SNIPPET FROM CHAPTER ONE
Tan-y-Mynedd suddenly stopped and sat down with a thump on his great haunches. Fortunately for me, by sidestepping intuitively, I avoided being crushed but fell head-over-heels, tripping over a rock jutting up from the cave floor. Tan-y-Mynedd turned his huge head and seeing me sprawled upon the ground, boomed with laughter. Suddenly I felt a strong hand grip my shoulder as its owner lifted me to my feet.
“Well, I never!” A familiar voice sounded.
Even though my ears rang from the fire-dragon’s guffaw at my clumsiness, I recognised the voice instantly. Gathering as much composure as I possibly could after such an
embarrassment, I looked up and there he stood, Fwynedd the Shepherd.
“Crach! How good to see you after so many years, old friend. Do you remember, I told you we would meet again?”
Fwynedd the Shepherd, my guide so many years ago at the beginning of my adventures, patted me on the shoulder. His words reminded me of our last evening together in
the shelter of our cave on my last night in Wales before I became a mute performing dwarf in a travelling circus. Yes, I did remember him telling me we would meet again and here we were at the Council of Blue Stone with The Prophecy still unfurling after so many years.
“Fwynedd!” I exclaimed with joy, as we grasped each other’s wrists in warm welcome. “You certainly did say we would meet again and here we are. You are looking well,
although much older of course!” I laughed.
“I have walked through portals in such timelessness for so long now, Crach, I do not remember the years as they seem to not remember me either.” He smiled with a familiar twinkle in his eye.
The years clearly did not remember him. His hair and legendary beard were now as white as driven snow, curtaining a well-weathered bronzed face. His cheekbones were high and slender, and his face as deeply lined and craggy as the walls of this great cave in which we now stood. With shoulders stooped, Fwynedd the Shepherd seemed less tall than the great height I remembered him to be, but not by much, I will wager. Fwynedd, waving his arm, silently beckoned me to look around at the folk gathered in this sacred place. I had seen the dwarves earlier, of course, seated at the great table. Glancing
around the enormous chamber, I saw at least another two dragons, and I thought maybe I could see a third. I had never seen nor known more than one dragon in my entire life, and that was Tan-y-Mynedd. I mused quietly, wondering how four dragons could be gathered together in the same vicinity, given the dragon has a reputation for being a solitary creature, their propensity to fly into rages and the likelihood that in one puff of a flared nostril they can fall out with themselves without even thinking. This could be very interesting indeed, with four of them under one cave roof! I could not help but titter under my breath at the very prospect of such a thing. I then noticed Carron who was busying himself nattering away to other ravens, all gathered in deep conversation high on a precipice above my head. I did wonder how he had arrived ahead of me – ‘raven magic’!