Knights of the Realm
King Uther's Court
The King’s Eyre
Eyre (rhymes with “air”) comes from the word meaning “to journey,” and the King’s Eyre is his itinerant court. Uther travels from place to place throughout the kingdom. Many of his stops are at his own castles and residences, where his goods have been collected to feed him and his court. Other stops are at his tenants-in-chiefs’ castles to check on how they are keeping his castle (and to eat up the extra food). Everywhere he goes he holds royal court, making judgments for the local courtiers, receiving ambassadors, communicating with all the regional lords, and delegating the thousand small things to his staff.
The eyre totals about 450 people on any given day. The king is always present. His chief councilors number 8-12, with that many secondary department officers, and that many again of local barons present. All of these have small staffs. Thus, about 30 high-ranking people (with their attendant entourages) are the core of the eyre. The body of royal servants who support the court number about 200, give or take 10-20 on any given day. These are divided into departments, each being a practical work unit with members devoted to its duty. The king’s knights number at least fifty at all times, and a hundred footmen as well. Not counted are the numerous visitors, petitioners, hawkers, gawkers, and squawkers whose number is another hundred or more.
The cost to feed this crowd is about £2 per day. (An equal amount is necessary to support them in their appropriate lifestyles, but that is paid by the king from other resources.) If Prince Madoc is present, he is accompanied by his personal retinue of 20-25.
These are his private advisors, a completely informal group also called his favorites. To decide matters of state the king generally holds an open council for all his warlords and court, listening to each comment and opinion. He then retires to his private quarters with his favorites to discuss
and make decisions.
- The Heir Apparant; Madoc ap Uther
- Bodyguard; Sir Bellias
- Chancellor; Abbot John, black monk of the British church
- Chamberlain; Brother Hugh, black monk of the British church
- Constable; Sir Elizier the Strong
- Deputy constable; Sir Llywarch
- Constable of the White Tower; Sir Gwyllim
- Dapifier and Herald, Sir Sadinal
- Forest Justicar; Sir Do de Carduel
- Marshal, Duke Ulfius
- Pincerna; Sir Gaudifier
- Seneschal; Sir Goreau
- Standard bearer; Sir Yvo
- Almoner; Brother Canegunus
- Butler; Sir Diocenar
- Cofferer, Abner (commoner)
- Deputy Constable, Sir Llywarch
- Huntsman; Ralf (commoner)
- Deputy Marshal; Sir Brychan
- Physician; Brother Baucillias, Russet Monk
- Treasurer; Brother Syrion, Russet Monk of the British Church
- Sir Moneval
- Sir Minodos
- Sir Minodalis
These three killers are Uther’s favorite thugs. They are big, mean upon command, experienced, and brutally cruel. They sit right in front of him at feasts, and fight beside him on the battlefield. They only kill upon command, and seem to just appear out of nowhere to settle fights, get rid of unruly visitors, silence drunks, or bring someone to the king.
A visitor to the court goes through these procedures to see the king. A knight from Logres who has no sponsor or other inside contact must go through the same official channels as anyone.
Squires of the Court
If you go to where the court is and say you want to see the king, everyone who knows anything will send you to these men. Their job is to sort out newcomers and send them where they ought to be. They are perfectly polite to all knights and lords, snobbish to all squires, and impose a one-penny surcharge on all commoners who ask for help. They send knights to the Knight of the Court who is on duty, but personally escort greater lords.
- Geoffrey, esq.
- Henry, esq.
Knights of the Court
At least one of these officials is always available at court, and one is always away with the advance party preparing wherever the king will go next.
They sort out visitors according to rank, and escort all lords to Sir Sadinal, the dapifer.
- Sir Mataban the White
- Sir Taran
- Sir Verdius
Tradition requires that the king have certain offices, including spiritual ones. All kings have to have confessors, and Uther has two. It is one of the ways that he mocks this class which he despises, while fulfilling the letter of the law. When Uther has to confess something to God, he has these two fight barehanded, and whoever wins hears the confession. Either of them will immediately absolve the king without penance, and then also explain to him why it was not really a sin anyway.
- Father ‘Holy Cross-cut’ Lucius, Ordained priest of the Roman Church
- Teacher Padern ‘the Knee’, Ordained Teacher (priest) in the British Church
- Sir Gracian, Commander of the Watch
- Sir Canet of Occire, Household Knight
- Sir Felix, Household Knight
- Melion, esq, Chief of Stables