Agravain de Beau Quest
His quest was immortalised in the famous ballad La Chanson de Chaellotte, itself adpated from the earlier La Damoiselle de Challotte. [1a]
Agravain was raised in the castle of Beaumarchais in Quenelles. While his father, the Baron was on a campaign against the Skaven, the young knight remained in the castle for the protection of his mother and his sister Isabelle. [1a]
During the campaign Agravain's father was slain at the Battle of Malmerre,[1n] leaving the castle and its lands without a leader. Tormented by grief, Agravain's mother died only a few days later and was laid to rest with husbands shield, the only thing her husbands retainers had recovered. [1b]
Since only a full Knight of the Realm could be Baron, Agravain could not inherit the legacy, instead having to face a task of his sister's choosing. His sister however was in love with a former shepherd Jaques de Beaumarchais who had killed orcs whilst defending his flock and had been persuaded by Isabelle and the other peasents to prove himself worthy of the domain. [1b]
Agravain had to compete with this young knight for his birthright. Horrified and disheartened, he finally accepted his sister's decision. The Dragon known as Drogo Le Mal, had to be slain and his head returned to Isabelle...and only one of the two knights could claim this heroic deed amd the domain. [1c]
On the same day the two knight-errants set off. Agravain chose a route that led him to Dinan, a village recently devastated by the dragon, amongst the destruction he discovered a clue as to where its cave was located. He discovered the dragon's lair, but Jacques had also reached the cave and stood before the entrance. Both knights greeted each other as both allies and rivals, agreeing to stirke when they wish and let the Lady decide who would stike the mortal blow. [1c]
Suddenly Drogo broke out of the mist, both knights spurred their horses and lowered their lances to attack surprising the creature. Agravain rammed the lance into the throat of the great monster, but Jacques managed to pierce Drogo's heart, who then sank to the ground. Honour bound as a knight, Agravain recognized the victory of his rival. Jaques however felt the same way about Agravain and they agreed to fight to decide who was most worthy when they returned home. [1d]
Isabelle welcomed the two heroes back to the city. As both knights were of the opinion that their rival had killed the dragon, both would have had to resolve the dispute in a deadly battle. The shocked Isabelle, however, used her right as lady of the land and declared her lover Jacques the winner, who later married her and became the new Baron of the city. Agravain accepted his defeat chivalrously but with great sadness. [1d]
With Jacques he was knighted in the Grail chapel of Beaumarchais, declaring his loyalty to the new lord of the domain but Jaques immediately released him, suggesting that he ride to Couronne and serve the king and hence recieve his own lands. [1d]
Agravain however delcared that he would instead become a Questing Knight: It is clear what I must do. I hereby declare myself pledged to the grail quest. I swear devotion to the Lady of the Lake. Unto death will I serve her and her alone. Wherever she bids me go, I shall go! [1d]
The population of the city took this decision with enthusiasm for it would bring the favour of the Lady, and Isabelle named him as Agravain de Beau Quest. In the coming night, he received a vision, in which a gorgeous woman cast a golden chalice into a river. [1d]
Inspired by the vision, Agravain set off for the famed Tornament of Quenelles. The court jester Jasper de Mal Jeste and the bard Blondel accompanied him to write down the adventures of their master and look after his horse. [1e]
Agravain entered the great city of Quenelles moving through the bustling streets as the city was in the midst of a festival to celebrate the tournament. The great prize of the tournament was revealed to be a richly ornamented chalice, the mystical Chalice of Chanterelle, said by some to be both ancient and of Elvish origin. [1e]
The tournament did not take place as expected as Wood Elves from the forest of Athel Loren, the Kindred of the Willows appeared and asked to compete for the prizes as they claimed they rightfully belonged to them. [1e]
The Duke of Quenelles had it announced that the Elves could join the tourney but that it would be a straight contest between the Bretonnians and the Elves rather than the usual jousting between the individual knights. Having heard of his valour and noblity, the Duke announced that Agravain would join and indeed head the list! [1f]
The Elves further raised the stakes, stating that they had pledged to fight to the death to recover the challace and challenged the Bretonnians to do the same - which they of course accepted. [1f]
As was customary, Lady Melisande, the Duke's daughter gave favors - parts of her clothing to the valiant knights. Agravain was the last one and by this time, she was running out of clothers so unwilling to embarrass her further he declined a favour. However Melisande took out her stiletto from her remaining garter, cut a curl from her hair and gave it as a gift, hoping Agravain would survive. [1f]
The tournament began, and the the Wood Elves proved worthy opponents, before Agravain two knights lost their lives. But the skilled knight was superior to his own opponents and proved victorious. Meanwhile, however, the Elves had started an attack on the prize tents, unnoticed by the distracted tournament members, they overwhelmed the guards and stole the tournament prizes. By the time news reached the knights it was too late. [1g]
In the evening, while the high-ranking knights counseled what was to be done, Agravain retreated to the Grail Chapel of Quenelles by the River Brienne. All night long he waited for another vision, but in vain, however the next morning he awoke early and went down to the banks of the river. As he bent down to the water, Agravain looked up and saw a small boat with a beautiful young red-haired woman who seemed to saying Rescue me!. [1h]
When he went back to the Grail Chapel there was a crowd of people including Grail Damsels, their servants, pilgrims and knights. The Duke of Quenelles had decided to send a pilgrimage into the forest of Athel Loren to reclaim the lost Chalice. Lady Eleanor de Quenelles, the Grail Damsel of the Chapel asked him would he not join them on their pilgrimage. [1h] However, Agravain declared he must first find his two retainers. [1i]
Facing the Elves
Agravain looked for his bard Blondel, whom he finally found drunk in a gutter and ordered him to sing the Damoiselle de Challotte. The ballad was about the lady Chanterelle, who was ambushed by Wood Elves and her companions were killed, except for a single bard, who composed the song whilst Chanterelle was never seen again. Now Agravain was sure: he was supposed to save the lady. [1i]
Along with some of the other knights who had missed the departure of the pilgrims, he set off for the forest of Loren. In the meantime the pilgrims had been attacked by the spirits of the forest led by the Treeman Gwercus [1i] and had probably only survived thanks to Eleanor's healing. The losses were numerous, but the reinforcements which they had now received allowed them to push further on in a re-organised column. Together they continued the journey. [1j]
Baron Aloys de Montjoie, leader of the pilgrimage and a mighty Grail Knight, placed himself in service to Agravain, realising the young knight had a destiny to achieve, the eyes of The Lady were upon him.
When they had to camp overnight, Agravain again had a vision. He saw the woman of his previous dreams in the boat. She threw the chalice and her jewelery into the river, and afterwards drank a small vial. She lay down, closed her eyes, and died. Elves came cautiously and saw the dead woman. They enveloped her with leaves and carried her gently back to the Grail chapel where they laid her body down. Then they closed the entrance, and soon there was no sign of the chapel. He woke up worried and confused. Was she dead? Or only in a deep sleep? Would he still be able to save her? [1k]
The army moved on. Before the island of Challotte, where the Grail chapel stood, they encountered the Wood Elves, their leader was known as Athelwyn. Agravain told them that they only wished to restore the chapel and have pilgrims come and go safely but Athelwyn tried to explain to the Bretonnians that the great Tree of the Shields had overgrown the ruins of the chapel and that this was now a holy place for the elves. [1l]
Then he took the chalice of Chanterelle out of his pocket and threw it at the bretons. It landed in the swamp and sank before the eyes of both armies, telling them to take it and leave. Agravain saw the tree and saw countless shields of Questing Knights who had died there. Their shields were hung as a sign of warning and as trophies. Agravain tried to control his rage, but in his fury he declared that the Lady would determine his fate and battle soon commenced. [1l]
Aloys de Montjoie fought aside his five Grail Knight companions at the center of the battle, Agravain rode over the flank with the other Questing Knights and Eleanor.. They reached the island and carried out a successful attack against the elves defending it. Left alone was a deadly wood Elf Prince, Gyferth, after a fearsome duel Agravain was able to cast his opponent down. The battle was costly and very bloody, but finally, after Aloys had slain Athelwyn and sacrificed himself to the Elf Lords Highborn bodyguard, the elves turned to escape, incapable of defeating the Bretonnians. Reluctantly, Agravain pulled the helmet from his head and looked at a silver arrow stuck to his helmet. The lock of Melisande, which he still wore, had saved his life.
The tree of the shields was torn down and revealed the ruins of the Grail chapel. Along with Eleanor, Agravain stepped down into the debris of the chapel. Suddenly a ghostly creature appeared before them: the beautiful woman from Gravain's visions. He and his companion and fell to their knees. She handed Agravain the Grail, which looked like the chalice of the chanterelle. He drank. He felt like reborn, stronger than ever before. He was no longer a mere mortal. He was a Grail Knight.
Agravain looked over at Eleanor, who witnessed the fulfillment of his Quest. And only then did he realize that she seemed so much like the young woman from his visions, Chanterelle, It was as if she the living image of this woman of myth. By the victory in the battle, the Challotte chapel was finally made accessible again. Eleanor, also inspired by the ghostly appearance in the ruins of the chapel, decided to become the Damsel of this sacred place. Gravain de Beau Quest became her only, devoted protector.
In the meantime, Blondel had written the adventures of his master. He christened the ballad "Chanson de Challotte". Agravain released him of his commitments, so that the bard could travel through all of Bretonnia to report on the exploits of Agravain. The song would became legendary in the courts of Bretonnia, a symbol of knightly perfection.
Weapons and Abilities
Agravain was a deadly warrior, capable of slaying a Dragon and a Wood Elf Prince while still a regular human.
- 5th Edition: Tourney: Barded Warhorse, Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Sword. Questing Virtue, Virtue of Discipline. [1m]
The "Tress of Melisande" was gifted to Agravain at the Grand Tourny. A mystical favor, it was able to disregard the first attack any opponent made against him.
- 1: Perilous Quest
- 1a: The Perilous Quest, pg. 3
- 1b: The Perilous Quest, pg. 4
- 1c: The Perilous Quest, pg. 5
- 1d: The Perilous Quest, pg. 7
- 1e: The Perilous Quest, pg. 8
- 1f: Scenario I: The Tourney, pg. 9
- 1g: Scenario II: The Battle of the Tents, pg. 11
- 1h: Scenario III: The Perilous Pilgrimage, pg. 14
- 1i: Scenario III: The Perilous Pilgrimage, pg. 15
- 1j: Scenario IV: The Perilous Pilgrimage, pg. 17
- 1k: Scenario IV: The Perilous Pilgrimage, pg. 18
- 1l: Scenario IV: The Perilous Pilgrimage, pg. 19
- 1m: Appendix I, pg. 22
- 1n: Scenario I: Battle Scroll