The Seven Swords of Waylund and the Pendragon Throne
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.From the Fall of the Great Empire to the First Pendragon
It is known that the last Great Empire Ruler of Albion died around the year 500AF. The land then entered a dark time and there was much suffering amongst the leaderless people. Former Lords and Governors set themselves up as petty kings and fought each other at any excuse. But there were murmurings in the countryside that one day a True King would come. He would be great and fair, would unite all the Land and he would bear a sword that no other could wield…
After ten years, two leaders rose to prominence among the petty kings. One was Uther, who was directly descended from the last Imperial Overlord, the other was the Duke of Cornwall. Also at this time an old text (even ancient in those days) was found: it told of Seven Swords of Albion forged by Waylund the Smith. These magical blades must be sought by "a most Noble Lady of Albion" and in time could be ritually bound together to form Excalibur – a sword which would suffer itself to be wielded by none other than the True King of Albion.
In 520AF Igraine, wife of Cornwall, undertook the first recorded quest for the Seven Swords. Aided by the GrandMaster Mage she entered the realm of Chapel Perilous and completed the tests set by the Hunter (he who rules in Chapel Perilous) and became the first Guardian of the Seven Swords of Waylund. Once returned she summoned the Swords and it was discovered that they could all be summoned annually and that after each time of summoning one would remain in this world until on the seventh year all would remain. Only then could the ritual be performed to bring the Swords together as Excalibur. After Igraine returned it was rumoured that she had been forced to make a great sacrifice to the Hunter in order to be able to summon the Swords, but it was never revealed what this sacrifice was.
His wife’s guardianship bought Cornwall allies. However, a goodly number followed Uther because of his lineage. Uther though was becoming increasingly jealous of Cornwall because of Igraine. Not only was she the Guardian of the Swords but she was also very beautiful and in the prime of her life. Rumours also began as to Cornwall’s manhood, for he and Igraine had no children despite several years of marriage.
In the fifth year after Igraine’s quest a full civil war broke out, with Cornwall and Uther the opposing leaders. Uther was the better tactician and soon took the advantage. Within the year he was knocking on the door of Cornwall’s own castle. They agreed to do ritual battle rather than face a siege, so appointed the place and time: but treachery was in both their hearts.
Cornwall, knowing that he was sure to loose in a fair fight, led his men to the field the evening before the battle, intending to fall upon Uther’s troops in the night when they were unprepared. Uther, with the help of his ritualist, disguised himself as Cornwall and an hour after the real Cornwall had led his troops out, Uther rode in. He told Cornwall’s people that he would sleep in "his" own bed this night and ride out afresh before first light to rejoin "his" army. Uther went straight to Igraine’s bedchamber and all but raped her. Once he had satisfied his lust he returned to his true form and Igraine knew the truth of what had happened. Uther, once more disguised, left at first light and returned to the battlefield to find the battle over, his men the victors and Cornwall slain.
Uther was now undisputed ruler of Albion. He married Igraine and nine months after the battle she bore twins. A girl was first born and was called Morgaine. It is recorded that a male child was also born but was taken by Uther’s ritualist due to a pact between the two. However, since the uncovering of further facts it is likely that this was actually the sacrifice that Igraine had had to make in order to be able to summon the Swords.
Shortly after the birth, Igraine summoned the Swords of Waylund for Uther and all seven remained. After much study and with the help of the GrandMaster Mage the ritual to bind the swords together was performed and the Seven became one, Excalibur. Many nobles throughout the land came forward expecting to be able to bear Excalibur but none were able to, excepting Igraine herself, yet even she was unable to wield it as a weapon for she was struck down by magic when she tried. Seeing the conflict the sword itself was causing, Igraine caused it to be split once more into the Seven Swords, declaring that one day the True King would arrive and he would bear Excalibur and thus he would be known.
Some fifteen years passed. Uther and Igraine were both dead, Uther in battle, – how Igraine met her death is not recorded but the Seven Swords disappeared at the time of her passing in 529AF. Petty kings once more ruled in Albion and the suffering amongst the people was great. Each year some of the allied "kings" met after the harvest to discuss their campaigns for the following spring. Into the autumn meeting of 542AF strode a young man, barely more than a youth. He was accompanied by the GrandMaster Mage and he bore Excalibur.
Many thought the sword a fake; but none excepting the youth could bear it and eventually those present accepted the truth of the matter. With the GrandMaster Mage standing as witness they declared for the youth and pledged to follow him, to re-unite Albion. The youth’s name was Arthur, and in the years that followed he fought those Barons who would not pledge to him and his close circle of men fought like dragons in the fray. He, being chief among the dragons, became known as the Pendragon. In due course Arthur united all of Albion under his sovereignty and the rule of Arthur I, the first True King of Albion, began.