The Croaking Raven Doth Bellow

Jaban 22, 1014

One more down … how many more border towers to go?

Lamorak shook his head. Impatience would not suit the task ahead. The King had ordered a full tour and accounting of all the border towers, to be completed by one of his knights. Lamorak had … well, there was no other way to phrase this. He’d drawn the short straw, literally. So while Milo, Mordred, Sir Lancelot, Aglovale, and the rest of them got to sit on their behinds at home, enjoying themselves, Lamorak was riding around the borders of the kingdom on a tour that was expected to take at least three days. Albion was not a big country, but the accounting the King wanted took time.

He wished he had thought to bring a companion — maybe Ambrosius, the King’s steward. Ambrosius was … odd, to say the least, but he would have been better than nothing. He also had a head for all the details that the King wanted and made Lamorak’s brain start to hurt.

“Ah, but why am I complaining, Triss?” he asked as he swung himself into the saddle. Triss snorted, as if asking the same question. “It could be good practice.”

Triss whuffed and bobbed his head up and down. “Good horse,” Lamorak replied, patting his neck. “You know when to agree with me.”

He took up the reins and gently guided Triss away from the tower. Triss ambled forward. There was no point in going any faster at this point. Lamorak still had to clear his head and line up all his impressions before he wanted to start the next tower. At least he’d had the sense to take plentiful notes — hopefully he would be able to make sense of them when he got home, so he could make a good report.

But in the meantime, he’d found the tower well-stocked, provisioned against anything but a siege. That was a point in its favor. The men … the men were a bit shifty, a bit lazy, and some were a bit restless. This tower had been of vital importance a year ago, when the refugee camps on the border of the Camford zone had been teeming and liable to break out into violence at any moment. But now? The refugees were all gone, and more importantly, so were the Camford mercenaries. Trade and traffic had resumed, and since this watchtower wasn’t near an official crossing (and since the King’s policies were lax enough that few cared to use the unofficial ones), boredom had set in. Lamorak got the impression that perhaps this outpost was used as a place to send guards troublesome enough to their captains that they wanted to foist them off elsewhere, but not so troublesome that they wanted to dismiss them entirely.

It probably wasn’t good to have men like that on the sensitive border with Camford. But was the border with Reme any less sensitive? Maybe Camford was the lesser of two–

Triss suddenly screamed, and reared, and his gentle amble turned into a full-on gallop.

“WHOA!” Lamorak pulled at the reins. “What the–”

Triss veered off the path, straight into the forest proper.

Lamorak gripped the reins so tightly he could feel them digging into his palms. “WHOA! WHOA, BOY!” He pulled–tugged–tried to get Triss to slow down by main force–

None of it did any good. Triss pulled the bit between his teeth and clamped down on it with a strength better suited to a lion tearing off hunks of flesh. And he went faster.

The ground was rough and jagged — no legions of feet, no caravans of wagons, nothing had worn out a smooth and straight path for the horse to follow. Bushes and vines and Lord-only-knew what else crowded on both sides; branches and bones and sometimes whole tree trunks littered the ground before them. It was all Lamorak could do to hang on.

Lamorak ducked down, pressing his face to the horse’s neck, trusting Triss’s own good sense to keep from getting brained by a passing branch —

But what was Triss running to? Or from?

Triss swerved suddenly; Lamorak yelped. “TRISS! STOP!” He tugged once again on the reins.

Nothing.

The ground thundered beneath them as they pounded over it. Lamorak’s teeth were rattling. If his bones jarred together one more time, something was going to break–

And Triss kept running.

There was something — Lamorak could just see white and blue up ahead. Light? They were nearing a road?

They burst out of the trees, onto a path of some kind. One way led up a steep hill, the other down into a valley. Lamorak couldn’t recognize any of it.

He barely got a chance to look. Triss pivoted, and before Lamorak could catch his breath, they were galloping again, this time uphill.

Uphill …

Triss couldn’t possibly go so fast, could he? Lamorak tried to pull again on the reins. Maybe some of the horse’s strength would be so spent–

Triss tossed his head and the reins almost slipped from Lamorak’s sweating hands.

“TRISS! WHOA!” Shouting had to do some good — didn’t it? Because it was either that or just hold on in silent terror, praying that Triss would–

Triss stumbled, and though the horse caught himself, Lamorak was not so lucky. The reassuring weight of the saddle below him faded away …

And the ground came rushing up to meet him.

He tumbled head-over-arse onto the dirt. His mouth kissed it first, then his nose — he started to cough and choke. At least he hadn’t had the wind knocked out of him. But everything else —

Knees and elbows, face and arse, ribs and feet, everything seemed to hit at once. The angry rocks and dirt, affronted by this invasion of their space, pounded into every inch of his skin. His chain maille and surcoat were nothing against this.

And his head …

Slowly, he dragged himself to his knees. Breathing hard and heavy. Then he heard Triss —

“Triss!” He managed to shout. “St–”

Triss pounded past him, back downhill.

“What the — fuck!” Lamorak shouted. He worked his jaw from side to side as he panted, held up by shaking arms and legs. Good, at least that wasn’t broken. Was anything else? “Fuck, fuck, fuck!”

Where was he? There was a road below, he could see that now — where did it lead? What direction was home? Hell, what direction was the tower? It was only a few minute’s gallop away, but on foot …

“Son. Of. A. Bitch!” Lamorak snarled. It didn’t do any good, but it made him feel better. Sort of.

He rolled himself onto his arse and tried to check himself for injuries. He could move just about everything, which was always a good sign. His ribs felt tight and in pain — had he broken one? That would be just what he needed.

Slowly, testing every last toe for stability, he started to stand. Perhaps if he walked downhill and took the road —

“Ah. Good. You can stand.”

Lamorak jumped. “Mordred!” He turned around as quickly as he could. “Boy, am I glad to see you! What –”

He stopped.

There was no pity on Mordred’s face. No concern. His eyes watched him with the calculating glare of the snake surveying the rabbit. Lamorak took a step backward in spite of himself. “… Mordred?”

Mordred crossed his arms over his chest and slowly shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His eyes narrowed slightly. That was all the expression that bothered to make its way onto Mordred’s face. “You have no idea why you’re here, have you?”

“My horse! He went–mad! He started running –”

“You idiot, your horse didn’t do that. I did that.” Mordred snorted and shook his head.

“What? Why?”

Mordred’s hands moved to his hips. “You truly have no idea …” He stroked his chin. “Interesting. Was it the drink, I wonder?”

What drink?” Lamorak snapped. “I haven’t had anything to drink all day!”

“Not today.” Mordred waved his hand. “But on the night before your wedding, you had a great deal. And while under its influence, you told me something. Do you remember what it was?”

He told Mordred something? He didn’t remember anything like that. He barely remembered anything about that party at all. All he recalled was that it was so stiff and stilted that he was determined to make things go, and that required more alcohol than perhaps was good for him.

“No. You do not.” Mordred’s nostrils flared — then a mask of rage clamped onto his face, and he snarled, “You ruined my peace of mind that night, as well as destroying my family’s honor, and you don’t even remember?”

“Ruin your family’s honor? Your family is my family!” Lamorak shouted. “How the hell would I have ever–”

Wait.

He couldn’t have told Mordred — that, could he have?

Something seemed to come back to him …

“No!” he whispered.

“No? You seek to recant your testimony now?” Mordred chuckled. “You can try — but in vino veritas, my friend. My once-friend, my once-brother. Now …” The rage returned; Lamorak took a step back. “‘Enemy’ is too trite a word to describe what you are, Lamorak. Men might call me a snake in the grass, but you? You tossed the honor of my family into the mud, and you dared to offer your hand to me in friendship? You dared to marry my sister?”

“I — I — it was complicated!” Lamorak sputtered. “What–what happened between Lady Morga–”

Don’t you say her name!” Mordred roared. “Don’t you dare sully that name with your dirty, lying mouth!”

“I never lied to you!”

The look Mordred sent to him was dripped with pure contempt. “No. Maybe not in words. But in deed?”

“No! NO! What happened — what happened had nothing to do with you! It had nothing to do with us! It — I –”

“Spare me! I didn’t summon you here for your excuses! What will you tell me, Lamorak — that a woman nearing fifty, a mother, a grandmother, threw herself at you? That she slathered herself in scent and paint? That she batted her eyelashes and you were powerless to resist?”

“YES!” Lamorak shouted, and realized how stupid that sounded a second later.

“Then you’re a fool,” Mordred spat. “Maybe you convinced Garnet with that tripe, but there’s no man on earth who would believe it. We know too well the lies we tell to keep our women happy.”

“No!” Lamorak shook his head. “No! She — she seduced me!”

Mordred’s eyes sparked, his wand flew from his sleeves and sickly green sparks clustered at the tip. “Say that again, Lamorak, and I will make you regret it.”

“She. Seduced. Me.”

There was no sign on Mordred’s part that he heard Lamorak, much less that he reacted. But the sparks shot from the wand and barreled into Lamorak’s chest. He stumbled back.

“That,” Mordred replied as Lamorak tried to catch his breath, “was for lying. Lie again, and it will go worse with you. Though,” he mused, “tell the truth, and it shan’t go well either …” Then the anger came back, and Mordred snarled, “But what else should you expect? Did you really think that you could cause my mother’s death and live to tell about it?”

What?”

“Dindrane knew about the two of you,” Mordred shrugged. “She was determined to stop it. So she made up her story –”

Made up that story?

No. Lamorak was not hearing this. Or rather, he was hearing something else, something he’d sought to ignore for a long, long time.

Mordred … his friend was no more. And the man who was left …

Lamorak drew his sword; the metal sang when it was released from the scabbard. “You think I dishonored your family? I think you dishonored mine first, when you sired your other little family and broke my poor sister’s heart! So let us dispute this like men, and let the Lord choose who is in the right!”

Mordred’s jaw fell. He stared.

Then he started to laugh.

Dispute this? Let the Lord choose who is right? My Lord, Lamorak!” Mordred wiped a tear from his eye. “Do you honestly think that is how this is going to work?”

Lamorak lowered his sword without quite meaning to — then he brought it up again and snarled. “To arms, coward!”

“No. I think not.” Mordred twitched his wand — it could not even be called a wave. Lamorak’s sword was torn from his hand and went sailing into the bushes. Then Mordred began to draw his wand in a slow, careful circle.

This is how this is going to work.”

If Lamorak could get the wand out of Mordred’s hand — Mordred didn’t seem to have a sword — he might have a chance!

He squared his shoulders and rushed Mordred–

The spell finished; the fiery light sped to Lamorak–it hit him–

Magic like flames sped all over his body. They didn’t hurt, not yet. But they dug into his clothes, his maille, his flesh. They seemed to be searching for something —

Lamorak howled.

He heard Mordred start to laugh. Lamorak tried to fight free of the flames. But he could not move —

Until, just as suddenly as they had come, they were gone. And something else stood before him. A floating dress, complimented by a hat that floated just at head-height. The hat tilted, as if an invisible person were turning his head to one side the better to regard him.

Then Mordred spoke. “Get him.”

The dress lunged.

Fabric should not hurt. Certainly something that wasn’t completely there shouldn’t be capable of causing pain. But no matter where Lamorak turned his head or his stomach or his more private parts to avoid the blows that rained down like a summer storm, something was there to meet it. Something that combined the force of a brick to the gut with the speed of a rushing river. And when Lamorak himself started to fight back —

How could you fight the invisible? Even when Lamorak aimed his fist square for the space between the creature’s hat and dress, it flew through like there was nothing there. A sucker punch aimed for the gut only hit fabric that gave way from his touch. It was like hitting washing strung out on the line. There was no resistance.

Except, of course, there was, in the form of blows that kept raining down from all sides.

And then the creature caught Lamorak in a headlock …

Whatever was underneath those sleeves was solid. Lamorak tried to crush them between his chin and his neck. Nothing happened. The creature didn’t even seem to feel it.

Then it started to squeeze.

Lamorak gasped and choked. Air–he needed to air–his boots scrabbled and kicked the ground, trying to find a purchase, enough leverage to pull himself out of this death grip. No matter how much he gasped, nothing came in. Dark spots danced before him —

“All right, enough!” shouted Mordred. “Leave him. I am not finished with him yet!”

Lamorak barely got a chance to gasp in more air when something like a rock-hard leg slammed into his rear, sending him sprawling forward.

If Lamorak closed his eyes, he could almost hear something like hands being dusted off after a hard fight …

“Excellent work, kind spirit. You may go now.” There was a pop — like the kind that came all of a sudden in the middle of a cold, when an undetectable blockage in the ears was suddenly gone and the world was that much louder — and then, nothing.

Lamorak panted on the ground. Everything — hurt —

“And now,” said Mordred, “we will move onto the second part of our entertainment for this afternoon.”

Lamorak forced himself onto his feet. Again he charged Mordred —

Again he was stopped in his tracks by a fire-like spell.

And this one hurt like hell. Lamorak tried to scream — but all that came out was —

Bees?

Bees, bees, everywhere — swarming him, buzzing around him in a horrible cacophony. Lamorak tried to gasp.

They turned to him with one mind.

“GAH! NO!” Lamorak ran.

And Mordred laughed.

“Run, run, as fast as you can, Lamorak! But they will catch you! They’ll find you, if they must travel to the very ends of the earth! You cannot hide from bees!”

As Lamorak ran as fast as his legs would take him, bees crawled over his tunic and maille. They found every last chink in the armor. They burrowed in. They stung.

And Lamorak could only be very, very afraid that Mordred was exactly right.

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18 thoughts on “The Croaking Raven Doth Bellow

  1. Oh, oh god. He’s doing it, he’s really, really doing it. Mordred’s killing him! Where’s the damned dragon with the damned anvil when you need him?

    The poor Gwynedds. Garnet! Oh, Mordred you fucking bastard of a horse-fucking prick! *whispers* How could you?

    • Okay, after having slept on it, I have more reaction. I’ve been saying for quite a while that Mordred is batshit crazy, and even though I did know that Mordred was going to kill Lamorak, I was really taken aback by the way he did it. I figured he’d be confronted by Mordred, who would make a speech, because of course, and then he’d kill him in some sort of magical-but-could-have-been-an-accident way because while I think he’s insane, I didn’t think he was a moron.

      But this, seriously, no matter how emotionally satisfying it was for Mordred, puts him very in danger of getting caught. I thought he’d be a bit more cautious, but maybe, after Martin, Vortimer, and Pellinore and getting away with that, he thinks he’s bullet proof. Nobody can catch him.

      Or maybe he’s just too far gone to care. Still, it surprised me.

      I agree with Van and Winter, it is entirely too ironic that the man is so concerned about family honor. He is the biggest slander to his family honor, even bigger than Morgause ever was. (I loved Van’s line about getting kicked out of CO$ for being cray, btw.)

      This all just shows he’s too far gone even to protect himself. And that is usually a defining trait for dark wizards and especially for the Mordred Archtype. If he’s a baddie, he usually knows all about looking out for numero uno. And there was none of that in here.

      However, I will say to all of the fellow readers, I helped the Demi-goddess with her plans for how to end the arc on Friday, I think, and there will be a good amount of justice in it. Let’s just say that someone who truly deserves the chance to do it will get to be the one who puts him down.

      I don’t feel that’s too spoilery to say here, because the man has gotten too crazy to survive. It’s slowly taking him over and he is going to slip up. All it will take is someone showing, they’ve seen a bit of his hand at this point. He’ll crack under almost any pressure at all. I think you guys will like this. 😉

      • However, I will say to all of the fellow readers, I helped the Demi-goddess with her plans for how to end the arc on Friday, I think, and there will be a good amount of justice in it. Let’s just say that someone who truly deserves the chance to do it will get to be the one who puts him down.

        Hooray!

        Hmm… dare I guess? I think my first guess is Dindrane, and my back-up guess is Garnet (though it would be awesome if it was Nimue in a massive fit of magical awakening! If anyone deserves to get their ass handed to them by an eight-year-old…). But I know you’re not going to tell me if I’m right, so I’ll just sit back and wait for the justice to come along.

    • Yes. Mordred really did it.

      There has always been an element of insanity in the way I depicted Mordred — not necessarily the Albion Mordred; he started out sane enough, but “Mordred” in my other fiction. He may have always been cunning and cruel and usually infernally intelligent, but there was always the instability underneath the surface. With my original, non-Albion portrayal, I blamed that on “family history of mental illness + born of incest.” Here … I really think that the way that Morgause was taken down and destroyed snapped something in his brain, and Mordred has been edging nearer and nearer to the edge of the slippery slope ever since.

      If he hadn’t had the trauma that came from Morgause’s trial and death, if he hadn’t been expending so much of his mental energy maintaining the fiction of, “I’m right, my mother was right, the Orkneys are ALWAYS right NO MATTER WHAT,” he might have had a prayer. He might have been able to be a long-lasting, deft villain of the series who never managed to be so villainous that he had to be caught and taken out. Now … well, not so much.

      Maybe my subconscious is trying to say something about the nature of evil here, that it rots you from within until you’re no longer the master of your own destiny, your own deeds, your own mind. (If that’s what I’m saying, it’s certainly not intentional. I’m not smart enough for that. 😉 But we can pretend!) Maybe I just have a problem writing villains. But … well, Mordred was doomed for a long, long time.

      I don’t think very many people will be sorry to see him gone, if/when he goes.

      Thanks, Andavri, thanks Van!

  2. Nooooooooooo! Mordred, you bastard. Haven’t you put that family through enough? Haven’t you put your own family through enough, too? All that bull about family honor is really sweet coming from you as you try to stamp out your sister and (unfavorite) children’s family. How can he even get the words out with a straight face?

    When this worm dies, I hope his mother laughs in his face and admits to everything she did just to kill him a second time. She won’t, but I’m going to hope for it. That, and that anvil/dragon combo Andavri mentioned. Gah.

    • Interesting that you bring up family honor, but Mordred’s never seen family honor as “being nice to one’s immediate family.” Family to him is less husband + wife + 2.5 kids & a dog and more about a house or a clan. House Gwynedd has injured House Orkney in plenty of ways, at least in Mordred’s twisted way of thinking. (Certainly the scandal of married Morgause sleeping with Lamorak reverberates more to the Orkney clan’s dishonor than to the Gwynedd clan’s.) Therefore, House Gwynedd must pay, and it doesn’t matter how many current or former members of House Orkney happen to regularly swap bodily fluids with/share DNA with members of House Gwynedd.

      As for Morgause & Mordred meeting up in the afterlife … eh, I don’t think the Demigoddess would put them in the same room together. Or even the same universe. They might start plotting, and Lord knows that’s never any good for anybody.

      (Besides, Morgause would only tell Mordred all of that if it was somehow to her benefit … or if she was just seriously pissed at him for screwing this all up …)

      Thanks, Winter!

  3. Oh my God! I mean, we all knew that Mordred was gunning for Lamorak, but still! Holy shit. 😯

    I’m with Winter on the family honour thing. This guy cheats on his wife, wipes his ass with her one request when she does him the amazing favour of being actually more or less okay with it, doesn’t show his children with Dindrane any sort of affection ever, to the point of parading his favourite kids in front of them just to spite Dindrane and her family (Mordred, no one is buying that you “just want them to get to know each other”), tries to withhold his sister’s dowry when she wants to marry the guy their dead father actually wanted for her and generally treats her and their brother like dirt, stirs up a civil war just to spite his uncle, murders his father-in-law, and now (most likely) murders his brother-in-law as well with the intention of making the family implode? This guy cares about family honour? If he can even convince himself of that, then he’s so ridiculously delusional that he could get rejected from the Church of Scientology on the grounds of insanity. I’m thinking he’s even surpassed his mother. Morgause may have lied to almost everyone else, but she never deceived herself.

    It’s probably too much to hope that Lamorak survives this, but here’s hoping that the situation plays out so Dindrane can pull the “just stay with him a while” card on someone and call up Grimmie. Or that someone gets to him and with his dying breath, he can gasp “Mordred!”, and Morgan and Jessie can find enough magical evidence to bring him to justice. This guy has got to go before he can hurt anyone else. Given that Eilwen and Dilys are the only two who don’t seem to be dealing with any serious problems apart from Pellinore’s death at the moment, the Gwynedds have enough on their plates without a murderous, scheming fuckhead of a brother-in-law trying to bring down the whole family for imagined slights that are really his own or his mother’s fault.

    Seriously, someone has to do something about this evil son of a bitch, pronto. And this is one case where merely spreading rumours about him stuffing his codpiece just won’t do it.

    (In my head, Mordred totally stuffs his codpiece. A lot. Like, there’s really not much there that isn’t stuffing. I mean, who needs a big dick when he is, in fact, the biggest dick?)

    • Mordred cares about House Orkney. House Orkney does not include such people as Pellinore, Lamorak, or right now, even Garnet (since she joined House Gwynedd when she got married, at least in Mordred’s way of thinking). Plus, he sees what Dindrane did (turning Morgause in, then having the guts to leave Mordred) as having damaged House Orkney far more than he ever damaged House Gwynedd or, heck, even Dindrane’s and his kids’ feelings by having his affair with Rosette.

      And on the calculus of family honor that Mordred is using? His family with Rosette doesn’t even register. It’s a non-issue. He’s financially provided for his legitimate children exactly as he should, and as for emotionally providing for them … I doubt he’d be much warmer or fuzzier if he didn’t have Rosette and her kids (though there wouldn’t be the emotional damage resulting from the blatant and obvious favoritism.)

      Let’s face it, if Mordred was a Family Sim, he’d be the Traditionalist by a looong shot.

      As for how/when Mordred’s dirty deeds come back to bite him … well, stay tuned. It might take a while, but he’s not getting away with this, I promise.

      However, at least the thought of him stuffing his codpiece will make us smile in the meantime …

      Thanks, Van!

  4. … All I can hear is Nicholas Cage in Wicker Man…

    I can’t even with Mordred right now. I really can’t even. On two levels, the ‘oh for crying out loud, NOW?’ level, and then again on the Evil Overlord level. Shooting is not too good for my enemies. Also if anyone finds his body (and no one will assume he’s dead if they don’t), they’ll have a really hard time figuring out what happened to him. Bruises from a fall, bruises from a fight, okay, so that’s ‘set upon by ruffians.’ And then… set upon by bees? Is he going to fall down an elevator shaft onto some bullets next?

    Shooting is NOT too good for my enemies. And when the hero asks you to tell him why you’re doing this, you say no and shoot him. Or shoot him and say no, depending on your sense of humor. (And from the point of view of a soldier’s arrow, chainmaille is nothing but a loosely-connected series of holes. Shooting is an option.)

    So yep, that’s me, stuck between ‘oh no Lamorak!’ and ‘Mordred you are going to get your fool ass caught, and that’s what killed your mother!’

    • I was really curious as to what your reaction was going to be here, Hat. (Seriously.) You’ve always been our biggest Mordred Apologist and Devil’s Advocate, seeing sanity and logic where the rest of us are screaming “We! Want! BLOOD!”

      Surprisingly, I didn’t really see this response from you. Still, I don’t think you’re far enough. I think you should join us on the who-cares-about-caught-let’s-see-him-dead side. We have internet cookies… *bats lashes*

      • Alas, you’ll never get me howling for Mordred’s blood, just facepalming at his idiocy. I like a good sympathetic villain (although Mordred has run through most of his sympathy, frankly, which you can tell because I’m down to quoting from the Evil Overlord list), I like it when antagonists are smart (I also like it when protagonists are smart), and I like villains with interesting motivations, whether or not they’re villains who totally think they’re the hero of this story what’s wrong with you that you don’t see that I’ll show them all! I like Loki and Mozenrath and David Xanatos and Spike and Snape and Starscream and the Phantom of the Opera and basically I am holding a big ol’ sign that reads “I DIG SCREW-UPS.” Part of me wants to reach out and save them from the edge of Totally Irredeemable and part of me wants to see how close they can skate without falling over.

        When Mordred dies, you guys will cheer and I will just sort of sigh, because this chapter has sealed it as inevitable. He has jumped off the slippery slope. He is ordering attack bees. I’m not gonna call it a Moral Event Horizon (and my apologies for speaking in tropes), because honestly Mordred has sailed over at least three of those, but this one… this one isn’t undetectable, this one isn’t a carefully-laid trap, this one isn’t planned and back-up planned. There’s no subtlety whatsoever.

        This is just Mordred finally losing it completely.

    • Well, Andavri, if Hat won’t come to the Dark Side … *munches cookie* More cookies for us? 😉

      Yeah, Mordred losing it completely is a good way to characterize this chapter. His plans to take down House Gwynedd would work a lot better if he were around to keep stirring the pot and keep getting Garnet and Aglovale into fights. If he’d kept his attack to beatings and maybe finished Lamorak off with a stab wound, he could have sold this as “death by ruffians.” At the very least, if he’d kept the other magical methods of causing pain to “things that won’t show up on an autopsy,” he’d have a chance of getting away with this. As it is … well, Certain People are going to be asking some very, very tough questions, and they’re not going to rest until they get answers.

      Three guesses who some of those people might be. 😉

      But at the end of the day, Mordred wanted Lamorak to suffer horribly before he died. If he was still capable of looking at this in a rational, Evil Overlord manner, Lamorak probably would have fallen off his horse and hit his head on a rock, or some other killing that would look like an accident or like natural causing. As it is … well, shooting is too good for Mordred’s enemies, unfortunately.

      Thanks, Hat; thanks again, Andavri!

  5. So, I guess the Gwynedds won’t be coming out of mourning any time soon. 😥

    You know, Mordred reminds me a little of this character in ASoIaF called Aerys II, a.k.a. the Mad King. He burnt a guy alive while making his son watch strapped into a device that slowly strangled him if he struggled to get loose – which he of course did since, you know, his dad was being burnt alive. I think he and Mordred would get along like a house on fire (no pun intended), seeing how they are both completely f*cking batshit insane. 👿 I mean, I knew Mordred was demented, but I didn’t think it had reached these heights. He has an entire family on the side and he thinks that Lamorak has insulted his family honour? And to add insult to injury he thinks Dindrane lied about Morgause in open court just to make her stop seeing Lamorak? Jesus, Mary and Jerome!

    • Alas, no, they will not. 😦 Poor Gwynedds.

      I think Mordred would have a certain appreciation for Aerys II’s method! If you’ve got the power to put on those kinds of displays and keep the populace too fearful to do anything about it … well, in Mordred’s mind, why not? The difficulty, of course, is having the power. Mordred also strikes me as a guy who would be rather Machiavellian in his approach to kingly power, striving to keep people fearful but not hateful. … This probably contributes in no small part to why Mordred does not want that job.

      But yeah … it’s probably a good thing Aerys II and Mordred will never meet, because that would just be bad for humanity, even the fictional version.

      Thanks, Nix!

  6. Okay, I’m cautiously hopeful about this. I mean, the “tormenting your victims” thing doesn’t usually work out so well for the majority of villains, as Hat pointed out. I mean, even if Lamorak does not get away (and I very much hope he does!!) Mordred just basically dug his own grave with this. And as I see it there is still a chance for rescue. And I won’t believe Lamorak is dead before I see it! *settles into mule mode*

    • Tormenting your victims doesn’t work out well long-term, I’ll grant you that, but short-term … well, if you’ve got your victim in a remote location, and nobody knows said victim is in trouble, and there’s no cavalry charging to the rescue …

      It can work out very badly for said victim short-term. :-S

      However, there’s always hope that Mordred will get his.

      Thanks, Ann!

  7. I can see why Mordred doesn’t believe Lamorak. He speaks the truth but it sounds like a lie. His mother planted some evil seeds.

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