Percival de Gales

British - A knight of King Arthur's court. Son of Pellimore. Brother of Aglovale, Dindrane and Lamerock. Father of twin boys, Kardiez and Lohenergrain, and a girl, Aribadale, by Condwiramur. His parentage is variously described. Some say his father was Alan, Bliocadran, Efrawg, Evelake, Gahmuret, Gales, Greloguevaus, Julian or Percival; his mother is Achefleur, Herzeloyde, Philosophine or Yglais; his sisters Agrestizia and Dindrane. Reared in isolation, he yearned to be a knight and left home at an early age to seek his fortune. He was given a bracelet by the wife of Orilus and soon met his cousin, Sigune, weeping over the body of her husband, Schionatulander, killed by the Red Knight. Percival killed the murderer and took his horse and armour. He learned the skills of his trade at the hands of Gurnemans and set off to seek adventure. In some accounts, these are two separate events. In the first, Percival killed the Red Knight, who had stolen a golden goblet from Camelot, taking his horse and armour; in the second, the killer of Sigune's husband (or lover) turned out to be Orgelleuse (or Orilus) and Percival defeated him and sent him to Arthur's court. Hearing that Condwiramur, the queen of Brobarz, was in trouble, he rode to her aid, killed the besieging enemies and married her, fathering a son, Lohenergrain. He left after a while to look for his mother, not knowing that she was dead. In some stories, he came to the Grail Temple where he found the wounded Amfortas but failed to ask the one question that would have ended his suffering. He was later tricked into fighting Gawain on behalf of Gramoflanz but spared his life when Itonje, Gawain's sister, pleaded with him. He came to a hermit's cell where Trevrezent told him that he could cure Amfortas, his brother, if he asked the right question. It is said that he set off to find Amfortas again and was challenged by a knight who turned out to be his half-brother, Feirefiz, who joined him in his quest. When they found Amfortas, he was made whole again when Percival asked what ailed him. Then Titurel appeared and crowned Percival as the guardian of the Holy Grail. He drove off the nine Hags of Gloucester who were harassing the Lady of the Castle and spent three weeks with her before Arthur persuaded him to return to Camelot. One of the hags turned up at Camelot and said that the Lady of the Castle was now a prisoner in the Fortress of Marvels. Percival set off to the rescue but was trapped in the Tall Tower. The master's daughter released him and he drove off the attackers sent by the hags to kill him. At the Fortress of Marvels, Percival killed the guards and cut off the head of a unicorn. The head became a rider on a skeleton horse which disappeared in dust and smoke when Percival struck it with his sword. He killed the leader of the hags and the others turned to grease puddles. The Lady of the Castle had disappeared from the world of mortals and Percival returned to Camelot empty-handed. In the parallel story of Peredur, the hags are the witches of Caer Llyw. He joined in the search for Lancelot when he went mad and disappeared from Camelot. In one story, it is said he and Ector found him at Castle Bliant and persuaded him to return to Camelot. He joined the other knights in the quest for the Holy Grail. Both he and Lancelot fought a knight who turned out to be Galahad in disguise. When Lancelot rode after Galahad, Percival went to the nearby home of an anchoress who turned out to be his aunt, the former Queen of the Waste Land, who advised him on his future course. He arrived at a monastery where he saw King Evelake who had lain wounded and almost blind for 400 years, awaiting the arrival of Galahad. Leaving, he was attacked by a group of knights (goblins in some versions) who killed his horse and would have killed Percival if Galahad had not appeared on the scene and routed the attackers. In one version, he came to a river and fell asleep. When he awoke, he found himself on an island populated by wild animals and snakes. A black ship arrived bearing a damsel dressed in black velvet who offered to lead him to Galahad if he would become her lover. When he refused, she and the ship disappeared to be replaced by a white ship. Another version says that he arrived at the sea just as the white ship came in carrying a lovely damsel with whom he fell in love. She induced him to go to bed with her but he rejected her at the last minute to keep himself pure for the Grail Quest. Later he met Bors and they were soon joined by Galahad, who was guided by Percival's sister, Dindrane, and they sailed together on their quest for the Grail. They found a deserted ship and went aboard. Galahad took the sword he found there and they returned to their own ship which carried them to Castle Carteloise. Here a woman lay sick who could be cured only by the blood of a virgin. Dindrane gave her blood but died as a result. At her request, Percival placed her body in a boat and cast it adrift. All three rode to Castle Carbonek, home of the Maimed King, where they were vouchsafed a sight of the Holy Grail. The three then took the Grail and the Holy Lance to Sarras in the Holy Land where they found the ship bearing the body of Percival's sister which they buried. All three were imprisoned by the king, Esterause, but he released them and asked their forgiveness when he lay dying. Galahad was made king but died about a year later. Percival entered a hermitage and lived there until he too died about a year after Galahad. In some versions, Percival, rather than Agloval, was the father of Moriaen. Also referred to as Percival de Gales, Parsifal, Parsifal, Holy Grail,The, Parzival, Parzival, Perceval, Perse(val), Perse(val), Dutch Perchevael, Dutch Perchevael, Welsh Peredur, Welsh Peredur, Dodinel, Dodinel, Peredur, Peredur, Dumb Knight, The, Knight of the Mill, Longspear, Young Mute, The, The Dumb Knight, The Young Mute or Percival.

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