The ruler of the Welsh Fae or the “Tylwyth Teg” (Fair Folk) is Gwyn ap Nudd. He is also the King of the Dead, a sombre looking male who often is accompanied by an owl. He rules over a Middle Earth kingdom, beneath the Earth that is believed to be entered via the Welsh Lakes or through the Glastonbury Tor where he once ruled.

He left Glastonbury when the Christian missionaries began converting Britain to their way and turning the humans away from the Old God/desses and spirits. Even Saint Collen preached against Gwyn Ap Nudd – decrying that he was not a King of the Faeries nor the King of Annwyn the Underworld. This upset Gwyn who requested the Saint’s presence at Glastonbury Tor. The Saint reluctantly met with him armed carrying holy water. When he arrived upon the hill he discovered troops of minstrels, comely youths and graceful pretty maids with King Gwyn ap Nudd atop his golden throne. Gwyn offered Collen the feast but the Saint refused the Fairy food knowing eating such would trap him in Faerie forever. He then sprung up and doused the King with holy water causing Gwyn to disappear.

The son of Nudd, God of the Dead, Gwyn ap Nudd is one of the many Faerie Kings who serve the Underworld and the Dead. Other God/desses that do this are Barinthus, Arawn, and Finvarra. Sometimes the Land of the Fae is equivalent to the Land of the Dead in Celtic Folklore. These worlds are accessed from caves, wells, under lakes/pools, tors, and fairy mounds. These gates represented the power of the Fae – life and death, all power and fertility. The Dead are celebrated on Samhain, Yule, and Lughnasad when these doors are commonly found open.

Gwyn ap Nudd rules the Cwn Annwn, the red-eared white Faerie Welsh Hounds of the Underworld and Wild Hunt. THey ride out on wild and stormy nights to pursue the souls of the Newly Deceased. From a distance their howls sound like lamentation and get softer spoken the closer they come to their victim.

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