This is the story of the red magician and the sword of light.
The red magician and the sword of light
Long before the Scandinavians had thought of coming to Erin, and making beer from the heather blossoms, there lived in Beuladáchab, in the south of Ireland, a farmer who was quite rich, for he was an industrious man. and careful who had quite a few possessions. He had only one son as a family and it is fair to say that he loved this one very much. But it is rare for a thrifty father to have a wise son, and so did the farmer. It happened to the old man that, by spending the time in arduous work, he died, like people who are on earth.
When he was buried and the young man found himself possessing his father's property, he was far from thinking that he could ever dissipate so much gold and silver and he was even less concerned with increasing his heritage. . He attended fairs, assemblies and generously spent his money. In this way he spent a few years. But after a while, the Farmer found he was going into misery. He visited all the nooks and crannies where he supposed his father had been able to hide money, and he was lucky to find a purse full of gold tucked under the roof of the house, but he was quick to pay. this question, because instead of reviving his bad habits and going about his business, he began to drink and gamble again until he had lost his property, his reputation and his honor. He had to mortgage his land and he couldn't afford to pay his debts. But bad luck might well fall on him, he did not become more reasonable, for he followed dissipated people and kept all the crazy habits he had contracted in his youth.
One day when he was going home, tired, he met on the road, near his house, an old man who seemed to be half mad and who was sitting behind a large mound of heather. They began to talk together. This man told him, while informing him about him, that his name was the red-haired magician and that fate had it that from his birth he was extremely inclined to play dice, although most often he only managed to lose. and cause inconvenience. He asked the farmer if he would play a game with him. The latter replied that he would, but that he did not have much money. The Red Magician said to him:
Here is the teaching I would give you:
Stop drinking liberally,
Don't spend your money madly
And in drunkenness do not be without reason,
Cause it's much better for you
Spend a real on food for your mouth
What to dispel a wreath at the fair
Without you having nothing left but begging afterwards.
'That's good advice,' said the Farmer, 'if I could follow it.
The Magician was a sullen and disdainful man, knowledgeable in tricks and magical arts, things of which the Farmer was ignorant. He never failed to use his evil power when he found the opportunity, but the Farmer did not know that he was a cheat. The Magician took some dice from his pocket and they began to play. Here are the conventions they had made: the red-haired Magician played a hundred books against the Farmer's crown, but it was not long before the Farmer won, and he at once received all the stake. The Farmer returned home, happy, radiant, full of enthusiasm.
From that moment on, he became reasonable and carried out all the deals he made.
After several weeks, who was in the farmer's path for the second time? The Red Magician. After chatting for a while, the Magician invited him to a game.
- What would you ask, said the Farmer, if the game turns against me, for it is right that we first establish the basis and the reason for our affairs.
“We won't play for money now,” said the Wizard, “but we will defer our terms until we see which of us is stronger.
- That's good, said the Farmer.
Each played their move carefully, briskly, carefully, so that it happened to the Farmer to have the victory in the end.
- I did not succeed this time, said the Magician, and it is likely that you cheated me; but be it: I guarantee you that I will owe you that another time. Tell me what are the wages (geasa) you want to impose on me.
- I impose on you as a heavy obligation, said the Farmer, to put in my power, in my house, tomorrow in fifteen, the most beautiful woman in the world, so that I marry her.
- This is a harsh sentence, said the Magician, so I am in great embarrassment. But I have high hopes that I will be able to satisfy you.
The Farmer was cheerful and happily passed the time until the morning of the appointed day. At sunrise, her maid came to her bedroom door and said that a lady who looked like a king's line in exterior and turn was waiting for her in the room and whom she had never seen. its equal in beauty. In haste, the farmer came to her. The lady was afraid at first, but he spoke to her softly, politely, and he was handsome and strong. She told him how she had been forced against her will to leave her father and mother and come find him. They married and led a happy life without sorrow or my happiness for a year.
Around this time, the farmer was seized with the desire to give the Red Magician another try.
- I have idea, said his wife, that you are going to engage in a bad business if you ever have another interview with the Red-haired Wizard.
But she gained nothing from advising him in her best interests.
He left one fine evening and came to a place in the valley where the Wizard used to sit, hoping to see him. He was not deceived in his wait, for it was not long before he saw the Magician playing by himself. As a result of their long-standing affair, it was amicably and affectionately that the Wizard greeted the farmer and asked him what had happened to him since the last time he had met him. The farmer told him word for word everything that had happened. As they were talking about the march of the world, the Magician declared that he could not be cured of his quirks, "and, he said, I wish to play a game on the conditions established last time, if you will agree." The Farmer did not need him to insist and they began to play for the third time, on the condition that each of them would have the freedom to impose on their partner whatever wages they wanted, whatever they wanted. were. There is an old saying, “It's not every day that Domhnall Buidhe gets married,” and it should be repeated about the Farmer's luck and his relationship with the Red Magician. Whatever trick the farmer thought was in his manners, the Wizard was even more skillful. After spending a long time playing with no advantage on one side or the other, the Red Magician had the upper hand.
With terror and a pang of heart, the farmer clapped his hands and fell into weakness. He remained in this state for nearly an hour clock, but on awakening, he came to himself, following the terrible fear he had felt, at the terrible sentence pronounced by the Red Magician against him.
"I won't hurt you," said the red-haired Wizard, who looked grim. Sit down and let me tell you what pledges I am imposing on you.
The farmer stood up and said:
- Please tell me what they are, since I can't escape them.
- It is true, said the Magician, that you will now have to submit to my power; do not confuse and do not run out of memory, because here is my order: teach me who stole the golden ship, who killed the Giant O'Dubhda, and bring me here the Glaive of Light that An owns Gaisgidheach Og (the Young Warrior) in the Eastern World and this in a year and a day from today. Be well. You have a long way to go, both tortuous and straight.
It was with a sad heart that the Farmer went to his house. His wife immediately noticed that sorrow was tormenting him, and she suspected that it was the red-haired Magician's deceit that was causing him this decrease in courage. She questioned him about how he had spent the time since he left the house, or what had happened to him that he was so downcast. He knows that his wife was very clairvoyant and that he would gain nothing by keeping the truth from her. He brought her what had happened between him and the Red Magician.
- That, he said, is the cause of my pain.
- If you had followed my advice, she said, you would not have such a story to tell, for I knew very well that the profit you would derive from the Red Magician would be small and that it would not have to be. another occupation, from beginning to end, than to stretch your nets to make you fall into them. I know how you could get rid of these pledges, but it is necessary that you be confident and that you vigorously do what you can.
So she explained to him the errands he should do and then she put him to sleep with a magical song.
The next day, at daybreak, the Farmer's wife was carefully preparing provisions for her husband's trip. She went out onto the plain, drew a long thread from her pocket, let it blow in the wind, and called out loud once or twice. In a short time there came a thin, brown horse, with a bridle and a saddle. The farmer stood patiently and quietly waiting for her to come.
- It is time for you to set out, his wife said to him, my blessing on you, for your trip to be successful and for you to come back safe and sound!
The farmer jumped on the horse's back, gave his wife a kiss; At that moment, a rain of tears fell from his eyes and spread over the road.
The horse ran as fast as the wind, and the farmer did not know if it was east rather than west that he was going until he came to the seashore. But it was did not stop him, for the horse flew through the waves of the sea as fast as an eagle would pounce on the side of a hill, and in a moment the farmer was out of sight, far from the harbor and the shore . He kept that pace until he was taken by the last hour of the day, at sunset. At that moment, the Farmer saw land and landed on it, but the horse did not stop its rapid course for that reason before arriving at a vast open space, at the foot of a large castle, wide, freshly whitewashed with water. lime and he began to neigh. It was like a signal to the people of the castle, for the doors opened, and at the end there came a troop of servants who guided him to the court room.
It was the king of the country who lived in the big house. He and the queen wished the farmer a hundred mile welcome. They told him that they were his wife's father and mother.
They brought him all that he needed of food and drink and he ate and drank his content. They inquired about their daughter, if she was satisfied to live in Erin.
"The raven's cubs are worthy of him, and this girl is dear to me, her mother," said the queen, seeing a gold ring which the Farmer had dropped into the glass where he was drinking. I know she wouldn't have given you this precious item if she didn't have a great affection for you.
The farmer did not hide one of his adventures from them and ended by saying:
- It is on the direction that you will give me that my life or my death depends.
He went to bed, because he was tired from his trip and he slept peacefully, pleasantly, until the white light of day surprised him. In the morning, the king revealed to the farmer the exact meaning of the questions he needed to solve to satisfy the Magician.
- I must tell you, said the king, that we are all three brothers, the Red Magician, the Young Warrior and myself, and although the Red Magician is the youngest of us, he is shrewd and cunning. . He has long wanted the Glaive of Light that is in the Young Warrior, but he knows he cannot have it without my help. I have little desire to do my brother an injustice, for he loves me and has never done me the slightest wrong and he has taken many adventurous steps during the course of his life. The Red Magician met you, he played dice with you in the hope that, through his cunning and hexes, he could fulfill his desire at the expense of the Young Warrior, and for the same purpose he stole from us. our daughter. The Young Warrior remains in a fortress two miles from here; high walls surround it, and inside watch dragons with long teeth and it is a terrible thing to make them angry. If they grab you, they will eat you alive, but if you can escape on the first and second day, there will be no more danger for you. This is the place of safety only for the Young Warrior and no one dares to approach the house, who is not seen by the dragons. Get on the back of the spotted horse that you will be shown and it will carry you beyond the door. Don't be embarrassed about what you see, but say out loud that you need the Glaive of Light and who stole the golden ship and who killed the Giant O'Dubhda. Don't linger the smallest moment after that, but retrace your steps and hasten your horse as quickly as you can to get back.
After a few more days, as the appointed day arrived, the farmer left, so that he arrived at the foot of the walls which surrounded the fortress. The horse shook its head and jumped over inside on its own. The farmer said fiercely and harshly to give him the Glaive of Light and tell him who had stolen the golden ship and who had killed the Giant O'Dubhda. The dragons let out a fierce cry, and though they tried to grab hold of him to devour him, he walked away, briskly excited his horse and leaped over the wall to the other side, but the two the horse's hind legs were broken. The Farmer went before him and he was at his wife's father's castle at nightfall without sprains or injuries, full of joy. They were very happy that he had accomplished his task on time. He went to the Young Warrior's stronghold on the second day, and it was no sooner inside the compound that the dragons cried out horribly, far worse than anything he had ever heard before, but he succeeds, on the verge of death, in fleeing to the court of his wife's family.
- All the dragons will be asleep today, said the king to the farmer, on the morning of the third day, for they are tired of having watched day and night the past two days and they will not notice that you come in. Go, head held high, straight to the fortress and we will give you everything you need.
He followed the advice of his wife's father and encountered no obstacle. The dragons were sleeping heavily, and although he had accidentally hit one of them on the foot, the animal did not move.
He approached closer to the castle and, seeing the wide and well-crafted door open, he entered the room.
He thought he had never been in such a beautiful and well-appointed place, but he saw no one inside. He thought to himself for a while what to do.
Looking ahead, he saw a staircase near him and he climbed it. Arriving on the first floor, he overheard a conversation in one of the bedrooms. He knocked on the door and asked permission to enter.
- You have it, and welcome, said the one who opened the door, since you had the power to remove the narrow defenses that protected us, because we thought they would hold up against any attacks that would be directed against us. . Sit down and tell me who you are from and who made it your business to persecute us.
- It is from far away that I came to you! said the farmer.
"It is a misfortune for me," said the gentleman; but because of your valor and your deeds, I will not reproach you a single thing. There is more than one valiant hero who has been defeated while trying to demolish our fortress.
The farmer sat down shyly and there was nothing that had happened to him that he did not disclose in response to questions asked.
"And now," he said, "all I need is the Glaive of Light and who stole the golden ship and who killed the Giant O'Dubhda."
- I think you already know, said the gentleman that I am the Young Warrior. There is the Glaive of Light hanging on the wall over there and I am giving it to you. It emits a light so bright that you could see everything around it, in the darkness of the night as distinctly as in the middle of the day. Now I should tell you how I got the Golden Ship and how the Giant O'Dubhda succumbed to the force of my hand. There is no one to listen to us except my wife, whom you see sitting by the fireside and she would contradict me if it seemed to her that I was not telling you the truth.
“When I was a pretty teenager, I had a desire to see people and places to learn about the kind of life they had.
I left for the country that would educate me best, for the Greece, and I made the acquaintance of the king of Greece who had a daughter whose beauty it was not easy to match. I had not been there long when we were married, with the consent of my father and mother; but there was no country under the sky where I would rather live than in Erin, my dear country, and I invited him to leave Greece with me. She refused to give in to my prayer, saying that she had no love for me and that she would not pay attention to my request until she judged the time was right, because she was young and unreasonable. and she did not take into account what I said, since she did not have any real affection for me in her heart. His parents advised him to go with me, and to coax him, his father presented him with a magic wand which had been in his possession for a very long time. But she did not agree to obey before having obtained to take me first to reside in the Eastern World. When we arrived there, she tormented me with her whims and when I refused one day to do her will, she struck me with the magic wand and transformed me into a horse. “Nevertheless, I did not lose my intelligence, because my memory remained intact and I could have done him a lot of harm if I had not thought that it was better to refrain from doing so, for fear of having to do so. repent afterwards. From time to time, I kicked anyone who came to lead me and threw them under my feet. Other times I tore and tore anyone who came near me with my teeth. When this happened to me, I had an idle life, but it was little for me. This was not enough for my wife's disordered will, and one day she came to me, while I was quietly warming myself in the sun, at the foot of a tree. “So there's nothing that can calm you down,” she said, and gave me a blow on the back with a spit. It was not possible for me to bear this new insult from her, and, overcome by madness, as she tortured me in this way, I kicked her on the forehead and she fell to the ground unconscious. A servant found her, she could not utter a word. She was taken home, and after much care, she recovered and her strength returned, but I had no reason to rejoice, because I had the idea that she never stopped thinking day and night of the means the best to overwhelm me.
“One fine day when I was alone and sick, she hit me with the magic wand, changed me into a wolf and launched the dogs in pursuit of me. The swiftness of my legs freed me from them, but they got ahead of me and joined me at the end. They were tearing me away from each other when it happened to the King of Greece to approach us. He did not recognize who I was, because my wife had told him long before that I had left without hearing from me and that she did not know if I was alive. I greeted him as best I could. He saw a tear on my cheek and was seized with pity for me. He thought there was something odd about my walk. I followed him home, and each day that passed for us grew our affection for each other.
This angered my wife; but as it was not in her power to kill me, she made every effort to get her father to drive me out. She hardly succeeded, because he did not pay attention to what she said.
I used to be in the room a lot where our child slept in his crib. She crept up to me one day; she sprinkled me with blood, and she also smeared the child with it so that the king understood that I wanted to kill him. She began to scream and moan, so that her father and all the people in the house heard her. They ran to her to find out the cause of her torment. She violently accused me and reproached me greatly, asserting that it was she herself who had saved the child from the danger he ran as a result of my bites. They all turned against me and almost put me to death; but my wife's father, the King of Greeks, said it was better to let me go and that I could go about my business.
I was then in great destitution and great misery, for I was forced to walk, thirsty and hungry, with no place to lie down, but I was not mistaken about what I had to do. I resolved to head towards the shore to see if I could find any fish or a carcass washed up by the sea, which I would eat to appease my hunger. It was not long before I reached high cliffs; the waves were constantly bumping against the rocks and breaking on either side of me; I saw the most beautiful vessel that human eye had ever seen, a short distance from me, gliding on the surface of the water.
I quickly went towards him in the hope of catching some bread or meat by swimming around. As I approached it, I saw a Gaul fishing to a man on board who was trying to fish. I headed towards the end of the ship where the pole was, and no sooner was I under it than my original form and nature returned to me. I could not make you understand in words the extent of the joy that filled my heart and I cried out loud to pull myself out of the water. A rope was handed to me; I grabbed it and was pulled aboard the ship. There were only two boys and their father there. It was the Giant O'Dubhda with his sons coming up for air. They thought I was a thief coming to defraud them and they fought me. I had to fight with them to defend myself and the Giant O'Dubhda fell defeated by my strength. I placed his two sons with them in their country and have not heard a word about them since then.
While visiting the ship, I found the Glaive of Light and I would not part with it for gold or silver, although there are many people who have put the poison in their eyes and thought to take it from me, but there was no one who wanted it more eagerly than my brother, the Red Magician, and it is in the hope of remaining in peace in the shelter of this cunning gossip that I have come to stay here. But we should go back to my story.
I was full of joy to see how everything was going well for me, and I turned around to tell my wife's father exactly about the injustice that had been done to me. I was no sooner in his presence than he recognized me; he threw my wife on his knees and asked me to forgive him. I took pity on her when I heard her express her repentance and, on the promise that she would never do anything like that to me again and for fear that she would get lost or that she would do bad things on herself , I said I was willing to go back with her if she kept quiet. From that moment until now, there is no woman in the world better than her. I forgive the Red Magician at the same time, whatever insult he has done me. You now know who stole the golden ship and who killed the Giant O'Dubhda, and you have the Glaive of Light; take it and my blessing after you!
The farmer said goodbye to the Young Warrior and after spending some time with his wife's father and mother, he returned home. A week before, the Red Magician had been taken ill and died; This was a pleasant story for the Farmer, for there was no longer a man alive to take away his possession of the Glaive of Light or to ever cause him trouble. His wife was waiting for him from day to day, and on seeing him, she ran to him:
- Welcome, she said; and in her excess of joy, he believed that she would stifle him with her kisses, drown him with her tears, and dry him with coats of pure silk and satin.
They remained happy for another two-thirds of their lives and may that fate be ours!