My mother Vivienne meeting Uther was no event brought by luck. It was an event foretold in antiquity. Like the destiny of the great Emrys, the tales of whom the druids still talk about. As a retired High Priestess of the Triple Goddess, who was only taken away in order to marry the warlord Gorlois, my mother had been taught all the knowledge essential to a priestess. She never felt an ounce of love for my beloved “father”, Gorlois. My sister, Morgause, was born by them, and I was the result of an adultery…or rather, the result of my mother fulfilling her destiny. Uther was wrong: Vivienne did not grow lonely during the long years Gorlois spent at his war againist Bayard. She grew determined.
It was a warm, sunny day in the outskirts of the kingdom of Camelot. Despite Uther insisting on it, Gorlois would not transfer his House inside the kingdom: This is where his father and grandfather reigned with their families, and this is the place he preferred for his family as well.
Gorlois did not know of the meaning of the word family until he met Vivienne. His two younger brothers had both challenged him to a fight to the death for the power he possessed, as the elder son. Gorlois thought of this as nothing unusual; however, he had no heart to kill his own flesh and blood, so he exiled both his brothers away from Camelot. His father was always the king-like figure one can only obey, and his mother died at birth. Until meeting Vivienne, his only family were the fellow knights of Camelot.
However, things were different with Vivienne. He could share all his secrets, even his darkest ones with her. Even though she always rejected him when he would ask her to marry him, they both gradually grew to love and respect each other. Gorlois knew that the love his wife felt for him was different from his, but he had accepted that he would not change her, and that is why he insisted on a marriage, until her family finally accepted. And he certainly did not regret it; the years with his wife were the best he ever had, and gave him happiness that would be blessing for an ordinary man. The addition of a member in his family, a girl, as Vivienne foretold, would make him all the more happier.
Gorlois decided to leave those thoughts-after all, happiness is but a fleeting dream for men of the battlefield, like him. He expected visitors today-the king himself, in fact- so he had to make sure everything is perfect for his arrival, one of those things being his wife's behaviour.
He went to the dining chambers, where she was quietly having her breakfast. "May I dine with you?" he asked. The times he had received a negative response were certainly not few. The other woman rose her face and looked straight at Gorlois with her emerald, bright eyes. This look reminded him of the reasons he always loved Vivienne; her beauty was unrivaled in the five kingdoms. Rumours had it that even the king himself desired her, but Gorlois had learnt to ignore the gossips of the court.
"I don't mind" Vivienne replied and went back to her business. "Today you joined the table earlier than usual. How come?" she asked, glancing at her husband now and then. "Today we are expecting the king and his wife, do we not? I have to be prepared for them." Gorlois said, trying to maintain his note neutral.
"Yes, you are right! Let us throw a party for the royal couple giving us the honour of paying a visit, shall we?" Vivienne said, her voice slightly louder and full of sarcasm. Gorlois sighed deeply. "Vivienne, please..." But his wife did not let him finish his sentence. "Surely you know the war againist Bayard has been renewed don't you? There is no doubt the mighty Uther and his sweet wife want to send you and your men to your deaths once more! How can you be so blind?" It was obvious that she had lost her patience.
"Vivienne, enough. You do not have the right to speak about our king and close friend like this. If war is what he chooses...so be it. I'll gladly die an honourable death for him and for Camelot. And of course, for you." he said, looking at his beloved wife. The last comment, however, made her snap. She grabbed Gorlois' wrist, and looked straight in his eyes, with her green ones almost emitting flames. "I need you alive more than I need you dead. If you go to another war that was started from Uther's selfishness and thirst for power...I will never forgive you. I know more than anyone what a man like Uther would do, even to his friends. Or do you want me to prove to you what a good friend Uther is to us?"
Gorlois was about to send his wife in her chambers and order her to stay there until Uther was gone, but he could already hear the sounds of the king's arrival. He freed himself and pointed at his wife one last time, before going outside. "If you speak badly of the king...you will die. And I swear, I will not even try to save you, for you will be the one who asked for it. Not even for…Morgause…" he said, looking at Vivienne’s stomach. Gorlois turned to leave, when he heard his wife's laugh. "Die? But Sire, I'm already dead. I was taken away from my family and friends, forced to decorate your petty castle. Life is of no importance for me now. Alas, I would thank Uther for his generosity if he would order his men to pierce through me on the spot. And if I am allowed to live, I swear that my very daughter you speak of will avenge my death right after she is born!" Gorlois angrily left, and was no longer listening to her. "The only reason I'm still alive...is to succeed in my mission, entrusted to me by the Triple Goddess. Give birth to the savior of the Old Religion." Vivienne sat back at her seat. She rubbed her stomach. "No, it's not you, dear...you have another part to play. Her face darkened as she spoke those words.
Gorlois walked outside, trying to not reveal that he just had a fight with Vivienne. He was right; Uther and Igraine had both arrived, accompanied by a handful of knights. Gorlois ran to his friend and the two exchanged a handshake. “You are a grown man and you still cannot protect your wife on your own?” Gorlois teased his friend as the two embraced. Uther laughed at the comment. “Trust me, neither I nor Igraine wanted those pests with us!” The knights laughed and helped the queen get down from her horse. Gorlois approached the queen, who was looking at her best, and kissed her hand. “Igraine. I trust you’ve been taking good care of my friend?” Gorlois asked. Igraine chuckled. “Only when he listens. You know how stubborn your friend can be” she replied. The three of them, accompanied by the knights, walked inside Gorlois’ palace.
Much to his shock and surprise, the dining chambers looked nothing like how he had left them only moments ago. The candles were lit, servants were coming and going, carrying wine and food, and his wife was standing in the centre of the place, waiting for the guests. She had wore a flaming red dress, only a bit too revealing for such a formal event, but still acceptable since she was accompanying her husband. She raised her hands to greet the guests. “Uther Pendragon, king of Camelot, and Igraine Pendragon, queen of Camelot…we welcome you to our household. Please do enjoy yourselves.” Her lips revealed an inkling of a smile, and she walked towards the guests. Igraine approached her and the two women engaged in a hug. “No need to be so formal, dear. We have known each other since we were children. Remember? I expect your pregnancy has no abnormalities.” Vivienne laughed. “Although a long time has passed since then, I assure you that I will never forget those years. The baby is fine, and so am I.” Vivienne knew that this was a subject she could not talk openly about in front of queen Igraine, especially since the rumours about her infertility had already began. She then turned to Uther. “My Lord…” she bowed down, still staring at Uther. “How long has it been? Despite being told that curiosity is a bad trait for a woman nowadays, I cannot help but wonder what wind brought you here today…”
Uther’s face wavered for a moment, as he looked away from the woman questioning him in front of him. “Do I need an excuse to see my best friend every now and then?” He replied, trying to be as sarcastic as possible. Vivienne’s look revealed that she had enjoyed the answer. “I see. Then let us not let the dishes get cold. High King and Queen, welcome to the House of Gorlois!”