Greetings, Your Highness!
As is now the usual custom, I beg for thy forgiveness, for the rather long wait.
If you wish to catch up with the previous parts in Quest of Avalon, you may check out The Eventful Life of Morgan Le Fay.
Here’s a recap: Morgan and Alvarie (her young faerie friend) head over to fellow enchantress Elaine’s house, to discuss strategies for the impending war. A scout interrupts them to report that the hags will attack in two day’s time. Morgan fights an internal battle within herself, and she realises she must act before war arrives in both Avalon and the World of Men.
Curse the asinus! Grinding my teeth, I turn back to the table, to see Elaine and Alvarie staring at me.
‘What is it?’ I spit through clenched teeth.
‘Our forces are spread thin,’ Elaine says simply. I move over to the map of Avalon, which Elaine has spread on the table. We lean over it, fingers and palms pressing into the wood of Elaine’s table.
‘We should place the most number of enchanters here,’ I say, stabbing a finger at the North point of Avalon, a four-pointed star on the map.
‘Agreed,’ Elaine murmurs. ‘The rest of the enchanters will be put in charge of the other entrances.’
‘Should we station some in the World of Men as well?’ Alvarie asks, worrying her lower lip.
I glance over at Alvarie, and see how a frown creases her forehead. Her eyes are huge with the thought of impending war, and suddenly, I feel sad and angry. Sad, because one as young as Alvarie should not be worrying over these. She should be as carefree as the faeries I had seen in the marketplace. She should be prancing about with her friends, hoping to catch the attentions of the other faerie boys.
And I am angry. Angry because of the war. Angry at the asinus. Angry with the hags, who are no doubt followers of my late sister, Morgause.
Who knew that my sister could cause more harm when she was dead?
‘Faylinn has already done that. About three hundred nymphs are near each gate, prepared for battle,’ Elaine’s answer breaks through my dark thoughts.
‘Fifteen enchanters to the North gate, and five for the rest,’ I say, calculating the numbers in my head.
‘Not to mention the guardians of the gates, who are fierce protectors,’ Elaine says. She fixes me with a steely-eyed look. ‘We are prepared, Morgan.’
I, in return, give her the same level-eyed stare.
She drops her determined gaze. ‘Well, as prepared as we will ever be,’ she concedes dejectedly.
I shake my head a few times, as if trying to get rid of water in my ears. Which is ironic, seeing as where Avalon is situated.
‘Forgive my pessimism, Elaine,’ I say.
Elaine’s expression softens, and she smiles at me. ‘I will gather our forces, and you shall attend to the other issue that has brought you to Avalon.’
‘Very well. I’m afraid that when we next meet, it shall be in the thick of battle,’ I nod to her.
‘Morgan, where are you going now?’ Alvarie asks me.
‘To find Merlin,’ I mutter distractedly. My mind is busy with how we should confront the Lady of the Lake, knowing that she will make high demands of us. I sigh. The lengths we go to for the asinus…
‘Can I come, Morgan?’ Alvarie’s voice draws me back to the cottage I am standing in.
I whip my head to skewer my little elfling with a glare. ‘Certainly not!’ I say firmly. ‘Now, run along, little elfling, and I shall see you later.’
Alvarie sighs, before taking our empty teacups to the sink.
‘Do not be so harsh on Alvarie, Morgan. She has not seen you for quite some time,’ Elaine says quietly, although I sense a reproach in her tone. ‘Do not forget, you were the first person she looked up to.’
‘I know,’ it is my turn to sigh. ‘Tell her I shall meet her later, will you? And I shall see you too. May Avalon’s golden sun shine bright on you, Elaine,’ I speak the traditional parting line of faeries.
‘And may Avalon’s waters protect you,’ she replies, as is the proper response.
With one last nod, I step out of Elaine’s stone hut, and treading through the waist-high sea grass, I broaden my vision to seek Merlin out.
Morgan and Merlin can finally focus on what they came to Avalon for… to seek the Lady of the Lake. How do you think she will look like? Will she accept their request? At what price will it be?
Share your thoughts below! 🙂 Hang in there, more to come!