The King sat on his throne, hooded eyes watching the dark haired and beautiful woman who stood before him. Wary of trusting her, he was considering her words carefully. She had brought important new information on the enemy, information which could bring them to their knees if used correctly. Any decision he made now, and the actions which followed, could well determine the future of the Saxon Shore and indeed his own ability to hold the throne.
“Why should I trust you?” demanded Hengist, leaning forwards, eyes intent.
“There is no reason you should. Perhaps I should demonstrate my allegiance to you. May I present you with a gift?”
Hengist nodded, intrigued, and the woman snapped her fingers. The doors to the great hall swung open, and two of Morgause’s personal guard walked in dragging a prisoner between them.
Dressed only in a pair of blood stained breeches, it was apparent the man had been severely beaten. His torso was battered and bruised, his long blond hair lying lank over his face. Barely conscious, his muscular upper body sported many cuts and bruises, and the skin on his back was a flayed mess of bloody welts, caused by prolonged use of a whip. His face was unmarked. The guards dumped the man in a kneeling position, his hands tied securely behind his back.
“I see you’ve had your fun with this one Morgause,” muttered Hengist.
“Lancelot and I have a history, my King,” she smirked.
“Lancelot!” Hengist’s gaze snapped to the prisoner. “That is Lancelot?”
She lifted the long blond hair away from the kneeling man’s face, tilting his head up to show the handsome visage to Hengist.
“I take it you recognise him sire?”
“I do. He and Arthur defeated me in battle five years ago and forced us to sign the accords which now bind us to this shore.”
At the mention of his name, Lancelot roused, lifting his head high to stare balefully at Hengist.
“May I demonstrate my fealty to you sire?”
“You may,” replied Hengist.
Morgause nodded at one of the soldiers who stood off to one side. Lancelot’s head was jerked back by his hair, exposing the jugular vein in his neck. Moving towards the prisoner, she pulled a silver bladed knife from her belt and tested the edge with her thumb, the blade flashing in the torchlight.
Lancelot switched his bitter gaze to the beautiful, but cold visage of Morgause, his pale blue eyes boring into hers.
There was no sign of emotion or remorse as the woman dipped her blade into the man’s throat, watching with dispassionate cruelty as the fabled warrior, and Arthur’s most renowned Knight, died without a sound. She spat on the corpse, ignoring the spreading pool of dark redness, and moved to stand in front of Hengist. She licked the blood from the blade, sheathing it back at her belt.
Hengist ignored the sudden chill he felt from the woman’s actions, instead choosing to focus on their earlier conversation.
“So, from what you’ve already told me, your brother Arthur is considering this suggested course of action?”
“The King has no choice. The only way he can keep fighting the war to the north, and continue to defend against the potential threat your warriors pose, is to pay mercenaries to assist. That requires gold and silver. The mines in Wales and Cornwallare not producing large quantities at the moment, so Merlin has come up with a plan.”
“Merlin,” spat Hengist, “he is the bane of my existence.”
“As he is mine, but he is an old man now, grey, and feeble.”
“That’s as maybe, but he is still Merlin. Merlin the Legend, Merlin the Magician. So Morgause, you would turn traitor to bring down not only your brother, but your husband too?”
“Arthur can burn in hell as far as I am concerned, and Lot, well he only wants my body.”
“I can see why,” smiled Hengist, lust in his eyes. “So, what do I get from this alliance?”
“You, my King, become ruler not only of the Saxon Shore, but of all England. Hengist, High King.” Morgause smiled coldly as the king leaned back into his throne, his mind ablaze with possibilities as Morgause continued, her soft tone seeming to fill the hall.
“I will give you the means to destroy Arthur and his cursed Knights, and bring down the Round Table and the word of Law. We will burn Merlin at the stake, ruin his plans, and pillage Camelot. Then, my King, you will get me too.”
“Sounds like an interesting proposition,” rumbled Hengist. “So what do you stand to gain from this?”
Morgause smiled and walked towards him, swaying her hips.
“I, my King, become High Queen at your side. I become rich and powerful, and secure the deaths of Arthur, Lot, and Merlin.
“Above all, I get to kill Merlin.”
|Clive Owen||as Hengist|
|Keira Knightley||as Morgause|
|Richard Armitage||as Percival|
|Ben Barnes||as Grayle|
|Sean Bean||as King Mark|
|Orlando Bloom||as Lancelot|
|Gary Oldman||as Morholt|
|Jonas Armstrong||as Camlan|
|Jonas Armstrong||as Camlan|
|Patrick Stewart||as Merlin|
|Emma Watson||as Iseult|
|Timothy Spall||as Bishop David|
|Cate Blanchett||as Guinevere|