Lugh stood atop Tara hill in darkness, as the chilly night readied for the dawn. He took a deep breath and reassured himself. Better to face death or banishment in this battle than to go on living in Tír na nÓg—a world without flight or the gentle warmth of Earth’s sun upon his skin.
He closed his eyes and felt his spirit soar. Tara’s sweet smelling grass lay beneath his feet. The cloudless sky seemed to wait for his action.
The others soon followed, each one appearing in turn. First the Fae: BéChuille, Scota and Flidais. They transformed to doves and flew overhead.
The Elven men materialized one and then the next: Angus, Ogme, Eocho, Mider, Dermot, Fionn and Segomo. They stood silently, the wind blowing their long hair about their faces, swords throbbing brightly at their sides. They were impatient. Soon the night would end, and with it, the Elven ability to fly.
The Fomorian giants approached. Grim led them over the horizon, their massive silhouettes filling the sky, their red eyes glinting. They were so heavy the earth shook beneath their feet.
Lugh’s blonde curls made a halo around his face. His blue eyes caught the bright moonlight. He let go of Nair’s reins and pushed her gently to the side of the battle arena to join Eocho’s steed.
As the first yellow ray of dawn pierced the sky, the Fomorian clan attacked. They thundered forward, shouting their battle cries, black swords aloft and tongues flaming fire.
Lugh tapped the ground with his left foot and flew; pitching himself toward Grim. The Sword of Light moved through the flames that leapt from Grim’s bloody lips. Lugh flew up and then tore down swiftly. Grim countered. Their weapons clashed and lightning beams shot through the air. Lugh flew higher. Grim thundered on the meadow below, pacing in circles. His nose and ears poured smoke as he grinned with blackened teeth.
Across the field and high in the air, BéChuille’s red hair whipped and danced around her face. Her white tunic clung forcefully to her body as she flew. Carman, the witch, swooped to escape BéChuille’s lance. Colors flashed. Electric waves filled the purple morning sky. Carman transformed and bore down on her as a black hawk. BéChuille transformed into a flying horse. Hooves and wings beat back the sorceress’ talons.
Angus, the musician, teased the Fomorian giants. He was whirling through the air in a kind of dance; floating just above the monsters’ flaming breath and making them jump up to try and set him aflame.
The Fomorian warriors knew they had little chance against the Elven men with the power of flight. So they looked for a distraction until the sun rose higher and the Elven powers had faded. Violating all rules of battle, they stormed Lugh’s white mare. They smothered her in flames and smoke. Nair rose on her hind legs. The Black Sword came down and she fell. Nair’s long white mane flushed red.
Catching the sight from above, Lugh’s heart fell. The sun’s rays swept the meadow and he lost his strength. He dropped to the ground and ran toward her.
He nearly tripped over Eocho who lay immobile and his blood poured swiftly over the meadow floor. Lugh fell to his knees and tried to stave his friend’s wounds, but it was too late. Eocho swiftly left his body.
As he watched his friend die, Lugh felt a thick blackness envelop his chest, taking his breath. Sound and time slowed and then stopped completely. Lugh did not move.
From the last cloud of darkness, Ogme soared from the sky, knocking Lugh from his position.
“What are you doing?”
“Saving you!” With the last of his strength, Ogme pulled Lugh up into the sky—and just away from Grim’s flaming tongue.
Lugh felt a storm grow in his chest. Hot blood whipped through him; hurtling out to his hands and feet. Sound ripped through his ears.
Lugh tore away from Ogme. He fell to the ground and rushed at the Fomorian warriors. The blue-white Sword of Light clashed against their enormous black swords. Lightning and flames rushed to the heavens. Lugh left the Fomorian’s red chests burning as they fell; one and then the next.
Angus flew down from the sky into the melee with Carman’s sharp talons upon him. As Lugh looked up, a flash of light blinded him. It was a pure light; without a shadow. He threw his hand to his eyes, but his hand did not shield him from the light. The brightness took all of him. He did not know if he had been struck, if he were still fighting, or if he was dead.
He felt pressed from all sides as he left Tara Hill—spinning through time and space.