His accent was thick, understandable if you listened carefully, English though it be, it sounded more Welsh in cadence than English. And he was a burly man, well over six feet tall and stocky to boot with grey eyes and a bread and hair as white as new fallen show. His name, he said, was Dyffd ap Owen.
I found a mug made of beaten silver, centuries old most likely, with sigils and other things best not discussed on it, and it held damn near a litre of liquid. I asked what his favour in drink was and he said metheglin, a mead his people made from time immemorial. Fortunately we had just tapped a cask of it made with honey from the High Meadow where clover, wild strawberries, and other plants make for a very good honey.
He sipped, nodded his head in appreciation, and sat back in the Falstaff Chair near the roaring fire on that cold winter night. And no, I’ve never figured out how travellers get here on foot in weather so bad that only those tending the Estate livestock venture outside, but they do. Some have an instrument with them be it pipes, fiddle or just their voice; some come like him to tell stories late into the night; and a few, a very few thank whatever Deities you believe in, seem to be lost and simply need shelter. Those usually stay here but a few weeks, but some Bela, our apparently Hungarian violinist, have stayed for decades.
I asked as casually as I could given my curiosity, what was reason for being here was. He drank deeply of his mead and said he’d come to find a ghost. Now those of us who have The Sight, be that a blessing or a curse it is a matter of personal belief, know this Scottish Estate is lousy with ghosts ranging from wives strangled by their abusive husbands to an entire encampment of ancient soldiers long dad waiting for their commander who ran screaming away from the battle they were all slaughtered in. But this was the first time I knew of that I knew anyone had come here looking for a ghost.
He said that he be both Welsh and Highland Scots, and a Scots ancestor of his had fought and won a duel here against a mortal enemy of his clan, the MacAllisters. Or more properly both had died on a leyline, so they were now locked in battle, evermore hacking away at each other, mortally wounding each other, dying, and starting the duel over again ’til the end of time.
He was hoping to find a way to put his ancestor to rest after a thousand years of endless battle. I remember a story being told here by Iain who also has The Sight of Seeing those kings in a remote part of the Estate. It’s an unfortunate truism that violent deaths create ghosts tied to here they died. And these two are definitely too such ghosts.
Now I admit I’m torn if it was safe to tell him that we know where the cursed ghosts are as I admit I’m not sure that tampering with them is a good or a bad thing. It might be possible to end their endless circle of violence but equally possible it could unleashed them from their temporal prison and that would be a disaster! So I’ll need to think on this. For a long time. Over many drams of a good single malt.
So for now I’ll tell him that we’ll research the subject to see what we can find and get back to him. I hope that, for now, that will placate him.