Knights with No Lords

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I have a playlist of songs I listened to when I wrote this story. I’ll add a song to every chapter. Oddly enough, this one was the most played. Ice Nine Kills – “Star-Crossed Enemies” 386 plays.

Morgan – Age 17: Ever since she was a kid, Morgana or Morgan has had magical powers, abilities that no one could ever understand. Being the youngest daughter of Duke Gorlois and Duchess Igraine, she was expected to grow up a lady of the court but her heart was too wild for all that. Rebellious, spiteful, and stubborn, the only one who seemed to accept and appreciate Morgan was Gawain.

When the Hibernians abducted Gawain, they essentially stole one of the few precious things she could say she loved about her childhood. With each day that passed without him, Morgan’s hatred and resentment grew. Soon after, she was shipped off to Lake Avalon where she was trained to master her powers under the tutelage of Vivian. There, she learned how to speak to animals, cast spells, summon fire, and cook up an array of concoctions. Her potential as an enchantress surpassed Vivian herself when she demonstrated an unbridled ability to peer into the past.

Morgan is known for her dazzling purple eyes, dark hair, and near permanent resting bitch-face. She has a personal Percheron horse named Vebby and she’s the younger sister to the Lady Elaine and the Queen Morgaus. Also, Morgan is loud. Like…really loud. She can’t help yelling when she speaks.

Gawain – Age 17: In a dark world where nearly every kingdom is plagued by death and destruction, everyone seems to think the virtuous Gawain will one day be pivotal in restoring peace and prosperity to Britannia. This burden…it lands heavy on the lad.

You see, when Gawain was nine, Duke Gorlois convinced his eldest daughter Morgaus to adopt Gawain and his little brothers, Gaheris and Agravain. While she was initially appalled by the thought of it, one glance at the three boys instantly melted her heart. Gawain knows how fortunate he is and it’s been a chip on his shoulder ever since. No matter what, he has to do the right thing, to honor Duke Gorlois and protect the nation of Cornwall.

That’s easier said than done when you have two little brothers who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. And then there’s Morgan. Even though Gawain was adopted into the family, a special bond cultivates between the two. At the age of 13, Gawain was abducted by the Hibernians and forced into a life of slave labor. And it seems, even the Hibernians can’t help but find something special about Gawain. It doesn’t take long for Princess Isolde to take Gawain as one of her personal attendants.

Princess Isolde – Age 21: Isolde of Hibernia has the type of smile in which you’d never know whether she was impressed or just mocking you. With crystal blue eyes and golden blonde hair that beamed like rays in a forest, Isolde’s beauty was famous far and wide. As the only daughter of the all-powerful Queen Iseult, Isolde was born into a life of luxury, surrounded by some of the fiercest warriors the world’s ever seen. Her confidence is compounded by her own skill as negotiator. She’s used to getting what she wants. Also, she’s somewhat of a masochist.

Tristan – Age 23: The Champion of Cornwall, the Lion of Dumnonia, Tristan has many names and they’re all well deserved. Not only is he King Mark’s favorite, he’s the strongest warrior Tintagel Castle has ever seen. Golden haired and handsome, Tristan is doted on by all the ladies. However, he has the eyes of someone who’s stared death in the face one too many times. As a child, he lost his parents to the Hibernians during one of their many raids.

Ever since Gawain and Morgan were children, Tristan has taken on the big brother role even though no one’s asked him to. Thus, Tristan has always been a thorn in Morgan’s side, always getting in the way of her plans, thwarting her plots. It seems Tristan is just about the only one who isn’t afraid to put Morgan in her place. And of course, unbeknownst to Tristan, the battle isn’t over until Morgan says it is.

Gaheris – Age 15: Younger brother to Gawain and Prince to Queen Morgaus and King Lot of Lothian and Orkney. Gaheris is the cool, level-headed brother who will one day grow up and become the most handsome knight in all of Britannia, a Casanova of sorts who’s also a sharp-shooter with the bow.

Gaheris’s good looks obviously draws a lot of envy from other men, but no one is dumb enough to come at him with feared swordsmen like Gawain and Agravain by his side. And aside from that, Gaheris is a natural born skeptic who hardly ever takes things at face value. When he was younger, Morgan possessed his dog to drive it off a cliff. Ever since then, Gaheris has doubted her motives. Even when she’s telling the truth, Gaheris knows she’s only telling enough of the truth for it to still remain a secret.

Agravain – Age 14: Youngest brother to Gawain and Gaheris, Agravain prodigy swordsmen and natural born athlete. Impulsive and prone to fights, Agravain is the type to throw-down now and ask a few question later. Thankfully, Gaheris is always there to keep him on a leash. Agravain knows this and doesn’t mind.

Despite having a short fuse, Agravain is probably the favorite of the Lady Igraine, Elaine, Morgaus, and tolerated by Morgan. He’d do anything that’s asked of him and likes to be of use. He looks up to his older brothers and is always in search of a challenge. Anyone who looks strong or good with a sword will probably be tested by none other than Agavain as some point in time.

Pellinore – Age 22: A rabid mercenary leader, a vicious killer, a prolific womanizer…and he’s only getting started. Pellinore and Tristan go way back from fighting in tournaments in their teens. Tristan always got the best of him but Pellinore was the only one close enough to give Tristan a run for his money.

When Pellinore was 16, he met an 11-year-old Gawain and Morgan during a visit to Tintagel Castle. After Morgan provoked him with a series of deep-cutting insults, Pellinore attacked. Gawain stood up for Morgan and it was just by sheer luck that the nascent Gawain was able to strike his right eye. Ever since, even Pellinore was able to see the enormous potential of young Gawain. So when Morgan asks for his help to rescue Gawain from captivity…Pellinore eagerly accepts.

Constantine – Age 16: One of Gawain’s oldest friends, a native of Tintagel, and the son of Sir Cador. Even at a young age, Constantine is trusted to carry out tasks such as going out on patrol and seeing to castle protocols. Responsible and upright, with a thick beard that makes him look much older than he is. As a native of Tintagel, Constantine has had his fair share of run-ins with Morgan, his cousin. It goes without saying that he’s become somewhat of a tattle-tell. But if you’ve had as many tricks and traps sprung on you the way Constantine has, would you blame him?

Queen Morgaus of Lothian Older sister to Morgan and the Lady Elaine, the adopted mother of Gawain, Gaheris, and Agravain. When Morgaus married King Lot of Lothian, her power and dominion grew immensely. Everyone knows they don’t want to be on her bad side. And when it comes to the safety of her boys, Morgaus is utterly ruthless.

The Lady ElaineOlder sister to Morgan, younger sister to Queen Morgaus and the middle child of the Lady Igraine and Duke Gorlois. Elaine is popular it-girl of Tintagel Castle with her ladies-in-waiting almost as gorgeous as she. Elaine is the daughter everyone’s constantly comparing Morgan to. As if they wished Morgan could but a tenth of Elaine’s grace. And even though Elaine loves to be pampered and fawned after, she’s shown herself most valuable in times of siege, often volunteering as a nurse.

Duchess Igraine The Duchess Igraine was once famous the world over for her remarkable beauty. Tournaments have been held just to win her favors. And in the end, it was Duke Gorlois who won her heart, helping her conceive three beautiful daughters in Morgaus, Elaine, and Morgana. When Duke Gorlois was killed, she became despondent and almost lost the will to keep living. However, it was Gawain and his brothers that sparked hope in her life. As with most, she sees their potential and wants nothing more than to wait and see what they will do when they become of age.

King Mark of Tintagel King of Tintagel Castle, ruler of Cornwall and all of Dumnonia. Cornwall is perhaps the most stable kingdom in Britannia. While High King Vortigern rules most of the warlords in the northern kingdoms, the seafaring Cornwall is the last bastion of peace in the south.

King Mark is respected for his prudence in honoring oaths. He was once allies with the late High King Uther, the man who came close to uniting all of Britannia. Everyone still lingers to that hope, that one day someone will unite the kingdoms under one rule. And everyone knows that if it’s gonna happen, Tintagel is the key.

But alas, King Mark has to contend with an age-old grudge with the other world power just across the sea. The rivalry between Cornwall and Hibernia is Biblical.

King Lot of Lothian and OrkneyHusband to Queen Morgaus and an ally of King Mark of Tintagel. King Lot is a gregarious man who’s more powerful and wise than he let’s on. As a vassal of Rome, he’s forced to pay tribute to the Emperor but with the help of his adopted sons when they come of age, he has a plan to rebel against the Empire. Until then, however, he plays it safe. Biding his time and doing everything he can to keep his wife happy.

Queen Iseult of HiberniaWhilst Britannia is a splintered land of warring factions, Queen Iseult of Hibernia sits as the undisputed ruler of all the Celtic tribes. Queen Iseult was called far and wide as the “Emerald Queen” and for good measure. Even as she neared sixty in age, there isn’t a single crack in her pale white skin. Her long flowing hair was so devoid of any color, that it appeared to be a light green, the same hue as the waters that flowed through the inlet.

As queen of Hibernia, Iseult honors the fallen by refusing to make peace with the Cornish men of Tintagel. She uses her power and influence to stir up hate, capitalizing off the endless wars by siding with the highest bidder.

Morholt An ogre of a man, the strongest warrior in Hibernia who pledged his undying loyalty to his queen, Iseult. Morholt is a monster. There’s no two ways about it. He butchers men like livestock. His mere appearance has induced nightmares the world over.

He appeared to be chiseled to life straight out of a huge slab of bronze. No shirt or armored covered his massive chest or his muscular python arms. It was as if he just came from working in the furnace the way his skin was dark and fuliginous. His thick veins protruded from his rock hard biceps like strands of copper coiling around his arms.

All he wore was a loincloth of brown bear hide that covered his rear and genitals. His thick boots that reach up to his knees were also made of bear hide. In his hand was a battle ax with an enormous large blade of frightening design. The curving ax head had a tip that extended from the top like a Saracen sword. It weighed over 300lbs but Morholt clasped it with the loose grip of his fingertips as if he was carrying a mere hammer.

Morholt’s face truly was an unsightly one. It was as if he had no neck, the way his trapezius muscles seemed to join his head to his shoulders. Morholt was bald and his default expression was disgruntled. The texture of his face was enough to make anyone with a weak stomach vomit. It was like granite and he was always sweating. And perhaps the most distinguishing feature of his already glaring image was the fact that he had the Omega sign branded into his face. Iseult’s enemies crumbled when the Omega signed was burned into a wall. For it forewarned that Morholt was coming. Her enemies either bowed down or evacuated. Only the foolish stuck around to put up a fight.

Algayre The most feared assassin in Hibernia and Queen Iseult’s most trusted aid. Sadistic, cunning, and skilled in dark arts, the ghostly Algayre reveled in murdering anyone suspected of being a witch. He made it his mission to cleanse Hibernia of witchcraft so that he’d be the only one who knew magic. And unfortunately, Gawain was there to witness the slaughter. It haunts his memories and Algayre knows it. There is perhaps no one on earth who Gawain hates more, than Algayre.

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