Book 11 – The Further Adventures of Launcelot
One Whitsunday, a hermit predicted that the in same year that “The One” (as-yet-unborn) sat in The Siege Perilous he should also achieve The Sangreal, and after the feast, Sir Launcelot went riding past the point of Corbin, unwittingly to sire “The One” in question.
He soon rescued a naked lady from a scalding curse put on her by Morgan le Fay and the Queen of Northgalis for being too beautiful, and giving thanks at the nearest church, the locals also mentioned a tomb there bearing in letters of gold the words: “Here shall come a leopard of King’s blood, and he shall slay this serpent, and this leopard shall engender a lion in this foreign country, the like of which shall pass all other knights.”
After releasing and eventually slaying the dragon within, Launcelot met Pelles, “king of the foreign country” and “cousin” of Joseph of Aramathie (and presumably somehow related to King Pellam, another cousin of Joseph of Aramathie), and went home with him to Castle Corbin (Castle Adventurous). There he met Pelles’ daughter Elaine, whom Pelles secretly wanted him to impregnate to bring about Sir Galahad the Good Knight, who would bring “the foreign country” (Palestine perhaps?) out of danger and achieve the Sangreal. He also showed Launcelot his Sangreal, a gold vessel carried by a maiden, and said enigmatically “When this thing goeth about, the Round Table shall be broken”.
Pelles’ enchantress, Dame Brisen, meanwhile had a ring stolen from Queen Guenevere and used it to summon Launcelot to the nearby Castle of Case, where he was slipped an aphrodisiac and led to Elaine, by now magically transformed into the image of Guenevere.
Launcelot awoke feeling used and confused and rode off in anger, and Elaine returned to Castle Corbin to give birth to Galahad nine months later.
Sir Launcelot never visited Elaine or his young son, but one day his nephew, Sir Bors de Ganis (who was almost a virgin except for a night with King Brangore’s daughter) visited Castle Corbin, and was treated to food courtesy of the Sangreal, and also to a free prophesy (courtesy of the mysterious vanishing maiden who came with it) that Galahad should sit in the Siege Perilous and achieve the Sangreal.
He stayed that night in the castle, looking for adventure, and duly survived being poked by a magic glowing spear, assaulted by Sir Pedivere of the Straight Marches (whom he beat and sent off to Arthur), punctured by a hail of arrows from nowhere, and attacked by a lion.
Then a dragon with Arthur’s name written in gold on its forehead came in, followed by a horrible old leopard, and after a scrap, the dragon barfed up a hundred baby dragons that ate itself. An old man with two adders round his neck came in with his harp and sang about Joseph of Aramthie, and told Sir Bors it was time leave. He re-appeared in the hall with the Spear of Vengeance and told Bors to tell Launcelot he would have achieved the Sangreal himself if he hadn’t been sinfully committing adultery with Guenevere. Finally Launcelot was dazzled, poking his nose into a room where four women tended a magic floating silver sword.
After a hearty breakfast, he returned to Camelot to tell the whole story, but Arthur was away fighting King Claudas again (his seventh battle) and Guenevere was still furious at him for having a relationship outside of their adultery.
On his return, Arthur threw an party to celebrate beating the French again, and Elaine turned up to impress Launcelot. Guenevere responded by billeting Elaine in the room next to hers, where she could keep an eye on her (even though Launcelot had not seen her since the conception, at least ten years ago). Launcelot avoided her all day in embarassment, but that night Dame Brisen cast another illusion and once again Launcelot found himself mistakenly sleeping with a princess instead of a frustrated old queen.
Guenevere knew something was amiss around 4 a.m. when she heard her own name through the wall to the next room, and dashing in, suprised Launcelot and Elaine. There followed a scene, which Launcelot dealt with by going insane – “was wild wood as ever was man” – and jumping naked out of the window.
As far as the rest of the court knew, Launcelot had mysteriously vanished without trace (or his clothes) and many Round Table knights took up the search for the missing palladin. Sir Percivale abandoned his brother Aglovale to search alone, and casually picking a joust with an errant knight became locked in a stupid fight to the death with Launcelot’s brother Sir Ector de Maris. Recognising each other too late, both would have died of their wounds if the Sangreal itself had not manifested and healed them with magic.
At A Glance
Book 11 Chapter Summary:
1. How Sir Launcelot rode on his adventure, and how he helped a dolorous lady from her pain, and how that he fought with a dragon.
2. How Sir Launcelot came to Pelles, and of the Sangreal, and of Elaine, King Pelles’ daughter.
3. How Sir Launcelot was displeased when he knew that he had lain by Dame Elaine, and how she was delivered of Galahad.
4. How Sir Bors came to Dame Elaine and saw Galahad, and how he was fed with the Sangreal.
5. How Sir Bors made Sir Pedivere to yield him, and of marvellous adventures that he had, and how he achieved them.
6. How Sir Bors departed; and how Sir Launcelot was rebuked of Queen Guenever, and of his excuse.
7. How Dame Elaine, Galahad’s mother, came in great estate unto Camelot, and how Sir Launcelot behaved him there.
8. How Dame Brisen by enchantment brought Sir Launcelot to Dame Elaine’s bed, and how Queen Guenever rebuked him.
9. How Dame Elaine was commanded by Queen Guenever to avoid the court, and how Sir Launcelot became mad.
10. What sorrow Queen Guenever made for Sir Launcelot, and how he was sought by knights of his kin.
11. How a servant of Sir Aglovale’s was slain, and what vengeance Sir Aglovale and Sir Percivale did therefore.
12. How Sir Pervivale departed secretly from his brother, and how he loosed a knight bound with a chain, and of other doings.
13. How Sir Percivale met with Sir Ector, and how they fought long, and each had almost slain other.
14. How by miracle they were both made whole by the coming of the holy vessel of Sangreal.