Pan Post 118 begins with Sir Galahad's group travelling toward Llurth Caridwen having left Hyperborea with their new Borean allies. When they see Camelot in the sky, Kryst and Benem recount their experience with the ship in ancient history. They had bought another similar ship and travelled with a flotilla of the High Empire and their ship's 'sister ship', which was the Camelot. The High Empire outfitted Camelot with turbo-lasers because they were worried the Boreans wanted to steal their 'precious rocks', the hedrons, which they took to Earth. Benem and Kryst were able to access the information on ancient humanity and the pre-cursor peoples of Earth from their collective consciousness, though they struggled to remember the Lemurians without Tulla's help. Tulla had not been on Earth but on Tatooine, which she said was pleasant before it was destroyed by a dragon, Typhon. The Boreans had left Earth because the Atlanteans' almost destroyed the planet with their greed for power. When back with the task at hand, the Boreans whisk the humans over to Llurth Caridwen. Sir Palamedes and Sir Tristram reached the plateau to rescue Prince Mordred but when Prelate Seerias, his captor, sees her fellow drow have become walking dead at the hands of Isolde, she makes a last desperate effect to kill them all by drawing and drawing on aether, priming herself to blow up and take them all with her. Just as she seems bound to succeed a shot from Camelot finally hits its mark and vaporises the drow, saving them all.
Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Prince Mordred | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Sir Kay | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Galahad | Sir Tristram | Sir Caelia | Sir Red Rose Knight | Sir Black Knight | Sir Faerie Knight | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | King Mark | Queen Iseult | Sir Gawain | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Prelate Seerias | Minister Lysse | Benem | Kryst | Tulla
The little band of adventures manages to make its way out of the snow-laden lands of Hyperborea and clamber up into the mountains of Caledonia proper. They fight their way through the dense, blue jungle - though their Borean friends seem to glide around the place like the world is shifting to accommodate their presence - until the trees fell away and they are at the top of a low-lying mountain. It took a surprisingly short time and when they get to the top, none of them are especially worn out from the jaunt.
King Mark points up into the sky, his fur-lined robe blowing eagerly in the wind. Up there is Camelot. It's turbo lasers blast again and several green globs of heated plasma slam down onto the planet somewhere.
King Mark: "This is our ship, Camelot."
Kryst smirks and shakes their head.
Kryst: "Your ship is it?"
Sir Galahad: "We are its current owners, yes. We found it on our homeland."
Kryst: "I see. What is the name of your homeland?"
Sir Galahad: "Britannia."
The Boreans shrug with lack of comprehension. Sir Gawain adds tentatively;
Sir Gawain: "How about Earth?"
The aliens' faces change in an instant and they give a series of nods while they look at each other, yet all done in an awkward silence. They do this for a minute before they look at the humans expectantly. Another long, awkward pause.
Benem: "Oh! They couldn't hear us!"
Kryst and Tulla both sigh.
Tulla: "All this wagging the tongue is very difficult to keep up. I don't know how these lesser beings manage it."
Tulla's pineapple-shaped hair blows quite gently in the wind. It's odd to see as Sir Galahad expects it should be billowing as fiercely as the long hair of the humans - but it isn't.
Kryst: "We remember Earth. Quite a lively planet. A lot of aether there and a lot of beings that used it copiously. We always thought the people of that world would have eventually blown themselves up given their penchant for magic and destruction. But here you are!"
Benem looks at the humans more quizzically.
Benem: "Humans, I think you said? Not sure I remember you kind..."
Kryst rolls their eyes.
Kryst: "They were the squishy ones. The impotent ones. Lots of impotent rage to boot."
Sir Galahad: "Impotent!"
King Mark: "I can assure you, Lady Kryst, not every human is impotent..."
Kryst: "I meant to say humans were the least talented and yet the most aggressive."
There's a long silence.
Iseult: "I think we're bein' insulted."
Isolde: "I say we give them a good smack, that'll teach them."
King Mark groans.
King Mark: "I think you've just proven their point, ladies..."
Sir Tristram: "All of this talking is keeping us from our true mission here. We can let the scholars debate all of this later. Right now, we need to plan our next move..."
King Mark looks like he wants to say something but refuses to do so after Tristram has spoken. In that moment of silence Sir Galahad opts to carry the conversation instead.
Sir Galahad: "Sir Tristram is probably right--"
Sir Tristram: "Probably?"
Sir Galahad: "We can't spend so much time standing on a mountain discovering these secrets while Lady Morganna blows us all up."
Benem: "Yeeeeees. I remember this particular ship. One of the 'sister ships' I think they were called..."
Kryst: "That's right! The only one with weaponry, I remember. We all went to Earth like a little flotilla! It was so adorable! Those little beings with their cargo. They were very uppity, I recall. Very arrogant. The little dears."
Benem: "They had to go and put those guns on the ship though. Thought we'd try to steal their precious rocks. Still, they got used to us on our little venture through space! It was quite the pleasant little cruise, I felt."
Kryst: "I think we only went to Earth because of them, right? Our ship responded to theirs, because of this sister ship thing, and we went to find them. Right?"
Sir Gawain: "I thought the ship was yours?"
Kryst: "No. We bought it. We bought many of them in fact. So did our little friends in the... the... something empire. Great Empire was it?"
Benem: "The Hippy Empire, I think."
Kryst: "No! It was more grandiose! Maybe the Grandiose Empire?"
Benem: "It was definitely a 'H'. The Hindu Empire?"
Tulla: "Why don't I remember this?"
Benem: "You were on Tatooine at the time."
Tulla: "Ah! I remember Tatooine! Then it was a very pretty place! Until that damned dragon showed up and turned it to sand. What a nuisance."
Sir Palamedes: "Dragon!?"
Kryst: "Well, we arrived on Earth and then what did the Happy Empire do?"
Benem: "I don't think they did anything. They just wanted to deliver their cargo. They landed and remained. The planet was young then. The land very turbulent. The life was very simplistic. Eventually I think the first sentient life that evolved were called lemmings."
Sir Gawain: "Lemmings!?"
Kryst: "No. They were the lemons."
Sir Gawain: "L-Lemons!?"
Benem: "No no. Lem....Lem..."
Tulla: "Lemurians! I wasn't even there and I have this information! Check your collective consciousness once in a while, huh?"
Benem: "It's hard to talk like the lesser beings and think in our way at the same time!"
Tulla: "It's called multitasking!"
King Mark: "This is a fascinating topic, my friends, but we really should go..."
Benem: "Weren't these Lemmings--"
Benem: "Weren't they like these humans?"
Tulla: "Probably precursor humans. You forget how time works, Benem. Species evolve, remember?"
Sir Gawain: "We were made this way by God!"
Benem: "You were!? I don't remember God making humans..."
Tulla: "Maybe it did and you forgot. You can't even remember the Lemurians name properly."
Benem: "I can access the collective consciousness, you know? No humans!"
Kryst: "Or Lemmings."
Benem: "That's why we left your world. Humans are too destructive. Too greedy. It became wearisome."
Tulla: "Yet, here they are! Followed you!"
Iseult: "Tell someone it's urgent and they babble on like a bunch of auld housewives..."
Sir Galahad: "Kryst, Tulla, Benem; we really should hurry."
Benem: "Sorry! We're often reminiscing about things."
King Mark: "It seems you have a lot to reminisce..."
He says thoughtfully.
From their position he is able to point from the mountain to the landscape on their right. It's cracked surface, with dozens of canyons, split by the blue jungles. Somewhere there would be the small human settlement and nearby the drow settlement that Minister Lysse is from.
He hopes nobody else is going to die in the venture. Going back to Hyperborea to explain the deaths of their people would be an awful experience...
Maybe they wouldn't notice?
Benem: "Then let's go."
There's a sudden rush of wind and Sir Galahad feels a terrible sensation of being pulled, dragged, forwards. He tries to stabilise himself, waggling his arms, and then suddenly it stops. He wobbles, but his feet haven't even left the floor. Yet that floor is different.
Sir Gawain: "How did we get here!?"
Sir Galahad: "I think we're on the other mountain!"
The two young men turn back and they can see Reethreen behind them and the mountain that they were once on. Now it would seem that they're upon Llurth Caridwen. This mountain is much, much larger and from their new, high vantage point, the world looks much larger than it had. They can see far, far out across the lands of Reethreen and further still to the great ocean of Karakdulth, which spans the planet of Caledonia almost straight along its equator. Otherwise the planet is split into two great halves of land. When settling the planet the humans had chosen this continent because it was a little warmer than the other.
Benem: "Sorry, little ones, I didn't wish to spend much longer trying to get here. All this walking about is quite an effort."
King Mark: "Right... We're... happy for the... assistance... I think next time, some warning might allow us to be better prepared."
Sir Palamedes is lying flat on the floor, which armour glittering brightly as though making his pratfall all the more conspicuous.
Benem: "So I see..."
Sir Palamedes: "I think... I'm terribly wounded..."
King Mark: "In pride?"
Sir Palamedes: "My most sensitive area..."
Sir Tristram helps Palamedes to his feet and draws him in for a brief 'bro hug', not that Galahad would know what that is. Their relationship is a strange one.
Kryst: "So. We have to locate your prince."
Tulla: "I have never understood the need for lesser beings to put themselves into a hierarchy. Does it help?"
King Mark: "It's the only way we know. It's pretty difficult for us to conceive of life any other way. We've seen it--"
He gestures to the Boreans.
King Mark: "But we can't fathom it."
Tulla: "Just like we can't fathom your need for it, you can't fathom our lack of need for it. I see. Existence is a most perplexing thing, isn't it?"
Sir Tristram: "Philosophy later, saving princes now."
Mark's eyes rove from Tristram to Galahad and, for a moment, Galahad is locked by them until he realises he's meant to speak.
Sir Galahad: "Um. Yes. Let's go."
King Mark's refusal to speak after Tristram is going to get difficult and Galahad isn't sure he understands what's going on between them. Mark has been one of the most open and likeable men within the British aristocracy, why he would suddenly have a gripe about one of the knights of the round table is astounding to Galahad.
Sir Gawain: "All the way up, I suppose."
Benem: "We can sense were they are..."
Isolde: "So can I, actually. I can feel their life energies. The mountain is crawling with drow. Like insects."
Prince Mordred: "She'll never stop. Not until you release me."
Prelate Seerias: "I'll never release you. She only serves my purpose! If she kills many drow in this rampage, all drow will unite against you! And I shall lead them!"
Prince Mordred: "And we'll defend ourselves. We will fight if you force us to. We're very good at it."
Prelate Seerias: "Yet you cannot win. You are not of this planet. You cannot enter the over-soul. When you fall, you fall. Our lives are eternal. If I fall, I shall return!"
Mordred shakes his head. He doesn't understand the drow's strange religion and concept of reincarnation. He knows all too well how futile it is to argue with someone who who has incorrect religious views, or even slightly religious, as they can never see any other point of view. Why everyone chooses to ignore the truth of God is a mystery to him.
He has been studying the guards movements since being brought here and he thinks he could overwhelm those closest and attempt to make a run for it. But he would need a distraction. Annoyingly enough it seems his mother can hit everything except the one target she is supposed to hit. He wonders how she got control of the ship from the others. If it were anyone else, like Merlin or Tom, they'd have hit the mountain by now. And, frankly, only his mother is crazy enough to start blowing up chunks of a planet for his sake. He wishes he could somehow tell her where he is.
Then there's a commotion. A runner comes up to the plateau that they're on and relays a report to the Prelate. She dismisses the runner with an irritated wave of the hand.
Prince Mordred: "I suppose someone has come to rescue me?"
Prelate Seerias: "Yes. Yes they have."
Mordred smiles. He has no qualms about being rescued. He just hopes it's someone competent like The Black Knight or even Merlin.
Sir Palamedes: "HA-HA! Try that again you pack of scallywags!!"
Of course he was hoping for too much.
As Sir Palamedes comes running up the path, glowing like a beacon in the netherlight, Seerias turns to meet him. Aether crackles and growls around her as its drawn into the pores of her obsidian skin. Electrical energy snaps and writhes down from her shoulders to her hands, ready to flash out towards in the incoming intruder. Mordred is half tempted to just stand there and watch Palamedes get blasted off of the mountain.
But his conscience kicks in.
He jumps forward while the guards are rushing towards Palamedes and collides with the Prelate. Her lightning blasts off into the air and is instantly grounded by the mountainside. Seerias, however, is knocked over the edge of the plateau and tumbles down with an unceremonious squeal.
Mordred, lying on the floor, gasps with relief.
Palamedes makes short work of the two guards headed his way and runs over to the prince to help him up.
Prince Mordred: "Well done, Sir Palamedes. Please cut my bonds and we'll get the Hell out of here."
Sir Palamedes: "Your wish is my command, my prince!"
Sir Palamedes uses an exotic sword as his weapon of choice, brought from his homeland of Greece. It's a Spartan Hoplite Sword from ancient times, it's hilt curved at the very end to give the hilt a comfortable hand grip. There is no guard, but it's unnecessary thanks to the groove in the hilt. The blade itself is exceptionally thin, able to slice very cleanly - however its fragility means it wouldn't be overly effective against heavily armoured knights. Fortunately none of the drow seem to have realised how helpful armour can actually be. Then again they tend to blast at each other with magic a lot.
Prince Mordred: "How did you get up here?"
He knows Palamedes well enough to know he couldn't achieve conquest of a hillock held by children without the strategic help of someone much smarter. If anything, Mordred suspects Tristram must be nearby.
Sir Palamedes: "Well, your highness, there's these strange, golden girls who aren't really girls because they're breastless, but either way they're gold. And they were made by God and they can speak to God and asked God to bring us here so--"
Prince Mordred: "Maaaaaaaaybe someone else had better explain this to me..."
Sir Palamedes: "Sorry, your highness. Is it my English? I thought it was getting better."
Prince Mordred: "Not... really... Oh bollocks."
Mordred grabs Palamedes by the shoulder and throws him and himself down to the ground, just in time to avoid a blast of lightning from the levitating Prelate Seerias. Not as dead as Mordred had hoped. And she looks pissed off.
She lashes out with lightning again. The magical streak of hot, white electricity smacks into the rock and sprays outwards like many creeping worms. The two men rolls away from the creepers. Mordred springs to his feet while Palamedes scrambles up, huffing with surprise.
Prince Mordred: "I don't suppose you brought my sword with you?"
Palamedes fishes a small dagger from a strap on his leg.
He gives an apologetic shrug.
Prince Mordred: "Well. How about this!"
He suddenly throws it. It whirls through the air, straight at the floating drow. She brings up her palm and the dagger strikes an invisible wall with an audible ping. Before she can retaliate, more figures come running up the path. An arrow whizzes through the air with a screech of wind. She blocks it again. Then blocks another arrow. And another.
Only Sir Tristram would fire so rapidly.
The knight jumps up into the air and appears from behind the wall leading to the path like a heroic portrait. His long blade sweeps up through the air but the drow slips aside, moving through the sky as though she just sidestepped on land, and the sword misses its mark. But even as Sir Tristram lands, Sir Palamedes hurtles forward to. To stop this double-edge attack. Seerias blasts at Palamedes. This time the attack is magical flame, which sears through the air in an expansive gout. It wouldn't do as much damage as lightning, but its got a much broader range. Palamedes skids to a halt and hunches down, the back of his armour to the flame.
The fire ceases as the Prelate is forced to dodge Sir Tristram again. He has to be more careful than Palamedes as he wears only his saracen leather armour as opposed to the heavy, magical metal of Palamedes. Fire would surely melt through his leather quickly.
Both are, however, at a massive disadvantage when trying to fight with someone who is several metres off of the ground.
Prelate Seerias: "Ah. Finally. He comes my support."
She sweeps her hand in the direction of the path. There they see ten drow soldiers marching towards them, swords in hand.
Prelate Seerias: "Surrender now, and I might let you live."
The two knights, however, seem unperturbed by the drow soldiers and stand resolute. They wait.
The soldiers arrive and bear arms.
Prelate Seerias: "Wh-what is this?"
Then she, like Mordred, realises that these women are walking corpses, their broken and bloodied bodies animated back to life by Isolde of the White Hands. It sickens Mordred. He can only imagine what effect this has on Seerias. Her jaw hangs open in horror.
Prelate Seerias: "What have you done to them? What evil is this?"
Sir Tristram, somewhat casually, draws his bow and notches an arrow. As he does so, he speaks;
Sir Tristram: "Now it is your turn to consider surrender. You might live."
Prelate Seerias: "It seems I am defeated in battle but not in the war. The drow will unite against you, invaders. I was right about you. You are here for conquest and death. My... my warriors. You have perverted them. This is not a natural state for any drow!"
Prince Mordred: "Nor any human, frankly..."
Prelate Seerias: "I will not surrender to become such a perversion--"
She begins drawing on more aether, Mordred can even see the air around her whirling as the invisible force is sucked into her body. Tristram's arrow flies - only to be deflected. Thrown spears by the drow zombies are deflected. Mordred detects the last efforts of a desperate person, intent on taking everyone with her.
Prince Mordred: "I think we should run. She's going to blow us up!"
Even as they flee they see her, now, enveloped in glowing magical energies, almost as horrifyingly warped and transformed as the walking dead. As she floats over the dead drow, who Isolde left there, they disintegrate within the sphere of blow aether that surrounds Seerias. She continues to float after the humans as they run down the path. There they see King Mark slowly walking up towards them at a casual stroll, through the aftermath of the battle the knights had had on their own way up.
When he sees them coming straight at him he doesn't need to be told. He just runs and runs too.
Prelate Seerias: "You cannot escape me!"
Her voice is distorted by the bristling aether around her so that she sounds even more malevolent than ever. Her eyes burn with blue fire, her hair billows out on invisible aether currents that swirl around her as it's drawn in.
Sir Tristram fires another arrow back. A continuous, if futile, attempt.
Prince Mordred: "Maybe she'll wear out. She can't draw in all that aether like this for long! She's going to kill herself. I know it. Even my mother couldn't keep drawing and drawing like this!"
King Mark: "Hopefully sooner rather than later!"
As Mark glances back at the prince to speak he suddenly trips. The others are several feet by before they manage to break their downwards progress to try and grab their fallen king. It's Tristram that reaches out and Mark accepts the hand up. They share no words.
The trip, however, costs them.
Prelate Seerias: "Now... you die."
The mountain itself shakes and rocks blast apart from it as power is unleashed upon them. There's a great shout of panic and confusion. Then Mordred opens his eyes. Where Seerias had been there is now a massive crater. The rock hisses slowly from the energy expended.
Prince Mordred looks from the crater to Camelot.
At least his mother finally managed to hit the target.