Prisoners of Courtesy

Gathering / Conference

Christmas A.D. 490

Though Duke Gorlois asks Uther many times to be excused to return to his lands, the King, enflamed with lust for the Duke's wife, keeps Duke Gorlois and Ygraine by his side. In time, the King's advances towards Lady Ygraine became intolerable, and the Duke and his forces leave without permission.   Yet, while all this is going on, Lady Ygraine calls on the promise of help from Sir Monroe and asks him to bring Merlin to her. Monroe does so, and learns that Ygraine sought Merlin's help that she might lay with King Uther, for she desires him too.

Throughout the year, Uther made his way along his progress, keeping his Dukes close to him, but one-by-one they left for home. Duke Gorlois, however, though he asked many times to return home to take care of affairs in Cornwall, was kept close by Uther. It was plain to all that Uther was infatuated by the Lady Ygraine, but he could not get close to her, for Gorlois kept her guarded at all times and would not let any men near her save his most trusted knights.   As the Christmas Feast neared, a page in service to Lady Ygraine came to Sir Monroe and asked him to come to her as he had in Cornwall. Thus, dressed as Lady Maylene, Sir Monroe went to Lady Ygraine, who begged her to render her the aid she had promised and bring Merlin to her. Lady Maylene.   At the Christmas Feast, Lady Maylene returned to being Sir Monroe and was seated at the high table. While there, he spoke to both Merlin and Lady Nineve. He reminded Merlin of the magic he had used to transform himself into an old man when they had first met in the Adventure of the Sword Lake, and asked Merlin if the druid could take any form. Merlin said that indeed he could. Monroe then asked Merlin if he would go with Monroe later to speak with Ygraine and Merlin agreed. Monroe then told Lady Ygraine that he had done as she asked, and that he had learned that both Merlin and Nineve could work magic to transform appearances.   Meanwhile, Morgan spoke with Sir Felix, expressing her sorrow at the death of Sir Gaius and saying she wished there were some way she could bring him back. She then gave a charm to Sir Felix which she said had been made by Lady Nineve and which would help preserve Gaius's son from death in infancy.   Sir Monroe then left the feast and returned at Lady Maylene, attempting once more to capture the eye of King Uther, but though she was dazzling, he only had eyes for Lady Ygraine.   At the conclusion of the feast, King Uther stood up, clearly drunk, and gave a speech to the surpassing beauty of Lady Ygraine. As he did so, she blushed and Gorlois turned red with rage.   After the feast, Merlin came to Monroe in glamour as a lady-in-waiting and the two of them went to speak to Lady Ygraine. Within the secrecy of her chambers, Lady Ygraine told Merlin that she desired Uther and asked him if he could help them be together, she said she desired a vibrant man like Uther and wanted to bear the son of a king and not some petty Lord. She preceded to ask if perhaps Merlin could use the magic Monroe had told her of to transform Uther into the likeness of her husband. Though Monroe expressed concerns that such an act would not be just, and might make Uther unable to wield Excalibur, Uther agreed to Ygraine's request.   Later that night, Sir Bradwen and Sir Felix stood watch at the walls of Lincoln. Even as a Winter storm gathered, Sir Bradwen caught sight of something in the night, though he could barely make it out. He sent Felix to sound the alarm and strode forward, only to encounter Sir Brithael. He learned from Brithael that what he had seen was Gorlois and his forces under a glamour wrought by Lady Nineve. Tonight's outburst by Uther had been the last straw and Uther was leaving, even without the King's permission. This, they both knew, would likely mean war between Uther and Cornwall. Sir Bradwen agreed to let them go and ran back, telling those who had been roused by Felix that it was a false alarm.

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