Excerpt from Myrddin’s Heir – @myrddinsheir
Extract from Book 1 chapter 57
Gordon found he was standing on an ancient, wooden jetty, next to a moored wooden boat of similar antiquity. The boat was wide enough for three to stand abreast, and long enough to carry the body of a dying king. Spoon-blade oars were fastened to its rowlocks. It had a tall mast and a square, red sail.
The ripples of the oncoming tide broke with a sullen sound on a rock-strewn beach. The sky was grey, the air was still, and no birds sang. “There is magic in this place,” he murmured. It was curious that he felt no fear.
The body he now occupied was of similar proportions to the one he had just left. This one was clad in chainmail so light, so tightly woven and so strong that it might have been crafted by elves from mithril. The light grey mesh was surmounted by a white tunic made from a material with the smooth softness of silk. These were the trappings of a young squire apprenticed to a knight.
The small scabbard strapped to his belt was bereft of the dagger it seemed to have been made to cradle. He wondered if his sense of being safe came from this layer of light armour, or from the torque around his neck. His thoughts, he realised, were in tune with the rhythm that was all around him. There were fairies near: he recognised their cadence, felt their force…
Where there had been no one only moments ago, an old man now stood, silent, at the end of the jetty. He bore a marked resemblance to Gandalf the Grey. Or was he more like Albus Dumbledore…?
Were it not so, I would have told you…
His hair and beard were almost as long as the robe that flowed from his shoulders to the ground. He carried a knotted staff of hard, dark wood. The wrinkles round his eyes appeared to deepen in a smile of welcome. He had the kindest face Gordon had ever seen.
Gordon walked along the jetty to meet him. The old man inclined his head in solemn greeting. “You are most welcome, Torque Wearer and Bearer of the Ring of Light. My name, perhaps, is Myrddin. You may have heard of me…”
Gordon pressed his palms together and bowed in his turn. “I’m afraid not, though I seem to know you, or at least to think I do…”
The old man nodded. “There are many names by which men know me. Too often they have just got in the way. Your coming has long been prophesied. Many in your world have died, waiting…”
He swept his staff around to indicate the forest fringing the beach behind him. “Here in Avalon we do not die. Here in Tír na nÓg we follow old ways. We have been waiting many of your years to welcome you. And now your time draws near…”
Gordon stared up at him. “I’m eleven today.”
“You have much to learn” Myrddin told him, “and I to teach.” He turned from the jetty and began to cross the narrow beach towards a path which ran between tall trees. Gordon followed him, ready as always to learn…
“You may call me a wizard,” Myrddin said. “If so, I am the greatest our two worlds have ever known. I have appeared in many guises, for as long as stories have been told. My names are legion but the power is one. Your world has long had need of it, but now the time has come…”
He smiled down at Gordon. “You are my heir,” he said simply.