Hail the King
Herlews, Lord of Laverstock
Patriarch of House Laverstock
Sir Herlews is a big, tall, brawny beast of a man. His mother was once rumored to be foreign, perhaps even part Saxon, as she was possessed of red hair and stout features. Since her death, such rumors have died of late, in light of Herlews’ career of fame and accomplishment. Contrary to his size, Herlews has a magnificent voice, both when speaking and singing. Long in the legs, he is brave almost to a fault, trusting in his size and strength to see him through most problems, though he tempers this with an incredibly patient mind, preferring to figure out the best way to utilize his massive frame.
Once an almost ascetic Knight, he has since found the indulgences of fine clothes and good wine, and benefits from the comforts of both. Famously motivated, he rarely sits still, on the field he is near the front, in the thick of the fighting, in the court he won’t be caught resting at the table on his laurels, drinking and gossiping with the fellows. A pronounced and feared man of the court, Herlews is fiercely political, and knows how to get his way, either through debate, or guile. Hewas formerly Castellan of Ebble, and deputy Marshall to the Earl Robert of Salisbury.
Herlews has long, graying black hair, and always sports an impressive beard, similarly peppered. He is stout and tall, wide in the shoulders and strong in the features. He is always in possesion of some sort of scarf or gorget now, to hide the recent scarring from his horrendous burning. Herlews has sharp, piercing brown eyes, often with dark circles around or under them, due to his often putting off of sleep. He always dresses in the richest apparel, preffering browns and greens. He is fiercely loyal to his family, his King, and his commitment to hating the Saxons. His Badge is a Badger, on Yellow and Black.
Famous Traits: Energetic**, Prudent, Temperate, Valorous.
Famous Passions: Hospitality, Hate(Saxons), Love(Family)*, Loyalty to Arthur
- Iudhael, Squire of Herlews
- Cerdic, Esquire of House Laverstock
- Cygnus the Slaver
- Gwalltur of House Laverstock
- Kireg, Valet of Laverstock
- Talmanes, the Bard
Herlews began his career as a knight and patriarch of House Laverstock proper his Eldest brother Gwen was victorious at the final battle of Uther Pendragon, and was killed in the feast the thereafter, after drinking poisoned wine, along with the other guests. Grief stricken, Herlews assumed the role of Patriarch, and later that same year he attended the funeral of the King himself, at the Standing Stones. He was garrisoned for four years at various Forts, including his future castle, Ebble.
In the year of 499, a Saxon force invaded deep into allied lands from the north in the chaos of the death of the Pendragon. At a river Bridge in Cirencester, Herlews was deployed with an army for the first time, with his brothers and family beside him. Ser Bealorn and Ser Miles were also present. His Uncle, Cadwallaon Riverson, and his younger brother Neddig died in the skirmish. Herlews first found his rage there, beating one of the peasants he thought responsible to death his own mailed fists. Herlews then began a bit of Mercenary work at the request of the Countess of Salisbury, Ellen, to go to Cornwall and aid the King Idris there. He did, and returned home with much plunder from the city of Exeter that he aided in taking. They were then tasked by the countess Ellen to go seeking an heir to the kingdom, and sent the three knights to the forest Sauvauge. Herlews and his band encountered a fairy there, that grew to the size of a giant after Herlews stabbed it. It emitted shrill noise, but shrank with every successive blow the valiant Knights of his party struck upon it. Coming upon the castle, they met the court of Sauvage, but were unable to find the spoken of heir.Returning to Salisbury, another request was made of Herlews and his fellow Knight Ser Miles. They were tasked with escorting the Queen Igraine to a rendezvous with her Daughter, Morgan, at Amesbury, then proceed on to the lands of Lothian, where Morgan was to marry the King there. Upon the road after collecting the Queens daughter, the group was ambushed by several mysteriously clad Saxons, in black armor. Herlews and Miles successfully fended off the men, with no harm coming to the women. The Queen Igraine was so thankful for the service of Ser Herlews in the matter, upon their arrival in Lot’s court, she presented him with the shield of the Pendragon himself, Uther, with his heraldry emblazoned on the front. Herlews kept the shield and used it for many years.
Unfortunately, on his return to Salisbury, the newer threat of King Cerdic and Hantonne reared its head, in the form of a massive attack in the fall, where the army of Salisbury was scattered by the Saxon Commander Saexwulf, after the new Marshall, Ser Bealorn, fell in battle. Fortunately he lived, but the winter was a hard one, with many Saxon raids and bands roaming the frozen forests. Herlews successfully fended off many bands from his own home, but his bastard brother Madog, after coming across a small Saxon encampment, presumably of some small warlord or Thane, killed one of the Saxon women kept there in the tent, and after relenting to his brother to allow the other to be captured and taken back to the villiage, he later raped her and made her with child. Herlews forced him to acknowledge the child and raise it as his own. Madog named the child Gwannon, and in an attempt to give him some stability, and perhaps a calming factor in his life, Herlews arranged a marriage for him, a meek little woman named Violette. He did seem to calm somewhat after that, at least publicly.
In the aftermath of the attack by Cerdic the previous year, and despite his cries of Idris years back, in light of his cunning and the size of his armies, Herlews gave his recommendation to the Countess that they swear fealty to the Welsh King Nantleod, and she subsequently chose him and a few other to deliver this oath and a gift, a fine Warhorse for the King himself. He and his fellows were successful, and Nantleod accepted their oath and their gift, inviting hem to feast and game with him. They returned to Salisbury, and in the following year, at the behest of Ser Bealorn and the Enchantress Nynaeve, Herlews was part of an escort for the lady to the Forest Sauvauge. Along the way, they came upon a hut, that was under attack by a giant. A true giant. He and his fellows, including the famed swordsman Ser Gryffen, were successful in delivering the lady, and on the way out his party was able to hunt a fell a fallow deer, a good omen for the future, and a fine tale and prize besides.
The next year, the Saxons had returned, but in a rather risky and chancy strategy, Marshall Bealorn somehow convinced Saexwulf, the leader of the invading army, to duel him one on one. Seaxwulf agreed, and resoundingly lost, fleeing the battle before the final blow could be struck. Demoralized, the Saxons scattered, and Herlews hunted the fleeing Saexwulf. After coming across a disturbed campsite, and finding a stripped body there, he chanced upon a stocky bearded fellow on the road, and though he didn’t readily recognize the man at first, he knew in his heart and his gut that it was the cur Seaxwulf. He subdued the man and brought him to Salisbury, where he was locked in the deep dungeons, and allegedly severely beaten by Ser Herlews. He was executed by the sword some months after.
Nantleod kept the peace for Salisbury, and the loss of Saexwulf kept the Saxons quiet for four years. Herlews commanded a contingent of Salisbury Knights at the ill fated battle of Nettle Marsh, and though he fought gloriously and like a man possessed, it was not enough to turn the tide of betrayal and numbers. Many fine men and women of Salisbury and Whales died that day, including the King, Nantleod, The wife of Ser Bealorn and the friend of Ser Herlews, Lady Rowena, savior of Duke Ulfius. The Cornish, led by Mark, and Saxons bought from Port and Aella were present to crush and scatter the army of the once great Welsh King, though Herlews did distinguish himself further by taking it upon himself to recover the crown and body of the King, and his favored Castellan, Ser Lac.
After the battle of Hantonne, he went into a period of frenzied work and activity about the realm, including raising the young but bold Squire Robert to his Knighthood and Earldom, then leading his Honor Guard for his very first Progress of the County. He then worked closely with the Earl in ousting what remained of the Saxon threat from the year past, in the form of raiding bands and Small armies. Over many Skirmishes, and in the absence of Ser Bealorn, Herlews was named Deputy Marshall of the County of Salisbury, and the Castellan of Ebble, in the South near his native Laverstock. The following year, the Earl, looking to prove himself worthy, heard word of a grand Tournament, one of the first of its kind, to take place in London. They were marched there, and Herlews and his fellows entered into the Tournament, only to have it be stopped in the middle by a massive commotion. A sword had been placed in a stone years ago, and the Duke Derfel had recently had it moved just outside the gates of London. It was said whoever pulled the sword from the stone would become the King of all Britain, and though many seemingly worthy men had tried and failed, a boy, a young boy, had apparently done so. It was proven true, as the massive tournament crowd assembled, and the boy replaced the sword. His brother nearby, tried and failed to pull it, and Arthur, the boys name, succeeded twice more. Several lords and Kings, including Leodegrance the Great and Earl Robert himself knelt and swore fealty to the boy King, though several more, most prominantly the familiar face of Lot of Lothian were against his claim. Lot and the other Detractors left without leave, and Arthur began building his court, one of his first actions being the naming of the Ten best Knights in Britain.
Herlews and Bealorn were among these ten, and thus participated in the famous guard of the Sword in the Stone, in the interim months between courts where Arthur would prove his worth by allowing any to attempt to pull the blade, then draw it himself for all to see. With the backing of the Archbishop and many strong lords and Counties now, Arthur began to prepare for the coming threat of Lot. During this time, Herlews became even more temperate and tight lipped, though his temper was on an ever shorter leash under the mounting pressure, and he soon began to indulge in good, yet strong drink with his Brother Uwain at feasts. His love of his family had been tested sorely over the years, and he found solace in them during his time of grief after the Battle of Hantonne, and swore oaths to himself hat he would never deny anything to his family, nor do his utmost to keep them safe.
During the crowning of Arthur Pendragon, after the third of his proving courts, Herlews presented the King with his brithright, the shield of his Father, Uther Pendragon. The gift was well recieved, and afterward he was privy to the kings Knighting and Coronation, by Ser Bealorn. Herlews proceeded to redouble even his previous efforts, becoming even more productive in his duties. In battle he was unstoppable, accounting for 4 battles, Carlion, both Battles of Bedegraine, and the battle at the northern River at Malhaut, which resulted in resounding victories for the men he lead against Lot’s Pictish and barbarian forces. He has fallen into his role as Deputy Marshall well, though 3 solid years of nonstop fervor finally culminated in his shaming at the rescue of the good King Leodegrance. He dropped his weapon and was horribly wounded by a soldier in the first charge, and lay in waste for weeks, recovering.
He had become wealthy on the wars of the King and his smart investments at this time, and through several profitable prison and slave trades, with the help of his assistant in trucking flesh, Cygnus. He gave back to his family and his people, building a grand and massive stone Manor House, with three stories and a lead roof, and a several improvements for the Village itself, such as a Carpenter and Smithy, roads and fine Stone Bridges that marked the sophistication and wealth of his home. It was during this time he also found a long lost sibling, and Elder brother by the name of Gwallter, who was an illegitimate son of his mother and father before their marriage. Because of his unique lineage, and his worth, Herlews decided to shame his mother slightly and fully adopt Gwalter into the family, recognizing him as a true Laverstock.
Well loved by his people and his family, Herlews forged ahead, and continued to loyally serve the Earl and the boy King, serving as the head of the honor guard several times and continuing in his duties as Deputy Marshall splendidly for the former, and personally foiling an attack on the latter, in addition to volunteering for many important tasks to the court, though during this time he renewed a famous feud with the Sylvwytch family, after quashing it with the election of Trigg to the Kings doomed Honor Guard. Over many battles, Ser Trygg proved himself a capable warrior, and grudgingly, the two came to terms, and even began to somewhat trust one another, Herlews going so far as to elect him he leader of several missions of importance.
During this time, the scandal of Ser Tybalt had come public, and in the process of helping him cope with it, while he was under Herlews’ command, he had an encounter with the Dragon of Berwic, that deeply affected him. Drunk and scared like never before, he hid in a haystack till morning from the beast, though he had only Ser Tybalt’s explanations to go on, since he had only gotten a hazy, drunken glimpse at the thing in the night. A few years later, Ser Tybalt’s words were proven true when an expedition led by the Earl found the beast dwelling in a formerly submerged cave in a gully by the river of Berwick. Remembering the primal fear he had felt before when facing the thing, and dreading drowning or dying in a dank cave, or squelched into the mud, Ser Herlews did everything in his power to avoid confronting the beast, deigning to seek out the Pagan Osneg when asked for a volunteer by the earl, and when that failed to stall enough time, he decided to stay back with his former squire Mewyn, and guard the cave entrance. When he heard report of movement, he quickly retreated from the cave, using the rope he had had sent over earlier. The dragon attacked the men inside, though by the grace of god and the mercy of good men, all were able to flee.
After the exile of Ser Bealorn, he lost his wife and brother in the same year, one to Childbirth with a boy, the other to peasant with a spear, in revenge for the hanging of his witch mother. Unfortunately, before justice could be sought for the death of his beloved Brother, Herlews was sent on a doomed mission to Cornwall, and then to Ireland. He won second place after yielding to Ser Hoel in a tournament hosted by the newly made King Mark, and because of his and his longtime friend Ser Bealorn’s son Jaernen’s performance, they won the eye of the King, and a subsequent audience, which led to their involvement with an escort mission to the island of Hibernia, or Ireland as it is called now. Herlews ship, carrying the sister of Rowena Lady Elayne and the son of the eponymous Ser Tybalt, ran afoul of rocks and thankfully was able to be limped to shore and repaired, though the damage cost them a week on the other party. By the time he and his fellows had arrived, all was lost.
The woman Herlews had sworn on his life to protect to the King of Cornwall was dead, her murderers riding hard behind them, Ser Jaernen close to death. Herlews commanded the men with him, including his part from the boat and the lord Cholderton, Ser Eynon, to accompany him in apprehending the traitorous Cornishmen. Despite pleas to come quietly, and assurances that they would stand trial in a Cornish court, the men refused to cooperate, and attacked the host of knights to defend themselves. Herlews and his men were able to slay the lot, but tragically, Lady Elayne was killed after being caught by one of the men, a coward, Ser Maelgwyn. Slain by the three remaining Knights, Herlews delivered the news to the King Cairpre, and Elayne’s body back to British shores. Mysteriously, Herlews refused to go before Mark after the debacle, claiming he had no wish to throw his life away.
After returning to Salisbury in a harried hurry, being pursued some of the way and taking shelter at the Abbey of Glastonbury, Herlews and his part returned to Sarum, and proceeded on to the Kings court to give their account of their mission. Along the way, in Somerset following up an unrelated lead, they found Tyson, and though their past relation prevented Tyson from doing Herlews any harm, he did not come away unscathed, and was severely burned over most of his body after rescuing the former squire of Lady Elayne, Elad, and his friend and comrade, Ser Tybalt .He survived his injuries thanks to the careful attention of the lord of Swineford’s wife, and the mercy of the King Arthur himself, who sent a personal doctor, in the form of his cousin by marriage, Gwyndolen. The two are quite smitten, and in the void left after his wife and brother, Herlews is grateful to be alive and in the graces of a such a magnificent creature.