Graves What Has Gone Before On a small farmhold in the land of Eirren there lived a gardener named Collun. He dwelt quietly in the village of Inkberrow with his mother, father, and sister; and his prized possession was a trine with a lucky blue stone embedded in the handle. When his sister, Nessa, went to visit her aunt in the city of Temair, seat of the royal family, she mysteriously disappeared, and it fell to Collun to find and rescue her. Forging his trine into a dagger, Collun set forth, accompanied on his journey by the aspiring bard Talisen; Brie, a female archer with a quest of her own; an Ellyl prince called Silien; and Crann, the wizard of the trees. As Collun and his company made their way through Eirren, facing many perils, they learned that Medb, ruler of the evil kingdom of Scath, which lay to the north of Eirren, had kidnapped Nessa and was in pursuit of Collun as well.
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Graves What Has Gone Before On a small farmhold in the land of Eirren there lived a gardener named Collun. He dwelt quietly in the village of Inkberrow with his mother, father, and sister; and his prized possession was a trine with a lucky blue stone embedded in the handle.
When his sister, Nessa, went to visit her aunt in the city of Temair, seat of the royal family, she mysteriously disappeared, and it fell to Collun to find and rescue her. Forging his trine into a dagger, Collun set forth, accompanied on his journey by the aspiring bard Talisen; Brie, a female archer with a quest of her own; an Ellyl prince called Silien; and Crann, the wizard of the trees.
As Collun and his company made their way through Eirren, facing many perils, they learned that Medb, ruler of the evil kingdom of Scath, which lay to the north of Eirren, had kidnapped Nessa and was in pursuit of Collun as well. Medb believed the brother and sister to be in possession of a shard of a great stone of power called the Cailceadon Lir.
Back in the days of the hero-king Amergin, there was an evil sorcerer named Cruachan, who by trickery and murder acquired the Cailceadon Lir. With the stone he created a host of malformed, deadly creatures that laid waste to Eirren; among these creatures was the loathsome Firewurme, Naid, which ultimately turned, on and destroyed Cruachan himself.
It was the hero-king Amergin who retrieved the stone and wielded it to subdue the creatures and to trap them inside the very cave from which Cruachan had first summoned them. During the sealing of the cave, the Cailceadon Lir shattered into three pieces. One shard of the stone was taken safely to Eirren and was guarded well over the years by the reigning kings arid queens of Eirren.
The other two pieces of the Cailceadon Lir were lost. In the early days of the reign of King Gwynn and Queen Aine, Medb found one of the missing shards of the Cailceadon Lir, and it became her desire to reunite all three pieces, thereby gaining unlimited power to pursue her evil ends.
Believing the girl Nessa to be the link to the third shard, Medb kidnapped Nessa and set the monstrous Firewurme to guard her on the isle of Thule.
As Collun journeyed to Thule, he learned the long-hidden secret of his parentage—that the cold and remote blacksmith Goban, who had raised him, was not his father. He also learned that the stone in his dagger was the last of the three shards of the Cailceadon Lir. While Collun and Brie, the archer, made their way across the forsaken land of Scath to rescue Nessa, Medb was mounting a massive invasion of Eirren using Scathians as well as a host of morgs, evil creatures with yellow eyes who dwelled in the island kingdoms of Usna and Uneach.
And so did Collun face the Firewurme, with its lethal ooze that burned like fire. Sorely injured by the creature, Collun finally killed it, using the dagger with the lucky stone embedded in the handle. Given the name "Wurme-killer," Collun journeyed back to the dun of his true father, Cuillean, and there had his dagger forged back into a trine. His injuries slowly healed, and he and Brie found a measure of peace as they brought the long-deserted land around the dun back to life.
She smiled to herself. Collun shook his head, impatient. How many men? Brie ignored him. And a third, whose orders they followed. When the killing was done it was he who came down off his horse to ensure they had done it well.
Ending the lives of these men will change nothing. The only one changed will be you, Brie. Remember the tale of Casiope, the archer? Revenge is as an arrow; it will surely return one day and pierce the one who shoots it. She started to say something but bit it back.
There was an awkward silence. Kled cleared his throat. That was clever. Brie gazed into her own cup, preoccupied. A moment ago, as Collun spoke of Casiope, the archer, Brie had caught something in his eyes; it was beneath the anger, a look of such deep-reaching kindness it had made her heart skid in her chest.
No one before had shown her such a look, no one—not her father, nor Masha, the nurse who cared for Brie after her mother died. On the few occasions it had rained heavily, they had sought shelter in the stables.
Brie found the Ellyl horse Ciaran grazing in the forecourt of the dun. The horse ambled over, searching her hand for a sweet. Though they had been companions for many months, Brie was still in awe of Ciaran. The horse came from the land of Tir a Ceol, where the folk called Ellylon lived, out of sight of human eyes. Ellyl horses were smaller than Eirrenian horses, as well as leaner, but they were more graceful.
Ciaran was white like foam capping a sea wave, with gray stockings, a patch of gray at her forehead and another on her cheek. She was a beauty and knew it, but had a gentleness of spirit that made her vanity easier to bear. It was astounding to Brie that Ciaran continued to stay with her. She had expected the horse to disappear back to Tir a Ceol long ago.
It was the perfect place for a gallop. Dismounting, Brie let Ciaran frisk at the edge of the water. Brie dug her toes into the sand and squinted at the horizon of sea and air.
There was an old Eirrenian story—part of the coulin that explained the beginnings of Eirren and included tales of all its great heroes and gods—about the god, Nuadha, who had wielded a magic arrow, or teka. He had stood at the rim of the new world and, to chart a course through the wilderness, had repeatedly shot his teka from a bow and then run to catch up to it. Along the route he followed did appear the first ash tree, the first goshawk, the first flint, and the first hyacinth plant.
The ash tree was to make the shaft of an arrow, the goshawk for its fletching feathers, the flint for the arrowhead, and hyacinth for glue to bind the feathers to the shaft. Of course, unlike Brie, Nuadha was a god and had no trouble traveling over the sea with a magic arrow that would not sink beneath the waves.
Certainly it was not a journey one could undertake in real life, but Impulsively Brie pulled her bow off her back and nocked an imaginary arrow to the string. With a grin Brie pulled back and let the imagined arrow fly. With her eyes she traced its invented arc over the waves and pictured it cleaving silently into the water, startling a passing school of fish as it sank slowly to the bottom. Brie laughed softly to herself and lowered her bow to her knees.
It was absurd of course. Such journeys were only for gods and heroes. It was a new feeling. Indeed, it was the first time within her memory that the hard knot within her—of loneliness and the need to be best in all she did—had loosened. She had never had a brother or sister, but she imagined that this bond between herself and Collun was similar to what a brother and sister might share, and she savored the closeness.
There were moments, however, when she looked at him and a breathless, foreign feeling came over her, unexpected and fierce. Like yesterday when her heart had felt like it was flipping about in her chest. The feeling made her uncomfortable and somehow did not seem quite sisterly.
The few times she had felt it, she had fled, going off with Ciaran to gallop in the countryside or on the beach of the Bay of Corran. Collun never asked where she went or why. Brie gave a long whistle, and Ciaran wheeled around, sending sprays of seawater up around her gray stockings.
Soon Brie was astride the Ellyl horse, and they were pounding along the sand. As they gazed out at the blazing fires, Brie was reminded of a night from her childhood when her father had carried her up to the ramparts of their dun and showed her the Midsummer bonfires for the first time.
His strong arms held her as she stood barefoot on the cold stone of the parapet. She had been awed by the sight of all those glowing, leaping flowers of flame, stretching as far as her eye could see. The brightest one blazed at the foot of the hill that bore the White Stag of Herge, illuminating the enormous figure. The Stag had been etched into the hillside long ago by people who cut away turf to expose the white chalk of the cliff.
He had said she was too young. She would gaze enviously at the abandoned twirling forms of the dancers, but her body felt hemmed in, awkward. And there was the unspoken word that it was somehow unseemly for the daughter of the hero Conall to join the bonfire dances. She shivered slightly. Brie did not often think of Dun Slieve. Her uncle and aunt lived there now. I was thinking of the last time I saw the dun where I grew up.
Then she turned to Collun with a ghost of a smile. They had to rummage about to find bedding, and it took some time to sort out where to sleep in the long-deserted dun. But finally Brie lay on a pallet, Collun in the room next to hers. It felt strange to be separated by walls. She listened to the rain, glad it had held off until after the bonfires. She dozed, thinking again of her childhood in Dun Slieve. Hatred raged inside her, roaring in her ears.
The three men stood before her, like ghosts: one with wide shoulders and thick pale arms, carrying a black spear; another tall, with yellowish eyes; and the last, the most evil, with his arrogant, coarse face and black eye-patch. As she stood to face them, they disappeared. Then there was darkness. A throbbing, quiet stillness. And suddenly out of the silence plunged a blazing yellow bird of prey. Its talons were extended and it dived at Brie.
Gushura The fire arrow motif was handled deftly. Preview — Fire Arrow by Edith Pattou. Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: She acheives this, but does not feel happy like she thought she would. Characterization was believable and honest. I ship Brie and Collun! Fire Arrow: The Second Song of Eirren I was a little confused in the beginning chapters figuring out what all the fantasy words represented. Mar 12, Deanna Drai Turner rated it really liked it.
Fire Arrow: The Second Song of Eirren