WARNING, this chapter is smaller than the others, but I am also going to write some short stories to go along with the books!
I need to make a change here and now! I misspelled Beltane and spelled it Bethane earlier…I am sorry for the earlier mistake.
It has been over five years since we, Britons, gained our freedom from the Romans and won victory over the Saxons. It has also been over five years since Arthur and Cordelia took up the crown and became King and Queen.
The Goddess and Green-Man truly blessed our rulers when nine months after they consummated their relationship, Cordelia gave birth to a wonderful little boy, Lancelot and my godson, named Mordwen.
He is the heir to the throne of Briton and as so titled, Prince Mordwen of the House of Pendragon, heir to the throne of Camelot. He is now a mischievous four year and four months old boy who idolizes Arthur and Lancelot.
It causes Cordy and I endless amounts of gaiety when we watch our young Prince follow both men whenever possible.
In our fourth year of peace, here in Camelot, Cordelia gave birth to Arthur and Cordelia's firstborn daughter, Morgana. She is now a very alert little year old lady. She was born in the first week of Ostara.
The Goddess and Green-Man have equally, nay even more so, blessed my union with Lancelot. If there was ever any doubt that we were meant to be together, the birth of our twin daughters, Erlina, the first born, (meaning Girl from Ireland) and Enid, the second born, (meaning Pure Soul) put those fears to eternal rest.
Lancelot and I were wed a month after Arthur and Cordelia, on Ostara or Nov. 23, the celebration of light, conception, and regeneration. Our little ones scared us all when they were born a month early, but we were very happy when they arrived in our lives screaming very loudly. We thought that they were yelling obscenities to the Goddess and Green-Man themselves-they were, that loud.
During that same year, as did Cordelia, the fourth mind you, I gave birth to Lancelot and my firstborn son, Cadman (meaning a man of battle), heir to the House of Lyon and the titles of Lord and Knight Commander. He is a few weeks younger than Morgana and to our delight, was born on our third anniversary. Last year, on Ostara, we had a lot to celebrate and give thanks for.
About two weeks after our wedding (April 5), Tristran and Ula were married. Ula gave birth to a healthy little boy named Dunham, heir to the House of Palðer (Panther) and the titles of Lord and Head of Intelligence on Jan. 12. Tristan strutted around the entire kingdom, Kameland, Camelot, and all the lands beyond for weeks after Dunham's birth. Even now, five years after his birth, the Knights tease Tristran about his unnormal behavior. Amage, Tristran and Ula's firstborn daughter, was born exactly one year ago yesterday and the Kingdom has yet to stop celebrating. Ula has never been so proud, I think.
Following Tristran and Ula on Beltane, Gawain and Alma and Galahad and Enys were married. As I stated before, the Goddess and Green-Man must have blessed all our unions because Alma and Enys went into labor within minutes of each other, scaring poor Gawain and Galahad to bits. I think that they were so frightened, that they even contemplated going out and trying to find rebel Saxons and fight them!
In the end, Alma gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Briana (meaning Noble), and Enys gave birth to a handsome young boy named Briac (meaning the Esteem), heir to the house of Wolfe-Galahad's branch of the house in any case. Gawain and Galahad have never seemed to do anything without the other one close by, and in this case, their firstborns, it is the same. We all had a good laugh over how drunk they both got that day. Plus the hangover was a riot for the entire Kingdom since Enys and Alma made them stand out in the blaring sun for three hours with no shade to comfort them through their pain.
Oh yes, I should mention this, Briac and Briana were born on Imbolc and their births are celebrated almost as heartily as the Prince's since their birth is seen as a gift from the Goddess herself.
Our last marriages occurred a month after the brothers, Gawain and Galahad. Dagonet and Fulucina and Bors and Vanora were married together on June 10th. The very next day, Dagonet formally adopted Alecto by blood bond and oath. Arthur, in an attempt to keep a LITTLE part of his ordered Roman life style, made sure that his personal scribe, Marcus, made two copies of all our wedding certificates and other formal ceremonial documents. Including Dagonet's adoption of Alecto. I must say this was a good idea. It has certainly kept things much more organized.
In any case, by blood bonding together, in the ways of Briton, Alecto could choose to denounce his name and take up another. He did just that. He renounced his birth name of Alecto Marius Honourius and became Alec Hors of the House of Hors, heir to the title of Lord and Head of Finance. Alec has also, just recently joined the Knights of the Round Table. Dagonet and Fulucina are thrilled. Also, Lancelot told me a secret just last night-Alec's found himself a lady friend! We don't know her name yet, but Lance witnessed Alec and the lady meeting in secret in the Treasure Hall or otherwise called The Hall of Memories. It is where the tapestries are hung that depicts us all individually, in families, and all together in groups.
Lucan was also formally adopted by Dagonet AND Fulucina and changed his name to Lucus Hors, second son of the House of Hors. While he won't get his father's titles, he will still be a Lord and is working hard to become a Knight of the Round Table. He is currently Lord Gawain's page.
Meanwhile, Bors and Vanora-finally! The big lout asked her to marry him! It was wonderful to watch too. Vanora couldn't stop crying-neither could Bors, but don't tell anyone that I told you Dear One; Bors would only deny it! Well, true to Lancelot and the other Knight's prediction, Dear One, it took Bors TWO YEARS to learn all eleven children's names. In fact, during the last part of our second year here in Camelot, Vanora gave birth, yet again, to a beautiful girl the named Devista (meaning the Girl in Sarmatian). Exactly one year later, a boy, Sokir (meaning Sunray in Sarmatian), was born and last year, about four months after Cadman was born, Vanora and Bors' last child was born. They named him Tsar (meaning The King in Sarmatian).
Now that the familial things are out of the way, on to business!
Almost immediately after Arthur became King, Rome sent an envoy to Hadrian's Wall to find out what had happened to poor ol'e Bishop Germanous. Of course, since we were NOT the people that the Bishop was sent to discharge, we could honestly tell the young Priest that the Bishop had never met us. But, we did tell the poor Priest that we had heard rumors of a Saxon raid on a Roman caravan many moons ago. The Priest took the news rather well, wished us well, and left.
If only all our dealings with Rome could have been so nice….
Anyways, Arthur and Cordelia set up meetings all across the Briton Isles so they could try to unite the entirety of the islands together under one flag. It was hard work at first, and that coupled with the fact that I was pregnant and not in the best of moods, made it even harder. Thankfully, the Scots leader was a woman. She understood my position completely and was very respectful and understanding when I made a few callus remarks. In the end, we united not only Briton and Scots Land, but also the Gauls and all the rebellious tribes north of Hadrian's Wall that were NOT loyal to Merlin, Cordelia, or myself.
Arthur and Cordelia have also established well thought out laws that are just and fair. Father, Uncle Merlin, and Uncle Merkin have yet to meet to dissuade their decisions.
Lancelot, Tristran, and Gawain have taken to traveling around Briton two months out of the year with about one hundred men to make sure all is going well and fortunately for us-they are. I, too, travel out of Camelot to go to Peace Conferences and when I do go, Lancelot is always by my side.
Ula, Enys, and Alma have made Camelot a healthy kingdom. They have persuaded Arthur to allow them to give classes on medical aide to those that want it, and it has been a success! More than one hundred people come to the classes that are held once a month in Kameland near Bors' Governor's House. Lucky for them, he doesn't mind! In fact, he even goes out to help every once in a while when he has the time. I, too, go and help when I can be spared from my work and my children.
Tristran's "Spy Network" is one of our best resources. It has allowed us to know when people enter our borders with enough time to ready ourselves for battle. Thanks to his insights, we've dodged three all out wars and Arthur's already infallible trust in Tristran continues to grow.
Dagonet and Bors are a great team when it comes to Kameland City-Proper and the economy that is tied into it. The people love Bors and happily greet him whenever he leaves the Governor's House. Fulucina and Dagonet established the currency and so far, there haven't been many problems. The money flow is smooth and the people are nearly all well fed. Those that aren't doing to well are always welcome into Camelot to eat in the public hall where the chefs always leave out a verifiable feast-to them anyways. Normally, it's what is left over from our meals. I don't mean to sound horrid, but the poor people of Camelot eat the leftover food. We are trying to compensate for that, by trying to push to economy forward and getting more people to join the army. Amazingly enough, Galahad's numbers have swelled enormously because of this.
Galahad's training is hell. I've seen it and I do not envy those poor men and women who have signed up for the army. Galahad's not an evil trainer, mind you, but he might as well be for all the pain and work he puts them all through. But, I know the recruits appreciate his drive for them to do well.
Lastly, that brings me to Gawain, Dean, and Seamus, the Masters of War. Their victories are becoming quite the legend around here. Truthfully, it is the Knights of the Round Table that are receiving all the attention. Just the thought of equality, honor, truth, and justice is enough to bring any person, old or young, to the table. And there are A LOT of stories now about the Knights.
The Ladies and I laugh out loud happily when we hear a new story. Of course, we have to wear disguises when we travel out of the castle to hear them since they are told in taverns in the city and on the moors beyond the gates.
I think my favorite story, is about Lancelot defeating an evil Knight Méléagant and saving Arthur's wife and Lady Love, Guinevere. Cordelia on the other hand, hates it!
It is a wondrous thing, these tales because they do not focus on only one or two Knights like Arthur or Lancelot. Gawain, Galahad (much to his chagrined), Bors, Tristran, and Dagonet have tales as well.
Gawain, in the stories, is called Gawain the Green because he is supposed to be the epitome of greatness: chivalrous, loyal, and polite.
Galahad's tale makes Galahad turn red with anger, embarrassment, and disbelief. I'm still chuckling at it and it's been a year since I first heard it! Galahad is Lancelot's son through a woman named Elaine! Poor Galahad, he couldn't look at Lancelot in the face for weeks after they heard the story.
Next is Tristran. He smirks when he hears his tale while Ula steams angrily. Tristran, apparently, in his tale is a gallant Knight who escorts a Lady named Lady Isolde to her new husbands manor. Along the way, they fall in love. Ula isn't too happy about this made-up Isolde-which isn't as made up as we thought! It turns out, that about twenty years ago, when he was just starting his service to Rome, he fell in love with a barmaid by the name Isolde! Unfortunately, she broke his heart causing the Tristran we now know to be born.
Dean and Seamus, well, they haven't married much to ours, the Ladies, disappointment, but they are courting two lovely ladies. They have finally come to an agreement with each other, Arthur and Lancelot and Gawain though. Not that they don't trust Lancelot and Arthur, but it takes a while to get these two men to fully trust ANYONE! They are more suspicious to people than even Tristran!
And lastly, Bors and Dagonet. All of us got a good laugh out of Bors' story. The tale has Bors as a chaste priest, who wanders the land spreading the word of God. And as we all know, Bors is NOT chaste by any means of the word and does NOT worship God. Lastly, is Dagonet, he is portrayed as a simple healer that shows up just in time to save the Knights lives.
Emogen stopped writing when she heard the cries of her youngest child, Cadman. As she walked over to his cradle, she picked him up, and asked him sweetly and gently, "What is wrong my little prince? Are you hungry?"
As she sat back down at her table and held her child close to her bosom so he could nurse, she picked up her quill again and finished, Well, Dear One, my son calls for me, and I'll end it here. I'll leave you with this thought though, who are the strangers that travel by night only? Why are they coming here to Camelot?
Lady Emogen Serenity of the House of Lyons,
Lady Ambassador of Peace
As her son finished his midday meal, her chamber doors opened to reveal her husband of over five years, Lancelot. He grinned at her and she felt a thrill go through her body. Even now, his smile could send waves of love and lust through her body at the most inopportune times!
"My Maiden, it is time to take Cadman to Sera the Care-Giver. Arthur is calling for all the Lords and Ladies and the Knights to the Great Hall. Tristran's spies have found out that our visitors are from Sarmatia. Since this will be a first contact deal…"
Emogen nodded, handed their precious son to him, and ended, "I, as Lady Ambassador of Peace, will be needed most of all."
Lancelot smiled lovingly down at his son. Cadman was already proving his father's old wise tales true. He had dark black hair that was starting to curl up into countless ringlets and his eyes were turning a dark brown. Not that his daughters, Erlina and Enid, didn't look like him-they did-to a point. They had his hair of course! Both the twins had long curly black hair, but their eyes were pure emerald-just like their mother's. Some people say that they take after Emogen. He didn't tell them differently because that, too, is true. They did look an awful lot like his wife, and he adored them all the more for it. He loved his family so much, mainly because not to long ago, he thought he didn't deserve this kind of happiness.
When he heard his wife, come out of the changing room, he turned to her a smiled. Emogen was once again dressed in and emerald gown. He, too, was dressed in emerald. The reason that they were both dressed in emerald was because emerald and silver were their family's colors. Just like Arthur and Cordelia's family colors were dark blue and gold.
Upon Camelot's completion, all the Knights had to pick colors for their family shields. Arthur and Cordelia picked dark blue and gold with a castle with the sword Excalibur in front of the castle.
His family's shield was emerald green and silver with a golden lion's head, to show allegiance to Arthur, in the center. Behind the roaring lion that had its claws out were two crossed swords-his Twin Demons.
Gawain and Galahad's shields were very similar. The only differences were the colors and the weapons. Where Gawain had yellow-tan and bronze, Galahad had light blue and bronze. Both shields had a golden wolf on it, to show allegiance to Arthur, and an axe for Gawain and a sword for Galahad.
Tristran's shield was dark purple and bronze with a golden panther in the center to show his allegiance to Arthur. Behind the panther were a Bow and Arrow.
Bors' shield was white and black and bronze with a golden bear in the center to show his allegiance to Arthur. Behind the roaring bear was a man with crossed arms. On those arms, were two forearm knives-Bors' favorite weapon.
Dagonet's family shield colors were red and bronze. To prove his loyalty to Arthur, emblazoned in the center of the shield was a golden horse. Behind the horse was a pair of crossed arrows.
Dean's shield was colored bronze and tan with a group of men all carrying Arrows. The men were gold. Seamus' shield was bronze and dark green. In the center of his shield was a large sword, axe, and arrowhead. The three weapons were piled one on top of the other. It is a rather interesting piece.
When his wife was ready, Lancelot said, "Come My Maiden, lets leave our son to Enys' mother's care and go see what these Sarmatians want with us."
Emogen took her son from his arms, and smiled as she said, "Well then, lets go! We can't keep our beloved King and Queen waiting!"
They both laughed happily as they left their chambers.