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Lir and Danu, the Ancestor
Gods of the Fair Folk

The history of the Fair Folk is based on a god and a goddess - Lir and Danu. Manannan's people are descendents of Lir, and Merlin's people are descendents of Danu. Manannan's people are people of the rainbow: Manannan's colors are green and blue. Merlin's people are silvery and sharp, with the metallic glint of weapons. Manannan's people have the soft shadows of mother-of pearl

There have been other gods, but Lir and Danu are the primordial ones, ancient lights whose origins stretch from the beginning of time. Lir is both brilliant light and dark vortex. Danu's light is pulsing radiance and her darkness is represented as dragons and monsters.

Lir and Danu created separately, and their universe and their histories are separate too. Neither has chosen to dwell in human form. Lir is the royal source of light, the crown jewels, which are the true source of power for king and crown. Danu chose to be hidden treasure dwelling underground amid living crystals, and her people chose the underworld, while Lir's people chose the waters.

Their differing value systems developed according to their chosen environments. For descendents of Lir, the flowing and dancing of the waters created a love of eternal change, of dance and music, and of sunlight bounding across the waters. Lir's people love artists and acrobats, creators of all sorts, and especially those that work with light. The dark side is there as potential but this is not emphasized.

For the children of Danu, darkness is paramount. The world is a place of gloom and danger, of dark monsters and dungeons, with a recognition of the cruelty and lust for power of mankind, and of many forms of life. Living underground has created a taste for darkness, for mischief, for being quick to anger and slow to forgive. Thus, they developed a warrior society with a strong ethos of honor, an obligation to revenge, and of pride in their horses and women.

The activities of Danu's people relate to weaponry, cavalry, warfare and lineage. They conquer evil where they see it, in the name of their queen and their people.

The pastimes of Lir's people are dance, music, and beautiful spectacles. They like delicate art and architecture, beautiful tapestries, and creating plants and flowers that shine with light. Lir's people do not communicate with Danu's people very often, but Merlin is a sort of an intermediary.

Danu's descendants have historically been closer to humanity. This is because they encountered humans accidentally, when men and women entered their mounds and hills for various reasons, or when they have had processions on earth to celebrate ancient victories, and people accidentally witnessed them.

The Fair Folk are not small - they have no size on earth, and their marches through the underworld are superimposed upon the upper world. They are distant and strange and thus have become distorted in people's minds over time. Most of the Fair Folk that have been seen by humans, and misremembered in folklore, come from Danu's race.

Fewer people know of Lir's descendants - they do not interfere. But they welcome those of pure heart.

Introduction | History | Manannan Mac Lir | Merlin | Taliesin | Building the Realms of the Fair Folk | Lir and Danu | Lugh and the Morrigan | Anya, Daughter of Manannan | Manannan's Ocean Kingdom | Aengus, The Poet God of Love and Romance | The Ancient Roads to the Fair Folk | Manannan's Horses | The Society of the Fair Folk | The Place of Transformation | Traveling Between the Worlds | Research Methodology | Conclusion


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