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In Pan Post 96 Sir Galahad is on a diplomatic quest to meet with the Eborren drows for support against Prelate Seerias and her followers at Lluth Caridwen, who have kidnapped Prince Mordred. Queen Iseult and Isolde of the White Hands despise each other and argue, vehemently, the entire trip. Sir Palamedes knows that they're fighting over Sir Tristram, who once loved Iseult but later married Isolde. King Mark, who is now married to Iseult, tries to remain calm through it all. They eventually arrive at the drow town where they meet with Minister Lysse. She suggests that they should meet with the original owners of their vessel, Camelot, and agrees to guide them to these Boreans who may aid the humans.

Post

The Drow

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

Sir Galahad is vaguely aware of some tension in his party, especially between the two Isoldes. Or rather Iseult and Isolde, who both essentially bore the same name but in two vying languages - English and Gaelic. Isolde of the White Hands, who was actually born in Brittany which makes her mostly French, is taking every opportunity to snap and argue at Iseult, the Irish Princess now Queen of Cornwall. Sir Tristram is actually more talkative than usual, as though trying to distract himself. Galahad knows he cares about Mordred, perhaps he's worried.

King Mark seems the most placid of them all, as he normally is, but even he seems unwilling to chide Isolde for insulting his wife. As though he thinks Iseult deserves the nasty remarks.

Sir Gawain also looks uncomfortable but he, like Galahad, is uncomfortable because he's stuck in the middle of whatever argument is going on between the other four. Finally there's also Sir Palamedes with them, who Sir Gawain was especially relieve to see as he had been under the impression he had eaten him. Sir Galahad is particularly worried about Gawain now.

Why Sir Palamedes is with them, Galahad doesn't know. The man is certainly not suited for silent movement and he as all the diplomatic wit of a tree stump.

Sir Palamedes: "We should throw water on them."

King Mark: "Not a bad idea, it might cool some tempers."

Sir Palamedes: "Better yet, their clothes will be extra clingy when the cat fight starts!"

King Mark: "..."

Sir Palamedes: "Just wish it was me they were fighting over."

King Mark: "... I think that's enough of that."

Sir Palamedes: "He's a lucky guy to have two smoking hot--"

King Mark: "I said ENOUGH!"

The king, in a very unusual bellow of anger, turns on Sir Palamedes with a glare that could have made rocks come alive with fear and scurry away to hide.

When Sir Palamedes falls silent, King Mark tightens his lips and reflects poorly on himself. The others are silent, though Iseult looks guiltily at the soil beneath their feet. Sir Galahad decides not to remind the king that he should be quiet lest he get bellowed at too. Then again the king seems remorseful already for losing his temper. Galahad has always admired the king as a calm, intelligent man of great kindness and caring. Definitely one of the better kings under Arthur's banner. Probably the only king that doesn't have ambitions of rebellion in fact, despite being the only one that could.

Mark glances up at everyone with his large, beautiful eyes.

King Mark: "Well, shouldn't we be moving? I think the village is nearby."

Mark and Iseult usually wouldn't be asked to join knights on official business, neither of them being Knights of the Round Table, but their work leading the colonisation scheme means they have unique knowledge of the land that is useful in navigating and understanding the land. Tristram and Isolde, on the other hand, have been scouting the terrain since arrival on Caledonia and both are experts at silent movement. Secrecy is paramount, so that they remain undetected by the drows of the mountain.

Meanwhile, as planned, the majority of the knights are leading a very noisy expedition towards the mountain to draw attention from what Galahad is up to. With the Faerie Knight there to cause magical bangs of noise and flashes, The Black Knight essentially acting as a one-man wrecking crew and Sir Kay being... obnoxious... the group stands a good chance of distracting the enemy. Sir Palamedes would have helped in that endeavour, given her penchant for running his mouth, but instead Sir Tristram requested that he join them. Oddly enough Sir Palamedes is one of the few people that could be considered a friend of Sir Tristram; the Saracen preferring his own company to all others. Oddly enough, Galahad is pretty sure their relationship started because they were fighting. Or so Mordred said, but most of Mordred's stories revolve around someone fighting or hating someone else for some reason or another. Guy has issues.

Sir Galahad stumbles his way through the blue jungle, keeping an eye out for the creatures that dwell here. Aside from the infamous Robin-sitting badger, most of the wildlife has been fairly distant from the humans. He sees that Sir Tristram, especially, is able to navigate the jungle as though he were born here. Galahad has long wondered how the native drow actually manage to make their way through these dense jungles without paths or signs to indicate where they bloody are.

Drow: "Humans, why do you come here?"

The voice has the usual soft, drow lilt that sounds like their contemplating the meaning of life with every syllable. The king often sounds like that when he's talking about his cheese farms but Galahad doubts that these drow even know what cheese is.

Sir Galahad: "We come in peace!"

Drow: "I should bloody expect so! Do you often go round to towns not in peace?"

Probably, Galahad muses to himself but isn't about to admit that to these drow right now. He feels guilty for not answering the question but thinks the drow wasn't seriously expecting an answer anyway.

The drow appears to be a young woman, though Galahad has found that all the drow look young even when they're old. She is fairly typical for the sort; obsidian skin, grey hair and the usual white specks around her temples. She wears typical drow clothes too, though he has noticed that some towns favour certain styles, loose fitting garments of a material that he thinks is linen. Their colours are often bright, reds and white or orange and teal, and are often slit to expose legs and backs. However even where exposed skin should be they wear what Sir Galahad can only describe as long-johns. These body garments coat the figure tightly but also warmly, protecting them against the cold of Caledonia. Oddly enough Galahad thinks he might have frozen to death wearing nothing but linen and long-johns, but these drow are obviously better adapted to this cold, dark environment.

Sir Galahad: "We need to speak to your leaders. It's urgent."

The drow just shrugs.

Drow: "Alright. I was just asking. I'm not a guard or anything. I was just out picking mushrooms."

She snatches a big, green mushroom from the bark of a tree and chews on it. She leans against the tree casually and watches them go by. Iseult pauses.

Queen Iseult: "So these mushrooms are edible?"

The drow nods with surprise at the question, as though this common knowledge ought to be known by all.

King Mark: "We should still be careful, dear. The drow biochemistry may not be the same as ours. Still, perhaps we could take one or two of them off your hands?"

The drow hands over two mushrooms to the king and queen with some bewilderment.

Isolde: "I hope you choke on it."

Queen Iseult: "I'll choke you on it, if you speak to me again!"

Isolde: "When you die of food poisoning, I'm going to resurrect your corpse and make you the whore of--"

King Mark: "Now..."

The first time the king has chided Isolde on her insults and Galahad couldn't blame him. The whole situation is getting way out of hand and he has to wonder if Sir Kay knew this would happen when he arranged their expedition.

Isolde: "Or maybe I'll just mount your head on my wall."

Queen Iseult: "Even my mounted head would be more tolerable than your living one."

Sir Palamedes: "Drow people of Eberron, we have cometh for thine aid against a most--"

Sir Galahad: "What... is he... doing?"

The Grecian knight spreads his arms wide as he enters the town. He wears a suit of gold armour, no tabard, which, under the sun, would glitter and shine brilliantly. But under the moons of Caledonia, it glitters and shines with an altogether eeriee light that makes him look almost ghostly.

He is bulky, has long hair that constantly looks a little wet and a fine, thick beard. He is the absolute opposite of what most drows are; slender, clean and entirely beardless. They only seem capable of growing hair on their heads and nowhere else, yet even the males cannot grow beards. Half of the time Galahad couldn't even tell the difference between the male and female drow and sometimes has to try to eye up a drow to check for breasts - the only way he could have definitive proof of a female presence. Of course, looking at breasts is a very unknightly thing to be doing and he loathes himself for the act and finds that he can't help but blush furiously whenever he meets these drow aliens.

Sir Palamedes goes on for several minutes; confusing the drow people who are just out on shopping errands or playing sport or off to work and suddenly they have to tolerate a loud-mouthed, weird, hairy alien. The ship in the distant sky has some worried, and the sudden presence of the human aliens has them concerned. Many give the humans a wide berth, others hurry their children into their homes.

Some drow approach them wearing uniforms. Galahad presumes their soldiers come to keep the peace and inspect the weird alien menace.

Drow guardsman: "Can I help you, humans?"

Sir Palamedes: "Good sir! We are here--"

King Mark places a hand on Sir Palamedes, whose booming voice instantly lowers and the soft, rythmic voice of Mark takes its place.

King Mark: "We would like to meet with your leaders. If you would take us to them, we'd be very grateful."

The drow glances at the shining Palamedes before nodding quickly to Mark. The guards guide the group through the streets of the town. Galahad admires that their buildings appear to be made of the common blue wood but also chalk-like stone. To him the stone reminds him of the Cliffs of Dover; those brilliantly white cliffs that mark any ships' arrival to the lands of Britannia. Into the white rock are delicate carvings, usually of spiralling patterns but sometimes there are depictions of drow people in animated poses. Most of the buildings also have English carved above their doors, informing visitors of the buildings' purposes. At the outskirts of the town, the buildings are fewer and the paths are made of dirt and random stones. Sometimes there would be blue wooden paths here and there. But as they got further into the town, the roads are also made of the same white stone. Sir Palamedes could almost become invisible against their brilliance with his own ghostly brilliance.

They get a lot of looks from the local people. Sometimes weary, more often curious. Some point and giggle at the strange foreigners, others start gossiping excitedly, while some of the older drow just stare; dumbfounded.

Palamedes waves and grins at the people, sometimes shouting hello at them.

Finally they reach a wide gazebo towards the centre of town where a lot of people are hanging around and talking. This seems to be how the leaders conduct their politics with the people, who approach and make requests or suggestions.

Sir Palamedes: "Who is the king here?"

One of the drow approach. She is is especially short, but she seems to have an air of authority over the others. She has a hurried, busy look to her, as though meeting with them is a necessary intrusion to her schedule. She bows her head to them quickly but low.

Drow Leader: "We have no king here. We're a republic. A demarchy."

Sir Galahad: "Democracy!!? I feel the corruption creeping over my skin already!"

Drow Leader: "That's probably the humidity, human. It always gets worse an hour before the rainstorm. And technically I said demarchy. It's democracy but a little different."

Sir Gawain: "Uh... how so? Like you vote for a king?"

The drow looks amused.

Drow Leader: "No. We have random selection amongst the qualified persons. The chief isn't here right now, but I'm a representative so I can help you. I'm Minister Lysse."

Sir Galahad: "Pretty sure King Arthur wouldn't approve of this system of yours, Minister Lysse."

King Mark: "There are many things that our dear king wouldn't approve of, Sir Galahad. But he will have to lump it."

He beams kindly at Lysse.

King Mark: "I am King Mark. I'll let you call me Mark, if you promise to bear with us."

He winks and Lysse can't help but smile at his manner. The knights stare at him with horror. Even his wife is looking aghast.

Minister Lysse: "Thank you, Mark. I fear there'd be no such thing as democracy if more monarchs were like you!"

King Mark: "Kind of you to say, Minister. But we are here on a serious matter."

He look to Galahad to let the knight speak. For a moment Galahad is too out of sorts to muster himself.

Sir Galahad: "Uh... we require aid against the drow of the distant mountain."

She looks to where Galahad points. They see the ship looming above the mountain.

Minister Lysse: "Llurth Caridwen. Mountain Island in the common tongue. It looks like the drow have enough to deal with..."

Sir Galahad: "Honestly, we don't want to go blowing up one of Caledonia's mountains. And we don't really want to destroy all of the people up there. They took our prince hostage. We just want him back."

Minister Lysse: "I doubt that'll happen now. An all out assault like that, they've probably killed your prince already."

Sir Tristram: "No..."

King Mark: "We don't know that."

Minister Lysse: "You're right. But really, you should be talking to the owners of that ship."

Sir Galahad: "That... that would actually be us. But the prince's mother is currently... not taking calls."

She looks at them oddly.

She appears young, but Galahad thinks she's probably much older than she looks; like all drow. She has a small nose and big eyes until she narrows them as she eyes them with suspicion. She's wearing clothes much like the loiterer in the jungle, but she has an outer dress of white and only her 'long-johns' are white. She also has a thin tiara of blue wood that he supposes must be ceremonial for her office.

Minister Lysse: "If you own that ship, you must be allied with them..."

The humans stand confused. Galahad becomes aware that the other drow have stopped what they were doing and are now listening to the human conversation. Galahad glances at King Mark and Sir Tristram.

Sir Palamedes: "Who the Hell're you jabbering about, woman!?"

Galahad groans while King Mark looks at Lysse apologetically.

Minister Lysse: "... that ship. We've seen it several times before. They sometimes use it to travel to one of the moons..."

King Mark: "What? There's another ship like ours here!?"

Minister Lysse: "Why do I feel like I've stumbled into something I shouldn't have?"

King Mark: "I suspect we all feel that way right about now."

Another drow pipes up from nearby.

Drow: "I think you should probably leave us. We don't want your troubles here."

King Mark: "Now, now. We mean you no hassle--"

Drow: "I said leave!"

Palamedes looks more affronted than Mark and he steps forward aggressively.

Sir Palamedes: "You dare speak to a king of Britannia in such a fashion!?"

Sir Gawain: "Pretty sure it's Space Britain now..."

Minister Lysse: "Let's all calm down, eh?"

Isolde: "Yes. Let's. Otherwise you'll see some real trouble right here right now."

Queen Iseult: "Let Mark deal with this."

Isolde: "Shut your mouth, pleb."

Queen Iseult: "You--!"

Sir Gawain: "This isn't the time for that, ladies."

Sir Tristram: "He's right."

Sir Gawain: "Could you please tell us who owns a ship like ours? Perhaps they'd be willing to help us."

Sir Tristram: "Or they might try to take our ship..."

They hush and wait in both concern and curiosity.

Minister Lysse: "They dwell in the coldest lands of Caledonia. They call themselves the Boreans. I... I could guide you there, if you truly wish to go?"

And so the group prepare to leave for the distant lands of Hyperborea and the mysterious people that possess a ship identical to Camelot...

Notes

Britt's Commentary

"Aside from expanding on the ancient drow culture and characteristics, I introduced two new major characters and furthered the mystery of Camelot. Minister Lysse was destined to die so that she could return in the future, specifically in The World of Tomorrow Chapter of Clear and the Hopeless, and thereby demonstrate the drow ability to come reincarnate from the Over-Soul. Sir Palamades was also added to add further comedy to the roster of Space Camelot and call in more classic Arthurian[Ext 1] characters. Sir Palamades[Ext 2] was, in the original, a Saracen[Ext 3] knight that but since I made Sir Tristram a Saracen already, I decided to change Palamades to Greek[Ext 4], based upon the similarity of his name to another Palamedes[Ext 5] of Greek mythology[Ext 6]. The reveal of 'Boreans[Ext 7]' adds a layer of lore to the NeSiverse and was first cooked up by Al Ciao the Writer as possible precursor races on Earth. I utilised them a a new and different manner, tying them into the major mystery plot of Camelot/The Hopeful." ~ Britt the Writer

Plot-Holes

"A small plot-hole here with the language. In the previous posts featuring the drow, only two speak English and one of them speaks it very poorly while the other is a highly educated woman (Prelate Seerias) that may have learnt the language. Come this post, however, all of the drow speak perfect English." ~ Britt the Writer

References

External References

  1. Matter of Britain article, Wikipedia.
  2. Sir Palamedes (Arthurian legend) article, Wikipedia.
  3. Saracen article, Wikipedia.
  4. Greece article, Wikipedia.
  5. Palamedes (mythology) article, Wikipedia.
  6. Greek Mythology article, Wikipedia.
  7. Hyperborea article, Wikipedia.
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