Lady of the Lake is the titular name of the ruler of Avalon in the Arthurian legend. She plays a pivotal role in many stories, including giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father.
Arthur was accompanied by Merlin, but he lamented that he had no sword of his own, and who had ever heard of a king without a sword? Merlin took him to a lake where he saw a woman’s arm clad in white silk that was interwoven with gold and silver thread rise from the water clutching a sword. Arthur also saw a beautiful woman walking over the surface of the lake towards them. He asked Merlin who it was and he replied that it was Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, and that he must ask her for the sword, for it was her property. She greeted Arthur well, and he asked her if he may have the sword that was held aloft above the surface of the lake and she agreed, saying that it was called Excalibur and that it would serve him well. They were directed to a barge that lay by the water’s edge and they rowed to where the sword was held aloft. Arthur gripped the sword, which was protected by a beautiful scabbard made of gold and inlaid with precious gems, and the hand that had held it slipped back under the surface of the water.