So Palomides, last seen in Chapter 59 vowing to revenge a total stranger, you remember him, right? Okay. He’s on a new strange adventure, the adventure of revenging the one guy.
He boards the ship the dead guy came in on, and has the sailors aboard take him wherever he’s supposed to go.
“Strange adventure me, boys,” he says.
The sailors exchange glances and nod. Overnight, they take him up the coast to a castle, while he naps. In the morning the sailors wake him up and press a horn into his hands and say “sir knight, ye must arise, for here is a castle there ye must go into.”
“Check,” says Palomides. He leaves the ship and strides up to the castle’s gates, where he blows the horn.
All the knights in this castle (and apparently there’s a lot of them) hear the horn and they come running. When they see Palomides standing outside, they all cheer and welcome him in for a feat with many divers meats.
“Two kinds of pork! Sweet!” says Palomides. Once again, I feel I need to stress that he’s not a very good Muslim, not through any personal defect, but only because Malory knows literally nothing about Islam.
So he’s at this big party, the highlight of any strange adventure, and over the din of cheers and songs he hears someone sniffle.
“Hold on,” he cries, rising to his feet. “Is anybody out there not having a good time? I love not to hear such a sorrow, and fain I would know what it meaneth.”
So he makes his way through the party, until he finds the unhappy person, who turns out to be a knight name of Sir Ebel.
“It’s true: I’m unhappy,” Ebel admits. “My liege lord, King Hermance of the Red City, has died. He was a great guy, way into jousting.”
“Oh, right,” says Palomides. He’d forgotten. “I’m actually here to avenge his death. How did he die, again? Who killed him?”
“It’s a sad story,” says Ebel. Long story short — Malory does love to unpack this kind of backstory — the late Hermance had no biological children, but two adopted sons, Helius and Herlake. His nephews and cousins were resentful that his adopted sons stood to inherit Hermance’s estates, so they feuded with Helius and Herlake. The pair pretty much destroyed the cousins, then, having honed their relative-ruining skills, decided to commit adoptive patricide.
They sent their adoptive father Hermance out hunting, and while he was separated from the rest of his party they ambushed him. The adopted son named Helius mortally wounded him with a spear, and then both he and Herlake wandered off. Ebel found the dying King Hermance and packed him into a ship and wrote him a letter, which is how Palomides came to be there.
“A sad story,” says Palomides. “But I’ll make it right! I’ll take out Helius and Herlake both! What do I need to do?”
Ebel gives Palomides directions to Hermance’s capital city, and Palomides warns him that if he dies, Tristram or Launcelot or someone will show up looking to avenge, so, be on the lookout for that.
Palomides heads off to the Red City, where the adopted sons now rule. Along the way he bumps into a new character.
“Hey! What’re you doing here?” Palomides asks the new knight.
“I’ve come to avenge King Hermance!” says the stranger.
“No way! I call dibs!”
And the two of them joust over the honor. Palomides wins, you’ll be relieved to hear.
Afterwards it turns out this new knigt is Sir Hermind, brother of the late King Hermance and — this is a twist! — cousin of the late Sir Lamorak! Palomides tells Hermind all about how Gawaine and his brothers murdered Lamorak, and Hermind gets really pissed off at the news.