“My queen, we can’t hold the northern gate much longer,” Sir Gingalain, Knight of Camelot, stammered as he came staggering into the Great Hall, his haggard face contorted with pain. His breath came in ragged gulps, his cape was torn and caked with blood, his mail shirt had large holes in it, and he was bleeding from wounds to numerous to count. He managed to take a few more unsteady steps before his sword fell from his hand and it clattered loudly on the flagstones. Then he fell and died without another sound in front of a horrified Guinevere. More knights, also heavily wounded, came staggering into the Great Hall, all bearing the same message: Camelot was about to fall, the Saxons were too numerous, too strong. Slowly the floor turned crimson, the air became heavy with an oppressive sweet and metallic stench. Guinevere slumped on her throne and her trembling hands covered her eyes. “Arthur, Arthur, why did you have to die,” she lamented, rocking to and fro, hot tears now streaming down her face, “Why, why, why...”. She had never felt so alone in her life, never felt so afraid. “And I never got the chance to say farewell.” Arthur dead, Gwaine dead, Gaius and Merlin gone missing, and Percival, loyal and strong Percival gone too. He had never been able to come to terms with Gwaine’s death, and soon after that fateful day at Camlann five years ago he had silently gone away, a broken man consumed by inconsolable grief. “I need you Arthur, I need you so much,” Guinevere whispered. Fierce fighting could now be heard in the hallways, the clanging of arms mixing with the shouts of the attackers and the dying groans of even more Knights of Camelot. page 4
Suddenly the doors were violently thrown open and a man came striding forth, clad in dirty leathers and furs and various bits of dented armour, the tip of his bloodied sword scraping the floor. Two more men came in, one nudging Sir Gingalain none too gently with the tip of his scruffy boot, rolling him over, another knight was dragged aside, creating a clear path towards the throne. The clamour of fighting had now stopped, and an eerie silence had descended over the Great Hall making the heavy footsteps of the man even more ominous. “My queen,” he said mockingly as he reached the throne, and he made a florid and utterly contemptuous bow. Guinevere could smell his putrid breath, saw his yellow and brown teeth, some of them missing and all of them broken. Slowly and with great effort she rose, trying to look as regal as possible in the face of impending doom. Before Gwen could say anything, the man said: “I think you are sitting on my throne,” and he beckoned two of his warriors. “Take her away and throw her in some dungeon. And clean up this mess,” he shouted to no one in particular, waving to the fallen knights. All her willpower, all her strength had fled now, and Gwen almost collapsed on the floor, but she managed to hold on to the throne, keeping her from falling. None too gently the warriors seized her by the arms and dragged her away, through the corridors and into the courtyard. For a brief moment she opened her eyes, but quickly closed them again, the image of the ghastly blend of red capes and red blood of hundreds of fallen Knights of Camelot was too much for her to bear. Finally they threw her in a dungeon and with a loud reverberating clang the grille closed, leaving Guinevere lying on the cold stone floor, all alone. In the Great Hall King Maleagant of the Saxons plumped down on Arthur’s throne and laughed. Camelot had fallen. page 5
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