King Arthur was challenged by King Ryon, who demanded that Arthur send him his beard, to trim the edge of his cloak. He had defeated and taken the beards of twelve other kings. Arthur was furious at this insult, but greater evil was to come upon him and his land than King Ryon.
A lady came into his court carrying a sword. It was a magic sword, given, so she said, to her by the Lady of the Lake. No one could remove it from the scabbard except a true knight, and she could not find one. Balyn was able to pull it out, and he refused to give it back to her. The Lady of the Lake appeared and asked Arthur for Balyn’s head, but he refused, and Balyn cut off the head of the Lady of the Lake for asking for his death.
The lady with the sword…
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