Is this curse thing a load of old infertile bullocks, you might be entitled to ask? Myths, legends, fairy tales, folk lore; there can be no, or very little, truth in all that nonsense. But throughout time there have been stories of Giants, Banshees, Cyclops, Minotaurs, Phoenix and Griffins, to name but a few.
When I was a young lad; well I'm still a young lad, but what I mean is that a long time ago Finndragon's Curse really did happen. I can just about remember the day that majestic Castell y Mynydd was completed. It was a glorious summer's day and the wonderful sun shone down and blessed all of the people in the Kingdom of Morgannwg. The wonderful Welsh realm had been ruled by King Dafydd, who was widely known as The Defiant. This was due to the way that he had been able to repel all would be attackers from the other side of what today is called Offa's Dyke, for many years. But that King Offa had a cheek trying to claim that he had constructed the whole of the dyke.
For two centuries before that, Dafydd's magician Finndragon had raised an earthen barrier that protected the whole of
Morgannwg from attacks from the east. And I should know because I, Gwayne, was there that amazing day to watch the mighty wizard lift his hands to the sky. I looked on in wonder as he strained every sinew in his body as the ground shook and then sprung up before my very eyes. That was the day that I knew that I too would one day be a mighty wizard! Offa may have continued that dyke to the north and the south, but a large section was already there before him.
So Morgannwg was well protected and so were its people who dwelt in and around the almighty castle. Soon after, I got my wish to be a wizard, well an apprentice wizard; you have to start somewhere, don't you? I was taken on by Myrddin, who was still quite young himself, but I soon came to realise that he too was a very powerful maker of magic. It was with great excitement that I began my apprenticeship; I expected to be performing all manner of wonderful spells, but alas, all that I was allowed to do for almost two years was collect ingredients for Myrddin's spells. It was absolutely awful, I can tell you!
OK, there must have been some good times, but all that I can remember is the dirty, smelly jobs that I had to do. If you've never stood behind a cow in calf, who's about to give birth, then you probably don't know what I mean. And if you've never had to scrape bat dung from the floor of a cave, then you would find it hard to place yourself in my shoes.
But I loyally followed all of Myrddin's orders, with the promise that he would soon start my tuition in magic and wizardry. It was about that time that Finndragon got banished from Morgannwg and Myrddin got the job of Court Wizard. I couldn't believe my luck; here was I, Gwayne, about to become apprentice to the King's wizard. I only had to bide my time, obey my master and one day.... yes one day it would be mine.
I have to admit that I hardly paid any attention to that old curse, you know the one where Finndragon warned that unless his exile was lifted, he would sink the Kingdom of
Morgannwg into the earth and all that. I was just so excited that I would be living in the palace with Myrddin and our king. But that no good Myrddin had no intention of taking me into the palace with him. He made me look after his dwelling and all of his lotions and potions whilst he lived it up with the nobles and the gentry. He may have occasionally given me a little instruction in the art of wizardry, but I was not progressing as well as I had hoped.
More than once I told Myrddin that I had had enough and no longer wanted to be his apprentice, but he wouldn't let me go, threatening to turn me into all manner of unmentionable and unimaginable creatures. So there I stayed until the fateful day that Finndragon's Curse befell my beloved land.
It was exactly a year after Finndragon’s banishment, with a full moon in the beautiful night sky, that a terrible storm came up from nowhere, right in the middle of the Feast of August. Suddenly everything was in pitch darkness except for Castell y Mynydd, which was illuminated by a single shaft of moonlight. Every fire and light within the castle was extinguished by the howling wind and the lashing rain. The waters in the moat began to bubble and boil and the ground began to shake.
Myrddin's magic was not yet powerful enough to stop Finndragon’s Curse as he had claimed. So the coward saved himself by turning into a hawk and he flew away before the kingdom sank into the earth, and a mountain rose up above the spot where it had stood, but Dafydd and everyone and everything else weren’t so lucky.
Well that's Finndragon's Curse for you; believe it to be a legend if you will. But beware, because Finndragon still lives and his demons persecute us all and we are only just beneath your very feet!