A/N: I decided it would be more convenient to combine all of my folklore inspired stories in one place, so here's the first in the series. It takes place in Medieval Ireland.


Bardán Ó Murchadh had been a proud warrior poet in his youth, enthralling many a peasant with odes to his own bravery and that of others.

In old age however, he was blind and slow of speech. There was not one day that he could go without the aid of sons Cainneach and Naomhán, as well as daughter Deirbhile.

Knowing that his life was nearing it's end, Bardán urged them to leave him be so that they could begin forging livelihoods of their own.

"But father, we are your children. To abandon you would bring us only sorrow!" Naomhán protested, his heart full of despair.

"He is right. I could never do something so cruel..." Deirbhile agreed while her body shook with sobs.

Unlike his brother and sister, Cainneach valued freedom far more than familial ties. He swallowed his tears and whispered softly to Bardán.

"I shall leave you tomorrow, father."

"That's my boy..."


Cainneach made good of his claim and left home the next morning, but not before promising Naomhán and Deirbhile that they would all be together again one day.

Deirbhile prayed to the Gods and asked them to keep him safe wherever he would wander.

Cainneach went on his way and stopped at a river as the sun reached it's highest point in the sky. The sound of hoofsteps grew louder while he knelt down to drink.

He soon rose to see with his eyes, a young maiden dismounting gracefully from her chestnut mare.

With flaxen hair that shone like the sun and eyes as blue as the heavens, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The desire to make such a lady his wife became Cainneach's only concern and he approached her like a blind fool.

"Fair maiden, I have never seen someone as lovely as you. Pray tell me your name?"

"Aoibheann." She replied with a voice that sounded as sweet as the flute Bardán once played during a festival.

"Aoibheann..." Cainneach repeated while she rustled her white gown and produced an ornate golden harp.

"And who are you, handsome traveller?"

"Cainneach."

"Cainneach, sit with me and hear my song."

He felt inclined to obey and sat down beside her upon the riverside. She began to strum the harp while singing a melancholy ode to a valiant warrior of old whom had died defending his kingdom from invaders.

It was dusk by the time the song came to an end, though Aoibheann's fingers were no less white and dainty.

"Such music is as beautiful as my father's. If I die tonight, I shall be a happy man..."

"And so you will." Aoibheann said to the now weary Cainneach.

She stood up to tug gently on her mare's reins and it gave a whinny, before trotting over to bite Cainneach's head clean off and shove his body into the river.