Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Wild Hunt - mythic figures ride the skies in the Grim Series

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR

The Wild Hunt… There’s something about the name alone that instinctively raises the hair on the back of your neck! 

Out of all the myths and legends I've read and collected, the tales of the Wild Hunt are my hands-down favorites. A version of the Hunt appears in the lore of many countries, especially in the UK and Europe. Sometimes the Hunt is comprised of faeries, sometimes gods or heroes, and sometimes lost or damned souls. 


Johann Wilhelm Cordes, The Wild Hunt, 1856
Public Domain
The identity of the Hunt’s leader varies with every legend – Gwyn App Nudd, the Welsh god of the Underworld; Odin, king of the Norse gods; King Arthur and his knights; the Devil and his hounds. Even historical figures such as Sir Francis Drake and Theodoric the Great were each said to lead a spectral hunt. 

The Wild Hunt of Odin
by Norwegian painter Peter-Nikolai Arbo (1831-1892)
Public domain by Wikimedia Commons

My Grim Series novels have Welsh faery legend at their core, and it was inevitable that the Wild Hunt would turn up in my stories. Its leader is Lurien, a bold figure who commands a fearful amount of magic – and respect. As with so many of my characters, he wasn’t planned:  he simply showed up in Storm Bound and refused to leave! Although he hasn't been the main character to date, the Lord of the Wild Hunt quickly became a favorite with my readers, and my biggest challenge is preventing him from taking over whatever book I'm writing.

He's an enigmatic figure, origins unknown. At first Lurien seems to be one of the Tylwyth Teg, the ruling class in the Faery Realms. Yet his long black hair, dark eyes, and somber clothing set him apart from the ethereally beautiful Fair Ones. So does his unwavering sense of honor and his disdain for rank and position. Lurien’s formidable powers include summoning the dead to ride with the Hunt at times, and his preferred weapon is a light whip, which can be used to call down lightning. A pack of relentless white hounds follow him faithfully – the famed Cwn Annwn.

A storm can signal the presence of the Wild Hunt!
Photo: Bigstock.com
Lurien and the Wild Hunt patrol the mortal world at night, meting out a rough justice to fae and human alike. Betrayers and oath-breakers have the most to fear and, as in the old legends, the guilty are often condemned to follow after the Hunt forever.  

Most of the Hunters ride fae horses, but as in the many legends about the Wild Hunt, other mounts are possible. In Storm Warrior, mortal horses could be “borrowed” and charmed to keep up with the Hunt. In Storm Warned, the Hunt conscripts a herd of elk in place of horses. In Storm Crossed, one of the riders prefers a giant black goat with six horns. All of the creatures can gallop on the wind as if were solid ground, and a fierce storm often accompanies them.

EXCERPT from STORM CROSSED


A deep shadow abruptly fell across the forest, and thunder rolled from a formerly clear sky. The soldiers glanced around uneasily as their horses twitched and danced beneath them. The warths slunk silently away, and Trahern felt the hair on his head prickle and rise. Braith, get down!

The entire world erupted into white light and noise beyond hearing as a bolt of lightning crashed to earth before him.

Trahern wasn’t certain if he had lost consciousness or not, but it was an abysmally long time before he could see and hear again. Braith was on top of him, apparently trying to shield him. Move, he said in his mind.

Are you well?

I would be better if I could breathe. Move!

The great dog slid his bulk from Trahern’s chest, and he rolled over with a grunt, gratefully filling his lungs. His vision blurred and cleared, blurred and cleared, but he could make out that only a handful of the mercenaries remained, and most looked like they wanted to leave. He had to give the leader credit for nerve—but the man no longer looked at him at all.

“In the name of Eirianwen of the House of Oak, we have come to arrest the fugitive Trahern,” the man shouted.

“Her name means nothing here.” The new voice came from high above, and Trahern struggled to see. A burly stallion, as glossy and black as obsidian, stood upon the rocky outcrop behind him, and its tall rider was dressed in dark leathers. His hair was as black as his mount, falling to his waist in hundreds of braids and stirred by an unseen wind. Save for the dangerous glitter in his jet-colored eyes and the glow of the light whip resting on his thigh, it was like staring at Death itself.

“He—he is a traitor, My Lord, sir. We have a right—”

“As trespassers in the Nine Realms, you have no rights.” The great horse stepped down from the steep rocky outcropping as easily as if walking across a meadow. The mercenary captain paled visibly as Lurien, Lord of the Wild Hunt, placed himself squarely between the soldiers and their intended quarry. 

“Our laws state that betrayers and traitors are the rightful prey of the Wild Hunt,” said Lurien, then leaned forward in the saddle, his next words measured and menacing. “If he lives, he is mine. If he dies, he is also mine. Stay if you wish to join him.”

……………………………………………………………………..


LEGEND  LORE  LOVE  MAGIC

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim.

Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In this enchanting romance series from Dani Harper, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.


  
STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, STORM WARNED, STORM CROSSED
Note: Every book in this series is designed to stand alone.
It's fun to read them in order, but you won't get lost if you don't!


See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page 

6 comments:

  1. I love these posts Dani. Thank you for all these Myths and Legends. Love the Grimm series.
    Carol Lucia no
    Lucky4750 at aol for com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have read all the Grim Series books multiple times. love, Love, LOVE these and wish there were more. I'm glad to have found these posts!

    Patrice

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm currently working on Book 5 in the Grim Series. :)

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  3. Loved it. Now I have to read the book again. Such a great book.

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    Replies
    1. I'm really happy you liked it. I think Storm Crossed has been my favorite one to write (so far).

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