This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The field was strewn with the dead; warriors felled by sword and ax, spear and shaft. Blood flowed across the ground, but there were no winners here … Only death triumphed this day. Camlann sat near the western coast of in Wales in Britain. This was the last stand by Mordred and forces loyal to his sorceress mother, Morgana le Fay, against the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
The Battle of Camlann was the final conflict between King Arthur and Mordred. The two combatants laid side-by-side on the ground, both men mortally wounded by the other. Morgana’s spell may have kept her son young and beautiful, but the power of Excalibur cut through that enchantment.
As Sir Percival ran to his monarch’s aid, Mordred crawled away, not wanting to wait for the last of the Knights of the Round Table to finish him off.
Percival dropped his sword and lifted Arthur’s head on his lap. “My liege,” he cried. “I am here Your Majesty.”
“Percival … Listen to me,” King Arthur groaned. “Take Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake; it must not fall into the wrong hands!” He handed his sword to Percival, placing the hilt firmly in his hands. “You must do this for me.”
Percival nodded his head as tears began to roll down his face. “I will my King! I will” he assured him. Arthur smiled, his mind at ease. He coughed violently, blood spewed from his lips.
“Find Mordred, Percival,” he choked out. “He must not be allowed to take the throne of Camelot. You must …” King Arthur coughed again as he gasped for each breath. Percival did his best to comfort the dying monarch.
“Do not fear, milord. As long as there is breath in my body, he will never sit on the throne. This I swear!”
King Arthur took one last breath before his body went rigid, his eyes stared into the stars above. His arms went limp as the king fell back and died. Percival cried as he closed the king’s eyes and set him gently down on the ground.
He looked over to Excalibur and knew he had a promise to keep. He reached for the sword but it was quickly scooped up by the hands of Merlin the Magician. The sorcerer and advisor to King Arthur took the sword and, without a word to Sir Percival, walked toward the top of the hill.
“Merlin, what are you doing?” Percival screamed as he leapt to his feet. “I must return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. It was the king’s final command.”
Merlin said nothing. He quickened his pace to the reach the top of the hill. He walked past the bodies of the dead knights, laying where they fell in battle. Percival became irritated at the wizard. He ran up and grabbed him by the arm.
“Dammit Merlin, answer me!” he commanded. Merlin spun around and pointed his staff at Percival to ward him off. The twisted shaft of Wych Elm had three branches at the top, looking like a trident, with crystals of rose, smoky and white quartz embedded in those branches. The crystals glowed, as magical energy hovered between them, threatening the knight to stay away.
“We don’t have time Sir Percival,” Merlin exclaimed. “I must act quickly to save us all.”
The old wizard turned away, his long gray beard swayed with each step, as he continued up the hill. Percival was confused by Merlin’s statement. “Time for what? Merlin, what do you mean?” he shouted as he chased after him.
“The age of magic is coming to an end, and so is our world,” he explained. “With Arthur’s death, the magic that fills our realm is already starting to fade. I must act quickly if I am to stem the tide.”
“But how?” Percival asked. “How can you do that?”
“There is a spell, one of the first ever written,” Merlin began to explain. “If I focus that spell through Excalibur, it will bring all magic together in one place.”
“Where Merlin? Where are you sending it?”
Merlin stopped as he reached the summit. “To Avalon, my boy! To Avalon! There, I will summon all the magic, magical creatures, and beings into one place, hidden from the rest of the world.”
The wizard rammed his staff into the ground in front of him. He took Excalibur and placed the hilt between the branches, allowing the sword to hang down from the staff. Merlin stood behind them and started chanting. It was an ancient language, unknown to this day and age. He repeated the spell until he got into a rhythm, chanting as magic began to erupt from the ground around him, swirling into a vortex of magical energy.
Percival stood back as watched the ritual unfold before him. The magic around Merlin grew brighter and brighter as the spell reached its zenith.
“No!” shouted a voice from behind. Percival drew his sword as he turned to see who was shouting at them.
Mordred charged up the hill, bloodied and wounded from his fight with King Arthur. His blonde hair was dirty and matted, but his golden armor—a gift from his mother to protect him from harm—still shined brightly in the glow of the magic that surrounded Merlin.
“I will have Excalibur,” he shouted. “By birthright, I am now King!”
Percival stepped between Mordred and Merlin. “You will never be king, Mordred. My descendants and I will always stand between you and the throne.”
“You will not stop me, Percival,” Mordred chastised as he drew his sword. “No matter where you go, I will take Excalibur in my hands, I will sit on Arthur’s throne … I will be King!”
Percival leaped at Mordred, bringing his sword down at him as Mordred raised his to counter the attack. As steel clanged together, the magic around Merlin exploded in a brilliant flash of light. In an instant, they were all gone. Across England and around the world, anything and everything touched by magic just disappeared; faded into myth and legend, never to be seen again, or so they thought.
Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...
Tony Lee: Very interesting with good ideas! Would recommend it as a casual read. Been depressed for quite some time but this novel kept me occupied for about a week. If you enjoy fiction-thriller novels with some magic involved, then this is the novel for you.
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."