Alrighty, here's my long time planned and finally initiated attempt of making my very first fic about this film…I don't really love or hate this movie, and the real reason I did start to write this story was simply because all I could find where fics about the rest of Arthur's knights aside one and the main couple of the film which I never was great fan of…So as there didn't seem to be all that many OC fics about Galahad, (to my knowledge) here I am.
This story isn't meant to be serious nor do I try to make it the most historically accurate and otherwise perfect creation to have ever been written…It started as a simple try for a slight romance for the single knight that I've always favored out of the bunch, and it is indeed slow burn as can be concluded by the first chapter. So this is just a try to have some fun, but naturally I will keep the facts in order as well as am able and won't take too many liberties even if this fic isn't supposed to be the next King Arthur epic of fanfiction world. Just a little fluff amongst the movie's plot, which shall be updated on and off. Whenever I have time to move on with it.
So if you're interested to try it out, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading!
Artemisia woke with a start, gasping awake as the tiny carriage she sat within made a sudden tilt on the bumpy road, causing her head to strike painfully against the wooden wall. The litte creature within her not either liking the unpleasant ride as at the same moment as she straightened from her slightly hunched position she'd fallen asleep in she could feel the child to shift in her belly anxiously, as if to beg their mother to settle down and not to disturb their own slumber until the time would come for the baby to leave the safety of her womb. The girl placing her hand over the large bulge with an amused smile, rubbing it to soothe her unsettled offspring.
I know my little one…I wish this journey to be over soon as well…
Artemisia looked up to her traveling companion, the elderly man eyeing at her with a polite mien until he glanced down at her swollen middle with a smile. Her sweeping some of the escaped curls out of her face before returned Bishop Germanus' smile, nodding.
"Oh yes. The journey is just proving strenuous to both of us."
Artemisia's eyes remained locked with the Bishop's for awhile until the man moved aside the curtain that covered the only window of the carriage, aside for the small slit that cast a ray of light directly to Artemisia's face from the tip of the carriage's ceiling, gazing outside as their little conversation once more ceased after the usual exchange but a few words. It had been like that ever since Artemisia and her lover had been granted the permission to join the Bishop's caravan and she had been allowed to continue to travel along with the revered man within the coach, where her dearest Accius still remained close by. Artemisia now taking turn in peeking outside from the window as the Bishop settled himself against the cushions and closed his eyes in an attempt to sleep, the girl smiling at the sublime sight of the handsome Legionnare walking amongst his riding brothers in arms, his own uniform covered by a heavy coak to conceal the fact that he in fact was a runaway from the army. His weapons that naturally were visible to the rest of the Roman soldiers surrounding him however not tipping the rest of the guards off as almost every single man from Rome bore similar blades in their person at the every corner of the vast Empire, which was why Artemisia felt more relaxed upon complying to her loved one's decision to accompany the Bishop's convoy until they would get to the Hadrian wall. The direction the Bishop was apparently heading for a reason naturally unknown to the young lovers still fortuitously the same as their own, giving them a chance for Artemisia to rest as well as them to be more safe from any surprise attacks of the natives or other manners of rogues who wouldn't like nothing more than to pray on a lone traveling couple.
Artemisia thanked the Gods that she was not alone on this journey. Although she wouldn't even be here so far from the lands she'd been raised in if it weren't for Accius, but she didn't mind it as there hadn't been other option at the time than to flee Rome and come to Britain in search of his remaining family, from whom he'd assured them to find protection once they were at his uncle's residence. Such attempt in the end appearing more preferable even at the risk of them venturing to the lands that the rumors circling in Rome and pretty much throughout the whole Empire said to have grown highly restless due to the risen numbers of Woads and other emenies of Roman rule that had started to invade the area within the last few years. The most popular and heard rumor concerning Rome's alledged withdrawal from the area to avoid more casualties and resoures wasted in warding off the reclaim attempts of the native Britains, to leave it the hands of the Pikts for once and for all who had also shed a lot of blood to obtain it back from the conquerers after hundreds of years of oppression…Or so Artemisia had heard. Nevertheless as said she wasn't all that worried as long as she had Accius to watch over her…and she was in fact more afraid of rather plain facts instead of the debatable safety of the country they'd arrived a few weeks ago after spending months in hiding.
What she was more afraid of than the numbers of ruthless Woads inhabiting the untamed wilderness of Britain, more than the long distance they yet had to cross until they would reach Accius' family's estate, was her own predicament that had driven them from their home in the first place. The child that currently dwelled within her and wasn't all that long time away from coming to this world, now both of Artemisia's arms clasping around her stomach as she thought of the inevitable, eventual birth with horror. Confused beyond anything. She had left her own family in such a young age to give her pledges that she hadn't had the chance nor much of a need to discuss about the matters of womanhood and everything that came along with it, thus following her althought forbidden yet agreed relations with a man executed unaware of the consequences, the most unexpected and baffling development of her ending up with an child frightening her with its obscurity. She didn't know what to do, how to go on, and now the baby so long in the way and on the brink of being born Artemisia most definitely didn't know how to feel about all of it. She loved the child yes, as she did the man who naturally had taken the responsibility by helping her escape from the hate and danger her unadvised actions had bred for both of them, but whenever she stared at the bulge of her torso that had grown day by day to such an enormous size she couldn't believe her body to endure without breaking...that was so foreign to her, the feel of the movements of the unborn creature filling her with unexplained happiness that felt like stemming from her insticts of a female blessed with a gift of creating life, but also with shock...She became helpless at the face of such upcoming feat, even though their plans concerning it were clear; go to Accius' family to consummate their relationship with proper vows where she would give birth to the child once they were married and free to start a life together…Only that in her young mind she couldn't believe things to have taken such course, her to have had the joy or quite the misfortune to have been conceived after but just one intimate encounter she had not by any means planned, it being the very fact how this child she carried had come to be that dreaded her the most …The secret it hold, the distressing secret she'd kept all to herself for the past eight months...
Artemisia let out a sad sigh as she allowed the curtain to fall after she'd returned her lover's smile who'd noticed her eyeing at her through the window. As she set against the carriage's wall her hands once more rising to smooth her stomach unsurely, her eyebrows knitting together in a pained awareness of the truth as she thought back to the time at the temple all those months past when it had all began…Her in the end only closing her eyes due to the inability to recall the events that had haunted her ever since discovering her pregnancy and connecting it with her continuous malaise and changes in her body, instead remembering what had come after…how after three months of succeeding in hiding her state from her sisters she'd come forth to Accius who of course had appeared but happy about her news, it happening that same night that Artemisia had ran away from the tenple and met with her lover as agreed on. Them leaving at the death of night together and disappearing before anyone knew to miss them.
Artemisia was stirred from her deep thoughts as the carriage abruptly stopped after the sound of a startled neigh of one of the soldier's horses, her turning towards the window in bafflement as it was followed by a warning cry that in a spilt of a second was replaced by an oproar of numerous battle cries that dispersed all silence. Artemisia stiffening in dread as Bishop Germanus jolted awake in turn, both of them inching closer to the carriage door to listen to the clear clamor of the out of the blue commenced skirmish when the Bishop's guards clashed with the apparent attackers, one peek at the bloodpath ensued outside proving them to have fallen into an ambush of the Woads. There to be no doubt about the identity of the assaulting force by the look of their painted bodies and wild exterior, them wearing no armor and many were hardly even clothed, some wielding nothing but bows in their hands. Their numbers however proving daunting against the handful of Roman soldiers standing against them, more and more of the natives running towards the small convoy from the surrounding forest, Artemisia startling away from the window as she felt someone to bump against the carriage violently. Soon after a Roman spear piercing it, Artemisia letting out a frightened yelp at the sight of blood that dripped down from its tip onto her white robes as she jumped backwards on her seat for the weapon not to pierce her as well. Loud voice rallying up the waylaid Legionneers and ordered them to protect the carriage.
For awhile there was nothing to be heard but the agonized screams of the surprised Roman soldiers and the angered hollers of the Pikts, clash of metal and agitated utterances of the frightened horses unnerving the two occupants of the coach who remained froxen to their spots, just listening and trying to determine which side was winning. Several arrows soon bursting through the sides of the wagon, Artemisia bending down in fear of having one next pierce her head as she clutched to her stomach again. However very aware it to do little to shield the child should the Woads get past the guards and drag them out of the carriage to be slaughtered, terror in her heart her soon witnessing one of the arrows indeed whiz inside through the window and for her dismay impaling the Bishop. Killing him, the young woman staring at the man with wide eyes, unable to move for the fear grew too much for her to handle. Her nevertheless gaining enough sense to press against the wall as she then separated the appraching sound of hooves scrabbling the earth in a fervent gallop. The once more risen bellows of the natives quieting down momentarily as it seemed like the attack against the wagon ceased, them instead getting charged at by the arriving horsemen. Artemisia now closing her eyes and sending her prayers to the Gods to keep her safe as could but wait petrified to the carriage floor the sounds of death both delivered and earned to slip into utter silence as a sign of either defeat or victory, her in the end darting to the opposite side of the carriage again once she saw one of the Pikts to have climbed to the window. Her fortunately having not even time to scream when she watched the Woad warrior to fall with a pained yelp in middle of an attempt to lunge within the wagon to kill her. Pent up breath leaving Artemisia's lips as she ended up ogling at the carriage door in fright, waiting for another pagan to storm within and claim her life as well as her child's. As she peered past the thin curtain her seeing the fighting forms of the Woads defending themselves against but a few men who by the looks of their armor and weapons seemed not to be Roman, her still not bothering her head with thoughts of their origin as was driven down to the wagon floor again as one of the appeared fighters rammed a native against the carriage. Artemisia hiding from the man's eyes that in turn had peeked within the carriage, until his attention was drawn back to the ongoing battle, prayers to her Goddess erupting the girl's lips continuisly as even graver concern weighed down on her when she hadn't seen a single glimpse of Accius anywhere.
And then it happened. Everything went quiet in a heartbeat, but a few roars of the still resisting men cutting the befalled silence. Artemisia listening to her own wavering breaths and throbbing of her heart as she eyed at the doorway, trying to pick up any closing in footprints to prepare to possibly run out of the wagon instead of staying trapped within to be killed. Still not knowing who had won and who had lost, the poor girl almost fainting when finally the door of the carriage was yanked open and the curtain shoved aside, revealing a bald, brawny looking man with equally frightenign bearing as the Woads. Several scras on his face, the man's small eyes narrowing even more for confusion as his gaze was riveted to the shivering girl cowering at the bottom of the wagon, Artemisia not being able to deter a frightened cry as she immediately jumped at her feet and rushed as far away from the man as possible. Not either turning away her own eyes from the dangerous looking man who was then joined by his comrade, a much younger man with a dark blonde, messy hair. Both of them casting a wondering glance over her until all their attention went to the deceased Bishop. Artemisia following the men to exchange a glance until the other one left, to fetch the Bishop's attendant who was hiding under the carriage after finishing off a survived Woad, her now gasping as was met with the burlier one's eyes again. Him nodding at her.
"You afraid, girl? You should be."
Artemisia frowned slightly as saw the man to lean against the carriage, the look in his eyes dark and significant and she knew him to be telling the truth, her gladly letting her eyes to fall down to examine the attendant who was on his knees on the ground. Just like her praying in still dominant panic filling him with dread, only to different god.
"Save your prayers, boy. Your god doesn't live here."
Artemisia straightened herself a little to gaze past the two unknown warriors, to see the rest of their comrades spread about the nearby plain the battle had taken place, one she assumed to be their commander holding a sword at the throat of one of the yet alive Pikts. However not killign him but simply questioning him as it seemed, bringing the man to his knees by the river that ran across the grassy field. Artemisia craning her neck forward to see the Woad to lift an axe he'd abandoned by his side at the moment of defeat, the Commander in the end spearing his life for the astonihsment of the native. But he had little time to indulge in his granted clemency when the girl then saw Accius, the curt relief of seeing him alive vanishing from the face of terror when she behold his sword to slash at the Woad's chest before plunging trough it mercilessly, the native falling into the stream dead. Her futher observation of the situaton outside however coming to an end when the man by the carriage door spooked her back by lunging to her direction. Artemisia's breath sticking to her lungs again, although she slowly was starting to understand these men not to be as dangerous as they looked, the remaining Roman soldiers appearing not to view them as a threat and some dismounted from their horses in complete ease to go check on their fallen brothers for survivors.
Artemisia flinched at the sound of the man's voice that spoke out of the blue just outside the wagon not but a moment later, her eyes darting up to the warrior who'd never left the carriage door and now pointed inside at the dead Bishop and then her. The girl covering herself better with her robes as she saw a third man to appear, the same one with rather strict and guarded bearing whom she'd witnessed showing mercy to one fo the Pikts before his death att he hands of her lover, therefore proving himself honorable in her eyes and caused her to relax a little more as she was in turn measured by the dark haired officer she now knew for certain to be a Roman unlike the men he commanded. His unifrom saying it all, him bearing weapons like she'd seen but with the other Roman soldiers she'd encountered.
"What a bloody mess", Bors stated. "And what is more, this. A bloody girl."
"A frightened one", his commander answered, Artemisia not finding words to speak as simply gazed back at the two, upon seeing her fear of them the Roman soon extending his hand for her. Although she wished not to be disrespectful towards the men who apparently had just saved their lives her however not yet finding the courage needed to accept it. The reason for their arrival getting revealed soon enough for the puzzlement of the young woman.
"With such a face no wonder she's afraid, Bors. Your mug close to drove the Woads to make a run for it before the fighting even begun", Gawain remarked with a trace of a smile as looked up to the burly knight, whom indeed didn't possess the noblest of features and in truth looked truly frightening to Artemisia.
"And furthermore, this is not the Bishop", their commander cut in abruptly, surpising his knights as well as the girl whose eyes flew to the deceased man in question. Artemisia shuddering at the sight of the arrow sticking the man to the wall until she cast her gaze down, the dark haired officer leaving the wagon with a grim expression along with his knights. Artemisia heartening heself to near the doorway and heard the apparent false Bishop's attendant to start to speak with a shocked voice, questioning the identity of the men who'd attacked them.
"What are they?"
"Blue demons who eat Christians alive…You're not a Christian, are you?" was the large knight's answer, him turning around sharply to point a ominous finger at the trembling attendant who became even more unsettled by his reply. Artemisia popping her head out of the carriage curiously, to see the four other knights who'd remained at the distance. Artemisia nervously observing them each a short while, taking in their similar but yet strange looking armors and weaponsry as the two other knights she'd already been acquainted with, all of them looking somewhat fierce and threatening, men no one would've wished to be forced to face in battle without dying. But as her eyes roamed about their blood covered, armed exteriors she discovered one of them to appear not so aversively intimidating. Youngest of them all, the young knight peering back at her equally curious as she examined him from his pleasant features to his dark brown, curly hair and bearded cheeks to the blue eyes that hold hers for a brief moment after his amused smirk faded when his attention was drawn from Bors to the girl. The time it took for her gaze to then move forward and see the running form of a man she'd been anxious to see the entirety of the confrontation, the commander of these mysterious knights getting now approached by one of the Roman soldiers as Accius' voice called out to her.
Artemisia released a delighted breath, extending her arms forward in relief as the knights gave Accius way to get to her, the young man sheathing his sword in a rush to dash over to the still jittery young woman who was closed into his arms shortly when he stopped by the carriage and hoisted her down. Artemisia's eyes closing briefly as regardless of the gore that covered him partly she embraced him as much as her large midriff allowed her, after wiping away the splatters of red from her cheek Accius' attention however next shifting to the conversing Commander and the Roman soldier who had been revealed to be the real Bishop Germanus in disguise. Artemisia's eyes falling to the ground as she covered hersef again out of reflex after all the eyes of the knights had been instantly cast down to her swollen stomach once she'd exited the coach, it making her even further uneasy.
"Arthur. Arthur Castus…Your father's image. I haven't seen you since childhood", the Bishop remarked, still mounted, smile visiting his unshaved face as he measured the middle aged man standing in front of him. Arthur returning his stare for a moemnt until broke into a courteous smile himself, Artemisia eyeing at them in interest from the safety of Accius' arms.
"Bishop Germanus", Arthur greeted, making a slight shake of his head which he however managed to guise as another nod before leveled an amused look at the elderly man. "Welcome to Britan. I see your military skills are still of use to you. Your devise worked…"
Artemisia gasped as the body of the man used as a decoy was carried out of the wagon, Accius taking hold of her head and turnign it away, her gladly not thinking back to the terrifying moment of watching him die while trapped in that carriage she wished not to return in any time soon if she was truthful. Mer eyes starting to wander as she listened to the ongoing conversation, them eventually happening to return to the youngest of the knights whom she noticed to be watching her as well. But for her confusion Galahad's countenance seemed rather concerned, him measuring her and her lover pensively until they both looked away from one another. Artemisia coyly, as she after all was surrounded by strangers and wasn't accustomed to be the object of any other man's attention aside Accius…Well almost anyone else's. Which was why she would've felt but vulnerable if it weren't for the lad standing beside her, like always keeping her safe.
"Ancient tricks for an ancient dog", Bishop Germanus responded with a slight laughter, his attention now moving on to the six knights who'd all once more mounted their steeds. "And these are the great Sarmatian knights we have heard so much of in Rome…"
Artemisia glanced at the men by their side subtly, her examination this time centering mainly around the quite tall man with a short shaved hair, Dagonet, and the other knight whose tangled hair had braids in them, one she later learned to be called Tristan. Her gaze lastly falling onto the handsomest of them all, a proud loking man with a continuous sarcastic grin on his lips with similar type of hair to their Commander's but much darker and curlier. Lancelot surprising Artemisia by lifting his eyebrows at her with a smile upon noticing her stare, but as she looked away and before she could sneak another peek at the rest of them, she was again caught off guard by Galahad whose eyes looked back to her direction. Like before him locking gazes with her for awhile until he saw her to escape his attention by shifting hers back to Arthur, leaving the young knight to now examine her companion. Galahad not mistaking the uniform of a Legionnare he saw the young man to wear unde rhis cloak, the lad not appearing much older than the girl herself, his irises eventually stopping to measure the blonde soldier and dropping to stare at the girl's stomach. The very sight of them baffling him.
"I thought the Woads control the North of Hadrian's Wall", Bishop Germanus wondered in honest puzzlement, after climbing down from the saddle him and Arthur starting to walk across the small battle ground.
"They do, but they occasionally venture south. Rome's anticipated withdrawal from Britan has only increased their daring", Arthur explained, taking Artemisia aback. So it was true then…Rome was leaving this land for good.
"Woads?" the Bishop's attendant questioned, not recognizing the term.
"British rebels who hate Rome", Gawain specified, exchanging a significant look with the Bishop. Artemisia following Galahad to gain somewhat grim look on his face as he then leant closer to the man, his voice sounding a bit intense. Concealed bitterness in it perhaps.
"Men who want their counrty back."
"Who leads them?" Bishop Germanus inquired, astounded.
"He's called Merlin, a dark magician some say", Lancelot answered indifferently, his horse stomping on his place restlessly and the knight soothed the steed before looking down at the Bishop briefly. Clearly not any of the six men holding all that much respect towards this important man of Rome than the Pikts would've, but did simply as they were told. Appearing reverent enough not to bring shame to their Commander who now stepped forward, his attention fixating to the knight sitting on his own horse between Galahad and Lancelot.
"Tristan, ride ahead and make sure the road is clear."
As urged the braid headed knight departed, ater thinking over the words exchanged Artemisia now understanding these men to have been sent here to escort the Bishop to safety. Her watching Arthur to walk back to the carriage after facing Bishop Germanus, beckoning the man to climb inside.
"Please don't worry, Bishop. We will protect you."
Thankful for the Commander's words the Bishop made a nod, taking hold of the grip of the carriage as in turn faced Arthur, after a short exchange of stares smiling slightly.
"Oh, I've no doubt, Commander. No doubt."
After the Bishop had entered the coach Accius left Artemisia's side to address Arthur, the Commander turning around questionably upon hearing his steps and was confronted with the serious mien of the young soldier until saw the lad to bow his head at him. Accius making a brief greeting common amongst the Roman soldiers that spoke of respect before spoke.
"Commander Castus", he greeted, brief smile visiting his lips. "I've heard a lot about your heroics here in the wild north…Your deeds have inspired many young men to aspire to similar feats as you have."
"I thank you, for your praise, although most of my reputation comes from the bravery of my men alone", Arthur replied, his eyes visiting his knights until they returned to look into the lad's. "You had something to discuss with me?"
"I simply wished to ask your permission for us to accompany you and your men", Accius elaborated, Arthur now glancing over at Artemisia who took a step closer to the young man. Accius' arm bringing her closer as he nodded towards the wagon. "I lost my horse not long after we arrived to this country, and ever since have been traveling on foot, alone, but were fortunate enough to meet with the Bishop's escort and given the privilege to join it for the remaining of our journey. So taken how these lands have proven rather perilous to lone travelers I would like to ask to rely on your protection, Commander. I am but one man and can not fend for myself against legions of natives with but one sword."
"We are you headed?" Arthur questioned.
"To a nearby Roman outpost. We are on our way to my family estate that's located north of the Hadrian Wall that should not be far from here."
Arthur frowned in brief surprise, but didn't address the questions the young man's reply had aroused, simply nodding. "Then you are in luck. Me and my men have been bestowed with a task of guarding over the outpost that separates the Woad territory from Rome's, and therefore have set our accommodations there. You are very welcome to accompany us."
Accius bowed his head in gratitude, Artemisia encouraging herself to finally express her own with a slight smile. Her as well bending her head at the Commander as separated from her lover.
"Thank you, my lord. We are indebted to you for your graciousness."
"Think nothing of it... You may stay the night at my house should you wish it before continuing with your journey."
With one final nod Arthur then left to return to his horse, Artemisia sending the man off with another, wider smile but as she was about to turn to Accius she found him to have also vanished. Her spending a moment to seek him out with her gaze until sighed at the feel of the baby squirming against her hand she'd set on her stomach to quell the child's fidgeting, therefore encouraged Artemisia facing the carriage and walked by it. Preparing to hoist herself back up, although a moment ago she had hated the very thought of having to remain confined within it ever again after the previous violent encounter with the natives. Her however not feeling like walking to be the best for her now, taken how slow and rigid she felt herself to be, but she wasn't given the chance to join the Bishop within the wagon this time as his attendant abruptly stood in front of her. The narrowed gaze he leveled at her signaling her clearly not to be welcome inside any further now that the real Bishop was riding the carriage, the bemused girl taking a surprised step back as watched the attendant to try his luck in entering the wagon while muttering about the Woads under his breath. Only to have the curtain shut right in front of his face, as well denied a chance to spend the rest of the journey sitting comfortably within, Artemisia looking down with a strained breath. Begging the child to settle down as could feel a couple of more bumps against her midriff, the girl stroking her torso a bit until managed to soothe the baby to continue snoozing within her quietly. The caravan starting to move forward once more, Artemisia grasping her long skirts in an attempt to follow, but she was surprised by the horse that suddenly cantered by her side. The girl gazing up to see Galahad, who smiled at her before extending an arm to her.
"Hop on. It's still a long way to walk", he said, Artemisia hesitating and glancing at their vicinity in search of Accius, until the kindness in the young knight's mien encouraged her to return the gesture and she did place her hand on his. Allowing the young man to pull her up on the horse in front of him, due to her gratitude her not even feeling uncomfortable upon being so close to another man, not to mention one who had traces of the befallen battle all over him as much as the rest of his comrades. But Artemisia cared not for now as he'd so readily expressed such thoughtfulness towards her although not having any obligation to do so, her glancing up at the young knight as he encouraged the steed into a calm paced canter. Her hand pressing onto his arm shortly as she smiled to herself, the inner agitation she'd felt upon seeing him and his brothers in arms for the first time lessening.