Mythology Monday: The Champion’s Portion, Part 2

Hello again! If you recall, last week I began the tale of Cu Chulainn and the Champion’s Portion. Today, I will be continuing this epic tale of a bunch of people trying to determine who gets to eat what at a party.

So let’s continue.

Some time after the whole thing went down at Bricriu’s place, King Conchubar decides to go to Connacht and ask King Aillil to judge all this. Why you’d go to a kingdom that recently tried to raid you, I can’t really say, but whatever. Anyway, they decide to send Laoighre, Conall, and Cu Chulainn ahead, with the king and the rest of the Red Branch following behind.

So, everybody’s getting ready to go, and Cu Chulainn decides to antagonize his rivals by saying that they should go first, since their chariots are pretty shitty. This, of course, pisses them off, but because of the promise they made the king, drop it and head off. Meanwhile, Cu Chulainn decides to entertain a bunch of the women by juggling their needles, until his chairoteer tells him to stop fucking around and go. So he does, and catches up to Conall and Laoighre pretty quickly.

In the meantime, Queen Maeve is hanging out with a bunch of ladies in waiting, when her daughter tells her that there are three dudes from Ulster heading to the gates. At first, she’s like, “OK,” until her daughter points out that one of them is Cu Chulainn, after which she’s like, “shit.”

So she springs into action, and gathers a whole bunch of naked women with food, hoping that she can bribe the the Ulstermen with dinner and titties, not knowing that they aren’t coming to kill them all. The hospitality is appreciated, though, and Conchubar and the rest of the Red Branch arrive shortly after and explain the situation.

Now Aillil is not particularly keen to do this, since no matter who he picks the other two are going to kick up a ruckus, but tells him that it’ll probably take him a few days to figure all this out. Satisfied with this, Conchubar and his entourage leave the three men in Connnacht. Laoighre, Cu Chulainn, and Conall then head to their respective houses and turn in for the night.

Maeve then unleashes a trio of giant cat monsters from a nearby fairy mound to test the three. Laoighre and Conall, understandably, jump up and hide in the rafters as the aforementioned cat monsters wreck the place. Cu Chulainn, though, just gets into a staring contest with his that lasts until it leaves in the morning.

Since Cu Chulainn actually stared down the beast instead of running away, Maeve tells Aillil that he needs to declare him the winner. Aillil, though, still doesn’t want to make a decision, so Maeve takes matters into her own hands. And she does so in a way that seems to be intended to cause the highest amount of trouble possible. Because, like our boy Bricriu, she’s a messy bitch who lives for drama.

So she calls Laoigre in and gives him a bronze cup with a silver bird inside it, and tells him to present it as a token of his victory. Then she calls in Conall, gives him a silver cup with a gold bird, and tells him the same thing. And then repeats this with Cu Chulainn, giving him a gold cup with a jeweled bird.

So the three of them go home, and each present their cups. Since Cu Chulainn’s is the finest, he declares himself the winner, which naturally starts another fight.

Sencha, the court poet who is incredibly sick of this shit right now, breaks it up and says that they’re going to get the local wise man to figure all this out.

And that’s part 2 of this particular tale. Next week, I’ll be finishing this up with part 3, so stay tuned.

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