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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

canadiancreed

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After a very long layoff, I've decided to give a go at doing one of these again. However this time, I"m going to incorporate an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for years now, and with the magic of CK, will maybe become a reality.

As you can tell by the title, it's going to be one from the Emerald Isle, one that I've wanted to try for some time now. While that means no massive conquests or what not, thats' sometimes a good thing. More challenge that way .:)

Anyways I've got a survey going in the CK forums for where I should start this out in (aka what province), and then we can begin, so if this sounds interesting, give your voice to be heard, and let's the fun begin.

Chapters

Chapter One - All hail the Patriarch
Chapter Two - The Betrayal
Chapter Three - The End of the Earth
Chapter Four - Lord of the Spire
Chapter Five - Opening the Eyes
Chapter Six - Fragarach
Chapter Seven - In Another Mans Shoes
Chapter Eight - Loves Makes A Strong Link
Chapter Nine – Creidhne's Council
Chapter Ten - The Deep Breath before the Plunge
Chapter Eleven - Onto the Breach
Chapter Twelve - Just A Taste
Chapter Thirteen - Adding a Lady to the House
Chapter Fourteen - End of the Line
Chapter Fifteen - To Battle A God
Chapter Sixteen – Secrets Shared
Chapter Seventeen – The Ghost Walks on Water
Chapter Eighteen – Unwelcomed Guests
Chapter Nineteen - An auspicious homecoming
Chapter Twenty - Cain and Abel
Chapter Twenty-One - Mahons Descent
Chapter Twenty-Two - Reluctant Exodus
Chapter Twenty-Three - Epilogue, the Line Unbroken

Characters (with first appearance in brackets)

The Father of Myrddin and Mahon (Chapter One) - Former Lord of these lands
Myrddin (Chapter One) - The eldest son
The Priest, Father Conláed (Chapter One, mentioned by name in Chapter Eight) - The local Man of the Cloth
Mahon (Chapter Two) - The youngest son of the former Lord, and the focal point of this book
Toirdhealbhach (Chapter Two) - Myrddin's right hand man
Allin (Chapter Two) - Another of Myrddin's close associates
Creidhne (Chapter Four) - The mysterious man on oileán fiacail eangach
The unfriendly missionaires (Chapter Six) - A group of missionaires sent by Pope Clementine to convert the Irish Heathens
Fragarach (Chapter Six) - A sword
Tristan (Chapter Seven) - Right hand man of Lord Conn
Roibeard (Chapter Seven) - Leader of the Connaught tribe
Tigernach (Chapter Seven) - Leader of the Oriel tribe
Fintan (Chapter Seven) - Leader of the Briefne tribe
Éireann (Chapter Eight) - The Love of Mahon's life
Mug Nanuga (Chapter Twelve) - King of Munster

Awards

Best Character Writer of the Week: Febuary 4th-11th 2007
 
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Phoenix Dace

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In one of my most recent games, I started as the Count of Dublin, inherited the Duchy of Leinster, united Ireland fairly quickly through one war and some vassalizations, conquered much of northern Spain from the Muslims after they took it, and eventually together with France conquered all of Spain, and then on my own most of Italy and all of Morocco and Algeria. I was King of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Leon, Mauretania and North Africa, I had Rome under my grips, and I was, according to F2, the second most powerful realm in the game, after Germany. Ireland is not weak.

Buuut ... then I refused to give the Pope Rome when he asked for it, and he started excommunicating me and even my son who took over Ireland after I died - out of spite. Despite all I did for Christianity, including conquering back a Muslim Scotland, the Pope still hates me. I was the Papal Controller, too - and I quit. Damn pope.

So I vote you start as the County of Dublin. The Ui Mordha family should rule the world!
 

canadiancreed

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A Sainmhíniú lann dar dáta Creidhne, Chapter One - All hail the Patriarch

Myrddin stood outside the large stone house staring into the black abyss of the night. Only the fire that he hunched over offered any form of illumination to his dark features as the shadows danced around him. He pulled the fur skins closer onto his shoulders, a chill sweeping over his body. It was not from the weather, he had gotten through enough winters to be used to such evenings, but for the task that he had to accomplish. He kept telling himself that it was the right thing to do if their clan was to survive, but his constant rubbing of his hands revealed his doubt, his nervousness, his true motive. He
cursed his nerves for betraying him so, downing another swig of whiskey to try and silence them.

He had been able to silence the guilt for many deeds that he had done. Stealing, drinking, whoring, adultery, he had probably broken almost every one of the Ten Commandments. But there was one that he had not committed, one that even with all he had done in his life, still left him cold when the thought of it arose in his mind. Until recently he would not have entertained
such an idea.

But things have changed.

His father, who had been in failing health for some time, had went against the tradition of the land by naming his younger brother as the sole inheritor of his lands, leaving him with nothing. He had never seen eye to eye with his father for as long as he can remember. He bucked against his heavy handedness, defied him at every turn. He lived his life the way that he felt it should be, and damned if anyone got in his way. That was his motto, his creed. But his father disapproved of such things, and on his deathbed he had finally gotten the last word by effectively making him a pauper, tossing him off what should be his lands.

Tonight he planned to fix that injustice.

A hand grabbed him by the shoulder, jarring him out of thought. He turned quickly to see the priest, whose name he had forgotten regardless of how many times he was told it. His almost skeletal form was disturbing to see illuminated by the fire, with only his robes stopping the illusion that he was only a skeleton underneath. "It's time Myrddin", he said softly, turning to head back into the house. Myrddin got up to follow him, knowing the reason for his summons.

He pushed open the heavy wood door, entering the home where he had lived for his entire life. A thin cloud of smoke from the fireplace hung against the ceiling, giving the room an almost ghost-like feel to it. The fire was slowly smoldering away, it's dying embers casting a reddish glow onto the room. A few members of the neighbouring clans had come to pay their last respects, all standing like statues as they waited for the inevitable. in the centre next to the fire laid his father, slowly wheezing away his last breaths. He was covered with many blankets and furs, but he continued to shiver all the same.
The priest had said he had contracted the white plague, where his skin and even his once red locks had turned pale. It was a horrible way to go, yet Myrddin felt little pity for his father as he looked upon his whithering husk-like form.

A slight gurgle crept out of his father's mouth, barely audible as his chest finally stopped moving in it's rhythmic movement. The priest leaned over his body, taking a bottle of oil and making the sign of the cross on his father's forehead. Everyone knelt on one knee as the priest gave last rites, the fire now had fully extinguished. Myrddin looked upon the proceedings, ignoring the droning of the priest in Latin. He found a slight smile creeping onto his face as he thought of what he needed to do in the next few hours.

"Rest peacefully father, for your wishes will not be achieved", Myrddin whispered to himself, his nerves finally suppressed by vengeance and hate.
 
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stnylan

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Not a nice person, this Myrddin.
 

canadiancreed

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stnylan said:
Not a nice person, this Myrddin.
No, but its' kind of a Cain and Abel situation going on here. Whether his conscience will be completely snuffed out, and his plans realized, remains to be seen.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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An intriguing start! I am wondering how Myriddin intends to go about reclaiming his inheritance. He can't just go and whack his brother I guess.
 

canadiancreed

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Shuma said:
An intriguing start! I am wondering how Myriddin intends to go about reclaiming his inheritance. He can't just go and whack his brother I guess.

Your never know. It's entirely possible ;)
 

unmerged(60841)

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Nice AAR, I love the Irish ones. Good luck.
 

canadiancreed

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JimboIX said:
Nice AAR, I love the Irish ones. Good luck.
Thanks. I dont' know why, but these just seem to work for me. And to think I"m not even Irish (that I know of at least)

Anyways, onto Chapter Two!
 

canadiancreed

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A Sainmhíniú lann dar dáta Creidhne, Chapter Two - The Betrayal

Mahon looked out onto the restless sea feeling a connection with it's mood as of late. It had been three days since the passing of his father and the shocking news that he would inherit all of his father's wealth; his land, his subjects, his money and his house. This confused many of the people as they could not remember when the last time the tradition of diving everything among the sons was not followed. Perhaps there was a good reason for that, he thought to himself as a distant thunderclap was heard across the sea.

He worried most for Myrddin , who was left with nothing in this world. Father never did approve of his lifestyle and actions, and had given up all hope of reforming him soon after he was thrown out of his home. He however did love him to the end as he had confided with him during his failing years. His brother, who had returned for the passing, seem to bear no ill will to him. In fact he seemed almost like how he was in his youth, full of life and happiness and goodwill, before mother had passed on and he fell into shadowy thoughts and deeds. Perhaps there was a chance to redeem him, thought Mahon. Having Myrddin rejoin what was now to be his house would bode well for both of their sakes. For many of Mahon's skills, having the gift of chirsma was not one of them, a gift that his brother exceeded him by far. Perhaps the role of Counsel Head would be suited for him, he thought. Picturing his rotund form bellowing out against any poor nobleman who would try to debate would be a humorous experience for any involved.

As a gust of wind brought him out of his thoughts, he heard the door creek open behind him and what sounded like the sounds of footfalls? "Whose there?", asked Mahon to the darkness save the dimly illuminated hallway. The darkness made no reply to his question, only the soft thud of the wooden door gave any answer. He walked to the door, tossing it closed and turning back to the window. He tried to get his mind back on happier thoughts but he had a nagging suspicion that something wasn't right, but couldn't put a finger onto it's source. After a minute he shrugged it off, placing it as just the wind playing with his mind.

He turned his mind to happier thoughts, hoping that it would calm his spirit. Naturally his thoughts instantly turned to his love, Eireann. He longed for when this business with hereditary and what not would be over so he would have time to see her face again. He remembered her long wavy curls cascading down her shoulders a hint of auburn with the brown strands. Her smile able to light up even the darkest days. It was no wonder why he longed to ask her to be his wife before his father's passing. Soon, days of joy will follow the days of sadness, he though, wishing that he father had stayed in this world long enough to see it. It was then that he heard an odd noise that accompanied another strong gust of wind, one that sounded way too much like his father's own voice. It said what eh thought was one word with the cold chill of foretelling.

"Beware!"

The door smashed against the wall, revealing the illuminated form of his brother. Mahon turned, startled by the loud sound and the unfamiliar person in the doorway, a lit candle barely illuminating his face, while a sword was held in the other. "Good evening, Mahon.", the stranger said, his voice a tone of detached calm about it.

His vision started to focus, and he could see who it was by the candlelight. "Myrddin?", he replied in surprise.

"Yes brother. It is I.", he replied, his tone as cold as the wind had become.

There was something very disconcerting about his brother's replies. "Why are you here, and so armed?", he replied with the nervousness shaking his voice slightly.

"It's quite simple really", his brother replied, slowly moving closer. "I plan to rectify an injustice by removing the only obstacle in my way.", he raised his blade, it dividing his face in two halves as his eyes widen.

"you!", he yelled out, swinging in a swiping motion toward Mahon's chest. He lept out of the way, the blade making a cut across his chest, but only slicing his tunic. Mahon fell back, landing hard on his left hip and rolled behind the bed. Adrenalin dulled the pain as he backed up furiously as his brother registered where he landed and advanced. Mahon looked at the bedpost where his blade was hung and tried to grab it out of it's scabbard before Myrddin could advance on him in his defenceless state. A loud whoosh went by his ear, with a loud thud against the wall. Mahon looked at Myrddin's sword vibrating violently, it's iron blade pinning the scabbard to the wall and tightening it so it would take great force to remove it. Mahon turned to see Myrddin flying toward him, his bulky form flying in the air, his fist cocked back for a thundering blow.

Mahon quickly raised both feet, having Myrddin land on them, acting like a spring. Myrddin tried to swing his fist at Mahon's head, but it came up just short, catching his chin slightly. Mahon used Myrddin's momentum to push him off, sending him tumbling across the floor. Mahon got up and ambushed him before Myrddin could gather his bearings, pinning him down and grabbing his head with both hands.

"Why?! Why have you done this?!", Mahon screamed at him, tossing his head around like a large ball as shock and rage now began to take over his mind for the first time in his life. He waited for an answer to this attack.

The answer came in the form of something blunt hitting the back of his head, plunging his world into darkness and silence. His eyes rolled back as he slowly fell to the floor like a tree after being cut down.

Myrddin began to cough profusely, tossing Mahon off him as he tried to stand up. "What took you so long Toirdhealbhach?!", he replied crossly as he stumbled around in a drunken-like stupor.

"I didn't think you'd need any help my Lord.", he replied, shame covering his features. "Mahon isn't well known for his skills in any form of combat."

Myrddin finally righted himself against the wall, one hand placed on his head to steady the spinning room. "Never doubt a man fighting for his life, Toirdhealbhach. That is when they are most dangerous.", he replied. He did want to admit that looking into his kin's eyes, he could not kill him. The voice in his mind had weaken his resolve, had slacken his lust for death and power. He cursed it's existence and for all that he had weaken it, it still exited, still fought on for reasons that eluded him.

He finally stood fully, the room's spinning having mostly ceased. Two more of his compatriots walked in the door, surveying the scene, confused when seeing that Mahon still lived. The largest of the group, Allin, drew his sword with a look to finish the job that Myrddin started. Toirdhealbhach in a flash placed his blade against Allin's throat, halting his motion. "This is the Lord's doing, and he will decide what to do here, not the likes of you.", he growled.

"Thank you Toirdhealbhach.", stated Myrddin. Allin sheathed his sword and backed away, displeased that his chance for earning his Lord's favour had been thwarted. Myrddin thought for a moment as to what to do with this situation. Eventually Mahon will wake, and daytime will arrive and his actions will be found out. Myrddin did not relish the idea of the fallout for his coup attempt; for all his success at manipulation, they were still loyal to father's memory and would look very unfavourably to his actions tonight. He needed to make Mahon disappear, but how?

And then suddenly, it all came into focus. Like a lightning flash, it arrived in his mind. "Toirdhealbhach.", he turned to his soon to be captain. "Get a sack, enough to carry Mahon in."

Toirdhealbhach nodded and left the room, leaving his two cohorts puzzled. "Where are we going to put him my Lord?", asked Allin.

Myrddin formed a sly smile on his face. "Allin, we're taking Mahon for his last boat ride to his new realm", he replied, laughing at the thought of his new "realm" that he would rule over for what would be left of his life as the storm grew in intensity outside, seemingly feeding Myrddin's diabolical scheme.
 
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stnylan

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An obstacle removed, but not the most auspicious way to start a reign.
 

canadiancreed

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stnylan said:
An obstacle removed, but not the most auspicious way to start a reign.
oh it gets better. there's a few twists and turns before this first book is finished ;)
 
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A very good scene. I wonder where it is that Myrddin plans on sending his brother, and if this act of mercy will backfire at him.
 

canadiancreed

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Shuma said:
A very good scene. I wonder where it is that Myrddin plans on sending his brother, and if this act of mercy will backfire at him.
Oh it's a wonderful place.....if you're into that kind of locale. I"m sure that Mahon will love it if he doesn't freeze or starve to death. Which is a very distinct possibility :)

Anyways, it's time for our next chapter coming up soon
 

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A Sainmhíniú lann dar dáta Creidhne, Chapter Three - The End of the Earth

Mahon slowly entered the dreamlike state that everyone experiences before they become awake. In this state, where what you hear, see, and feel are like walking through a fog. IN this state Mahon tried to identify what he was sensing; the sound of thunder in the distance in a rhythmic fashion; the sense that he felt like he was floating on a cloud; the vision of brown smoke visible through his blurred vision. It was a mystery as to where he was, but he knew that he was not in his chambers in his home.

A sudden drop into what felt like he had fallen into the ocean and the sound of muffled voices and creaking wood pushed him closer to full consciousness. A sound that was much like......seagulls? He was by the sea; he must be at least near his home. He felt something tickling his feet in a rhythmic manner, cool at first, but it seem to be getting colder and moving farther up his legs with each wave.

He snapped awake, realizing that ti was not brown smoke or clouds, but he was encased in something. A brown sack! How did this happen?! He struggled against the fabric, finding it to be well tied and stronger then he could muster. Through the mesh he could see what looked to be random rock outcroppings on a beach, with a ten foot high cliff blocking him.

He knew then that he was in trouble. The cold sensations on his legs told him it was the tide, and it was moving in rapidly. If he didn't get out and escape, he would be drowned in this cloth prison. He struggled harder, feeling the panic begin to build within his chest. This was not what he needed, he needed a plan to break the ropes that held this together.

He tried to slick up the beach, finding that he could slowly hop along away from the tide temporarily. Within a few seconds though, it followed him soon afterwards though, to the deterrent of his wishes. Mahon looked around, desperate for something, anything to break apart the ropes that tie the top together.

And then he spied it.

A jagged rock about ten feet away from him. He frantically crawled up to it, the tide already at his hips as he did so. He raced the tide to the rock, feeling it's jagged edge against his hands as he stopped and twisted to align it with the ropes. He rubbed the ropes against the rock in a saw-like motion, noticing that the waves were already back at his hips and rising fast. He felt the wind picking up, like a storm was moving in quick. NO wonder the water is moving up quickly, though Mahon.

He felt a small snap against his wrists; one of the ropes had given way. He went faster, ignoring the pain that screamed from his wrists as they were being rubbed raw against the twine. The water continued to rise, the waves now getting high enough to splash his face. He sputtered, trying to expel the seawater out fo his mouth before another wave would splash it right back again.

Another snap could be felt...and then another. Mahon struggled against the loosen rope, feeling some give starting to be felt. He struggled harder, the waves now starting to have some force behind them. A small rip could be heard, the wet cloth being weaken from it's saturation combined with the constant struggling of it's prisoner doomed it to a losing battle. With a last effort, Mahon slowly ripped open the sack, the brown cloth giving way as a large wave smacked against the freed inhabitant. Mahon flew back , rolling against the rocky sand, his body being cut by the sharp edges.

Adrenaline blinded him to the pain as he sprung to his feet, looking frantically for any way to get out of this beach of death that if he didn't find a way, it would become for him. He surveyed the cliffs, seeing that this was the smallest cliff in range of his sight. The salt water in his eyes began to burn as he ran for the cliff, almost throwing himself on them as the water mercilessly followed with each wave. He frantically climbed, loose rock falling off the cliff many times as he chose poorly his holds on the rock. Through sheer luck he managed to hang on as the beach became submerged below in, the water level now rising up the cliff as waves frothed and crashed against it's jagged features. Mahon could feel the water's pull grow as he struggled, the sea was not finished trying to claim him.

With a frantic push, he pushed off against a solid rock at his feet and leapt for the top of the cliff, barely grabbing it with his right hand. He tried to pull himself up, holding on for dear life as the pull grew against his legs. With a large grunt, he finally picked himself up and over the cliff, rolling inwards as the waves drenched him in spray.

He slowly tried to stand, the adrenaline wearing off to reveal pain all across his body. He stumbled back from the cliff, which by now had become the coast, the waves crashing violently, displeased with their failure to ensnare him to the depths. Mahon looked across the sea, seeing in the very far distance to the west a spit of land existed, faint from the growing mist and black clouds that threaten to envelop it.

And barely visable was a small shape on the water. A boat.

In a flash it all came back to Mahon, the memory knocking him down. His fathers passing, his brother's attack and betrayal. He had exiled him to.....wherever this was to die. He looked around him, seeing that this land was nothing but sheer rock, with a large hill of sheer granite slanting up to the heavens.

He sat and stared against the impending storm coming from the ocean, the drop in temperature already making itself being felt against his soaked skin. With no shelter, no food, and soon to be a very cold storm rolling in, it wasn't a sens eof if, but when he would perish. From cold or hunger it mattered not, his escape from a quick death had only doomed him to a much slower and more agonizing one.

Stuck at the end of the earth to finish off his existence in the most painful way possible with his family either dead or turned traitor.

He was truly damned.
 
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That was a very adrenaline filled update! I guess I was wrong about Myrddin showing mercy to his brother. Killing him right away would have been much more easier on the poor sod. Of course, he could get away somehow. ;)
 

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That was rather intense. I love the sense of playing false - he breaks free only to 'appreciate' the precise nature of his predicament.
 

canadiancreed

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Shuma said:
That was a very adrenaline filled update! I guess I was wrong about Myrddin showing mercy to his brother. Killing him right away would have been much more easier on the poor sod. Of course, he could get away somehow. ;)

Stranger things have happened :)

stnylan said:
That was rather intense. I love the sense of playing false - he breaks free only to 'appreciate' the precise nature of his predicament.

Ya after I typed it up I thought that it'd be a nice touch. Originally I was going to have somethig else entirely but thought "what if this happened?" and good to see that ti worked :D
 

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Chapter Four - Lord of the Spire

Mahon held the ragged remains of his clothes against his body, trying desperately to hold what little heat there was left in his bones. He looked at the churning sea from what was the only semblance of shelter that he found on this accursed rock. A small indent just large enough to avoid having the warmth of his soul protected from the constant howling winds of the west coming off the cold sea. For the first two days he scoured this tooth of granite that jutted out of the sea, but only found more rock. No trees, no bushes, no life of any kind in fact. IT seemed that it was the only place on earth that was truly dead in all ways.

And soon, he would be joining it's state.

He sat in his small cave, trying to ignore the wind and his hunger as they seem to scream in unison for his attention. As he wondered when this madness would end, a brilliant flash of light blinded his field of vision, followed by the clamp of thunder that seemed to shake the very foundations of the earth. He tried to keep his balance, wondering if this is how the end comes to those that are nearing death. He stood up, noticing that the constant noise of wind, hunger and rain had disappeared, seemingly swept away by the thunder's amazing force. Holding on the side of the cave opening, he ventured out to find that it was like a great invisable shield had been placed over top of the island. He could still see the tempest that had been battering the area for since he had arrived, and the sheets of rain, but they were off in the distance, a dull roar the only evidence that they existed. Even the water was calm in this enclave of silence that had enveloped the area. Mahon was wondering now if he was dead, or if he had gone truly mad.

He looked up to the heavens, seeing at the top of the hill a reddish glow, like a fire had been set at the top. How is that possible, though Mahon, there isn't anything burnable on this rock. A curiosity gripped him, he had to know what the heck was going on, and it seemed that the stranger fire may at least have some explanation for the sudden strange happenings.

He started walking up the steep hill, his curiosity and hunger driving him like an obsession to determine this strange sight that his eyes displayed to him. The slippery rock made the going very slow, he could see some areas where the rock was holding together by sheer will, and others where if he had fallen, the jagged edges would have sliced him to ribbons. Still he slowly inched upwards to the top of where he had been able to reach during his survey of the island, halfway up the spire. There he saw a stairway, carved out of the stone itself! "This was defiantly not here before", Mahon said to the silence. He tested the stairs, trying to prove to himself that the sheer rock cliffs that he saw at this spot only a few days ago had been completely removed from existence. The steps were truly there, their construction sound. He began to climb upwards tot he summit, nothing soon afterwards his climb up the stairs that the land here was not wet from the driving rain and sleet that had pummelled the area for the last few days. In fact the ground was black as night, as if it had been burned by a great fire.

Something strange is defiantly afoot, thought Mahon. Like a fog being lifted, his senses began to become finely attuned for any signs of treachery, senses that had been greatly strengthen since the betrayal.

He looked toward the summit as it came closer to view, the glow becoming brighter and illuminating.....trees?! HIs confusion increased as he saw the ground become slowly covered with greenery, first mosses, then longer grass until he could see what looked to be almost like a druidistic vision. Pedunculate Oak and yews of monstrous size surrounded the enclaved like a circle, with only the one path that Mahon had been following allowed entry. In the centre of the enclave burned a small fire with what looked to be a cooking pot hanging from a tripod. Mahon reached the tree ring, leaning against it's large trunk from fatigues he surveyed the strange sight. "Is this heaven? Or have I entered true madness?", he said in between inhales.

"It is neither, Mahon.", a strong, yet calm voice responded from the fire.

Mahon jumped back in shock and surprise, fear gripping his heart. "What manner of witchcraft is this?!", he yelled toward what he determined was the direction of the voice. He grabbed for what would normally be a sword, but instead found nothing but air.

"It is none, at least none that would fit your definition that is now coursing through your mind, Mahon.", the voice responded. Mahon stared into the fire, seeing what almost looked like a dark figure rising out of the flames. It wore a long brown robe that hung down to the ground, it's hood raised to mask whatever was contained within. It walked out to the side of the fire, it's footfalls making no sound on the soft dirt. "Does this help to calm your chaotic mind?", it said in a slightly amused tone.

Mahon was indeed slightly less wary. It was no spirit but it looked to be a man, albeit the largest man he had ever seen. It was a good head or two taller then he, a happening that Mahon cannot remember ever happening since his coming of age. "It does a little, although I must ask how do you know of me? What is this place? Who are you?!", he asked in a slightly panicked voice, his grip of sanity being strained to it's breaking point.

"Do you behave this way to all homes that you visit?", the strong voice replied, a slight chuckle accenting the reply.

Mahon could feel his anger rising. "I will not be mocked!", he yelled as best he could.

He could feel the being smiling at this idle threat. "And what do you plan on doing about it? Your hunger and thirst has been pulling your mind to madness if you believe that you can defeat anything in combat in your state.", the voice replied. Mahon realized that this was true, he could barely hold himself upright. "Besides, I much rather have you as my dinner guest. I have much stew, bread and ale to put your cravings to rest Mahon, and it has been many moons since I had eating companions.", the voice replied, guestering to a log sitting in front of the fire. "Come, have a seat by the fire and I shall answer your questions three."

Mahon's suspicions, anger and fear melted away with the sweet caress of th stew's scent. He bolted for the fire, grabbing the bowl that was sitting on the log and like a madman scooping spoonfuls into it from the cooking pot, spilling half of it into the fire as it responded with hissing as the stew was consumed. As he wolfed down the stew and bread, the voice sat down on another log to the right of Mahon, calmly pouring ale into a mug, the head frothing to the top. "You may want to have something to wash that down with.", the voice said, handing Mahon the mug. He took it, consuming it in one long swallow.

"Impressive", the voice chuckled as he filled his own mug with ale. Mahon slowed down his varocious eating as the voice spoke again. "And now that your mind has been calmed from hunger and thirst, I shall answer your questions three. I make it my business to know of those that come to visit my island, hence how I know of you. As for what is this place, it is my home although you may know of it as na oileán fiacail eangach, or the Jagged Tooth island."

Mahon nodded in between scoops of bread into his stew. "Yes I have heard of it, although no-one ever mentioned that it was inhabited.", he replied, his words muffled by mouthfuls of food.

"well I do travel a bit", the voice replied. "Still, you would think that a better name could be found then that."

Mahon laughed, choking on a piece of bread. "I'll make sure to tell the local lord of your request when doomsday arrives!", he coughed out, pounding his chest to dislodge the obstructions.

"Oh I think it wont' need to be that long of a wait.", the voice replied softly.

"And for my third, who is my host that saved me from a slow death? What is the name of the good Samaritan?", Mahon replied, stopping to eat to face his host.

The voice grabbed the sides of his hood, slowly pulling it behind his head to reveal his face. It bore the face of an elderly man, a full head of blond hair that ran into his robe, the colour of how old men with red hair turn. A bread of the same colour covered his face and flowed outwards, framing his face. HIs eyes bore the blueness of the sea or sky, with depths that mirrored such comparison. His skin that of pale snow, with slight wrinkles that accentuated the impression of age and wisdom on his facial features. "My true name has never been uttered, but many call on me by Creidhne.", he replied, his face wrinkling up in a smile as he took a swig of his ale.

Mahon nodded, his answers and hunger fulfilled for the time being. He thought of the name, knowing that he had heard it before, but lost in the deep fog of memory. Whether it was for good or no, it would eventually be revealed if it mattered.

Until then he had been saved a slow death, and that for the time being was good enough for him.
 

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I wonder if dying of starvation and exposure might have been easier in the long-run. Shall we say my suspicions are alerted ;)