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    Andy78
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Ddraig-Cyfrinachau - 2. Chapter 2

With the formalities over and done with, the council session was dismissed and its members went about their business. The head of the council, Giles Wynstanley, asked Thomas to join him for his evening meal.

Giles Carruthers Wynstanley the Third was unusually young to be leading the council, having only recently celebrated his thirty eighth birthday - his predecessor was sixty four when she was named as head of the council, and the one before her was seventy one. He is English by birth, but had spent most of his youth abroad and moved to the Mynydd Pen-Y-Fal sanctuary seven years ago. He had attended high school in Geneva, colleges in Stockholm and Melbourne, and universities in both Prague and Barcelona. He holds undergraduate honours degrees in classical studies, modern history, and politics; post-graduate masters degrees in history and Egyptology; a PhD in comparative religions, and he is currently studying for his second PhD, this one in Celtic mythology. He is also fluent in twelve modern languages and nine ancient languages, ten if you include the ancient language of the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau.

“Thomas, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you before your training proper begins. There are numerous things you need to know and learn, but we will take them one step at a time; after all your own father’s initial training lasted nearly one full year. There has been more and more emphasis placed upon the knowledge, as opposed to the skills, of the individual, as the role of Ceidwadwy has changed over the centuries. That is one of the main reasons why I was able to persuade the council to grant you your birthright.”

“How has the role changed? My father told me what he could; what little he was allowed to tell me, since I was still a minor.”

“In the beginning, in fact even up until five hundred years ago, there were literally hundreds of dragons, with dozens of eggs to be cared for. The Ceidwadwy was more like a dragon farmer, than a true protector of the eggs; after all a mother dragon was a most formidable creature when her offspring were threatened. However, as the stories of the existence of dragons and false rumours of their malice and evil spread across what is today called Europe, fear and panic was rife and it spread like wildfire. Whilst the general populous typically scoffed at such stories (‘Flying sea serpents that breathe fire indeed!’), monarchs, clergy and even army generals were more than ready to believe the worst. There were more than a few serious attempts made at capturing or killing dragons; there were also several major battle campaigns led against the dragons with the stated intention of the wholesale slaughter of the species. So as you can imagine, in the old days the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau, and the role of the Ceidwadwy in particular, was quite militaristic; he or she was expected to be well versed in numerous forms of both armed and unarmed combat.

“Today however, the dragons are all but extinct. There was a mass extinction of the species sometime in the 1600s, but the reason or reasons for it are unknown. There have been guesses and suppositions as to the cause but nothing concrete; the most logical argument postulated thus far is that the dragons were unusually susceptible to the Bubonic Plague, and it was the Great Plague that hit Britain during the 1660s that was the primary cause of their extinction.”

“How come there are only guesses? Why does nobody know for certain?”

“It seems that the council, and our clerics at the time, were more concerned with their own survival and that of the dragons’ eggs, than with documenting any evidence of the extinction. You also need to remember that the mass extinction occurred around the same time as the discovery of the tomb of Yddraigfawr; I’m quite sure that they were more than a little preoccupied with the excavation of the tomb, and the documentation of their findings. However, the lack of documented evidence of the extinction has left us with far more questions than answers.

“The egg you are holding is all that remains of probably the most majestic creatures that ever inhabited, or will ever inhabit, this planet. Thankfully, the general populous has long since relegated the dragon to the realms of mythology, and so the military threat that once existed has all but disappeared. Now with just the one egg left of an entire species, our order is now far more concerned with preserving our history and our knowledge. It was your father’s responsibility to protect this egg at all costs. Now that you are Ceidwadwy, that responsibility is yours.”

“What do I do if it starts hatching?”

“Don’t worry Thomas, it won’t. That egg is only about a hundred years old. It won’t hatch on you, or the next Ceidwadwy, or probably even the three who follow. The dragon remains in the egg, in its larval form, for at least two hundred and fifty years. There has not been a hatching in living memory.” Giles looked across the table at Thomas, and sensed that the boy who had not yet turned sixteen had something on his mind. “I know that everything I have told you is a lot to take in, but you’ll do fine.”

“It’s not that. Not exactly.”

“What do mean?”

“My dad had my mum to lean on for years, and after her death he was able to share some of his concerns with me. I have no kith or kin to speak of –”

“You are worried about where you will live?”

Thomas shook his head. “That has already been taken care of. My best friend Alex Munroe’s mum has said she will take me in and I can live with her until I am old enough to live on my own. And that’s where my problem is.”

“I think I understand. You will be living with these people, yet constantly keeping a secret from them. However, it is a secret which you are well aware you must keep.”

“I know. I had hoped to find a way to at least be able to tell Alex, if not his mum. He and I have become so close over the years. We’ve told each other everything, and we’ve never kept secrets from each other, except this one teensy-weensy dragon-related secret. I even went through the entire legal archives to see if there was a way to be able to tell him. I couldn’t even tell him where I am or what I am doing here. We had just buried my dad and all I could tell him was I had to go away for a few days.”

“You really must feel like you need to share this secret, but as you surely must know the secret can only be shared with your immediate family?”

“I know. It’s just that this feels such a monumental responsibility for a fifteen year old to take on without the support of those closest him.”

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

While Thomas and Giles were having their dinner and their conversation, the First Servant of Yddraigfawr was in his chambers dealing with correspondence from his respective First Servants in The Isle of Man and Brittany. They were both requesting to come and view the original Ddraig Llyfr, in order that they would be able to compare their respective Manx and Breton texts with the original.

The problem with the Ddraig Llyfr is the same problem with many religious texts – it had been handed down by word of mouth for generations until it was finally put into writing. The Ddraig Llyfr has also been translated and re-translated and re-translated so many times into so many different languages, nobody can be one hundred percent sure of the truth anymore. The only copy left of the Ddraig Llyfr in the ancient language is kept in a maximum-security vault in the Pen-Y-Fal sanctuary under armed guard. The original hasn’t been looked upon in two hundred years, let alone read from.

It is only by written permission of the First Servant of Pen-Y-Fal that the original can be viewed, and in spite of him receiving several requests a year to view the text, the First Servant had always refused to grant permission. However, with the dragons all but gone, the First Servant had noticed the fragmentation among the Celtic sects widening. He had seen even the most devout followers of the old ways renouncing the dragon, their children were no longer told the old stories or the old ways, and so he had reluctantly decided to grant permission for the viewing in the hope of preserving the cult of dragons.

The rise of the modern day Brythonic and Goidelic Celtic languages (the births of which are estimated to have started around 600 BC), saw the first serious fracturing of the order of the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau. The problem arose because the various Celtic orders translated the Ddraig Llyfr into their own language from each other’s version as opposed to from the original. The Welsh had initially translated their version from the original, so was probably the most accurate modern language version; though even their version has been translated through Primitive Welsh, Old Welsh, Middle Welsh, and then in the mid 1500s into Modern Welsh. However, the Manx version is translated from the Cornish, which was based on their translation from the Cumbric (a now extinct language), which was based on the Old Welsh, and in Heaven’s name quite where the Breton version was translated from is anyone’s guess; they don’t even know themselves.

The Ddraig Llyfr, in its original form, is written in a language called Proto-Indo-European (which the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau terms ‘the ancient language’; though the reasons how this came about are lost in the sands of time, especially since there are languages that are older than Proto-Indo-European that the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau uses). The language was spoken from what is today France to as far east as India and Pakistan, to as far north as the Baltic countries. It ultimately gave rise to those modern day Celtic languages such as Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Irish Gaelic, and Breton, as well as numerous modern day Baltic, Middle Eastern and Asian languages. Although Proto-Indo-European, as a language in its own right, has been suggested to be as much as twelve thousand years old, the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau scholars have actually placed the estimate of its origins at nearer six thousand years ago. However, they do have the huge advantage of having vast reams of writings both in the original Celtic languages and those languages which pre-date the modern languages, and where those texts are also accurately dated, it has allowed the order to track the evolution and the ancestry of their own languages. The world’s linguists would sell their souls to the devil if they could only get to see a glimpse of what is stored in just the Pen-Y-Fal archives.

Since this was the first time he had ever granted permission for the original Ddraig Llyfr to be viewed, he also sent letters of invitation to the First Servants of the other Celtic sects. The original Ddraig Llyfr came to be housed at the Pen-Y-Fal sanctuary since it has always been passed from father to son; however, the current First Servant has no children, so what will happen to the sacred text upon his passing is unknown, as there is no precedent of a First Servant being childless.

After a quick rethink the First Servant decided to extend his invitation to the other dragon sects scattered around Europe. Although the other sects do not worship Yddraigfawr (as she is a pure Celtic demi-god), they do have their own dragon mythologies and deities; the Greeks have Typhon; the Hungarians have Sárkány; the Albanians have Dragua.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

“Alex, what’s up?”

“It’s Thomas. I’m really worried about him, mum. He’s only just buried our . . . his dad, and he runs off to God knows where, to do God alone knows what, on some secret errand that he can’t or won’t tell even me about. I just thought we were closer than that. We’ve shared so much with each other, we’ve told each other everything. I just thought . . . .”

“Honey, you talk about him keeping something secret from you, but you’re also keeping a secret from him.”

“What are you talking about? I’ve never kept anything from him, he’s my closest friend.”

“I’m talking about the fact that you’re in love with him.” The bluntness of his mother’s statement surprised him. He had never told her that he was gay or how he truly felt about Thomas.

“Mum . . . how . . . how long have you known? How have you known?”

“I’ve suspected since you were about twelve. It’s hard to put into words. It’s the way you look at him sometimes, the way how you light up when you see him. I was waiting for you to tell me yourself, but I can see how this is tearing you apart.”

“I love him mum, so much that sometimes it hurts. But what hurts more is I know he’ll never love me. He loves me like a friend, like a brother, but not in the way I want him to.”

Discuss the story here

Copyright © 2012 Andy78; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

I kind of really really want them to be wrong about the dragon hatching...

 

Also I feel for the boys. They have no idea what's going on around them. Thanks for the update!

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On 03/27/2012 07:29 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
I kind of really really want them to be wrong about the dragon hatching...

 

Also I feel for the boys. They have no idea what's going on around them. Thanks for the update!

Thanks for reading.

 

As the egg is the crux of the story, you may have some time to wait to find what happens with it. But keep reading and you'll find out.

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On 06/12/2012 06:18 PM, Nephylim said:
Another very interesting chapter. The factual information was fascinating
Thanks for continuing to review. The history aspects have been well received by others, so I'm glad to have another fan.
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On 09/13/2012 05:02 AM, Taliesin69 said:
I'd love to see the dragon hatch. I also like the factual stuff.
:lol: Everyone wants to see the dragon egg hatch :lol:

 

But nice to have another history fan along for the ride.

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