Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rumor has it...

Rumor has it that there is a knight
Who is wandering about in search for me.
He seeks me with all of his cunning
And no rest he needs.

Upon a small village so far yet so fair
He comes upon people whose glad tidings he bears.
With love they surround him and joy brings him in,
The host with great merry does fill his cup's brim.

At peace does he dwell surrounded by mirth
The host's pretty him she confers.
The game he receives is good to the core
His belly now big from big mighty boars.

But now he grows weary, so weary indeed
His biggest this he must flee.
But wait one more day the host does he say
I'll give you direction to find the right way.

Yea, find the right right way indeed
send him my way I'll give what he needs!

Uhhhh...anyone want to step up here?

OK...seriously...that thing that happened the other day while we were all gathered for a feast at Christmastime...yeah...a little bit embarrassing to say the least gentlemen!

Now listen, I's have a nice big turkey leg on your plate and your cup is full of the finest have some presents you want to open...I get it...but to not step up and defend this court when a ghastly green man on a green horse comes in and challenges you all, is quite humiliating don't you think?

Thankfully the young Gawain, my own blood, grew brass ones large enough to do something about it! Granted, he wouldn't have been my first choice, but alas, it came to the point where I, Arthur, King of the Britons, almost had to face the challenge myself...and we can't be having that now can we?

Anyways, I just wanted to bring this to all of your attention, because I was quite ashamed by the occurrences in my court on that eve. Now, maybe I should completely stop letting random people interrupt our dinner, and YES, maybe I shall forgo the allowance of EVERY single wish, demand or request by every gate crasher...but maybe, next time, you guys could help a King out here and not make us all look so bad!

Speaking of looking crazy was it when that knight's head was rolling on the ground? Creeeeepy!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Green-Friendly Challenges...

I left their court after that challenge feeling brave. It was thoroughly satisfying to see the look on the chumps' faces when I instilled fear into the heart of that fool Gawain. That act back there will leave em' thinking deeply for a year...

Now that that challenge has been completed, I can focus on getting this head of mine back on my shoulders and venturing homeward. Let me see if I have that Sir Phillips Head handy. Ah, there it is. Couple turns, few screws...there, good as green.

What's that in the distance? Looks like another one of those chumpy knights. Let me call him and test his mettle. Say you, what's your name? Really? I always thought that that was a woman's name. I guess I was wrong.

Where are you headed? That's not too far from here. Since that pathetic looking horse of yours is in such agony would you be up for a challenge? Good.

If you are brave enough, I challenge you to try and take a swipe at this leaf I hold in my hand with your sword. If you are able to take both it and my hand off before I drop it after saying go, you can have this mighty green steed of mine. Ready? Good. Go...

Ah, well done dear pasty looking fellow. As I have spoken thus it shall be. Take this steed and I will look after yours. Well, there goes my valiant horse. I really ought to reconsider challenging every courteous knight that crosses my path...

Oh, hello there young friend. Would you be up for a challenge? Nothing in the world is much more gratifying...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Fulfillment of God's Wrath

I do not fear the Incubus that harbors within me, for I have my justifications. I don’t regret suffocating two pagans that had nearly killed my Christian allies. I was compelled to ponder these two questions: Did my rage justify my authority to carry out God’s divine judgment—to take away one’s life? Did I not kill a pagan's life to preserve a Christian's life, which is arguably more valuable in the eyes of the Savior?

In the event of the attack, my party was immobilized by an evil spell. I chose to fight the enemy, for my allies were possessed in a trance, and they were fast approaching death. I will never forget how Niviane had looked so helpless when she remained enchanted by necromancy. Rage exploded at the sight of her unconsciousness. The pagans committed the utmost heresy. No penance would have atoned for this rash behavior.

These two sorcerers had practiced many pagan rituals, which had predestined their damnation. One such ritual was the worship of artificial idols, for they pledged an allegiance to a mythical God. The sorcerers failed to recognize one true God, and they fell to heresy repeatedly saying God’s name in vain. They had no intention to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I couldn't have witnessed the horror that would have ensued from the pagans' malice, and I was driven to suffocate the sorcerers with sulphur and to entomb both of them in separate pits. I moved the stone slabs in such a way to present the flames visible for all. The flames are a true testament of my greatness as a magician. I have fulfilled God’s wrath, in order to deliver Christ’s children and to cast away pagan souls.

Oh, Dearest Gawain!

I had forseen your arrival, and with greatest respects told Arthur of your great strength (no doubt deriving from your great lineage!). If only he had taken my account more seriously, as he knows I have never deceived him! Instead he snuck away from my side, and tried to ambush you - which only left Kay and he embarrassed as you knocked them into the stream! I knew he would do that; he acts as if I am utterly unaware! I did, however, find pleasure in showing Arthur his horses and the ring you gave me the following morning, as I had prophesized receiving these that night, furthering Arthur's sense of shame. And then to think he halted in telling you your identity until you completed a task that he and his men could not! I was thrilled to hear that you had successfully proven yourself to Arthur, although I, too, knew this would happen. You truly are a wonderful knight. I am pleased to call you Arthur's and my nephew. May your strength and fame increase greatly, and may you always strive to be the best knight.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Entombed in the cave

The story of the lovers in the Prose and Suite Du Merlin is a reflective one for me. When Merlin leaves his king and cause, abandoning all that he has striven to achieve for the sake of redemption and honor, he realizes that he has come to a lamentable pass. He says "I have given up all to be with you but I have gained nothing by following you." He is left to lie forever, captured by a heart that had no willingness to love or be moved by him. Rather it was the love of sport, the chance to enchant the enchanter that leads Niviane to cast her spell upon the sorcerer. The emptiness that follows is the punishment for betraying the vows and missions of a lifetime, for the empty specter of love that has no guarantee of lasting through the turbulence of life itself. Most times, you are left, like Merlin, entombed in the cave, lost and forgotten.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Un-fair lady...

I, Sir Kay, was recently humiliated in my own King's court. It is well known that I am the most loyal follower to our great King Arthur. I will knowingly go out to any lengths to defend his honor, and the honor of his court. I will gladly do battle with man for just a chance to uphold the King's name and honor. Since I am the most noble, and fair knight, I have complete faith in my self. So when a knight brought a mantle to our Court, for the ladies to try, I knew my lady would be of the fairest kind, since I am such a noble and strong knight. Alas, I was mistaken. I told her "come forward; you may take the mantle unafraid and fearless. there is no one your equal here in truth and faithfulness...With honor and distinction we two shall carry off the victory today." This lady has ashamed and dishonored me, for the mantle did not fit. She is apparently not worthy of my company, and now I am on the hunt for a more proper and deserving maiden...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How dare she!

My dearest Tristan, so far away in Brittany,

My love, my life, gravely injured by a wretched giant, to which Caerdin came to London with such horrific news. Caerdin, the brother of Tristan's dreadful Isolde of the White Hands, came to me begging to heal Tristan. The shock you must know that I felt, when I heard that Caerdin was coming to beg me—to do something that surely I wouldn't even have to think twice about. But, for our situation, I am married to King Mark and the other Isolde to Tristan, so we have to hide our truest feelings. However, I will heed my ranting and tell you why I have brought you here in the first place. I am sorely angry that I traveled such a dangerous and hellish voyage to Brittany only to be cheated by Isolde of the White Hands. You see, my sweet Tristan told Caerdin to wave a white flag to which he would see and know that I was in route to save his divine life. Tristan then told Caerdin to wave a black flag, if I, for some reason were unable to come to my beloved. The trouble then begins here, when Tristan feeling close to death, asked Isolde of the White Hands what color the mainsail was and so the terrible Isolde tells a lie so dreadful of lies. She tells her husband and my lover that the sail was certainly black, to which then my eternal darling’s life was hoisted from his body. Just as I was only a short while away!! The treachery! I had made it on time and could have saved his life, if only such horrible lies weren’t spoken. It is her fault, Isolde of the White Hands, she who must be blamed for the death of Tristan and so I too shall pass on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sir Kay was a little lost

I, Sir Kay, will always be there for my King, Arthur, and his queen. Even if others in the court think it is foolish for me to except this vial knight's challenge, I will gladly attempt to defend the King and this courts honor by running off into the woods, and taking this challenge and winning. As all can see I am an honorable knight, whose skills are not only in battle. I put on the best feast this court has seen, and will eat with the servants, just because i have great honor. It may look bad that I could not defeat the knight in this challenge for the queen, and to free the other captured knights, but there is no need for Lancelot or Gawain to come after me, I may be injured, but I am Sir Kay and will prevail!

Marriage Cannot Find Love Like One's Heart

How is it that the truest love is always forbidden? The arrangements of marriage, though should be followed and not dismissed, leave little hope for love found in its truest form. Tristan and Isolde have a love deeper than that of Isolde and Mark, should this be? The union of marriage does not account for feeling but rather follows a pattern of ancestry to keep bloodlines. Is that love? Of course not! Therefore leaving the power of love to be diminished to wishful thinking. Should a wife have to make herself deny what she truly feels to keep the sanctity of marriage? I know that Mark feels he truly loves Isolde but is that only his Mind overruling his Heart? Isolde is not seen as a prize to Tristan, but a lover. I feel that Mark is most unruly in banishing Tristan because Isolde is not seen as a human so much as a prize. Knowing of Tristan’s love for his wife, that was won not freely chosen, makes Mark angry like a child that sees someone else using their toys. Does Mark not think his wife, perhaps, wanted to choose her own lover (if Isolde even thinks of Mark as her lover, at all)? The idea of love as a real force is often denied but where it is as powerful as the love between Tristan and Isolde, it should be cherished.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ah, the ignorance of youth!

What a fool I have been! It has been three years since the lovely Isolde and I drank a wicked love potion, and finally its sickening effects have worn off. Living on wild beasts that I killed in the forest was a miserable existence. I had to make peace with my uncle, King Mark, to save myself, and Isolde (whom I love…but I’m not IN love with) from the torture of living in secret together. Thank goodness for the hermit who has helped us back into the good grace of the king. Aside from the little white lie denying our love affair, there will be no more trickery for us!

Well, maybe a little more, but just so Isolde does not have to lie before God when taking her oath that no man has been between her legs but her husband and the leper who carried her across the marsh (which was me! Hahaha what a clever plan that was!). But those damn treacherous barons who continue to make trouble for us! Oh, I love my dear uncle but what a fool he is to allow himself to be manipulated again and again by those bastards! I will get my revenge on them, I swear it!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Invincible In Love!

Wow! I cannot believe he FINALLY figured it out! I mean, I was sure that we were smarter than him. That whole scene under the tree—brilliant!

Damn that evil dwarf for trying to destroy our love! Oh but the flour trick was certainly clever, I’ll give him that. But of course, I am cleverer and saw the trap right away. If it weren’t for the gash in my leg, we wouldn’t have ever been caught! But alas, even a death sentence isn’t enough to keep Isolde and me from each other! We are so happy now in the woods! Sure, we are hungry, and growing thin with malnourishment, but we have each other, and that will always be enough! I am sure of it!

To all of the other secret lovers out there: Have faith that your love can be everlasting despite those who try to destroy it! Just see how happy I am in exile with my Isolde!!

Is there anything more romantic than secret, passionate love affairs?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cruel, to be kind….

I have been misjudged in my actions during the incestuous liaison that existed between my nephew Tristan and my beloved Isolde. Some have called me gullible, foolish and cruel as I stumbled in the dark, surrounded by treachery. The throne is truly a lonely perch, the ruler forever destined to stand alone as nobles and sycophants tumble from the woodwork. Yet may I remind you, these tales of my actions are told by another’s pen, a man who has his sympathies solely with the traitorous pair, declaring that their love was proof against all punishment or censure. This cannot be, for as a monarch, I cannot be seen to be weak in a matter that lies upon my very doorstep. To not have put Isolde to her just punishment would cost me my kingdom and the lives of my people….

I will admit that I spoke out of anger and despair when I put her to death without a trial and the stains upon my mortal soul that giving her to the lecherous lepers as a worst punishment shall ne’er be cleansed away. Yet I ask you, who here can say that they have not been driven mad with passionate anger and a lust for revenge? Once my reason returned I truly felt unending guilt for what I had done, thus when I saw my dears in the forest, so innocently beautiful, I thanked God that I had not destroyed them. This Beroul who seeks to know my heart cannot ever know the sadness and joy that I feel when I think of my kinsmen and my wife, lost to me in the wild evergreen……

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This terrible Courtesy...

Ladies and Sirs,

You know me well, and you know that I am no great proponent of courtesy. It was not practiced in my day, and I cannot for the life of me understand why the current generation of writers and bards think so highly of it. Courtesy, and "courtly love," seems to have become the rule as opposed to the exception. Diplomacy, tact, violence of action - these are valuable things, but on my honor no good has ever come of courtly manners, and I shall count a number of offenses which it manifests.

The first offense is that it predisposes one to falsehood. I have yet to meet a knight who is truly courteous who is also an honest and upstanding fellow. Take this Tristan for example. He obviously lusts after the fair Isolde, a sentiment which she returns, yet he was not be true to his feelings or her feelings and marry her outright. He was commanded to bring home a wife for his liege, and he could have certainly done so, and still married Isolde. Just go find another queen for your uncle, lad! Then once he has returned her, he sets up a gambit where the king takes the maidenhead of her handmaiden in order to protect Isolde's honor. Another deception. Then young Tristan continues to woo a girl that needs no wooing, but does so covertly. When confronted by his uncle Mark on multiple occasions, he denies this every time. This is what a courtly life breeds! Deception of one's lord and liege. God save me should I ever do that to Arthur. Two or three times.

The second offense is that it breeds lying. With the queen. Regardless of the falsehoods proffered as excuses, a knight should respect the property of his king! Should he have wanted to lie with Isolde forever, he should have spirited her away when he had the chance, not bring her back to the court of Mark, wed her to him, then attempt to steal her back every time Mark ventures from the court. The barons and the dwarf are marked by the author as evil men because they take offense at Tristan's trysts, but on my word they are the only sane men in the court.

The third offense is the keeping of dwarves at court and in public station. The Arthur of my day would have never suffered nefarious magical folk at court. Yet Mark, in all his "courtesy" keeps one around that does nothing but stir trouble. He should ask Lancelot about all the good dwarves do.

That being said, I do admire this Tristan chap's violence of action. He killed a giant, who also happened to be Isolde's uncle, then took the niece as his lover? Now that's something we would have done back in the day! Now, I would remark that we also took armies of enemies on nearly single handed, and that Tristan is currently hiding in the forest instead of sallying forth to meet his foe head on, but there's plenty left in this tale, so I'll hold hope that the boy comes around from his "courtly ways" and engages in war like a man.

Yrs. Hmbly.,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Can one Love so, as to transcend Death?

In the Spanish lyrics Herido esta Don Tristan, Tristan and Isolde’s, or here Iseo, love surpasses all and neither of the lovers are willing to let Tristan’s demise keep them apart. Iseo goes to her lover when she hears of his fate and weeps bitterly over him, covering his death bed with tears of mourning and kissing him sweetly. This portrayal of such complete love for someone shows a side of Arthurian legend that is often left out in the old days, the side of compassion and true feeling for another person. Might it be of interest that this fate was brought on from the root of Arthurian writings, the battling aspect. But one must also take into account the way the outcome of these so-called acts of heroism affect the ones who love their knights so deeply. The ladies that are not willing to let their lovers go, even in death. Iseo does not let her lover’s death keep her from being with him as long as she possibly can be. If only there were more thought put towards reason than pure malice, would Tristan have ended up with such a fate as death by a poisoned lance thrown by the hand of a jealous king? I wonder how the king feels to make Queen Iseo weep so? Perhaps had he listened to the voice of Reason that speaks wisely and not brashly like the voice of Jealousy, this tragedy could have been avoided. But for how long? As it is a knight’s duty to bring himself in harms ways for the betterment and protection of his people. It is his chosen path and though Iseo may weep so due to the cruel hand of the King, it may have been that someone else’s cruel hand would have given him the same fate. But would it have been such a tragedy, had it been done by another knight? I believe it especially stings because the King acted out of ill will, as a way to stop the lovers. But no mortal can stop a love that transcends through death, such that Tristan and Iseo share.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Our Best Moment...

That Mantle made quite a mess of things, it did!  The women of Camelot, exposed as adulterers, one and all!  And the Queen one of them!

And the men were so overwhelmed with shame like I had never seen them before, they began to laugh as each woman in turn was brought to the Mantle.  But I brought them to order!  I am Valven, I am the chief of Arthur's court of knights, and it was my unfortunate duty to tell these lesser men over and over how great our injuries were that day.  Damned messenger!  Damned Arthur's kindness!

I am sorry, this is not easy for me to write about.

We were the greatest and noblest kingdom in the land!  Camelot!  The great King Arthur's round table!  How could this have happened to us?!  Our women shamed, our honor destroyed.  Only one faithful lover in the entire court.  ONE!!  We will never know a day where this Mantle's curse does not haunt us.

All the love is gone from our court.  The women, too shamed to speak to anyone.  The men too hurt and furious.  Myself, driven nearly mad at the revelation of my own love's infidelity. 

Friends, forgive me.  I can not write another word.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lancelot's heart; noble, but foolish

It is truly a pleasure to see Chretien portray my lord Lancelot so accurately. One can clearly discern just how brave and honorable my lord is from his text. One instance that demonstrates this comes when Sir Lancelot shows mercy to a knight that had the misfortune of facing my lord in battle, upon the plea of a damsel. My lord could have delivered him a final lethal blow, and was certainly prepared to do so, but the kindness in his heart succumbed to the request of a poor damsel. Yet his noble heart will prove to be his downfall. That which brings him life belongs to a woman who does not deserve it, and abuses her influence over him. My lord continuously risks his life in the name of an illicit relationship. Not only is my king being betrayed, but the queen also takes advantage of my lord Lancelot. This is illustrated when the queen flatly rejects my lord after he has defeated Mallegant in battle, all in the name of a sick joke. My lord did not think it funny because he nearly died as a result of the queen's vile humor. The queen might love Lancelot, but it is not nearly a balanced love. Therefore, she will continue to have great influence over my lord. Although I may think otherwise, my lord has fallen for the queen and as wrong as that relationship may be, it is my duty to serve my lord and to do my best to assure his safety and happiness.