Monday 11 December 2017

Christmas with Uther Pendragon ~ #Christmas #Arthurian #legends @timwalker1666

Christmas with Uther Pendragon

By Tim Walker

Christmas with Uther Pendragon

…In fifth Century Britannia 

Stars winked in the deep blue blanket above them as the promise of dawn seeped upwards from the distant edge of the World; a golden glow that prompted the start of the ceremony. Druids holding burning brands chanted to the steady beat of hand drums as a line of riders wrapped in bearskin cloaks breathed mist into the cold air, their rising vapour trails like souls from the departed buried beneath them making their way to the netherworld.

“Merlin, this had better be the sight you have much talked of,” King Uther growled, his horse stamping impatiently on the frozen earth.

“My lord,” Merlyn replied, “This is the dawn on midwinter day for which these stones were erected and aligned by the ancients who understood the movements of the sun and moon. We are blessed with a clear sight of the rising sun, and you will soon see it shine through yonder stone portal and light up the altar on which a sacrifice will be made to the goddess Beira for seeing us through another winter…”

“My lord!” Bishop Andreus interrupted, causing Uther to turn to his left.

“What is it?” Uther demanded of the shivering, tonsured priest.

“Beira is a pagan goddess of the druidic religion of the dark forests, banned by our former Roman masters” he said through chattering teeth. “It is not long since the people bowed to the Roman god Saturn at their feast of Saturnalia…”

“And what is your point?” Merlin challenged.

“My point is, the Romans have now departed, taking their gods with them! The old ways are passing into legend as the one true Christian God banishes them to the dark corners of this land. I urge you to turn away from this base pagan bloodletting and embrace this day as the feast day of the birth of our savior, Jesus the Christ. For our God is the one true light of the world…”

Uther raised a hand to silence him. “Save the sermon for later, father. Now let us bear witness to the mystery of nature revealed to us.”

Merlin guffawed and pointed, drawing Uther’s attention away from the fretting priest towards the stone altar and the light now bathing it in an eerie glow. Three druids stepped from the shadows, each holding a struggling creature in one hand and a raised knife in the other. Fowls clucked their desperation and kids screamed as their throats were cut and their blood dripped into silver goblets. The drummers increased their tempo as men and women dressed in animal skins and masks danced around the altar where the druids chanted to the rising sun.

“This is an impressive sight,” Uther said, grinning his pleasure at Merlyn. Bright sunlight was illuminating a hitherto unseen ceremonial avenue from east to west that cut through the centre of the stone circle. A golden shaft beamed through the windows of the largest pairs of standing stones on opposing sides of the circle, now in perfect alignment with the rising sun, like a bolt from the gods.

“From this day onwards, our days grow longer,” Merlyn said, “and hope is restored to the people after the darkness of winter, and the earth is reborn.”

“You are forgiven for calling me out on such a cold night,” Uther said to Merlyn with a smile. He turned his horse to signal his readiness to leave and remarked to Bishop Andreus: “And we shall pray to the baby Jesus when we return to my hall, then raise a goblet to ALL the gods and pray for a successful campaign against the Saxons!  Onwards!”

Tim Walker
Tim Walker is an independent author based in the UK.
His latest book is Postcards from London - a book of short stories that explores London's past, present and imagined future. This follows an historical fiction novel, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans, set in Britain in the fifth century, launched in early 2017. Book two in the series - A Light in the Dark Ages - it follows on from, Abandoned! Both titles have found a wide readership since their re-launches in April 2017 with new content and covers.

He lives in Datchet Village, near Windsor, beside the River Thames, the inspiration for his book of short stories, Thames Valley Tales.

Tim is currently writing Uther’s Destiny, book three in his series, A Light in the Dark Ages. This novel is due out in March 2018.
Connect with Tim ~ Website


Book One, Abandoned! (a novella) – Amazon 
Book Two, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (a novel) –  Amazon


  1. What a wonderful post, Tim. Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. I love the scene setting for this excerpt. Wonderful, mysterious, magical place.

  3. Thanks for inviting me to take part in this excellent series... merry Christmas!

  4. Great piece Tim, especially the undertones of the fight to come between the old and the new religions.

  5. Thanks history buffs for the kind words...

  6. Great Post ~ I love Merlin!


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Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx