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Burns Too Bright, Lives Too Fast

A Tragedy Starting To Happen

It's almost silent, but in the distance, Arthur's voice can be made out if you put your mind to it.

"...Merlin, I hardly need your help to figure out this... voice... thing." A short silence, and then, much, much louder, he continues: "No, I am aware of which direction I am supposed to speak in. The question is, do you have any idea--"

  "You have reached the Blackberry telephone of Prince Arthur Pendragon. Leave a voice or text message after the 'beep', and I'll get back to you. Please don't try my room phone, as it is unfortunately deceased."


The Citadel of Camelot, Monday, Some Time
absolutely frightened out of his wits
The past 24 hours had been impossible. Terrifying. Horrible. First there had been Morgause, the female knight. Then the promise of seeing his mother. Then Ygraine, his mother, beautiful and sad, so close--

And then he had found out his father had murdered her. Using magic. Impregnating her with magic. Making him... what did that made him? He did not know.

Now, standing at the entrance to the throne room, his sword still in his hand, his father a broken thing of a man - not physically, no, because Arthur had been dissuaded from giving him the death he so richly deserved. But in every other way possible.

"I denounce you," he spat. "And I will free Camelot from your tyranny. But today, you may live. Know that you owe your thanks to a sorcerer."

And then he turned to his three friends, his jaw set.

[[ for Merlin, Francine and Katchoo. This is our last post with these kids. Waaah. ]]

Outside the Citadel, Camelot, Wednesday
One warrior fell back and dropped on his arse. Loudly.

But no one dared to utter a word. After all, who knew who'd be next? ... George, as it turned out: he stumbled backwards and bounced his head off of the walls. And after him, whatshisname, the one with the-- something with an S?

All right, maybe Arthur wasn't entirely concerned with their names. After all, he'd never see most of these men again. "Worthless," he called, putting his foot down on Whatshisface's chest. "Honestly. And you came all this way to become knights? Surely that means several of you are all too used to hitting your heads and shaking whatever goes for minds inside there."

He pulled his foot off of Whatshisface's chest. The man panted loudly, unable to sit up.

"Clear out, you pathetic lot," he called. "Testing resumes tomorrow. If any of you haven't forfeited by then, I would hope you bring more skills to the table than you have displayed today."

The warriors scrambled out of the courtyard with varying levels of dignity. Arthur glanced at them only once - he knew this spectacle by now.

"I do love new potentials week," he sighed, pulling off his gloves as he entered the citadel.

[[ open for anyone who's here, phone calls, whatever! ]]

The Citadel, Camelot, Tuesday
prince pouty pants
The past two days had not gone well.

First, Morgana and Guinevere had departed to visit the grave of Morgana's father, a ritual she embarked on every year. But then she had failed to return after a day - far longer than she usually took. So Arthur had taken Merlin and a contingent of soldiers with him to find her.

They had found a great deal of bodies, some startled horses, and Morgana, bedraggled and frightened.

But no Guinevere.

Not that this mattered much to Arthur's father.

"I am so pleased to see you here in one piece," Uther said, and touched Morgana's cheek.

"My maid," she said, "Gwen. She risked her life to let me escape - we have to rescue her!"

"Absolutely not."

Arthur felt a headache swelling up already. This was going to wind up being a thing, wasn't it...?

[[ for Merlin. ]]

Not Too Far Out From the Citadel, Camelot, Saturday Afternoon
look out above?
The kingdom had suffered under strange magics of late. Disappearances that went unnoticed, even by Arthur's magic-fearing father - areas of the kingdom that had once been and now had simply ceased to do so.

Arthur and Merlin had mounted their own investigation, of course. Though not after a whole range of increasingly embarrassing attempts on Arthur's part to convince his father that something was amiss - embarrassing, but also terrifying. If even his father's memory was failing them, then what they were to do?

Yesterday, part of the citadel had gone.


Arthur and Merlin were staring at the remains of the woods. Or rather the lack of them.

"My God."

[[ for a wizard, and a narrow escape. ]]
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Woods Outside Camelot and Beyond, Thursday Morning
darkness approaching
Arthur did not think this was a good idea. Not in the slightest. In fact, Merlin had received a Stern Talking To or twenty about not bloody well using his magic in public and inviting more witches over. He had not forgotten about what happened the last time, and he had learned his lessons.

As such, he had absolutely no clue how Merlin had managed to talk him into letting his friend Tara turn up anyway. Privately, he was starting to suspect sorcery.

But it was time, now. So Arthur had made Merlin saddle up the horses, and they had ridden out the gate for a 'hunting trip' that would not be pleasurable in either sense of the word. Ridden out into the woods to the one safe spot where portals occasionally could come through, gotten off the horses, and waited. It was lovely weather now, being the dawn of summer, and Arthur would have enjoyed it in most other circumstances.

Still. At least it wasn't Karla.

[[ for a wizard and then a witch, please! ]]

Out in the Woods, Camelot, Saturday Afternoon
baby wants his dinnerz
There were days where hunting meant one thing, and days where hunting meant quite another. The former did not involve any actual animals, whereas the latter sort of did.

Sadly for Merlin, summer meant that the amount of days where the latter seemed rather attractive greatly increased.

Though at least this time Arthur was taking a fairly scenic route that had let them here, by some stunningly impressive waterfalls.

"Oh, stop moaning, Merlin," Arthur said, cheerfully lowering his crossbow. "I think we've almost got that deer! Look at that-- it's got to have taken off... north..."

Well, at least it wasn't a unicorn?

[[ for a wizard and SP! ]]

Arthur's Study, Camelot, Thursday Morning
look out above?
Matrim, Arthur wrote down, adding little flourishes to the letters as he'd been taught. Your previous letter left much to be desired, but I have come to expect nothing less. He leaned back and let the ink dry for a moment.

It had been a while since he'd last had the time to sit down and communicate with anyone outside of Camelot, let alone call. And there was no excuse to ride out and hang about the woods in sight. But he'd finally gotten an hour or so to himself to work on returning some correspondence, at least, in a more classical sense of the word.

Send my deepest condolences to your wife, he added, because he was a jackass like that. I can't begin to fathom what she must find herself forced deal with on a daily basis. None of that is of any real import, however, as I do not find myself saddled with your presence. Preparations for the seeding season have started. Now that all the ice has thawed and the farmers can return to their lands...

And so on, and so forth, and signed with about a million titles.

Ah, Mat. Arthur supposed he should start writing a few other friends as well.

[[ open to a wizard and to written letters for a change, though it shall be on sp. ]]

Woods Outside Camelot, Wednesday Morning
arthur: me and my phone
It had gotten increasingly harder to escape the castle now that spring approached. There were preparations to be done, last rations to be distributed carefully so that everyone would have enough, farmers to protect. It was exhausting, was what it was, and Arthur relished the chance to get out for a ride.

Eventually he made it back here, to his usual spot deep in the forest by a small brook. He got off his horse and sat down on the pebbles by the river, breathing in the air.

A little peace and quiet.

It took him about fifteen minutes to get terribly sick of it, which was when he flipped open his phone and started calling numbers. Really, Merlin's magic held up surprisingly well with these things.

[[ open for phone calls, etc. ]]

A Hotel Room at the Arms Hotel, Monday Morning
arthur: sleeping soundly
Arthur was snoring.

Quite heavily, in fact.

Because he was quite comfortable, despite the fact he'd just had some very strange dreams overnight. At least, he'd probably choose to believe they were dreams, were he to wake up.

Which he wasn't; he was draped in an octopus of a wizard, and he was snoring.


[[ for a wizard. ]]