Glossary of characters and pronunciation (Sacrifice, Book I of y Ddraig)

After Rome abandoned Britain to its own protection in the 5th century, those remaining in Briton spoke a mix of old Brythonic (Cymraeg) with Latin overtones. ‘Romano-British’ it is sometimes referred to. This language bears little relationship to words we would recognise today as English and so I have used them sparingly. However, names of characters and places from history I have left untouched. Here is a character and pronounciation guide to help you navigate the world of y Ddraig.

  • f – pron. as hard ‘v’
  • ff – pron. as a soft ‘eff’
  • ll – The Cymraeg ‘ll’  is like a soft ‘thl’
  • w – a vowel sound closest to ‘oo’
  • dd – pron. a hard ‘th’ [as in lithe]
  • y – pron. ‘uh’ [or ‘ee’ on the end of a word]
  • c – always hard and interchangeable with ‘g’

Cymry [cum-ree]. The Romano-Brythonic people south of those lands held by the Picts and the Scoti. Many embraced the new God alongside the old (Brythonic) gods. In the 6th century, Cymry referred to the people as much as the land and borders became irrelevant. As the Angle invaders pushed west, the term came to mean any land where the original Brythons were holding strong.

Y Ddraig [uh thr’eye-g] Drake or dragon. Amongst the  oldest creatures on the islands of Brython, survivors of endless invasions from across the seas. Have lived in increasing seclusion since men first wrought iron against their forests. Revered and feared equally, y Ddraig’s magic is universally  coveted. Later, warlords assumed the title ‘dragon’ to reflect their status. The greatest and strongest of all become the pen dragon.

Creil [cray-el] y Ddraig in senescent form, the dragon’s egg. Greatly desired for its power—political and actual. Hunted across all of Cymry. Amongst its other magic, it offers the sight to those who can master it.

Melangell [Mel-an-gethl]. The fate of y Ddraig falls to her when her people are slaughtered. The Mathrafal [Mahth-rah-vahl] are a peaceful people, true to the old ways and caretakers to one of Cymry’s most powerful mysteries. Infant Melangell was taken forcibly from her family because they are descended from the powerful Annwfn [unn-oo-ven] – the Otherworld [or afterlife].

Cai ap Cynyr [kye ap kunner] A phenomenal warrior  loyal to his Chieftain brother while living perpetually in his shadow. Cai is one of several warriors bringing Artwr those relics he needs to defeat their enemies, the Angles and Saxons. He is Lord of his own stronghold, in Ylfael [Uhl-vial] and the  only true son of Cynyr Forkbeard.

Artwr [Ar-toor] Secreted as a baby with Cai’s family, Artwr is forced—unprepared and unwilling—into the role of pen    dragon in a land overflowing with bickering Chieftains. He has been holding Cymry against the Angle invaders for over a      decade.

Eifion [Eye-vee-on] Cai’s sword-brother, his younger Second-in-command. A loyal champion for the high Chieftain, Artwr, and his immediate Chieftan, Cai.

Gwanaelle [Gooan-eye-ethl] Gwanaelle is a young refugee from the violence of Cymry’s warrior culture.