The Sons of Turrean
THE STORY OF BRAN AND SCEOLAN
[
Sceolan, pronounced Sky-O-Lawn or Ska-Lawn]

Rev. 5/2/2009

 

Clan Leader Finn's mother had a sister named Turrean. Iollan Eachtach, a chieftain of the Ulster Fianna, falls in love with Turrean. Finn promises to bring her to him so that they may marry. Uchtdealb of the Fair Breast, one of the Sidhe (faery queen), is not happy about the upcoming nuptials. She disguises herself as Finn's messenger and convinces Turrean that she is to accompany her to a great feast in the land beyond. Once in the woods, Uchtdealb takes out a hazel wand and changes Turrean, into a hound. Uchtdealb gives the beautiful animal to Fergus Fionnliath, a man who hates dogs. She tells him that the dog is a gift from Finn. The dog is pregnant and Uchtdealb tells Fergus that he might take the dog hunting, but he must refrain from doing so when the time for giving birth draws near. The hound turns out to be the best hunter ever. It actually turns Fergus into a dog-lover. He does as instructed, and lets her rest as her time draws near. She gives birth to two puppies, which Fergus gives to Finn.  Finn names the dogs Bran and Sceolan, and like their mother, they are gifted hunters. There are many ancient legends about Bran and Sceolan, the most well-known tells of how they were able to recognize Fionn's future wife even though she had been transformed into a red deer. One day while hunting with warrior-chief Fionn, Bran and Sceolan came upon a beautiful red deer that the hounds refused to attack. Fionn allowed the deer to follow them back to the Dun, and when it passed through the gates, a mallachd (curse) was broken and she was transformed into a beautiful woman, Sabd, who became Fionn's wife. And it was also Bran and Sceolan who found Fionn's son, Oison, in the woods among the red deer herds after his wife had been stolen from him.

Bran is described in Bardic legends as A ferocious, white-breasted, sleek-haunched hound; standing as high as mid-chest of a full grown man; fiery, deep black eyes that seemed to swim in sockets of blood. Sceolan was described as Slightly smaller than the black beast, small headed, having eyes of a dragon, the claws of a wolf, the vigour of a lion; and the venom of a serpent.

 

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