1.8 – Morgana, Part Two

Disclaimer: Godawful. The worst rating that I can give in ToC. Be warned. For those of you who want to know, but don’t want to read, I will add a short summary at the very end. Stop reading after the scene with the guard, and continue when you see Arthur again.

That night, Morgana Pendragon’s sleep was plagued by nightmares.

The young princess dreamt of a bottomless blue, cold and merciless, that pulled her under. Deeper and deeper. The blue faded into black as she sank. Morgana couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. She gasped for air, but her lungs filled with water instead. The pain was unbearable. It burned.

It burned.
It burns.

Please. It burns.

With a scream, Morgana jolted awake from her nightmare. Her nightgown was soaked in cold sweat. Panting, the young girl put her hands over her ears.
“It burns,” she gasped. “It burns. It…”

Only then did she realize that she wasn’t actually drowning. It took Morgana several seconds to piece together her surroundings and finally recognize her room. The hues of pink and white. The painting of her mother on the wall. The large closet in the corner, spacious enough to hide Arthur in. Merlin’s doll, sitting silently by her desk.

She wasn’t drowning.

She was home.

Morgana shivered.
It had seemed so real. Too real. A cold chill ran down her spine.
It burns.

She had to know what happened.

That early morning, as the servants began their morning duties and long before her brother would wake up, the young princess went to talk to Agravaine. Most of the passages in that book had been written by him, so he had to know something. Besides her father, the Jacoban priest was the most knowledgeable man in the entire kingdom. Morgana was sure of it. If anyone knew what had happened, it would be Agravaine.

She found him behind the altar, praying and tidying up. He always seemed to be in the middle of something. Normally, her uncle was very generous with his time whenever she came to him with questions. Especially if they were about the Watcher. Morgana disliked his preachy attitude. But if it meant getting answers for the peasant man and his granddaughter, she was fine with another religious lecture. Morgana carefully scraped her throat, announcing herself to the Jacoban priest.
“Uncle Agravaine? Are you busy?”

He turned around, looking down on his niece with a raised eyebrow.
“Ah. Morgana. Not at the moment, no. What can I help you with?”
“I… I had a question about a history book in the royal archives,” the young princess began. Agravaine nodded, a look of approval on his face.
“Ah, brushing up on your education of your own initiative! How commendable. If only your brother would do that more often. So? What book do you have questions about?”

“It’s about our criminal records,” the young princess continued. “I was reading through the rulings from a few years ago, and-”
Agravaine’s expression suddenly darkened. He put up his hand, cutting her off in the middle of her sentence.
“Our crime records? What in Watcher’s name are you doing with those? That is absolutely not appropriate reading for a child,” the Jacoban priest scowled. Morgana merely shrugged.
“Father allowed me to take them for study. It was very… I learned a lot. But there’s a passage missing, and I was wondering why.”
With every word that Morgana spoke, she could see Agravaine’s expression darken further. He was not enjoying the direction this talk was headed towards.
“What passage?” the Jacoban priest asked in a low tone.

That wasn’t good. Morgana had heard her uncle use that tone before. It was a warning that his patience was about to run out. If that happened, she’d lose her chance to question him. Morgana quickly improvised, adopting the same round puppy-eyes that she gave her father whenever she needed something. Those always worked. In a soft voice, she answered:
“Well… there’s one that’s missing from twelve years ago. Right around May Day-”

But the Jacoban priest cut her off again. This time, his voice was stone cold.
“No. You have no business with those records. Leave them alone.”
“But I just-”

“I said no, Morgana!” Agravaine suddenly snapped, raising his voice at the girl. With the way the church was built, his voice boomed across the chamber, strengthening in volume even more and making his niece flinch in shock. Agravaine raised his hand, angrily gesturing at the girl in front of him.
“This topic is completely inappropriate for a girl of your age! You are too young. I forbid it. You will drop the subject this instant, do you hear me? I will be having a talk with your father about this, and you will hand over those books!”

“What? No!” Morgana protested. “You can’t just take them away! I’m not doing anything bad – I’m just trying to learn! And the old man deserves to know what happened to his granddaughter-”

That last sentence was a mistake. Morgana realized that when her uncle suspiciously narrowed his eyes at her.
“What old man?” he demanded to know.
“I… I don’t know-”
The Jacoban priest took a step towards her. His gaze was intense, in a way that Morgana had never seen from him before. She involuntarily took a step back. That did not deter Agravaine, though. In a low tone, he continued:
“Talking about those events is forbidden under rule of law. There is no way that you came to research that specific period on your own. Someone told you, and they deserve to be punished for it. Now, tell me their names. I will see to it that justice is done.”

The ominous tone in his voice left no doubt in Morgana’s mind about what form of “justice” Agravaine was referring to. The young sorceress knew what he’d done to the baker and his wife, after Arthur got poisoned. The whole castle knew. And they didn’t even do it. Morgana would not let that happen to the old man – not if she could help it. Morgana steeled herself, glaring at the priest in front of her.
“I don’t remember. And even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.”
“What’s that supposed to-”
“Thank you for your time,” she said, icily cutting through his speech. “I’m going now.”

And she turned on her heels, abruptly and decisively walking away from her uncle.

But the girl didn’t look back. She barrelled right for the door. Inside, Morgana was seething. Agravaine knew exactly what had happened. He knew, and he wouldn’t tell her. Not only that, but he’d actually forbidden people to talk about it. No wonder that man had looked so fearful when she asked him what had happened.
He knew that telling her would probably get him hanged.

Morgana strode right towards the door, stubbornly deciding to get the information some other way. Any other way. If anything, her uncle’s extreme reaction had made her even more determined.
She was getting to the bottom of this, one way or another.

It wasn’t until Morgana was already at the door that she noticed Agravaine had followed her. As the young princess reached for the handle, her uncle put his hand against the door, pushing it shut again and blocking her from leaving.
“We are not done here.”

“Yes, we are,” Morgana replied, turning around to face him. “You haven’t told me anything. I don’t have time for speeches about the Watcher. If you won’t tell me, then leave me alone.”

She had never spoken to her uncle with such disrespect before. But she couldn’t help it. The young princess expected Agravaine to yell at her, or lecture her about respecting your elders. She had even counted on a verbal smackdown about her terrible manners.

What she had not expected… was a hand clasping down on her shoulder.
“I am trying to protect you. Listen to me. Give up this foolish curiosity before you find something you’ll regret.”

But Morgana was having none of it. She pulled herself loose from Agravaine’s grasp, throwing a look of defiance up at him as she stepped towards the door.
“Good day, uncle.”

And Morgana exited the Jacoban church.

“Let me get this straight. You want me to distract our uncle while you go spelunking in the catacombs?”

Arthur and Morgana stood in the middle of the dining hall, where she had cornered her brother after they’d broken their fast together. It was a natural instinct. The young princess needed help – and her brother was the first person that came to mind.
“Yes,” the young princess nodded. “You won’t have to do much. Just keep him busy until I’m back from the catacombs.”

Both of them knew that Agravaine had a second, secret archive behind a hidden door. They’d snuck down there often enough that Morgana knew the place like the back of her hand. Her knowledge of the maze had been a lifesaver when she needed to help Merlin escape. And now, it was about to play an important role once again.

Arthur nodded.
“That should be doable. But Morgana… fooling our uncle is going to cost you.”

Morgana had expected nothing less. She nodded at her brother. The princess already knew what he wanted.
“I’ll give you my desserts for a week.”

Of course, her older brother wasted no time in abusing the situation.
“Not for a week. For a month,” Arthur replied, smirking at her. “I want all of the sweets you get for a whole month, including those special ones that Sarah makes for you on your birthday.”
“Are you trying to get poisoned again?” Morgana scoffed at him. Arthur shrugged, chuckling.
“I’m the one subjecting myself to Jacoban torture here, while you get to have fun playing explorer. If anything, a month is too generous.”

Her brother knew exactly what he was doing. He knew Morgana needed him, and judging from her behaviour, he knew that he could ask for whatever he wanted.
And Arthur was right.

The young princess groaned.
“Fine. All of them, for a month, including the ones from Sarah on my birthday.”

His smirk widened. Pushing Morgana when she was under pressure was almost too easy.
“My lady, you have a deal.”

When Morgana retreated to her chambers, her guards were always stationed at two locations.

One was the central hall, right outside of her door…

And the other was the stairs to the servant entrance. It was that second one that Morgana had to use, if she wanted to have any chance of slipping away unnoticed.

But she would have to deal with the guard posted there, first.

But how was she supposed to do that? Morgana had no idea how to deal with a armed, armoured adult, whose entire job depended on keeping an eye on her at all costs.

The girl bent down, peeking through the keyhole. They were right on the other side of the door. If it had been a normal guard, Morgana might have been able to fool them with some spiked wine or ale. But these guards were different. Her father had appointed them specifically to guard her. And they did, never once loosening up.

At first, their presence made her feel safe.
Now, they were a bloody nuisance.

…Wait a minute.

Wasn’t this how the kidnapper had gotten a hold of her?

Yes, she was sure of it. He had snuck up on her, and used some kind of magic to make her sleep. Morgana’s memory was fuzzy, but… she was pretty sure he’d said something. What was that, again?

The young sorceress concentrated, racking her brain to remember. It was on the tip of her tongue. She could feel it. Just out of reach, like it was behind a thin layer of glass.
Then, instinct suddenly took over. Morgana watched herself raise her hand towards the keyhole, the word forming on her lips as if she had always known it.

Her eyes grew large as she watched a bright blue spark light up her fingers, going through the keyhole and hitting the person on the other side. For two scared heartbeats, nothing happened. Then Morgana could hear a clang, followed by a heavy metallic clatter.

When she opened the door and peeked around the corner, Morgana came face-to-face with the guard’s rear end. They had collapsed on the spot. For a moment, the young sorceress panicked, thinking she had hurt them- but then she heard the loud, heavy snoring sound coming from underneath the helmet.

It had worked.
Morgana was home free.

Carefully, the young princess made her way down into the castle’s catacombs. The place was designed like a maze on purpose, full of twisting paths, dead ends and secret doors. Arthur and Morgana had explored the place for years, and they still hadn’t uncovered every secret the maze had to offer.

If you had something to hide… this was the perfect place to hide it.

Morgana knew exactly where to go. One time in the past, when her brother and her were playing hide-and-seek, she happened to notice Agravaine slipping out from a hidden door in the wall. For all his power as spymaster, the Jacoban priest wasn’t very stealthy, himself. It did not take Morgana long to figure out which tile she had to press.

She still remembered. The stone door swung open before her, revealing the inside of Agravaine’s secret archives. As she had expected, half the place was covered in decorations to honour the Watcher. Her uncle was disturbingly obsessed, even for a Jacoban.

The other half of the room consisted of a stone table, a large candelabra and dozens of bookshelves, lined up neatly along the walls. Morgana could see multiple locked strongboxes, as well. The air in the room was stale and stuffy. It pressed down on her like a heavy weight around her neck.
She was not welcome here.

Morgana took a deep breath.
One of these books had to hold the secret that she sought.

Ignoring her sense of discomfort, the young princess began to scour the bookcases. Most of the books on the shelves had no title. Others she recognized for banned myths and legends, as well as some tomes that felt almost magical under her touch. Morgana was tempted to pull them out and take a look – but she had a purpose, the young princess reminded herself. And Arthur would only be able to distract Agravaine for so long before the priest got suspicious.

Plus, if she wasn’t back before that guard woke up… then a suspicious Agravaine would be the least of her troubles.

As Morgana made her way past bookcase after bookcase, she suddenly saw it. A large, brown tome, very much like the one that king Uther had in his own archives. Right there, on the other side of the room.

Instinctively, Morgana knew. That was the one. The tome that held the answers she sought.

The young princess stepped forward, heading for the bookcase-
When she suddenly felt the stone tile underneath her foot sink down a few inches. She heard a loud click.

Everything happened in a split second. A hole in the wall behind the bookcase suddenly opened up, revealing a hidden compartment. From that opening, Morgana heard a whiffing sound. She watched in shock as a large, steel dart the size of her hand shot forth from the opening, coursing straight for her.

The girl froze in fear as she felt the dart whiff by, the feathers scraping past the top of her head.

With the force of a crossbow bolt, the dart whiffed across the room, before embedding itself into the wall with a loud thunk.
The room went quiet once again.

If Morgana had been any taller, that dart would have killed her.

The young princess could feel her knees grow weak. She grabbed hold of the nearest chair, using it for support. The silence around her was deafening. As she stood there, her heart beating in her throat and her hands shaking from what just happened, the atmosphere in the room pressing down on her… Morgana finally came to a realization.

Whatever had happened twelve years ago, whatever secrets lay buried in this room…

Her uncle was willing to hurt people to keep them buried.


Morgana took a step forward, reaching for the book on the shelf with reckless abandon. No more darts came flying at her. She grabbed the book and threw it onto the stone table.

Her determination had finally turned into anger.

No more secrets.

Not from me. Not something like this.
No. I won’t allow it.

Morgana had found what she was looking for. A similar tome to Uther’s. But this one was documented in much, much more vivid detail. Morgana tore through it. Systematically, page by page. She quickly realized that the contents of Uther’s records were nothing compared to this.
Assassination. Infiltration. A purge of all magic users in Camelot. Conspiracies, treachery, magically attempted regicide – all of it found, instigated or thwarted by Agravaine and his spies. Morgana worked through it, discarding the information as she went, her mind of a singular focus.

Where was it?
Where is it?

It burns. Please. Where is it?

And then… she found it.
May, twelve years ago. Morgana’s finger stopped at a familiar name, neatly documented near the top of the page.

Ada Godfrey.

She was looking at a death record.

No… that wasn’t right. It wasn’t a record.

It was an order.

And Ada’s name… wasn’t the only name on that page. Morgana frowned, unsure of what she was seeing. Uther had shown her a list like that before, when he warred against the sorcerers in Camelot. A similar one had been on his desk just before the execution of Millicent. It had been what allowed Morgana to get to Merlin in time, and smuggle him out.
But this… what was…?

Then, the young sorceress finally realized what it was that she was looking at. Morgana’s breath got stuck in her throat. She could feel her insides going cold as her entire body began to shake.

Now she understood why Agravaine had tried to deter her. Why he had been so aggressive in keeping her away. She didn’t want to see anymore. But Morgana couldn’t look away. The letters danced across the pages, searing themselves into her memory.

Ralph Ashdown.
Audrey Baker.
Jason Bennett.
Madelyn Clarke.
Henry Cooper.

For the child born on May Day will herald the end of the Pendragon line,
its King destined to fall by their hand.

A prophecy.
Spoken by a powerful sorcerer, as she burned at the stake.

Morgana grew nauseous as she looked down at the page.

Sixty-four children had lost their lives… over a prophecy.

“N…no,” Morgana muttered, her entire body shaking. “It can’t be. Father… wouldn’t do this. He wouldn’t let… he wouldn’t.”

She scoured the page again, looking for written mention of King Uther. For anything, anything proving that her father wouldn’t have allowed this. That he had forbade it. That Agravaine, or his spies, or whoever was responsible for this, had gone behind his back. Morgana frantically looked for any mention of her father at all.

And there was.

At the very bottom of the page, neatly stamped underneath the death list…

Was King Uther’s signature.

The order had come from him.

Back in the castle, Arthur was trying his hardest to keep his uncle distracted.
It really wasn’t all that hard. True to the boy’s prediction, as soon as he mentioned the Watcher, Agravaine turned the conversation into a private sermon.

“For you see, the Watcher is all-powerful but merciless, and must be feared and appeased by us mortals! From the beginning of time, He guides us towards our glorious individual-“
Dear lord, shut up already.

Arthur had stopped paying attention around ten minutes ago. His uncle’s speeches were always the same, and both him and Morgana could recite them from memory already. That’s how often they were forced to listen to his ramblings. Arthur fidgeted about, throwing looks out the window every now and then to see if Morgana had come back yet.
She better hurry up. This is torture.

At that moment, Arthur spotted the young princess. He could see her heading for the main entrance. The crown prince quickly put his hands up, interrupting Agravaine right when he was about to launch into a tirade about the dangers of magic.
“Oooookay, thank you, uncle! I think that’s enough for a refresher.”
“Are you sure? We haven’t even touched upon the subject of-“
“Yes, I’m very sure! I have sword fighting lessons now, have-a-nice-day-goodbye!”
And he took off, leaving a mildly puzzled Agravaine behind.

The Crown Prince caught up to his sister just as she was about to ascend the stairs. Arthur called out to her, stopping Morgana in her tracks.

“Hey! Morrie! How did it go? Did you get in?”
She nodded, a mechanical, expressionless nod. Her movements were robotic, almost forced. But her mental state went completely over Arthur’s head, as the boy’s curiosity was stronger than his intuition. He raised an eyebrow, eager to hear the story.

“Well? Don’t tell me I went through thirty minutes of Jacoban nonsense for nothing. Come on, spill it. What did you find?”

To Morgana, her brother’s voice sounded strangely far away. Like he wasn’t really there. She felt like a bystander, watching her body perform tasks from the sidelines. Even her thoughts were strangely slow.

But… even in that state… Morgana knew.

She couldn’t tell him.

He was too young.
He loved him too much.

If she told him…

She would break him.

“I found nothing.”

In the original lore, the May Day massacre was an event where the King of Camelot received a prophecy from a sorcerer. It stated that the child that was born on May Day would cause the death of the King and the downfall of his court. But the prophecy did not specify which child it was. So the King sent for all of them, every child that was born in May, and sent them to their deaths.

The legend of Arthur is, above all else, a tragedy. I’m altering very large parts of it, but there are some some things that I cannot change too much without breaking the story further down the road. I hesitated on what to do with this part of the legend for a very long time. In the end, I decided to present it as-is, which is… incredibly dark…. but instrumental in explaining how Morgana becomes the person that she is later.
Please forgive me if this crossed a line for you.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hug my cats now. T.T

20 thoughts on “1.8 – Morgana, Part Two

  1. I thought this might be magic-related, but a prophecy, I didn’t see that. This was a great chapter. The pacing and tension were perfect.

    I as a reader don’t mind darker subject material, but I think I have a pretty high tolerance to darker stories. But it’s nice that you included a disclaimer for readers that are sensitive to darker content. And hugging your cats is a good stress reliever. Pets are awesome little mood lifters.

    Now I’m even more interested to see how this influences Morgana in the future. I could see her distancing herself from her father and maybe eventually Arthur because he is close to his father. I think Morgana is becoming my favorite. She’s very complex.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading! And the cats definitely helped, yeah. I’d include a picture of them, but I have no idea how to do that in a wordpress comment. xD

      I’m trying to give them all layers, but in terms of complexity, Morgana is definitely up there. Time will tell if your predictions come true!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh… oh wow. I was expecting something dark, for sure, but this… this rattled me. This is even worse than I expected! It’s not too surprising given Agravaine’s immediate anger when asked about it, but.. oh boy, was this rough. Poor Morgana, she is so young and now has all this knowledge that will probably traumatize her. I admire her for not wanting to similarly break Arthur’s innocence, that was a noble move.

    On another note: Morrie uses magic again! That’s awesome (to read, it probably won’t be awesome if she’s discovered using them again…), I love seeing her use her powers. This was an excellent chapter. The images of the ghostly children behind Morgana, the nightmare… it was dark and masterfully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s even worse in the original. Morgana is just a bunch of sim pixels, but taking pictures was actually kind of chilling this time around.

      Thank you! This is the last chapter before the epilogue, after which a timeskip takes place. I hope the story will stay fun to read in future chapters, too =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I can imagine you’re attached to them, and that having them be in chilling situations like this can be really intense. I hope the Morrie sim is feeling OK!

        Aw, already at the epilogue? Are they going to age up into teens? If they do, I’ll be so interested to see where their stories go, but I’m going to miss the kids!


  3. I had a feeling it would be something like this, not that I remember it from the legend, but you don’t have to go far for similar purges going down in both myths and history. I think the way you portrayed it was really well done, from Morgana feeling the drowning children’s pain through her powers in her dreams, to the they way you showed the ghosts in the catacombs – that was a really powerful scene, with the heaviness falling on Morgana.

    Trust Arthur to bring a bit of light to the tone of the chapter. I adore him, he’s so brilliant. Hopefully he’ll not get too fat after a month of all the treats 😂

    Sidenote – was the prophecy about that specific May Day, or just any May Day? Seems the king interpreted it as the former, since it’s not like the kingdom holds annual child killing sprees… though I’d be willing to bet the king’s interpretation is probably wrong anyway. Isn’t that the thing with most prophecies – so very often, they’re self-fulfilling. (This is just me guessing, I don’t really remember much of King Arthur’s legend and I will not look it up so that I don’t spoil myself 😊)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know… that’s actually a really good question. The prophecy doesn’t state which May Day, only that it is a child born on “May Day”. From what I could find, at least. So you could really interpret it both ways.

      Arthur not getting fat is purely because of divine intervention, lol. Or MCC, in the sim’s case. xD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh girl. This chapter is such an emotional ride! I was worried for her during the confrontation with Agra. You described it so well! It would’ve been threatening for any child, but I’m glad it’s Morgana who’s facing him. Ooh Morgana’s magic is instinctual? I can’t wait to see her use more magic! Is the steel dart part part of Selvadorada’s booby traps? I love all the extra effects and details you put into your story. ❤ The crack made by the dart on the wall, the magic aura when she becomes emotional, her tears. Gah Everything is exceptional to convey the mood. Down to the very chilling pictures of the toddlers who drowned. Omg at this point I’m the one with a chill down my spine too.

    I love how at the end of the story my stomach was in knots over the dread I feel for Morgana as now she’ll have to live on with her father’s secrets on her own unless she chooses to confront him. She’ll never look at him nor Agra the same again. I’m loving all your poses! Poor Morgana on the floor fighting against the hopeless reality makes my heart ache. (Have I made it clear how your chapter got me in the feels yet?)

    I’m surprised Agravine didn’t suspect Arthur after what happened between him and Morgana. Though he’ll put two and two together when he enters his secret quarters and find that huge crack and dart on the wall.

    Aww I’ll take a ton of histamine pills and hug your cats with you, though I’m just hugging them cuz they’re cute and huggable. I’m okay with the dark parts of the story. All medieval/ancient periods have something horrible about them.

    Wait, its an epilogue after this?! What? O.o

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nope! That’s an old-fashioned dart board dart. You would not believe how annoying it was to get that there without her moving. XD Thank you so much! I’m glad the pictures set the mood so well, that’s what I was going for. The toddlers did mess with my sanity a bit, though. Sims do this thing where, if you’re zoomed in on them for a while without making them do anything, they look directly at the screen. Nightmare material, right there.

      I wonder. Besides the light going out, did you notice anything else about Morgana’s eyes? I’m subtly trying to make them look more green over time to symbolize her growing magic, but I can’t remember if I’ve done a close-up of her eyes before, so it might be too subtle XD

      Yeah, she kind of… forgot… to take that dart with her when she left. I can’t blame her, but that is going to raise questions.

      My cats are ridiculously huggable lately. I’d send you a picture here, but I don’t know how, so sims forums private message it is. XD


  5. What an incredible secret! And so sad. Children killed just because they’re born on the wrong day. How heartbreaking for their families! I recall parts of the Arthurian legend but I don’t remember this. I thought she was going to find something about her mother. Did not expect the prophecy and murdered babies.

    I did think Ag (I’m just going to call him that) was overly harsh with Morgana. She is the crown princess after all. She should be able to make requests without him detaining or threatening her.

    I can see this secret becoming a horrible burden for Morgana to the point. I can’t imagine what I’d do in the same situation so I have no idea how a child could handle it.

    This chapter was so well written though. The use of suspense and intrigue and the nightmares promoting Morgana to search for the truth was amazing. I loved how Morgana put the guard to sleep too. I’m enjoying seeing how she uses her magic.


  6. I actually love to read this kind of stories, so for me you really shouldn’t be apologizing for ‘crossing the line’. Maybe I’m just the weird one :’) Okay, it’s dark, but it’s also really fascinating to me. Like, I get a ‘Whoaaaa……’-feeling.


  7. Oh wow, as a fellow writer I can handle dark material. I am intrigued and I see netflix has a movie about Camelot on that I might watch along with doing some research of my own. History is wrought in dark things even American history. I feel sad for Morgana having learned of the horror at such a young age. I can see now how she may have been hero for some and not for others. I can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Myself:
    Me: Well what the hell are you waiting for? Click on the next chapter!

    Seriously though, this was heart-wrenching and incredible. First, the easy stuff – your screenshots are stunning. I love the way you capture the moment and I’m always seeing something that makes me go: dang, that was clever. Why didn’t I think of that? The way the cc is blended in with the stuff from the game? Perfection!

    And now the hard stuff.


    I don’t have a problem with dark stuff. Love it, in fact. BBD is full of moments where the story just has to deal with some very real, very dark things. But I find the dark stuff is hard to write and so often I find that people lean too much on the dramatic or too much on the tension. This had the absolute perfect touch. I was vibrating with anxiety through the first part. What was hidden? What was the secret? I was thinking it would be scandalous, maybe a little juicy. And I’m sure Morgana thought so too. But then when she read and the children started filling the room? My heart stopped. And I felt so conflicted because man, Uther is not a mustache-twirling villain. You characterized Morgana’s horror perfectly and then her eyes and just holding it back from Arthur, gosh, I felt like it was so true to her character.

    This whole thing has me thinking about self-fulfilling prophecies. The likelihood that someone was going to try and murder the King or his entire family? I mean, sure, it was a threat. But if Uther remained fair and well-liked, it would be harder. But slaughter an entire generation of children and forbid the town to speak of it and then expect that they just carry on like business as usual?

    I think the prophecy will come true. And I think Uther set it in motion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😅 Thank you. The darker chapters are hard for me to write, too, especially things like this. For obvious reasons. I had two versions of this chapter back in the day – a toned-down version without ghost children where the actual event was glossed over, and this one where I didn’t pull my punches. I only went with this one after a lot of hesitation, but in hindsight, I’m glad I did.

      I believe you and Plumbob share the same opinion about self-fulfilling prophecies there. And you have a point. In a lot of tales and games, the tyrant or evil ruler or BBEG ends up making his enemy by his own actions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha oh man I definitely have a few versions of chapters where I wrote something real dark, crossed it out, and then wrote it again. I’m glad you decided to go in on this on too! It was so good.

        LOL Plumbob and I are constantly yelling at each other’s characters like: DON’T YOU SEE?!?!?! YOU’RE CREATING THIS OUTCOME!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. What a chapter – the suspense and action is so good! I never had high expectations for either Uther or Agravaine, but I didn’t expect this. I had hoped they would hold on to something and not completely cross the line anymore than had already been revealed, but they crossed it even more.

    I wonder who first decided it was a good idea to murder children? People get carried away and commit atrocities all of the time, but… I almost feel bad for Uther because this is a blunder he cannot recover from (his legacy is ruined IMO because even if people don’t talk about it, they know…). I wonder what happened to make him regret it, though? and hide the incident? He seems like he regrets it at least. It’s awful, but it seems like most kings may have reacted more along the lines of, “Yeah, I did it and what? I’m king. It was unfortunate, but of course, it was necessary. I don’t regret it. I’m not ashamed.” and a lot of the king’s subjects/family would have agreed or some kings may have been thanking the parents for their sacrifices… so Uther’s way of handling it is very interesting to me. Because if he regrets it so much, why did he do it in the first place? And if he regrets it and thinks he’s sorry, why hasn’t he done anything significant to repent?

    I’m curious as to why he’s hidden it from his children as well, especially Arthur (assuming Arthur doesn’t know) because Uther is a king and kings must make difficult decisions. It’s not a nice position and Arthur won’t be prepared if he’s kept naïve. Keeping secrets also adds an extra layer of betrayal and trauma to what Uther could frame as just a mistake or a regrettable decision that had to be made. Agravaine’s records make it appear that Uther is familiar with having family members who want to kill Uther, so why is he raising his children with morals that condemn his actions as king? Why not raise them as allies?

    There’s so much to think about, so I look forward to learning more about each character. I worry for Morgana.

    This isn’t exactly part of the story, but your screenshots/editing are so thoughtful: the lighting, the shattered image of Morgana and her father, the sad toddler ghosts, and the cropped shot of just Morgana’s eyes. It’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These chapters (as well as many more in the future) hold a part of the legend that I’ve been unable to rhyme with how I want to tell the story. In the original legends, it wasn’t Uther that did this, but Arthur. The story depicted him as the paragon of goodness and then did a complete 180 and showed him committing an atrocity without batting an eyelash. And they never addressed it as a bad thing. It probably had something to do with the time that it was written in, but it still made my jaw drop. This is one of many things that I’ve changed and fiddled with.

      You’re right – someone who is proud of or feels confident about his actions wouldn’t cover them up like that. Uther’s character is something that’ll be explored more in future arcs, but you bring up some very valid points. Unfortunately he’s one of the major lynchpins in the story so I can’t answer your questions without spoilers, even though I really want to 🤭

      Thank you so much ❤ this was a difficult chapter to make for many reasons and I’m glad it turned out well.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah yes, definitely beware those pesky butterflies.
    Enjoying this so far!

    I was actually terrified she’d find that her father had ordered the death of her mother. This is still awful, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, hey! Welcome to ToC 😁 I’m glad you’re having fun so far! This chapter was definitely one of the darker ones I made, yeah. Oh geez, that would be a whole different kind of awful.

      Liked by 1 person

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