"The Time will come when three children will be born into the World of Lost Ways
"The Child of Two Fates shall be the first discovered
"Unto him will be given the gifts of Magick and the Mind of Creation and Destruction, Keeper of the Lost and Ancient Knowledge of the World
"The Separated Twins shall be be found next
"They will be born of Mortal Flesh and Bone with Immortal Cores
"The Male twin, Lover of the Child of Magick, Shall Inherit the gift of the Warrior and stand as the Body of Truth
"The Female shall be the Tie That Binds and the Embodiment of the Pure Spirit, and shall Inherit the Gifts of the Goddess Brighid
"These Three shall be the Embodiment of the Triad of Divine Right: Mind, Body, Spirit
"If ever these three should be torn asunder by Evil, the Dark Reich will be unleashed to Rise and Reign over all of the Sacred Realms Forevermore"
"To the Pure Spirit:
"Though your strength through anger is great you have forgotten how to Love
"You must learn it once more through the Warrior and the Child of Magick
"Theirs is a love that is true and pure, once you have learned this truth
"You shall become the Tie That Binds, and the Embodiment of Spirit"
"To the Body of Truth:
"The Warrior shall have the greatest Challenge of all for he shall be the Sword and Shield of the Sacred Triad
"As such the Warrior is the strongest and most vulnerable member of the Triad
"He must in one hand hold the Heart of Magick while the other must contain the Sacred Spirit all while defending His Charges from all harm
"If ever His grip should slacken for even a moment the Heart will wither and Freeze while the Spirit shall be lost to the Ethers"
"To the Mind of Creation and Destruction:
"As one born of Divided Fates yours must be the struggle of Balance
"While you may have the Strength to Right the Wrongs you must learn to let what appear to be Great Wrongs pass unhindered so they may give Birth to Great Rights
"Do not allow the Darkness which dwells within your Heart to expand for to do so would assuredly bring forth not only your own Destruction but the Destruction of all your Warrior Love by your own Hand and you shall Be the Ultimate Portal of Darkness
"Heed well these Warnings Three: Learn to Love, Learn to Defend, and Learn to Balance, Less Evil Destroy All"
Welcome children of the Lost Realm, I have carried many names and titles throughout the millennia I have guarded the gates of your realm. The first of these names and titles was merely 'Guard' which in time turned to 'Guardian' and then eventually, though there were several hundred more throughout this time, it became 'Drakeenus Watertrine Great Guardian of the Portals of Old....' and so on, some of the names used toward me were quite a bit less magnanimous, until slowly the gates, then the titles, and finally my very existence were forgotten by all but those few that still carry on their blasphemous attempts at the old ways trying to curry favor so that I would allow them to pass the gates.
You may call me simply "D.W." or for those that would rather scorn me, 'Asshole' works just as well. This is one of the many tales I have witnessed unfold throughout my stint as the Guardian of the Gate to the Lost Realm:
The first of the prophesied children born into the World of Lost Ways that you will meet is Brian Travis Milligan he is 19 years old, with dirty-reddish-blonde hair and mercurial blue eyes. He stands at 6'1 and weighs about 200 pounds of solid svelte, lean muscle due to his childhood as a linebacker in high school and student of Tai Chi from age twelve on. He is currently a freshman attending Boston University majoring in Ancient Civilizations, with a double minor in Celtic Archeology and Celtic History/Mythology. Even though it is his minor in school his true scholastic love is his Celtic History class. The reason for saying his true 'scholastic' love is Celtic History/Mythology is because it was here that he met the guy that he hoped would be his 'true' love. At the time of their first meeting he didn't realize that he wanted him to be his true love.
They first met in their Celtic History/Mythology class when the professor had them split into groups of five then started handing out group discussion topics with instructions to do a group report on their assigned topic. Of the five in this group with Brian there were two young women, Desiree and Sherry, and two other young men, named Dillon and Keiran.
The topic the professor handed to them was "Research, in your textbooks, and discuss a Hero or group of Heroes in the history or mythology of the Celtic people, then come up with a persuasive argument regarding the effect this Hero(es) had on the people of that time and what effect there has been on the current people."
Brian liked Kieran's suggestion for how to do the project, he suggested that they look into the Merlin/Taliesin connection in regards to the past and present culture and the effect those stories have had on the culture, such as the debate as to whether or not the two were separate people as some believed or if they were the same person, even though he was not a 'warrior' hero. After the others in the group voted that idea down, Brian made his suggestion which was to explore Cuchulain, the Hound of Cullen, seeing as he was considered the greatest warrior in all of the Celtic myths regardless of which region you looked at. But, unfortunately, the other three felt that both of those characters had already been done too many times and insisted they do it on the Red Branch warriors as a whole. Since there were three votes for them and only Keiran agreed with Brian about Cuchulain the group researched the Red Branch.
Since this was an in-class oral assignment with a personal research and essay attached, Brian didn't get to see Keiran again, other than in class, until about a month later when some friends invited him to be their designated driver at a local bar on a Friday evening. When they arrived at the bar Brian saw Keiran working there. He was working shirtless as one of the bartenders catering to the massive crowds that were packed in for their evening drink. Though he tried several times that evening to get Kieran's attention, the bar was too busy and Keiran didn't have time to do more than hand Brian another beer then go on to the next person at the bar.
About two weeks later Brian was at a bachelor party for the frat-brother of his friend Matt. Brian found himself staying toward the back of the party hanging against a wall having no interest in the hired stripper, that he recognized from seeing her on campus, doing her thing entertaining most of the crowd and making some descent tips from the look of it. As he let his gaze roam around the party and who should he see, pretending to be a wallflower at the other side of the room, but Keiran, from his class standing there talking to the other guy from their group, ... Dillon that's right. As he walked toward them Brian managed to catch Kieran's eye and saw him motion towards him and say something to Dillon. As Brian drew closer he could hear Keiran reminding Dillon of the group in class.
Dillon had apparently figured out who he was because when Brian arrived next to them he said "Hey Brian, how did you get roped into this party?"
To which Brian replied, "The guest of honor and my friend Matt are frat-brothers. And if I may return the question to you two, how did you guys end up pasted to the wall in this party?"
Keiran answered for both of them saying, "Justin, the man of the hour over there, is Dillon's older brother and Dillon dragged me along so he would have someone to talk to about something, anything, besides the bimbo strippers."
Brian raised an eyebrow and asked, "Stripper-S as in more than one?"
With a laugh and an eye-roll Dillon said, "Yeah, this is only the first one, I think they have two or three more of them lined up for the night."
To which Brian replied, "Oh Geez, if that is the plan for the night I think it is time for me to leave, would you guys like to join me? I was thinking of heading over to the new mega-mall they just opened last weekend over in Old Towne. I haven't had a chance to get out there yet and I heard they have this awesome little pub and grill that was moved 'lock, stock, and barrel' from Ireland, and is run by the family that has owned it for something like the last seven generations. I think the family, and the bar, is named O'Maoileagain. According to my dad they are another branch of my family that never immigrated over until now.
Dillon's answer was, "Much as I would love to leave, this is my brothers party so I really can't get away with copping out on him, unfortunately. You guys go ahead and go I think I see a guy from my Calculus class over there and I need as much help as I can get to pass that class, so I think I will go grab him and pick his brain before it gets pickled."
"Are you sure? Keiran asked.
"Yeah I'm sure, go have fun because it is obvious that neither one of you are enjoying the show here and if you can find something more interesting to do it's no skin off my nose. Go, go have fun."
With that Dillon walked off towards the guy he saw from his class. Keiran turned towards Brian and said "Looks like we have been cut loose. Do you want to say anything to your buddy Matt?"
"No, from the looks of him his brain is already too pickled to remember anything as it is. Besides maybe he will get lucky and quit whining about not getting laid for a few days."
"OK, well Dillon was my ride over here so if I go anywhere I will be walking or taking the bus since I didn't bring my car."
"That isn't a problem I have my car here and I haven't had anything to drink so lets go and I will give you a ride back to your place later or you can crash at my place, I live in at home in a semi-private add-on behind the house."
"Yeah, private in regards to having its own entrance, kitchen and bathroom. 'Semi' because my younger brother, Troy, likes to hide out from the 'rents back there when he is supposed to be doing chores." said with a chuckle.
"I appreciate the offer of a ride home as well as the offer of a place to crash, lets just see how the evening turns out and play it by ear."
With that they left the party saying good bye to the guest of honor and a few others they ran across on their way out. As they approached Brian's car he said, "Sorry for the mess in the front seat it's just my books and papers from my classes, I promise there is nothing in there that will try to eat you, just ignore the sticky spots. I won't mention where those came from." he said with a crooked leer and a wink.
"Sticky spots... OK... I don't want to know." he said with a laugh
Laughing Brian said, "Let me move these books and papers and you can hop in."
After Brian had moved everything into the back seat Keiran opened the passenger door and glared at the seat with a critical eye and sat down gingerly before buckling up and adjusting the seat to accommodate his height and jokingly said, "Well I don't feel any wet or sticky spots but if I have gum stuck to my ass when I get out I am going to be upset."
While driving the 20 minutes to Old Towne they shot the shit and got to know each other better. At one point Brian asked Keiran about his job at the bar. To which Keiran responded "I thought I saw you in there few weeks ago, but I wasn't sure because it was unusually busy that night because of the other bar, The Lot, down the road being closed for a few days while they took care of an infestation problem. They got popped by the Health Department, so all of their Friday regulars packed into our bar along side our own regulars. Let me tell you that place was hell to work in that weekend, fortunately The Lot opened back up on Monday so most of their regulars went back there, even though we picked up a few new regulars from it."
"How can you work those kind of hours in a bar and still go to school?"
"That is just my full-time evening job. I work in that big warehouse just off campus full-time during the day."
"With that I am even more amazed that you can manage to keep up and keep awake in your classes."
As they pulled into the parking lot of O'Maoileagain's, Keiran said, "That is because I only take two or three classes at a time. Yeah it will take me longer to get to graduation but, hey, I am only 21 I still have time to figure things out before I kick the bucket"
"Well at least you have a game plan for your life, all I have planned at this point is to get my degrees and hopefully move to Ireland so I can get involved in the explosion of archeology sites they are finding, and maybe I will be able to make some significant finds to help bring the Celtic peoples history into the light of the modern world for all to see."
They continued talking as they walked up to the entrance where Keiran held the door for Brian to enter first. Once inside they decided to sit on the pub side since the dinning room looked pretty busy and it would be difficult to speak comfortably or hear with all the noise going on in there. Surprisingly the pub side was nearly empty with only two older men sitting at the bar arguing quietly about whether or not the potato famine, and the resultant mass immigration to the U.S. had anything to do with the British attempt at mass genocide by way of starvation.
As they sat in a quiet booth on the other side of the bar they were approached by a beautiful young woman with long red hair, that rolled her eyes when the two men tried to get her involved with their discussion, and said in a lovely Irish brogue, "Welcome to O'Maoileagain Pub and Grill. What can I get you two young men tonight?"
Brian asked if they were able to order food from the restaurant side on this side. She replied, "Sure that is no problem, I can see why you wouldn't want to sit on that side, I think we are filled almost to capacity over there. Oh, I almost forgot, my name is Brigit. I normally don't work here but one of the waitresses called out at the last second so I got dragged away from my studies and told to help out down here till things slow down for the evening. Would you like some menus or do you have an idea what you would like to have, starting with drinks. Heehe"
Keiran responded by saying, "I don't know about my friend here but I think I will have an Irish coffee separated. As far as the meal I will leave that in your capable hands and inquire what you suggest."
"OK, my suggestion would be my adoptive mothers secret recipe Irish stew with a loaf of soda bread."
"That sounds good to me as well, with one exception, with the coffee do you happen to carry the non-alcoholic Baileys? If not then just a regular coffee with cream since I know how difficult it is to find the NA-Baileys."
"Actually the pub doesn't carry it but if you are willing to wait a few moments I have a personal stash of it upstairs. There is not much call for it around here so that is why we don't carry it on the shelf." Brigit said.
"That's no problem, but you don't have to use your personal stash on me. The only reason I know about the NA version is because I love the taste of it, but my uncle died the day I was born when a drunk driver hit him, so I don't drink alcohol at all."
"It's no problem for me to share it, if you become a regular then between the two of us we might be able to talk my adoptive father into keeping a bottle or two around for when you come in. I will deliver your orders to the kitchen and be right back with your drinks."
After she left Brian could see the gears turning in Keiran's head so he asked him, "What are you thinking about, I can see the smoke billowing out of your ears telling me that your brain is running in high gear?"
As if coming out of a deep series of thought he looked up at Brian with a completely clueless expression on his face for a moment before saying, "Huh, oh it's nothing I was just thinking about when you were at the bar a couple weeks ago. I remember you coming up to the bar with your girlfriend several times and picking up beer and I think one of the times you took the shot of whiskey didn't you?" Brian nodded yes. "But you just told the waitress that you don't drink alcohol. That is kinda confusing to me that's all."
"You are correct I did help pick up the orders for several beers and a shot of whiskey at one point but those were for the group I was with. If you think about it, there was always a diet coke with the order each time. I was the designated driver that night like I always am when we all go to the bar."
"Okay, I feel like a fool then for doubting what you said, I thought the coke was for your girlfriend that was sitting next to you."
With a bewildered chuckle Brian said, "Felicia? No, she isn't my girlfriend, even though we hang all over each other, she is nothing but a really good friend. In fact I was also there on assignment, from her lover Mary, to make sure she didn't drink too much that night because they had to be at Mary's parents place by noon the next day in Vermont."
"Oh, OK then I feel twice the fool for assuming you were drinking and also for assuming you were straight."
"Haha, think nothing of it. You aren't the first nor are you likely the last to be the last to assume those things. On a different subject, can you get a better look at that family crest they have hanging over the bar and tell me what symbols are on it?"
"Sure, no problem. It looks like there are three red animals, I can't tell from here what they are, and two wavy blue bars. Why?"
"Well it looks like my dad might be right. That crest looks like it is extremely close to the Milligan crest for my family. I will have to ask Brigit when she gets back. Oh, here she comes right now."
"Here you guys go, one Irish coffee and if I may ask why separated?"
As Keiran poured half of the shot glass into the coffee he said, "Basically for the same reason you two said about the Baileys, I like the flavor but I don't particularly care for the alcohol and I haven't been able to find a decent NA whiskey that blends right."
After wiping the shocked look, which Keiran found hilarious, off his face Brian said, "O...K that was unexpected coming from a bartender, especially after your questions a few minutes ago." Once he was able to pull herself back together Brian asked Brigit "Is there any chance I could go behind the bar and get a better look at the family crest you have hanging there?"
"Actually I can do you one better... hold on just a second." she said then walked off towards the entrance of the restaurant and picked up something from the podium and returned handing me a Comments card with the design of their family crest emblazoned on it.
Taking the card and inspecting the crest Brian said, "This is almost scary. This crest is not just similar to my family crest it is identical." After saying this he pulled up his right sleeve to show them the tattoo of his family crest. The only thing different between the two crests was the name beneath it hers Brigit's said "O'Maoileagain" whereas Brian's said "Milligan."
To this Keiran added, "From what I remember discussing in one of my Celtic History classes, unless I am mistaken, heraldry was not all that common in the Irish society. Only the nobles and certain very prominent families had family crests."
"You know I think you need to talk with my adoptive dad about that he understands all of that heraldry and genealogy stuff. All I know is that I was born here in Boston then adopted at birth by Donald and Pansy O'Maoileagain because my father was killed by a drunk driver on his way to the hospital and my mother died due to complications with the birth. Let me go grab Don and maybe he can answer some of your questions cause I have no clue about this stuff. Be right back... oh, and your stew should be ready about now as well."
Keiran and Brian watched her walk over to the two men sitting at the bar, who were still bickering over frivolous moot points regarding the famine/genocide that happened over a hundred years ago, possibly in their grandfathers times, and lean over the shoulder of one of men and say something to him that we couldn't hear.
Suddenly they heard, "Well invite them over here to the bar you silly lass." Brigit turned back towards Brian and Keiran with an exasperated eye roll and dramatic sigh. She then came back to their table and extended the offer to join the men at the bar. Looking at each other both Keiran and Brian shrugged their shoulders like 'why not', gathered their drinks and approached the men at the bar. Suddenly the younger of the two, though by their looks he was only about ten years younger than the other man, turned around held out his giant hand towards them.
Brigit introduced the older of the two men as her great-uncle Angus and the younger as her adoptive father Donald.
Being able to see him better Brian guessed the rotund man to be in his mid to late forties. After the routine visual inspections were finished on all parts the man said, "My lass here tells me you was asking questions about my family and the crest that hangs over yonder"
To which Brian responded, "Yes, Sir, I was asking her about the crest due to what appeared to be similarities to my own family crest." Brian once again raised the shoulder of his shirt to show him the tattoo of the crest so he could see for himself that they were nigh on identical. When Donald had looked long and hard at the tattoo and looked at the crest hanging above the bar he said, with a scowl, "You wouldn't happen to be 'Brian Travis' Milligan would you? The adopted son of Randy and Sharon Milligan? Home phone number (873) 554-6666?"
Shocked Brian stuttered, "Th.. th.. at is my full name, Randy and Sharon are my parents and that is my phone number but I'm not adopted. How did you know those other things?" at this point Brian was starting to get upset and demanded, "Who the Hell are you to know these things? I have never met you in my entire life, and this is the first time in this restaurant. I know I haven't said any of that to my friend Keiran here since we walked in. So I want to know, now, HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE THINGS!?
Just then a frazzled matronly looking woman entered the pub area from a door behind the bar and demanded, "What in St. Brigit's name is going on in here? Young man why are you yelling at my husband?"
Donald then broke into her line of hostile questions by saying, "Pansy, call Randy and tell him it looks like our meeting cannot wait until morning, to go ahead and come on down, this, is Brian Milligan."
She replied, "Oh my, okay I will call him from the phone in the kitchen. Meanwhile would you lads please sit down and eat your supper before it gets cold."
With everything going on the two young men had not even seen Brigit set the bowls of stew and a loaf of homemade soda bread on the counter-top of the bar.
Looking up at Brigit, Donald said, "You had better go ahead and sit down with these lads here for a bit, while we wait for Randy to get here, this concerns you as well as young Brian here."
They all sat there in confused silence for what seemed like forever, but was really closer to ten or fifteen minutes, Keiran and Brian nibbled on the stew and bread while they all nervously waited to find out what would happen next. The food was actually extremely good with just the right balance of taste and substance without going overboard on either side.
At one point Donald got up from his bar-stool and headed to the front entrance and started talking to someone the others couldn't see. After a few minutes of discussion Donald walked back into the pub. Brian nearly fell off his stool when he saw who was behind him. It was his parents. He then demanded, "What is going on here? What the hell are you doing here?"
Randy walked over to Brian and laid a hand on his shoulder before he replied, "Son, the time has come for you to know the truth.....
D.W.: Unbeknownst to any, save one, in the little pub the final two of the prophesied children, Keiran and Brigit, had come together with Brian. Thus beginning their tale along the way to fulfilling their Destiny...