Pendragon on the Humber
The Forest Sauvage
When King Uther died, the kingdom shattered.
Since “the king is the land and the land is the king,”
forces that would normally be kept at bay are released
in the heart of Logres. The wild lands grow
stronger and threaten to overwhelm the civilized regions.
People nearby are disturbed by the speed at
which the land goes wild — almost violently it seems
— and they are troubled by the occasional unnatural
creature that ventures forth from it. But they are
helpless except to observe it.
At the center of Logres, the forests grow thicker
so that the former roads become trails, the former
trails become paths, the former footpaths become
game trails. The region becomes known as the Forest
Sauvage. People outside of Sauvage remember that
cities and castles are within it, and they can point
out where the old roads and paths end, but they are
not sure who now rules there, nor how far it is to the
next castle, city, or village.
Places of Sauvage
Alchester: This is a small, unwalled city on the
east side of the ford, over the Cherwell from Tribruit
Castle. A path leads eastward from it. The river flows
south and might be followed.
Banbury: Banbury is a short way amidst the trees,
up an unused path from Kineton on the Royal Road.
Banbury is a castle, motte and two baileys; with 10
knights and 25 soldiers. It is ruled by Sir Landri, and it
is a guardpost. Sir Landri’s job is to send strangers away
back to Kineton, or delay them after sending a messenger
to the earl. One path connects Banbury to Tribruit.
Brun (Castlethorpe): Brun is a backwater barony
happy to be isolated from the outside world. A
great feeling of ease and indolence lies over it. It has
a walled city and a motte-and-bailey castle, reinforced
with a second bailey and 60-foot ditch.
Buckingham: Buckingham is a reinforced motteand-
bailey castle on the upper Dubglas River. A trail
joins another trail from here to either Towchester or
Borough Hill: This is a huge hill fort, the second
largest in Britain. The inner defense covers fully 4-1/2
acres, and the lower 150 acres. A trail through the
woods from Lilborne comes here, and continues on to
Dunstable: This is a small town huddling inside the
crumbling ruins of a Roman fort. Bland, the local priest,
speaks for the town. Nearby are the Five Knolls, where five
kings are buried. Also nearby is Maiden Bower, another
old hill fort. A normal road goes south to St. Albans, and
a path north through the woods to Stony Strafford.
Ippolitts: This small town is along the Icknied Way.
Here stands the church where St. Hippolytus, a famous
horseman, is buried; the power lying here is said to cure
sick horses of almost anything. Horses to be healed are
brought in by the north door to touch the altar, where
the relics lie.
Northampton: The eminently hospitable Sir Felix
rules this small city, protected by a motte-and-bailey
castle. A path leads from here north to Melbourne,
or westward to Borough Hill or Castle Sauvage. It is
also possible to follow the river to Thrapston.
Rainsborough Camp: Now a guard post for
Tribruit, this simple hill fort houses 8 footmen, 3
knights, and their dogs, all assigned to keep out visitors.
They first send word to the Earl of Tribruit, then
threaten visitors, then fight. An eastward path leads
to here from Buckingham and Towchester, and westward
goes to Alchester.
Rollright Stones: This landmark circle is near the
edge of the woods; nearby, a pathway goes to Compton,
on the Royal Road, and then to the guard post
just inside the woods, and beyond to Tribruit Castle.
Like Rainsborough, this guard post has dogs, 8 footmen,
and 3 knights assigned by the Earl of Tribruit to
send strangers away, or to delay them after sending a
messenger to the earl. One path connects this place to
Tribruit. On midsummer night, the gigantic stones of
this circle march down to the nearby river to drink.
Sauvage Castle (Farthingstone): A magnificent,
tall, crimson-colored castle surrounded by rich fields
and many villages and towns. The castle has curtain
walls, four double-tall towers, and a double-tall keep.
The exterior walls are bright, shining red. In some
places, green ivy is starkly visible climbing upon
its surface. Previously, this had been a large motteand-
bailey; apparently the King of Sauvage has upgraded
it. Paths connect this place to Towchester,
Northampton, and Borough Hill.
Stevington Well: A renowned healing well near
the Dubglas River. It never freezes, and it never runs
Stony Stratford: A village at the ford for the
Dubglas River, this is the only place to cross for miles
in either direction. A long woodland trail leads from
here to Dunstable, and, across the ford, to Brun.
Towchester: This is an incredibly wealthy, friendly
town. Paths go to Brun, southward; to Sauvage Castle,
north; and to Buckingham westward.
Tribruit Castle: This is a small county in the central
west part of the forest, centered on the old city of Alchester
at Alchester Ford, which is surrounded by valley
farmlands along the upper Cherwell River. A reinforced
motte-and-bailey castle, held by the Count himself,
guards the ford to Alchester. Paths come here from Banbury,
the Rollright Stones, and across the ford from Alchester.
The Whispering Path: The Whispering Path is known to be
haunted. In addition to the usual problems of following
a path in Forest Sauvage to explore unknown territory,
the ghostly guardians of the path must be met