Saturday, October 20, 2007
The Kingdom of Avalon is Here!
Queen Shawna Montgomery has been crowned, founding the Kingdom of Avalon, and becoming the fifth Kingdom in Tiny Empires. Congratulations to the Queen all subjects of Avalon!
According to Geoffrey and much subsequent literature, Avalon is the place where King Arthur was taken after fighting Mordred at the Battle of Camlann. Welsh and Breton tradition claimed that Arthur had never really died, but would return to lead his people against their enemies, but some later writers were less credulous, and said that Arthur had in fact died there. Geoffrey dealt with Avalon again in his Vita Merlini, in which he describes the character Morgan le Fay as the chief of nine sisters who live on Avalon. Morgan remained associated with the island in later literature, as does Arthur's mentor, the Lady of the Lake.
By the 12th century Avalon became associated with Glastonbury Tor, when monks at Glastonbury Abbey claimed to have discovered the bones of Arthur and his queen. Though no longer an island at the time, the high round bulk of Glastonbury Tor had been surrounded by marsh before the surrounding fenland in the Somerset Levels was drained. According to later chroniclers, notably Giraldus Cambrensis, during King Henry II's reign the abbot of Glastonbury, Henry of Blois, commissioned a search of the Tor. At a depth of 5 m (16 feet) the monks discovered a massive oak coffin and an iron cross bearing the description: Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia. ("Here lies King Arthur in the island of Avalon"). In 1278 remains were reburied with great ceremony, attended by King Edward I and his queen, before the High Altar at Glastonbury Abbey, where they were the focus of pilgrimages until the Reformation. However, historians generally dismiss the authenticity of the find, attributing it to a publicity stunt performed to raise funds to repair the Abbey, which was mostly burned down in 1184.