Longsword by David Pilling

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Medraut cometh...

The last installment of my Leader of Battles series, Medraut, is striding ever closer to publication. This, the fifth book of the series, chronicles the rise of the arch-traitor, Medraut (better known as Sir Mordred in later versions of the story) and his efforts to tear down Arthur's kingdom. The following is an extract...

"Gwarae lay on his back in the wet mud between Cei and the intruders. The old servant’s crutch lay beside him. Dark red blood leaked sluggishly from the gaping knife-wound across his throat. His eyes were wide, as though in shock, staring glassily at the night sky.

Cei sighed. “Poor Gwarae,” he muttered, “poor old fool. They would never have taken you so, in the days of your golden youth.”
One of the figures stepped forward. Cei glanced at him in contempt. A tall, willowy man in a shirt of ring-mail, his face partially hidden under an iron helm. Unlike his companions, he grasped a sword.
“Step outside, old man,” this one said. He was the owner of the shrill voice. Cei was amused to notice his sword tremble slightly. The swine was on the verge of fouling himself.
“I don’t know you, pig,” Cei answered coolly. “Why have you and your band of thieves come to my hall and murdered my only friend left in the world?”
The tall man reached up with his free hand and slowly removed his helm. Cei frowned as he studied the face beneath. Long, white and narrow, with a drooping black moustache and absurd tuft of beard on the end of the pointed chin. There was a weak cast to the face, the thin mouth and little eyes.
Many years had passed since Cei last beheld this unlovely visage. “Gwyddawg,” he breathed. “Gwyddawg fab Menestyr. What rat-hole have you crawled from?”