Something New

Standard

Here lately I have been having a bit of trouble connecting wit my latest WIP- “Isis’ Savior”. Iseult is proving to be a bit stubborn – the good ones usually are. That is still its’s working title. So for the time being I am going to put it aside and work on something completely different.

It seems to me that King Arthur and his Knights of the Table Round never go out of style. I thought for the moment that I would retell some of those wonderful tales.

I started a rough draft that works off of that iconic first scene of that legendary king. Arthur pulling the famed Excalibur and claiming his birthright.

Feel free to leave me feed back and as always, Happy Reading!

 

White snow fell softly from the night sky. The snow covered a dirt road that was lined with wood and stone buildings. On the stone buildings were dying torches with glowing red embers. On one side of the street was a large stone inn. On the other a church with darkened stained glass windows. Silver moonlight reflected off of a gleaming sword sticking out from a scorched stone anvil. In the distance the raucous sounds of a cheering crowd could faintly be heard.

The sword was seated in the quiet church yard; snow piled up around the anvil as though it were highlighting something special. The sword was the only thing brightening this cold night. Wrought iron fencing closed off the courtyard. Low hedges lined a path to the heavy wooden doors of the church. There was a plaque at the base of the anvil that made no sense to Arthur as he couldn’t read.

From beyond the gates a boy with a muddied face and gleaming blue eyes peered through. His blue eyes were fixed on the sword. His hair was shaggy and his clothes tattered and torn. The young boy looked left and right making sure he was alone. With a deep breath he slipped through the bars and carefully approached the stone and sword.

A trembling arm reached forward and grabbed the hilt of the sword. Firmly the boy pulled on the sword until it began to slip from its stone sheath. The boy’s eyes widened as the sword briefly warmed in his palm.
Within a moment the gleaming steel sword lay in the hands of a street urchin no older than ten. He looked one way then another. Seeing no one in the courtyard the boy scampered back through the iron fence and down the street.

He quickly made his way to the crowd. Once there he weaved through a sea of brightly colored tents until he stood outside one that was adorned in blue and red. The colors of his guardian – Sir Ector.

Sir Ector was a bit rough around the edges but he had been a kind guardian for as long as the boy could remember. Sir Ector was the only guardian the boy knew. The man had been kind enough to raise him along side of his own son – Kay.

The boy peeked into the tent of Sir Ector and saw it empty save for a girl his own age. “Seraphim, have they left for the joust yet?”

The girl whirled around to face the opening and softly exclaimed, “Arthur! You’re almost late. They left a few moments ago. If you hurry you should be able to catch up with them before they enter.”

“Thank you, Seraphim,” Arthur gratefully told her.

“Just because I am a girl doesn’t mean I can’t keep an eye on things for you. Were you able to get Kay’s sword from the inn?”

“It was locked up tighter than a prince’s treasure room. So I borrowed one instead,” Arthur quietly informed her as he turned to leave the tent.

“What do you mean borrowed,” Seraphim asked as she followed him out of the tent.

“That old one sitting in front of the church. I’ll return it in the morning,” Arthur defended himself.

“Are you sure about that Arthur. That sword is holy! What if they find out it’s missing before then,” Seraphim worried.

“It’s not holy, Seraphim,” Arthur told her sternly.

“Than why was it at the church,” Seraphim asked pointedly.

Arthur shrugged his shoulders as they continued weaving through the crowd. After bumping into a few people the two found Sir Ector and his son Kay. Father and son stood waiting outside the registry ten. They were both stocky with stringy blonde hair.

Arthur tugged on the tunic of his guardian. “Here’s Kay’s sword, Sir Ector,” Arthur eagerly informed.

Sir Ector nodded his head as he blindly reached for the sword in Arthur’s hand. With his back to Arthur, Ector dismissed the child. Before Arthur could take two steps though Ector whirled around and demanded, “Boy, where did you get this sword.”

“From the church sir! The inn was locked up tight and Kay needed a sword for the joust,” Arthur replied with a tremor to his voice.

“Who gave it to you,” Ector harshly demanded.

“No one sir! It was just sitting there and Kay needed a sword for the joust. I was going to put it back,” Arthur insisted.

“Did that young wench put you up to it,” Ector demanded motioning towards Seraphim.

“No sir! She stayed in the tent as you told her too,” Arthur desperately informed.

By this time Ector had drawn the attention of the crowd around him. Surprised rumblings were going around the crowd as the spectators took in the sword that Sir Ector held. It took only a moment for the field marshal to come out of the registry tent. “See here! What’s all this fuss and grumbling about,” he demanded.

Sir Ector was in shock for a moment before answering, “It’s my ward, Sir Girard. He claims to have taken the sword from the stone in the churchyard. See for yourself,” Sir Ector finished, handing over the sword.

“What,” Sir Girard exclaimed as he took the sword from Sir Ector. As Sir Girard examined the sword his eyes turned into saucers. This was nigh on impossible. The letters engraved on the hilt said otherwise though.
Sir Girard looked down at Arthur and demanded, “How did you get this sword?”

“I pulled it from the stone anvil Sir! The one at the old church!”

“It’s crooked to lease to a marshal at a joust, lad,” Sir Girard pointedly stated.

“I’m not leasing sir,” Arthur insisted.

“He wouldn’t know how. The boy is a truth teller to the last,” Sir Ector inserted gruffly.

Sir Girard looked doubtful but shouted for a page. “Yes sir,” a boy no older than Arthur answered.

“Go find the Bishop Blaise and tell him that I need him here. After that find Prince Pellian and tell him the same. There’ll be a silver piece in it for you when you return with the Prince,” Sir Girard promised.

“Yes Sir,” the boy excitedly replied with a bounce of his head.

“In the mean time, the two of you best get in here and stay quiet,” Sir Girard instructed. A mute Arthur and Sir Ector followed him into the tent.
Arthur did his best to stay out of sight. These people could be scary. There were half a dozen men in the tent and they all had swords. Arthur had been practicing with a wooden sword so he knew the basics. Kay had let Arthur watch while he practiced with the real blade and those things were devilishly sharp. Arthur had even watched Kay slaughter a pig with one before. He had no desire to be near these people with their weapons at the moment.

In the center of the tent was a long wooden table. It was covered with what Arthur knew to be parchment. What was on the parchment had to be a list of knights competing today. Arthur had no need to know those names though. Or any other written word.

He was an orphan destined to work the land. The land was all he needed to know. Truthfully he liked it that way. Let Kay worry about making sure people were fed and duties were paid to the crown. That was more fuss than Arthur truly wanted in life.

While lost in his thoughts Arthur didn’t notice the arrival of an old man in a worn grey cloak. In fact, it seemed as though no one noticed the man’s arrival. He stood off to the side of the tent just beyond the opening. His dark eyes took in the excitement of the people here. In the end though his gaze rested on the steel sword. It was finally time.

To Roma

Standard

Here lately I have been posting quite a bit of Arthurian one shots. I truly hope you are enjoying them. Today I have yet another one shot for you. This particular one takes place early on in Arthur’s reign. As always feel free to leave a review.

Happy Reading!

To Roma

Sunlight filtered through the arrow slits of what was quickly becoming known as the king’s workroom to the denizens of the castle. The sunlight allowed enough light to see by and a slight breeze to circulate the air of the some what stuffy room.

In the light’s path sat a sturdy wooden table covered with scrolls. The paper was imported from Aegyptus and known as papyrus. It was extremely durable and versatile. The durability of the papyrus was invaluable to the nation,

Although Khitai was able to produce a cotton blend that was cheaper, it was also more delicate. The papyrus was one of the few extravagances that Arthur allowed his administration this early in his reign.

Behind the table of scrolls sat a man with reddish brown hair and dancing blue eyes. The man was bent over the table carefully reading a scroll. There was a slight frown on his face as he stared at the scroll.

After several moments the sound of a man clearing his throat alerted the seated man to the presence of another in this his workroom. The seated man looked up and said, “Sir Gareth, come and sit for I have something of a quest for you.”

Sir Gareth entered the room and looked warily at the man before saying, “A quest, Your Majesty,” alarm colored Gareth’s voice.

“Of a sort,” his majesty confirmed with a half smile on his face. It was a smile that made Gareth nervous.

With trepidation in his stomach Gareth echoed, “Of a sort?”

“Yes. I would like for you to make a journey with the Lady Seraphim,” Arthur answered. Gareth could have sworn that he saw amusement in the king’s eyes as he said that.

Gareth almost sagged in relief. Doing anything with Lady Seraphim was both refreshing and amusing for the fact that it was common knowledge that Seraphim acted like no lady that any knight had ever met.

It was well known that you could take Lady Seraphim into a tavern and she would encourage one to act with boisterous pride amongst your peers. The Lady Seraphim also tended to act as though she were any other knight. That tended to help with thinking of her as a comrade in arms rather than a damsel in distress.

“What sort of journey had you in mind, your majesty,” Gareth asked his king.

“’Twould be naught but a journey across the seas, to the land of Roma,” replied Arthur, his hazel eyes sparkling in mischief.

“Then thou wish a mission of secrecy,” Gareth questioned. The prospect of traveling in secret with the king’s champion sparked the knight’s interest. Gareth, like all other knights of the table, had never served with a female knight and the king’s chosen champion was a woman. This was a highly unconventional thing to have.

The danger this trip held for the King’s Champion was great. This much Gareth knew. The danger was primarily because Seraphim was a woman. All in Camelot knew how the Romans tended to treat women.

Especially given the fact that the primary religion of the Roman conquerors was that of the Christ child. This was a religion that saw women as a frail lot that were to be protected and kept far from the fields of bloodshed.

And the King’s Champion, the Lady Seraphim, was anything but meek and mild. In many ways Seraphim was more of a knight than some of those that sat at the Table Round. For she truly did believe in and try to live by the ideals that the King had set forth for his Knights. It was rumored that the Lady Seraphim didn’t even know the meaning of the words ‘lip service’. That was something that Gareth found to be extremely true in the few dealings that he had attended with the Lady Knight.

As Sir Gareth lost himself in his thoughts the king interrupted, “I have every confidence that my Champion can defend herself. Unfortunately I also know the depths of treachery that the Roman Senate can fall too,” he finished sternly.

“Understood, Your Majesty. I shall do my utmost to keep faith with the high honor that you have seen fit to bestow upon me,” Gareth finished solemnly.

Arthur gave an ironic grin as he nodded his head. As Sir Gareth strides were taking him from the room the king intoned, “Oh, and Sir Gareth, remember to tone her temper with an alehouse if need be.”

Gareth paled at the thought of what could drive the formidable Champion to the alehouses to calm down. With a half bow towards the king, Gareth strode the door shaking his head at the adventure to come.