Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

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Blood of the Sword: Lancelot

Postby lover of narnia » Jan 19, 2013 12:35 am

Blood of the Sword


Lancelot had attended countless ceremonies commemorating and legalizing a young man as a knight. Three of them had held weight in his mind, this being the final of this series, and so he watched it with all practiced gravity that seemed fitting. Cobalt irises smoldered with the very fires of mellowed emotions, roiling below the cloak of this blue surface. He trained all scrutiny upon the prince, as he knelt and chanted the continuous words of affirmation. King Arthur spoke, signs of memorization lacing his tone, but there was pride and warmth, where before he had lacked this. Gabriel was his son; he had every right to take happiness from his achievements.

Yet. Lancelot joined the ripple of laughter that cascaded down the chamber, though in its notes were strain. It was to his daughter the royal referred, and even in mention he stiffened. His daughter. Galahad lay in the crowd around him; settled in his peripheral vision. There was bursting joy upon her becoming visage, as her life-long play mate was given his honors elated her. He noticed the strand of golden hair that was fractionally out of place, and it prompted a pursing of his lips. She was as noble as any knight that pledged their allegiance to Camelot, but it had not been what he wanted for her. Not entirely.

Lancelot returned his observation to his long trained pupil. The blood and sweat they had shed made them more than knight and squire. There was a greater degree of depth to it than that, and it was for this reason he too took satisfaction in his knighthood. He had shaped the unrefined qualities in the heir to be what they were, though he would not take complete credit. Gabe had possessed them; he molded them.

"Well then! By the power invested in me, by God and my forefathers. I dub thee a knight. Rise Sir Pendragon, Knight of Camelot."

Lancelot applauded, watching Excalibur strike firmly the man's shoulders, as it had to him so long ago. Long, long ago. The crowds around him responded in kind, cries of, "Sir Gabriel", being heard behind. It was certainly an important hour for the kingdom. Certainly.

“Ladies and gentlemen, there will be a banquet directly following the ceremony. Please give us some time to set up the tables, and then we will adjourn to the banquet hall.”

The court broke from rank and file, many conglomerating about the prince to shower him with earned congratulations. The older knight knew he would receive every opportunity to due the like later; when he would have to show no manner of valor to reach him. His gaze traced the paths of the king and queen, and the lithe shape of Princess Blair, the later seeming to fly with some manner of fury; resembling an angered hawk. She is a Pendragon, truly. Hatred and pride is in her blood.

Lancelot dispersed from the shifting leather and frocks, smiling and speaking when addressed, dipping his head to those whom required it. Other knights praised him for his mighty work in rearing Gabe, with which he responded cordially and mannerly, lingering to converse then disappearing. He had noticed the absence of his daughter, and guessed her intended location.

The dining hall was arrayed with finely prepared morsels and painstakingly selected decor. Candelabra graced each table, surrounded by platters and bowls, brimming with fruit and venison. Vintage wine had been fetched, torches were alight, and all was colored with the crimson dragon of the Pendragon crest. But it was none of these already anticipated items Lancelot first sought to notice; it was the heated voices seething from several sources and the quieting of them as familiar tones chimed in.

Weariness fringed the sigh he released as, with pose and determined strides, he entered. Darkened cerulean met Gawain, Blair, Gabe, and Galahad, arranged in positions about the banquet table of the king. He might assume whom had been arguing, and when he met her eyes he let this knowledge be seen.

"Milady Blair." Lancelot greeted with formality, passing her chair and nodding. "Gawain." A word was enough to suffice between the two that called each other brother, and onward he went. To Galahad he laid a hand, giving her shoulder a meaningful squeeze, before halting at the prince.

"Congratulations, Gabe. You have earned this. Now. Have you saved a spot for me at this table?" A brow rose in question.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby narnianerd » Jan 19, 2013 1:11 am

Blood of the Sword


"Master Lance, seeing as I'll be sitting next to my father. Perhaps you'd like to sit on the other side of me?" he motioned to the seat just to the right of where he was going to be sitting. Having Lancelot next to him would grant Gabe the courage to make it through dinner with his real dad.

His father wasn't what scared him, it was topics that might be brought up and he wanted his mentor next to him in the case that he needed help. Politics and court matters weren't his strong points. Then, he shot a glare at Galahad, one that said I'm trying to fix my family relations here. Not break e'm up. And he hoped that it would settle her down.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby MountainFireflower » Jan 19, 2013 3:12 am

Blood of the Sword

Gawain glanced over at Blair, wondering if she was legitimately upset or if she was just being as icy as she always was. He elbowed her lightly. “Hey, you all right?”

Before Blair had a chance to respond, Lancelot came to the table and greeted him with one word. “Gawain.”

Gawain smiled, nodding his head. “Sir Lancelot.” Even though he was no longer Lancelot’s squire, he hadn’t been able to drop the habit of referring to Lancelot by his title. Lancelot moved on all too quickly, going to talk to Gabe, and Gawain hoped that they’d get a chance to talk after the banquet.

But he supposed it was a good thing, because his betrothed needed him. He turned back to her. “That was an untimely interruption, but lest you think you got out of baring your soul to me, I haven’t forgotten. What’s wrong?”

____


Blair tensed at Gawain’s question. “Nothing’s wrong.” She let out a sigh and pasted on a smile. “I’m perfectly fine.”

She glanced over her shoulder at the door to the banquet hall. “I hope the meal is served soon, and the other guests arrive. I’m quite starved.” She let out a nervous chuckle, hoping that did the trick to get Gawain off her case.

A slow stream of guests started to trickle in, lingering far too close to the royal dais for a deep conversation to occur. Gawain surveyed Blair with a knowing glance, then crossed his arms, scarily mimicking her pose. “We’ll talk about this later.”

Blair gave him a strained smile, her stomach sinking. The last thing she needed was someone who could read her like a book. Please don’t get involved with me, she thought, the hopelessness of their situation all too clear. You don’t need this. You need someone much better.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby Dernhelm_of_Rohan » Jan 19, 2013 5:10 am

Blood of the Sword


Galahad felt rather than heard Sir Lancelot du Lac enter the room. And nothing repressed her spirits like being in the same room as her father. She instantly stiffened and felt her naughty smile sink into an expression of starched propriety.

"Milady Blair." Lancelot greeted with formality, passing her chair and nodding. "Gawain." For his former pupil, she noticed a slight crack in his visage of sternness. En passant, he laid a hand on her shoulder, giving her a meaningful squeeze of disapproval before halting at the prince. "Congratulations, Gabe. You have earned this. Now. Have you saved a spot for me at this table?"

Galahad yelled silent protests at her father's heavy hand. You blame me for everything! She had not dared to say this openly since she was a little girl, but she felt all the injustice of it, all the times he shoved her down or "taught her her place". If I were a boy, she scowled for the millionth time, you'd have been proud of me. She knew Gabe loved him like a father, but she did not know how. In her mind, Lancelot had been nothing like a father to her, ever. He was master, teacher, and example, but she could not recall a single symptom of affection.

"Master Lance, seeing as I'll be sitting next to my father. Perhaps you'd like to sit on the other side of me?" Gabe motioned to the seat just to the right of where he was going to be sitting. At an opportune moment, he shot a glare at Galahad. She read his expression perfectly - I'm trying to fix my family relations here. Not break e'm up.

He need not have bothered. Her father was damper enough for her tongue - she endured his presence as one would endure a cold rain. All the same, it was some slight triumph to see her family offered seats of honor in front of Blair. That princess would hardly be able to turn up her nose at the du Lacs now!

She noticed servants doing final checks on the tables. She realized with a start that many of the guests were also already in the room and guessed that the feast was about to start. Just as well. Perhaps King Arthur would still deign to notice her at the banquet, since she was his son's best friend. It was odd, though, to think of Gabe as the king's son, even now.


The hound under the table sniffed at Lancelot's passing boots. A low rumble that might have been a growl came from the great dog, but the look in it's eyes was one of humor. It laid down and waited, patiently.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby humdedum » Jan 19, 2013 2:31 pm

Blood of the Sword

"Of course we never get any bloody live entertainment," Gregory muttered under his breath as they waved through what seemed like the millionth bard, rosy-cheeked and eager to share his latest masterpiece extolling the bravery and gallantry of Camelot's nobles.

Mordred grunted in agreement. Well, let's bring the entertainment to us, shall we? It was the night of the huge celebration for the knighting of Prince Gabe, but for the castle guards, it only meant more arduous patrols or standing in the same position for hours. Luckily, with years of experience, Mordred had developed a special way to make the job more interesting. He waved forward the next poet.

"State your business here," Gregory intoned.

"I-I have come to perform before the royal court," the young man stammered, a bead of sweat rolling down a flushed cheek.

Mordred patted the man's sides, feeling for any hidden weapons. "Hold up, what's this?" He tugged at a little brown flask fastened to the poet's belt.

"A-ale, sir," the man explained. "It helps with m-my nerves."

"The sight of my charming face doesn't already calm your nerves?" Mordred inquired, sounding wounded.

The bard was taken aback. "Er, no. Yes. Sorry, I've never done this before."

"Well, you won't be needing this," replied Mordred, cutting the bag free and throwing it onto the growing pile of various jugs, containers, and other flasks behind them. Gregory snorted softly beside him, trying to disguise his laughter. All afternoon and evening long, he and Mordred had been confiscating every vaguely alcoholic beverage they could nick off the visitors coming through their particular gate. The young bard made an offended noise before he could stop himself.

"It could be poison," Mordred explained with a straight face. "Very risky."


"Sorry. Right. Thank you," the bard muttered, flushing. He began to walk through the gate. Instantly, Mordred swung his spear up.

"Hold up! Where do you think you're going? You haven't been approved yet," he scolded.

"What?" the bard stepped back, eyes wide. "What else do I need to do?"

"To prove that you really are a professional poet, and not a deadly rogue assassin, you must perform an original ballad for us." Mordred nodded confidently. "Why don't you compose one about us?" he suggested, gesturing to Gregory, who was snorting in regular intervals of about half a second. The younger guard, bless him, was still not used to Mordred's...unique work methods. "You have five seconds."

"Uh...Behold! The mighty guards of Camelot!
They hold their spears...a lot
," the bard hesitated. Gregory was doubled over and softly squeaking.

"That's lovely, keep going," Mordred said encouragingly. The bard looked bewildered. "How about something about our outstanding looks?"

"Right! The guards of Camelot are devilishly handsome!
They protect the King from being held as ransom!
In fact, they protect all of the royal heirs!"

"And work our bums off to preserve theirs," offered Mordred. He clapped the bard on the shoulder. "Good effort. Go ahead."
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby PrinceCor004 » Jan 19, 2013 3:59 pm

Blood of the Sword

The streets were crowded. No, the streets were not just crowded they were overflowing with men, women, children, horses, oxen pulling carts, etc, etc. The knighting of the Kings son was clearly a time for celebration among the lower class of Camelot.

Eh, at least this means the taverns will be well stocked with food and drink...

A tall, cloaked figure riding a road weary horse slowly made his way through the city streets till he reached his destination: the MacBeth Tavern and Inn. It was more tavern than inn, but for short stays, it served its purpose.

The familiar aroma of burnt wood, various brews, unnamable stew and human odor greeted the man as he entered the establishment. Winding his way through the crowd of men in various stages of intoxication, the cloaked figure finally arrived at the bar.

"Room for one for a single night. The usual accommodations if they are available." the man said in a distinct, low Irish brogue. Reaching into his cloak, he retrieved a small bag and set it down on the counter. The unmistakable rattle of coins was heard when the bag hit the wooden bar.

The inn keeper looked the man over, then glanced down at the small bag before turning around and unhooking a small key from the wall full behind him. "Good to have you again, Mr. Wallace." the burly man said with a knowing half smile as he nonchalantly took the bag of money while handing over the room key.

The cloaked man merely nodded as he took the key. Hoisting the travel bag he was carrying over his shoulder, "Wallace" headed towards the staircase and up to his room.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby lover of narnia » Jan 20, 2013 12:07 am

Blood of the Sword


Lancelot stiffened as the sound of a hound growling its apparent displeasure sounded. Cobalt irises, smoldering darker in suspicion, darted beneath the drapings of the table. His scrutiny met with a gentle shifting of the fabric and the miniscule protruding of an ebony nose. Its identity was likely that of one of the castle's trained dogs, yet its reasons for showing animosity were perplexing. He had known several of the animals for a greater portion of their lives. This occurrence filed into the reaches of his mind, being allowed to slip just far enough so it would not display at all on his visage that what he had seen interested him.


Lancelot did not miss the signs of vexation upon his daughter's face as his brown head turned, yet he allowed them to settle as his conversation with the prince persisted. To his offer, he nodded in satisfaction. "Quite ideal. I thank you." His hand made its way to the younger man's arm. "Shall I persist in my disrespect and continue to refer to you as Gabe, or will Prince Gabriel suffice for your new status?" His lips pursed, and mirth creased his features. You are a Pendragon, Gabe. Du Lac raised or not, you shall never truly be one of us.

"Would you desire to be seated beside me, Gala?" Lancelot executed a reserved shift upon his heal, eyes softening as they were confronted with flaxen tresses. "If you wish." Though there was the flint of command in his gaze, the man's tone suggested he allowed her choice. Her subdued ire lent itself to his observation and an indiscernible sigh threaded from his nostrils. I do not want us to be separated by Pendragons Galahad. You are my daughter. The daughter of my precious Elaine...

Unease hardened his sinew as the sound of increasing populace and servants scurrying met his ears. It would be a mere matter of moments before the banquet began. Yes. The feast... The delicacies would surely be succulent and the wine a fine vintage. Soon.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby Dernhelm_of_Rohan » Jan 20, 2013 5:45 am

Blood of the Sword


Lancelot spoke to Gabe. "Quite ideal. I thank you." His hand made its way to the younger man's arm. "Shall I persist in my disrespect and continue to refer to you as Gabe, or will Prince Gabriel suffice for your new status?" A look that passed for humor crossed his face.

Why does he even bother asking? Galahad thought crossly. Of course Gabe will always want us to call him Gabe. He's practically your son... The son you always wanted.

"Would you desire to be seated beside me, Gala?" He turned to face her and there was a remote change in his expression, as if he saw someone else for a moment. "If you wish." Though there was the flint of command in his gaze, the man's tone suggested he allowed her choice.

His daughter blinked in surprise. First, he had not used a pet name for her in many days. Even more surprising, the possibility of a choice had not often been given to her. But she already knew her answer. It was worth enduring her father's disapproving scowl to see the king.

"I would be honored to sit beside you, father." Her voice unconsciously took on a more refined way of speaking. Uncomfortable under his piercing blue gaze, she turned to slide back into place the plates she had messed up during her rush to congratulate Gabe. At least Blair seemed to be absorbed in her own thoughts, although she had a feeling the princess's cold anger was more easily controlled than her own flashing temper.

Behind her, she heard the deep laugh of the king; he was probably making his way towards the dais. She smiled. This is Gabe's night of triumph, and I'm not letting anything stop him from enjoying it, she reminded herself.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby narnianerd » Jan 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Blood of the Sword


The refined woman of the court accent. He'd heard it before out of Galahad, anytime she spoke to her father she instantly adjusted her demeanor, just to please him. It was disgusting and wrong, Gabe had always thought. And tonight, it hit him just as hard. No daughter should ever have to do what Galahad did every day. The worst part of the whole deal for Gabe, was that he knew that he was the cause of much of it.

"Sir, you know that I'll always consider myself Gabe, not this alter-ego you speak of." He smiled, hoping that his small attempt at humor would put his mentor at ease and make Galahad's night just a bit easier. At the very least, he'd be shifting Lancelot's attention onto himself.

---


Clang. Clang. Clang. Sizzle.

Lionel Walter Godfrey removed the hunk of metal from the cooling tank and carefully moved it back to his anvil where he beat on it some more, molding the shapeless ore into a thing of beauty.

Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang.

"Knock knock? Lionel, I thought I told you to take the night off." Walt turned, looking over his shoulder in order to get a good look at Batholomew, his teacher.

"Well sir, this sword was sitting here looking all lonely like, I figured it could use some company. Besides, it was supposed to be done tonight. Arthur is counting on us."

Bart moved over to the work desk and put on a pair of gloves. "Can I take a look?" Walt turned back to his work in progress and picked it up, presenting it to his mentor and boss.

"Ah, I see you have been using the new technique I taught you. It should make this blade ten times stronger than if you had used the old process." Walt gave a half-smile, his lips firmly pressed together. He knew exactly why he was using this new style of metal-working.

"And lighter as well. It'll feel like an extension of the users arm, I've figured out how to remove the impurities in the blade. That'll make it more flexible and less brittle so the weapon will break less."

"And augmented with magic, it will be fit for a king. Or a Prince for that matter," Bart handed the blade back. "This one, I think will do."

"Which is why, I must finish this tonight."

"My boy, I am worried that you are becoming hard. Like this blade. And your edge becoming sharper than ever. Your serve your purpose like an extension of my arm- perfectly. Do not let your purpose control your life."

Walt set the blade down and picked up his hammer again, "yes my master."

Clang. Clang. Clang.

Batholomew left the boy to his work.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby malkah » Jan 21, 2013 5:37 pm

Blood of the Sword


Camelot was alive. The castle echoed with voices and footsteps, torchlight blazed everywhere, the lilt of music and laughter floated up from the city below, and crouched in a corner, the Lady Gaheris was fighting an intense battle with her shoelace.

It was her own fault, really. She'd squeezed herself into the middle of the enthralled crowd watching Prince Gabriel receive his knighting in the great hall. At the grand moment when the king touched Excalibur to the prince's shoulders, an overexcited young man had unceremoniously pushed his way to the front for a better view, stepping on about a dozen feet along the way. In his rush, he'd somehow managed to catch his toe in her shoelace and snap it in half. He had blushed till he looked like a tomato and apologized profusely but the damage was done.

She considered just leaving it, but spending the entire banquet with her slipper flapping off her foot was not an option either. Muttering under her breath, Eri bit off one end of the lace and tied the rest together in a clumsy knot. That would have to do.

A sudden swell of noise from the nearby banquet hall echoed and Eri jumped. Judging by the sound, the hall was rapidly filling and the king and queen would be arriving any moment.

Eri cast a quick look around, but the hallway was deserted. No one around to see her. Eyes glinting, she gathered her dark red skirts up and broke into a full run.

She dashed headlong down the corridor, the heavy pendant around her neck bouncing against her throat with each step. The pendant, a finely worked falcon in gold, was one of the few Lothian heirlooms she possessed and she had thrown it on at the last moment for the celebration.

Just as she reached the door to the hall, it flew wildly up and smacked her hard in the nose. Eri drew to a stop, laughing breathlessly and ruefully rubbing her nose, but the growing noise in the hall gave her no time to pause. She hastily rounded the corner into the banquet hall and hurried up the stairs of the royal dais.

The tension at the table was already obvious. Eri stifled a sigh at the thought of the long evening full of polite nothings and unspoken rivalry between people who were siblings in name only. She knew little of the prince Gabriel and even less of his friend Galahad and her famous father Sir Lancelot. As for Gawain...he had been absent training for his knighthood for nearly all her growing-up years and had returned as a man with little resemblance to her fuzzy memories of him as a little girl. She knew her horse better than she did her own brother. And there did not seem to be much chance of mending that, for Gawain was always absorbed now in navigating the thorny labyrinth of Princess Blair's personality. For a moment a hint of loneliness tried to rear its ugly head, and suddenly she missed Gareth. At least he was not a stranger.

But there was no time for that now. Shoving the ache down, Eri put a careful smile on and resolved to be courteous. Tonight was Camelot's night, the prince's night, and she would not stir the waters. "I'm late," she said simply as she reached the table, "my apologies." Eri dropped a low curtsy in the direction of the prince and princess. "Your highnesses." Before the silence could grow awkward, she slipped into the seat on Gawain's other side.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby MountainFireflower » Jan 22, 2013 5:42 am

Blood of the Sword

Gawain caught sight of his sister Gaheris over his shoulder. “I'm late,” she said simply as she reached the table, “my apologies.”

“Hello, Eri.” Gawain spared a smile for his younger sister. “You are forgiven.” Gaheris—no, Eri, he reminded himself—slipped into the seat to his left, adjusting her skirts. “Did you make it here all right?” He asked with a hint of a smile.

________


The imminence of the royal banquet, as well as fiddling with her silverware, proved to be a lovely distraction for Blair from her tangled-up emotions. That is, until Eri entered and made her way to the table. This banquet was going to be difficult for Blair for many reasons, and most of those reasons seemed to be seated at the royal dais.

Eri curtsied to her, which Blair hated almost as much as the title princess itself. Especially receiving such a formality from someone who used to be one of her closest friends. She mechanically responded to Eri with a polite nod, merely out of habit.

Eri slipped into the seat next to Gawain, and Gawain and Eri exchanged a few words of greeting. Blair opened her mouth, not sure what to say, and then shut it again. Instead, she dropped her gaze to the spoon she held in her lap and studied the intricate scrollwork on the handle.

“Blair.”

She looked up at the sound of Gawain’s voice. He was giving her a parental look, one she’d seen from her father many times, a look that conveyed what was expected of her. Blair’s mouth dropped open a bit, but then she clamped her jaw shut for a moment before speaking. “Good day, Eri. I hope this evening finds you well.”

She dropped her gaze to the table, swallowing hard. Her mouth suddenly went dry, but there was no water in the ornate goblet sitting in front of her—the nicest glassware the castle owned. She glanced toward the door. When would the banquet start?

Gawain elbowed her, lowering her voice. “What is wrong? Are you nervous about the announcement?”

“I—It’s just…” She shook her head, her voice dropping to a whisper. “It’s a lot of things.”

A slow stream of guests started to trickle in, and the horns blew, heralding the arrival of the king and queen. This provided another good distraction, reminding her of the life-changing evening that was about to unfold. Blair tucked a strand of hair back into her ridiculously ornate hairstyle and then clasped her hands in her lap. It was show time.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby narnianerd » Jan 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Blood of the Sword


The horns blew, signaling the arrival of his parents and signaling to Gabriel that it was time to take his seat. Which he proceeded to do, via circumnavigation of the end of the table. Nothing nearly as cool as what Galahad had done, leaping over. But his method was significantly less messy.

On his left would be his family, people he barely knew. And to his right, would be the only family he had ever known. Tonight would be a confusing event indeed, he was torn between two worlds. Like a game of tug-a-war. However, this war wasn't fair. The Pendragon team had significantly more weight behind it and therefore it was winning the contest.

Gabe had not been sitting for three seconds, when the trumpets sounded again. Three times and then he stood, simultaneously with everyone else in the room. And directed his attention towards the entrance, where Arthur and his bride would appear shortly.

"Announcing, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere." A herald yelled as he walked through entrance way, in his hands he held the banner of the crown. He was followed by the King, walking hand in hand with his Queen. Silence followed them as they walked to their seats.

"Well, I'm not always late. But when I am, I am." Quipped Guinevere, causing the whole court to erupt into laughter. Gabriel included.

"Lets eat!" she concluded, taking her seat promptly.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby MountainFireflower » Jan 24, 2013 6:34 am

Blood of the Sword

Blair watched as her parents entered the room hand-in-hand and crossed the banquet hall to the royal dais. Their entrance was accompanied by much decorum, right down to the banner the herald carried with the royal family’s coat of arms emblazoned across it. Along with their entrance, the pressure of this banquet and her impending betrothal became all the more real. After this, she’d be tethered to Gawain for good. Butterflies danced in her stomach at the thought.

But no matter how she felt, she was still on display. Blair knew what was expected of her, so she stuffed her emotions down and played the part of princess. She directed a practiced smile towards her parents as they took their seats, and politely chuckled along with the audience at her mother’s joke. “Well, I’m not always late. But when I am, I am. Let’s eat!”

The doors on both sides of the chambers opened and filled the room with servants carrying platters full of food—and for the first time all night, Blair was relieved. The banquet was starting. It would all be over soon.

As was custom, the royal family was served first, and then the peasants. Fried chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes were among some of the dishes served during the first course.

Blair looked at her plate after it had been filled, her eyebrows lowering a fraction. How on earth was she supposed to eat fried chicken like a princess?

She gingerly picked up a drumstick and took a small bite, earning an encouraging nod from her mother. At least I’m doing something right.

She set the drumstick back down, grease and breaded crumbs sticking to her fingers. She glanced to make sure no one was looking and then licked them as discreetly as possible.

“I saw that,” her mother said quietly. “Also, your arms are touching the table, my dear.”

Her mother’s voice was quiet and cool and calm and not at all rude, but Blair still felt frustration well up in her. She wanted to punch something, or swing her sword at the wooden pillar in the courtyard, while simultaneously wanting to cry. She held back the tears, closing her eyes for a moment to block out the clamor in the banquet hall. Nobody sees how hard I’m trying! I’m... I’m trying so hard.

A few moments passed as the entire royal table continued their meal, and Blair was glad for the few moments of silence. The citizens of Camelot, dining below the dais, still expected her to look smart, cool, and collected, of course, but at least she didn’t have to speak. It was a relief to be able to breathe, if only for a few precious seconds.

“How was your day?” Guinevere had the audacity to ask, looking at Blair as if this was perfectly normal, as if this banquet was utter perfection instead of Blair’s dream falling to pieces. As if nothing about this banquet was so terribly, terribly wrong.

Blair dropped her gaze to the table. “Fine.”

“Just fine?” Guin asked.

Blair raised her head to meet her mother’s gaze again, and for a moment her defenses crumbled. This was hardly the time or place, but looking at her mother’s caring brown eyes and smile, Blair was very nearly convinced to open up to her like she had many times before. After a few moments of an inner war, her desire to be heard won out.

She shook her head. “No, actually, it—”

Her father’s deep voice unceremoniously interrupted any notions Blair had of spilling all her troubles. “I’d like to propose a quiet toast, with the people that know Gabe best,” Arthur said with a smile. “Son, words cannot express how proud I am of you.”

Blair swallowed hard and dropped her gaze to her lap. Words could not express how desperately she wished that she was the recipient of these words.

“Hey... chin up,” Gawain whispered, gently placing his hand on her shoulder. Blair looked at him for a brief second, unsure whether to embrace his encouragement or shrink away. She stared at him, speechless, as the buzz of words continued to swirl around.

“Blair?” Arthur craned his neck across Guinevere to see his daughter. “A toast, for your brother?”

Blair snapped back to reality and swallowed hard, curling her fingers around her goblet. “C...congratulations, Gabe.” She forced a smile, the volume of her voice dropping for the last sentence, her voice choked. “I have no doubt you will make Camelot proud.”
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby Dernhelm_of_Rohan » Jan 24, 2013 8:30 am

Blood of the Sword


As the trumpets blew, Galahad followed her father to her seat, this time by walking around the table instead of sliding over it. As Gabe passed her to find his chair, she squeezed his arm encouragingly - he had been nervous about this night for weeks. It's okay, her smile said. Just be yourself.

Gabe had hardly sat down when the trumpets sounded again, the signal for everyone to rise as the hosts entered. Galahad stood proudly, her height nearly equal to her father's. Once again - just as she had felt when she had knelt and had Excalibur resting on her shoulder - she was a knight, answerable to no one but the King, who's imposing figure was now escorting the lovely Queen to the royal dais.


The Queen chose to crack the solemnity with a jest. "Well, I’m not always late. But when I am, I am. Let’s eat!”

Galahad smiled broadly. This was what she admired most about Queen Guinevere - her royal status was not an excuse to be proud, unlike her daughter. She could easily picture the monarch in a humble hut, giving food to the poorest peasant in the kingdom. If Galahad's character had been more womanly, she would have taken the Queen for her model, especially since she could not even remember her own mother.

Of course, if my mother had lived, she thought without sadness, I would never have been allowed to become a knight. For the first time in her life, she felt something akin to gratefulness towards her father. He may have been stern and cold, but he had given her the chance to do something great and the skills to succeed. Although, it's easier to remember that when he's not berating me for forgetting my buckler, or something like that.

She turned her gaze to Arthur, now sitting at the place of honor in the exact middle of the table, his face lit with pride for his son. That was her utmost hope and dream - to see his eyes smiling proudly at her, as they had on the day she was made a knight. To hear him call her a knight of the Round Table, one of the king's most trusted men. But it cost her no pangs of jealousy to see that look shining on Gabe - her friendship with the prince was probably the only unselfish relationship she had. And she had been there with him to see every trial he had passed, every day he had worked for hours on perfecting one movement with a lance. In her opinion, he had earned even more than he was being given.

At the Queen's command, the servants entered and placed heaping platters of food on the table. Galahad felt her mouth water at all the trays of good things and immediately helped herself to the roast and potatoes. Just as she swallowed her first mouthful, she heard the King speak.


"I’d like to propose a quiet toast, with the people that know Gabe best,” Arthur said with a smile. “Son, words cannot express how proud I am of you.”

Galahad grinned broadly and lifted her decanter. "Long life to you, Gabe, and may your sword shine brightly in the face of Camelot's enemies!" She kept her voice low, out of respect for the king's wish that the whole room not erupt in cheers.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby narnianerd » Jan 25, 2013 12:42 am

Blood of the Sword


With the people who know me best? Gee pops, you sent me Christmas cards. Once, I hardly know you.

Even worse was Blair's forced attempt at a toast. Something was bothering her, but he hadn't known her long enough to read her emotions. Was she worried? Sad? Angry? He wasn't sure.

And then Galahad joined in the toasting fray, just as he had done at her knighting. As just as she had done, he blushed ever so slightly. All and all, Gabe preferred it when he wasn't getting hit by compliments and encouragements from every side. That was his job and being on the receiving end just felt plain weird.

"Thanks," he sputtered out.
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Re: Ditto Fountain II: A New Beginning

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 28, 2013 9:39 pm

Blood of the Sword


The sun was almost set, and dusky orange and purple rays filtered through the windows that lined the long corridor. Servants began to light the winking tallow lamps, one by one. Night was coming fast, and soon Camelot would be illuminated only by fire and the glow of the harvest moon.

The celebration in honor of knighting the King's eldest child was well underway, but unbeknownst to most in attendance, the night had barely begun.

The cacophony of voices and roar of laughter from the banquet hall began to swell again after the hushed entrance of the King and Queen, and the sounds echoed down the adjoining passage like a mischievous spirit with a garbled tongue. This sprite proceeded to bob and babble until it reached the far end of the stone corridor, where a pair of carved doors suddenly swung open. The sound dimmed and the spirit fled as a cold draft seeped into the hall, making the servants pause and rub their arms, and the little tallow lamps shivered as if touched by a breeze.

Lady Morgan le Fay swept into the corridor, the sharp tap of her heeled boots causing smudged faces to turn and stare as she strode past, but the tall, dark woman paid them no mind. With her strange, shimmering robes of deep purple and long, unbound hair, she was an image seldom seen in Camelot, but her lined face wore an expression of power and pretension.

So striking a figure was the elder woman, few paid attention to the smaller girl tarrying behind her, looking very pale and keeping her eyes fixed firmly on the intermittent sight of her brown slippered feet as they disappeared and reappeared from under her long, faded blue skirt like a pair of frightened mice.

The Lady le Fay stopped in front of the closed banquet hall doors, raising an impatient eyebrow. She lifted her claw-like hands and pushed them open with a whirl of her trailing sleeves, and the voices and music beyond suddenly tapered to silence. Every face turned to stare at the conspicuous latecomers.

Lady Morgan did not seem to notice the startled, shallow breath of the girl beside her, nor the small, quailing cry that followed and the subsequent echoes of swift, retreating footsteps. Morgan instead turned to the wide eyes of a young, freckled page.

"Aren't you going to announce me, child?"


"Er—yes," said the startled boy, fumbling to unfurl the scroll in his hands.

"I am the Lady Morgan le Fay."

"Uh," faltered the boy as he rapidly scanned the list. "Er, madame, I am sorry, but I do not have that name here..." he said, his freckles standing out against his pale skin. "There is a Lady Morgan of Cornwall listed, however."

"That is no longer my name," Lady le Fay said, a grim twist stealing across her mouth and her dark eyes growing even more shadowed as she heard the title spoken. "Announce me as Lady le Fay at once."

"Yes, madame, of course," said the flustered young page, glad to finally be able to rid himself of the curious and bewildered stares of everyone in the banquet hall. "Introducing the Lady Morgan le Fay!"

The woman lifted her head at the sound of her name and smiled slightly as she entered the vast, vaulted room, all eyes following her as she made her way to where the King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were seated in the middle of a lavish table elevated on a dais at the head of the banquet hall. The princess was sitting at the side of the Queen and the prince was at his father's right hand. The rest of the hall remained quiet as Lady le Fay approached the royals, as if wondering what would be said.

"Good evening, Your Majesties," Morgan said to the King and Queen as she bent into a low curtsey that caused the folds of her dark purple gown to ripple like water across the stone floor. She then stood, and smiled warmly at the rulers of the kingdom. "It is good to see you again, brother. It has been too long."


"And it is good to see you, sister Morgan," said Arthur, returning the smile. "You must visit Camelot more in the future."

"Indeed, I shall try to do so, dear brother," said Morgan, and turned to the King's wife. "I trust you are well, Guinevere?"

"I am wonderful tonight," said the Queen with smile and a proud look directed at her son. "And you, Lady Morgan?"

"I am very well, and delighted to be here this evening to honor such a very special occasion," Morgan replied, smiling with a dark sparkle in her eyes, and then turned to the young prince.

"My, how you have grown since I last saw you, Gabriel. Were it not for your mother's raven hair, you would be the very image of your father when he was your age. Your parents must be very proud of you tonight."
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