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Rivod, King of Brittany
(born c.472)

(Welsh-Rhiwod, Latin-Rivodus, English-Richard)

Having killed his brother, King Maeliaw, Rivod set his sights on the Breton throne. King Maeliaw's heir was his young son, Maelor, but Rivod had his right hand and left foot cut off. Being unable to ride a horse or wield a sword, Maelor thus became ineligible for the Kingship and Rivod took the crown. Loyal Barons sent Maelor first to live with the Abbot of St. Corentin and then with a Lord named Cerialtan. Here he grew up wearing a hand of silver and a foot of bronze that the Barons had had fashioned for him. As time went by, Maelor learnt to use his artificial limbs as if they were his own. He began to ride and fight, and to gather a following against the evil Rivod. Rivod soon came to hear of the young lad's prowess of arms and recognised the threat. So he called Cerialtan to him and offered him great stores of wealth to murder Maelor. Cerialtan was reluctant to accept: he had brought the young Prince up as his own son after all. However, his wife's quickly persuaded him that it was his own family that should come first. So Cerialtan agreed to bring Maelor's head to King Rivod in return for all the land as far as he could see from the top of Mount Frugy above Quimper. Meanwhile, Cerialtan's wife was having second thoughts, and told Maelor that he was in great danger and the two of them must flee. Together, they crossed the Arré Moutains and sought safety with the Comte de Beuzit at Lanmeur. However, Rivod sent Cerialtan and his son, Justan, out to look for them. Desirous of seeing her family again, Cerialtan's wife met with them and persuaded them to abandon their grisly task. Though the two agreed, the lady was still not sure of their intent and refused to let still-ignorant Maelor sleep in their room when he asked for their protection. For two nights, she held out before Cerialtan became angry and she was forced to consent. In the dead of night, the father and son decapitated the poor lad. Justan took Maelor's head and tried to deliver it to Rivod that night by sneaking out of the castle, but he fell from the ramparts and was killed. Cerialtan made the delivery himself the next day. Rivod was delighted with his trophy and when reminded of their bargain, easily confirmed his agreement. Cerialtan climbed Mount Frugy in order to claim all the land he could see, but on reaching the summit he was miraculously struck blind! St. Maelor's body was buried in the church at Lanmeur where his shrine can still be seen today. Rivod did not live long to enjoy his exalted position however. After his death, some records indicate the throne was claimed by his aging uncle, Erich.


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