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Tír na nÓg
Land of the Young

By Simon Bisley

"And so we headed north through the Land of the Young — so called because few grow to be old..."

In Irish mythology, Tír na nÓg or 'The Land of the Young' is a name for the Otherworld inhabited by gods and immortals. In the 2000 AD strip Sláine, it is a country that existed 'before the flood', covering the area occupied today by Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe, before the creation of bodies of water such as the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

Tír na nÓg is a pre-Christian country where the gods worshipped include the earth goddess Danu, the sun god Lug and the evil worm god Crom-Cruach. Druids have access to a mystical 'earth power' with which they can work magic, and warriors like Sláine can warp it through their bodies to make them invincible in battle.

The country is split between the northern tribes of Danu, including Sláine's tribe the Sessair, and the southern tribes ruled by the sinister Drune Lords. The north is freer than the south, but even there the culture is brutal and autocratic (with tendencies towards misogyny as well). The main occupations are subsistence farming, fighting, industries related to fighting (such as making weapons) and getting blind drunk to celebrate the successful outcome of a battle.

Among the local fauna are werebeasts, demons, dragons (like the Mata) and the occasional minotaur. Even if you manage to give those a wide berth, the roads are plagued by thieves, bandits, Skull Swords and chancing ne'er-do-wells. Proceed with caution.

Notable residents

Notable locations

  • The Cave of Beasts, sixty feet below the ground and only accessible via a narrow tunnel that must be navigated on hands and knees. The walls are covered with carvings of wild animals, and there is a painting of a horned man that comes to life and turns into the Lord Weird Slough Feg. He has been worshipped in that cave for twenty thousand years. It is as big as a cathedral and the bodies of his victims litter the floor.
  • The sacred grove of Drunemeton, where the Drune Lords sacrifice people to their evil gods. It is dark and cold, and shunned by both birds and animals. The trees are adorned with eldritch carvings.