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432 – Roman Britian
Eleri, a slave in an Irish hillfort, is seized on the day of her baptism by pirates on a slaving raid and taken across the sea to Britannia. About to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for the second time in her young life, she is taken off the block at the last moment by Coroticus, the fearsome British chieftain who led the raid.
Coroticus doesn’t understand why this skinny girl-child has bedeviled him from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when, on the deck of his ship, she speaks to him the identical words carved into his mother’s tomb, all he knows is he can’t let her go.
The Bonfires of Beltane
432 – Ireland
Since before anyone can remember, Taran’s Celtic, island people have
sacrificed children to Crom Cruach, the dread sun god. His whole clan
accepts this atrocity, yet in his heart he knows it’s wrong.
Now, Taran is about to be inducted into his clan’s circle of leaders.
He promises Laurna, his betrothed, he’ll hide his doubts. But at the
ceremony beside the bent idol of gold, he can’t help but question
the druids’ rule. He blames the clan’s miserable fortunes on Crom
Cruach, calling it a demon.
As a result, the druids order his banishment. Instead of a wedding
with Laurna, he faces a tearful parting. As a storm darkens the horizon,
Taran paddles his wee craft into a vast, raging sea. Thus begins
Taran’s adventure in A.D. 432.
Beyond the sea lies ancient, Celtic Ireland. There wait the Roman
evangelist, Patrick, and two kingdoms ruled by powerful kings and
their druid advisors. It’s a proud land where tradition is
everything and travel through the wild can mean slavery
or death. The druids will stop at nothing to remain in power and
prevent Patrick and his followers from changing their ancient ways.
Will Taran find the spiritual truth he desperately seeks? Can he
escape wrathful kings and conniving druids? Will he ever be
able to return home and rejoin his beloved Laurna?
A Secret Hope
432 – Ireland
Ciara of Tir Maic is living a lie. She’s an imposter. For most of her young life she’s hidden a secret that means death if it’s discovered. Although she is studying to become a druidess, she doubts the power of the gods she is to serve and dares to hope there is more to the universe than the spirits of fire and water she has been taught to worship from her childhood.
In 5th century Ireland, druids were the priests and prophets, physicians, and teachers. The ancient gods needed to be appeased constantly and woe to the man who unknowingly offended them. When Patrick brought the Gospel to Ireland the idea of one God was revolutionary. Even more so was the notion of a God who sought His people and longed to do good for them.
It is a historical fact that the High King’s druid received a prophecy about a strange man who would come from across the sea, bringing knowledge of a foreign God who would displace their own pagan gods.
One day in a dream, Ciara receives what she thinks is a line of poetry. But it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, who has given her the same first line of the druid’s prophecy about Patrick.
What would it have been like to live in a nation hearing the Gospel for the first time? Did the Holy Spirit breathe an intimation of the momentous event coming? I think He did, and that is Ciara’s story.