Those Stupid Questions

You know the mythical sword in the stone? Arthurian Legend has gotten so completely muddled that there are dozens of accounts of his ascension to the throne, both including and excluding tales of his drawing said sword etc. Some sources say it was Excalibur, placed there by Merlin or Uther or whomever the hell else, others say it was just a sword and that Arthur got Excalibur later from the watery tart. Whatever. And regardless, some sources say its in a stone, or in a stone and anvil, or in the excellently done Merlin miniseries, that it was in the fist of a stone giant.

But for those stories that do include the sword, everyone knows it’s there. There’s a plethora of wars of succession going on, and folks try regularly to yank the sword to claim power and all that. Sometimes after tournaments, sometimes just at general festival days to give it a go, whatever the reason, it draws the odd crowd to it.

So, uhm… why not just, you know, pick up the rock and run off with it? Aside from the stone giant idea, what’s to prevent one of the lordlings from having a pile of workers turn up in the night and either chip away at the stone to bring away a hefty block of it, or just loading the whole damn thing into a cart and driving off?

It’s underhanded and shit, naturally. And given that this is all legend, perhaps the magic of whatever that kept it in the rock in the first place also protects the surrounding area somehow. But aside from that explanation, it’s not like there weren’t stone masons capable of digging it up or moving it. Look at Stonehenge, or the castles of the day (I doubt the fictionalized Camelot was just a wooden stockade, silly or otherwise). Just pick it up, drop it in your own personal throne room, and dare the other peons to take it from you.

This is the sort of shit that pops into my head the instant it hits the pillow to go to sleep. It’s exactly how my whole ‘evil villain consulting service’ ideas started coming to mind, of which this is another excellent example.