An Excerpt of Historia Regum Pendraconiae by Godfrey of Lindisfarne
Thus it fell to the King to relinquish the child unto the Merlyn, in recompense for the great magicks of the Dragon that the Merlyn had summoned to bring Uther to victory. And so to this tale shall we briefly turn.
The Merlyn devised thusly – that he should bring the child unto the House of a loyal knight in service of Uther the King, in secret, and that said knight should raise the boy up as a his own.
In secret, that the enemies of the King should not know of the boy’s whereabouts. A knight loyal and just and true, who would keep the boy in secret, as was the bidding of the Merlyn.
The knight should be not too high that the boy grew in extravagance, though not so low that the boy should want. The Merlyn devised he must place the boy with a good knight, and true, that would teach him well what it meant to rule and provide for the common-folk, and knew well the duties of a knight and protector.
And so the Merlyn, babe in arms, did make his way unto the Forest Sauvage, and to the old Imperial fort at Caer Caster, wherein such a knight did make his home.
Sir Ectorius, of the House Ursus, was that knight whom the Merlyn did choose for this fell duty.
In the cleared land, between the two woods, was the fort at Caster constructed, and ages since it’s cornerstones were laid, here the knight lived and ruled, with his lady wife Helaine, who was of the House of Custennin, and their son, Caius.
In stories hence they would be known the names they were called by the common-folk, which gladly did they wear in the Days of the Round Table. Those names, as you shall know, are Sir Ector, the Kingmaker, and Sir Kay, the Seneschal.
Under the veil of night did the Merlyn come unto Caster, and secreting the rag-wrapped babe into the arms of Ectorius did he say that in his travels he had found a poor child, whose parents could not raise him, and that it was the Will of the Merlyn that he, Ectorius of Caster, should give this child such a home and such love as if it were the fruit of Ectorius’ own loins.
And this Ectorius did, not knowing of the boy Arthur’s true parentage, calling him, under the conventions of his own house, Arthurus.
Years hence, on the death of Uther the King, the Merlyn did once more travel to Caster, and under the moon’s glow, did impart the fell truth unto the grieving Ectorius. Saddened that his friend the King had fallen, Ectorius was gladdened that the boy child he loved as his own was indeed that of Uther the King, which he had come to suspect by the boy’s looks and nature.
Saddened still was Ector, in knowing then the fate of the boy Arthur, that a crown should weigh heavy on his brow, and the sword should weight heavy on his arm. He vowed there, under the stars, to the Merlyn, that ever would he love and protect this child, and always to offer wise counsel and never to guard that which he thought the King must know. And the Merlyn bade him keep his oath well, and keep his tongue, until such time as the path of fate did reveal the truth of the boy unto the realm.
Hence did Ectorius alter the education of the boy Arthur, and his own son Caius, that they may know more of ruling and statecraft, of the rule of law, of the meting of justice, and of the art of war.
Ectorius had served for many years as a soldier, and had thus come to know Mithras, whose teachings he did keep. He did rule by the Tenets of the Architect, to whom his family had paid homage since the days of Tebron.
But so too did he understand and live by the Tenets of the Hunter, for his house stood betwixt the Great Green Wood, and the Black Wood of the Forest Sauvage, and he knew well that man must live in harmony with nature.
Ectorius was ever an adherent of the Balance. He was a student of the teaching that Chaos might be the law of nature, and that Order might be the dream of man. He knew Order must strive against Chaos, in order to maintain the balance, for Chaos unchecked might overrun all, and turn the land into Pandemonium.
The Merlyn had taught Ector, in his youth, the Way of Balance, and this did Ector keep in his heart even unto the ending of his days. For in the teachings of the Merlyn much is there devoted to the Balance, too much indeed to write here. Thus did the boy Arthur grow in the house of Ectorius in Caster learning well all that Ectorius taught him, and learning also the ancient teachings of the Merlyn, who did visit often to Caster, to teach the boy Arthur. And Kay he taught also, who was like a brother to the boy Arthur, and remained so until the ending of his days.
Thus it was that, in the House of Ectorius at Caster, the boy Arthur did commence his education, and did learn a great many things.
On that celebrated and fated morn, at the Grand Tourney on the Eve of the aptly named festival of Alban Arthuan, did Ectorius then reveal the truth to the Arthur, for though a boy grasped the sword, a man raised it high. And such truth did he reveal to Arthur that though he was not his father by blood, he felt as his father by bond, and ever would he love him thusly, though now he should call him sire, not son.
Of that great day, more is written elsewhere. For now we return to the waning days of Uther the King, and the binding of the sword in the stone. May the grace and light of Nimue the Silver, Lady of the Lake, guide me and guard me as I put into record the dark deeds of those fell days, that saw the fall of Uther, and the breaking of all he had built.