Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin BBC. I don’t own Frozen, either.
Gwaine, with a bit of drink now coursing through him, was more amiable than before. They sat the night away underneath Gwen’s coverings, but they wouldn’t be able to stay longer. The sun would come up and they would need to move forward to somewhere else. One thing they all knew, though, was that they hadn’t been able to stop the sorcerer. Arthur wasn’t able to convince the boy to cease the torrent raging around them. Flashes of lightning happened during the night and through its light they could all see that the king was very severely injured.
They took turns watching over their small camp during the night, though no one truly slept much. The wind began at some point before dawn and it shoved the rain further into drenching them. Guinevere shivered against the storm and also her own dark thoughts. The king had been gasping for each breath since the beginning of the side-ways rain. It seemed to have been entering into each intake and she feared it had entered his lungs. They had all seen pneumonia before and they had all seen what happens when it cannot be treated.
It was Gwaine, surprisingly, who came up with the solutions as soon as they saw that dawn had reached them. “The druids could probably heal him,” he muttered. He still seemed sore that he had been helping the king, but he was also not going to grudgingly allow the man to die a horrible death such as this illness was giving him. “They will probably do it,” he sighed, “even if they know he would kill them for their ways.”
Everyone didn’t comment on the last bit. They all knew that Arthur was the king of a kingdom that banned sorcery of all types and that the Druids were the most known to practice the rites. Instead Leon asked, “Will we be able to find them?” The part left unsaid was could they find one of the peaceful nomadic tribes before Arthur succumbed to the fluid building in his lungs?
Gwaine shrugged, “Dunno, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least walk until we hope to?” It wasn’t a suggestion as much as a question. He wasn’t a leader. That had been Arthur even if they all didn’t want to admit that. At first they all thought they followed him because he knew who had started the storm, but now the group knew that he had just given off the aura of a leader.
They packed up their crude camp and had started walking south away from the clearing where the sorcerer had been and back toward a path they had known existed. Their feet carried them, once again taking turns to carry the very hurt king, and their way didn’t last long before something shifted in the trees among them. The rain still pelted down as four green robed people melted from the protection of the forest.
The sudden appearance of the group of strangers had everyone on instant alert. It was as if the people had used magic to come from the trunks of the trees and the ferns themselves. Lancelot and Gwaine were the first to stop being tense as they all slowly came to the realization that it was Druids that now surrounded them. The same people who they had hoped to find were the ones to find them first.
One of the men, for that is what these robed people were, walked forward and lowered his hood. His eyes were a light blue and his hair had gone into the deep dark gray of an elder. “My name is Isalder,” he told them. “We mean you no harm.”
“We, as well, do not mean to wish any harm onto your people,” Lancelot told the man as he bowed slightly in a friendly greeting. “We need help. Our friend was hurt in a fight with someone and we think his lungs have filled with sickness.”
Isalder waved to one of the other men who walked forward as Elyan helped to bring Arthur down from Leon’s back. The king’s breath shuddered as the new Druid began to examine his patient laying on the forest mud. The physician, because that is what they assumed he must be, looked up into his leaders eyes for a bit and then back down to the blond.
“We cannot help King Arthur,” Isalder declared to the group.
They gasped as they heard that they hadn’t deceived the Druids. They had thought that if they had kept the man’s true name and status hidden than maybe the nomadic magical people would be more willing to help.
“Please?” Guinevere begged. Tears formed in her eyes as she watched the man next to Arthur shake his head and walk back toward his original tree.
“It isn’t that we are not willing,” Isalder informed them. “We do not have the ability to clear this illness from the Once and Future King.” The group became confused from the use of the odd title as he continued, “This storm is powerful and only Emrys can force it to end. He is the one who is destined to walk with Arthur and he is the only one who can end Arthur’s torment. If he does not, then all will be lost to the darkness that looms in the edges of the future.”
“Who is this Emrys? Where can we find him?” Leon demanded. The Druids stood still. When they didn’t seem to want to divulge any more information Elyan tried, “How can we save Arthur if we cannot find this person you’re speaking of?”
“Emrys is a powerful sorcerer. Go to Camelot and he will be there,” Isalder and the rest of the Druids melted back into the forest as fast as they had emerged.
They didn’t stay long as Leon bent down to allow Lancelot and Elyan to put the king onto his back. They had a long journey and they could now only wish to the gods they made it in time to find this Emrys. ‘But why is a powerful sorcerer in Camelot?’ They all thought to themselves as their feet once again pushed into the mud.