My master counselled me to show patience. And I have been so very patient. But patience has its price. I have come to know him; fear him. Every passing moment he strengthens his icy grip on my resolve. And now I am here, summoned to the King's table. My time is at hand, and I must be courageous. There is no place here for the cautious, for the indecisive, for the weak.
Sir Richard is to my right. In sunnier days Richard of Toop stood with the King, strong and gallant, a leader of the best men and a fearsome adversary. But now he is beaten. A grey, sallow tragedy, diminished by successive humiliations at my master's hand. James Rumsey, known as 'the Red', his faithful squire, attends him. Yet I sense that all is not well. Rumsey the Red is famed for his vim and vigour yet the sizeable tankard of ale that is never far from his grasp has diminished his wit somewhat, and today he is in no mood to listen to reason.
And brave Sir Nicholas; Nicholas the Silent, is also among us. Can Sir Richard hope that, where he has failed, Sir Nicholas will help Red Rumsey to a more reasonable state? I can only hope not. For the squire is central to my plan.
Merlin is close. I sense him. he sees through the eyes of one of Arthur's servants. He knows me. Yet I must hold my nerve. He cannot reveal what he knows. His exposure will be my master's final victory. And then Camelot will fall.
And my master is to my left, the one known as Mordred, and by darker names and deeds. To Arthur's loyal servants he appears as Alex of The Hill, a knight well travelled and in the knowing of the men and Gods of many distant realms. The King would have need of his wise counsel. Would that Arthur knew of the grizzly fate that had befallen the real Sir Alex. Would that he had heard his last agonising groan as I dispathed him from this sullen world.
The King commands us to select among us two, pure of heart, to complete his bidding. Sir Richard proposes that he and I band together. Yet to my surprise his proposal has been disapproved. These once so sturdy knights. I can smell their uncertainty, their lack of resolve. And it has fallen to me to suggest a pair that will be deemed worthy of the quest. Naturally, I will go and I suggest Sir Alex (my master!) voicing the view that failing to agree on a suitable pairing for this first assignation will lead us all to ruin I call for a vote. And my proposal is passed. I sense that the moment has arrived. This is no time for caution. The cards are revealed. I have failed the mission. I immediately accuse my master yet I know that that I will be blamed. Accusing fingers point. Merlin already knows me. But he does not know my master.
My master is now charged with finding three good men for the second quest. He forsakes me, winning the trust of the others. He chooses Sir Richard and Rumsey the Red to make company with him. I advise that Rumsey may have more want of a soft bed than a horse, but I!m paid little head. The vote is taken. I vote against. Yet the vote succeeds. My master is trusted And the quest is failed.
But now the power to control the Table has passed from us. It is Red Rumsey who will propose two men for the third quest. It is clear that one of the three from the quest just failed is a traitor. Could Rumsey be persuaded that if my maser is the traitor then I cannot be, so the only safe choice, the only reasonable choice, is to choose me? Sir Richard likes not this suggestion, yet he too is confounded, and Red Rumsey is in no mood to listen to his master's hapless bleeting. Only Sir Nicholas the Silent can prove the thorn in my paw. Yet he remains steadfast to his reputation and keeps his own counsel. I wonder. He must see that his world is in grave danger. of course, Merlin moves behind him! I have seen this before. Merlin's prescience has made greater men stumble.
My words have triumphed. Rumsey the Red quaffs deeply from his great tankard before slamming it on the table. "I will have Sir GJ with me on this quest and the rest of you be damned" he cries. At this, Sir Nicholas and Sir Richard are stirred to object. Too little too late. The vote is called and the result is given. Sir Nicholas and Sir Richard are horrified, and something registers deep within Rumsey's head. A thought. Has he been undone? Beads of sweat appear on his brow, his ruddy complexion darkens to the colour of a ripe bilberry. I can see his panic, taste his fear.
The quest has failed. Arthur's realm is no-more. All will be subject to my master's will, and I will rule at his side....mwahahahahahahaha
- Last edited Sun Feb 5, 2017 7:56 pm (Total Number of Edits: 10)
- Posted Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:50 am