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This page is about the book chapter. For the villainous character see Arawn Death-Lord.

The Death Lord is the nineteenth chapter of The High King. Here is the climax of the action, the resolution of the major conflict not only of this book, but of the entire five-book series. The hero is given the opportunity to fulfill every goal of heroism he ever envisioned for himself as a youth, and to bring about the downfall of every antagonist in the story.

This page contains spoilers. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not read further.

Plot

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Flaming Sword
The gwythaint grabbed Taran with its beak but rather than kill him, it pulled him from the ledge to safety at the summit of Mount Dragon. Taran realized this was the Gwythaint Fledgling he had once nursed back to health. As three Cauldron-Born warriors beset him, he sought a weapon and heard the wind keening through holes in a large stone.
Chief Steward
Evil-throne-room
He wrenched the boulder free, toppling two of the warriors; in a hollow he found the sword Dyrnwyn, seized the blade and with it pierced the breast of the Cauldron warrior, killing it instantly and causing all the other Cauldron-Born to die with a final shriek. The Commot men followed Taran into the courtyard to the Great Hall beyond, where Prince Gwydion commanded Taran to sheathe the blade lest it cost him his life!

Taran obeyed but quickly deduced the man, with his harsh speech and manner, was not the Prince of Don. Taran tried to strike, but too late! Arawn turned into a shadow and vanished. In the Great Hall, Magg imposed himself upon Arawn's throne, and essayed to don The Iron Crown of Annuvin, but the enchanted crown melted his skull.

Following the chaotic defeat of Arawn's forces, the companions gathered before the Great Hall. Achren identified Arawn in the form of a serpent which reared to strike Taran, and moved to intercede. The serpent struck her fatally, but Taran quickly cleaved it with Dyrnwyn. The sword then began to fade, losing its enchantment. The stronghold of the Death-Lord burst into flame and fell to ruin. Princess Eilonwy, employing her bauble, and Chief Bard Taliesin were able to read the old inscription on the scabbard:
Black-Snake

"Draw Dyrnwyn, only thou of noble worth, to rule with justice, to strike down evil. Who wields it in good cause shall slay even the Lord of Death."
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The High King
1. Homecoming | 2. The Letter Sticks | 3. The Prophecy | 4. King Smoit's Castle | 5. The Watcher | 6. A Clutch of Eggs | 7. The King of Mona | 8. The Messengers | 9. The Banner | 10. The Coming of Pryderi | 11. The Fortress | 12. The Red Fallows | 13. Darkness | 14. Daylight | 15. The River of Ice | 16. The Enchanter | 17. The Snowstorm | 18. Mount Dragon | 19. The Death-Lord | 20. The Gift | 21. Farewells

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