In the aftermath of the Tristan and Isolde tragedy…
The Knights with No Lords: Epilogue – A Ray of Hope
By Rock Kitaro
Date – December 30, 2018
The day Isolde died marked the beginning of a turbulent period of warfare and violence. King Lot broke his pact with the Roman Emperor and declared autonomy for Kingdom of Lothian and Orkney. Vortigern began invading south into territories protected by King Mark of Cornwall. Even without the Lion of Dumnonia, High King Vortigern soon discovered that Cornwall was still force to be reckoned with.
Gawain and Morgan Le Fay would go on to defend Tintagel from every incursion thrown at their doorsteps. No matter how many legions came, no matter how many monsters or magical devices stormed with the threat of impending disaster, Gawain and Morgan stood in defiance. They were unstoppable. Their love and dependence on each other grew as they did in age and maturity.
At night, they’d have each other in secret. During the day, she’d assist him on the battlefield. More frightening than a fire-breathing dragon was the sight of Morgan and Gawain mounted side by side on their fuming horses under Tintagel’s black and gold banners.
Agravain was always in the vanguard, ready and eager to sink his teeth in. The shrewd, Gaheris always had his bow and wore an unbreakable visor to protect his beautiful face. Constantine was a captain and became the youngest Lord Chamberlain in Tintagel history, honoring his late father. No other kingdom in Britannia had a roster of warriors so capable, so dominant, so fierce and relentless in their pursuit to protect their world.
Pellinore, who was already famous in his own right, would go on and become more famous by taking up a post on a popular thoroughfare. He’d challenged kings and knights to duels and win every single one of them. Of course, there were some casualties along the way. He ended up making more enemies who were loyal to the fallen, adapting the moniker of “Fisher King”. The name “Pellinore” became synonymous with “manslaughter”. He was terrible, really.
The fortifications of Tintagel Castle were rebuilt and reinforced. King Mark became cold and hardened in Tristan’s absence. Some say the legendary Tristan went and joined an order of priests. Some say he became a mercenary for Saracens in the holy land. One thing was certain. Tristan would return. Everyone knew it. They wouldn’t say it, but they knew.
Gawain’s reputation for leadership, valor, and prowess on the battlefield spread far and wide. Despite his youth, he succeeded the role of prince and became one of King Mark’s most trusted generals. With Gaheris and Agravain by his side, Gawain never lost a battle or failed in his mission. However, with that success came the loss of something else. His compassion.
By the time he turned twenty-one, Gawain was ruthless in his lack of hesitation. There was no mercy on the battlefield. Wherever his brothers went, Gawain would throw himself in the midst of combat. He’d lose himself in it. After four years of nothing but intense combat, Gawain began to thirst it to the point where all he thought about was destroying his enemies. He’d fantasize about it. He couldn’t wait.
Morgana would blossom into a mesmerizing beauty that surpassed even her sisters. By twenty-one, she was taller. Her confidence was supreme and unshakeable. Men of all walks bowed down and shrank under her dark penetrating gaze.
She continued her tutelage with Niviane at Lake Avalon. Her potential seemed endless. Avalon was home to the world’s most gifted magicians and everyone knew Morgan would be the most powerful of them all. She could do everything her instructors could do and she performed them with better knowledge and understanding. Her spells lasted longer and her fire burned hotter than steel furnaces.
Her unbridled arrogance and ambition was matched only by her affection for Gawain. Anyone she saw as a threat needed to die. Queen Iseult sent wave after wave of mercenaries to murder Gawain. Morgan crucified them all. Anyone she suspected of aiding the enemy was tortured and chained without question. Gawain was thought to be the only person who could control her violence. It was only in Gawain’s company that Morgan exercised some degree of restraint.
Their love…it was powerful. The fear of losing each other drove them mad. It was a hypnotic spell by which they were locked on each other for what seemed would be forever.
For four long tumultuous years, this was the way of life. The days were dark. Death was beyond every hill, every forest, every field, and every bastion. Farmers were afraid to till the fields. Merchants became marauders. Protectors became plunderers. Treaties couldn’t be trusted. Warlords were always encroaching, and the mass of migrants seeking sanctuary in Tintagel only put more of a strain on King Mark.
Just when all hope seemed lost, just when there seemed to be no end to all the bloodshed and despair, a ray of light began to spread throughout the land. A young man, pure of heart, pulled a prophetic sword from its stone. Rumor has it, Merlin is with him. They say the young man is the rightful heir of to Pendragon’s throne, the only one who could possibly unite the clans and bring peace and stability to all Britannia. They say his name is Arthur.