2.8 – For the Future of Albion

…pain.

Morgana Pendragon groaned, drifting in and out of the void repeatedly as her consciousness slowly became aware of her body.

It hurt.
Everything hurt.

Her arms. Her legs. Her chest. Even breathing was painful. Morgana felt like she was caught underneath an immense rock, the weight of it pressing down on her lungs and slowly suffocating her. The sorceress tried to move, but her limbs wouldn’t listen. Even her eyelids felt like they were forcibly pressed shut.
It hurts.

The tug of sleep-like oblivion was enormous. Pulling her back towards the void. She couldn’t resist it. Morgana could feel herself slowly slipping away.
No… stop.
But she could still think.
What happened?
I need… to know what happened.


Her instinctual hunger for knowledge won against the allure of sleep at the very last moment, pulling her back and beginning to drive away the cobwebs in her mind. The sheer effort of waking up had never been so difficult. She had to focus. Focus.
Focus.

With a tremendous effort, Morgana managed to open her eyes a little. Her state of half-sleep began to fade away. But the world around her was a blurred mess, and she could feel the light from above hurting her eyes. She focused, recognizing the familiar items on the night stand. A snow rabbit. An old burlap doll… and a carved dragon.
Her chambers.
She was on her bed, inside of her chambers. Safe.
But… wait… what happened? What did I-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a flood of memories. A sudden overload of information, as her mind finally caught up with the rest of her body. Morgana could feel a painful sting in her chest as the memories flashed by.

Oh… right.
That.

I can’t deal with that.

It was too raw. Too painful. Morgana couldn’t face it. There were too many emotions. If she faced them, the sorceress would lose control, the one thing that Morgana knew she could never afford to do. Ever. As she struggled with the memory, her mind turned to instinct. Learned behaviour took over. It grabbed hold of the memory…

And violently buried it.

Morgana slowly exhaled. She could feel herself regain a little bit of control over her limbs. She was recovering. With a groan, the sorceress began to sit up.
“Easy, milady. Take it slow.”
A familiar voice, calling out to her from her right. She still couldn’t see clearly. But the sorceress did not have to see to know who it was. The only one that it could ever be, after an ordeal like that.
Gaius.
But Morgana was too stubborn to listen to the elderly physician. She sat up, grasping for her head as the pain between her eyes immediately worsened into a migraine. With clenched teeth, the sorceress groaned:
“What… happened?”

Gaius leaned forward, dabbing her forehead with a damp piece of cloth. The bags underneath his eyes had darkened, and his expression was filled with worry.
“You went into cardiac arrest.”
“…what?”
“Your heart stopped, milady,” the physician explained. “You used too much of your magic. Your body could not handle it. If you had used any more, it would have killed you.”

Morgana slowly placed her hands over her chest, unsure of the truth that she was hearing.
“My… heart did?”
“Yes, milady,” the elderly physician nodded. “From what I can tell, you’ve suffered permanent damage to the myocardium. I need to do some tests, but I fear that it may develop into arrythmia-”
But Gaius might as well have been speaking another language entirely. Morgana had no idea what the man was talking about.
“I… don’t know what those things mean,” the sorceress muttered softly.
“Your heart was damaged, milady. It is not beating properly anymore. And I do not know how to treat it. You need to take it easy, for your own sake.”

The physician broke eye contact with Morgana. His gaze traveled to the floor. The man looked exhausted. Gaius let out a heavy sigh, placing a hand on her shoulder.
“Morgana. Whatever it is that you did last night… please do not do it again. Ever.”

“… I won’t.”


Two days later, after he had received news of his daughter’s recovery, Uther Pendragon formally summoned both of his children – not to the throne room, but to his private chambers. They were not allowed to refuse. And the Iron King rarely received visitors in private, whether it was family or otherwise. It lent his summons this time around a great deal of pressure. The Crown Prince and Princess had a pretty good idea of what their father wanted to discuss.

That topic was the future of Camelot.

“Are you sure you’re well?” Arthur asked, more concerned with his sister than with the upcoming discussion. She had been acting strangely distant ever since her sudden summer flu. Arthur didn’t like it. He had already tried to talk with her twice – but Morgana dismissed his worry then, and she did the same now.
“I feel fine. Please start, father. Do not hesitate on my account.”

Uther nodded. He had placed his children on the couch opposite of him. His eyes were strict and unyielding – the king of expression that he always had when he was about to do something big.
Arthur did not like that, either.

“As you know,” the Iron King spoke, “Camelot is currently in a state of war with the country of Cornwall. We are also threatened by the Isle of Mora, and our crusade against the corruption of magic is never-ending. The treaty between the Five Kingdoms is all that keeps Albion alive. We must do whatever it takes to strengthen those bonds.”

Arthur and Morgana nodded. This wasn’t new information for either of them. In the past, the Crown Prince may not have understood everything that his father spoke of. No longer. Arthur Pendragon had come of age, now fully aware of the heavy burden that came with wearing the crown. The situation that their country found itself in. The ever-present threat of magic. And the dire importance of the alliance between the Five Kingdoms.

Their names had been engraved into his memory.

Camelot.

Wessex.

Mercia.

Essetir.

And…

Nemeth.

“We understand, father,” Arthur spoke. “We will do whatever it takes.”
“Good. I expect you both to honour those words – because I have made a decision regarding the future of our Kingdoms.”

Uther allowed a moment of silence to fall, making eye contact with both of them. Then, he continued.
“The King of Nemeth has formally offered Princess Mithian’s hand in marriage to Camelot. I have decided to accept their offer. It is imperative that we maintain a good relationship with Nemeth, and a royal union is the best way to achieve that.”

Arthur could feel a sinking feeling in his chest. He had seen it coming, but the thought of spending the rest of his life with Mithian did not exactly feel appealing. But Arthur knew better than to defy his father. The Crown Prince understood why the Iron King had made this decision. Next to Camelot, Nemeth was the strongest of the Five Kingdoms, and the most dangerous of their political opponents. Bringing a piece of theirs over to Camelot was pure strategy. Love and personal feelings were not involved – or even considered.
But that meant…
“Nemeth will expect something in return,” Arthur spoke. His father gave a short nod.

“They do. And Camelot will honour that expectation.”
He broke eye contact with his son, glancing towards his daughter instead.
“I intend to give your hand in marriage to Prince Richard.”
“What about Wessex?” Morgana asked, her voice devoid of emotion. The Iron King shook his head.
“Wessex has withdrawn their interest. And it matters not. A double union will profit our Kingdom for generations to come.”

Knowing his sister, Arthur had expected a more scathing response from Morgana than his own reaction. But the young woman surprised him. Instead of arguing, the Princess simply asked:
“When?”
With a surprised frown, Arthur glanced her way again. Uther did not seem to notice, though, as he answered:
“This fall, during the week of the knight’s tournament. Arrangements have already been made. When the tournament ends, Mithian will remain in Camelot, and you will travel to Nemeth in preparation of your union.”

The Crown Prince knew how bad the relationship was between Richard and his sister. Venomous did not even begin to describe it – he was surprised that Morgana was not throwing a tantrum already. Or manipulating their father into changing his mind. She had done it countless times already. Arthur could see her open and close her mouth, no doubt swallowing the words of protest that were swimming around in her head. But nothing came out. It worried him… but it was probably for the best, Arthur realized. It was for the good of Camelot, and for the good of Albion. Neither of them had any say in this. And they both knew that.
For the sake of their Kingdom… they had to obey.

“…Yes, father.”


A few days after Uther’s decision had been made public, the Crown Prince found himself walking the castle gardens. He wasn’t alone. Arthur came accompanied by two noble ladies, one on each side of him, and both uncomfortably clinging onto his arms. They were the daughters of one of the many barons within Camelot. Small fry, though Arthur was trying his best to stay polite and courteous.

But that was starting to get harder and harder. Ever since the formal announcement of his betrothal, the two of them had not left him alone. And not just them. Lately, he found himself approached by ladies of court left and right. Constantly. Every day. Arthur had never been the target of such aggressive female attention before, not even on the ballroom floor.
He knew why.

The Crown Prince found it repulsive.

“Oh, you simply must join us in Cadbury for the summer hunt, my lord. The fields and forests are ripe with game. We pride ourselves on our variety. A visit would be well worth your while.”
“I’ll consider it,” Arthur replied, disinterested. It was always the same conversation. Arthur had started to lose track of the number of invitations he had received to participate in hunting trips, or to attend lavish masquerades, musical performances, staged plays and exotic dances. The Crown Prince did not care for any of them. He had politely refused most, and for the ones he couldn’t refuse, Arthur had Morgana send his apologies later.

But these two were annoyingly persistent.
“Trust me, my lord. We’d make sure that a visit from the Prince is enjoyable… in every sense of the word.”

She leaned forward, placing her hands behind her back and accentuating her feminine curves. He knew what she was doing. Arthur knew exactly what kind of “enjoyable” the two of them were referring to. How could he not? They were not being subtle, both in terms of words and in terms of attire. As Arthur looked down on the two of them, he could hear a familiar voice ring out in the back of his head.

“Don’t be fooled. You know what they want. They are interested in you for your status first, your looks second-”

And myself a very distant third. I know.

They had reached the end of the lavish gardens, approaching the gate that gave entry to the castle courtyard. The perfect moment to get rid of them. Arthur decided to seize his chance while he could. A fake smile spread across his lips as he addressed his companions.
“Thank you for your kind offer. But I’m afraid that we must part ways here – I have business that I must attend do.”
“Oh,” the noblewoman said, sounding disappointed. “Very well, my lord.”
Arthur gave her a polite bow, taking her hand in his and placing a single kiss on the back. It was an elegant gesture. Practiced, perfected – and devoid of any emotion.

The Crown prince left the two of them there, walking away and quickly diving into a side alley. He didn’t care how it looked. It did the trick, because neither of them decided to follow. After a few moments, he could hear their footsteps moving away from him. Arthur breathed a sigh of relief.

His words hadn’t been a complete lie – he really did have business to attend to. Sort of. Eventually. But mostly, he just wanted to get rid of them. These days, Arthur rarely got more than a few moments to himself-

And he did not want to waste any more of it on them.

Arthur cut through alleyways, determined to avoid any more court ladies, and headed towards the back of the castle. The Crown Prince had developed a habit of retreating to the royal stables whenever he wanted to be alone. Something about that place calmed him. Maybe it was the simplicity of handling horses. Or perhaps he just wanted to drop his mask for a few minutes. The older he got, the more he began to dislike it. Arthur sometimes wondered how his sister did it. Political correctness was exhausting.
Probably not the best thought to have for a future King. Maybe I can make a law that prohibits annoying pleasantries. And gold digging. Oh, who am I kidding. They’ll have my head on a pike before the day is over.

Arthur turned the corner, his mind continuing to wander as his feet carried him towards Llamrei’s stable. Maybe a ride would cheer him up.

But to his surprise, Arthur did not find himself at the stables alone. His gaze fell upon a young maidservant, with fair skin and reddish hair tied into a bun. She was standing right in front of Llamrei’s stable. Arthur frowned. There was something familiar about her, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Like he had seen her somewhere before. As he approached silently from behind, it suddenly dawned upon him.

Wait, isn’t that Morgana’s servant? What is she doing here?

The girl seemed to be fretting over something. Arthur watched her extend her hand, almost as if to pet Llamrei’s nose, before quickly pulling it back again. She let out a sigh, causing the Crown Prince to raise a single eyebrow. She still hadn’t noticed him. The maidservant seemed to be rather oblivious to her surroundings. Arthur watched her for a few more seconds, before finally calling out to the girl.
“Her name is Llamrei.”

The maidservant almost jumped out of her skin in surprise. She whirled around, startled, her face turning beet red when she realized just who it was that was standing behind her.
“M-milord!”

She quickly fell into a bow, her head lowering deeply towards the ground. When she spoke, her voice was nervous to the point of panic.
“P-please forgive my insolence!”

She began shuffle away from the stable as fast as possible, stopping somewhere to his right. Her head was still aimed at the ground, her hands shaking as she maintained her bow.
Arthur suddenly realized – the poor girl thought that he was going to punish her. His eyebrow raised even higher. Why would she think that? Was this what the servants thought of him? He wasn’t a cruel master. And yet, her reaction suggested otherwise. He could already hear his sister’s angry voice in the back of his head, chewing him out over frightening her maidservant. He had to put her at ease somehow. Arthur nodded to himself, his gaze traveling towards the horse in the stable.

“Llamrei is special, you know,” Arthur explained, looking up at the beast. “Her sire was a white stallion named Hengreon. They caught him in the middle of the woods, without knowing where he came from. Father told me that he was almost feral. He would not allow anybody to get close enough to ride him…

“Except for our Queen. Llamrei is his last foal.”

“I-I see,” the maidservant stuttered, still trying to regain her composure. “She… she must be difficult to handle, then.”

“Not at all,” Arthur smiled. “Llamrei is the sweetest mare in the entire city. Well, she did kick me in the chest once. But that doesn’t count. I was improvising a sword fighting duel underneath her stomach. Not my smartest moment, I admit. I think that the wall still has an Arthur-shaped dent in it.”

The girl let out a brief chuckle, a glimpse of a smile breaking through. Then she remembered herself and quickly looked down at the ground again. But for Arthur, that glimpse was enough.
“You’re one of Morgana’s servants, right?” he asked. “What’s your name?”
“…G…Guinevere, milord.”
He nodded at her, gesturing towards the stables.
“What are you doing here, Guinevere? You’re not in trouble, don’t worry. You have my word.”

“Oh, I…” the servant stammered. “It’s, um… I j-just like to come here, sometimes. T-to think.”

Arthur’s smile widened.
“We have that in common, then. I often come here to take my mind off things. Or to leave Elyan’s buffoonery behind and and travel the hillside. Do you ride, Guinevere?”
She girl shook her head, refusing to make eye contact. Her shy behavior was oddly endearing.
“N-no, milord. I’ve never worked with horses before. I’m just a servant.”
“Horse riding is not restricted to nobility, you know,” Arthur smiled. “And they’re really quite gentle if you know how to approach them right. They enjoy attention like any other beast. I’m sure that Llamrei would enjoy a pat. Here, I’ll show you-”

He extended his hand to guide her back towards the stable-

And the maidservant immediately recoiled, jumping back and slamming into the wooden post behind her.

“Ah-! I- I m-meant no disrespect! Milord! Please forgive me!”

She fell into a bow again, almost hitting the wooden post a second time. Guinevere quickly excused herself. She turned on her heels so fast that it could have twisted her ankle. It reminded him of a startled deer. Arthur watched in stunned confusion as Morgana’s maidservant darted away from him, disappearing around the corner of the castle and vanishing from sight.
Gone.
The crown Prince blinked.

What… just happened?


-End-

15 thoughts on “2.8 – For the Future of Albion

  1. As soon as I read that the king wanted to talk to Morgana and Arthur, I knew marriage was in the cards. I wonder why Morgana didn’t speak up. She usually isn’t this obedient.

    Awwww, the Guinevere and Arthur interaction was so cute! I wish Guinevere wouldn’t have jumped and ran off. But that’s just her personality. Hoping for more interactions between them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She has her reasons, which will (probably) come up next chapter. That, and she just went through a bit of a week and her mind isn’t completely okay.

      I’m planning on it! Are you sure, though? Though I suppose more Gwen + Arthur automatically means more Arthur. Aaaah, I see what you’re doing there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Morgana is just having one of those weeks when nothing goes her way. I get that she’d just shove the traumatic experience aside, it’s not exactly as if she has the luxury of time to process it all, she needs to hurry and put her mask back on. But man, how will she not crumble on the inside with all of this?

    Marrying Richard is something she probably always knew was a very likely possibility to help those strained relationships with Nemeth, so at least that’s one thing that’s not completely out of the blue, as much as she despises him. A part of me hopes that it will somehow not go through. The other part of me is kind of excited about seeing how their marriage will pan out, though. I could totally see her murdering him in his sleep.

    Oh lawrd, those noble boobs, I mean, ladies. Yes, Arthur is right, they were not very subtle 😂 D’aww the part with him and Guinevre was incredibly sweet, bless her. So cute. Let’s see if Arthur figures it out 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely one of those weeks, yeah. Her mind is definitely not completely okay at the moment, which Arthur definitely noticed. But hey, burying your troubles and moving onto the next thing or person works like a charm, right? =D

      Lol xD here you go with the murdering again. They’ll fall in love upon marriage and live happily ever after, of course! Why would she need to murder him? =D

      “Noble boobs” had me snort out loud xDDDD I never even gave them names in-game. It was something like Hussy #1 and #2, I think. In the notes they have names. But the game, naw. Arthur is surprisingly perceptive and oblivious at the same time. Who knows what he picked up on?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Morgana has hovered between life and death. Who ultimately helped her return to life?
    Now she has woken up to face her fate … a politically arranged marriage to a man she cannot stand.
    She takes it surprisingly humbly. Although it only seems to be Arthur who notices it.
    Has she really harmed her health?
    It’s hard to imagine the powerful girl has become so lame 🤔

    Arthur also takes on his duty with mature calm…..
    …perhaps until he meets a kindred spirit 🤔

    Please. No more unhappy love affairs today 😧
    I can not handle it 😭💘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m sorry – we’re all putting out dark chapters at the same time! You’d almost think we’re doing it on purpose.
      She’s definitely more meek than we are used to from her. Perhaps she has her reasons? Time will tell… probably by next chapter, haha.

      *hands you cookie*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, poor Morgana. Did Gaius do something to bring her back from Cardiac Arrest? Like CPR? I don’t even know if they knew CPR in those days, lol. Or did her heart just start beating again on its own? I wonder if there was some intervention from Merlin and Nimueh? Hopefully, her heart isn’t too damaged, that will make things more difficult for her. I wonder if that was part of the reason she was so quiet, maybe she’s not feeling well and doesn’t have the energy to argue. It just goes from bad to worse for her. That would be a horrible life for her if she marries Richard. Hopefully, Merlin and Nimueh intervene somehow.

    Haha, the ladies are all over Arthur. At least he sees what they are trying to do. And the scene between Guinevere and Arthur was adorable. Aww, Arthur is so clueless that Guinevere has a crush on him, lol. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked that one up, actually. Turns out that they don’t, and didn’t even realize that blood veins leading to the heart were a thing until much later in history. Here’s where I took some creative liberties with it being the Sims. I wont say which liberties though, haha.

      Writing the meeting between Arthur and Gwen was hard, but I did have a lot of fun shooting the pictures. Both of them are insanely expressive, so getting the right pictures was a breeze this time around!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to look up when CPR was invented, lol. I knew they believed in humors and bloodletting in medieval times, but wasn’t sure how much anatomy they knew about back in those days. But that’s interesting. That’s the beauty of simlit; you can take lots of creative liberties without detracting from the story. 🙂

        Like

  5. Owh how much of Morgana’s condition does her family know? From the looks of things she didn’t tell them anything. 😦 I’m so sad for her that she has to keep so much bottled. Morgana really has no one to talk to and share herself. She’s so alone.

    Btw I really like that you included Agra in the Camelot shot. Yes Agra. I know you’re important to the story even though you lurk in the backgrounds like that. I’ve got my eye on you xD

    Holy crap Wessex’s heir ……….. reminds me of gaston for some reason.
    Btw I feel like each Kingdom can be traced geographically to a certain country. Like.. Camelot is England, Mercia reminds me of Switzerland especially with their backdrop like that. Did you do something like that? I think you did maybe unconsciously or maybe that’s in the legends. But that’s amazing. I’m loving how detailed you are! There’s so much lore in just these screenshots alone it makes me giddy! If they are tied to a country, can you tell me??? I’d love to know!!

    Richard please fall into a well.

    And Essetir omg!!! I feel so bad for Essetir King though I don’t know anything about him ‘cept he got a nice jaw. Who is the assasin? What’s going to happen at the tournament? How is it going to affect the harmony between the 5 kingdoms gaaah! This pic is a cliffhanger all on its own!

    I’d so love to probe into Morgana’s mind when Uther revealed her marriage. Yuck. I know she can handle herself. But Richard showed that the marriage is nothing. He was already plotting Camelot’s downfall when he was wooing Morgana. Who isn’t to say that after their reunion he wouldn’t continue to cause political unrest for Arthur and Mithian until their kingdom falls and he comes and claim their lands? I mean, look at Mithian by his side. She’s his spy/pawn/chess piece and so much more from her face alone.

    Omg is that noble rocking Athena’s hairdo? I think she is! Wait she’s not but close enough and it’s totally beautiful!! I need it! Can you link me that hair??! I’ve been collecting every single variant of that DU university fringed hair for Athena and that over there needs to be added to my collection ❤

    Woah those bewbs. Ooh such a pretty necklace. Ah man I’m an even worse dude than Arthur falling for their tricks hahaha. Ok this is getting long but I’m enjoying myself too much.

    Woah I didn’t even realised I typed so much.. I feel bad. I’ll put Guin and Arthur’s part in your thread. Oyy those two haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – she didn’t. All they know is that she had a “summer flu”, the poor girl.

      Agravaine is always there in the background, watching. Waiting. Lurking. xD Plus, he’s part of the royal family too, so he deserves his spot there.

      Hm? Henry the blondie? Really? XDDDD But Gaston is so muscular and tall and with a jaw to sharpen an axe on! xD That’s what I thought at first too – that they were all the medieval versions of different countries. Then I did my research, and as it turns out, they’re all little bits of England! That’s also why I included this piece of lore this time around, haha.

      Richard: “You first, my lady.”

      Haha, I kept the scene away from Morgana’s mind for a reason this time around. Not that her mind is the most stable at the moment. And you’re right about the picture of Nemeth – in every other picture (besides Essetir), the King is displayed front and center ish. But not there. He’s not King in name, but he already runs the place. As you probably guessed already.

      Hm? Which one, the blonde one or the brunette? Lemme know, and I’ll try to find it for you.

      Nuuuuu don’t apologize, I love your long comments that break down and analyse the story! It completely makes my day, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *grumbles at Richard* I would so like to start a verbal war with Richard here. lol but if I do that I may as well go catch up on some beauty sleep.

        Idk Agra reminds me of Jafar here. Idk his look screams betrayer. Hopefully it doesn’t go there. Oooh so the guy’s called Henry. He looks pretty built too. Idk at this point I don’t trust there to be any good royals that would suit Morgana. Just gonna root for Lancelot or Merlin but Merlin seems like he has his hands tied. Lancelot seems like the only good bloke here. Please not Elyan from the dance floor haha.

        The brunette! the one with Athena’s fringe 😀 Yes please would love to have that hair.

        Liked by 1 person

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