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The Annals of Arthur Pendragon
For nearly a quarter of a century, Arthur Pendragon, High King of the Britons, has overseen a golden age in Britannia that few would expect. Saxons, Picts, Irish, and Britons, Nicenes, Pelagians, and pagans alike can all find a place in Arthur’s Britain. Trade flows from Ireland, Pictland, Francia, Anglia, and even far-off, exotic locales like Hispania, Italy, and Constantinople. Arthur and his knights have set an example of courage and honor in placing one’s life in service to others, and the High King has proven generous in bestowing equestrian rank on anyone who proves that they possess these virtues in service to the ideals of Camulod. It has created a nation bound by shared virtues, rather than shared traditions or genealogies. It has created a heroic age.
491: Ælle seizes Anderitum. Uther Pendragon is slain in the fight against him. His son, Aulus Hectorius, becomes the new Magister Militum to the rex Romanorum, Ambrosius Aurelianus. Hectorius devises a strategy: with an elite force of cavalry that would call upon the old Roman field army as much as the heroic Celtic tradition, he would make a round of the island, forcing the Saxons to unite under a single bretwalda, so that he could wager the whole of the war on one final, decisive confrontation. Hectorius withdraws to his father’s stronghold at Camulod to begin his preparations.
492: Hectorius’s campaign begins. They suffer initial setbacks against the Anglians in Icenia, but ultimately succeed in containing Icel. Hectorius grants Ælle the title of Comes litoris Saxonici, Count of the Saxon Shore, believing that either the reward will cement Ælle’s allegiance, encouraging the Saxon warlord to reveal the bretwalda, or that Ælle is the bretwalda, and the move will make him overconfident and reveal himself. They then turn north, dealing with the Anglians moving into Eboracum and Guotodin. They venture beyond the Wall to deal with an alliance between the Anglians and the Picts, and winter in Guotodin, where they conclude the Peace of Din Eidyn, bringing peace to the Old North. They receive news there of Aurelianus’s death, and that his heir, Ambrosius Aurelianus Brittanicus, has taken the throne as Ælle’s puppet.
493: Aulus Hectorius leads his army south to Eboracum, where he is crowned High King of Britain, and takes the name Arthur Pendragon. Ælle reveals himself as the bretwalda who is uniting the Saxons. Arthur moves south through Deva, where they help Catuvellaunus Long-Arm and his brothers against an alliance of Irish and Saxons answerable to Ælle in Venedotia. Meanwhile, Ælle wiped out the Regenses tribe in a brutal act of genocide, and then pushed to cut Dumnonia off from the rest of the island. Arthur’s army met Ælle’s just shy of that goal at Badon Hill, where the decisive battle Arthur had tried for so long to create was met. In a final charge of his best knights, equipped in clibinarii armor imported from distant Constantinople and smuggled to the hilltop in the night, Arthur and his personal warband slew Ælle and defeated the Saxon invasion. In the short civil war that followed, Arthur seized Londinium from Ambrosius Aurelianus Brittanicus, who fled to Icel, the Anglian king and lord of the Ingwine that Arthur had failed to remove from Icenia at the outset of his campaign.
494: Arthur planned to reform the diocesan council disbanded by Vortigernos over a generation before, but to do so he had to first convince the kings of Britain to join him. To accomplish this, Arthur sent his best warriors into the realm to provide an example of Camulod’s ideals, to help the Britons with their problems, and so to provide palpable reasons for the kings of Britain to join in Camulod’s cause. Myrddin tasked some of them with an additional task: to gather the the Treasures of Britain. At first his quest seemed strange and superstitious, but as the knights began to gather the treasures, they realized that each one provided a potent symbol of British unity. As they began to collect in Camulod’s treasure hall, Camulod itself became a symbol of the peoples of Britain united in common cause.
495: Several of the kings of the Old North unite behind Einion ap Mark to overthrow Arthur, claiming that after a line of failed leaders from the south, the time had come for the Dux Britanniarum to seize control. Arthur’s army faced the renegades in battle and crushed their army. Einion admitted that he had been pressured into rebellion by Bisho Auspex. The knights persuaded Auspex to undertake a mission to Pictland personally to convert Gogfran to Christianity.
496: Arthur’s knights help institute a new republic in Linnuis.
499: Bedwyr found Myrddin dead in his isolated hut in the rugged hill country of Pagensia. Vulvinna instructed him to spin a tale of how she trapped Myrddin away in a magical tower, a myth to bolster Arthur’s cause. To join the pagan conspiracy in Dobunnia that protected the Cauldron and Bowl of the Dobunni, Bedwyr had to prove himself to them by assassinating Bishop Theodotus of Glevum, who frequently incited his followers to hunt down and kill pagans and heretics like Pelagians, such as Bedwyr himself, preaching that allowing such people to go on living itself constituted a monstrous sin. When Caius Hectorius and his fellows pressed to investigate the murder, Bedwyr confessed what he had done to them. Caius took the information to Arthur, not entirely realizing that, bound by the anger of the other bishops and their political motivations to gain power over the High King, Arthur had little choice but to condemn Bedwyr to death. Bedwyr escaped with help from Caius, Lugh Striking-Hand, and the new emissary from Constantinople, Khalid ibn-Salim. On the run, Bedwyr discovered a Gnostic conspiracy that had infiltrated Christian, pagan, and secular power structures alike and plagued their efforts to unite Britain, hoping instead to stoke an apocalyptic conflict that would bring about the end of the world in the year 500, as Saint Augustine had predicted. The knights tracked down the key members of the conspiracy and eliminated them all in a single night.
500: Arthur Pendragon convenes the diocesan council, which becomes the primary ruling body for Camulod, as people then referred to the reunited diocese of Britannia, as well as the outlying kingdoms liked Guotodin, Novant, and Ystrad Clud that had joined it. The Synod of Londinium, convened by Bishop Libo, works out compromises for Nicenes and Pelagians to live side by side. Arthur and Gwenhwyfar have a son, named Llacheu.
502: Arthur and Gwenhwyfar have a second son, named Amr.
503: Titus Drustanus goes to Ireland to conclude a peace treaty between Marcus Cunomorus and Óenghus Bolg, king of the Corcu Loígde in Ireland. The treaty was to be cemented by the marriage between Cunomorous and Óenghus’s daughter, Adsolita, but both Titus and Khalid ibn-Salim fell in love with her.
504: Adsolita chose Titus Drustanus over Khalid ibn-Salim, but ultimately submitted to her family and state obligations by marrying Marcus Cunomorus. Embittered, Titus became more involved with Gerontius’s resistance movement.
507: Armoricans help Clovis defeat the Visigoths at Campus Vogladensis, helping assure their peace with the Merovingians.
508: A charismatic Cantiaci warrior named Lucanos had gained a great deal of notoriety as a local hero in Dobunnia. In this year, the triumvirate named him king of the Dobunni. Soon after, he took the Dobunni to war against their neighbors, the Belgae, alleging that their Saxon warrior class had become a threat to all Britons. Lucan fell in battle, ending the war, but the Dobunni began construction of a massive earthwork along their border with Belgia.
515: Two Saxon warlords named Bieda and Maegla lead several keels of warriors in a new invasion of Britain. Gerontius leads the Britons in the Battle of Llongborth. The young Prince Llacheu takes part in the battle as well. The Saxons were defeated and driven off, but Gerontius and Llacheu both perished in the fighting.