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Posts Tagged ‘chylde wynde’

Chylde Wynde received a desperate plea from his home in Northumberland. A dragon was ravaging the countryside! He barely made it ashore in a boat of enchanted Sorb, but then he and his companions were enveloped in blinding fog. As they stumbled forward, they saw a huge eye, the color of a lemon, surrounded by the malevolent glitter of scales. A savage muzzle pierced the fog.

The soldiers closed ranks, and fearless Chylde Wynde raised his sword . Margaret-the-dragon let loose a great cry of despair as black magic forced her to attack her own brother. Somehow, within the howling, the knight recognized his dear sister’s voice. Though horrified to see her so changed, he knew what he must do.

Chylde Wynde ordered his men to stand down, while he sheathed his sword and approached the dragon. Her breath scorched his cheeks and stung his eyes, but he knelt to kiss her face. Sharp scales tore his skin, but still he embraced his sister. Twice more he kissed her. Margaret-the-dragon gave another shriek and stumbled back. Her fearsome body began to decay. The hellish light went out of her eyes and the scales crumbled like autumn leaves. From the midst, a naked girl stumbled out. It was Margaret, restored to her former beauty! Chylde Wynde ran forward to give her his cloak, and they shared a tearful reunion.

Soon he and his men escorted Margaret back to Bamburgh Castle, where their father was overjoyed to see them. But Chylde Wynde still had work to do. He burst into the chambers of his mother-in-law, the wicked queen, only to find her backed into a corner of her room. The moment the ship of Sorb had touched the shore, her magic unravelled. All she could do was stare in dread as he approached with a rod of Sorb from his ship.

The queen wailed in agony when the magical wood touched her. She withered and shrank into the form of a toad, which finished her scream as a shrill croaking. Everyone was shocked, but then Chylde Wynde burst out laughing. The toad sprang away, pursued by mockery. Down the stairs she fled, over the drawbridge, and no one ever saw where she finally took refuge.

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Terrified by the sudden appearance of a dragon in their midst, the people of Northumberland called upon a wizard. The sage quickly perceived the connection between this event and the sudden disappearance of Princess Margaret. He told them, “Only one person can restore our princess to her true form and punish the one who did this. You must seek Chylde Wynde beyond the seas.”

The old king could not believe what his new wife was accused of, but he also mourned the loss of his dear daughter. After many sad days losing sheep into Margaret-the-dragon’s maw, he learned that if he poured out a huge trough of milk each day the creature would drink it and fall into a deep sleep. Thus he shielded his people from the loss of their stock.

Chylde Wynde had been away for several years, fighting in the Crusades, but at last word reached him of events in his home. He set off at once aboard a ship made of sorb, a wood that ancient lore held as proof against evil magic. The queen got news of his coming and prepared a cruel welcome. Even as Bamburgh Castle came over the horizon, the ship was attacked by spirits of the sea. The wicked spirits were invisible except for the light of their eyes and the gleam of their teeth. They circled the ship like malevolent bats and whipped up a great storm. It seemed that all was lost, but the power of sorb wood protected that vessel. The spirits eventually exhausted themselves and sank back into the waves, allowing the ship to approach the shore.

Alas, the queen had been watching all this. She had a back-up plan. Even as Chylde Wynde’s ship drew near to land, Margaret-the-dragon uncoiled from her slumber. The queen’s power compelled her to prowl the shore. She saw her brother’s ship and recognized his banner, but could not resist the queen’s command. Margaret plunged into the sea, using her powerful tail to swim out and intercept the vessel. Her great head crashed into the prow, unseating the oarsmen and making the hull creak alarmingly. The sorb wood held — but just barely.

Twice more the brave seamen tried to land. Each time the dragon forced them back. In the end, Chylde Wynde ordered them to fall back. He remembered a small spit farther down the shore. They turned their oars and aimed for that spit. This time no dragon barred the way. Chylde Wynde alighted on a beach of pebbles and water weeds. He advanced with his men, but a sudden fog blew up. Seagulls cried warning of some danger they couldn’t see.

What could it possibly be?? Check back on Saturday for the rest of the story.

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