Prologue

Cuchulainn

All I remember of the Otherworld, of being in the Sidhe, of death, is a wonderful lightness that seemed to last forever. I was at rest, finally. I know that the legends were that death was simply a waiting period before your reincarnation, yet I seemed destined to stay here. Not that I'm complaining of course. I loved sitting in the sun days on end and not needing to eat. Bathing in the healing waters of the Spring of Renewal, tended by my uncle, Dian Cecht, was a daily ritual to keep the gods and us demi-gods youthful. A good thing, yet alas, no good thing can last forever.

As little I remember of death, I remember the most of rebirth. I was walking with my cousin, Airmid, along the grassy path to the Spring for my daily bathing, when a voice thundered from the skies. I felt my spirit breaking up as it flew skyward, out of the Sidhe and back into the world of the living. I saw flashes of bright red, white, green, and strips of black and yellow criss-crossing the land where there should have been trees and plains. I saw large structures that emanated light and humans dressed in strange clothing and materials. I was swept from this unfamiliar area into a more welcoming place. A large two mound hill we called The Paps of Anu. My spirit regrouped at my will and I forced myself to solidify.

The Dagda stood before me, antlers raised to full majesty, at his side was Dana. The king and queen had called me from the afterlife? That could only mean two things. One, my reincarnation was imminent and my transition into the world would be more difficult, or two, the pact had been broken.

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