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The Price

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The Price is the fourteenth chapter of The Black Cauldron. Here the protagonists must each offer their most prized possessions to obtain the object of the story. The theme of magical excellence earning the admiration of one's friends is recalled, as each of the protagonists tries to keep the hero from surrendering his prize, even as he himself struggles with the decision to part with it.

This page contains spoilers. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not read further.
Black crochan
The three enchantresses confronted the Companions who were held fast by the Black Crochan in the chicken roost. Taran angrily called the trio "evil", which Orddu denied, claiming that they were interested in things as they are. Releasing the spell, Orddu let the companions move the Cauldron out into the yard, where in the rays of dawn it glowed red as blood. The witches said that Arawn had spoiled the Crochan for anything but making Cauldron-Born, in
Celtic-sword2
Gold ring
which they had no interest, and had decided the companions should have the pot -- for the right price. After a number of absurd suggestions -- the North Wind in a bag, a nice summer day -- Taran offered first his sword, a gift from Dallben, then the mare Lluagor bequeathed to him by Adaon, then Melynlas, his prized stallion, gift from Gwydion. All were refused. Gurgi offered his enchanted wallet of food; Eilonwy her ring with its Fair Folk jewel, then her bauble, to no avail; Fflewddur offered his harp but, while Orwen expressed interest in music, Orddu said they could simply send for singing birds, and declared that the three witches would keep the Cauldron after all.
White horse1
Handbag
Harp
The Black Cauldron
1. The Council at Caer Dallben | 2. The Naming of the Tasks | 3. Adaon | 4. In the Shadow of Dark Gate | 5. The Huntsmen of Annuvin | 6. Gwystyl | 7. Kaw | 8. A Stone in the Shoe | 9. The Brooch | 10. The Marshes of Morva | 11. The Cottage | 12. Little Dallben | 13. The Plan | 14. The Price | 15. The Black Crochan | 16. The River | 17. The Choice | 18. The Loss | 19. The War Lord | 20. The Final Price
Prydain bk2ch14

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