Dearest friends and uncouth fiends alike,
I write to you from the Gorge of Peril as I lay siege to the perilous terrain here. My good comrade Sir Robin is of no use down here as he has degenerated into a babbling fool. During the day he cowers in his tent while the harpies make their rounds, shrieking and squawking like banshees. By nightfall, the jabberwocky's bright star-like eyes torment him so much he can't seem to sleep a wink. I don't quite understand his pathetic cowering. If only he took a moment to converse with our gorge-mates he would realize that the harpies are only patrolling for forest fires and the jabberwocky is merely the game warden here, making sure we aren't hunting any of the rare nocturnal Assyrian swallows which populate the gorge.
If any of you would be so kind as to contact the fair maids of Castle Anthrax for me that'd be simply fantastic. Please write them and forward their response to me, I'm curious how they've been fairing after the unlawful lighting of their grail-signal. They must be worried sick about me, as I left them in quite a predicament. Please let them know that my quest for the Grail has come to an end I will return swiftly to them to complete the task they'd bestowed upon me. I cannot allow disorder and lawlessness to continue in such a fair fortress, especially amongst such fair subjects! I surely must've stumbled in the bridgekeepers interrogation because of my ungodly retreat from such injustice and I must return to them posthaste, to ensure that the law of the land and our Lord is upheld! This failure in the quest for the grail is a sure sign of my fault in their service, and I must make good on my word to them to maintain my good name and title!
This message should reach all of you in short time, provided the swallows I've sent are good on their word. They tell me it should only take them a few days at most to reach all of you at about 24 miles to the hour!
Sir Galahad the Pure
I arrived at the court of King Arthur to beg for assistance in freeing my
mistress, I expected our kind and valiant King to help myself and my mistress,
and rescue her and the other princesses from those dreadful brothers; he gave
the responsibility to a new man at court, despite some resistance from his
knights. The man did not seem eager, but he obeyed his king. He is a very
peculiar man; how he squirms in his armor! As though he has never worn a set
While on our quest many strange things happened: he was not one for conversation, but
begged my help when his armor became too hot for him. He asked me to pour water
down his armor, which I did, but then was unable to help him back on his horse.
I could see the wheels in his mind turning, cursing the armor. The night was
long, but in the morning we happened upon some peasants, and if you can believe
it, he asked for some of their food!!! A man on a quest, asking lowly peasants
for assistance! I was aghast, and refused to join in their meal.
However, the most baffling moment of our quest came for me soon before we reached my
mistress. While we trekked along, I began to realize that the way he spoke was
like nothing I have ever heard before! The man used the phrase, “Where do they
hang out?” I was very confused. What does this mean? Is this a common phrase in
the foreign land from which he must be from? While I am grateful for the
assistance on the quest to save my mistress and the princesses, I feel that I am
very confused after the trip with this brave stranger.
Curse your, Sir Mordred, for you have stricken my heart with grief. My dear King Arthur is now dead due to your evil cowardice. I will be eternally loyal to my King. Reminiscing on the horrific event is hard for me. My brother Lucan and I were commanded to make a treaty with Mordred for my dear Arthur. They were to meet in a field and discuss matters, but everything went awry. A battle broke out, my brother and I were both wounded horribly... The kind hearted King could not stand to look at out all the men that because of the evil Mordred, the greedy traitor. I despise him.
Arthur, bravely and full of revenge, decided to attack Mordred for himself, disregarding the dream that he had that showed him dying. My brother and I lay there helplessly. King Arthur stabbed Mordred with his sword. I felt a great sense of triumph, until I saw King Arthur with a slice on his head. Lucan and I, both extremely wounded, wanted to help the King. It was too much for my brother... For he died... His guts spilling out... I can't think about it... My brother... now lay dead because of this evil Mordred...
It was just me and my King, I needed to help him.. All I could do was throw Excalibur into the ocean... I couldn't do it. The sword was too noble... But my King commanded me... I could not be a traitor to him. I watched as these women took away my King and I went to live with a hermit in a chapel to pray for my King. Hoping that one day he may come back...
The grief I feel for my king is too much... If that traitor Mordred was not already dead I would have killed him myself...
Hark! I hear of the great King Arthur's campaign to battle Lucius. He has traveled such a great distance to do so, sacrificing so much, he should not meddle in other affairs. Seven winters I have now sustained myself of the bounty of the land. Now the king has come to slay me, why? I have done nothing wrong. I have taken a wife, same as he and his nobles. Do I not deserve the same happiness? They see wrong with my diet of the christened children, yet when calfs are slain, no one screams for murder! Now this "noble" king, who has refused to pay his binding tribute and disrespects the all of the roman empire, has taken the warlords path to Lucius, conquering everything in his way. This tyrant has been the responsibility of countless deaths of the most virtuous knights, all merely defending their rightful court. How can the king claim he is better than I! Pit his sins against mine and his soul will surely be damned. You leave your kingdom and your queen in the hands of a under qualified scoundrel! You take leave and start a multitude of wars, endangering everyone for what purpose? Pride? You should not bear the crown with such recklessness for all of these these trespasses will haunt the remainder of his days. I hear over yonder a rustle, be it King Arthur? Time will tell, but be it I die here tonight, It shall be in great vein for it is merely one sinner taking yet another life of the innocent.
-Giant of Saint Michael's Mount
To read these events, to hear my shameful deeds recited alliteratively, rekindles my own despair for committing these failures. To hear myself lauded as a paragon of perfection and the purest sample of a chivalric knight is setting these standards far too low. Indeed these kind mistruths only serve to deepen my disgrace and further my distance from perfection. A good knight would have never accepted the girdle from the lovely wife of Bertilak. I accepted it under the condition that I would not tell my most gracious host, but I had already sworn to him to give to him all that I received during my respite in his impressive castle. I should not have vowed to my lady when I had been previous bound by oath to her husband to do just what she asked me not to.
To my disgrace, I acted in fear of losing my life to the Green Knight and not on this chivalry all have falsely attributed to myself. My quest to find the Green Knight was my acceptence of the doom to which I had sworn to subject myself. But the sheer magnificence and enjoyment of life itself that I experience with my host during his extravagant and gay festivities filled me with envy for those who would continue to live. I was covetous of the good people who could continue to revel in the luxuries that life has to offer. Through this envy my cowardice rose, and I could not decline the girdle from my lady when I learned it would save my life and grant me more years of excess, years that chivalry had not seen fit to grant me.
So I abandoned my goodness, my claim to the love of the people and my respect of myself. Yet Arthur and his court, even Bertilak himself, presume that my reputation is still intact. But I will always wear the girdle to remind myself of the stains on my virtue.
Oh, woe is me! For love of me, I cannot even fathom the true travesty of my position. I am torn limb from limb, heart from mind, body from soul.
I have bestowed my heart with my true love, the duke of Tintagel. I am deeply in love with him, and I have not the desire nor the inclination to seek affection from any other man for the remainder of my days. Not all the gold or riches in all the world would I trade for a lifelong love with the duke.
However, the King has betrayed the duke and attempted to disgrace my name. He has expressed his affection for me with the full knowledge of my marriage to the duke of Tintagel. The King has only befriended my husband so that I might've been stolen from him. With no other option foreseeable to allow my husband and I to remain together, I fled with him and retreated to his own land of Tintagel.
But the King was not pleased with our reaction, and he sent for us to return immediately. I have been tricked. On an evening which I had laid with who I perceived to be my husband the duke, he had been killed - and I know it was by order or action of the King himself. But then who was it that slept beside me that night? I may never know, and I feel quite shameful for that lack of knowledge. Upon the death of my husband, the King offered to accept me as his queen, and I could not have a deeper aversion to do so - even with all the wealth and honor that will be rewarded to my family as a result. What can a woman do? How does she refuse the most noble status of Queen? I cannot. I must have this child fathered by who I thought was the duke, but his fate, I do not know.
I apologize for leaving the court but the Huntress was leaving and I wanted to keep her company. Though, I must admit I began to fall deeply in love with her. I thought her some of my enchantment as to one day she will become mine.
I joined her on her journey and we stopped at the Perilous Forest. Viviane was intrigued with my talents but unfortunately I could not foretell my own future. Alas, I decided to tell her a plot that was planned against Arthur. The Lady of the Lake asked if I could delay the battle for we could join the court. My love for her was so deep that I would gladly go on to this quest. Though I was aware a treachery because I would be betrayed!
We made a stop in the middle of our quest. I wanted to show the Lady a chamber that I knew. My lady was amazed of the tale I was telling her. She wanted to stay the night there, together. I knew this was my opportunity to make her mine though; tis did not seem the right place or the right time to do so.
I began to fall asleep and the lady put a trance on me! She enchanted me and trapped me where the lovers were laying. I knew a betrayal would occur to me but there was nothing I could do without losing my own soul. No one can release me but the Lady of the Lake. This cunning young lady defeated me.
I know that I am doing a dishonesty toward the King, and future husband of I. Though how would you feel towards a man you barely knew and seemingly a courtship based on common neutrality between our countries and not one of love? Though I know the sinfulness of my love for Tristan but how can one not bear such a connection that seems almost otherworldly.
I do not wish to speak ill will about the King but I know that in my hearts of hearts that we are not meant to be. We may be betrothed but that does not mean you have my heart. I do not blame thee for being suspicious but to have someone to come and spy for you, now do you not think that is a bit weak in your character? Even for you my dear King. Serves you right that you found nothing in my words, for I do speak the truth.
For I wish my love for Tristan could been one not of secrecy and sin, if only people could accept it, how I love with the utmost devotion in my heart. That one would know by just looking that these two individuals were meant to be in together, no questions nor judgements. For if anything were to happen to my beloved I do not know if I could bare the burden of my soul not feeling whole. Regardless of such potion the feelings of love for Tristan are not fleeting and know that I cannot ignore such amorous feelings even though I am married to the King. Yes a potion brought our love to face but that does not constitute the lasting feelings that I have for my dear Tristan.
I can feel the imminent love from each gesture or glance, I know his intentions are true and for that I bare not only my body but my heart. Not only do you make feel more loved than the fairest maiden in the court, but you make me realize that love is not to be looked at in vain but by the amount of genuine devotion, that if I were to ever leave my earthly body or your's, it would not feel right to live on for the sake of the emptiness that would consume my body. You are my love and for that I will always carry you with me eternally.
I have deep thoughts of whether what I am doing is right or not. How is a man supposed to know the moral in what he is doing when he is so deeply blinded by love? What I bare for Ysolt is true, passionate love, separate from lust. I understand she belongs to another man, a King at that, but shall I sit back and watch her engage in such a relationship? Is what we had not real? I just needed more answers I suppose. Yes, maybe it was wrong to marry the second Ysolt as a result of my burning love for the first Ysolt that I had known and come to love, but please town people, forgive me.
You see, I am loved by this new Ysolt. I would be wrong to deny my love to her, for she is both beautiful and a good woman, but mostly, she holds the same name. What more could I want than to be reminded daily of my one true love whenever hearing the actual name, the same name, as my new “love”?
I am already a man who is wrong for becoming involved with Ysolt in the first place. But see, things got out of hand. It was never my plan for her to be with the king and forget about me. But indeed she had. She had forgotten all about me and even out of the deepest anger I held in my heart for her, I was still overpowered by love. I must still understand that Ysolt is not ill willed.
I do harbor anger for her, for the reason that she had not sought me out. Her dear husband would not allow this of course. These are terms of which I fully understand, but logic means nothing when love is involved. I force myself to create reason and meaning out of what she had failed to do. When you love someone wouldn’t you come to look for them?
I am thankful that I never lost sight of her being good willed, for she did attempt to come back for me. As I lay in that bed, wounds and all, I worried that I would not live. The anticipation of her arriving kept me going. I even expressed some of my pain to my wife, but never in great detail, for I could not handle the sorrow in one woman’s heart over the knowledge of my yearning for another. I lay and wait for my beloved Ysolt…
I looked on as she took a step towards the mantle. Her body shaken and her posture trying not to fold in fear. What does the lady of Sir Kay have to be scared of? Of all these so called maidens here, she should be standing tall. She should not be scared of anything. This little test of the mantel should mean nothing. It will be she who will be its owner. But alas I saw it. The mantle becoming shorter upon her wear.
She took a glance at me. The horror in her eyes were clear. Is this really the maiden of Sir Kay? It seems in truth she is not a maiden at all. Her body began to shake as my eyes continued to stare. Oh how I wish my stare drove a hole right through her. Treacherous, disgusting, unfaithful! How dare a woman like that be called a maiden?
Fear not my lady, for I will not allow only Sir Kay to be dishonored. Let us watch as the rest of these maidens reveal just as much filth as you do! Oh the entertainment it would bring to us all! Sit and watch them carefully my lady. Watch as these honorable knights begin to boil red as they watch their fair MAIDENS wear the mantle of shame.
Do not feel ridiculous as this mantle's adventures of jest continues my lady. And as this mantle mocks all of us, I will mock these knights just as much. As this mantle laughs at us, I will laugh at all these other maidens. Because Sir Kay will not be the only one to be laughed at. I will smirk upon these fools until they feel even more shame than I do.
Wait, what is this? A true maiden had been found?
I looked at this newly found maiden. Her blushing face, the way she glowed so humbly. Then I looked towards her knight. It is as if he wears his honor above his head!
As quickly as the true maiden had put the mantle on, just as quickly my jest seems to end. How is it that I, Sir Kay, have come to the day where my honor would mean nothing. My love, I do not think my love for you is as strong anymore for my honor is no longer that strong. Our love was only as true as the maiden you claimed to be. Maybe I, Sir Kay, do not even have a need for you any longer. For Sir Kay does not need such a faithless matron by his side. Only Sir Kay is good enough for himself.