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There are many reasons for noble knights to go a-questing.
An original story by Luan Mao
"Roger! You left your bloody gauntlets on the table again!"
"Joseph! Marie told me you held against her husband in the halimoot. If you can't help my sister, then what good are you?"
"Jooohhhhn, where are you? It is time for you to fulfill your marital duties again."
"Arthur! Your drunken hooligan friends have vomited all over the castle again. And all of the serving wenches are with child again!"
Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, sighed. He was High King of All England, but he couldn't get a moment's rest in his own home. Gwenevere had always been a woman of firm opinion. But it was more difficult to tolerate now that her maidenly form had thickened.
The prattling continued. Arthur didn't listen. There was no point. Not long after marriage he had already learned that nothing was ever good enough. And Arthur couldn't even beat her, as was done in years past, because one of his reforms early in his reign was the establishment of basic rights for all persons, male or female, noble or tradesman. Except for the serfs, of course. Serfs were more livestock than persons.
He needed to get away from the complaints. Away from the nagging. Away from discussion of drapes, for Christ's sake! And above all, away from this dumpling of a woman who constantly persued him to fulfill his husbandly duty to her needs.
Arthur needed to get away. He needed a war. Or something.
The next meeting of Arthur's boys' club, er, King and Barons Conference, went much as the earlier meetings had. Peacetime did not sit well with the ladies his men had married. While the knights were off on one war or another their younger brothers or older sons ad watched over their properties and their wives were glad to see them when they returned.
With this dratted peace, however...
"My Liege, have you thought about conquering some more lands? Perhaps to the north. Those Celtic bastards should be easy to kill and their daughters make good wenches once you break them."
"I would rather avoid another war, if I may have my say, your Majesty. My knights have not yet rearmed from the last war, my vassals are half starved, and my tradesmen are squeezed to the bone. I cannot afford to follow you, My Lord."
"Good Knights and True, I have come up with a solution to our problems, proving once again why I am your king. We shall avoid the expense and destruction of a war, and yet get away from our wives and, above all, find new wenches to plunder. We shall embark on a Quest!"
"A Quest, you say?" "Smashing idea!" "But what sort of quest? We have no more ogres to slay, and even if we found one it would not get us away for long."
"No, we cannot quest for something quickly accomplished. A goal that will take years, that's what we need."
"Something vague, where no man, or wife, will be able to say we are not actively looking."
"A thing which no man has ever seen. All we'll have to go on is rumors and old wives' tales."
"And drunken stories told in taverns!"
"But what can be the object of our quest? What object has no man seen and which may be anywhere?"
The door burst open. "Are you drunken louts still here, taking Arthur away from me with your idleness?"
"Honored wife, if you give us but a few moments more, we will complete our plans for a quest which shall keep my liegemen from disturbing your peace for many years."
"A quest, you say? This sounds like more of your foolishness. In Christ's name--"
"Yes! In Christ's name. We seek His... We shall quest to find Christ's chalice, from which He drank at His last supper."
"Indeed, good Queen Gwenevere." Young Sir Rolf was desperate to get away. Whereas most of the barons' and knights' wives had been young and comely and mannerly before marriage, Rolf's had been old, homely, and loud from the start. His father had been made wealthy from the dowry. "I had a vision commanding us to seek it faithfully, no matter how far it may take us or for however many years."
The deeply religious Gwenevere was satisfied by this. Arthur was less so. From the sultry look his wife gave him as she left the room, he suspected she would want to reward him for his efforts in His name. Ah, well, one night of suffering for freedom and wenching for himself and his knights. One dumpling woman for a night, delicious maidens for years.
"My Barons and Knights, I salute you! Let us drink to the success of our Quest for the Holy Tail!"