Pendragon: Thrice X’d

Lord Kay, we’ve lost another of the scouts sent to gather intelligence on Mordred’s activities.

Damnit, I told Wart that his men would never even get close. Those turncoats can smell when someone lacks their own stench of dishonor. All we’re doing is wasting good knights and householders.

That may be so, m’lord.

Let’s try something new. I want you to find me the roughest bunch of outcasts you can: forsworn knights, mercenary captains, picts, woodsmen, pagans, and wizards if you can find any. But here’s the thing: they have to be loyal, or at least have something they want desperately that only Arthur can give them, not Mordred.

I must caution against trusting such…

We’re not going to trust them. As much as it pains me, they’re expendable. Their goal is to get in, blend with the other riffraff that the would-be-prince surrounds himself with, and gather intelligence. If they get back with something useful, then there are lands, wives, pardons, or whatever else their grimy little hearts desire. If they don’t… well, at least it won’t have been another loyal knight caught scouting.

Spying, you mean, m’lord?

If the King asks about it, it’s “scouting.” We’re walking a delicate line, here. My foster brother would never allow something like this to proceed if he knew all the particulars, but he also underestimates what a threat his bastard is. We keep this quiet, we keep this deniable, and we get the information that’s going to let us win the inevitable war. Understood?

Yes, m’lord.

Then get to work.