|wtf27 #011: Fantasy AU (Traditional)
||[May. 10th, 2006|03:21 pm]
or, the Romance of Sir Alain du Côte and the Cup of Truth
or, the Romance of Sir Alain du Côte and the Cup of Truth
(Boston Legal fic; WIP)
i. How Queen Shirley of Cranepool sent the companions forth upon their Quest.
And it passed that it was nearing the festival of Midsummer, and no Adventure had come to the castle of Cranepool for many weeks, no distressed maidens nor mystical visions nor shining beasts to try the steel of the Knights of Cranepool, the greatest knights in the world. And thus the lady Queen Shirley called before her Sir Alain the Touched, a knight of the White Shield, and most valiant in battle and in righteousness. And she said unto him: Go thou now on quest, for what prize I woot not, just that thou goest; and take with thee thy boon companion King Dennys, for an he stays pent with me in this castle but one week longer I will not be responsible for my actions.
And King Dennys said unto her, My lady, by what right dost thou give me such commands, for who is it who sits upon the throne of Cranepool? It is not thee.
And Queen Shirley replied unto him, If thou preferest I could have thee clapt in durance in the tower as I did thy brother Prince Edwin the Mad, lo these many years ago;
And King Dennys said unto Sir Alain, Friend, let us go on quest together, for I feel a sudden desire to test my mettle against the world's might.
So it was that they set out together from Castle Cranepool, and never were there two knights more fair nor mighty, for no man ne never had defeated in single combat King Dennys; and Sir Alan was known far over the land in song and story as a knight of both strength and guile, who carrieth victory in the very palm of his hand. And never were there two knights more valiant in devotion to God and Country and Righteousness; and never were there two knights more pure and steadfast in their devotion to each other, for oft had they sworn to each other a love greater than that of brothers, that never might they part.
And as they journeyed through the gates of the castle, they heard behind them the hoof-beats as of a horse being ridden with most desperate speed; and upon said horse rode the knight Sir Brad of the Chase, a warrior greatly famed in battle.
And Sir Brad asked of them that he might accompany them on their adventure, for, said he, Sir Paul the Seneschal hath caught me making love unto his daughter the Lady Rachel yet again, and I ken 'twould be best were I far from here.
And Sir Alain replied unto him, sir, I know well that which you suffer, for yet in vain doth the maiden Melisaunde entreat me to come unto her chambers, sith that I preserved her from her vile captivity.
And King Dennys said in his great wisdom, Indeed it is a cross which we all must bear, and should ye again find that ye labour under a surfeit of grateful damosels, I will with great good will take them off your hands.
And so did the three noble knights set off together from Castle Cranepool, to what new destiny they knew not.
ii. How King Dennys had an altercation with a Beggar, and Sir Brad met with a Damosel most fair.
So the three knights King Dennys of Cranepool, Sir Alain the Touched, and Sir Brad of the Chase did ride out from Castle Cranepool in search of Adventure. And therewith along the road they encountered a Beggar riding upon a mule, swarthy, and garbed in rags. And Sir Alain asked of him if he knew of any Adventure on which they might embark. And the Beggar did stand before them on the road, and spake unto them thus:
And what do I see here before me but a covey of knights of all things most motley! For here is a caitiff knight so vile that no lord would claim as his own, for he beareth a shield yet white and bare of any device; and beside him rideth his brother knight, who beareth a sign most fearsome, which meseemeth like unto an angry cow.
And at this King Dennys was much wroth, and said unto him, Varlet, durst thou speak in such a manner to King Dennys of Cranepool? And knowest thou that my shield beareth not an angry cow but a bull rampant. And King Dennys did draw from its sheath his sword, and did with his sword pierce the Beggar through the breast.
And when Sir Alain saw this he did say unto him, Sir Dennys, hast thou stabbed that man? Thou knowest that thou canst not just do such things, for Lady Shirley shall be full wroth.
And why should I not, replied King Dennys, for he was only a peasant, and beside, he did make jest of mine device.
It matters not unto me what manner of kine thou art, said Sir Alain, and did descend to offer what succor he could to the Beggar.
And the Beggar said unto him, Sir, thus you do prove yourself a most true gentle knight, and thus might I say unto you: there dwelleth in this forest a hermit most wise in all things, and with great strength of healing; bear me unto him and you shall have any adventure which you desire.
And so Sir Alain did lift the Beggar before him and cradle him to his breast; and within a little while they did come to that hermitage of which he had spoken. And the hermit did give them welcome, and did take up the Beggar that he might heal him with his leechcraft.
And it chanced that also at that hermitage there tarried a damosel, yclept Lady Dyones. And she did offer unto them passing good wine and meats with which they might be refreshed. And Sir Alain said unto her, What do you here, madam?
And Lady Dyones said unto him, Oh sir, my tale is one of much woe. For close by this place, in a pavilion by a great fountain, there lieth my true love, hight Sir Daniel, a knight most good and merry. And alas for that he is sore wounded unto death, and the wound festers and will not heal, and he hath a fever which abideth and devours. And I have came suppliant unto this hermitage that the hermit might give unto me some salve or tonic by which my love might once more be made whole. But the hermit in his wisdom sayeth that there is naught that he might do, for the wound beareth a curse, and my love shall have no relief but by water poured upon it by the very hands of the best knight in all the land.
Then King Dennys said unto her, If thou seekest the best knight in all the land then thou hast found him: Dennys of Cranepool.
And Lady Dyones did gaze upon him, and after some thought she did say, Forsooth, mayhap the second best knight in all the land would do as well.
My lady, if that is your desire, Sir Brad said unto her, know that I defeated all who faced me in the great tourney which was held but one month past, and Queen Shirley and all who were there did declare that I was the most valiant and skilled in battle of all those who strove at that place, and thus was my name put upon the list of the Order of the Knights of Cranepool.
And Lady Dyones avised him better, and said unto him, You'll do.
iii. How Sir Brad and Lady Dyones parted from the others, and how Sir Brad did strive with a demon most foul, and how Lady Dyones gave unto him courage in battle.
And upon being told that the pavilion of the wounded knight was two days' fair journeying from that place, Sir Brad did determine to pass the night in the hermitage; and upon the morning with many farewells parted from his brother knights and went with the Lady Dyones into the forest.
And it passed that on the evening of their first day of riding, they came unto a most delightful glade; and anon they discovered a fair small Chapel, adorned on each its walls with carven panels of the very cedar of Lebanon, and soon finding that it was empty, they determined to rest there that night. But they were not refreshed, for no sooner had they settled themselves then forthwith they heard a great noise, like unto the wailing of the very souls of the damned in Hell.
And Sir Brad would liefer have departed from the chapel that he might discover what manner of beast made such a noise, but Lady Dyones said unto him, Thou art more valiant than thou art wise; and bad him lay beside her in the safehold of the chapel.
And seeing that the Lady spoke wise counsel, Sir Brad did lay his arms aside to rest. But yet through the night sounded the wailing of the fell beast, and the scratching of its claws upon the door, and neither did they sleep.
And in the hour before the rising of the sun Lady Dyones arose from her bed, and said, Sod this, I can't take the suspense. And she stood and thrust open the door to the chapel, and Sir Brad stood behind her.
In the glade before the chapel paced the beast, and it was in form like a great hairy cat; but it stood full ten feet high, with eyes red as blood and claws shining as crescent moons. And upon seeing that the door stood open, the beast sprang forward with alacrity, and would have done for them had not Lady Dyones pulled the door to. And it was so near to achieving them that in the shutting of its door full three of its claws were thereby trapped, and Sir Brad did draw his sword and cleave the talons therefrom.
And thereupon the fell beast fled wailing, and no more were they disturbed by its calls. In the morning when they woke from sleep they did discover thereby three severed claws, each greater in length than a man's finger, and Lady Dyones took them up. And she did wrap them in a cloth of samite, and preserved them, saying, This is a talisman of great power.
And ere they departed Sir Brad stood before the chapel and was full dismayed, for he had carried battle within the House of the Lord, and had thereby defiled it. And Lady Dyones said unto him, You strove with a foul demon and in the Lord's name, and how are you thereby defiled?
But Sir Brad said, I fear now to assay your paramour's deliverance, for having done this thing I am no true worthy knight.
And Lady Dyones stood before him, and wrapt her arms around him and kissed him full well. And she said unto him, forsooth you are a man most pure and holy, for even in kissing you I am recalled to the Lord's service. For on holy days we abstain from the eating of red meat, dining only on fish; and thus do thy kisses resemble a holy fast, for they are like unto a pickled herring.
And Sir Brad said unto her, My lady, that was unworthy of thee, and thinkest thou that thou canst do better than I?
(Sorry. I tried. It won't flow. Maybe more in the morning.)
iv. How they encountered a Priest most Foul; and what passed at the pavilion of Sir Daniel the Merry.
v. How King Dennys and Sir Alain set out upon the Quest of the Cup of Truth.
vi. How they found the Chapel of the Just, and what happened when they entered into it.
vii. How King Dennys fought many battles, and Sir Alain defeated the Friar of the Cup in a battle of wits.
viii. How Sir Brad was smote upon the head by a knight most dishonorable, and how by enchantment King Dennys was held captive.
viiii. How King Dennys did make love unto a damosel, and Sir Alain came upon Lady Dyones in the field.
x. How King Dennys did defeat the stratagems of the false Lady, and how Sir Alain freed Sir Brad from the captivity of the Knight of the Hands.
xi. How Queen Shirley was sore displeased, and how Sir Alain and Sir Dennys took refreshment upon a balcony.