“Father!” Mordred shouted. Her sword, Clarent, was slick with the tainted blood of men she once knew.
“...Mordred…” Came a brooding voice from the throne where a king once sat.
At first, she saw her father, King Arthur, in all his magnificent glory. The moment proved to be fleeting as the true visage of what he had become came to focus.
A twisted, cruel man. His darkness so overwhelming that it could even corrupt Excalibur.
“You are indeed daring… To show yourself to me after murdering my nephew…” Arthur growled as he spoke. His voice was no longer benevolent. No longer filled with kindness and strength.
“Sir Gawain died a long time ago… I merely put an end to the twisted desires you’ve forced on him,” Mordred said with ice in her eyes.
“And now you aim to kill me, that you might become King of this land, traitor?”
Arthur stood from his throne, and unsheathed Excalibur. All around him was a void. His essence exuded despair and chaos.
“The monarchy will die with you. I care not for the shackles of such a title. I seek only to quench the thirst of my blade with your blood,” Mordred said as she slowly approached.
With each step, her tattered armor shook. Her skin awash with the blood of her former allies. Her body, broken.
But, her shawl, embroidered with the crest of the Knights of the Round Table, still held firm around her neck. A symbol of hope, that all is not lost. So long as a burning flame might still live in the heart of one driven by justice.
Today, in this throne room… The wheels of fate would begin to turn…
For the first time, Clarent and Excalibur met. The resounding sound would not go unheard by anyone in the kingdom. Arthur spoke, but his words were deafened by the clash of blades.
Though, the malice in his eyes spoke of his hatred.
His daughter, Mordred, felt very small beneath his heartless gaze.
...But, the Knight, Mordred, felt nothing but hatred for the man before her.
She raised her sword high, and brought it crashing down to Arthur. He stepped aside, striking upward at her. She shirked away, and spun, bringing Clarent up as she did.
Arthur fell back, but blood wet the air despite it.
A trickle of crimson blood began to snake it’s way down his throat.
“Cherish your luck,” Mordred said, pointing her sword at him. “When next it runs out, I’ll cleave you through.”
“Unfortunate last words…” Arthur said with a grin.
Mordred scowled as she readied herself.
Arthur struck outwards, easily parried by Mordred. To her surprise, in but a blur Arthur has spun around and dealt another slice. She deflected it, but not without due concern.
Arthur pivoted on his heel and turned the parried blade into a lateral strike.
Mordred’s breath caught in her chest as she only just caught his blade with her own, but the force of the impact broke her wrist.
Her right hand faltered, and Clarent fell to the ground.
Without hesitation, Arthur swung to behead her.
She raised her arm and attempted to glance the blow, but found herself instead smashed against a pillar.
She slid down, and came to rest on the ground. Her right forearm lay severed in front of her, taken off below the elbow.
The Knight, Mordred, was bested. Her final moments had begun.
All that remained was Mordie, daughter of the king.
Arthur tilted her head to him, and he gazed into her eyes.
“Why… father?” She mumbled.
“I did it so that a day like today might never come… Though, we can see the course that has run… let this be my final lesson to you, Mordred. A lesson in futility… In the end, we all die in vain…”
“If you had only given me that damned sword… none of this would have happened to you…” She whimpered.
Arthur cut his eyes at her.
“Even now, Excalibur is all you think of?... Fine… As my final act as your king, I give you, Excalibur!” Arthur shouted as he buried Excalibur in Mordred’s heart.
Somewhere… In another world, there could be found a Mordred, and Arthur, whom embraced upon seeing each other on this day.
Another might see Mordred defeating her father and saving Camelot.
But… In this time… In this land, there is only the cold stone floor of Arthur’s now abandoned throne room, soaked in Mordred’s blood. The lineage her father passed down to her was now seeping into the cracks of the stone. Her essence returning to the land in which she was born.
Her eyes began to glaze over… Her heart began to slow… and her vision of vengeance began to fade.
Somewhere… In another world, there could be found a Mordred. Lying there much like now. Dead, and insignificant.
Another might find her dead all the same, but surrounded by others who died with her.
But… In this time… In this land… There is only one who decides the fate of Mordred, Princess of Knights!
“If I am to die… It will be on my terms!” She cried out in agony as she clutched the hilt of Excalibur with her remaining hand.
Corrupt, tar soaked blood began to spew from her alongside her noble blood. Her hand began to wilt upon merely touching the tainted blade.
“AGGGHHHHHHHH!” She screamed as she tore the blade from her heart.
She collapsed onto her back, the corrupt sword still clutched in hand.
Each breath grew more ragged than the last.
Her eyes grew very heavy.
And the world began to seem so far away.
Soon she felt only the cold stone beneath her…
The stone began to gently pulsate. At first, she mistook it for her own beating heart, but that had ceased beating some time ago.
She looked to her side, towards the throne.
A line of her own blood was seeping along the cracks in the floor… It seemed to snake it’s way this way and that, as though it were, of its own accord, desperately reaching out for the throne. For one last chance.
That was when she noticed it. Her trail of blood had come to rest at the base of Excalibur’s sheath.
“Avalon…” she moaned through bloody breaths.
And so she began to feel another pulsing… not like before… It was the familiar throbbing of her own heart… She had been given new life… It could only have been Avalon, the sacred sheath of Excalibur.
Mordred wheezed as she rolled to her side, and began to crawl towards it.
With each inch she came closer to it, her spirit was renewed. With every fresh breath she took, her determination returned.
Her gasping lips soon found form… And what better form to take than a grin… It was a grin in anticipation of the day when she next laid eyes on him.
“Avalon,” she growled. “I owe you my life… But if I can ask for but one more favor… I’ll need you to hang onto this accursed blade for me, until the day comes that I have use for it once more.
With that, Mordred pulled herself to her knees, and upon laying Avalon across her lap, she sheathed Excalibur therein.
“Mock me if you like, father… But I am going to cherish the moment I return this blade to you…”
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King Arthur has turned into the darkness he once fought. Merlin, blinded by hatred, seeks to undo all that Arthur once built. The Knights of the Round Table are in disarray. Loyalties and Lies intersect in the hearts of once great men.
And at the heart of it all, Mordred, Illegitimate Princess of Knights, finds herself in possession of the Holy Sword, Excalibur!
Though, it would seem that the sword, like all the others in Camelot, did not recognize her as the True Heir.
And so, scarred by the decay inflicted on her by the Corrupt Sword, Mordred seeks to restore Camelot from the fading ashes it now rests in...
...With, or without it's former heroes.