V M Spiral of Decay

Mordred

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Father…Why have you forsaken me, Father?

The flames of the battlefield surrounded us, engulfing what remained of your once majestic realm. They burned beautifully, using what our great deeds and noble sacrifices had managed to build as fuel. But as intense and blistering as the heat attempting to consume us was, it could not match the fire that was burning within my soul. Even as I laid impaled, my life rapidly ebbing away and drenching the barren soil underneath with blood, the calamity that raged in my heart would not let me enter my uneasy and eternal rest.

With what little strength I was still able to muster, I raised my head one final time. Within my stinging and unfocused gaze, I beheld your gallant frame. You stood there, your back unwaveringly turned towards me, your ears deaf to my curses and pleas. Without realising it, I had raised my stained gauntlet, my bloodied hand wanting to touch you. To hurt you. To turn you around and see the beautiful visage that I so adored and despised. You were so close — yet as my fingertips brushed against nothing but air, you may as well have stood at the very edge of the world.

Is this what you wanted, Father? Your perfect kingdom, matching the heavens themselves, reduced to mere ash and cinder? Your valiant knights, their armour shining more brightly than the sun itself, fallen or scattered to the winds? Your faithful subjects, ever in awe of your godlike image, hiding in fear of what tomorrow may bring?

They called me treacherous — but it was I who had been a victim of treachery! Did I not possess your likeness, one that I had to keep concealed from the rest of the world? Was it not your blood, the blood of dragons, that ran through my veins as well? Had I not spent every waking moment of my existence serving you, upholding your ideals?

And yet, even after rallying the people against you in your absence, even after fighting you until everything we fought for was brought to ruin and rendered meaningless, even as I drew my last breath, you still denied the natural order of things. You denied me my rightful place in the world! You took everything from me!

Tell me, Father! Why would you not give me the crown? Why would you not acknowledge me?! Why would you not even turn to look at me?! Why would you not hold me?!

Father…Why did you forsake me, Father?
 

Mordred

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The events of that accursed day transpired in my thoughts in an endless cycle. The image of my father refusing to even acknowledge me with his gaze — that image was so deeply engraved into my thoughts that, even had I gouged my own eyes, I would still have never ceased to see it. It seemed as though my mind had decided that my anguish and despair were not sufficient torment. Like a playwright of devilish cruelty and wit, it was making me reenact my ignoble fate again and again, ostensibly to render the whole sordid affair into a sad farce.

Yet, as I once again thought to futilely reach out to Father, I felt my hand collide with an unknown obstacle — Abruptly, his figure disappeared from my eyes, and I found myself wrapped in darkness. I gasped for air, although I quickly grew to regret that action. My lungs filled with putrid air, and the stench of mold and decay made me cough in revulsion.

Once I recovered control of my senses, I was able to take notice of how heavy and sluggish my body felt. Was I dying, still injured from my final battle? Yet I felt not the lance that had impaled me, nor the wound that it had inflicted upon my body. Was I dead? Yet I still drew breath, nor did the darkness surrounding me resemble Hell or Purgatory.

But there was one thing that I could clearly distinguish, the one familiar sensation I could experience as I laid in that bleak and unfamiliar place: the weight and feel of my armour. Its metal was icy cold to the touch, chilling me to the bone. Yet, in the confusion and despair that was gripping me in those moments, being adorned in it brought me the comfort and calm of a warm embrace.

Once I gathered my thoughts, I gritted my teeth and struggled against the torpor that my body had been afflicted with in order to raise my arm. But even if I had been in my proper form, it would have helped me little. After much struggle, my hand once more hit against an object. Something was blocking me, preventing me from lifting myself. Trying to feel my way around, all I could discern was its flat surface, which rang coarse and rough as I slid my gauntlets against it.

I twisted and turned in an attempt to position my hands better against it. That made me realise how small and constrictive the place I had found myself in truly was. A thought occurred to me. Perhaps I was in a grave. Perhaps I had been left for dead, my mortal remains cast and sealed in the belief that they would quickly turn to bone and ash.

As panic overtook me, I forced my uncooperative arms to push against the obstacle above me with all the strength they could muster. But try as I might, it would not budge. After several attempts, a sense of despair began to set in. Was this truly the end? Was this to be my fate? Powerlessly drawing my final breaths in this cold, dark, rotten cage?

No. I would not accept it. This was not how I wished to die. This was not a fate becoming of a Pendragon! I refused to yield!

My resolve managed to awaken the blood of dragons that flowed through me. With another heave, I pushed once more. Though with great difficulty, the surface finally began to give way. As I pressed forward, the object’s heavy weight continued to pin me down and dust fell onto me, stinging my eyes and stealing my breath. But this only intensified my fear and wrath, motivating me to press further.

Finally, with a defiant cry, I pushed the object away to the side with one mighty throw. A thunderous crash of stone resonated in the dark. It echoed and echoed….Until only my laboured breath remained to interrupt the sound of silence.
 
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