The Great Pendragon
The Legend of the Green Knight
The Legend of The Green Knight
An Oral History of the legend of Newton Tony
The stewardship of the area now known as Newton Tony is one which could be traced back to prior to the roman occupation of the British isles and as long as there has been a steward, or in current days, the Lord of Newton Tony, there has been the legend of the Green Knight , a story which has been passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, uncle to nephew and will continue to for as long as the land is in danger.
Though some Pagan’s and most Christian’s would no doubt condemn or even look down upon the story and how the stewards of Newton Tony view the tale, this has not stopped the story, though has perhaps restricted how often it is spoken of outside of the family.
The legend goes that once, long long ago, a forefather of the family, simply the strongest man in the village, earned a reputation as one who’s strike could shatter stone. Though he could have used this strength to rule the primitive hovel with an iron fist as a warlord, he was content to work his fields and use his mighty strength both to work his tools and protect his neighbours from others who would take what they hadn’t earned from the hardworking folk of the land.
Sadly, all of his strength was for naught. One day, a roving band of brigands appeared, marching from farm and hamlet alike, taking whatever they wished and slaying whoever they wished. Hefting his great hammer, the protector of the village walked out to meet them, to show them that this was a place where they would not be welcome. Despite the nobility of his spirit, the cruel brigands would not heed his peaceful request and fought him. Though he battled with ferocity and strength, their blows became too much for him to handle and he was left, bleeding and dying on the cruel ground.
As he breathed his last breath, his dying eyes spied something that he could barely comprehend. A glowing green light, shaped like a man and peering down at him questioningly.
“What..What are you?” The fallen defender asked as his blood trickled into the soil, merging with the earth of the land.
“I am a spirit of spring, of battle and life…why do you die?” It asked without voice.
“For I tried to stand up, to protect my neighbours and loved ones” The dying warrior replied. The spirit seemed to ponder this before asking.
“And what would you do? If you could get back up, be healthy again? Would you run?” The protector laughed a long gurgling sound.
“I would get right back up and fight them again, even knowing I would die, for it would be the right thing to do, and a death protecting someone is a death a man can be proud of” The spirit laughed and reached down, placing it’s hand within the dying man’s chest.
“Then rise again and again, man who gives his life so readily, for now I will fight beside you, and though we will die, we will continue to rise to give our life when needed for as long as it is needed.” With that, the spirit flowed into the strong protector, giving life to his heart, strength to his arms and healing his wounds, his skin turning a brilliant shade of emerald. And Rise again he did, he raced after the brigands and slew them all, any mortal wound he was dealt, only serving to strengthen his resolve, until his home was safe once again.
As the villagers who had once been his neighbours looked on, only one had the bravery to step closer to the glowing green warrior. His young son, recognising his father, stepped forward with a smile.
Within him, the warrior asked the spirit. “I cannot stay here, what will become of my son?”
“He will grow into a man like his father, and if his spirit is true, and noble, then he will join with us, his strength and all those who come after will be added to our own so that we may be a champion that can protect this land against those that cannot be seen or cannot be fought. “
Taking his child by the hand, the warrior took his young to the protectors own father and explained what had happened, asking him to raise his son to be a good man as he had been raised and, though sad, the protector’s father nodded, taking his grandchild to look after him. With that, the Green Warrior disappeared, taken with the spirit back to it’s home realm, to fight the foes which couldn’t be seen or fought by mortal eyes or arms.
Today, the story of the Green Knight is well known to all of Newton Tony, though only the nobility and it’s family in the area know of it’s truth and believe in it anymore, and not even all of them think of it as more than a story. Those who believe though, know that if they have led a noble and virtuous life, if the spirits of the Green Knight judge them worthy then they will be taken into the form of their forefather, much changed with the addition of countless knights before, to become one with the Green Knight and fight to protect those that need them. If they have been as noble as they can, then it is said that the last thing they see is the knight reaching out his green hand for them, to take them with him…but if they haven’t, if they succumbed to cruelty and malice, of dishonour and cowardice, then the knight is there, armed and cowled, and in their dying moments they die again at his blade, cast down into a pit of death and despair forever.