By this point you probably have a pretty good idea of where, generally speaking, we’re going with the Avalon Mesa. We’ve seen King Arthur recast as the noble Arthur Britton, and the brave, flawed warrior Lancelot reimagined as the gunfighter Lance Franks. These guys are probably the two best known figures in the Arthurian mythos, but as our Knights of the Round Table step out of the 6th (or 10th, or 12th) century into the 19th, there really was a host of other characters who deserved attention. Lancelot, as we know him, was a fairly late addition to the various tales surrounding Arthur’s court. So what about some of the original members of the band? What about Arthur’s famously adopted brother: Sir Kay?
Kay’s a particularly interesting figure because he’s portrayed as something of a dolt in many modern portrayals of the goings-on at Camelot, but the early stories portray him in a much better light. His status as Arthur’s (at least adopted) kin is well established in even the early Celtic Welsh stories that underpin a lot of what would eventually become the familiar Arthurian cycle, and even when he is presented as sort of an idiot he always still holds a position of influence. Indeed, while Arthur is undoubtedly of the better pedigree, the child of heroic Sir Hector (or Ector, or Ectorius) has noble blood to be proud of, as well. At the very least, both Kay and Arthur have Hector as a father-figure of sorts in most versions of the tale.
When designing a Kay for the Avalon Mesa, I was also struck with a demographic problem: Arthur Britton’s posse had no female members. So Sir Kay became Katherine “Kay” Roman, Arthur’s adopted sister. Even with the gender swap, I didn’t want to see the boorish Kay completely disappear. So while Kay is undoubtedly a woman, she’s a hard-drinking, hard-fighting cowgirl who stands toe-to-toe with the boys.
(for Savage Worlds)
Attributes: Agility d8, Strength d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d12, Guts d4, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d6
Traits: Pace 6, Parry 9, Toughness 7, Charisma 0
Hindrances: Loyal (Never leaves a friend behind), Overconfident (Believes she can do anything), Stubborn (Always wants her way, never admits when she’s wrong)
Edges: Block (Bonus to Parry), Brawny (Bonus to Toughness), First Strike (Free Attack vs. single opponent who moves adjacent), Sweep (Roll 1 attack against all adjacent targets at -2 penalty)
Gear: Bruised knuckles, horse and saddle, chaps, whiskey flask, hunting knife, double-barrel shotgun
You’re a hard drinking, hard-living woman who never took no back talk from anybody. You’ll never apologize for living life to the fullest, nor of taking your rightful place among the men-folk. You’re not the brightest, or even the best with a gun, but you can make your presence known in a fight and – quite frankly – relish the opportunity to do so.
Arthur Britton came to your Pa Hector’s farm when you were just a girl. He was a shy, sad child then – and was right to be, what with what happened with his parents out here on the frontier – but your pa welcomed him and the old snake oil salesman Martin out of some debt owed to Arthur’s daddy from back before you were born. You’re pleased to see Arthur’s grown up into a right fine man, but you’re not afraid to remind him that you’re still his big sister.
Martin Ambrose never struck you as a man riding straight on the trail. He never tells you the whole story, and you don’t like it. But he’s been a fixture in your life since childhood, and you’re willing to leave the old man a few secrets, at least as long as he can keep up when the riding gets rough.
Lance Franks is a right handsome fella, but you’ve never tried to bring him home. He’s a little too concerned with how he looks, and way too quick with his temper. There ain’t another man you’d trust to draw faster or shoot straighter, but a real man has to live on more than petty vengeance and gambling debts.
Arthur may be your adopted brother, but Pale Horn is your best friend. He’s quiet where you’re loud, and steady when you’re not. But you both love a good brawl – and it don’t take long to start a few walking around with a half-tamed brave like him!
Percy’s got no right to ride the hard trail with you the rest of the gang, but like Arthur he’s a boy without a past. He’s always sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, and taking risks that no kid should. Maybe he’s just annoying because he reminds you of yourself. Still, Percy’s almost family: close enough, anyway, for you to feel comfortable bossing him around.