- "These are dark times in the land of Bretonnia. Our kingdom is without a King while many enemies assault our noble realm from within and without. The Orcs are massing in the Grey Mountains, hideous monsters stalk the land, and our kingdom seems set to tear itself apart from the inside. Duke Maldred claims to possess the Grail and the Fay Enchantress is lost to us. Only faith in the Lady can help us now."
- —The Affair of the False Grail.
King Jules the Just had met an untimely end against a Chaos Champion he challenged on the beaches of northern Bretonnia. Needless to say, his opponent also fell, mortally wounded by Jules' lance.
The King's death left Bretonnia without a King. With no male heir, it was determined by Jules' only daughter, La Belle Isoulde, that the crown would go to the Knight who could find and slay the dreaded Jabberwock. Many years passed; Bretonnia's enemies grew stronger; and no Knights returned.
In the year 1319 (2297 IC), Duke Maldred of Mousillon claimed to have taken the Lady of the Lake as his wife. He and his consort, Malfleur, appeared with a shining cup, which they said was the Grail, and many knights who felt unfairly treated flocked to their banner. Secretly, he had captured the only being who could truly challenge his tale, the Fay Enchantress. The Enchantress was locked within the Donjon of Dol, and guarded by a ferocious monster summoned by Malfleur.
With the Fay Enchantress captured, Maldred proclaimed a Tournament at which the false grail was displayed. Malfleur's convincing display of magic so impressed the knights gathered there, that many believed the grail was genuine. Soon rumours began to spread that the Lady had indeed favoured Maldred and that it was fitting for him to assume kingship.
During this dark time, not all Knights roaming the lands of Bretonnia followed the sacred codes of chivalry and honour. Some Knights perpetuated Duke Maldred's charade by preventing honourable knights from finding the true Grail or the Fay Enchantress. Other corrupt Paladins hunted down, captured, and imprisoned those Damsels of the Lady that knew too much or openly spoke out against the Duke of Mousillon and his desire to usurp the throne of Bretonnia.
The Grail Knights and for that matter, La Belle Isoulde were incensed with rage. The Grail Knights knew that Maldred's grail was false. Honour forbade them from taking up arms against Maldred without the backing of the Enchantress, although many Grail Knights would have dearly loved to challenge him to mortal combat. Some set out to find the Fay Enchantress, but without success. She was secretly imprisoned within the Donjon of Dol. Without her backing, it was difficult for the Grail Knights to denounce Maldred for dishonour and declare war on him.
At this point fate, or perhaps the Lady of the Lake, played a hand in events. One of the knights on the quest for the Jabberwock, Gaston de Geste, discovered the Donjon of Dol, slew its monstrous jailer and rescued the Fay Enchantress from her prison. As a reward for his heroism, Gaston was allowed to sup from the true Grail, and became the new King of Bretonnia.
As Maldred rode to Gisoreux to claim the crown, he was met by the army of the King. Maldred held aloft the grail, asking who dared to stand against its bearer. The release of the Fay Enchantress had sealed Maldred's fate however. Gaston had safely conducted the Fay Enchantress to the Grail Knights encamped not far from Mousillon. Maldred was forthwith declared a malefactor before the whole land and stripped of his honour and dukedom. War was to be declared against Maldred if he did not surrender and accept banishment.[1a]
Maldred answered with defiance, hoping the issue would remain confused as long as he had the false grail. All the knights of Bretonnia however, put their faith in the Fay Enchantress and the Grail knights, who denounced him. Whilst the opposing army stood silent, the Green Knight emerged from the forest, and turned to challenge the Duke. At that moment, all saw the Lady of the Lake standing beside the King, the true Grail in her hand. The fake was revealed for the tawdry thing it was, and Maldred's followers deserted him en masse. The Duke fled back to his castle, but the King deprived him of both title and noble status.[1a]
Soon a vast army was encamped around Mousillon. Unfortunately, Maldred was able to provide food supplies brought in by the sea. The siege continued for three years, creating conditions within the city favoured by the Red Pox which invariably struck. Maldred and Malfleur, despite shutting themselves up within their castle, shared the same fate as the majority of the wretched inhabitants of Mousillon and perished in the plague. The King declared the city and its environs a wasteland, to be redeemed by Errantry. Since that time, there has been no Duke of Mousillon.[1a]
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Knights of the Grail
- 1a: pg. 20
- 2: Affair of the False Grail (Archived)
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (5th Edition)