Epilogue For the Future

Encircled in the arms of her prince, Raven watched her companions, with whom she had shared so many adventures, ride off back to their own world.

"I promise I shall kill Nidean for you!" Llio, her oldest surviving friend, the only one who shared her pain over all the suffering caused by the mercenary leader, had sworn this at their parting. When they embraced, as they had never done before, Raven bade her also look out for their young king, Gwyleged, and their old lord, Abbot Tathal.

Her friends were re-entering a world of intrigue and war, where the fate of Rheged was intrinsically linked with the choices that she, Raven, had made these last two days. She tried to feel an obligation to the life that she had left behind, but in truth all she cared about was here.

Her own wounds and Bruetar's had been miraculously healed with one sip of the wine that they now had no fear of drinking, having already determined to remain in the land of the fey. Lamorak, the young Roman knight, was even now riding into his own future, a world altered beyond recognition from the one he had left hundreds of years ago.

There would be adventure, danger and hardships in the years to come while Arthur and Lot fought over the high kingship. Even if a settlement was found, there were still the foreign invaders to worry about, not to mention enemies back at home. And yet none of this concerned Raven any more. Maybe one day, she and Bruetar would emerge, as Lamorak did, to a world vastly changed from the one they had known and fought in.

But for now, they had eternal summer days stretching before them, a time for peace and rest from the incessant fighting that had marred all of their life. Closing her eyes, Raven leaned her head back against Bruetar's shoulder. His mouth found hers, and as his arms tightened around her all the tension she had been under these last terrible days finally dissolved like morning mist under a bright sun.

After an age he released her. Hand in hand they strode back towards the faery castle and the life of everlasting joy and timeless companionship that awaited them.

THE END