The spells in the story aren't all mine. Some I got off a story from another author here called Calliann. Some spells are from Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic by Scott Cunningham and Everyday Magic by Dorothy Morrison. Other spells I borrowed from the writer Patricia C. Wrede and still others are from a videogame-I don't know the game's name, but I got it from some sort of game. A few ARE mine though! As always, King Arthur isn't mine and none of the characters are mine either. They are all apart of the Arthurian Legends. I am only using these characters as a fun activity in my spare time so please, don't sue me!
The Unification of Avalon and Briton
Arthur's slowly maturing chest filled with life giving air as he stared down at a clay object in his hands with a deep sense of satisfaction. He couldn't believe he had finally finished the object of honor he wished to give to his teacher-father, Pelagius. With an excited leap he jumped off of his bed, and rushed outside and into the village that lied deep behind Hadrian's Wall where his father, King-Lord Uthur Castus, had once commanded so strongly.
As he quickly glanced around him, he caught the eyes of his youngest sister, Elaine Castus. Her sparkling emerald green eyes, like his own and their father's, were wide with excitement and delight.
He raised an eyebrow as she hopped over to him like a young rabbit just into adulthood.
"Arthur! They are here! They're here!" she squealed as she jumped into his arms.
With an exasperated grunt, Arthur easily caught his twelve-year-old sister and asked instead, "Where is mother? Pelagius?"
Elaine's thick, wavy, golden chestnut brown hair transformed into a glorious banner of pure gold as the wind blew by them both. She crossed her arms, pouted slightly, and asked in a tiny voice she knew he couldn't deny, "Don't you want to know whom it is I'm talking about, brother?"
Arthur groaned but this time because he knew he was beat and asked tiredly, "Okay Elaine, who are you talking about? Who is here?"
Elaine's eyes ceased their teary act and twinkled like the early morning grass in the rare Briton sunlight as she answered brightly, "The Knights! They are here! I heard Captain Lupinus talking about it just now!"
She gathered her emerald green dress in her hands, lifted the cloth up to her knees, and said as she spun around in the direction of the gates, "Mother is by the lake washing and Pelagius is packing up Flight of Fancy Free!"
Arthur didn't even deem his sister with a response as he rushed towards the lake where all the women did their washing. After a few minutes, he found his mother kneeling next to another woman laughing and talking about something as she scrubbed a red cloth.
"Mother! I'm finished!" he shouted happily as he dropped down beside her.
His mother, a beautiful woman in her late thirties with waist length golden brown hair with a few hints of gray and warm brown eyes, smiled at him as he handed her the object and praised, "That's beautiful!"
Arthur beamed and took it back. He placed the circular tablet in the water and rubbed most of the remaining dirt off and removed it. His smile grew as the sunlight glinted off the tablet and revealed the name PELAGIUS.
He stood up and as he turned called out, "Mother…"
With a frown he spun around and smiled in relief as he spied his mother down a hill heading back towards their village manor home. His mother must have sensed his relief because she spun around and waved happily at him. Then, as if by magic or an ingrown instinct that he inherited from his father, he sensed another person close to him.
He turned slowly and when the person's identity was realized, his smile returned and he exclaimed, "Pelagius! For you!"
Arthur handed the tablet to his teacher-father and felt a jolt of rejection hit his heart as his teacher took it, looked at it, and said as he returned it just as fast, "Very good Artorius, you keep it."
Pelagius must have seen his rejection because he added quickly, "Deliver it to me when you come to Rome."
Then the two of them heard the sound of horses and their hoof beats. They looked up and saw a large group of horses and their riders' trot by.
Pelagius, excitedly, grabbed his shoulders, turned him towards the group and said, "Come Arthur! Look, young Knights! If you so choose, they may someday be yours to lead, as your father before you."
Arthur bit his lip, as he looked between his teacher and the young knights that his sister had told him of earlier and asked a bit overwhelmed by the thought, "I am to be their commander?"
Pelagius' grip tightened as he turned Arthur back around and said seriously, "Yes, but with this title comes a sacred responsibility to protect, to defend, to value their lives above your own and, should they perish in battle, to live your life gloriously in honor of their memory."
Arthur turned back to them and asked as he met the eyes of each an every one of the future knights, "What of their free will?"
Pelagius sighed wearily and answered, "It has always fallen to a few to sacrifice for the good of many. The world isn't a perfect place, Arthur."
Then he seemed to perk up as he added, "But perhaps with people like you Arthur, me, and them, we can make it so."
Arthur ignored his teacher's pat on the shoulder as he stared at the knights trotting by. One in particular caught his attention the most. It was a young boy, perhaps a year younger then he was. The boy had inky black curly hair and equally brown-black eyes. Somehow, Arthur knew that this Knight was going to heavily influence his life-good or bad he didn't know; but he was curious to find out!
Elaine was beside herself with excitement. She had been waiting for this day for nearly five months now and couldn't wait to meet all the Knights her brother might take command of. As she reached the fort's stables, she bit her lip and frowned. The Knights weren't much older than she was. How can the Empire expect them to fight their wars when most of them cannot lift the weapons?
As she stepped into the stables, one of the Roman's escorting the Knights saw her, frowned, and said, "My Lady, you shouldn't be here. These are not civilized men. They are barbarians and would no sooner cut your throat than help you for any reason, my lady. Return to your chambers at once before your mother has my head!"
Elaine saw the Knights glaring angrily at Captain Romulas' words and said sweetly but all of them heard the underlying vinegar as she met each Knights' eyes nicely, "Who is Lady here, me or you? I will see to their needs with or without your approval Captain. Now go and report to my mother and Commander Christoph about your arrival. I shall entertain these Knights while they await their next orders."
The Knights watched with wide, disbelieving eyes as a girl no older than thirteen talked down to the Romans they had traveled with for more than four months!
When the Romans were all gone, the girl's commanding presence vanished and she said cheerfully, "Hello! Welcome to Hadrian's Wall! I'm Lady Elaine Castus, Lady of Hadrian's Wall! I'm sorry you had to deal with broody, craggy, old Romulas, but he was the only one who knew the roads to Sarmatia! Are you cold? Do you want something hot to eat; a bath perhaps? Maybe some new clothes as well? I can get you whatever it is you need or wish!"
She stared at them expectantly and realized that because of her treatment to Romulas they were still eyeing her oddly.
She giggled and said, "Oh, don't mind Romulas, he's an old push over for me and the other ladies here at the fort! He might act like he's an all mighty and all powerful Roman, but he's really not."
She leaned up closer to the one with curly black hair and said in a stage whisper, "He can't even string a bow and arrow correctly! He's the produce manager for the fort!"
Then she burst into giggles at the young Knight's comical face. The Knight stared at her for a minute longer and asked a bit rudely, "Lady, why are you here? I thought Roman women hated to get their robes dirty."
Elaine stopped laughing softly, stood up straight, and said proudly, "I'm not Roman! I'm half Roman and half Briton! AND my dearest Knight-to-be, I take after my mother in my religion and beliefs! I am training to be a Priestess of Avalon! In fact, all my sisters are Priestesses of Avalon or training to become one like me! My mum is a Priestess of Avalon too!"
She blinked and added in an afterthought, "Oh, and you don't have to call me Lady, just Elaine. And what is your name Knight?"
The Knight she had been talking to blushed slightly and replied, "My name is Lancelot La…er…Elaine."
She smiled and said cheerfully, "Welcome Lancelot! It is nice to meet you! Are any of your friends hurt and in need of healing? Mayhap they are ill? Come, come you must tell me! How am I to help you and make your first day here more enjoyable, because I know it cannot be since you were taken from your homes, if you do not tell me these things?"
Lancelot felt a bit overwhelmed by the young woman before him. Her babbling, while cheerful and upbeat, just made his head feel heavy with exhaustion. All he really wanted to do was find a nice dry haystack and sleep for the next month, but he knew he couldn't do that, so he said, "We are fine, Lady. Where is our commander?"
Elaine's cheerful, abet, cute babbles, halted. She blinked and said thoughtfully, "You know, Commander Christoph should have been here by now. He's never late, so something must have happened to him!"
She placed a finger on her bottom lip and said as she lightly tapped it, "It doesn't really matter, Arthur should be here any moment now so…"
Another Knight-to-be with shoulder length blond hair cut in, "Who is Arthur?"
Elaine smiled at him and answered, "He's my older brother! He's my only brother really. Well, if you count Cador then Arthur's my second brother, but Cador's dead so I'm not sure if he counts or not now."
All of the Knights' eyes grew larger as she continued to talk about her siblings and cousins that lived in Avalon training to become great Priestesses of Magic and Briton. Lancelot had to shake his head as more and more names flew from the girl's lips. Her family is certainly large. He thought with a hint of a smile as he dismounted his black warhorse. He watched with pride as the others followed his lead.
Suddenly a slim finger poked him in the chest along with a chipper voice exclaiming happily, "Aha! I knew I could get you to smile if I continued to make a fool of myself for you!"
Lancelot blinked stupidly for a minute as another boy, perhaps ten or eleven, giggled and said loudly, "Lancelot's daft!"
Lancelot shot him a glare that held no real heat and said as he gently grabbed the feminine finger, "Can we, at least, leave the stables and wait for our commander in the courtyard?"
Elaine blushed slightly and said as she pulled him with her, "Sure! It's this way."
When they settled in the courtyard, another boy with short black, wavy hair and emerald green eyes arrived. He carried a clay object in his hands and he walked straight up to their hostess and asked nicely, "Are these them, then?"
Elaine nodded excitedly and said, "Yes! These are them Arthur! You should get to know them now since Christoph is late!"
Arthur nodded, turned to the curly hared Knight-to-be, and said warmly as he offered his one free hand, "My name is Artorius Castus of Hadrian's Wall, but you can call me Arthur, that's what everyone calls me. What is your name, Sir Knight?"
Lancelot stared at the offered hand and slowly placed his hand in it and said a bit guardedly, "My name is Lancelot, Arthur."
Arthur smiled warmly at him and he couldn't help but notice how similarly the two siblings looked to one another.
Then out of the blue, one of the younger Knights, Percival he believed, blurted out, "Do ALL your siblings look just like you two, Arthur?"
Lancelot saw Arthur's eyebrows draw together as he huffed, rolled his eyes, and moaned out, "Elaine! Just what have you been babbling to them, now!"
Lancelot couldn't help the grin that formed on his face as Elaine blushed and muttered something under her breath. Apparently Arthur heard her perfectly as he slapped his head with his palm and muttered under his breath as well. Heh, maybe this won't be so bad after all. He thought with a small laugh. He noticed with a grin that all the other Knights, no matter how they felt about being stationed so far from home, were also grinning and or laughing at the siblings actions towards one another.
Arthur shook his head and moved past him and said to the young boy beside him as he placed the clay tablet in a hidden pocket in his white robes, "Hello, I'm Arthur. What's your name?"
The boy, a cubby boy with blond hair and muddy brown eyes, eyed him, but answered with a handshake, "I'm Bors."
Arthur shook the hand firmly and said, "Nice to meet you Bors."
On and on he went. The Knights were a bit shocked. They hadn't thought that they would be treated so well upon their arrival to their new station. They expected to be treated horribly like on their travels to the Wall. Instead they had found warmth and comfort in two children their ages, but what topped it was the fact that the two children were the children of the former commander of the Wall!
Just as they got comfortable, they heard a high whistling sound and then young Percival screamed in pain.
Elaine, Lancelot, and Arthur jumped and Elaine gasped at the arrow protruding from the ten-year-old's back.
"Quick!" she ordered, "Move out of the way!"
One of the older Knights, she believed his name was Dagonet, was kneeling beside the young boy attempting to pull the arrow out of Percival's back. Elaine winced as the boy screamed and thrashed about. Elaine had to forcefully keep the bile, that had soared up her throat, inside her and harshly gulped it back down into her stomach as the boy's life blood squirted out on her new green dress. Distantly she thought Mother's going to be mad at me. I've ruined yet another dress.
"No!" she shouted when she finally reached the two and added as she placed a hand around the arrow shaft and on the open wound.
She shivered in horror, but continued, "You can't pull it out! It'll only make it worse! The arrow is in deep enough too affect the heart and lungs if you rip it out like that. And besides, that's a Woad arrow! It's corkscrewed and it'll wound him even further if it's pulled out without proper care."
Another boy, about fifteen or so, who was kneeling down and holding Percival close demanded rudely, "Then just HOW are we supposed to heal him if we can't get it out of him? And how do you know it belongs to a Woad-whatever that is?"
Elaine bit her lip and replied, "I'll keep the wound from worsening, but someone needs to run and get my mother. She's the best Healer here. If anyone can save him, my mother can. I've lived here all my life and my mother's kin are Woads. I know their work. Do you see the blue markings near the feathers…that's the mark of Merlin, the Woad leader."
While his sister helped take care of Percival, Arthur turned on his heal and rushed out of the gates.
Lancelot was right on his heels.
"Where are you going!" he demanded as they dodged a burning house.
Arthur didn't bother to turn to him as he yelled above the screams, fire, and yelling blue painted people, "My mother! She's all alone at the house! Merlin's people will kill her!"
Lancelot stopped right then and there and blinked as a blue painted man yelled and lunged at him. With an inborn warrior's instinct honed from generations of Knights before him, Lancelot ducked under the sword and forward rolled under the man's legs. As he spun around he saw a dead Roman soldier. But what caught his attention were the twin long knives at his feet.
As the blue painted man spun around, Lancelot grabbed the knives and said sarcastically, "Sorry mate, but I need them more than you do right now. I'll give them back later, I promise."
Lancelot met the lunging man with his own weapons, and with his right knife cut the blue man's arm deeply. The blue painted man roared in pain and head butted him. Lancelot groaned as he fell to the ground. He blinked blurry eyes up at his opponent and automatically rolled to the right. He sighed in relief as he felt the distinct air displacement of a falling sword just pass by him. He rolled back over and dislodged the sword from the blue painted man's hands. As the man backed away and pulled out two hip knives, Lancelot attacked.
Arthur barely even noticed when his new friend, Lancelot, fell out of step with him. All he knew was that his mother was in danger.
As he arrived at his house, he yelled out in relief, "Mother!"
"Artorius!" she cried out in equal relief. Just as she was about to leave the safety of the doorway, a large burning wagon plowed right into her and their house. Arthur screamed in horror, "Mother!"
He spun on his heel again and rushed to the cemetery where his father's resting place was. When he reached the grave, he lunged at the sword protruding from the earth and heaved with all his might. After a minute of fruitless pulling he groaned out, "Father, let loose your sword!"
Finally! Arthur thought in relief as he rushed back to his home. No…His thoughts just dissolved from his entire being as he stared at the smoldering remains of his beautiful two story manor house.
"Arthur!" shouted a voice from behind him, but he didn't answer it. He couldn't even comprehend what the voice was saying. All he could think of was the look of absolute terror on his mother's face as the wagon rolled her over and tore into their house.
"ARTHUR!" shouted Lancelot loudly as he roughly shook the older boy. It wasn't working. All his new friend could do was stare blankly at the skeleton remains of the house he assumed belonged to him. He bit his lip. Arthur must have failed to bring his mother out of the house. That must be why he's like this. I need to get him back to the fort and to Elaine. She'll know how to handle Arthur.
Before he could move to help Arthur to his feet, a voice cried out, "Lancelot! Lancelot!"
He turned around and saw a breathless and slightly bloody Galahad and Gawain.
"What happened to you two?" he demanded as he awkwardly pulled Arthur to his feet-the sword in Arthur's hands made it a bit harder, but he managed after a short while.
"Nothing! Nothing! We were sent by Elaine to find her mother, Lady Igraine! Percival's wounded and her mother is the best Healer here. Do you know where she is?" assured Gawain in a breathless tone.
Lancelot's eyes widened in shock and then closed in sympathy as Arthur moaned at the sound of his mother's name.
"What's wrong with him?" questioned Galahad as he offered his bone-y shoulder to Arthur, so he could take on half of the boy's weight.
Lancelot sighed and answered softly, "Lady Igraine was locked in the house. She wasn't able to get out…"
Both Gawain and Galahad's mouths opened in horror at the remains of the once beautiful two-story manor. The three boys had remembered passing by this house not an hour ago. They also remembered the pretty woman who had smiled at them in a motherly fashion and invited them to her house for home baked apple pies. Both of them felt sadness well up in them at the loss of such a sweet woman. Then their hearts welled up with compassion for their friend, Arthur. That nice woman was his mother-no wonder he and Elaine were so nice and warm to them.
Lancelot sighed and said, "Let's get him back. We still need to tell Elaine."
Dagonet watched her with sharp eyes as the two younger boys rushed out of the fort.
He watched as she closed her eyes and explained, "Every girl who has been gifted with the magic of the Goddess is taken to Avalon at a certain age to start their training to become a Priestess. My mother is a Priestess and my aunts, Niniane and Viviane, are Priestesses too. In fact, Aunt Viviane is High Priestess of Avalon! As such, every girl has a special gift that is her own. My mother's ability is similar to mine. She can see into the future and she can talk to others with her mind. My Aunt Viviane can control with very winds and my Aunt Niniane can control the very water's of this earth. They can also create wind and water out of thin air. As such, I inherited my mother's abilities and one more-I can move thing with my mind, and in reverse, I can stop things in time with my mind and a little help from a handy little spell I just mastered yesterday. Does anyone here have a sundial?"
With her eyes closed, Dagonet knew she couldn't see them so he replied, "Yes, Tristan has one."
"May I borrow it?"
Dagonet turned to his age-partner and saw the silent boy nod and hand over the rock timekeeper.
"Here it is." Announced the giant-like man.
Elaine smiled and said as she held one hand out towards him, "Place it in my hand please."
Dagonet did as he was told and watched, with the other Knights, as the girl bit her bottom lip in concentration. The Knights closest to them gasped as the blood that had been slowly seeping out of the young Knight-to-be seemed to stop and a soft whitish glow appeared around Elaine's body.
As she clutched the timekeeper, she chanted,
"Time stand still, I command you!
No minutes pass until I am through,
Doing what I must do.
Time stand still, I command you!"
A knight, Bors, gasped out as he pointed all around them, "LOOK!"
Right before their startled eyes, Lancelot, Gawain, and Galahad arrived with a seemingly dead Arthur between them. As they neared they too saw what they others did. All of the fighting occurring outside the wall seemed to freeze. The flying blood seemed to rotate in perfect spheres whilst in the air-defying gravity as Elaine's spell took route.
Arthur's bleary eyes blinked as he groaned and his head rolled to the side.
He heard a somewhat familiar voice call his name, "Arthur! Wake up! Something's happening to Elaine!"
Mother…gone…dead…tis all my fault…mother…please come back! Don't leave me like father…Elaine! What's wrong with my sister!
In a jerk, Arthur's body regained it's mobility as he shot to his feet and demanded while he waved around his father's now seemingly light weighted sword, "What's wrong with Elaine!"
Lancelot simply grabbed the sword and wrestled it from his grasp and pointed him to the gathered group.
He marched up and pushed his way through and demanded again, "What's she doing!"
Dagonet looked up from his vigil and replied, "Percival was wounded and she ordered me to not remove the arrow. Instead she placed her hand over it and explained about the Priestesses of Avalon and their powers. She told us of your aunts and mother and her own powers. Then the blood from Percy just seemed to stop flowing out of his body. She, then, demanded a sundial from us and…"
Arthur collapsed to his knees and moaned out, "Oh no! She's attempted that Time Spell mother had taught her this past week! She's not strong enough to do this on her own! And with mother…"
He bit his lip and then with a determined air marched to the horses water trowel and said out loud,
"Power of water, wind, and earth,
Cast the spell to show its birth,
Cast me away to the one I seek,
Priestess Viviane is the one I seek!"
Lancelot moved to his side and asked slowly, "You know magic…"
Arthur rolled his eyes and said, "Normally men don't train in the magic, but if needs be I can cast low powered spells."
"You called, my nephew?"
Arthur looked down and saw a watery image of his aunt and said stiffly, "Come to the Wall, we have a Knight seriously wounded and Elaine's holding him in a Time Spell. Also, mother is…is…is dead."
"We shall be there at once."
Arthur slammed his hand onto the water surface and Lancelot watched amazed as the watery vision vanished like the ripples of a pond.