Oghma. Warrior, Scholar, Champion of the Tuatha Dé Danann

The arrival of the Tuatha de Danann in Ireland was foretold as the coming of a thousand Heroes covering the ocean. A people skilled in every art so that all kinds of death they announce. These, the words of Cesard of the Fir Bolg paint a very detailed opinion of this tribe. What then would it take to be a hero amongst heroes? What kind of person could these skilled folk choose as their Champion?
For an answer one must simply look to Oghma.

We find Oghma among the Tuatha Dé Danann as they first arrive in Ireland but much like his brother, the Dagda, he appears most often when some task or challenge is called for. He is with the battle formations as they first clash against the Fir Bolg.

Once the fighting was finished and the rule of the Tuatha Dé Dannan was placed upon Ireland, things did not fair well for this mighty warrior. Bres had taken on the kingship and chosen to favour only those who shared his paternal heritage, Fomorians. This bias saw the Dagda digging the ditches of Rath Bres, which Oghma, renowned for his strength was set to gather the firewood for the King's hall.

Now this was no small feat for it was known that the King must sit awake in his hall from the rise of the sun until it's set and that any who wished could call upon his hospitality for warmth food and rest. AS such the fires must be lit and stocked to burn throughout the fulls days length. Alas Oghma was not offered such hospitality. In some versions of the tale, Ogma is forced to swim a river against its currents to reach the wood. There he would gather what was required and strapping it to his back he would swim the river again. Each time the river would steal half of what he had collected, yet always there was enough wood for the fires of the King's hall.

His position as champion is restored to him when Bres was deposed and replaced, once again by Nuada. Here we find him among the rest of the notable heroes in the kings hall and it falls to Oghma to place the first trial upon Lugh, when he comes seeking a seat. As Lugh enters to declare himself, Oghma bars his path and reaching down, he hefts one of the large flagstones from the fire pit. This he then casts out of the hall, punching a hole through its wall as he does. Lugh steps up to the challenge and throws the stone back into the hall, using the same hole. The young hero then goes one step further in fixing the hole Oghma had created. Thus Oghma tests the new comer, both in strength and in skill.

Yet strength alone was not enough, for the Tuatha de Danann were a people of skill and art as much as strength and battle. Here too we find Oghma excel above others for it is from his mind and scholarly working that the first written language was created. As proof of his own ingenuity this warrior poet created a script for learned. It was said that this script was born of sound and matter, with the father of Ogham as Ogma, and the mother of Ogham is the hand or knife of Ogma.

Oghma again took to battle when the Fomorian invasion arrived upon Ireland. It's said that he defeated Tethra, a Fomorian hero, and claimed his sword, which then began to relate to him the deeds of its former owner. Among the foes to fall to this champion was non other than Indech, king and warlord among the Fomorians. The same Indech who set an inhospitable meal for his brother, the Dagda. Though some accounts say that this feat cost Oghma his life, others say that he survived the battle. It is Oghma and Lugh who accompany the Dagda on his quest to recover his harp from the rampaging Fomorian raiders. 

Whatever version of the tales you choose to follow, one thing cannot be denied. Oghma has always had a significant impact on the world around him. Battling oppression for his people. Serving the needs of his tribe. Pushing the scope of learning in new ways. To this day ogham, the script bears the name of the intellect, poet, warrior and word smith that created it. To this day, Ogham can be found carved upon the rock, some might say the very bones, of Ireland.

What kind of person could the Tuatha Dé Danann choose as their Champion?
For an answer one must simply look to Oghma.

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