And so for this update I'd like to post some snippets to introduce you to some of my characters...
She stared at the featureless iron and felt more keenly than ever the distance between them. Now. Now was the time to say what might be the last words he would ever hear from her.
“Fight,” she said at last. “Win.”
Nerys“Nerys. It’s been fourteen years and you haven’t aged.”
“No.” Nerys settled back on her footstool, her shoulders falling, her chin lifting. For a moment the veil rose: Blanche sensed a dignity so awful and majestic that she almost expected the footstool to splinter into diamond shards beneath its burden.
“I am ageless.”
PercevalThe strange knight spoke, his voice echoing inside the iron helm. “Do you seek death, boy?”
Perceval grinned. “I’ve yanked his beard once or twice. I can do it again.”
Simon Corbin“Ah, but even now you fail to understand me. What if it were not the villain doing these dastardly deeds, but your colleague, or your commander?”
Perceval looked up with quick displeasure. “What do you mean?”
“I mean,” he said, “that by your own showing, the greatest threat to heaven comes from within the ranks of the angels themselves. Before you can prove to me that heroes can defeat villains with nothing but the purest chivalric ideals, you must convince me that heroes do exist, and that villains are not a fanciful tale for children. You must tell me, sir, if you dare, that you are incorruptible, and that your colleagues and commanders are as pure as you. Your health.”
And Mr Corbin took a sip of wine.
GawainSir Gawain, whetting his sword, looked up. “We know the Lady Nimue can be trusted.”
“Why are you defending her? You know better than any of us what harm comes when Elves meddle with men, however good their intentions.”
Silence fell, as breathless as the space between lightning and thunder. Perceval saw the others slowly straightening to look at the Knight of Orkney.
No thunder came. Instead Gawain said quietly, “Yes. I know it.”
MorganBlanchefleur swallowed. Moistened dry lips. “He? Who’s he?”
Sudden silence fell upon the steeple. At last Morgan’s voice slid out from beneath the table with the calm and sinuous grace of a serpent. “Oh, I would tell you. I am willing to tell you. I am waiting to tell you.”
Galahad“I ask your pardon for falling so silent at the Table today when you told me of your birth. It meant no disdain. Only I can imagine no harder thing befalling a man, than to be cast off by his father.”
“I knew you thought no ill of me,” said Galahad. “And of your kindness, think no ill of him either. So far as the matter lies between him and me, we have killed and buried it.”
And again, although he searched for it, Perceval saw no trace of bitterness in Galahad’s eyes.
Elaine“You were penitent, then,” Blanchefleur said, struggling not to show her loathing. But Elaine’s mouth tightened with resentment: in the flickering candlelight, Blanchefleur saw for the first time that there were deep stubborn lines scored from nose to mouth.
“Never! I was like the Lady Eve, cast out of my home for a sin Fate demanded of me.”
Arthur and Guinevere...The gilded knight snatched the cup from the Queen’s hand even while he spoke.
And flung the wine in her face.
“A fig for the Table,” the ruffian was shouting, with a laugh, over the uproar of shouts and falling chairs. Perceval saw the King say a word, and a lean grey shadow leaped from under his chair. The gilded knight vaulted to his horse as the hound sprang with bared teeth and straining red maw for his heels. Then the warhorse neighed and lashed out a hoof. The dog scrabbled uselessly across the floor: another heartbeat, and the gilded knight was gone with the drumming of hooves.
Above it all the Queen of Britain stood still, wine dripping off her face, her mouth pressed shut in a white and wordless fury which swept impersonally across Perceval and all the people gathered in the hall before alighting on the King.