Brocéliande

Theme / Video Game Links.

Broceliande is the green and wild heart of Europe. It is the place of druids, magicians, enchanted forests, goblins and elves.
Nothing Roman or Greek in the tall trees of the ancient forest.
No, we are in the Celts.
We are at Morgana’s and Merlin’s land.
We are in the domains of those who believe in the spirits of the forest, in the Lady of the Lake, in the magic of mistletoe.

Without wanting to bore you by dint of cocoriquer my country, the forest of Brocéliande really exists – in Brittany – not Brittany on the other side of the sea, no, the real Brittany which ends on the bloody rocks of Ouessant, where boats break so often. The legends of Broceliande are made of huge trees, ferns, rain and water, and still have the salty and violent taste of the Ocean that cut the shores of Brittany in two.

If you go East, and if you remember that France was originally a huge forest, you will find near Orléans the forest of the Carnutes, which remained for centuries a high place of worship of the Druids. And if you go to Paris, please, enter the Père Lachaise cemetery – you will see that they still live, the magic of Broceliande, and that the gods of the Great Trees, the goddesses of Water are still there, active and discreet, between these so ancient tombs.

cocoriquer is a word that doesn’t exist in French and that I can’t translate for you – it would more or less mean to imitate the crow of the rooster – and as it amuses me, well… I invent it and keep it.

It is from Broceliande that the most beautiful stories of the Middle Ages will be born. You know it – or maybe not – but in the Middle Ages, there was no author clinging to its history and its “copyright”. For centuries, everyone contributed their own little stone to the edifice, their own version of history – and the stories, as they travelled from Great Britain to Wonderful Little Brittany, became richer, more complex and more diverse.
It took the genius of these storytellers to combine Viviane’s spells with the quest for the Holy Grail.

It took the freedom of these poets to tell the story of the Dragon’s son, Arthur Pendragon – who alone managed to free Excalibur.
They were Christians – but not only.

Roland had Joyeuse by his side. For each Knight, the sword was so much more than an object: it was his armed soul. It was the one through which justice would be done.

– I don’t like to play Skyrim for nothing, it’s from my point of view, a new version of those precious tales from Broceliande. And to be able to become, for the time of a game, me too, “the son of the dragon“, and me too “speak the draconic language” – but what a dream, what a pleasure! What a thank you to these game developers!

How many games do they owe Morgana, Viviane and Merlin their magic? Their spells? their potions?
All those who use magic, spells and potions – I don’t even count them anymore, there are too many, games, which come directly from the big trees of the Great Forest.
And Puck? the mischievous demon? he too has modernized and is now in the guise of dwarves, demons, little trolls.

So designing Altair without paying homage to Broceliande would be a pure nonsense.

You will tell me that there are no shows associated with Broceliande – as if this great world of Celtic spirituality had died to the other culture, the live performance culture. This is not entirely false – but it is not entirely true either.

I don’t know enough about Anglo-Saxon literature – but I certainly won’t have to search long to find more than Shakespeare to pay homage to the deities of the Forest.
I know the French texts better, and I have a lot of great texts on the theme – they are forgotten under tons of dust, it’s true – but they exist. And what’s more, they are often funny.
There is plays. Very old-fashioned Circus Shows.
There are comedies. Short comedies – and that’s good because I’ll need short comedies to excess, to be able to properly manage Altair’s virtual activities.
There are poems – and yes Marie de France is one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages and yes, her blood and ink are full of the fairies of Broceliande.

On this point again, I can only be astonished to realize that no one is exploiting this gold mine there, which is so rich, which is plundered by all the creators of games. In the world of the performing arts? well, they don’t know. They will know – and the link will be as wonderful as a walk at dusk, when the fog sets in on the paths, in the little roads of Broceliande – and you are no longer in the 21st century. You are in the time of magicians, druids, elves and will-o’-the-wisps.

I don’t even wonder how old the audience will be. All their games are kneaded with Broceliande.

And if you ever love Broceliande and its magic, it is not me that you should read, but the incredible articles that you will find on the site: Bonjour from Brittany – which is really, really, an excellent site, an inexhaustible source where you will see how the legends and the paths of Brittany are definitively linked.

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Featured Image & all pictures: from Les Celtiques / Celtic Tales – by Hugo Pratt

8 Thoughts

  1. What a most enjoyable read – you really captured the imagination! It is interesting that the Arthurian world has featured in computer games since the earliest cassette-loaded games and every few years, someone produces a new movie but apart from Camelot, I am unaware of any stage productions. There must surely have been some? Even if only shows that tried to cash-in on the Arthurian vogue of Tennyson and the pre-Raphaelites?
    And you can imagine my surprise to see your generous “shout-out” at the end 😉 Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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