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The Art of War [Niall]
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Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór Offline
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Tribe: Clann Fox
Clann: Ua Goibniu
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Post: #1
The Art of War [Niall]
Date: Beltaine | 5th of Crann | Year 1722
Time of Day: Late Morning
Weather: Overcast, Damp
Location: Dun Fiach, Cathair Fiach, The Coill
---

It had been two days since they've crossed the border, where the green rolling hills had melted away into the thick winding forest. When they started out on their journey, the entourage had disguised themselves as merchants. One Illusion of Master, even took the liberty to change the look of their Chieftain, as his presence would assert their cargo was something of importance. They had been way laid a couple of times by ordinary bandits, fortunately not interceptors with the skill to take on the escorts.

The nature of their cargo had been kept a secret. The Raven Chieftain had approached Cathasach some time after the end of the Aesir war, to turn the new material Clann Raven had found, into something more than it already was. It took several years of experiments, trial and errors, but finally, the Fox had reached a result which had been deemed up to standard as their bronze artifact counterparts, and with the nature of Witchwood, it would be superior in the long run.

Once they've entered the mutual border, they've met up with the Raven escorts which Niall had sent for this purpose. The entourage finally shed off their guise, though they still haven't let their guard down. Even though they were neighbours, the two clanns had lived in different worlds. While the Raven steads ambled through the forest like deer, their Fox counterparts moved with more care, negotiating the minor obstacles they have at their feet, with less sunlight than they're used to. The cargo swayed and tumbled in the wagon, as they traversed through the rough terrain, created by the thick roots of the trees around them.

It was rare for Cathasach to travel with a full escort, with more than a dozen guards, the elite of the Fox, almost in par with the Raven champions. Unlike most of the Clann, these men and women forgo the way of the craft, and concentrated on their skills with using weapons. There were also a couple of non-combatants, assistant smiths who came to assist Cathasach on handling the cargo.

On the day they arrived Cathair Fiach, Cathasach had forgone his travelling cloak in exchange for a red fur cape, thick with his Clann's animal totem, and the mark of his clann running down his side, though underneath, he still wore his leather-red travel tunic. His Artifact sword, Luaitheadh, hung on his side.The Ravens tend to be more ceremonial than their Fox neighbour, with the intention of power display, the chants that follows the Raven Taoiseach were often well-known, and a secret mocking joke; yet this is their land, it would be wiser to follow their customs. Cathasach had brought his Artifact along to remind the Ravens of the Foxes' capabilities and their roles in their contrasting relationship.

They arrived at the gate of the Raven Taoiseach's fort, with a tree spiraling towards the sky from the centre of the fortress. The guards at the gate recognised their colleagues and their guest, and knew that their master had been expecting them; the tall wooden doors swung inwards without resistance. They dismounted at the courtyard, with the cargo unloaded from the wagon. The main entrance had been opened, with Raven warriors from all four Septs standing in uniformed.

Despite being allies, the display of their numbers and power still unnerved the Foxes. His guards stood vigil as all eyes watched with restrained eagerness at the Fox Taoiseach and long wooden crate he had brought with him. Cathasach could still sense metal on them, but several had visible weapons that rung void to him. It was a tradeoff he had to give up for the qualities of Witchwood, even if it made him feel to be in a more vulnerable position. He stood with his expression in the signature of Goibniu impassiveness, as he and his entourage awaited for the doors of the Raven Taoiseach's audience chamber to open.
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2013 03:06 PM by Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór.)
06-18-2013 08:28 AM
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Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór Offline
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Tribe: Clann Raven
Clann: Ua Morrigan
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Post: #2
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
The lands of the Raven were dense forests filled with carefully laid roads that were made with cobbled stone. The long roads wound deep into the Coill and would splinter off into paths filled with underbrush and thick bushes. Several of the paths that appeared to be made by deer were in fact carefully articulated causeways that ran throughout the Coill. Each would likely lead off to a village, or a homestead in the depths ofthe frest itself. There were no bandits hiding in the place where Cathasach was heading. All the while after entering the lands of the Septs a watch had followed them every since. The Flatha (plura of FLaith) had watched the gathering with suspicion since they had come. All the Raven Septs were in an uproar because of recent infighting breaking out among members of the Nemain and the Badb. Clann War had been declared.

Some of the Morrigan Guards near the cargo were very jump as the Foxes removed their covered and began to walk with careful feet. There was a bird cry and a group of them pealed off as the sound of swords being drawn filled the distant. The Champions remained with the cargo as they looked on in Grim silence, one of them made a silent motion with his hands.

"...Macha bows," one of them said, glance around quietly, "the other Septs are angered. The groves were attacked last night." Words spread between the warriors as screams echoed throughout the forest. A bit later several of the warriors returned as did others. Several Nemain and even a few Badb, "Fucking ShadeCrow Fine tried to make a move."

The chatter would keep going on for a bit longer. The words moving about in them as the men switched into the native accent and the dialect of their various home counties. Names of Septs that the Foxes had likely not heard in years were bantered back forth, about the various tribes of the forest fighting over the newly grown crop Witchwood found deep in the southern portions of the forest. The Coill itself covered hundreds upon hundreds of miles and

The words passing between the Ravens soon devolved into Coill Speech, the thickly accented tongue of the wood itself. After the guards were free from the attack they made it closer to the bustling city of Cathair Fiach. A full troop of Morrigan and Macha Fianna were outside the gates as the group made their way toward the inner part of the city. Large trees broke the skyline of the city as they made their way ever closer toward the great rising stone fort known as the Keep of Birds. Several Ravens flew over the tops of the city as the canopy of the large oaken trees only broke in certain areas. NIall himself awoke that day and saw from the great tower where his solar was located the oncoming ling of Fox diplomats.

The doors to the keep were soon opened as Niall ordered the servants to ready for the visitors and give them the utmost respect. The servants rushed to prepare as the audience chamber was opened and a platter of dried meats laid out for the visitors. The Fox Chieftain then was bade to enter and informed that the lord would be joining them shortly.

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(This post was last modified: 06-24-2013 07:08 PM by ShadowedSin.)
06-20-2013 06:41 PM
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Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór Offline
Child of Danu
Sidhe


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Tribe: Clann Fox
Clann: Ua Goibniu
Occupation: Fox Taoiseach/Weaponsmith

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Joined: Apr 2013
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Post: #3
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
The distant sounds of weapons and warriors clash, could still be heard in the early morning hour, within the fortress. They had set the Fox guards on an edge, due to the unanticipated Clann War, that happened in a mere day of them entering the Raven lands. Sudden conflicts such as these were rarer in the lake glens. The Foxes care too much about the losses they might face, and were less likely to start a war. Their ways of fighting tend to be invisible to outsiders, and even among themselves, a constant ire and nuisance to their Chieftain. When their battles reach the surface, however, they can be just as (if not more) violent, and last longer in memories.

The doors leading to the audience chamber swung open. The seat where Niall should be, was empty. Instead, there were platters of food, laid out on a long table across the hall, prepared for the guests who had arrived from a long journey. Once the cargo was left in a secure corner, with one of the guards, stand alert next to it, the rest joined the table, with Cathasach seated first. He then signalled to let his men eat first. It was not in his habit to have a meal so close in proximity to an official meeting, especially with another Taoiseach.
06-25-2013 08:32 PM
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Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór Offline
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Sidhe


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Tribe: Clann Raven
Clann: Ua Morrigan
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Post: #4
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
The moment Cathasach entered Niall was informed by a servant. The man was dealing with last minute details about the recent Clann War with select Families among the Ua Badb Gentry. Reports had come in by courier of fires near the witchwood groves and a direct threat against the Raven's monopoly on the precious trees. That alone had the Raven Chief nearly ripping his goatee off as he paced around in his solar. However, the rules of hospitality demanded he attend to the lord down in his meeting room. Such were the ways of Host and Hearth and to break them would bring ill fate upon him and his family. To be truthful, Niall needed all the good luck he could get at the moment! HE took a moment to get some spiced ale into him and downed the stein quickly. A bit of Swan Courage eh? I think Ryol Taoiseach has a bigger wine sellar than me. He thought as he made his way out of the solar and outside.

The climb down from the top of the tower was brisk and without incident. Several guards joined Niall as he exited the stairway and flanked their lord. His dress was the typical Raven High Mantle of feathers laced with martin hair along the fringe. A golden torque twisted to feature twin cawing ravens on either end was around his neck as the entered the room with Cathasach. Glancing at the heavily armored Fox guards he threw back his head with a laugh and said.

"Cath lad, good to see you come through my dreary forest. I apologize for the little fight along the way, some upstarts in the south think it is fine to kill people over blood quality amount. Seems I may have to put some folk to hanging and beheading for their ill-ways." His blunt and frank words were typical Raven fashion, never lie and get to the point. Niall was given a mug of fine ale as he then sat at the table where the Fox Chieftain was waiting.

"So I hope you like witchwood, its a hard to create material and the trees take years to grow. It it is better than Sky Iron and holds magic like no other."

He waited then in silent, his face keeping a slight smirk on it. His mind arranging the game pieces as necessary.

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06-26-2013 09:12 PM
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Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór Offline
Child of Danu
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Tribe: Clann Fox
Clann: Ua Goibniu
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Post: #5
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
As the Raven Chieftain made his appearance, the Fox entourage -- save for their chieftain, stood up in respect of their host. His laughter after his eyes glance over them was met with a slight confusion, especially among those who had never met the Raven Taoiseach before, and were unfamiliar with his character. After all, they had just wandered into a Clann War among the Ravens. The Raven Taoiseach shouldn't be as cheerful as he seemed. What was the meaning behind the man’s laughter?

The Coill folk had a long discrimination against the warriors of the Glen, often see them as sub-par counterparts. Was the Raven Chieftain’s laugh a mockery or an apology? These thoughts simmered among the younger ones as they sat down. Their seniors, on the other hand, seemed unconcerned. Though a couple did raise some eyebrows that the Raven Chieftain’s reference to Cathasach as ‘Cath lad’. Only those close to the Fox Chieftain refer to him by his nickname, and they wouldn’t describe their lord’s relation to the Raven Chieftain as ‘close’. And weren’t they almost similar in age? The Fox Chieftain remained aloof throughout these exchanges.

“I would like to apologise, in turn, for our ill-timing,” Cathasach spoke, his voice travelled smoothly across the table, “that you have to greet us, when your time could be better spent elsewhere; and our safety of traversing your lands has become an unneeded burden. I hope what we have brought today would make up for all the troubles.

He side glanced at his assistants, cueing them to be ready. They hurried over to where the crate was in the hall, and started to peel the wood planks off, as Cathasach continued. His voice was now in a lighter, more energetic tone, “It took us awhile to become familiar with it. The smiths from Ua Macha had been helpful in that regard. It is a little stiffer than what we are accustomed to.”

The seriousness he wore before, seemed to have melted away, when the topic of Witchwood was broached. He got up from his seat, and steadily paced around the table, while his assistants were preparing their handiwork. Thus, he began to weave his dance of persuasion around the Raven Chieftain, “We noticed the weapons made for the Aesir invasion have brittled more easily than their bronze counterparts, despite being sharper. So, we’ve reinforced the structure of the weapon. You’d find that you’d require less frequency in sharpening your weapon than your men. Cuts through anything like butter and tough as a diamond, it has the best of both worlds. On top of from it being the first of its kind, of course.” He added the last sentence on a light note, as if it was a leftover information, when it was probably has the most weight of them all.

By the time he finished, the assistants have unloaded the bronze casing that holds the Artifact. Cathasach strode over to check its condition. There were bumps and indentations on several spots around the casing. One of the assistants unlocked the case, revealing an ebony shortspear with a jagged head, the shaft carved in bird and forest motifs and the grip in similarly dark leather. Characters were carved along the shaft in Ogham, and it was what that separates it from an ordinary weapon. The spear reflected the morning rays brilliantly. Clear and untainted, a weapon that had not yet drawn blood.

Cathasach turned to the Raven Chieftain, with a playful, query gesture from his right hand, and a foxy grin,“Well, what is an Artifact without seeing what it is capable of? Shall we entertain you with a demonstration?”
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2013 12:43 PM by Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór.)
06-27-2013 10:47 PM
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Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór Offline
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Sidhe


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Tribe: Clann Raven
Clann: Ua Morrigan
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Post: #6
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
Nialls initial action was to laugh and let the sound belt out into the entire room. The great hall of the of the Raven Lord was made from heavy stone that had been quarried in the rocky mountains located faraway in Alba. One of the few times that the Raven had gotten along with their western neighbors in the past few centuries. Ever since the Clann War and the earlier bouts of war between the Tuatha of Eire and Alba. In the grand hall the sound reverberated quickly and bounced around them all. Niall's first observation of the meeting was the reaction of the younger Fox Clansmen within the room. They seemed to slightly put off by his laughter. Could people seriously be more uptight? The Raven judgement of the Fox had long seen them as nothing more than emotional smiths.

The fact that the younger ones could take such things so personally was slightly laughable in of itself. Niall knew from first hand experience that the Fox did not lack in fight capability. Anyone who made such a call or observation was an utter fool. The only reason the Raven even had such a thought for the Fox was the fact that it seemed to always be filled with problems. Smiths were creative, so were artists and storytellers. The problem with extremely creative individuals is that they seemed to have a lack of understanding of their world outside what they made up in their heads. The Raven Lord of Dun Fiach was unconcerned with the thoughts of youngling Gardai. He was here to see what Cathasach would create using witchwood.

"You are far from a burden mo thaoiseach of Clann Fox. The rebellion in the south is an impudent fine trying to claim its that my suzerainty is worth question. If I have to have enact Clan's End upon them I shall. These are troubling times for us to be living in. So your quest here to deliver the first true artifact of witchwood is an important one. Go raibh mile maith agat! A thousand thank yous for the work you have done." The reply was meant to be filled with formality and ass kissing. The simple fact was that Cathasach had done a wonder under the auspices of his Clann, to make artifacts out of witchwood was hard, to be the first to create a proper incantation to achieve the job was a true marvel.

Cathasach began to speak as a pair of Fox assistants disappeared back into the hallway and began to dismantle the crate they had brought. Niall picked up a goblet of wine and rank from it a bit as the Fox Chieftain explained a bit more about the make and design of the weapon. Luckily the Ua Macha had wished to participate Cathasach's proposed experiment. The amount of negotiating and strong arming he had to do to achieve the goal.

"The Badb have damaged some of the trees, you are lucky we got you the stock you received. I will likely have to shut down the trade for a while to deal with the uprising," he said. Then suddenly the man was on his feet and started to talk. Niall looked at Cath as the man began to pace as he began to discuss the weapon's properties. The newly commissioned work would become a rarity and a highly sought after prize. The efficiency of the weapon listed by Cathasach was impressive to save the least. It sounded like a weapon properly deserving of a Chieftain. However, words were one thing, actual proof of action was another. He let Cath pace for a bit longer.

The men finally returned and placed a large bronze case down nearby them for presentation. Niall eyed the display as the case was opened a true work of mastery was revealed. The ebony shortspear was already looking quite impressive when Niall stood up quietly and pushe his char in toward the table. The motifs that covered the shaft were of birds, and forest markings. He looked at the jagged spear's head and gave a silent nod of approval. However, being pretty was only one thing, could it efficiently kill? Could it destroy?

"A demonstration sounds particularly good. Let us see what the first true witchwould artifact can achieve. So we might usher in a new era of war." The man flicked one of his hands and the servants appear and began to remove the platters and the drinks. Soon a large wooden dummy was brought into the room as the servants also remove most of the furnishings within a few moments. All that was left was the table, and then the dummy several feet away from it. It was not only large, but in the rough likeness of an Aesir.

"Shall we begin?" he asked lightly.

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06-30-2013 04:15 PM
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Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór Offline
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Tribe: Clann Fox
Clann: Ua Goibniu
Occupation: Fox Taoiseach/Weaponsmith

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Joined: Apr 2013
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Post: #7
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
Once the hall was cleared away, and everyone in the hall gathered around, facing where the dummy was placed; Cathasach nodded towards one of the senior Flame Guards, whose main weapon mastery was the spear, and had a couple of trials on the Artifact. The Creidhne stepped forward, and picked up the ebony spear respectfully. The attention then shifted towards her. She stopped several feet away, enough for an arms throw, at the dummy.

Cathasach gave her another silent signal again. She finally took her stance, and drew her right arm as far back as she could. Her comrades had already started taking several steps further back. A pre-emptive tiny smirk had etched on the Fox Chieftain’s face. Then, the Artifact spear flew through the air, across the hall, and slammed right on to its target.

There was a slight tremor, quickly followed by clouds of dust choking the hall. It took several moments of coughing and eye squinting, hands swatting the air, before the result of the Artifact could be visible again. What remained at where the dummy was a crater, around the size of a wagon, and several inches deep. It mimicked the effect of a boulder being thrown from a catapult, except it was an ordinary sized spear, and not a very large rock. The only signs that the dummy ever existed were bit of splinters, amongst the grey crumbs of rock.

The Flame Guard handed the Artifact spear to Cathasach, who took it, proceeded to throw it lightly several times in the air with one hand, to show the Ravens that there was no mistake in its weight, nor size, and what they just witnessed was the power of the Artifact.

“What you saw here, was it’s basic effect. Requires no anam to activate, only the power of one’s throw, something that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Witchwood’s ability to carry magic. Weighs like a normal spear, but falls like a boulder. However, if you were to channel your anam, and direct an elemental charm through it,” He demonstrated it with the tip of the spear glowing ember red. “it could carry the element, such as what I’m doing here, and if this were to be thrown the next time, it would be a boulder on fire.” He extinguished the red glow, since this hall had already taken some effects from the Artifact, it would be best not to make some accidental damage; especially with fire, the prime element of destruction.

“It’s called Bristeoir Tir, the Earth Breaker,” he finally introduced the Artifact’s name, “I hope it’s effect had been aligned with your expectations, Raven Taoiseach.” He held the spear lying flat in both of his palms, and passed Bristeoir Tir to it’s new owner.
07-15-2013 10:04 PM
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Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór Offline
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Tribe: Clann Raven
Clann: Ua Morrigan
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Post: #8
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
Things were silent for a moment as a dummy was set up and a group of guards came forward. What did he call those gardai? Niall took a moment as he glanced at the dark metal of the spear and how it seemed to pulse with some kind of inner heart to it. The dummy was finished up and readied for a moment as an Ua Creidhne woman came forward who seemed to at least be a decently skilled warrior. Who else would handled the prized weapon of the Smith Chieftain? Niall sat up in his seat and crossed his right leg over the either. A very discerning look came over him as the man gave the woman a signal. The woman had stepped away and launched the spear clear at the target. The wooden body of the dummy was instantly penetrated by the spear like a hot knife through butter.

The hall suddenly trembled with the shock of the strike as a cloud of dust kicked up for no reason. What the fuck was going on? What in the world did that stupid ass fox do with my witchwood? The dummy was gone. The cloud of dust was sawdust. The dummy had been shattered with allt he matter being cast aside as a small crater sat int he middle of the floor. Niall's initial reaction was to give a slightly annoyed look as he glanced at the crater. The tiling and stone required to make the floor was expensive and hard to replace. Next time he let the crazy mother of a Chieftain do a test Niall would have it done an open field. However, his slight annoyance was easily cast aside for the desired affect.

Cathasach now held the weapon and he tossed the weapon about. It seemed interestingly light and would do well for throwing. Niall preferred to fight with a spear, not lose it on the battlefield. The Raven Lord took a moment to listen and take in all that was being said. There was alot to take in as the weapon seemed quite interesting to say the least. Niall slowly stood up and walked toward the Fox Chieftain. His great raven feathered mantle rustling as he walked. Bits and pieces of the dust still wafted through the air he took a moment to step toward Cathasach and listened as the man gave a bit more on the artifacts uses.

So it could carry an element and had the force to deliver a quake level bit of destruction. He looked the thing over and for a bit longer thought of it. The Raven lord then turned his head and gestured with an open hand toward one of the guards near the door. They opened it and a few minutes later a green haired woman walked in and stared at the crater. Niall gave the woman a smile as he then took the spear and held it in his hands. The woman came forward and picked up the weapon in her own hands and held it aloft. She observed the carving of the wood and then looked to Niall.

"How would you like an exclusive access to our prime grove?" the man asked Cathasach. Seeing if the Fox wanted in on a little project Niall was working on. He then waited to see how the man would react.

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07-23-2013 08:03 PM
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Cathasach Ó Goibniu-Mór Offline
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Post: #9
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
Cathasach made a nod at the green-haired woman, who had just entered, and spectated the aftermath of the Witchwood Artifact. Apart from discerning her to be an Ua Macha Tiarna, he was unable to identify her specifically. However, being an Ua Macha meant she would be connected to the Witchwood groves, and the spear that Niall had just handed her, was the start of an interview.

Cathasach had not anticipated Niall to make his offer as soon as he did. He had expected more indifference from the Raven Chieftain, though he supposed it would be hard to stay indifferent to a weapon that was light to hold, and still created a crater on your expensive floor. The brief annoyance flickered on Niall’s face, reminded Cathasach the similarities he and the Swan Chieftain have. Both have an ample of focus on their personal and estate appearance, but in different ways.

It was too soon to be excited about the offer. Niall wouldn’t hand the keys of his prized grove over to another Chieftain without strings attached, only an idiot could make such a mistake. “That is quite a generous offer,” he said with a harmless grin, while folding his arms.

“What are the terms?” he asked the Raven Chieftain, and his eyes slid to the Ua Macha woman.
07-31-2013 08:41 PM
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Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór Offline
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Post: #10
RE: The Art of War [Niall]
The green haired woman had come not long after the fox sortie. She had been delayed by the ongoing fights in the forest, and was from a delegation which had come to protest the ongoing rebellion of the southern Fine (Houses) of the Badb. Even as they were speaking to the Fox representative, Macha interests in the ongoing civil war that had broken out int he Great Coill. The woman had not expected to have the Taoiseach to suddenly toss out such a strange offer. The woman did not even know the lord of the Foxes, and yet here she was speaking to a regular Ri if there ever was. Niall silently read the woman's reaction as he looked at her and then back to Cathasach.

Niall's change of attitude on the weapon offer was more along the lines of securing not only an ally, but something he needed for the future. He needed allies for the upcoming project which would pit him and his family against the rest of the High Kingdom. It would not even remotely be that easy at all. Plans had to be laid carefully in a manner that would gain him an ally and the resources he would need. However, being so obvious would only net someone who could use him. SO the dance of politics had to begin silently as he looked to the Macha delegation. An agreement by the Macha to give access to the groves of witchwood.

Even though Niall controlled the monopoly on witchwood and his ability to determine who was granted the privelege to access the rare material. To please the Macha was at the center of the problem. If the Macha were not pleased and their interests not met, then Niall would face a pile of problems. There were several issues facing him and then as Cathasach asked for his terms Niall said, "Access to Witchwood in turn in army my Laoch and Ridire with armor and weapons."

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08-06-2013 08:13 PM
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