Silence. Oshun watched the rise and fall of Dylan's chest as he slept. He looked calm, she
could only imagine what peaceful thoughts stirred in her husbands head, as he lay motionless
in bed. It had been over a year since her brother Michael charged Dylan with the responsibility
of keeping her safe. It was a confidential mission, Even Dylan was entrusted with information
solely on a need to know basis. His orders were to guard Oshun, and keep her safe— not that
she needed protecting— until the war was over. But even Michael hadn't anticipated the two
of them falling in love. That wasn't apart of the plan.
Oshun couldn’t sleep, she was still thinking about what they discussed before they'd gone
to bed. She knew that Dylan would never say I told you so, and she loved him for that. But “I told
you so” was exactly what she deserved to hear.
Dylan, told her that moving back to, Noridian wasn't going to end well. But Oshun was
determined to raise his children, around family. In the land of his fathers. Dylan, however,
wanted nothing to do with his family. Noridian was different from where she came from
and Dylan's family had a long and complicated history.
Oshun stroked Dylan's muscular arm. It was the arm of a warrior. The Commander of the
Sea Troops. "Why do you fret?" Dylan's eyes were still closed as he spoke.
Oshun moved a strand of his golden blonde hair from his face. "You should be asleep"
"As should you?" His lips curved into a semi-circle as he turned to face her. "What troubles
you, my love?"
"Your family," she begun, "they do not like me very much do they?"
Dylan made a humored sound. "My family does not like anyone very much. Including each
other. Why do you suppose I left?" Oshun sat up silently in the bed, tucking her braided hair
behind her ear.
Despite, the Great War which waged between the five species of earth, Dylan's
family, the Danaan's, had been rivaling with each other for centuries. With the exception of a
few noble family members, the Danaan's were only interested in discovering the family secret,
which was rumored to unlock insurmountable power. The Great Seer Donn—the matriarch of
the family—was the only one who knew the secret, and she would take the secret to her
grave, before sharing it with her wicked family. And so, the descendants of Donn spent
centuries in competition with one another. Deceiving and tricking each other to get the
other out of the way.
"Hey." Dylan sat up in the bed, taking her hand gently. His hand on hers was like
the moonlight against the midnight sea. "Give it time love, they'll come around."
"I am not concerned for myself." Oshun slid out of the bed, her bare feet
stung against the cold floor
"I am concerned for the child." Her white robes flowed behind her as she opened the
balcony doors and looked over the water. "How will he grow if his own family
doesn't love him?"
"His family does love him." Dylan slid out of bed to meet her at the balcony, "We love him.
These people are only bound to us by blood. But blood does not make a family. I learned that
years ago when my mother abandoned me as a child. And I found my own family. In the sea. I
found you." Dylan caressed Oshun's smooth cheek. His blue eyes were as deep as the ocean.
They were caring and forgiving.
Oshun stared out into the black sea. There was so much Dylan didn't know.
So much she hadn't told him. About who she was. About why she was there. About who their
child would become. She inhaled sharply, "Your mother stopped by today."
"My Mother?" Dylan raised an eyebrow, It was unusual for his mother to show interest in
anyone but herself.
"I was preparing to take our linens to the river, this afternoon. I sat the baby down for two
seconds to gather our belongings. And there she was. Standing over Mabon. Simply staring at
Dylan's eyes darkened, "In the morning, I'll ask her not to stop by, unannounced."
Oshun didn't tell Dylan that his mother, Arianrhod, had discovered the family secret. She
didn't tell him that the secret would manifest itself in their child. She didn't tell him that their
child had the power to tip the scales of the great war, one way or the other. For better or for
worse. But his mother, Arianrhod, had figured it out.
That's why she came that afternoon. To tell her that she knew the truth. She knew why
Michael had sent her to Dylan. She knew that her child was a weapon of war. And
Arianrhod intended to take that power for herself.
Oshun had plans of her own. She would die before she let Arianrhod harm her child. She
had already formed alliances with the neighboring druid community. And soon her plan would
be in motion.
"Dylan, there is something I have to tell you. A secret..." Oshun hesitated. Michael warned
her not to tell a soul about the fate of this child. Not even her protector. But Dylan deserved to
know the truth. He deserved to know that the child was cursed. Mabon, though powerful would
draw his power from chaos. Therefore, war would always find him, and he was certain to be at
the center of it.
Mabon wasn't safe in Noridian. He wouldn't be safe anywhere. These were times of war.
Mabon needed to be hidden until he was forgotten. He needed to be hidden in a place that no
one would find him.
The druids were the only ones with the magic to do what needed to be done. They were the
only people who could hide the child in a different time. But magic always came at a cost.
Oshun opened and closed her mouth, "Dylan, I've spoken too—"
There was a knock.
Dylan's eyes snapped the door. The knock came a second time this time more frantically.
“Who is knocking at this hour?” The baby cried in the distance. “I’ll get the door my love,
you tend to Mab.”
"Dylan—" Oshun tried to stop him but he was already gone. She knew no good would come
from opening that door.
Dylan's son Manaan poked his head out from behind the doorframe as Dylan past
him. Before he could open it, the door swung open. A flash of brown flew into the room. It was
Llew, Dylan's twin.
“Brother," he had a wild look in his eyes. "We don’t have much time, I need you to do exactly
as I say!” Llew was wearing his brown eagle's feather cloak. It was his traveling cloak. Dylan
stepped back, allowing Llew to enter their home.
"What's going on?" Dylan asked.
Llew closed the door behind him, looking both ways to be sure he wasn't followed. “Brother
you know that I love you?” he asked.
“Of course I do. And I love you.”
Llew put both hands on Dylan's shoulders. “And you know that I wouldn’t allow any harm
to befall you or our family?"
Dylan and Llew were separated at birth, after their mother abandoned them. She feared
that together they would be too powerful and overthrow her. Years later when they
reconnected, they built an unbreakable bond and would do anything for each other. "Brother, I
would trust you with my life. You are my best friend. What is this about?”
“We do not have much time” Llew looked urgently over his shoulder “I need you to gather
your family and leave.”
“Leave?" Dylan hesitated, "But this is our home, where will we go?”
“I don’t know." Llew's brown eyes bore into Dylan's, pleading for him to understand. "but
you can't stay here."
Dylan knew that his twin wouldn't have made this visit unless his life were in danger. He
inclined his head in agreement, "I'll do as you say." Turning to his son who was still peaking his
head from behind the doorframe he said, "Manaan, gather your belongings, tell Oshun to do
Llew grasped Dylan's shoulder, turning him to face him one last time. They had the same
face. Separated only by Llews brown hair, golden eyes and massive size. They were brothers,
bound not only by blood, but also by friendship.
“Brother…" Llew began, his eyes full of sadness, "Our mother... she has told the family that
your child is the secret?" Llew whispered it like the word would incite war simply by speaking it.
"She has formed an army. She plans to take the boy."
Dylan raised his eyebrow. The secret? Could it be true? Dylan felt eyes on the back of his
neck. He looked toward the bed chambers where Oshun was standing in the doorway. Her face
solemn. And full of sadness. It was true. Mabon was the secret. The child born of war. The
Scriostóire. "We must flee." He said to his wife.
Within the hour Dylan, Oshun, Manaan, and Mabon, were running towards the sea.
“Just over this hill” Llew took large strides up a green hill.
Dylan ran close behind him, wondering how his mother had come to be so heartless, to
attempt to kill her own son. But that was what this mission was truly about. The pieces began to
fall together. That was what Oshun was going to tell him earlier. The child was cursed. Not even
a month on this earth and he had already drawn an army to him.
“Brother!” Dylan stopped abruptly pulling Llews hand to get his attention.
“What is it?” Llew asked.
“Promise me." He began, "Promise that you will tend to my family. Promise that you will help
my boys become men.”
“Dylan, do not speak this way, no harm will….”
“I need you to promise me” Dylan repeated. He knew what was coming. He knew what
Oshun was planning to do. But magic always comes with a price. Oshun was going to sacrifice
herself to save the child. Dylan would not allow it. “Promise me, brother. Protect my family
when I am gone, I need to know that you will love my children as your own.”
Llew peered at Dylan with grieving eyes, “You are my twin, the blood that runs through my
veins is the very blood that flows through yours, and into the hearts of your young ones. I
promise you, on my life, I would die before letting harm come to them.”
A shout came from the bottom of the hill.
"We must run brother." Llew said. An army of horned soldiers could be seen on the horizon,
creeping down the valley. Dylan and his family made it to the top of the hill, the ocean could
now be seen stretching as far as they could see. If they could just make it to the water, where
Dylan, the Commander of the Sea Troops could call for reinforcements , they would be safe.
The family ran down the backside of the hill, but the horned army was gaining on them.
Manaan made it to the water first and disappeared into the sea. Dylan, Oshun, and the baby
were next. But they were to late.
Llew seemed to race toward them in slow motion. The ocean crashed loudly on the
shore. The army roared. Mabon cried. And just for a moment, it seemed those cries stopped
Oshun looked at her husband, and then at her child. She held a blue vial in her hand. Dylan
recognized it as druid's magic. A flash of metal glimmered through the air as a spear flew
towards the family. Oshun broke the vial, a silver liquid spilled into the water. Then, Oshun
whispered her final words. "My love for you is timeless."
Dylan grabbed his wife placing himself between her and the spear. There was a flash of
light as the spear hit and all was silenced.