Author Guest Post: S.A. Archer

The People of Danu

Celtic lore is rich with tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann, or the people of Danu. These magical, elven people came to Ireland on ships that could fly, or so the legends say. They battled the Fomorians to establish a settlement, and soon their power and influence spread across the island. According to legend they eventually retreated into a magical realm beneath mounds of earth known as Sidhe. The ‘elves of the Sidhe’ later were just called the Sidhe.

In The Sidhe series the Tuatha Dé Danann have lived in the Mounds for well over ten thousand years, far earlier than the myth would lead you to believe. Danu created the Mounds in a pocket of enchantment beneath the earth after the first realm of fey was destroyed. Though from the surface the Mounds only seemed to extend for a few square miles, once within the magic of that realm, you discover that it actually is as vast in width and breadth as all of Ireland.

The Sidhe refers to the race of noble elves, of which Danu is one. The Sidhe and several other races of fey that survived the destruction of the first realm migrated to the Mounds. Because of the way Danu created the Mounds, all magic flows through her. As magic is spent and returns to the Mounds to be recycled, it flows first through Danu before spreading out to all the Sidhe who are bound to the Mounds for their source of magic, giving rise to the term ‘people of Danu’.

The Sidhe once interacted frequently with the humans of Ireland. Orders of human druids served the Sidhe in exchange for the blessing of the Sidhe Touch. It was the druids who first encouraged the worshipping of the Sidhe as deities. The Celtic pantheon is entirely populated with Sidhe. As each one possessed a unique aspect of magic it was easy to associate them as the deity of that aspect. So Danu became known as the Mother Goddess, and Lugh, the lead character in the Champion of the Sidhe mini-series, was worshipped as the Sun God. Druids built temples to serve as homes away from the Mounds for the Sidhe they served.

The druids were not the only humans interested in the magic of the fey. The wizard-kind, through the early practice of alchemy, discovered a secret about the fey. Their bodies are only partly physical. They are in equal measure magical in substance. Wizards experimented and found ways to extract the magic from the fey, usually by killing them and using various parts of their bodies as ingredients in their alchemy. The Sidhe, being the most magical of the fey, were by far the most prized source of power.

The Sidhe led the fight to drive the wizards from Ireland and established magical barriers to prevent their return. By this time humans were becoming more difficult; as their technology became more formidable, their population increased, and their reliance on the Sidhe waned. Most of the Sidhe returned to the Mounds. When they would return, things were less and less familiar, as humans continued to advance, so visits from the Sidhe became rare.

Though all Sidhe bound to the Mounds are also bound to Danu, not all Sidhe are enamored of her. The Sidhe of the light court continue to revere her as the Creatrix of the Mounds, while the Sidhe of the dark court crave independence from her influence. The wars between the two courts flair and cool periodically, but in recent decades the power Danu has granted to her favored court had begun to result in many of the Sidhe of the dark court exiling themselves from the Mounds, preferring to live secretly among the humans and other fey of modern day Ireland.

This is where the three companion series of The Sidhe saga begins. Each series is contemporary fantasy which approaches this world with a unique perspective. Champion of the Sidhe is from the Seelie, or light court, point of view. The Rise of the Unseelie comes from the standpoint of the Sidhe of the dark court. And finally, Touched, which is told through the eyes of a human outsider who finds herself caught up in the conflict.

Lugh’s first story in the Champion of the Sidhe series is “End of the World,” and it can be downloaded for free from Barnes and Noble, Sony, and Kobo. The Kindle and PDF versions are free from Smashwords.

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