McTaff

Once in the dark distant times Ram looked down upon the earth. Tribes of men fought against one another, not caring about who was lost in the strife. Ram looked upon his children, dying amongst the battles of men, being taken for prises of war and he saw them forced from their lands by the blood and the hate of men. Ram was not pleased with what he saw.

As the moons passed, warped creatures of an evil as intense as any man's came unto the world and started to war with the men. These Goblins and Formorians cared less for Ram's children than the men did and at last, through his almost infinite patience, Ram was enraged. He sought out the All Mother and beseeched her to protect his children. Anu looked through Ram's anger and burning rage and saw his love for his children. Anu, who was as wise as any could even comprehend made Ram a deal.

She decreed that Ram could have a group of men from his won stock and as long as those mingled with his children their love for Ram would stay pure. Ram agreed and thanked the All Mother. Then he chose a ewe from his hardiest flock, the ewe's name was Bethan. On that windswept night Anu sent down some of her power to Ram's chosen ewe. On that mystical night Bethan became with child.

The following spring the child was born and as Ram had decreed he was named Taff. (In the old tongue Taff means "He who watches the flock" although linguists argue that it could mean "He who becomes one of the flock".) Taff grew large and strong and he took another of the flock and from this union came the twin sons Badwin and Bidder.

The men were still fighting amongst each other but those known as the Formorians were increasing in strength and were rampaging unchecked through the lands of Caledonia. The twin sons saw this threat and spoke to Ram. Ram returned to the realm of the spirits as he sought out Raven. Raven was cunning and knew many things that Ram did not. Raven knew the secret of the fae and he agreed that he would take the twins to speak with them if Ram would guard him for eternity. Ram did not wish to agree to this but he did, knowing that Raven would soon bore of his company.

In the dark wood the fae spoke to the twins. They agreed that they could keep the Formorians out of Caledonia for 28 generations but there was a price. Taffs children would also be banned from this land for the same time. The two twins and their now flourishing family took their flock south until they reached a land known as Bristle, there they settled and as well as looking after their flock they also brought some cows and chickens, although these were just common animals.

Then came the day when four sons were born. The oldest, Dragonswoe was a tall, healthy man with the loves of his father. He was charged with the care of the sacred flock. Vipercurse, a sour sullen man was charged with tending the vegetable patch, and the growing of many root vegetables. Spidersdread, a tall thin spindly wretch was sent to collect the eggs and acre for the chickens whilst Wolfsbane, a sickly runt was told to care for the common cows, for this was all his father thought him good for.

One evening Raven saw the clan and remembered his bargain with Ram. [[[Ram]] had tried his best to guard Raven but could not keep up with him on his many travels. Raven had become bored with Ram's company and left him behind. Now raven had remembered this deal he sought to make mischief from it. He took Wolfsbane four gold pieces and directed him to the nearest tavern. Here Wolfsbane drank heartily and played a simple game of cards with a Cymrjan Noble named Lord Owein who owned large amounts of land on the south coast of Cymrja.

Wolfsbane was down to his last pieces of copper, but he was sure that he could not loose the next hand of cards. Raven knew that this could be his chance for revenge and intervened. Wolfsbane awoke next morning and remembered the events from the previous night. Not only had he won the hand, he had won a kings fortune. His head was still cloudy. Wolfsbane went out to tell Dragonswoe the good new when he saw him marching off with his three children. Wolfsbane asked around and found out that he had lost that hand and with it lost the sacred flock.

He collapsed to the ground with guilt and regret and then Raven came to him. Raven agreed to take Wolfsbane to the dark fae - The Unseelie whose terrible magics were known across the land. The faeagreed that they would change the memories of all within the land of Albion, so that they would think that they were servants of Bull. Bull was slow and stupid and he would not even notice if people started praising him.

Wolfsbane agreed and asked what they wanted in return. The fae asked for the first member of the family born in Caledonia which they could replace with one of their own. This child was to be called Ash which means "a reminder of mans foolish bargains". When they few cast their spell Dragonswoe and his three children Dai McTaff, Owen and Lauren, were at the lands of Lord Owein.

He would not give the flock back but he would let them tend the flock as shepherds. In return for their services he gave them a small village known as mumbles. On that night the records hall in Bristle was burnt to the ground.

In the year of 1095 Dragonswoe - under the name McYokel (which means those born of a lie) had returned to Caledonia. All the McTaffs packed all their belongings and on that same night began to take the flock back to its rightful home.

Many people have wondered why clan McTaff have so few incantors. The fortunes of the blessed I guess. I remember a while back though when there were many more ancestor worshippers. The archers in the clan were all off on manouvers deep within Lord Owein's land. Chunder McTaff was brewing up a barrel of ale, and sent his cousin and apprentice - Vomit - to go and collect more barley for the brew.

Vomit went to the clan stores and found them empty. So in a rare turn of initiative he went forth unto the field where he saw a solitary shock of barley. Vomit cut the shock and then took it back to the master brewer. It is a sad critique on the youth that he did not know that the last shock is always left. I personally blame the active role of women in bringing up children… I digress. Two moons later the fey who live in that shock over the winter saw the field empty. Using some dark fae power probably… undoubtedly involving the blood of lambs… they found the barley in the form of fermenting ale.

Cursing the ale, they left for warmer climates. Chunder served the ale to the archers, taking a goodly helping himself. After their merriment they fell ill. Not surprising since incantors are renowned for not being able to handle their ale. Several weeks later they were still feverish. They tried to speak to the ancestors but could not reach them. When they recovered from this fae pox, they found their link permanently removed but with concentration could now use magicks. Oh well, all that ends well.

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