the War with Rience of North Wales
In some regards, we can almost make this a continuation of the rebellion of the eleven kings.
Rience is not placed among the eleven kings but is stated to have his hands full with
Leodegrance, one of Arthur's allies (probably due to his allegiance to
Uther, noting that Uther had gifted him the Round Table - an indication that Leodegrance received his lands and title from
Uther). After the Battle of Bedegraine, Rience's forces are routed from their siege by Arthur and his allies Ban and
Bors. But the troubles with Rience are not over. He prepares a new military force and sends to Arthur
the demand that he submit to him by sending his beard to fill out a cloak draped in the beards of the
kings that he had already vanquished. Arthur refuses and we have the strange case of the killing of
the May Day born infants.
Rience enters the lands of Arthur, attacking the northwest coastal areas of Cornwall.
His army and that of King Lot are drawn up before
Terrabil. Arthur prepares for the war at the beginning of the story of
Balin. But before Rience can succeed, he is captured by Balin and Balan, supposedly while on his way
to a tryst with a lady, and is turned over to Arthur for justice. Arthur's army arrives to relieve the siege at
Terrabil. While Merlin waylays the arrival of Lot's forces on the battlefield, Arthur's army
defeats Rience's, commanded by Rience's brother Nero.
Lot discovers the ruse and decides to attack, knowing that Arthur's army is
exhausted while his is fresh. But the battle does not go his way. Arthur's forces rally and with the death of Lot at the hands of
Pellinore, the enemy forces disintegrate.
We can see in this battle the change already taking place in Arthur's
realm, for the heroes are not our old friends Ulfius and Brastius from Uther's time, but the new Arthurian knights Kay,
Hervis, Balin and Balan, and the old knight of prowess, Pellinore. And we see the end of the
rebellion of the kings and barons against Arthur's rule, for Malory has twelve kings
on the side of Rience and Lot slain. The kings are buried in the church of St. Stephen's
in Camelot and the other knights and warriors are buried in a mass grave near the battle.
Morgawse and her sons along with Uriens and Morgan le Fay come to the
funeral. Malory states that Arthur placed Excalibur into Morgan's trust for safe keeping.
Perhaps Arthur now felt that he could relax for the rebellion of his subjects was ended.