In the last week I finished chapter 22 ("the first competition"), set in Caerwent, where Gwernin competes but doesn't win, and where Bluchbardd, who we saw a lot of in the previous book, turns up again. I also finished chapter 23 ("the roots of hatred"), in which Gwernin et al visit Caerleon, where the first chapter of Storyteller
took place. In this chapter Gwernin repeats a story he first told there, and Taliesin tells us how he first beat Bluchbardd in bardic contest (an episode very loosely adapted in tone and location from Chwedl Taliesin
<grin>). I wrote these two chapters very fast, in the "taking dictation" mode, and was surprised by some of the poetry from Taliesin - I didn't plan it, I just typed!
Today I'm starting chapter 24 ("the second competition") set in Caerdydd. I'll tell you next week about Gwernin's success or lack of it!
Wales and the Britons, 350-1064 (History of Wales) by T. M. Charles-Edwards
The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales by Patrick K. Ford
The towns of Roman Britain by John Wacher
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