The traditional view is taken from the legends of King Arthur.
Somehow Mallory overlooked the fact that Arthur waylaid both his half-sisters, and was not in the least confused about who they truly were. Morgause, after all, was the wife of King Lot of the Orkneys, and therefore a personage in her own right. As for Morgaine… ah, that is a long said tale for another day.
Morgaine le Fey was a good friend of mine, and of many other elves, which is why I named my only daughter in her honor. I did not know Morgause well at all but you may rest assured that both sisters had good cause for the enmity they held toward their brother. As did Mordred, the bastard son born to Morgause and Arthur who would later destroy his father’s kingdom.
Supposedly, Arthur was taking a nap and woke from a dreadful dream about the lad and that catastrophe to come. And that is when he saw the Questing Beast drinking from a nearby pool.
Here is a far more accurate depiction of the Beast, which is closer kin to a giraffe than a leopard, snake, or lion. One wonders if earlier artworks were based upon third or fourth-hand accounts of the African wonder, as is the camelopardis.
The man most famous for hunting the Questing Beast was King Pellinore, whose whole family was dedicated to the task.
Pellinore claimed the Questing Beast had been born of a human woman, a princess who lusted after her brother, the prince (reverse the genders involved and it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? ) She proceeded to sleep with a demon who promised he would make the boy love her. When she turned up pregnant as a result, the princess promptly accused her brother of rape.
Interesting how both of the brothers involved in Mallory’s incestuous situations with their sisters end up being “falsely accused” in one way or another.
As for Pellinore’s “innocent” prince, his father had him torn apart by dogs as punishment for his crime. Before the prince died, however, he predicted his sister would give birth to an abomination, and that the monster would make the same sounds as the pack of dogs waiting to kill him.
This is supposed to be the origin of the sound the Questing Beast makes, which originates from its stomach and has been described as resembling that made by a pack of thirty or forty dogs on the hunt. Because of this, the Questing Beast is also known at the Beast Glatisant, which means the Barking Beast.
Tales of the Quest for the Holy Grail, however, describe the Beast in very different terms. In one case, it is pure white in color. It is still a chimera, but smaller than a fox and quite beautiful. The noise from its belly, however, is that made by its unborn offspring, who achieve birth by tearing their mother apart from within.
The truth is worse than this. The youngsters consume their mother, and then set off as a group to pursue and pull down other prey. In Faerie, they would have been schooled by older males even as older bull elephants train young rogues.
In this world, however, few adult males survived the Fall. The Barking Beasts do not truly mature here. They do not part ways with the pack either, and their savagery is remarkable. Their handiwork is now commonly mistaken for the work of werewolves despite the striking differences in the wounds made by their fangs.
If you would defend yourself from even one of them, however, you would be well-advised to rely on cold iron rather than silver bullets.