Beyond the Silver Veil

Chapter 1 - The Legend and the Tragedy

He (Arthur) is a king y-crowned in —Faërie,

With sceptre and pall, and with his regalty

Shallè resort, as lord and sovereigne,

Out of —Faerie, and reignè in Bretaine,

And repair again the ouldè Roundè Table.

Fall of Princes, bk. viii. c. 24., John Lydgate

The heavy mist clung to the rolling hills and forests of Avalon like a child to its mother. Or perhaps it would be better to say like a person to their lover, for the mist seemed as if it caressed the island and moved across it like fingertips upon heated skin, languidly. It lingered in the valleys and hollows and danced between the craggy rocks of the tors, the trees, and the simple buildings making up the only settlement on the land.

Mist was not uncommon in Avalon, it was there every morning and always present at the edges of the horizon. If one looked out from the shore no other land could be seen, only fog. Avalon floated alone in the blue ocean, far from everything. That was not to say Avalon was all that existed, there were lands beyond the haze, but it often seemed to it's inhabitants that it was alone in the world and truly if there were not those who knew how to cross the veil it would have been for it was trapped on a plane somewhere between worlds, between Faerie and the Mortal realm.

Thankfully there were a handful of people who could cross the veil and with them they brought technology, food, luxuries the island could not provide for itself, and fresh faces, fresh stories. Today was a day when the isle would be visited by such people. That was the reason a young woman stood on the sands and watched the water and horizon - she was waiting for a sign of someone crossing. So far she had been there for three hours without anything.

"Morgana, Morgana, Morgana!" An excited voice cried from behind her. She turned and grinned at a young boy rushing toward her. "Any sign?"

Morgana shook her head and waited for him to approach and sit at her feet rather than yell to him. She sat down beside him once he had and pat his head, "Not yet. It should be soon though, noon is fast approaching."

"What do you think they'll bring with them this time?" The boy inquired.

"I don't know, the usual?"

"Do you have an imagination, Morgana?" He chuckled at her and gave her a cheeky grin.

"No, Arthur, I don't have an imaginative bone in my body." She grinned back at him and pinched his cheek. "I suppose I'm just more patient than you. I'm alright with waiting until they get here to find out what they've brought. You must always create things in your head, guess. Then you usually turn out disappointed."

"Not always. I was right last time when they brought a compass," he declared proudly.

"Yes, that time you were right. You wanted to call it a Whirling Wayward Widget. What in Faerie is a Widget anyway?"

"It's something useful that no one quite knows how to categorize!"

"Yes, but this compass was categorized. It is a navigation device."

"So they say..." Arthur gave her a look that suggested he thought there was more too it than that.

She rolled her eyes at him and laughed, "You are so odd, brother."

"And you are so normal, Morgana, but I love you anyway."

"You best!" She turned to him and began to tickle him, but was distracted as he shouted, eyes on the horizon. She turned her attention there and saw a boat coming into view through the mist. Immediately she stood and rushed back toward the village to inform the High Priestess of the arrival.

Arthur remained on the beach, watching as the boat approached quickly. He found it odd that it was much larger than the usual boats which crossed. Even odder was the men who manned it. As the boat came closer he could see that they were dirty and rough-looking. At the bow was a familiar face, however, and it calmed the young boy some to see him. That was, until the boat was lodged in the sand and the men started shouting and disembarking. The man on the bow finally seemed to see him and his eyes widened in obvious fear.

"Arthur! Run!" He shouted desperately, shooing the boy from the shore, but Arthur was rooted to the spot as one of the crew came up behind the man.

"I thought we told you to keep your mouth shut," He spat, slitting the man's throat before Arthur's eyes.

He was unable to run from the paralyzing fear that enveloped his body. He tried to will himself to move, but it was in vain. Arthur could see the men approaching him with menacing grins plastered to their grimy faces. His heart was beating rapidly, thudding against his ribcage. He was scared for his life, but he couldn't run. When he finally managed to turn it was too late. A man had reached him and grabbed him up quickly.

This man had no hesitation. He easily drew his sword and cut the boy down without another thought, shoving his blade roughly though the boy's torso. After, he even smirked cruelly down at him and watched him try to crawl to the edge of the woods. He wasn't worried though, he wouldn't get far with a wound such as he had dealt him.

Arthur's eyes surveyed the treeline as he crawled, pain coursing through his body. They landed on Morgana, frozen and hiding behind a tree. She had clearly come running back with her usual excitement for seeing the merchant goods, but now all excitement was gone, replaced by horror. "Morgana! Get away! Run, Morgana!" Arthur cried out, willing his sister to run and hide, to save herself.

Morgana was overtaken by the same paralyzing fear that Arthur had experienced though. She could not move, all she could do was watch Arthur crawling toward her. All she could do was want to run and help him, but she was unable to do so. She felt helpless, useless. Even as he called to her she could do nothing but stare. It wasn't until the man who originally injured her brother registered that he was warning someone that she was able to run. She watched as he stabbed his sword through Arthur again, this time through his chest, and then she darted off through the trees as fast as her feet would carry her. The druids were on their way already so she didn't need to return to the village, they would find out soon enough that all was not well. In fact, they had probably heard Arthur yelling already.

So Morgana ran, not to the village, but to the tors. She climbed them, scrambling up their craggy sides, slipping, falling. Her palms quickly became nicked and cut and would no doubt bruise later, but for now she didn't notice. All she did was continue to climb until she found the entrance to the chambers beneath the tor she climbed. She slipped inside the narrow doorway and headed for the tunnels down, not stopping until she reached the well.

Back at the shore, the Druids had arrived and were embroiled in a fight with the intruders. It was an easy fight, magic versus iron - there was no match. Still, that didn't mean there weren't casualties on both sides. Many Druids died even if it wasn't as many Druids as pirates. Arthur died.

It wasn't until the next day that Morgana was found and brought back to the village by the High Priestess for her brother's burial. She did her best to move on, but it was hard. Eventually she managed and she united with a Druid priest during a Beltane ritual and became pregnant with a daughter. Years later she was with child again. When the child was born, a healthy baby boy, she feared naming him Arthur, now knowing how every Arthur born on Avalon met a tragic end. Still, she also knew it was Arthur and she did want to pay her brother tribute. In the end, she hadn't had a choice anyway. The child went unnamed for a year and in that time Morgana became ill and died. Her daughter and son were taken in by the High Priestess and raised by her, and the boy was named Arthur.

It was always his destiny, Morgana's will never stood a chance.

A/N: Yay, my newest story. Sorry if the first chapter seems rushed, it's just a little back story, trying to give you an idea of the tragic ends Arthur encountered. It might be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, I lack a beta and Word. I did try and use the spell check FP provides, but it's only good for spelling and not grammar and probably doesn't catch everything. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it so far and I should have another chapter up soon!

Disclaimer: I don't own King Arthur or his legend or anything associated with his legend, obviously. And finding John Lydgate's quotes about King Arthur was ridiculously difficult. The one above was not the one I originally wanted to use, but I was unable to find what I wanted so, it'll do.