~ Mists of Avalon ~
After uther's death when there was no King to rule England
Uther's son Arthur had been given to Hector at birth after Igraine had conceived Arthur when Uther was diguised as Gorlois.
Merlin had the sword placed in a stone, saying whoever drew it out would be king.
After misplacing a sword Arthur turned to the stone and drew the sword out and Merlin had him crowned King.
Its scabbard prevented its wearer from losing blood.
When Gawain fought the magician Mabon over the fairy Marsique, she obtained the scabbard from him but it subsequently dissappeared.
After Arthur's last battle he made Bedivere return it to the water where it was grasped by a hand and drawn under.
The welsh name for Excalibur was Caladvwlch, equating linquistically with Irish Caladbolg, the name of a sword borne by heroes in Irish Legend, derived from Calad (hard) and bolg (lightning).