The Once and Future King
The history of the Pendragon realm begins in the year 410 AD, the final year that Britain was part of the Roman Empire. Irish raiders from the west, Picts from the North and Saxons from the east were threatening the island. The British nobles sent a letter to the Emperor, begging for aid in the form of legions to repel these invaders. Emperor Honorius, with no legions to spare, sent a reply with the now-famous line, “look to your own defenses.” From that moment on, the Britons no longer considered their lands to be part of the Empire. The council of British nobles, the Supreme Collegium, convened and chose a man to rule the newly independent lands. Constantin, a noble of great wealth and power, chose one man from every thousand to be a military leader. In Latin, each of these military leaders was known as an equites. In our language, they would be known as a Knight.
In the year 440, Constantin was succeeded by his son Constans. A few years later, Constans was killed and his throne was assumed by a man named Vortigern. At that time, Britain was threatened by a large Irish and Pictish invasion. Vortigern hired a small mercenary army of Saxons to help with the defense of the island. After their victory, Vortigern married the daughter of the Saxon king Hengest. Vortigern brought warlike leaders from the north and settled them along the western coasts of the island to protect from Irish raiders and to support his tyrannical rule.
Many lords of the eastern lands rose up in rebellion and were quickly crushed by Vortigern and his Saxon allies. Vortigern’s own son also rebeled and was killed. Shortly afterwards, Vortigern was betray by his allies and during the “Night of Long Knives” most of the British nobility is killed and Britain falls under Saxon rule.
In the year 466, Aurelius Ambrosius who was the eldest son of Constantin landed on the shores of Britain with an army from Brittany. The suriving nobles flocked to his banner, a magical standard bearing a large red dragon. Vortigern fled to the kingdom of Cambria. Aurelius Ambrosius defeated the Saxons and Vortigern and was named High King, or Pendragon due to the great dragon that was emblazoned on his banner.
During his reign, Aurelius Pendragon repelled new invasions by the Saxons and even took a fleet to ravage the Saxon and Frisian lands on the Continent. This kept British lands free of invaders for many years. When he marched against a combined army of Saxon and Irish forces in 480, he treacherously poisoned and died. His brother, Uther, led the army to victory in his stead and was made the new High King.
Now in the year 485, news from far Saxony is that Saxons are gathering to aid their brothers in Britain. Preparations for war are being made and noble British knights ready themselves to defend the realm under their courageous Pendragon.