The Downfall of Arthur I and the establishment of a stable line of Kings

This history is compiled by Ellemmhir Lanatrea from the researches conducted by Lady Elspeth Karlennon (now Queen Elspeth) who became the Guardian of the Seven Swords of Waylund during the Gathering of 1095 in Norsca. Special thanks are also due to the Grand Master Mage Floris Brand, Schadel Ra and Edmund Blackadder, the then leader of the Lions of Albion.
The Downfall of Arthur I and the establishment of a stable line of Kings
Arthur I’s reign began well. He was wise and fair-minded as well as being skilled in battle. He married Gwenhyvar, the daughter of one of his most loyal vassals. She was kind and beautiful, as a Queen should be. The love of Arthur and Gwenhyvar was legendary – they were both adored by the people. Morgaine, daughter of Igraine, came to court. She was as fine a woman as her mother had been and a skilled ritualist. While there were many ugly rumours about her, Arthur treated her as his sister and it was accepted that he was indeed the “lost” twin born to Igraine.
Arthur’s court, based at Camelot Castle on the edge of the Vale of Avalon, became a centre for peace and learning. Many travellers stopped there and gave glowing testimony as to the way the Albion Court was run. As the court began to grow Arthur realised that there was certain contention among his knights as to who sat nearest the top of the table at Counsel, so he had made a large circular table, that no knight would be above another. And the Fair Land of Albion prospered under the rule of Arthur the Pendragon and the guardianship of the Round Table Knights.
Yet all good things must end; a canker began to grow at the heart of Arthur’s Kingdom. At Camelot the Knights of the Round Table fell to bickering amongst themselves for lack of useful occupation. Jealousy abounded of others more skilled at tourneys and most were especially envious of the Queen’s mighty Champion, one of Arthur’s closest companions, whose prowess in battle was legendary. Murmurings that the Queen’s Champion loved her too well began to spread but Arthur paid them no heed because he loved and trusted them both, never believing that they would betray him. Eventually, unable to bear the rumourmongers and her husband’s unwillingness to stop them, Gwenhyvar and her Champion eloped, fleeing to his old lands in Estragales. Arthur was left childless and heartbroken. He took no interest in the running of his kingdom and the land began to decline.
The year was 558AF when reference to Sir Mordred is first made. Morgaine’s son and therefore Arthur’s nephew had come to court; he seemed a fine knight at first. He was fair of face, a quick student at arms and appeared to give good counsel. Yet Mordred did not forget that he was the King’s only blood relative and only heir. Within a short time he had gained a following of younger knights whom he did not discourage when they pressed his claim to the Pendragon Throne by saying that since his uncle no longer took interest in his Kingdom he should make way for a younger man.
Around the time of Mordred’s arrival at court the GrandMaster Mage, Merlin, became a frequent court visitor again. It was at his urging that the knights still loyal to Arthur began to scour the land for a lady fit to be a new wife for the Pendragon, that a true heir may be born. After a year of searching a new Queen for Arthur was found; her name was Elaine and she hailed from the south west of Albion. Amongst her own people who came to court was a young squire by the name of Jaddvor Erland. Arthur and Elaine wed at mid winter as the year turned between 560AF and 561AF, but within four months Arthur and his Round Table Knights rode forth once more to do battle.
Mordred had finally openly challenged Arthur for the Pendragon Throne.
For months the fighting continued, ravaging the land of Albion once more. At last a place called Camlann, within the Vale of Avalon, saw the final battle. The slaughter was dreadful and great sorceries were used by both sides; yet at the end, exhausted and demoralised, Arthur the Pendragon faced Mordred his nephew, and they embraced each other in death. A thick fog swept over the field of conflict and when at sunrise it cleared, Arthur and Mordred were gone, neither was there any trace of Excalibur. The remnants of the Knights returned to Elaine at Camelot in great sorrow, yet as she rose to greet them a small spark of hope was renewed. Her swelling body announced that she was to bear Arthur an heir. There was still hope that Albion would remain united under a True King on the Pendragon Throne.
Thanks to Mordred, there was strife once more in Albion. Yet the Round Table Knights strove tirelessly to prevent chaos from ruling completely. A boy child was born to Elaine in 562AF named Arthur, of course, and once recovered from her confinement she too undertook to quest for the Seven Swords of Waylund. It is recorded that she successfully completed the quest but choose not to summon the Swords at once. When Arthur reached the age of 7 many of the Knights who had been loyal to his father pledged to follow him as Arthur II, but some would not follow without Excalibur, “for what is a King without a Sword?” they said. Thus Elaine was forced to summon the Seven Swords which kept the nobles quiet. They did not want war to ravish the land again, they were willing to await the coming of Excalibur in seven years time.
On the day of Arthur II’s fourteenth birthday in 576AF, his mother Elaine, with the aid of the GrandMaster Mage summoned the Seventh Sword of Waylund and completed the ritual to bind the seven into the one, Excalibur. None excepting Elaine and Arthur could bear Excalibur and only he could wield it. All of the assembled nobles declared that he was indeed the True King and they pledged their lifelong fealty to Arthur II, Pendragon of Albion and to his successors while the line remained true.
It is recorded that Elaine retired early from the celebrations and died in the night. We now believe that this was the sacrifice promised to the Hunter, ruler in the Realm of Chapel Perilous.
Finally, the Land of Albion was in peace. Arthur II ruled well and wisely for many years. In the year 600 he created the Council of Albion on which 12 advisors and the King would sit. He had made 13 daggers which he gave to each serving Councillor as a mark of their position, the 13th dagger he bore himself. He died peacefully in his bed at the age of 68 (630AF) never having had to raise his sword against any Man of Albion, and was succeeded by his son Arthur III who continued to bear Excalibur on ceremonial occasions.