Foreign Adventures by MagicByMelrin
Summary: When a mysterious letter arrives in Camelot demanding total rule over England Arthur and Merlin must travel to Scotland to find out what is going on...
Categories: FPF Gen Characters: Merlin
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pairing: None
Warnings: none
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 12809 Read: 27229 Published: Mar 18, 2009 Updated: Mar 18, 2009
Story Notes:
Chapter one of my amazing BBC Merlin fanfic story that I created for all you Merlin fans out here. I hope you enjoy it! A lot of hard work went into this story! You can probably get away with reading this if you haven’t read my previous story: BBC Merlin: Magic By Name Magic By Nature. I’m really sorry about the cheesy ending but I had a bout of writers block. Ratings and messages are always welcome! Ps: If the BBC find this, please, please, please turn it into a Merlin episode I beg you!

1. Chapter 1 by MagicByMelrin

2. Chapter 2 by MagicByMelrin

3. Chapter 3 by MagicByMelrin

4. Chapter 4 by MagicByMelrin

5. Chapter 5 by MagicByMelrin

6. Chapter 6 by MagicByMelrin

7. Chapter 7 by MagicByMelrin

Chapter 1 by MagicByMelrin
Merlin’s eyelids flickered open and he looked at the canopy of trees above him. Faint rays of sunlight shone pleasantly through the gaps between the leaves and dappled his face in light. Merlin enjoyed the warmth of the sun for a moment. Birds of all sorts were twittering softly in the background like they should and there was a warm, gentle breeze ruffling his hair. Merlin patted the grass around him in search of the strawberries he had found and picked earlier.
He found one and popped it in to his mouth; letting the refreshing fruit juices wash around his taste buds. He liked strawberries. Especially freshly picked, wild ones.
He had firstly come to the forest to get away from Gaius who had ordered Merlin to clean his room or else but secondly he had come because it was a peaceful place to practice. He had smuggled his spell book out of Camelot under his coat and had planned to practice some spells in the forest but he had been distracted by the faultless weather and the patch of strawberries and had taken to lazily snoozing, leaning on a tree trunk.
Having finished the strawberry Merlin looked down beside him in search of more. Oh great! There was only one left. And what’s more it was tiny. He held the fruit up and looked at it crossly. Why couldn’t it have grown bigger? Mildly disgruntled at the size of the strawberry he picked up his spell book and studied it, flicking the pages slowly. At length he came across an enlargement spell. It looked quite difficult but never the less he waved his hand over the strawberry and recited the words from the book.
“Arisol mae thendae.” He muttered. The strawberry promptly grew at least three times bigger. Contentedly Merlin ate the strawberry and gathered his things to leave. He didn’t really want to go but he knew he couldn’t stay there forever. He took his time walking back to Camelot wanting to relish the agreeable summer weather. Vaguely he wondered what Gaius had meant by “or else”. Perhaps he should hurry after all.
When he reached Gaius’s quarters twenty minutes later he firstly peered through the keyhole to see if the physician was in side. Not seeing any one Merlin snuck in and went into his room. It was pretty messy. He looked at the clothes strewn about the floor and bit his lip. There was no way he could clean this up before Gaius came back. A sneaky grin grew on his face and he once again consulted his book.

When Gaius returned he found Merlin apparently swatting up on some herbal remedies and a spotless room.
“Did you do that?” Gaius asked in disbelief, pointing his head in the direction of Merlin’s room.
“Yeah.” Merlin grinned boyishly. It was the truth, he had cleaned it himself but if asked whether or not he had used magic he would have had to answer differently. Gaius seemed to stunned to answer and all he could do was beam proudly.
Suddenly a shout made its way from the open window.
“MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY!” It was said in a strong Scottish accent and shouted loudly with no politeness what so ever.
Merlin and Gaius curiously stuck their heads out of the window and looked down at the vast Camelot courtyard.
A horse and rider were galloping over the stone, throwing innocent bystanders left and right as they went. The rider had violent ginger hair, a thick curly beard and was wearing a huge red cloak that billowed out behind him like a pair of wings. Craning his neck further from the window Merlin saw a familiar blonde head enter the scene and challenge the rider.
“I am Prince Arthur. What is your business here?” Arthur asked with a tone of voice he used for intruders. The man swept of his horse, his cloak flying majestically out behind him, altogether ignored Arthur’s question and proceeded to walk with measured strides up the steps into the castle.
Arthur and a couple of guards drew their swords and commenced to race after the strange visitor.
Merlin and Gaius exchanged glances and obviously sharing the same thoughts hurried out of the room and followed the way to the conference hall. As they had guessed the bizarre visitor had indeed gone straight to the hall and had found the king there.
Uther who had been bent over a pile of papers and scrolls stood up angrily as the man burst into the hall with Arthur hot on his trail.
“What is going on?!” The king boomed indignantly.
“I tried to stop him!” Arthur pointed his sword at the newcomer’s throat, as did the guards. The man took as much notice of the weapons pointed at him as if Arthur and his guards were nothing but children getting in the way. He jabbed the nearest guard away with a cucumber like finger and continued towards the king.
Uther recoiled away trying to draw a sword from his belt that wasn’t there. The man reached the king and held out an arm as straight as a post toward him. Between his fingers poked a letter with a big red seal. Uther looked down at the letter that was being pointed at him in way a rabbit might look at a fox. Tentatively he reached out a hand and took the letter. Not wavering his eyes from the intruder he opened it and beckoned Arthur to come to him. Arthur complied and edged around the stranger, whilst glaring at him, to his father.
“Read it.” Uther said, taking Arthur’s sword and pointing it in a hostile manner at the man. Arthur, it seemed, had wanted to know what the letter said before any one else and spluttered at what he read.
“This cannot be serious!” He spat savagely.
“Read!” Uther ordered. Arthur, with a mixture of anger and disbelief plastered on his face began to read the letter loud and clear.
“I, King Argus of Edinburgh here by claim rule over the entire country of England and demand you give up your rein to me. If I do not have your total surrender by the end of this month I shall be compelled to take England by force.” Arthur flared up fiercely, “This is absurd!”
Merlin gasped in horror as Arthur finished reading, as did the entire court. Murmurings and hushed voices sounded through out the room.
“Is this some form of joke?!” Uther snapped at the man whose throat still had his sword grazing it, “Who are you?!”
The man spoke for the first time in a deep Scottish voice.
“I am King Argus’s (long may he live) royal messenger. And this is no joke.” He said without a flicker of respect for Uther. Arthur exchanged confused expressions with Uther.
“What are they going to do?” Merlin whispered to Gaius.
“Who can tell?!” Gaius replied.
“I’ll have him arrested!” Arthur was about to order his men to take the messenger away.
“No. That won’t help matters.” Uther looked at the floor in deep thought. Merlin caught Arthur’s gaze and raised his eyebrows questioningly. Arthur shrugged seriously as a reply. Uther appeared to have reached a decision.
“Tell your master that if he wants England then he shall have to fight for it!”
Cheers erupted around the courtroom and many of the more bold men through catcalls and snide comments at the Scottish messenger.
The Scot lifted his head arrogantly, jutting his jaw out fiercely and sailed out of the hall with out so much as a word. Merlin watched him go quietly. He had a feeling things were going to get worse before they got better.


Later on that week another visitor entered Camelot. He was a peasant from a village on the outskirts of Camelot’s kingdom and carried with him more bad news.
“We were attacked with out warning by Scottish raiders but a day ago!” The man was saying, “Our village burns! The raiders left only me alive and sent me here with this message.” The man cleared his throat nervously; “They said they would pick us off one by one until England is fraught with havoc and death!” The man was almost in tears at what he had lost.
“Have your manservant take him away.” Uther told Arthur who was standing horrified by his side. Arthur nodded his head at Merlin and he and Gaius led the man out of the courtroom.
“Go and find out what you can about this.” Gaius told Merlin, “I’ll take care of him.” He indicated the weeping wreck of a man at his side. Merlin nodded and went back to the courtroom.
Uther was once again deep in thought as was Arthur.
“We can’t risk a war. We have enough trouble as it is! Besides they don’t even know the reason they want England! And why come to us? There are many other rulers in Britain.” Arthur voiced his doubts to his father.
“So many unanswerable questions.” Uther sighed heavily.
“We could to reason with them. Find out why they want this. I could go to Edinburgh with a peace treaty.”
“Since when did you get such good ideas?”
Arthur grinned slightly. Merlin also grinned from his post near the door. That’s what he would have suggested had he been Arthur.
“Though perhaps not…” Arthur seemed to be rethinking his thoughts.
“Why?”
“Well the Scottish will be protecting their borders and as they seem pretty angry nowadays then it would be hard going to travel through Scotland if not impossible.”
The two men both considered this new difficulty.
Merlin didn’t understand why it was so hard. All they had to do was travel by sea and that would be completely out of the Scots way. Before he could stop himself he was letting his voice echo around the courtroom.
“Just go by sea!”
Arthur and Uther looked up from their thoughts, slightly startled.
“Excuse me? Who are the experienced ones here?!” Uther growled.
Merlin could have kicked himself. Why did he always have to go and open his big mouth? This was surely going to land him in the stocks. Fortunately Arthur interrupted his father before he could say anything.
“ He might be an idiot but he’s got a point. They won’t expect anything from the sea.”
Uther had the appearance that he was mulling this over.
“I suppose its possible…” Uther rubbed his forehead.
“I can have a ship ready in two days. I’ll need some men. Can we spare any?”
“Yes…I suppose.” The king appeared to have made up his mind, “I agree but on one condition.”
“Yes?”
“Be careful.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. He sometimes wished his father would treat him more like an adult and not a child.
“Yes father. I’ll have a ship by tomorrow.” Arthur promptly left the room.
Chapter 2 by MagicByMelrin
Back in Gaius’s chambers the man whose village had been attacked had been given a home in another part of the castle and Merlin had explained to Gaius about Uther and Arthur’s plan.
“I can only hope that everything goes according to plan. This is a very dangerous mission.” Gaius said.
“All missions Arthur goes on are dangerous.” Merlin pointed out, cocking his head cheekily.
“Yes I suppose your right there…” Gaius chuckled, “Anyway I have a dangerous mission for you.”
If Merlin had ears like say a cat or a dog he would have pricked them.
“What is it?” He asked.
“It’s a possibly life threatening task Merlin. Are you sure your up to it?”
“I’m up for anything!” Merlin said enthusiastically.
“I need you to get me some ginger root for me.” Gaius’s mouth twitched; with amusement at Merlin’s crest fallen face.
“Do you enjoy doing that?”
“Sometimes!” Gaius chortled, “Make sure you get a lot.” He called as Merlin slouched dramatically in pretend annoyance out of the room.

Merlin found a good few roots of ginger in the forest and it was getting towards dusk when he returned to give is findings to Gaius. He was about to open the door to Gaius’s chambers when he heard a voice calling his name.
“Merlin.”
It was that dragon again Merlin thought to himself. He was about to tell it to go away and mind its own business when he realized the last time he had ignored it he had almost turned into a snake. The dragon’s information (however riddled his words were) was valuable and had helped him countless times in the past. Merlin battled with his head and heart for a moment before giving in to his better instincts. Opening the door he promptly dumped the ginger roots on to a nearby shelf.
“Sorry Gaius can’t stay. I have to go…um…somewhere…” Merlin mumbled to Gaius and quickly rushed out again before he could ask any unwanted questions.
Merlin evaded the castle guards and trotted slowly down the stairs that led to the underground caves resentfully pondering on what he was going to say and what the dragon wanted him for in the first place.
The last time he and the dragon had spoken to each other he had sworn that he would not be coming back.
Before turning the last corner that would bring him face to face with the dragon Merlin took a deep breath. Tentatively he stepped around the corner.
The huge dragon was sat on its rocky perch like an abnormally large bird.
“Ahh. Merlin.” The dragon boomed. Merlin was about to speak but it stopped him, “No don’t. There is barely any time now. Arthur will (if he hasn’t already) found a ship that will take him to Edinburgh. You must go with him. There is danger ahead.”
What else is new Merlin thought.
“Can’t he ever stay out of trouble?!” Merlin said more to himself than to the dragon.
“Can you?” The dragon reply wisely. Merlin shuffled his feet.
“Did I not tell you there was little time young warlock? GO!”
Merlin had a sudden notion to ignore the dragon but knew that that was probably a bad idea so sighing heavily he retraced his steps back up the stairs.
Was he ever going to have a normal day he wondered. Well what now? Probably go and tell Arthur he was going to. Grudgingly he trudged towards the prince’s chambers where he imagined Arthur would be. He knocked on the door.
“What? Unless you have something important to say then don’t bother coming in.” Arthur sounded busy.
Merlin pushed open the door, entered the room and stood quietly by the wall. Arthur was pouring over a heap of maps and didn’t look up. Merlin cleared his throat to get his attention. Arthur jumped. He obviously had been to absorbed in the maps to notice anyone come in.
“What do you want Merlin?” Arthur said looking back down at the maps, slightly peeved that his servant had succeeded in making him jump.
Merlin hadn’t thought about what he was going to say when asked this question. He couldn’t exactly say, “Oh I’ve just been talking to a dragon and he said I had to come with you” and paused, looking for something to say.
“Erm…I think I should come with you. To Edinburgh I mean. I was umm…told…by…someone…to go with you.” Merlin chewed his tounge, wishing he had thought about what he was going to say earlier.
“That’s nice Merlin. You can’t come with me though.” Arthur said with an air of sarcasm. Merlin frowned.
“Why?”
“Its to dangerous.” Arthur still hadn’t looked up from the scrolls. This was bad. It appeared that Merlin had caught Arthur in a bad mood. He was obviously too busy to listen to some servant. It was to late to go back now though.
“But I have to come!”
“Why?!” Arthur looked up impatiently.
“I was told-“
“I don’t care if you were ordered Merlin! You’re not coming and that’s the end of it. Now would you kindly shut the door on your way out!”
Merlin ground his teeth with annoyance.
“But!”
“OUT!”
Merlin threw Arthur a steely look and went out of the room. AGH! Why was he so stubborn? How was he going to go now? He wondered the halls of the castle, racking his brains for an answer.
If the dragon said he was to go it was probably for a good reason. He had to go there was no doubt about that. He pulled a face, making a servant girl who was walking past stare at him oddly. Merlin gave her a sheepish grin and hurried off.
Then it came to him. He could stow away on the ship! That sounded like a reasonable plan didn’t it? Except he didn’t know which ship Arthur was taking to Edinburgh and there was no asking him, as he probably already suspected Merlin and wouldn’t tell him, though it was more like Arthur to give him the name of a completely different ship and have Merlin get lost.
He could get Gaius to cunningly ask Arthur, Merlin supposed. He wouldn’t tell Gaius why he wanted to know of course because that would arouse suspicions about the dragon. Merlin decided this was what he was going to do and changed his direction to Gaius’s chambers.
When he reached his destination he went in and sat opposite Gaius who was eating his dinner.
“Ahh, Merlin. Here’s yours.” Gaius pushed a bowl of slop towards Merlin. Being used to Gaius’s cooking by now Merlin began tucking in to the paste.
“Umm…I have a favour to ask.” Merlin deemed it as good a time as any to ask Gaius.
“Go on.”
“I was wondering about which ship Arthur had chosen. I’m really interested in ships and stuff! Could you find out which one it is?” Merlin said in what he hoped sounded like a confident voice.
“Yes, I can ask Arthur if you’re to lazy to do it yourself, Merlin, if you really want me to.” Gaius said smiling.
Merlin sighed silently with relief that Gaius had not asked any questions.
“Thanks. Urm…seeing as the ships going tomorrow or something do you think you could find out today?” If Merlin was going to become a “stowaway” any time soon he needed to know as soon as possible.
“I guess I could yes. I’ve got a delivery to make near Arthur’s chambers today. I’ll ask him then.” Gaius looked slightly suspicious at this sudden interest in ships but seemed to ignore it.

Later on Merlin was waiting anxiously for Gaius’s return. The physician had gone to do a few late calls and had told Merlin he would ask Arthur which ship he was taking. Merlin heard footsteps in the passage out side the door and stood up, desperately hoping it was Gaius. It was.
“Did you ask him? Which ship is it?” Merlin asked, regretting the unintentional quickness in his voice. Gaius didn’t seem to notice this though.
“Yes, I asked. He’s found a ship and is taking it tomorrow morning.”
“What’s this ships name?”
“The Magnanimous I do belive. It is said to be the fastest ship in England!”
“Really?” Merlin was trying to back up his statement that he had an interest in ships, “Where is it docked?” Gaius gave him the name of the dock, “Are you sure?” Merlin asked.
“Quite. But Merlin why the sudden enthusiasm for-?”
“Oh do you hear that?” Merlin hastily cupped a hand to his ear, trying to change the subject, “I think it’s Arthur! Probably wants his boots polished!” Merlin quickly legged it out of Gaius’s chambers and hurried through one of the corridors to get away leaving a confused Gaius by himself.
Later, as Merlin still aimlessly wandered the corridors, he realized he had better prepare for the journey ahead and set of to the Magnanimous if he was to get there in time. It was pretty late now and Gaius was probably asleep. Merlin peeped into Gaius’s chambers and inspected it. Gaius was snoring loudly in his bed so Merlin crept in and went to his room.
He bundled all his clothes and belongings into a rucksack and scribbled a note to Gaius telling him were he was going and everything would be ok. He left the note on a table and crept back out again. He snuck through the castle and made sure no one saw him. It was getting pretty late and there were only a few guards here and there so it was relatively easy to find a horse and set of to the docks.
Chapter 3 by MagicByMelrin
It was about ten or eleven at night when Merlin reached the docks. He stood in awe at the magnificent vessel before him. It had rigging hanging down from the masts everywhere and the crisp white sails were rolled up. The wooded carving at the stern was a half star jutting out grandly. Most of the ship was a lovely dark wood colour and the sides had beautiful patterns carved into it and the word Magnanimous was painted in large curly letters on the stern.
It was an admirable sight of man-made beauty. It was a shame that he couldn’t stay there and admire it forever but he had to get on with the task at hand. Merlin imagined what he would have to go below deck to the storage hold were he could hide so he set off down the path.
He could see a few sailors mooching about the deck but there was no one else around otherwise. He continued as innocently as possible along the path as one of the sailors leaned on the decks rail and watched him suspiciously.
Merlin went a little way along until he found a blind spot along a small peer that went behind the ship. He tied the horse to a wooden pole with a few other horses and cast his attention back at the ship.
There was a porthole about three meters away from the peer. He reached out to see if it was locked but couldn’t reach it with out falling in the water below. He looked left, right, up and behind him. There was nobody about. A flash of gold in his eyes and the porthole swung open.
Ok it was open now but how was he going to get in. He wondered if the porthole was big enough to jump through. On inspection he decided it was but only if he went headfirst and slithered in. He picked up his rucksack and threw it into the hole. Ok there’s no going back now he said to himself, taking a few steps away from the edge of the peer. He swung his arms and prepared to jump.
One, two…two and a half, THREE! He hurtled across the wooden floor and lunged with all his might at the porthole. He sailed through the cold night air over the space of water between the ship and peer for a moment before becoming encased in the darkness of the ships hold.
He landed head first in some grimy water that was splashing around the floor of the store hold. Quickly he stood up and lifted his rucksack from the floor so as not to let it get any wetter. He listened carefully for any one that may have heard him. When he heard nothing, he decided to explore the hold and find himself a place to sleep.
There were hundreds of barrels of varying sizes stacked up everywhere and Merlin kept stubbing his toes on some of the smaller ones in the dark. On closer inspection of the barrels they proved to be ether filled with bottles of rum or food. Merlin, having a taste for rum swigged himself a mouthful but it made him choke. Obviously it was proper sailor rum and not for landlubbers. Leaving the bottle where he found it he continued on his search for a dry place to sleep. At length he came across an empty wooden box that might at one point have held the rigging to the ship. It was dry and spacious inside so using his rucksack as a pillow he stowed himself away in there.
“Well, this is easier than I thought!” Merlin said to himself. He had expected armed guards to be flooding the place and for it to be a real challenge to get to the ship let alone its hold but this had been easy. Grinning at his luck Merlin snuggled down into his rucksack and went to sleep.

His luck was not to hold out though. He woke to find that the ship was most defiantly moving. There where pounding of footsteps overhead and there was a fresh sea breeze coming in from one of the portholes. Merlin sat up and rubbed his eyes. Something had woken him. It took a moment to realize what it was. There were voices floating down through the trap door that led to the deck and footsteps. Merlin jerked properly awake, grabbed his rucksack and hid behind one of the stacks of barrels.
Two men, stocky and with acres of stubble were making their way down the ladder that led to the hold, laughing about some joke or other that one of them had told. They went to a barrel and began drinking the rum merrily. Merlin was wondering how they could drink the strong alcohol with such gusto when he took a step back and promptly tripped over one of the small barrels. The barrels around him fell like dominos to reveal him standing sheepishly with his ankles in water for the sailors to see. The two men looked at each other for a moment then set down their bottles of rum and began walking maliciously at Merlin.
“Well, well Mike! What have we got ‘ere then eh?” The larger of the two said.
“Looks like a stowaway to me Fred!”
“Tut, tut! Landlubbers should know better! What say we teach him some manners ay!”
“Sound like a good idea to me!” The one called Mike drawled.
Merlin who had no desire to be taught manners of any kind hastily stumbled back and tried to run to safety but Fred lunged at him and picked him up as if Merlin was as light as a feather. Then carrying poor Merlin like a parcel under his smelly armpit the two unsavoury sailors took him out into the blinding light of the deck.

Arthur had just thrown up for the hundredth time over the side of the ship. He had never liked sea travel and had forgotten this earlier and was now regretting going by sea. He briefly reflected that it had been Merlin’s idea. Suddenly he heard a familiar voice carry over to him on the wind.
“Uh…Look…can’t we just sort this out like civilized people?!” The voice pleaded. Arthur looked around. He’d know that voice anywhere but why he was hearing it here when he had explicitly told the owner not to come was a different matter. His eyes picked out Merlin from behind a bunch of sailors who were not sorting anything out in a civilized manner at all and were instead pummelling the living daylights out of poor Merlin. Arthur angrily ran over to the scene and swatted a sailor out of the way.
“MERLIN! What are you doing here you idiot!” Arthur looked bloodthirsty.

Merlin picked himself up and glared haughtily at the sailors as they slouched off, furious that their sport had been deprived of them. Merlin turned to Arthur who was looking murderous.
“I told you was coming didn’t I?” Merlin said innocently.
“And I told you, you weren’t!” Arthur snapped.
“Well here I am!”
“I’m sending you back!”
“Well that’s going to difficult seeing as we are already miles away from the coast.”
Arthur looked furious for a moment but then seeing sense he gave up.
“You look dreadful. Go find a cabin and clean yourself up.” Arthur turned away and stormed off.
A few minutes later Merlin had chosen an empty cabin. It was proper fancy with royal colours of red and gold. Merlin found out by looking in a mirror that he had a huge black eye from the sailors. Not being sure how to fix a black eye he just left it to fix its self. He took a bath, changed his clothes and then went on to explore the vast ship.
The weather was good and there was a strong wind blowing about. Merlin, unlike Arthur did not suffer from seasickness and was in his element as he pranced around on deck leaving the prince to feel sorry for himself. This infuriated Arthur and he was in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
The next day however was uneventful and Merlin spent most of his time ether annoying the sailors or staring into the deep swirling currants what flowed around the ship. He loved to lean out as far as he could and survey the deep blue depths as they whirled about like a flock of birds, flying in the sky.
After a few days of sailing though, this novelty wore off and Merlin found himself aimlessly wandering about with not much to do. It was nice not having to run endless errands for Gaius and Arthur was in no fit state to give orders but Merlin found himself becoming very bored.
He decided to climb the crow’s nest one stormy morning and read a book. He wished he had brought his spell book but he had not and he had to make do with a tedious sailor handbook named “The guide to Knots”.
He was just absent-mindedly flicking through “how to tie the alpine butterfly” section when suddenly the ship began to rock violently from side to side. Well, more than normal anyway, the sea and weather was pretty rough today. Confused shouts came from below and there was a sound of water splashing on to the deck. Merlin dropped the book and peered over the side of the crow’s nest. An unbelievable and terrifying sight met his eyes.
There was a huge pale peach tentacle, with massive suckers covering it, slithering over the deck back into the sea. At the stern of the ship a number of smaller tentacles were suckered on and there was a long body floating in the water. It had horrible shiny black eyes that seemed to stare in all directions at once. It was a giant squid! Merlin reeled in terror at the sight of the creature. He had known these creatures existed but to actually see one was near impossible!
Wildly he looked around the deck of the ship for Arthur. If anyone was going to sort out the rabble of terror stricken sailors it would be him. Merlin’s eyes roved the deck before him. He searched and searched but saw no Arthur. He must still be in is cabin Merlin thought. The squid was throwing its bigger tentacles at the ship again and it smashed through one of the masts and it crashed heavily to the floor. As the tentacle rose again Merlin realized with a sickening feeling that it was about to smash his mast next. Merlin caught hold of the rope ladder that climbed up to the crow’s nest and began rapidly descending it. He slid down the last bit as the tentacle whacked the mast and it also, smashed to the deck.
Merlin dodged his way through the maze of sailors and passengers. He searched the sea of panic stricken faces. None of them belonged to Arthur so he battled his way through the mob and went to the cabin hall. Arthur was sluggishly hobbling out of his cabin, his hair a mess and an “I’m-to-sick-to-do-anything” look on his face. Merlin rushed up to him.
“ARTHUR, THERES A GIANT SQUID THING ATTACKING THE SHIP!!!” He yelled.
“A giant squid?”
“YES!”
Arthur obviously thinking this statement was nonsense began to crawl back to his cabin.
“NO! There really is!” Merlin grabbed Arthur’s sleeve and began yanking him through the hall and up the stairs to the deck.
The squid’s assault on the ship had been successful and the entire front half of the ship was now a wreckage of broken wood. The weather had become raging storm and rain pelted down onto the passengers and sailors of the ship who had or were jumping off the sides into the sea.
There was no other choice but to follow them as the squid was already advancing on the rest of the Magnanimous. Arthur properly woke up at this awful sight and ran with Merlin to the side of the ship. The sea had become a swirling black sheet that flew up onto the side of the ship as the vessel hit the waves. Merlin swallowed. It seemed Arthur was also having cold feet.
“Ok when I count to three we’ll jump!” Arthur shouted through the storm.
Merlin nodded, squinting his eyes to keep the rain out.
“One! Two! Three!”
They jumped. Merlin fell through the freezing cold air for a second then crashed into the even colder depths of the sea below. The biting cold made him gasp and almost get a mouth full of water as the icy water wrapped itself over his head. The fierce waves rocked him back and forth but he kicked up strongly and managed to poke his head out of the sea. The ship had vanished and all Merlin could see was a cacophony of blurred green, black and blue. His ears rang with the noise of the waves and the rain. He bobbed under again as a huge waves crashed over his head. He took a gulp of salty water and spat it out again as he appeared once again to the surface. There was no sign of Arthur or anyone else for that matter.
Chapter 4 by MagicByMelrin
When Merlin woke he was lying flat on his back. There was something solid beneath him so he had obviously floated to dry land also the fact there was water lapping at his feet was a big give away. Wait a second! His feet! Merlin moved his head up to look down at his bare feet. He, it seemed, had lost his boots in the ocean during the storm but to be honest he couldn’t remember it all that well. The whole incident had been too surreal. Merlin was tempted to get up but he really couldn’t be bothered. He flipped his head like a pancake to his right to see were he was.
He was on a beach that was certain but where the beach was another matter entirely. He had no idea whether it was Scotland or England he was in. What’s more he couldn’t see anyone. He turned his head to his left. No one. He wondered where Arthur was, where he himself was and where the crew had ended up.
He knew he would have to find Arthur. It was probable that he had been washed up on the same beach but where along the beach was another question. Merlin stayed sprawled on the sand for a few more minutes, to tired to do anything but lie there. After a while he got up. Climbing gingerly to his feet, Merlin had a moment of dizziness before regaining his balance.
If you have ever been on a walk on a beach then you will know how tiring it is to trudge through the sand. This was what Merlin began to suffer from now. The sand had gradually turned into shingle, which cut his bare feet dreadfully. Also after a few hour of walking in the merciless sun he began to sweat and become hot and sticky. He became thirsty but finding no water apart from seawater he went on without drinking. He realized that perhaps even the potent rum on the Magnanimous would have been welcome right now. The future was looking pretty bleak.
Eventually, after going around a long stretch of sand that jutted out from the coast Merlin saw a figure of a person walking along the beach. The person was too far away for Merlin to tell who it was but at the prospect of finally finding someone he managed to pick up his pace. A few minutes later he could tell it was Arthur. A dishevelled, soggy and demoralized Arthur but Arthur none the less.
“ARTHUR!” Merlin shouted at the top of his voice as soon as he was in earshot. The figure turned around and came running up.
“Merlin! I’ve been looking for you for ages!”
“Likewise!”
“Where are we?”
“I don’t know.” Merlin admitted. The two men looked around for a moment trying to discern where they were from their surroundings.
“Have you seen any of the crew?” Arthur asked.
“Afraid Not.”
“Well there’s got to be a town around here some where. We’ll go that way. See if we can find anything.” Arthur pointed towards the main land. They set of together slowly. They were both tired.
At length they came to a small village. By this time it was round about nine o’clock at night.
“What now?” Merlin asked.
“Perhaps we could find an inn and get a room.”
“How can we afford a room? We haven’t got any money.?” This was true. All of their belongings had been lost in the sea and that included money. They didn’t have two pennies to rub together. Arthur gave Merlin a “don’t you know me at all” look and rolled his eyes.
“Merlin, I’m a prince. I can do what I like!”
“But we could be in Scotland!”
“So?!”
“So if they find out we’re English we’ll be killed or something!”
“Well…we might not be in Scotland.” Arthur sounded slightly less sure.
“Well there’s only one way to find out I suppose.” Merlin said. They searched the village and eventually found an inn. It was called the “Old Bagpipes” which clearly confirmed that they were indeed in Scotland.
“What now?” Merlin asked Arthur again.
“You’ve already said that.”
“Ok then. What next?!” Merlin said crossly. He wanted an answer.
“Can you do a Scottish accent?”
“No. Can you?”
“No. You try.”
Merlin tried.
“Och aye. I’m Merlin and you’re Arthur.” Merlin said in a poor excuse for a Scottish accent.
“That was dreadful.” Arthur said bluntly.
“Thanks. What now?”
“Will you stop asking me that?!”
Merlin looked at the ground crossly and shuffled his feet. If Arthur wasn’t going to answer him he was going to have to answer himself. They needed food and shelter and the only way they were going to get that was by paying for it. How did you get money? You worked for it.
“I’ve got a plan.” Merlin suddenly said.
“It had better not be like the last one!” Arthur said referring to the “go by sea” plan.
“We could be two mute servants who need a job to earn some money and get a room. I’ll be Merlin and you can be plain old Arthur. Don’t go flaunting your title around.”
“How can I flaunt anything if I’m a mute. Besides I’m never plain.”
“Well you can just be old then.”
Arthur threw Merlin a murderous look.
“Alright but when we do get a job you’ll be doing the work!” Arthur agreed and smugly waltzed into the inn, Merlin following crossly.
The tavern was thick with smoke from a hundred pipes being smoked by a hundred men. There was grime everywhere the eye could see and each table had at least five pints of beer on it. All eyes turned as Arthur and Merlin entered the doorway. Merlin wondered why they were staring at them. Perhaps as this was a small village every one knew each other and newcomers weren’t welcome.
Arthur seemed undaunted by the glares and strode over to the bar. The bar tender came over and Merlin realized Arthur was about to speak. Quickly he stamped on Arthur’s foot.
“OW! Mer-“ Arthur began furiously until Merlin clapped a hand over his mouth and pulled him away from the bar.
“We’re mute remember!” He hissed to Arthur as quietly as possible.
“That’s no reason to sta-“
“SHH!” Merlin released Arthur and went innocently back to the bartender. He did some clear hand signals and mouthed his words. The bartender seemed to understand.
“You want a job…” Merlin did some more hand signals, “…to get a room…for the night. Right ho.” The bartender clicked his large fingers and a small hunch backed man loped in from a side door, “These two mutes want a job in exchange for a room. Send ‘em to the stables.”
The hunched backed man grunted, grabbed Merlin and Arthur’s sleeves and pulled them roughly out side again. He ushered them to a stable around the back.
“Clean out the stables and then you can have room five.” The man said shortly and left.
“Right. Get on with it.” Arthur said when the man was gone and handed Merlin a broom.
“You’re helping to!”
“I told you I wasn’t didn’t I?”
“So?!”
“So, I’m not going to do anything whilst you are busy working.” Arthur promptly shoved Merlin into one of the stable sections and went to sleep on a bench. Merlin’s shoeless feet squelched horribly, in what he dreaded to think, was. Grumbling under his breath he viciously got on with mucking out the stable.
By the time he had finished it was nearly midnight and all the residents of the pub had gone. Merlin jabbed Arthur in the side with the broom and he woke up.
“Uhg! What’s that smell?!” Arthur looked Merlin up and down and wrinkled his nose.
Merlin also looked down at his filthy clothes that were covered in muck, “Ug…don’t come anywhere near me!” Arthur got up and hurried away from Merlin back to the inn. Merlin, wishing Arthur would one day acquire some manners and that he himself had a change of clothes followed him.
The innkeeper showed them to room five. Merlin was expecting it to be basic and was not disappointed. The room was boring and symmetrical. There were two small beds one on ether side of the room, a fireplace at the end and a few candles on the walls. Apart from that, nothing.
Arthur chose a bed and without a word slumped heavily onto it and fell asleep. Merlin was reluctant to do the same in his filthy rags and wondered if he could find himself anything else to wear. He went on a search of the room to see if previous residents had left anything behind. He wasn’t in luck and found nothing. Then being to exhausted to do anything else he also slumped down onto his bed and fell asleep.
That night he had a dream. Well more like a nightmare.
He dreamt that he was standing on a huge cliff with an endless precipice. There was a strong wind blowing but he didn’t move as it battered and buffeted him. In fact he couldn’t move at all. The experience of being paralysed to the spot was unnerving. Suddenly someone, he didn’t know who, came running up behind him and bombed into him, knocking Merlin of the cliff.
He fell and fell and fell and fell some more. Suddenly Merlin jolted awake to find himself on the floor of the room. He wondered why he was there for a moment but he didn’t have to wonder for long.
Chapter 5 by MagicByMelrin
The room was filled with Scottish soldiers all pointing swords at him. One of them, it seemed had thrown him off the bed and was now coming at him with a bunch of ropes. Merlin leapt up and backed away but the man grabbed him and tied his hands behind his back and also fixed a dirty rag around his head and through his mouth so Merlin couldn’t make a sound. As the soldiers dragged him away Merlin saw Arthur struggling furiously as he was given the same treatment. However, the soldiers soon also had him bound and gagged and led them out of the tavern and threw them into the back of a roofed cart.
The cart set off and rattled down the track. As they went through the town many of the village’s inhabitants began throwing rotten fruit at them and shouting catcalls. Arthur and Merlin exchanged glances. What on earth was going on? Merlin guessed that somehow the Scottish king had found out that Prince Arthur was staying at the inn and had arrested them.
This was not far from the truth as what had actually happened was that one of the ships crew had been found and lured in to become drunk. The sailor had then told the people who had found him, about Arthur and his intentions. The king had been notified and had immediately sent a posse of soldiers to arrest Arthur and anyone travelling with him. Hence the fact Arthur and Merlin were now on their way to King Argus’s castle in Edinburgh not so far away.
As they reached the castle, some time later Merlin wondered at how similar it was to Camelot. The castle was white and had hundreds of turrets poking out here and there. However the flags that flew from the flagpoles were extravagantly different from the simple red and gold dragon of Camelot.
Eventually the cart stopped and the two Scottish captives were hauled out into the courtyard and driven at sword point down deep into the belly of the castle to the dungeons.
The castle had been alike to Camelot but the dungeons however were another matter. The walls were two foot thick and the doors were made of iron and sported an ugly design with only a small, bard window.
Arthur was thrown into a separate cell to Merlin, which Merlin immediately saw as a disadvantage to escaping, as Arthur could have been useful in that department. Fortunately Merlin was lobbed into the neighbouring cell that also had a tiny, bard window.
Merlin crashed to the floor and watched as the guard locked the door, the noise echoing eerily of the walls. As the guards footsteps echoed away Merlin took in his surroundings. It didn’t’ take long as the cell had quite literally nothing in it. It was bare, had no straw and was absolutely spotless. Merlin reached up to the window and pulled himself up so he could look in to Arthur’s cell.
“Arthur…Arthur?” He hissed, craning his neck to see where the prince was. He jumped and almost lost his balance as Arthur’s face appeared suddenly on the other side of the window.
“What?”
“What do you mean what? We have to get out of here!” Merlin said taken aback by Arthur’s blank voice.
“Look at this place Merlin! You would need a battering ram and twenty men to blow these doors off!”
Merlin realized this was quite probably true but it didn’t let that stop him from trying to encourage Arthur.
“Well, look on the bright side. At least you still have your shoes!”
“Eh?”
“If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve lost my boots.”
“Hard luck.” Arthur sounded anything but sympathetic. Merlin ignored this latest comment.
“What do you think the king is going to do to us?”
“I expect he will have us a trial at some point. We can find out why all this is happening then.”
“When?”
“Who knows? Maybe tomorrow.”
“And what if it goes wrong?”
“Then he’ll probably have us executed.”
“What?!”
“You heard.”
“Well if it goes like that then we’ll escape.”
“How?!” Arthur said angrily.
Merlin knew he could get up and leave the cell at anytime by using his magic to open the door but he was smart enough to know that if he did then they would not get the chance to find out what was going on. Also he obviously had to keep his magic a secret from Arthur, which brought him to a pause when Arthur asked him the question.
“I have a plan.” Was what he came up with.
“Oh no! No more of your plans! I’ve had enough of them. First you suggest a sea voyage, which might I just add ended in a ship wreck and then you say,“ Arthur put on an annoying high pitched voice, “Ooh lets go get a job at an inn” which then results in us getting caught! No! No more of your plans today!” Arthur promptly let go of the edge of the window and sat down on the cell floor.
“Fine,” Merlin said also letting go of the window ledge, “but this one will work.”
Arthur snorted from the other cell.

Merlin was rudely awaken once again by a Scottish soldier who dragged both Merlin and Arthur roughly out of their cells and took them to the conference hall of the castle, telling them the king had called them to an audience. They were pushed none to gently into the hall in front of the king’s throne to their knees.
Merlin looked at the old Scottish king sat on his throne. The man had a humongous moustache and a mop of fuzzy white hair giving him the appearance of an eccentric scientist. He was wearing an insane amount of furry rugs that were so great in number the king could have been mistaken for a small bear. Merlin stifled a laugh at the king’s odd appearance and instead developed a strange coughing fit. Arthur threw him a “shut up” look and Merlin subsided his spluttering.
“Which of you is Prince Arthur of Camelot?” The king boomed, his voice rebounding of the walls of the great hall.
Suddenly Merlin had a thought. He couldn’t let Arthur speak. He knew Arthur’s temper, especially at the moment, would get them into even more trouble and even end up with the king executing him on the spot. So this brought him to what he did next, rash or otherwise.
“I am.” Merlin stepped forward, automatically getting ready for a confused protest from Arthur. He was not disappointed.
“What?! Mer-“ Merlin stood on Arthur’s foot and clapped a hand over the princes mouth.
“You can’t get the staff!” Merlin flashed his trademark grin at the king and tried to restrain the struggling Arthur.
“What are you doing!” Arthur hissed as Merlin eased his hand of his mouth.
“Saving our skins! Shut up and play along!”
Merlin turned back to the king.
“Sorry your majesty. This servant of mine never had any manners.” He said, trying to impersonate Arthur’s princely tone of voice.
“I can have him flogged.” The king suggested. Merlin wasn’t looking at Arthur but he felt his stare boring into the back of his neck.
“An excellent suggestion my lord, perhaps later, but we have to take care of more important matters at present.”
The king’s face fell.
“What did you have in mind when you said important matters?”
“Firstly I would dearly like to know why you want England and secondly why you came pacifically to myself and my farther.” Merlin said, his blood boiling at the whole cheek of it.
“I shall answer that.” A voice tinkled from somewhere. A woman with short jet-black hair and probably in her mid thirties, stepped delicately round the throne. She was wearing a long deep blue dress with silver embroidery around the hem. She had grey eyes that were quite unremarkable apart for the intense piercing feeling Merlin experienced when her gaze fell over him. Her stare hit him and he almost staggered. There was something there, in those grey depths, something wrong, something magical. He immediately knew she was a sorceress.
“Who are you?” Arthur demanded from behind Merlin, he to had felt this woman’s presence.
“She is my adviser. Her name is Mara.” The king explained. Merlin shivered at the name.
“You wish to know why we want to own England.” She said in a strong voice.
“Yes.” Merlin managed to splutter.
“Power.” Mara said blunt and short. Merlin and Arthur were both lost for words. The commanding presence of Mara kept them silence, “As for why we came pacifically to you, we heard that you were the strongest of all kingdoms and had more power over England than most men.” Once again her answer was blunt and short with no emotion put into her words what so ever. Merlin and Arthur exchanged glances.
“And you just expected us to hand over England!” Arthur spoke up, making Merlin step his foot again.
“Yes. Of course we…expected a bit of fight…” It was the king who said that, “Wait…why…I don’t…I…can’t…” He seemed to be trying to remember something from years ago. Merlin briefly saw Mara’s face flicker with something he couldn’t put his finger on.
“I think that his majesty has been out enough for one day. Take him away.” Mara nodded at a pair of guards who obediently led the king away. Merlin wondered who was really in change here and he could tell from Arthur’s face that he was thinking the same, “ As for the prince, take him to one of the guest chambers and make sure he is comfortable. As for his manservant, throw him back into the dungeons.” Mara turned away and followed the king and his guards out of a back door.
As Merlin and Arthur were led away the real prince had doubts to voice.
“Merlin you idiot! What were you thinking! Get me out of the dungeons!” Arthur hissed furiously, his eyes smouldering.
“Oh, I think it’ll do you some good to be in there. Besides I’ll be to busy being made comfortable!” Merlin replied, grinning wickedly at Arthur who was dragged off to the dungeons.
Merlin was led to a large royal chamber where there where servants waiting for him. He noticed that the guards still kept themselves outside the door and he found that all the windows were locked. Not knowing what to do with them, Merlin sent the servants away and locked the door behind them.
At last, civilization! But more importantly shoes! He found a pair of boots in one of the many wardrobes and thankfully slipped them one. The hadn’t worn shoes in at least two days and it felt good not to have to place his sore feet on cold stone floors anymore. Footwear was not the only thing he needed though.
He took a much-needed bath and then explored the room in search of clothes. He discovered a good deal of frightening kilts in one of the many wardrobes but there was no power on heaven or earth he would wear them. Instead he found himself a blue shirt not at all dissimilar to his own shirts, a pair of black trousers and not abandoning his beloved red scarf he wrapped it around his neck. Then, feeling hungry he ordered the guards at the door to bring him food.
He felt strange ordering people about but he could see why Arthur enjoyed it. It was nice not having to do anything for once. He was tempted to go and send Arthur some food but he really couldn’t be bothered. After having eaten a delectable meal he had only to touch the bed to fall asleep on its soft furry rugs.

When he woke he wasn’t entirely sure what time it was or what to do next. He remembered Mara and how sure he was that she was a sorceress. He needed to talk to her. He suspected that she was somehow using her magic to control King Argus and complete her quest for power through him. He also suspected that she knew he was not a prince and that he, like her had magic. He wondered where she was. He did not have to wonder for long as a knock came at the door.
“Come in.” Merlin said cautiously.
Mara entered the room and with out being offered sat down haughtily on a chair.
“You are not Prince Arthur. You are a warlock.” She said in her blunt manner.
“And you are a sorceress.” Merlin was unsurprised that she knew about his magic. Mara flashed him a look.
“How do you know this?”
“I could ask you the same.”
There was a moment of silence.
“What do you want?” Merlin asked.
“I want England, I want power, I want you.”
“Excuse me!” Merlin reeled, unsure what she meant by this.
“If you were to join me Merlin we could both become the greatest sorcerers ever! We could rule Scotland and England! Wales and Ireland would soon bow to our command and then! Well…let’s just say the British Isles today, the world tomorrow.” An ugly and crazed look had grown on her face. Merlin of course was not going to do anything like this ever and he told her that.
“No offence but I’m a bit young for you. Besides I use magic for good not as a weapon for a quest of power!”
The reaction he got from Mara was surprising, as she had seemed so passionate moments before.
“It matters not. I shall rule the world with or with out you.”
Merlin almost laughed at this. Was she mad? Surely only mad people wanted to take over the world? Surely only mad people talked in the way she did. He suddenly realized he was sniggering as Mara looked at him.
“What is it you find so funny?”
“You! Taking over the world! That’s ridiculous!” Merlin couldn’t help himself and burst into laughter. Mara did not reply to this but instead got up and made for the door. Merlin however did not have any intention of letting her go. More had to be said. A flash of gold and the door locked itself. Mara rattled the door handle but to no avail.
“What did you do?! Let me out!” She still spoke in an expressionless voice.
“Not until I have my conditions agreed to.”
“What conditions?”
“One; let Arthur go. Two; let us both leave. Three; stop hypnotizing the king. Four; Leave this castle and never return.”
“How do you know about the king?!” Mara for the first time showed emotion. It was panic.
“It was blatantly obvious. I know magic when I see it. You’re hypnotizing the king to do what you want! I noticed he was waking from a trace in the court room.”
Mara seemed shocked. It is obvious this is a powerful warlock she thought to herself.
“And if I don’t agree to these terms?”
“Um…” Merlin suddenly realized that he didn’t quite have a plan that went that far.
“Ha! You do not even have anything to threaten me with young warlock! Mathendea likra! ” She cast a spell on the door and it swung open. With a final murderous look back at Merlin she stormed out.
Chapter 6 by MagicByMelrin
This confrontation with Mara left Merlin a lot to think about. Somehow he was going to have to un-hypnotize the king, release Arthur from the dungeons and then escape. Thinking about it was one think but doing it was another. He puzzled over what he was to do for sometime until the guards at the door brought in some lunch. This gave Merlin an idea.
“Umm…the prisoner, in the dungeons, is he fed?” Merlin asked innocently. The guard grunted and Merlin took that as a no, “Then may you take him some of the left over food from my lunch to him?” The guard grunted again and Merlin took that as a yes. The guard went out the door and Merlin put his plan into action. He found a quill and scroll of paper and scribbled a message for Arthur on it. He then proceeded to stuff the letter in to a roll of bread and gave it to the guards who then took it to Arthur.

Arthur sat in the dungeon, hungry, cold and furious with Merlin who was probably at this very moment enjoying a luxury room and a feast. He glared angrily at the opposite wall at a small speck of dust as if it was Merlin himself. Suddenly there was a clicking of locks at the door and it swung open to reveal a guard with a plate of food. Arthur eyed the door but there was no escaping as the guard quickly set the plate down on the floor and locked the door again. Arthur got up and reached over to the plate.
There was a meagre bread roll sat on it looking like a mushroom. Arthur grabbed the roll and bit into it ravenously. It tasted strange…like paper! He looked at the half eaten roll in his hand and saw an edge of a scroll poking out of it. Curiously he took out the parchment and discovered that it was a letter from Merlin.

Arthur,
I have a plan. This one’s going to work I promise! I’ll get you released then come and meet me where they are keeping me. I’m afraid I don’t know where that is.
Merlin.

Arthur scowled. Not another Merlin plan! However, Arthur supposed, it was a plan never the less and if it involved getting him released from this confounded cell then it was probably a good one. He stuffed the letter into a pocket and attacked the remainders of the roll. The tiny roll wasn’t very satisfying. Merlin had better hurry up and get him out of here or he was going to throttle him.

Merlin had promised Arthur in the letter to get him released so he kept to his word and ordered the guards to bring him his “manservant”. They told him that they had been ordered not to comply with this but Merlin did manage to get them to ask permission from the king. It seemed that the Mara was away on business and the king was in a good mood so when they returned they had Arthur with them. Merlin marvelled at how easy it was to manipulate the guards but they seemed kind of scared of him. Perhaps Princes of England were highly renowned in these parts.
He was sitting, legs on table and leaning back on a chair when the door flew open and Arthur was thrown in. Merlin jumped and fell backward off the chair. Arthur laughed at his servant clumsiness and offered a hand down to him.
“Well, even though I’m dreading it, what’s the plan?” Arthur asked as Merlin brushed himself down.
“Mara’s a sorceress.” Merlin said simply. He knew it was all he had to do to get Arthur’s attention and seriousness. Arthur gaped.
“Seriously?!”
“Afraid so.”
Arthur rubbed his head and began pacing up and down the room.
“She’s using magic to hypnotize the king. Arthur she’s mad! She wants to take over the world…”
“The world.” Arthur stopped dead, “Is this a joke?”
Merlin shook his head.
“We need to get to the king and hold Mara off long enough for the effect of the magic to wear off. Remember in the courtroom when Mara took him away? He wasn’t sure what was going on. The hypnotizing must have been wearing off him then!”
Arthur sat down heavily on a chair.
“This is all to much! Someone trying to take over the world! That only happens in stories!”
Merlin had to admit this was true. Mara must have lost her mind to want something so preposterous.
“Whether it only happens in stories or not it’s happening now. Are you with me?”
“So we hold Mara off until the king is well enough to send her away or something?”
“Yeah.”
“How long would that take? We couldn’t hold her of for ever!”
“I don’t know. Could be a week could be five minutes. But it will probably be more towards the later as the effect wore of in the middle of our audience with the king and chances are that Mara hypnotized he king just before going into the hall.” Merlin pointed out.
“Yes…your probably right. Lets just hope so for our sakes. How are we going to get to the king though?”
“I can send a guard off to get some food, they seem sort of scared of me, and then you can knock the other one out?” Merlin suggested.
“Ok. But where is the king?”
“We’ll have to find him.”
“Merlin, we can just traipse around the castle of our own free will!”
“Well…we’ll just have to be careful. Besides if we go at night then there will be more shadows and less guards.”
“Since when did you get such good ideas?”
“Oh! I thought I was the one with the useless plans!” Merlin grinned his trademark grin.
“Well…I can’t belive I’m saying this…but I take it back.” Arthur said, obviously finding it hard to admit that this plan was a good one. Merlin laughed, “Shut up Merlin! When are we doing this?”
“This evening sometime?” Merlin said, stifling his chuckles.
“Right.” Arthur said, ignoring Merlin’s sniggers and going over to one of the wardrobes. He rummaged in the closet for a moment and found the kilt.
“What’s this?!”
“Don’t ask me!”
“Lets hope that never sees the light of day again!” Arthur said eyeing the item as though it were a poisonous snake and replacing it back into the wardrobe.

Merlin ordered some more food for Arthur while the prince took a bath. When eventually evening fell they decided to put their plan into action.
Chapter 7 by MagicByMelrin
“Excuse me?” Merlin said to one of the guards who were always vigilantly guarding the door, “Could you bring me some dinner?”
“Humph. What do you want…milord?”
“A roast with all the toppings, an extra jug of gravy, a basket of fruit (make sure there are some pineapples), and the biggest trifle the chief can make.” Merlin was purposely ordering a massive amount of food so that the guard would be a long time in getting it. The guard grunted and slouched off, “Show time!” Merlin stepped away from the door and let Arthur take his place. Arthur, brandishing a chair leg whacked the poor guard over the head and he fell to the floor groaning.
“Hide him in the wardrobe!” Arthur commanded and with Merlin’s help dragged the burly man into the closet. Once that was done the pair snuck out of the door, closing it behind them and scuttled away down one of the corridors. They had no idea where to begin so they had to peek through keyholes and listen at doors to see which one belonged to the king. Merlin was about to walk out from a shadow and listen at a nearby door when suddenly an arm flew out and whacked him in the chest.
“Heads up. Someone’s coming.” Arthur said, retracting his arm as Merlin subsided back into the shadow. A small troop of guards marched passed too intent on patrolling the halls to notice Merlin and Arthur hidden in the shadows.
“Come on.” Arthur hissed and slunk down the corridor, Merlin following. After a few more minutes of continuing like this they had both begun to give up hope.
“Look, were getting nowhere this way! We need to know exactly where he is or it’ll be morning before we find him!” Arthur pointed out, merging into a wall as a maid went past.
“Well what do you suggest?” Merlin snapped, annoyed that his plan was beginning to fail.
“Umm…question a guard?” Arthur looked sheepish.
“You mean threaten a guard.”
“That to. And would you look at that! A volunteer!” There was indeed a guard walking down the hall as he spoke, “Right, you distract while I ambush.”
“Wha-“ Merlin began to protest but it was too late as Arthur shoved him out in full view of the guard.
“Annoy him!” Arthur hissed as the guard stood stupidly in the hall, staring at Merlin.
“How?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something. After all you are an expert.” Arthur was obviously trying to keep a straight face but was failing miserably. Merlin scowled.
“Umm…hi there…” Merlin tried to grin annoyingly at the guard, standing like a startled rabbit in the corridor, but found it impossibility.
“You’re one of the prisoners…” The guard drawled. He obviously wasn’t very bright.
“Yeah. I felt like going for a stroll around the castle and then perhaps escaping later on.” Merlin acted, with an air of a person commenting on the weather.
“I…umm…I’m gonna arrest you!” The guard finally made up his mind and came charging at Merlin like a stampeding buffalo. Merlin smartly stepped to one side as the guard came hurtling past and Arthur clobbered him over the head.
“Nice work. Help me get him in there.” Arthur indicated a door, which he had expected earlier and found to be a broom cupboard.

I felt a slap around my face and I flicked my eyes open. In front of me was a blonde guy and behind him was that fellow I had seen earlier with the red scarf.
“I am Prince Arthur of Camelot and I demand you tell us where the king is!” The blonde was saying in a dangerous voice.
“Urghle…” I groaned. My head hurt. Another slap and the same question came.
“Where is King Argus?”
Not wanting another swat round the face I answered.
“He’s in his chambers.”
“Where’s that?” The one with the scarf asked.
“In the castle.”
“Well obviously!” The blonde cried, exasperated.
“Where?!” The scarfed one asked again.
“Next door to the right.” I wondered why they wanted to know where he was.
“Next…door?” The blonde gave the scarfed one a look.
“How was I to know?!” Scarfy shrugged. Blondey turned back to me, I got clobbered and then suddenly the light went out.

“What do we do with him?” Merlin asked.
“Leave him here. He’s out for the count.” Arthur said, sticking his head out of the cupboard door and gave the hallway the once over for guards, “All clear. Come on.” Arthur walked out of the door, Merlin following, and went to the door that the guard had described.
“Erm…what now? Shall I knock?” Merlin asked not sure whether to barge in or knock.
“Well you never knock for me!”
“Fine!” Merlin stepped back and Arthur kicked the doors open.
“Hands up! We’re armed!” Arthur shouted as they burst in. This wasn’t true. They didn’t have any weapon of any sort in their possession. The king, sat by his table, a fork half lifted to his mouth paused for a moment but then ate the piece of meat on the end of it.
“Oh…it’s…you…umm…who are you…?” The king said slowly as if he were thinking over each and every word.
“I am Prince Arthur of Camelot. That’s Merlin.” Arthur jabbed a thumb over his shoulder at Merlin.
“Oh…that’s…nice…what do you want…ooh my head…what’s going on?”
“I belive that your advisor, Mara, is a sorceress and has been using magic to control you my lord. We’ve come to help you.” Merlin said.
“A sorceress…umm…I…know…she…told me to send a letter…take over England…err…” The king’s face strained, trying to remember.
“Yes! Yes, you sent us a letter and we came to find out what was going on!” Arthur tried to prompt the king’s memory.
“What…what was I thinking…so stupid…” The king’s face lit up as he remembered, “This is Mara’s fault! I’ll exile her immediately! Where is she?!”
“I am here my lord.” Arthur and Merlin spun round to see Mara standing in the door, casting a long shadow across the floor.
“I accuse you of using magic and sentence you…oh…yeah…“ Arthur began but stopped, remembering that he was not in Camelot.
“Don’t listen to these trouble makers. You were right to send the letter. You want England. Don’t you remember?” Mara stalked across the room, staring intently at the king, muttering under her breath.
Merlin suddenly realised that the mutterings were some kind of spell.
“Stop!” He yelled and hurled himself at Mara, both of them crashing to the floor.
“What are you doing?! Guards!” Mara struggled furiously as Merlin pinned her to the floor. There came a stampede of footsteps and a group of guards burst in, swords drawn.
“Arthur, a sword over there!” Merlin pointed to a rack of weapons hung on the wall. Arthur dashed over to the rack and yanked a sword out as the guards bore down on him.
Mara took Merlin’s lapse of attention to wriggle free and she leapt up.
“You will die!” Her face an ugly picture of rage, directed at Merlin.
Merlin knew before she did it that she was about to cast a spell on him and instinctively ducked as a bolt of electricity flew at him at Mara’s command.
“Not today!” Merlin shouted back. He flashed a look behind him. Arthur was busy fending of the guards and far to occupied to notice what Merlin did next, “Semendea loftea mont!” he cried the spell loudly, casting his attention back at the sorceress before him.
“No!” Mara shrieked as the ceiling of the room began to cave in and fall onto her. Her cries died away and Merlin turned back to Arthur, no time to lament over the death of yet another sorcerer.
Three of the guards were on the floor and a fourth fell as Merlin watched. Arthur had a huge nosebleed and a long scratch on his face but still fought gallantly with the last guard until eventually he to joined his fellow soldiers on the floor.
“Where’s Mara!” Arthur jumped over to Merlin, searching the room tensely.
“Umm…she tried to kill me but her spell backfired…” Merlin lied quickly.
Arthur visibly relaxed and whipped a sleeve over his nosebleed.
“Bravo! Bravo!” Suddenly a bout of clapping came from somewhere. Arthur and Merlin jerked round, adrenalin making them jumpy. The king was clapping, a childish look on his face.
“Err…are you ok?” Arthur asked him, wondering if the effects of Mara’s magic were still present.
“Of course!”
“Oh…right.”
There was an awkward silence that was broken by Merlin.
“Well…we should be leaving. Got to get back to Camelot you know.”
“Oh yes! Of course! I’ll have a private guard and transport ready immediately! And…I really am sorry for this unfortunate incident. Please accept my humblest apologizes.” The king adopted a very serious face.
“Of course! I understand this was none of you’re doing.” Arthur stepped forward and shook the king’s hand.


“Well, I’m glad your back Merlin.” Gaius said, placing a bowl of soup on the table.
A few days after the episode of events in Scotland, Arthur and Merlin had returned back to Camelot and told their tale. A feast had been held in their honour and now Merlin was sitting with Gaius who was eating his own dinner. Merlin thought over everything that had happened over the past few weeks. Or was it days? It was hard to tell how long it had been, especially with the business of the shipwreck.
“So am I.” Merlin grinned back at Gaius, “So am I.”



The End
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