Stories Underhill - Part 4

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Stories Underhill - Part 4

Post by Caoimhe » Wed May 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Caoimhe's Da shifted in his seat and took a puff on his pipe, eager to try and shift the tone of things away from his wife's interjection.

A brownie, on the seilie side of the dias cleared her throat after Dúnmharú's remark. The Sorceress raised her head slightly in response to the noise, but remained in the stoop of old women everywhere and kept her face deep in the cowl of her cloak.

Even from inside the dark shadows of her voluptuous hood though, she could see that the brownie was dressed only in the finest silks and in fashions that were cutting edge - no small feat considering where they were and how cut off from the real world they were here in this Hall Underhill.

"I wish to hear the tale of why you seek the stories that you do." said the brownie in her high voice.

The Sorceress leaned more heavily upon her staff and shook her head in refusal.
"Alas Lady, I fear that I can not yet tell that story. For as you all know, every story has its time, and the time for that telling has not yet come."

Caoimhe and Moira nodded their head at this - it was a philosophy that they were well familiar with, even at their young age.

"There was rustling in the hall at the gall of her refusal, but her reasoning seemed to sooth their feathers. She hadn't said no - just not yet.

"Very well then. You have my sworn oath that you shall have the next of the dangerous tales you seek if you can give to me a new tale of Camelot."

"Very well Lady, I shall spin for you a tale of Camelot, Arthur and his knights-"

"But NOT of Merlin!"

The Sorceress looked towards her left. The voice had sounded nearly identical to that of the brownie who had already spoken, but it had come from the left of the dais instead of the right.

A short cloaked figure stood and spoke "I will give you the fifth story you seek if you please me by making it a tale of Camelot in which Merlin left. I have met the egotistical wizard, he is ugly and unpleasant and my sister there does so hate to think about such an ugly wizard in such a beautiful place." she threw back the hood of her cloak and the Sorceress had to blink. It was another brownie- twin to the first. She gave her sister an insipid smile that brought to the Sorceress' mind visions of an English Lord with the right of Prima Nocta.

"Da? What's prima nocta?" asked young Moira.

Their father cleared his throat and waved off the question before diving back into the tale to cover his mistake.
In the corner, their Ma snickered.

Twins - one seilie and one unseilie .... she was lucky to know enough about them to know their codes, to know the hint that the second twin had dropped her - she wanted the Sorceress to make the tale of Camelot one of honor, and chivalry, and magic.... but something ugly as well - to prove to her sister that the ugly old Merlin is what had made the place beautiful in the first place.

"I accept your bargain Lady - for you sisters then, a tale of how Camelot might have been.....

Camelot - legendary shining example of chivalry and honor - the backdrop for the creation of the world's most golden hero. Arthur - High King - Champion of Avalon - the Pendragon - he who could do no wrong.

Arthur sat on his throne flanked by Morgain on one side and his nephew/son Mordred on the other. Family had become very important to the orphan raised king once that yellow-bellied coward Merlin had vanished without a trace. So no, it was Morgain who supported her brother/king with council, wisdom and vision. And a fine job she was doing of it too. It was because of Morgain's vision and watchfulness that the Queen's deception and witchery had been uncovered.

And so now, High King Arthur Pendragon sat as judge and jury over his wife and who he had thought was the most loyal of his knights. The proof had been produced and set forth and the whispers of the court were loud enough that Arthur didn't need one of Mordred's spy network reports to know the gossip this time. The court was convinced - Guinevere's dogmatic adherence to church ritual had been revealed as nothing more then a cover for her true identity - she was really a Welsh witch using her dark arts to sow dissension amongst the knights and to spy for the Saxons. Though it broke Arthur's heart, reports from Mordred's court spies were clear - if Arthur was to be treated as just another knight, then the Queen should be treated as just another lady.

Burning at the stake - that would be her fate - that was what the law demanded for witches in league with the enemy. The law.... the law that Mordred and Lancelot had proposed had been declared in effect only a month ago. In order to further encourage the knights to look out for each other - a knight who was found to have broken the code of chivalry would be tortured not by the experts in the dungeon - but by his fellow knights. No one who sat at the Round Table had thought it would ever come to that. Yet, here they were. Arthur frowned and decided that Lancelot would be kept alive in torment as long as was possible to pay for the fact that his actions would forever taint the souls of his fellow knights. Galahad... Galahad would be forced to do terrible things because of what Lancelot had done. There would be no forgiveness.

Arthur handed down his judgment and the court whispered its approval. Guinevere screamed, but Morgain's charm helped Arthur to harden his heart to her pain. He ordered that her pyre be built immediately - and out of dry wood - he wanted the traitorous witch to feel the flame and not escape on the smoke.

And so it was that the knights of the Round Table, heroes to generations, first tasted the torture and cruelty that would become their trademark."

"Poor Galahad..." sighed out Moira
"She's good - the Sorceress I mean." piped in Caoimhe "Without the magic of Merlin, they would have had only law and no wonder - it wouldn't have been a shining city at all, but one of strict law and unforgiving equality."

Her Da gave her a proud smile to hear her grasp the essence of the tale within the tale.

"Both brownie sisters wept at the end of the tale, though only the seilie sister seemed to weep in sadness and horror. She slapped herself to make herself stop, and it was the unseilie sister whose face bloomed with a bruise.... and a frown.

There was a tale there and the Sorceress very much wanted to hear it..... but she willed herself not to ask, and instead turned to the last remaining changeling on the dais.

This one.... this one was going to be the challenge."
---- You have to be brave. Your courage to do what is right has to be greater than your fear of getting hurt. Be brave. ----

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Re: Stories Underhill - Part 4

Post by Patricia » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:02 pm

Note: This lit cannot receive xp as the 3 lit maximum has already been hit for between games 5.6 and 6.1. Well done!

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