In early May, 1456, a few days before Ascension, Jago the Hedger wandered into the village of Treen some time past noon. That he had come in six hours early was unusual but that he had then immediately requested a bucket of ale and downed it in a half dozen swallows was unprecedented! Unprecedented first because no one had ever seen such a prodigious effort and second because Jaco had here-to-for never drank so much as a beaker of the stuff.
Jaco was, at best, a halfwit, although a hard working and honest one. While simple, he did have sufficient wit to avoid appointment as Village Idiot. That sinecure was then held by one Daft Kitto the Frogger who apparently spent his days attempting to gig frogs in the surrounding meadows, a pastime that engendered much mirth in the dead of winter.
When Jaco was questioned about his strange behavior he simply said, “Orbs! Afloat in the sky!” and then ordered a second bucket.
This then was the first recorded report of the arrival of the orbs. Carac later set down dozens of accounts of “Arrival Day” from witnesses in the region of Treen, Porthcurno, and Trethewey. Some are fanciful in the extreme, others clearly mistaken or lacking veracity, but enough common elements are present to give us a useful, if composite, description.
They were six (perhaps seven) in number, floating slowly north AGAINST the off-shore breeze. They were perfectly spherical and pale in colour (much like the moon several witnesses said). Most observers also noted that a much smaller box was suspended below (or maybe simply moved with) each one. A single witness said that she felt the boxes were “inhabited”.
Much of the day was spent watching the orbs until they disappeared among the peaks of the Gobetween Mountains. That night special Masses were said in a dozen parish churches and bonfires lit. Men armed themselves with cudgels and spoke of brave deeds while the women folk gathered up the children and held them close. There was, quite naturally, drinking … singing of war chants … and hushed talk of demons and kelpies and other much darker things that inhabited the unknown corners of the world.
When the next few days past without further occurances the talk began to die down and a calm, of sorts, returned to Lyonesse, the most westerly finger of Kernow.