So Finndragon had cursed the Kingdom of Morgannwg and the cowardly Myrddin had fled leaving me with no master wizard to teach me the finer arts of wizardry. The few lessons that Myrddin had taken the time to teach me hardly stood me in good stead to progress to the position of a powerful wizard that I so craved.
You may wonder as to what exactly makes a wizard. Truly great wizards, such as Finndragon, are born with magic coursing through their veins, whilst others have to learn the art over a very long period from their master. It would take even great wizards many years to attain the incredible power of one such as Finndragon, who is probably the greatest that there has ever been. It is said that although he was an old man, he had been able to cast a spell on himself in his later years that had virtually stopped the march of time for him. Thus he had now lived at least five lifetimes. Unfortunately I fall into the latter category and I now had no master, but I had at least learnt from Myrddin that there are four main aspects to creating a spell:
1) You need a good book of spells. Every wizard has at least one book of spells. Sometimes a book is passed down from a master wizard to his apprentice, but I had been left with Myrddin's as he had no time to collect his belongings before fleeing.
2) A good stock of ingredients for the potions and lotions required to perform a spell are essential. A wizard may take a lifetime gathering all the necessary items to be able to cast any number of spells. Again I was fortunate enough to have been left with everything that had once been Myrddin's.
3) A successful wizard must be able to incantate the relevant spell in a tone suitable for that spell, taking great care to pronounce each word clearly. Alas I had not had anywhere near enough tuition in this important aspect of spell casting. Myrddin had told me on more than one occasion that a spell spoken in the wrong tone could lead to all manner of unexpected and unwanted results. I was to learn at first hand, and on many occasions, how easy it is to get a spell totally wrong just by using the wrong quality of voice.
4) Most importantly, a wizard has to be able to harness the many spirits that are always around us, but are never seen. Spirits that most people will never even know exist. There are good spirits, bad spirits and even mischievous spirits who take a great delight in having fun with a novice wizard. At least Myrddin had helped me to channel my will onto these spirits by giving me what looked like a plain small pebble. I was very surprised at how much importance he had placed upon the simple stone. "When casting a spell it is essential that you focus all of your power into the stone," he had told me during my third and final lesson before he decamped. "Always keep the stone about your person and never let anyone else know that you have it!" So I threaded a thin leather strap through a small hole that seemed ready made for such a purpose and hung it around my neck, the strap long enough to let the stone fall below my tunic and remain out of sight. Unfortunately he didn't explain exactly why this stone was required. It was only when I first tried to cast spells that I realised that this was no ordinary stone as it started to pulsate and began to glow a bright red colour. This was repeated every time I tried to use my magic, but glowing different colours each time.
So here was I, left high and dry, in a world plunged into the bowels of the earth. King Dafydd soon sought me out, hopeful that I may have learnt enough from Myrddin to be of some service to him. He quickly realised that I would be of no use and I was left to my own devices.
For centuries I tried to teach myself the craft of magic, but without even the slightest encouragement of a wholly successful spell, until one day I was visited by a strange group of children. The day that I met Emma, Megan and Scott was the day that I at last started to fulfil the potential that until then only I believed that I had.