|Apocalypse, Normandy ca. 1320-1330, BL, Add 17333, fol. 8r|
According to the famed traveler, the monks were working on a great project, the completion of which would restore universal peace and harmony to the world. The peasants, though greatly inconvenienced by the arbitrary abductions of the monks, seemed to agree that the project was praiseworthy. Yet they did not help the monks, for that would defeat their aims and spoil the scheme.
A later commentator, drawing on sources I cannot fully trace, names the monks as the Monks of Babel, and explains their strange behavior thusly:
- The Tower of Babel was made of bricks joined by tar. Bricks are worked separately and drawn together; tar is manifest corruption. Its antithesis must be made of air, which requires no working and no mortar.
- The Tower of Babel was created by people working together. Its antithesis must be made separately, or not made at all.
- The Tower of Babel rose towards heaven. Its antithesis must descend into the earth.
- The Tower of Babel was a vainglorious project. Its antithesis must carry no honour or prestige.
And that is why your replacement character is in the dungeon.
|Ormesby Psalter, England c. 1300, Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 366, fol. 109r|
Tales of "flying snails" are to be treated with deep suspicion.
The alternative explanation, that giant snails once infested Europe and terrorized the locals, has been carefully refuted. No giant snail shells have been found, and the gnawed bones in certain graves can be attributed to famine, toothless wolves, or flowing water.
|Saturn Devours His Children|
Boccaccio, Des Cas des nobles hommes et femmes, Lyon c. 1435-1440, BnF, Français 229, fol. 7v
|Book of Hours, Arras ca. 1296-1311, Cambrai, BM, ms. 87, fol. 138r|
|Macclesfield Psalter, England ca. 1330-1340, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 1-2005, fol. 68r|
What became of the ray, and the charlatan, is not recorded.
|‘Hours of Joanna the Mad’, Bruges 1486-1506, BL, Add 18852, fol. 299r|