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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.
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The Ddraig-Cyfrinachau - 7. Chapter 7

Bryn followed the archaeology team closely for the next three days.

 

To: Council Leader Elizabeth Mary Tollin

From: Ceidwadwy Bryn Jones

Date: The nineteenth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

The docent here at Yddraigfawr’s tomb has informed me that The Second Marker remains intact. He has claimed that the Council did not issue orders to have the Second Marker destroyed; I do not know whether to believe him or not.

I had thought the Council to be more diligent, I would suggest a thorough review of orders issued by the Council of the time to ensure that there was total compliance with orders issued. I realise this review will need to wait until the current crisis has been resolved, but it should be tabled to the next Council session.

The mystic powers he has told me that these two stones contain is shocking. I have read nothing of this in the Council’s archives, so I don’t know whether his claims are factual, or if they the stuff of myths and legends handed down by the priesthood. Though I have seen much in my thirty eight years as Ceidwadwy, so cannot simply dismiss his claims. Do these Markers really grant the bearer’s heart protection from being read by the spirit of Yddraigfawr? I hope not.

The archaeology team have been mapping out the local area, but in spite of them conducting an extensive search, they have not located The Second Marker.

The situation continues to be monitored.

May the grace and benevolence of Yddraigfawr smile upon the success of this mission.

 

 

To: Agent Jason Talides

From: Ceidwadwy Bryn Jones

Date: The nineteenth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

Professor Childs and her team remain under close observation. You have performed your duties well in alerting us to the situation.

She will not succeed in her sacrilege.

 

 

To: Council Leader Elizabeth Mary Tollin

From: Ceidwadwy Bryn Jones

Date: The twentieth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

The weather here is becoming a serious concern. The snow stopped briefly late last night, however it resumed a few hours ago with a vengeance. I have never seen the weather this bad, and I fear this to be a dark omen from Yddraigfawr.

The archaeology team have extended the size of the ground in their search for The Second Marker; they are now searching as far away as Great Missenden and Stoke Mandeville.

It seems that Professor Childs translation from The First Marker may well have been inaccurate enough to save us; God I hope so.

May the grace and benevolence of Yddraigfawr smile upon the success of this mission.

 

 

To: Thomas Jones

From: Bryn Jones

Date: The twentieth day, of the month of March, in the Year of Our Lord 1922

My eldest son, I must apologise for missing your birthday. Today represents your first step towards becoming a man; today you turn thirteen.

I would give anything to be with you this day, but where I have been sent, and what I must do, I have to believe is for the benefit of our way of life.

No matter what happens this day, no matter what I do this day, no matter what you hear about what happens, I ask that you remember one thing. I love you with as much love as any father has ever given to his child.

I hope to be with you before the end of this month, and with Yddraigfawr as my witness, I promise you my son, with all that I am, that I will make amends for missing this most important of days.

My love and my thoughts are with you as always

 

The afternoon of the twenty first finally saw the end of the snowfall. The Chilterns had been subjected to one hundred and fifteen hours of near constant snowfall; forty three inches of snowfall in five days. Bryn Jones had been awake since five o’clock, and after performing The Morning Ritual resumed his pursuit of Professor Childs and her team.

Bryn heard a loud yell from a nearby thicket. “Professor Childs! I’ve found something!”

From his position, he could tell it was another statue, but he was too far away to identify it. It may have been an ordinary statue that had been located after all there were literally thousands of these statues scattered all over the British Isles. Bryn could not make a move until he was sure it was The Second Marker; intolerable mistakes had been made in the past, mistakes which Bryn had pledged on the lives of his children he would not repeat.

“Let me have look.” Dr Marcon handed the statue to Professor Childs. “I think we’ve found what we have been looking for. See here . . . the writing in the Ogham alphabet.”

“Yes, Professor. Though I don’t recognise the god-form.”

“I can’t be sure, but it looks like Cailleach; a Celtic goddess primarily worshipped in Ireland and Scotland. She is the only Celtic deity I can think of who appears like this; as a cloaked figure similar to how we anthropomorphise Death.”

As soon as he heard the names “Cailleach” and “Ogham”, Bryn knew that The Second Marker had been discovered. He had a brief flashback to his childhood and being told about the Toron-Galar1 Stone which was the original symbol of the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau and a source of great power. Without needing to see the statue up close for himself, he knew that Professor Childs had to be correct; The Second Marker would indeed be a statue of the goddess Cailleach.

Bryn knew he was now faced with the most difficult decision, not just of his time as Ceidwadwy but of his entire life. However, the decision had of course already been made for him. It had been made on that fateful rainy September day; back when Alexandrina Victoria was still on the throne of the United Kingdom not yet having celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, and William Ewart Gladstone served as her prime minister; back when a much younger Bryn Jones had pledged to serve the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau as Ceidwadwy.

Bryn immediately despatched a telegram to the Council informing them of Professor Child’s discovery. He also returned to Yddraigfawr’s tomb and informed the duty docent.

“What do you plan to do about it, Ceidwadwy?”

“What our laws require me to do.”

“You cannot seriously mean the Final Edict! Surely, there are other possibilities? Are you not jumping the gun? Perhaps these people will not be able to decipher The Second Marker?”

“Professor Childs deciphered The First Marker in under three days. The cipher on The Second Marker is not as complex and so she and her team could well be here tomorrow. Do you really want to take that chance?”

“I just think it to be a little extreme. We’ve simply held these kinds of people in one of our sanctuaries until they have died naturally in the past. Can we not do that here?”

“If it was just Professor Childs on her own, then perhaps. However, there are eight of them. How would you propose we abduct eight people without having a small army?”

“I just don’t like the idea of murder.”

“I can sympathise, I don’t like it any more than you do, but needs must when the Devil drives. I will need to be able to dispose of the bodies, and ideas?”

“If it were only one person, I would suggest leaving them on the hillside and it would be assumed they died of hyperthermia. But given that there is a group of them, the only way to ensure they are not found would be to bury them here in the sanctuary. The Chilterns are regularly subjected to archaeological investigation by both professionals and amateurs, and so there would be a high risk of a mass grave being found.”

“That is an idea I find detestable. How dare you have the temerity to suggest such sacrilege!”

“It would not be sacrilege. There is a small section deep within this tomb known as ‘Mae Pwll y Cablwr’, which means ‘The Pit of the Blasphemer’. It has not been used in almost seventy years, but it has served as a burial place for those the Council did not wish to be found. I do not even know who on the Council remembers its existence.”

“I have never been told of this by the Council, but since it has not been used in so long I suppose this is one of place s the Council has tried to forget about. How many are buried there, docent?”

“I do not know. This tomb has stood here for two hundred and eighty years and the ‘The Pit of the Blasphemer’ contains a small dedication dating from two hundred and twelve years ago. So in all this time, given some of the things the Council has done during this time period, there could be thousands of skeletons back there.”

“Make preparations to have eight more added to that tally. I shall return around midnight.”

The docent was shocked at Bryn’s cavalier way of saying he was going off to kill eight people and telling the docent he will be an accomplice before, to and after the fact. The docent was far from stupid; he knew of things that had been done in the name of Yddraigfawr over the millennia. His own father had told him of atrocities he had borne witness to, and of atrocities he had helped to cover up. However, the docent believed that now we were in the twentieth century there would be no more killings, no more covering up killings, no more absolute allegiance to Yddraigfawr; looks like he was mistaken.

Bryn decided to wait until nightfall to act; after all mass murder in broad daylight is likely to draw unwanted attention.

He had kept the team under surveillance for the rest of the day and into the early evening. Even though Bryn knew the entire archaeology team would be dead before the next morning, he was still Ceidwadwy; the Council would expect a full report from him concerning Professor Child’s achievements and a full report the Council would receive.

He overheard conversation after conversation among the team and it became clear that they were about to crack the cipher on The Second Marker. Bryn began to find a new found respect for Professor Childs; after all she had only had The Second Marker for a little over six hours and she was about to crack a two thousand year old code in a language she had never heard spoken aloud before written in an alphabet she never knew existed until a month ago. There were those on the Council who took longer to break some of the ancient codes; even today there still remain dozens of encrypted folios which the Council has not been able to decipher. Material which perhaps hold the deepest secrets of the early Councils; material which perhaps hold the truth about the origin of dragons; material which perhaps even answer that age old question which has plagued the various sects for three thousand years, “Where did Yddraigfawr first appear?”. And here was Bryn, Ceidwadwy, sworn protector of the dragons, their eggs, and the Council, about to take the life of the very person who might just be able to crack those ancient ciphers. Even though he was a devout follower and was well aware of his duty in this matter, the irony of the situation was not lost on him. He was even considering including this observation in his final report the Council; though if he did that then it may very well be his final report the Council.

“Professor Childs, look at this.”

“What is it Mike?”

“Well, this is a statue of a goddess who was primarily worshipped in Scotland and Ireland, it is written in that Ogham alphabet, but the language is being decrypted as Breton. You realise what this implies Professor?”

“I do. Perhaps the similarities among the Celtic languages and Celtic religions run far deeper than a simple shared parent tongue and shared cultural heritage. Perhaps the relationships between the various regions of the Celtic world were far closer in the first millennium AD than our historical records indicate. Perhaps even the writing of the Breton language in an Irish alphabet suggests some kind of formal relationship between these two Celtic peoples.”

“Exactly. Also don’t forget that we found the language on that first statue was Pictish. I’d be amazed if this kind of relationship was limited to these three Celtic groups. I wonder if there was actually some kind of United Nations or something among the various Celtic nations?”

Professor Childs giggled at Mike’s suggestion. “Oh, Mike. You really are priceless. A United Celtic Nations. It does have a nice feel to it, but I seriously doubt it. After all, there would be archaeological evidence of such a formalised relationship wouldn’t there?”

“Perhaps. But bear in mind that we have only just unearthed these two statues which have remained buried for who knows how long. Pictish has been extinct for a thousand years and I seriously doubt anybody has written anything using the Ogham alphabet this side of Charlemagne. What if most of the evidence has simply become lost over time?”

Bryn had heard enough. Professor Childs and this ‘Mike’ she was talking to were beginning to have ideas about things they had no business having ideas about. This conversation only served to reinforce Bryn’s resolve to carry out The Final Edict.

When he set out on this mission he knew that he may be called upon to eliminate the threat to Yddraigfawr, and so he had come prepared.

When he saw the team were preparing their evening meal, he waited for his opening and it finally came. He snuck over to the now unguarded cooking pot and emptied a vial into the stew.

The liquid in the vial was a poison as old as Yddraigfawr Herself. It was called Mae Gwaed y Calon, The Blood of The Heart; supposedly distilled from the blood which had flowed through the hearts of dragons. It was the most poisonous substance known to the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau (if not to the whole of mankind), and it had the huge advantage of being odourless, colourless, tasteless and was undetectable at post mortem by any known methods; the perfect assassination weapon. This poison was relatively slow acting taking about fifteen minutes to kill, but once poisoned, every victim will succumb to its effects as there is no known antidote; and the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau have certainly not devoted any time or resources to developing one.

Bryn sat back in the shadows and watched as the archaeology team under Professor Childs enjoyed their evening meal together. He began calculating how much longer they would take to die as each new symptom became evident.

First came the dry mouth. ‘Twelve minutes to go,’ Bryn thought to himself.

Next came the muscle weakness. ‘Ten minutes to go.’ Bryn watched as the team collapsed, no longer able to stand.

Then the nausea kicked in, and Bryn could hear the dry retching. ‘Eight minutes to go’.

The stomach pains started as he heard the moans and groans coming from the camp. ‘Six minutes to go.’

He knew when the fever had started because he could hear the team complaining about the heat, and from his vantage point he could also see them sweating. "Four minutes left," Bryn said to himself in a barely audible whisper.

When he saw the convulsions start he knew the team only had two minutes left to live. At this point Bryn left his hidey-hole and entered the camp. He made his way over to Professor Childs.

“Professor Childs, my name is Bryn Jones. You and your team have stumbled upon a secret that has been kept hidden for over three millennia.” Gillian Childs lifted her head to the voice, but was unable to speak. “Professor, do not try to speak, just listen. You and your team are dying, and I reckon you have about ninety seconds left. I wanted to let you know what you and your team die for this day, why our great Council has decreed you and your kind are to die. You seen Professor, dragons are real creatures. I am their keeper and the protector of the last remaining dragon egg in existence.”

Professor Child’s eyes were wide, but whether that was from the poison that was slowly killing her, slowly boiling her internal organs as her temperature passed the 105 oF mark, or whether it was from she had just been told Bryn did not know. “Your colleague, Mike I believe his name is, was entirely correct in what he said earlier. There was once a unified Council with representatives from all of the Celtic nations. There is so much more I wish I could tell you, but unfortunately our time is up.”

As Gillian Childs starting taking her final few breaths on this Earth she heard the voice with the Welsh accent saying a prayer for her. The prayer he said for her was based around Psalm 25. It was the traditional prayer used by members of the Ddraig-Cyfrinachau to honour someone who had died for the cause, for a martyr; this was the first time it had ever been said for someone who would be deemed a heretic.

“Heavenly Father, please accept the soul of Professor Gillian Annabelle Rosalyn Childs into Thy tender merciful care. Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up the soul of Gillian Childs. O my God, I trust in Thee to protect her for evermore. Remember not the sins nor the transgressions of Gillian Childs in her youth. According to Thy mercy, remember your faithful servant Gillian Childs. Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving kindnesses. The eyes of Gillian Childs are ever toward Thee, O Lord. In the name of Professor Gillian Annabelle Rosalyn Childs I beseech Thee O Heavenly Father, grant this request. In the name of Your most humble servant Bryn Morgan Jones, I beseech Thee O Heavenly Father, grant this request. Grant the soul of the dearly departed Gillian Annabelle Rosalyn Childs a place in Your Kingdom, and a seat at Your table. Amen.”

 

Story note 1: Toron-Galar is formed from two words. “Toron” which is a contraction of the name “Toronos” (the Celtic god of thunder), and “Galar” which is the Gaelic word for disease (Cailleach was the Celtic goddess of disease and plague)

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

Wow. The scientists' deaths were horrible and I don't like the organization at all at the moment. I don't see how you can justify the brutal murder of eight human beings to protect an idea. I also think the prayer was bullshit. Fuck Brynn for trying to assuage his guilt by offering a prayer for a religion the victims have no idea exists and don't follow. They didn't choose their martyrdom. They were killed by a religious zealot in the name of "god".

 

As you can tell, this chapter was written so well that it elicited a powerful emotional response from me. Your words are wonderful. Thank you for posting.

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Killing in the name of love. "Your most humble servant Bryn Morgan Jones." This is just bigotry and blasphemy. How will the order cope with their lie?

Can't wait to read more.

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On 05/28/2012 02:06 PM, Rebelghost85 said:
Wow. The scientists' deaths were horrible and I don't like the organization at all at the moment. I don't see how you can justify the brutal murder of eight human beings to protect an idea. I also think the prayer was bullshit. Fuck Brynn for trying to assuage his guilt by offering a prayer for a religion the victims have no idea exists and don't follow. They didn't choose their martyrdom. They were killed by a religious zealot in the name of "god".

 

As you can tell, this chapter was written so well that it elicited a powerful emotional response from me. Your words are wonderful. Thank you for posting.

Thanks for continuing to read and review Rebelghost.

 

Yeah, that chapter got a hell of a lot darker and more twisted than I'd planned.

 

I suppose a zealot can justify anything to themselves, even the brutal murder of those eight scientists. Whether it is the whole order or not remains to be seen.

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On 05/28/2012 05:40 PM, Dolores Esteban said:
Killing in the name of love. "Your most humble servant Bryn Morgan Jones." This is just bigotry and blasphemy. How will the order cope with their lie?

Can't wait to read more.

Thanks for continuing to read and review Dolores.

 

How the order will cope with this, I suppose depends on whether the entire order sanctioned these events or not.

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The Cailleach is my favourite goddess. She who tears down so that new growth may sprout up. Not as violent at the Mhorrigan, more natural... which, after all death is.

Can the deaths be justified? In a way, I suppose it depends on how you view death. Many Celtic deities/demi gods can be considered to be violent and immoral but it depends on your own particular moral code and what you justify to yourself. I have no problem with accepting the deaths were necessary. Cruel, yes but necessary in the progression of the story and the myth,

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On 06/12/2012 06:34 PM, Nephylim said:
The Cailleach is my favourite goddess. She who tears down so that new growth may sprout up. Not as violent at the Mhorrigan, more natural... which, after all death is.

Can the deaths be justified? In a way, I suppose it depends on how you view death. Many Celtic deities/demi gods can be considered to be violent and immoral but it depends on your own particular moral code and what you justify to yourself. I have no problem with accepting the deaths were necessary. Cruel, yes but necessary in the progression of the story and the myth,

Since starting this story, I've done a bit of reading on the various gods and goddesses, and hope I have managed to be accurate concerning their mythologies.

 

I've received a few PMs concerning this chapter, and not all constructive, so I thank you for your review of this chapter.

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I'm in shock. That was such a brutal death scene. I think this shows that there is a darker side of the Council, and must be a shock to poor Thomas.

 

But really well written.

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On 09/13/2012 05:20 AM, Taliesin69 said:
I'm in shock. That was such a brutal death scene. I think this shows that there is a darker side of the Council, and must be a shock to poor Thomas.

 

But really well written.

The Council definitely had a darker side, and I think this chapter came as a big shock to a lot of readers.

 

I'd like to explore this darker side to the Council, so who knows what's coming up.

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