The Timeline of Adventures
Heroic & Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction Character created by Kevin L. O'Brien
ince the stories set in the Medb hErenn universe describe her life and adventures, it is only fitting that they be presented in chronological order. The listing below is a bibliographical timeline based on Medb's character biography. It is divided into six sections, one for each phase of her life. After a brief introduction, each story is listed with a short description and assigned a date. Novels are indicated by italics and short stories and novellas by quotation marks.
Notes: [SV] stands for Short Version and [LV] for Long Version. This indicates stories that were originally written to short lengths, but are being revised to longer lengths as separate works. [*] indicates the story is a Cthulhu Mythos tale.
Click on a link below to open a hidden panel, then click on it again to close it.
The Early Years
Medb hErenn began her life at the very end of the 16th century B.C.E., roughly during the middle of the Irish mythological Bronze Age, long before the arrival of the Gaels. To put this period into perspective:
- the New Kingdom period in Egypt began in 1550 B.C.E.
- in the same year, the citadel at Mycenae in Greece was built, which started the Mycenaean civilization
- the Minoan civilization came to its end in 1450 B.C.E.
- and the cataclysmic eruption of Thera, which sealed the doom of the Minoans, occurred around 1500 B.C.E.
The events of this early part of her life are inextricably linked to Irish mythology, especially the contest for power between the Fir Bholg, the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Fomóraigh, and the Sons of Mileadh. It is an epic that spans over two centuries, that lays the foundations of modern Irish language and culture, and sets the stage for the political struggles of the legendary Iron Age and the historical period.
The Sons of Mileadh placed a geis on Medb, which prevented her from returning to Ireland, on pain of death, unless an external force threatened the island. Thus, she wandered the globe. She fought in the Trojan War and became the model for the hero Achilles, yet she also traveled with Aeneas and helped him to found Rome. She visited Solomon as the Queen of Sheba, and later campaigned with the Assyrians against the Kingdom of Judah. She became the consort of Nebuchadnezzar, but later helped Cyrus the Great conquer Babylon. She fought with the Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis, and traveled with Alexander the Great as one of his generals and his consort. She visited every continent, including the Americas, journeyed through various underground kingdoms, and even toured hidden Tír na n-Óg, Land of the Ever Young.
She fights a supernatural being sent by a witch to avenge her son's death
Queen of Ireland
Medb traveled the globe for nearly 1200 years, but in 93 B.C.E. a chance encounter with Sulla convinced her that the Romans posed a sufficient threat of invasion to satisfy the conditions of her geis. She returned to Ireland with the intent of uniting the island under her rule to prepare for the day when the Romans would come.
Medb did not actually die, but the circumstances of her "death" forced her body into a state of suspended animation, while her mind remained awake and active. Thus trapped, she might have finally gone mad, but she was rescued by a powerful entity, who sent her consciousness beyond her body to visit other worlds. As a result, time has no meaning during this phase of her life, except within the context of the worlds she visits. The works listed here are in order of when they occur, but no attempt will be made to fit them to our world's chronology.
The bulk of the works occur within the Dreamlands of H. P. Lovecraft, and it should be noted that Medb's inception as an heroic fantasy character was for these specific stories. Only later was her role expanded to other genres. Many of these stories have not yet been fitted into a Dreamworld chronology, so until they are they are listed after the dated works.
In the Dreamlands, she challenges a barbarian to a series of contests in order to get him to return to Ulthar to pay restitution for his crimes, but his reputation indicates he may be as powerful as she. And the first two contests are those at which he excels: drinking and fighting. Plus, Medb cannot use magic, nor can her companions interfere, otherwise she forfeits the contest and must submit herself to his will.
The Modern World
The Dreamworld was the last place she visited while "dead", and where she remained the longest. Because of the different rates at which time passes there and in the Waking World, while many scores of years passed in the Lands of Dream, only a couple of dozen months went by in our world. After her "resurrection", she realized that Ireland and the world of man did not really need her active protection, or rule. As such, she decided to simply watch and see how both would develop over time. Nonetheless, she was often an active participant in historical events, if only behind the scenes.
The Future World
As humanity pushes its way out into space, Medb knows that eventually her people will encounter beings that are more powerful than mankind is ready for. As such, she decides to come out of "retirement" and again actively protect the human race.
"Pseudofactual material" is any metafictional documentation purported to reveal and explain the "factual" basis of a fictional account. This is a common literary device in the Cthulhu Mythos genre, but it also appears in general fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery, romance, and even mainstream fiction. In the Medb hErenn universe, most pseudofactual material was created by Medb herself, but there are exceptions.
Medb wrote a Cthulhu Mythos tome that describes the history of Ireland up to the time of writing, the nature and characteristics of various races and creatures, and numerous spells and potions.
In the spirit of "The History of the Necronomicon" by H. P. Lovecraft, this essay describes the history of the Leabhar Mhéibhe down to the modern age.
An excerpted portion of the Leabhar Mhéibhe that describes the migrations of the family that founded the Indo-European cultures.
Where her adventures take her from here, only one brave enough to look into the Mirrors of Tuzun Thun can say for sure.
Back to the Fictional Universe page.