The Story: During the time of Pentecost, the knights and ladies of Arthur’s court are gathered for a feast. As at most of these occasions, the knights regale the court with tales of their exploits. Sir Calogrenant has a story, but he does not want to share it because he is ashamed, but the court refuses to let him stay silent. So he tells his tale.
He was riding through a forest when he came upon a rocky road full of thorns, which he decided to take. After a long ride, he saw a castle in the distance. On the drawbridge stood the lord of this castle, goshawk on wrist, who welcomed the wandering knight. Calogrenant found every luxury provided to a guest during his stay in that castle: his horse was well cared for, the lord and his beautiful daughter provided enjoyable companionship, the meal was delicious, and the bedchamber comfortable.
After he left the castle, he found a field with a herd of bulls being tended by a massive hairy man holding a club. During their conversation, Calogrenant revealed that he was a knight in search of adventure to prove his prowess and courage. The man told the knight of a nearby fountain which boils, even though it feels cold to the touch. Beside the fountain was a tree and beside the tree a stone with a basin attached to it. The man simply told Calogrenant to use the basin to pour water over the stone and wait to see what happened.
Calogrenant wasted no time in locating the fountain. The basin was made of the finest gold, and the stone was an emerald adorned with four rubies. In his eagerness, he poured an entire basin of water on the stone, an act he would soon regret. Immediately, the skies darkened and opened to pummel the area with snow, rain, and hail. Lightning flashed all around. Calogrenant feared for his life as trees crashed down around him. The tempest soon stilled, yet Calogrenant was not fully safe. He heard the sound of another knight approaching in haste and anger.
The knight chastised Calogrenant for causing the storm that brought about such destruction. They immediately joined together in combat, but it did not last long as Calogrenant was quickly knocked from his saddle. Lying on his back on the ground, he watched the other knight depart, leading Calogrenant’s horse away.
After resting and considering what to do next, Calogrenant stood, removed his armor so he could travel more easily (Armor is heavy! There’s a reason knights rode horses!), and made his way on foot back to the castle he had stayed at before this misadventure. The host and his daughter were delighted to see him and were amazed he had survived his encounter as they had never before known a knight to escape death at the fountain. Even so, Calogrenant felt shame for what had happened and only reluctantly told the story to Arthur’s court.
Rather than feel Calogrenant deserves shame, Arthur vows to go to the fountain himself with his knights to see the marvel and seek vengeance for one of their own. But Yvain is not happy to hear Arthur’s pronouncement. Yvain is Calogrenant’s cousin and wants to seek vengeance (and ultimately glory) all on his own. So he sneaks away in the middle of the night so he can be the first to arrive at the fountain.