I’m a mythology and folklore junkie, so most of the worlds I create contain aspects of ancient legends. My current work is no different. Though it’s still in its early stages, it is loosely based on the Tuatha De Danann of Irish lore.
According to legend, the Tuatha De Danann came from the northern lands of the world where they had studied occult lore and magical arts. There were four mythical cities in this part of the world: Findias, Gorias, Falias, and Murias, and each city was home to a druid of advanced knowledge and learning. Each druid fashioned an article of great power, and these were brought with the Tuatha De Danann.
The Stone of Fal came from Falias and was placed at Tara. It was said that the stone would cry out when stepped upon by the true kind of Ireland.
A spear was fashioned in the city of Gorias, and this spear was given to Lugh. The person who wielded this spear was undefeatable in battle.
The sword wielded by Nuada, king of the Tuatha De Danann, came from the city of Findias. In some sources it’s called the Sword of Truth, and most of the legends say that none could stand against it once it was pulled from its scabbard.
The Cauldron of Plenty came from the city of Murias. This cauldron belonged to the Dagda and could provide food enough that none ever walked away from it hungry. (In Welsh lore, there is a cauldron that can reanimate the dead.)
The Tuatha De Danann arrived in Ireland in great ships. Once they’d gone ashore, they burned the ships so there would be no chance of escape. The smoke from the burning ships was seen all over Ireland and gave rise to the legend that the Tuatha De Danann arrived on clouds of mysterious mist.
There are many stories of the Tuatha De Danann and their battles and alliances with the Fir Bolg and Fomoire, who also laid claim to the Emerald Isle, and the Tuatha De Danann were eventually defeated. They were allowed to remain in Ireland, but they were consigned to live underground. The fairy mounds are said to be the entrances to their homes, and each of the Tuatha De Danann was assigned a mound. From them we get the fairy legends of old, and these beings are said to still reside in Ireland.
For those who, like me, prefer their mythology and folklore from older sources, the Internet Sacred Text Archive has digitized many of the ancient works and is a great site to find source material.
While this is simply a very brief overview of the Tuatha De Danann, the following links are to sources that go into more details about them and the fascinating mythology of Ireland.
The Second Battle of Mag Tuired
Tuatha De Danann
Video on the Tuatha De Danann
The Annals of the Four Masters