Warrior of the Silver Waters
Trebes had been under siege for three days.
Sabe was stunned, clinging her infant son Lancelot to her breast as she watched helplessly from within the castle walls. Day after day King Claudas and his army waited, the king's several thousand loyal knights waited on the hill a mile away from the castle's gate. Leaving the people of Trebes to wait.
Day after day she heard her husband Ban of Brittany moan and yelp over the fall of his great Trebes. "My city, my home" he would call out. Nothing brought the poor man joy or relieve anymore, Sabe had often tried to comfort him, but like always he pulled away. "My city, my home" he cried out, his voice so loud and pitiful that it carried over the moors like a wind warning of a coming storm.
"Trebes will fall my lord!" Screamed one of the servants, tears falling from the old mans face as he clung to Ban's arm.
"Quiet yourself!" One of the knights at Ban's side yelled, forcing the old man away from the king. Sabe turned from the window near the thrown room and with a fearful sigh watched as her husband, the great King Ban dropped his head into his hands, weeping for the fate of his great city. Ban was a burly man, tall and old, with many scares from the wars and campaigns he had taken a part in. His body was covered in animal skins and furs, and it was strange for Sabe to see him this way.
Sabe clutched her infant closer to her. The babe was barely a month old, and as a mother she was fearful for her child's safety. Sabe's other living child was Liban, her little daughter of four clung to Sabe's skirts in fear of the actions going on in the castle walls. Sabe, like her daughter was fearful of all of the actions as well, and hastily looked away from her distraught husband. "What's to become of us?" asked a startled voice from behind Sabe. The queen turned and saw her handmaiden Jenna, wrapped in a long gray cloak that draped past her knees and swished on the floor; she looked as though she was prepared to leave. "My lady, what's to happen to us?" The handmaiden asked again, Sabe could see the girls lip quivering.
Sabe reached her arm out to the maid, and being careful of the baby Jenna filled her lady's arms. When Sabe curled her arm around her young friend the hood of the cloak came down and a bundle of blond hair came out, falling down her back in waves. Jenna was only thirteen-years-old, just a few years younger then Sabe herself, and the Queen felt some comfort in comforting the young girl.
Through the long halls and corridors of the castle a great scream echoed, startling Sabe and Jenna both out of their embrace. Each girl jumping, and fearing the noise as though it were a death swept wind. With her babe still wrapped in her arms Sabe turned toward the window again, and from a mile out she could see Claudes's army moving. His many knights on the backs of thousands of horses moving across the moors and hills toward the castle. With wide eyes Sabe watched them, stunned, and unable to move. She could hear the rolling thunder of the many hooves hitting the ground relentlessly as the warriors came closer.
Sabe got a hold of herself, hearing the rattled cry of her little daughter on the floor, and the choking sound of Jenna as the girl tried to stop herself from crying. "Quickly," Sabe declared, clutching her tinny babe in her arms more firmly. "Take Liban and follow me." Sabe tried to compose herself, though she was young she was a queen, and even as she choked past tears she knew that she needed to be brave. With the click of her boots against the stoned floor Sabe made her way for the door. Still hearing her daughter's sobs as Jenna held the little girl in her arms and followed her Queen and Lady.
Once in the thrown room Sabe lifted her voice as loudly as any Queens and implored her desperation to her husband. "My Lord! They are approaching; we must get out of the city's walls. We will retreat to King Ambrosius Aurelius, he will hear out plight and take us in." Sabe clutched her husbands hand, the Kings face was still barred in his palms, and made no reaction when Sabe spoke. "My Lord?" She asked again, "We must leave." Still Ban gave no reaction to his wives pleas, Sabe glanced up, to the knight as the king's side, but he like Ban made no awareness of her commands. "My lord, you cannot suggest that we stay here and die. The city will surely fall."
"My city, my home" Ban cried out, lifting his face from his hands and revealing red and streaky skin. The great warrior had truly been crying. Sabe was taken aback, never having seen her husband in such a state. He forcefully grabbed hold of both her shoulders and tightly pressed her to him, unaware, and uncaring for the infant still in her arms. "I will not leave my city" he tolled her through stiff lips, his eyes crazed with madness.
"My lord" she echoed, tears falling from her eyes, "the children, your heir" she reminded him, hoping that the prospect of his sons death would break him free of this state of madness that he found himself trapped in.
"Yes!" Ban choked his voice lighter then Sabe had heard it in days, and as slight smile forming against his red skin. The king looked up the knight at his side, as though he knew something that Sabe did not. Sabe furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as to what the look her husband had just shared with his knights meant, until Band reached for her breast, curling Lancelot's infant form within his own arms. When Sabe felt the tight hands of the knight at her side lock his arms over her and hold her back she realized what he meant to do.
Ban rose from his chair as Sabe screamed in unforgiving terror, her voice meaning nothing to him. He approched the young handmaiden who had followed her queen so lovingly, and who held his daughter Liban in her arms. "Take them to safety" the great king whispered laying the babe in the arm that wasn't wrapped around Liban.
Jenna let the king place the baby in her arms, feeling the plight of the situation. She looked devoting into the babe's eyes, her gentle touch silencing the infant's fear. Jenna turned her head away from the baby as she heard yelling and screaming from down the halls, and the commanding voices, and the heels clicking with each stone they stepped on, Claudes's army had entered the castle. "Go!" The king yelled, turning away from the girl and with a look instructing his knight to drag his screaming queen with him.
Jenna looked sadly at her queen one final time, her young mistress was still screaming, reaching out her arms as best as she could to fell her baby's within them once more. The knight held her tightly though, and dragged her behind her husband.
With both children in her arm, Jenna knew that all she could do was run. Ignoring the hem of her long skirts and cloak that caught under her feet she made her way to the opposite door to the thrown room, going back the way that she had originally come with her queen only a few minutes earlier.
With a quick step she made her way back through the castle, hearing the terror filled screams of the soldiers victims just steps behind her own. She knew that they had followed her, and she knew that it was the children that they were after. Passing through many corridors and secret rooms inside the castle Jenna made her way to the back exit.
Once outside she felt the cold wind spray her face with a drizzling wind, the sky had grown black with rain clouds in the few minutes since she had looked through the window before. Everything had changed so much. With a fearful sigh she ran toward he stables, knowing that her only chance to safe her queen's children would be to get as far away from the castle as possible.
When she reached the stables she placed both Liban and Lancelot on the straw-ridden floor and ran to find a horse. She chose the first one that she saw, interlocking her fingers into the horses main and pulling it's body which stood slightly higher then hers out of the its pen. The horse was completely black, with long noted black hair, which felt greasy under Jenna's grip. When the horse was near enough she released it from her grip, and reached down for the young Liban, her body so small and weightless that Jenna barely needed one hand to lift her. With her raised arm, Jenna placed Liban on the horse, and pushed her as near to the horse's neck as possible without hurting her or the horse.
Next came the baby Lancelot, who Jenna brought up in her arms carefully. With the babe still in her arms she forced her body up to the horse, having no saddle or step, while using only one hand made it difficult, but she was able to do it. When she was on the horse she pulled Liban close to her, and with her free hand gripped the horses black main in her hands harshly. Her skirts were askew, and they felt unnatural over her legs, but she didn't care about her own discomfort.
With the kick of her heels the horse jumped out of the stable, curling her feet against the animals sides Jenna held on to the baby and the horse for support, knowing full well that Liban was clinging to the arm that held the horse's hair, trying not to fall off. Once out onto the moors Jenna could hear the soldiers just emerging from the castle, and could hear their screams for her to stop and their own hurried attempts to follow her. She knew that they would follow her, the young prince and princess were far to valuable to king Claudes to leave them alive some where, even if they were in secret, and shunned for who they really are.
Jenna kicked the horse harder, making the animal move faster and faster, Jenna knew that the only safe place for these children now was the lake. Jenna let her hips sway underneath the horse's movements as they traveled farther across the moors.
Finally, and with a great sigh, they reached the river. Jenna lowered her body from the horse first, keeping Lancelot safely in her arms, and then helping Liban down. When Liban was off, Jenna slapped the horse's backside and let it run off farther down the river, she hoped that Claudes's soldiers would follow the steadily running animal, and not know that they had already gotten off.
Jenna took Liban's hand as she led the little girl to the edge of the waters. "Lady!" Janna screamed out into the foggy abbess of water. "Oh, great lady of the lake hear my call, please answer me." Jenna waited; off in the distance she could hear the rolling of horse's hooves against the ground; she knew that the soldiers were coming. "Lady!" Jenna screamed again.
A bubble exploding from the surface of the water silenced Jenna's calls, and as a daughter of the old ways she knew what was happening. Several more bubbles came to the surface of the water until a vibrant light came up, and from that light, from the waves of the water emerged the beautiful lady herself. Jenna dropped to her knees upon seeing the lady, her presence so immaculate that it brought a tear to the young girl's eye.
"Why have you summoned me!" The lady called out, the tone of her voice exotic, and made a sound that she had never heard before. Jenna was awe struck, the lady hade seemed to come from the very weaves of the water, yet her skin was smooth and dry. Her perfectly kept hair flowed in ringlets down her shoulders and back, and in length carried down to her ankles.
"Lady!" Jenna whispered, bowing her head to the apparition in front of her. "The kingdom of Trebes has fallen, I have hear the children of King Ban, and Queen Sabe."
The lady was silent for a moment, her eyes somewhere else, as if she were reading great scrolls in her mind that for tolled the future. "Give me the children" the lady spoke, reaching out both of her hands as if to embrace them all. The lady came closer, her feet not moving, yet she seemed to glide across the water like a slick boat across the waves. The water was absolutely calm. When she got close enough, Jenna handed the infant over to her, then instructed young Liban to go.
When both children were in the lady's arms she began to glide over the water again, moving back to her place far away from the shore.
Jenna could hear the clinging and clattering of armor behind her, she knew that the soldiers had found her. Jenna stood slowly; not taking her eyes off of the benevolent lady whom though far away now was still clearly visible. With a smile across her face, and her gaze still fixed on the lady she felt the first of the blades dive into her skin. Jenna didn't care as long as she could look on the lady before she died.
The Lady of the Lake turned away from the murder taking place on the shore. She respected the girl's wisdom for bringing the children to her, but mortal death was a part of mortal life, and she hoped that the young girl would come to terms with that before she takes her last breath. The lady looked at both children in her arms, looking first at the young girl Liban, who she foresaw to be a wise and loyal priestess of her order. Then, with the turn of her head she looked at the young infant in her arms, and within her minds eye saw the greatest warrior the world has ever known.