The Gwyddbwyll Board of Constantine the Great

During the reign of Constantine, an ingenious tinkerer honored his reign by crafting a gwyddbwyll board that one could set and wind, and the pieces would play themselves. It was powered by springs, gears, and magnets that moved the pieces along the smooth board, but it was a spectacle that delighted the imperial court for several weeks. When they grew bored with it, Constantine sent it to Eboracum, to thank the soldiers there for the part they played in his ascension. It remained there until the reign of Coelestius, by which time its associations with Constantine had given it enough prestige to use as a brokering piece. One by one, Coelestius gave away the eight pieces used to defend the king as rewards to his vassals.

Current Whereabouts

The board and most of the pieces are owned by Coelestius’s heir, Einion ap Mark. To complete the board would mean getting the other pieces from the kings of the North who have come into possession of them. You know that Bishop Auspex, Pabos of the Peaks, Lennocus, and Urien .Rheged. The remaining four pieces must still be found.

Magical Properties

“The pieces were of silver, the board of gold and they played by themselves when it was set up.”

This is a rather literal description of the board. It always plays the same game, though one could simply not wind it to play a real game. By itself, it’s simply a toy. What makes it powerful is its history — its connection to Constantine and its reminder of Constantine’s connection to Britain, and the way it was used as a symbolic gift to tie together so many of the kings of the North.


Not yet known.

The Gwyddbwyll Board of Constantine the Great

Restitutor Orbis Jason