490-2 Uther in the north

With sir Maelfin still recovering, laid low by the blows of perfidious saxons, Sirs Arpád, Islwyn and Jacob accepted Uther’s invitation to roam north and treat with the northern dukes and kings, becoming part of the king’s retinue as he marched into the desolate, pict-ridden highlands.

Though the king’s camp was indeed assailed by pictish raiders, our brave company drove them off - but Sir Jacob was unimpressed with his performance against the foe and fell into disconsolate misery, having failed to avenge the death of his ancestor.

Sir Arpád the hun attempted to bestir the man from his melancholy with a cruel kick to the briton’s shin, but for his troubles was set upon by Sir Jacob in a retributive frenzy, being cruelly struck down and terribly injured, causing the group to call off their hunt of the picts who fled their blades.

As the only knight of the Heroes of Sword Lake who was not lying injured on a sickbed or so profoundly miserable as not to be disturbed, Sir Islwyn was called to Uther’s side to regale the northern dukes and kings with the tale of how excalibur came to be in the King’s possession. When his more modest tales were not regarded as impressive he became prone to exaggerating some of the details - only the most outrageous version of events (with Merlin arriving out of a bolt of lightning in the middle of a storm to give the knights a quest to slay a small army of giants and monsters by the lakeside) winning any recognition and renown.

Upon the return to Logres and the coming of summer, the three knights and their families joined together for a raid on the saxon lands in the east. Islwyn took to the fore and in a show of martial pride took on three enemies - and while he smote them mightily they stuck him mortally down. Fortunately for the raiding party, however, his brave sacrifice allowed his valiant companions to slay their opponents and break the defenders.

Lying mortally wounded, it seemed as though Islwyn might well die. Spurred to action, his eldest brother Ithel spent hours over the body, treating his wounds and holding his hand - and in the end, saving his life.

The men returned with great wealth to Sarum where they presented Earl Roderick with his share and were praised by the court.