The Knights with No Lords
Chapter 19 – Sweet Revenge
By Rock Kitaro
Sir Anatola was a retired knight nearing the age of fifty-eight. For decades, he’d thrown himself in combat to defend Dumnonia’s borders from invaders. His courage and sense of duty was undeniable. Thus, when Anatola became a father at the age of fifty and tendered his resignation, the king honored him by giving him command of a strategic beacon near the relaxed seaside jurisdiction of Devonshire.
Sir Anatola was a devout husband, tending to the wheat fields with his son and daughter. Everyone in the village looked up to Anatola as the community leader. Whenever there was a domestic or civil dispute, the villagers of Torridge would sooner come to Anatola than seek out the sheriff. Whenever there was troublesome news pouring out of Tintagel, the villagers would seek out Anatola for his guidance and wise prognostications.
However…for the past two days, Anatola considered himself just as baffled as the huddled masses when they learned of King Mark’s betrothal to Princess Isolde. Anatola tapped into history lessons of how political marriages were used to stifle aggressions between conflicting nations. Yet when it came to the Hibernians, specifically Queen Iseult and the thousands of widows and orphans she’s created over the decades, Anatola found it hard to believe King Mark was so willing to forgive.
Anatola had lost all five of his brothers and his father to the forces under Morholt’s command. His nieces were captured and hauled into slavery, the same as Gawain, except the girls never returned. Sir Anatola had no idea if they were dead or alive. The grief and animosity was buried deep in his heart.
“Byron! Stay close,” Anatola called.
Seven-year-old Byron was helping his father and a handful of workers harvest the field. It was after noon and the winds were picking up, allowing for a hypnotic effect as the wheat swayed like ocean waves. The night rain had drenched the field. Every so often, Anatola had to stop and wipe his sickle of grime and residue. That being said, dark skies threatened to release another torrential downpour.
Just then, a streak of lightning stabbed the high trees of the neighboring forest. The sharp crackle and booming thunder frightened everyone. All eyes were on Anatola, hoping he’d call it a day. Anatola didn’t want to stop. A solider stays until the job is done.
“Father, look!” said Byron.
Out the corner of his eye, Anatola saw the glint of shiny steel. A single knight dressed in black and gold battle armor was riding across the hill. The horse was carrying a long sword, a shield, bow and arrows, and a lance. The rider held the reins with one hand while the other gripped the banner, the gold and black sigil of Tintagel.
“Rally to me!” Anatola called out.
At once, the workers took up their pitchforks and sickles and rallied around Anatola. Children were collected and brought indoors. Doors and windows were barred.
The knight galloped across the field before slowing down and lifting the visor of his helmet. It was Sir Tristan.
“Something’s wrong?” said Tristan.
“Forgive ‘em, milord. People are on edge following the news of what happened to Germatis’s boy.”
“What news is that?” Tristan asked.
Anatola scoffed with a hint of disappointment. “I see word still travels like molasses. Two nights past, Germantis’s son was chopped in half by a single blow. Happened south of the capital. Signs of a militia moving ashore not far from the squire’s body. Mean to tell me you didn’t hear any of this?”
Tristan used both hands to remove his helmet, letting his long locks flow and confusion show. He’s known Sir Anatola since he was a child. The old man even saved his life once and when Tristan was strong enough to best him in jousting, Tristan knew it was because age slowed Anatola down. Anatola wouldn’t go spreading rumors he didn’t believe. And the fact that the villagers reacted in such a reheased fashion suggested Anatola warned them that Tintagel had been compromised.
“This is truly disturbing, sir. I’ll make sure the king hears of it and see to full inquiries myself.”
“Tristan, my son,” Anatola said discreetly as he approached the horse. “Why are you armed for combat?”
Tristan’s cold eyes peered into Anatola’s. Thunder boomed causing the workers to flinch once more.
“It’s going to rain soon,” Tristan said in a grave tone. “You and your workers should take cover immediately. Seek shelter and don’t come out. No matter what you hear.”
Anatola nodded. The dark intent exuding from Tristan’s foreboding stare prompted the workers to begin collecting their bundles even without Anatola’s orders. Everyone hurried back to the village on the other side of the hill while Tristan stayed right where he was, mounted on his horse under dark grey skies.
Once all of the villagers were out of sight, Tristan spurred the horse north towards a shallow lake that separated the fields from the marsh forest of tall skinny trees.
A thin mist hovered over the lake’s glassy surface. On the western edge of the lake was a high twenty-foot outcrop of dark eroding rock. At the bottom of this outcrop, was a small cave large enough for a bear to crawl into and hibernate. At the moment, it appeared dark and vacant.
Sir Tristan trotted his horse along grassy banks, approaching the dark cave. Tossing his helmet aside with an angry scowl, Tristan stabbed his banner pole into the earth.
“MORHOLT! SHOW YOURSELF YOU FLEA-BITTEN COWARD!”
Suddenly, a bright burst of red came out of nowhere and blasted Tristan off his horse. Searing heat burned the armor of his arm and shoulder. The horse fled, leaving Tristan with no weapons save for the hidden dagger on his back.
A bewildered Tristan rolled to a crouching squat and drew the dagger, his eyes wide and alert. He had no idea what just hit him or where it came from. His shoulder pads and the right half of his metal breastplate were still sizzling hot. For a moment, he thought it was just lightning.
He didn’t detect any approaching footsteps, no horse. The birds weren’t chirping and the water remained undisturbed. Only the howl of the wind haunted from above and sent ripples across the lake. With frustration and rage settling in, Tristan took off in a metallic sprint for the cave. His path took him off of the soft grassy bank and over the splashing bed of smooth river stones.
“MORHOLT!” Tristan shouted from the cave entrance.
“Morholt’s not here, you bumbling idiot.”
Insult and the ultimate disrespect came and slapped him across the face. Tristan turned around and there she was. The Lady Morgana, strutting across the river stones, dressed entirely in black: black dress, black boots, black hair, black cloak.
“Morgan. Oh, Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. You will pay dearly for this. I promise. I promise you!” Tristan hissed.
Morgan stopped at twenty paces and glared as an enemy would on the battlefield.
“WHY?!” Tristan shouted.
“Patience. Soon, everything will become apparent.”
Tristan threw his dagger in the sand and dashed forward to wrap his hands around Morgan’s neck, squeezing hard and lifting her to the point that she was up on her toes.
“IT WAS YOU! You wrote that letter pretending to be Morholt. You knew I’d never back down from a challenge, least of all from him! MORGAN! Why do you always go to such lengths to hurt me? What have I ever done to deserve such ire!? Give me one fucking reason why I shouldn’t squeeze your neck until my thumbs reach the back of your throat! ANSWER ME!”
Ever so swiftly, Morgan jabbed at the side of Tristan’s neck just below his right ear. Tristan winced but only for a second. It wasn’t a punch or a blow made to stagger him. In fact, it came so painlessly that Tristan never realized he was just stabbed with a short needle. Within seconds, his grip on Morgan’s throat weakened. Confusion settled in as Tristan became dazed and groggy.
Morgan shoved off Tristan’s hands before kicking into his breastplate. Tristan staggered until he finally collapsed with his back against the wall near the cave entrance. Morgan scowled as she straightened out her cloak, disgusted that he ever put his filthy hands around her flawless neck.
“Don’t worry. It’ll wear off momentarily,” Morgan told him.
Tristan’s cold blue eyes showed deadly intentions. Morgan wasn’t fazed. Ever so calmly, she kneeled down next to him and began removing his armor, his breastplate, his shoulder pads, and only the top half of his chainmail.
“Here’s what I’ll tell you,” Morgan said as she worked. “In this world, there exists all kinds of fairies. I know you don’t believe it. Doesn’t matter. Turns out, fairies are just as greedy as men. I know! Who would’ve thunk it? For just a snippet of honey cakes, I was able to implicate them in my plans. It’s as simple as that, really.”
“This morning. While you were arming yourself, turning your mind to all the violent things you planned to do to Morholt, pretty little fairies called Pixies were entertaining a friend of ours. Like you, the Princess Isolde isn’t exactly the type to think things through. My Pixies woke her up and enchanted her with their dust. They dressed her, groomed her, and kept her spirits high and on bliss. Just as I instructed.”
“I told the Pixies about the Serapine Gate. You know, the one I used to escape the castle time and time again. They’re escorting the princess here. Right here. To you. For you. Just as I instructed.”
Once the armor was off and Tristan sat bare-chested against the rock wall, Morgan stopped and sat staring him with a hint of regret. The mighty Tristan looked so helpless. Her lips trembled. Tears began to trail. She was well past the point of turning back, but still…Morgan had known Tristan since she could remember. Once upon a time, he truly was the big brother she always wanted.
“All of this could have been avoided if only you had just listen to me. Not just you. Everyone. I’m going to be the most powerful woman this world has ever seen. Dragons of both heaven and earth will bow down before me. I will command legions and entire kingdoms will come to fear me. I could’ve been Cornwall’s greatest ally. Her protector, her sacred guardian. Merlin and Vortigern wouldn’t have stood a chance. But you had to go and provoke me. You stood in my way and crossed my path one too many fucking times! We both know you won’t move. So I have no choice but to remove you myself.”
Morgan sniffled and wiped her face while nodding to a question that wasn’t asked. Aggressively, she grabbed Tristan’s jaw and squeezed it until his mouth opened.
“You still want to know why? Simply put. I hate you,” she whispered with a twitch in her scowl.
With that, she reached into her cloak and pulled out the vial of pink milky potion that she made out of golden truffles and Xice blood. She forced the potion down Tristan’s throat and used two fingers to close his eyes. Gradually, Tristan fell into a deep slumber.
Tristan opened his groggy eyes feeling like ten pounds of flour was resting on his head. Then, as his vision became clear, he saw the beautiful Princess Isolde leaning over him. She was wearing a stunning white gown with a collar of embroidered golden wings. Her golden blonde hair was a stark contrast from the black clouds ready to deluge. Her blue eyes peered into his.
“Silly ole’ goat. What on earth are you doing all the way out here? It’s about to rain, you fool!” Isolde chuckled.
Tristan smiled. It was the beaming smile of a child. Isolde was taken aback. She’d never seen him so…so expressive. It was as if the cherubs of heaven had come down and tore down that brick wall around his heart until now, all Tristan saw in Isolde was nothing but a desired treasure, a source of pure joy.
“Tristan, did you bump your head?”
Then she gasped. Tristan was weeping. His blue eyes were no longer cold, but warm and longing. Isolde trembled at this inexplicably occurrence as she examined closely and made sure it was indeed tears. Her heart fluttered. Tristan reached out and softly caressed her cheek.
“Tristan. What are you doing?” Isolde whimpered.
“I declare…truly God is cruel if but one of you exists.”
“What? But Tristan, I’m to betrothed to—”
Before Isolde could finish, Tristan pulled her close and locked lips with her for a long passionate kiss. Isolde tried to pull away but her resistance was brief. She submitted, wrapping around his neck and shoulders like a hungry python snaring its prey. The two cried and kissed their way into the dark empty cave.
The clouds finally gave way to a heavy downpour. Tristan and Isolde ravished each other’s naked bodies as if it was their last night on earth. Their moans and groans of ecstasy were drowned out by the endless drone and blasts of thunder.
Mounted on her horse on the other side of the lake was Morgan le Fay. The stinging rain blended with her ceaseless tears. The flashes of light exposed the intense scowl that seemed permanently etched into her face.
“Never forget. Never forget.” She told herself. “Never forget.”
That night, a fiddle-filled banquet was held in the main citadel as it was every night since the wedding was announced. The festive environment was effective in watering down of the tensions. More and more the Cornish and Hibernians were beginning to accept each other as distant relatives. The laughter was no longer forced. The smiles, no longer fake. A jovial spirit of brotherhood spread throughout the men and women of all ranks and class.
But of course, there was one person determined to spoil all that.
The doors kept opening and closing as guests arrived at their own accord. Tristan and Isolde arrived thirty minutes after the main course of roasted boar was served. They came separately, five minutes apart and in different entrances of the hall.
As they combed through the dinner guests, bowing and greeting, Tristan and Isolde knew exactly where the other was at all times. It was as if their minds were linked, the way they turned and locked eyes at the exact same moment. Every urge to glance proved too strong. It was an exhilarating rush. They knew they were playing with fire but didn’t care. It was fun.
Then, Morgan arrived. She wasn’t wearing her black attire, but on this special occasion, she donned a stunning burgundy gown with gold trimmings. It was a slimming dress that showed off every curve of her hourglass figure. Her shoulders were bare with no straps and she wore her enchanted red rubies around her neck to settle on her bosom. The guards barely recognized her at first. Her long black hair was pulled up in a bun with her bangs tucked behind her ears. Dazzling, really.
Gawain was leaning against a support column, deep in thought when he spotted Morgan gliding across the floor. As per usual, Gawain was struck by her beauty, but more so puzzled. The last time he saw her, she was a mess of tears and grief, traumatized as if she had been molested in the night. Now, here she was, sashaying across the floor, smiling at the very nobles he knew she despised. Gawain immediately set off to speak with her, ignoring three others calling his name.
He approached from behind and lashed out with, “Morgan! For days now I’ve wanted to –”
“Get out of my sight.”
It was so cold. She issued her warning with a quickness and continued in stride. Other ladies had witnessed the dismissal, leaving Gawain embarrassed as he faded away
The open floor was packed with men and women still making their acquaintances. Morgan noticed Princess Isolde bowing to Sir Ioness. However, the princess’s smirk was directed towards another man. Morgan turned and saw Tristan coming. As soon as he was in reach, Morgan grabbed him.
“Were we supposed to meet today? I forget?” Morgan asked.
A cheerful Tristan squinted with an inquisitive smile. “Morgan, what on earth are you talking about?”
Morgan’s eyes lit up in triumph, “Nothing at all, good sir. Please. As you were.” she said before sending him off.
“Constantine! Oer’ here, boy!” Sir Cador called out.
Constantine was in a circle that included the maiden Debra, Gaheris, Agravain, and the daughters of Sir Ioness, Dawn and Fawn. Constantine heard his father’s bass-heavy voice and immediately responded.
Sir Cador draped the pendant of the Lord Chamberlain over Constantine’s neck. A comical look of confusion befell the bearded sixteen-year-old as he grasped the gold pendant that consisted of the image of an engraved key.
“Remember Germantis’s boy, Clyde?” Cador asked.
“I want you to ride south with Bruno and Urlis. Take a full report and find out if the rumors are true about the Hibernians coming ashore,” Cador commanded.
Constantine’s eyes widened, “Oh my god! I don’t believe it.”
Sir Cador grabbed Constantine and yanked him close. “I’m trusting you with this. Everyone pegs you to be some dimwitted fool who doesn’t know his left from his right, but that’s what makes you an asset. They let their guard down thinking there’s nothing to you, that there’s nothing to hide from you. If I’m right, then this wedding could very well turn into a blood bath. I need you to investigate. Trust your instincts. You’re the most intelligent lad I know. If your mother was here, she’d be proud. She’d kiss me for the way I raised ya. Now go.”
Constantine stared at his father as if he was witnessing the second coming. Never before had his father showered him with such praise. He wanted to tell Sir Cador that he’d rather die than let him down, but looking into his father’s eyes, Constantine could tell Cador already knew. Saying nothing further, Constantine bowed and set off at once with the warriors Bruno and Urlis by his side.
“Wait! Constantine!” Debra called as she ran to catch up.
A jolly Sir Cador caught her before she could reach him. “Hahaha! Don’t worry. Don’t worry. He’ll be back by the morning, milady. Rest assured.”
During the feast, the unusually pleasant Morgan suggested that the girls sit in with the boys for once. Elaine, excited to see Morgan acting like a lady for once, obliged the request so long as she sat a good deal away from Pellinore’s lot. Lucky for her, Pellinore and the Brood of Black Blood weren’t even at the feast. According to the gossip, Pellinore and his men were out exerting their dominance in the taverns, cavorting with the underbelly of Tintagel.
Morgan sat between Gaheris and Agravain just two seats down from Gawain. Elaine kept the eldest brother company but all of her questions went through one ear and the other. It was Morgan’s topic of conversation that had Gawain on the edge of his seat. It was like Morgan’s every backhanded remark was made at his expense and gradually, Gawain got mad.
“Honestly, Morgan! What has gotten into you?” Elaine marveled.
“She does seem a little less scary today,” Debra added.
“Hmm. My guess is she killed a puppy. That usually cheers her up.” Gaheris smirked.
“Oh Gaheris!” Morgan giggled as she ran her fingers through his curly hair.
The way Gaheris recoiled with such exaggerated disgust caused Agravain to spit with laughter. Elaine and her ladies reveled as they flinched and gawked. Meanwhile, Gawain just sat with his arms crossed, wishing he were somewhere else.
“I received a poem from a boy I like,” Morgan mused.
“What man in his right mind would possibly…” before Gaheris could finish, Morgan jammed her elbow on the back of his hand that was resting on the table.
She kept smiling even as she said, “His name is Accolon, a strapping young squire serving the Lady of the Lake. He’s very handsome with dreamy eyes.”
“Oh? And why haven’t we heard of this handsome young squire?” Elaine asked.
“Yes, auntie. Do tell,” Gawain added.
There was a twitch in Morgan’s cheek. Being referred to as his aunt was retaliation. Morgan upped her ante.
“Why would I talk about him? It’s not as though we are lovers. I mean, it’d be one thing if he came into my stable in the middle of the night. If he took off his clothes until he was stark naked. If he scooped up my body and pressed it against his. If we grappled in a bed of needle pricking hay until we were lost in the pleasures of stimulation. Then, sure. I might mention it.”
The table fell silent. Even the more experienced Elaine stared in awe as she had a cup up to her lips. Gawain looked like his head was about to explode. He couldn’t believe the things she was saying. If she wanted to make him jealous, it worked. He made no attempts to hide his fury and Morgan blasted back with a callous stare of her own.
Agravain sat in between them. He had questions but he wasn’t about to ask. He simply shook his head and chewed his food, grumbling to himself, “God, do I fancy a battle.”
Morgan turned her attention to the king’s table. Princess Isolde was sitting in between King Mark and Sir Tristan. It made Morgan smirk to no end watching the heated chemistry between the star-crossed lovers. The way they held hands under the table. The way they stared at other with the same elated eye-smile. Whenever King Mark or Queen Iseult made a joke that had the whole table erupt in laughter, Tristan and Isolde would lean into each other and laugh harder than anyone else. It was the first time Morgan had ever used the love potion. She was very much pleased.
Everything was going according to plan. It was time for phase two.
A chime of high-pitched tapping commanded everyone’s attention. It was Morgan tapping her glass. Anyone who knew her held his or her breath with suspense as she stood up, smiling with a twinkle in her eye. Gawain’s gaping expression was priceless. His eyes were hooded with horror. The Morgan he knew would never in a million years draw attention to herself on such a grand scale. In that moment, he felt completely eclipsed by her charisma, so small and shadowed by the magnitude of her daring.
Morgan didn’t exude a single hint of treachery or deceit. Her hopeful eyes scanned the room and she didn’t speak until everyone stopped moving and gave her their full-undivided attention. With the charm and eloquence of her mother, Morgan said the following:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, our noble guardians and distinguished guests. To those who don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Morgana. I’m the youngest daughter of the Duchess Igraine and the late Duke Gorlois. The Lady Elaine is my sister as is Queen Morgaus of Lothian and Orkney. To those who do know me, I understand that at this moment, a certain pause might have gripped you in trepidation. I don’t blame you. I am quite strange and unique, hence the appalling scream that woke up everyone in the middle of the night.”
Morgan welcomed the mild round of laughter.
She continued with, “These past few days, I have seen nothing but kindness and love from Queen Iseult and her distinguish retinue. Just yesterday, I received word that Sir Ewangish offered to escort me to the Peridot Oasis. I was moved by your gesture, good sir. Truly touched. I even heard that our Princess Isolde helped the villagers with their daily domestics. Such humility! Such grace! Truly, it’s been a joy having you all here! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that.”
She continued, “When I look around this room and see so many achievements, so many heroes, young and old, men and women of astonished acclaim, it gives me hope. I never dreamed the Hibernians and Cornish could attain peace in a world ravished by treachery. Yet, here we are, breaking bread and dancing like a family united. I am just a girl, naïve and gullible. But I truly believe that under Queen Iseult and King Mark, we can come together and build a brand new world! A world free from violence and fear! A world where little girls can frolic in the wind, where boys can ride their steeds till their heart’s content! A world where we won’t need warriors to raise shields or cast spears. A world where all the kings can come together and assemble to discuss matters of construction, instead of destruction!”
“When the emerald queen announced the wedding, I, like many others, held some reservation as to how this would work. But I see it now! I see it! I see how it can work. King Mark and our future queen Isolde would lead by example. Look at them. They are perfect. And with the roaring Lion of Dumnonia defending our gates, our kingdom will prosper for generations to come. To prosperity!” she concluded.
“TO PROSPERITY!” Everyone repeated.
One by one, the guest rose and gave Morgan a standing ovation. The Duchess Igraine and Queen Morgaus came over to embrace Morgan in a long affectionate hug. Gawain couldn’t believe it. Even Tristan stood up…Tristan! The man whose range of emotions had only shifted from rage to bloodlust was now clapping emphatically, almost moved to tears. To Gawain it was truly surreal, as if he slipped and fell in the wrong dimension.
Gawain’s chair dragged as he pushed out.
“Gawain. Where are you going?” Elaine asked.
Gawain put a hand on his head and answered, “I’m not feeling my best. I need to go lie down.” Gawain said, hugging Elaine with a kiss.
An hour later, everyone was dancing the volta. It was an organized ballroom dance where they joined hands and switched partners at sections in the song. Everyone save for Queen Iseult and her lover Sir Maven participated. And Morgan was the belle of the ball. Almost every man wanted to hold her hand, peer in her sapphire eyes, and peek at her bedazzled bosom.
Morgan knew their eyes wandered but she didn’t mind. She was too busy planting a seed of suspicion in three specific targets.
One was Gaheris. Yes, the flower boy that all the ladies flocked to. But like Gawain, Gaheris was a deep thinker. He was far from gullible and when it came to the deepest desires of men and women, Gaheris considered himself a fifteen-year-old savant. He was a prince of Lothian but Gaheris’s heart was always with Tintagel. It’s where Duke Gorlois took him in and made him something more than just another orphan living in the gutters. It’s where his adopted mother and his aunt Elaine raised him.
When Morgan joined hands with Gaheris and twirled under his arm, Morgan mused only loud enough so that he alone heard, “Is it just me or does Isolde have something extremely urgent to say to Tristan? I keep trying to get her attention but it’s proving to be somewhat of a task.”
Gaheris turned and noticed. Sixteen individuals separated Tristan and Isolde on the dance floor but they gazed at each other as if they could see through solid objects. Gaheris, recognized the lust. He nearly tripped from dancing when he saw Isolde shaking her bosom Tristan’s way. King Mark was Isolde’s partner when it happened so everyone thought she was teasing him and not Tristan. But Gaheris knew and it was unsettling to say the least. The seed was planted.
Morgan’s second target was the noble Hibernian knight, Sir Ewangish. He truly was a gentleman, the only man Morgan danced with who didn’t drop his gaze to stare at her breasts. Morgan remembered Ewangish’s loyalty during the battle with the Picts. She never discussed this with him, but she presumed Ewangish would gladly give his life if it meant saying Princess Isolde’s. He was willing to stand between Agravain’s blade when Morgan was calling for Isolde’s head. Yes, Ewangish would do nicely for what Morgan had in mind.
As the two clap hands and circled each other, Morgan said loud enough so that he alone heard, “Tristan is indeed the lion. I know I said he’d defend our gates, but I never knew he was so eager to get started. Behold! If Isolde only appear to stumble, I’ve no doubt we’d see Tristan streak across the floor to catch her.”
Ewangish smirked under his mustache, but turned and noticed. Tristan had Elaine’s hand for a twirl but his blue eyes were tracing the curves of Isolde’s slender derriere. When Tristan raised an exhilarated Elaine by her hips and safely brought her down, everyone but Ewangish clapped. He stopped dancing altogether as he recognized the undeniable attraction between Tristan and Isolde. The seed was planted.
Last but not least was Morgan’s third target, the formidable Sir Cador. As she dipped and performed curtsey before the man in charge of Tintagel’s security, Morgan blushed with a flustered shyness.
She said, “Perhaps next time, I’ll go with something a little less revealing. I didn’t think the men would be so bold.”
Morgan didn’t say Tristan’s name. She knew better than to underestimate Sir Cador’s shrewd intelligence, given that he’s known of her mischief since she could walk. Morgan made her statement and let her eyes do the talking, throwing a single glance at Tristan before bouncing her sights on three others just so it didn’t seem like she was singling him out alone.
Sir Cador was dismissive about Morgan’s concerns at first, but when Tristan and Isolde finally joined hands as partners on the dance floor, Cador’s heart sank with despair. Sir Cador had watched Tristan since he was a small boy. After Tristan lost his parents, his whole world seemed to revolve around militaristic discipline and a hardened sense of reality. There’s no way Tristan would compromise the loyalty of his king or kingdom by letting himself indulge in some childish fantasy.
Yet there he was, lost in Isolde’s eyes, smiling like a child given the gift of flight in an endless dream. Sir Cador couldn’t believe it. Sir Ewangish didn’t want to believe it. Gaheris couldn’t deny it. This was true love in its purest form. If someone didn’t do something, people will die.