2.32 – The Nature of Darkness

Disclaimer: violence.


In order to understand the nature of dark magic, and why its presence is such a blight upon the natural world, one needs to understand the nature of life and death.

Every sapient creature on this plane of existence is, at their core, a being made up out of three elements: body, spirit and soul. All three are precious gifts that are bestowed upon us by the Watcher.

The body is a person’s vessel, holding both spirit and soul together and allowing mortals to exist.

Spirit is the origin of all magic, a power arising from the interplay of forces and cycles that rule over our reality.

At its core, spirit represents pure will, instinct, drive, as well as base emotion.

The will to survive. The drive to eat. The instinct to procreate, to connect, to love, to belong, to exist. Spirit flows in all natural things and, upon death, is returned to nature.

Souls are pieces of divine essence that are imbued in every sapient mortal. Possession of a soul is what elevates a person above a mere beast. A soul provides the ability to understand morality, to see right from wrong, to rise above base instincts and emotions. When a person dies, their soul is compelled to return to the Watcher, crossing the divide between life and death on its way back.

But every soul is marked by the mortal’s experiences in life. Their spirit is tainted and warped by bad memories, traumatic experiences and negative emotions.

Fear.

Rage.

Hatred.

Guilt.  

Pain.

Suffering.

This corruption is comparable to a layer of muck and grime – a vile darkness that gradually twists and taints the spirit that the soul shares a body with.

When a person dies, and their soul crosses the divide between life and death, that darkness crosses over with them. A soul in that tainted state needs to be cleansed before it can reach the Watcher. All of the soul’s past actions and secrets are laid bare as it confronts its own past, battling its personal demons and shedding the negative emotions, traumas, horrors and guilty memories. It leaves the muck of the natural world behind.

But all of that negativity coagulates and pools. It takes on a life of its own. Because of that, the divide between life and death is full of a twisted darkness – a demon – that feeds on dark memories, vile emotions, guilt, fear, pain and suffering. It festers in that divide, existing on the most wretched parts of humanity and wanting only to grow. But it is that same divide that traps it, and keeps it out of the mortal world.

When a mortal dies, the veil between life and death is thinned as their soul crosses that divide.

When a mortal dies in the throes of a particularly strong, negative emotion, their fear, rage, hatred and suffering becomes a beacon for the darkness that festers in the divide. This pain lingers, surrounding the physical remains even after death. And if their suffering is not eased through burial rites, that darkness – that tainted, corrupted spirit – will find a way to seep through.

The resulting demon is a product of the darkest of magic. A vile, twisted abomination that, if left alone, will corrupt everything it touches.

“Wait… everything?”

The King of Essetir gave Morgana a single nod.

Everything. And with strategy. Its intelligence is perhaps the most disturbing characteristic of all. I have seen this happen before. It will hide itself, close by but out of sight. It will wait for the right moment. And then it will go after the strongest creatures first.

Your soldiers.

Your knights.

Your champions. Everyone that would make it to the end of your tournament….

Followed by everyone else.

“Oh, Watcher,” Morgana whispered. “Elyan. Gawain.”

At that moment, the full gravity of the situation finally hit her. This wasn’t another chess game. This was not a matter of finding the right angle, or the right leverage. Because this thing was not going to stop. Not until every single one of them ended up like Bayard.
What Camelot was about to face was not a battle – it was a slaughter.

If she didn’t do something, if she didn’t act… Morgana would lose everyone.

“Cenred. Can you talk like that from a distance?”

The King of Essetir raised a single eyebrow.

I can, but-

”Then do so!”
“Wait! Morgana!I need to locate the source!

But the budding witch was no longer listening to Cenred. An iron claw of fear had dug its way into her insides, her sense of dread rapidly turning into panic. She could feel her heart hammering in her chest. There was no time to lose. The pain in her head increased tenfold as she began to sprint around the castle walls as fast as her legs could carry her. Her head felt like it was going to burst – but she ignored the pain, forcibly pushing it down.

It didn’t matter.

She had to reach them. Warn them.

Before it was too late.


Cenred did not follow her. Instead, he focused his energy, letting out a sigh of frustration in the process. His time in Camelot had been less than satisfactory. Nothing was progressing as it should. Nothing was the same as what he remembered.
Well, almost nothing.
That bloody darkness.

 A part of him could not help but appreciate the irony of it all. And a small part of him could not help but feel responsible.

He turned his gaze to the lake, looking down at the still water surface.

You must think this is funny.

But the Lady of the Lake gave no response.


The silence in the hospital was broken by the sound of a door opening. Gawain immediately jumped up, moving away from an unconscious Elyan as his head whipped around to the entrance. In a loud voice, he yelled:
“Gaius!”

“You have to hurry, Elyan is-”

But the rest of his sentence got stuck in his throat as the young redhead realized just who had walked into the building. Gawain froze, looking at the man in front of him in confusion.
“…You’re not Gaius.”

“A very astute observation,” the Jacoban priest sneered. “I see that your time in the dungeons has done wonders for your mental faculties.”

Gawain could feel his knees locking into place as his head was flooded with the memories of that day. His mind went blank. His throat closed up, forcing him into a stunned silence. That reaction was not lost on Agravaine. He frowned, his annoyance slowly turning into a suspicious glare.

“What are you doing here? Why are you not with the knights?”

“I… Elyan was hurt,” Gawain replied, trying to keep his feelings at bay. “I’m making sure that he’s okay. Bayard hurt him pretty badly and-”

But the Jacoban priest had stopped listening. The second that Gawain muttered the word “Bayard”, the Jacoban priest froze up. His head quickly whipped around to the back area of the hospital, where the beds were. The royal adviser moved past Gawain and made a beeline straight for Elyan’s cot.

“…Gaius… should be here soon,” Gawain mumbled. The young redhead suddenly felt deeply uncomfortable. He could feel a strange, ominous feeling of dread overcome him as Agravaine’s expression changed. A sense of unease that made all of the hairs in the back of his neck stand up.
A sense of danger.

And Gawain’s instincts were proven right. The young redhead watched as Agravaine stepped back.
“He’s been tainted by dark magic.”

“What? What does that mean?” Gawain replied, confused. Agravaine threw a quick glance over his shoulder. The dark, ominous look in his eyes made all of Gawain’s senses go on alert.
“It means that a very wretched sorcerer cast a spell that is destroying him on the inside. There is no time to lose. We must act immediately.”
“Can… can Gaius heal him?”
The Jacoban priest shook his head, his hands vanishing into the depths of his robes.
“We cannot wait for him. And there is only one solution for this kind of magic.”

In a fluent motion, Agravaine drew a long, sharp, nasty-looking dagger out of his robes. When he spoke, his voice was cold as stone.
“He needs to die.”

“…What?”


By the time that Morgana had made it through the wooded outskirts of town and reached the arena, the sky above her had turned dark. Flashes of lightning could be seen in the far distance as a cold rain began to pour down from above. Within moments, the budding witch was soaked to the bone.

Cenred’s voice had haunted her the entire way back.
Listen to me! You cannot be rash here or it will end in disaster. Defeating the prince will not be enough – we need to destroy the source, or that darkness will keep spreading!
“And how in Watcher’s name am I supposed to do that?!”

But there was no answer to her question. It dawned on Morgana that Cenred probably couldn’t hear her anymore. She was too far away. The budding witch let out a soft curse as she kept running – there was no time to double back. She had to keep going. She had to warn the others, before it was too late.
Stop! I just said that it goes after the strongest-
At that point, Cenred’s voice was suddenly and abruptly cut off. The presence in her mind faded, leaving behind a strange emptiness that she hadn’t been aware of before. Morgana shrugged it off, panting as she ran full-speed through the entrance. There was no time to lose. Elyan was already incapacitated. It could be too late for him already. And there was no telling who that thing would go after next. It could be any of them – Lancelot, ambushed on his way back from town. Arthur, surprised in a dark corner of the arena. Or Gawain, who was all alone looking after Elyan in the hospital. Or-

The next moment, the budding witch found herself stopped dead in her tracks. Her entire body froze up, coming to a skidding halt as-

Oh, no.

Bollocks!


“We have no other choice. He needs to die.”

“What?! No!”

Gawain acted on instinct. Before his mind could respond, his body had already moved, jumping to the left and blocking Agravaine from reaching Elyan.
“He is sick!” Gawain yelled, his voice desperate. “Not dangerous! He needs a doctor, not a knife! Don’t you dare!”

But his words fell upon deaf ears. Agravaine completely ignored his pleas, taking a step towards the young redhead.
“I take no pleasure in this. But we have no other choice. Move.”
“No!”
“Step aside, Gawain. That is an order.”

“Step aside, Gawain. That is an order.”
“What is wrong with you?!”
“No… no, please! Don’t hurt me! I-it wasn’t me! I swear! Please-”

Not again.
No. Not this time.

As Agravaine took another step towards the young redhead, Gawain could feel a strange sense of calm overcome him. His shoulders relaxed. His breathing slowed. Gawain turned sideways, assuming a fighting stance. His fear and hatred faded away. They were replaced by a focused sense of calm as a very different emotion welled up from within.

Determination.

Sometimes, when it matters most… there is no one else.

“You’re not laying a single finger on him,” Gawain spoke, his voice calm and controlled. “Not this time.”

That was not what the Jacoban priest wanted to hear.
“This is in your best interest!” Agravaine snapped at him, actually losing his composure as Gawain refused to budge. Gawain had never seen him react like that before.
“Listen to me! You don’t know what you’re dealing with! You have no idea what kind of hell you’ll unleash if that darkness takes him over! I will not let that happen to my kingdom! Now move!”

“No. Over my cold, dead body.”

Gawain could see what little light there was in the priest’s eyes vanish. It made way for a hard, cold ruthlessness that Gawain had seen many times before. A look that was always, always followed by violence.
The look of a killer.

“That can be arranged.”

But this time, Gawain was not afraid. Even without a weapon. He knew that he could hold his own. He had done it before. And this time, Agravaine was not the untouchable Jacoban priest of the city, surrounded by guards and far out of Gawain’s reach.

This time, he was just a bad, evil man with a knife.

And Gawain knew exactly how to take those down.

As soon as Agravaine lunged forward, Gawain stepped out of the way. He grabbed hold of his arm, forcing it down and catching the Jacoban priest off-guard. His elbow hit Agravaine straight in the face in the process. It knocked off his hood and the priest yelped in pain as in a single motion, he was forced onto his knees. He struggled to break free – but Gawain didn’t let up, putting Agravaine in a headlock and squeezing his wrist until the Jacoban priest was forced to drop the knife. It fell to the floor with a dull, metallic clatter.

And Gawain let him go. Agravaine immediately got up, his voice full of rage as he yelled:
“How dare you lay a hand on me! I am the King’s royal-“

“And stay down.”

At that moment, the doors of the hospital opened for a second time. Two familiar figures came dashing in, panting, out of breath and completely soaked from the pouring rain.

Gaius and Guinevere.

“I’m here! I’m *huff* where is he?! Where is-“

“…I can explain.”

“Save it,” Gaius sighed. “I do not want to know.”


Bollocks!

Morgana watched, paralyzed, as the creature in front of her sunk through its knees. She could feel that same bone-chilling cold that she had felt before. It seeped off of Bayard’s body in waves, its tendrils slowly reaching out for everything around it – no. That wasn’t right. It was reaching out for her. Focused on her, closing in from all directions. The force of it was overwhelming.

She had to run. She had to get away. Morgana tried to move, but the sheer pressure of the darkness in front of her kept her legs from working. They wouldn’t budge. Her body was locked into place. Morgana couldn’t look away. She couldn’t tear her eyes off the darkness, she couldn’t move-

Klang!

The metallic sound of steel hitting steel reverberated through the arena as, as the last second, someone dashed out from the shadows. They jumped in front of Morgana, intercepting the blow and blocking it with their own blade. The attack was so forceful that it pushed the both of them back. Morgana could feel her feet dragging grooves in the muddy earth as the knight was knocked into her.

And the knight retaliated. With a growl, he lunged forward, throwing their own weight behind a wild sword swing. Another klang resounded through the rain-filled arena as the two locked weapons – and one of them slipped out of their grasp. It  fell to the ground with a loud clatter.
That sound was quickly followed by the loud thud of Bayard’s body hitting mud. Lancelot had knocked him over. He fell down like a marionette whose strings had been cut, landing in a sprawled mess of limbs.

Lancelot had saved her life.

But the creature in front of them did not stay down for long.

“Are you all right?”
“I… yes,” Morgana muttered. “Thank you, Lancelot.”
The young knight her gave a single nod as he shifted back into a fighting stance. His eyes remained locked on Bayard’s body. Morgana could see Lancelot raise his weapon a little higher.
“Did we learn what that thing is?”

“I did,” the budding witch replied. “It’s a source of dark magic that is possessing Bayard’s body.”
“A demon?” Lancelot asked. He had always been quick of understanding. Morgana gave him a single nod.
“Yes.”

“Do we know how to drive it out?” Lancelot growled.
“…No. Not yet. I couldn’t hear- I need more time.”

But Lancelot shook his head.
“My lady, you need to run. I’ll hold it off and cover your retreat.”
“What?! No!” Morgana protested. “I’m not leaving you behind!”
“Morgana, you are defenseless!” the young knight yelled, backing up towards her.
“I’m not! Lancelot, I… I can-”

But the next moment, her breath got stuck in her throat. Shock turned to horrified realization as Bayard made eye contact with her – and promptly sprinted away from them. He dashed in the opposite direction, into the darkness and towards the nearest gate.

The gate that led to the hospital.

“We can’t let it leave!” Morgana yelled. “If it gets away, it’ll corrupt everything it touches!”

That was all the information that Lancelot needed. The young knight took off like an arrow from a bow, sprinting after Bayard as fast as he could as the possessed Prince bolted through the open entryway. But they were too far away. They weren’t going to make it in time. Morgana instinctively lifted her arm, preparing to cast a sleeping spell-

No! If they see you, you will burn!

Morgana hesitated. It was only for a split second. But that split second of indecision ended up costing her. The budding witch watched in anguish as Bayard’s body dashed through the gate, vanishing from sight-

Before she suddenly heard a loud thud, followed by the sound of clanging metal. The next second, Bayard’s body came flying back through the gate as it was hurled back by something. Hard.

For the second time in a row, Bayard crashed down onto the muddy, rain-soaked ground. Bits of mud and dirt scattered everywhere from the impact. The blade tumbled away from him and fell into the sandy, rain-drenched arena.  
Who…?

Morgana watched as a dark figure emerged from the gate, completely soaked by the rain and dragging a very large weapon behind him. In the rapidly worsening storm, it took the budding witch a few seconds to recognize who it was. Then the figure spoke, and Morgana finally realized.

Finally realized stood before her.

“Hey. Demon.”

“You’re ruining my tournament.”

11 thoughts on “2.32 – The Nature of Darkness

  1. Argh. Oh lord. Ok. Words.

    I like the distinction between soul and spirit, that is so interesting. So what does this mean about, say, Bayard’s soul? Has his soul been able to move on and his body is just being controlled by his corrupted spirit or is it still trapped there? Poor dude.

    I mean, aggro pretty much looks like a zombie himself. Maybe that’s what it’s been all along 😆 And poor Gawain is reliving the moment he perceives as his biggest failure, except this time, the victim is his close friend, just to amplify it all the more. Problem is, I don’t actually know which one is right in this instance, Aggro or Gawain. Clearly Aggro caused this whole mess with his goddamn inquest and refusing to bury those he pursued, but it is true that the darkness is already taking over Elyan here. Is it reversible, and if so, do they have time to figure out how with their limited knowledge? It kind of feels like the answer to both of those might be no.

    Now, in addition to that, Aggro here doesn’t even know the full story, that there already is a corrupted body among them, that Bayard is already corrupt and on the loose, so he might well be thinking he’s trying to tackle the source. Ah this is all so frustrating, and such a vicious cycle.

    Right, Cenred. So he knows Nimueh, eh? I suppose that’s not surprising, considering his little gathering with Morgause and Richard. I wonder what Cenred’s true form looks like, something tells me it’s not a dude with a braid. He’s also clearly only sharing the bare minimum with Morgana here, but it doesn’t matter, because she barely listened to what he did say. So they need to find boh boy to stop this? Will that cause all the zombies to drop, and are they really killable until they find him? Will Bayard just keep rising. We already know they will try to bury him and clearly he was not quite fully dead, yet again. Oh, I just had a grim thought about Morgana. Bollocks. Or whatever the medieval equivalent is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This is something that I’ve incorporated from my D&D game – life and death works roughly in the same way there, and it was already in my mind, so it naturally flowed over to ToC 😁 Nimueh has a counterpart in D&D too. Interesting question about Bayard, as well as Elyan’s condition – I’d answer, but at this point it’s spoilery. You’ll get the answer real soon, though. At least for one of them.

      “I wonder what Cenred’s true form looks like, something tells me it’s not a dude with a braid.”
      My idiot brain automatically translated that to “so it’s a dudette with a braid” and now I’m laughing too hard to form proper thoughts. 🤣 Yay! Bollocks! Everything seems incredibly grim but there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I swear. Whether that’s light from the outside or light from an incinerator remains to be seen though.

      Two more chapters to go. I hope you enjoy the end of the rollercoaster. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle and your seat belt fastened until the ride has stopped completely. Thank you for riding with Yimi Express!

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  2. This is really intense reading.
    I am again completely fascinated by how you substantiate your text with the images. All these flashbacks put it all in relief.
    Morgana is brave like no other but what can she do?
    Without thinking of the consequences, she threw herself headlong into the battle. The one who is so tough on chess games and mischievous manipulations seems to have run out of effective moves.
    She is saved at the finish line by Lancelot and Arthur who bravely throw themselves into the fight, but for how long?
    Dare I hope for a happy ending to this morass? I bite my nails down to the roots.

    Maybe I should throw my trust in Cenred’s power?
    It may be a flimsy hope.

    Gawain is the second to show great courage. At first glance, he seems to be better dressed in terms of fighting technique and I rejoice for a brief moment to see Agravaine thrown to the floor.
    But do I dare to hope that Agravaine is seriously beaten from the pinnacles of power? I think no and the consequences for Gawain depend on how it all turns out in the end.

    I’m sitting in front of a giant jigsaw puzzle and I’m still missing pieces to get the picture fully illuminated.
    Is there any light at all? 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ❤ There have been hints and clues scattered throughout the arc but it was time for the full truth to come out. Of course, new knowledge just leads to new questions, too.

      Yeah, when Morgana heard “it goes after anything strong” she immediately thought of the knights, but did not for a second consider herself. She is soooooo far out of her depth here. Not all hope is lost, though! Believe it or not, but the plan is actually to not end the arc on the bottom of the abyss.

      You know how it goes – to see the light, your eyes have to get used to the darkness first. Keep looking. ❤ (I've whacked my head against things enough to have developed a healthy respect for adjusting to the darkness first, haha)

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  3. My eyes!! The screenshots in this chapter are so beautiful, and scary, and tense and exciting and sweet all at the same time uuuurrrgh. I felt like I just came out of a movie theatre! ❤

    This lore is so interesting! So their understanding of morality is tied to their souls. Which means upon leaving the body/spirit, what’s remaining would have no inkling of right and wrong. Ooft. I can see zombies clearly now..

    The way Morgana talks about Bayard got me wondering if Bayard is still alive. Given what we know of Soul, Body and Spirit. I’m inclined to think a different soul has taken over Bayard’s body, but his spirit is still intact. And if they manage to destroy this soul. Bayard’s own soul can maybe return? I personally think there’s a strong connection between soul and spirit. So I think the soul can return despite having left the body. Like an astral projection of sorts. But if Bayard’s soul has crossed the divide. Then sob.. nooo..! Maybe there’s a way to bring him back.

    A soul that is tainted needs to be cleansed before it reaches the watcher. Coupled with Nimueh and Lincoln’s pictures, is that what they’ve been doing all this time? We know Lincoln is. And in a sense, Nimueh is enabling him by then removing all that taint from him. I wonder how she and fiery dragon lady cleanse it. And then Cenred knows Nimueh and thinks he’s responsible for the darkness from the bog. IS CENRED LINCOLN!??? Like a corrupted Lincoln? Like a Lincoln whose soul has been switched with whoever Cenred is? Gah. I need to know. I just can’t help tying them two idk why.

    This explanation of how Rupert’s suffering became a beacon just shows how Agra needs to be punched a hundred times over. I can’t imagine all the things he did to a kid to have the boy become a vessel for the demon to cross over. And he just takes one look at Elyan and decides that he has to die. Wow. You could be right, but really? One look? That much confidence in your ‘Astute observation’? This guy needs to be thrown in the bog. With Richard. Alive. I’ve decided if I hate someone in your story they get first class tickets to the bog now.

    Strange. Agravaine said not my kingdom? Either he is super dedicated to Uther, or I smell fish. And I think he’s bathing in fish oil.

    Ok that purple misty gross thing that came out of Bayard’s body at the end there have me feeling all kinds of ominous and foreboding. But Arthur appearing so gallantly got my heart in a full swing! Man, that’s so epic! Go Arthur! Daaaw Look at him! Slay that crap. (But how is he going to slay the soul and keep Bayard alive?!) Maybe Morrie should intercept anyway. Then they’ll know about her. But but but but but Bayard!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I worked hard on them, so I’m glad they worked out well 😊 playing with lightning effects was especially fun.

      There is! A connection, I mean. They share a body for a whole lifetime, after all. Err. How to explain. Basically, getting rid of all the bad mojo after death is really really reaaaaally hard, and they need all the encouragement they can get. This won’t come up in the story, but in my D&D game, the soul and spirit stay connected after death for a while. It stays aware of what it happening to its body through spirit. If a family member talks to their remains, they can actually hear it. In my campaign notes it’s explained as “We remember the dead so their souls do not get lost. So they do not fade away before they finish their journey. And we tend to their remains to maintain the connection to their soul for as long as possible. That is why we pray over the graves of the dead and light candles in their memory. For a final bit of kindness on the hardest journey they will ever make.”

      Hey, Aggro got punched once.. twice.. at least three times this chapter, so it’s a start 😁But yeah, he’s done some very bad things that I’m not going to go into details about. Lol, I love how you just casually chuck Richard in there too 😂

      Hehe, Arthur definitely got his moment of awesome there. I was hoping Lancelot and him would make readers swoon at least a little 😁

      Like

  4. I think my original comment went into the bog with Richard and Aggro. Sorry if you now have this, like, eight times.

    Interesting that you put that a body allows mortals to exist, so immortals can exist without one? Do they still have a form? Does Rupert (I’m using this name to encompass the whole dark demon thing now, not just the poor boy who got thrown in the swamp) need a form to ‘exist’ in the mortal realm so that’s why it’s body snatching? So Lincoln and Nimueh have been taking away this corruption; I wonder what they do with it? Cleanse it and send it back to the ether? use it for their own benefit somehow? Also, what sort of shape is Lincoln’s spirit in after being Nimueh’s glorified muck bucket?

    Oh balls. Rupert is intelligent? Not just some greedy hate demon? ‘Go after the strongest creatures first’ So *that* is why Cenred the Great is hiding outside. Oh no, wait, “I need to locate the source!” he yells to her brain as she runs off. Does she really know what that is and why it’s significant? God, this bloke. She doesn’t really understand everything, she’s terrified, she’s panicking and all right, he has work to do, but come on now, Cenred, you know she won’t just stop and turn around and say ‘OK! I’ll just casually forget that everyone’s in immediate danger, let’s both stare at the lake for a while!” She needs you to help her see the bigger picture. And then after she’s gone he’s just like ‘oh well, back to staring’.

    Why am I so damn angry?

    Elyan looks so poorly. “You’re not Gaius.” This still cracks me up. Ah, Aggro an obvious arsehole, that we can all appreciate. Although that panicked look… Aggro certainly knows a lot more than he lets on. Although, ‘he needs to die’… will that help? Maybe he’s not trying to help. Hm.

    Ah, yes, *now* Cenred tells her what she needs to know. Of course Rupert’s going to go after the witch princess. The world doesn’t acknowledge her strength, but Rupert does.

    Oh, Gawain. No noble and yet so foolish. VERY interesting bit from Aggro there about knowing the hell that would be unleashed and also ‘my kingdom’ and also an interesting bit about Gawain taking down a bad man with a knife. I like the contrasting versions and I feel there’s more to both. Neither side is going to win here, so I’ll just enjoy Aggro being punched in the face and giggle over Gawain looking all innocent.

    Bollocks indeed, Morgana. Woo! Here comes Lancelot to save the day. Yes, defenceless poor little Morgana. Hee hee. YAY ARTHUR. This whole last scene is full of bad decisions and terrible things are probably going to happen but yay! Three heroes in action, Aggro getting free dentistry, no one died and we’re at the end of the arc so nothing could go wrong now! I’m going to go put the bunting up in anticipation of the happy ending.

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    1. Only once! I’m pretty sure Richard and Aggro ate the other seven. 😆

      Some very good questions that I’m not sure I can answer any of them without being spoilery, but here goes. In my head there’s both – dead bodies possessed by bad spirit and incorporeal, ghost-like spirit (sometimes good but usually bad) that takes on the characteristic of the body it had (like Ada back in arc 1). But the ghosty version can’t actually hurt/torment anyone unless that person is very, very sensitive. What state Lincoln’s spirit is in very much depends on how well Nimueh has been cleaning her muck bucket.

      Haha, I love your concerned outrage. He did try, but she wasn’t exactly listening anymore by that point either. 😅 He definitely could have tried a little harder than that, though. Maybe lake-staring his his way of looking broody and mysterious. I’ll ask him later.

      Always good to have the obvious bumholes to offset the vague bumholes!

      Is there more to both? I suppose you’ll find out eventually 😁 no harm writing it down in your shiny notebook, either way. I enjoyed Aggro getting punched in the face way too much. I only really needed 1-3 pictures but I ended up with 20 of them all from different angles and with other punch-poses. Ah, so satisfying.

      Bollocks has become the word they use when everything has gone to hell 😂 Yes! Put up all the bunting, and all the…. I just realized that I have no idea what the other decorations are called in English. Balloons. Yes. Let’s go with balloons.

      Edit: According to Cenred, staring into the lake is not, in fact, his way of looking broody and mysterious but “trying and failing to contact the bloody-” aaaaand I’ll cut it off right there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘Disclaimer: violence’
    Me: yessss -u-

    I really love the description of nature, mind body and soul in the beginning < 3 Honestly this intro really sums up how terrible the problem is. Like you can really see the actual, horrific threat of the purple mist. Looks like Morgana can't play people like she usually would do in a situation like this- no way she can do that with a terrifying supernatural force anyhow. I feel like she's going to have to go straight for the problem. I'm rooting for you Morgana! Do it for Gawain and Arthur and Gwen and Sarah!

    FUCK OFF AGGRO I hope Gawain just punches him honestly. If not I will do it myself, through the screen. Elyan doesn't need to die, Aggro does!

    I really like how sometimes when we come back to a scene, it starts with the same line it left off on- gives it a sort of TV series feel, which probably makes no sense to you, like most of what comes out of my mouth.

    And I thought I couldn't love Gawain even more! He gets 1000 more points from me for being the shit out of Aggrovaine. Gaius's response was hilarious XD That end bit with Arthur kicking Bayard out the way, the lightning, the pose is all really cool. Sorry for the comment spam, but I plan to finish this tomorrow/Monday < 3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “‘Disclaimer: violence’
      Me: yessss -u-“
      Bwahahaha 🤣 yup, a great fit, you are. Have another cup of tea 😊

      I’ve read explanations of “body and soul” or “mind and body” growing up, but it always felt as if something was missing. The separation of body, soul and spirit is an idea I reached after a very long time and that I’m also using in my games. You’re right – ballroom manipulations and games of deceit are not going to be very effective against a malefic source of energy that thrives on suffering.

      It does make sense, actually! I repeat the last line in a scene on purpose sometimes, when things are happening simultaneously and I’m switching back and forth between characters.

      Gaius is entirely done with almost everyone’s shenanigans 🤣 and yay, Aggro-violence points! Trust me when I say that you are not the only one that was happy to see Agravaine knocked down a peg – literally. Nooo don’t apologise for comment spam! I love comment spam! You can leave me all the comment spam you like – I leave paragraphs of word vomit on your chapters too, after all.

      Liked by 1 person

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