Title: Worlds Combined
Disclaimer: Merlin is owned by the BBC and other associated parties. I do not make any profit from this story and the plot is purely fiction.
Summary: AU, slash, A/M, For generations, Humans and Druids have been at war, but with the promise of a treaty, hope is high for a better future and now, as the Druid Ambassador makes himself known in the human court, can they keep him alive long enough for the treaty to be finalized.
Warnings: character death, violence, language, angst, poisoning, slash
Author's Note: The druids are portrayed in this story like elves I guess, or some humanoid creature of fantasy. The religion of Avalon is based around the idea that all things are reincarnated. Thus many of the practices that will be mentioned in this story will be based around past lives and the such.
[A/N: It's been brought to my attention that there are some things in this story that can be offensive to certain people. Please know that this is not my intention and that all things said in this story are fiction and in no way reflect certain religious aspects in real life. This is fiction people and on top of that it is an Alternate Universe, so if it offends you than don't read it. That's all I can say to those it does offend. ~Reiya]
"My Lord, My Lady, I am here to collect him." The knight bowed low to them. The royal family of Camelot stood at the end of the throne room, talking lowly to each other.
Uther Pendragon, bent forward to kiss his five year old son on the forehead, his short ash blond hair swept back off his forehead and complemented the red of his cloak and tunic. Ygraine Pendragon, his wife and mother of the boy, shed her tears openly, hugging her son tightly to her chest.
Their son, Arthur Pendragon, was unsure of what was going on, but he kept his hand fisted in his mother's long, pale blond hair as he sensed her sadness and knew something was wrong.
"Oh Arthur, I am going to miss you. Uther is there no way we may go with him?" She asked desperately.
"I am sorry, my love, but we must remain here to rule Camelot. He will be protected always by two knights as body guards, that is the best I can do. He now must leave, for he is to become our ambassador among the Druid people."
"I just wish I could be there with him. I won't be able to see him grow up and he'll be so alone without human children his age to play with."
"He will be fine and he will have Druid children to play with. You know we agreed to do this when we made our peace treaty with the Druid people. He must go to live among them and learn their ways as one will be sent to live among us when he comes back. For now we must be patient and hope for the best. We will send him letters often to make sure he doesn't forget either." He said this with conviction.
She set her son down on the marble floor. "There is one more thing I need to give you Arthur." She pulled off a necklace from around her neck, a silver chain running through the hoop on a silver locket. "So you will always know we love you and so you will know us when you return." She opened it to show him a picture of all three of them, painted in perfect detail for so small a picture.
"Mother?" He finally asked aloud. She just smiled a bittersweet smile, bending down to kiss him on the forehead before she stood and took a step back.
"I am ready. It is time to go Arthur, time to leave for your new home." Sir Leon stepped forward, holding out a hand free of it's gauntlet. Arthur took it, and started to walk away, but continued to look back as he left the room.
The journey to Druid lands took ten days of travel. Arthur for the most part took it in stride, thinking it one big game or adventure with only a few lonely moments as he looked back the way they had come hoping to see his mother and father, even his adoptive sister Morgana riding after them. But no one ever came. It was just him and his guard and two body guards, Sir Leon and Sir Owain.
The shift from Camelot lands to Druid lands was gradual and didn't register to any until the land started to become even more wild. Trees growing larger than they did in Camelot forests, large creatures of myth crossing their paths during the day and night: unicorns, dryads, a lone basilisk on the hunt, and once as the sun was almost done setting and in the distance through the trees they could make out the mountain as they watched a shadow detached itself from the looming rock to take to the air, shooting flames from it gaping maw of a mouth as it shrieked its defiance of night's hold on the world, flames glinting off of the dragon's scales as it soared even higher before at last landing back on the mountain.
They were on the Druid's capital city before they even noticed it, it was so well hidden among the trees and underbrush. They were stopped when cloaked figures appeared before them, pikes held before them.
One stepped forward, drawing his hood back to look up at the group of humans, his eyes glowing slightly in the dim forest light. "I, Glavien of the Highbranch clan, welcome you Prince Arthur Pendragon of Camelot to Avlin, the capital of the Druid lands and wish that your stay here will be full of blessings and peaceful times." He bowed low to them and the warriors behind him did the same, standing to attention and bowing low at the waist.
"Thank you." Arthur said to him, a small nervous smile on his face.
"Come than, and only those we have permitted to enter Avlin as your body guard will follow. The rest may return to Camelot and know that no creature shall attack you unless provoked." They nodded, and with little hindrance, turned their horses around and headed back the way they came, to bring news to his parents that they had delivered him safely.
"Are you ready, Arthur?" Leon leaned closer to Arthur, noticing his nervous fidgeting.
"Yes, I am." He said, voice steady. Leon nodded, and pulling on the lead reins of Arthur's pony, followed the clocked figures as they wove their way through the trees spreading out to encircle them, Owain following behind Arthur.
There was no warning as they entered the city proper. One minute they were in murky shade under large hulking trees and the next they were stepping onto a large sunlit ledge, letting them see Avlin spread out below them. It spread for miles, rivers flowing and connecting to create channels that fed fields and gave water to any who had need of it. All the building were of wood and stone, each material interweaving to create a seamless look that could only be the product of magic.
And as they watched, people turned to look up at where they stood, watching as the Ambassador of the Humans made his first appearance among the Druid people. Glavien turned to look at them. "Your new home is there, seated near to our Temple of Avalon. There you will be taught our ways and learn all you can of us for the next fifteen years. After you will be free to go back to your home with our own ambassador."
Arthur looked and could make out the large building that was to be his new home. It was four stories tall, with terraces and huge windows, open to the sun and wind. It was warm looking with flowers and plants every where. It wasn't like home, with nothing but cold stone walls and barren pathways. The only plants were outside the walls of the castle, either in the Royal Gardens or the city itself and further outside the walls.
He let a small smile ease over his features, but said nothing. "If you are ready, your highness, we will take to your new home." Glavien nodded to the guards that remained with him. He nodded to him to continue, trying to put a brave face on when he really felt bewildered.
He was led down the sloping path, riding down the main eastern road towards his new home. As he passed, people stared, some bowing, or nodding, a few even threw flowers at him. There were a few who turned away in disgust or mistrust of a human among their people. It couldn't be helped, but he ignored them.
Upon arrival at his new home, he was greeted by a short slightly plump woman. Her long black hair was held back with pins and her long trailing robe was of the finest quality. But even though she was dressed as nobility, she still knelt down next to Arthur when he dismounted and hugged him.
"Welcome Arthur, to my home. I hope you will enjoy it here." His smile was a little watery when he looked at her, but he still nodded. "I would have introduced my son to you, but at the moment, he is hiding." Arthur looked up at her, unsure what to say. "I think you two will get along nicely. He is just a year younger than you."
She turned to a taller man who stood behind her. "See if you can find Merlin while I show the Prince his room." He nodded and left. "Would you like to see your room?" She asked holding out her hand. He nodded. She looked at his two body guards. "You are welcome to follow, or you may go with Kayn here and she will show you to your own rooms which are across from Arthur's."
"Do you need us, your highness?" Leon asked him. He shook his head no. "Than we shall go with Kayn to inspect our own quarters." They nodded to her and bowed to him before departing with the Kayn, the lady's own handmaid.
"Come then, Arthur, I will show you our home on the way to your rooms. Oh, and my name is Hunith Emrys, you may call me Hunith." She smiled down at him.
By the time he reached his room, he'd been shown most of the first floor and part of the second. The house was huge, though not as big as Camelot, but it still was nice. It was certainly a lot brighter and didn't smell musty like it did sometimes back home. And his room was bigger than his back home, with two large windows facing south east so that when the morning light came through it wouldn't directly hit him when he woke up.
His bed was large, but plain, no fancy bed posts or drapes, but there was a small flower garden on the ledge of the windows and the room had plush rugs across most of the floor. He had a clothes press and a set of drawers, a writing desk with ink and paper set aside for later when he would learn to use them. There weren't any torches or candles, but there were strange rocks stuck around the room. When he'd asked earlier what those strange stones all over the place were, she said they were enchanted crystals used as light sources. When a word was said, and she had demonstrated, they would light up and create a strong, but soft light to see by.
What he hadn't expected though was a small chest pushed up against the wall which, when opened, contained many toys carved from stone or wood, with cloth and paint decorating them. He was at a loss for word at all the toys. He had had toys at home, but never any like this.
But when he tried to thank her, she just shook her head. "These were made for you so that you would not feel lonely or sad. They are gifts from people all over this kingdom who wish you luck and happiness while you stay here." He nodded mutely, but a large grin was plastered on his face.
Inspection done, she guided him down the hall to a door way that opened to one of the terraces. The found the man from earlier, staring up at a ledge where a shadowed figure sat. "Merlin, please come down from there." He asked softly.
"No." The boy yelled. Hunith gave a sigh.
"Merlin, listen to him." She said, looking at her son upon the ledge. He shook his head furiously. Arthur, wondering why he didn't want to come down, ran over to the ledge. Using potted plants and decorations carved into the wall, he climbed up to the ledge.
He peered at the smaller boy in front of him. He was pale, with short black locks that seemed to stick out in all directions. His eyes when they looked at him, were a vibrant shade of blue, that had flecks of gold hidden in their depths. He instantly saw why the other boy didn't want to come down. He'd been crying and from the looks of the scrap on his knee, was in some pain.
"What happened?" He asked softly, scooting forward until he was in front of him.
"S-some bullies…t-they pushed m-me down. Ma-made me hurt m-my knee." His voice stuttered and hitched as he tried to hold back the tears.
Arthur was mad. How dare someone hurt him, no one should bully anyone. "I won't let them do it again." He said hotly. Taking out a handkerchief from his pocket, he tied it around his knee. "Is that better?" He asked him. Merlin nodded. "Do…do you want to be friends?" He asked shyly.
He was rewarded when a large smile brightened Merlin's tear stained face and he nodded vigorously. He held out his hand and Merlin shook it. "I'm Arthur." He told him.
"Merlin." Came the soft reply. They smiled at each other, and slowly backed off the ledge and reached the ground. Merlin's mother scolded him softly, but still hugged him, wiping lingering tears off his face. "Can I go play with Arthur now?" He asked in earnest. She smiled and nodded. Merlin turned and grabbed Arthur's hand, and dragged him along behind him to show him his room.
"I knew those two would get along." Hunith said in a dreamy voice as she watched them disappear through the door.
"Of course they get along, High Priestess." The man replied. "They are two sides of the same coin and share a great destiny together."
She nodded. "Come Maythn, we need to go inform the High Counsel that Arthur has arrived. Have Kayn keep an eye on those two and inform his bodyguards where they are." He nodded and bowed, leaving to do as she bid.