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The Legend of Owain
parts one and two
from the Welsh
part one

The Black Knight

Chapter One-The Defeat of Kymon

In the court of King Arthur there was a young knight by the name of Kymon.This young knight like all other newly dubbed knights sought adventure to venerate his name so he took up his armour and his sword mounted his steed and left Camelot to make his fortune.

Kymon after some time came across a grand castle where he was greeted by twenty and four of the lovliest women he had ever seen the least of which was even more fair than Queen Guinevere now living in the castle with these women was a kind and noble lord who gave a grand feast in Kymon's honor.Now while they ate Kymon told this nobleman of his desire for adventure and the noble happy to fulfill Kymon's request told Kymon of where he might find a chance to make a name for himself.

The lord told him to ride north on the road through the valley and through a great dark forest until he was to come upon a glade with a mound across it now sitting upon the mound Kymon would see a dark skinned man of great strength and stature he would be able to identify the man because he would be missing his left eye and his right foot and in his right hand he would be holding a large iron staff.The man the nobleman spoke of was the Guardian of the Forest.

Kymon left the next morning and followed the trail as he was directed to and sure enough in a few hours he came upon the Guardian.The Guardian saw Kymon and greeted him as a good and virtuous knight and asked him if he sought a challenge to prove his mettle.

Kymon said he did and the Guardian pointed to a trail in the forest he instructed Kymon to follow the trail until he came upon a fountain underneath a great oak tree by the side of the tree there would be a silver bowl sitting atop a black marble slab.Kymon was to fill the bowl with water and pour it on top of the slab after he did this a furious storm would approach and as quick as it had come the storm would pass and the sun will shine and birds will sing as one then Kymon would meet his challenge.

Kymon rode down the trail and finally found the fountain and then taking the bowl he did as the Guardian instructed and then a great storm came with lightning and hail furious and strong and as quick as it had come the storm departed and the sun shone bright and birds came down from the trees to sing a song and the birds all sang as one chorus.Kymon thought it most strange when from the opposite end of the trail there came a knight the likes of which Kymon had never seen.

The knight was dressed in armour as black as a cauldron even the shield was solid black with no crest.The knight even rode upon a solid black charger which was the largest war horse Kymon had ever seen.

The Black Knight did not address or even acknowledge Kymon as he lowered his black lance.Kymon feeling insulted that the strange knight had not even properly greeted him charged and the Black Knight followed suit and with a loud crash Kymon was knocked down from his steed onto the ground.

Kymon reached for his sword to continue fighting but the Black Knight instead wrapped his lance around the reins of Kymon's own steed and rode away with it.Kymon was stranded and humiliated he had no choice but to return to the home of the lord who had befriended him.


Chapter Two-Owain & The Black Knight

Kymon returned to the castle of the nobleman who befriended him.Seeing that Kymon was with out a horse the lord gave him another and Kymon rode this steed home to Camelot.

Upon his return home Kymon had told of his battle with the Black Knight and Owain son of Urien and one of Arthur's other knights was fascinated and felt that he should meet the Black Knight in combat.

Owain took his leave of Camelot and Kymon wished him well and told Owain of the kind lord he had met and of the Guardian of the Forest.Owain took Kymon's advice and as he came to the lord's castle he stopped there and told the lord of his wish to fight the knight which had so humiliated Kymon.

The lord allowed Owain to stay for the night and held a feast in his honor as he did for Kymon and when the morning came Owain rode off to meet the Guardian of the Forest.

Owain did everything as Kymon did when he reached the fountain and certainly enough the Black Knight came to him.The Black Knight as before said not one word and made ready to charge.Owain expected this and began his charge , the two knights clashed and Owain's lance found it's mark but the Black Knight remained unseated and galloped off down the trail from whence he came.Owain gave pursuit.

The chase went on until they came to a large castle which was a glorious sight.Owain was at the black steed's tail until they came to the drawbridge and once there the bridge rose as Owain had just boarded it.The bridge rose so fast and so strong that Owain's horse became trapped just behind the saddle and was killed as for Owain he had already unsaddled himself and fell to the ground below where he was trapped between the outer gate and the inner gate soon the castle guards would come and his capture was certain.

end part one.



 

Part Two
The Castle of the Fountain

Chapter One-The Magic Ring

Owain stood in between the gates of the castle when he heard a sound to his right he drew his sword ready to do battle but the sound was only that of a maiden.The lady motioned for Owain to remain quiet as the guards were near and handed him a gold ring with a black stone.She told Owain to turn the ring around so that the stone would be in his clenched fist and when he did so he became invisible to man and beast.The lady instructed Owain to elude the guards while invisible and to follow her once he could.Her name was Luned.

Once he had evaded the guards he caught up with Luned and she concealed him in her chamber but never told Owain why she was protecting him.Hours passed and the Black Knight who was lord of the castle died of his wounds and several months later after the lady of the castle's mourning period was done she walked about the castle.Eventually Owain took sight of her and was smitten by desire for her.Luned discovered this and, knowing the castle needed a new lord, wooed her for Owain and in no short time Owain married the lady of the castle of the fountain and took the place of Black Knight defending the fountain as his predeccesor did and ransoming all knights he defeated giving the money to his knights and barons.He did this for three full years.

King Arthur and his nephew Gwalchmai with Kymon had wondered whatever became of Owain since he never sent back word of his fortune.The three men came to the fountain and as fate would have it challenged the Black Knight to battle not knowing it was Owain and Owain not recognizing his once king as they had full armor on and helms down.

Kymon challenged the Black Knight first and was unseated then Gwalchmai did battle and as they fought Gwalchmai became unhelmed and seeing his king's nephew Owain stopped immediately and asked forgiveness offering his sword but Gwalchmai felt Owain was the victor and offered up his sword but Arthur ended this debate by taking both swords as negotiator.Owain welcomed his friends to his castle and gave them a great feast and when the next day came said goodbye to his lady and rode off with Arthur and his company to Camelot promising his wife he would return in three months time.


Chapter Two-Owain's Fall From Grace

Three months passed until they became three full years and Owain seemed to forget his promise to his wife.However it was one day while Arthur was holding court that a lady came to Camelot riding a horse decorated in gold.The lady asked to see Owain and he was summoned at once when she saw him she reached for his hand and took the ring and rebuked him for not keeping his vow to his wife.

Owain was ashamed and fled from Camelot and exiled himself far away where he would never see another person again.Owain's body began to waste away and his hair and beard grew long and untamed.Now sickly from want of food and shelter he was found and taken in by a widowed countess and her handmaidens who knew the ways of medicine and magic and they healed him restoring him to strength and vitality but Owain remembering his faithlessness to his wife fled their company and found his way to North Africa.Owain had traveled about hunting for his food and getting here to there on a steed he was given by the widow when he found a lion in battle with a large serpent.Owain slew the serpent for the lion and the lion became Owain's companion and friend.

Owain traveled back towards his homeland feeling that his pennance was done and as he neared home he made his way to a keep to ask shelter for the night.Now as Owain came near the keep he heard the wailing of a woman her voice cracked with fear and misery.The voice came from the air shaft of the dungeon of the keep and Owain felt great pity and called out to comfort her.She told Owain that her name was Luned and that she was servant to a countess whose husband had left her and this husband was a friend that she loved more than all others.Two of the countess' pages had insulted him and since she had defended his name she was sentenced to death by burning if the wayward husband did not come to her rescue within a year and that tommorrow would be the last day of that year.Owain tried to comfort her without revealing his identity and told her that on the morrow her champion should come.

The next day the two pages were the ones to carry out the execution and they led Luned to her execution pyre but as they got there they found Owain waiting with the lion and the fight began.Owain easily defeated both with the assistance of the lion and returned with Luned to the Castle of the Fountain as he had yet to offer apologies to his wife.Owain and Luned were not well recieved but upon telling of his time spent abroad and his rescue of Luned it was deemed that he had paid pennance and proved his honor in freeing Luned and he went back to Camelot leaving Luned in charge of the Castle of the Fountain for he now no longer went anywhere without his wife and was content now just to be a husband and a father.
 

end