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About merlyn

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  1. The"chipmunk" business reminds me of a mention in "The Boy King" of Merlin having a pet raccoon - another animal native to North America rather than to Britain. I recall bringing that up on an old "Pendragon" mailing list years ago, and someone else insisting, over and over, that the raccoon should stay on the grounds that it was charming and that medieval Arthurian romances featured lions and unicorns in Britain. (Not a perfect analogy, in my opinion, since lions and unicorns were part of "Old World lore", and chipmunks and raccoons weren't.)
  2. In Geoffrey of Monmouth, Gawain is knighted by the Pope, so I'd say it's legitimate for "Pendragon".
  3. There's another drawback to describing Arthur as "King of England" besides the anachronism; "England" and "Britain" are not synonymous. England is just part of the island; Britain is the whole island. Calling Arthur just "King of England" ignores the prominent "Arthurian presence" in Wales and southern Scotland.
  4. If Howard Pyle was the one responsible for Arthur being called "High King of Britain", that stands out all the more, given that we customarily associate the "High King" title with the more "historical" take on Arthur (a post-Romano-British leader fighting Saxons), which Pyle left out of his retelling entirely; his version was a straight "mythical medieval king" with not a hint of fifth/sixth century events.
  5. Since the "bot"/compensation would most likely be paid to the Saxon by his kinsman's captor, rather than to the captor by the Saxon, most likely not.
  6. I found the (probable) reference on page 105 of "Perilous Forest", the "What Cambrians Know" page. A "Prefect Julius, Lord of the Wall" is listed as the ruler of Hexhamshire. I assume that Julius' name was intended as an echo of Julian's.
  7. I hadn't thought of the lands immediately north of Hadrian's Wall in "Pendragon" being northern British kingdoms rather than the Pictish lands, though that's a good point. I take it that the "Ghost Knight" will be such a left-behind Roman soldier who's flesh and blood after all? (As I mentioned in another thread, that definitely matches "Prince Valiant"'s atmosphere, with its numerous cases of the seemingly supernatural turning out to have rational explanations; Val was exposing "phony ghosts" long before the meddling kids and their dog....)
  8. Julian was mentioned in one of the "Pendragon" supplements (I think it was "Perilous Forest", though I'll have to check). The chronology would certainly need tweaking, since Hal Foster set King Arthur's reign in the 450's (having Val get involved in events from that decade such as the assassinations of Aetius and Valentinian III and the Vandal sack of Rome), far earlier than in the regular "Pendragon" chronology.
  9. I agree that it seems less suited to "Pendragon", with its carefully designed maps, in contrast to the movie "Excalibur" where the geography is far more vague.
  10. "Child" could be interpreted as "childe", meaning a noble youth who has not yet been knighted, rather than as a child in the modern sense. But I agree that this change to the chronology works better. The Great Pendragon Campaign does stretch Arthur's reign out; in the Annales Cambriae, only twenty-one years separate the battles of Badon and Camlann, a timeline that Geoffrey of Monmouth apparently adheres to when he divides the period between the two battles as twelve years of peace and nine years campaigning in Gaul. On the other hand, the Mort du Roi Artu, as I recall, describes Arthur
  11. There's also the infamous Triad telling how Tristram looked after King Mark's pigs while the regular swineherd was delivering a message to Iseult, and stopped Arthur, Kay, and Bedivere from stealing them (though I can't see this incident as taking place in a conventional "Pendragon" campaign; an "Arthur dux bellorum" one, on the other hand....). Most of the experts have held that Tristram's incorporation into the Arthurian legend weakened his story (all the more because it included a lot of knight-errantry that distracted from the love story that was the focus of the original tale) - apar
  12. The most likely explanation for that is that the Grail Quest is not a conventional quest to find Carbonek; the goal is to understand the spiritual significance of the Holy Grail, which can only be done by wandering about in the wilderness, facing a series of tests and challenges. As Phyllis Ann Karr pointed out in her Arthurian Companion, it's more like a vision quest or a walkabout. Also, Galahad has a number of missions to fulfill first, such as delivering the Castle of Maidens from its masters, ending the burning tomb and the boiling fountain, achieving the Shield Adventurous, etc.
  13. Railroading seems inevitable for a role-playing game campaign set in a familiar legend; you can't tamper too much with the original story without taking away the point of using it for a backdrop.
  14. I agree that the Vulgate/Malory version of the Grail Quest is really Lancelot-centered. Its chief goal is to show how Lancelot's affair with Queen Guinevere (and maybe his pride, as well) cost him the Holy Grail, with Galahad as really a sort of "how Lancelot would have fared on the Grail Quest if he hadn't fallen into sin". The earlier, Percival versions work much better if you want to move the story away from "the Lancelotian legend" - if with the challenge that the Grail Quest is here designed for Percival. (Indeed, Gawain is generally the only other knight of the Round Table to par
  15. I look forward to seeing it; I have my own thoughts on adjusting it, but will save those for the Grail thread.
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