Pan Post 163 continues Space Camelot but explores the origins behind the story. Merlin the Elder summons the kings of Britannia to acknowledge the young son of King Uther and Queen Igraine but Arthur was raised by Ector, a trader, rather than the king and so few of the kings accept Arthur's right to rule. Morganna was also raised by Ector but now agrees to become Merlin's pupil in magic. Taliesin warns that Arthur will find it difficult to take control of Britannia but Merlin believes in Arthur's strength and charisma. Arthur is joined by King Hoel of Brittany and Bors the Elder of Vannes who help Arthur begin his conquest. Arthur defeats the invading Saxons and, before they march on Hen Ogledd, Arthur takes on his first three knights; his brother Sir Kay, Sir Bedivere and Sir Bors, son of King Bors. After they defeat the sons of King Cole in the Old North, they turn to Wales. King Leodegrance of Powys is old and chooses to ally with Arthur by wedding his daughter, Lady Guinevere, to Arthur in Viroconium Cornoviorum where Arthur, with the help of Aes Sidhe from behind the Rift, has begun to build Castle Camelot. Leodegrance is too old and sick to attend the wedding and stays in the little hut that marks the beginning of the castle, however the other Welsh kings, King Caradoc and King Rience, attack. Arthur's forces defend Leodegrance but the old king is accidentally killed in a dishonourable fashion and Rience submits to Arthur as a result. King Hoel and King Bors must depart Britannia for Gaul to defend Brittany from the invading King Claudas and Arthur decides to honour the alliance by travelling with them. They land in Vannes where they are greeted by Arthur's sister, who lives under the care of King Hoel, Anna of the White Hands and a new knight Sir Palamedes.


Space Camelot

Oranges Part I

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 Robin | Sir Greene Knight | Isolde of the White Hands | Sir Palamedes | Newrias | King Óenegus | Princess Guinevak | King Lot | King Urien | King Caradoc | Queen Morgause | Prester John | The Red Cross Knight | Sir Ector | Bors the Elder | King Hoel | Sir Bors | King Rience | King Leodegrance | Anna Pendragon | Taliesin | Merlin the Elder

Al Ciao the Writer: "Oranges? Don't you mean origins?"

Britt the Writer throws an orange at Al Ciao the Writer's head.

The old man stands atop of the hill, leaning on his gnarled staff, and watches as the kings of Britannia march up towards him. The wind is fierce but the storm has yet to start. The cold won't improve the kings' moods, the old man knows, but with war pending the task has to be done now.

Ector looks more worried still. The man is a trader that buys and sells goods between Cornwall and Londonium, as well as several other southern regions of England. He is middle-aged but a life of hard work and drink has left him sick and weary. Yet his heart is pure and he has taken care of the boy, Arthur, ever since the old man first delivered him unto Ector's care. As well as Arthur, Merlin would also deliver the baby girl, Morganna, into Ector's care.

Now that their father, Uther Pendragon, has died their identities are to be revealed to all the kings of Britannia. Arthur, now a young man of teenage years, appears nervous but Morganna looks annoyed.

The king to reach the top of the hill first is King Lot and he is the first to speak;

King Lot: "Why have you summoned us here, Merlin? You may hold our trust, but our patience only goes so far when summoned across the entire land in the cold and for no known purpose."

King Lot's father, King Cole, had died the previous year and divided his lands between his sons. King Lot is now king of Lothian in Hen Ogledd, the same lands from which Melrin himself hails. King Cole had been good friends with Uther Pendragon, though they also fought many battles for dominance over the northern lands. Lot had none of his father's jovial characteristics. Instead he is serious and as cold in temper as the wind blows against him now.

Merlin the Elder: "I called you here so that there would be no doubt that what I show you is true. Here you can see the knight's sword Clarent has been returned to its resting place within the stone from whence Uther Pendragon pulled it."

Merlin held his palm in the direction of the sword in the stone. Clarent is the sword of knights, used to knight a man into service of the king of the south. It is a beautiful ceremonial blade that can only be pulled from its bed by the true heir to the Pendragon line.

Guessing what is the to come the kings all look at the two teenagers. Nobody considers the girl, but the boy does bear some resemblance to the now dead king.

King Caradoc: "It's not possible. Uther had no children."

Merlin the Elder: "He did. He had two, as you can see. One sired by him and Queen Igraine. A son."

King Caradoc: "Then why are we only hearing of this now!?"

Merlin glances at Arthur, who looks very interested.

Merlin the Elder: "Uther and Igraine were married after Arthur's conception."

King Lot: "You mean while she was still married to Duke Gorlois?"

Merlin the Elder: "That is correct."

King Caradoc: "An illegitimate ******* is to become king? Ridiculous."

Merlin the Elder: "He is the son of Uther Pendragon. And now he shall prove himself worthy of the throne."

The young Arthur nods and places his hands upon the hilt of Clarent. The wind suddenly picks up dramatically and Arthur can feel a strange tingling in his palm. He yanks on the hilt.

The sword doesn't budge.

A few of the kings chuckle.

King Caradoc: "Waste of time..."

Morganna le Fay: "Do it properly, idiot."

Arthur pulls again. This time the sword grinds out of the stone and is freed once again.

The kings now stand in silence and Merlin knows that each of them is deciding to side with this new, young king or declare their independence. Uther Pendragon had taken most of the lands under his sway and Merlin knows that Arthur will finish that job. How many of these kings will realise that now, Merlin wonders.

Slowly the kings of Britannia depart wordlessly, each with his own thoughts. Some seem angry, others apathetic and very few of them appear pleased. Merlin suspects war will come soon but Arthur is fit for the task. The young King Urien is the last to leave and he speaks briefly with his bard and advisor, Taliesin, before he departs. Taliesin remains, with his lord's permission, and approaches Merlin.

Merlin the Elder: "Still in service to Rhegen I see?"

Taliesin nods with a smile.

Taliesin: "I find it fulfilling. And it gets me above ground. Being down in Doughnutdelf all day might suit you, but I long for the sun."

Their small talk is over quickly and Taliesin becomes more stern.

Taliesin: "Do you really think this is a good idea, Merlin? This boy is too young and ignorant of responsibility. I guarantee there will be war here. Old King Cole never submitted to Pendragon rule, his sons certainly will not either. King Urien has already been fortifying Rhegen, he won't be easily taken. The kings of Scotland and Ireland would be all the stronger after a war in England and Wales. And then there's the Saxons!"

Merlin raises his hand for peace with his fellow magic-user.

Merlin the Elder: "Have no fear, Taliesin. I had Arthur raised with the good Ector so that Arthur would learn what it is to be a real man before he would become king. Arthur will be popular with the masses because he understands them. He will be uncorrupted by the politics of kings and will serve his people well."

Taliesin glances past Merlin towards the boy who is playing with the new sword in his hand.

Taliesin: "I hope you're right, Merlin. With you there to aid him, perhaps he will be victorious yet."

Merlin the Elder: "I will only advice the young king, Taliesin. I won't win his battles for him. Arthur can do that alone. He has immense charisma that will draw others to him and his cause. I will be busy with my new pupils."

Taliesin frowns.

Taliesin: "Pupils? I know you took on that little wild child you found digging up poisonous flowers. What other pupil do you have?"

Merlin: "Morganna, come and meet Taliesin. He is one of us."

Morganna le Fay, with such a groan that she might have been asked to perfom some ardous task, shuffles forward to meet Taliesin.

Morgan: "Hey."

Taliesin: "You do always pick the most unusual of specimens to join our cult, don't you know, my old friend?"

Morgan: "Did this **** just call me unusual?"

The years that followed are tumultuous as the Germans invade Britannia. The Saxons, the greatest amongst the invaders, decimate England and conquer lands belonging to the English kings. The greatest culmination of the wars of the Saxons was the Battle of Badon in which the young King Arthur defeated the Germans and proved his prowess in battle. His tactics and skills became legendary amongst the people and he soon set his sights on the eleven rebel kings who had turned against Pendragon authority.

Friend to Uther Pendragon was the king of Gaul, Bors the Elder. He crossed the English Channel, through Brittany, and into England where he came to support King Arthur. Cousin to King Arthur was King Hoel of Brittany, and he also joined Arthur in his honourable quest.

The two old kings and the young boy made an unlikely trio and they are now standing about a battle map of Britannia within a tent at the centre of Arthur's camp. They have arrived to the south of Hen Ogledd and must now face the children of the proud King Cole.

Bors the Elder: "Arthur, I do not think the soldiers of King Urien share your passion for cheese. They will not be lured to our side for something so trivial."

King Arthur: "Trivial!? Cheese will win the day, I assure you!"

King Hoel: "His plan to give the Saxon horses laxatives did pay off. His unconventional thinking seems to work, Bors."

Bors the Elder: "Making horses **** themselves is one thing, convincing soldiers to eat mould is another."

Bors the Elder is a large man of muscle and hair. His beard is huge, bushy and reaches his stomach, while his hair is thick, long and black. He tends to wear more subdued clothes than most kings and isn't prone to displays of affluence, despite being the richest monarch currently standing on British soil. King Hoel is younger than Bors but even in his forties, he is considered old by the standards of the Dark Ages. He has a gaunt face etched with stubble and dark-ringed eyes. He had married many years ago but only produced a single daughter. With such little burden, he had accepted Arthur's older half-sister, Anna Pendragon, into his household.

Then there is some angry shouting just outside the tent moments before a young man burst inside. He has red hair and a roguish demeanour.

Kay: "Brother!"

With him comes another young man, perhaps a few years older, with hair cropped short and honest eyes. While Kay is wearing his travelling clothes, the other man is ready for battle in his armour. Apparently he's supposed to be on guard duty to stop trespassers like Kay from getting in.

King Arthur: "Um, Kay is it?"

Kay: "That's right!"

Before he drew the sword from the stone, Arthur had only known of one sibling - Morganna le Fay, who was also a ******* of the same father. Now he knows his mother had other three other children. The twin girls, Morgause and Anna, and the eldest son Kay.

Bors the Younger: "I'm sorry, I tried to stop him but he's... bloody persistent."

Bors the Elder: "I'll deal with you later, Bors."

The son of the Gaulish king sulks and stands at the back of the tent in silence. He looks much like his father in stature but doesn't have the same temperament.

Kay: "You lot need to loosen you, you know that? I'm Arthur's brother! What harm am I going to do!?"

Neither of the older kings wants to point out that brothers are usually the ones to kill a king and take his place.

King Arthur: "But why are you here, Kay? You don't have to help me, you know?"

Kay: "Sure I do! I'm your brother! The better looking, smarter and older brother to boot."

King Arthur: "Is that meant to make me want to hire you?"

Arthur grumbles, mostly because it's true.

Kay: "No? You don't have any choice, I'm your brother! That's the rules!"

The older kings shrug at that. It's kind of true.

Kay: "Besides, you need to have your own retinue of knights! You're the king of England! And I can be the boss knight!"

Bors the Elder: "There's no such thing as a boss knight."

Kay: "Lord Knight!"

Bors the Elder: "Doesn't exist either."

Kay: "The... leader knight?"

King Hoel: "The person to lead the knights would be the king, boy."

Kay: "Oh right. But he needs a guy to help lead when he's not around, right? Like lieutenant knight!"

Bors the Elder: "I think it's a good idea actually."

King Hoel: "You do!?"

Bors the Elder: "Not the boss knight, or whatever he's prattling on about. But Arthur should have a retinue of knights by now. Kay, here, could be the first."

Kay: "Yes!"

He is already on one knee.

King Arthur: "Dude, at least wait until I get the bloody sword."

Kay produces Clarent from behind his back.

King Arthur: "How in the name of--"

Kay: "I thought I'd save you the time of getting it."

Arthur puts the blade on Kay's shoulder and pauses, unsure of what to say.

Kay: "Just don't cut my head off in the process."

King Arthur: "Don't tempt me."

King Hoel: "I don't think that qualifies as an oath."

King Arthur: "Okay, how about this. I, Kay of Garlois, hereby swear an oath of fealty to Arthur, king of the Britains. I shall serve and protect my king for as long as I may live and should I die in service to my king, I shall be... awesome."

Kay: "I, Kay of Garlois, here swear an oath of feely to my stupid kid brother, king of the land. I shall serve and something my king for some time and I might die but it will be totally awesome. Except I won't die, because I'm already awesome."

King Arthur: "That'll do. Rise, Sir Kay."

Sir Kay: "Ha! I'm Sir Kay now. This definitely fulfills something on my bucket list."

Then Arthur notices someone kneeling next to Kay.

King Arthur: "Uh... Bors?"

Bors the Elder: "What're you doing, Bors?"

Bors the Younger: "Huh? Oh, I thought I was supposed to do it too."

Bors the Elder: "You know what? Good idea. Arthur, would you take this lout into your service?"

King Arthur: "Absolutely! Bors rocks! Okay, Bors son of... well, Bors. You must hereby swear an oath of... do you remember what I sent to Sir Kay?"

Bors the Younger: "Yes?"

King Arthur: "Good. You're a knight now. Rise Sir Bors."

Bors the Younger gets up with a grin.

Sir Bors: "Yes! Awesome!"

Sir Kay: "No, I'm awesome. You can just be... average. Or okay. Or I'll let you be good. But not awesome."

King Arthur: "My first two knights. This is a pretty amazing moment. I wonder who else I can have as a knight?"

Sir Kay: "I saw some five-year-old with a twig before who said he dreamed of being a knight. Want me to get him?"

King Arthur: "I know, that Bedivere guy!"

Sir Bors: "You mean the weirdo with the glasses?"

King Arthur: "He's pretty smart, he could be my knight!"

And so Arthur began to accumulate knights to his cause. Together they ploughed through Hen Ogledd and the kings bowed to Arthur. But the conquest of Wales would be a far tougher battle. The kings and soldiers of Wales were proud and strong Celtic warriors of the old ways and believed in a Britain that pre-dated the Roman occupation. The people of England had been changed by the Romans in culture and religion, but the Welsh, even when conquered by Rome, kept their old ways, their own language and their old beliefs. Except for the kingdom of Powys where the king was of Roman birth that married a Welsh queen. The king, Leodegrance, is on his deathbed, laid up with all manner of ailments but seeks his kingdom to be at peace in the best possible hands. And so he wishes his eldest daughter to be wed to the new king of England.

Guinevere is a little older than Arthur but this only gives her the advantage of an already wise and astute mind.

As the two stand at the altar in eastern Powys, the Roman city of Viroconium Cornoviorum, that borders England. The city has been bestowed unto Arthur to become his new stronghold over Britannia and there he has begun to have a magnificent castle constructed. Merlin the Elder has taken to aiding in the construction of this fortress and has enlisted the help of supernatural beings from beyond the Rift. Castle Camelot, as Arthur named it, would be the greatest symbol of strength as Arthur could muster for his reign.

His marriage to Guinevere would be the first ceremony of the new castle's life.

Arthur turns to his best man, his brother Kay, and holds out his hand for the ring. Kay hands it over.

Arthur frowns.

King Arthur: "The hell? Why is it sticky!?"

Sir Kay looks guilty.

Sir Kay: "I dropped it into a trecale barrel..."

Arthur stares at Kay.

King Arthur: "Why..."

Sir Kay: "It was really good treacle."

Arthur spits on his thumb and tries to give the ring a quick polish before he spins around and plants the ring on her finger before she could notice how sweet it smells.

Priest: "You may now kiss the bride."

And thus they do.

While most of the audience are slapping and cheering, the solitary booing from Princess Guinevak is quite distinctive. But just as they are officially wed, the city is suddenly under attack from the other Welsh rulers. For siding with Arthur, Leodegrance has been declared a traitor to Wales. King Caradoc of Gwent attacks from the south while King Rience of Gwynedd comes in from the north. Rience is especially incensed by the actions of Leodegrance, while Caradoc is really only interested in himself.

The assembled knights and kings of Arthur rush to defend the incomplete Castle Camelot where Leodegrance was laid up in bed. He had travelled from Powys to the city of Viriconium but wasn't well enough to attend the wedding properly. The castle is currently little more than a glorified hovel made of stone and this section would likely be the stable in the future.

The knights of Arthur surround the mini-Camelot, weapons poised as the Welsh soldiers swarm in.

King Arthur: "WRAAAAA!!!!"





Sir Kay & King Arthur: "..." :/

Queen Guinevere: "Arthur, you should try to get some archers on that ridge there!"

Arthur looks to where Guinevere is pointing and agrees.

Queen Guinevere: "You should have the cavalry units circle around from the south."

Arthur looks to where Guinevere is pointing now and agress again.

Queen Guinevere: "You should--"

Bors the Elder: "Who is the military strategist here!?"

King Hoel: "I want to know where she learnt all this! What kind of girl did Leodegrance raise!?"

Arthur wields a short spear named Rhongomyniad. It is bright red with three strips of cloth, red, white and blue, dangling from just below the spearhead. The spear was created by Arthur's adoptive father, Ector, sometime after the boy became king of England. Merlin the Elder had taken the spear down into the secret domain of the druids beneath Stonehenge and the spear was blessed with magic. Arthur couldn't figure out what magic exactly, though, as it didn't seem to do anything special. He always suspected Merlin gave it to his students to practice on and they botched the job. He just hopes that one day it doesn't turn him into a toad or something worse. Like a pineapple. Or a dildo.

Even as King Arthur, whose stubble is doing its best to grow into a real beard, slays one foe, many more come down from the hills. The Roman houses surround the castle plot and the people have sealed themselves inside their homes.

Sir Bors swings his mighty faussart - a one-sided long sword usually used from horseback - to cull several enemies with one single of this most deadly of weapons. It seems to glow faintly with divinity whenever the blade swings through the air. He must hold the sword with two hands due to its sheer weight and Arthur had noticed the strength in his broad shoulders from years of practice. In fact, Bors' spirituality had been grating on Arthur's nerves for some time. The knight seems to exude grace and chivalry and his willingness to do God's duty put everyone else to shame. He is so dedicated that he has even taken a vow of chastity, something Arthur knows is far beyond his own abilities. Not moments after revealing he was unavailable, Bors received several hundred requests from women who wanted what they couldn't have.

Sir Bedivere: "FOUR!"

A hard, white ball flies over Arthur's head and cracks a distant archer on the noggin. Arthur glances back to see the new knight, Sir Bedivere, wielding what he calls his 'driver'. A long, metal stick with a hard, clubbed end. Used to send projectiles at people and to smack heads.

As the battle continues, word quickly spreads that the Welsh kings are joining the fray themselves.

King Rience is a tall man with a thick head of bushy, red hair. He keeps his chin shaven but his eyebrows are just as untamed as his mane. He wears ragged armour that looks like it must have been used by several generations of his family, with only the thick, green cloak made within the last decade. He has his own long sword, double-sided unlike Sir Bors' weapon, and he has the frame to wield it. Bhind him comes King Caradoc, skulking behind like a weasal in the shadows. Arthur can see no weapon but suspects a man like that has several daggers hidden within several orifices about his person.

King Rience: "Where is the traitor!?"

Rience runs at Arthur without waiting for a reply.

A spear usually has the advantage over a sword due to its length, but Rience's long sword matches the distance and its weight slams down upon the spear, almost snapping it in twain. Arthur kicks out at the slow-sweeping king and knocks him back. Rience swirls his sword to create a mini-hurricane around him before the sword swings at Arthur's legs. The young king jumps into the air like a frightened rabbit and narrowly avoids being several heads shorter.

Sir Bedivere: "FOUR!"

A ball whizzes by Arthur's head again and pings off of Rience's head. The Welshman staggers back with confusion and pain.

Sir Bors: "Why does he keep shouting four? He's hit, like, thirty of them already!"

King Arthur: "Maybe he doesn't know how to count? You know what mad geniuses are like!"

Sir Bors: "Are we sure he's not just mad?"

King Arthur: "You invited him!"

From one of the windows of the Camelot-hut, King Leodegrance pokes his head. He is mostly bald, with just a few wisps of hair desperately clinging to his scalp for fear of blowing off in the wind. His hooked nose looks like its sniffing the air for trouble as his eyes are barely open.

King Leodegrance: "Show 'em what for, my boy!"

King Arthur: "Does he mean me?"

Sir Bors: "Well, he doesn't have any sons so I suppose so."

King Arthur: "Uh... I will! Sir!"

King Rience: "You can try, cur!"

The Welsh king swings at Arthur but another cry of 'four!' from Sir Bedievere results in a ball smacking Rience on the forehead. The ball bounces with seeming voracity straight at King Leodegrance, who is still hanging out of the window.

King Leodegrance: "What in the buggery!?"

The old king yelled out as he's thwacked with the ball. He stumbles and falls.

The battle stops in an instant and everyone looks quite embarrassed by their actions.

One week later Viriconium holds the funeral for poor old Leodegrance. It turns out that while the old rogue only had two children, Guinevere and Guinevak, he had plenty of young lovers and they are all present and weeping. Guinevere is oddly composed as she stands beside her new husband while the Welsh kings, Caradoc and Rience, are also present. Rience is shame-faced while Caradoc just looks bored. They both surrendered after Rience's dishonourable killing of Leodegrance and their forces were surrounded by Arthur's and those that were loyal to Leodegrance.

Guinevak is in tears, though Arthur thinks she is upset at losing her connection to Rome than the loss of her father.

With all of England, the Old North and now Wales under his thumb, Arthur would have to take on the Picts of Scotland and then on into Ireland. The Irish kings, especially Óenegus, frequent raid the English coastal cities and cause all manner of stress for the likes of King Mark of Dumnonia.

But even as Arthur mulls over his plans, while standing at the funeral, he hears a whisper in his ear. Bors the Elder and King Hoel are going to have to leave England and return to Europe. Their lands are under threat and their forces are needed. Arthur considers that he would be able to continue his dominance of Britannia alone, now that his forces are bolstered by his latest acquisitions, but the more honourable and Christian thing to do would be to honour his alliance with the two European kings in their time of need.

When the strippers march into the church to give a display that would have made the old Leodegrance proud, Arthur decides he really should take a break from his own affairs and decides to take his army through Brittany.

The ships eventually sail from Dumnonia and bound for Brittany. They sail around the land to come up on the kingdom of Bors the Elder; Vannes. The other vassal kings of Brittany, under King Hoel, have prepared their forces for the defence against the invader - King Claudas. When they dock at Vannes, which is a kingdom of British descent so they largely speak a language similar to Cornish and Welsh, they have little leisure time as the invasion has already begun.

King Hoel bids them adieu and rides out to protect his lands.

This left King Arthur in the company of King Bors. The plan is a simple one. Attack King Claudas' lands while he is distracted in battle in Brittany. Destabilising his lands from the rear should force the king to withdraw, allowing the soldiers of Brittany the advance to move in.

Bors the Elder readies his soldiers, while Arthur gathers his knights. Sir Bors, son of the king of Vannes, sits proudly on his horse. He is keen on being in his hometown again. Sir Kay, Arthur's brother, has been barred from several pubs and Sir Bedivere showed up riding something he calls a camel - a hideous beast that spits at people and has a mound of fat on its back. How Bedievere got it, or why he thinks it is better than a horse, is beyond Arthur and he doesn't want to ask. But he decides its evil temperament might be an indicator as to its prowess in battle. Queen Guinevere has also accompanied her husband to Gaul, though Arthur doesn't expect that she'll be rushing into battle. He didn't mind women on the battlefield, unlike most of his male contemporaries, because he had been beaten up by Morganna on several occasions.

Much to Arthur's surprise they are greeted by another woman as they prepare to leave Vannes. Anna Pendragon, Arthur's mysterious older sister, arrived from King Hoel's court to join her brother's endeavours. Arthur had barely met the woman before and now that he has he thinks she is quite sick, looking far worse in complexion than even old Leodegrance. She insists she is healthy and is eager to join him for the time being, so he relents.

And finally there is the newest knight to Arthur's troupe. Hailing from the distant land of Greece, he had recently converted to Christianity and was eager to prove himself in the graces of God. Arthur couldn't turn down such an eager beaver and he has damn shiny armour!

Sir Palamedes: "In the name of God we shall defeat the invader!"

Palamedes almost falls off of his horse when he throws up his hand in grand gesture.

Sir Kay: "In the name of God we shall raid their public houses!"

The other knights look at Sir Kay.

Sir Kay: "...what?"

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.