The Fortress is the eleventh chapter of The High King. Here battle ensues, brutal and chaotic, as some of the most tragic and heart-breaking events in the series occur.
PlotCaer Dathyl, before the assembled Sons of Don, King Pryderi announced his intention to allow Arawn Death-Lord to "bring peace" (by which he meant death and annihilation) to the squabbling cantrev lords of Prydain. High King Math, Prince Gwydion, War Leader Taran of Caer Dallben and his Companions, and all lords assembled utterly rejected the western King, but King Math permitted Pryderi to return unharmed to his command. Battle commenced the next day. Pryderi waited past the expected time, and Gwydion decided to ride out and meet the Western forces on the open field.
Although the Sons of Don and their allies routed Pryderi's forces, to the shock and horror of all, an army of Cauldron-Born arrived, bearing a great battering ram. The defensive forces parted for the deathless warriors' remorseless march to the gates, where unaffected by flights of arrows they battered the portals, burst in and slew High King Math before razing the fortress overnight. Defeated, the defenders fled en masse into the surrounding, frozen mountains.
|The High King|
|1. Homecomings | 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|