Author's Note: I am ridiculously proud of this story. This probably isn't the best thing I've written. Well given the reviews I've gotten. So while I was home on leave I found that I just had to write after several days of being there and just hanging with my family and friend. So I started just writing and suddenly found myself with a plethora of mythological references. Why my mind was there I have no idea. It turned into a retelling of the disappearance of the Holy Grail long guarded by the wounded king who is also known as the Fisher King in Arthurian lore. I'm going to go step by step through the story and explain what's going on because it's confusing unless you know the references.
The Dark Wave of Peace: a nod to paganism and Christianity being both tied to the myth.
The House: this represents the cobbled together years that the Fisher King has guarded the holy grail, but it is also meant to bring together feelings of chaos and comfort. The house is completely chaotic in layout, but Sangreal feels comfortable there. Safe even. A needed contradiction to elude to the fact that precious piece of history that religious represents being a bearer of perfection and completeness (the Christ's blood) has been formed into beauty from the Chaotic magic that the grail also represents as the cauldron in Celtic mythology. Chaos can also refer back to the paganism during the time. Both collide to form something highly desired.
The Description of the Fisher King: Straight from Arthurian and Celtic lore. Wounded leg. Old. Added the description of the hands to further elude to his use of magic that was too dark for him. Also elude to the state of his soul. Twisted and marred with greed.
Why the Grail is a Girl: Because female roles in mythology (particularly Arthurian myths) are strong. Aside from that, throughout history a few things are certain. Men fight for their pride and for beautiful women. The Holy Grail is one of the most desired and fought after items in history. Why would it not be best represented by a female? Particularly a young and innocent girl.
Why are certain words all capitalized: Because they're words of power that tell the history of the arts used to change the grail to a female form. Together they say: Old Ways and Damned Powers Silenced Wounds that Age the Precious Ancient Secret.
What does that mean? It tells the entire story in less words than I use. The story within the story. Why'd I do that? Because I could. Does it make sense? Well no…since when have I ever made sense? But it's mysterious and cool.
What's up with the water: The water is the Lady of the Lake. She raised and protected Lancelot and traditionally has a hand in the protection of prized objects. That and because I've made the grail a girl…a girl that's being sought after by Lancelot who was raised by the Lady of the Lake why in the world wouldn't she be interested in the grail location and current misuse?
The girl in white: The Lady of Shalott cursed to watch life as reflections through her enchanted mirror. Also known as Elaine, but I really don't make mention to that. In all the tales about her, Elaine is in love with Sir Lancelot and died because of her love for him. In this story, Elaine comes to warn the grail because Lancelot is not worthy. Whether she does this out of jealousy or true sympathy is unknown. Elaine also prophecies that the one who is worthy is coming. Originally I had a short sentence about Gawain who is worthy enough to claim the grail. I make mention to the color green which is a nod to tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but removed it because I realized the reference of a worthy knight could also be for Elaine's illegitimate son Galahad. Although I've purposely mixed this up because the Elaine mother of Galahad is the original daughter of the Fisher King, not really the Elaine of the Lady of Shalott tales. But it all makes for a nice bit of mythological tangle.
Why is the word 'Mirrors' written on the bow of the Girl in White's boat: Originally it's supposed to be her name "Elaine", but because I've mixed all the myths together, I used 'Mirrors' instead to further cement this idea of echoes of myths and tales built upon tales and all reference together.
"Once your hands were innocently stained with blood more precious than any in living things in any lifetime. In Ireland you brought defeated armies to their feet. Men have fought and died for you; been driven mad by you. You have made ordinary men into kings so great to behold and likewise have brought the same kings to utter ruin." Innocent blood refers to Joseph of Aramithea using the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper to catch some of his blood. Closely intertwined with the holy grail myth is the Irish myth of Bran the Blessed and his cauldron. Probably more well known through Lloyd Alexander's The Black Cauldron book. The cauldron used to bring the dead to life and brought the defeated Irish armies back to their feet. The rest is fairly common grail knowledge.
Why is her name Lady Sangreal? San graal is French for holy grail and san greal is French for royal blood. It was a play on words created to medievalize the ancient myth.
Why does she keep insisting she's the Fisher King's daughter? Because after being possessed by so many people she has one thing she can identify herself with.
I hope that explains things a bit. I understand that this story is dependant on the reader's knowledge of myths and lore. It won't appeal to everyone but I hope this explains things a little.
Live, Love, and Write!
- The Storyteller's Seer