Brooding in the shadows, Morgan begins plotting her escape from Tintagel Castle. Under the watchful eye of Tristan, this is easier said than done. Then, a glimmer of hope shines through in the form of two teenage boys fresh from the battlefield.
Gaheris is an inquisitive playboy while Agravain’s an arrogant upstart who’s quick to draw his sword on even the slightest offense. The two make up Gawain’s little brothers and they’re the only ones Morgan can depend on to help her escape. Just be careful. There’s more to these brothers than meets the eye and the last thing you want to do is call them orphans. The castle lads find this out the hard way.
Chapter 3 – The Violent Orphans
By Rock Kitaro
SIMS – “Crows” (Gaheris and Agravain’s theme)
It wasn’t the first time Morgan was laughed out of a room, but still, it was getting old. The blatant disrespect for authority was no longer cute and she knew it. For two days, Morgan kept to the darkest towers where no one could find her. The cackle of Tristan’s laughter haunted her. She couldn’t shake the sight of his cold blue eyes staring down at her wherever she went. It was maddening.
In the depths of her despair, she wrote poems and limericks, scribbling down all the harm she wished upon him. She made a list of all the times the lion had foiled her plans and designed a punishment for each incident.
For hours, she stared at the ceiling from the stone cold floor and fantasized about beasts feeding on his carcass. She dreamt about his lengthy crucifixion. She smirked wondering how loud he’d scream if he had to burn at the stake. Such thoughts were therapeutic. It seemed to be the only way to pacify the screaming Furies chained within the depths of her heart.
For two nights, Morgan sulked in the shadows of the royal banquet hall. It was here that the Council of Gold Clovers held their lavish feasts, joking and laughing as if they weren’t just at each other’s throats mere moments earlier. Musicians played their fiddles and flutes. Squires dazzled their maidens. Wine drizzled from beards and wives dined on gossip.
The tables were arranged in a U-shaped formation with the king’s platform raised directly in the center. King Mark, Duchess Igraine and house royalty lauded Tristan for his bravery. Morgan watched it all with her back against the wall, glaring with torchlight blazing from her eyes. Their laughter made her sick. Their smiles made her snarl. She remembered a hundred dirty old men laughing at her, how Tristan called her insolent and mistempered.
She crossed her arms and grumbled, “You want mistempered? I’ll give you mistempered.”
While everyone was asleep, Morgan confined herself to one of the storage closets. Her tiny book of spells and potions were written with coded languages and symbols, made legible only to those trained in the arts of Lake Avalon. For hours, Morgan would grind crystals and brew concoctions in a black cauldron. She poured these shiny potions into small milky glass vials, tiny enough to fit into the pockets of dagger sleeves she planned to strap over her shoulder like a bandolier. If the men weren’t willing to save Gawain, Morgan was prepared to do it herself.
The third night…
It was the third night since Morgan was humiliated in front of the Council of Gold Clovers. It’s been three days since she saw the vision of Gawain chained in a ship. It was the final night of feasting, after which, the lords were scheduled to depart in the morning and return to their domains.
Again, Morgan stationed herself in the solace of the shadows. Then the giant doors of the banquet hall opened. The herald announced a new visitor. No one was paying attention. The music and revelry was so loud that no one heard.
“From the Kingdom of Lothian and Orkney, I give you Duke Tiburne and his companions, Gaheris and Agravain!” announced the herald.
A smile slowly surfaced for the first time in so long that Morgan’s cheeks began to hurt. The loud crash of shattered wood got everyone’s attention. King Mark’s longtime herald was a large man, well over three hundred pounds. And yet, a fourteen-year-old pup of a lad was now standing over him, having just broken a chair across the herald’s back.
“That’s not how you say my name, you idiot. It’s Agra-vain. I’d commit it to memory if I were you.”
“Vain, you say? You have it right!” Jonah of Mon scolded.
Agravain looked the baron up and down before walking on, as if he didn’t have time to address every shit stain he happened to come across.