The Stone – A tale from the Summerlands
“Countless moons! That is how long we have held the stone and now they come again to take it from us!”
The band looked up from their preparations, Gwyn had been talking on and on endlessly, but finally he had their attention. Well versed in their routine they did not pause the careful preparations being undertaken.
Each of them knew what Gwyn was about to say, they had heard the tale before every challenge, they knew it word for word but still they listened attentively. To do any different would be to disrespect their ancestors. Those who had captured the stone originally, and those who had held it since anyone could remember.
It had been their village founders who had placed the stone at the heart of the village. From the Other Place it was won, so the histories say, taken at the height of the moon, when the mists were thick and the creatures numerous.
It was found in a glen, free of mist bathed in the light of the moon, it was clear the stone was special for the creatures of which there were many, stayed away until the sun rose before receding along with the mists.
The journey from where they found the stone was far, it is a big stone, the height of two adults but such a treasure could not be left. Half a day they carried the stone before they were challenged.
“Your finest warrior should prove their worth against our, lest you surrender the stone to us.”
The finest warrior of the founders stepped forward, they proved themselves against three challengers.
As the sun began to set more approached.
“Your finest druid should prove their worth against our own, lest you surrender the stone to us.”
The druid representing the founders told a tale which lasted through the night and until the sun rose once more.
At day break yet more approached.
“Your finest hunter should provide for us all, lest you surrender the stone to us.”
No question or quarrel the hunter left for the day. They were barely over the rise when more approached, by now the peoples of five villages had gathered in one place.
“You have no Shaman amongst you.” They said with a smile. “You cannot be safe when the Other Place comes. Hand over the stone.”
The founders did not reply, instead those who had been bested by the warrior and druid explained how they had been safe the night before. Conceding defeat the newcomers stood down but waited for the return of the hunter.
Just before sunset the hunter returned with a feast and the five peoples ate well, safe by the stone.
The five peoples of five villages made a pact that night.
Until the end of everything, each year the challenge would be undertaken again. The holder of the stone would see off the challengers or hand over the stone.
The tale finished the band nodded their heads to Gywn, a
sign of respect for they had seen off many a challenger in their youth. As if
perfectly timed a deep steady drum beat sounded the arrival of the challengers.
Booking is now open for our first Summerlands event; The Changing of the Season.
20th – 22nd March 2020
Danemead camp, Hertfordshire.