Every court of the many kings of Ireland had among its members a bard, poet, or file, spoken as fillah, whose job it was to record and recount the tales of the lives of not just their own king but of all the kings who came before. The strict training of the file was meant to ensure that all of their storehouses of stories would be preserved as the living memory of the people for all generations to come. These are but of a few of the eldritch legends and indeed historical records that echo down to us today!
Tales from the Historical Cycle
||The Vengeance of Mesegdra|
Back in the days of Ireland of old, in the times when legends walked the earth and before the light came to drive back the shadows of ancient times, the word of a bard was much feared, for the people had no writing, so all of their words and histories were stored in songs and poems by bardic masters.
As you can imagine they were very wary of get ... [more]
||The Secret of Labraid|
In ancient days there was an Irish King whose name was Labraid Lioseach, known also as Labraid the Sailor for a long voyage he took into fairy seas, and when he came back from that voyage he was never seen without a deep hood over his head, except by one man.
That man saw him once a year to trim his hair, and after the King's hair was cut, t ... [more]
||The Breaking of Seven Geases|
It was the custom in Ireland of old to lay geases upon champions, heroes and warriors, these were magical forbiddings, deeds they must not do or disaster would follow, and no disaster fell so hard upon a man who broke his geases as upon Conaire Mor!
His mother was a woman of the Sidhe called Etain, who had been married to King Eochaid, but disco ... [more]
||The Vanishing of Cormac|
Tierna the Historian was one of the many chroniclers and monks who wrote the tales of ancient Irish legends, telling us of strange and notable events in the almost forgotten past, the deeds of heroes and kings, and in one case, the disappearance of the High king himself! For it was by Tierna's hand we know that High King Cormac went missing for ... [more]
||The Sword of Cormac|
In the time between Fionn and St Patrick, there rose over the people of Ireland mighty High Kings, who held power by force of arms, wit and wisdom. One of the greatest among them was Cormac of the wide purple cloak, whose hair was as golden as the heavy torc around his neck, with teeth like a shower of pearls and skin as fair as snow.
Grandson o ... [more]
||Ethne Leaves the Fairies|
Long ago when the fierce Milesians invaded Ireland and defeated the De Danann after many wars and battles, despite their sorceries and all their courage, skill and sciences, the folk of Danann made for themselves eldritch amulets and charms by which they and all their possessions became invisible to mortals, and so they continued to lead their old ... [more]
The Tailteann games were a grand affair in Ireland once upon a time, every bit as celebrated and renowned as the Olympics are today. Having their roots thousands of years earlier, in the time of the Tuatha Dé Danann, lakes were made and gigantic fires were lit during Lughnasadh, the summer feast in July.
Druids and poets would compose cea ... [more]
The Claddagh Ring is one of those well known emblems of Ireland that most people recognise, but how many know the stories behind it? Many's the young man has gifted one to his lady, giving his heart along with it, as did the ring's original maker.
Back in the seventeenth century there was a young Irish lad by the name of Richard Joyce, w ... [more]
||The Cursing of Tara|
Ah Tara, Temair of old, seat of more than a hundred High Kings of Ireland for better than a thousand years, home to the royal lines of Cormac and Tuathal, where is your wisdom and beauty? Where are the mighty warriors and poets who once danced in your halls? Why now do cattle and livestock graze where the mighty Fionn faced the Tuatha sidhe with a ... [more]
||Saint Patrick at the Hill of Tara|
On Easter Sunday morning, in anno domine 433 it was that Patrick came face to face with the beating heart of the old religion at Tara, and did battle with the Druids. Although some might dispute the miraculous nature of the events that took place on that day, few argue they didn't happen, so take from that what you will!
Laeghaire the king a ... [more]
||Battle of Clontarf|
Brian Boru was one of the greatest High Kings of all Ireland, a Christian king whose small dynasty challenged and broke even the power of the O'Neills, who had ruled Ireland from time immemorial. He rose to power at a time when the cruel Norseman was pillaging the lands of both Ireland and England, slaughtering and slave-taking, barbarians in e ... [more]
||The Madness of Suibhne|
King Suibhne was master of the northern land of Dalriada in Ulster, and a grim and fierce king he was too, yet fair to behold like palest snow, with deep blue eyes. A mighty master at arms, he was called to war often, but latterly to the bloody battle of Moy Rath. As he readied himself he heard in the distance a church bell ringing, and no man of G ... [more]