Merlin 2:34 “Forest of October”
Now it rests upon the rake of year when the trees in ethereal luxury postpone life for their kernels, when their color firstly fades as the squirrels begin to turn their tongues silver eating acorns and hiding the rest for colder frights, to stave the winter nights in frigid climes, with only seeds never daring cut the giant weeds of woods of trees that feed them. Thereof the time of the rains by days after morrow, as the earth is most fertile black to taunt the farmers as the silver wolves are fatted from nature’s fetters leaving carcasses to cause fetid waters bestrewn in the dank forest.
Etain walks contemplative at mercy of the breeze and her steps are warm irons drying the peat and fallen leaves from beneath the canopy, autumn will be denied post requiem until she passes. Lynn glides and flies truly like the fog of dreich many miles outward. Halle is only seen with her hand against a tree, but in witchcraft saving time for her from tree to tree in teleportation incorporeal. She is the first to arrive at a red tree in the woods, in time Etain joins her with a flame in hand, she tries to throw the fire at Halle, a duel of duplicitous dark magic, the fire returns to its source, ashes from the quintessence, she reaches forward again this next with her fingernails turned blue by a cold witching that stings, drawing out her hand a fist of fire, in thoroughfare the air is heavy in the hands of time as a blue wave of lightwind contends Etain to wade in pressing a backdraft against it. Lynn gliding midair appears and contravenes.
Lynn: “Crown of thorns!”
Halle: “We were just;”
Lynn: “Fighting? Like petty men?”
Etain: “Ere petty.”
Lynn: “We are days from the eve of all hallows, even though I have done this the once, forsooth wheretofore I am adding of the new material, so doth the pace of my endeavor hit the skids."
Etain: “Precious liberty seeks but innocence and coven.”
Lynn: “Who is manipulative conniving? I want them dead!”
There is almost echo to her anger as the crows scatter, reluctant answer to her pause is silence.
Lynn: (pointing, to Halle) “You will kill the woman, of fiery fowl, then the swordsman.”
Halle: “I may pine to end a fire, but I cannot kill them both.”
Etain: “You love them?”
Lynn: “They will succeed themselves and pass the lie that they are kings among men.”
Halle: “No, the prick with wicked banner sail is undying.”
Lynn: “…intriguing, he dost brace the tourney, how shone you tell of this accord.”
Halle: “Ophiuchus put me on my word.”
Etain: “Than I shall take upon the ivory boy, cleped he’ll be by cloying heroics.”
Lynn: “Twixt flicker a kindling ere we dares not, but tether to thee.”
Halle: “Why does Merlin not coven?”
Etain: “Why have you not killed the cowboy Quinn?”
Lynn: “You will torch this forest and they will fail themselves.”
Etain: “I will send their souls into Helheim, until they reach another empire, as for Merlin?”
Lynn: “He is an ally to the dove, I will extend the branches of Yggdrasil, and when he rests I will crush him.”
Her palm closes into a fist before lowering her arm. Without words they circle the tree and pray to its autumn leaves, their hands upward aside and lowered apart and departing now as such.
At onward the townsfolk of the previous day’s competition recovers a body from a well to avoid putrefaction of the water, as a man with a scarred face inventories the dead in the morn, the distant mending of metal sounds knells. This is only the few but far between, Merlin and Nick watch the sullen become wary and the tired despond with habitude to ignore war more than pang. Nick searches dead soldiers to find armor less scathed, finding below the shoulders of many a tattoo of origins disarranged, he takes his choice armor wrapped in a blanket knotted at both ends tied with a leather belt to be worn as a giant satchel.
Through a grand wheat farm on a horse path walk the both of they, Nick with his steps heaver to one foot and Merlin skimming wheat from the field to do the labor of discarding the chaff and sharing the seed with Nick to which the task of heaving and winnowing would be cumbersome. He does tho check the trace behind him from time to time to look for Ana, in glances of these upon a dozen’s half he sees one of the red imperial soldiers running through the plantation field, his armor fleeced and focused at spies in the least, for beyond the distance a cavalryman rides towards the runner.
Merlin: “Look over there.”
Nick: “Seofon, sixta, fīfta, feorda … thridda ...twa …forma.”
The tyrant screaming traitor is speared in his spine trying to escape, the rider stops his horse and turns it return collective spear, dismounting and anchoring his sword into the agonizing victim and puts the blade to the sheath attached at the saddle, then to his spear withdrawn taken when unabashedly noticing them in wait. He mounts and rides swiftly through the crop trodden hooves tearing clod as they rumble until he halts before them.
Rider: “What say you!?”
Merlin: “Death to the dictator!”
Nick: “Vive le resistance!”
The cavalryman’s impertinence is matched by his steed; from facing east the rider and horse turn and face west as animal and rider connote anxiety that builds with a smidgen fear.
Rider: “In the bag what have you?”
Nickolas: “Traders scales to wares are sold from Dalriada.”
The rider spits on the ground then turns quickly his horse round kicking dust into the road, he leans and grunts as he and steed recede from conversation at haste away anon hence, as if forgotten the time and tarry. With temptation and without hindrance Nickolas decides it is just to be that he adorns the red leather plates to free his balance and bearing, freeing his hands to comb the cereal grains and eat limber and newfangled.
Nick: “You gave the rider your mind.”
Merlin: “Peace is more memorable, I gave him no other choice, no different than how you win the unmatched days of the tournament by leaving early.”
On this forest road there are Merlin and Nick, two walking comrades in the glaring sunlight of the time after daylight noon, the road splits by steady straight and narrow left with a sign above the divergent grass to mark two towns of two directions. The sign forward is written Arkona and the lesser sign is painted white where the name goes unseen and to it an arrow dipped in paint from white flowers hanging overground, the sound of a twig breaking underfoot gives silence time to spare but the damage of warriors is never more aware. Nickolas sees archers aim for him and with the first shot he makes his deranges in a rush toward a storm of arrows, the clouds part above Merlin as his palms face the roadsides, he braces as he makes wind to defend from onslaught, his eyes do not glow and his tattoos do not show. Aside mere wind his threat does not rescind but by him arrows pass or fall severe, the archers are less than sneaking toward him and others with horses can be heard mustering in the distance.
Harvaldr: “Who are you?”
Merlin: “I’m on my way to see Mr. Quinn.”
Harvaldr: “What imports have you?”
Merlin: “I was to ask him about that armor, my sad friend was tired of being unwieldy and wore the thing, then with holes put you it. You can ask him yourself.”
Harvaldr: “What question would you have me give to a dead man?”
Nickolas begins to rise and groans as Merlin pushes aside blades to see a reawakening rare to be, but with worried spears the soldiers pierce him newly, the quietude connects to Merlin’s fair warning.
Merlin: “His death brings fallow and tannin, a drought he will make of you.”
Harvaldr: “A harpy, run him through again.”
Merlin without speech moves to protect his ally, however Nick is quick to kick a knee and pick a soldier to turn a spear and prop him unsavorily leaning over the spear’s point, the nearby soldiers pause to fateful defiance. Nick carefully rises with keeping deathly advantage then throws the spear to the ground as all are wont to wait for sound.
Nick: “It is day mine blind, the skies your eyes, I am with the day, and whence better thence my friend the wind.”
A raincloud gathers from the nimbus wisps, diabolical now they stand surrounded by and how.
Merlin: “You have seen one, one such as this. You have seen that silver arrow matching your tattoos. We seek only the council of Quinn.”
Nick: “By rank and ability either, would I wear that armor?”
Harvaldr: “And you?”
Merlin: “I am vulnerable, escort us if you must.”