marbleglove: (Default)
In an attempt to do something mildly productive that has a finished object that I can point to and say "I accomplished something," I've written two new short fanfics. Given that I'm currently in that sort of mind set to begin with, it seemed like a golden opportunity to complete some of the depressing stories that I normally don't write. Thus:

The Trial of Lancelot (on AO3 and on
I love Heather Dale's music, but I pretty cordially dislike Arthurian legend. (First season Merlin being a rare exception.) Thus, I have decidedly mixed feelings regarding Heather Dale's song, The Trial of Lancelot. It's on my regular playlist, but it always makes me kind of mad.
Thus, I wrote a short fic on my issues, particularly around the verse:
"The trial's charge was treason,
And betrayal of an oath.
And should his guilt be proven,
Death would fall on traitors both.”


Insanity of Survival (on AO3 and on
A while back I was rereading a much of Valdemar stories and thought it would be pretty awesome to have Methos interacting with the Companions of Valdemar, seeing as how they all look like white horses, and he's got something of a past with white horses. With a bit of prompting from Pentapus, I wound up writing two different stories about post-Death-on-a-white-horse!Methos dealing with Companions. Meanwhile, I thought of, but decided not to write a version that has pre-Death-on-a-white-horse!Methos having been a Herald of Valdemar... and then somehow becoming Death on a Horse. Well, here's that story.
Summary: Being Death was merely a side effect of the white horses, and the white horses were a result of having been ripped apart and left to survive.

marbleglove: (Default)

I’ve been re-reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sparkly mystical horse come up to you and let you know that you are a good person, and a powerful person, and you will do great deeds and help people and be loved and respected all of your days and never make mistakes because your mystical horse will help you know what the right path is?

I am at a point in my life where I could really use that kind of reassurance. On the other hand, possibly because I am at a point where I need that reassurance, I am most decidedly not at a point at which I would trust it coming from a mystical horse.

It’s something of a Catch-22.

However, despite my cynicism and skepticism, I still really enjoy the books. And I’ve been thinking back on an old idea that there really needs to be a Methos-in-Valdemar story. I am quite desperate to read one, and it’s possible that I’ll finally have to give in and write it myself. Thinking along those lines, I’ve been thinking through potential plot ideas and character arcs and finding a lot more of the later than the former, alas, since the character arc is largely Methos being adamant that he will never again ride an all white horse or wear all white himself, especially not when the token bit of color is blue, like the woad with which he once painted his face.

And then I got an idea that was so very awesome and yet so very horrible that I have to release it out into my plot-bunny pasture immediately because it would be amazingly soul destroying to try to write it.

I had previously been thinking of Methos as becoming a Herald of Valdemar at some unstated point after his Horsemen days.

What if it was immediately prior to his Horsemen days, or even overlapping the early portion of them?

Set the whole story at the end of days for Valdemar.

There’s a major war, a major disaster, or whatever, and something just happens and Valdemar loses. Maybe all the Companions are killed, or maybe there just haven’t been that many being born for the past few centuries. But Methos is the last one.

He did his best. He helped the survivors find new places. He watched over them being fully absorbed into their new countries and cultures and he alone was left with his Companion.

He has a close mind-bond with his Companion. They have been together for centuries. And now they are alone.

So very, very alone.

And then, after a thousand years, the Companion starts to age.

From what I can tell from canon, Companions don’t age in a general sense. They are born and age to adulthood and some of them are older than others, but they don’t die of old age prior to their Heralds dying, and when one of them (the Herald or the Companion) dies, the other generally follows soon after. It’s all part of the mystical bond.

But Methos’ Companion starts to age because he’s just eventually reached the end of his days. Or maybe the original prayer from the original King Valdemar has finally run it’s course since the kingdom of Valdemar is gone and forgotten.

His Companion can’t bear to leave Methos, though, and knows that Methos will go mad when their bond is broken.

So the Companion finds a white mare and sires a colt off of her. Which, despite them being the same shape and being inter-fertile, is pretty much bestiality and a sickening and taboo act if any one of their culture was left to know of it. But it creates a half-Companion half-horse mount for Methos to ride after the Companion finally dies.

And then the Companion dies and Methos goes mad with grief and loss. He rides the half-Companion mount, a poor replacement who can never be what his father was. But it’s enough, to keep him alive in his madness. And Methos rides that mount and a hundred generations of that bloodline, as it gets weaker and weaker, constantly diluted by regular horse blood and constantly interbred in order to attempt to strengthen the Companion traits, but getting the results of inbreeding more often than not.

Various translations of Revelations say that Death rode a pale or a sickly horse. And his horses were always pale and progressively more sickly, but he wouldn’t give them up for anything.

And somewhere in his madness he collected compatriots whom he called brothers to ride with him, as if they were Heralds, too, for all that they were no more Heralds than his sickly horse was a Companion.

Until finally, the horse he rode was nothing more than a horse. He felt a stronger mind connection to his most recent bed slave Cassandra than to his pale horse, the great-to-the-Nth-degree descendent of his beloved Companion.

It was finally over. His long grief had worn itself out. His mind had weaned itself away from the bond he’d once had. His past was dead and gone and there was nothing for him but to move forward.

He looked at the campsite of the Horsemen and felt only disgust. It was like a sweat-soaked vomit-smelling sickroom after the patient recovers. He had made it the way it was, but he wanted nothing more to do with it.

The last thing he does before walking away from the horsemen, walking away on his own two feet, is to slit the throat of every white horse in the camp, to ensure that his Companion’s bloodline is removed forever and entirely from the bloodline of horses.

The End.

marbleglove: (Default)
Methos was, once upon a time, Death on a Horse, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In a very disturbing fashion, he wore all white, rode a white horse, and killed people. And enjoyed himself immensely while doing so.

Then he got bored and decided to stop doing that.

So let us say in his wandering hither and yon, he stumbles across the quaint little kingdom of Valdemar which is ruled by a king but protected by the Heralds. Who wear white. And ride white horses (aka Companions). And generally try to avoid killing people when at all possible although it's not out of the question. But even with that difference in attitude, you might see a reason for Methos to have a few rather nasty flashbacks.

He tries to stay away from the Heralds whenever possible. He's decided he likes brown horses. Brown is a good color. Doesn't mean much of anything to anyone, really. It's not black, white, red, or green (and I'm fairly sure that's just an odd translation in my bible, but it does say that pestilence rode a green horse, I kid you not. In another translation, it says sickly, but who rides a sickly animal into battle?) Anyway...

Heralds are actually chosen by their Companions. The Companions live out in Companion Field near the royal  palace. When they come of age, they go off questing for their Herald, their rider, with whom they form a psychic connection. Sometimes they just pick someone because the personality match is there and the person is a good and virtuous individual. Other times, they pick someone because, in addition to all of the above, this individual has some skill or ability that is or will be needed for the protection of the kingdom.

So I can imagine a time when Valdemar is having trouble with some great empire and needs a clever diplomat and politician. And who better than Methos?

So Methos is confronted by a white horse who says, come, wear white and ride on me...

Methos takes one look and sprints the other way.

The Companion gives chance and finally manages to corner him, which at least gets a proper answer even if the answer is a firm and final "No."

The Companion persists. It's for the good of the kingdom, for the good of mankind, to help me. Please? And Methos, who does love horses and loved his beautiful white horses from way back when who were still nowhere near as lovely as the Companion, agrees to help. He just knows he's going to regret that.

He still refuses to wear white, though. His first few outfits were quickly stained in the laundry and as fast as the magic bleaches his Companion white, it still can't keep up with the fanciful designs Methos paints on him.

And the good Heralds of Valdemar all have to get used to dealing with someone who's a bit more cynical than they had previously thought possible, but who still has the Companion seal of approval for being good and virtuous underneath it all.


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