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  • Writer's pictureZoe Franznick

Perlesvaus, Pt. IX

We are back on Perlesvaus this episode, and our heroes have begun to resolve their quests.

What will happen to our dear heroes? Will Lancelot prove he has the strongest pull out game of all the knights? It remains to be seen!

In case you missed our earlier episodes of Perlesvaus, you can catch up on our previous episodes or our summaries here on the blog!

Meliot has not forgotten his vengeance towards Lancelot and joins Brienne of the Isles, being knighted and rises as the noblest and fairest of his age. He then searches for Lancelot, but cannot find him, and some even believe Lancelot to be dead. Lancelot is off riding his horse in mourning for Guinevere. Sad boi hours.

In his wandering emotions and wandering steering, he becomes lost and asks a knight and maiden for directions to lodging. They give him directions and he leaves. The maiden then reveals that she holds a grudge towards Lancelot, as she is the ex-girlfriend of the knight he forced into marriage.

He arrives at the Castle of the Griffins, encountering a gruesome sight. Fifteen knights' heads are hung to the castle gate. This is due to a tradition explained by another knight present (but not dead): a knight who lodges here must seek the hand of the lord's daughter in marriage, and can only earn it by removing a spear from a pillar in the hall. All the hanging heads were from those who failed the test. To succeed, one must have visited the grail and be a better knight than those before him. There is also a lion and a pair of griffins in the dungeon, that have devoured forty additional knights.

Lancelot, undaunted, decides to stay regardless.

He greets the lord, and is invited for dinner. The daughter admires Lancelot and finds it sad that he will likely die tomorrow. The maiden from earlier then arrives and explains that Lancelot is responsible for the death of the knight of the Waste Manor.

This enrages the lord, and he requires Lancelot to pull the spear from the pillar immediately instead, assuming his imminent death. Lancelot then succeeds in pulling the spear from the pillar! The lord then refuses to give his daughter's hand, since Lancelot should be his mortal enemy. Forced by the laws of hospitality, rather than kill him directly, the lord organizes a band of people to kill Lancelot upon exiting the castle.

That night, a messenger from the maiden informs Lancelot of the ambush outside, and instructs him to take the dungeon passage to the forest. The maiden has a mount prepared for Lancelot in a nearby orchard. The messenger then provides Lancelot a dog for a distraction against the griffins. The dog is a playmate of theirs, and leaves Lancelot unmolested, leaving only the lion to be killed upon arriving to the dungeon.

Lancelot delves into the dungeon with the dog in tow. The griffins rear their heads upon seeing the knight, but notice the dog and decide to play with the pet instead. Lancelot then successfully slays the lion and exits the castle to the orchard mentioned. All according to plan.

Our brave knight then takes the mount provided by the maiden and rides into the sunset.

Actually, he rides on horseback so far that he makes it to the Isle of Avalon.

Lancelot takes time to mourn Guinevere in King Arthur's tomb. During this time, Sir Kay is plotting with Brienne of the Isles. When Kay returns to the castle and finds only Lancelot, Brienne assumes that Arthur and Gawain are dead.

Meanwhile, Arthur and Gawain are under siege by Anorrez the Bastard, and Gawain adds to his kill count. Meliot then arrives to assist, driving off Anorrez. After this unkind encounter, Gawain and Arthur arrive in Avalon, Sir Kay retreats to Brittainy, and Arthur takes Brienne as a vassal.

More controversy as Arthur greets a messenger, explaining to Arthur that King Claudas is preparing for war. However, since killing in the same family looks bad, he struggles to justify fighting. As it turns out, Brion orchestrated the plot all along, in an attempt to take him down, as he holds no love for Arthur.

A crossbow bolt is then shot into a pillar at Albany; a new quest has arrived! The first to pull the crossbow bolt is to embark on a mission. Lancelot, of course, retrieves the arrow first try after Arthur’s knights have a humility hot-potato session. He now must go to the Perilous Chapel, and take part of a body, a shroud, a sword, and a griffin head, and bring them back to Perilous Castle.

Brienne then comes back home and talks to Arthur. This takes the entire chapter.

Will Lancelot continue to succeed in his Ultimate Pull-Out Game? Will Brienne ever become a true knight? Will anyone figure out where Percival is? Be sure to tune in to part 10 to find out, coming next month!

Thanks for joining us in this week's episode of The Maniculum Podcast. Looking for more? Check out our Master List series for the full collection of segments at the end of our show, and for more gaming and world building ideas, check out The Gaming Table section of our blog, Marginalia!

Searching for our sources? Read Perlesvaus here, and check out our Library for more! Additional references for interested scholars:

  • Burger, Glenn, and Steven F. Kruger, editors. Queering the Middle Ages. NED-New edition, vol. 27, University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Link.

  • Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages. Ed. Larissa Tracey. Brewer, D.S, Cambridge, 2013. Link.

  • Geary, Patrick. "Humiliation of Saints," Saints and Their Cults, Cambridge University Press. Link.

  • Harward, Vernon J. The Dwarfs of Arthurian Romance and Celtic Tradition. E.J. Brill, 1958.

We do our best to accurately research, source, and cite the works we use, and make them available to you, too! Each episode has a corresponding blog post which includes further breakdowns of the big ideas in each text as well as cites our sources and references. We also have the Maniculum Library, which actively collects resources and recommendations for writers, scholars, and geeks alike! We update our collection of Master Lists after each new episode, so be sure subscribe and stay updated!

Are we missing something? Let us know! We'd love to add more knowledge to our ever-growing compendium. Chat with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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