Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meet the man destined to become Morgan le Fay's lover in RAGING SEA Ch 8/Sc 1a #amwriting

Graphic overlay (c)2015 by Kim Headlee.
In Arthurian legend, Morgan le Fay is notorious for her promiscuity—in spite of the fact that she was married. That her husband King Uriens condoned her practice of keeping lovers may harken to an accepted practice of the day for noblewomen whose married life was, shall I say, somewhat less than emotionally fulfilling.

The fact that Morgan le Fay was never condemned in a formal trial for adultery, as Guinevere was, may also prove that Guinevere's story was rewritten by the descendants of her and Arthur's enemies.

We may never know, of course, which is why I prefer to be a novelist rather than an academic.

Although Morgan le Fay is reputed to have seduced many knights, including Lancelot, her favorite knight for most of her life was Sir Accolon. I have elected to preserve his name as-is in my fiction, though I gave him a more Celtic-sounding surname ("map Anwas"; i.e., son of Anwas). The relationship between Morghe and Accolon received the rockiest of starts in Morning's Journey when he came >< that close to killing her to complete a mission Urien had assigned him.

Today's excerpt shows an entirely different facet of how he feels about her.

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4 | Sc 5a | Sc 5b |

Raging Sea Chapter 8, Scene 1A
©2015 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

ACCOLON map Anwas tugged at the hem of his bronze-studded battle tunic to dispel the rush of nervousness at the prospect of meeting the Pendragon garbed in anything other than a legion uniform.

It had been nigh unto a year since he had followed his longtime friend and commander to begin a new life as Urien’s chief adviser, a post which now included diplomat, the last bloody thing he’d ever expected. But it had given him ample opportunities to become accustomed to wearing the Clan Moray gold-crossed black cloak, rather than legion scarlet.

He caught himself giving his jerkin another tug, dropped his hand to his sword’s hilt, and chided his foolishness.

A pair of quick glances affirmed that the soldiers flanking him atop Dunadd’s gate tower either had not noticed the lapse or possessed wit enough not to react.

Drawing his cloak tighter to ward off the chilly April breeze that swooped in from the coast all too often at this time of year, heralding spring with a reminder that winter wasn’t quite done with the land, Accolon shifted his gaze to the farm-marbled distance and the approaching band, winding its way alongside the pale blue ribbon that was the River Add.

Neither cold nor distance could stem his reaction to the prospect of whom the Pendragon and his men were escorting to take up permanent residence here.

Tightening his jaw, he used the excuse of leaning against the platform’s rail to mask that reaction, damn her.

After everything Urien had endured because of another woman, Accolon would sooner eviscerate himself than jeopardize this relationship or the fragile peace it promised for everyone—except Accolon.

He stilled the grinding of his teeth.

As the minutes marched by and the band grew larger under his scrutiny, something seemed off. The group’s size was double what Arthur had said it would be. Accolon was about to send one of his men down to the main hall to alert Urien when a flash of white caught his eye. Squinting, he leaned farther forward.

“Sir? Is aught amiss?” asked Lucius, his second-in-command. It hadn’t been easy convincing Lucius to quit the legion, since he remained sympathetic toward the Pendragon, but it had been essential: Lucius had been privy to Urien’s deception during the cavalry games that had been staged for the Pendragon’s nuptials, and he needed to be kept close. Harder still was Accolon’s task to dissuade Urien from staging a convenient accident during the intervening months.

Accolon hated to waste otherwise good officer material.

He gazed at the man, who straightened and swallowed, as did everyone else in the guard contingent. “Were your scouts in error about the size of the Pendragon’s unit?”

“No, sir. Lady Morghe’s escort met up with another band of wedding guests yestermorn,” Lucius said, jutting his chin. “The guests that Chieftain Urien had ordered to be informed about directly.”

“Ah. Of course.” And Urien hadn’t seen fit to mention it to Accolon. No surprise there. The chieftain’s drumbeat was often a solitary one.

Thinking about those other guests revived yet more uncomfortable memories, and Accolon turned back toward the rail. The Scots’ white flag was unmistakable now, and he could see Arthur halfway back in the pack, distinguished by the brush on his helmet’s crest and the scarlet cloak billowing above the white flanks of his stallion.

That the men riding in a box formation surrounding the litters belonging to Lady Morghe, Chieftainess Ygraine, and Prioress Niniane were wearing blue cloaks rather than the standard legion scarlet, however, was a mystery that would have to wait.

“Permit them entry with only a token challenge,” he said to the guard captain, who acknowledged the command with a smart salute.

Upon ordering Lucius to accompany him, Accolon left the guard tower and prepared to welcome the woman slated on the morrow to become the wife of his best friend.

He derived a mote of comfort from the fact that Lucius had felt compelled to tug on his own battle-tunic too.


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