UNTITLED STORY (The Dane came in with a rush, hurtling his huge body forward . . .). Featuring Turlogh Dubh O’Brien. 1300 words and unfinished.

The story

On a desolate moor in Wicklow, a fierce combat unfolds between Turlogh O’Brien, a dark-haired Gael with volcanic blue eyes, and Sigrel, a giant, red-bearded Dane. While they share similar height, their physiques and temperaments starkly contrast. O’Brien is lean and agile, whereas Sigrel, despite his bulk and apparent slowness, moves with surprising speed.

The backdrop of their clash is a period of ongoing strife between Vikings, who control parts of Ireland, and the native Gaels. Although there’s a broader historical animosity between Danes and Celts, the fight between Turlogh and Sigrel is fueled by personal reasons. Sigrel, accusing Turlogh of being a renegade and outlaw, seeks to bring Turlogh’s skull to Brodir as a trophy. In turn, Turlogh, an outcast from the O’Brien clan, responds with equal ferocity and cunning.

The battle reaches its climax when Turlogh, employing a risky maneuver, exposes himself to Sigrel’s axe to lure him into a vulnerable position. The tactic works, and Turlogh delivers a fatal blow to Sigrel, showcasing a signature move known as “the Dalcassian stroke.”

After the fight, Turlogh is approached by Murtagh O’Donnell, an O’Donnell clansman from Ulster. Despite the historical animosity between their clans, Turlogh’s clan has disowned him, reducing the likelihood of conflict between the two. Murtagh, witnessing the entire duel, reveals his quest to rescue his nephew, Conmac O’Donnell, held prisoner by the O’Neills. He plans to travel to Mac Kir to buy the freedom of Maelmora O’Neill, a chief of Tyrone enslaved by Swane Lodbrog, in exchange for Conmac’s release.

The story unfolds with Murtagh proposing an alliance with Turlogh, sensing that Turlogh’s skills and ruthlessness could be crucial in his mission. Intrigued by the prospect of substantial rewards and drawn to the cunning plan, Turlogh agrees to consider the proposal.


  • Turlogh O’Brien is an outcast from the O’Brien clan. He is described as being tall, rangy-limbed, broad-shouldered, lean-waisted, with black hair and volcanic blue eyes under heavy brows. Turlogh is a skilled warrior, as seen in his deadly combat with Sigrel, a Dane. Despite his ostracism from his clan, O’Brien’s cunning and combat prowess are evident.
  • Sigrel, a red-haired and bearded Dane, is a minor character who engages in a fierce battle with Turlogh O’Brien on a Wicklow moor. Though larger and more robust than Turlogh, Sigrel ultimately falls to Turlogh’s skillful axe blow.
  • Murtagh O’Donnell, a tall, finely-formed man with the appearance of a poet but the garb of a warrior, approaches Turlogh after the fight. He is an O’Donnell from Tir-conal and seems to have a keen interest in Turlogh’s affairs. He proposes an alliance with Turlogh to rescue Maelmora O’Neill, a chief of Tyrone, from captivity.
  • Maelmora O’Neill, a chief of Tyrone, has been captured by Swane Lodbrog and is enslaved on the isle of Mac Kir. He hides his true identity from Swane to avoid a large ransom demand.
  • Swane Lodbrog is the ruler of the isle of Mac Kir, a madman who dreams of building an island kingdom. He has captured Maelmora O’Neill and holds him as a slave.
  • Conmac O’Donnell, Murtagh’s nephew, is being held prisoner by the O’Neills.

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