The Court of Treblainne

This is the story of the Courtship of Treblainne, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

The Court of Treblainne

The Court of Treblainne

Fraech, son of Fidach Foltruad (red hair) of Sid Fidaig and Loch Fidaig and Dun Coistinne, the noble young man of the Domnannaig was so handsome and so brave, that the Fili praised him everywhere, and that on the basis of these reports many princesses had fallen in love with him. His suitors were so numerous that it was difficult for him to choose and he remained in his house for twelve years without getting married. Added to this that Boann had warned Be-Binn, his mother, that his son was not to marry any woman, otherwise he would die in the same year. In addition, he had to take care not to fight with Cuchulainn, nor swim in black water between Samain and Beltaine, nor give his weapons as a pledge.

But also fell in love with him Treblann, daughter of Fraech, son of Aengus du Sid de Broga, the adopted daughter of the king of Temair, Coirpre Nia-Fer-mac Rosa. For the nobles of the Sons of Mil (the Gaels) used to take care of the neighboring elven princes children to educate them, so that the latter do not harm wheat, milk or prosperity.

When the king learned of Treblann's passion, he summoned her to him in the "house of whispers" and he suggested that, in the absence of Fraech, they could obtain another husband. So she returned to her Grianan (originally “upper room”) and shed bitter tears. Then she summoned her messenger Laigech Lamfota (Long arm) to her and sent her to Cruachan to tell Fraech that Coirpre did not grant her the latter and that however she was willing to go with him. Laigech first met the people of Cruachan at the ball game; they wanted first of all, because he appeared in an insignificant garment, wearing a gray cloak, a dark tunic and a wand in his hand, to throw their balls at him. But since he was asking after Fraech and wanted to be recognized as a messenger, he was taken to Cruachan. When he reported to Fraech what had happened, the latter informed Coirpre, that in exchange for the young woman, he would put himself at his disposal with equal armies on the battlefield and that moreover he would come with 400 tanks at Temair; but he sent word to Treblann to be ready.

The messenger, on his return, went to Grianan de Treblann and told him everything, he also described to him - in a poem - the beauty of Fraech. With the consent of his mistress, he reported Fraech's proposal to Coirpre. Fraech then told Medb, Ailill and Fergus of Coirpre's offense and they called for revenge. His comrades promised to accompany him; it was Laigsech Lennmar (big coat), the son of Conall Cernach, Aengus mac Aenlaime Gaibe, Connra mac Tinne, Dorchu mac Tinne, Monga Milech and a troop of young people from the Gamanraids. They carried messenger wands (flesca), in order to say Glenn Flesca, "to send them forward to meet the young woman" and went, well equipped and well bathed, first to Liathdruim, where Cet welcomed them that night, then to Mag na n-Dumach, to a place called Mag Caille, where they found supplies from Amairgin, and the same night further up to Ath Cathail Druim-fri-Fid and from there sent messengers to Treblann with the instruction to come the next day to Tulach na Carpat (chariot hill). The messengers met Treblann in her Grianan, and she "recognized the wand" and listened to their story - in verse. The next morning, she prepared with the excellence of a fairy, and left for Tulach na Carpat. Likewise, Fraech was well equipped and had his weapons shine, so that the young woman noticed him from afar by his brilliance. The messengers who accompanied him compared Fraech to the most remarkable heroes: Cuchulainn, Conall and Fiamain. So they met and greeted each other.

When Coirpre Nia-Fer learned that Treblann had fled with Fraech, he gathered an army and, full of anger, wanted revenge on Fraech. But his son Erc pointed out that by then their union would be complete, and set off with only 400 young men in chariots against Fraech in the hope of being able to recapture the young woman. The battle lasted all day. As he was defeated, Erc sent messengers to Temair to seek help. But Laigsech (Loigsech) Cennmor pointed out that then the fair struggle agreements would be broken. On his advice Fraech and his comrades returned home with the young woman, and the approaching troop found only their dead.

In Cruachan, Fraech reported his victory to Medb and Fergus, took his leave, and returned with Treblann to his own territory. There he learned from his mother that, in the meantime, his cows and his three sons had crossed the mountains of the Alps. Despite the advice of his mother, who promised him new cows, he explained that he had made a commitment to Ailill and Medb to supply his cattle for the Tain Bo Cuailnge. He confided Treblann and his Bell comsoegail (living stone or stone of equal lifespan, see below) to Donn, the son of Eochaid Ollathair, and set out to bring back his cattle.

When Coirpre Nia-Fer learned of this, he commissioned Midir of Bri Leith to bring about the ruin of Fraech. Triath mac Faebuir, one of the young men of Midir's troop, traveled with Midir and thirty chariots to the island where Donn resided, and introduced himself as a suitor of Treblann. "It's pretending to be the wife of a living," says Donn. But Midir claimed that Conall (Cernach) and Fraech were killed by the Lombards on their journey to the Alps. "We can verify that," Treblann replied; in this case Bell comsoegail de Fraech would be broken. The box in which it was kept was brought. But Midir spoke a word on his spear, hit the box and the stone seemed to be broken. In tears, Treblann left the house, went to Ferta na h-Ingine (young woman's mound) and she died there of grief over the death of her husband.

Fraech had traveled through many lands, found his cattle and sons, and arrived with Conall Cernach in Dun Sobairche (on the north coast of Ireland). After they had been there for a month and a week, he moved to Cuailnge and met Laigech, Treblann's messenger. The latter recounted in poetic form the events that had happened during his nine months and one week of absence; he learned from him that his wife had died through Midir's fault. So he sent his booty to Cruachan, while he went, with nine men, before Bri Leith, and he declared to Nechtan, that Midir had sent him, that he wanted three things: to see the blood of Midir on his arms. , an indemnity for his wife and the promise that she would be returned to him. Nechtan first had to make sure that Midir would come the next day to duel. In Bri Leith, there was no one who wanted to confront Fraech; until the promise of great riches prompts Airmger mac Acarnamat to go there; by spells he took on the form and appearance of Midir. But Boann had heard the news, it brought Fraech a bricht neime (literally "poison spell"); in which his arms were to be bathed, and a protective garment. The next day Fraech and Airmger fought for a long time until finally the latter fell. Then Midir sent Nechtan back to Fraech, this time with the indemnity for his wife: fifty horses of the same color, [fifty] chariots the value of a cumal, fifty white shields, fifty green coats with silver bracelets, fifty swords with hilt of gold, fifty fine spears. Likewise, Treblann, accompanied by eight young women of the same appearance, was to be returned to him. So they parted in peace.

It was this Treblann who carried Fraech, when he was killed by Cuchulainn, even in the Sid.