Merlin is coming to the end of his current existence. He is using much of his magical powers just to keep his ageing body alive and his brain still functioning.
He knows that Nimue is his nemesis. She will capture him and keep him imprisoned. Why then is Merlin teaching her all his powers?
Nimue knows that she is Merlin’s nemesis. Her purpose in life is to trap Merlin. She has been instructed by the Goddess and has been given her feminine magical powers so that she can do what she is fated to do.
Both of them want to help the Matter of Britain, in their different ways. Merlin’s help will produce a male dominated society, moulded by chivalry, courtesy and honesty. Eventually Merlin’s land would develop science, technology and logic.
Nimue’s intention is an Earth Goddess worshipping land with ritual, magic, romantic courtly love but with women ruling the realm and the men. The land of Faery would mingle with the Matter of Britain.
Merlin’s candidate is King Arthur, fatally compromised by his incestuous son Mordred, and by Lancelot’s illicit love for Queen Guinevere.
Queen Guinevere is Nimue’s choice. The Earth Goddess is not bothered by Guinevere’s love for two men. Why shouldn’t Guinevere have two lovers? If she is to be the Queen ruling the country she can take as many lovers as she likes without offending the Goddess.
Despite their powers Merlin and Nimue are mortal and human. As humans they are not willing to meekly accept the roles decreed for them. Merlin’s powers cannot be wielded by a normal woman. Nimue’s powers can only be used by a virgin woman.
Merlin wants Nimue to give him renewal and her powers so that he can continue his task. Nimue wants Merlin’s powers so that she can influence men and the male Gods.
Both are deceiving each other. Merlin teaches Nimue his powers because he wants to take over her body and lock her soul in his imprisoned body. Nimue wants to take over Merlin’s soul while his body is trapped. With Merlin’s soul in her power she can use his magic that is otherwise useless to her.
The crisis is approaching. Merlin’s body is failing. He must surrender to Nimue soon if he is not to die and lose everything. He has already withdrawn from the Court of Camelot and is in retirement with Nimue. He regrets that he cannot assist King Arthur any more but his control of magic is now erratic. Nimue has to prompt his aged brain.
Merlin and Nimue are sitting on a stone bench in a garden of Spring flowers despite the season being deep Winter. Merlin can still manage the small effects. Nimue is studying a heavy tome of magical spells.
“My time has nearly ended. Are you ready for what you are destined to do?”
Nimue puts the book down.
“Are you sure, Merlin? Have you taught me enough?”
“I cannot teach you more. You will have to learn and develop by yourself with the help of my library. King Arthur knows that you will have use of all my property when I am gone.”
“Does Guinevere know?”
“Guinevere? No. Why should she? Her part in this tragedy is played. She has been the catalyst that will destroy Arthur. She has no further role.”
“Are you sure, Merlin?”
Nimue throws her arms around Merlin and kisses him full on the lips. Despite himself Merlin responds. Nimue straddles him and presses her breasts against his face.
“Do you want this body, Merlin?”
She pulls his head deep into her cleavage. Merlin’s reply is muffled.
“Of course I do, Nimue, but you can’t give it to me. You have to remain a virgin or you lose your powers.”
“Even virgins can dream.”