Under the Wave
Fandom: Tales of Arcadia (Cartoons) Rating: Mature Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Major Character Death Relationships/Characters: Morgana, Nari, Bellroc, Skrael, Original Characters Theme: Origin Story (Wizards Non-Compliant), Explorations of Identity, Gender, Magic, Recovery, and Divinity
Chapter 19; With Open Arms Morgana wanders alone in the Wild Wood in her grief but she cannot stay there forever.
The Wild Wood was not as Morgana remembered it. She wandered aimlessly through the trees, following paths worn by animals and dangerous creatures who dared to call the place their home. The leaves crunched underfoot, and birdsong hushed as though she brought death with her in the air. The earthy scent was familiar as the morning turned to midday and brought to mind the smell of mushrooms rooted in rotting tree trunks on the forest floor. She closed her eyes, feeling the breeze on what little parts of her skin still remained exposed, and continued on.
She withdrew from the sounds of voices, the bright chatter of mortals who dared to enter deeper in search of delicacies not yet found by others, and found herself staring at a large rock. There was something to it, something not quite right that made the back of her neck tingle. She knelt down upon her knees and placed her hand against it. The stone was cold, and Morgana could taste the magic on her tongue. She closed her eyes and pushed gently, slipping through with little effort.
Morgana withdrew her hand, looking at the tree across from it. The tree was larger than it had been twenty or so years earlier, and someone had come and scratched into it strange symbols that meant nothing beyond filling her with a dark sense of loss.
She pulled her legs up to her chest, wrapping her arms around herself. Part of her longed for the stronghold and its familiar stink of kelp and seawater, but she could not bare the thought of the others. Not Skrael’s impatience, nor Nari’s regret, and certainly not Bellroc’s ridiculous artifice and the blank expression of their skull headdress.
It was hard to say how long she wept, but she did so until her head ached and she wanted to collapse from exhaustion in the turning leaves of autumn that had collected on the forest floor. Morgana lifted her head, wiping her nose with her hand, and saw in the blurry distance a creature very small and green. As it approached, she saw little antlers upon her head and knew it to be Nari, a face she both longed for and never wanted to see again.
“Leave me!” Morgana insisted. “You can’t imagine the horrible things I have just had to do.”
— Ties in with Primordial Awakenings, Primordial Awakenings - Deleted Scenes, Under the Sun, and the rest of The Heart of Janus au.