The folklore of the trees – rowan, oak, ash, hawthorn, yew etc., is real.
What Michael says about the symbology of the rose is true.
Morgan's TV show: the Nanteos Cup actually exists. The Thirteen
Treasures of Britain buried with Merlin on Bardsey Island is part of British
folklore. Merlin's Oak in Carmarthen existed between the 17th
centuries. St Beuno's Cup is based on the Trawsfynydd
Tankard, housed in the National Museum of Wales. The Mabinogi is the main
collection of ancient Welsh mythology.
Vortigern is mentioned in a story of Merlin in the Historia
attributed to Nennius, a 9th
century Christian monk
from Gwynedd, Wales.
Y Draig Coch
(Welsh) = the red dragon. This is the
name of the Welsh flag.
n'est-ce pas, ma cherie
(French) = won't
we, my love?
(French) = grandfather (informal)
In the Wyrdwolf series, kickback is the payment incurred
for serious magic.
The X-ray eyes is a reference to Superman, created by Jerry
Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics.
What Declan says about the dating of electricity in the UK
Izzy's disorientation echoes Merlin's imprisonment by
Nimue/Vivian. One Breton tale has him imprisoned underwater.
Fornyrðislag 'old story metre' is an Old Norse poetic metre
with alliteration but without internal rhyme. Iambic pentameter is an English
(French) = Oh, really? (sarcastic)
The Addams Family were created by the cartoonist Charles
Addams. They were given names in a 1960s TV series.
Enid is a Welsh name. The Welsh pronunciation and meaning
Orpheus (Ancient Greece) and Väinämöinen (Finnish,
Kalevala) are famous for charming animals through playing on their harps.
Policy files are part of standard investigation police work
in the UK.
The security alphabet soup is mostly real. These laws and
organisations exist. I made up the Magical Security Foundation.
Hearts, diamonds, daisy wheels, shoes, cats etc. are all
examples of apotropaic – protective – magic used from medieval times (at
least). That includes the letters relating to the Virgin Mary. What Jeff says
about them is true. I made up the bit about diamonds being used for the Vanir.
Staining runes after carving is referred to in the Poetic
. There is an academic discussion about the colour and whether
blood or paint was used.
The Dunning–Kruger effect exists. Right down to the lemon
There is a Welsh Christian saint called Melangell. She was
said to be the daughter of an Irish king and is associated with hares. I
changed her story.
In English folklore, hares are associated with witches.
The Tylwyth Teg are the Welsh elves.
'Mabinogion' is a misinterpretation. It is correctly
Mabinogi. The tale of Math fab Mathonwy, Gwydion and Blodeuwedd is in the
Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi. Math and Gwydion made Blodeuwedd out of oak,
broom and meadowsweet. The connection between meadowsweet, willow and aspirin
I made up the oak tree Lleu perched in being the same one
used to make Blodeuwedd, and the involvement of Kirion the Sallow.
(French) = do
you understand (familiar form)
Désolé, cherie. La petite mort, n'est-ce pas
= Sorry, darling. [It's] the Little Death, isn't it?
La Petit Mort is a concept referring to a weakening or loss
of consciousness, specifically in sleep or during an orgasm.
is a 1982
American neo-noir science fiction film based on the 1968 novel Do Androids
Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Philip K. Dick.
The Kipling quote is real, as is the Cornish story about
the spriggan. Tolkien's song is in The Hobbit
. The grim ballad is Child
Thomas of Erceldoune is a figure in Scottish Borders folklore.
Verglas is a description for a thin coating of ice or
frozen rain on an exposed surface.
The information about Trellech is real, including the well.
The tying of rags on the branches of trees is a living
tradition in Britain.
Declan's information about roses and Harpocrates is true.
Heru is the Greek name for Horus, the son of Isis. Her Kemetic name is Aset.
A 'Grand Tour' was the 18th
custom of a trip around Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men.
In vino veritas
(Latin) = in
wine lies the truth. That is, a person under the influence of alcohol is more
likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.
The Arthurian folklore from Tintagel is real, as is the
probable history of 'Arthur's Castle'.
The folklore about white hares is true.
(Cornish) = Cornwall.
(Cornish) = Rowan.
The Dagda is a god from Irish mythology.
St Michael's Mount is the Cornish counterpart of Mont
Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. Its name in Cornish is Karrek Loos yn Koos
(= grey rock in the wood). There was a priory there in medieval times. It was
never named Myghal's Mount and I made up the school.
The Hurlers and the Pipers exist. I've tweaked the folklore
(Cornish) = 'stone with writing' is a
standing stone in North Cornwall. Local folklore has an army buried under it.
The tale of the enchanter lord of Pengersick is from Cornish
folklore. It includes an Eastern wife, a mysterious stranger and the fire. I
made up the library.
Avalon = Isle of Apples. Arthur was taken there after the
Battle of Camlann.
After Osiris was killed, Isis recovered the pieces of his
body and brought her husband back to life to enable him to father Horus (Heru).
The information about Cadoc, King Donyarth and the history
of the title of Earl of Cornwall is true.
The Gokstad ship was rescued from a Viking era burial mound
in Scandinavia and is now in Oslo.
Skiðblaðnir (Old Norse) = 'assembled
from thin pieces of wood' is mentioned in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning
43. It could be folded up and always had a fair wind.
The word hysteria comes from the Greek word for uterus. The
ancient Greeks believed that the uterus moved through a woman's body to cause disease.
I made up the Ridley Scott version of Lord of the
The names of the magical schools and colleges are drawn
from historical or mythological figures. In Welsh mythology, Math fab Mathonwy (mythological)
King of Gwynedd in North Wales. His story is the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.
= Pwyll Pen Annwn (mythological), the hero of
the First Branch of the Mabinogi and King of Dyfed in south-west Wales.
= Llywelyn the Great (historical), King
of Gwynedd in North Wales and ruler of all Wales in the 13th
= Gwydion fab Dôn (mythological), a
magician, hero and trickster. He appears most prominently in the Fourth Branch
of the Mabinogi.
(Welsh) = Merlin.
Pucas are a part of Brythonic (Welsh, Cornish etc)
Folklore exists about a harpist variously named Glascurion,
Kirion the Sallow, Keraint, Glasgerion etc. He's mentioned by Chaucer in his House
and the tale of love and revenge is Child Ballard #67.
Yggdrasil is the world tree in Heathen mythology. The
Glastonbury thorn and Merlin's Oak exist (or existed until recently). Folklore
Asap (UK acronym) = as soon as possible.
'Tapping the bone' exists. So do the other forms of
In UK folklore, witches were thought to be able to change
Rain uses an Anglo Saxon rune set. I have given the Anglo
Saxon names for the runes. The meanings of the names are true, as is what Rain
says about the rune sets. The tree folklore is real.
The attributes of the wood of the three runes when they are
transformed is true.
the family jewels
= male genitals.
Many of the ingredients in the potion are used in relevant
herbal remedies. Some are dangerous. Some are my imagination.
(Cornish) = stone
the hole. It comprises three upright granite stones. The central one is round
with a hole in the middle. 'Crick' alludes to its alleged healing ability.
Cornwall has been an important source of tin from ancient
times into the modern period.
Hag stones are stones with a naturally occurring hole
through them. In Britain, they have many names.
The all-female Takarazuka Revue is a popular Japanese drama
Early miscarriages in humans and dogs reabsorb the zygote(s)
rather than aborting them.
The story about Justin Magnus can be found in The Black
In his The Battle for Gaul
, Julius Caesar tells us
druid training took twenty years.
A nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion.
Adder stones were a particular form of hag stone. The Welsh
and Cornish names are true. The name adder stone comes from a tale in Pliny's Natural
book XXII in which he says they were prized by druids and gathered
by them directly from the adders.
The knight move is unusual among chess pieces. It moves in
an 'L' shape that enables it to jump over other pieces. A rook is one of the
most powerful pieces. Each player begins a game with two rooks.
Croque Madame is a cooked ham and cheese sandwich topped
with a fried egg. It's a universal French snack.
What is said about the origin of Tintagel Castle
The Arthurian legends began with Gildas, Nennius and Geoffrey
of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae
What Rain says about the names Alwyn and Aylwin is true.
The Bodmin Manumissions is an excellent source for medieval
John Militon is a real person who owned Pengersick castle
in the 16th
century. His son Job was briefly Governor of St Michael's Mount.
The Old North (Yr Hen Ogledd in Welsh) existed. It
stretched roughly from the existing M62 motorway to the Antonine Wall in
Scotland and included the ancient Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd.
The Ring of Luned is one of the mythical Thirteen Treasures
of Britain. The folklore relating to it is real. What Sam relates about Merlin
and Bardsey island is from Welsh folklore.
(Welsh version of Irish Niamh ) =
(Cornish/Breton) = apple.
Lesser or Little Britain are names given to Brittany.
The Trawsfynydd Tankard is in a museum in Cardiff and is
as described in the book. There is no cup called after St Beuno.
St Beuno exists as a saint. He may have been two different
people due to the timelines. Edward's potted history of him is true.
Broceliande is part of the myths about Merlin. On the map,
it's the Forêt de Paimpont in Brittany. Emrys is one of Merlin's names in Welsh
(Cornish) = jewel
(Cornish) = adder stone.
O Rose thou art sick
is from the poem
The Sick Rose
by William Blake.
The yew is associated with life and resurrection due to its
longevity and ability to regenerate when apparently dead.
The bit about Anglesey being the last stand of the druids
is true, according to the Roman sources. However, there is no Math's Well.
(Welsh) = throne. The real-life version is a
community or meeting of modern-day bards. It occurs in Wales, Cornwall and
Pengwern is generally regarded as being the early seat of
the kings of Powys.
The symbol used by the Magicians' Guild is the Hieroglyphic
Monad. It was designed by John Dee, the Elizabethan Magus and Court Astrologer
of Elizabeth I of England.
Many apotropaic symbols were seared. They were placed as Cheryl
Awen is a Welsh, Cornish and Breton word for inspiration. It's
a central concept of modern pagan druidry.
13 September 1996 was a Friday.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the commonest cause of
sudden death in healthy young people.
Wistman's Wood is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain.
The lichen and moss make it an atmospheric place.
According to the Mabinogi, Math fab Mathonwy was said to be
king of Gwynedd. Glasgerion was said to be the son of the king of Powys, which
is where St Beuno came from.
The astronomical information for 26 April 2017 and 12
October 1996 is correct.
(acronym) = absent without leave
The geography of the journey to Wales is accurate. It can
be followed on a map.
(acronym) = wives and girlfriends (usually of
Firehome and Icehome are two of the Nine Worlds in Heathen
Mythology. Ginnungagap is the primordial void.
The approved method of driving on ice is true.
According to British folklore, the fay dislike cold iron.
Canines can smell the reaction of silver tarnishing.
Castell Bryn Gwyn exists.
The Hitchcock thriller is The Birds
, based on a
story by Daphne Du Maurier.
The Seelie Court takes place in the area occupied by the
Bryn Gwyn stone circle. Only two stones remain, as described.
Loki siring a child on Tiw's wife can be found in the Prose
40. However, that child is a son and not a werewolf.
Joan-the-wad is part of Cornish folklore.
Many of the ancient tin mines are in the same area as Mên
The Clearwell Caves exist.
Hogwarts is a reference to the Harry Potter books,
written by J K Rowling.
The Stars of the White Nights festival in St Petersburg