Character Development Profile:Aliases:
Assistant Pig Keeper, Master, pig keeper, the wanderer, ... pig boy.Age:
Approximately, fourteen years old.Alignment:
Taran is kindhearted, playful, childish, protective, loyal, compassionate, determined and brave. However, his courageousness sometimes can turn him into a stubborn, arrogant boy, and underneath this cover of conceit, lay feelings of inferiority and fear of being of no worth.Abilities:
Resilience, agility and the persistence to achieve a goal. Taran is skilled on farming and housekeeping, knows how to read and write, and is good at playing the lute. The boy is also great at falling and landing on his head.Habits:
Is inevitable for Taran to daydream, his mind also tends to wander off even when speaking, he has troubles concentrating and possesses a low attention span, which ultimately makes him seem foolish and to be easily deceived.Flaws:
Pig boy is naive, stubborn, whiny, talkative, absent-minded, of low self-esteem, lacks of common sense, occasionally he can be sexist and rude, and finally, has a poor personal hygiene.Companion/Pet:
His guardian Dallben, Hen Wen, Princess Eilonwy, all his friends, Prydain, being the hero, daydreaming, protecting his loved ones, animals and nature, likes to play, eating, sleeping, long walks through the forest.Dislikes:
Not being respected, being called "pig-boy", loud people, cowards, failing to accomplish a mission, feeling unworthy, hunting, not knowing anything regarding his origins, not being able to understand why Eilonwy gets mad at him.Fears:
Losing his loved ones, failure, being worthless, loneliness, Prydain being destroyed by war once again, the Horned King, Huntsmen of Annuvin, The Death Lord Arawn.Unique traits:
His expressive eyes and this noticeable lock of hair that sticks straight up from his head.Similar Characters:
Arthur (The Sword in the Stone).
Quasimodo (Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame).
Son Gohan (Dragon Ball Z).
Hiccup (How to Train your Dragon).Closest Allies:
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The Black Cauldron
“Legend has it that in the mystic land of Prydain there was once a king, so cruel and evil that even the gods feared him. Since no prison could hold him, he was thrown alive into a crucible molten iron. There his demonic spirit was captured in the form of a great black cauldron. As his essence dissolved in the red hot iron, the evil king cursed: ‘my power will not die; whoever uses the black cauldron for evil will be all powerful, for my blood will flow with his, and together we will either rule the world or destroy it’.”
…That message was written on the enchanted tome known as The Book of Three, the book that holds all the knowledge of the past, present and what future could bring, as well as magical spells, wisdom, and information concerning birth and death. In the tome’s pages’ such terrible fates, like wars, death and suffering also had a counterpart. The book also had on its pages the prophecy about someone who would be capable of leading a successful crusade against evil and free Prydain from the powers of darkness; but this person has to be someone with no station in life.
Dallben, the enchanter was the guardian of the Book of Three and, after reading about the prophecy, he decided to take on the task of finding this mysterious person into his hands. Therefore, he left his farm at Caer Dallben and began a journey through the many lands of Prydain. The wise wizard wandered for years but he was not able to find the person of the prediction. His search was unsuccessful because every person he talked to was aware of their origins, either peasant, Lord, warrior or merchant.
As the time kept passing, another war struck the already devastated land, this time it was a particularly serious one, so Dallben decided it would be for the best to postpone his search and went back to Caer Dallben. One cold winter evening, during his way back home, he passed by the ruins of a former village, there was nothing that could indicate what the town’s name was. Cautiously, Dallben entered to find silence, all houses were scorched and there was not a soul in sight. For a moment, the enchanter thought the inhabitants would all have escaped, but he was wrong. As he walked towards the town square, he found the battlefield and the village inhabitants… All of them lay dead, either commoners or nobles, even women and children.
Infuriated and with grief in his heart, Dallben realised there was nothing he could do, so he began his departure in silence. He was about to leave the town square when, suddenly, he heard a piercing crying. Immediately, he returned over his tracks and amongst the slaughter of the battlefield, he found a red headed infant. With kindness, the wizard held the baby close. It was a miracle: the baby, though visibly fatigued, was unscathed and also, from the infant’s wrapping, nothing could be judged about his station in life. Seeing a light of hope, the enchanter smiled and then, he brought the baby to be raised and educated at Caer Dallben. The infant was a very noisy one, so Dallben named him Taran, because his voice resounded like the thunder.
Years passed and Taran grew up to be a good hearted boy, always eager to learn and listen to Dallben’s lectures, he was also a great help with the farm and housekeeping chores. Even though the boy was obedient, ready to serve and well intentioned, he would also spend a large amount of time daydreaming; as he grew older, the boy became more impatient and longed to become someone heroic and worthy of admiration, and dreamed to become the greatest warrior in all Prydain. Having dreams was nothing wrong at all, but it was the attitude of superiority the boy developed. In some occasions in which the boy accompanied his guardian to the nearest town for provisions, he would refuse to talk to other children, saying they were lower than him. Clearly for Dallben, Taran felt too insecure to speak to them, but even if the enchanter was compressive and supportive, there were times in which the arrogant and talkative behaviour of the boy was too much for even the patient wizard to keep his temper.
One day, after a short journey, Dallben brought back with him something very especial, or so he said, to the house. An old friend of the enchanter had given him a little, pink piglet he called Hen Wen. Certainly, Taran wasn’t able to see something extraordinary about her, other than how Dallben spent much of his time taking care of her, like if she were his daughter. The boy wasn’t able to understand why and he secretly resented not being the centre of attention. However, Hen Wen was so sweet that the jealous Taran could not resist offering help and caring for her sometimes.
Nevertheless, the boy still longed to do heroic deeds. Not the everyday chores, but a real mission, especially after hearing the notice about war ravaging Prydain once more. Then, on the day he turned fourteen, the youngster was joyful believing that his guardian would, at last allow him to join the army since he said he had a very special mission for him. But his expectations were met with disappointment. In reality, that day he was entitled Assistant Pig Keeper, and his new duty consisted of being the one in charge of taking care of Hen Wen. Reluctantly and embittered, Taran accepted his new responsibility, but the lad still went on dreaming for the day he would be able to do something of real importance and prove his worth to the world.
A few months later, during a quiet summer morning, Taran was tending Hen Wen like any other day. The little pig ate and played happily but, out of a sudden, she became restless and down right scared, like if there were danger, but for the lad there was no motive to worry about, until his guardian hurried him to bring the piglet inside the cottage. Once inside, Dallben prepared a water container and ordered the boy to place the little pig close to it; then the sorcerer revelled to a confused boy the reason why Hen Wen was so special: Hen Wen had oracular powers; she can create visions on the water to show the future and events or things that happen in far away places.
Using a wooden staff, Dallben began to stir the water, and the pig placed the tip of her snout onto the surface of the whirling water. As the wizard murmured a spell, the water began to glow and a vision appeared. It showed that the Horned King, the evil overlord, was searching the location of the Black Cauldroun. Dallben made the visions end and then he explained to the astonished boy that the Black Cauldron was a powerful weapon, if the Horned King managed to obtain its powers, nothing could ever stand against him. A problem now was the fact that the evil lich also knew that Hen Wen could tell him where to find the Cauldron.
Fearing for the future of Prydain, the enchanter decided that the best way to solve this was to protect Hen Wen, and so he told Taran to take the pig to a hidden cottage at the edge of the Forbidden Forest and hide there, waiting until the danger was over. Again, Taran expected a real confrontation. However, he did as he was told, and taking Hen Wen with him, he departed, not before saying farewell to his guardian, promising him that he would not fail… And that is how the quest for the Black Cauldron began, an adventure with a lesson of friendship, kindness and humbleness.