THE NAME OF THE HAWK
VOL. 1 – THE HOLY GRAAL
I am the man Morah.
I am also the man Morogh.
And the man Mhoireach.
Moray. Muiredach. Muireb. Moreb. Muireadhaigh.
It is all the same name and the same man.
If I were among the Australians it would be Muzza.
If you have been following my tale you know I speak of mysteries and legends and myths that are not myths but truths.
How Lancelot came to have twin sons born to him but that he only knew of the one named Galahad, for the other was spirited away and raised in secret by the midwife, aye, and that is the one we know as Hawk.
I have told you how Galahad and Hawk, having no idea they were brothers, both sought the True Cross and came to blows in Jerusalem over it, clashing as violently and bloodily as two bitter enemies.
If you have sat at my hearth and taken warmth from my fire and from my food, you know how the two came to battle all manner of evil in their pursuit of the Cross, and fought that evil side-by-side, brother alongside brother, until – by the grace of Almighty God – they overcame the wickedness as fellow warriors and friends.
You know that the brothers brought the Cross and its power back into the world of women and men. And then made their way from the Holy Land to Camelot and Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They traversed many worlds in their journey. And the arrival at Camelot altered Hawk’s life forever. Do you remember? And do you remember the Grail? The Cup of Christ that I prefer to set down in its oldest spelling as Graal? Do you remember Merlin? And the sword they gave Hawk? And his new name?
Or should I refresh your memory before we take you on the road to all heaven and all hell, the road the two brothers had to ride to save the world from death and darkness a second time?
Let me pour you nourishment from my bottomless flagon. Let me slice you bread from my own wheatfields. Let me offer you honey and butter. And let me speak.
For I am the man Morah and Morogh and Mhoireach and it is what heaven has called me to be and to do.
* * * *
From Jerusalem they made their way to Damascus. And from Damascus the brothers, Galahad and Hawk, and Hawk’s lady Skaytha and her three female guardians, and Galahad’s men, made their way to Palmyra, and from Palmyra to Antioch, to Nicaea, to Constantinople. From that great city, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, they crossed into the Balkan province of Thrace, and from Thrace traveled beyond Illyricum, and into the Ostrogoth Kingdom, a land ruled by a German tribe that had conquered Italy and embraced Arianism. This was a faith that taught Christ was not divine but simply a good being created by God, and that there was no such thing as the Trinity. Such conversations as the nine travelers had with soldiers and rulers reflected this faith, and it was the faith of the Burgundian Kingdom in Gaul as well, and the German rulers of Lyons and Geneva. But it was never the faith of the people that the German tribes had conquered – they remained loyal to the Bishop of Rome.
Traversing the Kingdom of the Franks it was a different story. Here the Franks had converted to the faith of Christ centered in Rome so there was no division between themselves and the people they ruled. From Rheims to Paris to Rouen the nine riders found conversation easier for all shared the same faith in a crucified and risen God named Jesus Christ.
“What a difference between the Franks and the Ostrogoths,” said Skaytha as they rode. “A great deal of good broke apart when the Roman Empire in the West fell to the barbarians.”
“Yet the true faith is not utterly lost,” responded Galahad, “and the restoration of the Cross will make a difference to its renewal. One day faith in Christ will triumph in all the lands here and among the German tribes as well.”
“Yet the fight is harder in our own country.” Hawk glanced at both of them. “Is it not? Pictish, Irish, and Anglo-Saxon raiders have plundered the towns and villages and laid waste to the trade routes. Now their tribes are flooding Britannia and the Romans have gone. The Latin is gone too, and the libraries, and the faith in Christ stands diminished. What will the years ahead bring?”
“Resurgence, brother,” Galahad replied. “A fresh vitality. Don’t lose heart. The Cross will bless our land just as it will bless all the kingdoms we have passed through regardless of who rules them now and what they believe.”
“But what about the lands closest to Jerusalem? What about Arabia and the Persian Empire? When I was in Makkah I saw a black stone that the people worship and the stone troubled my spirit.”
Galahad was silent a moment. “Merlin has spoken of this stone. I cannot share everything he said. He may tell you himself now that he knows you exist. I will only say that the battle will be intense and there will be loss and confusion and the shedding of blood. But over the centuries the Cross will always be regained, always restored to the world, and always have the power to make the hearts of men and women new. Christ shall reign forever and ever.”