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Tuatha-De-Danaan Many times since the earth was young, this place had lain under the sea. When the continents formed different shapes a small island broke from the mass. This was a time when no animals walked the earth, no birds soared in the skies and there were no fish in the sea. No eye, save that of God beheld this land. On its far western shore there lay a spur, which jutted in a lonely fashion, out into the ocean that lay there at the time. In the eight geological periods that followed, mountains rose and fell and life gradually evolved but the earth dare not affect this place. Our story takes place on that island, millennia later. It was the end of a cold, star filled spring night and a crowd of two hundred people stood in a semi-circle, waiting for the dawn. Anticipation wafted around the beach on the sea breeze. In front of the assembly stood five figures. Silent and still, in their long grey robes, they might have been mistaken for so many standing stones. These were the druids and they were about to perform a ceremony, which was hoped would save the island and their world. There were so many sacred sights along the length of the beach, but none where the spirit of the ocean was so clearly present, for here was where spur and sea met. ...read more.


The ceremony had taken place ten days after the news had come. Gobann had to move quickly. The threat came from the mainland; a country called Hibernia, which had been conquering realms for two years, after a man called Brecan became the king. Last year, he had come. With a modest force, mainly infantry, Brecan had disembarked below some soaring white cliffs but the druids had been warned. The warriors had fought bravely against the disciplined troops from the mainland in the summer heat. Due to their strategic advantage the islanders were victorious; but now Brecan had again turned his eyes to the mist-shrouded island of the North. News had recently begun to filter across to the isle. The summer was only a reconnoitre. A new fleet was being built by Brecan. No fewer than five thousand troops and some two thousand cavalry were rumoured to be under orders. Ten days ago a messenger to the druid council had paused at Rathowen. His message was brief and definite, 'Brecan is coming'. In a wood three miles South of Rathowen Gobann and Mawn lay curled in their cloaks and covered in leaves and brush. The trees grew close together in this part of the wood and people could not pass easily between them so they felt secure that the enemy would not search as carefully there. ...read more.


sudden illumination as part of a more general process, a special sense of life that had become more pervasive as he grew older. Indeed, to the boy, this life seemed more and more dreamlike. Outside it laid, not darkness, but something light, very actual; something he felt he had always known, even if he could not describe it, and to which he would return. Sometimes with awful clarity, the gods would indeed show him a piece of the future, and at such times he knew he must keep it secret from other men. But usually he stumbled forward through life with only a vague sense that he was part of something predetermined, that was always so. The gods, he felt, were guiding him towards destiny, and death was only a fleeting thing, part of a larger day. But here was the strange and disquieting thing. In the last two years the gods had been signalling to him that even this larger destiny, this encompassing shadow world, was coming to an end. It was almost he sensed, as if the ancient island gods were preparing to withdraw. Was the world coming to an end? Or, he wondered, did the gods, like men, pass on, falling as leaves to the ground? Or perhaps, he wondered, sitting next to the old man, perhaps the gods were just like streams, flowing invisibly into the larger ocean. Tuatha-de-Danaan, as time permits. ...read more.

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