Hail the King
Ceolric, Squire of House Cholderton
A squire looking for a lord
Birth Date: 27th May 501
Ceolric is a Saxon youth brought up in Vagon castle to be a squire and to serve the county of Salisbury and his liege, Earl Robert. He was first a captive, one of the hostages from an exchange done by the county of Salisbury and the Kingdom of Wessex in 507. When his father ran afoul of King Cerdic he went from hostage to ward and was brought up according to the Cymric traditions. He now considers this land to be his home and his allegiance to be with his British lord. For a Saxon he is particularly mild of temperament especially when it comes to his tendency towards feelings of compassion for the wretched and accursed creatures of this world, be they man or beast.
He currently looks forward to finding a knight to serve, and perhaps one day becoming a knight himself. After all he has some notion that he will one day honour his father’s name by becoming a warrior like he was.
In terms of appearance he is taller and broader in the shoulders than most of his peers, though he is skinny and slouches. His hair is a dull flaxen and his eyes grey-blue. When there is little to focus on he’ll often have a look in those eyes like he is somewhere else entirely.
Famous Traits: Merciful, Valourous
Famous Passions: Loyalty to his liege, Hatred of other Saxons and their destructive ways
Ceolric, son of Athelgar, son of Horsa, who lived by the sea on the islands which flocked to the Frisian coast like piglets at the teats of their mother. For generations their people fought for their place at the edge of the land, a place where they could moor their ships and make sacrifices in the rivers and waterways as their traditions demanded. Belgii, Roman, Frank; sometimes enemy and sometimes friend as this tribe of Saxons eked out honour and subsistence upon the flatlands by the sea.
Horsa was a chieftain which Athelgar took up from his father, but to his great shame the families who entrusted him with that leadership were soon poorer than they had ever been before, deprived of their crops and fishing hauls by foreign tribes or marauders seeking sustenance for their armies. So it was that Athelgar decided to take his kin across the channel to one of the Saxon kingdoms flourishing on the Isle of Britons, as many Saxons did in those days after the death of King Uther Pendragon. He joined with King Cerdic’s fleet of rickety boats and earned himself a place as one of his warband leaders in the Saxon host. Because of this high position he was made the guardian of one of the old Cymric forts which bordered the county of Salisbury after they had landed in Hantonne and claimed the place they now called the Kingdom of the West Saxons. He fell in love with a Saxon maid named Cyneburh and by her sired several sons, the eldest of whom was Ceolric.
This tale should have continued on that Athelgar served King Cerdic well for many years and that his son grew up to serve in the same fashion, but it does not. When Ceolric was six years old he was handed over to the county of Salisbury in a hostage exchange to prove good faith on the terms of tribute that was being collected from the weakened hundreds. Unlike other young Saxon boys being handed over though he accepted the drastic change in his life without great outward distress or indignation. He was not filled with the same anxiety as most other Saxon boys who wished to prove themselves resistant to and above the meekness of their captors.
Ceolric expected that one day he should return home to his family so he made the best of his education at the court of Sarum. It was not long, however, before he was reunited with his father Athelgar whom arrived with himself and several of his uncles. Their sudden appearance had been warranted by events back in Wessex which destroyed the family. His mother had been abducted by a rival of his father who had then insulted King Cerdic over the matter because the rival in question was under the King’s protection. The matter erupted into violence followed by the escape of Athelgar to Salisbury.
Coming to the conclusion that for his offences his sons would be at risk he made a deal with the Countess Ellen. Handing over his armour and weapons as well as a relic which had been taken from the sanctuary of the chapel of Hantonne he requested that in exchange his son, Ceolric, would be protected until he came of age and given the upbringing a boy of his station deserves. The armaments were to be Ceolric’s, and since service is something they have more of than coin they swore also that Athelgar’s youngest brother Oswulf to the service of the Earl of Salisbury as further payment.
It is unknown what happened to the rest of Ceolric’s family from then on. Presumably his father was executed when he arrived back in Hantonne. For Ceolric his years were spent at not with the other Saxon boys so as to preserve his secret, but at the castle of Vagon, training as a page and then as a squire per his father’s request. He tried his best to get along with those who surrounded him though he did not know whether to call them friends or captors still. In these years it was noticed that the young boy was very compassionate compared to what the people of Logres had come to expect from his kind. The stories of slaves kept by the Saxon kings made him filled with immense sadness, though being a stranger he saw that cruelty seemed to be practiced by the knights whom he served and trained under, the very same who told him such stories of his kin to be scared by. He learned to be careful of how he spoke about these things and kept his thoughts close to his heart. It might be that he spoke to the horses he was responsible for since it was noticed fairly quickly how he had a natural affinity for the care and handling of animals.
The years were not lonely. The castle was always filled with people he could talk to and be in the company of. He did not hate the knights he trained under and indeed he respected them greatly for having taken him in. The only hatred he bore was towards the cruelty of the Saxons which had deprived him of all his family except for his uncle.
Well we’ll see, won’t we?