Disclaimer: I own nothing of King Arthur and his knights. The only thing I own are my own charaters, and parts of the plot. This will lead into the the movie.
Author's Note: So I've been looking at this story for a while now and gotten back in the mood to write again. I decided to revamp the already published stuff. Spelling errors have been fixed and a few new things hear and there. I hope you all enjoy it! =D
Bold are flashbacks/memories
"speak" and "Speak" are in a native Sarmatian dialect
"speaking" in Latin
Caley sat on top of a horse in front of a Roman, with other Romans riding along side them. They had bound her hands to keep her from escaping, as she had tried about every time she got the chance. She still was not sure what was happening or why she had been taken from her father and sent off to Britain. Something about Sarmatian Knights and a debt to Rome, but she was not sure. She still remembered that day as if it were yesterday instead of the many months ago, when it happened.
It was early spring and Caley had been helping out her father at their tribe in Sarmatia. She was watching and teaching her 10-year-old sister, Mina, how to shoot a bow and arrow properly as her father was in a town meeting.
Caley was 10 years Mina's senior, making her 20. She was just like any other Sarmatian in their tribe. She was taught how to fight in case the need ever arose, though Caley had never been in a real battle, she knew she could handle herself.
Like the other girls in their tribe she was pretty, but not overly so. She had long dark brown hair that reached the middle of her back that she usually kept tied back in a braided ponytail when she was training. However, a few strands always managed to fall into her bright green emerald eyes. Her skin was always slightly tan, from being outside all day long. She had tall and lean frame that was clothed in a dark green riding dress with matching breeches, perfect for fighting. She could move and dodge quickly and be so silent that she could sneak up on people. Though unlike the other girls in the tribe, Caley talked her father into letting her get the traditional warrior tattoos on her cheeks. Two small arrow shaped marks on either side of her face, which she was very proud of, it meant that should could protect herself.
Though on this particular day after many hours of helping Mina, horsemen appeared on a green hilltop overlooking their small village. Everyone was outside of their small huts looking at the advancing horsemen. Caley took Mina by the hand and led her over to the council hut where their father, Iôdas , now stood looking at the approaching men. When they were close enough they could make out their Roman armor. Caley had never seen Romans before, and smiled, but when she saw the frown upon her fathers face, it disappeared.
"What is it Father?" Caley asked in their local dialect, but he did not answer her.
The Romans came right into the center of their village looking around. "Which one of you served as a Knight for Rome?" the leader demanded in Latin.
Everyone looked at each other not understanding him, for none of them knew Latin, Iôdas. He had not taught anybody in the village Latin, for they had no purpose for it among each other.
"Keep Mina close to you." Iôdas told his eldest daughter then headed to the Romans. "I served as a Knight for Rome." he told them.
The Roman looked him over. "We are here to collect your son for Rome. We missed him five years ago when we got the others."
"I have no son." Iôdas told him.
"What of daughters?" the Roman asked, no emotion showing on his face.
The former Knight looked up at him surprised, not sure if he wanted to tell them or not. If he didn't they would find out and he would be put to death. He looked at the Roman and sighed, "Yes, but you can not take them. They would surely die!"
"How old?" The Roman said not caring if this man's children would die serving Rome.
Iôdas sighed, "20 and 10." he said quietly.
"We will take the eldest. Tell her, we leave immediately." The Roman ordered.
"You cannot take her!" the Sarmatian practically screamed at the Roman.
The Roman looked at the ex-Knight with a glare and then dismounted his horse. He walked up to Iôdas and stared him straight in the eyes. "Sir, you would do good by just obeying me." the Roman said with slight disgust in his voice. "Rome has now ordered to take daughters if there are no sons. By right I should take both of them, but I thought I would spare you the grief by only taking one. If you wish your youngest to live I suggest you keep quiet. Understood?"
Iôdas just glared back at the Roman soldier before turning around and looking at Caley holding Mina's hand. He let out a sigh, 'This is not happening.' Crestfallen he walked back to his daughters; this would break their hearts. The other villagers looked confused, but said nothing.
When he reached Caley and Mina they were looking at him curiously, "What do they want Father?" Caley asked.
He looked at her, tears starting to form in his eyes, "You remember the bed time story I told you about the great Sarmatian Knights?" she nodded; it was a wonderful fairytale of heroes and noble causes. "It was never a fairytale, my daighter. I was one of those Knights, but since I have no sons, they are taking you, and sparing Mina. I am so sorry my child I did not wish this on you."
"What?!" she exclaimed, tears starting to slide down her tattooed cheeks. "No! I will not leave you or Mina. I am staying here, they will not take me!" she started yelling, and Mina understanding that her sister would be leaving them clung to her crying.
"If you do not go, they will simply kill you, Mina, and myself. You would have a better chance fighting then to just give them your life now. I know it is hard, I have done it before, but you are strong and you will make it. I know I may sound cruel, but you must do this, for Mina's sake. You will return to us one day, I know you will." he said tears freely flowing, as were his daughters. "Stay with Mina, I'll get your things together." He laid a hand on her shoulder then went to their small hut.
Caley looked down at her sister clutching her riding dress. She bent down and enveloped her in a hug. Her sister looked up at her with her green eyes and messy brown hair. They looked so much alike that they could almost pass and mother and daughter. "You are not leaving are you Caley? Please say that you're not." Mina pleaded with her.
"I wish I could, but it looks as if I will be leaving for a time, but I swear to you that I will return." Caley said crying.
Her father returned with Caley's dark brown horse, Agama. The horse had Caley's saddlebags on and her bow, arrows, sword, and daggers were latched on to the saddle. Her father came over to her and gave her a tight hug. "I put your clothes in the bags, as well as some food. All your weapons are there, but I am sure when you reach your post you will get more. Do not fear what will come, it is destiny. Remember you are my daughter. A descendent of a strong bloodline of Great Sarmatian Knights. You will triumph over whatever obstacles you are faced with. Remember us and promise to come back to us alive. I love you always."
"I will Father, when have I ever broken a promise, but I believe in ruling my own destiny. I will honor our forefathers and you. I love you." Caley said, hugging her father back. Caley bent down and hugged her sister. "I will be back. Be good for father and don't get into to much trouble. I love you, always remember that."
Mina stopped crying and hugged her sister back. "I love you too. I'll be an angel, I swear." Caley smiled and stood back up mounting Agama.
The Roman rode back up to them, "We leave now." he said sternly.
"Where will she be posted and for how long?" her father asked.
"Britain, and for the remainder of the time that the other Knights are there for, 10 years I believe."
Her father took her hand and she looked at him, "You are going to Britain. Arthur Castus is there; I've heard he is a good man. He will look after you. You will be taught Latin there as well, so do not worry about that for much longer. Farewell and good luck." He let go of her hand and she smiled at him. "She does not know Latin, so please I beg you, be patient with her."
The Roman turned his horse around and headed back up the hill. Caley kicked her horse in the sides and followed him. When she reached the top of the hill, she turned in her saddle to see the whole village waving up to her, and she returned it before they disappeared as she descended on the other side.
Now here she was a few months later, in the middle of summer, with hands bound and being forced to ride with a Roman as her horse was being walked with them. Sure she had tried to escape but there was always one of their scouts that caught her and brought her back to them. When they finally got fed up with her they just simply bound her hands, and feet when they stopped. They would ask her things, but she never responded having not a clue what they were asking. When she didn't answer they would start yelling and hitting her, and she was becoming frightened of them now. She couldn't wait to get to wherever it was that they were going.
The Romans had been getting anxious as the day grew on, and Caley only assumed that they were getting close to their destination, but wasn't sure. Her assumptions were put to rest when they turned a bend of trees and there standing proudly in front of them was a stone fort with a wall extending out from either side as far as she could see. The men about her began shouting happily, and she knew her assumptions had been right. They were here.
They entered the fort and she couldn't help but look around. People were everywhere. They were walking around a small market, chasing children around, going in and out of a small tavern, repairing homes, and she saw some Romans practicing their fighting skills in a small practice area. In the distance she saw a small graveyard, with many mounds and swords coming up from the ground. The soldiers she was with headed to a small-enclosed courtyard and dismounted. The one she was riding with roughly pulled her down and took her arm tightly in his grasp.
"Come on wench, time to meet your commander." he hissed at her pulling her along through a hallway off to the side of the courtyard.
She looked back and saw her horse being taken away by a kind looking stable hand. He looked up and gave her a smile, to which she returned. 'Maybe the Romans are the only ones here without manners.' she though to herself, turning her head to see where she was going.
A few minutes of walking down some stone hallways lit by burning torches, they came to a set of double doors. The Roman pushed them open and pushed her through in front of him. Before her was a round wooden table with a group of men seated in various spots around it. There were seven seated, but many chairs were empty. 'Where are the others I wonder?' she thought questionably.
The men looked up upon the sound of the door opening, and stood when they saw it was a lady. "Come on wench!" the guard yelled and pushed her forward, causing her to trip and fall on the floor.
She pushed herself up with her bound hands, but remained kneeling with her head bowed.
"Altus! Is there really a need?" one of the men asked in an authoritative, but kind voice. She looked up and saw him approaching. He was handsome and had an authoritative air about him. He had dark brown eyes and his dark hair was cut short and had the slightest bit of wave to it. He knelt down and helped her to her feet. He offered a gentle smile, which she returned.
"Yes Altus, that is no way to treat a lady." another said. He was handsome as well, with dark hair and eyes, but his hair was curlier then the first, and he had a beard and mustache. He didn't have the authoritative feel about him, but a more flirtatious one.
"Why are her hands bound?" a third said. This one looked slightly younger than her with long dirty blonde hair and blue eyes, who also had a beard and mustache. He looked friendly and approachable.
"She has been trying to escape from us since we got her. She's dangerous, she could have killed us at any moment." Altus said to the men.
"I highly doubt that. Look at the poor thing. She's so small and frail, have you not been feeding her?" said a rather large bald man with dark eyes.
"Not to mention she looks frightened to death. What did you do to her?" said another tall bald man with dark eyes, but he was not as large as the to other.
"Only what we needed too." Altus said getting some glares from the men.
"Where exactly did you get her from?" said another one with slightly curly dark hair and eyes. He by far looked the youngest, who had the startings of facial hair. More so then the dirty blonde one.
"From Sarmatia. We missed this one when we got all of you. She had no brothers so by order of Rome we had to take her." Altus explained.
Caley only looked around at them, not comprehending what any of them were saying. All of the men had spoken except one. Caley looked over at him. He was handsome, more so then the rest in her opinion. He had dark shoulder length brown hair with braids in various places in an attempt to keep it out of his face. He had a beard and mustache as well, and dark golden brown eyes. His face was passive and unreadable, but the thing that she noticed was that he had tattoos on his cheeks similar to the ones she had
"What is your name, Lady?" said the authoritative one. She looked at him realizing that the question was directed to her, but said nothing. He pulled out a small dagger and she backed away, only to be stopped by the Altus who was holding her arm tightly, her eyes becoming wide. "I will not hurt you." he said noticing her reaction. He reached out for her hands and cut the bounds.
She quickly withdrew her hands and rubbed her sore and red wrists. "Don't waste your time, Arthur. She doesn't know a word of Latin, only her own language."
'Arthur.' she thought, her father told her that he would look out for her. This must mean that the other men were the Sarmatian Knights that had been recruited five years ago.
"That does pose a problem." Arthur said rubbing his chin with his hand. "A lot of their dialects are local and not used in more then two tribes."
"Where in Sarmatia is she from?" asked the youngest looking one.
"Near where we picked up Tristan, about two days ride." The man with the tattoos looked up and noticed all eyes upon him.
Tristan sighed, already knowing what was coming and walked over to them, "Alright I'll try and see what I can do." he said standing before her, immediately noticing her tattoos. "What would you like me to ask her Arthur?" Tristan asked Arthur.
"Her name, and tell her who we are." Arthur responded.
Tristan looked back at her and spoke in his local dialect from his village. "My name is Tristan. You are at Hadrian's Wall. We will not harm you. What is your name?"
She looked at him, not quit believing that he knew that dialect, then responded. "My name is Caley. Who are all these men? Are you all the Sarmatian Knights?"
The men sighed in relief that Tristan was able to communicate with her. He looked at Arthur, "Her name is Caley. Only fitting since it means brave warrior." he then turned back to Caley. "Yes, we're the Sarmatian Knights and you will be one too. This is Arthur, our commander," he pointed to the authoritative one she had guessed was him, "Lancelot" the dark haired curly Knight, "Galahad" the youngest Knight, "Gawain" the dirty blonde Knight, "Dagonet" the larger of the two bald men. "And Bors." the other bald man.
She nodded her head to each one as Tristan pointed them out and they nodded back. Tristan looked back to Arthur. He wasn't no good at this, he like to keep to himself and he was the only one that she understood. "Tristan, I know you may not like this, but you are going to have to stay with her. Take her to a room in the Knights quarters. Tomorrow you will start teaching her Latin. Later we will test her abilities in battle." Arthur said, with no room for argument.
Tristan nodded and looked back at the woman in front of him, he relayed what Arthur told him and she nodded her head in agreement. Her father had told her that she would be taught Latin. Tristan gently took her by the arm and started to lead her to the Knights' quarters when she stopped him.
"I must get my things. They are with my horse." she said to him.
"Alright." he said and led her out to the stables where she ran up to her horse.
"Tristan." nodded the stable hand she had seen take her horse. Tristan nodded back. "Who's the girl?" the stable hand asked.
Tristan told him who she was and what she was doing here. She came up to them a few minutes later with her things, and looked at the stable hand. "This is Jols our stable hand and squire. He takes good care of the horses, so do not worry." Tristan told her. Jols nodded his head at her and she returned it.
Tristan took one of her packs and led her back out of the stables and into a hallway lined with many doors on either side. They stopped at one door and he opened it. "This is your room from now on. My room is right next door so if you need anything, just come over and I shall try to help. There is no easy access to this hall, so you'll be safe. Tomorrow I'll come in the morning, take you to breakfast, and then we start teaching you Latin." he said, then left almost immediately.
Caley sighed and set her things down on the floor. The room wasn't that big, and didn't have much in it. There was a small bed, a desk with some drawers, a chair, a tiny window above the desk, and a small closet. She put her little bit of things away. When she was finished she looked out the window and saw it was dark. She sighed, 'It will be nice to get a decent nights sleep.' she thought to herself. She changed out of her riding dress and put on some nightclothes, which consisted of a brown nightgown that barely reached the floor. She laid her weapons next to her bed, and slid a dagger under her pillow. She climbed into bed and blew out the candle she had lit earlier. She then fell asleep almost immediately dreaming of her village, her father, and her sister, as she had many nights before.