The Avalonian Rose

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Family proves not all it is meant to be in this Medieval Fantasy.
When all seems at peace and not a care was to be had in the world, a family member's betrayal has a way of bringing life as Queen Catalina knows it to a screeching halt. After her husband, King Alexander the Conqueror, is injured in battle, Catalina learns about how her once beloved uncle, General Desmond Ruonahart-Gilliaghan, has betrayed her husband for nothing more than greed and want of a title. Now with the nations of Avalon and Camelot at war with one another, the queen must now fight alongside her husband and seek justice against her uncle, for the sake and safety of the kingdom she loves so dear.

Submitted: May 31, 2013

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Submitted: May 31, 2013

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The Avalonian Rose
((a medieval story))
 
It was a cold winter's night, the gardens surrounding the palace of Avalon were drenched in the pale evanescence of the full moon. It was nights like this that made Queen Catalina wish that her husband, King Alexander the Conqueror, were next to her, holding her in his loving embrace. They were young and full of vigor, but being royalty in the country of Avalon made it hard to have passionate love. Avalon, being a nation lacking civility, war was most evident and seemed to happen all the time. 
However, Catalina was not born into royalty like her beloved Alexander was. Her family is five generations strong, making a living on the land and providing the resources for a powerful king's army. As the queen made her way through the many corridors of the palace, dressed in crimson silks from far away Persia, long blonde hair flowing elegantly behind her on this dark night, blue eyes ablaze in the shadows, she was remembering all the times that Alexander had been romantic, flirtatious and of course, making her laugh with that addicting sense of humor of his. 
She returned to the bedchamber of which she shares with his majesty, sitting down on the window seat, gazing out the window into the midst of black. She began to daydream of what she and her beloved would do the night after he returned from his conquest to the neighboring country of Camelot. Images of unrequited love and passionate emotions filled her mind, making her smile all the more, the loneliness leaving her. 
While she gazed into the magical wonder, she noticed torches approaching the palace walls. As dawn shed its wonder from behind the castle, the light of early morn shone on the hills of Segovia, revealing a familiar face leading the torchbearers. The king, tanned skin kissed by sunlight, raven black hair, magnificent features clothed by chain mail and the colors of the royal family, had finally arrived home. 
She rushed to grab her raven black cloak and her silver slippers. The halls of the palace were beginning to lighten with the morning sunlight as she hurried through each corridor. When the queen reached the castle door, she was met with a chilling breeze and the warm smile of her beloved king as she opened the passageway. 
She bowed before King Alexander saying, "A most honorable welcome, your majesty." 
He placed his hand under Queen Catalina's chin raising her head up, he tilted his head slightly, placing his soft lips near hers, pushing her hair back from her face, he whispered, "A most appreciated welcome, my lady." 
As they kissed in the doorway, another wintry wind blew causing the queen to shiver. 
 
 
"Alas! Let us proceed to our living quarters, my beautiful Catalina, as to keep you from sickness," said Alexander. 
She nodded as she placed her hands around her loving husband's muscular body and he placed his hand around her delicate shoulders. As they walked towards their bedchamber, she looked up at him, weather-worn from his recent conquest, his clothes in tatters showing bits and pieces of his tanned physique. When they got to the door made from cherry hardwood and gilded with silver adornments, the king led his wife to their bed, removing his armor along the way. 
Catalina sat on the bed with Alexander standing before her, with nothing covering his magnificent body, she said, "Oh my beloved, what doth you recommend that we do?"
He bent down, caressing her loving face as he kissed her rose-colored lips, he then smiled saying, "We make love, of course, my elegant queen." 
She began to blush, smiling as he pulled her crimson gown over her head, knowing at this moment there was not a worry to be had while she was in the presence of the King of Avalon. 
Not long after they had retired to their bedchamber, a knock came at the door. It was one of the king's trusted advisers. 
"Your Highness," he said, "You must come with me, it is of high importance!" 
Alexander replied, "What could possibly be of more importance than the time I am having with milady?" 
The adviser said, "The King of Camelot is laying siege to the village of Segovia, just over the hills and your presence is needed on the battlefront!" 
Queen Catalina kissed her beloved on the cheek and said, "It's okay. Just come back safely, my love." 
He smiled and caressed her face, "I will return to you, my beautiful Avalonian rose." 
He quickly got dressed and as he headed out of their bedchamber, he turned back to see the queen, her sapphire eyes once filled with loving kindness, now overflowing with fear and tears. 
The king reached the main corridor of the castle, yelling orders right and left. 
"Bring me my sword!" "Bring me my horse!" "Hurry up men in my cavalry!" 
Catalina sat on the window cushion in her onyx négligée, holding her emerald pendant in her hand. As she cast her eyes out the window, she saw His Majesty riding over the hills of Segovia with his mass cavalry in pursuit. She could see the blackened smoke towering over the village. She closed her eyes in deep prayer. 
 
Praying for the safety of the townspeople. Praying for the victory of the cavalry of Avalon. Praying for her husband to return in one piece. She left the bedchamber they share and proceeded down the spiral staircase towards the royal study. 
As she sat down at her cherry wood desk, she noticed a small box wrapped in silver paper with a small note attached. 
"To my beloved Catalina - If for some reason I am not able to return to your loving arms, keep this in remembrance of me. Love, Alexander." 
She opened the box, removing the red ribbon gently. She was surprised by what she saw -- placed delicately on a white cushion within the box, an ivory rosary with the Avalonian Royal Crest surrounding an intricately carved yellow rose. Tears began to fill her eyes once again as the thought of her husband not returning from this recent conquest. She looked up to see a picture sitting before her, making her smile. She knew in her heart that King Alexander would return, nothing could bring the Mighty King of Avalon down to his knees. 
Catalina was startled when the door to the study opened. To her surprise it was her son, Prince Samuel, just barely awake from his nap, standing there in his emerald silk pajamas, wiping his eyes and holding his teddy bear. He was 6 years old, but she and Alexander had decided never to take his Leon from him until he was ready. 
"Mama, where's Papa?" 
She picked him up and sat him on her lap, moving his raven black hair out of his sleepy face. 
"Papa is on another conquest, making Avalon safe for you, my son." 
He smiled looking up at her, "I cannot wait until I am old enough to fight along with Papa!" He jumped down thrusting his arm forward like he was holding a sword, "Fighting all them bad Camelots and other bad peoples."
Catalina laughed as she grabbed her son, tickling him. "Oh you cannot wait, can you?" Laughing, he looked at her with green eyes, smiling, "I sure can't, Mama!" 
As they played around, the nanny came in through the door.
"Evening milady. Young prince, it's time for your dinner." 
Samuel tugged at his mother's gown, 
"Come on, Mama." 
"Alright Sammy." 
As they left the royal study, the queen turned back to see their family picture sitting on her desk, making her smile. She knew Alexander would return. Samuel grabbed his bear and was jumping around all excited, taking his mother's hand leading her to the dining room. She grasped the rosary in her other hand, smiling. He just had to return safely.
 
 
Later that night, after the nanny had taken the young prince to bed, Queen Catalina retired to the royal bedchamber. She cast her eyes out the window, the hills of Segovia still glowing from the torches carried by warriors on the battlefront. Her mind continued to race, many unsettling thoughts hitting her at once. A lot of what ifs and constant worry for the safety of her husband the King, as well as their kingdom of Avalon. 
What would their future hold after this new conquest to protect the kingdom from the Camelot rebels? What if Alexander never returned? Who then would be king or would Avalon fall under Camelot's rule? Catalina turned away from the window before she went mad from worry. As she lay upon the bed covered in emerald and silver satin sheets, she quickly drifted into slumber. A dream came to her mind, a dream that was all too real, an actual reality. 
She was a young woman of 19, carrying a heavy ceramic jar that held the week's barley harvest from her family's farm to the village market. The sun was shining bright, a light April breeze blowing through Catalina's golden hair tied neatly behind her, peasant children were playing in the daisy patches on the northern hill, an orange tabby kitten chasing a butterfly along a brick wall. She reached the grain stand that was owned by family friends, who proceeded to weigh each pound of barley for exchange of copper and silver shillings. 
Prince Alexander, a strapping young man of 23, appeared in town riding a buckskin stallion, adorned in the Avalonian Royal Family colors. He would make monthly visits to the local villages, to provide charity work or to make sure all the families were getting along okay. On this particular Friday in April, everything was going according to normal plans. He then cast his eyes towards the grain market stand and was taken back by such a beautiful sight. 
A young woman with blonde hair that reached below her waist, dressed in a primrose pink dress, with eyes, oh the sapphire eyes of a goddess, that seemed to have the ability to pierce through the strongest armor of any man. Alexander adjusted his breastplate of chainmail, ran his fingers through his raven black hair and sat up straight so magnificently in his saddle, as to make an impression on this young maiden. 
 
She walked past him, carrying her family's ceramic jar, not noticing him at all. His stallion yanked at the reins, as if it were snickering at what had just happened. The prince was surprised that the woman didn't even notice him! He was the prince of Avalon, after all, everyone should notice him. He dismounted from his horse and proceeded to follow the woman. 
Catalina had stopped to pick a few daisies to take home to her grandmother, who was sick in bed. When she arose, she bumped into Alexander.
"Hey! Watch where you are goi--". 
She stopped speaking when her eyes rose up to meet his. His smile was radiant as the sun shone upon them both, the sunrays breaking through the clouds that had formed. 
"What is your name, if I may ask?" 
His words sounding as if waves were crashing upon a shore, strong yet soothing. 
She began to blush as she replied, "Ca-Ca-Catalina, granddaughter of the farmers' Ruonahart." He bowed before her, causing her to gasp -- the Prince of Avalon bowing before her, a simple farmer's granddaughter. 
He arose and spoke with his thundering voice, "It is an honor to meet you, Lady Catalina." 
 
They stood there, staring intently at each other, the love between them growing more and more, with each passing minute. As he looked into her steel blue eyes, he was amazed by her beauty. He had truly found the yellow rose among the thistles and thorns. 
She bowed her head in respect to his royalty, but he placed his strong hand calloused from hard work, under her delicate chin, raising it up so he could look her in the eyes, "You are a true lady of Avalon. You do not need to bow before any man, not even the future King of Avalon." 
 
Her eyes twinkled as the sun was covered by clouds, light raindrops beginning to fall onto them. Alexander leaned in to kiss her bright pink lips, as it rained steadily. When they kissed, Catalina didn't know what type of fate had brought this moment to pass, but she was thankful and felt blessed to have met such a wonderful gentleman. The stallion neighed loudly, causing Queen Catalina to wake up in a panic from the dream that had brought tears to her eyes.
She quickly lit a candle and rushed to the window, her eyes widening and more tears beginning to fall. She grabbed her black cloak and ran out the door, her golden hair flying behind her. She pushed the castle guards out of the way, making her way to the door, only to see her beloved, the mighty King of Avalon, lying in pain and agony upon a pallet. 
His crimson blood was dripping from his right arm, as a gash was lightly covered with sterile wrapping, reaching from his shoulder down his forearm and an arrow was still stuck in his left leg. Her once bright sapphire blue eyes, were now fiery fierce, tears flooding down her cheeks. 
"Get the royal doctors here, NOW!!" 
The nanny arrived with Prince Samuel, which made the queen madder. 
"Take him back to his room and keep him there until I am done here." 
The nanny nodded as she carried the now crying prince back to his room. His small voice still echoed through the halls as the guards carried King Alexander to the medical chamber. The royal doctors arrived and told the guards to keep her Majesty out of the room while they worked. 
She insisted on staying, but the King looked up to her and said, "My beautiful love, I will be fine. Do not worry. Go and check on our son, tell him Papa is alright." 
 
She looked at him in the torchlit room, her face glowing in the light, "What happened out there?" 
"Betrayal, my darling Catalina. Your uncle, General Desmond Ruonahart-Gilliaghan, betrayed me and the fleet, for a seat on the Camelot High Council, of all things." 
After hearing this, she kissed him on the lips, running her hand through his hair, she turned to walk out, her heart darkening and eyes filled with revenge. She walked down the south corridor of the castle, wondering why a member of her family would do such a thing. 
Her marriage to Alexander was not seen as a good thing by all of her family, only a certain few giving their blessings to the union, but that doesn't explain the betrayal by her uncle against her husband's cavalry. She leaned against the wall, before reaching her son's room, because a thought crossed her mind. Would her uncle try to have King Alexander killed because of how he helped bury her grandmother and grandfather in the Avalonian Royal Plot, instead of the family cemetery in Porterson Village? 
The queen shook her head, because that couldn't possibly be it. She continued into her son's room, where he was playing with his toy blocks. He looked up and ran into her arms, asking so many questions. 
"Is Papa okay? Did he win against the bad Camelot people? Where is Papa, Mama?" 
She sat down by the window, the morning sun shining through the glass panes. She picked Samuel up and placed him in her lap. She looked him in the eyes and ruffled his hair lightly as she tried to figure out in her own mind how to explain the happenings of the night to her young son. She smiled as she looked at him, the spitting image of his father, the King. 
 
She inhaled deeply and carressed Prince Sammy's chin, saying, "Your Papa defeated the Camelot rebels, sending them back across the border. He gained some war wounds, but he's going to be just fine." 
Samuel smiled real big looking at his mother, then he hugged her. "Papa is real strong. I knew he wouldn't leave us, Mama." 
He jumped down and began jumping around the room, making muscle poses, happily saying, "Oh I cannot wait until I'm bigger and can have manly scars like Papa! Then, I can protect you Mama and our kingdom." 
She smiled seeing him so happy and yet worry still crossed her mind. Is it truly safe for their son, when there is treachery within the family? She knew her beloved Alexander has a plan of some sort hidden in his mystical mind. Queen Catalina's heart ached at the thought that someone that had helped raise her could be so cold. A knock came at the door. 
A royal guard announced, "My lady, his Majesty wishes to see you now in his throne room."  
She bent down to Sammy, kissing him on the cheek, reassuring him that she would return after checking on his Papa. 
The prince smiled and kissed his Mama back on her cheek, "Go tell Papa I said get better. It's an order from the future King of Avalon." She ruffled his hair and hurried out the door, to the presence of his Majesty, the King of Avalon, her beloved Alexander the Conquerer.
As she approached the king's throne room, she hesitated to open the door. She stood there still in shock to what has happened within the cavalry ranks, the betrayal within the family. Her uncle, of all people, turning siege against the King of Avalon, just for a chance at a title, a gold bar upon his breastplate? 
"Come on in here, Catalina." 
She shook her head as she heard Alexander's strong voice speak to her from inside the throne room. She entered and bowed with respect, then proceeded to sit down before him. He was standing over a table covered in maps of the kingdom. He could sense her fear, her concern, her doubt. 
He raised his eyes to meet hers, inhaling deeply, he said, "Do not lie to me, Catalina. I want to know when the last time you spoke to Desmond was." 
 
He sat down across from her and began to study her face as he has in the past. He knows that she cannot lie to him. 
"The last time I spoke to General Ruonahart-Gilliaghan was after my grandmother's funeral. He was trying to force the courts to give the family land to him, lying about how he was the wonder child and that my grandmother loved only him, as he was her son. The land deed was given to me after it was found out that Desmond had tried to bribe the second seat on the council. I haven't spoken to him since that day. You remember, Alexander, that Desmond didn't even come to the kingdom-wide baptism of our son. His reason? Because he kept claiming he knew that our son was born out of wedlock and was not worthy of any royalties of Avalon." 
"And that was disproven after his claims because I had the royal council check the records for the dates of our wedding and the birth of Samuel," he said. 
He stood up and walked to the window, limping in pain from injuries sustained. 
"He kept repeating one thing over and over while we were in combat. 'The woman you call wife, the woman your son calls mother, the woman who sits beside you as Queen of Avalon, is nothing more than an illegitimate born heathen.'" 
Catalina was taken aback by what she was hearing. She thought, "What did I ever do to my uncle to make him say those horrible things?" 
Alexander looked over his shoulder seeing the grief beginning to cover his beautiful queen's once bright, youthful face. He looked back out the window, stuck in his own thoughts as well. 
"Ack!" 
The king winced in pain as his leg began to give way. He couldn't catch himself as he was falling to the floor. The queen came to his side and held him up, saving him from worsening his injuries. He looked up into her sapphire blue eyes, a single tear falling down her cheek. She helped him back to his seat, propping his injured leg up on the footstool. She started to turn away, but he grabbed her hand. 
"Catalina, I love you. I know you had nothing to do with this. Your uncle is corrupt, but alas, you are not, my beautiful Avalonian rose. I came back to you, as I promised. Albeit, I came back in one hell of a pitiful state, barely able to walk, looking crazy with my unkempt hair. Maybe I'll join the jester festival." 
 
He was smiling, but his smile slowly faded as he noticed his attempts to joke didn't help the situation, the queen still saddened. He pulled her down and placed a forceful kiss upon her rose-colored lips. 
He held her forehead against his, looking sternly into her eyes, he continued, "You will never lose me, my gorgeous bride. Do not worry about that. General Ruonahart-Gilliaghan will regret the day he threatened not only you, but our son. He will be brought to justice and pay for his crimes." 
He gently carressed her face, wiping the tears away. 
"I don't understand why he did this. My uncle helped raise me for the first few years of my life. It is as if he feels like I stole something from him. I am the blame for you getting attacked. If it hadn't been for me you wouldn't have be--" 
Alexander then slapped her forehead and glared deep into her eyes. 
"Do not put yourself down in my presence! You are not to blame, Catalina. I just put trust in someone that should have never had trust. I will handle this." He kissed her again on the lips and moved hair out of her face. 
"It will all be okay. I promise."
At that moment, the commander of the Retaliation Force and the sergeant of the Avalonian Strategic Task Force arrived. 
"My liege, we must speak of how to proceed with apprehending General Desmond Ruonahart-Gilliaghan. Time is of the essence." 
Alexander looked to the queen and said, "Catalina, go check on Samuel for me and reassure him that his Papa is alright. I will see you later on." 
She nodded and walked out of the throne room. She was still full of concern, but she trusts His Majesty. If he says everything will be okay, then it will be. 'The woman you call wife, the woman your son calls mother, the woman who sits beside you as Queen of Avalon, is nothing more than an illegitimate born heathen.' The words still echo in her mind and in her heart. Why, is all her mind could muster to think as she proceeded to the royal library to see her son, the Prince of Avalon. 
 
Storm clouds were growing on the horizon and as the day progressed, lightning began to flash, followed by the rumbles of thunder. The queen was sitting with her son in the royal library, reading to him from the book of Avalon History. As her son flipped through the pages, he came to a picture of a person whom Catalina would never want to see face to face again. 
"Mama, why would Uncle do such a thing to my father?" 
Having been in a daydream, Catalina was startled when her son asked this. Her mind raced as she tried to put together words that would make her son content. 
"Sammy, there are two kinds of people in this world. There are the ones that are kind, generous and will work according to the orders given to them. Then there are those that when the opportunity arises, will turn their backs on everything and everyone, even those who are close to them, to take a chance at gaining popularity, money or a rank promised to them for bad deeds done." 
The lightning flashed at that moment outside the large bay window, making Samuel clinch his mother's dress more. He looked up at her and with a stern look, she had only seen appear on her husband's face. 
"I never want to see Great Uncle Desmond anymore. If I do see him, I'll use my spear on him. I'll protect you Mama, like Papa does." 
Queen Catalina was taken aback by her son's expression and words. 
She put down the book and hugged the prince tightly, "Let's pray that never happens, my son." 
At that moment there was quite a commotion outside the door. Catalina went to the door and saw many generals and soldiers running about. She stopped one of them and asked, 
"What is going on?" 
The soldier replied, "It's Desmond Ruonahart-Gilliaghan. He and the Camelot armies have laid siege to the palace gates." 
 
Her eyes grew quite wide with worry. 
"Nanny Ameilia! Take my son to the lower barracks of the castle. Now!" 
"Yes milady!" 
Catalina could hear her son crying down the hall amidst the madness happening inside the castle. She grabbed her Katana, a sword given to her by the Shinto Emperor of Japan some time ago. She tied it to her waist and ran to the throne room to meet with her husband, His Majesty, King Alexander of Avalon.
As she ran down the many corridors of their beautiful castle home, the echos and explosions of soldiers crying out and cannons firing at the palace walls seemed to bounce around in her mind. She was becoming angered, not only in her heart but in her mind. Why, why?! Her uncle would pay for what he is doing, that traitor! 
Catalina was in such a hurry she had to backtrack to the throne room. She was pulled inside by a strong force. Her hand on her hilt, she restrained herself when she saw it was Alexander. He motioned for her to go to the armoire in the corner of the room. She nodded and quickly changed into her battle uniform. As she pulled her golden hair into a ponytail, she was remembering the challenges she faced soon after marrying her husband. 
As customary at that time, she had to learn defensive skills and sword styles. If at any time the King was unable to carry on his duties, the Queen would be prepared to take either temporary or permanent rule over Avalon. She switched to a simple onyx black gi, with a sapphire blue sash and combat pants. Catalina sat down wrapping her wrists in black leather for support, while Alexander helped place the shoes on her feet, specially designed for jousters. He looked up for a brief moment seeing the anger in her eyes. He never did like seeing those sapphire eyes sad, let alone angry. 
He placed his hand upon her cheek and kissed her lips, then whispered, 
"If at any moment the fighting seems to be a loss on our end, I want you to run back to the castle and take our son, Prince Samuel, to my cousin's castle in northern Bavaria. You will be safe there. No matter what, don't come back, Catalina." 
 
She moved his hand from her face and said, "How dare you say that. Why would I abandon you? I pledged my life to you when we became wed and now, you ask this of me?" 
"Catalina, you must do what I say. Under my orders, I will make sure Nanny Ameilia is notified. If anything happens to you, she is to take Sammy to Bavaria. No questions asked."
She looked worried and then stood up, retying her katana to her waist, standing at the window, a crimson hue from fires on the horizon mixed with lightning flashes from the thundering skies, dancing across her evanescent face. 
"So, Alexander, you are asking me to choose between you and our son, am I correct?"
"You question my reasoning?" 
She looks at him shaking her head, then looks back out the window. 
"No, I'm not questioning you. It just breaks my heart when the thought of losing you crosses my mind." 
He stands and walks over to her, placing his hand on her shoulder. "The Prince needs his mother." 
"The Prince needs his father too!" 
"Catalina, it's off the table for discussion. I've got to go to the battlefield. Will you be joining me, or not?" 
The queen looks down and then adorns the yellow rose amulet around her neck. "Let us go. For the future of Avalon, for the future of the country's people." 
 
As they headed out to the battlefield, thoughts of hate and concern run across her mind. She must gain the revenge against her uncle, but she also must battle the thoughts of having to leave her home, the home of her son and the Kingdom ruled by her husband, Alexander the Conquerer, because of jealousy set forth by her uncle Desmond. Where have the days gone, the days of peace and tranquility? 
Once outside the palace doors, Catalina's eyes grow wide with despair. Bloodshed everywhere, the castle is destroyed in many places and the rain is falling. It's as if the sky is crying because of what was going on here, this night. The King went off in one direction and she was left alone. She knew what she had to do. She had to move swiftly through the battles, coursing through the fights left and right. She had one mission and one alone, to find Desmond Ruonahart-Gilliaghan and to destroy him. 
The Queen had another name given to her by the Shinto Emperor of Japan, a name feared by all and known by few. After a dual against the leader of Japan, she defeated him, but left him with his honor, even though she could have gone further. She was trained by the Emperor and that dual was her final test. He gave her a name, that in Kanji means, "Fierce Eyes Azure". But in English, The Avalonian Rose, is known as, "The Golden Death".


© Copyright 2020 avalonianrose. All rights reserved.

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