Myth holds that the Fomorians were the very first inhabitants of the land that we now know as Ireland. Descended from the ancient God, they walked the earth as immortal giants amongst men, more beast than man, though they walked on two legs as men do. They were a wild and brutal race, with the instincts of animals.
When the great armies of the Tuatha Dé Danann invaded Ireland, they tried to tame the Fomori, but when they found it an impossible task, they went to war, a great and bloody massacre that saw the last surviving Fomori, including their disgraced king, driven down beneath the sea. There they made their home in the black, sub-oceanic pits, caves of endless night and unspeakable violence that some would later come to call ‘hell’. To the Fomori, it became known as Fomor.
They were thought to be banished forever and the lands thrived, but every prison has its weaknesses and the Fomori laid in wait to exploit theirs and reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
Just as earthquake fault lines craze the earth’s surface, threatening the escape of the molten core of the earth, so lines of fault existed where the barrier between Fomor and the earth’s surface was thin, forming black pools that linked into labyrinthine subterranean canals leading to the sea. When the tides were favourable, at the time of the full moon, the Fomori appealed to their Moon God ancestor Elatha, and found they had a conduit to reach the surface. They clamoured for escape and while the moon was full, they were once again free to roam the earth. Elatha's influence waned with the moon however, and the Fomori were forced to return below ground with the retreating tide or face the curse of the Tuatha Dé and die a painful death.
One such black pool lay on the east coast of Ireland. The ancient inhabitants of this place they called Eblana, knew of the dangers of the black lake and knew of the wards and spells that would protect them when the moon was full and the tides swollen. They kept wolf hounds to guard against the marauding beasts. Their children were warned against going near the cursed waters.
But the Norse men who crossed the oceans over a thousand years ago had no such knowledge and no fear. They moored their longboats on the black lake and named the place Dubh Linn, after its dark waters. They may have landed on the shores of Ireland with the intent of peaceful trade and settlement, but beyond the first cycle of the moon, their intentions were changed utterly, their souls corrupted and they cut a devastating swathe of looting, slavery and massacre through the land. The Fomori possessed the bodies of the Viking invaders, becoming half man/half beast creatures, once again free from their prison to claim the land they believed to be theirs by divine right.
Some say these creatures live amongst us still, with the powers to transform from man to beast.