The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True: The Knights' Tales Book 3 by Gerald Morris
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Knights' Tales Series
Sir Kay decided to avenge the king, so he too attacked the Knight of the Surcoat and was unhorsed into the river. The king and his seneschal had lost their horses in the encounter so they had to walk back to the castle on foot and in shame. Arthur returned to his bed, still drench from the river. Gwendolena asked where he had being, and Arthur lied that he had gone out to stop fighting between two men in the castle in the rain.
Gawain found the most shallowest ford and crossed the river. The Knight of the Surcoat did not realise that he had fought the king and his own uncle at the ford. In the morning, while Arthur still slept, Gwendolena sent a messenger out of the castle, towards the town of Usk, where the boy encountered the Knight of the Surcoat. The knight asked the boy to bear the gifts to the Queen. When Gwendolena recognised the two horses and the horse trappings belonging to her husband and the seneschal, she understood what had occurred last night when her husband had come to bed drenched.
With great amusement, she sent the horses into her bedchamber, where Arthur still slept. Arthur woke to find his horse and Kay's in the bedroom. The King felt shame when he realised that Gwendolena knew the truth. Gwendolena showed the proof that the mysterious knight had sent to her: two horses, a gold ring and pieces of gold coins.
Sir Gawain the True
By noon, the Knight of the Surcoat arrived at Arthur's court in Caerleon. The hero introduced himself to the king and the entire court, telling them that he had come from the Roman imperial court, offering his services in arms and become the king's companion become knight of the Round Table. The hero also gave Arthur, the sealed message and the coffer from the Roman Emperor. Arthur retired to the adjoining chamber to read the Emperor's personal message.
What content he had found in the document left Arthur astonished. Within the coffer, he found the pallium and signet ring that belonged to his sister Anna, as the letter, in his sister's handwriting that prove the identity of her son. Arthur immediately sent for Anna and her husband Lot, and showed them the contents of documents and the coffer, demanding the explanation from his sister and brother-in-law. Anna revealed to her brother the truth she was indeed pregnant and gave birth to her son, before she was married to Lot.
Both parents and Arthur were overcome with great joy. However, Arthur wanted them to keep this secret from Gawain, until the Roman knight proved his worth to become knight of the Round Table. Arthur returned the court and rudely told the young knight that he already has many knights of great prowess.
So unless the Knight of the Surcoat can prove his prowess, the king suggest that he find services from some other lords. The hero felt slighted by Arthur's words, yet he felt the need to prove himself. So the hero declared that he would do something that Arthur's knights were capable of accomplishing. Six days had passed when news that the Castle of the Maidens was besieged by pagan king. The castle belonged to a fair, young woman, who governed the northern part of Britannia, but as ally of Arthur.
The pagan king had fallen in love with this lady, but she refused his advances. The pagan king was enraged because of the rejection, so he occupied the land around the castle. Arthur immediately mustered his army and gathered his knights of the Round Table, before heading north.
Before they reached the castle, another messenger arrived to tell the king that the castle had fallen, and the pagan king had taken the Lady as his prisoner. The pagan king was now heading back to his own realm. Arthur immediately set out in pursuit, in the hope of rescuing the Lady. Arthur's rescue plan fell apart when his army encountered unexpected, strong resistance from the rearguard. The pagan king was expecting pursuit and had placed his more experienced knights with the rearguard battalion.
The sudden attack by the rearguard had thrown Arthur's army into confusion. The pagan king's forces were able to repulse the British army, causing Arthur to shamefully retreat. The Knight of the Surcoat had followed the army and watched the battle on the hill.
When he saw Arthur and his knights being repulsed and retreated from the more superior pagan army, the hero jeered at them for cowardly retreating. After taunting Arthur and his knights, the hero set out alone to rescue the Lady. The pagan army didn't expect an attack from a lone knight, which threw them into confusion. When the hero saw the pagan king and the captive, the Knight of the Surcoat charged with his lance ready. The point smashed through the king's armour and penetrated the pagan king's chest. The pagan king fell dying to the ground; the hero then seized the rein of the young woman's horse, trying to lead her out the enemy army.
However, angry royal guards surrounded them and they sought to avenge the death of their king. The Knight of the Surcoat managed to cut his way through the enemy ranks, but the hero and Lady could not escape through the way he had come from, so the hero set out in a different direction, with the enemies in hot pursuit. As they were fleeing, the hero saw an abandoned fortification with a fosse around it, so he led the maiden to fort.
He told the Lady to find a place to hide, while he will defend this place. Fortunately, the bridge to fort was narrow enough that only one enemy can come on him, one at the time.
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While a broad and deep fosse moat surrounded the fort, so no one could surround him. With his sword and shield ready, the Knight of the Surcoat attacked the pursuing enemies.
On the bridge, no one could overcome him, as he killed and wounded many knights. Some fled, while tried to escape from the hero's vicious sword by jumping off the narrow bridge. The Knight of the Surcoat had single-handedly defeated the pagan king's army. He returned to where the king had fallen, and cut off the king's head.
The knight placed the king's head on top end of the standard, while the head was still wearing its diadem. Here, the hero proudly proclaimed that he had killed the king and destroyed the enemy army alone. He had accomplished what no other knights in Arthur's court had done. Rather than being offended by the hero's words, Arthur was overjoyed and told the young knight that he had earned the highest honour. Arthur asked the young hero his name and lineage. The hero reply that he was Knight of the Surcoat and that he was born in Gaul France to Roman senator, because he seriously thought that Viamundus was his father.
With Anna and Lot standing near their son, Arthur had the letter of the Roman Emperor read where every one could hear.
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It revealed that King Lot of Norway and his wife Anna was the hero's real parents, and his real name was Gawain. Every one including Gawain were utterly amazed at this revelation.
Gawain's parents joyfully welcomed home their lost son. Arthur was also joyously announced that Gawain was his nephew. With this announcement, the entire assemblage shouted out:. This is a continuation of the Legend of Excalibur , after Morgan le Fay's failed attempt to murder her half-brother, King Arthur.
In the texts, it is a continuation of Suite du Merlin Post-Vulgate, c. I have followed mostly the adventure as told by Malory and kept the name Pelleas and Ettard, rather than using Pellias and Arcade, which was used in the French Suite du Merlin. The French version Post-Vulgate was different had slightly different ending to the one told by Malory, becuase there was reconcilation between Pellias and Arcade. Whereas in Malory's version, Pelleas left Ettard. The most interesting part of this episode is Gawain's role in Pelleas and Ettard, where his promise to Pelleas had proved false and treacherous.
I will begin story by briefly tell of what had happened in Arthur's court. Morgan le Fay had two attempts to kill her half-brother King Arthur, as well as attempt to kill her own husband, King Urien of Gorre. She used her lover Accolon of Gaul to fight a duel against Arthur, stealing Excalibur and the sheath of Arthur, and giving her brother a bogus sword and scabbard.
Her attempt failed because Niniane Nimue , the Lady of the Lake, who used her own magic to disarm Accolon. Before he died, Accolon told Arthur that it was Morgan's machination to kill him and her husband Urien. Not realising of her paramount's death, she would have succeeded in murdering Urien, while he slept.
Only the intervention of her son Yvain prevented the death of Yvain's father. Yvain allowed his mother to escape if she make no further attempt to murder her husband. She made another attempt to kill her brother again, with the use of a magic robe, which would kill anyone who wore the robe. Once again, Niniane advised Arthur to let the servant's girl sender to wear the robe instead.
Related The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True (The Knights Tales, Book 3)
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