This picture could be a young Uther. The Romans were gone, Constantine 11 was king. but there were wars among the various tribes, each challenging the other. In those days, it was a magical time, but the reality of the battles for power was made even more fierce with the arrival of the Saxons. They wanted land and tried to take it. One can only speculate on the events of the Dark Ages. It remains hidden, secrets left behind to those who wonder. Imagine the possible stories that could come from such a time. This is what I love, the mystery of it all. To me, it’s provocative.
Read it in Chapter 37 of A King In Time.
Merlyn takes a walk in the snow to investigate the dark forces that are shadowing him and those he holds most dear. He has an encounter with magic fire set loose by an old adversary that leaves a changed Merlyn to return to Pendragon Castle.
“His beard singed nearly off leaving only wisps of hair, turned up at the ends, on either side of his face. His eyebrows also pointed up at his temples like little horns, and in like fashion the very hair on top of his head stood up in a shortened version of what it had been.”
His response to the stares he got when he returned caused him to draw himself up and mumble in his indignant way: “Well? What is it? Can’t a man go for an early morning stroll without everyone peering into his business?”
“The Green Knight is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, with its plot combining two types of folklore motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings.
It describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious “Green Knight” who challenges any knight to strike him with his ax if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him with his blow, at which the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving Lady Bertilak, the lady of the Green Knight’s castle.”
There is a reason why the legend of King Arthur has endured for centuries. Would that any story written by today’s authors last for centuries and become so loved. The romance of the legend so captured me as a child that it fostered a passion to learn more about those times. Stories telling of the good fortune of the land to possess a king, so blessed with the attributes of a great leader.
I thought writing a battle scene would be a real challenge. Once I brought all the followers of King Arthur to the high ground, where he waited for the members of an alliance to strengthen his army, the Saxons showed up with wild barbaric shouts and with blood in their eyes. This was not before the King’s archers, with their longbows, pulled and their arrows flew into the Saxon camp at dawn.
Charging over their dead brothers, using them as an assist to get to the high ground to do battle, it began. Shortly, the alliance members arrived just in time to overpower the Saxons and send them away at a crippled run.
There is more, much more. But, that was the scene and all that followed laid out to show the power of an army led by a beloved leader.
Gwen drew her bow, focused on the shadow of a deer deep in the autumn forest. Then a glimpse of soft sad eyes gathered a sadness in her heart. The deer turned his gaze toward her and made her pause. Slowly, she released the tension on her arrow and thereby disarmed her weapon. She could not hunt such an innocent creature. The deer walked toward her never taking his gaze from her.
“Please have no fear of me. I have been waiting for you.” Gwen could catch his fragrance, a heady mixture of evergreen, and warm blood that coursed within and toward his heart. “I bring you a prophecy to guide you on the path of your destiny.”
At this Gwen slowly moved toward him, her boots crunching through the crimson leaves that carpeted the forest floor. “Tell me of this prophecy. I am ready to hear it.”
The deer drew closer and the warmth in his eyes convinced Gwen she had nothing to fear indeed so she listened carefully as he told her of his vision. “One day, when you are no longer a child, there will come a king who will claim you as his own. If you accept his hand, you must vow to be true to his love. If you do not do this as I have told you, a great darkness will fall upon the land and you will regret your transgression. Please remember this until then.”
Gwen smiled and reached out her hand to caress the soft ears of her noble prophet. “I promise. I will never forget your words. Thank you kind friend.”
Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
I say it takes both. I use pictures and scenes of my stories that seem to flesh out the words I write and provide me with inspiration or ideas that get my creative motor started. All of the images I have posted to my Author Page on facebook have brought me closer to completing the research on the prequel and second novel in the sequence that I am aiming for. I invite you to go there and see for yourself.
Thanks for listening.