NOTE- This is based on The Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, and takes the character
Morgan Le Fay and a number of others. However, this is an Arthurian adaptation, which makes it
quite different. Many authors have put out their takes on the story, and they have not been
accused of plagiarism. I do not claim Morgan Le Fay, or any other characters or concepts.
I pick up the sword Accolon has brought me. The cloth of the scabbard is smooth and
pleasantly cool in my hands. The design on the scabbard has faded with time, though. It's
not as magnificent as I remember it to have been. It used to be a beautiful flame of a picture
A dragon looped around it, its gold and red scales making it shine against the pure white. The
pure white of the helpless fair-haired maiden the dragon held in its foul claws. She was helpless
there, waiting for her knight or her prince or whoever you wish to fill in that dubious role to
come save her. And sure enough, near enough to be in her distressed sight, was the armor-clad
hero, his own sword held high above his head. One could almost hear his brave words of challenge
echoing, his declaration of unfailing love for his beloved princess, a valiant challenge against
this huge monstrous beast which holds her captive. And there had been no doubt in this flat
little picture, no doubt was given to its beholder whom the victor would be.
You don't know yet? Why, the hero, of course! Isn't that the way it always goes, no matter how
beautifully and with how much heartbreaking care the maker has formed out the still disgusting
I knew this scabbard and the sword it holds as well. I used to look upon them and their rightful
owner every day. No one cared how much my eyes would linger on them at their owner's side. It was
a beautiful thing, after all. No one in the palace could truly say they had never coveted them
for their own. Though as expected, most if not all of the women were like the damsel in distress
the scabbard portrayed as so sickeningly helpless, and yet the spitting image of perfection. They
could appreciate the shallow beauty of the scabbard and the romance of its design, but they held
nothing but revulsion and fear for the truly more fascinating sword it held. Held like the dragon
held the pure virginal princess in its golden cage of a grasp.
Holding this sword and scabbard now is a strange experience. I thought I'd never look upon them
again, after all. So much has changed. Do I wish I could go back to those times? Wish the image
of good versus evil on the scabbard over the sword of the king was as clear and beautiful as it
had been in my sight back then?
Never. I'd sooner die than go back to those lies. I am a witch, a sorceress, an enemy of God,
an evil woman, Morgan Le Fay.
The scabbard comes off surprisingly slowly, as if unwilling to yield its contents to the likes of
myself (or perhaps any woman.) I pick up the now revealed sword, savoring the weight of it in
my small, pale hand. It glints in the light, of course, the beautiful runes that adorn it still
glowing like fire. It is a beautiful and terrible thing. I can't read the ancient runes blazed
onto it, for they are in some ancient tongue no one but the sorcerer Merlin now understands. But
I would not be surprised if they read as follows.
"The one who holds this sword in their hands will change the world." Whether for good or evil,
though? That is yet to be decided, I suppose.
Do you find the words good and evil strange? I suppose you might. I do now. What are they,
really? How are they defined? I've put some thought into this, since I decided long ago I was to
be evil. I came to the conclusion that they were ultimately subjective words. They depended on
what perspective you were looking at them. I was evil from the perspective of Camelot, and I
considered myself evil because I was looking at myself through their eyes still. Yet I've come
to accept that since. After all, you CAN change who you are, as I consider myself such a good
example of. But you can never really change WHOSE you are at all.
I was born thirty-four years ago, the second daughter of the Lord Gorlois of Cornwall and his
pretty young wife, who was called Igraine. Their first daughter, and my older sister, they
christened Morgause. She still lives today, a tall redhead like Igraine, and just as pretty.
She is the Queen of Lothian, and has born King Lot many strong, healthy sons.
I am different from my sister though, not just in the course of life I took, but in the
appearance I was born with. I am pale, dark-haired, and tiny even for a woman, and though it
is hard to notice just on first glance, one of my eyes is green and one is violet. A changeling?
Indeed. The Queen Igraine cried when she first looked at me, and the King looked angry, but then
Morgause came into the room, and I was ignored for a few minutes. Then the two of them went off
to talk with the King's advisors. When they came back, I was not crying, but silent, unaware
of my surroundings. I now remember their expressions as being sad, grim, but then Father embraced
me, and declared his pride at having another healthy daughter born.
I got my share of torment for my appearance, mostly my eyes, but not from my family. Though I
did notice the slight differences in the way Morgause and I were treated, even by my own mother,
not once did they call me a changeling, except for once when I angered Father. After, of course,
he was very sorry, and promised Mother not to do so ever again.
When I had eleven summers and Morgause had fourteen, our country's treaty with the Pendragon
broke up unexpectedly. From a state of almost idyllic peace, only infrequently disturbed by
small barbarian invasions, came a sudden, frenzied, panicked war we all knew we might not win.
Still my mother was quiet and peaceful as always, and had us pray for the victory of our father
and his soldiers with her.
Our prayers were not answered. War continued on, and things were looking even more and more
desperate for our country. We were losing the war, and though I didn't really understand war
completely at that age, I could feel the growing despair and became sad and discontent. Both
Morgause and I suffered from frequent nightmares. They were not vivid creatures of blood and
despair, as we had no knowledge of such things, but were simply filled with a nameless fear that
filled our days and nights, a phantom presence that caused us both to cry and beg for mercy.
When Mother asked what had scared us so, we could give her no answer. It was finally I, not
Morgause, who turned to her and said, "Losing, Mother."
The presence was soon given a name- Uther Pendragon. I went to sleep one night, and woke with
our castle filled with fighting men. This was not the expected return of Father and his army,
though. In the King's place was an unfamiliar man, with unruly blonde hair and a mighty robe
of kingly red, and with a sort of lustful triumph in his shining blue eyes that made my heart
quicken with. And Mother stood at his side, with his hand intertwined with hers. She did not
resist him, did not push him away. There was a blank look in her eyes that I didn't understand.
She wore her green court gown, and there were emeralds in her hair, fully a young, beautiful
queen. Somehow, though, in my eyes, she looked like less of a queen then than she had in her
nightgown the last night, bent over my bed, spirit shining. She had smiled at me and said she
loved her little Morgan, that everything was going to be okay, that I shouldn't fret, Father
would protect us all. And now...
Somehow, I understood. I understood who this man was, and what he had done to Mother, and at that
moment I hated him more than I had ever thought was possible. And it HURT. Though he hadn't
touched me, it hurt more than anything had, more than it had when my tutor spanked me a week
before for not paying attention too many times, more even than when I had wandered off and fallen
down a hill and landed with my weight on my left wrist and broken it. I felt as if this Uther
Pendragon had shattered me into a broken pieces, turned me into a broken mirror, and that I
Morgause's scream rang shrilly in my ears, and I winced from the sound. "Mother, where's Father,
I want to see him! Why are these strange men in our castle? Who is this man, Mother, and why are
you holding his hand? It's not proper! I-"
Uther Pendragon's hand shot out and slapped her across the face. She collapsed to the ground in
a heap, holding the red mark on her face, disbelieving. "I take it this whining little brat of
a girl is your and Gorlois' progeny, Igraine?" he questioned. "I do trust that she shuts up
eventually." Mother nodded. Morgause's eyes widened in disbelief, and looked as if she was about
to shoot out a hot, tearful retort, all her training of graciousness and courtly behavior
vanishing as if they had never been, never happened.
"Be quiet," I hissed down at her. "You'll only make it worse for Mother and me."
"And who is this?" Pendragon asked, eyes narrowing at the sight of another princess-brat.
Igraine was silent, as if the shame of acknowledging a daughter like me was too much to bear.
I turned my face up to him, willing no tears to appear. I didn't cry as much as Morgause ever did,
anyway. "My name is Morgan, your highness. My older sister is Morgause. We are both Igraine and
Gorlois' daughters." I wished he would die, but I forced my voice to stay civil, and with effort,
remembered to keep my eyes on the ground, a demure and perfect courtling. But he'd already
noticed my... defect.
"And what is wrong with her eyes, Igraine? A changeling, then?" Mother simply stood there, her
expression never changing. "I won't tolerate a changeling in my house!" the man bellowed.
I remembered what Father had said to me that one time he'd gotten so very mad at me. Stupid
little girls like you are no good to anyone! You're the spawn of the devil, you little...
In the end, Uther decided to send me to a nunnery. I was still a bit too young to marry off, not
that anyone would have taken me anyway, and perhaps he also thought the evil would be pushed out
of much in such a... holy place. As for my sister? She was marriageable age herself, and already
quite pretty. He had never liked her, as well, and wanted rid of her, just like me, so he sent
an offer off to King Lot of the Orkneys, and married her off to him. After all, it was quite
a useful alliance for Lot. To be married to the daughter of the High Queen.
Mother made quite a beautiful High Queen for Uther's High King. She almost seemed relieved at
our removal. I begged not to be sent from her sight, for I still loved her, and when that failed,
I screamed at her, and tore at my hair, and shouted every curse I knew in her face until the
guards dragged me away from her sight.
All hail Uther Pendragon.
The convent wasn't that horrible, I suppose. Most of my memories of it are just blurs of
faceless uniformed women, bare wooden walls, hours kneeling in prayer, and a droning
man in black. Over all of it is the secret hatred inside me, burning, screaming, trying to
get out. I was not suited to it, and the other sisters released it. Perhaps my Hail Mary's seemed
a bit less sincere than theirs.
In any case, my only relief was when I met a young girl around my age who had been sent off by
her father as well. She was not royalty like myself, and did not look like a changeling either,
with normal eyes. She confessed to me one late night, when works and prayers had been finished,
he had sent her off to the convent because he found that she practiced witchcraft. From that
moment on, I cling to her, fascinated by the strange mystique she emanated, the subtle, dark
charisma that suddenly surrounded her upon the revelation of her true nature. Finally, I got
over my shyness, and asked her in the dead of night if she would teach me what she knew. She
agreed, and I took to it naturally. But I only did small things, and then after about half a
year, she was discovered by the proper authorities, and burned at the stake for witchcraft. From
then on, I was terrified of such a fate, and was too petrified to practice much more.
When over ten years had passed in that torturous progression of monotony and darkness, a
distinguished visitor came to our small convent. I knew nothing but the quiet rumors of the
women until I was called to the infirmary one day. In addition to teaching me her darker secrets,
Nemaire had also taught me the art of healing. It was a good thing that this skill of mine was so
needed, or otherwise I would have been facing some rather unpleasant questions.
The visitor was seriously wounded from what had obviously been some sort of battle, and they
feared he might die. He was perhaps a bit younger than I was, dark in hair and eyes. He was a
handsome and strong man, but had evidently been through quite a bit, and it was for simple human
concern that I dedicated myself so hard to restoring him to health. Or so I suppose I told
When he had fully recovered, he did not leave right away, but professed his thanks for my
faithful care. I nodded, then impulsively asked for his name. He told me it was Lancelot, then
a thoughtful look came over his face. "Will you excuse me for a moment?" he asked. "I would speak
to the abbess."
I agreed, of course. There was no other course I could have taken. I simply watched as he
practically raced off, wondering if I should caution him about straining himself too much
while still injured, but then though better of it and simply went back to my quarters, expecting
never to see this Sir Lancelot ever again.
My surprise was understandable, then, when I heard a knock at my door, and found my visitor to
be Lancelot himself. I had no time to query him as to what he was doing there before he had
grabbed my hand and was pulling me after him. But I still had some remnant of self-value and
awareness in me, so I pulled my hand away from his roughly. "What ARE you doing, sir?" I glared
at him, then suddenly realized myself. I shouldn't be rude to such a brave, wondrous knight.
He didn't seem the least bit angry, however, only amazed. "Gods," he murmured. "How could I have
missed it in all this time?"
"What?" I asked. Then my mouth opened. Was he talking about the fact that I was... a princess? I
had tried to use my status to escape the convent many times, but it had always failed. I had
thought it hadn't mattered...
"Your mother is the Queen Igraine, is she not, Morgan?" Lancelot asked cautiously. I nodded
easily. He sighed. "I serve the King Arthur, your half-brother. When he heard that he had a
sister a long time ago, he said if she didn't want to stay in some convent, she didn't have to.
Do you wish to?"
My mouth opened wide. To ESCAPE...! I forced myself to remain dignified. "I agree. Please take me
Lancelot smiled. "All right, then, Princess. Arthur will be happy to see his sister at last."
"I don't care about the High King," I blurted. "Can I see my sister, Morgause? I know she's Queen
of the Orkneys, but..." I trailed off, looked down. Even a princess had limits. What if he chose
just to keep me here after all for my rudeness?
Lancelot looked puzzled. "Queen Morgause? Well, I suppose you'll see her eventually."
And that was that. We left the convent, him practically flinging me onto the back of his horse,
laughing like some sort of little boy. "Hold on tight, Princess!" He threw his head back and
let loose a loud scream of happiness, while I clung on for dear life, frightened for my life.
"I'm so glad I found you, Princess!" he yelled back to me, grinning insanely as the sudden hot
sun beat down on our faces like a beam of redemption.
I was too petrified to say anything, but the thought that crossed my mind was that I was glad
he'd found me, too. I only wish I'd said something. If only I hadn't been so disoriented by the
sudden swing from death to exhiliarating life.
That was what Lancelot, this strong, lively, perfect knight meant to me at that time. Life. Life
among the truly, truly dead. Is it any wonder why I fell in love with someone like him on the
journey to Camelot? Doesn't everyone who see someone that special, that full of life, want to
have someone like that be their own? Their... possession?
Camelot was incredible, of course. I don't really have any particular desire to hash over how
astonished I was of its greatness, how Lancelot looked amazed at my ignorance of such wonders.
Our old castle at Cornwall had faded from my memory, and besides, it hadn't been anything like
this. I regret acting like that, though, which is why I won't go into any more detail. If only I
could have immediately shown myself to be what he wanted. He surely didn't expect to find the
princess to be like me... rude at one moment and the rest of the time so... AWKWARD.
I was taken and groomed into perfection by a troup of bodyservants, transforming the timid,
shrouded nun into a beautiful, jeweled princess. I was astounded by the reflection in the mirror.
Was that shining creature me? Lancelot, however, was not surprised when he came to present me
to Arthur that night. He simply smiled and nodded his head to the transformed me. "Princess."
And at once, past the staring commoners lining the halls and the rich paintings staring down at
me, we were in the Great Hall, skirting around the edge of a huge round table to the front. I
kept my eyes on the ground, desperate not to catch any of the rich, beautiful people's gazes,
even when we came to a stop before a pair of richly attired feet.
"Who is this woman, Lancelot?" A male voice rang out. It sounded somehow familiar. "Have you
finally found a lady friend to share your cold lonely nights with?"
"Why, don't you know?" I heard Lancelot laugh, shaking off the part about the lady friend easily.
"It's your half-sister Morgan, Arthur."
Arthur and several people who were listening gasped. Then Arthur asked in a shaky voice, "Is
"Yes," I whispered, keeping my eyes trained to the ground, hoping he'd be pleased with me, hoping
he wouldn't send me back.
"A sister, then," I heard Arthur marvel. "What a wondrous surprise. Now, don't look at the floor.
Look up at me, Morgan. You'll dine by my side, tonight, Princess."
I looked up, and then my breath caught in my throat. No. NO! Not him, anyone but HIM...
Uther Pendragon reclined lazily before me.
Yes, it WAS him, the same unruly blonde hair, the same shining blue eyes, the same almost boyish
features. I remembered the words he said, remembered what he'd done to my mother, remembered
every minute detail of that time so long ago I'd met him for the first time, the morning he'd
ruined my life. If possible, he looked much younger than he had the last time I'd seen him, more
kingly, more handsome and bright than he had been, some sort of young cruel god before me. His
clothes were even finer, the designs on the sword at his side shining much brighter than anything
he'd worn before ever had. A knight, a maiden, and a dragon.
I didn't know what to do. I had dreamed of this man for over a decade, dreamed of hurting him,
making him pay, beg, submit, die- dreamed of him hurting me, making me pay, beg, submit, die.
Dreamed of him TAKING me.
And he was my brother.
I did the only thing I could think of. I buried my face in Lancelot's cloak. Save me, Lancelot.
Save me from Uther Pendragon. Save me from myself.
Arthur looked confused and rose from his royal chair. "Lancelot, what is it? What's wrong with
Lancelot shrugged. He didn't know. He exchanged a look with the fair-haired High Queen, who did
not exactly look perplexed like Arthur and Lancelot. She had a dark look on her face, as if she
had just smelled something sour.
"With your permission, king, may I take the Princess back to her chambers for the evening?"
Lancelot finally requested.
Arthur's voice was full of what I now release was sadness. "Very well. I suppose that would be
for the best."
Time passed, and things did not just remain that way, of course. I grew much more accustomed to
the man I now knew was the High King Arthur, though I don't think my mind ever quite grasped the
concept that he and his father were not the same person. For the first few days, I refused to
see him again with Lancelot. The palace citizens who noticed it seemed to find that particular
trait of mine immeasureably funny, but I didn't care. My senses, I now realize, were on overload.
After ten years of darkness, I had suddenly become a princess again, came face to face with my
worst nightmare, began to live again, and fallen in love, though at that time, I didn't realize
it. I'm not sure I really knew what love was. Do I still not know? Probably.
Lancelot seemed almost royalty himself. He was the King's best friend, and the most skilled and
highly regarded of all the knights of the round table. Certainly he seemed to think of me as
family, sending a page every night to acquire of my welfare, laughing with me at dinners, even
teaching me how to ride a horse, though truthfully, I never took to that sport. The horses never
seemed to like me much. Perhaps they knew of my true feelings for their master.
Then again, perhaps they simply knew what I was. A witch. Though I hadn't practiced any of my
mysterious little craft since I left that convent. It seemed a thing of the darkness like the
rest of it. The work I had practiced perhaps only in memory of Nemaire had been a shallow thing,
really, never really doing much for me, never meaning much to me except for those darkest nights
in my cell in which I knelt over some forgotten scrap of magic book Nemaire had left and wished
to wreck this whole world. But such darkness frightened me. I frightened me. Lancelot didn't
frighten me. Lancelot was light.
But in the end, he was nothing. He was just human. A witch, am I? Well, I could tell by looking
at him that he had had remnants of the Old blood in his veins. Was that why the fair-haired
Queen of this realm took him to her bed whenever she could find an excuse to be away from her
Or perhaps it was just the spell of dark hair and dark eyes. Come to think of it, how could
Lancelot have been light to me, when he was just like me? Dark. The light ones were Arthur and
the High Queen. Alright, I'll speak her name. Guinevere. But (then again, isn't it the light
that creates) the shadows surrounds her too.
Shadows surrounded the bed the two writhed in when I walked in, saw them, and walked out
The next morning, I went to breakfast with a dagger concealed at my side. I took my seat next
to Arthur and Lancelot, but then turned to Arthur. "Brother?" I asked. "May I sit next my dear
sister this lovely morning?"
"Of course, why not?"
Why not, then, eh, brother, father, dear?
If Merlin hadn't stopped me in mid-thrust, Guinevere WOULD be dead right now.
He had no weapon with him, but he caught my dagger in mid-thrust. The old man didn't notice the
sharp edges cutting into his papery hands. He glared at me, mesmerizing me with eyes that were
pools of blackish-blue, then reached over to a frozen Arthur's side, withdrew Excalibur from
its fading scabbard, and placed its tip at my throat, forcing me to stop my assault, held at
his complete mercy, defeated in a second.
Then he turned the court and proclaimed the Princess Morgan a murderess and a witch.
When I woke in my cell, the guard told me I would be tried before the people in a day. So I
caught his head, glared at his shocked, unprepared eyes, and slammed his head into the course
wood wall of my cell with the strength of a great warrior woman. I took the sword from his
scabbard and stabbed him through his flimsy armor with it. Then I took his armor, donned it, and
walked out of Camelot.
Once I was far away, I slept. I don't know how long.
When I woke, I found a knight kneeling over me. He asked if I was all right. I told him I was,
but he insisted in taking me to his solitary dwelling so I would not be ambushed in my state of
weakness. At first I thought to hotly deny his proposal- who knew what kind of man this masked
knight could be- but then something told me to agree. So I did. I'm a witch, after all. I follow
Once he had taken me to his abode, he took off his helmet. He was beautiful. There was no other
word for it. He was much younger than me, barely seventeen years old, with long flaxen hair
and umblemished pale skin. Truly he was more a vision of perfection than I had ever judged
Arthur or Lancelot to be. And his eyes were dark.
I soon found out his name was Accolon. His father had been lord of a group of bandits, and had
wanted Accolon to join them, but he was an honorable man and wanted to protect people. He had
managed to escape from them and had set up a simple dwelling for himself. He freely admitted
the fine armor he wore he had taken from a man he had bested in honorable combat.
I... wore taken armor as well. Perhaps it just was that little laughable connection, or his pure
earnest goodness, or that he was beautiful that made me stay. But then again, it was the only
place I had to go.
Within months he declared that he loved me. Yes, I lied, something terribly like a dragon
stirring inside me, I loved him too, he was my knight, my champion. But he had to go find honor
for himself as a true knight, and he could only find that in Camelot, oh yes, he was to join the
Round Table and serve the High King. But there was one thing that I needed there, oh yes, he
could pick it up for me on his way. Yes, it was Excalibur, the king's sword I wanted, the source
of his power, the blade and the scabbard itself, which had so much of Merlin's powerful
protective magic woven into each thread. But why? No questions are befitting of a knight such as
you, my... love. No true knight questions his lady.
When Arthur left the castle for some reason or another, Accolon stole Excalibur and replaced it
with my replica of it I'd had fashioned by a local smith. He immediately left the castle under
cover of night, just as I had done nearly a year before. He immediately brought Excalibur to me,
and so I hold it now, and the discarded, faded scabbard.
Accolon, my dear, pretty little boy, who so very much believes in good and beauty still, will
kill the King for me with this sword he stole. Because a true knight never questions his lady.
I don't really love him. I still love Lancelot. That's the one thing I can't understand in all
this. Somehow, I've molded myself into a witch, a calm, intelligent, manipulator, all with the
force of my own hate, hate of a man who raped my mother so many years ago, and hate of a woman
who is loved by the man I love, and a bit of magic a friend taught me while I lay in the
darkness. It doesn't really matter much how I got this way, though, just the hate that I feel
matters, and what I intend to do. Yet I still can't understand why I love Lancelot. It's an
unforseen variable. Inexplicable, not under my control. It scares me.
Which is why I'm eradicating it.
Accolon isn't to kill the High King first, of course. First and foremost will be the High Queen,
so Lancelot can watch the woman he loves die. Then will be the High King, so Lancelot can watch
the man he loves as well in his own way die. Then Lancelot's blood will be spilled in the Earth.
Blood always makes sacrifices more potent, that's what Nemaire had told me. And so then maybe
the Gods would take away this stupid, destructive longing I feel for him.
Accolon leaves. I told him to make them die slowly and painfully. I wish I could be there.
If Lancelot had been all that I had thought him to be... this wouldn't have happened. Perhaps I
could have escaped what I was born to be, if he could have been my life. But he is dead, just
like me. Dead in sin, dead in magic, dead. I don't want this man to love. I want to taste his
blood and cry over his body, and my brother's, and the woman for whom I have never felt anything
Ride, Accolon, ride. I am who I am. If Lancelot had loved me, I would have been good. But he did
not, so I am a witch. All I wanted was life, but if I am to die, everyone else will die with me.
Because I am evil, a soulless killer, an unappealing shell, the dragon on the scabbard. I am
everything I was born to be, because one eye of mine is green and one is purple, so I am a
changeling, and like they always have said, I am a witch. I am called Morgan Le Fay.
Kill them, Accolon. Kill them all.