(c) January 2013
"There's not garuntee that this will be easy.
It's not a miracle you need, believe me.
I'm no angel, I'm just me, but I will be endlessly."
- Endlessly by The Cab
There are legends.
They say that Arthur Pendragon, the Once and Future King, was the greatest leader that Europe had ever seen until he fell at the Battle of Camlann. They say that Merlin, the most powerful sorcerer, served as his protector and advisor, eventually succumbing to the enchantment of the Lady of the Lake, dying in the Crystal Cave. They say that Morgana Pendragon, better known as Morgan Le Fay, was the wicked witch who stole Excalibur from her brother, later reconciling and taking him to his final resting place. They say that Queen Guinevere, the love of Arthur's life, betrayed him with his most loyal knight, effectively leading to his downfall. They say the Knights of the Round Table served their king valiantly, although some turned on him in the worst possible ways.
They tell the stories of so many individuals, from King Uther Pendragon to the Lady of the Lake, who created the legends we still speak of today.
They say that when the world is in need of their Once and Future King, he will return – whether to set the world right or repeat the events of the past. They say it is his destiny.
There are legends, but they are wrong.
Yes, the legends are real.
In truth, Albion did exist, but the events and characters surrounding its creation and prosperity are completely different. The true story was warped and twisted through time, changes falling with each tongue's retelling, until it was unrecognizable to even those who had a vague idea of the correct history. Those who have heard the truth, though, know better than to believe the modern culture's lies.
They say that Arthur Pendragon, the Once and Future King, united all five kingdoms as one nation, the golden age the poets spoke of, the land of Albion. They say that Merlin, the greatest warlock ever known, the Emrys of the prophecies, aided, guided, and protected the Once and Future King so that his destiny could be achieved. They say that Morgana Pendragon, the counterpart of the powerful Emrys, had her destiny intertwined with the Once and Future King's all on her own accord. They say that Guinevere, the Once and Fture Queen, shaped the Once and Future King so that he would always remain pure of heart. They say that the Knights of the Round Table fought valiantly in the Once and Future King's name so that his reign would be long and prosperous.
They know how it all started – and how it all ended.
King Uther Pendragon began the story, harnessing a hostile outlook towards magic and all sorcerers; he hunted down all magical creatures during the Great Purge. Arthur Pendragon was born of magic, his mother perishing as a side effect, and became the greatest king ever known, overcoming prejudice to right the world as a fair and just land. Guinevere was his Once and Future Queen, but before that, she was a mere serving girl, the daughter of a blacksmith, the maid of the beautiful Lady Morgana. Morgana Pendragon was the half-sister of King Arthur, unknowingly the secret daughter of Uther, and she possessed great magical abilities but corrupted by the power it brought, eventually succumbing to fate's predestined plans. Merlin wasn't the old man of legend but rather a farm boy from a village called Ealdor, born of magic and the last Dragonlord, the manservant of the King who later was revealed to be the great Emrys who protected his King to the end. The Knights of the Round Table were as noble as they were originally portrayed but not all had noble blood and they swore loyalty to the King, always placing their lives at risk for the King.
The legends themselves spoke of heroic tales and bloody battles, but the ending of the story, above all else, is the most misunderstood. In the end, it is said that King Arthur died at the hands of Mordred in the Battle of Camlann; what happens after that was a mystery to all. Some believe he was transformed into a raven for all of eternity; the hopeful few swear that Arthur's body was hidden in a magical cave, only to reawaken when Britain is in need of their beloved king once more.
The truth of the matter was that Mordred mortally wounded Arthur at Camlann and was killed afterwards by the King himself, but Camelot's ruler did not die on the battlefield. He was escorted to the Lake of Avalon to be healed by his faithful servant and friend, Merlin, but the two were too late, and Merlin sent Arthur on a boat into Avalon. However, a regretful Morgana intercepted them on their journey, tears falling at the realization of what she had done, never getting the chance to be forgiven for her deeds after a plea of redemption (it was later understood that the witch had been enchanted by her sister, Morgause, and ultimately lost herself along the way, finally breaking the curse when she truly cried tears of remorse at Mordred's death). Merlin, unknowing of her switch of loyalties, ran her through with Excalibur; however, after witnessing the truth, he placed her alongside her half-brother in Avalon.
In a last ditch effort by the young warlock as an attempt to save Arthur, heal his wounds, and bring about the Golden Age of Albion as his Court Sorcerer, the faithful protector by his King's side. But something went wrong: it didn't pour life into the dying Arthur but rather brought the promise of life of for everyone. Fearing that he had failed destiny, Merlin performed the most powerful spell he could, using all of his magic to save the fading destiny all his friends and allies were meant to share. His magic weaved an intricate web into fate's stitch work, setting about the turn of events so that, upon death, all the legendary figures - all of Arthur's friends, allies, and enemies - would return in a time when the fulfillment of destiny could be performed.
The spell was so complex and complicated that it took all of his magic, including his very own soul because in all sense Merlin was magic, to complete. The young warlock died after he breathed the last word of his spell, crystal orbs flashing a molten gold before fading forever as Merlin joined Arthur and Morgana in Avalon, only to open nearly two thousand years later when the souls were reincarnated, setting about a new destiny.
The prophetic events happened differently than originally believed.
The Once and Future King would return, but instead of him alone with his immortal sorcerer, the rest of his past would accompany him.
Arthur Pendragon, the King of the forgotten Camelot, would return as the golden child, the son of a millionaire lawyer. The fair-haired, wide-eyed warrior was now Bradley.
Guinevere, always remembered but had her good name twisted by the deads of Shaded Lancelot, would return as the roommate of the once beloved Lady. The dark-haired beauty was now Angel.
Morgana, the seductive and corrupted with, would return as the adopted daughter of Anthony, the once King Uther, brother of Bradley, and successful college student. The all-powerful sorceress was now Katie, whose destiny would be of her own accord this time.
The Knights of the Round Table, the loyal warriors and protectors of Camelot, would return attempting to find their own unique future and gather together amidst one another. The friends and sometimes sworn-enemies were now strong and independent brothers, trying to gather their lost family.
And Merlin, the renowned Emrys of Albion, would return as the outcast, the homeless boy who is just trying to make ends meet. The loyal and pure-hearted manservant was now a cold-hearted survivor, Colin.
The return of the legendary figures will only raise warning bells for the now extinct Albion and the rest of the oblivious world. Their return signals the return of numerous enemies and allies alike, all attempting to unite against or alongside the source of magic which brought them all back.
Merlin had done it; he had ended the legend, but nothing would turn out the way he imagined. In the future, Albion was gone; magic was forgotten; and the memories were too well hidden to be remembered.
Did the legend even have a chance to be continued?
My dearest readers,
This was originally my second Merlin fanfiction that had been in the making since late April, early May of 2012. I have written drafts and drabbles alike to fit this new world such as my Winter companion series that you can find in my profile which explain the modern stories of Arthur, Morgana, and Lancelot as well as some glimpses of Merlin. I warned before that the content of the prologue was subject to change back in July, and now that Season 5 has premiered and is done with, thus ending the Merlin series, I needed my own way of healing the frayed strings of the the journey. The journey of Merlin is not over for me, because Merlin was still waiting, but the ending brought forth this story idea I began so long ago and I edited the prologue to fit my AU ending of season 5. For me, just for clarification, as Merlin and Arthur struggled to get to Avalon, Morgana cried over Mordred's grave, true tears of remorse for what happened, that she broke an enchantment Morgause had placed before in order to corrupt her and mold her into the evil High Priestess. I feel like her character deserved more, so I had her, in this AU ending, track Arthur and Merlin down, trying to help, but ends up getting killed by Merlin, and on her death bed, explain what happened, prompting Merlin to give her a proper resting and a chance for a better future. In the end, Merlin tried to save Arthur, regardless of what Kilgarrah said and ended up casting the Reincarnation Spell that extended far beyond his limit and ultimately killed him.
Anyways, I hope you read. Reviews are even easier to write with that little box down there, so please take the time to comment, and I hope you all enjoy.
P.S. I used the actors' names in this story for my own sake because I hate the idea of naming Merlin reincarnations after their past lives - it just doesn't make sense. So, when they do remember, I will address them as their past lives consistently, though, I promise.