Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chapter 108

How, when Arcalaus the Sorcerer knew the armies were preparing to fight, as fast as possible he sent for King Arabigo and his men. 

[Fourteenth-century illustration of the third Battle of Homs, 1299, in Fleur des Histoires d'Orient by Hayton of Corycus.]

Arcalaus the Sorcerer had alerted King Arabigo and Barsinan, lord of Sansuena, and the King of Deep Island, who had escaped from the Battle of the Seven Kings, and all the relatives of Dardan the Arrogant. And when he learned that troops were joining the men of King Lisuarte and Amadis, he hastily sent a knight from his family named Garin, son of Grumen, whom Amadis had killed when Grumen, three other knights, and Arcalaus the Sorcerer kidnaped Oriana, as the first book of this story recounts. And he ordered Garin not to rest day or night until he had notified all those kings and knights and told them to come in a hurry. He remained in his castles calling on his friends and members of Dardan’s lineage, gathering as many men as he could.

Garin reached King Arabigo, finding him in his great city named Arabiga, the capital of his entire kingdom, which from its name all the kings there called themselves Arabigo because their reign included a great part of the land of Arabia. He told him everything Arcalaus wanted him to know, and all the others who had their men on alert, and when they learned this news, immediately and without delay they called up the troops, and they all came, one after another, and they met near a very fine town in the domain of Sansuena named Califan. They set up their tents in the fields and numbered almost 12,000 knights. And there they brought together all their fleet, which was astonishingly big and with fine sailors, and loaded it with all of the provisions that they could get, for they were going to a foreign kingdom. And with great pleasure and favorable weather they went out to sea and in eight days arrived at a port in Great Britain in a place where Arcalaus had a mighty castle with the seaport.

Arcalaus had with him 600 very fine knights, most of them fugitives who despised King Lisuarte and Amadis because they had pursued and killed many of their relatives who were wrongdoers.

When that fleet arrived at port, it cannot be told to you the great pleasure that they had with each other, and as they knew from Arcalaus’s spies that the armies of King Lisuarte and Amadis were already marching toward each other, and the roads they were taking, they immediately moved out with all their men. In the lead was Barsinan, a young and hardy knight very eager to avenge the deaths of his father and his brother Gandalot and show the burning strength of his heart, with 2,000 knights and some archers and crossbow men.

Arcalaus led the second column, and ye may believe that in courage and valor he was no less than Barsinan; indeed, although he had lost half his right hand, a better or more valiant knight at arms than him would be hard to find in many lands, except that his dark arts and lies erased all the praise that his courage had won. He led 600 knights, and King Arabigo gave him 2,400 of his men.

The third column was taken by King Arabigo and by the King of Deep Island with all the remaining men, and they brought with them six knights from the family of Brontaxar d’Anfania, whom Amadis had killed in the Battle of the Seven Kings when he wore a golden helmet, as the third book of the story recounts. Brontaxar d’Anfania had been as valiant as his body was strong, and the seven Kings had hoped to win with his help, and truly, they would have if Amadis had not seen the great damage Brontaxar was doing to King Lisuarte’s men, which, if the battle would have lasted long, would have been enough to give the honor of victory to the side of the seven Kings. So Amadis went for him and with a single blow cut him down, and he fell to the ground, where he died.

The six knights of whom I am speaking came from Centaur Island, where it is said that the centaurs had their first home, and they were as grand in body and strength as them, for they were the direct descendants of the greatest and bravest giants that the world ever had. When they learned that this great battle was being arranged, they wished to be in it so they could avenge Brontaxar’s death, who was the foremost man of their lineage, and to test themselves against those knights whose great fame they had heard of. And for this reason they came to King Arabigo, who was very pleased with them and urged them to join his battalion, which they did against their will because they would have preferred to be sent to the vanguard.

And in the meantime there arrived the Duke of Bristol, who, although he had been summoned by Arcalaus, had not ventured to show himself, believing that what Arcalaus had told him was of slight importance, but when he saw how many men had come together there, he considered it to his advantage to join them because he might be able to avenge the death of his father, who was killed by Sir Galvanes and Agrajes with Olivas, as the first book of the story recounts, and to recover the land that King Lisuarte had taken from him, claiming that his father had died as a traitor. He believed that if the battle went badly for King Lisuarte, he would be able to get his land restored, and if it went badly for Amadis, he could take revenge on those who had done him so much harm.

And when he arrived and King Arabigo and all the other lords saw him and were told who he was, they were very pleased with him, and his arrival gave them courage because they considered him and the men he brought more important, because he was a native of those lands and had some towns and castles in it, than someone who was a foreigner but who brought many more men. The Duke and his men and 500 knights that King Arabigo gave him were made reserve troops.

And with the army arranged in columns as ye hear, they left down a side road, setting the best guards they could, and agreeing to locate themselves in a place where they would be safe and from which they could attack when it was time to strike their enemies.


No comments:

Post a Comment