The Bitter Taste of Defeat…


Here is another rough scene for you guys to hopefully enjoy. Changes will be coming, but tell me what you think.

Seeing that cursed wooden cup with its detailed reliefs floating there, had tears welling up in Morgaine’s eyes. The last time Morgaine had seen the Grail was just before Merlin hid it for the Knights to find, in an attempt to cure Arthur and create a common goal. Looking back Morgaine knew that had been the beginning of the end for Camelot.

With purely good intentions Merlin had destroyed his shining society of equality. Wiping the tears from her eyes Morgaine limped towards the Grail with reluctance. The closer she stepped to the Grail the more the cavern shook. The gods were still protecting this relic from the evils that man could do. Morgaine may have had Excalibur in hand, but magic could not summon this cup.

Of the many protections that the Gods placed on this holy relic, the one protecting it from magic was the trickiest one. The Grail simply wouldn’t move if summoned from across a room. A mortal or immortal had to pick the Grail up by hand – and hope that by touching it they weren’t sealing their doom. Contact with flesh was enough for the powers in the Grail to decide if you meant good or ill.

Morgaine knew of two mortals who had died agonizingly painful deaths by laying a hand for ill on the Grail. She had no intention to become the third. Morgaine stumbled over fallen icicles, and tripped in crevices that opened under her feet. Looking back Morgaine could see a trail of blood leading to where she was.

With a frustrated sigh Morgaine made a leap over a large crevice, only to be caught by a geyser the gurgled up from the earth. Steaming water coated Morgaine from head to toe as she landed on the only solid piece of ice in the vicinity. Crying out in pain as the hot water cauterized her bleeding knee, Morgaine looked around to find herself standing on an island of ice.

The crevices around her filled with roiling water that hissed and popped. The reanimated raven cawed gently as it landed on her shoulder. Taking strength from the calming presence, Morgaine took one last leap to land on her knees in front of the cube that had held the Grail for centuries.

Wincing from the force of the landing Morgaine stood and reached for the intricately carved wooden Grail. When her gloved finger touched the ancient relic a silver light filled the room. With Excalibur in one hand and the other clasping the base of the Grail Morgaine raised both arms high in the air.

Crossing the sword in front of the Grail saw flakes of silver fall from the air as gently as a light snow. As the silver flakes hit the ground water cooled and crevices sealed. Where the altar stood was now a sapling, and the block that had contained the Grail was now a pond.

As Morgaine stared around her in stunned amazement she noticed that first one thing and then another had changed since her anticlimactic battle with Loki. The carvings on the walls had faded and the statues were now vague shapes. It appeared that the Gods and the Saxons had underestimated her.

The Gods should have known that Morgaine would always be more stubborn than the average mortal. Cinnamon eyes closed as Morgaine sagged in relief to finally be alone amongst the fallen stalactites.

With shoulders slumped and her cheek bleeding Morgaine let out a breath. As the air cleared around her head Morgaine heard, “For a valiant effort, may eternal peace find you in your youth.”

There was no malice in the voice of Danu. But the finality in her tone formed a crevice in Morgaine’s soul. Morgaine sank to her knees as glistening tears of heartache fell down her cheeks. Morgaine never felt the touch of magic that changed Excalibur into a wooden staff made of apple wood.

Clutched in her hands were the Grail and a long wooden staff with a bone handle.


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