Yeah so I spent way too long proofreading this and procrastinating to have anything interesting to say above hello and goodbye.
No seriously, really happy with Cur, could be better, I think it needs another going through before an edit. Gonna rope in Chrissy again for that when it’s good and ready. The story is reaching the apex, it’s about to get really good. I was considering putting this next bit earlier on but my good buddy that got me into the witcher which I know hate (the witcher not my polish pal) convinced me to put it later on for more of a reveal.
I didn’t really want an ‘epic reveal’ because I wanted the story to sort of stand on it’s own. I’m still not 100% I’ll need to come back to and decide, I’ll have some other people read it and give me a general feel. I just need to set aside some time to really do a deep dive on it and get some feedback from everyday plebs haha.
But I like what’s there, I think it’s solid, it’s got a good foundation. I loved writing it, I loved getting into celtic folklore, it was really like a journey for me. I loved every minute of it, I literally have like 80+ pages of notes I took from all over the place, no not just from wikipedia.
So yeah, Diana aside this one caught me off guard and is probably the most ambition and most exhilarating project I’ve done and I can’t wait to keep it going. I’m predicting like five books but we’ll see, there may be more because there are massive gaps in the actual folk lore. It doesn’t really have an ending so that’s going to be the big thing for me. Finding a place to end is hard because the folklore is written like real history and history has no end.
But that’s about it, didn’t get a lot of Diana editing done because of irl shit and I’m staring down the barrel of a lot of day job drudgery leading up to christmas, so that should be fun. Unironically of course.
So yeah now I want to make sweet french toast that I saw on a facebook ad, bye now!
They fled Slaghtaverty before daybreak, taking a steep path out of the valley. Cur walked silent and solemn in front of the cart with Tuan at his heels in the form of a dog once again. Birog trailed behind on the cart her side lighter without the sword but her heart heavy. She looked back at Slaghtaverty and over the other side she saw smoke coming from Newgrange.
The streets of Slaghtaverty were bare and made a hollow ringing sound as the horses hooves struck the cobbles.
“Where is everyone?”
It was midday now and the streets were barren and silent as the grave. The only sound heard was the occasional shutter slamming as presumably a dweller locked their house up tighter than before.
“Some kind of peasant holiday perhaps” Bres joked atop his elegant horse. His men laughing nervously as their eyes darted here and there.
“I smell magic in the air” Dian said led along as their prisoner on the back of Ogma’s horse.
Ogma himself had a bandage over his ear that Dian Cecht saw fit to administer with a sly grin at the corner of his mouth.
Their procession continued through the empty streets slowly. Cautiously looking at every window and door frame until they came upon a stream that flowed adjacent the outer wall.
At that stream was an old washer woman on her knees furiously scrubbing something in the water.
Their processions stopped with a clattering of hooves and chainmail hauberks. Bres motioned to one of his men to approach the hag by the stream.
He did so with an air of caution which seemed puzzling even to him. Everyone felt it, a sense of distinct and terrible foreboding, they could smell it.
The old woman began to hum over the sound of her thrashing the clothes in the water.
Bres and his men approached her but she didn’t seem to notice, continuing to wash her clothes in the stream unburdened by their presence.
The soldier approached close enough almost to touch her rags and then he saw the water, red and thick with blood. “Hag, who’s clothes do you wash?”
Her humming sank low and then stopped. “I wash the clothes of those fallen in battle.” She muttered flatly.
“What battle? Who’s clothes?” The soldier craned his neck to try and see the clothes and stood stunned and frozen at the sight of the crest emblazoned on them. For it was their own.
“I wash your clothes sir knight” She said. “The one you seek, the broken king, he waits for you in the glade- blood and bone and death he wears as his mantle.”
The hag turned, her face hideous, ravaged by age and twisted by evil. She let out an ear piercing shriek which made all clutch their ears in pain.
Ogma acting quickly covered his remaining ear and with his free hand clubbed the hag from his saddle. With a sickly thudding crunching sound felled her in one blow.
The soldier fell back gripped by fear “It’s an evil spirit, a tide of ill omen sire! We must abandon this quest!” He screamed. “We shouldn’t have burned the newgrange! We’re damned!”
“Silence, superstitious nonsense, some mad old woman means nothing of our luck, now away with you!” Bres realigned himself in his saddle and spoke softly “We’ll find somewhere to recoup, a bit of rest will do us all good.” His words felt practised and empty, his eyes fearing to rest on any of his men.
Despite the initial summation, the town was not empty but sealed and covetous. Bres and his men stole away to an inn of which they made up the majority patron.
The inn was dark and cold and squalid and smelled of ash and dried blood. The barkeep a skinny potmarked man with a round gut greeted them sheepishly. His hands shaking and his skin ashen.
“We seek food and drink for me and my men” Bres stated.
“Oh” He said shakily. “And how will sire be paying may I ask?”
“You speak to the king of Inish veil, that is payment enough.” Bres bellowed.
“You’re pulling my leg, Bres, the king of inish veil would never set foot in-.” The man took aside the events of the past evening and gazed at their crest and at the visage of Bres the beautiful himself. “R-right away my lord, forgive me my king, I should’ve known by the crest, by your face, your noble voice alone! It’s just we’ve had somewhat of an upset here-“ The barkeep as if forgetting something paused and darted into the back to prepare viddels for the troop.
He returned shortly with a caske of ale, some bread and cheese and dried meats of which the men took of without hesitation.
Bres approached the cleanest looking bench and prepared to sit when a strange man slipped into his path.
“Good day sire” The man said calmly.
“Good day” Bres said with a puzzled indifference.
The stranger was slight and had a flowery way about him with brightly coloured clothes, wearing a goose feather cap.
“It is I Coirpre, I was on my way to Dun Bresse but as you yourself reside here, noble King Bres. I see no point in making the journey, I ask only the price of an ale and a good meal”
Read the rest on inkitt Dyed in the wool