Back in March, we learn how Pwyll travelled to the Otherworld, and then married the Otherworld princess, Rhiannon. Now we return to their story. Happily married in Dyfed, what further adventures await them…
It was two years since Pwyll had brought Rhiannon home to Dyfed. Two cycles of the seasons had passed over the people’s lives, two mild winters and rich harvests. Pwyll looked over at Rhiannon, quietly weaving by the fire, from where he sat in the high seat. As he looked, spellbound once more by her wonderful beauty, she felt his gaze and smiled impishly back at him.
Marriage to Rhiannon was everything he had imagined and more. She was the perfect companion for him, and the perfect Princess of Dyfed. Their minds ran in the same channels, and they complemented each other’s weaknesses, giving each other advice. She was gracious and warm to the people, a perfect figurehead. He couldn’t be happier.
There was only one cloud marring their joy. Pwyll looked down. He would love to have a miniature version of him or Rhiannon running round their feet, but evidently the gods would not allow that yet.
There was the sound of many hard footsteps across the floor of the hall. Pwyll looked up, startled from his reverie, to meet the stern eyes of his lords. He rose.
“Well, my lords, what may I do for you?”
They all bowed, but their eyes pierced his, proud and defiant. The oldest lord stepped forward, “Lord, we would meet with you, in the most sacred place for official meetings, in the mighty ring of stones in the Preseli mountains.
Pwyll met the eyes of Rhiannon, whose brow furrowed in concern. What do you think?
She shrugged, as if to say, “There can be no harm in it.”
Befuddled as to what could warrant such a serious meeting, Pwyll took the precaution of buckling on his most precious armour before meeting his lords in the stone circle. He took his silver spear and golden helmet and joined his men, looking every bit the picture of a Celtic chieftain, blue eyes like a hawk, his blond hair streaming like a banner.
“Well, my lords,” he announced, “What was so important that I had to come all the way out here?”
He looked round the circle. Each lord’s face was as hard and impenetrable as the grey stones encompassing them. Each was also wearing armour and carrying a spear, and for the first time, Pwyll felt a flicker of fear.
The lord who had spoken before stepped forward, “Lord, the wife you have has not given you an heir, and you are not so young as you were. We request that you take another wife who can give you children, for you cannot always remain in this world, and even if you would like to stay as you are, we will not allow it.”
The circle of men moved towards Pwyll, eyes like spear points.