Duke of the South Marches

   At the beginning of his adventures in the Quest of the Triple Goddess, Marhaus travels with his damosel a long distance coming to a deep forest as nighttime arrives. Finding a small court, they are refused lodging, but the man takes them to a nearby fair castle of a mighty duke. Marhaus is led before the duke who requests to know who Marhaus is and from whence he came. Marhaus states that he is a knight of the Round Table named Marhaus and born in Ireland.
   The Duke of the South Marches is an enemy of Arthur. As a proper host, he will provide welcome lodging to Marhaus for that night but in the morning, Marhaus would have to meet him and his six sons in combat. Marhaus discovers in trying to seek a remedy that the Duke blames Sir Gawaine for the death of his seventh son and will be revenged on all knights and men of Arthur's. In the morning, Marhaus meets the duke and his sons in battle. In the first encounters, Marhaus allows the duke and his sons to encounter and brake their spears on his shield but he touches them not with his. But then Marhaus attacked them in turn, felling them in turn. Having done so, he alights from his horse and bids the duke yield or die. Several of the sons recover and wish to attack Marhaus but the duke yields. Marhaus charges them to make peace with Arthur at the next Whitsuntide.
   The duke is never identified by name but only location, which would be the southern coastal area. The number of sons rings of symbology, seven being a special number. Here we have seven sons and the seventh is killed. In the later story of Percivale we will have the opposite where only the seventh survives because of his youth.