Sword Stone

Dorothy Atubiga

It was a cold dark autumn evening, in the land of Acanon; the time when the practice of sorcery was forbidden. Prince Octavius walked out of his palace and felt the cold dark autumn air. Acanon was a mystery that day. The Kingdom was as silent as a cemetery. Octavius observes his town skeptically. There was no single soul outside. Not even that of an ant, but there was something more interesting than finding a soul. It was the forest of Broceliande.

Far from the east, Octavius could hear music and in the distance he could see an uprising sparkling phantom fire from the forest. It allured him. The forest of Broceliande was not an ordinary forest. It was a mysterious enchanted forest. The Drews used to live there and they practiced sorcery, but when King Uther, Octavius’ father rose to power, he chased them out and forbid the practice of magic in his Kingdom. Uther despised Drews and most of them lived in hidden(isolation). The people of Acanon believed the Drews cursed the forest as they left. So, king Uther forbade the people from going to the forest except he and the Knights of Acanon.

Though Prince Octavius was inaugurated as a knight of Acanon, going there by himself wasn’t something Uther would let go so lightly. Octavius knew this but he could resist the temptation of the enchanting music and the uprising fire in the thin air. He made his way there with all kinds of excuses in his head just in case he got caught.

When Octavius got to the forest of Broceliande, he couldn’t believe what he saw. Young Druid boys and girls were cheerfully dancing around a gigantic stone that was surrounded by fire. They ran away when they saw him. Octavius stood there wondering why these young folks would risk their lives just to dance around this stone of fire; at that moment, he heard a familiar call from behind:
[“Octavius! What are you doing here?”]
It was Agravain. The Druid lad who was secretly friends with Octavius because Uther wouldn’t want his son around Drews.
Octavius: Hey, I should be asking you that. You know you aren’t allowed here. Why are you here?
Agravain: Um…Nothing…
Octavius: Were you by chance part of the celebration?
Agravain: No! Not at all. I was passing by and couldn’t resist the music, so I came by to…
Octavius: (in a serious, silent voice) What is that in your hand?
Agravain: Ah? Oh, this? It’s a sword. I just picked it up here before you turned around…
In Agravain’s hands, was the “Stone Sword.” It was the most magical thing in the land of Acanon. The people believe the first king of Acanon magically stuck it on a stone before he died, and the only person who could use it was the chosen and most powerful King of Acanon. The chosen King will be able to remove it only with the help of the high priest or someone from the high priest’s lineage. It was probably the main reason why King Uther banned the practice of sorcery and cast all Drews out of the forest of Broceliande. So, Octavius knew he and Agravain would be in trouble if Uther sees them with the sword, and out of fear, he yelled…
“Throw it away! Hide that Sword…!”
Agravaine: (in confusion) why? It is a nice sword. (jokingly) You could use it…
Octavius: Don’t you get it. That is the Stone Sword. My father will think I’m trying to take his throne if he sees it. We would both die, Agravain!
Agravaine: what…
At that moment, the trees trembled, and before Agravain could utter a word, King Uther and the Knight of Acanon appeared out of the thin air. They also heard the music and the phantom fire, and thus, came to see what was going on.
When Agravain saw the king, his world darkened suddenly. The young lad trembled and in fear, and he looked at Octavius.
[Uther: Octavius? What are you doing here? Don’t you know that …. (he turned to Agravain)
Octavius: father…
Uther: And why are you with a Druid boy! Was the music from here?
Octavius: Yes, father…but I swear it wasn’t from us. We just…]
And at a glance, King Uther saw the Stone Sword in Agravain’s hands. Furiously, he said to Agravain…
Uther: was there an act of sorcery here?… Are you a sorcerer?
Agravain: No, Sire.
Uther: Then, tell me, young boy, why do you have that Sword in your hand?
Agravain: ..ah..I..
Uther: “…I..” what? Are you from the high priest’s lineage?
Agravain: No, Sire.
Uther: Then why do you have the Stone Sword? How was it removed? Look..boy, if you want to at least save your neck, take me to the high Priest..
Octavius: Father, give us a chance to explain. It’s not what you think. We didn’t remove it. It wasn’t us!
Uther: Are you that eager to become king that you can’t at least wait for my death?
Octavius: Father!
Octavius yelled with his last strength, and the dark autumn air blew across the forest. The leaves fell one after the other and the poor prince dropped a tear. But when it comes to power, Uther had no sympathy for anyone, not even his son.
Uther: Tell me, if it wasn’t you then who removed it?
Most Drew’s were already living in hidden so, telling Uther the truth probably means the death of all Drews. For that reason, Octavius didn’t want to tell his father he saw Druid young boys and girls. He lied to the king, saying…
Octavius: When we got here, we saw the Sword and picked it up.
Uther: why did you pick it? You know only the king can hold this Sword, or do consider yourself the King?… You even hang out with Drews now. Isn’t it?
Octavius: father, it’s not like that…
It was then that Agravain realized that not telling the truth would get Octavius into trouble, so he decided to put the blames on himself. He told Uther.
[Agravain: I did it. I removed the Sword from the Stone. I did it all by myself, without Octavius’ knowledge.
Uther: So, you’re a sorcerer?
Agravain: Yes. I am the last sorcerer from the high priest’s lineage, but I lost my powers after removing the Sword.]
Uther arrested Agravain and Octavius. He sentenced Octavius to exile and ordered Agravain to die on a burning stake.

The legend’s Story
The legend has it that Agravain was a real sorcerer and wanted to give the sword to Octavius since he knew Octavius would free the Drews; he didn’t die on the stake, he used his last bit of magic and transported himself to the future.
For the Stone Sword, Uther couldn’t use it because he wasn’t the chosen one. Therefore, he drew it into the River Avon, and it was of never found!