Title: The King's Proposal
Character/s: Balinor, Uther, Kilgharrah
Summary: Uther has a proposal to make peace with the dragon and sends for the Last Dragonlord. Balinor must make a decision.
Warnings: Talks of the Great Purge
Word Count: 774
Author's Notes: I was intrigued with the question of how and why Balinor was betrayed by Uther. Why did he make the decision that led to Kilgarrah and himself being captured.
The King’s Proposal
One Dragon and one Dragonlord left. Uther vowed to rid his lands of this vile aberration that was magic. Magic was nothing to him but disorder and chaos, it disgusted him. It had ripped his very heart away when his beloved Igraine died. He would continue his mission until his dying day. All magic users, all magical creatures would be purged from his Kingdom. He had a proposal for this Dragonlord, one that he was confident would be accepted. He sent his finest knights to deliver a message. His plan was simplicity itself, he would make peace with the dragon, as long as it was brought before him.
Balinor read the King’s message and frowned. Uther had declared war on magic since Igraine had died. He had rounded up every last dragonlord and dragon and had them killed. People were too afraid to practice the old religion. Sorcerers fled for their lives in fear of persecution. Why a peace offering now? He told the knights to return in the morning, he needed time to consider the Kings proposal.
He was worried. Was this a trap? On the other hand a gesture of peace could mean an end of the horrors of the purge. Was it possible that he, Kilgharrah, the druids and all those who Uther had declared magic could live in peace once more and not be hunted like animals? Uther Pendragon had been known to be a man of honour, would he keep his word in this instance? Could he as Dragonlord summon Kilgharrah to Camelot as a sign of goodwill, let Uther make his peace? If anything happened he knew the dragon could defend himself, but was it a risk he was willing to take?
He spent the night weighing up his decision, and in the morning, he told the knights he would return with them to Camelot.
It was something he regretted for the rest of his life.
He was greeted in the courtyard by Uther and his entourage. Uther asked him to call the dragon in order to make his peace, and he did so. As soon as the dragon landed in the courtyard, he knew he had been betrayed. Men came out of hiding netting Kilgharrah and binding him in great chains. Magic chains he noted as he struggled against the men holding him down. The king would persecute those with magic, but would continue to use it for his own purposes. He too was bound in chains and manacles were slapped on his wrists, he tried to fight, but there were too many men.
Uther was triumphant in his victory, striding around the courtyard with his arms high in the air, he approached Balinor and laughed. Balinor spat on the ground at the Kings feet.
“You will never win Uther, magic will endure, you can’t control it, you can never eradicate it”
Uther snarled at him “I can and I will” He shouted to the people “Behold the Great Dragon! This beast will remain chained underneath the castle as a sign of Camelots strength and determination against the evils of magic. Let it be a warning, magic will not be tolerated. It is banned and the penalty for practicing any form of magic is death.”
He turned to his men “Build a pyre, this man will be executed at dawn”
Balinor looked at Kilgharrah who was being reluctantly dragged away, digging his claws into the dirt and roaring. “I’m sorry my old friend, I have failed”
Kilgharrah stopped fighting and looked at him “You are not at fault here, your intentions were honourable. A hundred years can pass in a blink of an eye for me. There will be one who comes, one who will free us all and bring magic back to these lands and Albion will be born.
“Emrys” Balinor whispered. Kilgharrah nodded before letting himself be led off.
Later that night the Kings Physician came to the dungeons and helped him escape. He was a good man, who risked his life to help as many as he could. He left, heading away from Camelot and found a place in Ealdor, with a woman who took him in, where he hoped he could build a new life. It was never to be. Uther would never cease his search, nor would he cease his persecution against those he believed practiced any form of magic. It was better to be hidden, to have no contact with people, to live alone.
Many years later his son found him and he knew that Kilgarrah was right. With this boy, his son, magic would indeed live on.