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A/N: I apologise for the history lesson in advance but I stress that it is integral to the plot. I’m trying to be as accurate as possible whilst still making it inventive. If someone has already written a FF with the same ideas than no infringement intended… I really hope that this is somewhat original.

One of the major changes in this storyline is that it’s set in the 1300’s (1376 to be precise) and therefore Angel and all the rest of them must be shifted back to that time period. The English and native Irish were constantly engaged in small skirmishes, vying for control of the land. The result was that the region within which English law held sway steadily shrank until, by the end of 15th Century, it encompassed an area barely 50 miles square around Dublin. Within this Dublin 'Pale' was the 'Land of Peace' administered by the King's Justiciar or, later, Lord Lieutenant. "Beyond the Pale" lay the 'Land of War', where Irish and Anglo-Irish lords raided and battled one other in an endless series of petty wars and clan succession struggles. Now this is important in the fact that William is an English noble, sent to take over the province of Ulaid (modern day Ulster). I will warn everyone that this isn’t an instant fall-in-love-and-swoon romance but I would love to hear feedback (constructive). Thanks for reading. Translations of various Gaelic words shall always be listed at the bottom of the chapter.

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling,
From glen to glen and down the mountain side;
The summer's gone, and all the leaves are falling;
'Tis ye, 'tis ye must go, and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow;
'Til I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow;
Danny boy, Oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And when ye come and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, 'though soft ye tread around me,
And all my grave shall linger sweeter be,
Then ye will bend and tell me that ye love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until ye come to me.
-Sinead O’Connor ‘Danny Boy’

It was a song that her mother had whispered upon her death bed, soft tones and gasping intermingling throughout the words. Older than anyone could imagine and surprisingly haunting in its tones. In the wooden shack in which they had lived her ears had been strained in an attempt to listen. Her mother’s voice had been so quiet that the interfering wind which blew along the outside walls, rushed over much of the melody. Legend said that it had first been used on a battlefield, a tribal leader passing on leadership to his son.

For Buffy, the song held little meaning besides to act as her mother’s death dirge.

Joyce had come from Ulaid, one of the five provinces in what was a war torn Ireland. It had been controlled by the British but at this point was constantly being raided by different Gaelic tribes. There was no real sense of allegiance between any, except to the villages they hailed from. Buffy’s mother had been stabbed during an attack on their property. It was a major target considering the fact that her father was of Anglo-Saxon descent. His ancestors may have interbred with the local Gaelic people but there was still animosity. Joyce had been a victim of that hate.

What little Buffy knew of life had been confined to the fields upon which she ran and the local villagers her father controlled. When she had first caught glimpse of the band of men she had thought they had arrived with her father. Hank had been negotiating with a lord to allow him to move to another province. He’d never given a reason for the move but then it wasn’t expected.

Neither Joyce nor Buffy’s view would change anything. They were only women.

Storming down the hill, the first man had fallen to a pillage of arrows. The raiders, being intent on pillage and rape had simply killed her rather than let the elderly woman live. This attack was a symbol of power, a message to the English and all the people which fawned over the lords.

Murdering one old woman was nothing to them.

Hidden and terrified, Buffy watched her mother be taunted as another blade sliced through her left lung. It had taken mere minutes before the marauders rode off once more, cruel laughter hanging on the wind. Buffy had crawled towards Joyce, despite the fact that she could still be taken as bounty if they came back and dragged her body into the small wood home. As Joyce had sung, Buffy had wiped the congealing blood away from her mouth. It was the one thing a small girl of fifteen, now considered a woman, could offer a máthair.

It was three long days before Hank returned home and then it was only to announce that they were moving to the village of Kilkenny. He’d barely spared a glance at his wife’s grave or the grief stricken face of his only daughter. In his mind now he could perhaps find a woman who would actually bear him sons.

Daughters were only useful for making connections socially. That and breeding.

With Joyce’s death, Hank considered him a free man. All that needed to be disposed of was his daughter and by the age of sixteen that would be more than reasonable.

Having paid his land to the lord as bribery, Hank took his daughter and headed south along the river Liffey and into the town of Kilkenny.

Buffy mourned her mother the entire journey.


The bar was a rotten dirty place, stinking of Irish whiskey and coating the floorboards of what William suspected was forgotten firewood. Most likely stolen. He snorted in distaste and tried to remember why it was he had come to this province. It certainly wasn’t for the company… William, like all English lords detested the Irish; loathed them to be precise.

Grimacing at the bar maids which clung to the sides of the tavern, William stalked further inside. He had to bite his cheek to stop himself from reprimanding the guards who slyly winked back.

I’m surrounded by heathens.

It was a well known fact that Ireland, from the English viewpoint, was utterly out of control. The land that remained under the king’s control diminished daily and that was with the presence of an army. Dublin was the one place that a noble could reside without an armed guard.

William had been sent primarily to change that. His blood relation to the king meant that he was a prime target for political plotting or worse to be forced to attend the king’s court and idly chat about absolutely bleeding nothing. The man had spent enough time trapped during a rather bad reenactment of the Iliad to know that no amount of power would make him stay in such company.

Particularly when part of the aforementioned company included Drusilla.

William sighed, knuckling his forehead and motioned to his guards who clumsily followed after. The sooner he banished that woman’s face from his mind the better he would be.

He’d arrived a month ago, passing through Dublin with a cursory glance and then moving slowly south. Numerous homes that they passed had been left smoldering, ransacked and empty of life except for the circling shadow of ravens. He’d heard one native soldier, newly devoted to the king’s army, refer to one of their goddesses. Supposedly the chit liked to appear in the form of a raven right before battle. William had been unable to hold back his snort of laughter at that but then it was a common saying.

The lack of English domination had allowed the Gaelic language and mythology to flourish. God Save the King. A large part of William looked forward to taking control over the Irish if only to hear the infernal …irinn go Brách silenced.

Cursing under his breath William finally spotted the innkeeper, who he had been informed went by the name Willy.

Like a rat caught in the ireful gaze of a cat, the man stilled in the middle of his conversation, the patron forgotten as William stalked closer.

“My lord” said Willy bowing. “How may I be of service to you?” Greasy black hair already shorn was raked through by nervous hands. Willy only needed to look at the condescending expression of the man’s eyes to know he was in the presence of an English aristocrat. Summers will want to know about this…

William watched as Willy grasped the front of his apron, dirty smudges marring a grey surface. He wasn’t much to look at, perhaps of Scottish heritage although his voice carried little inflection. A large prominent nose jutted forward, overriding the his other geatures. All in all the man was merely a small runt, simpering to whoever would listen. The only reason William did not pull forth his sword and press the blade against the git’s throat was because of the off chance that he might be useful. Though William would be surprised if that was indeed true.

Rumor since he had entered the town suggested that the innkeeper was a chief informant for another of the village’s newcomers, a man by the name of Hank Summers. A decidedly foreign name and William was to bet that the power hungry sod would become a problem very quickly. He might as well add the names to the ever growing list of those not to trust and save himself the trouble. Keeping his voice low so as to hold back the venom William clenched his fists and studied the wall behind.

“First off I would like board for my men and if possible a decent meal without bleeding potatoes…”

Willy gulped audibly. “I’m sorry my Lord but every room has already been rented out…” His voice trailed as William’s frost like eyes grew colder. “I could perhaps show you somewhere else more befitting one of your station though.”

“Right then.” The flare of his cloak was all the warning that Willy had before William latched onto the man’s collar with one hand and began to drag him along the dusty floor. Coughing and spluttering Willy tried to keep his head up, knowing that no one would come to his assistance. William was renowned for his violent nature. So much so that the religious thought a demon resided inside. Now Willy could claim personal experience. His beaky nose, smashed against the first step as they entered the main street of Kilkenny.

It seemed the Lord wanted to make an impression quickly.

A/N: I've got a second chapter ready and will write more if there is interest...

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