The time had come for Britain to find a High King. With Saxons rampaging throughout the lands, and the dissolution from the death of King Nanteleod still echoing through the land, the surviving members of the Supreme Collegium took the extreme view of hosting a tournament, the prize of which would be the High Kingship itself. A prize that Earl Roland aimed to win for himself.
Gathering almost all of the knights of Salisbury, he wagered on the bitter snows of winter keeping his enemies away and journeyed to London. Many Lords had already assembled their knights, including Count Gariant, and perhaps ten thousand knights all told were assembled around in London. IT was a great time for merchants who were peddling their wares directly to the many, many knights available.
So much was on sale for this new tournament. Improved armour, fancy caparisons for horses, painted heraldry, weapons made particularly for rebating, many knights spent hundreds of Librum and things seemed truly hopeful. However as the day of the tournament drew closer, it was interrupted by one of the guests. King Idres arrived, and stated that this tournament was unnecessary, for one of King Uther Pendragon’s line yet lived – Sir Eliwlod was in fact the bastard son of Prince Madoc.
The tournament was thrown into disarray, as some Lords, primarily Duke Ulfius, believed that Eliwlod should be appointed by default, while more – primarily King Lot – believed that the tournament should continue and this was pointless. Ultimately Sir Eliwlod proposed a solution: If this was come down to destiny, all knights should attempt to pull the sword in the stone, and if any could then they would be named High King. These terms were accepted, though not always happily, and none managed to pull – though Sir Aquila believed that the sword did move slightly under Sir Eliwlod’s hand.
With that claim settled, it was discovered that King Idres had left shortly after his allegations and could not be found. The assembled knights waited for the next day, and the true tournament started. Earl Roland and his knights stood firm in order to fend off challenges, and also try to restrain their strength so that they did not accidentally slay their opponents. The tournament had barely advanced half an hour though when a great commotion began to echo across the grounds. The sword in the stone had been drawn!
Rushing over, there were only a few people standing by the stone, most notably a young knight named Sir Kay and his squire. Sir Kay held Excalibur in his hand, and though he initially claimed to have drawn it, he quickly corrected himself that it was actually his younger brother – Arthur – who had drawn it. Opinion on this act swiftly divided the many lords present. Of the higher lords, only King Leodegrance would swear fealty to Arthur at the time. King Lot was the most vocal in opposition, as this boy was not even a knight. Many others – including Earl Roland – remained silent, waiting to see where this went.
Before the crowd could devolve into violence any farther, Bishop Dubricus and Merlin the Magician both arrived on the scene to de-escalate the situation and propose a compromise. Ten knights would be chosen, and each would choose ten knights of their own to stand guard over the stone and in a month’s time Arthur would draw the sword again in order to prove his rightful claim.
The crowd then dispersed, to await Candlemas in a month’s time, and the momentous events would commence…