Episode 1: Gwenyth Bynon of Llangollen
How I managed to miss Sir Henry clanking through the chambers that lead to my cavern, I certainly do not know. It was quite a surprise, considering his lavish costume, but when I get busy, I can just tune the entire world out. Mair teases me to no end about that!
He was dressed from head to toe in a lovely suit of armor that had been polished to a mirror surface. The edges were trimmed with copper and his breast plate was painted with a forest green fleur-de-lis. His jackal head shaped helm had been made by Glamorgan's finest smith.
I had just set the kettle to boil and was running in a hundred different directions (as is my way at parties), making sure my guests were comfortable and had something to eat.
"Oh, goodness!" I gasped and put a claw to my heart. "You gave me such a shock."
Henry said nothing for a moment, and when he did, he sounded so terribly formal. I had heard that southerners were that way, so it did not really surprise me. "I have come to slay you, dragon!"
"Dragon? Oh, I'm so terribly sorry. Where are my manners today?" I apologized with a smile. I gave him my best curtsy and started over with an introduction. "My name Gwenyth Bynon, but you may call me Gwen, everybody does."
Henry stuttered for a moment and opened his visor. He had handsome, green eyes and a ruddy mustache. His complexion looked a bit pale and I guessed him to be shy. "I am Sir Henry of the land of Glamorgan..."
"The south! I knew it." I was so excited that I could not help interrupting. "I've never met a southerner before, and certainly never a knight." I blushed bright yellow and put my claws over my mouth. "Oh, please forgive. Whatever can I do for you, Sir Henry." I batted my eyes and waited for him to continue.
"The king has sent his four bravest knights to the corners of the land," he explained and waited for me to see where he was leading. When he saw that I was confused he continued. "Sir Richard to Porthmadog, Sir George to Pendine, Sir Arthur to Ebbw Vale, and myself here to Llangollen... to slay you."
"Oh, what unfortunate timing," I exclaimed. "I only wish I had known. Mair and Bronwen are already here."
Mair peeked around the corner and I waved her closer. "Mair, come here. You must meet Sir Henry. The king has sent him to slay me!"
"What a lovely sword!" she gasped. "Would you mind?" she said, taking it from his hand. "Gwen, dear, did you see the workmanship on this sword? It is absolutely spiffing."
Henry stared at Mair for the longest time. I can't really blame him. She is a stunning creature. Her scales are a deep ruby red and in the sunlight they gleam like wet paint. She is slim in the waist and her wide wings are jet black. Not that I'm jealous of my best friend, mind you.
"And this handle! Did you see the intricate wire work?" Mair brought it closer and held it to the light.
"Oh yes, indeed," I had to agree. "You must think us so provincial, Sir Henry. We've always heard about the Glamorgan artisans, but I've never actually seen any of their works before." I slapped my forehead. "Mair Lloyd, this is Sir Henry. Sir Henry this is Mair, the Dragon of Ebbw Vale."
"Actually, I'm from Nantynglo," she explained. "It's a little village just outside of Ebbw Vale. You really must come and visit if you are ever in Gwent."
"Bronwen, come here and meet Sir Henry," I called.
"Sir Henry? Why, what lovely armor!" she said.
"Yes, and you must see his sword," Mair added.
"This is a real work of art," Bronwen said, turning the delicate weapon over in her large claws.
"Sir Henry said that the king himself sent Sir Richard to slay you in Porthmadog," I told her. "It was Sir Richard, wasn't it, Sir Henry?"
"Yes, ma'am," he managed.
"Oh, goodness no! I didn't even tidy up before I flew here," Bronwen said, clapping her claws to her charcoal colored cheeks. "How very embarrassing."
"Pish. If I know you, you could probably eat off your floors." To Henry I explain, "Bronwen has a lovely crag in the mountains. You can see the sea from her nest."
Bronwen blushed and tugged at the knight's arm, trying to lead him back to the dining room. "You must have had an exciting journey. Tell us about it, please?"
Henry's cheeks grew rosy. "I haven't come here to tell stories. I've come to slay a dragon."
"Oh, that's right." Presently, the kettle began to whistle. "Botheration! Let me get that. Why don't you slay Mair, Sir Henry?"
Mair sighed. "I don't want to sound like a stick-in-the-mud, but I just flew in from the Rhondda. I really am quite exhausted. Why don't you slay Bronwen instead?"
"Oh, no. I couldn't," Bronwen giggled, covering her face with her claws. "Besides, it just wouldn't be right. We're only guests, after all."
"Oh, very well. Why don't you slay me after tea, Sir Henry?" Bronwen lead him away and twittered questions about the south. "Milk or lemon in your tea, sir Henry?" I called after them.