The following is a very brief overview of the Arthurian legend (based on the version found in Le Morte d'Arthur (1485) by Thomas Malory):Arthur is born to Uther Pendragon (King of Britain) and Lady Igraine, after the wizard Merlin tricks Igraine into thinking that Pendragon is her husband Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. After Arthur's birth, Merlin takes the boy to the home of a country lord, Ectorius, to be raised as a foster-child (although Ectorius is ignorant of Arthur's true parentage). Fifteen years later, Pendragon is killed by the Saxons, and having foreseen his death, Merlin has his sword, Excalibur, magically set in a stone so that only the rightful heir to the throne will be able to remove it. After Pendragon's death, a tournament is held in London to bring all potential heirs together. Ectorius and his sons attend the event, and when Ectorius' son Kay breaks his sword during the tournament, Arthur determines to find him a new one. He comes across the Sword in the Stone, as Merlin had intended all along, and not realising the significance of what he is doing, he pulls it out. Stunned, Ectorius and Kay swear fealty to him, and he is subsequently crowned king of Britain.He immediately sets about consolidating the kingdom by uniting the various clans and warlords, and defeating the invading Saxons. He takes Merlin as his chief advisor and he sees to the needs of the common people, leading to his Kingship being celebrated up and down the land. However, early in his reign he begets a son with his half-sister, Morgause (although they are both unaware of their relationship at the time). Upon finding out that she is related to him by blood, he takes every newborn boy in the kingdom and sends them to sea to be executed. However, the boat on which they are travelling crashes before the babies are killed, and Arthur's son, Mordred, survives. Unaware of this, Arthur marries a princess, Guinevere, and inherits the Round Table from her father Leodegrance (King of Carmelide), who was entrusted with its security by Pendragon. Arthur then gathers his knights at Camelot and establishes the Knights of the Round Table.At first, Arthur finds himself without an enemy. There are no more invaders, and all internal disputes and conflicts have been resolved by the knights. The recent arrival of Lancelot (who has been sent by his foster mother, the Lady of the Lake, to guard Arthur) and Tristan to Camelot has only added to the harmony. However, Rome accuses Arthur of not paying tribute to Emperor Lucius and Arthur reacts impetuously by claiming that Britain conquered Rome long before Rome conquered Britain, so in fact, Lucius should pay tribute to him. Furious at this affront, Lucius raises a massive army to crush Arthur (and hopefully Christianity along with him). Arthur sails to Normandy to meet his cousin Hoel, who he hopes will join his army, but upon arriving he finds a giant terrorising the region, eating the men and raping and killing the women. In an effort to inspire the common people to support him, Arthur fights the giant in single combat, defeating him and gaining many much needed troops for his conflict with Rome. His army subsequently triumphs over the Romans, and Arthur is crowned Emperor of Rome. It is determined that he will rule by means of a proxy government, and he returns to Britain where he and the knights receive a hero's welcome.Back in Britain, Lancelot quickly establishes himself as Arthur's most skilled and daring knight, as well as the most chivalrous and honourable. Among his adventures, he is enchanted into a deep sleep by Morgause's sister, Morgan le Fay, a powerful magician who once studied under Merlin. Lancelot, however, manages to escape her castle. He also proves victorious in a tournament fighting on behalf of his fellow Knight of the Round Table, Bagdemagus. Additionally, he slays a rogue knight, Turquine, who had several of the Round Table Knights held prisoner. He is also prone to assisting damsels in distress, and he regularly champions the cause of the oppressed and shows sympathy to those he has defeated in combat. However, he also admits that he is in love with Guinevere, although he says they have never slept together.Whilst Lancelot is having his adventures, a man with no memories arrives at the court. Mocked by some of the knights, he is about to leave when a woman, Lynette, comes to Arthur asking for assistance against the Red Knight of the Red Lands (Sir Ironside), who has the strength of seven men, and is holding Lynette's sister, Lyonesse, prisoner. Much to Lynette's horror, Arthur sends the unknown man, who had been put to work in Arthur's kitchen. The man subsequently encounters the Black, Green, Puce, and Blue knights, defeating them all before finally facing the Red Knight. He defeats the knight and is able to persuade all of the knights to return with him to Camelot, except the Black knight, who he kills. Back in Camelot, the man determines to win the respect of the Knights of the Round Table, and organises a tournament, where, in disguise, he defeats several of them. Shortly after the tournament, he discovers he is in fact Sir Gareth Beaumains, Arthur's nephew, and Knight of the Round Table Gawain's brother. He is thus welcomed to the Table and knighted by Lancelot who becomes his mentor and friend.Meanwhile, Tristan meets a woman from his past, Iseult, an Irish princess married to his uncle, Mark of Cornwall. Tristan had met her years before when she healed him after a battle. They had fallen in love, but Tristan had had to return to Camelot. Later, Tristan had returned to Ireland to win the hand of Iseult for Mark but they had again fallen in love on the way back to Britain, and Mark had banished Tristan from Cornwall. However, Tristan and Iseult meet again, deciding they can no longer be apart, and so they flee from Mark. Lancelot hides them and they live together for many years. However, Mark eventually finds them, stabbing Tristan in the back, but not killing him. Mark is then about to kill Iseult, but she pleads with him to let her die at the hands of her love, Tristan. Mark agrees and Tristan crushes her in a final embrace.At this point, the knights embark on a quest for the Holy Grail. After many adventures Perceval, Bors, and Lancelot's illegitimate son Galahad achieve the Grail. Upon finding it, the purest of the knights, and the only one deemed to be truly without sin, Galahad, vanishes as his soul leaves the earth and travels to heaven.Back in Camelot, things are not going well. The affair between Lancelot and Guinevere has become common knowledge amongst the knights, and is driving a wedge between Arthur and his greatest knight. At this point, Maleagant, from the otherworldly land of Gorre, kidnaps Guinevere and holds her prisoner in his castle. Lancelot arrives at the castle to free her, and knowing the knight's reputation, Maleagant begs for sympathy, which Guinevere persuades the reluctant Lancelot to grant. However, upon realising that Maleagant is aware of their affair, Lancelot feels he must kill him, and arranges to fight him in single combat. However, to make things fairer, Lancelot removes half of his armour and ties one hand behind his back. Nevertheless, he easily defeats Maleagant and returns Guinevere to Camelot.Meanwhile, Mordred has returned to Britain and revealed himself to Arthur. Posing as an honourable youth, deeply respectful of his father and the knights, Mordred secretly has plans to usurp the throne and kill the man who sentenced him to death when he was an infant. When Arthur's nephew (and Gareth and Gawain's brother), Agravaine learns of the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere, he is set to publicly reveal the news but is killed by Lancelot, who goes into hiding. Knowing that Lancelot will do anything for Guinevere, Arthur decides to use her as bait, by sentencing her to burn her at the stake. However, some of the knights refuse to be a party to such a thing and leave to join Lancelot. Nevertheless, the ceremony goes ahead, and the fires are lit. Lancelot and his knights arrive and a battle breaks out during which many knights on both sides die (including Gareth, who is accidently killed by his mentor, Lancelot.) Horrified at what has happened, and wishing revenge on Lancelot for the death of Gareth, Gawain forces Arthur into declaring war on Lancelot, who has fled to France. After the forces meet again, Gawain and Lancelot engage in single combat, which is won by Lancelot, who spares Gawain's life. Meanwhile, against the advice of his advisors, Arthur has left Mordred in charge of Britain. However, he soon learns that Mordred has seized the throne, and he leads his forces back home. In the subsequent invasion, Gawain is mortally injured, and writes to Lancelot, begging for his help against Mordred and for forgiveness for his role in splitting the Round Table. Lancelot agrees, and Arthur sues for a temporary peace with Mordred until Lancelot arrives. At the negotiations however, when a soldier draws his sword to kill an adder, both sides attack one another, and Arthur is forced to fight Mordred without Lancelot. At the Battle of Camlann, Arthur charges Mordred and impales him with a spear. But with the last of his strength, Mordred impales himself even further, pulling himself to within striking distance of the exhausted Arthur. He then mortally wounds Arthur, before dying himself. As he is dying, Arthur commands Bedivere, one of his most trusted knights, to cast Excalibur into the lake, where it is retrieved by the hand of the Lady of the Lake. Arthur is then taken on a boat to Avalon, vowing to return again when Britain most needs him. When Lancelot arrives, he mourns the deaths of his comrades, and travels to Amesbury to see Guinevere, who has become a nun. Ashamed of what has happened, Lancelot discards his weapons and becomes a monk. Arthur's successor is appointed (Constantine III), and his remaining knights head to the Holy Land to crusade against the Turks, where they are slaughtered on Good Friday.