Andarien

Apr. 16th, 2007 08:09 pm
[personal profile] inthetapestry
Amairgen's ship arrives the day before the battle, and there they are all met, at last, and for what may be the last.

Andarien. The plain in front of Starkadh.



There are not enough of them, and, barring a miracle, they will lose. This is something of which they are all very well aware.


Diarmuid dan Ailell dies that evening, when he takes the challenge meant for Arthur Pendragon, and goes forth to defend Jennifer's honor. He is the first casualty.



The next day there are many, many more.

Date: 2007-04-21 04:37 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (Maugrim's lieutenant)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
Galadan had been long and long in the waiting, buried under the pile of corpses, men and wolves both, the smell of blood heavy against his skin.

Heavy and heady, too, that smell. For he can feel it now, there just beyond his fingertips--the end of his long life's work.

And so it is that Galadan springs forth quick and silent, hand reaching for Owein's Horn where it hangs at the berserker's belt, reaching for the Horn that will set the Wild Hunt free to ride and kill until there is none left breathing on this world or any other.

It is a moment to be savored, and Galadan indulges himself for one fraction of a second before he places the Horn to his lips and, with all the power of his bitter soul, sounds the call to ride.

Date: 2007-04-23 03:16 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (say it ain't so!)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
Everyone else is relaxing.

Paul can see it, all around him, as sorrow for Darien melds with the quiet joy of victory. They are appropriate reactions for the end of a battle that has been won at great cost; it is the relief and the exhaustion of the end.

Except it is not the end.

Paul can feel it, power vibrating within him, stronger than ever before. At first he thinks it was just one more sign of his isolation, his otherness, but dismisses the thought impatiently; now is not the time to indulge in feelings of loneliness. Never is the time to indulge in feelings of loneliness. What is, is.

There is a significance to this. Something is coming.

His is not a power of war, it's true. It is a power of the Summer Tree, of the God, of defense, of affirmation of life, and even now that the Dark has been defeated something is coming that may threaten all of that.

He turns to scan the horizon. His eyes fall on Aileron, riding back with Arthur on one side and Aileron on the other; the figures of what Paul is not, of battle-strength. As Kim is. As Dave is, even, in his apparent ordinariness, with his axe and his horn -






And suddenly Paul understands what is coming, and turns to look for Dave, to shout the warning before it is too late.

It is already too late.

Date: 2007-04-23 03:29 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (b&w days of yesteryear)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
The sound of the Horn soars above everything, thin and cold as the light of torches half-seen through a shadowed forest, candles in the halls of the grieving, bleak sunrises over wintry seas.

In short, it is all light that casts no warmth, it tells a tale of shelters too far away for reaching, intended for someone else. Anyone else.

But Galadan hears it. He hears it well.

As the sound of the Horn dies away, Galadan's hand drops to his side, eyes wide and winter-grey in the light.

"I heard it. How did I hear Owein's Horn?"

It is too great a thing to understand, here and now.

Or ever, quite possible.

For the Hunt comes.

And death, as ever, rides with them.

Date: 2007-04-25 08:02 am (UTC)
takiena_called: (lead us to the sky)
From: [personal profile] takiena_called
In a moment Owein and the shadowy kings of the Wild Hunt are there, and unsheathing a deadly sword before them all is the child who was once Finn dan Shahar.

And now leads the kings whose presence means death.

Owein cries, in wild joy, and the kings raise their voices to echo him. They ride, blurring like smoke through the sky.

Date: 2007-04-29 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
In another life, Arthur Pendragon has seen the Hunt ride, joyful and terrible, to harry the Dark. This Hunt also seeks blood, but its quarry fights in the Light's name. "Owein, hold!" cries Arthur, reaching into one set of memories for the means by which the High Magic might, in grave need, bind the Wild Magic.

Whether because Arthur is too far from the world from which High Magic comes, or because Owein and his Hunt are not Herne and his Hunt, or because the High Magic rarely succeeds in dominating the Wild Magic, the binding fails.

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Date: 2007-04-24 03:06 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (paul watches)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn


Jaelle rises first from the side of the dead boy.

Paul stands after, feeling power within him, settling over the sorrow for now: still it is not over. Not even yet.

"With everything that has happened today," he says, aloud - Jaelle, he is aware, is listening, but he's speaking to himself as much as her - "there is one thing left to be done, and it is mine to do, I think."

He walks through a group of men, standing about helplessly towards the center of the plain. They part as he passes.

It is very quiet.

The last few men step aside, and Paul is facing Galadan, at the center of the circle.

"We meet for the third time," he says, "as I promised you we would."

So many people he has promised: Moiraine, Wellard, Kim, Amairgen . . .

"I told you in my own world that the third time would pay for all."

Date: 2007-04-24 03:10 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (pondering days gone by)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
Galadan moves nary a muscle as Paul approaches, winter-grey eyes fierce as ever they have been.

His hands, however, are tighly fisted, flexing and releasing as he watches the Lord of the Summer Tree approach.

The third time pays for all, indeed.

And Galadan's long, careful vengeance is spent, and not well.

There is nothing left.

Nothing.

And so he watches Pwyll Twiceborn, waiting for his death.

It may yet be swift.

Date: 2007-04-24 03:16 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (paul watches)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
"Wolflord, I can see in any darkness you might shape and shatter any blade you could try to throw," Paul goes on.

His voice is low, but it has all the intensity in it of his own driven personality, as well as the authority granted him by the god. He is both Paul and Twiceborn in this moment, as balanced as he has ever been.

"I think you know that this is true."

Date: 2007-04-24 03:19 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (pondering days gone by)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
And still Galadan stands, scarred head held high and proud, light gleaming off the streak of silver in his hair.

He is silent a moment, gathering himself.

His voice, when he speaks, is nothing at all like it was the last time Paul heard it.

The weariness of centuries is on him, now, memories long-denied rising up thick and fast in the wake of his failure, in the wake of the Horn's call.

He opens his hands, fingers splayed and empty at his side.

There is, at this moment, nothing hidden in his sleeve.

"I have no blades left to throw. It might have been different had the dog not saved you on teh Tree, but I have nothing left now, Twiceborn. The long cast is over."

He is done.

It is more a relief than he might have thought.

Date: 2007-04-24 03:24 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (intensly broody)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
Paul recognizes the exhaustion in Galadan's voice; without something like it, he himself could never have gone to the Summer Tree.

Still, he does not speak yet.

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Date: 2007-04-30 03:39 am (UTC)
takiena_called: (dying)
From: [personal profile] takiena_called
There's pain.

There's so much pain that he can barely register it, can barely think (what happened?). More pain than he ever thought he could feel.

And then something--hands--grasp him, and move him, and he knows he was wrong as he has a brief flash of black when the pain trebles for those few moments.

A voice he knows speaks, and brushes aside his hair with familiar calloused hands.

He forces his eyes open, and he stares up into the face.

"Father," he greets him (what else can he do?), with the very little breath he can manage.

Date: 2007-04-30 04:38 am (UTC)
takiena_called: (dying)
From: [personal profile] takiena_called
It hurts, but the corner of Finn's mouth curls up somewhat, in answer.

He know that resting is only a stopgap--he is not familiar with personal injury, but he's killed enough to know the fall was (will be) fatal. But his father is here, holding him, and it will give him some short comfort.

Finn owes him that much, and more.

He takes another shallow breath, and closes his eyes.

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Date: 2007-05-04 05:12 am (UTC)
bannion_sight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bannion_sight
There's a cleared space on top of the ridge, one with enough room for the wounded to gather.

There are a great many of them.

Jaelle is at one side of the field, and Kim at the other. She's rolled up her sleeves and is working as quickly as she can, to the best of her ability.

She doesn't look at the Baelrath, darkened and dead on her finger.

Date: 2007-05-04 05:34 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (intensly broody)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
Down in the morass of men and arms, Paul has been coming to the slow, suffocating realization that in the fighting, he is nothing but a liability.

"Go join the others!" he shouts, to the two men with him. "I'm no help here! I'm going back up on the ridge - I can do more there!"

He jogs back up, meeting up with Teyrnon and Barak on the way; the mage and his source have been meeting with equal frustration.

Beyond the circling enemy swans, the sun has reached its zenith and is heading down. Paul catches sight of Kim with the wounded, and changes direction, going to kneel down beside her.

"I'm useless down there," he says, quickly. "What can I do?"

Date: 2007-05-04 05:45 am (UTC)
bannion_sight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bannion_sight
"You too?"

There's real pain in the gray eyes, but Kim just gestures at the nearest roll of bandages.

"Pass me those." She takes up a roll of cloth and begins to bandage the leg of a Dwarf.

She doesn't know his name. Usually she knows her patients' names.

It bothers her more than she'd ever thought it would.

Date: 2007-05-04 05:46 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (listening.  grudgingly.)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
You, too?

Kim has the Baelrath. "What do you mean?" Paul asks, frowning,

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Date: 2007-05-05 08:51 am (UTC)
still_golden: (Saddest tale of all)
From: [personal profile] still_golden
In Fionavar, in the first of all worlds, in the aftermath of the battle that bound and undid the Unraveller . . .

Sometimes, the pattern of the Tapestry weaves in unexpected ways.

Arthur was so sure that he would die before the end -- for so it always had been -- and yet the battle is over, and here he stands, with Guinevere and Lancelot both. In the east, Dana's full moon hangs, though tonight is not a full moon night.

Pwyll Twiceborn stretches out his arms to the west and calls the sea.

And it comes, rolling silver over Andarien's plain.

After a few minutes, those watching can see a figure on the waves; a boat, they finally see, long and beautiful with a single sail, steered by none other than Flidais, who had been Taliesin.

When he turns to Arthur, he bows very low and says humbly, "My lord, I have been sent to bring you home. Will you come aboard, that we may sail by the light of the Loom to the Weaver's Halls?"

Arthur lifts his head, and turns to Guinevere. There are no pleas, no tears in her green eyes -- only love.

"I am only allowed you, Warrior," Flidais whispers. "We have so far to go, the waters are so wide."

"Not so." Paul, still speaking as more than himself. "It is allowed. I am deep enough to let this come to pass."

Guinevere thinks, as Arthur turns to her and smiles, that if her joy were any greater she would light up the sky like the moon. "Will you take me with you where you go?" she asks Arthur. "Is there a place for me among the summer stars?"

He steps forward, takes her hand, and leads her onto the boat, the lord and his lady.

Which leaves only their champion.

As they turn back to look at Lancelot, Paul says again, "It is allowed if you will it so. All of the price has been paid."

Arthur cries out in joy and stretches out his hand. "Oh, Lance, come! Oh, come!"

Lancelot hesitates for only a moment, then steps forward to take Arthur's hand, and Guinevere's, and join them at long last, healed and whole.

And finally, as the boat begins to draw away, Paul kneels to greet the shape at his side -- Cavall, the great grey dog -- and murmur into his fur, "Farewell, great heart. I will never forget."

Cavall turns and leaps and lands at his master's feet, and together -- finally, finally together -- they sail out to the summer stars.

Further up and further in!

Date: 2007-05-06 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
Kim Ford raised two kings named Arthur at Glastonbury Tor. The Childslayer and the King of the Summer Country, called together into one body, fought beside the men and women of Fionavar.

The war has ended, now, and all of the prices have been paid. As the boat sails into the sky, one Arthur slips away from it.

No one notices but Cavall, who makes a small noise in his throat, and that Arthur once called Childslayer, who scratches Cavall's neck, and looks from Lancelot to Guinevere in wonder. Go in peace, brother, thinks the Warrior. May your rest be as fair as mine.

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