April 14, 2003
Map Reference 12246 96547
Search Grid 29947
Site Survey # 500356
The current site holds promise. Many of the ancient texts record that the site was situated in the remote regions of Great Britain. Often the intimation is that the actual 'caves' that are spoken of in the reference texts are really metaphors for some sort of primitive keep from the days before the spread of Christianity. Several standing stone fragments found within the survey site hold promise. The team will continue searching for signs that point to the site in question.
December 19, 2003
Map Reference 18925 99876
Search Grid 38585
Site Survey # 608548
Promising site holds out hope for a major discovery by the start of the year. The weather is starting to close in and our ability to do more than a cursory sweep of this site is limited. Many of the reference manuscripts hint that the location of the 'Caves' are in the low country and not the Scottish Highlands. We continue to search within sight of major bodies of water in hopes that the references to 'Lakes' in the ceremonial texts, as well as references to the last resting place of the sword of state for this reign are in fact fresh water bodies and not the North Atlantic.
Morale remains high at this point, though funding questions continue to plague our efforts. I will be meeting with our main financial backers over the winter hiatus that is forced upon us by the local conditions.
March 20, 2004
Somewhere in the Scottish countryside
Site Survey # 700456 (I think)
Starting to lose hope. Grant money is running out and many of the graduate students have long since moved on to 'greener pastures' (pun intended!). I think they see the writing on the wall that this quixotic search for the 'Crystal Caves' is just that, a fool's errand. I am getting too old for this shit! I have enough funding for another couple of months, and then I'll have to return to the states. Probably with my tail between my legs and hope that my teaching assignments are not what I expect them to be. Failures do not get great class loads. The stench of failure is pretty strong right now. I am not looking forward to a full year of guarded looks and 'I told you so' side-glances.
Morning. Like so many mornings before this one, the sun rose and the birds started to twitter, and, well you get the point.
Dr. David "Merlin" Wilson sat his tea cup back on the table in the small village inn where he was staying, while staring at god only knows what out of the bay window. The "Merlin" part of his name had once been an elaborate inside joke. Now it had become his obsession, and the joke was a tad thread-bare. So many people had joined in the search at the beginning. Now, all that was left was him.
Things had seemed so promising just a few years ago. Archeologists were confident that they had found the site of 'Camelot' from the ancient texts and fairly reliable archeological data found at the site. All the indicators were there. The National Geographic folks had seemed so confident. They had even sent along a film crew to capture the discovery for posterity. Well that had pretty much gone nowhere now, hadn't it?
"Now I know what those SETI folks feel like," he muttered as he slowly pulled out of the latest in a long line of morning funks. "I guess I should pick another plot on the map and go off on crusade."
Folks in the small village that currently served as a base of operations for what was left of the expedition were seriously beginning to doubt that the good professor had all his marbles.
The other night in the pub where Merlin usually had a light supper and a pint before returning to his maps and charts there had been a heated exchange when one of the locals had looked him square in the eye and ask if he was 'daft'!
At first Merlin had started to defend his research and his quest with a passion that had surprised a few of the locals. Then he had suddenly gone quiet, as if realizing where he was, and then just as quietly had left the pub and headed out into the spring night air without a backwards glance.
I mean it was one thing to make the annual pilgrimage to search for ole 'Nessie', but for a grown man to be chasing after fairies! Really now, that was a bit too much to handle. The idea that he seriously thought that he could find the caves where the Magician Merlin was supposed to have lived. Well now, he might as well be searching for Brigadoon, now hadn't he?
Slinging his old, worn backpack over his shoulder, and taking up his walking stick, Merlin strode out of the village looking to all the world as if he had a purpose. Mostly, he couldn't face the looks anymore. Wandering the wooded glades and glens of the Scottish heath was a pleasant enough way to spend the time remaining before he had to return to his University in shame.
"Maybe today will be the day. Maybe pigs will fly out of my butt!" Merlin tried to keep his frustration in check, but it was a losing effort. The complete frustration of having his dreams thwarted at every turn by coming so close to a discovery, only to have it turn into more frustration. He just couldn't face the shame of having most of his funding requests denied in polite language that always read between the lines as 'You are a crackpot and we don't throw good money after bad!'
Today he had spent hours walking pretty much aimlessly through one sun dappled glen after another, he engaged in his own inner dialog of despair to such a level that the beauty of the countryside didn't even register.
The colors were more pure, more vibrant, and far more intense than ever. The air was crisp with the first day of spring and promise hung in the air for anyone with eyes to see. Yet, Merlin simply trudged on, not really taking in all that nature had spread out before him.
He sat down at the edge of a small sheltered pond, beneath a large old oak tree to eat his meager lunch and perhaps catch a brief nap. Surprisingly, sleep came easily this time.
Not at all sure what had awakened him, Merlin moved to sit upright. Though he knew that some time had passed while he was sleeping, he felt more rested than he had in months. The quality of the daylight seemed, if anything, brighter than before. The vibrant colors that he had ignored before now roiled though his senses in a riot of verdant greens. The sky was cloud-free and such a deep robin's egg blue that it almost hurt to look at it.
The surface of the pond was broken by gentle ripples that emanated from a point to his right that was just out of sight behind a hedgerow. Cautiously, he moved to a better vantage point.
Two of the most breathtakingly beautiful female forms he had ever seen were wading in the warm shallows of the pond. Dressed in the sheerest of shifts, made of some diaphanous fabric not normally seen by mortal man, the women held the fabric out of the water with delicate hands of the fairest skin. The vision was so breathtaking that Merlin had to remind himself at one point to actually draw a breath.
This pair of beauties moved back toward shore where they shifted their graceful shoulders ever so slightly and the sheer shifts fell to the ground in pools of radiance.
To say that they were somehow even more beautiful nude was more than a simple understatement. Never had he seen such beauty. His heart at first skipped a beat before racing ahead so that he was rendered light-headed.
"If this is a dream, please god don't let me ever wake." Moving to get a better vantage point, and to relieve the sudden pressure in his trousers, Merlin crept as quietly as he could around the hedgerow.
After spending a few moments arranging a floating basket of sponges and vials the slender red head turned to her dark haired mate and said, "Kenda, my sweet, would you be so kind as to do my back?"
.... There is more of this story ...