trees of life
Andrew undergoes three days of brutal torture at the hands of the Mermedonians, during which he is dragged through the city, and his blood, flesh, and hair cling to the stones of its rough and cobbled streets. He complains to God that he had been told he would not be harmed, and it told to look back on the path of blood he has left behind him: ‘after God had finished speaking, the beloved champion looked back on the track, and saw groves of trees standing in bloom and adorned with blossoms where he had poured out his blood’. The appearance of these trees portends the metamorphosis that Mermedonia undergoes at the end of the poem, being transformed into a place of community, happiness and celebration.
the Aulders [Chapter 16]
The Aulders is the home of the mysterious chard coal berners. Here Riddley seeks out Goodparley’s former master, Granser, an itinerant healer. Riddley has found some ‘yellerboy stoan’, one of the essential ingredients for making gunpowder, which he gives to Granser. Guarding the ‘fissional seakerts’ of the chard coal berners, Granser sends Riddley outside while he mixes a sample. Employing esoteric knowledge, imparted through rhyme and ritual, Granser creates the 1 Littl 1, blowing himself up. The explosion also kills Goodparley. Meanwhile, the Eusa Folk and new Pry Mincer attempt to create a bomb through basic chemistry and a ‘some poasyum’ of ritual chanting and trance.