Arthur swallowed the automatic denial and merely raised his brows. “I’m listening.”
“I need the Crystal of Nehatid.” The warlock said slowly, hastening to explain when he caught the prince’s dark look. The Druid boy Mordred and his companion had been sensed by the warlock in the castle two days ago with their request of Morgana, and Merlin knew that if she was going to heed their plea she would do it soon.”The Crystal comes from a cave that is said to be the birthplace and source of all magic. Those with the power and ability can use it to see what was, what is, and what is yet to be.” He held up a hand. “Yes, I have that power. No, I will not use it to see the future, not even for you, Arthur.”
“Then why do you need it?”
“Because I can use a small piece to focus and filter Morgana’s dreams so that they don’t traumatize her so. She is a danger, to herself and to us, untrained and instinctual. Her magic is a weapon, and she’s swinging blindly in the dark at friend and foe alike.”
Arthur winced; the vivid analogy striking home.
“Fine. Do what you have to do.”
Switching the Crystal was easy enough; and he didn’t even raise an alarm, since he had the foresight to conjure a fake to leave in its place. Anyone with the ability to harness the powers of the Crystal would know the difference, but that was the problem of Mordred and his followers, and Merlin would deal with them when they came.
Things slowly returned to normal in Camelot. The new Princess settled into her new duties, reluctantly at first, and then with greatest interest and eventually genuine sympathy for the townsfolk’s’ day to day plights.
Arthur watched and listened and was pleased as well, for he had his hand on the pulse of the people in his own way, thanks to Gwen and second handedly, Merlin. Morgana was already revered for her beauty, but now she was quickly gaining a reputation for kindness as well, and in return earning the people’s loyalty and trust.
And although he and Merlin were diligent in their self-imposed duties to watch for the sorceress, she made no move, causing them to slowly let down their guard.
Until the herdsman appeared with the news that the Fires of Idirsholas had been lit.