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The Danann people, say the stories, lived at first in islands far away, north of the north wind; on these islands were four cities: Falias, Murias, Gorias and Findias. At last, they resolved to make the hero's pilgrimage, to Ireland, and to take that island and settle it: for it was their birthright.

The Tribe of the Gods sail to Ireland in ships that course the lower air; they attain the island on May Day, a Monday, making landfall on the mountain of Conmaicne Rein, that men now call Iron Mountain, in Léitrim, and they burn their ships there, a great bonfire, so that they cannot escape should they fail. Some say they came concealed in a dark cloud; others say this is a misunderstanding and the cloud was merely the smoke going up from the burning ships. And with them on these ships they have brought their four great treasures, one from each city where they dwelt:

From Falias the Lía Fáil, the Stone of Destiny that screamed when stepped on by the rightful High King of Ireland; that stone became symbolic of the whole island, and it was poetically called Inis Fáil ever since.

From Murias the Coire Ansic, Cauldron of Plenty, that belonged to the Dagda: no company ever went away from it unsatisfied.

From Gorias the Sléa Búa, the Spear of Victory, that belonged to Lugh; no battle could be sustained against it, or against the man who held it.

From Findias the Claidheamh Solais, Núada's Candle, the Sword of Light which blazed like morning; no man could resist that sword, nor could any enemy escape it once it was drawn from its sheath.

These were the Four Treasures of the Island of Ireland; no greater were ever seen in that country.


Eventually the Milesians drove the Danann people into the earth, and what became of the Treasures then is not always clear. The Stone of course remained where it was, and it is now variously claimed to be the Coronation Stone at Tara, or the Stone of Scone, or another stone built into the keep of Blarney Castle. None of them have screamed recently. The Spear, some of the poets would claim, was the same as that deadly Lúin which belonged to Celtchair mac Uthechair; and in Mabinogi Branwen, Bran the Blessed owns a cauldron not unlike the Dagda's which he gives as a wedding-gift to the King of Ireland in that day. Likewise the Stone-Sword, that God fixed in an anvil in Canterbury for a sign whereby men might know the true king of Logres, blazed with light when Arthur drew it, and could not be overcome until it was broken, in Arthur's combat against King Pellinore.