“I do not regard myself a soldier of God, only that the fate of Gorlois was ordained by heaven. Both sides claimed hurt and injustice, one side emerged victorious. And trust me, Gorlois was safe behind the walls of Terrabil.”
Owain arrests a slight tremble of his hand at the memories of that day.
“He rode forth like an aspect of Mars himself, and struck down Prince Madoc. At that moment the day was lost, until Gorlois perished at the hands of one of Salisbury’s knights. I cannot believe that it was anything other than God’s will that decided his end that day. If our army was routed, Gorlois would have been clear to march and overwhelm Uther encamped at Tintagel. Uther’s fate was decided there outside Terrabil, and it was not the hand of man that made the judgement on Gorlois.”
“I marched to Lindsey to fight the Saxons who invaded this land, the island that we share. I will not be called a liar for seeking to fight a common foe to the benefit of both our nations. Perhaps it was Uther’s self interest that led us to that battle, but I was glad that it resulted in the breaking of your siege, as were all in my company.”
Owain gives a heavy sigh, tiring of these politics and struggling with the hostility of some of the questioning. Partly because it echoes some of his own doubts about Uther.
“I will speak honestly with you. When we arrived here, I was asked what price would I be willing to pay to remain free. Would I be willing to sacrifice my culture and identity for survival? To hear such questions is not a good sign about Malahaut’s position. I do not know what has happened here in the three years since Octa’s defeat, but it is clear that Malahaut is at a crossroads. I do not know what options are open to you, who else you may turn to for aid. Whoever they are, they will ask something from Malahaut in return. And yes, Logres will too. Your choice is what are you willing to pay?”
“If Uther does become High King, what has Malahaut lost? Yes, your King will answer to another, and that is no small thing, and I do state it lightly. But your cultural identity will survive, the essence of what makes Malahaut strong.”