“Lludd and Llefelys” is a fascinating tale from “The Mabinogion,” the collection of Welsh medieval legends. The story revolves around the two brothers, Lludd and Llefelys, and their quest to overcome three plagues that afflict the island of Britain. Here’s an abridged version of the story:
Lludd was the wise and just king of Britain, known for his wisdom and good governance. However, his kingdom faced a mysterious and troubling problem. Every year, on May Eve, a terrible scream echoed throughout the land, followed by a strange silence. Crops failed, animals died, and a sense of dread filled the hearts of the people.
Disturbed by these events, Lludd sought advice from his younger brother, Llefelys, who was known for his knowledge of foreign lands and languages. Llefelys explained that the disturbances were caused by the invasion of three supernatural plagues.
The first plague was a race of mighty, monstrous men known as the Coraniaid. They possessed magical powers and were able to hear any whispered secret within the kingdom. Their eavesdropping caused unrest and discord among the people.
The second plague was a terrible creature called the Two Dragons. These dragons would fight fiercely every May Eve, their battles causing the terrible scream that resonated throughout the land.
Lastly, the third plague was a magical being known as the Spirit of Vengeance. This malevolent being would take the form of a mighty prince or king, seeking revenge for past wrongdoings by causing strife and havoc in the kingdom.
Lludd and Llefelys devised a plan to overcome each of the plagues. For the first plague, Llefelys instructed Lludd to prepare a vat of mead and bury it in the center of the kingdom. He told him that the Coraniaid would find the mead and become intoxicated, after which they could be defeated in their weakened state.
For the second plague, Llefelys advised Lludd to dig a deep pit and fill it with mead. The dragons, when they emerged from their battle, would drink the mead and fall into a deep slumber, allowing Lludd to capture and bury them beneath the mound known as Dinas Emrys.
Lastly, for the third plague, Llefelys recommended Lludd to place a cauldron of cold water at the entrance to the royal court. The Spirit of Vengeance, upon seeing the cauldron, would feel compelled to bathe in it, causing him to lose all his strength and be captured.
Following Llefelys’ advice, Lludd successfully defeated each of the plagues and restored peace and prosperity to his kingdom. The land of Britain once again thrived under his wise and just rule.
The tale of “Lludd and Llefelys” is a story of courage, wisdom, and ingenuity in the face of supernatural challenges. It showcases the bond between two brothers and the importance of seeking counsel and assistance when facing difficult situations. The story remains a cherished part of Welsh folklore, celebrating the triumph of good over evil and the enduring legacy of a wise king.