The Wraths of Caersws Myth in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

The Wraths of Caersws

A myth that is in fact a grim reality for the people of the town of Caersws, who are forced to give up three young children from their community each year to appease three Wraths, which were born from the slaying of the three Yamanov brothers one fateful Frost Yule by the town's ancestors, over 400 years ago.


Originally, the town of Caersws was the centre of a barony, overseen by the Barons of the Yamanov family, who ruled with relative competence and peace for many centuries. Then in around the year 168DW, Baron Ivan Yamanov died, and left the barony in the care of his triplets, all brothers, Demian, Lavr and Rustem.   Sadly for the people of Caersws, the three brothers proved to be more interested in drinking and carousing that they were in maintaining their father's level and fair rule and the town quickly fell on hard times. By the time the winter of 172DW - one of the harshest in living memory for the long lived races - came around the people of Caersws were starving and destitute.   When the Frost Yule of that year came around, the townsfolk sent a deputation to the Yamanov brothers, hoping that they would show clemency and give the people some of their bounty. Instead, the brothers, who had decided in a drunken stupor to style themselves as kings to the townsfolk, took up their swords and drove them away, killing several townsfolk and injuring many more in the process.   Bloodied and grieving, the townsfolk whipped themselves up into a frenzy, deciding that enough was enough. They took up arms and stormed the manor house the Brothers lived in, taking all the food and drink and burning it to the ground. The three brothers were dragged down into the town's market square, where Demian was burned at the stake, Lavr was drowned in a pit of water and Rustem was hung up by his neck and hacked to pieces by the townsfolk.   During the celebrations that followed their liberation, the people of Caersws vowed to be self determining and to never accept the rule of tyrants, lords or a single family again, something which still holds true to this day. However, in their jubilation, they did not realise that they had also brought about something more horrible.   At the time of their deaths a greater Devil, sensing their evil hearts and their great pain, approached each of the brothers and offered them life and revenge in exchange for their service, something each of the brothers agreed to with their dying breath.   The next Frost Yule, to the horror of the townsfolk, the three brothers appeared in the market square, now transformed into fiendish Wraths. They demanded as recompense for what the town had done to them, three children, to be picked at random, who they carried off back to the ruins of their manor house and who were never heard from again.   Now each Frost Yule, the Yamanov brothers return demanding the same payment, and continue to bring suffering and death to the people of Caersws in their new, hideous forms.

Historical Basis

The myth is widely regarded as being true, and anyone who has visited the town of Caersws will attest to quite how strongly the events of the myth are regarded as being the defining event in the town's recent history.    Those who visit the town at Frost Yule will be able to attest to the fact that the townsfolk still to this day hold a lottery of all the families that have babes or small children, with three unfortunate families being selected every year to leave their child at the base of the statue in the market square, which marks where the three Yamanov brothers were killed. They will further be able to attest that the children are nowhere to be found at the dawning of the New Year the next day.

Cultural Reception

The myth is little known beyond the borders of the town of Caersws and those who have visited the place, but it is regarded by those within the town and those more broadly who are aware of it as a cautionary tale against rash action and impromptu violence.

In Literature

Whilst not a staple amongst fireside tales, the Wraths of Caersws has been recorded in collections of myths, legends and fairytales. It was recorded for the first time, in what is regarded as the seminal literary telling, in the fourth volume of The Myths, Legends and Curiosities of Kelbonnar, by the widely celebrated collector of folklore and tales, Henrietta Suthmeer.   The most widely repeated part of the tale is the nursery rhyme that has developed over many years in the town of Caersws - see below - and often it will simply be this rhyme, rather than the whole of the tale that people are aware of.  

The Wraths of Caersws Nursery-rhyme

  There stood a house upon the hill   Where three brothers did take their fill   Of sweetmeats and wines   And everything fine,   But their people below   Did wade through the snow.   Starving and weak   All the people did seek   Was a crust of bread   To stave off their dread.     Though they pleaded their case   The brothers, a disgrace   Drove them all down   Back to the town   And laughed at their fate   As they returned to their gate.   But rage filled the people   As they looked on the steeple   Of the house of the things   Who would be their kings.     They rose up in fury   Became judge and the jury   And dragged the three   To the town with glee   Where they set quick to action   Gainst the brothers’ infractions.     One they tied to a stick in a pyre   And killed him with a horrible fire.   One they threw in a pit so deep   And sent him into a watery sleep.   The last they hung in the market square   And with knives and sickles at him did tear.     When the three were dead   The people were fed   On the sweetmeats and wine   And everything fine,   That filled up the larder   And filled them with ardour   To burn down the place   That the brother's disgraced   And the people did sing   At the death of their ‘kings’.     But not all was done   That the brothers had spun   For the next Frost Yule   They appeared as ghouls   Demanding recompense   At the people’s expense   And took three children   And ever since then   The brothers return at the end of each year   To take the one thing all mothers hold dear.

In Art

Because the myth is linked to a single, relatively small community, high up in the western Dragons' Tears Mountains, it has not spread significantly enough, nor is it well known enough to have become a regular or recognisable artistic subject. There is the odd piece of artwork linked to the Wraths of Caersws, but almost all known examples are found as illustrations in books that tell the tale.
Date of First Recording
289 DW
Date of Setting
Every Frost Yule for the last 400 years, beginning in the year 173DW.
Related Species
Related Locations


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