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King Arthur, The True Story

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King Arthur is a mythical character in British history. Though his existence is frequently debated among historians, the story of King Arthur and “the sword in the stone” is an international story. However, I find that the knowledge frequently held by the common populace tends to be contradictory to what is consistently found in the most reluctantly trusted sources. I’m here to correct that misinformation.

 

THE STORY OF KING ARTHUR

 

YOUTH

Arthur was born during the fall of an empire, the “Dark Ages” (a time of great chaos and war). It was a time of barbarian invasions and internal strife within the country of Britain. He was born as the heir to the throne, the son of the King of Britain (Ulric Pendragon) and the wife (the enchanting blue-eyed Igraine) of one of his subjects, the Duke of Cornwall (Gorlois).

In legend, it is said that upon Arthur’s birth he was left in the care of Merlin as the price for his assistance in ensuring the success of Uther’s love for Igraine. However, the truth was that he was given up so that he could be protected from the matters of the court.

Merlin entrusted Arthur to be raised as the adopted son of a wise old Knight (Sir Ector). It is said that from childhood Sir Ector felt the aura of a king emanating from Arthur. Which was only further magnified by his intensive practice of swordsmanship, in fact, it was said that he swore to bear his sword so that he could save his country on the brink of ruin and death.

Arthur was raised alongside his adoptive brother Sir Kay who was beneath him in both status and swordsmanship, however, he would end up willingly serving as a mere squire under him.

Once the day of the prophecy (prophesying a king that would save Britain) arrived Knights, and Nobles around the country gathered for the selection of a king. The expectation of the selection was for a jousting tournament, contrary to expectation the only thing prepared for the selection was a sword stuck in a stone inscribed with “whosoever pulleth out this sword from this stone is by right the one and only king of Britain.” Many grabbed the sword attempting to follow the command, none were able to. As they began the expected method of selection (jousting), Arthur, only a squire, and not qualified to joust, neared the stone of selection and reached out for the blade.

Before he could withdraw it, Merlin appeared and told him that upon taking hold of the sword he would no longer be human. His only response was a nod because he had long since prepared for the fact that being a king means losing one’s humanity. He believed that a king was someone who kills all to protect all.

The sword was pulled out, the area was filled with light, and he became something inhuman in that instant.

Thus, it was the beginning of an era, the era of a kingship that would become legend.

 

RULE

Arthur led Britain from Camelot. He ruled as a king with countless knights under him, most notably the esteemed Round Table.

It is said that Arthur stopped aging after the pulling of the sword. Several knights considered it as an ominous symbol, a majority considered it a representation of their master’s immortality and therefore that their master was of a divine origin.

He always led from the front and no enemy could stand in his way, his battles were said to be the actions of a god of war to such an extent that he was said to have killed as much as 996 men in one particular battle.

For 10 years Arthur only knew the existence of victory and never defeat. For that, he was said to have an indestructible body, reminiscent of the scales of a dragon.

Arthur’s army like Arthur himself knew no losses, they ran through the battlefield defeating foreign infantries and demolishing rampart after rampart. Many people were discarded in the name of their battles (it was common for the military to meet its needs by using all the resources in a local village to supply battles), and all enemies were annihilated once Arthur joined the fray.  It can be said that no knight or person, personally killed more people in human history than Arthur, and it is unknown if he ever found it to be a burden.

He strictly kept to his oath of a king not being human and that one cannot protect the people with human emotions. He never clouded his eyes in grief while sitting on the throne, and he punished people for a single mistake.

During this time, the people living in fear of savage invasions only wanted a strong and noble king, and the troops would only follow a peerless leader. Having met these criteria, he was never questioned. No one doubted or had any need to doubt his authority.

After commanding citizens without civil unrest, and punishing hundreds, one of his knights is said to have said that Arthur did not understand human emotions. It is possible that most people agreed with the knight, that the more “kingly” Arthur became the more they needed to question him as a ruler. They felt that a person without empathy should not rule over others, leading to several noteworthy knights leaving Camelot.

Arthur simply accepted this to be a natural event. Having abandoned his emotions from the start, his heart did not waver in the slightest when he was abandoned, feared, or even betrayed. There was no right or wrong to someone who saw such events as trivial.

In the end, he was considered fair and selfless ruler willing to give everything for his country.

 

PERSONAL LIFE

He married Guinevere, but only out of obligation to have a wife; not of great love as is a common misconception. The truth was that Lancelot (Arthur’s close friend and one of the knights of the Round Table) and Guinevere loved each other.

In several accounts it is said that Arthur knew of their relations and supported them from the shadows, however following their relationship becoming public Arthur had no choice but to order the execution of Guinevere to save face, during which Lancelot saved Guinevere (an act of betrayal) leading them to a life of exile.

Arthur’s half-sister, Morgause (now known as Morgan Le Fay or Morgana) used her sorcery to create an artificial human that would later be known as Mordred.

He was created and raised without Arthur’s knowledge, growing up quickly due to the accelerated aging of a homunculus (artificial human). Mordred eventually ended up joining the Round Table due to his own efforts and Morgana’s recommendation.

He worshipped the king while hiding his identity and was ecstatic to learn of his origins.

Eventually Mordred attempted to claim his heritage and therefore the right to the throne, however, Arthur completely and soundly rejected him. Mordred believed the reason for Arthur’s rejection was because of Arthur’s hatred for Morgana, and that no matter how hard he worked or excelled over others he would eternally be a tainted existence in the eyes of Arthur.

The love that Mordred had for Arthur up to that point was so great that his rejection led to a festering rage.

 

WEAPONS/TREASURES

Prydwen: A treasure belonging to King Arthur whose ability was said to be the capability to transform into both a seafaring vessel and a shield. Stored within the vault of Camelot at was at some point stolen by Mordred during his short rule while Arthur was away.

Secace “The Sword of Tenacious Burning Victory”: A short sword of little importance belonging to King Arthur who was said to have said that it was a sword to only be carried into mortal combat for reasons unknown.

Rhongomyniad “The Spear That Shines to the Ends of the Earth”: Also known as Ron, this spear was the weapon used by King Arthur in his final battle with Mordred who died during the battle. In legend, it is also said that Arthur used this spear to kill a dragon by piercing through its heart. Ron is regarded as a mystical weapon that holds the very fabrics of reality together.

Clarent “The Radiant and Brilliant Royal Sword”: Clarent was originally Arthur’s sword and was stored within the vaults of Camelot but was eventually like Prydwen stolen by Mordred. Clarent was a beautiful and dazzling sword whose sole purpose was to denote the right of succession to the throne.

Caliburn “Golden Sword of the Victorious”: Commonly mistaken with Excalibur due to their similarities this is the sword that which was pulled from the stone and is therefore known as “The Sword That Which Chooses Kings.” It was broken in battle in which Arthur broke the laws of chivalry. Due to it being the sword that established Arthur’s rule it was and will always be the symbol of Arthur’s rule and authority as king of Britain.

Excalibur “The Sword of Promised Victory”: Excalibur is considered an ultimate god-forged weapon. Forged by the world itself as the crystallization of the wishes of humanity stored and forged within the planet itself. It was guarded by the Fairies (beings said to be the extension of the planet itself) before it was entrusted to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake who it was later returned to following his death. The sword replaced a destroyed caliburn.

Avalon “The Ever-Distant Utopia”: The sheath of Excalibur, which like Excalibur was created by the fairies. It was said to be the source of Arthur’s invincibility by providing limited immortality through constant, uninterrupted regeneration; it was also said to prevent physical deterioration such as aging (the source of Arthur’s supposed halted aging). It was eventually stolen through the manipulations of Morgana shortly before the Battle of Camlann.

 

DOWNFALL

Avalon (Excalibur’s scabbard) was stolen while Arthur fought off an assault along the country’s borders; when he returned, he discovered Britain being torn asunder by internal strife.

Despite his valiant efforts to calm the conflicts, he was mortally wounded by Mordred during the Battle of Camlann through the use of Clarent.

His dying body was sent to the holy isle (Avalon) by Sir Bedivere. Arthur ordered Bedivere to dispose of Excalibur by throwing it back to the Lady of the Lake (Vivian); in Bedivere’s absence, he reflected on his personal failures, regretting his entire rule.

Before his last breath, he called out to the world; in exchange for his soul, he asked to be given an opportunity to wish upon the Holy Grail to save the country he lived and died for.

In the end, Arthur’s rule was one filled with glory, he never turned back and was never disgraced, he was raised as a king and fulfilled his obligations as such. However his ending was one wrapped in regret and despair, he gave his life, humanity, and eventually his soul for a country that would ultimately fail to live up to his ideals.

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King Arthur, The True Story