The Tuatha de Danaan are rumored to have given Humanity the ability to dream. Humanity, in turn, gave the Tuatha the raw material needed to shape the Age of Legends. From the Tuatha, all other kiths sprang forth and populated the Dreaming. But in time, as Spring gave way to Summer, the Tuatha de Dannan became bitter and secluded, approximately around the time the first prodigals appeared.
Where the Fomorians were hideous and the Fir Bolg small and dark, the Tuatha de Danaan were tall, fair, and beautiful. Greatly skilled in the magical arts, the Tuatha fought and defeated the Fir Bolg in a series of bloody battles. Gracious in triumph, they allowed the defeated Fir Bolg to settle in the west of Ireland.
Godlike in their powers and wrapped in Glamour, it was only a matter of time until the Tuatha de Danaan were challenged by the might of the jealous Fomorians. Nuada, king of the Tuatha de Danaan had been maimed in the war against the Fir Bolg. Bres (known as “the Beautiful”), whose mother was of the Tuatha and whose father was a king of the Fomorians, was chosen as the new king. He proved to be proud and lacking in generosity, and when the Tuatha demanded that he renounce the kingship, he gathered an army of Fomorians to punish them. There followed a terrible battle in which the warring factions were so mighty that the whole island is said to have been bathed in the blood of the slain. Balor of the Evil Eye, king of the Fomorians, was slain by Lugh, who had been proclaimed the new king of the Tuatha. Defeated, the Fomorians were expelled forever from Ireland.
Consolidating their gains, the Tuatha de Danaan and their dreamers established their rule over the whole of Ériu (as they called Ireland). This was a golden age for the fae. Working alongside humans, they graced the land with fertility, improved upon the workings of the Fir Bolg, and constructed great chimeric holdings. The Tuatha taught humankind many wonderous arts and used their magics to make life pleasant for all. As time went on, though, the Tuatha began to specialize in certain arts and skills. Some, like the smith Goibhniu, became workers in silver, gold, and bronze, crating wonderous items and imbuing them with Glamour, while others, like the Morrigan, found themselves drawn to the warlike arts. Cairbre and his progeny embraced the arts of poetry and lore, while Dian Cecht was drawn to healing and magic.
Soon thereafter, other fae, created from the dreams of the early Celts, were born. Because their lives were less hard and more settled, the new fae were somewhat less powerful than their godlike elders. The Tuatha cherished these new children and guided them in the ancient arts, but already the first winds of the Sundering had begun to blow across the green fields of Ireland.
Some among the Tuatha de Danaan elders felt that their close proximity to humans was harmful to the dreamers. Some among the humans, rather than accepting and embracing their faerie brethren, were jealous of their powers and greedy for their wealth. To assuage these fears and hungers, the more powerful among the Tuatha began to withdraw from human society, spending more time in Arcadia while leaving contacts with mortals to their less powerful, less fearsome children.
Many of the noble houses became established at this time, though only the eldest among each house remember the ancient connections. House Dougal is descended from Dougal, grandson of Goibhniu, master smith of the Tuatha. House Gwydion reckons their lineage back to Lugh, the elected king. From this comes their claim to rulership. House Liam’s most famous ancestor was Nuada of the Silver arm, who was ever concerned with the well-being of all. When he was maimed. Nuada gave up his kingship; after the treachery of Bres, when he was once again king, Nuada stepped down in favor of Lugh, who was best suited to lead. The fiery passions of House Fiona are legendary, and easily understood since their connection to the Tuatha de Danaan is through Brigit, daughter of the Daghda and goddess of fire and poetry. Both the Unseelie House Ailil and House Eiluned hark back to a common ancestor. Ailil was the husband of Queen Maeve of Connaught. It was Ailil’s possession of a magnificent white-horned bull that aroused his wife’s jealousy and sparked the Cattle Raid of Cooley. Because they are known for their magical skills and are close kin to the Unseelie of Ailil, House Eiluned is distrusted by many of the other noble houses
Around 500 BC, the fae had become so enamored in their own power struggles that they failed to recognize a shift among the human population. Many failed to thank the Fae for their help or even demanded it. Seelie and Unseelie argued about what to do, with the Unseelie pushing for war to put the humans back into their place. Amidst these struggles, a new Celtic tribe arrived in Ireland, the Míl Espáine, also known as the Milesians. Originating from the Iberian Peninsula, the Milesians quickly came to dominate the Celtic tribes of Ireland.
The Milesians and the Tuatha came to blows. The seasonal shift meant that the more fierce Unseelie were forced to retreat to the Dreaming and leave their more passive Seelie cousins in control. Some, feeling that the Dreaming and the mortal world had drifted too far apart, counseled a full retreat. Meeting the Milesians in honorable warfare, the Tuatha quickly learned that their bronze weapons worked little against the iron used by their enemies, as well as the deadly power of Cold Iron to themselves. Following their last battle at Tailtiu, the remaining Tuatha fled to Arcadia, leaving their children behind.
In the Time of Judgement, the Tuatha appear either as benefactors to their descendants, or as enemies, who feel that the modern Changelings are abominations and violations of an oath against the mingling of fae and human blood.
In Irish mythology, the Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of fey or divine beings that originally inhabited Ireland; the name "Tuatha Dé Danann" means "people of Danu". Changeling: The Dreaming books consistently use the (mis)spelling "Tuatha de Danaan" in reference to the Tuatha. A sidenote on "de" versus "Dé". In Irish "Dé" is not possessive, in this context it refers to a divinity, a god or goddess. Therefore something like "People of the goddess Danu".
- Birog the Greater
- Bobh Dearg
- The Dagda
- Lugh of the Long Arm
- Manannan Mac Lir
- Math Mathonwy
- The Morrigan