What strikes more fear into a medieval society, a dragon the size of an aircraft carrier or a gun-toting, technology-driven medieval knight? I explored those very premises in my first novel, Forever Avalon. How would a society of based on a medieval hierarchy, guided by the laws of magic, deal with a group of Outlanders who, not wanting to conform to the rest of their society, formed a “home-away-from-home” using outlawed technology?
Here is an excerpt from Forever Avalon which tells the story of the “Technocrats” and Uther’s Folly”.
“Over five hundred years ago, shortly after the last Gil-Gamesh was killed, there was a large influx of Outlanders arriving on Avalon. This would be around the 50’s and 60’s, when planes and ships were disappearing regularly in the Bermuda Triangle. Unlike previous Outlanders, these people refused to conform to Avalon society. They did not accept the reign of the monarchy nor were they willing to live a medieval lifestyle. These Outlanders formed their own community on the southwest shores. They separated themselves from Avalon as much as possible and called themselves the Technocrats.
“The single advantage they had, over the rest of Avalon, was gunpowder. They were the first to master the manufacture of gunpowder, cannons and even simple flintlock guns. They used these hi-tech weapons as protection from the evils of Avalon.
“Soon they discovered a large vein of gold under the land they built their community on and things went from bad to worse. They thought this discovery would permit them to buy their way into Avalon society and its good graces. They planned to trade for goods, food, and other items they needed for survival, but they were wrong.
“King Uther XV would not negotiate with the Technocrats under any circumstances. He informed them that the gold, as everything on Avalon, belonged to him. He set up a blockade around the Technocrats and gave them a choice … Surrender or die.”
Stephanie and the children listened intently as Bryan continued the tale. His words did little to comfort them and Stephanie knew it. Like Bryan, she realized that though the truth may be brutal, it’s important they hear it.
“The Outlanders fought back,” Bryan continued. “They made a valiant stand—the stuff legends are made of; but King Uther would not be swayed. To defeat the Outlanders, he forced the wizard’s council to summon the most ferocious beast imaginable … Tiamat, the Dragon God.
“Imagine a dragon the size of an aircraft carrier with five heads, each one with a breath more noxious and deadly than the next. Tiamat destroyed the Technocrats, their entire community, along with every last man, woman and child. King Uther considered this a great victory, but he never realized the cost and boy, did it cost him dearly.
“The wizard’s council warned him that summoning Tiamat came with a price, but Uther didn’t care. When the smoke cleared, Tiamat was gone and so was all the gold. The Dragon God took the gold as payment for services rendered. Everything represented in battle that day was lost in the blink of an eye.
“Needless to say, Uther was not happy. But he didn’t blame himself or the wizard’s council or even Tiamat … He blamed the Technocrats, the Outlanders. He made a decree which stated that, henceforth, any Outlander who came through the barrier shall be killed on sight.”
Those words left Stephanie speechless. The girls clutched their mouths in disbelief. Sarafina hugged them, offering some comfort. Hunter held on to his mother tightly.
Bryan neared the end of his story. “Since any surviving Outlanders were presumed dead by the outside world, King Uther had no qualms about executing them the moment they arrived on Avalon. Some Outlanders were spared, captured and used as slaves, which meant a sentence of instant death for both the Outlander and the person who held him or her captive.
“Candletop Lighthouse,” Bryan explained grimly, “wasn’t built to pick up wayward Outlanders and help them. It was a place to lure Outlanders to their deaths.”