From The Ashes

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Title: From The Ashes
Author(s): RandomSlasher
Date(s): 11 August 2011
Length: 42,102 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: Merlin
External Links: From The Ashes (AO3)
From the Ashes: Art by catsinthecoffee
From the Ashes: commissioned art
No Dawn by catsinthecoffee. Illustration of the first scene from the story.

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From The Ashes is a Merlin/Arthur story by RandomSlasher. It was written for Paperlegends 2011.

Summary: "When Merlin uses magic to save Arthur’s life, he is condemned to death, and Arthur is too late to save him. But when the grief-stricken prince, along with Morgana and Gwen, journeys to Ealdor to return Merlin’s ashes, a series of strange events leads them to believe the warlock may not be as dead as they thought."

catsinthecoffee was the primary artist and created two stunning illustrations, an additional piece of pretty crack art, and a funny epilogue/picture for the story. ChocolateIsForever created an additional piece of art that was commissioned by the author.

Recs and Reviews

"I'm an absolute sucker for this kind of fic. Love rolling around in the angst that I know is going to get resolved. (thank you, spoilery smexy art) I also have a thing for guilt-ridden!Arthur who discovers gasp!toolate! that Merlin has magic. I also loved the S1 feel of this whole fic. Brings me back to happy times when I actually thought there was going to be a reveal in midway through S1. Very enjoyable read that hit lots of my buttons."[1]
  • "From The Ashes is one of the handful of paperlegends I've managed to read so far and it was highly enjoyable. For one thing, the art for it is, hands down, THE most gorgeous I've seen in possibly the whole Merlin fandom thus far? EVER? Yeah. But also, the fic is great. Warning: MAJOR character death, but it's got a happy ending. It surprised me, because it was chock full of cliches that normally go reeeeeaaally wrong, including (but not limited to!) Morgana never having been evols, Arthur very quickly being okay with Merlin being magic, soul bonding [...], resorting to the Druids for help, Uther being fairly ineffectual, Arthur getting Merlin's magic, etc etc etc. But worry not! IT WAS ALL REALLY GOOD. But the best part was that it, shockingly, portrayed the process of mourning in a really solid way. Arthur's emotions were never heavy-handed but they were all quite... true feeling, and they were unpredictable enough to keep me interested. There were some bits I didn't care for, namely the author's repeated use of the epithet "the smaller man" to refer to Merlin [...] and the lack of denouement. HOWEVER, I thought that the interesting plot progression and structure (starting with Merlin's death is... not your average romance fic) and the non-standard concentration on aspects of the story and characters that normally would be dealt with only partially, with excellent worldbuilding notes and insights, absolutely made up for any mistakes."[2]
"Old school Merlin, with Morgana still a loyal friend. Arthur's grief is vividly portrayed and Merlin's return is not too easy, as Arthur learns just what he's prepared to do to have him by his side."[3]

About the fanart:

Illustration by catsinthecoffee. Merlin and Arthur in the forest.
"This is gorgeous (and funny)! I really wouldn't have expected so much royal purple in an execution piece, but it is so pretty! It gives the piece that much sadness and grieving instead of the hurt angst more fiery colours would have, and it sets off the other colours beautifully. That thin orange line on what side of the hair with the blueish light on the other side are so fine, along with the subtlety of the tracks on his face. What a great choice of texture (/brush) for the smoke, too! For the second and third, ahaha, I haven't read the accompanying text yet, but these will be my head canon for it now. Morgana's eyebrows! While cat Uther seems just on the verge of taking off after a magic-mouse with a passion. ^^ That last one is guh in gut- and heart-wrenching ways. You really have a knack for outlying backgrounds in quiet but clear textures and colours, while I really like the way you shade that gives skin such texture. The hair is rendered so well, with the strokes giving the strands directions! *_* The pose is priceless, with them really pressing close, and I madly love Merlin's legs. In other words, alksjfskjdghddgj!"[4]


  1. ^ marguerite_26. Merlin Big Bang Rec, 14 August 2011. (Accessed 27 August 2011)
  2. ^ mizufae. go read dis, 12 August 2011. (Accessed 27 August 2011)
  3. ^ sally_maria. Story recs, 16 August 2011. (Accessed 28 August 2011)
  4. ^ yue_ix. Comment, 11 August 2011. (Accessed 27 August 2011)