Manannán mac Lir
A Correspondence With Lugh Lamfhada
Subject: I could use a favor
Hey, Manannán. I hope all's well with you.
Okay. So. Nuada has been king of the Tuatha de Danaan, which is awesome. Who doesn't love Nuada? But now he's asked me to help him fight the Fomorians, the evil dudes who are trying to take away the TDD's power over the land.
So, Nuada did one of the nicest things anyone's ever done for me—he stepped down as king of the Tuatha de Danaan. He told me he thought I'd be a better king than he would because I was a pretty darn good warrior.
He's got me worried now, though. I don't mind helping him in battle or anything, but I'm a bit under-equipped to fight the Fomorians. We just had a meeting with our advisers about how to best handle the Fomorians. Everyone thought that, since we get along so well, I should come ask you for help.
I'd be honored if you'd deign to help us fight those evil Fomorians. They're taking over Ireland! I know you're not technically a member of the Tuatha de Danaan, but you're as close of a friend as we've got. We need your aid to make sure that Ireland remains Irish and in the hands of its rightful rulers.
Your favorite lordling,
Re: I could use a favor
I appreciate you taking the courtesy of sending me this e-mail instead of stealing some of my stuff, like a few other heroes might have. I'd love to help you guys defend Ireland.
What kind of stuff do you need? I've got almost every kind of magical object or animal imaginable. I have a feeling that you won't need my magic pigs, which you can kill and eat and they'll regenerate the next day. I'm not sure what good they'll be in battle.
I'd be happy to give you my horse. He's pretty fast. Or anything else I have.
Re: I could use a favor
You're awesome! That'd be great. I'd love to borrow your horse. I heard he can gallop across the sea like it was firm land and that no one can ever fall off of him. That's amazing!
I'd also love to borrow your breastplate. I know it's nice and shiny and all, which is wonderful, but I also know that it's impenetrable—no weapons can poke through it or anything. That would be unbelievably helpful in battle, as you can imagine, since you've used it yourself.
If it's not too much trouble, can I use Fragarach, too? A magical sword that kills everyone I swing it at would be great.
A Conversation With the Tuatha de Danaan
Dear my dear Tuatha de Danaan,
I hope this e-mail finds you well. I haven't seen you guys in a bit. I've been sorta busy on the Isle of Man, but I miss you all. Maybe come over for dinner soon?
I know I ruled over you with Bodb Derg for a while, so you know you can trust me. I'm kind of concerned about you, though. Ireland is starting to be Christianized—you remember St. Patrick, right? He wasn't so fond of you all. Now he's trying to convert tons of people. He's attempting to win over all the Irish people from you—the old gods of the land—to the new Christ.
I think you guys might want to make a move. I don't think you need to leave Ireland or anything, but it might be worth leaving your grand palaces and moving to the houses you built a while back underneath the hills. That way, you can still watch over your people, but you won't be annoyed by these new guys.
What do you think, guys?
-Manannán mac Lir
While we appreciate your concerns, we're not so keen to move underground. Can you blame us for wanting to stay aboveground? We know those Christians won't really pay us honor the way their ancestors did, but we'd like to stay living and breathing—without having to fight for our oxygen.
The Tuatha de Danaan
Aengus, I'd like to address you in particular. I know you're the most rational of all the Tuatha de Danaan, so I think you'll listen to what I have to say.
You trust me, right? I'm the god of the sea, the Otherworld; the lord of magic. I'm a king of Man and a former ruler of the Tuatha de Danaan. Also, I'm just a boss.
Now that we've established my credentials, I need you to trust me. Will you promise to listen to what I say?
Fine. Speak. I've got a Fiona Apple concert to go to this afternoon.
Okay. I've met with Patrick and he's started to convince me of what he has to say. I'm starting to believe that the Christian God created the Earth and all the people on it. I mean, I didn't like it at first, but it's starting to sound nice.
Everyone else is starting to follow along with this belief, too, so we'll soon be out of jobs as gods. I don't fancy joining the unemployment line. What will we do once we have no one to worship us? Our names will be forgotten and we'll be run out of our homes—we'll wander Ireland and be forced to nibble on other people's potatoes.
It's my opinion that we might as well just quit while we're ahead. I can make sure that the bards still remember us in songs and poems. They won't worship us anymore, but will still consider us some sort of magical beings. We can keep some of our powers.
This way, we all win.
All right. We're in. We'll move into our homes in the hills. We'll call ourselves the "sidhe," the people of the hills.
You'd better get us all killer presents next year for our b-days.
-Aengus and the rest of the TDD