First, the obligatory "I own nothing!" Other people own Merlin(BBC/Shine Limited) and Legend of the Seeker(ABC). If we did, would we post this? ... Never mind, I wouldn't put it past us. But we still don't own anything!
This isn't a "royal we" this is a joint effort.
For full enjoyment watch both seasons of Legend of the Seeker and the first two of Merlin. (want. season. three. so. bad!) You might be able to enjoy it without, but we're not sure. Our minds are tainted with bias.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT PLANNED IN FUTURE CHAPTERS!
Now we present what we affectionately call our "serious spoof." Enjoy!
It 'twas a fair day in Camelot. What could spoil that? Wait, it's only the early morning! We shouldn't ask that. Too late...
Well, in the woods outside Camelot the strangest occurrence occurred. The main characters of the tv show Legend of the Seeker suddenly appeared. Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, and Cara were all snoozing when this occurred. (I guess Richard is fired from night watch duty. He should have let Zedd take his shift. Richard is much too old and tired, you know.)
Before long the group began to stir and awaken.
Kahlan voiced the mutual bewilderment, "Where are we?"
"I don't know," Richard said while fumbling out his trusty compass. He opened the compass and stared into it as though it would project the answers to everything. Instead, the compass lights ran in meaningless circles. "What's going on, Zedd?" He then asked.
Zedd shook his head slightly. "I don't know. But what I do know is that this is the work of very powerful magic."
"Well, then we'd better get moving if we're going to get the Stone to the Pillars of Creation in time for the Solstice," Cara insisted.
"Let's first try to figure out what's going on and where we are," Richard countered.
Kahlan finished the thought. "We want to avoid making things worse, if possible."
"And I bet we'll all think clearer if we've eaten," Zedd said, indicating a nearby white rabbit.
Arthur scurried through the woods with a determination to kill something furry. Today, he had his heart set on a white bunny.
He was trying to come up with inconspicuous ways to make a meal of it with Gwen. Maybe he'd have Merlin take it to the butcher. But how was he, Arthur, going to get it to the edible stage? There was no way he was going to cook it. Gwen was perfectly capable of cooking it. What a sign of affection that would be! Hey, I killed this for you; now cook it. Arthur mentally recoiled at the thought. He could always have Merlin do it. His only worry with that was his long list of cores that he needed Merlin to do. He wasn't worried about overwhelming Merlin. But having polished armor was a high priority! He'd ask Merlin for a more viable solution.
Now what could be made out of its fur that he could give to Gwen? It couldn't be too fancy or it would draw attention. He would be forced to give to Morgana for Gwen's sake if it looked too extravagant. Actually, he'd have Merlin burn it rather than give Morgana such a sign of affection. But, he just didn't want it to turn out horribly drab. He'd ask Merlin's advice if he got desperate. However, Arthur was sure Merlin was hopeless at the subject of women. Arthur resisted the urge to shake his head. But he was getting ahead of himself. First, he needed to catch the stupid rabbit.
"Merlin!" Arthur suddenly hissed commandingly, "Run through there and flush it out."
Merlin rushed to obey. He ran through the forest a small way and down a hill. Merlin stopped suddenly. The strangest group of travelers he had ever seen had already killed the rabbit. Merlin groaned. Arthur wasn't going to like this. Merlin noticed a gleam in Arthur's eye that said he wanted that bunny badly. He wondered why. Arthur mentioned catching a trophy before they left. Stuffed bunnies simply weren't the grandest of hunting trophies.
With the rabbit were two women and two men. He only vaguely noticed the men, a young man and an old man. If the young man wasn't holding the rabbit and standing next to the older man he could have completely over looked them. The women were dressed oddly, but certainly not unpleasantly to Merlin. He was having trouble not staring at how scantily clad they were... until the old man drew attention to himself in the dumbest way possible. He set fire to a neat little pile of wood without even batting an eye.
"Don't do that!" Merlin exclaimed in shock. Not only was this use of magic careless, it was done in an over-grandiose manner. Having fire shoot out of his fingertips? Really? Could he think of a more flashy way to start a campfire? Had time taught this man nothing?
"Do what? Light a fire?" one of the women challenged. She had blonde hair and wore very tight leather. It was a wonder she could move.
"Magic," Merlin hissed, "it's illegal." You dolts, he added silently.
The other woman started to move towards him. She had dark hair. And, she wore less clothing than most women he'd met.
"Why-" she began.
"Merlin!" Arthur's voice rang out.
"Yes, sire!" Merlin responded automatically.
Arthur rushed into view. "I thought I told you to flush it out!"
"I was. But it looks like they got it first," Merlin replied.
Arthur gave the bunny a mournful look. There went all his hopes and dreams for the stupid creature.
He then looked at the women. Arthur caught himself trying to imagine what Gwen would look like in their attire. He felt slightly ashamed of himself. What would Gwen think if she knew he was imagining such things?
"Are there any problems with banelings around here?" the younger man asked. He had brown hair that almost reached his shoulders.
"A what?" Arthur inquired incredulously.
Merlin began to back away from the residents of crazy town and toward Arthur.
"Banelings!" The dark-haired girl exclaimed. "The scourge sent back from the Keeper to destroy the land of the living."
Both Merlin and Arthur stared at her. "Keeper? Keeper of what, exactly?" Arthur asked, wondering why he was still talking to them.
"The underworld," the young man replied in a condescending tone, as though the answer was obvious.
Merlin inched toward Arthur. "I think they're crazy," he whispered to his master.
Before Arthur could say anything (which is impressive) the old man briskly asked, "Are there any D'haran soldiers encaped nearby?"
"D'whaten?" Merlin interjected.
All four travelers looked stunned.
Arthur decided to take advantage of their silence. "Merlin! We need to go!'
Merlin had never before been so happy to be snapped at. And so, the two hurried away as fast as possible.
The four travelers stared after the small hunting party. They were too shocked to speak for quite some time.
"How is it possible they don't know anything about banelings?" Richard finally wondered aloud. He sounded almost affronted.
"Or D'haran soldiers for that matter," finished Kahlan.
(Interestingly, neither noted the most obvious hint about their location, or rather what isn't their location.)
"There must be more powerful magic at work than I thought," said Zedd. "Could they be lying?"
"They were telling the truth," Kahlan said simply.
"We need to find a way to undo this," Richard said very seriously.
"But how?" Kahlan asked thoughtfully, looking to Zedd for the answer.
"I'm not sure," Zedd replied unhelpfully.
"There must be a town nearby. Why don't we look there?" Cara piped in.
They all looked her. After all this time she still didn't realize that right now was where you do nothing but be unhelpful. The queue for breaking the reverie would be four lines further.
"What?" Cara demanded in response to their ogling, "Do you have a better idea?"
As it turned out, none of them had a better idea. So Richard put his woods guide skills to good use. (After being fired from night duty what else is he going to do?) After following some random tracks here and trails there they somehow found there way to a grand looking castle.
As they waltzed into the city they were somewhat oblivious to the strange looks they were getting. They were accustomed to receiving strange looks everywhere they went. What they failed to notice was the lack of apprehension, fear, or even relief in the stares. Kahlan and Cara's unorthodox clothing was attracting all the attention. The men stared due to hormones. The women were indignant and silently or quietly accusing them of being whores.
Two women approached Kahlan and Cara. "Excuse me, dearies, are you looking for work?" one asked.
"What's it to you?" Cara said curtly. This earned a reproving glare from Kahlan.
"The two of you are perfect," the first continued. "We have a small place where we can talk business."
"And get you better clothes for the daytime," the other woman chimed in.
"That's very kind of you," Kahlan replied warmly. "Tell us where we can find you and maybe we'll take you up on that."
Cara resisted the urge to laugh as the women gave directions. Kahlan had no idea what kind of "business" these women were in. This would be fun.
After the prostitutes left them, they wandered into the main square. A man had his head on a chopping block in the center of the square. On a balcony stood a man who called himself King Uther. He spoke of his commitment to protect Camelot from the evil of sorcery. He told them the man on the block was condemned for practicing magic. Before the displaced travelers could make a scene the executioner's ax had swung.
"This must be stopped," Kahlan squeaked.
"These people must want to be free of the tyrant," Richard said boldly.
"How do we know if these people even want to be rescued?" Cara challenged.
"Cara," Zedd patronized, "anyone suffering under such oppression wishes to be freed."
"What do we do now?" Richard asked.
"Cara and I were offered a job at a place around here. Maybe we can start there." Kahlan piped up.
"We could find out a little more about the tyrant and the area," Richard finished proudly.
So, the group gallivanted toward the "business." They continued to mention how appalled the were. However, they couldn't quite get past that tangent, especially since Kahlan and Cara began arguing about the particulars of the directions. After lots of bickering, turning one way, and backtracking they found themselves in front of a small house that only somewhat fit the description.
"This must be it," Kahlan announced. "It fits the description."
"No," Cara argued, "this is too small."
"The woman said it was a small place," Kahlan insisted.
"Calm down both of you." Richard jumped between the girls. "Let's go in, and if it's not the right place we'll ask for directions."
And so they admitted themselves into the little house, even after no one answered the door. (Kahlan was that sure she was right.)
It was a one room home.
"Somehow, I still think we've got the wrong place," Cara stated impatiently.
"Can't be," Kahlan pouted. "Maybe-"
The door suddenly opened. A dark-skinned woman with curly hair entered. She stopped and stared, looking quite concerned, at the four intruders.
"Who are you?" The woman demanded, "And why are you here?"
Everyone began to sputter until Kahlan finally managed to have some coherent words fall out of her mouth. "I'm sorry. We were offered a job and our directions must have been bad."
The woman pursed her lips. That still doesn't make barging into someone's home alright, she thought. She took a deep breath. "Maybe I could help you find where you need to go," she offered. "And you still haven't told me who you are," she ended firmly.
"This is Cara, Zedd, and Kahlan Amnell, the Mother Confessor," Richard indicated to each of his friends. "And I'm Richard Cypher, the Seeker," Richard finished pompously.
The woman gave them an odd look. She had to think fast. These people were clearly insane. "Tell me about this place. When I get off work I'll see if I can get you where you need to go. " She added quickly, "And I'll send someone to check on you."
Cara took a step forward. "We really don't need your-"
"Cara!" Kahlan interrupted. "Thank you, we appreciate your help. What is your name?"
"Guinevere," she responded quickly as she moved to leave. There was no way she was allowing them the familiarity of calling her 'Gwen'.
"We'll wait here until you return, " Zedd smiled.
I certainly hope not, Gwen thought as she fled. She had to get Gaius. If they're mad, he'll know what to do. What was she thinking "if" for? They were certainly mad! They acted as those titles were real. They probably thought those "titles" gave them the right to intrude. And the way those women dressed! No sane person dressed like that!
She swung open the door to Gaius' chamber. To her mild surprise Merlin was there with Gaius. Gaius was bent over a man and treating his wounds. Gwen couldn't see the wounded man's face. A tremor of horror coursed through her. Was Arthur hurt?
"Gwen?" Merlin said suddenly. Gaius looked over his shoulder and moved just enough for Gwen to see it wasn't Arthur. "What is it?" Merlin asked sounding concerned.
"Gaius, a bunch of people wandered into my home. I think they're mad." Gwen forced the words out of her mouth.
"Merlin, I can't leave him yet. I want you to run to Gwen's and make sure those people don't go anywhere until I arrive," Gaius whispered
"What do I tell Arthur?" Merlin asked softly.
"I'll tell him where you are. I would think he'd understand." Gaius glanced at Gwen.
Merlin headed down to Gwen's. Just before Gwen arrived he had escorted a young knight, Sir Boris, to Gaius. This knight was all ego and no brain. He attempted to show Arthur that he knew better about fighting with a mace. Arthur had warned him many times that his particular "style" was stupid and dangerous. This had been going on for weeks. Today, the idiot had finally hurt himself. When Arthur told Merlin to fetch Gaius, Sir Boris insisted that he was fine. Arthur lost his patience and had Merlin take Sir Brainless to Gaius. Merlin didn't know how Arthur convinced the knight to come so willingly. All Merlin knew was that what that whatever Arthur whispered to the man was either very flattering... or very threatening. Merlin needed to go with knight so that he could explain the situation to the guards if the knight passed out. Thus, preventing any unnecessary ripples of panic.
Merlin barged into Gwen's home. The sight of the unwelcome guests made him inwardly groan. It was the crazy crew from the forest that morning. His mind automatically began making elaborate plans in case they did anything truly erratic. He wanted to be careful. He didn't know much of what they were capable of, or what they were up to or why. All he knew was that the old man used magic blatantly, and they were willing to tromp into someone's home without a satisfactory reason. That made him very nervous.
"You must be the person what's-her-name sent to..." the old man stopped for a second, "check on us," he finished dramatically.
Merlin felt anger welling in him. Does this man think he owns the place? Merlin thought, He's in someone else's house without realizing why being checked on is necessary! "Something like that," he snapped curtly. Gwen was terrified. Merlin wouldn't be surprised if she became very paranoid about intruders. She'd probably start saving for very strong lock on her door.
"I'm the Mother Confessor, Kahlan Amnell. What's your name?" She spoke in a tone that should have been reserved for a child.
"Merlin," he answered shortly, biting back questions that he wasn't sure he wanted answers to. He settled instead for, "Who are your companions?"
She proceeded to give the rest of the names in her slightly frilly manner. She started with Richard who is supposedly "THE Seeker"... whatever that was.
"In the forest you acted as though you had never heard of D'hara," Richard, 'the seeker,' stated as though he had managed to catch Merlin in a lie.
"That's because I haven't heard of D'harblah," Merlin snapped, getting more annoyed.
"Yet, we noticed D'haran soldiers throughout this city," Zedd pressed. Richard and Kahlan looked to Zedd with approval. Cara, however, looked embarrassed to be near her companions.
Merlin felt a cold sense of horror wash through him. Was this another delusion of theirs or were there really a mysterious troop of soldiers hidden throughout Camelot? If it was a delusion, would they become violent? What would that mean for Arthur and Camelot if these 'D'haran soldiers' were camped throughout the city? Would they try to attack Camelot from the inside and outside at the same time? Merlin struggled for words, then Cara yelled:
"Oh, please! If those were D'haran soldiers they weren't wearing their colors!" She spread her hand out expressively.
"Cara, what colors do you think they were wearing?" Zedd asked patronizingly.
"Red and gold," Cara snapped. Her voice rose, "Not red and BLACK!"
That settles it, Merlin thought. Either they're mad, or they're playing some sick game.
"Why has magic been banned here?" Kahlan purred.
"The king has banned it," Merlin side-stepped the question. He had no intention of telling them why. It was the king's closely guarded secret. Merlin would be executed if he dared breathe a word about it. Besides, this was none of their business!
"But why?" Richard pressed. The gleam of a fanatic flickered in his eyes.
"I don't know," Merlin lied. "Why don't you ask him?" He added facetiously. Kahlan gave him an odd look at these words.
"How can you be so cold toward all that is going on around you?" Zedd demanded.
Merlin was furious. He had been doing all he could to protect the innocent. Some of his actions had been ill advised and impulsive. He wanted to shake that man. Hundreds of of broken and incomplete thoughts flourished through him. He didn't dare use any of them. Merlin struggled for a response. Before he could cool down enough to collect his thoughts, Cara barged up to him.
"I saw a man die today," her voice dripped with malice.
Cold fury washed through him once more. "That MAN deserved it. And worse," Merlin spat.
"Who are you to-" Richard began in a disgusted tone.
"He was a cold-blooded murderer," Merlin hissed menacingly.
The other half of Richard's brain started to open her mouth. But she interrupted by the door swinging open.
"Gaius!" Merlin sighed in relief. "I probably should get back to work," Merlin tried to excuse himself.
Gaius stopped Merlin's advance to the door with his hand. "Arthur can spare you a little longer."
"But-" Merlin began as he formulated a reason for Arthur to need him promptly. But, the look on Gaius' face silenced him immediately. Merlin turned back around to face the crazy people once more.
Gaius introduced himself, "I am Gaius, the court physician. Is everyone feeling well?"
"Why wouldn't we be?" Cara responded rudely.
Kahlan placed her hand on Cara's shoulder while stepping forward. "We're fine, thank you," Kahlan corrected sweetly. "Why do you ask?" Merlin was shocked that she would treat even Gaius like a child.
"I've heard strange... rumors," Gaius answered tactfully.
"What rumors?" Richard sounded appalled that any bad rumors could ever be attached to him, the seeker.
"Well, I've been told that you've made some statements that could be thought of as ...feverish." Gaius partially explained.
All four companions looked stunned.
"Thank you for your concern, but..." Kahlan paused for a moment, "we're fine."
"We must be farther off track than we thought," Zedd explained. "Some of the words we commonly use must be different around here."
"Hm, it's a wonder that we can understand each other," Gaius observed.
Each sputtered for an answer. Merlin could see them each faltering under Gaius' stare whenever they got close to speaking. He could actually understand how they felt in this moment.
Just then, the door swung open again.
"Merlin!" Arthur shouted. At the sight of the travelers he seemed to temporarily forget his urgency.
"Yes, M'Lord," Merlin answered eagerly. He would take just about any excuse to leave at this point.
Arthur's eyes snapped back to Merlin. "Come," he ordered. "He's at it again! He's even dumber than you, Merlin!"
Merlin immediately rushed to follow Arthur into the streets. Arthur led him to a secluded corner.
"Merlin, I need you to drug Sir Doesn't-listen-to-me," Arthur whispered.
"What?" Merlin asked incredulously. "I can't do that to a knight."
"Keep your voice down!" Arthur commanded in a low voice. "You can and you will. If you get caught, I'll cover for you." He then added, "Don't get caught!"
"Alright," Merlin yielded, "I'll get something from Gaius."
"Don't you have something?"
"Why would I? I'm not in the habit of drugging people. What do you want me to drug him with anyway?"
"Just figure something out. And I'd rather leave Gaius out of this."
"Great," Merlin muttered. He wondered whether being stuck with the crazy people would actually be better than this.
The Legend of the Seeker crew began searching for the "business" once more. They had finally convinced the old man that they weren't feverish or crazy, only maybe a little disoriented. The old man asked that they be more careful because he didn't want more unnecessary reports. He then looked at the women and said: "And you might want to find some new clothes." After that, he suggested, "We should all stop invading Guinivere's home now that this is resolved."
Cara now led the search because she insisted after Kahlan had led them astray. Also, she needed to lead the expidition because she was still the only one that realized that they were looking for a brothel.
"Feverish," Richard muttered. How could anyone think that he, the Seeker, or Kahlan, the Mother Confessor, sounded feverish?
"We should wait until we're alone before we talk about it, Richard," Zedd warned.
So, after a bit they finally found the brothel. Cara smirked. Kahlan's astonishment will be hilarious.
They entered, and the room full of women lounging about. One of the women they had met earlier approached them.
"Oh, you came. Good," she chirped pleasantly. "And I see you've brought some costumers. You can go upstairs and start your work with them if you like. They must pay upfront though."
Kahlan's mouth dropped open. She closed it... and opened it again, but she was at a loss for words.
Richard turned the girls around to look them in the eyes. "You brought us to a brothel?" He asked in a low and incredulous voice.
"I'm sorry," Kahlan sputtered while Cara teetered on the brink of laughter.
"It's alright," Richard assured her. "Let's just go."
"Since we're here anyway, I don't see why some of us can't take advantage of these facilities," Zedd teased.
"Zedd!" Richard admonished.
"I was kidding, Richard," Zedd corrected. "Let's go."
As they left the brothel, Richard couldn't help but wonder if his grandfather, despite the assurance otherwise, had been completely serious.
Once they were outside Kahlan said, "We should find an inn."
"Congratulations, that's the first sensible directions you've given all day," Cara sneered
"That's enough," Richard interjected before Kahlan could protest. "Kahlan's right. I think I saw one on our way... here."
Richard led them to the inn. When they entered, every eye turned to stare at a Kahlan and Cara in silence.
They uncomfortably made their way to the innkeeper and asked for a room. When they paid him he stared at the coins, commented on their strangeness, and bit each.
Right as the man began to walk off, Kahlan piped up, "Do you know where we could buy some new clothes?"
Once they had each bought a dress, Cara grumbled, "If I can't wear my leather, does it have to be a dress?"
"Every woman I've seen here was wearing a dress," Zedd replied wisely.
They stepped back into the streets and towards the inn. As they had hoped, the amount of attention they attracted was considerably less.
Once they were in their room at the inn, Richard observed, "Well, we're not in the Midlands anymore. That king called this place Camelot."
"Do you know why we've been sent here?" Kahlan asked Zedd in a concerned voice.
"We must have been sent here for a reason," Richard interjected.
"Maybe we're supposed to free these people from oppression," Zedd answered thoughtfully.
"What about the Stone of Tears and the veil?" Cara countered. "We shouldn't waste our time."
"I think if we rescue these people we'll be sent back to the Midlands," Zedd explained. "It's possible that when we get back no time will have passed."
"But just in case time is passing in the Midlands, we should move quickly," Richard said.
Cara rolled her eyes. Once they make up their minds, they never listen to her. Why they felt the need to chase after every meaningless venture was still beyond her.
"That blonde boy, he must be royalty because the other boy, Merlin, referred to him as "Sire" and "M'Lord." Zedd said.
"We could start by talking to Merlin. I think he's close to the royal boy. He might know something," Richard suggested.
"He lied," Kahlan said simply.
"What?" Richard asked sounding confused.
"When he said he didn't know why magic was banned, he lied," Kahlan explained.
"Why would he lie about that?" Zedd asked contemplatively.
"I don't know, but he must know something that would help us," Richard concluded proudly.
"Then we should find him and interrogate him," Cara added in a resigned voice. If they were convinced that this harebrained idea would work, then she should be helpful enough to get this over with quickly. "While-" Cara was about to suggest that they familiarize themselves with the area, but Kahlan cut her off.
"We are NOT using the agiel on him!" she exclaimed.
"I wasn't suggesting training," Cara snapped. "I was about to say that we should get a lay of the land while we're at it." Cara hoped that they'd find that they were actually near an area that they knew. Perhaps that could coax them into abandoning this insignificant quest in favor of saving the land of the living. She refused to believe that they could have been suddenly dropped into a completely different realm. Yet, being spirited away in their sleep by a group of people only to leave them in the middle of a random forest was about as unbelievable as the other idea. She was having difficulty deciding which idea was more ludicrous. She hoped the latter notion was true.
"Alright, we'll start first thing in the morning," Richard went into take-command-of-the-quest mode.