In the 15th Century, Blackwood is plagued by malicious faeries, as everyone who lives there knows. Everyone except the Lord of Blackwood, that is, who refuses to believe there is such a thing…
Petition presented to Thomas the Castellan by Marcus Meadows:
Mr Meadows lost three of his sheep while out grazing. When he returned through the woods he found all three sheep stuck high up on tree branches. It took him all afternoon to free them. He demanded a full investigation.
(The Lord of Blackwood was informed of this petition and dismissed the claim as foul play. Mr Meadows was asked to go away and think about whether he had recently offended anyone.)
Looking back through the archives, there are hundreds of petitions from the villagers to the Lord of Blackwood (via his Castellan), begging him do something to make their village a safer place. The Castellan does not even pass many of them on. We can read from this that he knows very well what his master would say if he presented them. The gravity of the matters mentioned in the petitions varies and, indeed, some could be attributed to vivid imaginations at work. Other, like the tragic case of the Crumb family in 1413 are harder to dismiss.
I will be sharing some of the appeals with you here (edited for the modern reader). You can make up your own mind.
by Dr Melchior Williams (Co-Author of ‘The Blackwood Crusade’ a medieval fairytale based on his discovery of the intriguing Blackwood Archives)
Engraving: ‘The Lost Sheep’ by Sir John Everett Millais
‘THE BLACKWOOD CRUSADE’
Cover Image: ‘The Lost Sheep’ by Sir John Everett Millais (Creative Commons)