King of the May (excerpt) – Chapter 1

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CHAPTER 1

Prologue
Creiddylad knelt at her father’s feet and waited for his response. She surreptitiously watched from her humbly lowered eyes, the subtle smile that was normally on her face hidden from his sight.

Lludd, King of Britain, stiffened in his great seat in his private audience chamber. “Can this possibly be true? The wizards were right that rock-wights made the ways we use, and my son Gwyn knows this and keeps it from me?”

“He’s found a method of controlling the elementals, father,” she said, rubbing salt into the wound. “I fear my friend Madog paid with his life when he challenged Gwyn’s authority.” The fact that Madog had been experimenting with them, had even kidnapped a young one, was carefully omitted.

Lludd ruminated on this treacherous and independent son. Prince of Annwn, indeed. Only by my will, he reminded himself. It was time he took that back and made something more useful out of him. Annwn would be better served by an ambitious deputy who owed everything to him, one who had proven his loyalty.

It would be a shame to hurt him too badly, but he could always breed other children. That’s what they were there for, after all—the glory of his line.

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