Sir Percival

Real Name: Peredyr Arueu Dur, King of Ebrauc (Welsh-Peredyr, Latin-Peredurus, English-Percival)

Identity/Class: Normal human, perhaps enhanced by magic/divine empowerment.

Occupation: Knight

Affiliations: Knights of the Round Table, Grail Knights

Enemies: The Proud Knight of the Moor (various proper names, Orilus in Wolfram, whom he is later reconciled with); the King of Castle Mortal (the man on whom Percival must avenge either the Grail King's death or his father's death and who kills himself rather than deal with Percival's wrath)

Known Relatives: Gwrgi (twin brother), Blanchefleur (wife), Black Knight (son)

Aliases: Parzival, Percivale, Perceval (spelling variants of his name); Steel Arms

Base of Operations: Cartomek, c.6th century A.D. or perhaps Ebruac;
formerly Camelot

First Appearance: c.510-580

Powers/Abilities: A great and holy knight, renowned for his strength and his fighting prowess, but also for his piety.

History: Sir Percival was the second most holy (after Galahad) of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, extremely pious but somewhat naive (at least as a youth; he became quite wise as an adult). When the quest for the Holy Grail began, he became one of the three Grail Knights (the others being Bors and Galahad); he travelled the realm accompanying Galahad, searching for their prize. He stayed at the castle of the Fisher King, where he witnessed the Grail procession, but because he had been advised that it was impolite to ask his host too many questions, he neglected to check the significance of the display. At another point on the quest he met the Lady Blanchefleur, the Holy Grail maiden, whom he subsequently married. They lived at Cartomek, and had a son, who grew up to be both the Black Knight and the local king.

Comments: The historical Percival is theorised to be Peredyr Steel-Arms, one of the sons of King Eliffer Gosgorddfawr. He and his twin Gwrgi are said to have founded the town of Pickering, and to have been joint rulers of Ebrauc. Welsh legend states that the boys were brought up by their mother after their father was murdered when they were young, and that Peredyr dedicated much of his life to seeking vengeance for this crime.

The Joint-Kings of Ebrauc are best known for their victory over King Gwenddoleu of Caer-Wenddoleu (Carwinley) at the Battle of Arfderydd, now Arthuret in Cumbria. In AD 573, the Yorkist Kings allied themselves with King Riderch Hael of Strathclyde and possibly King Dunaut Bwr (the Stout) of the Northern Pennines. They marched north to claim the disputed land around Caer-Laverock from Gwenddoleu. The King of Caer-Wenddoleu was killed in the battle and his bard, Myrddin or Merlin, one of the few survivors, was forced to flee into the Caledonian Forest. Peredyr was unable to take advantage of his victory however and, seven years later, when his army again marched north, this time to put down the troublesome Anglians of Bernicia, he and his brother were both killed by King Adda's forces at Caer-Greu (location unknown). The Deirans then rose up, under King Aelle, and moved on the City of Ebrauc, forcing Peredyr's son to flee the Kingdom.

Peredyr was later transformed by a subsequent chroniclers into Percival, one of the Grail Knights and member of the Round Table.

An unidentified correspondent writes "In nearly all of the grail stories (excepting the French Sangreal that Malory retold and an obscure German Gawain story), Perceval is the THE most holy/virtuous knight and sole winner of the Grail. His place was only supplanted in the public eyes when Malory's version was printed and spread throughout Europe. Also the historical Perdur is the grandson of one of the stronger candidates for the historical Arthur, Arthuis of Ebrauc/Pennines."

Further details on the Knights can be found here


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