The year is………well quite past recollection within the realms of modernity……perhaps within the 1st millennium B.C amid the late Classical Period in the late 3rd Century B.C as it were……..an epoch of colossal transmogrification. The Old Gods now beginning to wane under the Graeco-Roman agendas of paternalistic theocracy. Rome is still a young empire and grows thirsty for power. Rome has much to prove and will stop at nothing to weild power in the known world. The major portion of the Illyrian army has joined the Roman ranks, with the exception of those who flee with the rebels in the mountains.. ……
Alack! The Old Gods of the woodlands……of a seemingly sempiternal order, so begin to lose sway…… A time when the lands of Illyria beckoned forth a saviour, a Muse incarnate……………Her name was Onomaris………named for the puissantly beauteous Mountain Ash or Rowan Tree(Luis) within the prodigious mountain range of The Balkans. The Great Goddess Danu bore Her from whence the lands, whereby mighty River Danube doth flow, past the sea of Pontus Euxoeds, north of the Hellenic lands which were now fraught in gynopathic bedlam……………..aye, Onomaris of The Scordisci people, a Celtic race descended from Atlantian lands of Libya and Athena Herself……once of Lake Tritonis……then of Galatia…………She who would dare to lead Her people when all men had failed. Aye, only a woman’s might could lead these people through the Balkans to found a Serbian Queendom
A Bard named Fionn tarries nigh the river shrine of The Danu, nigh the Scordisci city of Sinigdunum, the city known in contemporary epochs as Belgrade. Fionn tarries here awaiting Lady Onomaris, this assignation wouldst surely slip past the annals of history, yet Fionn carries such memory through fourscores of time and generations. For he must tell her tale…………the tale of The Muse of Belgrade……………………
Fionn, Fionn where art thou? Show thyself.
I am here m’Lady. Please, prithee, I say. Lower thy sword from mine own throat?
I will indulge thee. (Onomaris laughs whilst lowering Her sword) I thought surely it must be thee Fionn.
Tis I m’Lady. (Fionn snears in jocular fashion, then bows before Her)
Rise Lord Fionn, I beg, for I deserve no such honour.
Ah! But thou surely does my Queen. Illyria doth dote for thee m’Lady, thou canst verily be the savior of these lands! I carry such honour as to relay. To decree the will of our pastoral populations who hide within this mighty mountain range. Deemed as rebels, and insurrectionists within their own lands. Anon, m’Lady, thou wilt surely lead us to our emancipation. Say it is so my Queen!
It is. Yet I brandish such wills with the lightest of touch, and with the greatest of caution…………and with the most humble of conviction.
For this reason we serve thee m’ Lady. (Lord Fionn bows his head momentarily in veneration to Onomaris)
For we are of the most ancient of Illyrian pagan orders. The Hierophants of the northerly Syballine Oracles. To the south, in Epirus and in Thessaly, our sisters and brothers endure such suffering ‘neath Hellenic-Dorian subjugation. Many fear that the Great Pan is dead………yet we know that he lives! The Dorians disseminate this mendacity across the Sea of Lady Aegis and of Lady Io………… Should we fall next as victims. Methinks it must not be so dear Onamaris………
(An arrow strikes a rock amid the mountain stream where they stand)
Flee now m’Lady, up here within these Standing Stones of Hecate. The Hellenes will not make further attempts upon thy life within these stones. They believe them to be cursed by Hecate. An’ verily they wouldst be correct. For Great Hecate protects Her own here.
(Fionn lets fly an arrow, which sinks deep into the assassins neck) ……for Fionn’s bow wast bestowed ‘pon him by the Scythian Amazons, fraught of lunar magick so.)
I see thy skills be still in tact Lord Fionn. Thy days upon The Steppes ‘mongst our Scythian Sisters hath granted thee a proficiency well founded indeed. If I am to be Queen of Illyria, then thou shalt be my sentry and Black Knight. My guardian and keeper of my Grail, the one who serves at my side both in this world and the next. Even in our gambols as children, I knew we would one day meet with one such fate as this! Accept this honour Fionn, for I shalt not proffer this accolade again. If thou shalt not be my Black Knight of guardianship, then I am not the Illyrian Queen. What say thee?
Tis my honour and privilege m’ Lady. Scathach Herself could refuse no such honour. T’was by Her tutoring which I hath obtained such skill. In magick of the crescent moon, by the source of The Danube, on northern shores of The Black Sea…….She doth grant me such profundities. Tutored both in Her wisdoms and in combat. Aye Queen Onomaris…………I accept such honour. All events hitherto, hath led to this moment. All 43 of my years ‘pon this earth were in preparation for this very thing.
So be it Lord Fionn. We have much to discuss. But first, into exile we go!
Queen Onomaris and Lord Fionn hike deep into the Balkans, well past the gates at the Standing Stones of Hecate. Deep within these mountains dwell the Illyrian Rebels who live in exile. This Lord and Lady have suffered much hardship, as have all their people. Roman Legions now bare control of Illyrian lands, and so impose their martial laws upon The Danu’s people. Those who have not yet fled to the mountains pay the dearest price.
Under the might of Rome’s army, the natives of these lands suffer in dree. Their daughters now slaves and forced into makeshift brothels for the legions and prefects who sully their honour each night. Their sons forced to serve in the very legions who subjugate their lands, or killed as deserters and insurgents.
Queen Onomaris weeps for ‘r people, yet can be not assuaged with words nor gauds. Only vengeance can quell her sorrow. With a hungry and malevolent avarice, the thirst of Hellenic and Roman ambitions canst be not quelled by tears alone. Great Queen Onomaris bears this burden of fact in silence, so as to not create an upshot of trepidation amongst her people. For these ancient tribes, of Keltoi ancestry, worship Her as The Muse incarnate. How can She break their sanguine hopes with such a vile
veracity? ......................................Queen Onomaris and Lord Fionn have arrived at the rebel stronghold in the Balkans……………
“My brave warrioresses and warriors. I have returned to thee. Come hither sweet children of The Danu! ”
The rebels flock toward Her in droves, singing in adulation at site of her glorious presence. They extol Her with the gifts of food, wine and praise.
“Canst ye surely see now m’ Lady. They love thee as I do. Thy royalty wast bestowed ‘pon thee by the gods themselves! Oh! Merry Queen! Divinity is thine m’Lady, as are these many hearts an’ souls which stand before thee here. Once in revery didst I see such a moment as this. T’were a dreaming of refulgent purity…a clarity of portents found my Queen. (Fionn kneels before Her feet) I only ask of thy benedictions in this endeavour, a blessing ‘pon my pate from thine own hand of divinity!
For in this rift valley of sisterhoods and brotherhoods we now stand. Wishing only for emancipated days filled in plenty, from Abundantia’s own cornucopia of life. Is this a folly request dear Queen? Methinks not. For once our swords are bloodied and arrows are spent, we can once again find peace in these lands. My heart speaks this sentiment to me my Queen. Victory is ours, for my dreamings say it is surely so! ”
A cheer of opproborium thus fills the night air. The tribes dance through the night in fellowship, pledging allegiance to one another in the battle to come. Onomaris wanders out alone and finds quietude nigh the mountain stream just outside the encampment.
Oh! Such woe doth begird my heart this night. For these tribes whom I love endeavour to such a task which would make the gods themselves flee in afeared pusillanimity. So mighty are the oak hearts of my people. They stand ready, prepared to die for me. It is a price I can not bear! Yet I must lead my beloved kith, kin and pledged into this new age of reason against the godless and unruly ranks of tyranny. They sing and they laugh this night. Yet what of these nights and days of bedlam which lay ahead? Will they love me still when they lay dying in each others arms? Will they love me still when they are besmirched by terror, blood and tears? Oh! I must be strong in the days to come. Am I a worthy Queen? Am I a just Queen? Will they forgive these events beset by me in years not yet come? How now? I can say naught.
Fionn approaches from the western hills, returning from a hunt with a fine stag. He lays down the felled beast in a tussock within a copse of the Sacred Oaks of Nemetona. He raises his hands in veneration to The Dana whilst burning a divine incense of mistletoe. In an ancient tongue of hierphantic psalms, he utters a thankful plea to this fine stag, helping it cross into Elysium. Onamaris goes to him and kneels beside the beast with him and joins in the chant. A portal opens to the other side twixt the two oldest Oaks within the copse. The stag looks back at it’s former flesh coil and jerks it’s head upward at the Lady and Lord in forgiveness and approbation. The Dana meets the beast and smiles back at Onamaris and Fionn…………………………………
A fine animal my Lord Fionn, shalt we dine in the comely silence of the weald this eventide?
T’would be my honour m’Lady. For this beast hath descended from the Cyrenean Hind herself methinks. My arrow did fly true as Artemis The Huntress presaged in my dreaming. The Archeress told me of this beast, and of this moment in my dreaming………… She bespake of this sacred meal to come. Ah! such a divine and holy meal to savour. O’er such a meal canst we not hold discourse on the issues at hand, just ye and I? For our sisters sand brothers in arms revel this night an’ will not miss us for the nonce. A sacred oath we shalt bestow to one another this night m’Lady. I wish for such an honour as this. Our love may guide the ruddy light of magick we so cast within the enclave of this copse of The Danu. I meet the gods this night when my eyes see thine an’ I see thy purpled lips, when I peruse the face and sweet form of thee……..oh so beauteous art thou dear Onamaris. As swarthy blanket of Night begirds this land I am conscious of that which presides within mine own beating heart! Adjoining spirits….. halves of the One art we. Kindling, kindling a sacred fire we shall, and consume this holy beast. A ritual feast of lovers lost by time, washed down by libations within this chalice of holy waters from whence this stream which flows westbound to Elysium, meandering through this prodigious copse. What say thee my Queen?
My heart an’ soul now be thine. For I too beheld such a dreaming to presage this very moment! My warrior bard …..dear Fionn.
The night is long and amorous. In this Oak weald a new veracious meaning is reborn unto these leaders of the Scordisci people. This culture hangs on the verge of annihilalation, yet they retain the stalwart composure of their antecendents. The constellation of Orion the Hunter shines refulgently ‘pon this night. As it traverses the swarthy skies it creates a portal for this spells now set in motion, a portal to Tir na Nog itself. The Great Hunter Child of Artemis brings a strength from the gods. The Huntress Mother fires a sanguine arrow of hope from Her silvery lunar bow. The gods smile upon our lonely 2 this night.
As they sit propped up against an Oak tree with the fire snapping and stomachs replete in holy stag sustenance, they whisper to each other in the quiet majesty of the darkness whilst gazing at the gods in skies above……………………………..
My Fionn…………..dost thou seeth the portents above on these very skies? A battle is brewing in cauldrons of the war gods. I hearken the battle drums of Aires and of Zeus. A new cult of Mithras hath also been reborn as of late I fear. Look to Taurus here (She points upward to the constellation of The Bull) , It’s head rears in aggressive posture this night. Tis a sign dear Fionn, a sign of the unmitigated malevolence to come. Do our Keltoi tribes know of the rancourous battle-mongering armies they shalt soon face? Methinks no. The cult of Mithras grows ever bolder an’ increasingly puissant by the hour. I feel it. The might of a diabolic age is upon us.
Ah……….t’may be m’ Lady. Yet the pure of heart wilt surely remember us. As many scores of incarnations pass, our lives shalt wax and wane. Yet we will meet countless times over, as we have countless times before this life. I love you dearest Onomaris. Ne’er shalt we forgo the hope of peace. The Craft lives within us sempiternally. Remember this always………………(Arrows rain upon the our heroine and Her champion, they lie bleeding to their deaths in each others arms. For their enemies hath found them within the mountain hideaway. They hear the death screams of their people in the distance. Fionn utters these final words to his love Onomaris………………………)
“Remember us m’ Lady. As I will”
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.