Student Projects - Arthurian Myth
Interim 1996, Calvin College
O Fair Lady Knight
By Rachel Baljeau
It was a lazy day in late summer, the type of day in which the musty breath
of autumn could be smelled, and the sun which was once unrelentingly hot
and burning was now replaced with a warm and hazy one. Now, the shadows
from a tree in the distance had lengthened, and the sun was on its way to
A woman was sitting under that tree. From far off, she seemed to be an ordinary
lady, but approaching her I noticed the sun glinting off a piece of metal
by her side. It was not a brooch, or a necklace, or a bracelet. No, it was
a sword half-unsheathed as if lying in wait for some danger that might be
encountered. Getting closer to the lady I noticed something else amiss with
the picture. The lady was beautiful, about thirty winters of age, and she
had long curly locks of rich dark brown hair, which contrasted the fair
complexion slightly bronzed by the outside wind and sun. Her forearms, showing
from her short sleeved dress were laced with scars, as those which fighting
men commonly have. The woman's dark brown eyes, reflecting the orange setting
sun in them, looked as if they had a story to match the scars.
* * *
"Phar! Get up! Today is the day we start our training!"* * *
Phariance, muttering to himself as he turned over in his bed and pulled
his bearskin over him to linger in the warmth, opened his eyes, squinting
at the early morning sun creeping in over the window sill. "I don't
want to go, Pal," he said, getting up and splashing cold water on his
"Why ever not? There's not one kid out there who doesn't want to start
his training to be a knight," Paladir exclaimed.
Phariance continued, "I heard father talking last night. You won't
be coming with me anymore. It was fine that you helped out in the kitchen,
but you are a girl and girls can't become knights."
She felt insulted by this. Phariance and her had been together in the same
womb, and had never been separated before. Looking at the two, people often
mistook them for twin brothers. Her boyish appearance complimented her own
personality. Paladir didn't want to go and play with all the other girls,
learning embroidery and such. When she had chances to go to tournaments
and jousts, she imagined herself and Phariance as the ones besting all the
other knights and claiming the prize together. "If only I could become
a knight, how happy I would be then," she thought. Not once before
now did it cross her mind that she wouldn't be able to do that, and now,
her brother and best friend would be leaving her. Maybe running away would
solve something. Unless...
"What is it Paladir? You look like you just had an idea."
Paladir's eyes had lit up. "I have. Come here," she said excitedly.
She could hardly restrain myself from jumping up and down she was so happy.
She knew her plan would work. After whispering it to him in his ear, he
knew it would too. There was no way their father could make Phariance go
to his lessons if Paladir didn't go with him.
A few years had passed and Phariance and Paladir were both doing exceedingly
well in their training. Whereas she was better than he in hunting and archery,
he was better in jousting and sword fights, and received most of the praise
from their instructor because he was stronger than her. * * *
Paladir became increasingly aware of the fact that Phariance was doing better,
so she worked even harder. Every day she arrived an hour early to practice
with the quintain. Charging and searching for that correct point to place
her spear, and then turning around and repeating the whole procedure again,
striving for perfection each time. She stayed an hour after practice also,
even though she was completely tired out from the day, improving sword strokes.
Three times a week she would practice with a weighted sword to increase
strength. A slash on the right, a cut on the left, and a blow from the right
again. Then, the sword would switch hands to make sure both sides were equally
All this was done in vain, however, for she could not be strong enough to
be an equal match for her brother, who despite that still treated her as
an equal. She became more and more despondent as the weeks passed by. About
this time also, she noticed changes in her body too; she was becoming a
One particular day, her instructor was being especially hard on her. She
couldn't handle it anymore. Something inside her snapped. Paladir spurred
her horse and rode off, afraid she might start crying any minute. She didn't
know where she was going, all she knew as that she had to get away. She
rode for a few hours, as the sun moved from the top of the sky toward the
western horizon. It was getting late in the day, and the cool breeze that
had been refreshing now came on as an icy bone chilling wind. She shivered.
Looking around she discovered she had gone further than she intended. None
of the surroundings were familiar. The woods enveloping her father's castle
she had long since passed. Passed also was a large open stretch of heather
and hills. Presently she found herself in a thick wood, the ground densely
covered with bracken and big leafy ferns.
Paladir shivered again, this time not from the cold but from an uneasy feeling
which suddenly came upon her, as if something was awaiting her ahead. She
dressed her shield and picked up her spear from its setting. She slowed
her horse down to a walk, still feeling very unnerved.
A gentle lapping of water on a shore could be heard in the distance in front
of her. Up ahead was a misty clearing, and a solitary silhouette of a woman
at the edge of the mist. Reaching the clearing, the lady beckoned her to
come. For some reason, shaking as she was, Paladir obeyed.
"Paladir," she said in a soft voice.
Her thoughts were tumbling over each other. How did that lady know my name?
Did she draw me here? Is she good or is she evil?
"I have been waiting for you. I am the Lady of the Lake. I understand
you are on a quest of sorts. What do you wish so that I may grant it to
If Paladir thought her mind was tumbling before, it was now hurtling off
a cliff face. This was her only chance to become a knight.
Pausing for a minute, she answered. "I would like, more than anything
to be knighted, and be able to compete with the rest of the men. I cannot
do that now since I am a woman, be it in body only. A man's mind trapped
in a woman's body. All my life I have spent training for knighthood. I live
and breathe in that facet of life. I know no other way. Please, if there
is a way, increase my strength so I can once again be equal to man."
The lady silently looked at me with her eyes of copper, her hair glistening
in the mist. Responding to her plea she said, "I can grant you what
you wish, only , as there must be a limit somewhere, you cannot have the
strength and stature of a man forever. You will once again become as a woman
if a man sees your face after battle."
"Wait," she cried, "what about my brother? He will have to
"Since he is your brother he can know, but no one else. Now, drink
The Lady of the Lake handed her a cup she had not noticed before. She took
a sip of the drink, which had an odd musky flavour to it. On giving the
cup back, the Lady quickly turned and disappeared into the mist, leaving
the place in a mysterious stillness. It was so still, and it had that certain
timeless feeling to it, that she wondered whether the events fresh in her
mind had occurred or not.
King Arthur had declared another tournament for the all Hallomass Feast.
All within his realm were invited to come. Phariance and Paladir, knighted
at last, decided to participate. They had determined that they would take
turns in the tournaments and jousts to preserve Sir Paladir's identity.
If she won a prize, Phariance would claim it for Paladir as she always left
the field after the game was done. This time, it chanced that it was her
turn, and she was excited, for this was rumoured to be the best tournament
ever hosted in these lands. * * *
Things had gone well for both Phariance and Paladir after she had come back
from the Lady of the Lake. Within a week her strength was equal to that
of Phariance's, and he had had to catch up to her since she had put in all
that extra time earlier to improve herself. The competitive nature in both
of them caused them to become two (or one, depending on which way you looked
at it) of the best knights of the land.
The day arrived, and Phariance came to help her put her armour on in a wooded
area not far from the castle. With one last check to see if everything was
soundly in its place, he helped her up to the saddle and bade her luck.
A final farewell, and she urged her horse towards the game field.
Paladir reached the field now and joined her ranks. She felt good about
herself today, and that feeling carried on throughout the day, except that
she also felt that she was being followed. Every knight that came up to
her she smote off his horse with her lance. Alongside of her was a knight
arrayed in blue who matched her strokes exactly. She thought it strange
that one knight would follow her so closely. Try as she might, she could
not shake him loose of following her. In the end Paladir and the Blue Knight
went on to be the best knights of the tournament. As Paladir realized this,
she hurried off to give Phariance notice of how she had fared, as usual.
She still felt like someone was following her, but since she saw nothing
nor heard anything but her own clanking armour, she cast it aside for the
Phariance met up with her at the spot she left from earlier that day, unlaced
her helm for her and took off on his own steed to claim the prize. Paladir
shook free her long hair and let it flow by her shoulders. As she did so,
she heard a gasp from the trees. Unsheathing her sword, standing ready to
fight, the Blue Knight stepped out from behind some bushes.
"O fair lady knight," he said, still astonished by what he saw.
"I did not realize you were a lady. I saw you ride up and admired your
ease at which you rode, and the way you carried yourself, so I deemed I
should follow you to do battle with you. When you left the field in such
a hurry after performing so marvelously I had to come to see your purpose.
Now I see."
"Yes, you see," she replied bitterly, "and never shall again.
I am Lady Paladir, sister to Sir Phariance, who was, by a gift from the
Lady of the Lake able to fight as any man could. But, since you have followed
me and seen my true self after battle, I shall lose my strength and become
weak like other ladies."
"Ah, but there you are mistaken. You also have strength in beauty.
You are the most beautiful damsel I have ever laid eyes upon, and if you
will, I should like to marry you."
Now the sun was almost gone. The sky glowed red for a few minutes, and
then the sun disappeared. The lady that was sitting under the tree whistled
shrilly and presently the thundering of a horse's hooves could be heard
coming closer, until it was beside her. She mounted the horse with an ease
I had not seen before, and wondered again at who she was. She nodded politely
at me as she rode by, slowly and majestically, I thought, away to the castle
in the distance.
Sir Balamar Saves the Day
By Sara Bus
It was but a fortnight ago, or at least, it seems but a fortnight ago...
I was near the end of a long arduous journey away from a nasty skirmish
in the North. My knightly duties had left me exhausted, mentally and physically.
Surely rest and shelter were no longer very far off. At the base of the
next hill, my armor moaned with brittle tension and I began to question
the faithfulness of my faithful steed (somehow his sudden love affair with
the ground seemed a "bad" thing...). No matter, I reasoned this
incline to be the last and trudged on. I soon found the steepness increasing
along with my fatigue; the thought of stopping until morning began to tantalize
my weary senses. Wait, what was this before me on the crest? A marvelous
stone fortress, extensive, sprawling, and most impressive in stature. Perhaps
here, a humble and noble knight such as myself might find lodging for the
evening! I decided to present myself to the lord of the castle and hope
for the best. Onward, to the entrance!
Interesting, this castle--I wasn't sure what to make of it. The style was
foreign, with towering domes and imposing pillars; maybe I had wandered
into another country? And, what was this? The whole compound was surrounded
by men, clinging to strange objects.What sort of lord had outfitted his
knights with these strange weapons, and no armor?! As I moved towards them,
I began to feel increasingly disoriented. They were all carrying on excitedly,
and as I was about to shout my name and purpose over the din, I heard an
angry voice exclaim, "Hey, you in the tinfoil, get away from that tripod!"
What was going on around here and what were these strange people doing?
"Excuse me," I bellowed, "My name is Sir Balamar, knight
of the Round Table, and I beg of your lord lodging for the night."
"Look buddy, I don't know who gave you directions, but senator Feinstein's
costume party is over at the Georgetown Hilton. Looks like you're a little
"Sir, by the honor of the round table, I wish only to request lodging
for the night, here in your castle. The climb up this hill was quite wearing
and I must shamefully admit that I cannot find the strength to go on."
Someone else shouted at me, "You think the hill is bad, try those steps
on the other side!"
By this time I was quite out of sorts. I demanded of the first man, "
See here now, what is this emblem on your shield--this' CNN'?" More
of these strangers were beginning to stare at me now; the one I had addressed
looked at me with suspicion.
"My shield? If you mean my camera vest, it's my press card--what
are you, some reject from CBS?"
"I told you, I am Sir Balamar, knight of the Round Table. Do you serve
our Lord and King, Arthur?"
"The only one I serve is Turner Broadcasting, and if they weren't paying
me I wouldn't have made it up that hill either! And for pete's sake, what's
all this 'king' and 'round table' stuff?"
No king? No Round Table? Where frightful place had I come to? Suddenly,
I realized, this must be dream from the Lord! Perhaps there was a reason
I had fallen into such outlandish company; I decided to make the most of
the experience and began to explain myself to the now gawking crowd. I told
them all of Camelot, of the mighty and wonderful Arthur, and of the brotherhood
of the Round Table. It was my duty, I explained, as it was of all good knights,
to go on a quest. However, I told them with great sadness, somehow I still
didn't know what I was questing for!
"Now that I've told you of my intentions, I demand to speak to whoever
rules this great castle," I finished. After a few silent moments, the
sound of laughter began to surface among the multitude; soon it became a
"You mean you really don't know?" said one.
"They're gone!" said another, "The Congress has gone and
shut the government down!"
I still couldn't understand what these gentlemen were referring to
and I was WROTH that I was still being denied access to the lord of the
castle! One of them came over and said, "Let me explain this in 'your'
world. See this 'castle' is called the Capital Building of the United States
of America and we call its rulers the Congress. You can't stay here tonight
because the building is closed. Actually, I hope you got a motel somewhere
because all the buildings in this area are closed at the moment. And you
can't talk to the head of this house because he's not here and neither is
Finally, these people were talking sense! Their lord was out on a quest,
as I was. If the gentleman had been right, then I was in their capital;
perhaps they too had a Round Table and maybe they could tell me what I was
"Maybe you can still help me. Tell me, where does the King meet with
your Round Table? I think they may know what it is that I'm searching for".
As I looked around, a most curious expression appeared on the face of the
first man I'd talked to and he said,
"Hey, the closest thing we've got to your 'Round Table' is this Congress
I already told you about and in case you haven't figured it out already,
they're not the most reliable bunch! But listen, have I got an idea for
this 'quest' of yours--- ya know, I think maybe YOU were sent to help US.
This Congress of ours has been on a 'quest' of sorts, though it isn't
exactly what you'd call noble in nature. You see Balamar, the government,
excuse me-- the rulers, have spent more money than they had to spend and
now our country is in great debt to many. Unlike your land, our 'king' and
'round table' don't get along too well. Right now they can't agree on how
to pay off this huge debt and so the 'round table' has 'quit', so to speak.
I wonder if your medieval quest might be to help us post-modern idiots out
of this mess!"
I could see hope among all of their faces and began to hear a chorus of
resounding "yeses" and "right-ons"(whatever that meant!)
Could this be? I had found my quest and true knightly duty! I suggested
a jousting match between the members of their divided Congress and their
president. This was widely received and I was given a seat of honor to watch
the great contest, during which all the parties in question killed each
other in bloody battle. It was determined that I was to be ruler, by virtue
of the fact that I had been the only one capable solving the budget crisis
(complete with low interest rates and no taxes!). I established my own Round
Table and the country prospered again.
By Derek Christians
Many people believe the story of King Arthur is just that, a story. Some
take the entire myth as truth and are awaiting Arthur's return. I think
he is already among us.
It was the mid-eighties, and I was your typical slacker at an east coast
college. I was attending parties on a regular basis and occasionally even
attending class. I began to feel that something was missing in my life so
I decided to take the spring semester off to try and find meaning. A sort
of quest you might say. I figured the best way to do this was take the first
flight I could to Europe and spend the next 6 months hiking the continent.
Besides, I had always wanted to see Paris.
It was mid July and I was touring the British Isles. With any luck, I would
finished within the next few weeks and be home in time for the beginning
of the fall semester. One night I decided to set up camp on a cliff overlooking
the channel. As I was putting up my tent I kept getting glimpses of a small
curious looking boat out in the channel. Every time I would stop to take
a closer look, it would disappear again. I couldn't figure out if it was
just my eyes playing tricks on me due to the lack of sleep, or if there
was actually something out there. As it was nearing sunset, I gave up on
the idea and started preparing my usual meal of freeze dried foods. Once
my meal was done I quickly rinsed my dishes and climbed into my sleeping
bag. After an exhausting day of hiking, sleep came easily. During the night
I woke up and thought I heard a boat and voices down on the shore, but I
soon fell back to sleep due to lack of interest. A few hours later I was
startled awake again, only this time the noise was only a few feet away.
I could hear something rummaging through my food and thought that it must
be a bear. I grabbed my flashlight and pepper spray, crept over to the door
and carefully peered out through the screen. What I saw next caught me totally
off guard. Digging through my food was a strangely dressed man. He was wearing
a tunic covered by a large cloak and jangled like he was wearing some sort
of metal. Unwilling to let him eat my food, I crawled outside to stop him.
I shined my flashlight directly on him and demanded he stop. The man, obviously
surprised, suddenly stood up and drew a sword from under his cloak. At this
point I was completely petrified. When he began to move towards me, I pulled
out my pepper spray and gave him a shot directly to the face. The man dropped
his sword, and with his hands covering his face reeled backwards while letting
out an anguished scream. As he rolled on the ground in pain, I quickly picked
up his sword and then stood back while I waited for him to recover. When
he realized that he had lost his sword, he tried to stand up to look for
it. I commanded him to stay where he was, or I would spray him again. He
dropped to his knees and said he would yield if I would just return his
sword. Unsure of what this guy was up to, this seemed like a bad idea to
me. Of course I told him I would not be returning his sword. He then began
babbling something about how I was acting dishonorably and since I was a
great magician possessing the secrets of powerful enchantments I did not
need his sword. I had to interrupt him here just to figure out what he was
talking about. Apparently he thought that my pepper spray (liquid fire thrown
from the hand) and flashlight (blinding light of 100 torches) were the result
of some great magic I possessed. I tried to explain to him that I possessed
no magic and these were just common items. He just couldn't fathom it so
eventually I decided to humor him. Since he was obviously in such great
fear of me, I finally decided to give him his sword back. I did warn him
however, that if I saw him try to take it out of its scabbard I would throw
fire from my hand again.
Once he seemed to be settled down I asked him who he was and what he was
doing here. He told me he was King Arthur of Camelot and had returned to
reclaim his throne. I had a little trouble believing this one, but I let
him continue. Apparently he had been sailing about in that small boat I
had seen ever since he was wounded in his last battle. He didn't seem to
realize that 1300 years had passed by since then. He said that when he came
upon my tent and saw no armor or horse, he assumed no one was around. Since
any good knight would be more than willing to offer hospitality to another,
he thought he would just help himself and wait for my return. Then he started
asking more questions about why I was dressed so oddly. It was a manner
befitting neither knight nor magician. Why and how was I traveling with
all this equipment if I had no horse to carry it? I tried again to explain
that I wasn't a knight or magician, that there were no knights or magicians
in this day, and I was merely a college student backpacking through Europe.
This just seemed to confuse him all the more. I was getting annoyed by all
his questions, but since I was usually alone I enjoyed having someone around
even if he was crazy.
Since it was nearing sunrise, I decided to prepare breakfast. I pulled out
some Grape-nuts, honey, powdered milk and coffee. When he saw me boiling
the water with my stove, he started off on the enchantment thing again.
He couldn't understand how I could produce so much heat from such a small
object, especially since there was no wood burning. While he tried to figure
out the spell powering my stove, I took down my tent and loaded my pack.
He was so amazed at how everything fit that he insisted on carrying it.
After months of carrying 40 pounds on my back everyday, I was more that
willing to let him. The first time he tried to put it on, he had it upside
down and was so tangled in the straps that I had to help him out of it so
he could try again. He was quite offended that I found his difficulty so
amusing. Eventually I got him straightened out and we were on our way.
All morning long, he told me stories of Guenevere, Lancelot and all the
quests he and his nights had been on. He wondered what kind of quest I was
on. I didn't have any ladies with me, and I wasn't prepared to do any battle.
I told him it was a spiritual thing. I was looking for meaning. He said
it sounded like the quest his knights went on to find the Holy Grail. After
a few hours we passed near a construction site. He said it looked like it
would be a grand castle and he would have to be sure and visit it after
he had settled his affairs as king.
Suddenly he stopped and grabbed my arm. He pointed towards a group of construction
trailers and started going on excitedly about some kind of animal and a
Sir Palomides. I was able to get him to slow down and he explained to me
that he had seen the Questing Beast. It had the head and neck of a snake
and it made the noise of 30 hounds. If the Questing Beast was here, then
Sir Palomides couldn't be far behind. He stopped talking and pointed when
he saw it again. All I saw was a big yellow backhoe. I explained to him
that it was just a common piece of equipment used in construction. At first
he was disappointed, but that quickly changed as he saw the thing work.
If he had only had one at Camelot, he could have built and done repairs
on his moat in a fraction of the time.
After watching the backhoe for nearly half an hour I was able to convince
him to move on. Another hour of hiking brought us to a highway. The first
thing Arthur noticed was the incredibly fast horses in strange armor. Initially
I was confused, but then I realized he was talking about cars. He said he
would like to try riding one. So he began waving his sword at cars as they
passed trying to get them to stop. Obviously this didn't work to well. I
suggested he put his sword back in its scabbard and use his thumb. He could
not believe that it would work, so I told him to let me show him. Within
a few minutes an old man stopped for us. I told Arthur to let me handle
things and I would get him a ride. I was afraid that if left to himself
he might unknowingly commit a carjacking. I told the old man that my friend
and I needed a ride to the next town. He was unsure about Arthur, but I
convinced him that Arthur was just a senile old man with an active imagination
and was really quite harmless. The first thing Arthur did once the car got
moving was stick his head out the window into the wind and laugh uncontrollably.
Then he started telling the old man all about knights and magicians and
the like. I used the senile excuse again to ease the old man's fears.
By this time Arthur was really starting to annoy me. When the old man let
us out, I explained to Arthur that I was headed a different direction than
him and that we really should split up. This was at least somewhat true.
He wanted to find Camelot and I was headed back home to the U.S. I told
him that Camelot was now called London, and he should use the newer name.
Above all else he should not talk to people about his taking back the throne
or he could find himself in trouble. He had trouble understanding why so
I told him that the people he meets could really be evil magicians. If they
heard him they might try and put a curse on him that would prevent him from
regaining the throne. This seemed to convince him of the danger. I then
pointed him in the right direction and sent him down the road with his thumb
out. After a few minutes some one stopped for him and he got in without
incident. I put my pack back on my shoulders and headed off by myself once
I never saw him again after that. I really did miss him and after all his
talk and curious ways wondered of he just might be King Arthur. About two
weeks later as I was waiting in the airport for my flight back home, I decided
to pick up a british tabloid to fight my boredom. The first page was filled
with the usual pictures of the royal family in compromising situations,
but inside I found the story that really interested me. There on the third
page was a picture of Arthur sitting next to the queen at a polo match.
There was no mention of who he was or what he was doing, but a few months
later there were rumors in the tabloids that the queen had secretly married
and there was now a King of England. I suspect that Arthur is now once again
on the throne.
The tale of a frenzied savage in pursuit of an independent wommon's
Long ago, in the medieval age of the country known as England, there lived
a king named Arthur. Initially, Arthur tried to fulfil the standards of
a loving and sensitive monarch, but the economic and political demands of
the feudalistic society, coupled with the stubborn rigidity of his Y-chromosome-influenced
patterns of thought soon became too much to bear. In a short time, Arthur
became like all monarchs of the time period: repressive, violent, and neglectful
of his duties as a husband.
By Lance Dykstra
Under Arthur's selfish reign, the individuals living in the areas outside
his castle were reduced to abject poverty, and while this was a very lamentable
situation, his kingdom quite naturally became economically advantaged, empowering
the cruel society to propagate itself. It was a sad commentary on the predicament
of those persuns of disadvantage, but such was chivalric life.
Since violent behavior was very much a part of daily life, it was necessary
for male individuals possessing high levels of physical strength (and equally
high levels of arrogance and testosterone) to encapsulate their bodies within
ill-fitting garments of steel and utilize devices designed to reshape the
flesh of their adversaries in such a manner that would eventually halt basic
life functions. By employing these devices, Arthur and his like-gendered
violence facilitators took part in many adventures, and while a number of
these were merely the result of delusions induced as a result of an overabundance
of alcoholic beverages, they did cause the knights (as the warmongering
cohorts came to be called) to become very well known throughout the land.
It happened one Pentecost that King Arthur and his egomaniacal purveyors
of violence were seated around a large banquet table to take part in a holiday
feast. Rather than name the repast after the Christian festival of the time,
Arthur opted instead to the gathering, The-celebration-of-any-such-holiday-in-which-anyone
would-choose-to-take-part. In this way, the name was certain not to
offend those members of the primitive gender-exclusive society who might
find the imposition of such religious gaiety distasteful.
As was the custom, no one seated at the large table would be served until
a story was told or an event of less than common frequency took place (this,
of course, was for the complete amusement of the exploitative monarchists,
who were no doubt indifferent to the fact that their imprudent rite was
greatly inconsiderate of the individuals who labored in the kitchens and
pantries in a selfless effort to comply with the whims of the persuns of
As the sumptuous feast prepared by the hardworking sustenance artisans began
to cool, a persun of less than average vertical stature entered the hall.
He was accompanied (surely of their own free will) by three gentle-persuns,
one of which appeared to exemplify the accepted norms of attractiveness
of the archaic aristocracy, if you believe in that kind of garbage. Since
physical beauty was not at all representative of the inner charm and effervescence
that is, of course, the true measure of any individual, such norms were
immaterial. Considering that his greater than average physical attractiveness
would somehow compensate for lack of courtly experience, the non-vertically
challenged individual felt no trepidation as he approached the king.
"Greetings, King Arthur," he said to the imperialistic greed-centered
monarch, "I have come to request three gifts from you, and as I observe
that you are involved in a grandiose exposition of your obvious monetary
advancement, it would be wrong of you to deny such humble requests."
Hearing this, King Arthur had no recourse but to submit to the gentle-persun.
"My first request," continued the vertically-empowered individual,
"is that I be allowed to live within your feudalistic commune for precisely
365 diurnal anomalies, at the end of such time I will present my final two
Arthur was not accustomed to favor distribution of such a rigidly defined
nature, but he acquiesced without regard. As a result of the individual's
apparent lack of desire to reveal his true nomenclature to the gentry (which
was certainly his divine being-furnished right), a member of the court named
Kay advocated the use of a pseudonym, referring to the mysterious persun
as Beaumains, meaning, "beautiful hands." The emphasis placed
upon this physical characteristic was not without foundation, since the
persun in question possessed large and externally beautiful hands that were
quite distinctive from those of the other court members who had over time
degraded the visually-appealing characteristics of their phalangeal capacitors
in assertion of their repressed passive-aggressive tendencies.
Beaumains labored long and hard within the kitchens of the castle, and since
the diet of the court members consisted mainly of charred flesh cruelly
torn from the bones of a deceased animal, he decided to do his best to convince
the court that such a barbaric culinary rite was not at all acceptable.
To accomplish this, Beaumains prepared savory vegetarian meals, delicious
wheat-germ desserts, and other species-safe morsels which won him great
acclaim from his guests.
On the first anniversary of his arrival at court, Beaumains was skillfully
chopping carrots and rutabagas to be used within a delectable sugar-free
chocolate cake, when he heard a voice he did not recognize from outside
the kitchen. Wiping his attractive hands (for which he was named) upon his
equally beautiful apron (which he wore), Beaumains opened the door to the
great hall and peered in at the banquet.
The voice he had heard belonged to a wommon who, although she was not at
all persun-dated to do so, identified herself as the Lady Lynet. King Arthur
bade her come forward, and she boldly approached his chair.
"King Arthur," she began, "it is well known that you are
in command of many individuals trained in swordplay and injury-avoidance,
and such individuals, while possessing little power in and of themselves,
together create quite a persun acing force. By the commutative property,
then, I suppose it could be said that you are a powerful persun...though
you won't hear it from me."
Arthur blushed, flattered. Being a white male, he was, of course, totally
oblivious to the fact that such statements carried a subtle hint of insult.
After a moment, Arthur recovered and asked the wommon what it was that she
"My sister has been imprisoned by the Knight of the Red Lands,"
the lady answered, "And I would be very pleased if you could spare
one of your protectors to rescue her." When Arthur agreed, Lynet grinned.
"Good," she said. "I'll take your best one."
Upon hearing this, a heavily muscled knight with long flowing blond hair
rose from his seat at the banquet table. All the other knights looked on
in awe, for this was Lancelot -- the champion of Arthur's court. However,
before Lancelot (a textbook example of a repressive white male) could take
on the quest, Beaumains burst forth from the kitchen to face the court.
"King Arthur," Beaumains said, "I have labored for a year
in your kitchens, and now the time has come for me to present my final two
requests." The king nodded, silently vowing that he would never again
allow himself to be ensnared in a verbal arrangement. "My two desires
are as follows," Beaumains continued. "I wish to be knighted by
Lancelot, and, following that, I desire to accompany Lynet to the Red Lands,
where I shall free her sister from the oppressive dominion of the Red Knight
and bring her here to Camelot, which, I must say is really no less oppressive,
but now is not the time to discuss that matter."
The Lady Lynet, oddly enough, did not object to the proposal, for she was
a wommon of class, and she knew that it was wrong to judge an individual
based upon social status. Besides, she reasuned silently, it was very likely
that Lancelot would, in the course of allowing Beaumains to prove himself,
mortally violate the young cook's personal space. Were such an event to
take place, Lancelot would take up her cause, so there was no reasun to
show displeasure at the moment.
And so it was decided. Soon, a brief disagreement began about who should
lead the group to the practice field (Beaumains, for reasun of his bravery
to take on the quest; Lancelot, for reasun of his knightly prowess; or Lynet,
who felt that it was a sexist tradition to follow submissively or, for that
matter, to be forced to give reasuns why she should lead). Eventually, they
all made it out the door and walked harmoniously to the field.
Beaumains and Lancelot donned their suits of armor and began to fight. Soon,
Lancelot became aware that, for once, he would not be victorious (mainly
because the large quantity of mead and grog he had imbibed earlier were
weighing heavily on his enlarged prostate, and he was unable to unbuckle
the skirt of his armor in order that the great pressure might be relieved).
Sighing heavily, Lancelot asked nicely (for it would have been less than
virtuous to command) if Beaumains would reveal his name before he was knighted.
Beaumains agreed, and informed Lancelot that he was in fact Gareth, the
brother of Gawain, a virtuous knight of the Round Table. Since it was customary
to keep a wommon in the dark about important details, Gareth bade Lancelot
to keep his identity a secret, and since the two men apparently shared a
bond impervious to neither the charms of a wommon nor simple logic, Lynet
was not informed of the existence of Gareth's alias.
The Lady Lynet and Gareth mounted their horses and rode in the direction
of the Red Lands. Before they had ridden long, the wommon began to express
her dissatisfaction that her sister's fate was resting in the hands (attractive
as they may be) of a common cook. Gareth tried to make small talk, but to
no avail. The wommon's pleasant demeanor had vanished completely, leaving
in its place an aura of hatred, displeasure, and resentment. But then, if
Lynet had a desire to make the journey unappealing by adopting the personality
of spitting cobra, by [insert name of divine being or supernatural force],
she would do just that!
Before long, Gareth and Lynet encountered a tall mounted knight dressed
in black armor and brandishing a fearsome-looking sword.
"I am the Black Knight!!" said the warrior, speaking for the benefit
of anyone within earshot who might happen to be in possession of pigmentally-inoperative
optical sensors. "It is my desire to maintain a xenophobic persun-tality,
and it is my choice to shroud my fear of others behind a mask of hostile
behavior! So, if one of you should choose to crassly violate my borders,
I feel I must warn you that such action will be detrimental to your health."
Upon hearing this, Lynet promptly dismounted and walked over to the border
about which the Black Knight previously spoke.
"It is my intention to step across this line," she said, "but
before I do, I just want to make it totally clear that it was not at all
my idea. I have been commanded to violate your borders by the mounted individual
behind me," Lynet treacherously voiced, "and any aggression you
may feel should be directed to him alone." Gareth looked ill.
Smiling contentedly over her shoulder, Lynet stepped daintily (though she
could just as easily stomped toughly) over the border line.
With a roar of anger, the Black Knight, spear in hand, charged past Lynet,
his fury misdirected toward Gareth. The startled paladin raised his own
spear and spurred his horse toward the Black Knight. With an auditory organ-disrupting
crash, the two collided, and both spears were instantly rendered unusable.
However, while the spear of the Black Knight (being of inferior quality)
had shattered upon Gareth's shield, Gareth's spear had sunk deep into the
abdominal cavity of the Black Knight. Seeing that his opponent had been
mortally wounded, Gareth decided to exchange his armor for that of his adversary
(an action which could hardly be considered theft, but rather, a trade).
Lynet was struck vocally-inoperative. She could not believe that Gareth
could be so incredibly endowed with unlikely-event probability (otherwise
known as luck). Nevertheless, she averted her eyes as Gareth disrobed to
put on the Black Knight's armor, an action that was completely for Gareth's
benefit, for she regarded the human body as inherently artistic in form,
and one would therefore be devoid of any shameful emotions should such form
be exhibited in its natural state.
They rode onward until they came to a second knight, dressed completely
in green armor. "Stanley!" the Green Knight shouted to Gareth,
dressed in the armor of the Black Knight. "I'm glad to see you, brother!
Though, I must say, I am not presently aware of your reasun for visiting
me. Why have you come?"
"You mentally-challenged bovine-headed lout!" cried Lynet. "If
you regarded the sanctity of the family unit as truly important, you would
have taken more time to get to know your relatives, and you would therefore
be aware that this persun next to me is not your sibling! He is a kitchen
laborer who dishonorably deprived your brother of his pulse, and I humbly
as you to deprive this imposter of his!" As it seemed, Lynet, though
refined, could utter a stream of insults that could evoke feelings of embarrassment
in a veteran sea-traveler.
The Green Knight was very much distressed at this proclamation, and he made
a quick decision to be completely assertive, venting his feelings of sadness
and pain upon the individual wearing his late sibling's armor. As before,
the two knights battled, but since the Green Knight possessed a great degree
of skill than his brother, Stanley, did, this battle was not quite so short-lived.
After enduring a flurry of kidney punches and groin kicks from the Green
Knight, Gareth realized two things: first, the wisdom in wearing his armor,
and second, the fact that the Green Knight was accustomed to fighting of
a despicable tendency. But even such treachery could not overcome the strength
of will expressed by the valiant Gareth, and soon, the Green Knight (incidentally
named Martin) was on his knees, begging for mercy, much like a pre-adult
that had fractured the unhealthy norms imposed by a parental figure.
"Don't be such a machismo-devoid individual," Gareth chided, "I'm
not going to bring a halt to your internal fluid . Instead, you and your
knights will swear allegiance to King Arthur. Oh, and just so you make no
mistake of it, the only reason you're alive is that your armor isn't better
than mine." Gareth looked down at the beaten fighter. "Now, get
out of our way. We have a quest to complete, and if you intend on continuing
to grovel, may I suggest that you do it elsewhere, and allow us on our way."
Lynet again found herself lacking the ability to vocalize, but her condition
was only temporary, and it soon passed as the two rode onward. However,
her condition returned when Gareth encountered and defeated both the Puce
Knight (named Conrad) as well as the Indigo Knight (named Frederick). Before
long, Lynet and Gareth found themselves before the Castle of the Knight
of the Red Lands.
Lynet was still shocked from the realization that a kitchen thrall had defeated
so many powerful knights to get this far. Finally, she conceded (of her
own free will, and not at all as a result of Gareth's influence) that perhaps
this cook was more than what he claimed to be. She gazed into his azure
eyes and smiled. Opening her mouth, she was about to voice a feeling of
sentiment, when a crossbow bolt whizzed past her head, narrowly missing
her left ear, and embedded itself into a nearby oak.
Lynet leapt from her horse to behold the towering figure of the Red Knight,
adorned in his crimson armor and gripping a silver crossbow.
"Good evening, strangers!" the scarlet hulk bellowed. "I
do hope you weren't upset by my introductory shot...my entrance wouldn't
have been nearly so dramatic without it, you know."
"Introductory shot?!" Lynet exclaimed angrily. "You tried
to kill me!!"
The Red Knight thought about this for a moment. "Well, now that you
mention it, I suppose I did. You see, if I wounded your armored friend there,"
he said, motioning to Gareth, "the battle would be over quite prematurely,
and I'd much rather it go on for a bit. If, on the other hand, I happened
to bury a bolt or two into your body, your guardian would quite naturally
be rather upset about that, I'd imagine, and he would want to avenge your
death. That way, I'm guaranteed a smashing fight!" The Red Knight grinned.
It was the sort of grin upon which stressed individuals often felt drawn
to assert themselves, and it was at that precise moment that Lynet did just
"Try to kill me, will you!!" Lynet screamed. "You're all
the same, aren't you!!" Lynet punctuated each insult with alternating
kicks and jabs to certain sensitive parts of the Red Knight's body which
were unprotected by his armor. "We just ride along," she continued,
"and without so much as a 'by-your-leave', you make an attempt on our
lives!! What a self-centered, narrow, brutal, oppressive philosophy! I can't
With that, Lynet threw herself into the strong arms of the Red Knight and
kissed him soundly on the lips. Never before had she encountered an individual
so content with such a barbaric ideology that he could inflict harm on innocent
people. To be honest, it excited her. Gareth was taken aback, for it was
the first potential conflict that had not ended in a plasma release -- and
it was accomplished by a wommon (which should not be surprising, but considering
the society of the time, might be worth a raised eyebrow).
As per Gareth's request, Lynet was exchanged for her sister, the Lady Lyoness,
a wommon of impeccable taste and character. They returned to Camelot, where
Gareth revealed his identity and presented King Arthur with the allegiance
of the knights he had battled on his quest, thus ensuring that Arthur's
tyrannical regime would continue for years to come. Lynet had found love,
Gareth had found his opposite-gendered (though equal) life-partner, and
King Arthur had gained more individuals with whom he could ensure that his
orders, no matter how repressive, would always be followed. In the end,
everyone got what they desired...except, of course the financially and socially
disadvantaged, but since they had nothing to begin with, it is logical to
assume that they, too, were content to at least break even.
The Round Table
By Roderick Francisco
The radiance from the retiring sun enters the room like a silent angel.
Its light touches every object in the room casting long, lifeless shadows.
The wind is whistling its way through a crack on the door. Outside it is
dusk and although it is a glorious sight, a loneliness lingers in its atmosphere.
Another day has come to an end. I cannot believe I made it through.
Today had been a battle that I thought will never end. I had been assaulted
by my enemies one after another but instead of fighting fearless knights,
I fought anxiety, instead of battling dragons, I battled loneliness, and
instead of defending myself against spells, I fortified myself against depression.
All got away with the better of me, and all left me overwrought like the
gray remains of a campfire.
Darkness is slowly invading the room and the angel of light is nowhere to
be seen. The flame from the candles in the corner offers some warmth but
its feeble light is unable to fill the emptiness of the room. Somewhere
in the flickering shawdows, loneliness is lurking like a scrowling plague
waiting to envelop me. I am not afraid of it though, for it has become as
familiar to me as my shadow and I have grown accoustomed to its ways.
I cannot even begin to understand the emotions I am feeling at this moment.
It is like a mixture of betrayal, guilt, and sorrow all boiling in a cauldron
of hate, waiting to errupt. But depression sits unyeilding on the lid and
it is weighing down all my efforts to react. I do however fear this emotion
of hurt I feel for it constantly burns my heart and I feel I have no control
over how I will respond to the pain. Time passes by like cancer spreading
and every tick from the clock on the wall is forcing a stake through my
soul.The room is silent when all of a sudden a hollow sound echoes down
the corridor. Someone is at the door. I am not expecting anyone and I have
not the strength to entertain anyone. So I let it be. Again a knock invades
the room but this time it sounds different. This time it sounded more inviting
and it fills me with this foreboding feeling that whoever is at the door
is not just anybody. So I muster all the strength I have left in me to open
the door. It is Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth, and Sir Lanceulot ( I refrain from
using their real names) the three friends I love the most. I feel ashamed
letting them see me like this so I put on this fake smile. "We heard."
Gawain remarks before I could even make myself look convincing. He saw right
through me like he always had and I guess that is what I always admired
about him. His eyes at this moment was a blazing blue mirror that showed
me a reflection of soul beyond the hardness of the facade. "We came
as soon as we could" he adds with a omniscient tone. I let them in.
As they make themselves comfortable on the seats I notice how the room does
not seem so empty anymore. Exhausted and tired I abjectly fall on my seat.
"You probably are not in the mood to talk" says Lanceulot in a
collect manner, "but there are things we feel we have to tell you."
Lanceulot is the elegant prince of the group who is always in control of
his actions and with his unavoidable looks and his impressive talents he
was unresistable to the women. It is no wonder he is always so confident.
"We understand what you are going through, we've all been through this"
Lanceulot's eyes are following mine with curious intensity, "And, there
is only one way we know how to deal with it" he finishes. Gawain sits
up like he is about to say something, "My friend, we have known you
for a long time now and in all those times we have never seen you in such
a state" The fire in his eyes is gone and there is only a placid blue
lake."See this as a trial, your greatest battle in life, and prove
yourself worthy in the eyes of God." His words are ringing in my ears.
It has been a while since I had heard any mention of God that now it sounds
so foreign to me. My thoughts are broken by Lanceulot's voice, "Leave
the past behind and head out on new quests. There is no use blaming yourself
over things which cannot be undone. All you can do now is learn from it,
be strong, put on your armour from God, and move on." Lanceulot's voice
sounded like angelic song from heaven, a song in which my salvation was
hidden amongst the words. I feel stronger now. Their words have touched
me. They have gone past my defences, through the darkness and misery of
my soul, into my heart and they have lifted it beyond the coulds and beyond
the heavens. My spirit is as free as a bird. But there was still something
Gareth the quiet observer understood this need I had. Gareth was never the
leader of the group, he never exchanged harsh words with anyone, and never
really attempted to be better than anyone but in his silence was wisdom
and Gareth always had this way of saying things when it mattered the most,
"We should pray."
It was pitch black outside that even the moon and the stars could not illuminate
the land. It was as if a giant dark hand had covered the heavens from the
earth. The wind is chanting songs of the suffering and misery it had seen
in distant lands and the trees are dancing to its tune. Outside the shadows
are alive and everything is chaotic and restless...but not everywhere. Amist
all the pandimonium and sombreness lies a room where four friends are praying
in a circle. There is a glow of peace that is radiating from within the
circle of hands; a light that can only be found in the most tranquil of
dreams. This is what the four friends have called the beginning of their
The Trial of Guenevere
By Karen Gilliland
If Guenevere could be tried today,
What would her verdict be?
What would she plead that fateful day?
What would the jurors see?
The trial is set in May,
The jurors are selected,
Preparations are made,
Some jurors are rejected.
Galahad wore white that day,
He'd protect the queen,
From all who wished to see her pay
For something that was ne'er seen.
Mordred dressed in a suit of red,
Darkness covered his face,
He was determined to have her head,
Through his prosecution of this case.
The jurors entered one by one,
They looked around the room,
They knew that it would be no fun
To determine the queen's doom.
Sir Bors was first to enter in,
His suit was red and white
To match the colors of his kin
And bring out his great height.
Behind him followed Sir Gawain,
Dressed in a suit of blue,
Would he be the one to end the queen's reign?
He would see she got her dues.
Sir Kay was next to enter in,
In a suit of green,
Anxious for the trial to begin,
And give aid to his queen.
Sir Balan resurrected from the dead was next to enter here,
His suit of black was tailor made,
With tails in the rear,
Sir Accolon was next in line to look for his acclaim,
Dressed in a suit with black and white,
Who was he to discern wrong from right?
Harry the Hermit, garbed in robes of brown,
Humbly entered the room,
Upon his face he wore a frown,
Was Guenevere to be doomed?
Blest with speech, the Questing Beast,
A juror she became,
She was impartial to say the least,
Although the others feared her name.
Lady Rachel came in next,
In an elegant dress of blue,
Though the case was considered complex,
The men thought she would do.
Bob the Blacksmith made the number nine,
Dressed in plaid and overalls,
Because he was not of the royal line,
Would he want the queen to fall?
Sir Thomas Malory was the last to enter,
The truth would now be told,
Was Lancelot at her life's center,
As prophets had foretold?
Gareth would be the judge,
For he holds not a grudge,
And so much conflict has he,
He can not side with either party.
So on this day in May, Guenevere is tried,
For deadly crimes against the state;
Howe'er she said they lied!
Treason and adultery were the charges she did face,
Knowing that a guilty plea would forever seal her fate,
She pleaded "Innocent" at that famous case,
Hoping that the truth would not come out too late.
Then Galahad stepped up to the plate,
His opening statements he would make,
He said that it was due to hate,
That these charges had been raised.
"Who saw these two together here?
Who caught them in the act?
Since gossip as evidence can not appear,
There seems to be a lack of facts."
Mordred's eyes of pink did flare
Upon the hearing of these words,
For Guenevere, he did not care,
And the trial he thought absurd.
"An unseen act has little proof,"
Galahad continued mild,
"It might as well have been a spoof,
Or a goose chase wild."
Then Mordred rose to repute
The statements that had been made,
He said that she was a prostitute,
And with many men had laid.
"Take one good look at your queen,
The one you thought so pure,
She, like all women, is a fiend,
Who men to her bed lures."
"Blood was found upon her sheets,
When ten wounded men did lie,
She called one to her room to meet
Her. That you can't deny."
"But evidence goes further yet,
For when confronted with the truth,
She begged the lord to forget,
And he did cry, 'For sooth!' "
"Though all ten men deny being there,
The blood stains are enough proof,
That one knight lay in her bed bare,
And shows it's not a spoof."
"Then there is the other part,
Of Guenevere and Lancelot,
Who knew that it would start,
Who knew that they'd be caught?"
"Caught! Yes, caught indeed,
In her very chamber,
Fourteen men heard him plead,
And wish he had a saber."
"He painfully wished he could escape,
So slaughtered ten men did he,
And so as the scene began to shape,
Plainly the facts we could see."
"Why would he kill ten men,
If innocent was she?
Yet he would do it again,
To protect his precious queen."
"I beg you all to see the facts,
Quit protecting your queen,
The defense your attention will try to distract,
And cause you towards their side to lean."
Then Gareth made his opening remark,
Asking all to hear to the tale,
"Though the truth may be so dark,
It must in the end prevail."
Mordred was first in line,
To call forth witnesses,
Thought he, "Vengeance is mine,
They come forth to confess."
First to come was Agravaine,
Willingly he swore his vow,
Upon his heart there was a pain,
Wondering how Guenevere's sins had been allowed.
"Please tell the court in your own words,
What happened on that day,
When Lancelot with his sword,
Did ten men slay."
Agravaine looked at Mordred,
Then at Guenevere,
He also wanted the queen's head,
For the queen he did not revere.
"On that fateful afternoon,"
Agravaine slowly started,
"Fourteen men stood outside her room,
When out of it Lancelot darted."
"We tried to slow him down,
We asked him for the truth,
But he was like a man bound,
Fighting to get loose."
"When we mentioned adultery,
Then his sword began to fly,
He said the matter was paltry,
And we had no right to pry."
"Ten men went down beneath his stroke,
Each body down was one less to go,
He was almost gone when someone spoke,
He heard them call him a 'Traitorous foe!' "
"With those words he turned around,
To see the very speaker,
He had every intention to pound
The man and send him to the Grimm Reaper."
With those words, turned Mordred to his seat,
For no more need be said,
Then Galahad arose to his feet,
And a cross examination was lead.
"How killest he ten men,
When he lacked for a sword?
How struck he again and again?
Did you strike the first blow, my lord?"
"Nay," he answered solemnly,
"I did not strike a blow.
Whilst we stood at the columns
We saw his anger grow."
"My comrade did feign to strike,
When Lancelot stole his sword,
And smote he my cousin Mike.
So we fought in like accord."
"So Lancelot was provoked,
Is that what you are saying?
He had just cause for what he did,
Though you were only playing."
"No!" shouted Agravaine,
"It did not happen like that.
We came to her room to make a claim,
We were only the King's diplomats."
Galahad persisted on,
With one more question,
"On whom did the first blow come upon
For whom was the first blow destined?"
"Colgrevaunce was first to swing,
But Lancelot was first to kill,
If false were the charges that we bring,
He should have but stood still."
Then Galahad dismissed the witness,
And rolled his eyes in disdain,
Agravaine had shown his denseness,
And made his prejudice quite plain.
Sir Meliagaunt next took the stand,
In his double breasted suit,
He was here to tell the land,
About Guenevere's cahoots.
"Please tell the court," Mordred began,
"About the blood upon her sheets,
About the scheme so grand,
That Lancelot wanted you to beat."
"It started when I awoke the queen,
She had slept so late,
Then I noticed that the sheets weren't clean,
For with blood they were caked."
"When I accused her of her act,
That one of her wounded knights had laid,
Beside her must be a fact,
Her eyes turned heavenward and she prayed."
"Lancelot did challenge me to a duel,
Howe'er he did not show,
Making the queen look like a fool,
And the state's foe."
"When later he arrived,
He claimed he had been waylaid,
That this plan had been contrived,
And that for it I'd been paid!"
"We fought the duel and e'er he won,
So I pleaded for my life,
But after the deed was done,
He tried to kill me with a knife."
Meliagaunt's tale was done,
Mordred turned to her and smiled,
He had had today his fun,
And her anger he had riled.
Galahad had but question one,
"What did the knights say,
When stood accused of this deed done,
Had one in her bed lay?"
"Not a one by their accounts,
But no one expects the truth,
When deadly sins have been about,
To tell would be uncouth."
With his hand, Galahad dismissed him,
No importance was his story,
Had it not been on a whim,
That Guenevere he had been imploring?
He kidnapped her and took her to his castle,
So that he could do to her what she is now accused,
Then gave her great hassle,
And everyone confused.
Mordred called up to the stand,
Lancelot the brave,
Wearing the military uniform of the land,
His testimony he willingly gave.
"Please tell the court your account,
Of that vivid night,
Before on your horse did you mount,
And run away from the fight."
Lancelot scorned at these words,
"What could I do when but attacked,
For to a fight I was lured,
While I a weapon lacked."
"Fourteen men did accuse my queen,
In defending her I did my best,
For if only they could have seen,
That together we had not rest."
Mordred smirked at this statement,
"So you deny being with her that night?
Do you deny you did not relent,
When in the midst of a great fight?"
"No, I do not deny being there,
Howe'er I could not end the fight,
For none of you did care,
If my death was right."
Mordred persisted for information to secure,
His case and prove him correct,
"Had you to her bed been lured,
Were you her affection's object?"
"No!" he shouted and pulled his sword,
And placed it against Mordred's neck,
"I humbly obeyed her lord,
And came when I was beck."
Mordred smiled and walked away,
His task and goal accomplished,
Now Guenevere would have to pay,
No matter what Lancelot now wished.
Galahad approached the stand,
With ease and easy manner,
He asked, "Did you have a hand,
In this great big clamor?"
"I did not," he replied,
"I knew not what they charged,
All they said was that she had lied,
And they wanted me discharged."
"Then who struck first?" asked Galahad,
Making his first point,
"Through their charges did they make you mad,
That you to their party were joint?"
"Nay, it twas not like that at all
They struck me and hoped I would fall,
But someone's sword I did steal,
And defended myself with zeal."
Then Galahad dismissed him,
And Mordred ended his case,
Now the case would either sink or swim,
The time was short, it was like a race.
To the stand came Guenevere,
In hopes to herself defend,
Her husband's wrath she did fear,
And she wanted this case to end.
"Tell us what happened on those nights,
That recently have been mentioned,
Who started those fights?"
Galahad asked in dissension.
"I have been wrongly accused,"
"These men were all quite lewd,
So from them I had ran."
"Lancelot did protect me,
From those who wished me impure,
I wish that you could all see,
How it was they that did me lure."
Mordred stood up and looked her in the eye,
He would soon see her die,
"So the incidents that night you do deny,
And say that these men lie?"
"That is not what I said at all,
Impure act ne'er befell on me,
I am at my lord's beck and call,
I shall do as he doth please."
So endeth this case on that note,
The jurors were dismissed,
While Mordred began to gloat,
And was filled with great bliss,
The jurors returned within the hour,
Their verdict they did hold,
It was in their power,
To cause the queen to fold.
"Guilty," each one said,
And bowed his head in shame,
Shameful lives had each one lead,
It was hard to place the blame.
Then the grail descended,
And the power of heaven did fill the room
Then the trial was ended,
While all awaited Guenevere's doom.
"Virtuous and pure is she,
Who survives this fire,
No matter how much she pleads,
There is no escape for a liar."
Then all around her flames did burst,
An all consuming fire,
It seemed that Guenevere was cursed,
To death upon the pyre.
Then from out of the fire stepped,
Out of shock, Mordred leapt,
For on this moment all had hinged.
No mortal sin had occurred,
Between these two great people,
No men she to her bed did lure,
Though neither one is fully pure.