Olchar E. Lindsann

from Arthur Dies, Chronicle I, Vol. 5 (in progress)

Now scarce the good king niall in his barrow lay in the loam beneath leinster sore beset was for the Cloud from oversea bebillowed cross and rained down dust upon the gæls and thickened like paste on the face of the sun like black manure ceased to nourish so dark the air was stagnant and brackish the leas were soured to mires and the fields went fallow and the air buzzed asquirm with miasmas drift like ship wreck wood grew rotten crops withered in sheaves will topple along the shore-forts were the first to feel the plague clutch with mucus up their lung branches hung with strangeling lichen spread across the trees diseased gæls packed in healling houses turned to pest infected graneries draining daily death toll the bells each evening was when the deaths came swiftest along the coasts would soon with deadly sailes swarm from passture to pasture and left nothing but soon became pest houses empty like husks and naught else we must soon the gæls sore beset them to survive the Cloud overshadowed niall's funeral feast was sad and scanty where his son gilloman who young for the crown the crown took upon him the weight of the famine he said must be ended and sended forth warriors seven to find the fabled caulldron long ago stolen our families and stolen our chattel and stolen our offerings intended for the rites were said over graves stacked with the dead was his father so gilloman ordered and so was it done too slowly for lo as they feasted a stranger appeared at the hall who was lanky and scraggy while goblets were supspended while mutton and mead and kidneys and barley-bread waited uneaten despite that the hunger was throbbing like heartbeats against the walls of the hall was sighlent for the blood which dripped ever from his s'word-arm a s'word arm no longer was for sorely had it been hacked from the elbow so now twas sinew merely with a mighty artery yet dripped in solid throbs the blood that led back through the hall's stout doors were clever in their crafting in seven skins of beech and of iron and of alder and of bronze and of ash and of granite and of yew were dying in the forests as the heaths to moors were dessicrated for all the fruit trees are struck barren until the conception of gilloman so all knew he was fated yet they could struggle through the loss of the blood of the messenger which stwretched like a river of serum many hundreads of leagues to the shore he reports has been raided and scorched for he declares what follows:

Listen for i am crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath is ravaged and pillaged and burned and enslaved by one pascentricius named who is cravan and ravenous for subjugation will be the lot of all the nine peoples of gæl unless togeather we band of warriors was atrophied by plague and weakened on half rations and woe wracked for worry for their families are enslaved when not slain by machine like soldiers immune to the plague of killing slew us like engines yet even as you see me a living fountain of blood sustained alone by my rage for revenge shall be dangerous and slow broewing across the sea in albion which even now raves upon its sickbed with the disease of rome has never left but festered into the gangrene of ængals and at last infecsts us now it wafts across the sea in spoares come tidings that the ængals have been beaten in battle by lords brought from benoic and from benoic a fleet sank the fleet of the ængals disappeared from our shores for a season has passed so they say the new king into death and was lain in the barrow while some enemy of his is this pascentricius is a vicious pirate is along with ængals and sæx and pictes and enemies of this new dragon -king is named uther is acclaimed a mighty warrior among the raiders of pascentricius slew my consort and my child fled the first landing but were caught where they hid while i, ô woe, upon the ramparts were already weakened by years resisting the war blocks in roman fashion their weapons not only for wounding to highten the pain seemed to stream from their steel shells implacable as venemous tortoises trampled our beeding young ængals wear masks and wear caps and wear sleeve shells of steel rebuffs arrows and turns spear tips like the masts of sinking ships were aflame in the harbours no refugees they say and so the starving were turned away from their colonies already are being newly seized the fortifications along the coast and the hill fort at dub-lynn was taken and the garrison massacred repeatedly throughout the country side are fleeing in whole clans of refugees shall soon arrive for succour is to be found only in solidarity of the nine tribes of the gæls must be mustered as brothers!

So gilloman honoured crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath and offered him mead fermented from the honey distilled by the bees of the fir bolgii restores the strength of its drinker a thousandfold curses upon the heads of the hoardes of pascentricius were too busy with plunder and arranging their extortion shall be systematic like that of the ængals persist so they say in the east of albion alone can defeat the raiders cannot be allowed to penetrate the intearior of gæland holds no treasure like the mattock borne into the hall is fifty palm spans wide and its shaft is thirty paces long and taking it in his hand gilloman says to crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath listen o crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath must kneel before I shall strike him but crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath leaps up raised fist retorts never shall crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath kneel before another of gælands nine -kings insolent gilloman o niall but gilloman says again to crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath listen o crimthann mc fidaig my fellow gæl to kneel you ought before I shall strike you but crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath proud stands and answers crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath shall not before any gæl kneel naive gilloman o niall but gilloman says once more to crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath listen o crimthann mc fidaig my friend you woould be wise to kneel before I shall strike so crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath kneels down his head bowed and says crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath kneels only for fellowship fair gilloman o niall so kneels he and gilloman raises the mattock and heartily strikes at the wound of crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath is gushing as waterfalls gush round the paddle of the mattock meets with a wet slap the flesh and the sinew and bone and jagged skin and veins and spouting artearies of crimthann mc fidaig the -kingthane of meath and lô, twas dried and heealed over in an instant the -king young gilloman issues couriers to the seven -kings of gæl yet remaining in the overrun lands amidst flames and terror for weeks as they ride the seven roads and as the seven councils speak and vote and as the seven envoys chosen are and as the retinues are formed and as they wind along the seven roads returning to the colonies were among them renegade ængals once desprised and now returned to take again the reins of ruin both the people and the soil itself had been by the colonists so over worked that they had held before the council called by gilloman could meet the colonists of pascentricius tightened their grip on repropertied fiefs held by turn coat gæls backed with spears bought from pascentricius promptly propounded a new god insisted upon abject grovelling at the foot of a cross him is to perish all the mantras of the mnemnomancers with their thanes and matres have gone to ground itself seems to groan beneath their new taxes that cannot be paid are paid instead in levies building new defenses ever more imposing the rule among the plague and famine of colonial Law.

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