‘The Iron Heart’ – Book one

Plot Synopsis

In a land of Gods and Monsters, Kings and Queens rule their lands by right of birth and armoured might. In a wintry forest, King Urien and King Pellinore hunt and kill a white boar and bring bad luck upon their kingdoms.

 

For reasons as yet unrevealed, Urien’s wife, the sorcerer Fey, Queen Morgana, summons a frightful Demon Knight to do her bidding. Under his armour his body is made of swarming insects.

 

At the Great Tournament, the Demon Knight’s insects fly and sting, and all are frozen into statues. The Kingdom of Gorre falls to Morgana and her Demon. Does Morgana control him?... or does he have plans of his own?

 

Cai, a young castle page daringly escapes from the Demon Knight stealing Morgana’s ‘Wings of Daedalus’. Cai flies badly and crashes into the old forest Knight; Sir Silas.

Cai goes with Silas to his Green Castle and there meets Olwen the hunter, Silas’ daughter. Cai is attracted to Olwen but is too nervous and clumsy to say the right thing. They make plans against Morgana and her henchmen.

 

Olwen and Cai must seek the Iron Heart and they travel to the coast. One night Cai saves a white horse from the fearsome Wild Hunt.

Under a cliff, they find a boat and Olwen dives beneath the sea to the drowned city of Lyonesse…a weird place of sunken spires and columns. They battle fierce Tritons, narrowly escaping death and are saved by the white horse.

They have the Iron Heart.

 

Silas, Olwen and Cai travel to the North and on the way Sir Silas defeats a villainous knight. Beneath the Roman Wall lies the tomb of the ancient warrior Azarion, dead yet alive. Like a statue of Apollo, trapped in a suit of bronze and iron armour, since the days of Hadrian. With the Iron Heart placed in his chest, Azarion comes to life and proves once more to be a mighty warrior, slaying evil robber knights. He tells of the tragic punishment of living death inflicted on him by the lover that he spurned… Argante the Fey.

 

At the next Great Tournament, Azarion battles the Demon Knight and being impervious to the insect stings, he smashes him into pieces. Morgana casts a glamour over Sir Silas, who falls under her power. She tries to cast her spell over Azarion, … but he will have none of it and attacks Morgana. She destroys Azarion: she takes the Iron Heart from his chest and one a Knight pulls off his helmet…he disintegrates into shreds of dried flesh.

 

Morgana discovers that the Demon Knight was only a marionette of Balor; a Bronze Age demon imprisoned in an undersea cave. Balor has used her and unless he can be stopped he will enter the world, bringing great destruction. The Demon Knight has excavated beneath Gorre and deep underground an ancient labyrinthine city has been revealed.

 

Olwen and Cai take Azarion’s armour, sword and the Iron Heart and escape from Gorre. They are pursued by Morgana’s Men at Arms and Cai is injured by a crossbow. Herne the Hunter and his Wild Hunt come to their rescue. Despite their alarming appearance, they offer sanctuary in their cave and tend Cai’s wound, Herne warns of the prophecy of doom now being fulfilled… the planets are aligned and when a star falls, the Demon Balor will be released from his prison and bring chaos to this and other worlds.

 

Cai puts on the armour of Azarion, when the Iron Heart is placed in the chest compartment he is filled with a great surge of power. He wields the ancient sword and finds the white horse waiting for him at the gates of the Green Castle. Olwen is now quite taken by Cai, but is very concerned about her father. They find a parchment that tells the tragic story of Sir Silas and Sebile the Fey, who Olwen discovers was her mother.

 

With the Wings of Daedalus, Olwen travels to Morgana’s tower, where she finds Morgana playing chess with a spellbound Silas. She fights with Morgana and Silas becomes himself again. Olwen persuades Morgana that they must work together to stop Balor. Cai rides in armour to the gates of Gorre, knocking aside the knights on guard.

 

Olwen, Cai and Morgana’s knights enter the otherworldly passages of the subterranean city. They travel deep beneath the land and sea and arrive at a cave that reaches up to a rocky opening to the sky. They discover the huge stone statue of a goat-headed demon: Balor. Night comes and a star falls from the sky, its light causing the statue to crack open. Balor awakens and breaks through the stone surface. He slips into a dark pool then rises to kill one of the Knights. As he comes to attack, Balor recognises Olwen as a Fey and invites her to become his mate.

 

From her sanctum in the Tower of the Ravens, Morgana can see what happens through the eyes of her fluttering moth spy.

 

Battle begins and Olwen shoots Balor with an arrow, but Balor’s fiery third eye burns to cinders all that it touches. Knights are killed until Morgana materialises in ferocious spirit form and grapples with the demon. Olwen hurls a knife at Balor and pierces his right eye, but puts herself in deadly peril from Balor’s fiery eye. Throwing himself in front of Olwen , Cai fights with Balor. Although his armour is burned red and then white hot, Cai staggers on and eventually beheads the Demon with the ancient sword.

 

Cai is badly burned and seems to be dead and as a consequence of her efforts, Morgana has become ancient and weak.

 

With Balor’s demise, the spell is broken and the frozen statues of Gorre return to life.

King Urien, King Pellinore and Sir Silas, stand on the battlements looking west towards the setting sun. In the distance a black sailed ship is sailing out to sea.

 

Olwen has taken Cai’s body with Morgana, on board her ship and they sail towards Avalon… the mystic isle of the Fey where death is uncertain.

 

 

Main characters

 

King Urien of Gorre - and

 

King Pellinore of The Gaste Forest - Knights in armour who like nothing better than a fight.

 

Queen Morgana - the sorceress wife of Urien. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a Fey?

 

Sir Silas – an elderly knight from deep in the forest, a man with a mysterious past.

 

Olwen – the hunter, a self reliant young woman, brought up in the forest, with only her father Sir Silas for company.

 

Cai – an orphan page from Gorre, who has worked in the castle his whole life.

 

Azarion – an ancient Roman warrior, woken from his sleep of centuries under the Roman Wall.

 

Balor / the Demon Knight – a Fomorian demon from the Bronze Age.

 

Sir Accolon - and

 

Sir Guingamar – knights of Queen Morgana.

 

Herne the Hunter – the fearsome leader of the Wild Hunt.