline. The other leads
East and a little North, following
a small river (Do not drink from
it it comes from the forest and is
ensorcelled).
Eventually, they crest a rise and see
a castle on a hilltop ahead of them.
It is black with age and it looks run
down. There are a couple of villages in the distance, but no sign of
people. Beyond the castle, on the
Eastern horizon, is the edge of the
forest.
The final battle is the hardest bit to
predict and much depends on how
the players approach it. A siege is
not appropriate - they have neither the equipment nor the time
- but sneaky attack might succeed
by taking a side-door in the castle
wall.
Alternatively, riding up and issuing a suitably insulting challenge
should do the trick. Passion rolls
are definitely appropriate at this
point and should tip the balance in
the players favour.
How this goes depends on what the
players want to do:
* If they want a battle, Arawn and
his four brothers are on the sward
in front of the castle and ready for a

battle. They will charge and it will


come to individual combats.
* If they want to talk, Arawn will
try to weasel out of it by saying that
Sir Goffroy accused him of lechery
and then attacked him (this is such
a barefaced lie that Elianor should
be driven to madness).
Whatever happens, it should come
to a big fight. Use young knight stats
from the rule book for Arawn and
his brothers, but with poor sword
skills they arent really very good
knights, being more armoured bullies than anything else. Passion
rolls are appropriate at this point
and the players should have their
hands full fighting Arawn and
his brothers and stopping Elianor
from getting hurt.
There are fighting men (ruffians
for the most part) in the castle, but
they will not join in the fighting as
they have been ordered to stay out
of the way (and will offer to leave
quickly when Arawn and his brothers are beaten).
Part 8 Rewards
After the battle, the player knights
must return with Lady Elianor to
Salisbury where she will promise
Earl Robert never to arm herself as
a man again.
For his part Earl Robert will appoint someone to oversee Elianors
manor until she is married. This
may be a player knight. In any
case, one or more of the player

knights may want to romance Elianor (see the Lovers Solo in the
rule book). On the map of manors
in the rule book, Elianors manor
is called Landford and lies south
of Falt on the fringes of the New
Forest (on modern maps it is just
north of Cadnam, between Southampton and Ringwood the Rufus
Stone is close to Cadnam).
There is also the matter of the manor which Arawn and his brothers
held. Although it is in the jurisdiction of the lord of Carlion, one of
the player knights may be awarded
it as a reward for clearing Arawn
and his brothers out. Other adventures may lead from this, especially if some of Arawns brothers got
away as they may hold a grudge
against the player knights. In addition, the manor is close to the Dean
forest a good source for many adventures.
When Elianor marries, her fathers
magical sword will form part of her
dowry and will go to her husband.
Is it really magical and, if so, what
magical properties does it have?
The answer to that lies outside the
scope of this adventure.
Finally, use the glory rules in the
rule book to award glory. Remember that the lady Elianor earns glory too.

Editors Notes
on Female Knights
While this scenario conforms
to canon and to the best of the
literature, progressive Gamemasters may wish Lady Elianor to
not only continue her life as a
warrior, but also expand on it.
Perhaps she hears of the crimes
against other women and seeks
to protect them? Perhaps she
establishes an order of warrior
women knowing well how much
women can contribute?
These questions are, of course,
left to individual Gamemasters but its not unheard of in
literature and history for female
warriors and all female military
units.
But what of her promise to Lord
Robert? To never fight again as a
man? Wordplay and the seductive subtleties of language are
a staple of the Arthurian tales,
especially the Celtic Arthur. Lady
Elianor may have promised
never to fight as a man, but
that doesnt mean she could not
fight as a woman. She may even
invent a new way of fighting.
Something the most mysoginist
of knights may term sneaky or
treacherous but every bit as
valid as a mans art of arms.
Keeping such industry from her
husband may be half the fun of
the adventure and an enjoyable
challenge for female players.
~ Steff.

15

Players Handout: Lady Elianor

Magna draconis arturius rex

ou want justice and you want it


now. Your father, Sir Geoffroy, was one
of Earl Roberts men and now he has
been foully murdered by a man he took
in and offered hospitality to.
The cur who killed him claimed to be
called Sir Arawn. He arrived three days
ago, saying that he had been raiding
the Saxon lands down towards Portsmouth and was on his way home to his
family lands in Estregales. He said his
horse had been killed by a Saxon and
he had been separated from his group.
Your father offered him shelter and a
replacement horse.
Your mother died when you were very
small and you have no brothers, so
your father doted on you and denied
you nothing. You learned sword work
and horsemanship with the boys until you were 12 when your father said
you had to learn to be a lady. It was a
big come-down from wielding a sword
to wielding a sewing needle and you
learned in secret when the weapons master allowed you to.

16

Your father had a magic


sword. You dont know
how or why it was magical, but he had it and he
was famous for it. He even
took it to Badon to the
great battle last year.

Two days ago, your father and Sir


Arawn went hunting in the woods
down towards the Rufus Stone. Some
time during the hunt, your father and
Arawn were separated from the main
party and it was then that your father
was killed and his sword stolen. Sir
Arawn was not seen again, but if he
wasnt lying about his homeland,
then he will be fleeing for Estregales.
You have taken your grandfathers
sword (not magical, sadly) and his
armour. It doesnt fit you very well
and grips in some places youd really rather it didnt, but it will do. You
have come to Salisbury to bring news
of your fathers death to his liege lord
(yours now, as heiress to the manor)
and to ask him to give you help to
find and punish your fathers killer.
You want to kill him yourself, but you
are not stupid and realise that if he
has other people around him your
skills arent good enough to accomplish the kill alone.
Anyway, you have come to Salisbury
castle and the chamberlain wont let
you in to see the Earl. He says ladies
shouldnt wear armour and carry
swords and hell show you to where
the other ladies are sewing if youll
just stop shouting at him.

Playing the long game


Advice on running the

Great Pendragon Campaign


by David Larkins
Greg Staffords The Great Pendragon Campaign (hereafter the
GPC), published in 2006, has to
stand of the most ambitious projects in the history of RPGs. Weighing in at 432 pages, hardcopies of
the book resemble not so much a
typical RPG adventure as a phone
book. From its start as part of the
comparatively modest 76-page
Pendragon Campaign, published
in 1985, and later expanded and
published as The Boy King (1991),
the GPC grew into a massive reference work spanning several generations, from the reign of Uther Pendragon all the way through to the
Battle of Camlann and the taking
of Arthur to Avaloneighty gameyears in all.
The GPC isnt really an adventure
path or mega-campaign in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a yearby-year chronology of the Arthurian saga, oftentimes featuring more
events than a group could reasonably be expected to fit into gameplay. Some years, particularly at

the outset, strongly encourage PC


involvement, either marginally or
directly. Most years, however, the
events are simply catalogued. Perhaps theyll play a part in the campaign, perhaps they wont. As Greg
Stafford said in regards to The Boy
King, which was first to feature this
chronological format, Some people complained that they didnt really understand how to run an ongoing epic campaign. Most games
just had the PCs as the centre of the
universe, with not a lot going on
outside of their adventures. I wrote
this to illustrate how to have the
campaign history going on, and
integrate the PCs into it.
For any group contemplating a
beginning-to-end run through the
books contents, it must be understood that, at a minimum, the
GPC will require something in the
neighbourhood of 80 sessions.
And thats assuming that a ratio
of one game year to one session is
maintained; unless your sessions
are particularly lengthy, that is an

17

draconum Britanniam
18

assumption that will quickly fall


by the wayside, as certain years
events are far too complex and involved to be contained in a typical
three- or four-hours gaming. So
youre realistically looking at something perhaps more on the order of
90 to 100 sessions. Assuming you
meet once a week, thats nearly two
years of play!
As mentioned above, however, the
GPC is not simply an adventure
path. It is a resource for any King
Arthur Pendragon (KAP) GM, and
indeed that is how I used it the
first time I ran KAP. I had started
the campaign using the 4th edition rules, picking a starting year
based on the first scenario I ran

(The Tournament of Dreams, set


in the year 515). I acquired the GPC
soon after. The initial sessions had
been fairly typical RPG fare, with
the PCs as isolated protagonists
involved in their own small struggles and story. The acquisition of
the GPC opened the campaign up
to wider interaction with the game
world and key events and NPCs.
Soon the PCs found themselves
fighting alongside Arthur at the
Battle of Badon Hill, then marching with him in his war against
the Roman Empire. The PCs rose
to prominence in Arthurs court,
forging alliances and making enemies, all facilitated by the material provided by the GPC. I felt like
a GM at a rich buffet, allowed to

book over the last seven years; Ive


run the whole thing, and Ive run
shorter campaigns, and Ive found
that the same advice holds true regardless of the scale.

And that is the nature of the GPC,


whether its used for a short campaign or the whole epic tale: you
will find yourself weaving the personal threads and scenarios of
your own invention with those con-

The most important thing to accept


about the GPC is that it is still just
a set of guidelines. In fact, the book
contradicts itself in places, or else
fails to explicate certain important
events when they happen, the import of those events only becoming
apparent later on. To make matters
worse, the GPC does not include an
index, as it was cut out for space

tained in the GPC itself, or else those


integrated from one of the many
excellent scenario books available
for KAP. But for the purposes of
this article, I am going to be focusing mostly on the GPC itself, and
sharing some of the knowledge Ive
gleaned from interacting with the

reasons. Its worth mentioning that


the PDF is very well bookmarked,
but navigating the book for the first
time can be a bit to bear, theres
no way around it. Whether or not
you own a hardcopy of the book,
make sure you also purchase a PDF
copy so that you can make use of

draconum Britanniam

pick and choose which subtle delicacies I wanted to mix in with my


own creations. Some years would
feature the PCs pursuing personal
interests or running up against local problems of their own making,
while other years would see them
getting swept up in events too great
to ignore.

19

draconum Britanniam
20

its bookmarks and keyword search


capability.
Obviously, keeping some sort of
notebook is essential, whether you
prefer an actual paper book or a
digital wikispace like Obsidian Portal or similar. Before even starting
the campaign, skim the books contents in their entirety in order to get
an idea of the sequence of events
and when major developments occur. Start taking notes at this point,
but dont worry too much about
whats going to happen more than
10-15 years down the line. After
skimming the book, dive in and do
a close reading on that first decade. If youre running with edition
5.0 or 5.1, the rule book assumes
youll be starting at the outset of
the GPC timeline, and will provide
lots of extra setting and NPC details to integrate as well.

As you move through the chronology, keep reading ahead by about


10 years. This will give you an opportunity to anticipate later events
and perhaps foreshadow them, or
even write a little prelude scenario.
At the very least, it can be helpful
in preventing you from accidentally negating an important event on
the horizon. Certainly, you are free
to move events around if you like,
but its better to do that proactively
rather than in a panic because you
didnt plan properly.
NPCs have been mentioned a few
times, and they certainly deserve
a closer look. Aside from the sheer
scope of the GPC, the plethora of
NPCs in the campaign is the other
major challenge. Its just a fact that
youre going to be dealing with
a lot of NPCs. The KAP core book
alone mentions over a dozen just
in the Salisbury area, and the GPC
introduces a few more besides.
Then youll have family members
for each player-knight, NPCs from
scenarios you run, and the accretion of still more characters as the
chronology unfolds.
Proper organization of all these
supporting characters is, of course,
vital. The first time I ran the GPC,
I made the mistake of letting my
notes of various NPCs get scattered
among several different recordkeeping methods. As Im preparing to run the GPC a second time,
Ive resolved to keep both a digital
record of NPCs on my campaigns
Obsidian Portal page, and a physical record in the form of index

Preparation is certainly an important watchword in general when


it comes to the GPC, especially if
youre planning to run the whole
thing. But its equally important
not to let yourself get buried in
prep. Accept that, as the campaign
unfolds, you will find better ways
of doing things. House rules will
be introduced, certain sub-systems
may be modified or dropped entirely. Your players will help guide
you by showing you what theyre
primarily interested in, which will
in turn allow you to focus your
preparation accordingly. Dont try
to get the whole thing nailed down
before session one. In fact, if you
can, try and focus only on whats
immediately required of you. The
first year of the campaign, for example, features a battle, so make
sure youre comfortable with those
rules before starting, but dont
worry too much about, say, manor
economics just yet.
Above all, try and maintain a flexible approach when it comes to the
events laid out in the book. As mentioned above, you are free to move

events around, or ignore events entirely. You could, for example, drop
Tristram and Isolde from the narrative and not lose a thing, especially
if one of the PCs in your own group
was a particularly romantic knight
involved in a tragic love affair of
their own. Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and (arguably) Mordred are
the only sacrosanct characters.
Everyone else is fair game. Does Sir
Palomides get killed by a PC during a tournament before he has a
chance to take up the hunt for the
Questing Beast? So be it. Perhaps
the PC that killed him, or another
knight in the group, might find
himself compelled to track Glatisant instead?
Indeed, be on the lookout for any
opportunity to involve a PC in a
major event or storyline in place
of an NPC. Perhaps a particularly
upstanding older player-knight
ends up mentoring young Arthur
in the ways of chivalry. The first
time I ran the GPC, we ended up
with a player-knights sister marrying King Leodegrance, effectively
making the PC Gueneveres uncle.
There will be innumerable little
moments like this cropping up as
you run through the chronology.
Take as many as you like and run
with them.
Certainly, your players will throw
plenty of challenges your way as
well. I played in one Pendragon
campaign in which a fellow player-knight killed Sir Gawaine in
a drunken brawl, and then Sir
Mordred, who had come after the

draconum Britanniam

cards, one for each named character, with game stats on one side
and the knights or ladys coat of
arms on the other. (This provides
the additional benefit of allowing
me to simply flash the NPCs heraldry to the players whenever they
encounter the character; I expect
that eventually theyll be able to
recognize key knights and ladies
without even needing to make a
Heraldry roll!)

21

draconum Britanniam
22

PC to avenge Gawaines death.


Sadly, it was only a short campaign, so we didnt get to see what
sort of long-term events might have
unspooled from those two deaths,
but they would have no doubt been
major...as well as incredibly interesting, both for the GM as well as
the players! At the very least, we
would have been dealing with the
wrath of the Orkney clan; even

stripped of Gawaine and Mordred,


they would have been a formidable
force to reckon with. As GM, do not
be afraid to let the dice fall where
they may, and do not feel tempted
to fudge dice rolls for the sake of
preserving the plot. The most fun
youll have is in figuring out how
to deal with the inevitable chaos
your players will cause.
The last bit of advice Id pass on in

As I worked through running the


GPC, I would keep stock of the
various scenarios I wanted to run.
Some were clearly better suited for
certain periods, and those would
get earmarked as appropriate in
my notes. Others were more universal, but perhaps best used to
emphasize certain themes or developments unfolding in the world
at large. Or perhaps there would
be a scenario that would be ideal
to focus on a particularly prideful
knight, or religious knight, or what
have you. In essence, I developed
a quiver of scenarios I could draw
from when I saw an opportunity
present itself.
One thing to be aware of when running the older scenarios, however:
there are some that were integrated into the chronology of the GPC.
In particular, if youre looking at
a scenario that involves a major
named NPC, do a keyword search
in your PDF first and make sure the

events described in the scenario


dont turn up 10 or 20 years later
in the chronology.
To conclude, it seems like Ive seen
a fair number of people writing
about their experiences with the
GPC ending after the first 10 years
or so, when that initial enthusiasm
begins to wane a bit. Just know
that this is normal, and dont get
discouraged if your campaign goes
into hiatus from time to time. Ive
found that the toughest parts to
power through are around the Anarchy phase, the Conquest phase,
and the latter portion of the Tournament phase; your milage may
vary.
As for myself, this year Ill be venturing to run the GPC in its entirety for a second time. My first
go-round was very much an onagain, off-again venture, and took
the better part of three years to
complete. Im hoping to do it this
time in one go with perhaps a short
break at around the midway mark,
depending on how I and my players are feeling at that point. For
now, I have the necessary enthusiastic player buy-in on the venture
and the lessons gleaned from my
various KAP campaigns run since
2006 to help get this off the launchpad one more time. I hope that Ive
been of some help in passing along
some tips and tricks for running
what is, in my opinion, the greatest
RPG adventure ever published.

draconum Britanniam

regards to running the GPC has to


do with the aforementioned rich
back-catalog of KAP scenarios.
Scenario and setting books stretching back to first edition are available online in PDF form, and you
should absolutely take advantage
of this. Between the stories generated by your own group and the
events presented in the GPC, there
may not seem to much room for
scenarios, but Ive found that one
can never have enough material to
draw from. (Tales of Mystic Tournaments and Blood and Lust are
particular favourites of mine.)

23

Bibliophilia
Essential Reading
by
Christopher Payne

Books that ought to be on every


Pendragon GMs bookshelf and
why.
A Dictionary of Saints or two
But my Characters are Pagans,
why do I need a book on Christian
Saints? The answer I would argue
is that the world of Arthur is one
that is becoming Christian and
therefore this is the world that player characters will interact with.
I have two paperbacks, bought
cheaply in the days when most
high streets in the UK seemed to
have a bargain bookshop. There
are online dictionaries available
although their usefulness can be
somewhat limited depending upon
what one is trying to achieve.
The reason I like and use mine are
as follows.
The first one I would use is The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
At the back this has a couple of
very useful Appendices:
a) The Principal patronage of saints
b) Principal iconographical emblems of saints (remember that

24

read skill that most knights dont


have?)
c) Index of Places in Great Britain
and Ireland associated with particular saints
d) Calendar of the Principal Feast
days of saints.
The actual entries for a saint, consisting of a paragraph or two quite

The Wordsworth Dictionary of


Saints doesnt have all the useful Appendices but has a page per
Saint with information about miracles, martyrdom, feast days and
associations.
So, Im running once per week and
Thursday has come round and on
Wednesday evening Im struggling
for ideas.
Wednesday 5th February is when
Im writing this. 5th February is
the feast day of Agatha. Agatha is
the Patron Saint of Bell Founders
and Wet nurses, and is invoked
against diseases of the breast,
earthquakes, fire, and sterility.
So, quick plot idea: Escort a barren
wife to a particular church for some
sort of blessing (Quick PCs might
want to get their wives in on the
act for a winter childbirth bonus or
survival). Reading more about Agatha could suggest other ideas (for
example the link between breasts,
bells and loaves of bread. Want to
have a bit of fun with the pious and
chaste character than have loaves
of bread that are blessed and eaten made in the shape of the severed breasts). Throw in a random
encounter or three, some sort of
feast or social ceremony for those
with the social skills and Ive got an
evenings gaming that makes sense
and fits into context.
Or lets say a player has chosen a

Stag on his coat of arms. This gives


me:
Eustace Patron of Hunters, one
of the Fourteen holy Helpers the
historically worthless legend is of
a Roman General who converts,
looses all but was restored to command in time of crisis, saving the
nation before the (inevitable) martyrdom. Plot idea Border raids
and players are sent to convince
a retired general now a monk or
hermit to return to command in
time of peril. Other powers might
have ideas on preventing this.
Giles - The stag plays a part in his
becoming a saint. Patron saint of
Cripples, lepers and nursing mothers (based on his story of giving
shelter to the hind) whilst the other

draconum Britanniam

often are somewhat limited from a


gaming viewpoint.

25

draconum Britanniam
26

book gives Blacksmiths and beggars. Two famous fairs in England


are tied in with him Winchester
and Oxford.
Hubert - this Saint borrows from
Giles and the act of seeing the
crucifix through the horns of the
stag being hunted. Patron saint of
Huntsmen and his supposed hunting horn is in the Wallace collection.
http://www.wallacecollection.org/
whatson/treasure/17
An evening session tied in with
relic hunting? Or a trip to deliver a
relic to famous noble on behalf of
their Lord?
Each of the above saints has their
own feast days as well.
Places is somewhat less useful and
links are often known so harder to
surprise players with. Lets choose
Leicester (the site of Continuum
2014 when the Pendragon Eschille
should be running more Pendragon games over the weekend). My

dictionary is a bit useless coming


up with a J Paine, a priest who is
executed as a Roman Catholic in
1582. The Patron saint of Leicester
Cathedral is St Martin of Tours. Patron Saint of France, Soldiers, Beggars and Innkeepers. One of his
famous acts is dividing his cloak
with a dagger to give half to a beggar. Id need to think about how to
relate this to my players given that
they are all knights, but with the
Musketeers currently on BBC television, I immediately start of think
of Porthos the enjoyer of wine,
women and song. Or do I move
something from the French King
a challenge, or a relic of St Martin?
Ive mentioned the books that I personally own and used to pack one
or both of in my travelling bag for
playing away from home for those
impromptu plot moments that add
flavour. There are many others out
there (and I seem to remember that
the Roman Catholic Church official site was fairly good on Saints
although they dismiss many of the
older ones now with modern reformation).

The Editor would like to


remind all goodly knights of
honour and virtue that only
cowards, blackguards, and
assassins use crossbows.

KNow you the names of


these godless men by the
article on the next few
pages penned by Sir
Christopher Paine
&the Lady Lucy Rhodes.

27

BEST VIEWED IN A DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD

draconum Britanniam

RANDOM NAME GENERATOR MK II


(aka Lucy's improved version)

28

No
More
Bad
Black
Knights
BY cHRIS pAyNE
AND lUCY rHODES
Created a few years ago,
this random name generator served Chris Paine
well in his weekly sessions. Equally useful for
those knights who have
yet to earn a name as for
those blackguards that
haunt the Kings Road,
this table and its subsequent examples should
give the referee ample
inspiration for creating
npcs on the fly as opposed to yet another bad
black night.

ROLL 1D6
(Name)
1
2
(Name)
3
(Name)
4
(Name)
5
(Name)
6
(Name)

(of) the
of the
of the
(Defender/Scourge)
the
the

(Optional - Person adjective)


(equipment adjective)
(optional the)
of (optional the)
(person type)
(person type)

(person type)
(equipment type)
(Optional place adj)
(being type)
without
of the

Roll D20

Person Adjective

Person Type

Equipment Adj

Fear/ fearless/ fearful


Pity/ Pitifuf/ Pitiless
Glory/ Glorious
Brave/ Cowardly
Wise/ Savage
Dark/ Fair
Strong (Hardy) / Weak
Beautiful (Beau) / ill
favoured / ugly
Mighty/ Lowly
Old/ Young

Knight
Lord
Duke (Duc)
Chevalier
Lover
Bastard (Avoutres)
Office type (Forester etc)

Bright / hot / flaming


Sharp/Strong
Undefeated / Striking
Battered / Trusty / fai
Invisable / Hidden / S
Red
Black

King
(High/Low - roll again)
Hunter

Silver
Gold
(other colour)

Protector / Guard / Paladin

/ Stained / Bloodstain

12

Nationality
Selected Personality
trait from character
sheet

13

Fat/ Thin

Prince

14

Untried / Unworthy

Defender

Well worn / broken /


sundered
(other metal - steel /
brass / copper)
(Other material - cora
bone / cloth / leather
Faerie)

15

Devil (Enfer)

Holy / Unholy / Faerie

16
17

Holy / Unholy
Thief /Robber /
charitable / saintly
Mercenary

Twisted / Ill-Ann
Unblemished

18
19
20

Laughing/weeping
True / False
Well loves / ill- liked

Dragon
Lion
Foreigner / Stranger / Moor /
Pilgrim / Crusader
Swordsman
Armiger

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

11

Roll d20
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20

Champion

Add for Employers


Lady
Queen
Chatelaine
Seneschal
Steward
Castellan
Princess
Bishop / Abbot etc
High/Low roll again
Commander
King
Emperor
Prince
Constable
Marshall
Champion
Herald
Chevalier
Suzerain
Overlord / Caliph (or other
foreign)

Ancient / New
Shining
Strange / Unknown

BEST VIEWED IN A DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD

(quality)
(Person adj)

(employer type)

Equipment
Type

Place Adj

Place type/name

Dark
Secret/Hidden
Enchanted / Holy
New/Ancient
Forgotten
(Colour or Metal)
Misty/Mist shrouded
Ill-starred / well favoured /
Lucky / Fortunate
Bright
Frozen / Frosty

Lake / Sea
Fear
The Opporessed
Castle (Krak) / Keep Mercy/ Compassion / Charity The Poor / Peasants
Tower
Love / Hope
Fairies
Glade
Joy
The Clergy / Pilgrims
Wood
Riches
Jews/ Usurers
Forest
Beauty
Dragons
Mountain
Family
People of (Nationality)

Sword
Lance
g
Shield / Buckler
aithful Mace
SingingAxe
Spear
Ring
Helmet /Helm
Armour
Banner / flag

ined / bSpurs
Horse (Cheval) /
Destrier /
Charger
iron /
Heart (Coeur)
al /
Book ? Word ?
r/
Cross / Crescent
/ Jewel
Scimitar / Gloves
/ Gauntlet /
ie
Cloak

Icy / Snow capped

Highest / Deepest
Great

Moor / Plains /
Fort / Manor
Fountain / Spring
River / Ford /
Waterfall / Marsh /
Well

Quality

Being Type

Home / Land
Loyalty
Regrets

People of (Occupation)
The Rich
Gluttons / Drunkards / Reprobates

Honour

The Worthy / unworthy

Stronghold / Citadel / Piety / Faith


Kingdom / Land /
Island
Luck / Chance

Kings / Patriarcsh / Prophets


Women / Children / Men

Temple / Church /
Storm tossed / Windswpet Abbey

Law /Justice / Reason

The Sick / lepers

Renowned

Gate

Hope of Redemption

Dagger
Bow

Well defended
Unyeilding / Barren

City
Cliff

Care
Trust

Foreigners / Moors / Travellers


Magicians / Enchanters / Wizards /
Witches
Nobles

Harp / Horn
Device
Crest

Bountiful / Verdant
Sunbaked / Sunbleached
Well endowed / fruitful

Hill
Rock
Cave

Glory
Sin
Armour / Defense /

Martyrs
The Hunted / persecuted
Mythical beasts / Monsters (Choice)

FRENCH TERMS TO SUBSTITUTE


Beautiful
Dark
Fear
Glory
Hate
Heart
High
Low
Mercy
Of
Strong
The
With
Without

Beau
Noir
Peur
Gloire
Haute
Couer
Grand
Petit
merci
De
Hardy
Le / Li
avic / au
Sans
Beuse
Orgulus
Breuse

draconum Britanniam

(place type)

29

draconum Britanniam

BEST VIEWED IN A DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD

30

BEST VIEWED IN A DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD

draconum Britanniam

OR OR (PSEUDO FRENCH)

Eric the Bastard Eric Le Avoutre


Eric the Unworthy
Eric the Chevalier Eric Le Chavalier
Eric the Hunted Eric le Chasseur
Eric of the Fair Prince Eric le Beau Prince
Marcus de l'Armure etrange
Marcus de La Croix D'or
Mark the undefeated
Mark of the Purple Star
Mark of the Faithful horse
Bob from the Forgotten Mountain
Bob born of the Dark Spring
Bob of the Bloody Pool
Bob of the White Rock
Bob from the bottom of the Sea
Daffyd the Southern Defender
Daffyd Destroyer of Demons
Daffyyd the Eastern Scourge
Daffyd, Breaker of Gates
Daffyd the Dragon Destroyer
Fricor the Forgiving Crusader Fricor le Crusader sans Haine
Fricor the Merciless Defender Fricor le Defender sans merci
Fricor the Fearless Dragon Fricor le Dragon sans peur
Fricor the merciless hunter Fricor le monture sans merci
Fricor, the hateful lion Fricor Le Lyon sans haute

Gendoc, the Duke from the Weeping Princess
Gendoc, the unworthy King's Devil
Gendoc, the Cymric Castellan's Lion

31

Unusual characters
The Welsh alphabet

Words, words, ... words.

a b c ch
d dd e f
ff g ng h
i l ll m
n o p ph
r rh s t
th u w y
Nothing, I think, is more difficult to master than the double
LL sound you find in Llangollen
or Lloegr.
A quick guide to pronouncing
unusual letters in Welsh.
CH/ch - is the same as in J.S.
Bach
DD/dd is a softened D sound
equivalent to a Th sound but
the Th you find in the word
Fathom, not Bath.
F/f - As in the English letter V.
Ff/ff - is the same as in English,
like fort. Not, as it may be assumed, a longer version.
Ng/ng - As in Thing.
Ll/ll - No equivalent in English. It is made by placing the
tip of your tongue on the gums
behind your top front teeth
and blowing gently. In Shakespeares time this was mimicked
by using Fl instead of Ll. In
Henry V Llewellyn is known as
Flewellyn (flew-ELL-inn).
Ph/ph - As in phone or graph.
Rh/rh - An aspirated tapped r
sound as mentioned previously.
No equivalent in English.

32

William Shakespeare
HAMLET -Act 2, Scene 2

A Cymric pronunciation guide for non-Welsh speakers


For many people who play Pendragon or Age of Arthur Welsh is
not a language they are familiar
with. It is a language that looks alien to most Anglophones and one
of the frequent comments is that it
has no vowels. Not true. Welsh has
vowels, more than in English but
when looked at with an English eye
they seem to be hidden in letters
such as w and y.
As someone who spoke Welsh
first, then English (at a very early
age of course) I can attest to how
hard English is to learn for nonAnglophones. Sadly, as Ive been
living in England for 30 years now,
my Welsh has deteriorated to the
point where I prefer to speak English when I visit Gwynedd in case
I make a mistake. My accent returns almost as soon as I cross
the border though and as being
understood in a foreign language
is as much about accent as it is
about vocabulary, well start there.
All the information Ill empart here
is a rough approximation. No one
is expecting players to suddenly
sound like they are from Meirionydd or Clwyd, but a good guess at it
will enhance play. If accents arent

your forte then dont despair. Brythonic/Britonnic/Cymraeg/Cymric has as many different accents
as there are regions of Britain. For
ease, I will refer to the language as
Cymric and its speakers as Britons.
I dont hold the view that Welsh
is impossible like Greg Stafford
does. It is a language of poetry,
passion, and economy. The recent
hit detective drama Y Gwyll (The
Dusk, or Hinterland as its called
for English audiences) was filmed
twice, once in English and once in
Welsh. The actors and script writers had a problem in that a lot more
can be conveyed in a few sentences
in Welsh than in English and had
to adapt accordingly.
Language, from any corner of the
world, can say more about the
speaker, his heritage,and his emotional history in a much deeper
way than mere words.
For example, the word Hireath
doesnt really have an English
equivalent. Imagine a place you
hold in your heart, somewhere
precious and, possibly, sorrowful.
It can be a place, a time in your life,
a feeling, or a regret. The feeling is

more than homesickness, indeed


you may never have actually been
there, but is a feeling of deep longing or loss. That is hiraeth. For me,
its the small town of porthmadog
on the north-west Wales coast but
it could also be the moment Arthur
passes from his wounds at Camlan. Im hoping that after these few
pointers, youll have a better appreciation of Cymric/Gymraeg and
that youll be better able to pronounce Cymric place names and
words.

Accent
For play purposes rolling the R at
the end of a word or its last syllable
works well. Its more of a tapped R
sound than rolled but itll be easier
for players.
The English word priory might be
pronounced prioRRee. The R at
the start of a word, such as Riot
may have a step made by an aspirate sound. Almost like the R has
an H just after it. It may sound
like youre saying the word Rhyott instead of riot.

pages but here is a short example or two: SEN-tence, con-TINu-al,


and
a-rhee-ANN-rhod.
Take care to note that Im no linguist. These are all just suggestions
and approximations to create a
faux-accent for NPCs during play.
Welsh is generally thought to be
the oldest living language in Europe and many of its verbal conventions have been lost in time
or changed and sometimes tracking down why certain sounds are
made is futile.
The place names in Pendragon
are a curious mix of British, Norman, and Saxon and, at times,
seem anachronistic to anyone with
even a rudimentary knowledge of
history. However, King Arthur Pendragon and Age of Arthur arent
trying to be historical documents.
They are giving you a frame work
in which to design your own Britain. Over the next 2 pages, some
British naming alternatives will be
suggested.

Th/th - As in thin.
U/u - Substitutes as an i sound
as in spit or pristine.
W/w - is an oo sound (as in
book or pool but also can be
used as in wet.
Y/y - In northern Welsh it is a
flat e sound as in bet and is
similar to an i sound in southern Welsh. As well as an u
sound in up (like in Cymru, or
KUM-ree).
A better resource than my humble efforts exists here:
http://www.madog.org/dysgwyr/gramadeg/gramadeg1.html
For actual Welsh words then
here is a good place to hear them
spoken.
http://www.heart-of-wales.
co.uk/welsh.htm#

For tips on a south Welsh accent


(not the one I have) then see here:
http://youtu.be/cq-mEejECcU

Syllable Emphasis
The longer the word, the more the
emphasis seems to be shunted
along the word. For ease, I will
capitalise the emphasis syllable
in the commonly encountered Arthurian words on the next two

33

draconum Britanniam
34

An Arthurian Lexicon
Syllable emphasis is capitalised. Names and words not appearing here should be
considered non-Cymric or self-explanatory. Cymric letters in ' ' marks.

Notaries

Canon Cymric Pronunciation Alternatives

Agravaine Agrafan ag-RAV-an


Arthur Arddur AR-'dd'-ur
Bedivere Bedwyr BED-'oo'-ea-'r'
Caradoc Caradog ca-RAD-og
Culhwch Culhwch KUL-u-'ch'
Cynric Cynric KUN-rik
Gaheris Gaheris ga-HERR-iss
Gawain Gawain GA-way-n
Gwalchmai
GWAL-'ch'-m-eye
Gorlois Gwrlais G-'OO'-'rh'-lice
Gringolet Gwyn Calet gwinn-CAL-et
Ceincaled kane-CAL-ed
Guinevere Gwenhwyfar gwen-HU-IV-ar Ganhumara
Igraine Eigyr EYE-gea'r' Ygraine, Igerna
Isolde Ysult ISS-ult Iseult
Kay Cei Kay
Lot Lot LOtt Loth, Louth
Madoc Madawg MAD-og
Malagant Melwas MEL-wass
Manawyddan

Manawyddan

man-a-WI'DD'-an

Mark March MAR-'ch' Margh, Marcus


Merlin Myrddin MEER-'dd'in
Emrys EM-riss
Mordred Medrawd MED-row*-d Medraut
*as in 'cow'
Percival Peredur pe-RED-ur Perceval, Parzifal
Taliesin Taliesin tal-YES-in
Tristan Drystan DRUSS-dan Drustanus, Tristram

Canon Cymric Pronunciation Alternatives

Urien Yrien U'R'-ee-an


Uther Pendragon

Wthyr Benddraig

'OO'-th-ea'r' ben-'DD'-'rh'-eye-g

Vortigern Gwrtheyrn g-oo'r'-TH-ay-'r'-n


Ywaine Ywaine A-why-n Owain

Places
Canon Cymric Pronunciation Alternatives

Badon Hill

Mynydd Baddan

MINN-i'dd' BA'DD'-an Mons Badonicus

City of Legions

Caer Lleon

K-EYE'R' 'LL' -ee-on

Dinas Emrys

Dinas Emrys

DINN-ass EM-riss

Eburacum

Caer Ebrauc

K-EYE'R' EB-rowk

Chester, Castra Legio

York, Eboracon

Oxford Rhydychan 'rh'ud-U'CH'-an


Sarum Caer Caradog K-EYE'R' ca-RAD-og Salisbury
Tintagel Dintagell din-TAG-e'll' Trevenna,
Tre war Venydh

Lands
Canon Cymric Pronunciation Alternatives

Brycheiniog

Brycheiniog

bru'ch'-EYE-N-ee-og

Dyfed Dyfed DOVE-ed


Ergyng Ergyng E'R'-ging Archenfield,
Herefordshire
Gwynedd Gwynedd GWIN-e'dd' Gomeret
Gwaelod Gwaelod GW-EYE-lod Tremadoc Bay
Logres Lloegr LO-gray (English)
England
'LLOY'-ge'r'
Mathrafal

Mathrafal

MATH-ra-val

Powys Powys POW*-iss


*as in 'cow'
Rheged Rheged 'RH'-egg-ed Cumbria
Rydychan

Rhydychan

'rh'ud-U'CH'-an Oxfordshire

To be continued with 'Treasures and Deities' in issue 3.

draconum Britanniam

Notaries (continued)

35

Good Times,
Bad Times

AN AGE OF ARTHUR SCENARIO AND SEQUEL


TO 'HAMMER TO FALL' BY PAUL MITCHENER

Good Times, Bad Times


This scenario is a sequel to Hammer to Fall in issue one of Dragons
of Britain. It can be run independently, but assumes that the player
characters are based in Lindum or
Ebrauc, and makes some reference
to the events of that story.
Introduction
Following the defeat of Prince Edgar and his Angles at the battle
of Lindum, one powerful Angle
Thane, Tormund of Elig, is considering joining forces with Lindum and Ebrauc, going against his
sworn king, Wehha (who is still trying to cement his rule). A messen-

36

ger is sent to Prefect Marcus Blecca


of Lindum proposing an alliance
with them, and perhaps also with
Ebrauc. The player characters have
the mission of accompanying the
messenger back to Tormund's village, Elig, and negotiating.
The Messenger
Berthun is a loyal servant of Thane
Tormund. He is 17 years old, reliable, very earnest, and blessed with
a perfect memory, hence being given the job. He travelled to Lindum
alone.
Aspects: Reliable Servant of Thane
Tormund

An
gles

s
Ac

a lm
s Re

a
b
er
Elig

Perfect Memory
Skills:
Level 3: Awareness
Level 2: Agility, Riding
Level 1: Languages, Charm, Melee
Combat
Equipment:
Horse, Seax (+2 Damage)

Getting There is Half the Fun


The route to Tormund's town, Elig
(modern day Eli) involves either
travelling through land settled
heavily by Angles, who will be hostile to British visitors, or through
Fulsby forest, an area of woodland
haunted by the Fae. Rather than
beginning with the negotiation,
begin the scenario in media res,
with the player characters entering
Fulsby Forest.

arturus aetatem

gle

An

37

arturus aetatem
24

Queen Acerba's Magical Fae Ring

Before Acerba meets the visitors,


she decides to see if they are...durable. Not long after entering the
forest, the player characters are
attacked by a group of Fae- hideously ugly humanoids about four
feet tall, all wielding clubs. Those
with Fae Lore will recognise them
as Boggarts.
The Boggarts
The Boggarts are a Warband with
eight people.
Aspect: Hideously Ugly
Single-minded dedication to harassing "intruders".
Skill Level 2 Stress: 2 each
Equipment: Club (+1 damage).
The Boggarts will flee when half
their number are killed. Assuming
the player characters triumph (and
they should- the encounter is just a
"warm up"), Queen Acerba begins
manipulating the trees, trying to
draw the player characters into the
centre of the forest, where they can
meet her.
The paths in the woods twist, and
the trees seem to move, just out of
the line of sight- nothing that can

be pinned down as definite movement, but enough to make it hard


to navigate. The process should
be treated as a Contest against the
Queen's Glamours skill (which is at
level 6). The player characters can
use their Awareness, Lore [Fae],
and Survival skills. Druidic Magic
can be used to assist. The Contest is
physical for the player characters,
and mental for the Queen (who has
a Willpower score of 8).
If the queen wins, the player characters are drawn to meet her in a
stone circle in a forest clearing near
to the forest's centre. The stone circle has an effect on the Glamour
magical skill, giving all practitioners within it a +1 bonus.
If the player characters win, they
get to the far edge of the forest, and
escape.
Queen Acerba
Should the player characters be
unfortunate enough to meet her,
Queen Acerba appears as something of a parody of a Celtic Warrior Queen, and wears what appears to be spiked leather armour,
a horned helmet and a spear. She
is surrounded by two dozen Boggarts (see above).
Whereas the Boggarts are ugly, Acerba is terrifying in her beauty, despite her absurd garb. She is not to
be trifled with. Meeting the player
characters, she demands a present,
as befitting her status, and theirs
as lowly visitors. A suitable roleplaying solution (or an idea for a

arturus aetatem

The ruler of the forest is the Fae


Queen Acerba (Latin for Darkness).
She is aware of the presence of
all intelligent beings in the forest,
and as most people avoid it, curious about the visitors. They could
make wonderful new playthings.

39

Reminder:
How Contests Work
A Contest is a series of
opposed rolls between the
player characters and the
Fae Queen. One or two of
a GMs Fate Points could
be spent on the Fae Queens
rolls, using her Queen of
the Forest Aspect.
All player characters may
roll using a relevant skill.
Only the best result counts.
A player character can also
opt to manoeuvre, using
another skill to give an ally
a +2 bonus if they beat
Difficulty 2. Aspects can
also be used as normal.

suitable gift- for example a song


to Acerbas majesty may well be
appropriate) should get the player
charactes out of trouble, and leave
them free to escape the forest (without even any additional Boggarts
on the way out). A Fae Lore check
can be made at difficulty 4 to come
up with a suitable suggestion.

a suitable present, this could be a


very short scenario, though they
might still manage to escape with
a great expenditure of Fate Points
in the coming battle...

If the player characters dont think


of anything, Queen Acerba will suggest that she gets to keep Thane
Tormunds messenger, Berthun.
If the player characters dont treat
Acerba with respect, and provide

Terrifying beauty

Aspects: Queen of the Forest


Long-term glamours in domain

Skills:
Level 6: Glamour
Level 5: Willpower, Melee Combat

If the best player character


result beats the Queen, she
takes mental stress equal to
the amount she lost by. If
the Queen wins beats all of
the player characters, the
one who rolled worst takes
physical stress equal to the
amount they lose by. Someone at zero stress must
either take a Consequence
to mitigate the damage, or
be seperated from the rest
of the party, drawn to visit
the Queen.
The party as a whole can
opt to lose if this happens, going along with the
distracted party member
as a group. If the Queen

Queen Acerba expressing her power

40

Level 4: Intimidation, Leadership,


Strength
Level 3: Agility, Charm, Leadership, Lore [history]
Level 2: Empathy, Gaming, Riding,
Strategy and Tactics

ryone name the main skill they are


using to get through (eg: Stealth,
Survival or Melee Combat) and
make an Endurance Test at difficulty 8 (with the amount they fail
by leading to physical stress). Further, they will meet in combat with
a group of 20 Angle warriors.

Level 1: Lore [Fae, the old gods],


Performance [flute and singing],
Strength

Aspect: Angle Warrior

Stunts: Enduring Glamours

Seax: +2 damage

Magic Resistance

Battleaxe: +3 damage

Strong Will

Elig

Tough

An Alternative Route

Elig is a town surrounded by a


wooden pallisade, full of wooden
huts. Around the town are many
farms and smaller villages. The
most prominent citizens of the
town are Angle warriors, though
many of the peasants are still British. Several of the higher rankle Angles have British thralls as slaves,
with their iron collars the symbols
of their servitude.

If, as a result of early encounters


in the forest, the player characters
decide instead to brave the Angle
lands, things are much more difficult. The Storyteller should gently
discourage them from such a difficult alternative. However, if they
insist (after all, the Angles are a
mundane danger, compared to the
supernatural danger of the forest),
the Storyteller shouldnt force matters.
The journey is arduous. Have eve-

The largest hut belongs to Thane


Tormund. Assuming the player
characters come peacefully, they
are treated by him as honoured
guests, drink mead and dine on
roast mutton. Tormund wants to
take his time over negotiations, sizing the player characters up, and
he will begin by asking them many
questions about themselves. This
is a roleplaying opportunity, to be
continued for as long as everyone
at the table finds it interesting.

Vision of Terror
Equipment:
Large Spear (Damage 3), Spiked
Leather Armour (Absorption 2)
Health 7, Willpower 8

Skill 2, Stress 2

is reduced to zero mental


stress, the player characters
get away. All stress (but not
Consequences) goes away
at the end of the Contest.
A mean Storyteller could
compel the Bard, Casnar
ap Cartivel, with his Fascinated by the Fae Aspect,
to not take part in the
Contest, leaving everything
up to the other player
characters.

41

arturus aetatem

In any case, the Thane will not


get to negotiations the first evening- that is for tomorrow. The two
people closest to Tormund are his
champion, Eldred, a berserker warrior, and Wacian, his wizard. Both
are distrustful of the player characters, and are openly unfriendly,
while careful not to be actually
threatening or insulting. Also present is a bodyguard of six warriors.
This bodyguard does not speak any
languages apart from Saxon.
If the player characters investigate
the town, they find broad support
for an alliance between Elig and
the British kingdoms (unsurprisingly amongst the British, but also
amongst the Saxon warriors who
butter up the player characters as
they hear admiration for their exploits in the previous scenario),
with the slaves hoping to be freed.
There is a core of dissent amongst
those who seem loyal to the warrior Eldred.
Tormund
Tormund is a bearlike man almost
seven feet tall, and with bulk to
match. Thane of Elig, Tormund is
jovial, treating many things as a
joke. He has a big booming laugh.
Behind the jokes, the laughter, and
Tormunds seeming obliviousness
to small and large issues immediately around him, Tormund is
a clever and ambitious man, his
brain scheming while his mouth
does other things.
Aspects: Thane of Elig

42

Looking for political advantage


Cleverer than he looks
Huge
Likes a drink
Skills: Level 5: Leadership
Level 4: Charm, Wealth
Level 3: Melee Combat, Strategy
and Tactics, Willpower
Level 2: Contacts, Empathy, Riding, Strength
Level 1: Agility, Brawling, Awareness, Gaming, Languages
Stunts: Leadership Specialism (+1
in battle), Tough, Strong Will
Languages: Brythonic, Latin, Latin Literacy
Health 5, Composure 5
Equipment: Seax (Damage 2), Battleaxe (Damage 3, rune engraved
with Aspect: Fury of Woten)
Eldred
Eldred is not as tall as Tormund,
but is, if anything, even bulkier
than his Thane. He came to the
shores of Britain a few years ago
to fight and since then has been involved in many battles, seeking out
the bloodiest engagements. He is a
fighter and a killer.

Aspects: Terrifying to friends as


well as enemies
Lust for bloody battle
Skills: Level 5: Strength
Level 4: Brawling, Melee Combat
Level 3: Agility, Awareness, Intimidate
Level 2: Gaming, Survival, Riding,
Willpower
Level 1: Leadership, Missile Combat, Stealth, Strategy and Tactics,
Wealth

Wacian
Wacian is a thin-faced quietly spoken man, plainly dressed, who almost seems to blend into the background.
Aspects: Subtle
Sworn to Hretha, goddess of death
and winter
The arts of illusion and deception
Skills: Level 5: Stealth
Level 4: Deception, Rune Magic
Level 3: Awareness, Melee Combat, Willpower
Level 2: Contact, Healing, Languages, Intimidation
Level 1: Agility, Investigation,
Strength, Survival, Wealth

Stunts: Berserker Rage, Skin like


Iron, Tough

Stunts: Empowered Enchantment,


Runic Curse (a new stunt which let
Wacian create the cursed stones),
Rune Wizardry, Runecasting

Languages: Saxon, Latin

Health 4, Composure 5

Health 8, Composure 4

Languages: Brythonic, Latin, Saxon, Futhark Runes

Equipment:
Seax (Damage 2), Battleaxe (Damage 3, Two-handed, Rune-engraved
with Aspect Bloodthirst), Spear
(Damage 2, short range if thrown)

Equipment:
Rune-engraved Seax (Damage 2,
empowered by Rune Magic with
the Aspect Heart Seeker, use Aspect
once per scene with no Fate Point
cost).

arturus aetatem

In combat, Eldred flies into a blind


rage, striking with wild ferocity at
both foes and friends who get in
the way. Only his incredible size
and deadly instincts have kept him
alive. In the few years he has been
in Britain, Eldred has already built
up a fearsome and not altogether
enviable reputation.

43

The Effect of the Cursed


Stones
Wacian can curse a character
given a cursed stone (and removing or destroying the stone
has no effect) giving them a -2
penalty to a relevant skill test.
This can be done once at no
Fate Point cost, and at any
time in the future by spending
a Storyteller Fate point.
He will do this once in the
Negotiation, and more in the
final confrontation (See main
text).
Skip this if pressed for time,
or the negotiation seems like
a satisfactory climax. Wacian
will have his chance to get
at the player characters in a
future scenario. After all, they
are possibly still cursed.

The Thane's Bodyguard


Aspects: Loyal to the Thane
Elite Warriors
Skills: Level 4, Stress 4
Equipment:
Seax (Damage 2),
Battleaxe (Damage 3)
Events in Elig
* Even on the first evening, Eldred
is looking for a fight, though he
will not be the one to start it. If he
is insulted, Eldred will seek to respond with violence, calling for a
duel with the player character who
insulted him. Not entering the duel
(and someone making a relevant
skill test will realise this) will lead
to the failure of negotiations, as
the player characters are labelled
as cowards. Naturally, a duel is to
the death. Surprisingly, killing the
Thanes champion does not do any
harm to negotiations- if he could
be beaten by the visitors, he was
obviously no good after all.
It might just about be possible to
talk Eldred round from complete
hostility, but this will need both patience and a tough test in Charm
or a similar skill (at least difficulty
6)
* Wacian is more subtle than Eldred, but also seeks to undo the
player characters. The first night,
he will slip a small stone carved
with runes into each of their be-

44

longings; a successful Awareness


check opposed by a Stealth check
made by Eldred (just make one for
the whole PC group) means a player character will find it. A player
character with relevant knowledge
will realise that the rune is a curse
in the name of Hretha, goddess of
death and winter. This will be relevant later on. Disposing of the
stone by itself does not get rid of
the curse, though a relevant magical ritual (opposed by Wacians
Rune Magic skill) will.
* If he is confronted about this,
Wacian will deny everything. The
surprising thing is that Tormund
will actually believe him. He is very
convincing (high Deception skill)
even the player characters will
have doubts, for all that he is the
only possible culprit..
The Negotiation
The negotiation between Tormund
and the player characters is based
on the fact that he is willing to enter an alliance with Lindum and
Ebrauc, and even to swear fealty
to one who rules both kingdoms,
but wants something in return- the
hand of Pontia Blecca in marriage,
meaning his children will inherit
rule over a wider land. Naturally,
Andoc ap Einion is likely to object to this- indeed the Storyteller
should Compel his Romancing
the Prefect's Daughter Aspect to
make matters complicated.
If he sees the Thane insulted and is
still around, Eldred will challenge

Most of this should probably be


roleplayed out, but opposed skill
tests with the Thanes major skills
can be used to resolve any deadlocks (such as discovering the
above compromise). Let the player
characters take the lead.
Of course, if the Thane is genuinely
insulted (rather than just according to Eldred), things are likely to
go badly for the player characterswhatever the politics of the situation, Tormund cant afford to lose
face in front of his followers.

A Final Confrontation
When negotiations have concluded, for good or for ill, one final
challenge awaits the player characters when they are ready to leave,
and on the road alone. Assuming
Wacian is still around, the bodyguard of Thane Tormund will attack them. Wacian will also be
there hidden in the background,
getting involved if it will make a
difference. Eldred will also be there
unless the player characters have
previously killed him or soothed
him.
The bodyguard are there under the
false impression (given to them by
Wacian) that they plan to kill the
Thane, and Wacian discovered
their plans. There is unlikely to be
time to untangle this in the heat of
battle, though simply slaughtering the bodyguard could well undo
all of the player characters earlier
good work.

arturus aetatem

Andoc to a duel. This is sufficient


complication. There is a possible
compromise if the player characters do not agree to Tormunds first
suggestion; Tormund is willing to
enter a military alliance of equals
with Lindum and Ebrauc, with any
of the nations coming to the aid of
the others if one is attacked.

45

Dragons of Britain
The

THE JOURNAL OF GAMING IN ARTHURS BRITAIN

The Dragons of Britain can only continue with the


generous contributions from Arthur enthusiasts and
gamers. Please consider contributing to keep it alive.
We cater to any published game system that can
support an Arthurian setting.

46

Realm

A look at some of the gossip, tales, and rumours around Arthurs realm

532

AD

In Camelot

An

assassin was
killed yesterday when
he was shot by arrow
from the South Keep
after dusk whilst trying to gain entry by stealth. Trusted knights visiting Camelot were
charged by Sir Kay to make inquiries. Their efforts led them to the
inn to the south of the city where
the innkeeper had taken the man
into his boarding room the previous night. The Innkeep was not
alarmed as he was paid properly
and the assassin kept to himself.
He mentioned that the stranger
asked him if there was a Sir Cydfan
at court. Unaware to the innkeeper, Cydfan is the name given to Sir
Borre at his home of Bedegraine.
Why someone would want to kill
one of Arthurs sons or who was ultimately responsible is unknown.

Sir

Hervis, Duke of Anglia is understood to be in control of his


lands once again after defeating
recent rebels. Many of the rebels
seem to have slipped away into the
fens and countryside. The Duke's
company is in Camelot to thank
the High King for his assistance in
defeating the uprising.

Elsewhere In Logres

In Tribruit, near Cynedan /Kineton, a merchant from Malahaut,


Aldan, was set upon just off the
Kings Road. His train of 6 wagons
on their way to Camelot with wool
were attacked by a pack of beasts
resembling wolves in the form of
men. The merchant claimed they
may have been wayward druids
practising their shape-changing
magic but this is unproven. After he
and his guards drove off the pack
they counted the dead and noticed
that the merchants eldest son, Talorc, was missing. The 4 creature
pack was strong enough to kill 8
heavily armed and experienced
guards. When they arrived frightened and wounded in Bourton the
abbot of the monastery sent word
to Camelot for knights to rid the
Kings Road of these horrors.
It is understood that Gawain or
Gaheris intends to journey with
young knights to rescue the merchants son.

A Strange group of finely donned


travellers have been seen on the
road from Powys to Glevum/
Gloucester. When greeted courteously by other folk, the leader called himself King Today of

draconum Britanniam

Whispers Around the

47

draconum Britanniam
48

Overthere and acted with nobility.


At first seen as a worry, it is now
known that they seed joy and contentment on their journey. It is unknown, as spring ends, what destination these sublime people are
making for.
Outside Logres

Rumours

of a giant abound in
Rheged after a local lord went out
to find his vassal who had gone
missing. The lord found the vassal
being roasted by the giant at a lakeside. According to the lords manservant, the giant took a few steps
towards his lord and managed to
kick him into a nearby mountain
before he managed to draw his
sword. The manservant escaped
with his life after singing the giant
a lullaby.

In

Gwynedd an uprising has occured and is being ruthlessly put


down by Maelgwyn (or Ysfain).
Many scream of injustices and
wrongful accusations and while
decent folk are apalled, the men
of Gwynedd have had to contend
much with Irish incursion. This
has left them with no fear of overstepping vigilance and into cruelty.

Strange

golden spires have been


seen aloft in the clouds in the region of Lyonesse by sea-borne
traders and sailors. Fluttering pennants can be seen atop alabaster
battlements in the sunshine. Locals
swear that this wonder is a glipmse
into the fae realm and that we are
not to question it or explore. A local priest has said it is a peek into

Heaven for the faithful and those


who adhere to the old religions see
it as a manifestation of Afallan, or
Avalon. Locals are reticent to help
Cornish knights in questing in Lyonesse in case their actions cause
the vision to disappear or the old
gods are displeased. Some call it a
memory of fabled, and lost, Ys.

A grand summer fair is due to be

held near Eburacum, not far from


the eastern eaves of the Forest Perlious. Merchants and traders from
all over Britain and Ireland will
be attending and there will be visitors from far off realms also. All
are welcome to the Maes y byd,
or Worlds Field. Exotic items will
be available and an eisteddfod will
take place where bards from all
over Britain can sing, recite poetry,
and play instruments.

Despite still being at war at home,

Irish pirates still manage to harass


Cambria, the Old North, and Ynys
Mannau. The peoples of these regions had hoped that with the war
in Ireland winding down predations by pirates upon them would
slow down or cease but they seem
to be increasing. Not even the High
King can be everywhere! There
might be a good number of slaves
and prizes for warriors who take
on and defeat these pirates.
Have you heard rumours and tidings from around Arthurs realm?
remember where your allegiance
lies and send them via the submissions details on the contents page.

Merlin by Trevor Jones


Trevor jones score for the Sam Neill mini series has all the wonder, drama, and majesty
you would expect for such a well treated Celtic version of the Merlin story.
There are moments of sheer genius where the
mysteries of Queen Mabs kingdom are revealed for the first time, Uthrs victory over
Vortigern, and the fall of Arthur are all laid
out by the orchestra.
http://goo.gl/tK3axs

Skyrim, the OST by Jeremy Soule


Another classic by Soule who has made
the ultimate in fantasy soundtracks
with this album. Chanting, atmospheric
sounds, and ambient noise round out an
excellent soundtrack with a recurring anthem. A must.
http://alturl.com/y4f6e

'Pillars of the Earth' by Trevor Morris


Another Trevor and another mini series
score. Sometimes grand and sometimes
touching (Jack & Aliana Make Love is a
wonderfully delicate piece based around
a flute and would be perfect for moments
of love or serenity), it is a tour de force
from a master of the soundtrack genre.
Some of the tracks, such as Philip Is
Damned, are heartbreakingly sad.
http://alturl.com/nwwn6

Icewind Dale Soundtrack by Jeremy Soule


Meant for another RPG (D&D) the soundtrack
for the video game of the same name is wonderfullly understated. Soule has studied his
subject perfectly and IWD gives the listener
war drums but also subtle notes and ambience. Perfect for adventures in the cold and
remote places of Britain.
http://alturl.com/8w8fq

By Steff. Worthington, 4 years a lazy


harp student.

draconum Britanniam

Following are examples of music you can


play during your game to enhance the atmosphere. I have avoided some cliches such as
Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana' (Excalibur).
All URLs are UK adresses (Amazon.co.uk for
example) but the item should be available
on other sites. Many of these pieces are also
available on Youtube.com for review.

49

* it is understood that
the forename of Robert
was added much later as
Surnames at the time were
not in common useage.
Throughout his long life the
poet is likely to have been
known only by the name
Wace.
** Being sent away for
an education, especially
overseas to a well renowned and established
place of education such as
a university or monastary
would have only been
possible for those with
considerable wealth
*** As of 2012, 18% of the
population could speak
some Jrriais words and
phrases with more than
7% of those over 65 being
fluent or able to speak
a lot of Jrriais. 60% of
adults said that they found
difficulty in comprehending spoken Jrriais, but
more than a quarter are
able to understand some,
and 5% more can usually or fully understand
someone speaking Jrriais.
4% of people said that they
could write some Jrriais,
although under 1% could
write fluently. Just under a
third (32%) said that they
could understand something written in Jrriais.
Sadly, these numbers are
not encouraging to those
who wish to protect the
language.

50

Wace,
Bard of Jersey
by Steff. J. Worthington
The Arthurian legend, as we all
know, is made up of takes from
many sources, some fantastical,
some ridiculous, and some historical. Arthur is as much a hybrid of
culture and character as any Briton and centuries of tales heaped
upon renown, legend, and vague
guesses have not really helped in
getting us closer to the man.
And yet.. Those tales have also
helped spread his fame and deeds
across the globe and helped keep
his heroic persona alive to this day.
One of those Elaborators, Robert* Wace, may not have written
many volumes on Arthur, or even
wholly original ones, yet it is this
unassuming character from 12th

century Jersey brought some significant elements to the cycle that


would come to almost define it.
Born in Jersey around AD1100 into
a (presumably) wealthy family**,
Wace was sent away to Caen in
Normandy for a formal education
and seem to have lived on there
after his education in the role of
teacher.
He was clearly recognised as a poet
of some renown and a person of no
small importance as he gained important patrons. King Henry II of
England commissioned the work
Roman de Rou, a history of the
events leading up to, and including, the Battle of Hastings. As Wace

His contribution to the Arthurian


Cycle comes not in new stories but
rather as casting a more rational
eye on a previous work, namely
that of Geoffrey of Monmouths
Historia Regum Britanniae. While
it is accepted by scholars of today
as largely a work of fantasy, at the
time it was regarded as reasoned
fact. However Wace, for reasons
that are unclear, chose to re-tell
Geoffreys tale of British history
by also commenting on what he
knew, what he believed, and also,
odly for the time, on what he didnt
know.
With a modern eye we can look
on those workd by early authors
in the cycle and see them for the
make-believe they are. We might
say to ourselves that while the tale
is fantasy it is probably based on
a historical truth. That was seldom
the view in early and middle Medieval literature.
From this view comes Roman de
Brut, a history of the Britons starting with Brutus the last son of Troy
establishing his domain over the
island of Britain (as Geoffreys
work did) but here we also see
something new, the introduction of
the Round Table, courtly romance,
and the word Excalibur.
For the noble barons he had, of
whom each felt that he was supe-

rior--each one believed himself to


be the best, and no-one could tell
the worst--King Arthur, of whom
the Britons tell many stories, established the Round Table. There
sat the vassals, all of them at the
table-head, and all equal. They
were placed at the table as equals.
None of them could boast that he
was seated higher than his peer.
When Geoffrey (and others) subverted the Welsh word for Arthurs
sword Caledfwch, into Caliburn,
to make it easier to read for nonCymric speakers, it was left to
Wace to further adapt the word
for Norman/French ears into Excalibur. Caliburn seems as easy to
me to say as Excalibur, yet it is by
Excalibur that we know the sword
today, such was the reach and popularity of Wace writings. In truth,
his book adds little to Geoffreys
work (aside it being in verse and
the introduction of two of the fundamental features of the cycle) but
it was Wace version that brought it
to a wide audience and cemented
the legend.
Wace passed around 1180 as Canon of Bayeux while in Rouen and
is remembered as Jerseys most
famous son with a plaque on the
States Building in Royal Square
with a quote from le Maistre:
Jo di e dirai ke jo sui
Wace de lisle de Gersui
English:
I say and will say that I am
Wace from the Island of Jersey

draconum Britanniam

wrote in Old Norman, a dialect


of Old French and a dialect that
would eventually become Modern
Jrriais*** , his work was able to
be read across Normandy and further established his reputation of a
writer of some worth.

51

I wrote this a couple of


years ago to celebrate
the birthday of a little
girl whose parents are
dear friends of mine.
It is with their kind
permission it appears
here. While it isnt
Arthurian in nature,
it is in the style (hopefully, kind reader) of the
Celtic tales of old and in
the mythlore of faeries
amd the Seelie Court.
This tale rests here with
your child in mind and
while the young lady for
which it was written has
her name in a deepest
blue in the text, it is
fitting that you replace
her name with that of
your little one to whom
you are reading this
story (hopefully on their
birthday).
To me, this story will always belong to Angelina.
A pronunication guide
appears at the end for
those not used to Welsh
names and words.
~ Steff. Worthington
Art by Arthur Rackham

n a far off corner of the Celtic world there lived a little girl
called Rhiannon. So named after the goddess because of her love
for swift horses, all the small animals who couldnt protect themselves and for her dark curls that shone in the morning sunshine.
In her mothers garden she tended the sheep with hugs and cuddles, played her harp to make herbs grow, and sang to the trees
so they would grow tall and broad to shelter the garden against
the storms which blew around the mountain of Snowdon. Her
mother and father adored her and thanked the stars above for
the blessing they had been given.
One evening, as the household were asleep, she heard a singing.
It was beautiful and seemed to contain words from many lost
languages. She felt her heart lift when she heard it and as she
swung her legs from her bed to get up to hear more
she saw a light from her window coming from the
garden. She snuck across the floor of the house,
being careful not to wake anyone, and made her
way to the door.

When she got there she made a great stretch of her stride to step
over Gelert, the huge wolf hound who protected the door. Thinking
she had gotten away with it she opened the door and stepped into
the cool, dark garden. Gelert had heard her but just made a grumbling sound and went back to sleep.
The light she had seen was coming from a small mole-hill that had
appeared in the ground. At least she thought it was a mole-hill because it was small and round and sticking a few inches out of the
soft green earth. Yet this was no ordinary mole-hill.

It had been dug by a mole of course but at the command of


Ybran, king of the faeries. The faeries were graceful people who
could be very small in their underground kingdom of glittering
caves and wide blue pools, but could also grow tall like Rhiannons parents when out of the ground.
And it was at this time Rhiannon first met Ybran & Tegwen, king
& queen of the Fae.
Now Rhiannon wasnt rude or ignorant so she was determined
to be polite and courtly but the glimmer of the Faeries pearl
and silver gowns, cloaks and crowns shone so brightly that Rhiannon was astonished for a moment
.
Child. I am Ybran, the guardian of Afallan and the Otherworld.
This is Tegwen, my queen. said the king in quite stateworthy
tones. Rhiannon curtseyed and spoke softly, if not a little nervously; I am Rhiannon, daughter to Owain your majesty.

Tegwen the queen was instantly taken with


Rhiannon and stepped forward and cradled
her in her arms. Turning towards the king
she said, What good manners! I think we
have found the right child my lord.
Now Rhiannon was no fool and remembered the tales of her Nain, or Grandma,
about how the Elves & Faeries can be full of
tricks and to give them your words can lead to trouble.
Rhiannon stepped back but was quickly reassured by Tegwen.
Do not be frightened, we need your help. If you listen to us for just
a little while we can explain how you may save the kingdom of the
Faeries.
Now, Rhiannon was all for saving kingdoms and such but she didnt
want to get into any trouble. Also, it isnt very wise to wander off,
far from home, with no one to look out for you so she motioned
the royal couple into her home, over the dozing hound (whom it
seems was quite used to seeing faeries) and bid them sit at her
fathers large wooden table. Although the king & queen didnt really feel that they should be in a human home they were still polite
and sipped their honeymead while they explained how Rhiannon
could help.

The Fae realm is made of two kingdoms spoke the king, Ours
is the Seelie Court, a place of light, love, and happiness. A place
where people can visit in their dreams if they are sad and be comforted. A safe place.

The queen continued; But there is another kingdom. The Unseelie


Court ruled by Beli Mawr, sometimes called Arawn, who is a cruel
king. He commands the place where bad thoughts go and where
bad people plot their hurtful acts and where they safe-keep their
hurtful words. Rhiannon didnt like the sound of that place. On
the whole, she thought, she would rather go to the seaside for an
ice-cream.

We carry a great burden Rhiannon confided the king in hushed


tones so as not to awake the house; We carry all the good thoughts
and fun for the children of the world. It is a joyful task but it means
that the Unseelie King will always try to bully us to hand over the
good wishes and hopes that we hold. We cannot allow that to happen. It would make your world a very sad place indeed. If Beli Mawr
managed to defeat my kingdom and take those cheerful thoughts
and all that excitement that children feel then he would make them
into nasty and vicious things. Do you understand sweet child?
Rhiannon nodded that she did.
The queen put her arm around Rhiannons shoulder and squeezed
her with as much love as she could muster.
Rhiannon, we have been searching for someone to help us with
this burden. We have asked goblins, unicorns, eagles, dragons,
cats, and trolls but they havent been quite right. Now here we
stand to ask the world of mankind to help. The Unseelie Court is
close by and Beli Mawr may appear soon. Our world and yours
is in danger. IF the treasure that is the hopes and dreams of children is no longer in our care then Beli Mawr will have no cause to
trouble us. What say you? Will you help us? Rhiannon had often

been told by her family and Gelert that it


was always good to help someone (Gelert
was always talking. Sadly, Rhiannon only
spoke Welsh and didnt know much Dog.
Just enough to get by) so with that in mind
she stood up and proudly announced Of
course your majesty. I am your humble servant. Well, it was the polite thing to do.
Once the royal couple had finished their Honeymead they led Rhiannon to the garden and before
leaving down the mole-hill for Afallan (or as it is now
known, Avalon) the queen gave her a small velvet purse. As Rhiannon opened it a bright flash of amber light flooded out of the purse
and made the garden seem as the day. She felt elated and incredibly excited like it was her birthday every day of the year. Still enjoying the feeling of excitement she closed the clasp.
Thank you for sharing this burden. We have given you all the
excitement and happiness of the
children of the world Rhiannon.
You must look after it and make
sure that Beli Mawr does not find
it. Do you promise? said the king.
I promise sire. Rhiannon felt
the great responsibility but was
determined to keep to her promise. With that, the king and queen
were gone.
The beautiful singing had stopped
and the herb garden was quiet
and still again under the bright
stars of Arianrhod at the foothills of Snowdon the Great, where
Dragons sleep.

Feeling tired, Rhiannon made her way back to the house and was
eagerly looking for her bed when she heard a rumbling. Thinking
it was Ybran & Tegwen returning she turned around only to see
another molehill and a tall man wearing rags, horns, and a nasty
grin. Behind him were Goblins with evil intent in their eyes, the
sound of far off shouting and battle, and a sickly purple light follwed them.I am Beli Mawr child. The king of the Unseelie Court.

Rhiannon was very frightened. Beli Mawr was huge and looked
very angry but she also knew that if you let bullies see you are
afraid they will only pick on you more. Remembering her manners
she curtseyed again.
P...pleasure to meet you, your majesty. she stuttered.
The king gave a snort and stamped his feet. Rhiannon could see
why Beli Mawr had no queen for only kind kings can win the hearts
of true ladies.
I smell the stench of my enemy here in this garden. Did they leave
anything with you child? He boomed.
N...no... my lord. rhiannon uttered.Nothing? the King stepped
forward and looked her straight in the eyes suspiciously. Panic
gripped Rhiannon. Of course! She thought to herself, Beli Mawr
is the king of all bad things, including lies! He will KNOW if I lie to
him. She thought quickly (as Ive mentioned, Rhiannon was bright)
and spoke calmly to the evil king;
Sire, would you have me share with you what they left me?

58

Beli Mawr began to smile; Of course I would. He eerily whispered.


Rhiannon replied and would you share whatever I asked for? Whatever is in your power to give?
Blinded by sly greed at the prospect of getting all of the hopes
and dreams of the worlds children Beli Mawr acted hastily in his
promise. Fairy promises are very hard to break.
Of course I would. For I am a generous king. he stated.
Stepping back Rhiannon took out the small velvet green purse and
ripped it open, breaking the clasp. The blinding light exploded out
of the garden, across the valley, over the mountains and across
seas. It lit up in the hearts of every child in the world. All the worlds
childhood excitement and joy was now shared between the worlds
children. Without thinking why or how, these children were now
its guardians.
Beli Mawr was furious. Not only had he been cheated of his treasure but because he was so close to the purse when it was broken he
too was experiencing lots of joyful excitement. And that was something the king of bad deeds did not like.
Rhiannon spoke firmly. I have shared
my prize.
Arrrgh!. Beli Mawr rumbled Who has
it now you brat?
Right now, a girl called Angelina has it
in her safe keeping. She was seven today
and will pass that excitement onto the
next little girl or boy who is having their
birthday. She lives far away on the other side of the world, is loved very much
by her mummy and daddy and she isnt
afraid of the likes of you.

Rhiannon felt strong for standing up to Beli Mawr.


Arrggh! YOU tricksy child! I will take you with me down into
Annwn, into the Underworld, and there you will clean and cook for
me and all my kingdom until i decide to release you! bellowed the
king.
My lord, have you forgotten our bargain? Rhiannon was still a little frightened but she now had the measure of the king and knew
that if he failed to live up to the promise he made then his kingdom
would fall to ruin.

Fire and smoke arose from around Beli Mawr. There was a dark
fiery glow in his eyes and his anger could be heard for miles around
in the rumbling of the ground. So much so that Rhiannons parents
were beginning to stir.
A promise is a promise. What would you have me give you before
I take you down to the dark kingdom with me? snarled the king
through gritted teeth. Quietly and calmly Rhiannon said:
Your absence.
Pardon? uttered the king just before he disappeared back to that
evil place in a puff of red tinged smoke. Once again all was quiet
and in the distance, over the waters of Llyn Ogwen, the little girl
with dark curls could see the dark blue of the night sky begin to
turn lighter as the sunrise approached.
Rhiannon heard the creaky wooden door behind her and saw her
mother. She was bleary eyed and yawning; Cariad? (Beloved).

What are you doing out here at this hour? I thought I heard the
dragon in the mountain stir.
Just chasing away a pest, Mam.
Rhiannon went back to her bed, happy in the knowledge that she
had kept her promise, that a burden shared is much lighter, and
that the king & queen of the Seelie Court will watch over Angelina
and all the boys and girls of the world on their birthday.
Pronunciation Guide
Welsh pronunciation always seems a little difficult to pronounce at first (like most different
languages) but is much easier if one takes a
moment to learn the new sounds needed to
properly pronounce Welsh words.
The Double L* sound seems to give the most
difficulty. Put the tip of your tongue against
your gums behind your front teeth and blow
gently while keeping your toungue in place.
That is the Double L sound (LL)* The letter R
is usually rolled.
The syllabic emphasis on the following words
is shown in capitals. See also our pronunciation guide on page 32 of this issue.

Rhiannon -
ree-ANN-on
Snowdon - SNOW-dun
Gelert
-
GEL-et
Ybran
-
UB-ran
Tegwen - TEG-wen
Afallan - av-ALL*-an
Owain
-
O-wine (as in the drink)
Nain
-
NY-ne (like the number)
BELL-ee m-OUR
Beli Mawr -
Arianrhod - AR-ee-ANN-rod
Arawn - AR-ow-n
Llyn Ogwen -
LL*in OGG-wen
Cariad - KA-ree-add
Annwn - a-NOON

draconum Britanniam
62

Gratitudes & Complimentaries

THE GENEROUS CONTRIBUTORS WHO HAVE MADE THIS ISSUE OF THE


DRAGONS OF BRITAIN POSSIBLE. THEY'VE STEPPED UP. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN.

Steff. J. Worthington

Contact info is steffworthington@hotmail.com


Available for cartography projects, trade dress, and
graphic design for RPGs and other books.

David Elrick
Writer

Paul Mitchener

Contact info is drmitchener@gmail.com


Website: http://rpgimaginarium.wordpress.com/

Christopher Payne
Contact info is chrisjohnpayne@blueyonder.co.uk
Castle Explorer

Michael Phillippi - http://www.michaelphillippi.com/


Oliver Diaz
Sean & Ashlie Nelson - http://ashensorrow.deviantart.com/
Rita Marifoldi - http://alturl.com/7xgz9
Brian Carey - http://desithen.deviantart.com/
Luminareh - http://luminareh.deviantart.com/
Eirian-Stock - http://eirian-stock.deviantart.com/
Melissa Salvatore - http://13-melissa-salvatore.deviantart.com/
AnaRasha-stock - http://anarasha-stock.deviantart.com/
Esther Cassinelli - http://ecathe.deviantart.com/

draconum Britanniam

Wyld Raven - http://wyldraven.deviantart.com/

63

STYGIAN FOX