Take away all of that fake imagery of your typical Leprechaun. This tale is not for everyone infact it is intended for the believers of us.
The faerie folk.
Come, take a walk with me through the ancient dusty road where many a creature have fallen by the wayside. Too many to count.
My questions are the same as yours. Who are we? What are we? Why are we here?
I’ve heard of old Gods, I try to communicate with them but nothing. I leave offerings in holy places of the ancients, I’ve searched the length and breadth of the land. Nothing.
My name is Dearthel, Changeling Prince of the Fairy folk. I am the joining bridge between our worlds.
I was human for 17 years as a boy named Fergal, I lived and breathed the mortal life. I lived with my six brothers and my surrogate father, I often visit them but I’m never visable. I know they are kept well by my fellow folk.
They still await my return. Never believing that I perished. Oh I was so happy there in that little village.
Until an encounter with Conarght of the gold under that Hawthorne tree, that day changed my destiny forever.
Eventually I got involved with the other crowd. I was hunted after escaping the banshee when I was a newborn, my mother released a pure magic to keep me safe. When my true nature was revealed the banshee was after my blood.
After the destruction of the Red Banshee a year ago, I had a thirst for knowledge, an unquenchable desire to know where we came from and for our genealogy. It was consuming me. I need answers that Conarght had.
My mother worried about me getting involved with Conarght again. But I needed answers as he had been around longer than us.
I asked the devil Leprechaun to help me.
Conarght of course was closed off in body and spirit, it took alot of persuading. Day after day I would visit and plead. Stubborn little creature he was.
I finally broke down his barrier by telling him I will make the last wish. My last wish would release him from our grasp. Although he did tempt me by telling me to wish for the knowledge. I declined, as much as I yearned to.
His story is within these volumes. Once completed he will be released.
This story is told in the words of Conarght himself. I will write as if it were a formal interview.
Beware, you may be mislaid and tricked along the way. Not by my words as I will write exactly what he says but just a warning to you. Leprechauns like to fool and deceive. Always the way with this particular trickster.
Something he said to me that haunts me everyday. Be careful what you wish for!
Many have fallen on the road of the lonely Leprechaun. Too many to count.
I walked to Erith’s house, down the little allies and avenues of this little fairy kingdom. I changed my form to my original fairy size so I could walk.
Little fairy folk going about their day to day life. Rejoicing in their little ways,it always amazed me how different humans and the fairy folk were. None of us envied anything we had or hated.
Their was a fine balance here, I understand in the past that their were faery tribulations. The folk had been captive of evil at one point. But it didn’t matter now. We were at peace.
The little streets were flecked with gold and crystals of every colour. Nearly at Edith’s place, I jumped up and started to fly. The view was brilliant, the little streets giving off an amazing shine almost like a rainbow road.
I flew fast to Erith’s house. Her wooden door fast shut. I knocked three times and instantly the portal opened. It was my beloved Edith, her golden hair down with little silver bows hanging on random strands. Her golden eyes lit up when she saw me, next moment we were dancing in her living quarters in the air.
Hugging and gently kissing, we were in love. What a feeling!
Eventually our passions died and we drifted down. The purpose of my visit. Conarght.
“How is he today?” I asked getting lost in her eyes again.
“Grumpy! As always!” She giggled.
“Well I hope he’s going to keep to his promise” I said looking towards the cellar door.
She turned my head with her gentle hand.
“He will my love” she kissed my brow “go now and see.”
I walked to the cellar door, not quite expecting anything. Down the dark steps I went, the light softly illuminated the cellar room.
The cellar was very wide and tall, rows and rows of casks of vintage Mead. Delicious.
At the very back wall, the leprechaun standing up with his front leg standing and his other leg half cocked up. He looked like a giant to me in my current form. So I switched.
The role was reversed in the blink of an eye. He sneered.
He looked at me with disgust as asked him how he was. He was bored of this cellar. Not being able to get out at all. My mother put a force on the door of the cellar.
“Well are we going to start today?” I asked suddenly and it caught him off guard, I was never this quick to ask. Normally it would be a little game before I asked. A battle of wills it could best be described.
“Well now, if you want to know our history. I’ll tell ye! But it won’t bring you happiness or closure to the ailments of your mind.” He quickly glanced over at some chairs and a table then pointed.
“Shall we sit and talk your heiness?” Mocking me as always. His little red hat still over his one eye, a permanent Cheshire cat grin.
So we sat, I waved my hand and there appeared some food and stout. He jumped at the chance of food and drink, I smirked in spite of myself and he saw it. I remembered the time it was the other way when he tried to trick me through food and drink.
He was not happy, he spat out the food he was chewing.
“Oh funny now is it? Well now, I understand” he said spewing out bits of the food.
“Oh how the mighty have fallen! Cornarght you tried to trap me! Now it’s me who’s trapped you!” I quipped back.
He scowled. “Well if and when I’m released there will be hell to pay. And ye will be my first visit my sweet Prince!”
I waved my hand non commitedly. I grew tired of his threats, he was powerless..at the moment.
“So shall we begin my little Red Hat?” I was a bit impatient with him these days. “Don’t worry about that last wish, it’ll be granted!”
He sighed, bit into a piece of bread and took a long draught of his stout. He sighed. Then he began
“If I were to start anywhere twould be on the beginning when Ireland and indeed the world were together. Every country of Earth joined to the hip, as it were.” He stopped. His eyes rolled up, he was looking into himself for more information.
“The whole world? One continent?” I said baffled.
“Yes, and it was better. No rivers or seas to separate my kin or yours” he said sadly. He carried on.
“Now, in the beginning there was endless mist from every point of the Earth. Out of the mist came the mother of our kind. A beautiful woman of beautiful designs.
She was a giant woman of fantastic proportion, so high she stood that the Mourne mountains looked like a stepping stone. her golden hair flowing freely, blue eyes full of joy… tsk! fergal is ye would of seen her!
We asked her, as her children, where she came from. She pointed to the ground and smiled, always smiling. Her magic was her essence. She was mother nature incarnate.
Her name was Danu
She created everything from the mist including our kind. Her magic was strong, all she did was grab a handful of this endless mist and create. Thats how nature was created including us.
Our mother goddess loved us and treated us greatly, then she made man kind. That’s when the great turmoil started.
Now I was a youngling when I started to communicate with my mistress, she noticed my musical ability to make men weep or rejoice. I could entrance the feeble minded with notes.
Now me and my fellow leprechaun folk grew to hate man and his desires, so basic and trivial, we despised him. It created a problem with our High Mistress, she wanted peace and accord.
Then the Formarians arrived.”
“Who are the Fomorians?” I asked politely whilst taking a sip from my stout.
“A proud race, proud indeed! Now, these beings were giants too like Danu. The difference being Fergal that they were everything the Tuath Dé danann were not.” He stopped.
I ignored his reference to my old mortal name. He smiled and nodded his head. Another drink of the stout.
“They were evil. Their leader was named Partholeon and he said they came from underground below the mist. We all met as friends at first, we were told of a place deep in the Earth where a beautiful light lived and life surrounded the light.
Pantholeon was a great leader, he scared us at first. The sight of him! A goats head with one eye would you believe! The body of a man with the legs of a goat. He spoke richly about our two worlds colliding and forming an everlasting alliance. He is the father of what you would call goblins and trolls.
Now it came to be that there were to be a great council between the Tuath Dé danann and the Formarians to decide on the fate of such a truce.
And as it so happens nearly everyone alive in that day voted with their right hand as a yes.
However after the truce was summoned, we all got along great and we held a fantastic banquet. I was chosen to play my fiddle, I played with all my heart and soul. I made the entire crowd weep and rejoice with every tug of my bow.
So impressed was the fomarians that they gave me and my fellow leprechauns a gift each, from their own land. The gift of gold.” He looked down at his empty cup sorrowfully. “Ah fine days they were. Where notes of music rang true and love was pure” he shook his head as if he had swallowed a bitter pill.
“So what happened to them? The fomarians?” I asked desperately. I’d never heard of them before and I eyed him with suspicion.
“Well, we would be jumping ahead there now! What I will say is that it was a long peaceful reign, and I grew to love the formarians. Too much and so did our little group. At court we would talk about how great it was to have them. They lured us with their spirit and nature, I for one loved their little ways of magic.” He laughed. “Oh how they tortured men, always mankind. They hated them as much as we! Danu was outraged when she heard of mankind being treated with contempt, men being mocked by changing appearences and giving fake dreams of wealth. She hated it and I loved it.” A little gold tear welled up in his eye “But I loved her, my mother.”
“I can understand your hatred for mankind but it’s pretty petty to go against your own mother for that reason” I stated matter of factly.
“What would you know about it?” He snapped back, he was so angry his face flushed red, the gold tear sliding down gently. “You don’t understand anything of our nature, just a whelping king!.”
“OK but still one reason to be misled into another group. It’s not right” I snapped straight back.
“Well maybe so, but my rebellious nature is as it is now and was back then. The formorians never changed me and Pantholeon was like a patron saint to me.” He breathed heavily before he continued. “So it came to pass before the turmoil with mankind that Danu and Pantholeon were to be as you call it husband and wife. For the sake of peace between the two worlds it was to be done. Only when Danu rose up against her husband, after a long peace, over the treatment of mankind did it go sour.
So sour was the milk between the two that they began Wars across the continent. These Wars were arguments between the two, humans waged war on the fomarian folk who tormented them. ‘If they can torment my creations then they can face the consequences’ she told the court one day. Pantholeon sat her down immediately.
The formarians were outraged, they left by their thousands…scheming. It then so happened that Danu was dethroned and murdered but not by the Fomarians. She was killed by humans.” A sadness swirled around the leprechauns eyes “I miss her”.
“The humans were pawns in the Fomorian plans. The fomarians leader Pantholeon one day stole a thread of Danus hair, and changed himself through magic to Danu. His transformation was perfect, he was able to transform Danu into himself as she slept soundly.
He ordered the humans in that night through a secret passage in the Holy Mound and informed them in the disguise of Danu that their enemy lay asleep and needed to be slain”
Conarght was feeling low, he stood up and stretched. His hands behind his back and his head shaking back and forth.
“I hate them, all of them!” He screamed and I saw a bitterness surround this little being “they sliced her to ribbons! Mortals tearing away at sacred flesh! Flesh never to be broken, blood never to be spilt!”
“That’s horrific! And so I assume the power went to fomarians? I can’t believe how easy it was to kill a goddess!” I was in awe of what he was telling me, this stubborn little being never wanted to talk!
“Yes, well they did have magic too those days” he replied. He looked at me and prompted “the humans dummy!””So the fomarians had power over the world once she died, however her ultimate power had one last trick. When she died her seed fell into the ground. Every inch of her skin grew into the ground. What happened in the next century or so was a whole crowd of people born from her death. Mermaids, fairy folk, the good people, gnomes etcetera etcetera. The fairy folk who knew nothing of how they came to be.” He looked at me hard and asked “you know where she’s buried?”
“She’s still alive you know.” Conarght said breaking the silence “Danu, well not physically but I see her everywhere in nature.”
“What would you say to her now Cornarght?” I asked sympathetically holding out a hand in friendship. He waved it away.
“I’d tell her I chose the wrong side” he nodded his head solemnly like he was agreeing with himself. He started stroking his beard and thinking. I waved my hand and more stout appeared. His eyes lit up and he started to drink.
“Like the banshee” I prompted.
“No nothing like her! I owed the banshee a debt I couldn’t pay. I didn’t choose her side” his face turned angry again. “I think it best to leave it now.”
“What happened with the offspring from the Goddess?” I changed the conversation.
“Well like any child might do, they went looking for their mother. A massive army of fairy folk scouring the country for their dead mother” he paused “they didn’t even know where they were, this great chunk of land and the massive sea surrounding it. It took alot of learning and understanding. Alot of them died, survival of the fittest you would say. In the end they never found her but they found the fomarians.”
I sat there staring at the little fellow, his hat fully over his two beady eyes, he had pulled out a pipe and started smoking.
“Tis a shame that many died. These were powerful faery folk, 300 times more powerful than you are now.” He smiled menacingly “or ever will be.”
I ignored the patronising tone, I was happy to be getting information.
“The fomarians tried to deceive as they once did with us, however something in the troop of faerie folk never did trust them. Whether it was Danus subconsciousness dwelling in every one of them or indeed their own thoughts… I’ll never know.
What happened next was that the faery folk rose up against the fomarians. The battles were so great that the world was broken apart and mankind, faery folk and the fomarians were scattered across the continents.
There were and are 234 of my kind left in Ireland, some unknown number are scattered around the world. They have different names but essentially the same as me. Of your kin there are thousands in Ireland and again an unknown remainder cut off in other countries.
Mankind were not happy, most died through the changes on the planet. Not having enough hindsight to stay in one place. Some fell off the openings in the land and most drowned.
They became a bitter people and instead of focusing on the magic they chose weapons. Several tribes invaded each other and it’s been that way since. I pitied them, the Fools. Now I hate them.”
He looked disgusted at me, he was wanting more stout and food. A flick of the hand and it was replenished.
“Go on Conarght, what happened next?” I asked like a small child pleading for a story.
“Well all them invaders of other lands fell from our original life, war thirsty and confused they invented fake gods and deities. There were a few groups who paid homage to Danu, they built enormous moments in places.
Your kind helped these believers of Danu build these monuments.
The fomorians were absolutely furious with mankind, they decided to wage war. These hardened demons decided to copy mankind and build boats and forge steel. They invaded lands and took the women, fallen angels that took the daughters of mankind, they also stole most of mankind’s history and destroyed it. Until the fairy folk aided mankind.”
The leprechaun took a deep drink.
“Did the faery folk destroy the Fomarians?” I asked desperately.
The leprechaun looked me in the eye while still holding his drink.
“It was a bloodbath”
“The Fomarians were no match for the faerie folk who banished the lot of them whence they came. They forced them back home and how the world settled down.
Pantholeon was dragged by the fairies to a mound, he was still proud. The fairies cursed him worse, with the magic bestowed upon them by their mother.
Centuries and centuries they pleaded with him to tell them of their origin. He laughed in their faces, they tortured him with all manner of things. His one eye defiant of his captors.
Now his curse was simple, so simple!” The leprechaun chuckled to himself.
“What did they do Conarght?”
The leprechaun was giggling now, I think the stout was having an effect. He calmed himself between the chortles and I actually joined in not knowing what the joke was.
“Well now” conarght gulped “right now, so basically they turned him into a human for all of eternity” he guffawed at the punchline. He was making me laugh, so contagious. He snapped back into serious and scowled at me.
“You devil!” He grimaced “making me happy, no need to be happy in this tale!”
I threw my hands up and scratched my head puzzled. “OK, go on.”
“So the thing he hated the most he was changed into forever and what’s more he was banished to the middle of earth with his people. They saw his human form and he was thrown from grace. I hear he’s the lowest of the low now.
The great faery King Grethanel was a kind and honourable sprite, after the banishment he set about trying to unite tribes of fairy folk in Ireland. It was with great success, humans and faery lived well.
Me and my kin were thrown to the way side, always had been. By then we had become solitary creatures and we tempted men. We would meet up every so often for remembrance and tradition.
Often we would trick a human into some misery. We loved how gullible and foolish they were.
The King heard of our folly centuries later and he put a curse on us. That we would be solitary forever and never our kin should meet. We had our ways of changing luck and one of the greatest gifts was wishes and gold.
We understood men’s greed, even from the beginning” he stopped and looked around “it’s getting late, maybe time to retire.”
“Very well I understand how taxing it is” I passed him an extra stout mug “one for the night.” He slugged it down and went to the corner.
I looked at the leprechaun and he was sleeping. Sleeping with one eye open.
I retired from the cellar in my other faery form, and my hopes were lifted. This little stubborn fellow had told me alot tonight. My mind was in ribbons wondering about all he had said.
Was the truth told to me tonight? Ah, that little fellow was a nightmare, like a riddle within a riddle.
I talked deeply with Erith about it all, my soul mate believed the tale and convinced me so. I walked slowly through the fairy lights that lit up this tiny city.
I’d been here in my home for less than a year and still couldn’t believe all that had happened. To know there were other tribes of our folk out in the world gave me hope!
I started to fly up into the sky, so natural was it to fly high and swoop and dance. As I flew up I wondered about our ancestors and how fantastic they must have been.
I flew faster towards my own little home, it was not a Palace, I didn’t feel like a Prince and needed no such wealthy estate.
I got home and my mother was waiting.
“What did the little monster tell you?” She asked not looking at me, the worried look on her face pained me.
I relayed the tale to her and her face looked relieved. Until I came to the Fomarians and her face dropped, something about the name made her heart drop and she looked at me with sincere worry.
“I must tell Dearthel, this is the truth” she said shaking.
“However do you know mother?” I asked puzzled.
“Because I was there my love” she shook her head “I saw Pantholeon dragged down to the depths of the Earth.”
My jaw dropped, why didn’t she tell me before? I was hurt she could not say to me.
“Some things are better left in the past, I never knew of my mother. I was the first to come and now” she paused, tears streaming down her face “I am the last.”
The little leprechaun had told the truth! I was excited and pained, bittersweet would be a better word. I could see my mother’s pain. I wanted to know more.
“Tell me what happened mother?” I gently said stroking her face.
“When I was “born” it was from nothingness. I was born from magic, pure magic. That must have been our mothers wish, I have kept quiet for hundreds of thousands of years” she wiped her tears “it’s why the banshee was after you. She wanted you as you were born from me, an ancient. She is and was in league with the Fomarians. She dwells neither here nor there, on the ground or below the surface.”
Angrily she shook “damn that little fool Conarght!”
“It’s OK mother, I’ve seen a side to him I’d never seen. The imp has shown me emotions I’d never seen!” I looked seriously into her eyes “he cried!”
“Means nothing to me, you know he was the one that told the banshee where you were, he made me lose out on a long time with you”
She was right, damn him! The years to fairy folk are slower than the human life. A day here is like a year there, so to my mother she was waiting at least a thousand in her time.
Thinking of the banshee gave me the shivers, that cold black aura surrounding it like black ice. Not worth bearing to think about.
“Son, the banshee was a Fomarian!” She looked scared “Don’t you see! We are not safe, they will come back. The banshee will doom us all! She’s probably told him all”
I looked at her, my heart dropped.
I had a sleepless night, my eyes tried to close but when they did all I could see were wretched images of the Banshee. I tossed and turned in bed, almost feverish.
When I woke up early I flew quite literally to Eriths house. Edith was still asleep but I opened the door and rushed straight to the cellar door. I walked down the steps and saw the leprechaun still in the same place, with the same one eye open whilst dreaming.
I woke him up.
“Get up! Much much more to discuss!” I demanded he tell me more.
Conarght was up like a flash and running towards me, he put his little hands at my neck and pushed me to the wall.
“NEVER DEMAND ANYTHING OF ME!” His voice was full of venom. Then he grinned like the devil. He let go of me then started pacing up and down with his hands behind his back.
I rubbed my neck, amazed at how powerful he was, the little creature was pacing faster and faster. He didn’t like showing emotion, he was breathing heavily and muttering to himself.
What was this little fellow thinking?
He stopped abruptly. “Pantholeon is still around you know. He was banished for a long time, even when Danu appeared to an English King in a great lake” he looks at me wanting me to acknowledge.
“He was banished before the murder of Danu?” I was starting to see there was a mystery unravelling.
He flicked his hand as if dismissing my theory. He tutted loudly, he took his pipe out and concentrated his look at me. He blew an O smoke ring.
“I loved her you know. I ressurected her. Well I say ressurect, not quite. An image of her you would say, she has dabbled in the history of the world.” He blew another several O rings.
“So she’s still around?” My mind was ripping over itself.
“Yes! You fool!” He hissed “but not as you think, she comes when needed. When Arthur needed direction she was there, when Finn McCool needed knowledge she gave it and when the ancient druids needed ritual she shown them.
The thing is Fergal, I loved her. She was my wife!” He growled.
“I am Pantholeon!” He exclaimed “and if you do not release me I will slaughter your people, I will burn down your world with the fire of a thousand sun’s”.
I panicked, was it really Pantholeon? I studied the little one carefully, his eyes burning with fire. He looked convincing.
“Wait a second! You would say anything to get released, how can I trust you?” I paused to see his face change to dumbfounded, I continued “what proof do you have?”
This made him chuckle, he was really grating on me now. He was always switching emotions, it was hard to keep up.
“You’re right, I have no proof. But I can show you.” He put his finger to my head.
Immediately I closed my eyes and my spirit was carried down into an underworld. My spirit dropped throbs mounds and mounds of dirt until it fell to some spiritual plane.
The world had a huge green grass ring and the sky was the purest blue, a giant orb was in the centre revolving.
I saw in the distance some goblins fighting, they were hissing and snarling. I only noticed them at first but behind them, further in the distance were millions.
An army of creatures.
Cornarght was with me as well in this spirit world.
“Don’t worry they can’t hear you but I’ve to show you something” he said to me.
“Come! Follow me!” He ran into the distance.
I ran with Conarght towards the mass of otherworldly creatures. As I ran I noticed the grotesque minions, they disgusted me and the vibe of hatred emanating from them was nauseating.
They carried broadsword and shields, the evil oozing from their eyes. We carried on running, through the green grass. “Come on! I want you to see!”
We sped past unnoticed by the masses of the army. Until we came to a monument of some description, tall it was in the form of a humanoid. I looked carefully at it, it was absolutely massive. The body of a man with cloven hooves, when I looked up it had the head of a goat with one eye. It was a statue of Pantholeon.
I gasped but was urged on by Conarght, we ran past it and ended up outside a massive temple structure. We went inside this golden structure.
When I got in what I saw was impressive, massive busts of all sorts of creatures. A woman with snakes in her hair, a dragon and many others. All on opposite sides of a path. I felt their eyes on me as we ran.
Conarght was ahead of me, this hall seemed to go on forever. Then we came to the top of some stairs, I looked down and saw an auditorium. Thousands of people surrounded a stage, a semi circle of jeering souls.
On the stage were four figures surrounding a chair, in the chair sat a being, the description matched that of Pantholeon.
“We are ready Sire to go up into the world!” One of the figures yelled, the crowds cheered.
“Ready for the war!” Another said.
The crowd screamed! It hurt my ears the noise of them, until the seated figure put a hand up. The crowd silenced.
“We shall go up! But peaceful, we must otherwise we will be cast down here yet again.” Pantholeons voice boomed.
The crowd cursed and jeered at these words.
“Come up here if you defy me!” The leader was standing now. A giant compared to the rest of them. The crowd shied away. “I must create union before we release havoc and chaos in that world” he continued.
The crowded room laughed, hissed and spat in joy. How easily led they were.
Conarghts face was sad, he looked tortured. He saw me glancing and changed completely, the mask back on. He grumbled, then put his finger on my forehead again.
A flash of searing light.
We moved from that place to a familiar area. I saw a young Hawthorne tree, I saw a beautiful giant woman, it was Danu. She had hair the colour of the sun and her skin colour was almost transparent. She knelt by this Hawthorne tree as if were a twig, she put her hands gently on it and whispered words.
The Hawthorne tree began to bear fruit and she smiled.
I couldn’t stop looking at her, how beautiful and fair she were. Her blue gown mixing in with the blue sky. It was almost like she were the sky.
“Danu!” Thundered a voice and I saw a hoofed man running towards her “my love!” Said the one eyed pantholeon.
“Yes my love?” Danu replied sweetly. She stood up and embraced him.
“My creatures are growing impatient with mankind, they are starting to revolt” he exclaimed “I may have to destroy them”
“Do not Pantholeon! I am trying to help them, do not destroy. Teach.” She pointed at the Hawthorne tree.
“Danu, you do not understand. It’s in their blood to revolt.” His giant hand shook the little tree, I felt the roots crunch. “Let me destroy them, I do not want to go back home.”
A black hooded figure looked upon the two giants, it saw the Hawthorne tree and dissapeared.
“They won’t harm you while I am here Pantholeon and they cannot harm me. Unless I’m sleeping.” She looked at him and laughed merrily “you needn’t worry”.
They play fought for a while, two giants frolicking in the grass. Until they lay together side by side. The two were in love, I could tell.
Conarght looked at me.
“Nothing is as it seems Fergal!” He shook his head “no matter how dark a heart is…if it has love it has light”
The two giants started to sleep in the fields, Conarght and I sat beside them.
“For centuries, possibly millennia we were together.” He said sadly.
“Are you really Pantholeon?” I asked sincerely. I didn’t know what I was asking.
“All in good time” he put his finger to my forehead and we were back to the auditorium.
This time a human sitting beside that chair. He was miniscule to that chair.
The four figures still there.
“Here is your King Pantholeon!” One of them said “and here is his punishment!”
The figure put his hand above Pantholeon, the other three mimicked the gesture, magic formed in the hands. Darkness engulfed the human, so thick it was that no inch was visible.
“The king was tall! Well now he’s small!” The figure exclaimed. “I call upon the banshee!”
The blackness dissipated and there in the obliteration stood Conarght. Just as I see him now! He looked a pitiful sight. I saw a black figure floating slowly towards him. The banshee was at the stage, she took off her cloak and presented herself.
It was the redheaded woman that Conarght had banished from our home.
“Take him banshee! To the Hawthorne tree!”
The first time I’d seen him grimace about that Hawthorne tree.
It was the first time I’d realised the tragedy of that tree.
The banshee put her cloak on, grabbed the small figure and floated upwards.
Conarght sadly put his finger to my forehead.
“Time to go”
We were back in the cellar staring at each other. I was gobsmacked at the images that I’d seen. Conarght was pacing again.
“Where are they?” I asked him.
“Who?” He replied absent mindedly.
“The Fomarians! That army! Where are they? Are we safe?” I quickly replied.
The leprechaun looked at me dumbfounded. “Well, you’ve been fine for milleniums, they’ve never returned. The problem they have is that they don’t know how to find the way to here. They’ll never know unless I tell them. The banshee is the only powerful thing that can get through.” He looked into my eyes sincerely “because she’s undead.”
I was relieved that we were safe.
The leprechaun stopped pacing, a little grin appeared on his face. “So fergal I’ve told you my tale straight and true, now, can you please make that third wish?”
I was thinking about it and then I took hold of my senses. What if he lied about it all? What if he would go straight back to this world? The images were impressive but I couldn’t be sure, not with Conarght.
“Conarght” I started tactfully, his grin turned to malice “I may have to keep you longer, I need a clear head.”
At this the leprechaun went into rage, he kicked and screamed at everything he could get his hold on. He went berserk and started cursing and shouting at me. A permanent scowl on his face, I had my answer.
I would never know unless I wished it.
He stopped and looked at me.
“Then wish!! Wish for whatever it is you want!” He yelled “I want free of this wretched place.”
I walked away from him and screeching continued. I wanted nothing more to do with him, he was a riddle I wasn’t meant to solve.
He was our prisoner for years to come, I visited him often at the start. He would tell me of tales about warriors he’d met and quests he’d helped on. But always every visit came the wish. Eventually he gave up talking, unfortunately I stopped visiting.
But one day around 100 years or so, I was walking with my mother through the woods when we came to that Hawthorne tree.
On each side of the tree stood figures I’m black cowls. The same from the visions of Pantholeon.
Our world was in danger.
They were coming.
They were here!