The Bull Wars had ended however...
Maev had not forgotten Cuchulain nor would any treaty allow her to forgive him and soon enough the wife of the sorceror Calatin had given birth to six more of his children and she burned with vengance , half were male and the other half were female and they were just as wretched as Calatin and stronger in the dark magic than him or his other children. Maev sent these children to learn sorcery in Erin and Alba and down into Babylon and when they returned they were more powerful than even the druids of Ulster.
Maev had amassed other foes to fight Cuchulain such as Erc the son of Cairpre , Lewy son of Curoi the King of Munster whose hatred for Ulster's finest warrior came because his wife the Queen Blanid , was involved in a tryst with Cuchulain that led to her death. These two men were her new champions for Fergus was now consigned to a more advisory role, not allowed to enter combat until Cuchulain was dead.
The way the event transpired was like this. Blanid asked Cuchulain to take her from the emotionally abusive Curoi and Cuchulain with a band of his men attacked the men of Curoi's estate and made off with his wife but a bard of Curoi's ,Fercartna, followed Cuchulain and when the group made camp near a cliff he ran out and seized Blanid carrying her with him off the cliff.
Maev consulted her druids and learned that the Curse of Macha was to come again and it was then that she made her move.
The Children of Calatin used their control over the minds of men to cause Cuchulain to see visions of destruction across Murthemney.Everwhere he looked Cuchulain saw phantoms and demons and armies united against him and he fought these visions for two days straight but Cathbad the Druid came to his aid and bid him to retire to a solitary glen where Niam the wife of Conall of the Victories nursed him and made him vow he would not leave until she told him to.
One of the Daughters of Calatin whose name was Bave took the form of a handmaid of Niam leading Niam away from her home and placing a spell of straying on her so she became lost in the forest.Bave then took the form of Niam and went to Cuchulain crying out that Ulster was under assault by a powerful army and the Morrigan in the form of a crow flew in cawing of war and destruction.Cuchulain sought Laeg and asked him to set his chariot for war but Cuchulain's horse the Gray of Macha knowing it to be a ruse turned and attacked Laeg.
After some time Laeg prepared the chariot and Cuchulain rode forth to battle a foe that was only in his mind.Cuchulain saw smoke come forth from Emain Macha and rode out to see a sight that filled him with dread.Emer ,his wife, was lying atop a fortification dead.Cuchulain rode out to his home in Murthemney to find Emer alive with his mother Dectera and the two women asked Cuchulain to await the arrival of Conall but Cuchulain would not.Dectera offered Cuchulain a drink of wine laced with a drug to put him to sleep but as he rose it to his lips it turned to blood and he cast it down.
Cuchulain rode out to the Plain of Emania and in a ford he saw a young woman washing bloodstained clothes. Cuchulain looked upon her in horror to see that it was his clothes she was washing and at that she vanished.
Traveling further he came across three old women and
each was blind in one eye.These old crones were cooking a dead dog over
rowan wood and they called him forth to eat.Cuchulain told them no and
they took offense saying that if they were young and attractive and had
a great feast then he would oblidge them.Cuchulain did not want to appear
rude so he sat with them to eat not realizing his mistake for he had broken
his geis ( a magical injunction ) for it was forbidden for him to come
to a fire and take food from it and it was forbidden of him to eat a hound
for it was his slaying a great hound that brought him to the attention
of the Ulstermen and as such he was reffered to as the Hound of Ulster.Once
Cuchulain took the meat into his mouth the hand he ate with was stricken
with a weakness he was now a normal man.
Cuchulain found the Host of Maev waiting for him near Slieve Fuad and at once he attacked managing to slay many of them until one of them a bard demanded his spear.Now custom dictated that if a bard asked for something he was to recieve it without question for once a king gave his eye to a bard when asked.Cuchulain gave the bard the spear right through his chest.
Another bard demanded the weapon and Cuchulain threw it at him but Erc managed to catch it and hurled it at Cuchulain's steed the Gray of Macha.The horse was dealt a blow to the neck splitting the yoke.Cuchulain took the spear out and said his farewell to the faithful animal and once again Cuchulain thrust it at his foes but Lewy caught it this time and hurled it at Cuchulain.
Cuchulain was impaled through the stomach and his last horse Black Sainglend ran from him.Cuchulain asked for his last request which was to go take a drink from a nearby loch.They permitted him and Cuchulain pulled his bowels back into his body as best he could and went to the loch.
Cuchulain went to a pillar stone and looped his belt about it and tied his body to it with his arms free so that he would die standing.Cuchulain's blood poured into the loch and as he stood dying his steed the Gray of Macha returned and fought back the foes with kicking and biting until a crow came and sat upon Cuchulain's shoulder. Cuchulain then drew his last breath and died.
Lewy came to Cuchulain's corpse and sliced off Cuchulain's head but as he did this the sword of Cuchulain fell from his hand and smote off Lewy's hand.This caused Lewy to cut off Cuchulain's hand as well and they took the head and the hand and buried them at Tara.
Conall came to the scene and saw Cuchulain's body and rode off after the army of Maev catching them by the river Liffey.Conall tied one hand behind his back and fought Lewy in mortal combat.The fight raged for sometime until Conall's horse The Dewy Red bit Lewy tearing a gash in his side then Conall slew Lewy and carried off his head as a prize to Emain Macha but the victory was a hollow one for the greatest warrior in Erin , the Champion of Ulster , Cuchulain was gone.
IN CLOSING - WHAT BECAME OF....
Conall of the Victories - Conall went on many adventures after the death of Cuchulain and disappered into the pages of legend.
King Conor - Conor had sustained an injury during the battle of Athnurchar when a warrior named Ket brained him with a sling.Conor it is said survived with the ball of the sling still in his head but when a druid sees a vision of Christ's execution.Conor becomes enraged swearing to avenge the death of the Messiah and the ball shoots out of his head causing his brains to fall out.
Fergus Mac Roy - Still angry over the deaths of Deirdre and the Sons of Usna. Fergus never returns to Ulster and stays with Queen Maev one day during a bath he shared with her King Ailell kills Fergus with a spear.
Queen Maev - Maev is assassinated by Forbay Mac Nessa while bathing in Loch Ryve.Forbay kills her with a sling stone that hits her square in the forehead.
King Ailell - Maev's husband after killing Fergus was in turn slain by Conall in battle.