|Coat Of Arms||Per fess argent and gules in chief a harp sable|
|Social Class||Vassal Knight|
|Land Owned||Manor of Wylye|
|Family Characteristic||Musically gifted|
|Year(s) Married||490 (Lady Adwen)|
|Heir(s)||Bosley, Harding, Carnell|
Appearance and Personality Edit
A giant of a man, Sir Elad's mere appearance is enough to intimidate most men and, when roused, his strength matches up to this promise. Although he is in general a dour man, when he does choose to be amused, his merriment is most suited to one of his size. He is a very skilled lutenist and has inherited his father's musical talent, being able to melodically play any instrument that comes to hand.
His loyalty to Earl Roderick, his liege lord, was fierce and passionate, and matched only by his hatred of the Saxon invaders who have taken a foothold in Britain to the east of Logres. Following the Earl's murder, along with almost all the rest of the nobility, Elad has transferred this loyalty to Roderick's widow, the Lady Ellen as regent until her son Robert of Salisbury comes of age. Elad is not driven primarily by hatred, however, (except in the case of Saxons!), he is a loving man, who cares passionately for his family and the woman he eventually wed, the Lady Adwen. He believes wholeheartedly in the rules of hospitality to those who he shelters under his roof and anyone who comes to Wylye is assured of a warm and generous welcome.
History and Family Edit
Sir Elad's father was killed in battle in the year 484, as part of the campaign of his king, Uther Pendragon.
One of a large family, his elder sister Enid has taken over the day to day running of Wylye Manor and has proved to be a very competent housekeeper. He also has five younger siblings, all but one of whom are sisters (Daisy, Dulcina, Rhoslyn and Hazel).
He is perhaps too lenient on his younger brother, Quentin, who is rather too free with the peasant wenches of Wylye. He didn't pay any attention when a rumour circulated the manor suggesting that Quentin had been involved in brawl and killed his opponent, and even when that was proved to be true, he hushed it up and protected his brother. It remains to be seen if Quentin mends his ways.
He was taken with the beautiful Lady Adwen from when he first met her at court in 485 and his passion for her only grew over the years, and after a few cool years, it was reciprocated by the lady. After a great feat in battle, where he captured King Octa of the Saxons, Earl Roderick was finally forced to bow to the wishes of the lady and gentleman and they were wed in 490.
Sir Elad sired an illegitimate daughter, Arianwen, soon after being knighted who he looks on kindly and so far has had five daughters with Adwen: Elizabeth, the twins, Ygraine and Ella, Alfreda and Kinna as well as four sons, Marden, Bosley, Harding and Carnell. Alas, Alfreda only lived two years before succumbing to a fever. Elad's first son and heir, Marden died at the age of twelve, of the Devil's Fever, leaving both Elad and Adwen devastated.
Before he and Adwen produced an heir, he brought his youngest sister, Hazel, to live at Wylye as she had a son, Maddox, who was the only male child born to the family and, as such, was heir presumptive to Wylye. Since then, Adwen gave birth to a son and heir apparent, but Elad still accepts Maddox as his own and will raise him alongside his own sons.
History as a Knight of the Realm Edit
Following the disastrous battle at Netley Marsh the previous year, there are several groups of Saxons at Spring Court this year, and they all walk with a swagger in their step. Elad has as little to do with all of them as courtesy will allow and, instead, spends time trying to cement marriages for his elder children. Sir Lycus formally agrees to marry his eldest son to Elizabeth and Elad gives serious thought about marrying one of the twins to Sir Madog's adopted son and the newly knighted Sir Vannes. Although the boy was born a commoner, he was always good and he has shown courage, determination and the true traits of a knight over the years. In Council, Earl Robert shares the bad news that Wessex is demanding tribute this year, at a level that will practically cripple the county, but that he feels that they are not strong enough to resist another assault and will have to comply. Nobody likes the idea, but the knights present accept the analysis. Elad agrees to lead a small group of knights to escort Lady Nineve of the Ladies of the Lake and her handmaidens into Forest Sauvage on an errand of mercy. One of the handmaidens is discovered to be Lady Ruth, Sir Rhodri's missing daughter. Elad talks to her during the journey but when he determines that she is happy in this life and has found religious freedom, he says no more. Back at Wylye, the harvest is good, but precious little of it remains for the people of the manor itself, as most of it is carted away as tribute for the Saxons. However, bounty of previous years, hoarded for such an occasion, and the income from Oxford means that the people of the manor are kept fed. Some money is also found to build a well in the village, to keep up the spirits of the peasants without whom the land would lie bare.
Following mixed results last year, Elad approaches Spring court more determined to find alliances for his elder daughters. Although they have had their differences in the past, Sir Lycus expresses interest in uniting the two banneretcies by marriage. He has less luck with the twins, but holds out hope that as King Nanteleod is bringing a mighty army to Salisbury to battle the Saxons, he may be able to create alliances in the other kingdoms. In Council, Earl Robert is still cautious about pledging allegiance to Nanteleod, and the knights of his council agree with his decision to wait for the outcome of the upcoming battle. Elad feels proud when his unit joins the growing army as such a force hasn't been seen since the days of King Uther. At Netley Marsh, they give battle with the Saxons of Wessex, but are surprised when King Ælle of Sussex joins the Wessex forces. Elad and his unit fight determinedly but their resolve nearly wavers when they are faced with a swarm of peasants and almost unhorsed! Although they get through it, Elad determines that this is a subject that if he survives, will never be mentioned again. As they continue fighting, their hearts sink as it becomes clear that King Idres of Cornwall has also joined the Saxons. The Salisbury force is nothing if not determined though, and by the time that Nanteleod falls and the retreat is sounded, they have reached the enemy camp. They have no time to loot the camp, however, but must fight their way back to their own side, something they accomplish, although both Sir Madog and Young Sir Paul are badly injured. The Wylye harvest is very good this year, and the population has grown enough in the past few years to support a new field at the manor. Following a disastrous battle, this development, along with the marriage of Sir Gwanon, spreads some little bit of cheer.
At Spring court, Elad starts to ask around (and have his lawyer put out feelers) regarding having his eldest daughter married. He approaches Sir Alain, as the two have been friendly before and cementing a relationship with Escavalon seems politically wise. However, Sir Alain has become Prince Alain, as he has been recognised as the heir of King Nanteleod and politely declines, although he will look into the matter further in Escavalon. In council, Earl Robert holds court for the first time, although he is very aware of his status and carefully listens the words of his senior knights. While Elad argues in favour of alliance, or even vassalage, to King Nanteloed, as his star is very much in the ascendency, the other knights are more cautious, and Robert eventually sides with them, deciding to hold off any formal announcement for the moment. There is no expectation of war again this year but Prince Mark of Cornwall and Sir Brastias have asked leave for a relatively number of knights to travel on a mission in Salisbury. Earl Robert gives them leave, but asks Elad to leave a group to "escort" them. They travel to a nunnery at Aimsbury in the company of a boy who doesn't appear to be a squire but is too young to be a knight. This boy, Eliwlod is introduced to Queen Ygraine, who is ensconced at the nunnery, as the son and heir of King Uther Pendragon. Ygraine takes one look at the boy and rejects him as not being her son. Mark is furious but leaves quietly, although he pushes to leave some of his men to "guard" the queen. Elad eventually compromises with him by also leaving some of his own men, and sending to nearby Tilshead for a permanent guard. Unfortunately, Saxon raiders harass the manor at Wylye all year, leading to a terrible harvest that year. The tribute from Oxford helps mitigate the worst of this, and Elad uses some of the money from the battles a couple of years earlier to build a bridge between the village and the surrounding fields, making them easier for the peasants to access.
The year starts badly for Elad, as his eldest son and heir Marden succumbs to Devil's Fire and dies in great pain. As they mourn, Elad commissions a fine tomb, complete with effigy, in memorial. This pain is somewhat offset by good news from Young Sir Paul: Arianwen has borne a boy child and Elad is now a grandfather. At court, as there is no threat of war this year, Elad leads a group north to escort Robert of Salisbury back to Sarum. Before they leave Salisbury though, he stops by Glastonbury convent where Sir Rhodri has deposited his daughter Ruth to try and drum Christianity into her. Unfortunately, the girl has escaped from the convent and Sir Paul uncovers evidence that she may have gone with a group of pagans. Elad feels that this particular item should be kept from Rhodri upon their return, although he does inform him of his daughter's disappearance. The trip north to the court of King Lot is mostly uneventful and good reports are received of Robert. In the autumn, Robert is knighted by Sir Rhodri and made Earl of the county of Salisbury. Meanwhile, at Wylye, another bountiful harvest rolls in, and to try and remind himself that Marden's death doesn't mean the death of all, Elad commissions scenic artwork to adorn the great hall at his manor.
Elad has been impressed for the last few years by the progress of the Young Sir Paul, and now that his eldest daughter, Arianwen, is of marriageable age, the two are betrothed and Elad offers a dowry, even though Arianwen is not a legitimate child. Court this year is strife with rumours of war. King Nanteleod is going to war with the Saxons, but before he can reach Salisbury, Saxons come north from Wessex and besiege Sarum. With Elad leading the defence, the city is in no danger, and the Escavalon forces soon arrive, upon which the combined force gives battle to the invaders. The Britons are victorious and are soon on the march again, this time to Levco Magus, where a bigger battle takes place, but again the combined Escavalon and Logres forces are victorious. By this time, the summer is waning and the days of knightly service are ending, but Nanteloed gives a speech asking for men to stay and continue the march into Essex. The Salisbury force remains and a battle is fought at Chelmsford. Although this is a great success, it is not without cost as Sir Rhodri is nearly killed, while Elad is also badly wounded. The riches from this battle are great and back home Elad gives thought to the defence of his manor. The beating that they have given the Saxons won't hold them back for long. So using the riches pilfered from battle, as well as the results of a good harvest (albeit one that had to be augmented by emptying the Wylye undercroft), a mighty stone guard tower is commissioned, unrivalled outside of Woodford and Sarum itself.
Over the winter, a female cousin seeks sanctuary at Wylye, trying to escape from a marriage that she doesn't want. Although highly irregular, given his own marriage, and his upbringing with many women around, Elad is sympathetic and provides the sanctuary that she requests. At council, discussion turns to ascent of King Nanteleod and whether Salisbury should vassal themselves to him. After a lot of discussion, it is agreed that for the moment they will ally themselves only and await the return of Robert of Salisbury to take up his position as earl. After council, Sir Rhodri asks Elad if he will lead a group to protect the monk Pertoines on a pilgrimage to Oxford, where he intends to set up an institute of learning. Elad agrees and takes Sir Leander, Sir Gwanon and the Young Sir Paul with him. En route, they are stopped at Wallingford, where the lord is the rebel whose brother, Sir Basile, Elad had killed in combat that ended the siege of Oxford in the year 500. The man is incensed and has to be stopped by his own people from attacking Elad on the spot, but a formal duel is called in which Elad bests him. With their lord dead, the knights who had followed him are in disarray and ready to accept Countess Rydychan as their liege, as long as the last remaining brother agrees. The Salisbury group continue to Oxford with no further incidents, whereupon a messenger is dispatched to request a meeting with the final remaining rebel, who acquiesces to Lady Rhdychan's rule, now that both his brothers are dead. The countess is so pleased that she offers a perpetual reward to each of the group who helped return her lands, equivalent to a manorial income. Pertoines is also pleased that his quest has been completed successfully, and offers eternal gratitude and the use of his University once it is established. The harvest this year is bountiful, despite damage caused by Saxon raiders to Wylye's irrigation system, but this is soon repaired, and a new set of expanded kitchens are also built.
Over the winter, the blackguard who has been trying to get Lady Adwen's fortune for years starts spreading more rumours about her faithfulness and his prior claim in the family. Elad has finally had enough and at Easter court, he is challenged to a duel to the death. Spurred on by his love and the indignities heaped upon his house, the challenger, although younger, is no match for the giant and is slain. He hopes that this will bring plots against his wife to a final conclusion. In council, Elad argues to break the alliance with King Ælle and instead form an alliance with the British King Nanteleod. After much discussion, this is agreed, along with sending a small force to London to aid Duke Ulfius against expected Saxon attacks, while the main body of the Salisbury force remains at Sarum to protect it from any other attacks. This is just as well, as Ælle, unhappy with Lady Ellen's decision sends an army against them. With Sir Rhodri spending the year in penance for his deeds the previous year it is up to Elad to lead the army against the invaders. Unfortunately, from the position of honour, a lucky strike fells him and his squire must pull him from the battle to safety. It is all the more galling that the strike came not from a Saxon, but a Briton! A mercenary fighting the enemy for money. But the mercenary was also felled, and captured for ransom. After the (more or less) successful conclusion of the battle, while recovering at home, word reaches Sarum that London has fallen to Saxons, and that his comrade in arms Sir Bar has fallen. The harvest is decent that year, and Elad extends his manor again with a dovecote.
Despite the prospect of finally taking war to the Angles, Elad is unable to go, choosing instead to help Sir Rhodri fulfil his vow to Ganieda, which is finally called in. They travel to Cameliard, although en route, they encounter a giant lion in a forest. Despite the objections of fellow knight Sir Gwanon, Elad slays the beast, although he loses his horse whilst doing so. Ganieda requests that they slay a group of druids who oppose her in the north of Britain and the groups sets out to do so. Although when it comes to it, although he is happy to slay the Fey protecting the druids, the old men themselves offer no resistance when they come to be slain. Sir Gwanon and Sir Tydin refuse to actually do it, but Elad, despite his misgivings, follows through. It is a subdued group that returns to Salisbury to the news that the Angles have been defeated in battle by the Logres alliance coming from the north and an alliance of Saxons attacking them from the south. Following last year's extremely poor harvest, Elad is nervous about this year. But he need not fear, as the land is good to him. The people of Wylye are so contented that they don't even moan when delivering the taxes, and a bounteous tithe is delivered. Some part of this is returned to the village in the form of a brewery, while another is given in gift to Countess Ellen towards the walls still under construction at Salisbury. Mindful of the past, the rest is put to one side to guard against future poor harvests, apart from a gift to each of the men with whom he quested this year, as it was a particularly difficult one. Yet more rumours reach Elad's ears over the autumn and winter about the legitimacy of Lady Adwen's holdings. Once again, the distant relative who had caused trouble before is doing so again. Elad resolves to put an end to this once and for all the following year at court.
At Easter Court, the upcoming squiredom of Robert of Salisbury is discussed and Elad's suggestion of sending him to the court of King Lot of Lothian is eventually accepted. When ambassadors from Huntingdon and Hertford request help against Saxons, in order to show that Salisbury is serious about its proposed Logres alliance, Elad argues strongly that a group of knights should be sent to help them, a proposal accepted by Countess Ellen. Although Elad leads his unit valiantly in the battle, two of his vassal knights, and Sir Peter, vassal of Sir Rhodri, fall in an inconclusive battle. Despite a good harvest in most of Salisbury, a freak storm hits Wylye just before the harvest, ruining it completely, and meaning that Elad's savings are stretched right to breaking point, although an unusually good return from his orchard and flocks helps mitigate the worst of it.
At Council at Easter Court, Elad's mind is on the defeat imposed on them by the men of Oxford a couple of years ago. He hears with some pleasure that Sir Leander's mission from the previous year went well with Silchester agreeing to alliance and others not far behind. Elad suggests that Dorset could be a potential ally, and suggests sending a small contingent of knights to aid against Cornwall, requesting not a mercenary payment, but an alliance. He also argues that since they came very close to defeating the forces at Oxford two years ago, and if they could reseat Countess Gwendolyn, that would be yet another ally, that he should lead a force there. Countess Ellen agrees and a small force, led by Elad, is sent to Oxford. En route there, Elad and his men stop at Silchester and while there, discovers that the knight who killed his sister Daisy, Sir Graid, is present. It takes all his self-control not to break the rules of hospitality and kill the man there and then, but instead goes to Duke Ulfius and demands weregeld from Graid. The duke sees the anger and righteousness in Elad, has the man brought before him and orders him to pay. Although the law now considers the matter closed, Elad isn't sure he can let it go at that. But they leave Silchester with the alliance cemented, and Ulfius convinced to also send troops to aid Dorset. They continue on their way but are beset by a storm and the Wild Hunt almost kills Elad before the prayer and purity of his comrade Sir Gwanon gives enough respite to be able to fight them off. They successfully besiege Oxford without further incident, although they know their time is limited, as reinforcements may arrive from other quarters. In the end, Elad goads Sir Basile into a one-on-one duel. The duel is brief and brutal, with Basile being slaughtered by Elad in a single charge. And only in the nick of time do they take the castle, as the long-promised reinforcements arrive, and they in turn are besieged until the winter, when the forces outside must withdraw. After this, when Lady Gwendolyn returns, she begs the Salisbury knights to remain over the winter until she can raise her own forces to protect Oxford. Although unhappy about leaving Lady Adwen for so long, Elad pledges their forces for as long as they are required. The winter is hard this year and the peasants are convinced that the Devil is roaming the land causing a plague of rats. However, Elad, with Enid's advice, has put aside a sum for such an occasion, and the family at Wylye are well enough off. However, when Elad returns to the manor after the winter, he will have to make a donation to the clergy to perform an exorcism to placate the villagers and on Enid's advice he hires a cooper for the village as part of a longer term plan.
At Council at Easter Court, Prince Mark of Cornwall presents a proposal for a formal alliance with Salisbury. Although Elad is tempted by an alliance with fellow Britons rather than Saxons, the political situation is uncertain and he reluctantly ends up arguing again to remain allied with Sussex, but agrees with the new knight Sir Peter that perhaps although nobody is willing to take the Regency of Logres, perhaps neighbouring counties may agree to a mutual alliance. He suggests that a trusted ambassador such as Sir Leander be sent to Silchester, Dorset and other neighbouring counties with such a suggestion. He, himself, goes with Sir Rhodri to try again to gain entrance to Forest Sauvage and claim back Rhodri's daughter. Once they reach the forest, Elad's hunting skills prove invaluable in seeking out Castle Sauvage itself, although his skills do not lend themselves to any of the three challenges that await them when they get there. However, his comrades are more than a match for those and they are successful in their quest, bringing Rhodri's daughter home. Back at the manor, it is another good year and so a flock of geese is gathered at Wylye and a new wainwright is hired for the village, much to the peasants' delight.
Although he finds it most distasteful, at Easter Court, Elad finds himself arguing in favour of an alliance with a Saxon nation in order to provide some defence against not only other Saxons, but Cornwall, who have been making more daring raids into Logres. After hearing about the abduction of Sir Rhodri's daughter by King Today of Forest Sauvage, he immediately volunteers himself and his vassal knights to a rescue mission. As Rhodri wants to keep the abduction quiet, he suggests cover of going to Rydychan to try and recover that land for Countess Gwendolyn. However, when their presence is betrayed by monks in a monastery they shelter in, the small army is forced into a pitched battle. Although outnumbered, they fight the usurpers to a standstill, the stalemate only being broken when Rhodri is captured. Although his ransom is raised, it is too late in the year to continue to Forest Sauvage. He returns to Wylye, and to a truly excellent harvest. Elad is more than able to repay Maddog's generosity of the previous year and make another donation to the city walls. However, last year's poor crop is still in his memory as so he commissions a granary and irrigation channels at the manor to feed his people and protect against such perils in the future. In the midst of this happiness, however, comes the news that his sister Daisy, who has been missing for two years, turned up on the border with Silchester, only to be slain by a Silchester knight by the name of Sir Graid. Elad swears vengeance on him and his family.
At Easter Court, Elad asks Sir Madog to investigate who has been spreading salacious rumours about his wife. It turns out to be a distant relative who had tried to sue in a court of law for possession of Adwen's lands some years ago but failed. Elad immediately challenges him to a duel and knocks him out within seconds, proving Adwen's fealty in the eyes of God. In council, he is sent as part of a delegation to Silchester to petition Duke Ulfius to ally with them against the Saxons and possibly for the Regency. This mission is only partially successful, with the Duke offering men against Saxons but claiming to be too old to try to unite the country under a Regency. On the way home, they hear that Saxons from the recently invaded Hantonne are marching against Salisbury. They join the main army and Elad directs the battle for Sir Rhodri, as the more experienced battle commander. The Saxons are routed and plundered, although the takings are fairly meagre. That winter is extremely harsh and even with the undercroft from last year, Elad has to cut back on the maintenance of his estate. With the second year of tribute going to Saxons of Essex, only a generous loan from Sir Madog stops him from exceeding his income.
In council, Elad argues against giving tribute to the Saxons of Essex, losing that argument. To get away from the oppressive mood at court, he and Sir Rhodri travel with a young man, newly knighted, to slay a nest of Water Leapers, although Rhodri is badly wounded in the incident. Upon hearing of a Saxon invasion force landing at Hantonne, Elad argues for a force to be assembled against them, to which Lady Ellen agrees. When they get there, they realise that the landed force is too deeply embedded and a tenuous peace is established, with King Cedric's son returning to Salisbury. Elad discusses the possibility of harrying raids against the Saxons of Sussex and Middlesex with Sir Lycus and an agreement is reached to talk to Duke Ulfius of Silchester about a joint attack on Hantonne the following year. The harvest this year is bountiful for Wylye and Elad orders the construction of an undercroft at the manor to guard against more frugal times which will, no doubt come. He also makes a handsome gift to Lady Ellen towards the construction of walls to defend the whole town of Sarum, not just the castle. However, ugly rumours of homosexuality regarding his wife reach Elad in the winter. He waits only to find the source of the rumours before he will challenge the man to a duel.
Elad directs his unit in the Battle of St Albans, and although his group suffers some losses, most notably Sir Malcolm while defending them from Saxon giants, they acquit themselves well. He is devastated by the use of poison at the feast afterwards which slays almost the entire nobility of Logres, particular his liege, Earl Roderick. He argues strongly that Lady Ellen should be regent of Salisbury following her husband's death and against Sir Rhodri as regent, as Sir Lycus argues for. Rhodri agrees with Elad and the knights agree to the formation of an advisory council, but with Lady Ellen as regent until Robert comes of age. Despite the terrible news in the kingdom, the harvest at Wylye is good, which allows Elad to do more work on the manor's defences, constructing a moat to surround them. Given how bad the year has been, Elad also orders the construction of a secret garden in which he and Adwen may spend some happier times. They are also blessed this year by another boy child, Bosley, although the harshness of the winter means that their daughter Alfreda suffers from a fever that she doesn't recover from. Not only that, but his squire, Sullivan, who was due to be knighted the following year also suffers illness and dies. His second sister, Daisy, also goes missing in the depths of winter, although it is not clear if she has been kidnapped, got lost or left of her own accord, and the weather is too poor to be able to properly search for her. Elad fears that by the time the spring comes, either way, any news will not be good. Truly, this has been a terrible year, lit only by the birth of a son and the wedding of his friend Sir Rhodri to Lady Jenna.
Elad and his friends are allowed to travel to Pomitain in search of the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant, with Earl Roderick only asking that they deliver a message from King Uther to Cameliard. For the first time, Elad decides to ask his four vassal knights to accompany them. That embassy goes smoothly and they travel to the isle of Pomitain with no major encounters. There they are welcomed by the King of Man who says that Rhodri may have the Cauldron if he drives away or kills the Troit Boar which is prophesied to ravage the island soon. Rhodri and his companions accept the challenge, although Elad sends his squire, Sullivan, to request the aid of Sir Lycus, while Rhodri sends his own squire to ask the aid of Merlin's sister, Ganieda, whom he befriended in Norgales en route to Pomitain. However, only Ganieda arrives before the Boar does, and the knights present must track it without the aid of Lycus and his group. Despite the size and ferocity of the Boar, Elad does not hesitate and alongside Sir Leo and his vassal Sir Daffyd do great harm to the beast before all three are gouged and badly wounded, albeit so badly hurt that Rhodri and Sir Madog recover themselves and are able to finish it off (the other three vassals being too unmanned by the beast to be able to aid them). It takes Ganieda's sorcery to keep Elad alive long enough for his wounds to be tended to, but he recovers, although many months pass before his scars heal and he is able to walk without limping. However, during that recuperation, he tends to Wylye and the harvest is decent for the first time in years, bearing a bountiful crop, which enables him to reconsider his plan to fortify Wylye and so a ditch and rampart are built. It is only only the weather that is bountiful, but Adwen finally bears the son and heir, Marden, that they have been longing for, and there is much rejoicing over the winter.
Elad asks Salisbury for permission to travel north to the Isle of Beasts with Sir Rhodri as part of his quest for the Cauldron. The Earl agrees but says that first he must accompany him in embassy to Malahaut. At court he befriends the eccentric King Pellinore, who is searching for The Questing Beast. The embassy to Malahaut doesn't go well, with Sir Madog and Sir Malcolm picking up hints that Malahaut may even be thinking of allying with the Saxons. On the way back down south, the group is ambushed and Elad fights well, saving the beset Salisbury. After recuperating in Lincoln, the Earl and most of the embassy return home while Elad and his friends travel to the Isle of Beasts in search of knowledge of the Cauldron. They are accompanied by King Pellinore, who hopes to find intelligence of the Questing Beast. The quest goes well, and Rhodri finds out that the Cauldron is to be found on the Isle of Pomitain. Back home, the weather is still poor, resulting in a meagre harvest, and there is no money left over to spend on the manor this year, despite Elad's desire to strengthen Wylye against Saxon raids. Another daughter is born to Adwen this year, and she and Elad start to worry about not having an heir. His sister Hazel does have a male child though, so Elad brings them to live at Wylye as the young lad, Maddox, is heir presumptive to the estate.
Elad and his friends travel to Amesbury to aid Sir Rhodri to find the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant so that Rhodri may prove that he is worthy of marriage to Lady Jenna. They look for a witch who cursed Rhodri's sister to perform the twin tasks of making her undo the enchantment and get a lead to the Cauldron. He is badly wounded in a battle with the guards of the witches they find and is unable to aid in the battle against the hags themselves. Upon their successful return and after resting, he travels to Cornwall to return to garrison duty, he and his companions are waylaid by Merlin and tasked with protecting him. Unfortunately, it is a subterfuge and it is Sir Brastias who they protect Merlin from, who has kidnapped Uther's newborn son! Elad is put on trial along with his comrades for treason, but they speak truthfully from the heart and Earl Salisbury stands by them and personally vouches for them, and they are acquitted. The king's wrath reaches as far as the weather, and this year there is a meagre harvest at Wylye. Nonetheless, there is enough left over to do some improvements to the manor itself, with a new grand bedroom suite installed.
Uther summons a muster to battle against the 'traitorous' Duke Goloris and Salisbury answers the summons, albeit somewhat half-heartedly. Unhappy about possibly laying siege to a lady, Elad and his comrades persuade Earl Roderick to take his forces as part of the main siege force at Terrabil where Duke Goloris is barracked. He, along with several of his comrades, is badly wounded in the ensuing battle but not before he aids Sir Rhodri in killing Cornwall. He spends the rest of the year garrisoning Terrabil, following the surrender of the Cornish forces, leaving only to attend the marriage of Uther to the Lady Ygraine. He has to cope with the Frankish Prince Odo staying at the castle for some time and play the host despite the prince's boorish behaviour. Despite poor weather again this year, his manors (the two Demesne Manors he gained as dowry from Adwen, as well as Wylye) flourish, although a freak lightning strike causes his jousting list to burn to the ground. The population of the manor has increased so much over the last few years that Enid encourages him to plough another field to increase the size of his manor, which makes his people happy. In addition to the rebuilt jousting list, he also commissions a battle square for training in combat and tactics (important now that his rank propels him to the leader of his unit) and hires a man-at-arms to help drill him in combat. This year he is also able to pay the ransom for the return of his uncle and he and Adwen are blessed with twins, although both daughters, and not the son and heir that he desires. He names his daughters Ygraine (after the new queen) and Ella.
Elad is somewhat glum at Easter Court as he faces up to the reality that he may never be able to marry his beloved Adwen and vows that unless a miracle happens that year, he will give up his claim to her in the winter. At court, Uther summons a great army and they march to battle against the Saxons at Lindsey, where an even larger force awaits them. For most of the battle, his unit fights bravely but unremarkably until a quirk of fate draws them near to King Octa. Upon seeing this, Adwen's face flashes in front of his eyes and he knows what he must do. With his comrades beside him, they charge into battle and in his passion, he unseats Octa in a single blow, nearly killing the man and making him a captive of the British crown. When this is brought to the attention of King Uther at Christmas Court, Elad makes bold to ask of Salisbury, in front of the king, the hand in marriage of the Lady Adwen, leaving Earl Roderick with little choice but to agree. He and Adwen are married later in the winter and their first child, Elizabeth, is soon born. In light of the fact that he is now liege lord to the four Enfeoffed Manors that Adwen brought as dowry, and with the ransom paid for Octa, Elad commissions a new great hall for Wylye built of stone which becomes the talking point for all the county. This even mollifies the peasants of Wylye who were unhappy about Elad's sheltering of his brother the previous year. Despite a hard, and some would say unnatural, winter, the harvest is still decent and supports the whole manor during the building of the great hall. As rumours of his great wealth spread, a knight from Silchester kidnaps one of his uncles, an esquire, demanding ransom. Unfortunately, Elad has spent his entire horde upon the hall and cannot pay the ransom this year.
At Easter Court, Elad fights a duel with Sir Leander to see if he is worthy of fighting in their unit. Although he wins, Leander acquits himself well. Uther marches the army to Cornwall to face the recalcitrant Duke Goloris who is awed by the sight of Excalibur and pledges fealty without bloodshed. Although disappointed by the lack of action, he is perked when he learns their next target will be the hated Saxons. He is astounded when his group is approached by King Uther himself and asked to go on a diplomatic mission to Cantref Gwaelod to try and win the support of the Cambrian king. He and his comrades do well there, despite the efforts of the treacherous Queen Tryamor and although they don't win unqualified support, Uther is pleased with their progress and rumour of their favour spreads. Elad takes this opportunity to raise with Salisbury the matter of his affection for Lady Adwen. The Earl is blunt that this would be politically difficult, but offers some hints about how he could be influenced. This year is another bumper harvest and Wylye prospers under Enid's stewardship. Following her advice, Elad commissions the construction of an apiary. He also hires a lawyer to help him with courtly matters, and with the more dismal prospect of his brother being found guilty of murder, but he harbours him over the winter anyway.
As part of his wooing of Lady Adwen, at Easter Court Elad presents her with a fine silver brooch and Earl Roderick with an uncut diamond. Not being a gentle knight, his ploy is all too obvious, but the Earl still accepts his gift. He goes to war in Frankland at the behest of King Uther where, while protecting hunters, foraging for food, he and his comrades are ambushed. Although he is badly wounded, he single-handedly kills four of their attackers, who outnumber them two to one. He has only a few weeks to recuperate before the Siege of Bayeux is broken after which he leads his comrades into battle and a glorious charge through the city, cutting out the heart of its defenders, laying it open for those who follow. This earns him and his comrades great renown and more worldly goods, as the fine goods of the city are theirs for the picking. Wylye's run of good harvests finally comes to an end as an early frost blights the harvest this year, making for lean times, that are somewhat offset by the rich pickings from Bayeux. Unfortunately, during the unseasonal frost, his squire of three years standing falls ill and fails to recover, although his illegitimate daughter Arianwen does survive her illness. To help offset the worst of the bad harvest for his manor, he hires a carpenter for the village.
The year 487 begins well at Court where his attentions on Lady Adwen are beginning to bear fruit. He witnesses the knighting of Sir Albanus who joins his unit in battle. He leads his knights in two successful skirmishes off the Saxon coast but the third goes disastrously wrong leading to him having to bargain with the hated Saxons for his life and that of his friends, although it is too late for Sir Albanus. He continues to fight but is eventually driven mad with sorrow and rage and it takes the breath of a Unicorn to bring him back to his senses and to Salisbury. There, he recuperates and returns his attention to Lady Adwen who consents to being his wife, if he can convince their liege. For the third year in a row, his manor's harvest is good and he continues to invest in it by ordering his flock of sheep to be much enlarged.
Although disappointed at being left on garrison duty in Salisbury in the year 486 rather than being called to battle, Elad nonetheless finds glory in a battle against a giant goat-man and assists Merlin in retrieving Excalibur from a lake in Salisbury county. His second year as lord of his manor is as bountiful as the first and although he can't yet afford a magical olive grove that he heard about at court, he decides to invest in the future by beginning the planting of an orchard. This year he also sires an illegitimate daughter with a handmaiden at Salisbury.
In the year 485, Elad is knighted and first lays eyes upon the beautiful Lady Adwen. He is smitten by her immediately, but his attempts to talk to her are rebuffed by the noble lady. Later that year he is called by Uther Pendragon to the The Battle Of Mearcred Creek. Although wounded in this battle, he fights bravely, taking one of his enemies hostage and killing several others before Uther sounds the retreat. Later that year, as the harvest comes in, he finds that Wylye has provided well this year, providing a bountiful harvest and enough of a profit to begin making some improvements to the ancestral home.