Then “the burner” set aside his instrument and lived up to his name – breathing a relentless stream of fire upon all of his surroundings and leaving disaster and chaos in his wake. The people of the feast would awaken to find Samhain passed, and their homes and treasures destroyed while the terrible Áillen had vanished from their midst.
Now you might think that the easiest course of action would be to simply hold the party elsewhere – but that would hardly be the stuff of legend. Instead the High King appealed to the smartest and bravest warriors of Ireland to help rid him of this annual curse.
Young Finn Maccool rose to the challenge, declaring that he would be the one to outsmart the creature and all he would ask in return would be to be acknowledged as leader of the Fianna – a group of warriors which his own father had led until he had been overthrown and executed.
And so, with the King’s blessing Finn attended the Samhain celebrations, but while the other attendees filled their plates and clinked their glasses, Finn stayed alert for the first wafting note of music that would sing their downfall.