NOTE: This is NOT based on the popular 2008 BBC television series, "Merlin”.
Instead, I've drawn influences from the 1998 miniseries, “Merlin”, “The Dresden Files”, “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”, ancient history, and of course, Arthurian Legend.Long ago in the ancient land of Britain, shrouded by time and crowned in legend, there was a man whose very existence inspired both fear and awe. Loathed and beloved in equal parts, he served as the architect of what became the greatest kingdom in human history, only to see it ravaged by fate. Counselor to the High King, Arthur Pendragon, Camelot was only a small part of this man's endeavors. As a citizen of the Roman Empire, he was Ambrosius Aurelianus. As the first man to practice Magic, he was John Uskglass; the Raven King. But we know him by another name. A name that inspires the imagination, upon which all things become possible: Merlin.
Read This First
Setting: Modern Fantasy
Time frame: Long-term
Post length: Multiple paragraphs - Literate writers only please
There are two Realms that comprise Creation as we know it: The Mortal Realm—Earth as we experience it—and the Faerie Realm. These Realms exist in reflection of one another. From time immemorial the Fae—or the Sidhe, as they call themselves—were practitioners of Magic.
The Fae are divided into two distinct identities: The Summer Court and the Winter Court. Summer Fae possess Light Magic: Heat and growing things reside in the bailiwick of Summer. Summer Fae achieve their maximum potential from Midwinter to Midsummer. This is called ascendance
. In direct opposition exists the Winter Court. Winter Fae possess Dark Magic: cold, and the night are the heralds of Winter. They are in ascendance from Midsummer to Midwinter. Both courts are ruled by Queens. The Summer Queen is an ancient Fae named Titania, Queen of the Evergreen. Her sister and opposite is Mab, the Winter Queen, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Second to them in power are their daughters, the Ladies. Aurora is the Summer Lady, while Morgana is the Winter Lady.
Thence Came Magic
The Sidhe understand inherently what Man later postulated by scientific principle: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.”
Over time, the Fae's understanding of Magic evolved, and they discovered a form of energy far more potent than that which occurred in Mother Nature: The energy of the soul. No Faerie remembers how or why this new discovery occurred. Nor do they care, particularly. Faeries don't typically dwell too terribly long on the past.
They discovered that this energy could be harnessed through the power of belief. In other words, the more humans that believed in a particular Faerie, or the Fae in general, the more energy the Fae could use, and the more powerful they became. This principle of Magic is called Soul Resonance
. This newfound discovery prompted the formerly reclusive Sidhe to begin interacting with the Mortal Realm. They would often pose as gods or spirits, granting boons and other forms of mystical patronage to those mortals who chose to worship them.
So as to avoid open war (it is the nature of the Sidhe to wage a war of subtlety), the Courts divided the world among themselves. The Roman Empire, for example, was the demesne of the Summer Court, whereas Great Britain existed under the aegis of Winter. The Fae of Summer and Winter had typically opposite ways of accumulating Soul Resonance. Summer fostered advancement, evolution, and enlightenment to strengthen their bond with humans. Winter chose to keep their lands in a state of more primitive paganism to garner their own Resonance.
It is entirely possible that some uppity Summer Faerie made the snide comment of calling this period in Britain's history the Dark Ages, for obvious reasons.
Merlin & Morgana
In time, the Roman Empire began to crumble. Spurred by the decline of their once great civilization, a colony of Romans arrived in Great Britain; a long forgotten annex of Rome they called Britannia. One of these colonists was a Roman aristocrat named Ambrosius Aurelianus. A budding scholar, statesman, and Legionary, Ambrosius' curiosity quickly brought him in contact with the pagan beliefs of the native Britons. With typical Roman enterprise, the colonists brought change and innovation to Great Britain, something which aroused the curiosity of the Winter Court at first. It was in this manner that the daring, brilliant, and somewhat arrogant Aurelianus encountered Morgana, the Winter Lady. Ambrosius approached this supernatural occurrence with an explorer's aplomb, and spent days upon days in deep conversation with the beautiful Faerie. Charmed with his clever intelligence, it was Morgana who eventually taught Ambrosius the art of Magic, and gave him his name: Merlin. For she found in him the same keen vision, pride, and sharp temperament of the hawk. In time, they fell deeply in love, and Morgana--now called Morgana Le Fay (a name her lover humorously bestowed on her)--worked with Merlin to realize his dream of an enlightened utopia in Britannia.
Decades passed. Merlin proved to be a virtuoso in the Magical Arts. His close association with the Winter Court, and Morgana, began to change him. As he grew in power, and time ceased to touch him, Morgana bestowed upon the wizard something entirely new to both Fae and Human alike: A mantle of power; part of the Winter Lady's very essence, which became seamlessly interwoven with Merlin's soul. And so he became the Winter Knight
. This gift was a declaration of Morgana's abiding love for Merlin, and his for her. A melding of their souls; two melodies in perfect resonance. This joining also changed Morgana...giving her the passions and strong emotions of Man. Traditionally the Winter Fae were known for their restraint, and cold logic. When Merlin shared his soul with her, Morgana partook in his passionate fire, and was herself evolved.
Together they brought about the birth of Arthur, as is recorded in the histories. Merlin's relentless desire for progress, and his resulting efforts to that effect, began to aid in the advancement of Britannia. As the years passed, the Britons' belief in the Fae began to fade, and they turned their hearts to new gods, and new scientific achievements. Mab, angered that Merlin and her daughter were threatening the power of the Winter Court, began to actively work against this progress. It was Mab who manipulated the Saxons into war with Arthur and his Knights. She groomed Mordred—a child of Arthur by incest—to take his crown and bring the people back to pagan worship, and restored Soul Resonance.
The Crystal Cave
The war was long and bloody. Mab's manipulations to undermine Arthur with the betrayal of his Queen Guinevere with the Knight Lancelot Du Lac were catastrophic to the High King. Besieged by the indomitable power of the Winter Court and their Saxon pawns, Merlin and Morgana began wielding enormously powerful magic to create a prison that would seal Mab away. Once entombed, Morgana would ascend to the role of Winter Queen, with Merlin as her consort. They drew upon the energies of the land, and the Soul Resonance of the people of Camelot. Together, with the power of the Winter Lady intermingled, they created the Crystal Cave; wherein Mab would be sealed into the womb of the very Earth itself. Along with the Cave, a Key was made. Years ago, Merlin had used a simple trick to enchant a sword that would serve as the means of Arthur's ascension to High King. Forged with powerful sorcery, Excalibur would serve as a fitting seal to Mab's crystal prison. When Arthur fell from a mortal wound on the battlefield, Morgana retrieved the sword and retreated with Merlin to the Crystal Cave.
Both wizard and Faerie were greatly weakened by effort needed to create the Cave and further enchant Excalibur. As the Winter Queen entered the Mortal Realm to retrieve her daughter and destroy Merlin, Morgana knew that her beloved Roman would stand as wheat before the scythe opposed to the Queen of Air and Darkness. Unwilling to risk his death, Morgana plunged Excalibur into the crystal that would activate the spell...with Merlin still inside. She knew that once the enchantment was active, it would be the only place in creation Mab could not breach. So it was that Merlin was sealed, the Crystal Cave his prison, frozen in time. With him too, rested the sword Excalibur, thus ensuring no outside interference.
Morgana was taken back to Realm of the Fae, weeping in despair at the horrible price paid to protect her Merlin...
Where We Come In
Phew! Thanks for reading this far! As you've no doubt discovered, I'm looking for a detailed and literate writer to play Morgana, opposite my Merlin. Many centuries have passed since Merlin's imprisonment. Here in the modern age, both Fae of Summer and Winter have found new, more effective ways to use Soul Resonance. Due to the constant evolution of technology and society, the Courts have adapted to share portions of many of the great cities, and are deeply entrenched in both politics and many aspects of Mortal industry. In this modern age of entertainment, the Sidhe gather Soul Resonance by masquerading as humans who achieve celebrity status. This is where we find Morgana, who in this time, lives under the identity of a popular actress: Emilia Clarke.
At some point in the last century or two, Merlin has secretly escaped his prison. As he reveals his existence in the present...how will Morgana—loyal to the Winter Court these last several hundred years—react? And what are Merlin's plans? He seems harder...colder...a dark shadow of his former self. Has he fallen to become the vengeful Byronic Hero? Send me a PM, and let's find out!