Camlann. Twelfth Century
King Arthur hid behind a boulder with his soldiers. The battle was going badly. More than half of his army had been slained by the enemy. The enemy’s leader was a very powerful warrior. None of King Arthur’s men had seen his face but they had seen him in action. The warrior was dressed in black armor. His helmet covered his entire face and head. His sword’s blade was blood red and that was even with the blood removed. His horse was blood red and seemed invincible. This warrior had slayed so many of King Arthur’s men. Even with fewer forces then the Knights of the Round Table, this warrior’s men were quite dangerous.
“Where is Merlin now?” One of the knights asked.
King Arthur looked at him. Truth be told, he had no idea where his sage was. The wizard had disappeared earlier that day. Said he had someone to go after and that his victory was important. King Arthur didn’t understand why the sorcerer had said that but he didn’t question his sorcerer. Merlin was never wrong. He always was right. King Arthur didn’t know how though. Some of his men said sorcery. Others said that Merlin had sold his soul to the devil. And yet others said he was a prophet. “We have to keep fighting!” King Arthur shouted. “Camelot depends on us!”
The Horseman watched a group of warriors come out from behind a boulder. More soldiers joined the group as they charged in. His own soldiers joined him. They all wore black armor like their master. On their chests, hidden in the dark, were black hands. The Horseman pointed his blood red blade at King Arthur and his troops. The message was clear. Attack and kill them all. The Black Hand charged in with their blades raised.
Off in the country side, Merlin was on a horse galloping as fast as he could. He could hear several riders chasing him. He looked over his shoulder. The riders weren’t closer but they were clearly not giving up. He shook his head. This was going to be harder than he had planned. He had hoped that all of the Black Hands there who had followed the Horseman would have gone to the battle. After all, King Arthur and his knights outnumbered the Black Hands in the Horseman’s army. With at least ten riders chasing him, the Black Hand would surely lose the fight and lose a leader.
On a high ledge, three riders watched Merlin galloping. Two of the riders were in black armor. On their chests were the black hands emblems. The third rider was in a black dress with a black cloak. In her hand was a glowing arrow. It was pointed at Merlin. “There he goes My Lady.” One of the two Black Hands said.
The rider in the dress nodded. “It’s time to finally get my revenge on him.” She said. “Come my Black Hands.” She ordered. The three rode down a trail to join the other riders.
Merlin reached the edge of a forest. He stopped and looked at the trees. His eyes glowed and there was a slight tremor. He looked over his shoulder. The riders were getting closer and there were even more riders. He quickly rode into the forest and disappeared.
The female rider and her riders reached the edge of the forest. As they rode, the branches closest to them came to life and reached down. The branches managed to grab three of the Black Hands. The three screamed as the branches pulled them up into the trees. “Back!” The female rider shouted at her remaining riders. They all backed up as quickly as they could. They still hear the three Black Hands in the trees screaming until there were sickening cracks. A few seconds later, three dead bodies landed on the ground in front of the trail.
The female rider removed her hood and glared angrily at the trees. Her black hair surrounded her pale face and her emerald eyes. She looked young. “You won’t get away with this Merlin!” She screamed towards the forest. She knew that no matter how far Merlin was, he would always be able to hear her. After all, they were connected. She looked at the Black Hands that were still with her. “Find a way to get through the cursed trees.” She ordered.
At the battlefield, the war was over. There were dead knights and Black Hands scattered all over the battlefield. There were very, very few survivors following King Arthur. The Horseman had lost all of his Black Hands. He was still on his horse. It looked like he was glaring at King Arthur. King Arthur raised his blade towards the Horseman. “Who are you?” He demanded. “Your king demands you to identify yourself.”
The Horseman removed his helmet. “You are no king to me.” The Horseman said.
The knights all gasped at the voice. They knew who it was. “Mordred?” King Arthur asked, shocked. He couldn’t believe it. His own son was leading the invaders?
Mordred nodded. “It is I Father.” He answered. “And I’m here to take what is mine!” With that, he charged in at King Arthur. King Arthur raised his blade to defend himself. Mordred jumped off of his horse as he reached King Arthur and brought his sword down towards King Arthur’s head. King Arthur blocked it with his sword.
As the two men fought, they wounded each other. Mordred gave King Arthur a limp. King Arthur had broken Mordred’s left wrist. Neither of them was giving up though. They kept fighting. King Arthur impaled Mordred through with his blade. Mordred shuddered as he felt the blade go through him. He looked up at King Arthur, his father. His father had tears in his eyes. “My son.” King Arthur said. “I was hoping so much for you.”
Without saying a word, Mordred ran King Arthur through the heart. “And I was expecting more from you Father.” He sneered at King Arthur. He then fell down to the ground. A second later, King Arthur hit the ground dead.
The knights all sheathed their swords and rushed to their fallen king. “Arthur!” One of the knights shouted. Before they could do anything, they heard something coming their way. They looked up to see another horseman riding towards them. This one was on a very pale horse. The horse looked very thin. Its rider was simply in a white robe. “Retreat!” One of the knights shouted. They quickly picked up King Arthur’s body and fled as quickly as they could.
The white robed rider rode up to Mordred and looked down. Mordred looked up at the rider. He was still clinging to life. “Get me out of here.” He ordered. “We must warn her that our forces are depleted.” The white rider reached down. Mordred reached up to the rider. The white rider pulled Mordred up and laid him over his horse before riding away quickly, leaving the rest of the bodies behind.
On the other side of the forest, Merlin rode up to a small house. The sheep in their pen all baaed, alerting the house to Merlin’s presence. An elderly lady came out of it. Her face fell when she saw Merlin. She didn’t say anything though as Merlin got off of his horse. Merlin went up to her. “Is the child here?” He asked.
The woman nodded. “She’s inside like always.” She answered.
Merlin nodded and sighed with relief. “Good.” He said. “We don’t have much time.”
The two went inside. “It’s safe to come out.” The elderly lady said. “It’s just Merlin.”
A small girl came out from a small closet. She had short brown hair and big brown eyes. She quickly went up to Merlin. “Is it time?” She asked.
Merlin knelt down in front of her and nodded. “The Black Hand is coming.” He told her. “Arthur is holding off one of their two leaders but he can’t hold them off forever.”
The elderly lady went up to Merlin. “Which one of the leaders?” She asked.
Merlin looked at her. “Mordred. The Black Hand’s Horseman of War.” He told her.
The elderly lady gasped and took a step back. “The Black Hand dares unleash a Horseman?” She asked.
Merlin nodded. “The Magician is no doubt behind this.” He told the elderly lady. “Only he has the power to bring forth a Horseman’s spirit. And with Mordred’s anger at King Arthur, he is the perfect choice for the Horseman of War.” He picked up the small child. “She isn’t safe here anymore.”
The little girl looked at Merlin. “Where are we going to go this time?” She asked.
Merlin looked at her. “We’re going to go somewhere safe.” He told her. “To an old friend of your mother.”
The elderly lady shook her head. “You’re going to take her to Lancelot, aren’t you?” She asked.
Merlin looked at the elderly lady and nodded. “Lancelot is the only chance we have of keeping this child safe if Arthur fails.” He answered. That was when they heard several horses neighing outside. The little girl gasped. She knew who was outside. So did Merlin and the elderly lady.
Outside the house, the Black Hands had their arrows pointed at the house. The lady smiled wickedly. “Merlin!” She shouted. “Come out here with the child! Do this and I promise you’ll be spared!” She had no intentions of sparing Merlin. He was just as much of a pain as the little girl was supposed to be. There was no noise from the house. The woman looked at her Black Hands. “Fire!” She shouted. The Black Hands fired their first wave of arrows at the house. Several managed to find their way through the windows and into the house. The lady smiled. There was no way that Merlin and the child could have survived.
Under the house, Merlin, the elderly lady and the little girl were hiding. Merlin was looking through a small crack in the ceiling up into the house. At last minute, the three had managed to get into the secret magical tunnel. The lady and her Black Hands didn’t know about the tunnel. To them, all they would see was an empty house. Merlin looked at the elderly lady and the little girl and held a finger to his lips. The two nodded and started to walk down the tunnel away from the house. Merlin looked up through the crack as he heard someone enter the house.
Up in the house, the lady looked around. There was no sign of Merlin or the little girl. She saw the arrows from her Black Hands. So what had happened to Merlin and the little girl? She was about to say something when a crow flew in. It cawed at her. The lady looked at the crow. “What was that?” She asked it. The crow cawed again. The lady shook her head. “Mordred has failed.” She said. She left the house quickly.
She looked at her riders. “Mordred has failed.” She told them. “We have to retreat for now. King Arthur has many more knights and once they’ve heard their king is dead, they’ll come for us.” She turned her horse around and they quickly all rode away, disappearing into thin air. It was like they were never there.