So it’s been twenty years. Alisander is a full-grown man, ready to be knighted alongside twenty of his contemporaries in Ardunel where he’s been slumming around most of his life. Big knighting ceremony, followed by a big jousting tournament, which of course Alisander wins.
Anglides, his mother, comes to him. “Congratulations, my son,” she says.
“Yo momma I’m one fine knight, huh?” Alisander is all excited. “Aren’t I good?”
“Calm down, kiddo,” Anglides says. “I need to lay something heavy on you. You see this tattered and bloodstained doublet I’ve been carrying around in my purse for as long as you can remember?”
“Yeah what’s up with that?”
“This is your father’s shirt, my son!” She holds the bloody shirt aloft, waves it, maybe she sings an aria. “He wore it when that villain, his brother King Mark of Cornwall, stabbed him and murdered him most cruelly!”
“I know, right? Now that you’re a knight, you’ve got to avenge your father’s death!”
“Oh, you bet. Fair mother, you have given me a great charge. I always do whatever you tell me to. I promise to God and to you.”
Meanwhile one of Alisander’s fellow newly-minted knights resents how easily Alisander defeated him and his nineteen friends in that big jousting tournament. This knight rides off to Cornwall and finds King Mark exactly where he was twenty years earlier, preserved as if in amber. Everybody’s the same age as before except Alisander, is what I’m saying.
Anyway, Mark hears about Alisander being alive and planning on killing him, and he does a spit-take because didn’t he send Sir Sadok to kill Anglides and Alisander twenty years ago? So he goes looking for Sir Sadok.
“Hey, you Vulcan jackass,” he says when he finds the guy. “What the hell?”
Sadok folds immediately. “Yeah, I admit it, I did it! I let them live! I was mighty upset with regards to your cowardly murder of his father, and now Alisander will come and punish you for your crimes! I don’t regret it at all!”
Mark has some thugs try to kill Sadok at this point, but Sadok kills them and escapes on horseback, making his way to Sir Dinas’s castle. Apparently Sir Tristram has been at Sir Dinas’s castle for the last twenty years, recuperating from one heck of a battle wound.
Tristram learns about his cousin Alisander being alive, and immediately drafts a letter to the boy, telling him that his first order of knightly business should be to go to Camelot. There he should present himself to Arthur and ask Launcelot to give him some knightliness lessons.
After trying unsuccessfully to assassinate Sir Sadok, Mark conceives of a supervillain team-up. He sends letters to Morgan le Fay, and to Pitiless Bruce, and to a couple of minor villains Malory hasn’t bothered to tell us about before, Malgrin and the Enchantress of Northgalis, suggestion they form some sort of secret society or guild dedicated to villainy and calamitous intent.
Alisander gets Tristram’s letter and sets out for Camelot. He pretty much does whatever anybody tells him to, is the impression I get. He gets lost along the way and finds himself participating in series of jousting tournaments sponsored by Old King Carados. There he defeats a bunch of knights, upwards of twenty, including Sir Safere.
You’ve probably forgotten Sir Safere; he got mentioned once before. He’s Sir Palomides’s brother who isn’t Sir Segwarides. He shows up again in like a dozen chapters, for a little bit.
“This boy Alisander seems promising,” says Morgan le Fay, watching the tournament. “Dumb and agreeable, just how I like them.”