The Heart Spoke of No Sin - Prologue
A/N. Hello and just to say "Welcome". This story is set after the end of Series four and before the beginning of Series 5 (and does not connect with my previous 2 multi-chapter stories). There may be some spoilers littered around occasionally. A quick warning the prologue does have one short, possibly quite upsetting scene.
I don't own Merlin - though as I said before I am very willing to open negotiations with the BBC to alter that. Afterall they seem to have finished with it...and so ever onwards...
The Heart Spoke of No Sin
Dera stood, her head bowed down under the weight of her trepidation. The gloom of the surrounding forest seemed to eat into her soul as she waited for the ceremony to begin. Her bound arms ached and her shackled feet had long ago lost any feeling in them. She was at the mercy of the Witch, Aerona, who even now stood before her. Dera felt alone and afraid.
Aerona moved towards the young woman, watching enchanted as she saw the terror and fear of the unknowable cloud the others face. The Witch's long fingers gently caressed the silver edges of the crisp blade held lovingly in her hands. She moved with a grace and charm that at first sight beguiled and enticed. Her hair was golden and flowed as if molten precious metal had been poured from the sky. Her skin, pale and smooth, spoke of summer's joy and winter's comfort.
The Witch was beautiful and dazzling; but underneath this she radiated darkness – an evil that was barely hidden beneath her outward form. It was her eyes that betrayed her true self. They were hazel, deep and filled with a bitter hatred of all who did not follow her. And she wanted Dera – all of her; mind, body and soul. But she did not have to wait anymore; for now was the time. The ancients had spoken; and the days of blood and terror were dawning. And Aerona welcomed them with caustic joy. In front of her stood the girl who would usher in the new epoch of magical supremacy; all it would take was a sacrifice and a spell.
Stepping forward, Aerona reached out a soft hand and caressed Dera's trembling cheek; a touch that seemed to speak of love but felt like death.
"Hush now child, if you struggle this will be more painful. Accept your fate and all will go easier for you." Her voice was succulent and seductive, but coldness lay under it and all words became as poisoned arrows from her mouth. "Close your eyes; relax your mind and allow the incantation to take you."
Aerona bent down and kissed the girls forehead, savouring the taste of her. Dera looked up once into the Witch's eyes and saw the evil they contained and then did as she was bid.
As the girl closed her eyes Aerona made a small gesture with her hand and silently three cloaked women walked from the cover of the trees; the middle one carrying a small object that wriggled and babbled. They slowly made their way to the Witch, knelt before her and the youngest woman held up the swaddled thing with both arms and presented it to her Mistress. Aerona smiled and again reached out her hand, but this time it was not for a gentle touch or a calming stroke. This time her hand held the silver knife and as the knife hovered briefly over the offering Aerona began to chant:
"Drwy ddiniweidrwydd dinistrio yn rhoi nerth i fy sillafu."
It was over in a moment, the slash of the blade, the spurt of liquid and the sudden silence from the tiny bundle. Then the Witch's voice echoed across the forest; loud and alive with satisfied animation:
"Swyno yr agosaf a lladd Brenin"
A silver light and a wave of power burst through the clearing and centred itself on Dera. It hit her square on the chest and flowed into her body and it hurt. She held herself against it and the pain intensified whilst she fought. As she struggled to breathe Dera knew that she had no choice; to survive she had to let go. Faced with certain death if she resisted she did the only thing she could do - she gave herself up to it, allowed herself to be swallowed by the hate and the darkness, and fell.
Keeping her bloodied hand raised Aerona watched the girl shake and quiver as the magic took over her body and her soul. The die was cast and the trap would soon be set. A noise behind her made her turn – the three acolytes were backing away. The youngest was clutching the tiny body to her breast and tears were flowing down her cheeks. But they were not tears of sorrow, rather of joy – she had fulfilled her dream and given what was most precious to her Mistress and she would be blessed within the tribe.
The Witch walked to the unconscious body on the floor and knelt beside the young woman, pulled her close and whispered in her unhearing ear.
"All over now my dear, you did well. When you wake your task will begin. You will be my instrument of death and destruction; you will bring chaos and suffering to Camelot. You will return Her to us; and bring Her power. Your smile and your beauty will be the end of the King and all who serve him. Find the one who is nearest to Arthur; the one that the King trusts above all others and make them yours. Bring about their betrayal. Do this and you will ensure our Magic and our Tribe will rise again"
Dera – Wild Spirit (Welsh).
Aerona – Carnage and slaughter (Welsh).
"Drwy ddiniweidrwydd dinistrio yn rhoi nerth i fy sillafu." – "By innocence destroyed give strength to my spell."
"Swyno yr agosaf a lladd Brenin"- "Enchant the closest and kill a King." (Welsh)