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Eogan mac Cartaigh (died c. 882), also known as The Oak, was the Abbot of Armagh during the late 9th century.

A dedicated Irish Christian priest under High King Flann Sinna's reign, Eogan was secretly the Ollamh and founder of the extremist druid cult known as the Children of Danu.[2]

Biography

Early life

Eogan mac Cartaigh was born in the 9th century, the youngest boy in a very large Irish family. From a young age, Eogan deeply valued mystical, scholarly and spiritual pursuits and therefore decided that he was destined for life in the Christian church. Due to his values, Eogan was a devout Christian and dutifully fasted, prayed and memorized religious scripture.[3]

However, he had soon realized that these pursuits had left him somewhat dissatisfied with his life and therefore he slowly began resenting every moment of his religious life. He did, however, go on pretending to be a dedicated member of Christian society and the faith in general.[3]

One day during his youth, he was exploring the wooded areas near his village and he accidentally stumbled upon an Irish druid performing a religious ritual. Upon observing the druid ritual in progress, Eogan found spiritual fulfilment in the "earthiness" of it. Reflecting upon his newfound spiritual fulfilment, Eogan decided that he found druidism much more compelling than his family's Christian faith.[3]

Eogan than secretly became a druid and secretly followed their ways more dutifully, eventually become a secluded fanatical member. With the rise of the Norse-Gaelic Christian society in Ireland, Eogan feared the druidic faith would face extinction due to the new Christian society being established over Ireland.[3]

Eogan soon founded an extremist druid cult called the Children of Danu, which primarily consisted of disenfranchised druids and Christians from Irish society.[3] Eogan himself decided to take up a high position in the Church, believing that he could use his power to help his cause by bringing down Irish society from within in order to prevent the Irish Christian society from wiping out the native druidic faith of Ireland.[4]

What started out as a secluded resistance movement for the druids eventually mutated into a cell of druid extremists who began engaging in the darker aspects of the druidic faith in order to fight off the rising Norse-Gaelic Christian Order in Ireland.[5]

Rise of a High King

Around 879, Flann Sinna was coronated as High King of Ireland at the Hill of Tara near the ancient stone Lia Fáil. During the coronation, Flann's poetess Ciara ingen Medba sang a song she had written for him, while Abbot Eogan blessed him and gave him a ceremonial sword. However, unknown to most, Eogan had intended for Flann to be killed moments later by a suicidal assassin disguised as a priest, though the plan was foiled by both the King of Dublin, Bárid mac Ímair, and his cousin, the Viking jarlskona Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan.[6]

During the coronation, Flann was updated on recent raids by Dublin Danes and the recent theft of the Book of Kells. Acting on part of Bárid, Eivor looked to find the book, which was eventually found to be stolen by Thorstein the Red and given to an unknown druid cult. After obtaining the book, Eivor saw Abbot Eogan in Durrow as he discussed with Flann about the implications of letting someone like Eivor retrieve the book. Meeting with the abbot and High King, Eivor handed the Book of Kells to Eogan, who questioned Flann for his collaboration with the "pagans." Nevertheless, Eogan left with the book.[7]

When Eivor helped Flann and Bárid conquer Cashelore,[8] Eivor found out the next day of the accusation against Bárid of the recent poisoning of his men. Investigating for the truth, Eivor and Ciara came to find about a possible cure from Ciara's friend and druid priestess, Deirdre Na Linni. However, from their conversation, Ciara and Deirdre divulged that the Children of Danu was responsible for the poison. Eivor agreed to help by finding a cure component, an amber shard from a Child of Danu. Eivor investigated around Connacht, for any clues about The Wren. Working under his cryptoymn "The Oak," Eogan sent a letter to The Wren, detailing about her role to sway the public's support against the lords and kings of Ireland and instigating riots. After she assassinated The Wren, Eivor found out about The Cursed's role in the poison, from Niamh's personal effects, and delivered the amber shard to Deirdre.[9]

While Ciara delivered the cure to Flann, Eivor investigated The Cursed, who concocted the poison ordered by the Ollamh Druid, The Oak. After meeting up with Ciara, Eivor followed Ciara to The Cursed. After finding and killing The Cursed, Eivor and Ciara discussed Ciara's previous role in the cult while finding out a clue about The Oak, who worked among priests and kings, from Sétnae's personal effects.[10] From the High Druid's death, Eivor kept hunting down other Children of Danu, such as The Deer and The Whisper, who were told by The Oak to work on building supplies, increasing their numbers, and concocting poisons for their "final battle."[11]

Attempted coup and death

During Flann's movement in Ulster, Eivor was told to investigate Aileach for Bárid and the missing messengers. Under the guise of a Donegal Viking, Eivor secretly invaded Aileach and found the Kings of Aileach and Bárid. From their coded messages, Eivor and Bárid took over the settlement from the inside and interrogated the kings. Both Kings Niall Glúndub and Domnall mac Áeda spilled that their actions were forced by Abbot Eogan and that Eogan's army was building up and marching for Clogher. Worried, Bárid sent a message to Flann while Eivor left to meet with Flann.[12]

At Clogher, Eivor and Bárid were in disbelief that Flann ignored the message and that he couldn't trust the kings, or in reality, the words of pagans. Unfortunately, Clogher was under attack by Eogan's men, much to Flann's dismay. Although they held their own, Flann looked around and saw the loss in numbers in his men. Meanwhile, Eivor and Ciara looked for Bárid, who was fatally injured. Preparing Bárid for Valhalla, Eivor sat as her cousin passed and took him to his home to be buried. From Eogan's assault, Flann's army was diminished as Dublin lost its king.[13]

Afterwards, Eivor met with the new King of Dublin, Sichfrith, and Azar to discuss the next steps for avenging Bárid. Azar informed that the Children of Danu had stopped their weapon supply, under the leadership of The Seed. From her investigation and assassination of The Seed, Eivor found out the real identity of The Oak and Ollamh Druid of the Children of Danu to be Abbot Eogan himself. After her find, Eivor went to confer with Flann about her findings.[14]

During the planning of assault on Armagh, Eivor divulged to Flann, Sichfrith, and Ciara that Eogan and the leader of the Children of Danu were one and the same. With Sichfrith's help in numbers, Flann and Eivor started their attack on Armagh. Going through the village and Eogan's men, Eivor and Flann made their way into the church, where Eogan was guarded by two soldiers. Initially, Eogan cursed out Flann and his attack on the church. However, Flann stated outright that he knew of Eogan's true intentions. Dropping the charade, Eogan made his position while trying to sow doubt between Ciara and Flann. Eivor made it clear that Eogan was tricking them while Eogan made accusation of Flann being enamored by Ciara. Stopping the conversation, Eivor and Flann attacked and defeated the abbot and his guards. In his final breath, Eogan quoted an excerpt of the holiness code detailing agricultural practices in Chapter 19 of the Book of Leviticus, and began to push the insecure thoughts between Ciara and Flann even further, before succumbing to his wounds.[15]

Legacy

Immediately following the abbot's death, a conference between Ireland's kings and Flann Sinna was held about Eogan and to an extent, the druids in Ireland. After rash deliberations, Flann initially submitted to the idea of an inquisition against all druids, Children of Danu or not, to either reform as Christians or be exiled. Ciara, hearing this, left angrily and bereft at Flann's decision. Ciara soon activated the Lia Fáil to stop anyone after her people as Eivor and Flann came to reason with her. After a series of fights, Eivor told Ciara that the Children of Danu's wish had come true even with Eogan's death, as they had made Ciara activate the stone for the druids. Putting a stop to the stone, Eivor saw its power was destroyed, ending the machinations to use the .[16]

Gallery

Behind the scenes

Historically the abbot of Armagh during this period was Cathassach mac Robartaig who died c. 883.

Appearances

References

  1. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaWrath of the DruidsA Scourging of Snakes
  2. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsTarget menu: "Bio: Eogan mac Cartaigh, The Oak"
  4. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids – Target menu: "Niamh: Note Found near the Great Stone"
  5. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsDatabase: The Children of Danu
  6. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsFlann over Ireland
  7. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsA Show of Character
  8. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsFoothold in Connacht
  9. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsPotion of Blood
  10. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsInto the Fog
  11. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsChildren of Danu
  12. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsCourting the Kings
  13. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsThe Mask of Diplomacy
  14. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsThe Wages of War
  15. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsA Scourging of Snakes
  16. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsThe Cost of Betrayal

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