penderwydd: (Default)
Militiemd to Dawn:

It was time for Beltane and according to the Bar it was that time here too. That meant that once again a fire was to be lit out back, and some food and drink to be enjoyed. He had set up the place for the fire the night before in the same clearing he had used in the last Beltane. He would be doing this all again in his world when he returned. He set up the wood upon the white fleece, the nine sacred woods. This was placed on a flat area near the forest, but not in it, and not of the highest hill of the back. He asked the Bar to make the announcements.

Dawn draws near and he is waiting for it and people to arrive, nearby he had set up a vat of ale and other foods on a table. There was also flour, honey, and water to make ritual cakes that were to be made and cooked in the fire.

Please join Tegid in the lighting of the Beltane fire.
penderwydd: (knot)
Tegid, Gwion, and the old man from Llew’s world sat on boulders. They had stayed behind to watch the horses not being used by the Ravens.

“What will happen, Penderwydd?” asked Gwion, visibly worried.

Tegid didn’t blame him; he was too. “I don’t know, Gwion, but we are to care for these horses now.”

The old man watched them with a worried look, his eyes looking large behind the strange things on his face. Tegid knew the frames were used to see clearly.

Suddenly, loud, sharp sounds could be heard from the strip mine in the valley that Llew, Cynan, and Scatha were infiltrating. Tegid was worried. He knew how dangerous these weapons could be, not only because the girl Ffand had been shot by one, but because he had seen them used in the Milliways shooting range. The horses found these sounds disturbing and they whinnied and pulled at their pickets. Gwion’s face paled at the noise and the old man’s shoulders jumped slightly at every report. Tegid wondered why that was. Perhaps he knew better what the men faced down in the mine.

“Gwion,” said Tegid, “it will be fine. Llew has dealt with these kind weapons before.” He knew his words were empty, but maybe they would help his Mabiong feel better.

A clamor nearby caught Tegid’s attention. Men lead by Paladyr had snuck around the mine and had managed to surprise the three as they spoke. Tegid eyed Paladyr. Many of his warband were strangers armed with guns. Tegid knew that fighting back would be useless against them, even if their holders looked rather uncomfortable.

“What brings you here, Paladyr. You are missing the battle,” said Tegid, standing to put himself between the sad warband and his friends.

“I have come to take you to Siawn Hy,” replied Paladyr. “You are my prisoners.”

“Oh,” said Tegid, watching the Raven Flight ride near, “That might be harder said than done.“

Turning to see the warband riding towards them, Paladyr gave a signal. A well-placed shot took out the horse from underneath Garanaw. He had been moving swiftly, and with the death of the horse he was thrown, landing with an audible crack on his arm. Tegid would have run to aid the man, but he was being bound by one of the strangers. Bran had stopped his advance. Some of the other Ravens helped Garanaw to his feet, his arm hanging limply at his side.

Seeing as they had little chance of winning this fight, Bran dismounted and laid down his arms. The rest of the Ravens followed suit and the men lead by Paladyr swarmed them and bound their hands.

“I see you have no honor,” said Bran, but he didn’t finish his thought. Paladyr had swung the butt of his spear into Bran’s head. The bound warrior toppled to the ground, blood seeping into his hair.

“Gag them!” ordered Paladyr. His men quickly went to work and marched the prisoners away from the access road towards the east side of the mine.

Within hours they were at an old tower built by the ancient snake people of this land. The gate was round and very large; several men could enter abreast and the circular stone that had closed the gate was rolled away in its track. Beyond this was a large paved courtyard where arched openings yawned in the walls. Standing at the opposite end of this courtyard was a building. The roof had collapsed and the tiles littered the yard. Paladyr’s men marched pushing their captives across the yard and up stone steps and through a narrow wooden door it was twice as tall as a man.

As they stepped through, Tegid noticed the putrid smell of decay and human filth. Eying the severed heads of two men nailed to the lintel of an inner door, his heart quickened with trepidation.

As he stepped through the small door into the hall torches tried and failed to chase the shadows away. Two doors hung in the wall at the opposite side from the captives and Goewyn stared through the bars of one of them. Tegid was happy to see her still alive and relatively well, but they were still hostages.

From another door in a shadowed corner of the room an unhelmed man emerged. Dressed in bronze armor, his pale face leered at the captives. It was that of Siawn Hy. Tegid was shocked at his appearance, blue veins snaked beneath the man's nearly transparent skin, and he was thin and sickly. How he had survived the wound that he had received from the Bran’s spear was amazing.

“Surprised?” asked Siawn with a sneer.

Tegid shook his head; he was still gagged.

“Ah, I see,” said Siawn eyeing the old man in the company, “Bring the old man here.”
Shoving the little man, Paladyr delivered him to Siawn Hy. The Brazen Man spoke to the old little man in the language of the strangers. “Take his gag off,” said Siawn to Paladyr who obliged slipping the gag from Nettle’s mouth.

A heated discussion took place between the two men in the language of the strangers. Seeing the sneer on Siawn’s face made Tegid sure the man was planning something horrid. Keeping his voice calm, the old man spoke to Siawn.

“Hold him,” said Siawn drawing his sword.

Forcing the small man into a kneeling position the evil men held his arms, while Siawn Hy maneuvered to the old man’s side. Grabbing the old man by the hair he whispered in his ear. With realization blooming in his mind Tegid tried to struggle forward. Men grabbed at his clothes tearing them as he tried to get to the old man. Suddenly the butt of a rifle landed on his skull and all was black.

Sometime later, Tegid woke to find that himself and the rest of the captives had been moved to a small room. Tegid looked around at the men in the room, the old man Nettles was gone. Bran and Drustwn had been beaten and were still unconscious on the floor. There were other injuries, but theirs looked to be the worst. Garanaw’s arm was swollen from the obvious fracture, and he looked pale beneath the dirt on his face. Tegid’s head hurt and he was sure it would need attention, but due the general state of being bound that the Ravens, and he himself was in, he was sure that was not going to happen any time soon.

Looking out a circular window set high into the wall Tegid saw that it was night. After some time, as the night wore on one of the strangers entered the room, and proceeded to take the gags off their mouths. He offered them water from a metal canteen. The men and Tegid greedily accepted this gesture, as they were all very thirsty. Bran and Drustwn were both awake, but dizzy.

“What happened?” asked the bard.

“Siawn beheaded the old man,” said Gwion, “You, Bran, and Drustwn all tried to stop it, but…” The boy did his best to indicate the blows the men had taken with his hand bound behind his back, “you know.”

“We were out for a long while,” stated Tegid.

The boy nodded, “Penderwydd, what is to happen to us?”

“I am not sure, Gwion,” he said, “That is up to the Swift Sure Hand.”

“Do you really believe the Goodlywise even cares?” asked the boy quietly.

Looking sternly at the boy Tegid nodded, “Yes, boy, I have experienced his plans first hand. Do not fret, it will work itself out.”

Beat.

“Gwion, I need you to wake us every few hours tonight.”

Looking at the men they boy asked, “Why Penderwydd?”

“Because, our head wounds. If we do not wake, it is a worrying sign.”

The boy nodded and the bard lapsed into a sullen silence. Anyway, talking hurt his head. Tegid dozed, his brain needed it, and true to his word, the boy woke the three men. It was after dawn when the Siawn Hy made his appearance, he had the blood smeared frames the old man had worn in hand. Kneeling beside Tegid he hooked them onto the neck of the bard’s siarc.

“I thought you would like to keep these, “ he said his face close to Tegid.

“You didn’t have to kill the old man,” Tegid said while observing Siawn’s sickly face.

“He was a traitor,” spat Siawn, “Would not any king do the same?”

“King of what, Siawn, “ asked Tegid looking at Siawn with defiance burning in his eyes,

“These sad men? You are king of nothing but a dung heap.”

“I told Meldron that he should have just killed you on that island, “ said Siawn as he stood.

Tegid laughed, “Was that supposed to scare me, oh great king of beggars.”

The bard’s words hit their mark. Rounding on the bard, Siawn buried his armored foot in
Tegid’s ribs. Turning the man left the room.

When Tegid caught his breath finally, he noted the pain in his ribs with each breath. Great, broken ribs were wonderful. If he’d been at unbound he would have had his ribs bound, but that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

“Good idea bard,” said Bran groggily, “Provoke the snake.”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” said Tegid breathlessly, “It felt good for a moment.”

“Next time leave the talking to me,” said Bran, “It might save you a few snapped ribs.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be good at talking?” asked Drustwn wryly.

“You give me too much credit,” said Tegid with a slight smile, “I am only a man, you know. I am of the Learned Brotherhood, but I am just a man as you are.”

The Mabiong watched this exchange with a look of perplexed amusement. Tegid wondered if the boy had ever realized that the Penderwydd was just as fallible as any man. He would have laughed, but that would have hurt too much, both head and ribs.

Several hours passed in relative silence. Coming in finally, Paladyr’s men roused their captives. Bran and Drustwn had to be hauled their feet their head wounds were indeed great. Tegid was slow to his feet, the cracked rib hurt, as did his head. Trudging the Ravens, the Mabiong, and the Penderwydd were lead into the main room. There stood Llew, Paladyr, Goawen, Tanwen, Siawn Hy, Cynan, and many other men. On seeing Llew many of the Ravens turned on their captors and Bran cried out and tried to struggle away. They were quickly subdued though with blows from the butts of spears and dragged back into line.

“You see?" Siawn Hy said arrogantly. “You never fully appreciated me, did you? Well, you have underestimated me for the last time, friend. “

“Listen to me very carefully, “ spoke Llew loudly. “My war band is waiting at the gate. They are invincible. If anything happens to any of us, you will die. That is a fact.”

Siawn Hy batted not an eye, however several of his warriors were moved. Paladyr relaxed his sword.

“It is true, lord,” he said. “ We cannot hope to defeat them.”

Siawn waved his hand as if he were shooing a fly. “But I am not interested in defeating them, “ he replied casually. “I am only interested in defeating the Silver Hand.”

“Then let the others go,” said the King, “Once they are free, I will command the war band to allow you safe passage. Without my word, none of you leave this place alive.”

“Listen to him, lord,” Said Paladyr uncertainly.

One of the strangers came forward and spoke in the strange language they used. Siawn replied with a snarled order. The other man spoke again, and Siawn growled back as he turned to Llew once more.

“If I let the others walk free, you will give us all safe conduct to leave-- is that right?”

“I give you my word,” vowed Llew. “But they go free fist.”

“No, Llew,” Goewyn pleaded, “I will not leave you.”

Siawn chuckled. “Oh, I am enjoying this.”

“The war band is waiting,” Llew told him. “They will not wait forever.”

“Do you think I care about any of that?” asked Siawn. “I will not be ordered about my own prisoner.” He moved close to Llew’s face. Tegid could not hear most of what the man said then, but he guessed it wasn’t good.

He backed away from Llew. “Do it!” he yelled.

“What do you want us to do, lord?” Paladyr asked.

“Kill him!” Siawn cried with the look of exasperation on his face.

Paladyr hesitated.

“Do it!” Siawn shouted again.

Paladyr’s head whipped around and glared at Siawn. “No.” He lowered his blade and stepped aside. “Let the others go free, or they will kill us.”

Tegid found this rather surprising, he was Siawn’s dog during the war, and had done horrible things in the past. Now, despite it being a desperate attempt at self-preservation, he had the semblance of honor. “Paladyr!” the bard spoke, “Hear me now! You claimed naud, and Llew gave it, “ he continued trying to remind the disgraced warrior that he owed his life to the King. "He did not lie to you then; he is not lying now. Release us all and you will not be harmed.”

“Silence him!” screamed Siawn Hy. There was a swift crack and all was black once again.

A scream in the dark dragged at Tegid’s consciousness, in a moment he opened his eyes on a blurry scene. He was still in the hall on the floor. In the center Llew fell to the floor, a knife in his chest. Llew grasped the hilt of the blade and pulled it out. He flung the knife from him and it skittered across the floor to land in front of Tegid. The bard struggled to his knees but was forced down by one of Paladyr’s men. Blood welled from the wound, and soaked Llews clothes. Siawn stared at Llew with glee as Cynan struggled with as four of the warriors held him down. Paladyr stood grim and silent as he held Goewyn’s arm.

Llew opened his mouth and a sickening wheeze came from it. He tried to prop himself up but his arm buckled and he rolled to his side. Goewyn jerked her arm free of Paladyr’s grasp and ran to him. She gathered him in her arms and started to weep. Tegid could not hear what she said to him. Llew lifted a hand to stroke her cheek. He spoke to her but it was so quiet that Tegid heard nothing of it. Goewyn lowered her face to his and kissed him. The king died there on the floor of that cursed room, by the hand of a man he had once called friend.

Goewyn wept repeating Llew’s name as she rocked and held his cooling body. Tegid was stunned, he could not weep, or yell. It was as if a part of his heart had been ripped from his body. His best friend, and brother had just been cruelly murdered in front of him. He did not notice the look of pride on the faces of Siawn Hy and Tangwen, or the subdued look on Paladyr’s demeanor. He could only take in the tragedy in front of him, as his brain tried to make sense if it all. Cynan’s cries, as he fought against his enemies as they kneeled on his back seemed distant to the bard. The pain in his head, and ribs even seemed like small distant pin pricks against disbelief in his heart and mind.

Siawn commanded the men to pick up the body and to bind Cynan. Tegid could not follow this turning of events; the words were like buzzing gnats around his head. Paladyr lifted the king’s body and followed Siawn from the hall through the courtyard and out of the gate. The captives followed, the fight had gone out of Cynan, and Goewyn had to be supported. Tegid, having recovered a bit, marched boldly forth as did the Raven flight. His mind was still numb from the death of his friend, but the cries of the warriors still reached Tegid’s ears. The cries stopped suddenly at the sight of their king, and Scatha did her best to run to her daughter, but Siawn shouted, “Stop! No one, move!”

Then Siawn ordered Paladyr to lay the body on the ground. He brandished a torch he had taken from the hall, and stood over the king. “Here is your king!” he called.

“Siawn Hy!” Scatha shouted. “You will die for this! You and all your men.”

But Siawn laughed. “Do you want him? I give him to you. Come! Take him away!”


Scatha and two warriors stepped forward and Siawn allowed them to approach. As they neared he pulled a flask from behind his bronze breastplate and doused Llew’s body with the contents. As the three reached for the king, Siawn lowered the torch and set the body alight.

The fire was intense and spread quickly where the liquid had penetrated. His clothing burned first then his flesh began to burn.

Goewyn screamed and it brought him around from his thoughts. Fighting free of her captors she nearly threw herself on the flames, but she was caught again and hauled back.

Siawn looked satisfied with himself. If Tegid had a free hand, he would have punched the smug man in his smug pale face. Hatred, anger, and sorrow welled in his heart.
Siawn Hy snatched something from the flames despite the heat. He raised it with a shout, “With this stone, I conquer!”

From his vantage, Tegid could not see what happened next until the Singing Stone was raised. It was milk-white and turned translucent as it melted in his hand. The evil man stared as the liquid rock ran through his fingers and down his upraised arm like water. He bent to retrieve another stone, as Tegid had given the King three. Three of the stones that held the sacred Song of Albion. Suddenly, the liquid rock ignited and flames engulfed Siawn’s hand and raced up his arm along the molten trail.

Siawn jerked his hand back and held the flaming hand before his face. With a blast to of pure white light the stone in his fist burst into a thousand pieces, scattering flaming fragments far and wide. It was as if the stars themselves were raining to earth.

The third stone, still in the fire had melted and started to increase and flow along the ground in shimmering waves. Where the liquid rock touched a burning fragment it burned with shining white flames.

The fires were great, and the old world was being burned away. The air itself was on fire. Tegid, Gwion, and the Ravens were chained together and could not run from the flames, but they turned to face their fate. The flames engulfed them, but Tegid remembered no burning. There was suddenly, white light and then nothing but the song:

Glory of sun! Star-blaze in jeweled heavens!
Light of light, a High and Holy land,
Shining bright and blessed of the Many-Gifted;
A gift forever to the Race of Albion!

Rich with many waters! Blue-welled the deep,
White-waved the strand, hallowed the firmament,
Mighty in the power of One,
Gentle in the peace of great blessing;
A wealth of wonders for the Kinsmen of Albion!

Dazzling the matchless purity of green!
Fine as the emerald’s excellent fire,
Glowing in deep-clefted glens,
Gleaming on smooth-tilled fields;
A Gemstone of great value for the Sons of Albion!

Abounding in white-crowned peaks, vast beyond measure, The fastness of bold mountains!
Exalted heights—dark wooded and
Red with running deer—
Proclaim afar the high-vaunted splendor of Albion!
Swift horses in wide meadows! Graceful herds
on the gold-flowered water-meads,
Strong hooves drumming,
A thunder of praise to the Goodly-Wise,
A boon of joy in the heart of Albion!

Golden the grain-hoards of the Great Giver,
Generous the bounty of fair fields:
Redgold of bright apples,
Sweetness of shining honeycomb,
A miracle of plenty for the tribes of Albion!

Silver the net-tribute,
teeming the treasure Of happy waters;
Dappled brown the hillsides,
Sleek herds serving The Lord of the Feast;
A marvel of abundance for the tables of Albion!

Wise men, Bards of Truth, boldly declaring from
Hearts aflame with the Living Word;
Keen of knowledge,
Clear of vision,
A glory of verity for the True Men of Albion!

Bright-kindled from heavenly flames, framed
Of Love’s all-consuming fire,
Ignited of purest passion,
Burning in the Creator King’s heart,
A splendor of bliss to illuminate Albion!

Noble lords kneeling in rightwise worship,
Undying vows pledged to everlasting,
Embrace the breast of mercy,
Eternal homage to the Chief of chiefs;
Life beyond death granted the Children of Albion!
Kingship wrought of Infinite Virtue,
Quick-forged by the Swift Sure Hand;
Bold in Righteousness,
Valiant in Justice,
A sword of honor to defend the Clans of Albion!

Formed of the Nine Sacred Elements,
Framed by the Lord of Love and Light;
Grace of Grace, Truth of Truth,
Summoned in the Day of Strife,
An Aird Righ to reign forever in Albion!


Tegid opened his eyes and stood up, the bonds of his captivity were gone. His old and torn clothes were replaced with new ones. The cloth was the finest he had ever seen; he stared at it for a moment, his new fine blue cloak edged in red and yellow tape. His sirac was yellow with red stripes and his breecs were red. He found his staff had been replaced as well with a golden rod and his silver broach was now also golden. Tegid wondered at these things, and then found that his scars were gone, all of them. He looked at his hands and felt his face, he also would have lifted his shirt to look for those on his belly, but he knew they were gone. Turning his eyes to the others before him, he found Scatha, Gwion, and Bran. The Raven flight was around them, they looked as he remembered them, but now the Ravens’ cloaks were midnight blue and each wore a torc of silver. Tegid found Cynan his hand stretched towards Goewyn.

All of them were reclothed as Tegid himself was, in the finest clothing. The Warrior’s weapons had changed too. Gold and silver gleamed on their weapons in the sunshine. The spears were of gold and so too were every sword blade and hilt. Shield rims and bosses shown with silver, and Tegid was awed.

Looking at the sky, he found that it was more beautiful than he had ever seen it before, shining with a living light. Tegid saw that Tir Aflan was no longer cursed; it had become fair and was Tir Gwyn again. Tegid wondered at these things for a time before he woke Bran.

Tegid woke Scatha next, and then Cynan; Bran woke the Ravens and so on. Scatha ran to her daughter and knelt beside her. Goewyn’s hair shone bright and was plated with tiny white and yellow flowers. She wore a gown of blue and a mantle of white, and a henna-colored cloak sewn with plum flowers.

Goewyn ran to the body of the king. . He was arrayed in siarc, belt, and breecs of deep hued scarlet, with scarlet buskins on his feet. He lay wrapped in a scarlet cloak that had the Mor Cylch, the Life Dance, woven into it in silver thread.

Goewyn touched his face and tears welled in her eyes. He was cold and lifeless. Scatha came to stand beside her and Cynan; Bran and the Ravens gathered around. Tegid joined the group, and as he arrived Goewyn raised her tearful eyes to him. “Tegid I thought…” She began to weep.

“He is dead, Goewyn,” Tegid said softly, kneeling beside her. He placed a hand upon Llew’s chest. “He will not come back.”

The bard’s heart was breaking even as he said these words.

“Look,” said Bran, “his silver hand is gone.”

Tegid leaned over the body and raised the right hand. In the place of the silver hand, was a hand of flesh and bone. Tegid laid it across the body’s belly. Goewyn, then took up the hand and kissed it. She then laid it across the still heart.

“Where is Siawn Hy?” asked Cynan suddenly, “Where are Tangwen and Paladyr?”

The evil men had vanished.

“Here!” shouted Cynan, “Found something.”

Tegid and the others ran to join him near the place Siawn had last been seen. “What is it?” asked the big man pointing at a pile of powder on the ground.

“All that remains of Siawn Hy,” said Tegid after examining it.

It was the same with the others, all had been reduced to ash. Cynan wanted to gather the ash and throw it into the sea, but Tegid decided this was a bad idea. “Leave it,” he advised. “Let the wind take it. There shall be no resting place for these.”
“What has happened?” asked Bran.

Tegid lifted his golden rod and raised his other above his head. “The sound of the battleclash will be heard among the stars of heaven and the Great Year will proceed to its final consummation.

“Hear, O Sons of Albion: Blood is born of blood. Flesh is born of flesh. But the spirit is born of Spirit, and with Spirit evermore remains. Before Albion is One, the Hero Feat must be performed and the Silver Hand must reign.”

Lowering the rod, he stretched it out over Llew’s body. “So it was spoken, so it is accomplished,” Tegid said. “The Great Year is end, the old world has passed away and a new creation is established.” Indicating the crimson-clothed body of the king, he continued, “The Aird Righ of Albion is dead. The Hero Feat for which he was chosen has been performed. Behold! He has reclaimed Tir Aflan and brought it under his sovereign rule. Thus, all lands are united under one king” from this day, Albion is one. This is the Reign of the Silver Hand. The prophecy is fulfilled.”

The king’s body was loaded onto a stretcher and hauled behind a horse. The body showed no signs of decay. The warband needed for nothing, as there was game in the hills to hunt. They moved swiftly, but had to stop to rest each day. They were going home.

(OOC: Much of it is from The Song of Albion: The Endless Knot books by Stephen R. Lawhead)
penderwydd: (knot)
The Third Dream.


Tegid was wandering around the hospital again, the bard was not happy at all.  He found he was in a bathroom the stalls stinking and filthy. He had to relieve himself but he had  an overwhelming sense of fear of the stalls.  He kicked the first one open and found it a stinking and filled with human waste.  The bard nearly vomited. The next one he kicked open was covered in vomit, and the next after that was full of blood. Tegid could not understand what was going on. He kicked the next stall open, the last stall, and the bard stumbled backwards.

When he got up he looked again, and it had not changed.  It was occupied, the head of  Meldyn the good king and father of Meldron. It sat on a stool and looked back at him.

"And take you my head," it said, “For it is your fault I was killed by my champion. It is your fault my tomb was defiled.”

Tegid shook his head. The Golden King’s grave had not been defiled, what was this?

He remembered what the creature had said, “ ‘You're seeing, not listening.’”

He did not move, he could not make himself move.  He could not decided what to do.

Should he take the talking head? Should he not and leave this room?

The bard felt his heart fall to his knees. His head reeled, and he was unsure which was up. When he opened his eyes and found that he and the head were alone in a large room. He could not see the walls even with his inner sight. It was dark except for one light that hung from an unseen ceiling above them. There was a second stool which Tegid took. He looked around and saw only the void.

“Sing me a song bard,” the head whispered, “Sing me a song of defeat”

Tegid was not sure if he should. He sat and listened to the void. He heard nothing. He wondered if he should shut his eyes. He did. And still nothing.

“Sing,” said the head.

“I know no song for you,” said Tegid.

“But you are the Penderwydd of Prydain,” exclaimed the Head.

Tegid remained quiet.

“You are the.. The… cause of my death!!!” cried the head.

Tegid closed his eyes and relaxed his body. He began to search the sounds of the space he was in.

“You let the Phantach die,” it accused, “You let me die!”

“You are an illusion,” remarked Tegid, “You do not exist. Meldryn Moar was laid to rest.”

The head shut it’s mouth and faded away.
Tegid found, when he looked around the room with his inner sight that he was in a beautiful hall, full of light and life. It was not the same as the room he saw when he opened his eyes. What was the illusion?

Soon, the room was full of Meldron’s forces, they flew at the bard from all sides, brandishing spears and swords, riding horses that snorted fire. Tegid did not move, he would not move, with his inner sight he saw them as a field near harvest. The spears flew at the bard, and he did not see them, to him it looked as if a gentle rain was falling.

The bard was wrong, it was the spears. He could feel the iron leaf shaped points grazing his skin. Luckily he was not hit. He suddenly felt his head jerked up by the hair. In front of him was Siawn Hy standing poised with a whip. The whip was different from any he had ever seen, it had 7 tails and each tail was imbedded with pieces of metal and glass. Siawn had a sneer on his face.

Siwn Hy the right hand man to Meldron Mawr the son of Meldryn Mawr. Meldron was the Hound of Havoc, he was dead, but Siwn may have not been.  These men were evil. These men were the reason why the bards of Albion were dead. These were the reason why Tegid had lost his sight. These were the men responsible for the murder of Meldryn, the great king.

“This is your punishment, bard,” he said.

Tegid’s siarc was torn from his back. The bard was chained with shackles that hung from the ceiling. Meldron came into the dim light he was fingering a wicked looking knife. He came close to the bard and cocked his head. Tegid felt something bite into his skin, it was the prince’s knife. He started at Tegid’s shoulder and cut a deep furrow around the joint. He did the same to his other shoulder and connected them with a  line across the breast bone. The bard was bleeding from his new wounds, but he made no sound.

Siawn had fallen behind Tegid. Without warning there was a sharp pain and pieces of skin and muscle were torn from his back. Tegid made no sound as the sharp metal and glass dug into his skin.  Tegid fell unconscious, when he awoke he was stripped naked.


He was bloody and had lost much blood. There was a searing pain in his already raw back, someone was rubbing salt into his wounds. It was all he could do to remain quiet. Tegid closed his eyes, was this what death was?

Tegid opened them again and was greeted with a knife in his guts.
penderwydd: (Default)
Tegid could not stay awake forever, and he finally fell asleep, his head resting on a table in the bar. He had been afraid to sleep, now it would be worse.  

The bard found himself in the halls of the hospital again. He walked the halls, knowing that he would not be able to get out, and the nature of this dream, he knew he should be careful. Tegid heard sounds, they were gurgling and plopping sounds. He was not all that curious, but it was the only noise he could detect here. He turned a corner and found that there was a stream running down the middle of the next hall. Not running, per se, but oozing. It was a fetid and dead stream, putrid in all of its elements. He recognized this as the stagnation and decay that Albion had just been redeemed from. He knew he should not touch this “water” at whatever cost.  

He followed the seeping flow of the stream to its source, coming upon no one. He found that the fetid stream was seeping from a room at the end of the hall. He saw the table and the instruments lined about; some were covered in grime and dust, others gleamed in the dim light. The stream issued from a table. He knew what the table was for, although he had never seen one, nor had he seen one used before. How the stream issued forth was unknown to him, but issue it did. The stink of the thing made his eyes water and his stomach lurch. The bard covered his nose and mouth with a corner of his cloak and ventured closer.  He could see a small shape on the table - it was a child. Tegid took a few more tentative steps and found that he was looking at Ffand, the child that the Dyn Dythri had killed with their gun. He could not catch his breath.  Ffand, the child who had saved him and Llew from the hostage pit. She however, was not alive, her organs were no longer in their rightful places, and her body was opened for all to see. She had been desecrated. Tegid vomited. The thing that had once been a child sat up, its organs pulsating and falling around the body in a ghastly adornment.  Tegid stepped back, this was all wrong.

It smiled a sickening smile.

“Penderwydd of Prydain, you could not save me,” it said. “Why?”

Tegid could not speak.

“Why?!” it shrieked at him, the dangling organs throbbing about in their ghastly garland of gore. “WHY?!!! I saved you! Why did you let me die?!”

Tegid shook and said nothing

Suddenly, it lurched; the fluid way in which it had been moving gave way to a jerky, awkward movement, like a puppet on a string. The flesh started to fall from bone, and the organs to liquefy. As this ghastly apparition melted it made its way back to the table, where it was reduced to a putrid puddle.  





 
 
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Tegid fell asleep as he normally did. He dreamed of fire. The water city was on fire; it was engulfing all the structures on the manmade islands. The images began to change- the buildings were no longer those of his world and his era, but that of the otherworld, and of Milliways.  He was standing outside his hut, and the strange building loomed up in front of him in the middle of the lake.  Strange things were crawling up from the suddenly dead lake, back to the muck and black stink that was the rotting of Albion.

He was in the building now, a scorched and dusty place; the strange beds and chairs that littered the halls and rooms confused him. Everything was dusty and deserted. He had never seen anything like this.  He found no one there, nor any monsters.  Tegid found he could not open his eyes, but could still see... yet he felt as though he were blind again. He ran. He ran in any random direction, just to get out! He heard the noise getting closer. He recognized that noise; it was not something he would ever want to see or find again. It was a thin screeching wail, bloodless and cold.  He could see it but his eyes were closed. He tried to open them, but it would not happen.  He ran on, and though he didn’t run into anything, he still could not open his eyes.  He could sense the area around him, could see the halls.

Tegid tripped and his eyes flew open, and there was the Cythrawl. Terror took hold of Tegid and he could barely breathe.  The creature was getting closer, he could hear it. The Cythrawl lived but  was not alive, it moved, but  was not animate; it cried out, yet  possessed no tongue.  This Hell -spawned creature was hideous, a pulsating mass of bodies, forming and growing and changing,. Its form in a state of flux. The Cythrawl was a thing made of decay and death.  It was a thing to fear, and the strongest at heart  would piss their manly breeches at the sight of it.  The Cythrawl was the epitome of all that was malicious, cruel and evil; it embodied all that was corrupt and decayed.

It reached out for him, and he shrank from the apparition. This could not be real! Why was this happening?

His mind almost paralyzed by fear, Tegid did the only thing he could think of . He called out to The Sure Swift hand for protection.

“Dagda Samildanac!” he cried, as the great Bard Ollathir had done before him, “Bodd cwi Samildanac!”

The monster shrank at the name, and receded. Tegid began to chant, a mantra of protection, and of praise. He would not stop till this fearsome apparition fled, and flee it did.

Tegid raised himself off the floor and found he could open his eyes. He continued the chant.  He saw that he was still in the strange building,. What had happened here?

The next onslaught that was to come was even worse than the first.

He started to walk. He was shaking all over and was wet from sweat, blood, and urine. When he fell, he had landed on  some broken glass; his hands were bleeding, from the deep lacerations.  The grime from the years of neglect stuck to his skin, and trails could be seen  where tears had streamed from his newly formed eyes.

The bard staggered down the halls trying to find his way out of this place; he could not. Every time he thought he saw a door to the outside, it was gone- he could not get away!

Tegid saw a new sight. It was something he never wanted to face again, army or no. The Coranyid, Host of the Pit were there in the halls, spilling over one another in a great grotesque mass. His heart seemed to stop. Had they not been banished from this world’s realm? Then he remembered this was not Albion.  His eyes widened in terror , for to see them was to behold the face of all that is  evil and wicked. His stomach lurched, for these were all things putrid clothed in loose-fitting skin. He saw death beyond death, again. This was what would happen to those souls caught in Hell. He tried to stand his ground against the putrid bodies clawing over each other- flowing towards him in the halls. 

He collapsed on the floor, repeating the mantra over and over. None of the creatures touched him, but seemed to dissipate when they drew close.  The Hell spawn were silent in their assault; the only noise was the beating of Tegid’s heart and his chanting. He curled into a ball on the filthy floor.

After, what seemed like hours, he looked around, and he was alone again. As silently as they had come, they were gone. Tegid was not sure if he should move.  He pulled himself up to a sitting position, his back against the cold dusty wall. He was terrified, and needed the comfort of the familiar. He slumped, waiting for the next attack on his spirit. He sat chanting, afraid.

Out of the darkness, another figure seemed to materialize from the very  floor. This one surpassed the first two horrors in grotesquerie: it was Meldron, back from the grave. His rotted and bloated corpse looked down on Tegid with dead eyes. The seeping sores that had covered his body as he died in the caustic lake dripped on the floor, leaving a trail of gore. 

“Bard,” it said, “you and your people are doomed!”

Tegid’s heart sank. Hopelessness filled his soul, he was plunged into darkness.  He continued to chant despite the despair that was filling his core.

“Your god cannot help you now, bard!” screeched the thing that looked like Meldron.

The bard  ignored the monster and closed his eyes. He chanted.  The creature continued it’s blasphemous onslaught. Eventually, it fell silent.

When he looked back the creature was gone. Tegid at last succumbed to shock and passed out.

(OOC Shiny helped me with the proofreading, Ada did too! Thanks guys!)
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Let us make this short. Meldron's forces came to the valley and there was a battle. Most of Meldron's army were not warriors but simple farmers and boys that had no training at all, many of them were slaughtered. The water in a river in the middle of the battlefield was so putrid that it rotted the living flesh off the bones of the men who were unlucky enough to fall into it. In the end Llew's forces lost. Meldron tried to kill Llew, by dumping him in the putrid lake, but the water did not kill Llew. He came out of the water, a silver hand attached to the stump of his sword hand. Meldron, again tried to Kill Llew, and ended up with a broken arm and death in the lake. Unlike Llew, Meldron died when he touched the putrid lake water. 

Llew, being the true king, purified the water and the land. Tegid plunged into the water and regained his eyes. There was healing in the waters.
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The Dream of Rhonabwy
Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
Madawc the son of Maredudd possessed Powys within its boundaries, from Porfoed to Gwauan in the uplands of Arwystli. And at that time he had a brother, Iorwerth the son of Maredudd, in rank not equal to himself. And Iorwerth had great sorrow and heaviness because of the honour and power that his brother enjoyed, which he shared not. And he sought his fellows and his foster-brothers, and took counsel with them what he should do in this matter. And they resolved to dispatch some of their number to go and seek a maintenance for him. Then Madawc offered him to become Master of the Household and to have horses, and arms, and honour, and to fare like as himself. But Iorwerth refused this.

And Iorwerth made an inroad into Loegria, slaying the inhabitants, and burning houses, and carrying away prisoners. And Madawc took counsel with the men of Powys, and they determined to place an hundred men in each of the three Commots of Powys to seek for him. And thus did they in the plains of Powys from Aber Ceirawc, and in Allictwn Ver, and in Rhyd Wilure, on the Vyrnwy, the three best Commots of Powys. So he was none the better, he nor his household, in Powys, nor in the plains thereof. And they spread these men over the plains as far as Nillystwn Trevan.

Now one of the men who was upon this quest was called Rhonabwy. And Rhonabwy and Kynwrig Vrychgoch, a man of Mawddwy, and Cadwgan Vras, a man of Moelvre in Kynlleith, came together to the house of Heilyn Goch the son of Cadwgan the son of Iddon. And when they came near to the house, they saw an old hall, very black and having an upright gable, whence issued a great smoke; and on entering, they found the floor full of puddles and mounds; and it was difficult to stand thereon, so slippery was it with the mire of cattle. Amd where the puddles were, a man might go up to his ankles in water and dirt. And there were boughs of holly spread over the floor, whereof the cattle had browsed the sprigs. When they came to the hall of the house, they beheld cells full of dust, and very gloomy, and on one side an old hag making a fire. And whenever she felt cold, she cast a lapful of chaff upon the fire, and raised such a smoke, that it was scarcely to be borne, as it rose up the nostrils. And on the other side was a yellow calf-skin on the floor; a main privilege was it to any one who should get upon that hide.

And when they had sat down, they asked the hag where were the people of the house. And the hag spoke not, but muttered. Thereupon behold the people of the house entered; a ruddy, clownish, curly-headed man, with a burthen of faggots on his back, and a pale slender woman, also carrying a bundle under her arm. And they barely welcomed the men, and kindled a fire with the boughs. And the woman cooked something, and gave them to eat, barley bread, and cheese, and milk and water.

And there arose a storm of wind and rain, so that it was hardly possible to go forth with safety. And being weary with their journey, they laid themselves down and sought to sleep. And when they looked at the couch, it seemed to be made but of a little coarse straw full of dust and vermin, with the stems of boughs sticking up there through, for the cattle had eaten all the straw that was placed at the head and the foot. And upon it was stretched an old russet-colored rug, threadbare and ragged; and a coarse sheet, full of slits, was upon the rug, and an ill-stuffed pillow, and a worn-out cover upon the sheet. And after much suffering from the vermin, and from the discomfort of their couch, a heavy sleep fell on Rhonabwy's companions. But Rhonabwy, not being able either to sleep or to rest, thought he should suffer less if he went to lie upon the yellow calf-skin that was stretched out on the floor. And there he slept.

As soon as sleep had come upon his eyes, it seemed to him that he was journeying with his companions across the plain of Argyngroeg, and he thought that he went towards Rhyd y Groes on the Severn. As he journeyed, he heard a mighty noise, the like whereof heard he never before; and looking behind him he beheld a youth with yellow curling hair, and with his beard newly trimmed, mounted on a chestnut horse, whereof the legs were grey from the top of the forelegs, and from the bend of the hind legs downwards. And the rider wore a coat of yellow satin sewn with green silk, and on his thigh was a gold-hilted sword, with a scabbard of new leather of Cordova, belted with the skin of the deer, and clasped with gold. And over this was a scarf of yellow satin wrought with green silk, the borders whereof were likewise green. And the green of the caparison of the horse, and of green his rider, was as green as the leaves of the fir-tree, and the yellow was as yellow as the blossom of the broom. So fierce was the aspect of the rider, that fear seized upon them, and they began to flee. And he pursued them. And when the horse breathed forth, the men became distant from him, and when he drew in his breath, they were drawn near to him, even to the horse's chest. And when he had over-taken them, they besought his mercy. "You have it gladly," said he, "fear naught."

"Ha, chieftain, since thou hast mercy upon me, tell me also who thou art," said Rhonabwy.
"I will not conceal my lineage from thee, I am Iddawc the son of Mynyo, yet not by my name, but by my nickname am I best known."

"And wilt thou tell us what thy nickname is?"

"I will tell you; it is Iddawc Cordd Prydain."
"Ha, chieftain," said Rhonabwy, "why art thou called thus?"

"I will tell thee. I was one of the messengers between Artos and Medrawd his nephew, at the battle of Camlan; and I was then a reckless youth, and through my desire for battle, I kindled strife between them, and stirred up wrath, when I was sent by Artos the High King to reason with Medrawd, and to show him, that he was his foster-father and his uncle, and to seek for peace, lest the sons of the Kings of Albion; and of the nobles, should be slain. And whereas Artos charged me with the fairest sayings he could think of, I uttered unto Medrawd the harshest I could devise. And therefore am I called Iddawc Cordd Prydain, for from this did the battle of Camlan ensue. And three nights before the end of the battle of Camlan I left them, and went to the Llech Las in the  North  to do penance. And there I remained doing penance seven years, and after that I gained pardon."

Then lo! they heard a mighty sound which was much louder than that which they had heard before, and when they looked round towards the sound, they beheld a ruddy youth, without beard or whiskers, noble of mien, and mounted on a stately courser. And from the shoulders and the front of the knees downwards the horse was bay. And upon the man was a dress of red satin wrought with yellow silk, and yellow were the borders of his scarf. And such parts of his apparel and of the trappings of his horse as were yellow, as yellow were they as the blossom of the broom, and such as were red, were as ruddy as the ruddiest blood in the world.

Then, behold the horseman overtook them, and he asked of Iddawc a share of the little men that were with him. " That which is fitting for me to grant I will grant, and thou shalt be a companion to them as I have been." And the horseman went away.
Iddawc," inquired Rhonawby, "who was that horseman?"
"Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach."

And they journeyed over the plain of Argyngroeg as far as the ford of Rhyd y Groes on the Severn. And for a mile around the ford on both sides of the road, they saw tents and encampments, and there was the clamor of a mighty host. And they came to the edge of the ford, and there they beheld Artos sitting on a flat island below the ford, having Bedwini the Bard on one side of him, and Gwarthegyd the son of Kaw on the other. And a tall, auburn-haired youth stood before him, with his sheathed sword in his hand, and clad in a coat and cap of jet black satin. And his face was white as ivory, and his eyebrows black as jet, and such part of his wrist as could be seen between his glove and his sleeve, was whiter than the lily, and thicker than a warrior's ankle.

Then came Iddawc and they that were with him, and stood before Artos and saluted him. "Heaven grant thee good," said Artos. "And where, Iddawc, didst thou find these little men?"

"I found them, lord, up yonder on the road."

Then the High King smiled. "Lord," said Iddawc, "wherefore dost thou laugh?"

"Iddawc," replied Artos, "I laugh not; but it pitieth me that men of such stature as these should have this island in their keeping, after the men that guarded it of yore."

Then said Iddawc, "Rhonabwy, dost thou see the ring with a stone set in it, that is upon the High King's hand?"

"I see it," he answered. "It is one of the properties of that stone to enable thee to remember that thou seest here to-night, and hadst thou not seen the stone, thou wouldest never have been able to remember aught thereof."

After this they saw a troop coming towards the ford.
"Iddawc," inquired Rhonabwy, "to whom does yonder troop belong?"
"They are the fellows of Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach. And these men are honorably served with mead and bragget, and are freely beloved by the daughters of the kings of the Island of Britain. And this they merit, for they were ever in the front and the rear in every peril."
And he saw but one hue upon the men and the horses of this troop, for they were all as red as blood. And when one of the warriors rode forth from the troop, he looked like a pillar of fire glancing athwart the sky. And this troop encamped above the ford.

Then they beheld another troop coming towards the ford, and these from their horses' chests upwards were whiter than the lily, and below blacker than jet. And they saw one of these warriors go before the rest, and spur his horse into the ford in such a manner that the water dashed over Artos and the Bard, and those holding counsel with them, so that they were as wet as if they had been drenched in the river. And as he turned the head of his horse, the youth who stood before Artos struck the horse over the nostrils with his sheathed sword, so that, had it been with the bare blade, it would have been a marvel if the bone had not been wounded as well as the flesh. And the warrior drew his sword half out of the scabbard, and asked of him,

"Wherefore didst thou strike my horse? Whether was it in insult or in counsel unto me?"

"Thou dost indeed lack counsel. What madness caused thee to ride so furiously as to dash the water of the ford over Artos, and the chief bard, and their counselors, so that they were as wet as if they had been dragged out of the river?"

"As counsel then will I take it." So he turned his horse's head round towards his army.

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "who was yonder Warrior?"

"The most eloquent and the wisest youth that is in this island; Adaon, the son of Taliesin."

"Who was the man that struck his horse?"

"A youth of forward nature; Elphin, the son of Gwyddno."

Then spake a tall and stately man, of noble and flowing speech, saying that it was a marvel that so vast a host should be assembled in so narrow a space, and that it was a still greater marvel that those should be there at that time who had promised to be by mid-day in the battle of Badon, fighting with Osla Gyllellvawr. "Whether thou mayest choose to proceed or not, I will proceed."

"Thou sayest well," said Artos, "and we will go altogether."

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "who was the man who spoke so marvelously unto Artos erewhile?"

"A man who may speak as boldly as he listed, Caradawc Vreichvras, the son of Llyr Marini, his chief counselor and his cousin."

Then Iddawc took Rhonabwy behind him on his horse, and that mighty host moved forward, each troop in its order, towards Cevndigoll. And when they came to the middle of the ford of the Severn, Iddawc turned his horse's head, and Rhonabwy looked along the valley of the Severn. And he beheld two fair troops coming towards the ford. One troop there came of brilliant white, whereof every one of the men had a scarf of white satin with jet-black borders. And the knees and the tops of the shoulders of their horses were jet-black, though they were of a pure white in every other part. And their banners were pure white, with black points to them all.

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "who are yonder pure white troop?"

"They are the men of The South, and March the son of Meirchion is their prince. And he is cousin unto Artos." And further on he saw a troop, whereof each man wore garments of jet-black, with borders of pure white to every scarf; the tops of the shoulders and the knees of their horses were pure white. And their banners were jet-black with pure white at the point of each.

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "who are the jet-black troop yonder?"
"They are the men of the North, and Edeyrn the son of Nudd is their prince."

And when they had overtaken the host, Artos and his army of mighty ones dismounted below Caer Badon, and he perceived that he and Iddawc journeyed the same road as Artos. And after they had dismounted he heard a great tumult and confusion amongst the host, and such as were then at the flanks turned to the centre, and such as had been in the centre moved to the flanks. And then, behold, he saw a champion coming, clad, both he and his horse, in mail, of which the rings were whiter than the whitest lily, and the rivets redder than the ruddiest blood. And he rode amongst the host.

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "will yonder host flee?"

"King Artos never fled, and if this discourse of thine were heard, thou wert a lost man. But as to the Warrior whom thou seest yonder, it is Kai. The fairest horseman is Kai in all Artos's Court; and the men who are at the front of the army hasten to the rear to see Kai ride, and the men who are in the centre flee to the side, from the shock of his horse. And this is the cause of the confusion of the host."

Thereupon they heard a call made for Kadwr, Lord of  , and behold he arose with the sword of Artos in his hand. And the similitude of two serpents was upon the sword in gold. And when the sword was drawn from its scabbard, it seemed as if two flames of fire burst forth from the jaws of the serpents, and then, so wonderful was the sword, that it was hard for any one to look upon it. And the host became still, and the tumult ceased, and the Earl returned to the tent.

"Iddawc," said Rbonabwy, "who is the man who bore the sword of Artos?"

"Kadwr, the Lord of Prydain, whose duty it is to arm the King on the days of battle and warfare."

And they heard a call made for Eirynwych Amheibyn, Artos's servant, a red, rough, ill-favored man, having red whiskers with bristly hairs. And behold he came upon a tall red horse with the mane parted on each side, and he brought with him a large and beautiful sumpter pack. And the huge red youth dismounted before Artos, and he drew a golden chair out of the pack, and a carpet of diapered satin. And he spread the carpet before Artos, and there was an apple of ruddy gold at each corner thereof, and he placed the chair upon the carpet. And so large was the chair that three armed warriors might have sat therein. Gwenn was the name of the carpet, and it was one of its properties that whoever was upon it no one could see him, and he could see every one. And it would retain no color but its own.

And Artos sat within the carpet, and Owain the son of Urien was standing before him.

And while they were thus, behold they saw a white tent with a red canopy, and the figure of a jet-black serpent on the top of the tent, and red glaring venomous eyes in the head of the serpent, and a red flaming tongue. And there came a young messenger with yellow curling hair, and blue eyes, and a newly springing beard, wearing a shirt and a cloak of yellow satin, and breaches of  greenish-yellow cloth upon his feet, and over his breaches shoes of parti-colored leather, fastened at the insteps with golden clasps. And he bore a heavy three-edged sword with a golden hilt, in a scabbard of black leather tipped with fine gold. And he came to the place where the High King and Owain were at discourse.

And the youth saluted Owain. And Owain marveled that the youth should salute him and should not have saluted the High King Artos. And Artos knew what was in Owain's thought. And he said to Owain, "Marvel not that the youth salutes thee now, for he saluted me erewhile; and it is unto thee that his errand is." Then said the youth unto Owain, "Lord, is it with thy leave that the young pages and attendants of the High King harass and torment and worry thy Ravens? And if it be not with thy leave, cause the High King to forbid them."

"Lord," said 0wain, "thou hearest what the youth says; if it seem good to thee, forbid them from my Ravens."

"Continue thy discourse," said he. Then the youth returned to the tent.

That discourse did they finish, and another they began, and when they were in the midst of the discourse, behold, a ruddy young man with auburn curling hair and large eyes, well-grown, and having his beard new-shorn, came forth from a bright yellow tent, upon the summit of which was the figure of a bright red lion. And he was clad in a cloak of yellow satin, falling as low as the small of his leg, and embroidered with threads of red silk. And on his feet were hose of fine white buckram, and buskins of black leather were over his hose, whereon were golden clasps. And in his hand a huge, heavy, three-edged sword, with a scabbard of red deer-hide, tipped with gold. And he came to the place where Artos and Owain were playing at chess. And he saluted him. And Owain was troubled at his salutation, but Artos minded it no more than before. And the youth said unto Owain, "Is it not against thy will that the attendants of the High King harass thy Ravens, killing some and worrying others? If against thy will it be, beseech him to forbid them."

"Lord," said Owain, "forbid thy men, if it seem good to thee."

"Continue thy discourse,”  said the High King. And the youth returned to the tent.

And that discourse was ended and another begun,  they beheld at a small distance from them a tent speckled yellow, the largest ever seen, and the figure of an eagle of gold upon it, and a precious stone on the eagle's head. And coming out of the tent, they saw a youth with thick yellow-hair upon his head, fair and comely, and a scarf of blue satin upon him, and a brooch of gold in the scarf upon his right shoulder as large as a warrior's middle finger. And upon his feet were breaches of fine Totness, and shoes of parti-colored leather, clasped with gold, and the youth was of noble bearing, fair of face, with ruddy cheeks and large hawk's eyes. In the hand of the youth was a mighty spear, speckled yellow, with a newly sharpened head; and upon the spear a banner displayed.

Fiercely angry, and with rapid pace, came the youth to the place where Artos was speaking with Owain. And they perceived that he was wroth. And thereupon he saluted Owain, and told him that his Ravens had been killed, the chief part of them, and that such of them as were not slain were so wounded and bruised that not one of them could raise its wings a single fathom above the earth.

"Lord," said Owain, "forbid thy men."

"Speak," said he, "if it please thee."

Then said Owain to the youth, "Go back, and wherever thou findest the strife at the thickest, there lift up the banner and let come what pleases ."

So the youth returned back to the place where the strife bore hardest upon the Ravens, and he lifted up the banner; and as he did so they all rose up in the air, wrathful and fierce and high of spirit, clapping their wings in the wind, and shaking off the weariness that was upon them. And recovering their energy and courage, furiously and with exultation did they, with one sweep, descend upon the heads of the men, who had erewhile caused them anger and pain and damage, and they seized some by the heads and others by the eyes, and some by the ears, and others by the arms, and carried them up into the air; and in the air there was a mighty tumult with the flapping of the wings of the triumphant Ravens, and with their croaking; and there was another mighty tumult with the groaning of the men, that were being torn and wounded, and some of whom were slain.

And Artos and Owain marveled at the tumult; and, looking, they perceived a warrior upon a dun-colored horse coming towards them. And marvelous was the hue of the dun horse. Bright red was his right shoulder, and from the top of his legs to the centre of his hoof was bright yellow. Both the Warrior and his horse were fully equipped with heavy foreign amour. The clothing of the horse from the front opening upwards was of bright red sendal, and from thence opening downwards was of bright yellow sendal. A large gold-hilted one-edged sword had the youth upon his thigh, in a scabbard of light blue, and tipped with laton. The belt of the sword was of dark green leather with golden slides and a clasp of ivory upon it, and a buckle of jet-black upon the clasp. A helmet of gold was on the head of the Warrior, set with precious stones of great virtue, and at the top of the helmet was the image of a flame-colored leopard with two ruby-red stones in its head, so that it was astounding for a warrior, however stout his heart, to look at the face of the leopard, much more at the face of the Champion.. He had in his hand a blue-shafted Spear, but from the haft to the point it was stained crimson-red with the blood of the Ravens and their plumage.

The Warrior came to the place where Artos and Owain were seated . And they perceived that be was harassed and vexed and weary as he came towards them. And the youth saluted Artos, and told him that the Ravens of Owain were slaying his young men and attendants. And Artos looked at Owain and said, "Forbid thy Ravens."

The High King said nothing. And the Warrior returned back towards the strife, and the Ravens were not forbidden any more than before.

And after  awhile, they heard a mighty tumult, and a wailing of men, and a croaking of Ravens, as they carried the men in their strength into the air, and, tearing them betwixt them, let them fall piecemeal to the earth. And during the tumult they saw a Warrior coming towards them, on a light grey horse, and the left foreleg of the horse was jet-black to the contre of his hoof. And the Warrior and the horse were fully accoutered with huge heavy blue amour. And a robe of honour of yellow diapered satin was upon the Warrior, and the borders of the robe were blue. And the housings of the horse were jet-black, with borders of bright yellow. And on the thigh of the youth was a sword, long, and three-edged, and heavy. And the scabbard was of red cut leather, and the belt of new red deer-skin, having upon it many golden slides and a buckle of the bone of the sea-horse, the tongue of which was jet-black. A golden helmet was upon the head of the Warrior, wherein were set sapphire-stones of great virtue. And at the top of the helmet was the figure of a flame-colored lion, with a fiery-red tongue, issuing above a foot from his mouth, and with venomous eyes, crimson-red, in his head. And the Warrior came, bearing in his hand a thick ashen spear, the head whereof, which had been newly steeped in blood, was overlaid with silver.

And the youth saluted the High King: "Lord," said he, "carest thou not for the slaying of thy pages, and thy young men, and the sons of the nobles of  Albion, whereby it will be difficult to defend this island from henceforward for ever?"

"Owain," said Artos, "forbid thy Ravens."



And  lo, they heard a great tumult and a clamor of armed men, and a croaking of Ravens, and a flapping of wings in the air, as they flung down the amour entire to the ground, and the men and the horses piecemeal. Then they saw coming a Warrior on a lofty-headed piebald horse. And the left shoulder of the horse was of bright red, and its right leg from the chest to the hollow of the hoof was pure white. And the Warrior and horse were equipped with arms of speckled yellow, variegated with  laton. And there was a robe of honour upon him, and upon his horse, divided in two parts, white and black, and the borders of the robe of honour were of golden purple. And above the robe he wore a sword three-edged and bright, with a golden hilt. And the belt of the sword was of yellow gold work, having a clasp upon it of the eyelid of a black sea-horse, and a tongue of yellow gold to the clasp. Upon the head of the Warrior was a bright helmet of yellow laton, with sparkling stones of crystal in it, and at the crest of the helmet was the figure of a griffin, with a stone of many virtues in its head. And he had an ashen spear in his hand, with a round shaft, colored with azure-blue. And the head of the spear was newly stained with blood, and was overlaid with fine silver.

Wrathfully came the Warrior to the place where Artos was, and he told him that the Ravens had slain his household and the sons of the chief men of this island, and he besought him to cause Owain to forbid his Ravens. And Artos besought Owain to forbid them. Then Artos took a golden broach that was upon his shoulder, and crushed it until it became as dust. Then Owain ordered Gwres the son of Rheged to lower his banner. So it was lowered, and all was peace.

Then Rhonabwy inquired of Iddawc who were the first three men that came to Owain, to tell him his Ravens were being slain. Said Iddawc, "They were men who grieved that Owain should suffer loss, his fellow-chieftains and companions, Selyv the son of Kynan Garwyn of Powys, and Gwgawn Gleddyvrudd, and Gwres the son of Rheged, he who bears the banner in the day of battle and strife."

"Who," said Rhonabwy, "were the last three men who came to Artos, and told him that the Ravens were slaughtering his men?"

"The best of men," said Iddawc, "and the bravest, and who would grieve exceedingly that Artos should have damage in aught; Blathaon the son of Mawrheth, and Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach, and Hyveidd Unllenn."

And with that behold four-and-twenty Warriors came from Osla Gyllellvawr, to crave a truce of Artos for a fortnight and a month. And Artos arose and went to take counsel. And he came to where a tall, auburn, curly-headed man was a little way off, and there he assembled his counselors. Bedwini, the Chief Bard, and Gwarthegyd the son of Kaw, and March the son of Meirchawn, and Caradawc Vreichvras, and Gwalchmai the son of Gwyar, and Edeyrn the son of Nudd, and Rhuvawn Pebyr the son of Prince Deorthach, and Rhiogan , and Gwenwynwyn the son of Nav, Howel the son of Emyr Llydaw, Gwilym the son of Rhwyf Freine, and Daned the son of Ath, and Goren Custennin, and Mabon the son of Modron, and Peredur Paladyr Hir, and Hyveidd Unllenn, and Twrch the son of Perif, and Nerth the son of Kadarn, and Gobrwy the son of Echel Vorddwyttwll, Gwair the son of Gwestyl, and Gadwy the son of Geraint, Trystan the son of Tallwch, Moryen Manawc, Granwen the son of Llyr, and Llacheu the son of Artos, and Llawvrodedd Varvawc, and Kadwr Earl of Cornwall, Morvran the son of Tegid, and Rhyawd the son of Morgant, and Dyvyr the son of Alun Dyved, Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd, Adaon the son of Taliesin, Llary the son of Kasnar Wledig, and Fflewddur Fflam, and Greidawl Galldovydd, Gilbert the son of Kadgyffro, Menw the son of Teirgwaedd, Gwrthmwl Wledig, Cawrdav the son of Caradawc Vreichvras, Gildas the son of Kaw, Kadyriaith the son of Saidi, and many of the men of Norway, and the North, and a crowd of the men of the host came to that council.

"Iddawc," said Rhonabwy, "who was the auburn-haired man to whom they came just now?"

"Rhun the son of Maelgwn Gwynedd, a man whose prerogative it is, that he may join in counsel with all."

"And wherefore did they admit into counsel with men of such dignity as are yonder a stripling so young as Kadyriaith the son of Saidi?"

"Because there is not throughout Albion a man better skilled in counsel than he."

Thereupon, behold, bards came and recited verses before Artos, and no man understood those verses but Kadyriaith only, save that they were in Artos's praise.

And lo, there came four-and-twenty asses with their burdens of gold and of silver, and a tired wayworn man with each of them, bringing tribute to Artos from the Islands off the coast of Albion. Then Kadyriaith the son of Saidi besought that a truce might be granted to Osla Gyllellvawr for the space of a fortnight and a month, and that the asses and the burdens they carried might be given to the bards, to be to them as the reward for their stay and that their verse might be recompensed during the time of the truce. And thus it was settled.

"Rhonabwy," said Iddawc, "would it not be wrong to forbid a youth who can give counsel so liberal as this from coming to the councils of his Lord?"

Then Kai arose, and he said, "Whosoever will follow Artos, let him be with him to-night in Cornwall, and whosoever will not, let him be opposed to Artos even during the truce." And through the greatness of the tumult that ensued, Rhonabwy awoke. And when he awoke he was upon the yellow calf-skin, having slept three nights and three days.

And this tale is called the Dream of Rhonabwy.
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translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
from The Mabinogion endnotes

I have changed a few names and such to fit with Tegid's world. Also, I have added the best part of the tale that I picked up from another book, and embellished the ending with it.




"There were two kings, formerly in Albion, named  . As these two ranged the fields one starlight night, ‘See,’ said Nynniaw, ‘what a beautiful and extensive field I possess!'

‘Where is it?’ said Peibiaw

‘The whole Firmament,’ said Nynniaw, ‘far as vision can extend.’

‘And do thou see ‘said Peibiaw, ‘what countless herds and flocks of cattle and sheep I have depasturing thy field?’

‘Where are they?’ said Nynniaw.

‘Why the whole host of stars which thou seest,’ said Peibiaw, ‘and each of golden effulgence, with the Moon for their shepherdess, to superintend their wanderings.’

‘They shall not graze in MY pasture,’ said Nynniaw.

‘They shall,’ said Peibiaw

‘They shall not,’ said one ‘They shall’ said the other, repeatedly, in bandied contradiction, until at last it arose to wild contention between them, and from contention it came to furious war; until the armies and subjects of both were nearly annihilated in the desolation.

RHITTA, the Giant, King of Wales, hearing of the carnage committed by these two maniac kings, determined on hostility against them and, having previously consulted the laws and his people, he arose and marched against them because they had, as stated, followed the courses of depopulation and devastation, under the suggestions of phrenzy. He vanquished them, and then cut off their beards. But, when the other Sovereigns included in the twenty-eight kings of the island of Albion, heard these things, they combined all their legions to revenge the degradation committed on the two disbearded kings, and made a fierce onslaught on Rhitta the Giant, and his forces; and furiously bold fought the engagement. But Rhitta the Giant won the day.

‘This is my extensive field,’ said he, then, and immediately disbearded the other kings.

When the kings of the surrounding countries heard of the disgrace inflicted on all these disbearded kings, they armed themselves against Rhitta the Giant and his men; and tremendous was the conflict; but Rhitta the Giant achieved a most decisive victory, and then exclaimed:

‘This is MY immense field!’ and at once the kings were disbearded by him and his men. Then pointing to the irrational monarchs, ‘These,’ said he, ‘are the animals that grazed my field, but I have driven them out; they shall no longer depasture there.’

After that he took up all the beards, and made out of them a mantle for himself that extended from head to heel; and Rhitta was twice as large as any other person ever seen.

After that Rhitta changed Nynniaw and Peibiaw into oxen for the trouble they had caused Albion. They were to stay Oxen for a year and a day, and when the penance was paid they were to meet him on the same field to  have the curse lifted.
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Cyfranc Lludd a Llefelys
Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest

 

With a few altercations of course, consider where Tegid is from.




BELI the Great, the son of Manogan, had three sons, LIudd, and Caswallawn, and Nynyaw; and according to the story he had a fourth son called Llevelys. And after the death of Beli, the kingdom of the Land of Prydain fell into the hands of Lludd his eldest son; and Lludd ruled prosperously, and rebuilt the walls of Caer Lludd, and encompassed it about with numberless towers. And after that he bade the citizens build houses therein, such as no houses in the kingdoms could equal. And moreover he was a mighty warrior, and generous and liberal in giving meat and drink to all that sought them. And though he had many castles and cities this one loved he more than any. And he dwelt therein most part of the year, and therefore was it called Caer Lludd.

Lludd loved Llevelys best of all his brothers, because he was a wise and discreet man. Having heard that the king of Llogres had died, leaving no heir except a daughter, and that he had left all his possessions in her hands, he came to Lludd his brother, to beseech his counsel and aid. And that not so much for his own welfare, as to seek to add to the glory and honour and dignity of his kindred, if he might go to Llogres to woo the maiden for his wife. And forthwith his brother conferred with him, and this counsel was pleasing unto him.

So he prepared ships and filled them with armed knights, and set forth towards Llogres. And as soon as they had landed, they sent messengers to show the nobles of Llogres the cause of the embassy. And by the joint counsel of the nobles of Llogres and of the princes, the maiden was given to Llevelys, and the crown of the kingdom with her. And thenceforth he ruled the land discreetly, and wisely and happily, as long as his life lasted.

After a space of time had passed, three plagues fell on the Land of Prydain, such as none in the islands had ever seen the like of. The first was a certain race that came, and was called the Coranians; and so great was their knowledge, that there was no discourse upon the face of the Island, however low it might be spoken, but what, if the wind met it, it was known to them. And through this they could not be injured.

The second plague was a shriek which came on every Beltane, over every hearth in the Land of Prydain. And this went through people's hearts, and so seared them, that the men lost their hue and their strength, and the women their children, and the young men and the maidens lost their senses, and all the animals and trees and the earth and the waters, were left barren.

The third plague was, that however much of provisions and food might be prepared in the king's courts, were there even so much as a year's provision of meat and drink, none of it could ever be found, except what was consumed in the first night. And two of these plagues, no one ever knew their cause, therefore was there better hope of being freed from the first than from the second and third.

And thereupon King Lludd felt great sorrow and care, because that he knew not how he might be freed from these plagues. And he called to him all the nobles of his kingdom, and asked counsel of them what they should do against these afflictions. And by the common counsel of the nobles, Lludd the son of Beli, went to Llevelys his brother, king of Llogres, for he was a man great of counsel and wisdom, to seek his advice.

And they made ready a war band, and that in secret and in silence, lest that race should know the cause of their errand, or any besides the king and his counselors. And when they were made ready, Lludd and those whom he chose with him. And they began to cleave the way towards Llogres.

And when these tidings came to Llevelys, seeing that he knew not the cause of his brother's war band, he came out  to meet him, and with him was a war band vast of size. And when Lludd saw this, he left all of his war band; and he came to meet his brother, and he likewise came to meet him. And when they were come together, each put his arms about the other's neck, and they welcomed each other with brotherly love.

After that Lludd had shown his brother the cause of his errand, Llevelys said that he himself knew the cause of the coming to those lands. And they took counsel together to discourse on the matter otherwise than thus, in order that the wind might not catch their words, nor the Coranians know what they might say. Then Llevelys caused a long horn to be made of brass, and through this horn they discoursed. But whatsoever words they spoke through this horn, one to the other, neither of them could hear any other but harsh and hostile words. And when Llevelys saw this, and that there was a demon thwarting them and disturbing through this horn, he caused mead to be put therein to wash it. And through the virtue of the mead the demon was driven out of the horn. And when their discourse was unobstructed, Llevelys told his brother that he would give him some insects whereof he should keep some to breed, lest by chance the like affliction might come a second time. And other of these insects he should take and braise in water. And he assured him that it would have power to destroy the race of the Coranians. That is to say, that when he came home to his kingdom he should call together all the people both of his own race and of the race of the Coranians for a conference, as though with the intent of making peace between them; and that when they were all together, he should take this charmed water, and cast it over all alike. And he assured him that the water would poison the race of the Coranians, but that it would not slay or harm those of his own race.

"And the second plague," said he, " that is in thy dominion, behold it is a dragon. And another dragon of a foreign race is fighting with it, and striving to overcome it. And therefore does your dragon make a fearful outcry. And on this wise mayest thou come to know this. After thou hast returned home, cause the Land to be measured in its length and breadth, and in the place where thou dost find the exact central point, there cause a pit to be dug, and cause a cauldron full of the best mead that can be made to be put in the pit, with a covering of satin over the face of the cauldron. And then, in thine own person do thou remain there watching, and thou wilt see the dragons fighting in the form of terrific animals. And at length they will take the form of dragons in the air. And last of all, after wearying themselves with fierce and furious fighting, they will fall in the form of two pigs upon the covering, and they will sink in, and the covering with them, and they will draw it down to the very bottom of the cauldron. And they will drink up the whole of the mead; and after that they will sleep. Thereupon do thou immediately fold the covering around them, and bury them in a kistvaen, in the strongest place thou hast in thy dominions, and hide them in the earth. And as long as they shall bide in that strong place no plague shall come to the Land of Prydain from elsewhere."1

"The cause of the third plague," said he, "is a mighty man of magic, who takes thy meat and thy drink and thy store. And he through illusions and charms causes every one to sleep. Therefore it is needful for thee in thy own person to watch thy food and thy provisions. And lest he should overcome thee with sleep, be there a cauldron of cold water by thy side, and when thou art oppressed with sleep, plunge into the cauldron."2

Then Lludd returned back unto his land. And immediately he summoned to him the whole of his own race and of the Coranians. And as Llevelys had taught him, he bruised the insects in water, the which he cast over them all together, and forthwith it destroyed the whole tribe of the Coranians, without hurt to any of the Llwyddi.

And some time after this, Lludd caused the Land to be measured in its length and in its breadth. And in Caer Modornn he found the central point, and in that place he caused the earth to be dug, and in that pit a cauldron to be set, full of the best mead that could be made, and a covering of satin over the face of it. And he himself watched that night. And while he was there, he beheld the dragons fighting. And when they were weary they fell, and came down upon the top of the satin, and drew it with them to the bottom of the cauldron. And when they had drunk the mead they slept. And in their sleep, Lludd folded the covering around them, and in the securest place he had in Findargad, he hid them in a kistraen. Now after that this spot was called Dinas Emreis, but before that, Dinas Ffaraon. And thus the fierce outcry ceased in his dominions.

And when this was ended, King Lludd caused an exceeding great banquet to be prepared. And when it was ready, he placed a vessel of cold water by his side, and he in his own proper person watched it. And as he abode thus clad with arms, about the third watch of the night, lo, he heard many surpassing fascinations and various songs. And drowsiness urged him to sleep. Upon this, lest he should be hindered from his purpose and be overcome by sleep, he went often into the water. And at last, behold, a man of vast size, clad in strong, heavy armour, came in, bearing a hamper. And, as he was wont, he put all the food and provisions of meat and drink into the hamper, and proceeded to go with it forth. And nothing was ever more wonderful to Lludd, than that the hamper should hold so much.

And thereupon King Lludd went after him and spoke unto him thus. "Stop, stop," said he, "though thou hast done many insults and much spoil erewhile, thou shalt not do so any more, unless thy skill in arms and thy prowess be greater than mine."

Then he instantly put down the hamper on the floor, and awaited him. And a fierce encounter was between them, so that the glittering fire flew out from their arms. And at the last Lludd grappled with him, and fate bestowed the victory on Lludd. And he threw the plague to the earth. And after he had overcome him by strength and might, he besought his mercy. "How can I grant thee mercy," said the king, "after all the many injuries and wrongs that thou hast done me?"

All the losses that ever I have caused thee," said he, "I will make thee atonement for, equal to what I have taken. And I will never do the like from this time forth. But thy faithful vassal will I be." And the king accepted this from him.

And thus Lludd freed the Land of Prydain from the three plagues. And from thenceforth until the end of his life, in prosperous peace did Lludd the son of Beli rule the Land of Prydain. And this Tale is called the Story of Lludd and Llevelys. And thus it ends.
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