The Forgotten Legend of Fiodh Forest
It's been several years since the seal of Fiodh forest was broken by a person with honor. However, this newly opened Fiodh forest was not the place we once knew. The mysterious forest that was once filled with beautiful trees and dancing Imps, transformed into a terrifying maze filled with monsters and Fomors.
This was a shocking discovery to those who remembered the Fiodh forest of the past. We thought we regained the honor of humans by breaking the Seal stone, but perhaps the stone was simply there to hide of what had become of Fiodh. Perhaps we are still not forgiven for the foolishness of disregarding the kindness of the Imps and cutting down the mother tree against their specific request.
As a person who had close ties to Fiodh, I could not help but constantly think about that event. I went around trying to learn as much as possible regarding what happened to the Imps and their relationship with Fiodh forest. And one day, a man who saw what I was up to, came to me and told me this story.
The Imp and the Knight
During the war between Fomors and humans at the prairies of Sen Mag, an exceptional Knight appeared amongst the human race as they were about to lose the battle. His named was Lugh. He was a Knight with shiny golden hair and a sparkling silver spear. Because of his fearless courage and beauty on the battlefield, people often referred to him as the Knight of Light.
However, there was something strange about this Knight. No one seemed to know where he was from. This young Knight, who was not a son of nobility nor of the royal lineage, simply smiled when asked about his background. Finally, the people could not handle their curiosity and began attributing the Knight as a God or an Imp. Only then, the Knight told people that, although his skills might be exceptional, he was just another common man just like everyone else.
Then one day, the long fought war with the Fomors ended with the defeat of humans. However, the legacy of humans would not end there. Through the sacrifice of Goddess Morrighan, the barely survived human race split into two groups. To escape from the hands of Fomors, one group went north while the other retreated south. One of the groups was led by Lugh, the Knight of Light. He led his group into Fiodh forest. During that time, Fiodh forest was known as the home of Imps and was not a place where humans could enter easily. Small groups of humans had hunted in there or cut down trees with permission from the Imps, but there was never a time when humans had visited the forest in such large numbers.
Lugh shouted with a loud voice at the entrance of the forest. No one understood what he was saying because he spoke in the language of Imps. Slowly, the residents of the forest began appearing one by one.
The place was filled with Imps and Spirits who had not seen a human before. Lugh started a conversation with the Imp who was taller and more beautiful than the other Imps. She was known as the queen of Imps amongst humans. Her name was so sweet and beautiful like the sound of water flowing down a stream, but no one could say her name besides Lugh. Therefore, humans simply referred to her as Siora, which simply meant Imp.
Imps already distrusted humans because of the big mistake made by Partholons in the past. That was the reason why humans could not easily enter the forest to begin with. But as a representative of the Tuatha de Dananns, Lugh was able to persuade Siora to give humans another chance. Siora agreed to accept the large number of humans into the forest under one condition. This condition was not to lay hands on the mother tree that was in the middle of the forest. Lugh swore on behalf of the human race to agree to the condition, and commanded his people not to touch the mother tree. Everyone gladly agreed and Fiodh forest became a fortress that protected humans from the Fomors.
The End of the War and Betrayal of Humans
The human race slowly grew their strength from their new hideout. While a group of army was being mobilized, Lugh went out to the frontline and resisted the Fomors advance. Soon after, news spread that humans won the war. Now only one thing remained. It was to reconstruct their land that had been completely destroyed during the war. Lugh, who became elected King by the people, could not return to Fiodh but worked hard to revive the human world. Those who remained in the forest also cultivated the forest and slowly made it into a prosperous place.
Then one day, the tragic event happened. Whether it was because humans became too relaxed after the war or because they became too arrogant, they completely forgot that they were living in the forest with permission from the Imps. The Imps were already feeling uncomfortable as the forest was slowly becoming cut down and bare, but soon the unacceptable happened. While Siora was out, humans cut down the mother tree located in the middle of the forest.
The Imps were greatly enraged. Siora was so infuriated that, with tears welling in her eyes, she cried out Lugh's name who had promised her. As her tears fell to the ground, it turned into a curse against humans. Instantly, tree roots and branches grew through the homes that humans had built, destroying everything in sight. All the remaining people were split up, some losing their way and wandering while others were kicked out of the forest. The forest, which faithfully protected mankind up until that time instantly transformed into a dreadful and terrifying place for humans.
This news soon spread to Lugh who was devoting himself to the reconstruction of the human land. Once he heard that Fiodh forest was closed off, he loudly lamented in a language that no one could understand. Then leaving all his servants and handing over his throne, he suddenly went off and disappeared. People praised the legacy he left and waited for his return, but Lugh never returned and the kingdom was ruled once again by common people.
After hearing this story, I asked the man who told me the story. "I am already well aware of the curse regarding Fiodh forest, so why are you telling me all this?" The man smiled and told me. He said that the story contains a hidden legend. He then asked if I wasn't curious to know what happened after. Then he continued with the story.
The Story After
Not too long after humans were kicked out of Fiodh forest, someone spotted a man with beautiful golden hair in a shaggy robe near the forest. This man seemed to be clueless of the dreadful curse of the forest as he walked straight in the forest unconcerned whether people were watching him or not.
As the enraged forest was about to kick the man out and the animals ready to attack him, he said something incomprehensible in Imp language and revealed his white armor underneath his shaggy robe. His white armor that shone with such brilliant light was so bright and beautiful that it filled up the eyes of the person watching him from afar. He then stood there for a few moments then lamented loudly as he mumbled something in human language.
The victory of mankind
With those words, the armor evaporated and disappeared like the morning fog and the distraught golden haired man slowly turned around with a grief written all over his face. His face was filled with such deep sorrow that it even made the person watching tear up.
Just then, all of a sudden, the tree branches began rustling as they moved. It was as if the forest was inviting the young man in as the branches moved left and right, spitting apart like a wave. Then a strikingly beautiful woman who seemed to be not of this world appeared from the opened path and faced the young man. The person observing this entire scene could not recognize this woman, but he assumed that if there was a Spirit governing the forest, it must be someone like her. The golden haired young man followed her into the forest. The man watching was taken aback and tried to call out to the young man but it was too late. The man was already swallowed up by the forest and the open pathway closed back up in a blink of an eye as if nothing had happened.
Once the man finished this story, I asked him if he was the one who witnessed the golden haired young man. The storyteller seemed fairly aged, old enough to have seen and witnessed the tragedy of the Mag Tuireadh wars.
He didn't give me a clear answer but he said this to me. He asked me if I didn't think the beautiful young man who was lamenting in front of the forest was none other than the missing Knight of Light, Lugh. Perhaps the Imp of the forest saw his contrite and sincere heart, who left everything and came to beg for forgiveness, and accepted him into the forest.
Once he said that, the story of the beautiful young man seemed pretty convincing. Whether he was really Lugh or not, I had to believe that the forest accepted his truly sincere heart.
Then I began wondering, is the Fiodh forest still closed off because a human with a pure soul like that young man hasn't appeared yet?
It was humans who betrayed the Imps of Fiodh forest. It was also humans who broke the trust of the Imps with their deceitful ways. However did not the holy and noble Knight of Light, Lugh, also say that he was just a human as well?
Perhaps the Fiodh forest seal, which is said to be only breakable by a person with honor, is still not fully opened. A truly honorable person would know the past blunder of humans yet not boast his own honor or authority. The young man who threw away everything, even his blessed armor - This man believed to be Lugh, perhaps his noble courage and pure heart is what true honor is... Just as someone was able to suddenly break the seal of Fiodh forest, if someone were to appear that could continue the legacy of Lugh with a pure heart, maybe then, the anger of the Imps would truly subside.
I heard recently that some people who went into Fiodh forest saw a ghost of a Knight in a white armor. Perhaps it is the phantom of Lugh who is trying to open our eyes to our foolishness, and remind us to seek true forgiveness .
So I am writing this book for that someone. I am too old in age now to attempt opening the forest doors, but if someone would read this and go meet the ghost of Lugh, they might be able to open their eyes to what my generation could not. I conclude as I desperately long for the day that Fiodh forest, which rejected me and my husband, would one day be opened to humans again.