Chapter 8: The Conference Room Table is Round
I was so stunned by the comment and how off-handed Merlin had said it that I had to ask, “My nephew? Melchior? Is coming to conquer Albion? Why?”
“That’s a lot of question marks,” said the woman who I knew was Morgana. She looked exactly as she had before her death.
Merlin guffawed and replied, “She’s right. What I’ve been told from one of our spies is that Melchior enjoyed the fight with Atlantis so much that he seized control of Fay and is on his way to conquer all the other realms.”
We had walked through the castle gates and into a large throne room that was dominated by a large round table with thirteen seats.
“Aren’t there too many seats?” I asked. If there were seven Guardians, me, and Randi; that left four empty seats.
Merlin smiled at me and said, “Nope. We need seven for the Guardians, one for Lady Randi, two for King Arthur of Camelot and his Queen, two for High King Jaques of Everworld and his husband, and finally, two for the King and Queen of Fay.”
With eerie timing, my brother and sister walked into the room, nodded curtly at me, and sat in chairs as if they knew where to sit. Half of being a god is making others think you know more than you do.
As the others arrived, conversation stopped. Finally, we all sat at our respective chairs and Merlin stood. Raising his hands, he said, “I welcome you to the first Council of the Realms.” He proceeded to introduce each person, starting with the royals. With no official title, I was not included in that round.
He then introduced the Guardians. First, Merlin, Guardian of Reality, Morgana, Guardian of Time, and Iman, Guardian of Aether. Then he gestured at a man that looked familiar. He had been the man who was holding two crystals who had created Earth. Merlin called him Ciamon, Guardian of Choice. Looking at the man carefully, I noticed he had fine fur on him and long ears. His wolf-like face was punctuated by a long grey beard.
Then there was a man who was tall, pale, and thin; his dark, sunken eyes held anger and mischief that made even me uncomfortable. He was called Icaryoe, Guardian of Chaos.
We were running out of people, and Merlin introduced Kishar, Guardian of Nature.
That left me and Randi. I wondered where the last Guardian was and whether I should leave to give them my seat.
“Finally, we have Lady Randi of Fay and Lord Robin, Guardian of Imagination.”
I wanted to argue, but the more I thought of it the more it made sense. I was different from my siblings and never knew exactly why. Who, or what, decided the Guardians? Why were we here? I had a lot of questions and unfortunately now was not the time for answers.
“Now with the formalities out of the way,” he paused, “there is a threat that is coming to Albion. It has already destroyed Atlantis.” There was a gasp from some members of the group.
Icaryoe asked, “I thought a realm couldn’t be destroyed as long as there were some who remembered it, only put to sleep?” His voice was calm, but I saw excitement in his eyes.
“Normally, yes, but Melchior has the ability to drain magic. He used it to devour the soul of Atlantis.”
Oberon cleared his throat and said, “He commands the legions of Fay. Nothing in this or any other realm can stop him.”
“Great pep talk. You should be a life coach,” Merlin said. His voice was calm, but there was controlled rage behind his eyes. “Now. I admit this looks hopeless, but we have the finest minds in all the realms and some of the most powerful beings. There has to be something we can do.”
The old man Ciamon raised his hand and said, “What if we collapse the realm around him? The implosion should kill him.”
Titania sighed and proceeded to talk to him as if he were a child. “He can drain power from a realm or person. We’d just be feeding him.”
King Arthur stood and in a calm voice whispered, “We are not collapsing or destroying Albion. Find another way.”
“We need to strip him of his powers. Lady Randi has taught me a spell that can change a person’s magical core. We could make him a regular Fay,” I suggested.
“He’d still command the full might of Fay and be effectively immortal, but it’s as good a plan as any,” Merlin admitted.
“And my people?” Arthur asked.
Everyone around the table avoided his eyes. It was Morgana with a gentle tone that said, “We need to relocate them. I know just the island.”
“He doesn’t just command the armies of Fay; he also commands Fay itself and wields power that you could not believe.” Oberon sounded scared. I’d never seen him scared before.
“You four, and Melchior, are the power of Fay. Without you, there’s nothing left and the realm will collapse.” Merlin explained. I wondered how he knew.
“That’s it!” Icaryoe exclaimed. “We take your power and put it into rings. One of us will wield it against him.” When everyone looked at him confused, he added, “If the five of you are the power source for Fay then the power that Melchior is using is partially yours. If we can syphon it out of you into rings, we can prevent him from using your share and boost one person enough to stop him and the legions.”
“That’s a lot of power for one person to wield,” said Iman with a whistle. “They’d be almost a god.”
“Would it be enough?” asked Titania.
Merlin nodded and said, “Sounds like we have a plan. Let’s get something to eat and then we can start the evacuation and forging.”
A wise enemy waits until their foe is weakest, a strong enemy attacks when they’re ready, a reckless enemy attacks as soon as they can.
Melchior wasn’t wise, but he was strong and reckless. He attacked before we could start our plan.
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories: