The Tale of Lleu, Chapter V: Litha

hopeless-romanticAnd so, by his marriage to Blodeuwedd, Lleu Llaw Gyffes would become a man at last. The day dawned, and each were prepared in all finery to be wed to the other, Earth and Sun, joined as one. Deep in the wildwood was a sacred grove, and there they were married, a bond which no fate of Arianrhod could ever break, or so thought Gwydion.

King Math the Ancient, great-uncle to the groom, raised a glass of the finest mead, saying;

“As Lord and King of the Realm of Gwynedd, I bestow upon this union of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, the Lion With A Steady Hand, and his wife, Blodeuwedd, the Maiden of Flowers, dominion over the finest three cantrefs in all the land, that of Dinodig, and of Eifionydd, and of Ardudwy, and of the palace of Muir-Y-Castell, to reign there forever as King and Queen of Summer’s Light. May the warmth of summer be forever upon your faces and in your hearth and hearts!”

Many other gifts were given Lleu and Blodeuwedd, from all those in attendence, and a great merry celebration was had by all. There was feasting and dancing, and drink flowed like fountains.

But before it was time for bride and groom to grant boons to their subject, there came thrice the rapping of a cane upon the ground. Before them bent and stooped an old woman, wrapped in tatters, her face covered by shadow.

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“I bring a gift for the young lad and his bride,” croaked the hooded crone. “Do they accept my offering, on this happy day?”

“We do, and graciously so!” replied the young Lleu.

“Then mind you listen carefully,” she said, “For mine is the gift of Prophecy that I bring you today!”

The crowd sat in stunned silence, listening intently to her ominous words. From the folds of her rags, she produced a stack of cards, wrinkled with time and use. Her yellow nails grasped a card, and hands shaking, she laid it upon the earth.

 

“The Great Magickian,”  she croaked, and more cards fell.

“And his son!”

“The fairest maiden!”

“Joined as one!”

tumblr_mbmg4lEwb81r1hfd1o1_500“But alas, the Wheel of Fortune turns!”

“From Summer’s Light, to darkness.”

“For even when the Sun is at it’s greatest, it must then decline!”

“I see a Great Tower!”

“And false expectations!”

“Ah, here it is. Deceit! Which no marriage can survive!”

“At last…”

“DEATH! DEATH!”

13_Death_originalGwydion and Math both stood, and the men-at-arms were called for.

“Enough! We have heard quite enough of your wizened words and false prophecy, old woman! Men, seize her! Get you gone, crone!” cried Gwydion.

As the guards moved close to remove the woman, she brought her cane down and smote the ground with a flash.

Naught remained where she had stood, but her final words echoed in the empty air;

“I bear one final gift of prophecy. One final gift, from the Mother Forgotten! I bear the gift! In the brightest light does the seed of darkness germinate. I bear it! I yield it! I name it! Gronw!”

This is not the end of the story, by any means. Oh, it is but another beginning. But that is another tale, for another time!

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