Monday, June 8, 2015

The Lady of the Fountain : Part Four : Sir Owain's Return to Nature

Progress continues,

and so does the story, the original of which may still be found HERE.

If you are just now looking at this, the saga begins HERE

When we left Sir Owain, he had obtained leave from his new wife to go back to Caerllon-upon-Usk with King Arthur to party for three months and promptly forgot all about ruling a land who's economy he personally drove by virtue of ransoming bored Knights who came to play with the insanely dangerous hailfountain.

Three years, rather than three months have passed- and only after all this time does the Countess get around to sending a messenger. This messenger- a lady clothed in fine yellow satin- turns up to take back a ring Sir Owain was wearing, though be this a wedding ring or the invisibility ring he was lent is unclear. As she does this she calls him terrible names such as deciever, traitor, faithless, disgraced and most damningly- beardless.

Sir Owain is rather tolerant of his by virtue of the fact he's absolutely mortified he had forgotten, apparently among other things, that he was married. So horrified is he at having forgotten about his Countess and Country, he departs Caerllon-upon-Usk the next day.

Not to hurry back to The Countess and apologize, ask forgiveness and take up his duties. No, remember being a Knight means never ever doing anything like that. Sir Owain knew what he had to do.

"And the next day he arose but did not go to the Court, but wandered to the distant parts of the earth and to uncultivated mountains.  And he remained there until all his apparel was worn out, and his body was wasted away, and his hair was grown long.  And he went about with the wild beasts and fed with them, until they became familiar with him; but at length he grew so weak that he could no longer bear them company."

Yes! He knew he had to wander off into the wild to live with the wolves as a wildman up until poor hygiene and nutrition nearly killed him. Alternatively, this is just what happens when a Knight really can't deny even unto himself that he owes an apology but utterly lacks the mental capability to deliver it.

Anyhow, his life as a wild and carefree woodland hobo comes to an end as he passes out from exhaustion near the domain of a widowed Countess. This Countess, who apparently isn't the same one he made a widow, married and then abandoned, wanders across him with her maidens and after poking him come to the conclusion he isn't dead.

Said Countess then returns to her castle with her people and, either because they can tell he isn't a peasant or because they're just a unusually decent person, the Countess sends a maiden back with an expensive medicine, some clothes and a horse.

Revived by his treatment and dressed properly, Sir Owain returns to the castle and is made comfortable. He learns that the Countess is soon to lose her lands to an ambitious Earl who had already besieged the the castle in the time he rested there.

In something approaching a plan to return the kindness he had been shown he asks to borrow arms and armor.

The Countess, expecting to be overthrown and her armory taken as a prize anyway, was happy to oblige. Armed and armored, Sir Owain rode out to the camp of the Earl and- taking everyone involved by surprise- knocked the Earl out of his saddle and hauled him back to the Castle, making a gift of him to his host in payment for the medicine spent on him.

The Countess ransomed then the Earl's life for the lands he had taken from her, and for his freedom he paid her all his gold and the majority of his lands while providing her also with hostages to replace him and ensure the Earl's good faith.

This done, Sir decided to resume his wanderings- much to the disappointment of the Countess and her people.

Sir Owain then found a lion quarreling with a snake and on slaying the Snake, found the Lion had become an unusually fond friend. With his new Lion buddy, Sir Owain continued onward and eventually made camp for the night- with his Lion pal helping fetch the firewood and then deliver a tasty deer to cook up.

Wait, this thing is seeming a bit too smart and amiable for a Lion...

Anyhow, whilst Sir Owain cooked he heard a sigh. Which he ignored. Then a second sigh, which he ignored. Finally a third sigh annoyed him sufficiently that he looked into where it came from and discovered he had made camp beside a stone cell, imprisoned within being one Luned. The 'Maiden' responsible for saving Owain's life and securing the Countess of the Fountain as his wife.

So changed is Sir Owain by his questionably sane adventuring that she doesn't recognize his voice. They converse and Sir Owain learns from here that in his long, idiotic abscence pages in the Countess's court came to decry Sir Owain as a traitor. Luned objected, and for this she was thus imprisoned- to be held until Sir Owain came to her rescue, or to be put to death- this latter occasion being tomorrow.

After confirming that Luned truly believed that if Sir Owain knew of her plight he would come to rescue her- because clearly she doesn't recognize she is speaking with Sir Owain- Sir Owain goes forth to the castle of the Earl who imprisoned Luned.

There he learns the Earl's sons, the Pages who imprisoned Luned, have been taken captive by a brutal giant of a man and will be put to death themselves if the Earl does not deliver to the Giant his daughter. Sir Owain volunteers to go out and fight the Giant- and with the aid of his Lion buddy does so.

In the midst of their fighting, the Giant calls a time out, saying that he would find it so much easier to kill Sir Owain if Sir Owain didn't have that Lion helping.

Because Sir Owain is a bit of a dimwit, he graciously takes the Lion back to the castle and closes them inside.

Returning to battle, the Giant begins to gain the upper hand- at which point the Lion, being vastly smarter than Owain- has made it's way to the top of the castle wall and over to attack the Giant again. It's blow kills the giant, and thus the Earl's sons are freed.

Sir Owain then asks them about the imprisoned maiden, and volunteers to fight them both- two young men versus a recently reformed hobo of the woods- for her freedom.

The young men agree, but once again that pesky lion turns their fair Two-Versus-One fight into a unfair Two-Versus-One-and-a-Lion.

A time-out is again called so Sir Owain can try to imprison the entity keeping him alive.

Spoiler, he fails- the Lion escapes as the battle goes poorly for Owain and kills the youths. So as it turned out Sir Owain Saved the youths to kill them himself.

Luned freed, together they return to the Countess of the Fountain who I am sure was overjoyed to see Sir Owain over three years later on. He took her then to Caerllon-Upon-Usk where she remained his wife for as long as she lived.

The end? NO! There's one more tedious hamfisted allegorical adventure crudely stitched on the end!

Yes, there is one villain unaccounted for! One which has haunted all of the noble folk with his mockery and helpfulness and INTIMIDATINGLY LARGE STAFF.

Sir Owain, Lion in Tow, resolved to set back for the dreaded Grove Court of the Savage Black Man, for reasons.

There, he and the Lion vanquished the Savage Black Man and found out that the Savage Black Man had a castle stuffed full of fine ladies the Black Man had taken prisoner and deprived of their gold and frilly things after having murdered their husbands. Sir Owain frees them, yay!

BUT WAIT! The Black Man isn't dead! And now he's a Knight on a horse! And Sir Owain beats him, and the Black Man says 'It was foretold you would come and beat me! Spare my life and I will be your friend!' and Sir Owain agreed! Yay! And the fine ladies went back with Sir Owain to the Court of Arthur and some stayed there and some went on and everyone loved Sir Owain!


And thus ended the story of The Lady of the Fountain, thank God it's over.

Progress continues.

Oh, and you can take that uppity housecat or small dog down a peg by making them into a sad parody of a lion HERE.

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