Where Legends Begin

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kaisaan, Aug 9, 2013.

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  1. More injured, more men, more bodies coming trickling back into the small village, more than the thatched, brick-laid buildings can hold. The battles has been bloody and stretching on for three agonizing days. The preparation took longer than the actual fight and while those of Camiliard battled for their independence fiercely, they truly had little chance against the King that has reigned over them for so long and many believe that their Lords have been stupid and hasty in trying to wrest control away from Uther of Camelot, King of all Southern Britain.

    From Cornwall to the west, Norgales to the north and Lambole to the east, King Uther ruled with an iron fist and no one dared challenge him. Until now. It had been rumored at first and then confirmed that the King was ill and progressively growing worse. Camiliard had felt this was the perfect time to challenge the King's authority over their land and wealth. What they'd not expected was for the King's army to come and route them, break up their lines so hurriedly, so thoroughly. It was little consolation that he was still sick. He still lived and they'd been defeated.

    Now it was time for them to tend their wounded, nurse their injured pride and await judgement from the King.

    Merlin, however, was thinking in a bit more simple way as she tried to stop the bleeding of an injured shoulder, small but steady hands soaked with blood already. The rest of her wasn't much better and she muttered curses under her breath as her hands glowed gold for a moment, her eyes doing the same and the bleeding slowed.

    "Yes!" It was a whisper of triumph as she got the man's arm wrapped, letting him be where he'd passed out as she hurried to the next man, the next fountain of blood, the next stupid fool who had fought in a battle he couldn't win.


    The brunette looked up slightly, eyes catching sight of a blond who ran to her quickly, looking almost ill at the sight of so much blood and the cries of pain and moans of despair. The stench was already nauseating and it was only going to get worse.

    "Merlin, there are Knights coming!"

    A grunt. "I know. I'm putting them back together now." came the sarcastic reply and the blond looked back the way she'd came, back at the barn entrance and to the road. "No, Camelot Knights! A Knight is injured. They want a healer!" she hissed and Merlin looked up, blood on her face, her dress, her arms and hands, some coating the tips of her hair where it had come over her shoulder. Her dark blue eyes were steady and unyielding, though.

    "Then you better go volunteer your services, Ayleth, because I've already got lives to save and they're just as important as a Camelot Knight's."

    The blond paled, but she merely nodded, trying not to look at the blood around her as she darted away and back out into the air where everything was a little less gruesome.
    #1 Kaisaan, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  2. The Battleground​
    Steel against steel, the neigh of a warhorse, and the screams of injured men will become a mere memory to those who survive. Strong and wise men along side boys the age of their own children make their graves together and lie down for eternal sleep. Their names will never be known for they are just another face to add to the sea of dead. But how their families will greave and curse this war. Uther wishes to remain strong even though his body is giving in. Losing any of his Kingdom will result in a failure of his reign. Although he dislikes the horrific stories showing up on his doorstep of battle, he is lucky one man, his son, has made it through the years of hazy battle.

    The stories passed on by word of mouth. Each time the battle is uttered, the story is altered. Every moment the knights re-live on the cinema of their eyelids, becomes another tale to tell. A memory to shut out and forget. The strong battle cries of mounted men storming down the hill to face their opposition become a blurb in a textbook. Information spilling like the blood of enlisted men. Then the page is turned, the battle forgotten. A wise enemy knows when they have been defeated. Until another uprising comes with the dawn of a far away sun, peace will be signed away and marked on parchment.
    All the fighting becomes an echo across all of Camiliard for all conflicts end when there are no more men to fight them.​


    Arthur, coughing up blood onto his dented steel armor, thinks upon death as his brown eyes look up towards the sky in wonder. Never before has he just stayed in one place, taking a moment to let the world around him become a part of him. Despite the smell of sweat and the taste of rich blood all around him, the Prince has a small smile to his face. He feels the creaking of his armor against the heavy bolder. It's the place he fell and its the place he is certain he will die. But he isn't looking to the expanse before him, littered with twisted steel and the dead. Instead his eyes are above him, watching as the clouds turn from a rustic yellow to flames in the sky through the slits in his heaume helmet.

    With his head spinning, his fatigued arms barely have the strength to wrap around the cylindered shape, let alone yank it off of him. Dropping it immediately, his wet hair clings to his temples and the back of his neck, afraid to face the chill of the evening wind. His chest still heaves up and down, attempting to gain a full breath but failing to do so. With all the strength he has left, Arthur takes in one last deep breath and screams. What exactly he screams is gibberish for he just wants someone to find him. His knights to save him.

    He passes out after such a rumbling from his own throat, the last thing he remembers is an echoing across the hills. Feeling quite warm in his metal encasing, he slumps back down against the rock and attempts to keep his eyes open. But sleep, eternal sleep, seems like such a bargan right now. All the warmth and comfort he could ever imagine, the pain numbed at his temple and ribcage. He, no doubt, has broken ribs for with each breath comes a saloon of fire. Closing his eyes and passing out, the Prince is found ten minutes later by a few of his wounded loyal knights. Despite their own pain, they heave Arthur up and take his sword and great helm with them, heading for the town.

    Show Spoiler
    #2 Vacyr, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  3. Merlin hears the shouts as the Knights of Camelot call for a healer and for a moment she feels a bubble of white-hot anger burst within her. How dare they come here and ask for anything! They are busy tending to their own men, their own people! They don't have time for a wounded Knight that's fought against them! Let him go to his own Camelot healers! She feels that anger spark to life in her fingertips and the man below her gives a groan that draws the brunette away from her inner rantings as she curses, realizing that while yes, she's been cauterizing a wound, she's gone a little off course. Damn.

    Feeling guilty, Merlin touches the man's forehead and sends him into a deeper sleep, mumbling an apology as she finally moves away and toward the next man. She never gets the chance to even touch another body, though, as her arm is caught and she finds herself being pulled away from the makeshift healing ward by an older healer with features just as dirtied with blood as her own at the moment.

    "Merek! Let go."

    "You're needed, Merlin."

    Merlin jerks, trying to get free, but she has no true desire to hurt the older man pulling her and he doesn't relent of his grip as she is taken out of the barn and toward the blacksmith's house. The brunette knows what awaits her there. "I don't want to work on a Camelot Knight, Merek! Get another healer to do it." Blue eyes look back at her, stern, silencing but Merlin just frowns back at his words. "You are the best healer here. They will only accept the best, now be silent, girl."

    Merlin glares outright at that, but now they are in front of the shop and she knows there really isn't much she can do anymore besides throw a fit and look like a child, so she simply shakes away Merek's arm and she enters the shop, seeing that at least four Knights are inside around another who has been laid on the table. Merlin grumbles under her breath as she unceremoniously shoves past the ones standing and one almost jumps, hand going to sword before he registers that it is a woman he is about to draw on and halts himself. Merlin doesn't pay it any mind as she starts deftly removing the bloody armor from the unconscious Knight, looking up with an irritated expression at the others.

    "You couldn't have even got him out of his armor for me?" She shakes her head, tossing the breastplate aside. "I swear, men are useless." she mumbles, continuing her work until the blond man before her - and if she'd been in a better mindset, she would have noted that he was rather very good-looking, but at the moment that is the farthest thing from her mind - is in his tunic and breeches and she tears open the former, looking over the damage with a critical eye. Hmm, some serious bruising. He's got to have some broken or at least cracked ribs and she'll be surprised if there isn't some internal bleeding.

    Merlin's eyes glow gold as she runs just her fingertips over the abused flesh before her, gold at her fingers too as she finally finds one of those aforementioned broken ribs. "You might want to hold him down." she mutters absently and then waits until the other Knights do so before her power flares and the rib snaps back into place. Oh, it's excruciating, no denying that, but necessary and the bone IS healing as she moves on to the next. Hmm, five of these. She wouldn't want to be this Knight right now.

    Merlin goes about her work calmly, methodically no matter how the man beneath her reacts.
  4. [​IMG]

    The knights standing around their Prince are baffled when the healer they called for, the best in all the village, is a woman. Finding their Arthur so very injured in the fields of battle, they panicked and sent out for the best and closest healer Camiliard could offer. Now they're putting their Prince's life, young Arthur, in the hands of a witch. A few of the blooded faces swallow down dry throats, utterly shocked when she asks for their help. One man, a knight named Erangel, steps forward but his intentions are not to help Merlin in her attempts to save Arthurs life. The gray haired knight next to him, Laoniel, forcefully pulls the man back, knowing what Erangel would have said before he did.

    And so the elder knight comes forward and starts to unstrap the leather belts holding the specially crafted Pendragon armor from his Prince's chest. Through the bloody and wet clothing, she reveals to him the markings made from enemy maces and rapidly swinging morningstars. Laoniel feels himself grow pale, not wanting to think on how much pain the boy, for Arthur is still a young boy in his eyes, will be in when he wakes up. Right now the Prince looks peaceful, a small smile still molded to his lips and the picture of the sunset crafted before his eyelids.

    "Come on, assist me," he calls over his shoulder, the other knights taking a moment to step closer to the healer. They too, much like Erangel, are untrusting of Merlin's magic. Every chance they get, their hands rest on their sword hilts, their arms ready to stab the steel right through her if she tries anything against their Prince. None of them want to think of how mad Uther will be if he learns that they let a woman, a young woman with hardly any experience under her belt, heal his son. Swallowing, Erangel turns and exits the shop, leaving Arthur on the counter to be examined and hopefully treated. He moves through the village, proud to be in the red and white of his Kingdom. Asking every villager who will speak to him, it is confirmed that Merlin, is the best they have. He snorts, thinking their health care is awful if they brought a woman to the crown prince.

    Back in the blacksmith's shop, Arthur's unconscious mouth is given a thick stick to bite into. The pain, they are sure, will be unbearable but its nothing their young prince can't handle. They've waded into the seas of battle with him tenfold. Having Pendragon blood near them is an honor for Arthur, like his father, holds great courage. Even when all the odds are against them, he is ready for a fight. He makes them proud to wear the sleek, curving dragon portrayed on his shield. Currently his armor is moved to a corner, the old knight bending down to streak the blood across his red shield, revealing the white dragon beneath the crimson battleground.

    Hearing the Prince scream out, his teeth digging deep into the wood that has been placed there, Laoniel turns briskly around. Arthur has never felt such pain before, the healing and resetting of broken bones. His entire body flails out at first in protist. Laoniel keeps the stick in his mouth so the poor man doesn't bite off his tongue. When Arthur's body know he cannot fight the strong knights any longer, he simply shakes, his chest heaving up and down even though he knows it can't be helping.

    "Sssh, Arthur, all will be well," Laoniel whispers, keeping Arthur's head down while his eyes wildly look around. Squeezing his eyes shut again, Arthur simply attempts to let Merlin heal him without too much of a problem. Oh but how his blood boils!
    #4 Vacyr, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  5. Merlin is focused on her work and she doesn't pay attention to the screams because she has heard so many this day that they are just another noise in her ears. Her mind is on the injuries at hand and the dozens, nay, hundreds more like it that she will have to treat today and in the days to come until she's utterly exhausted and barely able to remember or respond to her own name. Still, she tries to be quick because she knows this is agony and when the last rib snaps back into place, she lets out a sigh and then places her palm on the man's - she has not caught his name - torso and the glow intensifies, spreading out over his skin and seeping inward.

    Her dark blue eyes glance at his face and she feels a pang of sympathy before she looks back at her work and the glow that seeps from her takes a bit of a darker tinge. Not only is she healing the internal damage he's sustained, but now she's trying to make it as painless as possible. It takes more concentration, more energy, but there is something about this man that make her want to ease the pain he's in.

    His face almost looks familiar to her in the oddest way, but she doesn't linger on that thought because its not important. She'll heal him, she'll leave, he'll leave and she'll get back to work like nothing has happened. And nothing has happened. He's just another injured fighter and she a healer who needs to get back into the thick of the horrifying aftermath of battle.

    When the glow finally fades from her hand, the bruises had faded, though not completely, over the man's chest and his ribs are strong under his skin. He will no longer be coughing blood and now she moves toward his head, delicate fingers dancing over the cut on his head as she tilts her head this way and that, parting his hair to see how deep it goes. She finally leaves it alone, knowing it's not worth wasting her energy on and she looks to the Knight near the man's head.

    "He should be good now. If he passes out, I would suggest waking him again. He shouldn't sleep for at least two hours."

    With that she makes for the door, task done.
  6. "As you request it, my lady, it shall be done," Loaniel tells her, nodding his head then motioning for the other men to stop pinning the Prince's arms and legs down. He won't flail any longer for the pain has been dulled, not removed, just ebbed for a little while. Now if Arthur tries to move, the agony will return but for two hours, the knights stay by his side and talk to their beloved Prince. The healing process is all in a daze to the blonde haired man, only remembering small, docile fingers against his head and chest. Whether she really wants to be there healing him or not, she gets the job done. Her fingers are slender yet callused, a feeling that troubles Arthur. Normally women and their hands should be soft but at least her fingers were warm. Whatever, whoever healed him, he must thank once he has the strength to.

    "Your royal highness," Loaniel breathes when Arthur starts to drift off into a dream, seeing the sunset once more, shaking his shoulder until the Prince awakens, "The lady requests that you stay awake until two hours past the time of her last healing finger." Arthur groans, the pain starting back up in his chest, every pound of his heart makes his ribs rattle.

    "Thank you for looking after me, Loaniel. You're a loyal knight," attempting to glance around the room, Arthur sees another knight against the wall, sleeping soundlessly, "the most dependable of my personal guard it seems." the man tries to laugh but ends up coughing instead, feeling his chest erupt as if there are jagged stones lodged there. Loaniel immediately grabs Arthur's shoulders, lifting him up from the bloodied wood of the counter so that he may sit up and let the demons be hacked from his body.

    "But you really don't have to stay, I am sure I'll be fine," the man shakes his head from left to right, telling Arthur that it's his job to assure his safety and he won't be leaving his side until he can defend himself properly once more. "As I said before, Loaniel, you're a good man. A loyal knight. I'll be telling his highness of your dedication to my sickly side," coughing this time on Loaniel, the knight jumps back but when Arthur starts to laugh, so does he. The kid always has a sweet spot for humor, nearly causing the man to have a heart attack. He wants the demons to leave Arthur's body, as he does Uther, but not directly on him. Still chuckling, he lays Arthur back down and stays with him long after the boy has fallen asleep.

    When he wakes up, Arthur will be wanting Merlin here so that he can thank the -man- who saved him. The man with woman-like fingers.
  7. Merlin works until she can barely see straight and even then she keeps working until she is almost forcefully removed by Merek who watches her stumble to her own hut with a fond shake of his head. Exasperating girl. He knows she will get to her home where she lives alone and collapse into bed without even undressing or cleaning herself and that is exactly what Merlin does. She sleeps the deep sleep of the bone-weary and when she feels someone shaking her shoulder about five hours later, she groans and tries to push them away because dammit, she just went to bed!

    "Merlin! Come on, Merlin, wake up."

    "Uh, whawrong?" The words are barely intelligible as she raises her head and grimaces, trying to wake her fogged mind. Ayleth shakes her shoulder again for good measure and this time Merlin smacks her hand away with a more coordinated effort, sitting up and running her blood encrusted hand through her dark brown hair. Her fingers catch in multiple places in the tangles and dirt and she winces and blinks rapidly to focus on the blond who is already speaking. Merlin frowns and has to ask her to repeat herself.

    Ayleth does so with a sigh. "You're being requested by the Camelot Knights again."

    Merlin nearly flops back on the bed but Ayleth keeps a hold of her shoulders and Merlin frowns. "If they want a healer, then just go get one." she grumbles and Ayleth shakes her head, looking wide eyed, like she knows something Merlin has not yet grasped in her tired state. "They requested you by name."

    "Of course they did."

    Merlin sighed and finally gets out of bed and she moves with ill grace to the wash bucket and gives her arms, hands and face a halfhearted wash. Since she's up, she might as well get back to work after seeing to the Knights again. What was wrong now? A sprained ankle? She knows her thoughts are uncharitable, but doesn't much care as she leaves the hut and Ayleth follows, looking her over with a shake of her head. "You should have at least changed." she hisses quietly and Merlin smirks. "Right, because no one else is going to bleed on me today. I'll see you later, Ayleth." She departs from the blond then and moves toward the blacksmith's shop, addressing the Knight that stands guard there.

    "I was summoned?"
  8. With the sunrise comes another day but for Arthur, it's the day after a memorable dance with death's doorstep. Even though the boy could have survived the trek home to Camelot, his knights insisted that he be healed right away. Seeing him slumped against the rock with blood dripping from his mouth was a signal in itself to get him to a healer right away. Uther would be devastated if Arthur had died, his own strength unable to cope with the multitude of depression. Still, the knights don't think about it for Arthur is fine, completely healed but still weak. His body is used to herbal remedies and small touches of magic but what Merlin gave him was something completely different. She mended each and every bone - let alone dulled the pain.

    Requesting Merlin, a man's name surely, to the blacksmiths shop, Arthur orders his men to dress him in his armor again. He wants to make it back to Camelot as soon as possible. While he slept, an idea forged in his mind. This healer, by the name of Merlin as told by his personal guard, ought to come back with him to his kingdom and see what he can do on Arthur's father. Liking the idea very much, he gathers his knights around him and informs them of his plan. All the knights, including Sir Loaniel, keep their mouths shut on Merlin's gender, knowing Arthur won't like that bit at all. Letting a woman, a witchdcotor no doubt, heal him.

    The sounds of scraping metal and the clicking of the iron buckles filling the air. Naturally the sounds are right at home in a blacksmith's shop. During the chill of the night, they even had a warm furnace to keep them warm. Pinning his chest plate down again, the guard from outside walks in the door, letting the morning chill wrap itself around the cozy room. Luckily the fire is stoked so the cold doesn't last long. Following the guard comes Merlin and upon Sir Kelkane announcing her arrival, Arthur turns to meet her gaze. His face has flushed to its normal hue, dark brown eyes glinting against the silvery steel.

    "Lady Merlin, your royal highness," Sir Kelkane nearly shouts, blocking Merlin from seeing the Prince but finally sliding out of the way and back outside to guard the shop. The air suddenly grows stale, Arthur blinking at what he is seeing but not quite believing it.

    His jaw drops, mind going blank. A woman has healed me. What treacherous curses must she have put upon my body.

    "Lady?" he starts out, clearing his throat as his gauntlet is slipped onto his hand, the straps tightened to keep it there. "Lady Merlin?" The Prince shakes his head, "They must have made a mistake, your friends. I'm looking for the healer who helped me recover, not his daughter." chuckling nervously, a small thought in the back of Arthur's mind tells him that this is Merlin. No doubts. Oh but how he wants to doubt his own brain right now, "So will you go and fetch him for me, m'lady? I have a proposition for him to hear." Wanting nothing more to do with the girl, his words quite blunt, Arthur turns back to his men who have stopped dead in their tracks, "Come on..." he whispers, the men springing back to life.
  9. Merlin, for a moment, is completely confused. Your highness? There is royalty here? A sneaking suspicion grows in her quick-thinking mind, but it's only confirmed when the Knight before her moves out of the way and she nearly groans when she sees the blond. It's then that she feels a curling knowledge come whispering through her mind like a ghostly wind coming through a narrow gorge.


    Of course. Arthur Pendragon, Prince of Camelot, Heir to the Britain throne. Of course she would have healed the bloody Prince and not know it. That is the story of her life, isn't it? She is startled, but much more composed than the Prince is as she listens to him with the slightest of smiles quirking her lips. She lets him speak, lets him dig himself a nice little hole and when he finally shuts up and turns away, she speaks, crossing her arms over a blood-encrusted dress of gray, her dark blue eyes sparking barely restrained fire past her mess of dark hair.

    "No, I won't go 'fetch' anyone for you. I'm not one of your hounds, your highness." Knowing she now has his complete attention because of her bold tongue, Merlin meets his gaze evenly. "I am Merlin and I have no living father. I am a healer and it was my hands that kept your body from death and it will be my hands that will keep many more from joining those in the afterlife this day. So if you are through subtly insulting the fact that I am a woman and so could not possibly have anything to do with the fact that you aren't still coughing up blood and praying to the heavens for the pain to stop, may I go and do my work now, Prince Arthur?"

    Merlin knew her mouth had gone a bit too far. She hardly could muster up the effort to care.
  10. Arthur's eyes immediately narrow for the Prince isn't used to being talked down to. The woman has quite the balls, standing up to the Crown Prince of Camelot. Blinking, the blonde hairs on his head are wiped away with his plated hand but are unable to be tucked behind his ears. Unlike his father who has long brown hair, he chooses a more suitable length for getting in and out of his armor. The strands also keep out of his face which is just an all around plus for him. Her eyes, however, keep him in a chokehold, the Prince unable to speak for a moment after she finishes. Little could he have known, turning a cold shoulder would make a lass talk instead of shove them away as Arthur wished it would.

    "Now listen here," he starts to firmly tell her, a plated finger points in her direction. Before the Prince can finish his sentence, one of his knights comes up to Merlin and before she can even blink, he slaps her right across the face with a firm ungloved hand. Thinking that will put her down into a more submissive state, the knight turns around to nod at Arthur, thinking his job has been done. Arthur never liked the fact that women were so abused so now that he isn't under the pressured eyes of his family, Arthur stands up for what he believes in. Uther would always hold him back or keep his eyes open when there was a flogging in town square or, better yet, a hanging.

    "How DARE you!"

    The knight starts to shout, his hand coming back for another blow to her face but it all ceases when Arthur holds his arm back. Pulling the Sire closer, Arthur folds him over and bends his arm back until the man is pleading to be let free. "No, Sir Hectane, how dare you." Arthur tells the man in firm, bricked words, not letting his arm go. Now that Arthur's chest is exposed to Merlin, she will be able to see the dragon etched in the blood chipping silver. "Striking the very woman who saved my life. She may have a silvery tongue but when you're in my presence, you so much as look at a woman with ill intentions and I'll break your arm, understand?" For good measure, Arthur bends the arm back even more, the knight howling in pain. Then, all is lost and he lets go, shoving the Knight aside.

    Huffing at the irrationality of Sir Hectane, Arthur looks back to Merlin, "I would really rather you sit and hear my proposition before you run off. Take a seat," motioning one of his knights over, the man brings a rickety wooden chair for Merlin to sit before her Prince. It may seem as though he is asking but the Prince, but in reality, Merlin has no other option but to take the seat.
  11. Her face throbs with wild heat, just like the beat of her heart and had Merlin been alone with the arrogant, b****** of a Knight, she would have done far more then stand there glaring at him with seething hate and fire in her eyes. She is far from cowed and she does not stumble back, does not flinch as the hand rises again, her shoulders up and her back straight as an arrow's shaft, just daring him to lay one more hand on her for it will not change her or make her bow down to him.

    The strike never comes, though, as she is defended by none other than the Prince himself and she watches impassively as he reprimands his man. She should feel grateful, rescued even, but Merlin feels nothing of the sort. Just fury that boils like molten lava through her blood, making her clench her fists and gold flecks spark in her eyes behind her brown hair that now hangs, half obscuring her features. She makes no move to right it and when the chair comes it is with stiff movements that she sits and crosses her arms, nails digging into her palms in an effort to keep herself in check.

    Her jaw clenches so hard a muscle jumps in her face and the truth is that if she'd been a man, she would have been greatly respected for her skill already and her level head. But she is a woman and such things are not seen as gifts in a woman but belligerence. Her eyes glance to Sir Hectane, but it's in disdain, not fear before her dark blue storms go back to Arthur's steely brown.

    "A proposition? Do I have a choice in the matter?" She nearly hisses the words.
  12. The rest of Arthur's armor is fitted on, his pauldrons fitted to his shoulders, tasset hung at his hip and plackart fitted beneath his breatplate. With his armor on, the Prince looks like he ought to be a King. They are, after all, his father's armor pieces. Uther wished for Arthur to ride into battle proudly, fighting for all to see him. They made the knights of Camiliard retreat, making Camelot rule once again with proud colors. All that is lacking is his sword, shield, and great helm. Unlike his father, he doesn't get to wear the crown. Instead, the top is covered with a small dragon, his wings spread proudly, protecting the Prince of the Pendragon heredity line. ​
    "Of course you have a choice in the matter, Merlin," Arthur beams, a trusting smile coming over his face like a rising moon. "I cannot knock you over the -- well, I guess I can clock you over the head with the hilt of my sword," and just at that moment, the elder knight hands him his sword. For generations, the same sharpened steel has been passed through the Pendragon line. When Arthur became a knight, the sword was passed from his father to him in a lavish ceremony. He had only been eighteen, taking great care of the Pendragon sword ever since it touched his fingertips on that snowy winter evening. ​
    "But as you can very well see, I don't believe in the cruelty of hitting women, let alone kidnapping them from their own native land. Her own precious Camiliard." his tone isn't mocking, he just notices the obvious details. She has lived here all her life, how else can she have the good name? The men who pointed his knights in the direction of her told them that Merlin is the best. The greatest. And Arthur needs her to come back to Camelot. "So I know that I shouldn't even be asking you but I will." ​
    Arthur walks right over to Merlin, leaning a hand on the back of her chair as he kneels before her sitting in the chair. "I'll have to ask nicely or you'll never consider it. So, Merlin." he resists reaching out like he would most women, caressing their cheek and quietly lavishing their ears with exactly what they want to hear. Poems some times and portraits of their beauty in the next breath. "The woman who has saved my life, will you return to Camelot and look over my father? I have never felt such healing energy, never felt such magic." glancing at his knights, Arthur smiles, standing and walking half way around her chair, "My men tell me you're a witch. I think you're something far more respectable. Even if you snap like a snake."​
  13. Merlin doesn't relax, doesn't return his smile, doesn't even give him any hint of a softening in her features because she feels no such thing. She is a not a court lady, raised and bred on the art of flattering men, striving to please their families with a good match, dainty and beautiful like a fragile glass goblet. No, she's not a docile thing and she won't fake that she is, and she won't be swayed by a beguiling smiles and charismatic words. When Arthur speaks of knocking her out and dragging her back with him, she nearly stands right there and then, but rare caution sounds in her mind and she stays seated, eyes narrowed as she continues to listen to him without saying a word, letting him assume what he will because he doesn't have the decency to ask, Prince or no.

    Native land? Hardly.

    No, he shouldn't be asking, but Merlin lets him speak because she knows to tell him to stop would not make sense to his hot-headed ego. She stiffens as he crouches down by her, keeping her body well away from his arm, any touch he might give because she does not want it. And when he speaks of his proposition, she nearly snaps a no at him right then. It's only that pesky common sense that's decided to rear its head that keeps her teeth clamped over her tongue, literally.

    Her dark blue eyes follow him with hawk-like intensity as he half-circles her and this time Merlin does stand. She is not prey to be circled around and she turns back to look at Arthur squarely. Her eyes smolder with anger and pride, and the livid mark on her dirtied face gives clear testament to why her patience is decidedly short. She opens her mouth and it is more than clear what her answer is going to be - why in the world would she want to come with them?! - but she just as quickly clamps her mouth shut again.

    Merlin's eyes flash gold and she frowns slightly before the expression is gone and she gives Arthur a slightly thoughtful and yet judging look. Something seems to have calmed her ire just a little and she speaks evenly when she finally does speak. "I will think on it. You will give me two hours to know my mind or my answer will be no." She moves toward the exit then without asking for leave and she glances over her shoulder with an arched brow.

    "And Prince Arthur, beware of snakes that snap. They often have venom."

    And with that she is gone.
  14. The young Prince makes many assumptions that are not his place to make. With her merely being in his land, he figures, as any rational being would, that she is from here. Her name is certainly known but there is still plenty that the Prince doesn't know. Bringing his fingers to his neatly trimmed goatee, Arthur holds his pose for a while while listening to her fight back against her very self. What she says, he assumes once more, is half of what her mind is thinking if not a mere quarter. Is she drawing his rank as a sign of authority as he wished it might, no. But at least the girl is being civil. As civil as she dares be.

    Bowing his head, Arthur moves over to the small pile of twisted iron, no doubt a project the blacksmith had been working on before being called into battle. He scoffs loudly, picking up the twisted metal as a tailor would a needle to find the small hole for his thin thread. She gives her answer and he couldn't be happier. Even though his back is turned to her, one plated knuckles resting against the small of his own back. He stands tall, never slouching as he walks around her and eventually over to the mangled tools both broken and mended. Arthur knows the healer will keep to her word for she had plenty of opportunities to flee this shop but only took to her feet once she had heard his request.

    It surprises him that she doesn't want to know more about his father's state. Either that or why she hasn't tried to see how long they wish for her to stay in Camelot. Will she be able to heal the King and return home? Arthur never specified a time period. The Prince now realizes that the less she knows, the better it will be for them in the long run. Uther will want her to stay at Camelot but Arthur can already see trouble with trying to tame this slithering beast.

    "I am Prince Arthur Pendragon," he announces, his chest puffing out as he speaks, "No venom can kill me." He knows that Merlin has long been lost to the longing cries of soldiers who want their arms or legs back and the muffled groaning of those who are deeply in pain. "So two hours, Loaniel. We wait and pray that Merlin will find reason for coming to Camelot. Perhaps the cure of my father can be an incentive for something..." By now, the two men sit by the roaring fire, Arthur mainly speaking to himself as time ticks slowly by. Waiting is always a bore.
  15. Merlin pours herself back into her work for an hour. A precious hour in which she is home and yet, in hell as well. She is in her element, though, her form darting here and there, glowing hands and soothing words, muffled curses and snapped orders she is a force to be reckoned with. She is young, very young but has an experience far beyond her years and there must be a story behind that, a grand tale that will be pried from her clenched jaws before she gives it up. Or perhaps not for Merlin is not as venomous as she seems if approached with the right hand, the right words, the right demeanor.

    Like a wild horse, she responds well to overturns of trust, but not force and she employs the same thing to those she cares for, a gentle word able to sooth a panicked and screaming man, a sharp, but brief reprimand putting a stressed healer in his place. She is level-headed and does not panic even as her heart is twisting inside of her and she looks at all the faces she recognizes, knowing this might be the last time she sees them for a long time if ever again.

    Because she'd known. She'd known what her answer was supposed to be the moment her eyes burned gold in the blacksmith's shop. The two hours...had been for her, to make a point, but she already knew she would leave. She is meant to follow that damn Prince whether she wants to or not and that's what rankles Merlin so very much. That her life is tied to another that she doesn't even know nips at her heals like a yapping dog and she has known such information since she was seven years of age.

    A blond man in battle, red and white banners flying. A blond youth riding across the land, pursued. A blond man with a crown on his head, knees bowing down to him.

    Oh, yes, she should have known who she was healing yesterday, but her mind had been elsewhere, not on the visions she's had all her life, not on the fate that has brought her here and will now wrench her away. He is no longer just a vision, but real and how she wishes that he was not as Merlin finally pulls herself away from the gore and blood, screams and sobs and heads back to her hut. She packs calmly, having little to take and heads down to the stream to a place reserved for washing. And that is what she does. Not rushed, not frantic, she cleans the blood off her body, dries and dresses in a way she knows will get her disapproving looks if not worse from the Knights. She wears a loose white shirt under a black corset and equally as black breeches with boots pulled high up her calf. Her hair dries in soft curls down her back, brushed out and everything she needs is in a satchel slung across her shoulder and across the other is a quiver of arrows and a bow richly-carved and crafted longbow.

    Merlin takes another look around the village she has been in for five years and sighs before raising her chin and straightening her back. It's time to move on again and she turns to the blacksmith's shop, merely giving the Knight guarding the entrance a look as she is looked over, folding her arms and cocking a hip. "Tell Prince Arthur I've made my choice. I will go to Camelot."
  16. "Lady Merlin of Camiliard," the guard bows his head once she approaches, "What hails you to see the Prince?" When she answers him, the guard leads her through the door once more and into the warmth of the blacksmith's area. Once more, she is declared as if she were stepping into the King's hall. Uther would be sitting on his wooden throne, depictions of his power carved into the backing above his head. Both her status and heritage being announced for all to hear, all the eyes of the court casting down their judgement. That day will come when hundreds of Camelot's finest men and women hear her name and all the heads turn. Some are curious and others are seething. She is, still, a woman. A working class stiff, not a true lady of the realm.

    "Crown Prince, Lady Merlin of Camiliard has agreed to come to Camelot." The knight informs him, a single raise of a finger to signal silence in the room. The Prince is currently thinking, his brow darkening against the orange heat from the fire.

    But Arthur is soon that she, like all newcomers to his Kingdom, will learn to love the high walls of each and every district. It's what keeps them safe from harm. The crystal clear moat wraps around his home, plenty of fond memories coming to his mind of the yawning river cutting around his home. The water is borrowed for their moat and later returned downstream. Long fingers of farmland stretch past the tan walls, each stone placed to perfection and constantly up kept. Uther, being the proud King that he is, wont allow a single stone to be shoved out of place, let alone an entire wall knocked down by an enemy raid.

    Alas, thoughts of his homeland are dashed when the quiet feet next to the guard's plate comes into the room. "Are you read to head out, Merlin?" Arthur asks, not even bothering to turn around from the crackling flames chewing gleefully on thick logs of wood. Once she agrees, Arthur stands and walks past her as if she weren't even there in the first place. The man expects her to follow for his plan is to get them moving along the cleared dirt roads back South where Camelot lies against the Sea. The air is always fresh for the open planes nearly make men drunk. "Good. Now come with me and we'll get your things strapped to your horse."

    Once again, he assumes she can ride. At least the entertainment for the evening might be in order. Arthur, easily heaving himself up into his saddle, waits with tapping fingers for Merlin to check all of her belongings. She should be sliding into that saddle at any moment but for whatever reason she is hesitant to mount her own warhorse. The massive beast stands at attention and Arthur finally lets off a sigh of relief when she finally scrambles her way up into the leather seat. Pushing her hair aside, Arthur keeps a close eye on her as she lifts her head high, wanting to prove something to the Prince. But he isn't quite sure what. Her eyes alone tell her fear of being on horseback. Once they set off, Arthur hardly looks her way, leading his men through the war torn forests where the Camiliard's retreated and onwards to Camelot!
  17. Merlin answers that she's ready and when he walks past her without really acknowledging her, she's actually rather glad of it because she doesn't want to talk to him. She is leaving a place she's learned to call home because of him, though, he doesn't know it and she's not about to tell him anytime soon. He's got enough of an ego as it is and the brunette trails after the Knights, looking around at her village, saying brief farewells to those who ask her where she is headed. She merely tells them she's found work elsewhere, that she'll visit and they eventually let her be. Merlin doesn't know if she's lied to them or not at this point.

    The thought flees her mind as she looks at the massive warhorse that is assigned to her. Oh, good lord. How is she supposed to even mount this thing? The horse is not an old nag, not a calm farm horse. It's trained for battle, to plunge and rear and strike out and man, does she know it can gallop. She almost changes her mind right then - if that is even allowed - but her pride won't let her back down and she's given her word. So Merlin takes a breath, prays she won't fall off and hauls herself up the saddle, anything but graceful...but she does get in.

    Hell, she's surprised she didn't have some chivalrous Knight trying to help her, but then again, they do think her a witch....

    She pushes her hair back and sighs, but sits up straight if only because she is so tired she fears she will fall off if she slouches. Besides, she's seen others ride like this and it seems to work for them, so...can't hurt to try. She won't be seen as weak before these men who already have no respect for her. Still, when the horse shifts, she can't help the flash of fear in her eyes. Memories surge forward and Merlin forces herself to breathe past them, pushing them away. She's not ten anymore. This isn't the horse that killed her mother and her unborn brother. It's just a horse, an animal and she knows animals...well, wild ones more often than not, but... Yeah, she's just going to hang on and hope she doesn't fall off.

    She takes one last look at her home before her horse follows after the others and she turns ahead once more.

    Hours later, as the sun is beginning to set, Merlin is swaying in the saddle. She hurts, thighs sore, muscles burning, her butt is going numb and she's not even embarrassed to be thinking that. She's managed to stay on the horse through trots and canters, even a gallop that left her white as a sheet. The Knights, the Prince almost seem to be testing her, enjoying her ineptitude, but Merlin says nothing. She doesn't speak to any of them and when she is shaken by something, she only seems to grow harder and more withdrawn, settling once more after the event and moving on.

    Now, though, she is starting to see double, vision blurred and she only realizes she's started to doze when she nearly slips from the side of the saddle and manages to grab on to the mane of the horse with a muttered curse. She tries to straighten again, wake herself, but it's not two miles later that the same thing starts to happen all over again. She's going on five hours of sleep and she's been healing and on her feet for far longer than that. It's no wonder her body is betraying her now.
    #17 Kaisaan, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  18. As Merlin says her goodbye's the Knights surrounding Arthur seem impatient. They whisper to one another, placing the gold flecked helmets on their heads and tap their fingers on their plated tights. Loaniel, the closest of his guard in proximity, leans over in his saddle, whispering thoughts of their travel to Camelot. Arthur, he knows, longs to be home and release the stress of battle now clamping on his shoulders. Those claws, he knows, will soon be long forgotten but for right now, Arthur fears a surprise attack as they move back home to the ashlar walls of Camelot. But most of all, he misses the company of both his family and friends. It's been months, or perhaps a year for Arthur has stopped keeping track, since he has been ordered here. It's time to head home.

    The caravan of men now move through the jagged hills of Uther's land down to the southern planes where Camelot rests in the valley. Gray clouds cover them from the heat of the day, covering the moon at night. Throughout the journey, the knights hardly pay attention to Merlin, chatting and joking amongst themselves. Arthur, however, is far ahead. Perhaps that's the reason for the Knights to act in such an ill fashion. It's only Loaniel who actually rides beside her once they start winding around mountains on small forest paths. He is a kind man but not one for a lot of conversation. Every so often he points to a tree or shrub and tells her something about it but when it comes to personal information like family or his history, the man answers in simplistic terms.

    But even Loaniel can't help but cover his face with the palm of his hand when Merlin nearly falls off her steed. "You better start keepin' an eye out, lady." he tells her halfheartedly, not wanting to sound like the other men - cocky, self absorbed, rude... etc. "We'll be stopping again for dinner once we pass this second hill, don't you worry, Lady Merlin. Then you'll be able to get some shut eye. Arthur wishes to speak to you before we move out tomorrow. You better oblige to the Prince's wishes, my lady." He, of course, knows she is already giving up so much leaving her home and coming to Camelot. "I'm afraid Arthur will take offense if you don't."

    As most nights, Loaniel assists Merlin with her spare tent when they make camp. It's riddled with holes as if stabbed through with a sword too many times to count, but it keeps the majority of the bugs out and gives Merlin the privacy a woman needs.
  19. Merlin gives the Knight a slightly harsh look at his ribbing but seeing as he's the only man who's been even half-decent to her today, she acknowledges that by not snapping out at him and she merely nods stiffly before making herself wake up again. She is glad when they stop, though her legs nearly buckle when she slides down from the horse. Merlin grits her teeth at the pain that radiates from her legs and up her spine and gives the horse a look when he looks back at her, wondering what she is still doing by the saddle.

    "Just hush." she tells him in a low voice and then proceeds to unsaddle and brush him down before she does anything else. Merlin ignores the stares she gets. They'll learn that she's not incompetent, nor is she fragile. She might lack knowledge in some areas but where she does, she can learn. Dinner is prepared as she works - and it's a good thing they don't expect her to do it because she probably would have shot one of them if they'd even dared no matter how good she is at cooking - and she thanks Laoniel sincerely for his help with the tent, something that seems to surprise the Knight for the only words she's ever said to any of them have either been commands about healing or fiery darts that spring from her tongue as fast as a snake's strike.

    She remains quiet in their presence, having nothing to say at this time and she doesn't pay attention to the amusement when she moves strangely, her body not used to riding in the least. She knows, just like learning to draw a bow, the pain and soreness will fade with time. It's about time she lets her fear of riding horses fade anyway. If she can.

    Merlin goes to sleep that night without dreams, too exhausted to do anything but let her mind sink into the blackness that swallows her whole the minute she closes her eyes. The next morning she is confronted by Arthur who wants to make sure she knows proper court etiquette - and Merlin assures him that she knows enough, though, she's not a court lady, something they are both aware of - and explains that she shall have to pass under his father's inspection. Merlin merely looks at him with as much of a 'duh' expression as she thinks she can get away with. He then proceeds to explain that if the King accepts her into his service, she is 'bound by duty and by oath' to serve in whatever position he places her in - and any position he might give her later on or change her to - as long as he lives or until he releases her. Upon the King's death, she is free to go where she will or renew her oath to the next heir, Arthur himself.

    The brunette tells him she understands and their conversation is over...for a good while actually. They don't speak, barely acknowledge each other for the rest of the journey and Merlin keeps to herself, though, on the third night, she does heal two wounds that are starting to get infected on Kelkane and Laoniel. Other than that, she remains stoic, quiet and learns through trial and error how to better ride the great creature under her. By the end of two weeks, she is moving more easily and is rather fond of the black horse she learns is named Cobalt. He's taken a definite liking to her as well and he is the only one Merlin speaks with freely when she knows the others can not overhear. Certainly he is the only one who gets a smile out of her.

    Two weeks more - a month in total - finds them on the borders of Camelot and three days after that they are cresting a hill and Merlin hears the bleating of sheep. Her eyes are drawn to that first, but the animals don't hold her attention for long as something far more magnificent is before her. The walls of Camelot stand like giant beacons of strength and pride in the afternoon sun, the naturally made moat provided by the river sparkling like a sapphire. Rolling green hills and plains provide an enchanting, comforting background to the strong fortress and Merlin finds herself genuinely speechless.

    It's beautiful and the wonder in her eyes reflects her appreciation for the kingdom she's heard so much about. It truly is a sight to behold. And this is where she will be staying. The thought is almost overwhelming even as it is exciting.

  20. "Bring Lady Merlin to the front," Arthur announces once the tallest tower of Camelot comes into view before the rest of the castle's grounds. All the homes, crammed together following dirt roads, are made from timber against stucco plaster. Their roofs, depending on wealth range from straw thatch for the lower classes or tile fired from the clay the river brings them. Beyond the three rows of gatehouses and littered courtyards throughout the village, lies the grand masterpiece. A towering beacon for all to gawk at but only for the Lords and Ladies to reside inside.

    A visored knight nods to his Prince, turning his chocolate mare around to ride back to where Merlin is and retrieve her as ordered. When she is brought up back to the front, Arthur immediately asks over the clomping of hooves and the chimes of armor if she remembers what they talked about. Her, being a woman, must be reminded of such importances no matter what Arthur thinks of her smarts. Anything she does, any fault she reveals before the court - especially that silvery tongue of hers that ought to be cut out - is on Arthur's head. He must stand proudly for Merlin even if he doesn't know anything about the girl at all.

    They come clattering up to the gatehouse, not even a conversation needed for horns are blaring and the excited shouting and cheering of the guardsmen can be heard from the barbican and the baileys and walls beyond the main gate. Arthur simple stands tall, going so far as to takes off his helmet so that his people can see his flawless victory and radiant smile. Word as spread like wildfire ever since the glinting of their armor was seen from the crest of the last large hill to Camelot. A cheering crowed of commoners have now formed on either side of the line, clapping and hooting all the way until they're safe inside the last wall's gate.

    Arthur's smile fades, rolling his jaw for the muscles in his face have grown tight from the constant smiling. Servants, squires, and even enlisted men, come to congratulate and assist Arthur's men. But when they see Merlin, most of them grow silent. Arthur's greaves greet the ground, his mount taken from him to the stables after he is unloaded.

    "Kaine," Arthur turns to a young boy with bleeding yellow hair, "Lady Merlin will be staying in the Eastern tower of the castle. Make sure she is at home and wait on her if she requires anything. Give her a tour while you're at it as well." with a simple nod, the boy, a mere ten year old, grabs as many bags as he can carry and smiles up to the beautiful girl who towers above him.

    "Follow me, miss," Kaine chirps, waddling away with the amount of extra weight but keeping a solid pace up to the tower Arthur specified. "I'm Kaine, Lady Merlin. Please, ask all and every question you wish and I shall give you my answer. If I don't have an answer, I'll surely find someone else who can answer your question. We'll find you a ladies maid too."
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