Marked by Destiny

By: Lisa Cardiff
To my dad

who has never disappointed me.





Acknowledgements



Thanks to all my family that cheered me on believed I could write a book when I wasn’t so sure myself. In particular, thanks to my husband, Chris, for ignoring my bad moods and my drifting mind. My sister, Shannon, who read the book in an incredibly rough form more than once, and helped put together my social media. My kids who helped me pick a name for the book even though they have no clue what it’s about. My mom and dad, who always believe in me regardless of where my life goes and my sister, Tiffany, for being a cheerleader.

And, of course, thanks to Soul Mate Publishing and their team for taking a chance on me and guiding me through the process.





Prologue

The Tribe of Mil shall come as bringers of new bloodlines unto the children of the goddess Danu. As the land is divided, so shall the powers of the Four Treasures be divided. Only the one marked by destiny, possessing the bloodline of both tribes shall inherit the power of the Four Treasures.

Prophesy – The Goddess Danu



Sometime around 1700 B.C.

Wrapped in a woolen cloak, Kalen, the Supreme Chieftain and Prince of the Tuatha Dé Danann tribe, stood at the top of a hill overlooking the sea. Heavy rain poured on him and his troops, and despite his cloak, he shivered—not from the rain but from a growing sense of dread as he watched Milesian invaders storm the rocky shores.

A single thought echoed through his mind, eliciting a far greater panic than any of the razor-sharp iron weapons threatening to rip through the flesh of his fellow Tuatha Dé warriors. Inis Fail is lost.

Four months ago, heedless of his argument to the contrary, the three Tuatha Dé Kings issued an order to kill the brother of the Milesian king sent to Ireland on a goodwill envoy. He knew it had been a foolish decision, one that threatened the very existence of their race. Kalen wasn’t surprised when the Milesians returned to Ireland a week ago demanding retribution. Instead of taking the threat seriously, the three Kings tricked them into giving the Tuatha Dé a week reprieve, and as the Milesians boarded their ships to await the decision of the Tuatha Dé Kings, the Kings summoned a magical storm to sink the entire fleet. To the Kings’ dismay, the invaders’ magic proved superior, and now they were back, swarming the coast with revenge in their hearts and the one type of weapon that could kill the nearly immortal Tuatha Dé in their hands: iron swords.



Brushing the rain from his face, Kalen’s eyes narrowed as he estimated the number of invaders partially hidden by the storm-darkened skies. The total caused the hair on his arms to stand on end. Knowing he had no choice, Kalen forced all doubts of the future from his mind. He had work to do—a battle to fight and the Four Treasures to defend.

A drumbeat sounded from the Milesian’s ranks as they climbed out of their boats. The most courageous Milesians surged forward with iron swords held high, taunting the Tuatha Dé warriors. They circled in front of the Tuatha Dé’s ranks, daring them to break formation and provoking rowdy cheers from the other Milesians.



“Ignore their taunts. We’re going to make them come to us. Hold firm. When they attack, the magic bestowed upon us by our faithful goddess will overwhelm them,” Mac Cuill, one of the three Kings of the Tuatha Dé and Kalen’s direct superior, shouted as he paced back and forth behind the front line of warriors.

An ominous chanting started from the rear of the Milesian’s formation, quietly at first then gradually growing into a loud rumble. “I am a buck of seven tines, I am a broad flood on a plain, I am a storm on bottomless waters, I am a glowing tear of the sun, I am a hawk on a crag, I am fair among flowers, I am a deity who sets the head afire with smoke. I am a battle waging spear...”

 “The chanting won’t be so inspirational when they’re lying in a pool of their own blood.” Mac Cuill mocked, letting out bubbling laughter. “Perhaps, they should save their energy for fighting instead of squandering it on premature celebration.”



“There are three of them to every one of us,” Kalen said, observing the invaders with growing unease. “Underestimating them would be a grave mistake.”

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