In An Isle full of Noises – the Merlin Chronicles Volume 3, Merlin is also known as Colt and Al Hayuu.
The time: ca 1630. The place: England.
A single wagon with one horse, two elderly women and one scrawny-looking man should have been a target for bandits but Al Hayuu’s magic protected them.
They talked to people they met. Vagabonds, families with no home, no work, no hope. They came to villages and towns and listened to sermons. They heard of revolts in the west. Bad harvests. Again. Famine and illness. Still.
But here was something else in the air.
‘Do you feel it?’ Lily asked as they passed through a market in a village not so far from Salisbury.
Al Hayuu nodded. ‘Anger,’ he said.
‘People are no longer just afraid. They’re also angry.’
Nettie looked at them. ‘People are always angry.’
‘Not like this,’ Al Hayuu said. ‘Now their anger is starting to turn upwards.’
‘And the king is scared,’ Lily murmured, moving closer to the horse as though for comfort from this solid dependable warm creature. ‘Of the “many-headed monster”.’
‘The people,’ Al Hayuu said. ‘Look at them.’
They looked. A young man in rags was talking heatedly to a group of men, women and children who looked as hungry as he was. The words, ‘common rights’, martial law’ and ‘freedom’ could be heard then the young man shouted, ‘I will not be a soldier in the king’s army! I’ll hang first!’ There was uneasy murmurs of agreement.
‘The king is a fool,’ Lily said. ‘He’s a danger.’
Al Hayuu looked at her. ‘Prophecy? Or are you just being sensible?’
She allowed herself a brief smile. ‘A bit of both perhaps.’
‘An isle full of noises,’ Al Hayuu murmured.
They wandered, they listened, they talked.
The noises grew.
And five years passed.