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Camlann Castle, the Fae Will Play
Oberon stood on the tall, dark stone wall of the Keep, Camlann Castle. The shadows cloaked him from the guard towers. Well fortified. Not like those meager human fortresses in the former lands we dwelled. He gazed over to Puck, a tiny smirk to his co-conspirator.

"Shall we Goodfellow?" he asked, as he stepped over the wall.

Tags: mordred, oberon, puck

From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 21:08:50  

"We shall!" The faerie declared boldly and then, with no thought to consequence or for what or who could be waiting below, leapt gleefully down from the tall wall and landed with the gradeful reflexes of a cat.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 21:14:37  

"How curious these dwellings of kings," he said quietly. "I will never understand these castle walls." He looked with keen eye up one way and down the other. "Wither wilt thou travel?" he asked, twisting his tongue as Shakespeare would have gleefully done.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 21:35:22  

"This way," Puck murmured from a dark corner of the wall, pointing across the way towards a door before which two guards stood. He didn't know what was in there, but if it was good enough to be guarded, it was godo enough for Puck to have a gander at. Trusting Oberon to follow, he started to sneak over there, swift as shadows, and just as elusive to the lookouts in the towers.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 21:42:32  

He followed with little thought or question, trusting his boy's instincts to be as sharp as ever. He was already having fun, sneaking about in dangerous territory.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 21:52:29  

It was easy enough to distract the guards, the sudden appearance of pebbles disguised as gold coins at their feet drawing their attention immediately and completely, leaving Puck and Oberon free to slip past them and into the torch-lit interior of what turned out to be the keep's armory. In which waited two more guards.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 22:01:00  

Oberon was quick, a short lulling song hummed and the guards were sound asleep. Only 40 lashes from a stern and angry whip would wake them the next day, one for every wink that the fae king cast over them.

"Weapons," he marveled. "Many of them enchanted." He strayed away from the iron, it set his skin into shivers of tingles just standing near it. He picked up a gorgeous, golden sword encrusted with jewels. "Would you fight with such fine things?" he asked Puck, though he was pretty sure he knew the answer.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 22:11:32  

"It's a woman's thing," Puck snorted as he looked at the pretty weapon. "A stick pin for decoration and nothing more." Puck didn't have much use for weapons in truth, though he did have a small silver knife of his own. He cast Oberon a sly look as he let his fingers dance over a rack of finely crafted bows. "Perhaps Titania would like it?"
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 22:19:27  

"Are you trying to save my marriage?" he asked with the best kind of humor. He took the quiver from Puck's able fingers. "They are certainly beautiful enough for her. I can almost picture her in the hunt."
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 22:45:35  

Puck just rolled his eyes, but he was grinning even as he snorted inwardly at the thought. As if Puck had the power to pull off such a feat. "Take it," he said instead. "Give it to her as a gift. I'm sure she'd be...appreciative." Under Puck's fingers, the wooden bows remaining on the rack started to rot, thier strings turning to slender garter snakes and the young faerie smiled in pelasure. He turned his attention to the variety of maces and axes, the weapons suddenly finding themselves transformed into haphazard bunches of flowers and vines.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 22:52:24  

Oberon watched darkly. He was enjoying the display, but there was always the worry in the back of his mind. Do not prick your finger fair boy. Your sleep will be longer than that of Aurora.

Slinging the fine quiver of arrows over his shoulder he turned his attention to another rack of weapons, cannonballs and the like. With a wave of his hand they had turned to airy bubbles, floating to the ceiling and sticking there.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 23:11:08  

Staying clear of any iron more out of instinct than any conscious decision, Puck, with Oberon's help, laid magical waste to the armory. By the time the two unseelier were through, the room was filled with flowers, bubbles, snakes of varying sizes, and a sundry of other out of place items. In fact, nothing but the iron weapons remained untouched. Practically rubbing his hands with glee, Puck bounded over to Oberon and grabbed his hand. "Come! There's more mischief to make and I know just the place to do so."
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 23:18:20  

Overtaken with the enthusiasm of his young servant, Oberon was practically bounding behind him. It was as if a great weight of cautiousness had lifted and the wild enjoyment of chaos had taken over. He was a little boy again, running through the houses of those humans who dared to live so close to the woods. He was working magic over their belongings, turning ugly twisted metal into outdoor things.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/02/2007 23:32:50  

Oberon's enjoyment only fueled Puck's own and he was in a wild mood by the time they'd snuck their in the the large storeroom filled with the keep's winter supplies. Spoiling food was old hat for Puck and he did so with relish, tons of grain going bad with a wave of hands and happy dance. Salted meats rotted into unrecognizable heaps and fruits and vegetables went to mush. It would cause a panic in the keep' the threat fo starvation would be imminent if not immediate and the thought of such havoc made Puck almost euphoric.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/02/2007 23:43:34  

Oberon was inspired and with a little effort that seemed like child's play he had grown several bonsai trees from the moldy corpses he made of the food. He was almost giggling, definitely shining with a kind of force he hadn't shone with since his youth.

Part of it was Puck. The spontaneous troublesome fae could always work Oberon into a good froth. And this new land. There was something about Pentamerone that he still had to discover, something about the magic here that made him feel young and alive again.
From: [info]deadlycouncil Date: 02/03/2007 00:19:41  

Mordred kept his castle alive. Though the halls with their high ceilings and deep shadows sometimes fell quiet, it was never for long, as the clanking of patrolling guards's armor broke the silence. He wanted his keep to be constantly vigilant. The people inside had to be safe, for where else in this world could they feel that the sword at their back was not meant to harm them but to protect them? And then there was his mother. Any injury to her was a guilty mark against him, because her safety was entrusted to him and his men. His own life was of importance as well, but Mordred knew he could double - nay, triple - the soldiers in the keep and he would still not sleep soundly at night. Sentinels on every wall would not set his mind at ease.

No, the castle was not the soft-bellied prey that Oberon and Puck might have felt as they tore deep into the heart of Camlann's keep. They had precautions against these things. On Mordred's huge table of maps and enchanted gadgets, a large stone wrapped in mithril tentacles carved in the likness of vines was bewitched to glow strongly when the fairy kin were near. If he hadn't been so intent on the project at hand, he might have even noticed it himself before the guard burst into his study and breathlessly informed him that the guard armory was...well, it was something and he ought to come see for himself. The iron gave it away. "Fairies never touch iron," he explained grimly aloud as he surveyed the damage, already feeling the fire of betrayal and violation building in his chest. "Of course. Spread through the castle! Find them if they are here. Use only iron weapons."

Selecting the nearest sword for himself, a heavy and pockmarked affair cast in iron, he strode out of the armory and gestured for the first five guards to follow him down the right. Sorting through the various amulets in his waist pouch with one hand, he finally found the right one - a smaller version of his upstairs - and held it aloft to follow the dully glowing light. It grew stronger as they neared the storerooms. "Secure the passageway at either end. One of you run to get the others for support."

He drew close to the storage room door and pulled it open by himself, blade drawn and ready.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/03/2007 10:14:34  

Laughing and weaving his slight but dangerous magic, following Oberon's lead, by the time the two of them finished, the storeroom looked more like some twisted forest than anything else it might have been. Trees reached high to the rafters, outstretched limbs clutching at the creeping vines that hung there now like dark garlands. All around were shrubs of various unpleasant plants; nightshade, poison oak, monkshood, elderberry, and the lovely but deadly oleander and jasmine. In Puck's mind it greatly resembled the finer aspects of Oberon's bower and he was enchanted by their own magic.

He spun in wild circles with Oberon as their magic coaxed the plantlife fuller, thicker. Laughing and laughing, a free, almost innocent sound, nearly mad with the mischiefmaking, Puck didn't notice the sound of approaching guards, didn't notice at all when the door they'd entered earlier opened and there stood the King of Camlann himself, ready for battle.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/03/2007 12:24:36  

Oberon noticed only a moment too late to hide in the trees they had grown minutes before. He stared into the face of the man and saw traces of magic there. It won't be any good to fight this man. Not in his own castle. "Puck, we shall away before more trouble comes of this," he said tightly, his eyes never leaving the face of the king whose castle they had stormed.
From: [info]deadlycouncil Date: 02/03/2007 16:37:48  

"You shall nothing," Mordred growled, his knuckles growing white as his grip tightened on the hilt of the borrowed sword. The scene before him registered in his mind with horror. These were the store rooms for the winter. One more lay just below, but the majority of their remaining food lay up here. The entire keep - nay, more than that, the entire city - had to get through the rest of the winter on the food in storage here. Their very lives depended on it. And now what was it? Fodder for a garden, a bountiful mess of vines and trees and deadly flowers. Inedible and offensive to his eyes.

And everyone knew that Camlannans valued their weapons almost as much as the food they ate to survive.

It wasn't just any fairies facing him, either. Mordred and his men had brushed paths with Puck often enough to know the little monster's face, and there was no mistaking the long face and the strange, darker shroud about him, as though the very shadows of the room were attracted to his form. Oberon, King of the Unseelie Fairies. "Is this how you treat a fellow king? Is this your diplomacy, your favor in return for the trade I have brought your kingdom and the peace we have kept between us? Have you any idea what you've done?" His voice rose and grew in volume, charged with rage.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/03/2007 17:32:09  

Oberon narrowed his eyes, careful to keep himself between Puck and the aggressive king. He thrived in these chaotic situations, flourished when his mischief went awry in some strange way. Cleaning up the messes he and others made seemed more fun than making the messes.

"You cannot presume to know anything about my diplomacy good king," he said gently, bowing in the presence of another king. "We thought to gift you with gardens in the darkest hours of winter. Were we wrong to bring such beauty to you?"
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/03/2007 19:21:29  

It took him a while to bring himself out of his gleeful haze, but after a few moment of the exchange Puck piped up, slipping in front of Oberon and looked down at Mordred somehow from his smaller stature. "Pearls before swine, my Lord. Mortals never appreciate anything of true beauty. Least of all their kings." As he spoke, his hands moved subtlely behind his back, calling a small bevy of vines slithering across the storeroom floor towards Mordred from behind. "You're right, let us away. This false king is not worthy of your presence."
From: [info]deadlycouncil Date: 02/04/2007 16:30:40  

Mordred knows a little about the ways of the fae. He knows of their arrogance - and has put more than one Camlannan unseelie to the end of his blade for it - and their tricks. It is difficult enough to trust a fae at their word, but impossible to trust an unseelie; he knows better than to stand there waiting for them to pull their next trick out of their sleeve. He hardly expects to catch these two most powerful fae now, but he also doesn't want them to leave without tasting Camlannan iron. They're within his reach should he lunge or step forward. "Your so-called diplomacy," Mordred spat, "isn't to my taste. Poison is the blood of cowards." And then he -

He was intending to step forward, planning to swing hard and fast for Puck's chest to leave him a wound to remember, but the world around him gave a sudden jolt, as though time itself had skipped a step. He saw a dark, thick cloud where his enemies had been standing, and then a strong limb wrapped itself around his torso and another around his ankle and another and another - all from behind.

Then time jolted again and his vision, having taken barely a breath, was over. The Sight, a particularly strong throb of it if he'd been able to notice more than one thing. A fight was upon him.

Instead of moving forward, he twisted back to slash instinctively towards the thing he knew was going to take him by surprise if he didn't deal with it. Fairy-magicked vines. Hacking at them, he did his best to keep them away, holding the jeweled amulet high to cast its strong green light in his path. He felt pretty confident Oberon and Puck be gone by the time he had finished dealing with the vines so that he could turn on them in earnest, but he wasn't willing to call his guards in here to help. Mordred was a strong enough fighter to defeat the vines on his own, and he knew that if his guards saw the damage to the storage rooms themselves, he would have a much bigger problem on his hands to deal with later.
From: [info]fairking Date: 02/04/2007 16:42:04  

The fae king watched in amazement as the sight wrapped around Mordred. He still wasn't certain that's what it was, but the king turned to deal with Puck's vines as if knowing they were coming. This is something good to know, something to look out for. We have made an enemy so easily fair Puck. Perhaps other opportunities will arise from this enmity.

He wasted no more time as Mordred hacked at the vines. He called forth a deep fog to cover them, filling the room with thick, wet clouds. "Come Puck," he whispered into his ear. "Our fun here is spent. I have desire of you in the woods," he added vaguely. Whether for conversation or other things Puck would not learn until they had returned to the comfort of their trees.
From: [info]puckeredup Date: 02/04/2007 21:20:36  

It was no easy thing to surprise Puck, for all he'd see in this world and the one he'd inhabited before. But Mordred had managed to do just that when he - when whatever that was - manifested and the king spun with his sword raised, ready for the vines that the faerie had set upon him.

Puck would have stood there staring in dismayed astonishment had Oberon not taken the opportunity to create a screen for their escape, the words against his ear convincing enough despite the young fae's quickly rising irritation at the fact that Mordred had so easily foiled his intentions.

Hand clutching at Oberon's arm, the only indication that he was ready to leave, Puck let his king lead them away.
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