Odysseus: King Arthur’s Son

March 18, 2008
By adam berman, Stamford, CT

It had been 20 long days on Odysseus’ journey home to Camelot. Traveling on foot made the trip home a mere two days without interruptions, but he had to pass tests and triumph through obstacles as well. As he set his eyes on the glorious kingdom, he felt that all his hard work had finally paid off.

His father, King Arthur, greeted him as he entered the castle. “My son! How long it’s been since I last laid my eyes upon you,” his father said with a sigh of relief. “That is the last time I send my own son to be a general on a dangerous mission.”

“Father,” interrupted Odysseus. “The task was easy; the travel home was the difficulty. Besides, father, repelling the Saxons takes little effort as long as one has the mind of a tactical genius. Come, father, let me share my story not only with you, but with all the Knights of the Round Table.”

“Very well,” the King uttered. “Glorify yourself in front of my most worthy knights so that maybe someday they will be as mighty and heroic as you.”

They traveled down the winding staircase, through the Hall of Glory, where each and every hero of Camelot was honored, and they finally entered the room through the purple curtains hanging from an arch. The knights were very happy to see that Odysseus had returned safe and sound. He then took a seat in his own throne and started to tell the story of his voyage while the Knights of the Round Table listened to him intently.

“It was at the crack of dawn,” Odysseus began, “when the Saxons finally surrendered to my grand militia. It was because of my tactic to surround their remaining forces for three days. They were starving, illness spread rampant, and their soldiers were even dying of thirst. Anyway, we set up camp and prepared to return home to our beloved Camelot.”

“Everything was fine the first few days,” he continued, “until the day we set up camp in that cursed cave. I noticed the cave was very hot, so hot that it felt like being in a full suit of armor on a hot summer day. I was very suspicious as to what lurked within. We went to sleep and we woke up to an enormous green figure. It was a fire-breathing dragon! I didn’t lose my concentration and readied my troops for the hardest battle of their lives. I set up a turtle, the military position in which every troop holds his shield out to block an oncoming attack. The dragon’s fire scorched two of my valued soldiers ending their lives within its blaze. I couldn’t stand to see any more of my troops die, so I devised a plot to force the dragon to drink water from the nearby river. My plan succeeded and the dragon couldn’t breathe any more fire. This gave us enough time to retreat. When I was far enough away, so I thought, I screamed, ‘remember that Odysseus defeated you!’ This was a terrible mistake that cost me all but 12 of my beloved troops. The rest lay dead under the great tail of the green beast never to be seen again.”

His Majesty asked, “surely this task didn’t take so long as to delay you for 18 days?”

“Of course not father,” Odysseus answered. “This only took six days of my time on the journey home. Be patient father, for the worst of the journey is about to come.”

He continued the story, “We fled as fast as we could to the nearby village of the feared, captivating witch, Morgan le Fay. My men scouted the village, but never returned. After three days I decided to look for my soldiers and hoped they weren’t in the witch’s dreaded grasp. Before I met the witch, Merlin, the great wizard and wisest man of the time, told me that I had to think straight and use my head for it would be my best weapon against a witch of her magnitude. I came to her and demanded for the release of my comrades. She told me that they had been put under a spell that controlled weak minded brutes. I was greatly insulted and charged at her. She tried casting a spell to alter my form, but it had no effect for my mind had been too strong for her magic. I smote her and demanded that my fellows be set free, but she asked that I pass a test first. I must defeat an evil knight enchanted by her dark powers. Only then would she free them. I rested for my battle the next day and it was the traitor Mordred, brother of my father, your king.”

Gasps were heard around the room, but only the look of sir Lancelot surprised me. His face quickly turned from calm to tense and said, “that is impossible, my lord. I smote the traitor myself and dealt him a lethal blow in the battle against the Romans. There is no way he could still be alive.”

Odysseus then argued, “He was enchanted by Morgan le Fay. Isn’t it possible she found him, healed him of his wounds, and made him stronger than ever?”

Sir Lancelot was silenced by Odysseus’ logic and sat down to hear the outcome of their encounter.

Odysseus went on, “He had black armor, the infamous possessed sword, the Eclipse, and he wore a shield on his left arm whose insignia looked like a yellow raven flying high into the sky. He spoke not, but jumped onto the battlefield, where he would make his last encounter. I drew my weapon, the only broadsword to be blessed by Merlin, the Lionheart. We battled until midnight. It was a long standstill, both of us evenly matched. I then gathered all of my remaining strength and with one mighty swing of my sword, I sliced through his shield like butter, and cut off his left arm. He then surrendered and my comrades were saved. I then traveled with them back home for the remaining three day journey.”

After the story, Odysseus collapsed out of exhaustion, but his sleep was well earned with his beloved wife, Penelope.

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This article has 1 comment.

A. Tross said...
on Jan. 25 2009 at 2:57 am
Hey... I like your mixing of Arthurian legend and Greek mythology. Everything was beautifully written... but there wasn't anything special. Of course, Arthur was the good guy, Odysseus was a hero... and Mordred was the bad guy.

~A. Tross

ps- how well do you know Mordred? If you don't mind, read my article, "If You Grew Up the Way I Did." Then we'll see how you feel about the guy.

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