Crach Ffinnant – Stronghold of Illusion – Volume Five – Snippet

The tide of the Dragon turned, and by the spring of 1404 Owain’s army seized the castles of Criccieth, Aberystwyth, and Harlech. Henry’s men still in Wales were either dead, in chains, or changed sides and joined the Welsh to avoid the axe. Winter past was harsh, with freezing temperatures and deep snow preventing engagement and conflict for nearly three months, but our warriors rested and prepared for an onslaught against English strongholds. Owain and Tudur, together with their captains used the time well, drawing a strategy designed to punch holes in the English defenses. As new buds sprung to life, fresh attacks on English fortresses surged forth with haste and great force. Experience of past encounters demonstrated how lackadaisical and unprepared Henry’s men are, and they had not changed one iota.  The castles of Criccieth, Aberystwyth, and Harlech fell into our hands without too much difficulty, once again the element of surprise crumbling enemy soldiers into death and submission. Owain agreed to send a messenger if in need of my counsel, no summons came, but news of seizing the castles did.

I spent the winter months with Gwydion the dwarf on his farm. This would one day become my home. He told me last summer, I would inherit it all when he passed, including all the land and the magical hollow where ‘Ffliwt y Ddraig’ the dragon flute came into being. It was the first time in many years through this current winter, my life was truly my own, prophetic responsibilities shelved for a little while. Time is a healer, of this there can be no argument. Very tired, and worn out physically and emotionally after the last three years, I welcomed peace and tranquillity as the earth welcomes a warm sun. Hard work still continued at the farm irrespective of the season and the bitter cold held a way of refreshing the self whilst chilling me to the bone. Gwydion shared many stories as I did with him, and we spent wintry evenings sitting in front of a roaring blaze sipping sweet mead.


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