The knife glimmered as it was pressed down in Bryn’s neck by the large saxon warrior. Bryn did not have enough time to react and felt himself fall forwards from the chock and pain. In the brief moment that it took for him to plummet to the earth he watched as his brothers Cadwellon, Ceiwyn and Edern was stabbed in similar ways by the saxon guests.
“This is it,” he thought as his body hit the cold ground. “I should have seen this coming.”
He felt the warm blood form a puddle under him as his vision started to blur. First darkness surrounded him, then his hearing faltered. He filled his lungs and smelled the grass, then didn’t. The last thing that left him was the taste of blood in his mouth.
He was dead.
Murdered at a feast on the holiest of places. A feast, for peace.
And then, he awoke together with his brothers. Within the inner circle of Stonehenge, with the stars watching closely, they stared at the lady who had awoken them. The queen of crows had granted them until sunrise, if they pledged their bloodlines to her cause.
Edern was distraught by his daughter’s horrible death and was not listening to the lady’s proposal. Therefore, Bryn called out to him and begged him to bury his grief for now so that they could fight to save their living children. Thus they swore on their blood that their heirs would answer the queen’s call seven times.
There was no doubt in Bryn’s mind as took the oath. To save his family he was prepared to do anything, and he had never felt his inner fire burn this clearly or strongly as they rode together through the darkness, fighting endless numbers of saxons to get to Hillfort.
When Bryn saw the dead bodies of Cælia and their son Coalan within the hall of Chillmark he felt despair and rage in ways before unknown to him. Like nothing else in this world besides his brothers, his family was all to him. Pain searing in is heart Bryn splintered the closest table with his sword. Now it was Edern’s turn to convince him to go on. Reminding him of the three children he still had.
In the forest of gloom, he found the two younger of the children scared but alive. Emogen had hid in the cave by the glade they found but a day before. To see her unharmed was the most relieving thing Bryn had felt that night. She was such a mirror of her mother, and knowing that in this way Cælia was still with them, Bryn regained some of his hope. He found Melkin under the roots of a tree together with Gamon, Edern’s youngest and Bryn knew that his legacy was saved. It was his own eyes that stared up at him in the dark as he carried the boy back to the cave. So he knew, that even if the boy might be too young to remember his father, at least the tie between them was strong.
“I will look through you eyes,” he murmured to the boy when they entered the cave.
Of what had happened to Ennis Bryn couldn’t get a clear answer in the brief time he had before the saxons came. They lined up, Bryn, Ceiwyn, Cadwellon and Edern, as thirty bloodthirsty fighters came towards the cave.
Never had they fought as ferociously as that last fight. Bryn felt the very essence of his soul strain itself to the fullest as he hacked and slashed at the enemies before him. Seven saxon warriors fell at Bryn’s feet before he slaughtered the leader of the group.
“You will all die,” he bit of between shut teeth as he drove his sword through the mans thorax. “You cannot cut me down. Not until sunrise, and by then you will all be dead.”
Dawn came, and none stood but for the cymric brothers defending their children and wives in the cave behind them. Bryn managed to laugh as the he first light of the day shined down on them in the glade. Although they were drenched in blood, and soon to be gone, his delight was immeasurable. He was grateful that they had shared the final battle and could leave this earth together with their remaining parts of their families safe. There was no fear as he stretched out his hand towards the others, and the banner men joined hands a last time as the promise was fulfilled.
They started to bleed and Bryn managed to glance over his shoulder and smile back at his children a last time.
“Take care of each other,” was his last words.