A/N – A fragmentary fic. Because it's my birthday. Warnings for drunken midnight mythology. This is completely separate from First Impressions and the Catalyst.

Disclaimer – I don't own anything to do with the Labyrinth canon, characters or concepts. Don't sue.


I


Deep in the bowels of the ancient Castle there is a secret vault, barred and warded with an impenetrable tangle of curses and enchantments. Inside the secret vault sits a roughly carved stone slab, the marks of the mason's chisels still discernable. And on that slab lies a crude obsidian blade, and a dull, shallow silver bowl, empty but for the dregs of a thick, viscous liquid…


They killed the King, once, and spilled his blood in the fields.

It is an old, old ritual, rarely practiced in even the darkest, most isolated corners of the Underground, but remnants and echoes of it remain, even now. Jareth – child of bright, civilised Summer – can remember long-past festivities, casting straw effigies onto the bonfire and drinking thick, spiced crimson wine from the King's own hands.

But in the Goblin Kingdom, remote and forgotten, isolated and protected by the impenetrable Labyrinth, the King's sacrifice is a very different matter.