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The Scaubtuinne's Captain

Updated: May 14, 2020

In Irish myths, Lugh was a demi-godlike figure in Irish Mythology. His story is astounding.

A ship on a calm sea with a lightning storm brewing.
The Legendary Lugh Still Sails the Seas in the Scaubtuinne

  In Book 6 of The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries, we meet the captain of the Scuabtuinne, Logan. This character is modeled after the ancient sea god, Lugh, whose actual story is told in Talismans and Turmoil. I won't recap the story here, except for the parts not told in the book. The untold story is that of his parents, Cian of the Tuatha de Danann and Ethniu of the Fomorians.

    In myths, the Tuatha de Danann were the ancestors of all fae people and arrived in Ireland "through the air and high air," possessing magic unknown to humankind. They claimed the land for themselves, but there were several people already inhabiting parts of Ireland. Among them were the Fomorians, who were as powerful as the Tuatha de Danann, but unruly and callous.

  Whereas the Tuatha de Danann represented civilization and prosperity, the Formorians represented destruction and chaos in myth and legend. Almost immediately, the two races became enemies. Yet, out of the many stories that arose from these times, there are legends of individuals who were half-Fomorian and half-Tuatha de Danann - such as Lugh.

   Lugh's grandfather, Balor who is a king of the Fomorians, on hearing a prophecy that he'll be killed by his grandson, locks his only daughter, Ethniu, in a tower on an island. In the tower, she is cared for by women and never learns of the existence of men of any kind. Balor, free from concern about the prophecy, turns his attention toward his rulership and what he can steal from the Tuatha de Danann.

   Cian, who is raised among the Tuatha de Danann and grows to be a strong and brave man, owns a cow infused with magic so that it has an unending supply of as much milk as anyone needs. Wanting this cow, Balor appears to Cian in the form of a child and tricks him into leaving the cow alone for only a few minutes. In that time, Balor transforms back to his adult self and steals the cow.

   Seeking revenge, Cian calls on a leanansidhe to get him into the tall tower he can see on Balor's island. He doesn't know what's inside, but assumes that such a great tower must hold something of value to Balor if not Balor himself. Lo and behold, he finds the beautiful Ethniu and, as fairy tales often happen, he and Ethniu fall instantly in love.

   Balor is outraged to find months later that Ethniu is giving birth to three children and he orders them dropped into the sea. One of the children lands in the harbor rather than the sea and is found by a woman named Birog, who takes the child to her father and he agrees that she may raise him as her own. In some versions of the myth, Lugh's brothers survive as well, being spared by the sea god, Manannan.

   In either case, Manannan does eventually adopt Lugh as his own son and gives him many magical items, such as the most valuable of them all: The Scuabtuinne, a.k.a. The Wavesweeper. This ship is the very one that Carissa travels on in Talismans and Turmoil. With an enchanted boat and a brave captain, what can go wrong on their journey to Hy Brasil?

You'll have to read and see.


Gregory, A., & Yeats, W. B. (2014). Lady Gregory's Complete Irish mythology. London: Chancellor Press.

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