“Fight over!” shouts Merlin.

“What the hell?” asks Arthur.

“The best estimate for the number who died on D-Day, 6 June 1944, is between fifteen and twenty thousand total on both sides,” says Merlin. “You know how many lives you and Lot and Mister 100 have ended in the last thirty-six hours? Two to three times that. Enough is, I mean seriously, enough. If this doesn’t end right now, Kung Fu Jesus will come down from heaven and blast you all with force lightning because this is literally atrocious. It is an atrocity. These are war crimes.”

“Well, they started it,” says Arthur.

“Go home,” says Merlin. “Congratulate your men and give them out medals and everyone can feel good about being the violent-est thugs in all of Christendom.”

“No contest,” interjects Ban. “You guys are totes the violent-est.”

“Go home,” says Merlin again. “And don’t worry about Lot or Mister 100, I’m using my crazy Merlin powers to say that if you just leave them alone for three years, they’ll leave you alone for three years, and by the end of that the situation will have changed in ways you’ll find amusing and surprising. Anyway, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland have been invaded by the Saracens, so Lot and the others will have to take their five thousand or so surviving cavalry and deal with the forty thousand angry Moors. It’ll keep them busy for a while.”

“What, what?” asks Arthur.

“So, I need to get going,” says Merlin. “But one last thing. Take all the plunder your men have gotten from the bodies of the fallen, and turn it over to Ban and Bors. It’ll go a long way towards securing their friendship in the wake of this let’s-take-all-of-our-knights-out-of-France-and-Benwick-and-bring-them-to-England-and-then-they-suffer-seventy-percent-casualties debacle.”

“Yeah, okay,” says Arthur. “I can just pay my surviving men out of petty cash.”

“That’s the spirit,” says Merlin. He rides off to meet up with Saruman the White Bleise, his master. Merlin relates to Bleise the story of the battle, and Bleise writes it all down, and Malory read it later, and that’s how Malory knows all this, and let’s just say that everything else that happens in the book, Merlin told Bleise about and Bleise wrote it down, and that’s how Malory knows all this stuff, and now that it’s been said let’s never bring it up or think about that ever again.

Next time Merlin visits Arthur it’s months later and Arthur is chilling in Sherwood Forest, of all places. Merlin decides to have a little fun, and dresses up like a beggar/poacher/woodsman/Robin Hood, and tries to get in to see Arthur, and Arthur is like, “go away, we don’t want any.”

Merlin, still disguised, is like, “give me a present I want a present.”

Arthur is all, “what? no.”

(Like you would, I mean come on this is not a very good prank Merlin.)

And Merlin says “okay, if you give me a present I’ll tell you about some buried treasure that’s right near here.”

Arthur’s all, “wha?”

And Merlin’s all, “Merlin told me about how there was buried treasure. Man, Merlin is so awesome Arthur you should just always do as he advises.”

And this point the old firm, Ulfius & Brastias, decide that fun is fun but enough is enough; they recognized Merlin right away and fill Arthur in.

“Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. Should I be angry, or apologize, or what?” asks Arthur.

So in the meanwhile (that phrase is a direct quote from Malory, he writes like I do basically), so in the meanwhile there’s this gal Lionors, who is hot and lives nearby, and she shows up at Arthur’s place in the forest to congratulate everyone on having survived the bloodiest day in pretend English history, and Arthur likes the look of her and next thing you know she’s got an infant son who resembles Arthur, said son grows up to become Sir Borre of the Round Table, so, good for him I guess? I also guess that this is the buried treasure Merlin was talking about, this forest hot-girl who becomes the mother of Arthur’s child.

At some point shortly after this (i.e. after Arthur sleeps with her and after he explains that he’s married to Being King, but before she gives birth) Arthur conveniently has to run off, because word comes in that the King of North Wales (name of Rience, explicitly not a member of Team Lot & Mister 100) has decided to go to war with the king of Cameliard (name of Leodegrance, and Cameliard is a purposefully ill-defined location somewhere near North Wales, and Leo isn’t a member of Team Lot & Mister 100 either). Arthur decides to go to Cameliard’s aid, because King Rience is a total jerk.

Ban and Bors are checking their watches and making noises about how they really should get back to Benwick and King Claudas and all that, but Arthur talks them into coming along for one more violent nutty English adventure.


Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book I Chapter XVII continued — 3 Comments

  1. Wait, so Merlin ends the war, goes to report to his “master” (which for some reason is not involved in the story at all other than writing it all down, because he cares not for the affairs of men, I guess), and then they’re all hanging out in the forest, and this is all one chapter? That’s some strange pacing right there.

    And speaking of Merlin ending the war, he couldn’t do that one day earlier? I can accept that the battle was necessary in his plans, but couldn’t he have shown up on the dawn of the second day or something and spare a few thousand more soldiers? Does Merlin just hate getting up in the morning?

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