King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
I don't remember where I first heard the story, but it is one that has stuck with me. I've always been an avid reader and once found I devoured any book containing the slightest trace of King Arthur and his followers. In the process I uncovered a world of passion and intrigue, murder and mayhem, sorcery and witchcraft ... what more could you ask for? In creating this page I hope to provide some links to the story itself, artist's impressions, details of the main characters and to provide the backdrop to the story.
It all starts with Uther Pendragon, King of All England, and his lust for the wife of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Ygraine is famed for her beauty and on hearing about her Uther, being your typical medieval man, invites Gorlois and his wife over for a banquet, during which he spends most of the night leering and flirting with Ygraine. It seems the attraction is mutual.
Gorlois takes as much as he can then tells the king he'll knock his head off (with a sword) if he so much as glances at Ygraine again ... needless to say Uther is not perterbed and it leads to war.
Uther being King expects to have whatever he wants, Ygraine being his target of the moment .... he calls Merlin, his counsellor, to aid him in his quest and Merlin devizes a plan. While Gorlois is out fighting the King's army, the King and Merlin advance upon Tintagel, home of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and famed for it's impregnability, perched on the rocky cliffs high above the sea with only a rock causeway as access, well guarded of course.
Merlin casts a glamour to disguise the King, to the soldiers of Tintagel he appears as Duke Gorlois and thus gains entry to both the castle and Ygraine ... she also sees the King as Gorlois and takes him to her bed where Arthur is conceived. Merlin's plan was not without consequence to the King and a deal had been made ... should Uther beget a child with Ygraine, that child would be handed over to Merlin at the time of his birth.
As things go in medieval England, Gorlois is killed in the fighting and Ygraine discovers the deception of Uther, however, since she is now free to marry she and Uther tie the knot and discover that Ygraine is expecting their child. They name that child Arthur ....
The main characters in this sordid affair ...
Merlin - Aged sorcerer and trusted King's Counsel
Arthur - King and Pendragon of all England
Guinevere - Arthur's Queen, daughter of King Leodegrance
Lancelot - Arthur's Champion, son of the Lady of the Lake and Quinevere's lover
Morgan le Fey - Arthurs' half sister and a sorceress of great power
The backdrop (or "where it all happened") ...
Rumour has it that Somerset is the scene for this magical story. Having visited I can fully believe that this is where the Knights of the Round Table set off from on their quest for the Holy Grail, where the summer breeze lifted Guinevere's flowing hair as she gazed into the eye's of her lover, Lancelot and where the valiant King Arthur was taken to rest in peace, until the day the country needs him when he and his knights will rise up once again, to fight for the land they loved.
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The Legend That is King Arthur