Tintagel: King Arthur’s Castle

I recently visited Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, which has become inexorably linked with Arthurian legend. Writing around 1135–38, Geoffrey of Monmouth was the first to suggest that King Arthur was conceived at Tintagel. 

Legend (literally) has it that Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, had fallen in love with the Duke of Cornwall’s wife, Igraine. The Duke of Cornwall thus had her shut up at Tintagel, believing its being surrounded by sea on all sides, and accessible only by a narrow rocky walkway, would make it impenetrable to Pendragon’s armies. Then Merlin shows up, transforms Pendragon to have the Duke of Cornwall’s appearance, he seeks out Igraine and "in that night was the most famous of men, Arthur, conceived.”

Photo is my own | quote from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (“History of the Kings of Britain”)

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Guinevere;
She wore a robe of linen dyed gold, she wore gold about her neck and on her wrists, while her springing red hair was trapped by a circle of gold. She looked like a goddess.
— Bernard Cornwell, Enemy of God  

Celtic Otherworlds

The Otherworld(s) of Celtic myth are invisible realms where gods, spirits, elves, giants, etc reside. Some Otherworlds are beautiful heavens, and others are terrible hells. Otherworlds are guarded and hidden by magic.
The Otherworld(s) can be found in places like lakes, caves, forests, rivers, dunes, and islands. An Otherworld may also be a grandiose castle or even a humble cottage. Often times the Otherworld(s) make an appearance at night, but then quickly vanish in the daylight. It is also said that on the eve of Samhain (saah-win) all gates to the Otherworld open and spirits venture into our world from theirs.
The Otherworld(s) have a very different concept of time. Generally, time moves at a much slower slower rate. Spending one year in an Otherworld could mean centuries have passed in our world.

Keep reading

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Amesbury Convent, England. Guinevere & Lancelot meet one last time.
We looked at one another a long time. Then he went on one knee, took my hand, and pressed it to his lips. I caressed his black head, wondering desperately why I should feel so pained by the silver threads I found there. He led me to a bench and we sat silent, looking at one another in a kind of quiet desperation, because we had said goodbye forever, long ago.
— Queen of Camelot, Nancy McKenzie

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It is New Year’s Day at King Arthur’s court, and a mysterious knight in green arrives at the holiday feast with a peculiar demand. He challenges anyone present to strike a blow against him with his fearsome great axe - but on the condition that, in one year’s time, he may deliver the same blow in return. 

The Green Knight Kickstarter is live! Help me put my comic in print:

kickstarter.com/projects/emilycheeseman/gawain-and-the-green-knight

The print edition of Gawain and the Green Knight will be a 64-page, 8 x 8” hardcover book with 64 full-color interior pages, with a clothbound cover inspired by vintage storybooks (and stamped in green foil!) A digital PDF of the complete story is available to all pledge tiers, and I’m also offering other rewards like stickers, a gold foil print, and a mini comic of another story starring Gawain.

Your support is greatly appreciated! If you’ve read the web version of the comic or you’re a fan of Arthurian stories, check out the project or spread the word if you can! I have 30 days to reach a goal of $7000 to produce these books - this has been a passion project over a year in the making and I’m super excited to see it go to print. Thank you!!

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♛ Morgan le Fay + quotes {7/ ∞}

“ ‘There! I told Mordred he had nothing to fear!’ Nimue gasps a little as she finds her voice. ‘I told him Morgan would not change. I told him nothing could undo her hate for Arthur.’ 
I, Taliesin, am speechless with amazement. Can Nimue really not feel the truth? Can the night so bewitch, so distort, so deceive her senses? Or do we find each in this story what we want to hear? Morgan the wicked witch, Arthur the noble king. Their tragedy is our misunderstanding.”  

Taliesin’s telling (Morgan le Fay Book Four) - Fay Sampson

Coats of Arms of (some) Knights of the Round Table from a 16th century French manuscript, including most of our favourite Merlin knights.

From left to right:

Galahad, Percival, Lancelot du Lac, Bors

King Arthur, Gawain, Tristan, Lionel

(H)elyan the White, King Bagdemagus, King Edern, King Rience, 

King Carados, King Clariance, Duke Chaliens of Clarence and (H)ector de Maris.

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L a n c e l o t  &  G u i n e v e r e
As she fled fast thro’ sun and shade, the happy winds upon her play’d, blowing the ringlet from the braid. She look’d so lovely, as she sway’d, the rein with dainty finger-tips. A man had given all other bliss, and all his worldly worth for this, to waste his whole heart in one kiss upon her perfect lips.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Queen Igraine & baby Prince Arthur

Then Merlin took the king by the hand, saying, This is your mother. […] And therewith King Arthur took his mother, Queen Igraine, in his arms and kissed her, and either wept upon other. And then the king let make a feast that lasted eight days
— Le Morte d'Arthur

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♛ Morgan le Fay + quotes {6/ ∞}

“Mordred. Morgan’s blood. Anyone can see that with half an eye. He pulls up his horse on the racetrack ahead of the rest and swings neatly down. He smoothed the sweating beast with a whisper, hands the reins to the ready groom, and comes towards me, unhurried but purposeful. He looks pleased with life, but his breathing is steady. You wouldn’t think he had just won a race. A young man under control, with deep reserves of power kept hidden, like a salmon that hangs flickering in the current. An arresting face. Darkly handsome. Morgan might have looked like that if Gorlois had ever sired a son. Black Morgan. Black Mordred. ”

Taliesin’s telling (Morgan le Fay Book Four) - Fay Sampson