Arthur had not stopped riding until he horse needed rest . . . which simultaneously went with the time that Arthur physically could not move on. The neglected wounds were starting to take their toll and when he inspected them, some seemed to appear as if they were worsening. He thought he might have a broken rib, or something that would heal, but it was getting more serious than that. Combined with the blood loss, Arthur knew he wouldn't be able to journey much longer. Yet, as fate would have it . . . it seemed he would not need to. A small group of people came to his aid, taking him to their camp and . . . it did not take long for him to realize who they were. Druids.
They tended to the wounds that Guinevère had not, and Arthur had mentioned that it was lucky they found him when they did. But, they commented that luck had nothing to do with it. It was fated. There was that word again. Fate. Destiny. The druids knew who he was and spoke of the future that he would bring. Uniting the lands of Albion. Arthur didn't believe it, but he would not offend the people who helped him. In fact, he questioned why they had knowing his blood line. Arthur had spent the next few days there with them. Learning about the kingdom. About the Pendragons. He still held no pride in the name, but he listened. Taking in their words. It appeared it was not only Guinevère or the knights that held some sort of fate in him. The Druids spoke of Camelot, of what he would bring to the kingdom.
Arthur still didn't believe it.
But he remained among them, for it seemed like the safest place. Days started to turn into a weeks, and word was reaching them about the heart of Camelot. About the state of it. It had been discovered quickly that Morgana was not dead, and that she would continue to strike at them. Arthur had told them he wanted no part of this and yet . . . he was hearing tales. Of blood shed. Of her continued search for him. Of her lust for power. Her corruption. Her ruthlessness. How many people had to die for her to be satisfied? It would never stop. And Arthur felt that continued burden upon him. A burden that he thought he could escape by leaving the situation and yet . . . it had followed him here.
The fighting became more intense. Over the weeks that slowly ticked by, Morgana and Helios were pushing toward the camp where the knights were. Helios' army was build and rebuilt off of men in the land that he'd forced to fight for him, or would be killed. Camelot was now at war with it's people, and loyalties were divided. The fighting moving into villages, and distroyed homes. The darkness was taking Camelot, and it's people with her. Guinevère, who was no longer able to predict Morgana's moves, spent more of her time as a nurse, and tending to the weapons. She knew how to fight, but knew there was a difference between a fight an a war. There was a ruthlessness she could never endure. Camelot would fight within herself, until there was no more.
Yet, there seemed to be hope. A surprisingly old tale of a sword incased on stone.
There was a legend of a place protected by magic. People feared this area, so most avoided it. There in the center of shadowed ruins was one single ray of light that shown on a stone that held a sword so tightly, they were as one. It was fated that only one shall be able to free the sword from the stone. The true king of Camelot, who with a pure heart, would unit the lands in peace.
And it was now this land that the two armies began fighting over, each determined to keep it out of the hands of the other. It was these fated words, this promise, that the people now looked toward. Could Morgana pull the sword from the stone?
Post by Arthur Pendragon on Jan 23, 2019 22:42:17 GMT -5
That was the most ridiculous thing Arthur had ever heard! A sword in the stone. More ridiculous was the part where someone said he should try to pull it out. No. He would not. Yet . . . Camelot was turning darker and darker. She needed to be stopped and Arthur knew he was no match for her. He was but one man and he didnt even have any magic. But, he didnt need to pull the sword out to prove anything. She did. So Arthur listened and learned. Of the old legend of this sword. It was im a sacred space of peace, where no violence was permitted. Protected by druids who's purpose was this and only this. Arthur knew what he must do. He needed to challenge Morgana.
But no one could know where he was going. And yet even the thought was daunting. So Arthur left; earlier than intended but he left. He needed a few days to himself. He was now fully healed -- at least physically -- and needed to determine what his next move was. If Morgana couldn't pull the sword, surely it would mean something to the people. Perhaps, that was all he need do. So, with the direction given, he made his was to the druid protectors. It was strange for they did not seem surprised to see him. It was almost as if . . . they were expecting him. Arthur didn't have time to dwell on it. He told them of the challenge and they said they would set it forth to Morgana. But that he too would need to make an attempt to pull it out. Arthur agreed, knowing he wouldn't be able to do it. He was not meant for this.
Now, there was only one thing left to do. One person left to see. One . . . he prayed was still safe. One he had not stopped thinking about. Guinevère. He made his way to the ancient castle, noticing the heavy guard and trying to casually approach. Anyone but Sir Leon. He managed to get in as most were asleep at this time. How he was going to find her, he had no idea. But he wanted to tell her of what would happen tomorrow. Of this plan. He wasnt even sure if she wished to see him. Would she be angry with him for being a coward? He was unsure what compelled him to look inside a room but he immediately took notice of her. By the window. Looking as beautiful as ever. He paused there, just gazing at her before he took a deep breath and stepped inside the room. "Guinevère."
Night was always the hardest. With everything happening she couldn't quite ever get to sleep. The castle they camped at was mostly ruins. They'd spent some time making sure it had a few rooms that could be kept warm, and safe for others to sleep. There was limited space, so they took to sharing rooms. Guinevère shared with a few other women who'd escaped Helios' path.
Needing time alone, and since the nights were growing warmer, she had often taken to wrapping up and siting on the window seal. Just fr a little while each night, to be alone and think. Tonight, the moon was full and bright. She could just see hundreds of stars in the sky. There had been some who would make shapes by drawing pictures. She was attempting this when she heard her name.
Turning her head right away, her face showed her surprise. Arthur! Blinking a few times she tried to make sure it was really him. Unfolding her legs, ans slide off the edge of the window, and stood there. He looked good. Healed. It made it clear how much time had really past. "Hello," she called from the other side of the room, trying to sort out what she was feeling at the moment. Why was he here? It wasn't save for him! "You're here," that should have been a question, but she could only stare at him. She had been worried she'd hear that he'd been caught and killed. Now he was here!
And this time, she wanted to go with him when he left. If the offer was still open. She'd leave now. Tomorrow. They could go!
She didn't seem to reject his company -- yet -- so he stepped a little further into the room. He wasn't exactly sure he was ready for everyone to know he was here. He wasn't sure he'd ever be ready for everyone to know. "I wanted to help," he revealed. He still didn't know what his future held, but with the challenge, he hoped that at the very least, it would get Morgana off the throne.
And if the only price to pay was that he too had to attempt to pull the sword, then so be it. It would make no difference to the outcome where Morgana was concerned. As long as she couldn't, that's what mattered. "How have you been?" He asked with genuine curiosity. And concern. The last he had seen her was the night after she stabbed Morgana. He supposed that it was at least good that she did not have to feel the burden of taking one's life. For Morgana lived through the attack. A result that Arthur knew some were disappointed with.
He said he was here to help, and she found it curious that she had just decided to go with him. She wanted to ask him more about what he meant, and she would, but right now she could only just absorb that he was here! She too took a few steps closer, and then a few more, slowly making her way across the room toward him. He looked . . . . taller. That wasn't quite what she meant, she had meant that he looked more confidant and at ease with himself being here. Not settled in, but not like he was before.
"I was just thinking about you," she admitted, but not going into detail. He had asked her how she was, and right now she couldn't remember that she was tired, and restless, and growing a little hopeless as the armies got bigger and the battles got bloodier; she didn't remember that she missed being seen, and she didn't remember anything but this feeling of peace, and hope at seeing him. Arthur. Not a king, but a man she liked. Maybe even more then liked, by how he stayed on her mind. "I've been . . . . I've missed you." Forward, yes, but honest.
Hhe felt more relieved when she moved closer to him, and he did the same . . . until they were standing in front of each other. And her words, made his heart beat faster in his chest. Causing that same flutter of emotions, as if he was a young boy with his first crush. Yet, it was so much deeper than that. He couldn't explain it, but he just kept being drawn to her. Like a moth to a flame. Despite his leaving, he truly could not stay away. Not from her. He couldn't help but smile as those emotions grew stronger, hearing that she missed him.
Relief continuing to wash over him. "I missed you too," he admitted. She didn't appear angry with him and for that, he was quite grateful. "I thought I could stay away. That it would be easy but . . . turns out, it's not." That he still felt this pull to do something, whatever that may be. "And a great deal of it, has to do with you." He wanted her to know that as well. That this time, it wasn't some emergency that rushed him towards her. It wasn't that he needed her immediate help. She had given him strength in ways that he had not thought possible, and perhaps never truly thanked her for. But he felt it now. As he always did in her company.
Guinevère watched as he too walked closer to her, and talk about staying away. It was what made her remember the way he left. He hadn't even said goodbye. And now, he was back, and she couldn't feel mad right now; it was only this feeling of lightness that she hadn't had before. Not since she showed up at her door and they'd spent the night talking. Ever since that day in Morgana's cell she'd felt this darkness around her--and just by coming back he'd helped eased it with hope. Before it had been that he would be king, and now it was for just knowing he was here.
"And a great deal of it, has to do with you." Blinking Guinevère smiled slowly, but happy, "For me?" he asked, once again surprised in knowing he'd come for her. She felt as if he was the only one who'd rever really see her enough to know and care for her--and she was feeling as if he might care for her. He'd come back twice for her. "You left without saying anything," her voice, while still happy, held some concern, "I feared i'd never see you again, and if I did it would be because Morgana found you." And that was worse then not seeing him again.
Hhe loved seeing her smile. He still remembered the first time she did when they had met at the city. It was an image he memorized and carried with him. Seeing it now, seemed to add a beacon of light amidst all this darkness. "For you," he confirmed, wanting her to know that. Not about to deny that. She spoke of how he had left without saying goodbye and . . . he knew that while he left a letter for her, he felt the need to explain. "I know," he acknowledged. He owed her an explanation.
"I was, ashamed." He still was. "You held so much hope in me, Guinevère. And I know that leaving was a cowardly action. I did not have the strength to look you in the eye and say goodbye." He had been weak, and even more of a coward for not doing so. "I wish, I could have made you proud." Because, he cared about what she thought of him. "The others do not know I am here." He had come to her first. And he would tell her of what tomorrow would bring before all others found out. "I wanted to see you." More than anything, and with his words, he dared to reach out and gently take her hand in his own.
She shook her head, knowing that he had nothing to be ashamed of. "It was un fair of me to put so much on you. I didn't care what you wanted, or what might happened to you. She had cared but she didn't KNOW what might happened. "Seeing you in that cell . . . I understand. You didn't choose this, and it wasn't fair for me to try and make you." She shouldn't have risked his life. She should have listened to what he wanted and been supportive. She should have ran away with him.
"The others do not know I am here." He has said he was here to help, and she wondered what he meant. "I wanted to see you." when he took her hand, she gripped it in return, glad to be touching him. "And I you," she admitted, "Do you intent to tell them, or are you only here for the night?" She asked, needing to know because if he was only here for the moment, then she knew that she would ask him to take her with him. Let them go be other people. Escape while they were together.
Her words just further proved what an incredible person she was. And considerate, though he knew why she had wanted him to take the role of king. He still wasn't sure he could, but he would at least do something useful so that the people no longer had to live in fear. "You have such a good heart, Guinevère," he told her with a light smile. "You risked so much, for everyone. Because you wish only to help them; to save this kingdom." And he was indeed ashamed that he had not shared that selflessness. "Perhaps, there is no choice. There is no escape from this." From being hunted by Morgana. From the blood that ran in his veins. He did not want her to feel guilty, or to feel that any of what had happened to him was her fault.
Once again, relief washed over him as she admitted that she too wanted to see him. With her next question, he knew it was time to reveal his plan. "I have challenged Morgana to pull the sword from the stone." Something that only few have attempted, but never succeeded in. "The news will undoubtedly spread by first light, and the people will gather to witness it." If she truly was all that they claimed, she would not be successful. "There will be reason for her to lose support." Because if she could not do it, others would question her right to claim the throne. Because it started with people's strong beliefs in legend and history. They believed in this. It would surely make an impact. Though . . . Arthur knew he conveniently left out the part where he too would have to make attempt. Even though it was insignificant, for he was certain that he would not be able to lift the sword.
"Perhaps, there is no choice. There is no escape from this." She had felt the same not long ago, "There is always a choice, Arthur. Sometimes it's easier to beleve you don't." She believed that, but she also knew what he meant. Sometimes you had to do something, and you didn't feel as if you couldn't not do it. That was what made her stay, and that was what made her want to go away with him. "I have challenged Morgana to pull the sword from the stone." What?
Guinevère stared up at him, and missed what else he said. They had been fighting for so long to make sure she couldn't get near it, and now he was challenging his sister to try it. "Do you think her magic will work there?" She asked, wondering what his plan was. Her heart beat so hard that she couldn't fully let her mind take in what he was planning. "Wait, Arthur, if she see's you there she will kill you." If he challenged her them he planned to be there! "You can't go there! She will go mad when she see's you! She will use her powers and you could be killed! . . . and I couldn't . . . " Them--because he wasn't going alone, but she didn't want either of them there!
Arthur felt glad that he had some answers to her questions due to time spent with the druids. Of course he did not know with absolute certainty, but he could only relay what he had been told. "It is a sacred space, protected by the druids. Magic will not work to pull the stone out." But her next question brought up another concern. That she could kill him there. That she could use magic on him, just as she had in the cells. "It is also a place where violence is not permitted." The only relief found there was that the druids would be overseeing it. So if Morgana tried anything, he would hope that they'd step in.
He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. A reassuring one. Giving her a small smile to continue to reassure her. "I could be killed on any given day," he began to say. Her wrath was extensive, and she would not stop. "So could any one else who she decides is not fit to live." Killing people needlessly. Spreading her cruelty to all grounds. He knew that this was not just about him. "The war is coming. The armies have rallied. Should we not make attempt to end this peacefully?" Just as single combat between two forces could name a winner in a war . . . he saw this as a similar challenge. Instead, it was not a duel. Not in the traditional sense with sword fighting. Merely . . . sword pulling. "It is a risk I am willing to take." Because while he feared for others . . . he feared for her the most.
He squeezed her hand, and she felt some comfort in his words. Morgana could not use her magic there, which meant she could nto kill Arthur using it. She'd have to fight with her men, and if so then she knew the knights here would protect him. She moved her other hand so her two hands held his and she added to what he said. "Then we will face her together." He would not be going to watch Morgana do this alone.
And whatever happened happened afterwards, they could do that together. "You seemed to have thought of this well," she told him, wondering where he'd been. "What changed your mind?" He wanted nothing to do with this. So much that he had left without a word to. He had been so sure, but now he seemed so again but with different goals. He was going to end this peacefully. Which also made her ask, "What happens when she cannot pull it?"
Morgana would be seen as the untrue heir, but unless someone else stepped up then she was still the only heir they knew. She still had power . . . unless he planned to revile he was Uther's son.
Arthur felt a strong comfort in her words. That they would face her, together. For he knew that it could not be easy -- to say the least -- for Guinevère to face Morgana after quite literally stabbing her in the back. "Together," he repeated, wanting her to know that this time, he would stay until it was seen through. That he would not flee when danger was upon them. That they would do this, get through this . . . together. He drew strength from her in ways he could not explain. And she gave him confidence in matters that he otherwise had none. His feelings for her grew intense with each passing day and . . . he wasn't even certain how to vocalize them. He gave a bit of a smile at her next words.
"I spent some time with the druids," he began to explain. "They told me of this legend, and I thought it best to raise the challenge as a means of relinquishing her from her title and throne." In a way where -- hopefully -- no one had to die. As to what changed his mind? "The thought of so many dying in this war." He paused for a moment, looking at her. "The thought of harm coming to you." And know, it would be his fault because he had run away and not done something to help. The next question . . . was not one he held all the answers to, but he could give suggestion. "I am not certain," he admitted. He had no mind for politics.
"Perhaps reassemble the council," he suggested. He'd learned that under Morgana's rule, there practically was no council. "They could govern until a more suitable alternative is found." Until someone was put in place. The council would have representatives; people who knew politics. It was not at all common but it was a solution better than Morgana's rule. "Either way, Morgana will no longer have power over the people. Camelot can find peace once more." That was the ultimate goal after all. He softly as he looked at her. "The people can be happy." And by people, he meant her. The implications clear in his words. But despite him leaving -- twice -- he wasn't ready to give up on them: on himself and Guinevère.
Guinevère listened to his words, and smiled brighter. Together. Ending Morgana's reign. a council to find a new ruler. Peace in the land. The people happy. He didn't need a crown to give the people hope. He was going to do it by just being himself! She felt proud of him, and felt that hope that he once stood for, only stronger this time. Because it was real! "I told you that you could bring people hope," She teased him, "and you didn't need to be king to do it." She had the feeling his mother would like that.
Guinevère could see and end to the madness, and it was almost scary how much she wanted everything to happen like he planned. As long as Morgana didn't find a way to pull the sword then everything could happen like he said! "When this is over, what will you do?" She asked, knowing that as long as Morgana was alive he wouldn't be safe. She'd want him dead for taking her throne from her (even if he wasn't putting himself there). "When this is done . . . Do you remember what you asked me?" To go with him! "Will you ask me again?" When it was over, because this time she'd say yes!
Arthur gave a small smile at her speaking of how he could bring people hope. He still disagreed, but he at least could feel like he was doing something to help. That in his position, he was able to challenge Morgana to something like this. But before he could give any words of disagreement, she asked him what he would do after this. It was a good question, not one he had given much thought towards. "I'm not sure," he admitted. "I don't know how safe it would be to go home." Because, he doubted Morgana would stop hunting him. At some point, she would try to reclaim the throne, but Arthur hoped that this bought the kingdom enough time to rally their defences, gain the support of their allies, and strengthen Camelot to be strong enough to eliminate any threat that Morgana may still posed.
He was about to ask her the same thing, whether she would still work in the castle or not . . . when her question caused him to pause. It was more the one that came after. "I asked . . . " He paused, remembering exactly what he had said, but dared to hope that her answer had changed. He knew what he had asked of her was unfair to her, and yet . . . he'd asked it anyway. And now she wished for him to repeat the words. He took a slow breath. "If you would come with me." He looked at her intently, his words both an answer to her question as well as a question itself. Would she come with him, when all this was over?
"I asked . . . " he said with a smile, and Guinevère smiled to match him, feeling as if this was the right thing to do. She could finally let go of the fight, and move on. A great deal because of what he was doing now. She had planned to ask to go with him anyway, but now . . . she could do it with ease. "If you would come with me." It was the easiest thing she could answer right now, because it felt so right. "I'll leave with you!" She promised!
Saying felt right too! If he was going to be king, she wouldn't be able to be with him. He would need to marry a princess, to help build up the alliance, but with him leaving or even staying as a commoner then she could be with him. They could let this feeling between them grow and turn into something beautiful! "We can decide if it's best to stay or go, but we can do it together." And besides, "It might be best to stay for a short time, to make sure things are safe and then . . . . let ourselves disappear." Be William and Rosa. They could even change their names to Morgana couldn't find them. Go to another kingdom and take on new lives together.
Arthur was surprised to hear it, in the best way possible. He could feel his heart swell with emotion upon hearing that she would leave with him. Even planning it out to suggest that they could stay for a bit, make sure things were settled and then making their way to start a new life . . . together. That was becoming his new favorite word. His smile faded but only to let the emotion show on his face, of just how much her offer meant to him.
"You would do that?" He asked, clearly touched by her words. "You would leave your home . . . to be with me?" The place she grew up in. The castle that she worked in. He knew that she had worked for Morgana but still. It was the place she was used to. She was most familiar with. And . . . to hear that she would leave all that, and go somewhere far away enough . . . meant the world to him. So much so that he didn't have any more words to offer other than the ones he spoke. As if trying to determine whether this was truly real.
"You would do that?" Arthur asked her, and Guinevère smiled up at him. "You would leave your home . . . to be with me?" With Camelot settling down, and there not being much else that a servant could do--nothing kept her here. Her brother had not been around in years, she didn't even know if he was alive. She wanted to be around someone who helped her see the brightness in the world; not stay here int he darkness alone.
"I've spent so long here." She began, "Camelot had become a very dark place for me. That day in the market, I started to see hope again. Even before I knew your name. I smiled easier, and felt lighter. I wanted to be that person I was then. That I am around you." She explain, "Yes, I would go with you! Anywhere!"
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
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