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The magic, no longer so secret.

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Long Shadow by Valderys
boxofmagicadmin wrote in boxofmagicfb
Title: Long Shadow
Author: valderys

Summary: Merlin thought he had problems when he was only Arthur's manservant, and trying to hide his magic. Now he doesn't have to hide any more, but he wishes things were still that simple. With Arthur gone, he has no choice - and he misses him more than he can bear.

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oh wow what a dark and intricate story you weaved. not just one story but two. I think the line about how merlin never let his guilt prevent him from doing anything was just so powerful. this was very impressive

A touch angsty, I know, but I'm glad that you liked it! :) Thank you!

This is unbelievably, wonderfully good. You had me at the first glimpse of the aging king using stories to reinvent history, your skilful interweaving of myth and originality, then when Merlin started modelling his reign on what Arthur would have done... Oh Merlin! But then the first glimpses of it becoming a darker obsession -- Oh Merlin! And as he imprisoned Morganna and Gwen, warped his entire rule, turned into a truly Dark Lord -- My heart was aching for Merlin and the ache was changing in nature with each scene. And then the ending was perfect, that most of Merlin's dubious decisions never happened, it's all okay... except that Morganna is left to pay the price in hatred and revenge for terrible wrongs that were never actually done to her. Perfection.

I tried to keep Merlin in character even as he was slipping down that most slippery of slopes :) I hope it worked. His mind set was sort of easy, even at the end, as Merlin thinks he's not gone too evil, because he hasn't killed anyone(!) Oh Merlin! :)

I started with that image - the reason why Morgana turns against Arthur and Merlin, because she's been poisoned by another life, and I worked back from there, I loved plotting it out, although writing it was harder - I'm so glad it worked for you. You pulled out all my favourite elements! *pleased*

Interesting and haunting.

I'm so glad it worked for you!

This is incredible - really skilled storytelling. Just an enthralling, thrilling tale. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you! It took a bit of plotting out, I can tell you! :) I'm so glad you liked it.

This gave me chills. So good, and dark and creepy and amazing. Well done.

Yep, I'm afraid it was a bit angsty :) But in a good way, I hope! Thank you!

Wow. That was... wow. Dark and creepy, but the memories part so wonderful. Well done, my friend!

Dark and creepy, but with a happy ending! Well, almost... I really wanted to write a fic that explained where the darkness comes from in the original myth - this is my take on it :) Thanks for reading, hon!

Oh God poor Morgana. Why do I suddenly have the horrible feeling that she's going to go mad and betray them, and this will be why.

This was really well crafted. When you first introduced the bard with his obvious fear of Merlin, I figured it was just because he was so ridiculously powerful, because it's Merlin. Surely if Merlin was king it would be kittens and rainbows all the way? I stand corrected.

I really liked how you ret-conned Viviane as well. I wouldn't mind another Big Bang fic all about her backstory at some point.

Oh, yes - that is exactly why she goes mad and betrays them all - and the 'real' timeline will never understand why she does it! Sorry, I shouldn't have so much glee for my own fic - but it was the image I started with, the key thing I was working towards all the time.

And yes, kittens and rainbows, you might think so - although actually, even Dark Lord!Merlin wouldn't kill anybody. I tried to write it and he resisted, manfully, so there was that much left of our Merlin in him...

And have Viviane, if you'd like her :) I will use her again, I expect, as a background/plot moving forward kind of character but I will never write her story, I know it, so feel free!

Oh, so beautiful and so heartbreaking. I love how the two futures mirror each other, one hard but happy enough and one so dark it hurts just thinking about it. It's a brilliant and saddening device for Morgana's ultimate madness and betrayal. It's a thought-provoking piece and so well-written, I'm at a loss for words.

Aww, that means a lot - because I loved your piece so much. This mostly sprang out of a desire to explain how the Morgana we see now can become the Morgana we know she will ultimately become. And I wanted to do something interesting with her seer powers too... Thank you so much!

This really was splendid. You already know how much I love the concept, and the execution is more than equal to it. Merlin as a darkening Philosopher-King; the Round Table as a Big Brother device; the beautiful horror of the final mind-rape scene... It is indeed exceptionally good.

I know we talked about it, but I hope the mind-rape scene lived up to it's expectation, as it were. God, what an odd thing to be asking! When it came down to it, I wasn't sure the horror was full-blown enough, but I'm probably being fussy... Ignore me. *grin*

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It's one of the things that I really like about writing for Merlin - all the fun you can have with re-writing the myths :) And I hadn't quite thought through all the levels of meta - it does get a bit head-scratching, doesn't it? I'm glad you liked! I wonder how many of the many mythic elements will be brought in as the series progresses - how many reasonably well known names, like Arthur's knights, or Viviane etc. It's really fascinating.

Although, I did think... I wondered whether our world might have been the dark world, where Merlin's story-telling magic actually worked. Which allows me to think maybe the light world had some hope for change? That was my conceit as I wrote this, anyway!

Positively chilling, especially the epilogue. Good lord, I don't think there are even words to describe how heart stoppingly amazing this story is.

Merlin's mind breaking, and then revolving around his obsession with Arthur; Morgana's nobility and pride, all the way through to the very end; Gwen! Oh god, Gwen! That part of the story was heartbreaking.

Most of all, though, I love the transposition of the madness we see in Morgana at the end of series one onto Merlin. The ties of magic between the two, the relationship that is built up and then shattered so completely, it's absolutely stunning.

That was one of my initial premises, that Merlin needs Morgana's visions so much he sends her mad to get them - in fact I had most of the end mapped out from the very beginning. It was getting there that took a bit of effort! :)

And I really wanted Gwen to do something, and not be helpless, although I was a little unsatisfied that she basically used Lancelot to raise an army - but she was Queen too, and she used that power. Hmm.

But Morgana's madness being the cause of 'our' Morgana's madness and betrayal? Yep, in there from the start! I am a cruel, cruel person... *rubs hand in glee* :)

Great job with the interweaving of plot lines. Loved that Merlin didn't want to be king but just wanted Arthur and was willing to do just about anything to get him back. Loved that Morgana, in the end, didn't know why she felt the way she did but that it was beginning to warp her.

Very well done.

I hope it didn't come across as too false that Merlin just wanted Arthur back - I'm always a bit uncertian over these kinds of plots, because in real life a person would mourn and then get on with things - but Arthurian legend isn't real life! When you're working with a myth cycle, I tend to think some liberties are allowed... :)

OMG *flails*

That was... that was something else. I love the parallelism of the two realities, and oh, how Merlin twisted everything to his wishes, just because he wanted Albion the way Arthur might have forged it. Aaaahhh, still clutching my heart here.

And Morgana. Ouchie.

Um, not very coherent comment, but this just blew me away. ♥!!

I think that this would be the way a dark Merlin would be created - the road to Hell being paved with good intentions. I think it's the most plausible, anyway :) And I know - poor Morgana, I felt so bad for her, even as I was writing it! The things we do to our characters!

Wow. Intense and scary and fascinating all at the same time. Poor Morgana. Well done!

I know, I shouldn't be allowed to keep characters really, I keep breaking them all the time! :)

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I must admit, I did love throwing in snippets of the legends that I suspect the series will never touch. Like Gwen running off and raising an army with Lancelot - that's not in every version of the story, but I got to put it in mine. Yay! And the sword in the stone! I loved sneaking that in :)

The ending was just my take on why Morgana gets to turn into the evil Morgan Le Fay we all know she will eventually become. There's such a long way before she gets there in our show, and I wanted a helping hand for it, and an explanation. Mostly though I wanted to write a fic that plays with the possibilities of Morgana's powers. I am really fascinated - in the show, will Morgana turn evil, just because her visions show her that she will?