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A Most Merrie and Gay Historie Concerning That Most Peerless of Knights, Sir Lancelot

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Charles Flynn, Sep 16, 2020 at 9:56 PM.

  1. Charles Flynn

    Charles Flynn Not too sore, are you?

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    No kingdom has ever raised its castles to match the glory of Camelot, the high walls standing tall and proud (they were still under construction, though, and since the project’s overseer, Sir Kay, was still recovering from his latest ass-kicking, they would be staying that way for quite some time), its shining streets gleaming with a pale purity to outmatch the sun, (when they weren’t covered in shit, because nobody paid much attention to Arthur’s city ordinances, his planned sewer system still hadn’t been built, and Sir Agravaine, who was in charge of setting up more regular street cleaners, was still out questing with his brother Mordred) and the castle (half-built) at its heart, mighty monument and beacon to all chivalry, a fortress of justice and heroism the likes of which the world would never see again.

    And lo! Sir Lancelot came a-riding, his gleaming armor bright as the noonday sun, his white stallion as pale as fresh-fallen snow. The teeming streets went still, and the people parted before that most worthy knight.

    And lo! The White Stallion, born of the Lake, did smell a passing mare, and, with the strength of twenty horses, raced up and mounted her, spurs insufficient to stop him in his quest.

    “EVERY DAMN TIME!” Lancelot did cry out, as he was sent tumbling to the ground.

    And so, when threats, whipping, and even begging proved insufficient to deter the faerie horse from his chosen pursuits, Noble Lancelot set his squire to lead it to the stables once its business was finished, and made his way to the castle on foot.

    And so, he came to the Round Table, that abode of all the foremost flowers of chivalry, and set down to sup. And then didst Sir Gawain, that sun-touched son of Morgause, enter and the two knights didst greet one another as fit their station.

    “Fair maiden, what villain has worked this wickedness upon you?”

    “… Hello to you too, Lancelot.”

    “Ah, my apologies, Sir Gawain. I fear that I have run into so many damsels in distress upon my journey that I’ve begun to mix up my greetings.”

    “Weren’t you only gone for two days?”

    “Ah, but in those scant two days, I beheld many great and wondrous things, and defended the honor of countless women. Such is the burden of a knight, I suppose.”

    “In two days?” And Gawain did shake his head in wonder. “But I do not doubt you, although I would doubt any other man should he have made a like claim.” And he hesitated for but a moment, before he continued. “And beyond that, there is good proof behind your words, for, not a day after you left, four maidens arrived, announcing that they had been saved by no less than Sir Lancelot, and that they would join a convent and dedicate their lives to thanking God that so great and handsome a knight should exist. Well, the second one left out the convent part, and instead announced that she was marrying Kay’s old squire.”

    “Oh, good for him! And her, she seemed like a pleasant young lady. Think they have a chance?”

    “Mm. They’ve got the makings of a good couple, but time will tell.” And Gawain did give great moan. “But by God’s Hooks, I wish I had your luck! You could stumble upon a damsel in distress, languishing under the workings of some vile sorcerer, just on a trip to the outhouse! Epic quests just fall onto your lap! Meanwhile, here I sit, merely fighting bandits and Saxons (but I repeat myself.) The last proper quest I got was last Christmas, with the Green Knight!”

    “Bah, just luck of the draw, really. I’m sure a quest is just waiting for you! It’ll be your turn again in no time, you’ll see.”

    And at his words, a maiden most fair didst enter the hall, weeping and in a tattered dress, great black chains binding her to a sheathed sword pinned to her back. “Oh, woe is me! For the fell sorceress Morgan La Fay has afflicted me with a curse most foul, and I am doomed to wander in this sorry state eternally, until I am saved by Camelot’s most valiant knight!”

    “That could be for anybody,” Lancelot did insist, as Gawain didst give him a look most unimpressed.

    “Indeed, I am accursed beyond all earthly measure, and my hopes rest solely in the realm of the divine!” The woman continued unaware, beating at her breast most piteously as she wept at her condition. “For only SIR LANCELOT can save me!”

    “I’m… just going to take this.”

    “I’ll tell Uncle Arthur that you’ll be late to your audience.” And Gawain did sigh once more. “Again.”

    --- ​

    And lo! The sun didst begin its descent, and evening’s crimson hues didst paint the sky when Valiant Lancelot did return to fabled Camelot’s halls. And at the instant he passed its worthy gates, ten squires in kingly finery didst sweep down, and, tugging at him, guide him to the study of the King, who would bear his greatest knight’s absence no longer.

    And so, Arthur did admit Lancelot into his study, and when the two beheld each other, they rushed forward and embraced, and kissed each other’s cheeks, weeping with joy to be reunited.

    And once their reunion had been completed, they didst sit, and Arthur was the first to speak.

    “Lancelot, oh it’s so good to see you again, how did your mission go?”

    “The Vikings have been disposed of, my king. They were cunning folk, and wary enough to keep to sea, but they didn’t expect my horse to be able to walk on water.”

    “I don’t think I can blame them. Nobody expects that.” And Arthur then didst retrieve the cask of ale from beneath his desk, for he knew what was about to come.

    “But, to tell my tale in full, when I first rode out from our city’s fairest gates, no sooner than I had passed out of Camelot’s sight when I beheld a maiden fair, chained helpless to a great stone, enchanted by the foulest magics of the Dread Sorcerer Malevolus.”

    “Of course you did,” Arthur did groan out, already massaging his temple. “I’ve half a mind to have that rock demolished. It has a damsel chained to it every five goddamn minutes! Honestly, sometimes I wonder if it actually makes damsels.” And he did sigh once more and take a sip of ale. “So. You decided to delay my time-critical mission in order to save some random woman you just met.”

    “Indeed I did, my liege! As any knight worth his spurs would!”

    And Arthur didst slump over. “Of course you did.”

    “Thank you for your faith in me, my friend. Indeed it was a harrowing quest, but I slew the fell dragon which held the keys to her chains, and freed the maiden, before returning to my quest most harrowing.”

    “YOU KILLED A DRAGON? Lancelot, those are a dying species. And they’re the symbol of my family! Having them die out is not good for my legitimacy!”

    “Arthur, a woman’s life was at stake.”

    “Couldn’t you have just stolen the key and left the dragon alive?”

    “I shall endeavor to do so in the future, my king.”

    “Sure. Fine.” And Arthur did sigh once more. “So, what happened next?”

    “Indeed. No sooner than I had rescued the first damsel, than I beheld a dark-skinned maiden, of Moorish descent if I dared guess, who ran up to my horse, and, grabbing at my reins, pleaded at me most piteously to save her. Of course I vowed on the spot that I would save her, as any good man of chivalry would. She confessed herself to Arabica, a princess of the distant kingdom of Nigeria, and that she had been cast out by her uncle, a sorcerer most wicked, doomed to wander the world until she found a knight, possessed of great wealth and blessed with a chivalrous demeanor.”

    “She asked for money, didn’t she?” Arthur did say, placing his head in his hands.

    “Yes, my liege! The only way to remove her curse, as she revealed to me, was to deliver unto her ten whole pounds of gold! Though it put a mighty strain upon my estate, I succeeded in breaking her curse, and the fair maiden was freed!”

    “Of course you did,” Arthur did say, taking another swig of ale. “And what did you do next?”

    “I rode hours from thence on, until I beheld a maiden fair, riding upon a white horse, a yoke upon her back.”

    “And let me guess,” Arthur didst interrupt, refilling his mug. “She was trapped in some curse that you had to free her from?”

    “No, actually. Turns out she just liked to ride and wanted to give herself a proper challenge. Embarrassing for both of us, to be honest.”

    “Huh. Good on her, I guess.” And Arthur didst pause, his brow furrowed in contemplation, as his noble mind began to turn. “That does actually sound like a pretty difficult challenge, now that I think about it. Do you think I should make it part of our training regimen?”

    “Perhaps!” Lancelot didst agree, his heart aflame at the challenge. “I should rather like to see how well I could joust, with so great a weight on my back.”

    “Something for later, I suppose. Now, then, continue your tale.”

    “Indeed my king! I experienced no interruptions as I rode onwards, and I finished routing the Vikings just before evening. I spent the night in town, and then set out anew in the morning.” Lancelot stopped, then, the pinnacle of chivalry’s whole being caught in a memory. “And then I saw a maiden fair.”

    “You know,” Arthur didst comment, taking another drink. “I have often contemplated the frightful headway we’d make if you put this energy of yours into doing your job swiftly and efficiently, instead of saving everyone even remotely female that crosses your path.” He took another drink. “I don’t doubt that the war against the Saxons would be over by now if you did.”

    “Well, yes, but that would be unchivalrous,” Lancelot did say.

    “Fair point. All right, proceed.”

    “I beheld the maiden fair, chained to a rock, and consigned to wait piteously for rescue. I rode up to her, and asked, in tones of comfort and resolve, ‘Fair lady, what fiend hast done this to you?’”

    “She didst look up at me, and I can only surmise that she knew me not, for panic didst dawn upon her features. In trembling tones, she didst speak to me, “The dreadful Morgan la Fey has bound me here, Sir Knight, until a valiant knight, kind and passionate and loving, strikes my chains asunder, and in doing so, earns my hand in marriage.’”

    “’My lady, fear not!’ I cried at once. ‘I shall strike your chains asunder at once, and you shall be bound by black magics no more!’”

    “And her voice didst falter, so resigned was she to her piteous state. ‘Oh, Sir Knight,’ said she. ‘I’d beg you not to trouble yourself against these chains, for I am quite certain that they cannot be cut asunder by any save Sir Edd, that most worthy of Camelot’s knights!”

    “’Now who the bloody Hell is this “Edd” fellow?’ I asked, unspeakably confused. ‘I’ve certainly never heard of him.’”

    “’He was squired to Sir Kay, Sir Knight, and he is a knight worthy beyond all belief!’ her voice was thick with joy as she did speak of him, as any lady would speak of their supposed savior. ‘Skilled in battle, kind, handsome, and courteous. What he lacks in funds, he makes up for in merit, and he shall prove it when he saves me!’”

    “’Right,’ I did say. ‘Edd? That skinny kid who always carried Kay’s paperwork?’”

    “’Yes!’ she cried out, angry for some reason. ‘And he will save me, beyond a shadow of a doubt.’”

    “’Very well then,’ I conceded. ‘I’ll just try my hand at freeing you, and then, if I fail, I’ll be on my way.’”

    “But she did beg me to stop once more. ‘Sir Knight, I’ll ask again that you not risk injury to yourself by straining against a task so clearly meant for another.’”

    “’And what sort of injury might I risk?’ I did ask.”

    “’Ssssword injuries?’”

    “’Sword injuries.’”

    “’Yes!’ she did cry in triumph. ‘For, if you strike the unbreakable chains, and you are not worthy, your sword will rebound from the force of your blow and strike you instead!’”

    “’My grip is quite strong, fair maiden. I’ll run little risk of such an injury.’”

    “’How do you know?’”

    “I did give her a most unimpressed look at that, Arthur. ‘Young Lady, who, between the two of us, do you think has more experience with swordplay?’”

    “’Look, this is my magical abduction, and you’re being a very poor sport about this.’”

    “’Madam, I am Sir freaking Lancelot. I have been rescuing damsels in distress since before you were born, and I think I have a touch more experience with how these things work than you.’”

    “’Oh, for God’s sake, man! Take a hint and leave!’”

    “’To abandon a damsel in distress to a fate uncertain would go against everything I stand for as a knight!’ I did so tell her, Arthur, and then I drew my faithful Arondight, and, with a single blow, I did cleave her chains in twain. She did then storm up to me in a rage, and slap me, whilst calling me a nosy asshole, to which I protested most vigorously. ‘My lady, I have done naught but what was right, and freed you. Indeed, I cannot help if the chains have deemed me worthy, and I must ask that you not begrudge me that fact. If I was able to cleave the chains, it was because I was deemed worthy, no more.’”

    “’Of course the bloody chains broke, you idiot! They weren’t even magical! I was just trying to get out of the arranged marriage my dad set up for me! And now I don’t even get to marry the guy I wanted to!’”

    “And I didst seize her hand firmly, Arthur. ‘My lady, I have no desire to marry you. Indeed, my heart now and forevermore belongs to my one true love, the foremost gem in all of Arthur’s court, and I will accept no other. And if you are bound, then I will free you, and grant you what happiness I can, for such is the duty of a knight! By my authority as your rescuer, to whom you’ve pledged your hand, I command that you marry Sir Edd and no other!’”

    “And she did weep joyous tears, Arthur, and kissed my cheek, before she dashed off to tell her lover the good news.” Lancelot did then smile contently. “And I rode off towards Camelot, content that justice had been done.”

    “You know, Lance,” Arthur did say with a grin. “Once of these days you’re going to have to introduce me to this mysterious lady-love of yours.”

    “Oh, no, really, she’s very shy and retiring. She’d probably die of the shock if she came face to face with your august presence.”

    “Yeah, yeah. You always say that. So, what happened next?”

    “Then, as I rode onwards, I-“

    “-beheld a maiden fair?” Arthur finished.

    “I beheld two damsels wailing in grief, yes,” Lancelot did admit. “When I came to ask them their tale, they told me that a giant had seized them and placed them here, and that he’d eaten their third sister up wholesale. Indeed, they told me that the giant would return at any moment, to claim another of them, and then they begged me to save them.”

    “So, he left them next to a road?” Arthur did say, pinching the bridge of his nose to lessen his raging headache.

    “I try not to question the stupidity of giants, my King. In any case, no sooner had I so vowed, then the giant came lumbering up, demanding that they paid him what they owed him, obviously referring to his desire to eat them alive. I drew my blade, and killed him on the spot, of course, and so the maidens were saved!”

    “This giant… he wouldn’t happen to have been blond? Clean-shaven? Clean, and stylishly dressed?”

    “Well, yes.”

    “God DAMMIT, Lance!” Arthur did roar, slamming a fist down against the table. “You just killed my biggest financial backer!”

    “What? But he was a giant!”

    “Yeah, a reasonable one with ridiculous amounts of money, who was supporting my civic improvement initiatives!” And Arthur didst bury his head in his hands. “How am I supposed to fight against the Saxons now?”

    “Oh, the Saxons? I killed an army of them after I finished with the giant.”

    “What?”

    “I killed an army of Saxons after I finished up with the giant. It’s why I didn’t get back until today.”

    “AND YOU DIDN’T LEAD WITH THIS WHY?”

    “Well, there were damsels. Why would I talk about Saxons when I could discuss my feats of chivalry?”

    And Arthur didst toss his mug aside and began chugging down ale straight from the cask.
     
  2. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    This is glorious. Of course no-one expects Lancelot's horse to run on water. Why would they. That'd be silly. But clearly god loves idiots.
     
  3. Concerne

    Concerne Getting out there.

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    I actually sent this to my old medieval literature teacher from when I was in college. She told me that she will show this to her assistants.
    This is probably my favorite of your works.
     
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  4. Scopas

    Scopas Getting sticky.

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    This is awesome! My jaw aches from laughing too much! Nice Hellsing Abridged reference too, don't think I didn't notice Arthur using Integra's words!
     
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  5. Kitty S. Lillian

    Kitty S. Lillian Transhuman

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    This is comedy gold. The
    Nigerian Prince[ss] scam, the arranged marriage escape trick, the subtle digs at everybody, the ‘I [am/want to be] porkng your wife and you ugly, Arthur’ that goes over his head
    …It's so jam-packed with humor, I probably missed half the jokes.

    Only saw one error (aside from the clearly satirical misconjugated 3rd-person 'didst's):
    "She confessed herself to Arabica," should probably be "She confessed herself to be Arabica," or "She confessed herself Arabica"
     
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