CAST OF CHARACTERS
King Arthur – David
Nurse – Hannah
Kay – Joseph
Sir Ector – Jared
Sir Balimor – Carson
Merlin – Micah
Sir Pellinore – Paul
Lady of the Lake (Viviane) – Jessica
Morgan le Fay – Katelyn
Guinevere – Sara Grace
Guinevere’s Handmaiden – Calli
King Leodagrance – Valerie
Leodagrance’s Messenger – Levi
Plus Various Knights and Maidens
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
Uther’s castle, rain, sound of fighting etc. Takes child from cradle and meets woman.
Take this child, the only living son of Uther Pendragon. Bring him to Sir Ector of Sauvage. He shall not die with the rest of his father’s household.
I will guard him with my life.
SUBTITLE: Eighteen years later…fade to Arthur’s face
Arthur and Kay running to meet Sir Ector.
Sire, my brother and I have just had word that the Archbishop of Canterbury has proclaimed a grand tournament, to be held a fortnight hence.
Yes, father. And, being thy son by birth, for the honor of our household and the credit of our name, I find I have an extraordinary desire to imperil my body in this tourney. For this reason, I request your permission to attend.
Very well. You have my permission. We will go to Canterbury, and I do hope that God will give thee a great deal of strength so that you may achieve honor to thyself and credit for those who are of thy blood.
Father, may I come also?
Arthur, my son, you are much too young for such doings.
May I come as my brother’s squire?
So be it.
Cut to tourney, Sir Kay and Sir Balimor are fighting
Very well! I will do battle with thee and cast thee down like thy fellows!
I will teach you to cry for mercy!
More fighting. Kay breaks his sword over Bali’s head and Bali is about to strike him when Kay’s friends escort him off the field. Cut to [tent], Kay drinking wine and someone bandaging his wounded shoulder.
Make haste and fetch me another sword, for mine is broken.
I will do so with all speed.
He runs out, sees the sword in stone.
I will go and get that sword if I can, for it will assuredly do well for my brother to finish his battle.
He approaches the sword. Merlin is watching. He draws out the sword, Ector also sees.
What is this miracle? No one can draw that sword out.
No one but the rightful King of Britain. Hast thou forgotten the prophecy?
Is he then the chosen one?
He is the one, even thy foster son. The prophecy shall be fulfilled this very day.
Sir Ector kneels before Arthur.
Behold, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, King of Britain!
My father! Why dost thou kneel to me?
I am not your father.
Your father was King Uther. Your name is Arthur Pendragon. Long ago when thou wast born I, Merlin, gave you into the care of Sir Ector care when your father’s castle was attacked. Too long has this country been without a King. In you lies the hope of Britain. And lo! The spirit of prophecy is upon me and I do foresee that you shall be the greatest king that ever lived in Britain and many knights of extraordinary excellence shall gather around thee. Thou, Arthur Pendragon, shall be King of Britain.
cut to crowning scene with cheering crowd
SCENE FOUR King Arthur riding through a forest [with his knights].
SUBTITLE: Four months later
MERLIN, riding from the opposite direction.
I perceive that thou ridest out on an adventure, sire.
Verily, I go to seek out the Sable Knight who hath wounded one of my knights and killed another. I shall wreak vengeance on him for his misdeeds.
Prithee, allow me to accompany thee on this great and perilous adventure.
I assure you, I require no assistance, but I should welcome your company.
To his knights.
Wait for us here, my lords.
They travel for awhile, come to a black shield on a tree.
Methinks we approach the domains of said knight.
Arthur strikes it. A knight comes out of the castle.
Ha, sir knight! What rashness is this? Now I do tell thee that for thy discourtesy I shall take thy shield and hang it on yon tree. Wherefore give me thy shield or prepare to defend it.
I thank you for the choice thou grantest me, but as for taking my shield I believe that shall be Heaven’s decision. So make thyself ready for I have come to demand reparation for thy evil deeds against my worthy knights, and I shall have battle with thee!
That will I do.
I give you my knightly word that thou art the most potent knight I have ever fought.
They fight. He wounds Pellinore but loses his sword. Pellinore is about to kill Arthur.
Merlin looks on.
Stay! Stay thy sacrilegious hand, Sir Pellinore, for he who lieth beneath you is Arthur, king of all this realm!
Say you so, old man? Then your words have doomed this man unto death. For no one in this world hath suffered as much as I have from his hand. Wherefore, seeing he is in my power, he shall die.
Not so! He shall not die at thy hand for I myself shall save him.
Strikes Pellinore out cold with magic staff, takes Arthur to a hermit’s call.
Merlin sits outside the hermitage while Queen Guinevere and company arrive.
What have we here?
Verily, I believe we have come upon a hermitage, my lady.
Indeed. Approaching. Greetings, sir
Good morrow, my lady. What service can I render thee?
Answer me but one question, prithee. Whose is that milk white steed?
Lady, he who lieth within is a knight, very sorely wounded so that he is sick nigh unto death.
Pity of Heaven!
Surely this is a sad thing.
I beseech thee; lead me to him that I may behold him. For I have some skill as a leech, and it may be that I can cure the hurts of this poor knight.
She comes inside and looks down at sick Arthur and holds his hand. His eyes open. They fall in love. She and her maiden(s) dress his wounds.
Who are you?
My name is Guinevere, and I am the daughter of King Leodagrance.
By my life, you are the most beautiful sight my eyes have ever beheld.
SCENE 5, in hermitage, Arthur sitting up in bed, pacing by the window.
Merlin, it vexes me sorely to have come off so ill in my encounter with King Pellinore. I might have won had I not broken my sword. I wish to fight him again.
Thou art, assuredly, a very brave man to have so much appetite for battle, seeing how night thou camest unto thy death not four days ago. Yet how mayst thou hope to undertake this feat, seeing that you have no sword or spear?
I know not. But I shall find a weapon, even if it is merely a wooden cudgel.
Since your heart is set on this battle, I will lead you to the Forest of Adventure and to the lake that lies therein. In the centre of that lake there hath been seen an arm which holdeth a sword of marvelous excellence. But when a man draws near to take it, it vanishes beneath the water.
Merlin, this is very strange indeed. My curiosity forces me to beseech you to take me to this enchanted lake, that I might seek to obtain this sword.
I will even do so.
Yonder lies the enchanted lake.
Lady of the Lake approaches him with Morgan le Fay
I am afraid I have intruded upon the dwelling place of the fairies.
Lady of the Lake
Nay, do not be afraid. Thou art welcome here, King Arthur Pendragon, beloved of the fairies. I am Viviane, the Lady of the Lake.
Morgan le Fay
I am Morgan le Fay, Queen of Avalon. But tell us, what brings thee to our land?
I fought a battle with a certain sable knight in which I was wounded sorely and broke my sword. Therefore I have come here at the advice of Merlin to seek the word which lieth in this lake.
Lady of the Lake
My lord, that sword is no easy thing to achieve.
Morgan le Fay
Indeed, several knights have lost their lives by attempting that which thou hast a mind to do. For no man may win yonder sword unless he be without fear and without reproach.
Alas, Lady, that is indeed a sad saying. For though I may have knightly courage yet in truth there are many things wherewith I do reproach myself withal. Nevertheless I will try to take this sword even if it be to mine own peril.
Lady of the Lake
If that is your resolution, then we shall aid you, for it is in my mind that you were meant to come here.
They go to the edge of the lake, a boat lies on the shore.
Morgan le Fay
Behold, the sword!
He goes out in the boat, gets the sword.
My deepest thanks to you, fair ladies of the water. I shall call this sword EXCALIBUR, and may I ever wield it with honor, for an upright cause.
Arthur and Merlin are at Pellinore’s field with Pellinore and Excalibur.
Now Merlin, my dear friend, I forbid you to enter our quarrel this time, nor by any magic arts wilt thou interfere.
Arthur turns to Pellinore
We do by now know each other very well and again I challenge thee to fight me, man to man until one of us is defeated.
Pellinore bows his head and they step back to their respective places. Fight takes place, make sure there is very good choreographing here.
Spare my life and I will yield unto thee.
I will spare thee, and what is more, if you swear fealty to me, I will return thee to thy former estate. For I bear no ill will against you, but I cannot maintain rebels in my kingdom.
I will give thee my allegiance, sire, for you are in very sooth a worthy knight.
And you, sir, if you are willing, shall join my knightly company.
King Leodargrance, pacing in his hall/garden. Guinevere enters.
Father? Why do you not sleep?
Oh, my dear Guinevere.
What troubles you?
King Reynce approaches from the north, and my armies are not fit to meet him. I know not what to do.
Why do you not send to King Arthur for aid, sire? Surely he will help.
Thou speakest well, but what if he should not come?
Then we are sore beset; but I think he will come. Send for him, my father. You have nothing to lose.
That is true. Very well, I will send out messengers.
Messenger sneaks past enemy lines, is chased, comes running into Arthur’s court, falls to his knees.
My lord! Your majesty!
What have we here? Where are you come from, my good man?
I bring a message from King Leodagrance.
What does your noble master desire?
His lands have been attacked by the wild King Reynce of Wales, who ravages the countryside with fire and sword. My master’s castle is under siege, and he and his knights are sore pressed. He beseeches your majesty to send aid, lest he be destroyed.
Tell your master that I will come to his aid at once. Gawain, Lancelot, Pellinore, let us gird ourselves for battle!
Messenger leaves. Arthur gathers knights, travels to Leodagrance’s castle, battles with King Reynce, who retreats with his army. Leodagrance and Arthur and co. sit down together.
My deepest thanks to you, sire. May I ever be ready to come to your aid even as you have come to mine. In gratitude for your service, please accept the hand of my daughter Guinevere in marriage.
If the lady is willing, I shall be in your debt, sir.
GUINEVERE smiles, hands Arthur a cup of wine.
I am willing, my lord.
So be it! What shall I give you for dowry, lord Arthur?
Merlin, what shall I ask of my friend for dowry?
King Leodagrance has in his possession your father’s ancient Round Table, where there are seats for forty-nine men, for the fiftieth is called Seat Perilous, and those who sit in it either die a sudden and violent death, or great misfortune befalls them. Uther bequeathed it to Leodagrance but the splendor of your reign shall outshine both Leodagrance and your noble father and if you should possess it, great glory and honor shall be yours.
That would indeed be a dower fit for a king.
You shall have it, and your glory shall be mine, for is not Guinevere to be your wife?
Thou sayest well and wisely.
Behold, the Round Table and the worthy knights thereof shall henceforth serve as a symbol of valor, honor and order in this new kingdom of Britain, for as long as you shall live.
Adapted by A.J from Howard Pyle's King Arthur and His Knights.