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THE BULL WARS PART 3 - THE BATTLES OF MURTHEMNEY 

Cuchulain in his misery wandered through a forest and came across a beautiful woman wearing a dress of many colors.The woman claimed to be the daughter of a king of Alba and came to Ulster so that she might give her love to Cuchulain however the young warrior tired and worn refused her.

The refusal was a grave mistake for as he rebuked her she told him that he would next see her as a serpent in the water about his feet.The woman vanished from his sight and then appeared as a raven and it was then that Cuchulain knew he had spoken with The Morrigan the Dark Goddess who knew all ways of magic.

The next day after another night spent evading Maev's armies Cuchulain met the warrior Loch MacMofebis. Loch was eager to test his skill against Cuchulain but when he heard of the youth’s age stated would not fight with someone as young as Cuchulain however when Cuchulain called him a coward by smearing his face with blackberry juice and saying “Look here I have a beard. Now that I appear older do you have the courage?” then Loch’s pride got the better of him. Loch chose the ford of a nearby river in Merthemney as the battleground.

The two combatants entered the water. Cuchulain began pressing the advantage against Loch MacMofebis but the Morrigan came and as promised disguised as an eel and she wrapped herself around Cuchulain's legs and he fell.Loch took the opportunity and managed to severely wound Cuchulain.This attack left him with no choice and Cuchulain thrusted the Gae Bolg (belly spear) up into Loch's chest and it shred his heart in two.

With his last breath Loch asked Cuchulain to position him so he would fall with his back to the men of Maev and Cuchulain did so and Maev's men permitted Cuchulain to enter the forest once more thinking his wound to be mortal and glad to finally be rid of him. In the forest Cuchulain asked his charioteer Laeg to go to Ulster to make one last try at rallying King Conor's forces. Cuchulain had won but his wound was severe and he waited for the end resting by the grave of Lerga.


 



Night had fallen and Cuchulain was feeling near death. Watching the campfires of his enemies glow against the spearheads, more numerous than glowing stars, in the camp of Maev. When he saw a sight most strange.

In the midst of the army of Maev was walking a man the likes of which he had never seen before.The strange was tall and handsome and as he walked no one seemed to see him.The man wore a tunic of fairythread and a green cloak fastened with a silver brooch in one hand he held a black shield with silver trimming and in his other hand two long spears.

This stranger walked up the hill to where Cuchulain lay dying and comforted him with his words and gave Cuchulain magical ointments and herbs to heal his wounds and the stranger told Cuchulain to sleep. The stranger was the god Lugh, Cuchulain's real father and he had come to protect his son. So it was that Lugh watched over his mortal son and hid him by magic from Maev's armies who came looking for him for Maev would not leave the area until she was sure Cuchulain's body was found.

The Curse of Macha only affected men and not young boys so a group of one hundred and fifty boys decided that they must go assist Cuchulain in his dark hour and deliver Ulster from defeat.So it was that the Boy Corps took their light armor and assailed the host of Maev.The boys attacked three times but it was all for nothing not one of them survived.



Cuchulain had awoken from his deep healing slumber and felt as if he could take on all the armies of Ireland but his elation turned to anger once he had learned of the slaughter of the Boy Corps.Cuchulain was not much older than most of them and some were friends of his.Cuchulain went into his chariot which Laeg had left behind and drove out his battle frenzy reaching it's peak.

Cuchulain had never known such anger as he sped his chariot into the thick of Maev's armies demons came up from the darkness to yell their appreciation.Maev's forces were scattered like dice some fell dead from fear,some impailed themselves on their own weapons or upon each other's and some were ripped to shreds by Cuchulain's chariot wheels which were covered by scythe blades.

When the end of the day had come six hundred and ten of Maev's forces were dead along with many of the wives of Maev's soldiers their horses and hunting dogs even manservants of the armies were not spared.

Maev had decided that enough was enough and sent forth for her mightiest warriors the Clan Calatin. Calatin was a sorceror as were his twenty seven sons. Calatin could also alter his shape but only to the effect he could create more limbs or appear as another person. He was swift as the wind and had several supernatural gifts. He knew alchemy, science and siegecraft. He was also a skilled warrior.

Cuchulain and Calatin met for combat.Calatin struck first growing twenty six more arms and throwing twenty-eight spears at the young hero but Cuchulain managed to catch them all on his shield without being harmed.The shield covered in poisoned spears became a burden so Cuchulain tried to cut them off with his sword but as he drew the blade Calatin attacked throwing him to the ground and shoving his face into the rocks.Cuchulain gave a shout against the uneven combat but Maev's forces mocked him saying surely the great Cuchulain who had slain so many could take on an old wizard and left him to invade Ulster further. Fiacha of the Clan Rury, who once his allies left turned and assisted Cuchulain by slicing off all of Calatin's arms with one stroke. Cuchulain then sprang up and hacked the wizard to pieces he then started a great fire and burned Calatin's body in it.

Cuchulain now had defeated Maev's great sorceror once the armies of Maev heard this they began to realize that this war was far from over however they would be wrong for the end was coming very soon.


 

End Part Three
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Part Four The Rising of Ulster