3.4 – Hollow Imitation

“Repeat after me, Henry,” Emrys spoke, his voice echoing through the forest. “If magick must be wielded-” 

“It will be not my hand that harms,” the boy replied, a bright smile on his face as he placed his hand on his chest. Emrys gave him an approving smile before continuing with the ritual. His words drifted across the pine-filled clearing, joined by Henry’s as they echoed out for all to hear. 
 
“If one must be lost-” 
“It will be my honour for yours.” 
“If one must be forsaken-” 
“It will be my soul for yours.” 
“Should death come to one-” 
“It will be my life for yours. I am given.” 

The druid nodded at him as his expression grew serious. Emrys raised his arm in the air, his fingers trailing across the edged of the circle and sensing the energy. With confidence, he called out to the boy within.
“Ground yourself, Henry.”

He did. The others watched as Henry closed his eyes, tightly grasping the gemstone in his hands. His breathing slowed. A breeze passed through the circle, picking up the fallen leaves and making them scatter around his small form.  

For a moment, nothing happened.  

Until nature answered. 

“How do you feel?” Emrys asked, looking down on the boy with a proud smile on his face as he undid the circle.  

“Great!” Henry beamed back at him. “My arms are all tingly! And my legs, too! Did the skulls glow? They did, didn’t they?!” 
“They sure did,” Emrys smiled.  
“I knew it! So can I start practicing magic now? For real? Without hurting anyone?” 

“Yes, Henry. You won’t harm anybody.” 
“Yes!” The boy cheered. “I’m going to make things fly with spirit magick, just like you! You’ll see!” 

“Easy there, sprout,” Emrys smiled, ruffling the boy’s hair as the group of druids around them chuckled. “That’s still a little advanced for you. Let’s start with the basics.” 
“Like spirit magick?!” 
“Like thanking the Goddess that you have magick,” Emrys said, gently correcting him. “Gratitude is important, Henry. And you’ll need to learn proper control first. If you want, we can cast a new circle, and-” 
“Aw man, another ritual?” the boy pouted. “I just did one! Ritual spells are boring! I wanna cast big spells and make things fly, like you do!” 

The druid raised a single eyebrow in amusement at his words. 
“Now, now. I don’t make things fly-” 

“You so do! You did before- you made that bandit fly! I remember that! I want to learn to do that, too, and change the direction of the wind, and heal wounds – oh! And turn into a grizzly bear just like-” 

His enthusiastic rambling drew another round of chuckles from the crowd. Emrys shook his head at the boy, an amused smile playing on his lips. Henry’s eagerness betrayed his youth. It was the exact opposite of how a responsible druid was supposed to act. But Emrys couldn’t blame him for it. Henry was just a child, after all. Patience, as well as wisdom, would only come with age and experience. It would be a long time before Henry could be trusted to cast on his own. If it were up to his parents, he wouldn’t have gone through the ceremony at all at this age.  

But Emrys knew better. He knew that not being allowed to do something just made it all the more tempting to do it. As a child, he had been the exact same way – and so had Morgana. The two of them had snuck out into the woods time and time again, to test out the contents of what he had managed to sneakily read in his grandmother’s tome.  

Neither of them had known what they were doing. Morgana hadn’t even learned the basics of casting. Their behaviour had been beyond reckless. Any number of disasters could have happened. In hindsight, it was a miracle that their haphazard casting hadn’t ended up in them getting seriously hurt – or hurting someone else.  

But Henry would not face that risk. Not while Emrys had anything to say about it. He had pushed for the boy to undergo the druidic ceremony because this way, he would be safe. Becoming a druid ensured that Henry could learn and grow without the risk of harming anyone. It would allow Emrys and the others to guide him on his path, gently, without risk to themselves. 

Becoming a druid protected Henry from the world… but also protected the world from him.  

As Emrys trailed away from the others, lost in thought, the sight of a familiar figure pulled him out of his musings. Muiri was standing on the other side of the clearing. She hadn’t joined the ceremony. That was very unusual for her. Emrys quickly thought back – the druidess had been aloof and absent-minded all day, barely interacting with the rest of his people. She hadn’t said more than a few words since the previous evening. Emrys could feel a sinking feeling in his stomach as he realised. 

He’d seen her act like that before.  

Worry took over. Emrys left the rest of the group behind, quickly making his way across the clearing. She didn’t notice him approach. His eyes narrowed as he saw Muiri staring down at her hands, her body completely frozen and her eyes cloudy and unfocused.  

That wasn’t good. 

Softly, the druid called out to her. 
“Muiri?” 

She blinked. Muiri slowly turn her head towards him, a vague sense of recognition reflecting in her expression. 
“…Emrys.” 
“What are you doing? Are you all right?” 
“I… it’s nothing,” she muttered. “I was just… lost in thought for a moment.” 

He took a step towards her and placed his hands on Muiri’s shoulders.  
“It doesn’t look like nothing. Are you sure you’re all right?” Emrys pressed, concern seeping through his voice. For a split second, Muiri’s faces was clouded by an annoyed expression. 
“Yes. I’m not going to collapse every time you take your eyes off me, Emrys.” 
Her words were a little harsher than normal. That wasn’t like her, either. Emrys raised a single eyebrow as he let go of Muiri, taking a step back.  

“I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just worried. The last time you acted like that-” 

“I know. I’m sorry,” the druidess sighed. “I’m all right, okay? Really.” 
“Have you had any visions lately?” 
“No. I haven’t.” 

Emrys didn’t believe her. Not for a second. But he knew that he couldn’t push her for answers – If he did, Muiri would just pull away and refuse to talk to him. It had happened before. The druid frowned, pushing his sense of unease down for her sake. 
“I… see. If you did, you would tell me, right?” 

She didn’t answer. Her eyes clouded over again, and Emrys knew that the conversation was over. The druid let out a sigh.  
“Very well. Just… make sure to join us for dinner later, all right? You haven’t eaten anything all day.” 
“I will,” she nodded. It wasn’t very convincing. But Emrys knew that he couldn’t press her there, either. Every once in a while, Muiri would simply become like that, turning completely antisocial and withdrawing into her shell. The druid had tried to pry answers out of her in the past, but without success. If anything, his insistence had just made it worse. He didn’t have choice – Emrys knew that he had to wait it out.  

She would come to him eventually. 
She always did.  


The silence of the town hospital was deafening. Elyan had moved over to the side of the bed, having woken up with his leg dangling over the edge of his mattress. He had spent the last three minutes silently staring down at it. Glaring at his limb. Willing it to do something.
Anything.  

Eventually, the dark-haired noble placed his hands on his leg, wrapping his fingers around the exposed skin. He frowned. 

Move. 

But his leg wouldn’t respond. It wouldn’t lift, no matter how hard he tried.  

It wouldn’t move. 

From his waist down, Elyan felt nothing. A strange, distant numbness, drowning out all sense of familiarity in what had once been his legs. Like someone had removed his limbs overnight and replaced them with a pale, hollow imitation.  
An imitation that couldn’t move.  

“I’m sorry, Elyan. You’ll never walk again.” 

Elyan let out a sigh. He leaned back against the bedpost, leaving his numb, useless limb hanging over the edge. Gaius’s words echoed in his mind, plaguing his thoughts and refusing to leave his head.  

You’ll never walk again.  

Elyan couldn’t take it. He tried to think of something else – anything else. Anything to distract him from the future that he saw lying ahead. The dark-haired noble quickly found his mind pulled in a different direction. His head turned towards the other side of the hospital room. The Crown Prince of Mercia was being treated just opposite of him. They couldn’t see each other – but he could hear him. In a soft voice, Elyan called out.  

“Bayard? Are you awake?” 

It didn’t take long for a reaction to come. Elyan could hear his rival’s voice drift over from the other bed.  
“I am.” 
“How are you feeling?”  
“Like your torturer had a little too much fun bending my limbs on the rack,” Bayard replied wryly. “I didn’t even know that I could be this sore.” 
“Can you move?” 
“Nothing is broken,” he responded. “Gaius checked every bone in my body to make sure. Everything is severely bruised and will be sore for weeks, but I’ll heal… apparently. Bloody twisted sorcery,” the Crown Prince of Mercia added, growling between his teeth. 

Elyan leaned back, somewhat relieved. Bayard sounded strong. Recovered. He would probably be back to normal in a few weeks. It was more than the dark-haired noble could say for himself. Elyan’s thoughts trailed back to the tournament, the memories of that day flashing before his eyes before he could push them down.  

That thing… it wasn’t him.  

Bayard never would have done that. It had been something else. Something dark.  

Even now, the memory of it made his stomach turn.

The dark-haired noble struggled with himself. He wasted a few moments by pulling his leg onto the matress, before finally bracing himself and voicing his thoughts out loud. 
“…How… how much do you remember?” 

The heavy, sullen silence that followed made a strange, unpleasant knot form in his stomach. Elyan hadn’t expected an actual answer. But the complete lack of response from Bayard said enough. It hurt more than he thought it would, too. The dark-haired noble could feel that sinking feeling in his stomach getting worse. He had overstepped. Elyan was halfway through forming an apology, trying to think of better words, when Bayard’s voice suddenly rang out from the other side of the room.  

“All of it.” 

“I remember all of it. I remember that thing getting me in the woods. It took control of me. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I remember my entire body going cold, like someone had grabbed me and tossed me into a lake full of ice water. And I couldn’t get back to the surface.” 
“Did you know what was happening?” Elyan asked. 
“I did. I could feel it moving my limbs around, like I was a bloody puppet on a string. I couldn’t control any of it. But I could see. I could feel what it did. All of my senses still worked. I couldn’t shut those out no matter how hard I tried. I saw myself going after your Princess during the tournament. I heard the screams. I felt Arthur and his men stabbing me.” 

“I felt… all of it.” 

“I can live with it,” Bayard continued, his voice abruptly going back to a brusque tone. “I’ve lived with war. I’ve had all kinds of injuries. I’ve hurt and killed people in the past. Everything that you can expect from a battlefield. I can live with all of it.” 

The Crown prince of Mercia fell silent. His breathing changed. When Bayard spoke again, his voice was so soft that it was almost inaudible.  

“I… don’t know if I can live with what I did to you.” 

“Bayard… that wasn’t you,” Elyan muttered. “That’s not… you didn’t do any of that. It’s not your fault that I… that I can’t…” 


The Lady of the Lake sighed, looking out over the trail of destruction that her encounter with Ceb had left behind.

“For Goddess’s sake.” 
A barrage of ice spikes trailed through her sanctuary, embedded in the ground and piercing the sides of her barrier. Her flowers had been trampled. Glowing mushrooms were torn to shreds. The water surrounding her wellspring had darkened significantly. it was a complete mess.
Nimueh could have dealt with all of that –

But she could not remove the gigantic boulders that Ceb had hurled at her. It was impossible. Stone and earth was so far out of her domain that the Lady of the Lake had no control over it. She couldn’t move them. Nimueh rubbed the top of her nose, her frustration increasing tenfold as her fingers touched the still-healing wound on her face.  

The least he could have done was clean up after himself, she thought, annoyed. Now I’ll have to waste my dragon form on manual labour. Or ask a witch coven to move it back for me. Again.

Asking meant that she’d owe them another favour. Nimueh despised owing favours to humans more than anything. The Lady of the Lake let out another sigh, trying to decide if avoiding the humiliation of having to ask for help was worth losing her sanctuary over.

She did not get to deliberate for long. 

A sudden burst of magick reverbarated through her lair, making the entire sanctuary vibrate. The heavy sensation that followed was similar to that of a gigantic gong being struck. The noise was immediately unbearable. Nimueh covered her ears, crying out as a second burst of magick battered the outside of her barrier.

She knew exactly what the sudden barrage meant. Someone univited was trying to come in. And instead of knocking politely, they’d resorted to assaulting the edge of her barrier with the magical equivalent of a battering ram.

Ceb?
No. Ceb would just break through and come in. And she wouldn’t touch my barrier if her life depended on it.

As Nimueh pondered who it could be, her ears ringing from the magical assault, the Lady of the Lake suddenly realised that she didn’t care which one of the dragons it was. She had reached her limit. The next Fae to show its face would pay dearly for disturbing her. The air around her rapidly grew colder as new ice crystals began to form between her clawed fingers.

The Lady of the Lake slowly exhaled… and opened the barrier.

Almost immediately, the faerie ring at the edge of her lair activated. Nimueh could see the water rising up, swirling around itself in waves as someone forced their way through the passage.  

They were about to dearly regret that decision. Nimueh would make sure of it. The Lady of the Lake aimed her barrage of ice shards directly at the faerie ring, a growl escaping from her lips as her anger continued to swell.  

She didn’t care which Fae it was. Barging into her lair uninvited was the last thing they’d ever do.  

A shape began to materialise inside the faerie ring. Nimueh didn’t give herself time to look – with another growl, the water dragon released a volley of spikes. They soared across the sanctuary, aimed directly at the Fae that was materialising within the portal- 

But it wasn’t a Fae.

At the last second, the human in front of her released a burst of magick from her body. A strong gust of wind slammed into the volley of ice spikes. It was not enough to stop them, but just enough to make a few of them change direction, ever so slightly. It was barely more than a few inches. 

But it kept Morgause from dying on the spot.

The witch staggered, falling backwards as Nimueh’s spikes violently pierced the wall behind her. Two of them had torn right through her trousers and a third had barely missed her face, leaving a deep gash in her cheek that instantly started to bleed.

Nimueh took a step forward, her shoulders relaxing at the same time that an annoyed expression crossed her face.
“…oh. It’s you.”

Of course it was a human. She should have guessed. Nimueh let out an indignant huff as the witch stepped forward, leaving the barrage of ice shards behind. She narrowed her eyes at Morgause.
“Do you know what a closed barrier means, mortal? It means I don’t want guests.”

With the Fae, that warning alone would have been enough to send them apologizing on their knees. Then again, except for Ceb and Lincoln, most Fae would not dare come to her uninvited. It was universally despised among them as having atrocious manners. Her threats never seemed to have the same effect on humans, though. Not until she added deeds to her words and froze them in a block of ice.

This time was no different. Morgause barely responded to her words – if anything, her comment seemed to agitate the human even more. Nimueh watched as Morgause opened her mouth, a glimmer of anger flashing in her eyes.
“It don’t give a damn about what you-”

Then, her expression suddenly changed. Her words trailed off, falling silent as the human finally took in the trail of destruction around her. The giant slabs of stone laying haphazardly strewn around the sanctuary. The wicked ice spikes littering the grounds of her lair. Morgause’s gaze trailed from the giant rock next to the wellspring back to the Lady of the Lake, lingering on Nimueh’s cheek and lips.
“…what happened to your face?”

The nerve.
“A disagreement with an old friend,” Nimueh responded, anger flaring up at the human’s blatant display of discourtesy. Morgause raised a single eyebrow.
“You have a twisted way of treating your friends.”
“So it seems. Do you have a purpose for being here, or did barge in just so you could insult my relationships?”

That finally seemed to reach her. Morgause blinked, regaining focus. Nimueh fully expected the next words to come out of her mouth to be a heartfelt apology – but the lack of manners that humans displayed never ceased to surprise her.
“Lincoln. He went to you weeks ago and never returned.”
“So?” Nimueh shrugged. “You seem to be good at misplacing people.”

“I didn’t misplace anything,” Morgause growled in response. “He went to you. He never returned. Give him back.”
“I don’t have him.”
“What do you mean, you don’t have him?!”

Nimueh broke eye contact with Morgause, her gaze trailing off towards the wellspring.
“I chucked him into Avalon.”

“You WHAT?!”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Nimueh huffed. “I forgot that you mortals have trouble coming back out again and-”

She never got to finish her sentence. The Lady of the Lake watched in shock, then unbridled annoyance as Morgause dashed past her, jumping over the stones and boulders in her way.
“Hey! Morgause!

But the human didn’t listen. She jumped head-first into the wellspring, her body immediately vanishing beneath the water surface. Not a single ripple was made. Within moments, Morgause had vanished. As if the witch had never been there in the first place.

The Lady of the Lake couldn’t help it. She facepalmed, letting out the third frustrated sigh of the evening.

She was so incredibly fed up with humans.

“Oh, for Goddess’s sake.”

14 thoughts on “3.4 – Hollow Imitation

  1. Aw, bless little Henry, pledging his oath with his pretty rock. Ooh, damn. I’m sitting here, admiring the lovely scenery and the pretty, falling leaves and then notice the big ol’ creepy skulls in the background. I wonder what it means when the skulls glow. We’ve seen that rainbow-edged effect a few times and I associated it with black magick, but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s all magick. Interesting.

    Wait – who can turn into a bear? Didn’t they kill a bear? Ooh dear. I can’t focus on the gloom, though while Henry is babbling about flying, all giddy with the rush of energies. Ooh, did Muiri eat a funny mushroom? Is she having a vision? Oh, no, she’s not. Or she’s saying she’s not. So she is and she’s seeing something awful? Oof, yes. She is. Gah, who do those arms belong to?

    Ooh, hello Elyan. Ah, right, I forgot about the whole paralysis thing. Never walk again. Gah. He’s useless in that world now. My heart breaks for him. Like life wasn’t hard enough. Dude. It’s a strong place within him to not blame Bayard. It just makes this all so much worse. And Bayard, he felt it all. To know that was all happening and he couldn’t control it or stop it… no wonder he shed a tear when the knights were stabbing him. Oh man. Fuck. Sorry my words are just failing me right now, this is heart-breaking.

    Pretty sprite, terrifying spikes of doom, mushrooms, must be Nimueh’s house – lair? Ugh, CtfG, leaving all his crap lying around. Oh, is that the favour that Morgause performed for her? Housekeeping? That’s hilarious. All these dark theories we all had and you’re there trolling us with maid service. 😆 Another visitor? Nimueh, honey, you need a Ring Video Doorbell TM. I’ll buy you one for Yule. And a fluffy onesie, because you look cold. And dragon slippers. I wonder why she’s so attached to Morgause, I wonder what’s wrong with being thrown into a well (besides you know, drowning), I wonder why the sprites are circling it and I wonder why I’ve never noticed Nimueh’s tail.

    Wow I’m all a mess now. Great chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh, the filtered version is more elegant but also loses some of its charm 🤭

      The skulls glow for a variety of reasons, but which one is it here? I’d tell you, but we’ll get to them fairly quickly either way. We’re almost caught up to the prologue at this point. Maybe about… err… 3 chapters ish.

      They did kill a bear in the future. Or, well, Monoroe did. Yeeeees, ignore the doom and gloom and be distracted by Henry and his cute little face 🤭

      Bayard’s possession was even worse than it seemed in the finale. The soul is still there and tethered to the body, so not only is the person completely aware of everything that is happening, they feel everything that happens to their body, too. The cleansing magic healed his body, but even that can’t take the memory away. And all that because people didn’t pay proper respects to the dead. 😞

      House, dragon lair – same thing, basically. 😁 Cenred was a bad house guest who didn’t wipe his feet on the welcome mat and dragged mud all over the floor. No wonder Nimueh needs a maid service 🤭 Me? A troll? Naaaaaaaaaaah. *cough * I can very much recommend the Cat Camera – we’ll get her one of those, too. No fluffy onesie and dragon slippers for her though, I’m totally stealing those.
      What’s wrong with being thrown into a well completely depends on what’s on the other side of that well. Maybe it’s piranhas. Maybe it’s Australia. Maybe there’s nothing, and Lincoln is now a skeleton at the bottom.

      Nimueh’s tail, spikes, claws and wings actually show up and vanish depending on how agitated she is. It goes claws > tail & spikes > wings > eyes glowing. After that she’s too angry to maintain her form and shifts into a dragon. Unless she’s showing off deliberately, like when she threatened Morgause. This snippet has been brought to you by Yibbi Inc, Distributor of Useless Lore & Knowledge!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …You think swearing is charming? 😆

        Oh, yes, I forgot we were still in the past so the bear person is still alive now. Well, not now, then, which is now, because earlier happens later. So in that case… was Muiri seeing the events of the prologue? Bear shifter must be someone Monoroe didn’t know, or she wouldn’t have hunted a bear.

        Well. Look at you bringing the sunshine. You’re bloody good at this writing thing, did you know that? Your scenes actually haunt me. I want to get Elyan away from your loaded dice of doom before it’s too late. 😭 He can come and live in the Manor, benefit from the latest medical interventions, love whoever he likes and yes, occasionally, he may be be fed on, but that’s still way better than his life over there, you meanie.

        Oh yeah, they’re totally the same thing. When I browse online for houses I wish I could afford, I’m always getting ‘1BR Dragon Lair, Birmingham City Centre, needs renovation’ popping up. Stealing Nimueh’s gifts, are you? From this version or the unedited one? 😉 Ooh, imagine if the well went to Australia! Next scene is Lincoln in the outback partying with Foamy. Confirmed.

        Bonus lore! Yibbi Inc, hey? Look at all these companies we’ve founded in this last year; soon we won’t have to work at all we can just peddle Yibbi Inc’s Exploding Potatoes and Useless Lore, and Grimm Puzzles’ Half-Dead Doorstep Human game while we sit on our piles of money and churn out more chapters.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I’ll ask for the unedited one more often 🤭

        Was bear shifter someone Monoroe didn’t know? Were they the events of the prologue? What will happen to Sex God Tarquin? Tune in next time to find out on Tales of – Lol I can’t finish that. I’m dying to tell you all the secrets but spoilers. Ngggghhhhh. Must. Not. Spill. Everything.

        Thank you 🙈 I’m sorry that they’re haunting you but I’m glad that the scene did what I wanted it to. And to think that Elyan is one of my secret favourites. You wouldn’t think that with how badly I’m pulling him through the wringer. My loaded dice of doom have spoken, though. For all of them.
        Strap in.

        Bwahaha I’ll stick with this version. Gotta leave her something and I think that gift conveys how you feel about her pretty well. You don’t have dragon lairs for sale over in savory-pastry-land? Aw, that’s a shame. You’ll have to buy one here. Yeeeeeees Lincoln has been partying in the outback with Mercury this whole time! Canon. Canon now.

        I have so much Fae bonus lore that is burning my fingers and I can’t drop any of it because the story isn’t ready. Gah. I might have to retire Yibbi’s Exploding Potatoes and go back into Yibbi’s Threats of Eternal Mild Discomfort, because lately nobody has been that much of a fopdoodle. Not even Seth. And Morgyn is taking a nap. Where are all my rage-worthy characters at? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wait… wait. Are you suggesting that maybe she knew who bear person was and she hated them so much she thought, ‘I’ll feed them to the druids!’ 😱

        Sex god Tarquin. Those three words just don’t fit together. Hopefully he gets fossilised and sent to Nimueh to utilise. *snort* I’ll behave.

        Not even Seth?! 😆 We’re all just having a rage lull. All your favourites will be back to infuriate you shortly, I’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this kid just wanting to dive straight into the big stuff. We both know from various stories that diving into the deep end with magic can only mean bad things!

    That’s a big change in Elyan’s life, I feel awful for him. And for Bayard, to feel someone else physically controlling you like that, just feels horrible XC Although Bayard was under someone else’s control it’s such a life altering thing for Elyan I wonder if Elyan deep down is a bit sort of like…mad at Bayard but in a sort of misguided way. Like when you know something isn’t someone’s fault but you’re still mad at them because of how badly something has affected your life that they somehow had a hand in in some way.

    Kind of wish I was one of the Fae at this point. My own pocket dimension, mostly uninterrupted, plus dragons? Yes please. Ohh goodness I had a feeling Morgause would either attempt to attack Nimueh or jump in after Lincoln. Hopefully they can both come back somehow…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bad things? With going overboard at magic? Wherever could you have gotten that idea? 😁😂

      Being mad at someone while knowing it wasn’t their fault and being unable to let go is one of the worst feelings ever. It usually goes paired with an unhealthy amount of guilt over feeling angry, too. Elyan is putting on a tough front, but has he really forgiven Bayard? Can Bayard forgive himself? I suppose time will tell.

      Oof, I can relate to that mood. If a Fae were to show up tomorrow and invite me over, I’d go with them without a second thought. Haha, your own pocket dimension will require some work, though 🤭 not everyone can make one of those. No choice – you’ll just have to become Snowbnuuy the Dragon. I’m thinking white, or maybe Silver.

      Hopefully they can. You’ve probably noticed by now but that’s not an ordinary well. We’ll see what happened real soon, though. Like, next chapter, probably.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha you’ve just given me a drawing idea : P And yeah that’s what I’m thinking, it strikes me as one of those things where you can go in but not come out again which hopefully is not the case X_X

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  3. I feel terrible pity for Elyan and Bayard 😭
    That Bayard remembers all the details must be awful to bear.
    I pray that a healer with magical abilities can help Elyan. That would not be unlikely in this magical universe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Writing the scene was not much easier. I kept alternating between feeling horribly guilty about what I was doing to both of them and looking away in discomfort because half-naked Elyan kept waggling his eyebrows and smiling in between poses because he was in a flirty mood.

      The idea of not being in control of yourself yet understanding everything that happens to you is absolutely horrifying to me. Even moreso if you witness yourself hurting others.

      You might get your wish – there’s a number of healers in the story already. Maybe one of them will reach Elyan. 😔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elyan may not have the best starting point for feeling flirtatious. How funny 😂
        I can see you’ve had your challenges managing him.

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  4. Henry is super cute. Though it makes me wonder, if the druids undergo the ritual that prevenrts them from casring any harmful spells this young, how did Emrys get away with not doing the ritual – he likely joined them as a child himself?

    Not to mention the interesting hypocricy of him pushing for the boy to make that oath way before he’s old enough to even know what he’s committing too, all the while Emrys has never done so, and even as an adult doesn’t think ot would be a good idea to do so. I wonder how he justifies that to himself. Probably something along the lines of “oh, if I made the oath too, nobody could protect them”… “oh, I’ve controlled myself for this long, so I’m attuned enough to to without the oath, but they can’t be trusted to do the same” … definitely some double standards going on.

    Oof, that moment with Elyan and Bayard was heavy. I’m not even sure which one of the. I feel worse for, both of their lives will be dorever changed. Elyan will never walk which during his time would have been extremely difficult… but at least so far his mind is in a good state, he is not vengeful towards Bayard, which is something not many in his shoes would be capable of. Meanwhile Bayard’s body is fine but he’ll forever be mentally scarred by the experience. He probbaly wishes he did have some permanent injuries. Time will tell which of them has been dealt a better hand…

    I wonder what Morgause and Nimueh’s first meeting was like. Of course Morgause might not even remember it. Their relationship is pretty interesting, with Morgause rarely being afraid of the lady of the lake. Seems that approach works better than the reverance the other throw at her, haha. Hopefully Lincoln being in Avalon means more to Morgause than it does to me. Is she able to retrieve him from there, or even travel there at all? Guess we shall see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, good question. How did Emrys escape the ritual himself? He’s adamant to make Henry go through it. But he also stated that Henry’s parents actually weren’t planning on making him do it for a while yet.

      I think you’re the first one to point that out. Emrys advocates really strongly for protecting Henry as well as those around him, but he noticeably didn’t do the same for himself. Maybe Emrys knows something else. Maybe he’s a fussbucket and too worried. Maybe he likes the power. Maybe he’s a closeted potato. Time will tell which one of those it is. 😗

      I love that you noticed that parallel ❤ comparison? Theme? I have no idea what the word is. Am failing to English. Let’s hope you know what I mean 😂This isn’t the last we’ve seen of Bayard and Elyan – they’re not the focus of this arc, but there’s a few more scenes starring both of them that are in the works.

      Morgause has a strange relationship with a very large number of my cast, come to think of it. There’s a logic behind all of it, I promise. Haha, well, you know what they say – 99 people bowing their heads will not be remembered, but the 1 person scowling definitely will be. You’ll find out what’s going on with Lincoln real soon! Next chapter, in fact 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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