Fionn's father was killed before he was born, and fearing for
his safety, his mother sent him away to be raised by foster-parents, a druidess and a
When he was six his mother came to find him. She wondered the hills for
days, not knowing where his foster-parents had hidden him. She could only spend a short
time with him. She left, instructing the foster-mothers to care for him until he was old
enough to take up arms.
They did well and he grew in wisdom and strength. He went on wanderings
until his foster-parents found him and took him back to the mountains.
He again went wandering again and found himself at a fort where he
joined boys playing shinty. He defeated them one on one and all of them at once. They were
defeated so badly that they went and complained to the chief of the household.
He decided to rename the boy Fionn, for he was fair in looks. Fionn
never found his match among the boys playing shinty so he returned home.
There his hunting skills soon outstripped those of his foster-parents.
Eventually he moved on to work for a king, but his skills became known
and so he had to move on for fear of being found by his father's enemies.
And so he moved around defeating monsters and robbers. But in those
times being a hero did not only mean defeating evil but true heroes were also skilled in
the art of poetry, so Fionn went to study under a poet, known as Finneces.
Finneces lived by a pool where it was said that the salmon of knowledge
lived. The prophecy surrounding the salmon was that a man named Fionn would catch and eat
the salmon and when he did he would become all knowing.
Finneces thought that his own name was close enough to the prophecy to
mean him, for he knew not Fionn's name.
Not long after Fionn arrived, the old poet caught the salmon and
instructed his pupils to cook it and he was not to eat any of it.
Fionn didn't eat any of it but he did suck his thumb after he had burnt
it on the salmon. So the old poet asked his name and when he heard that he was called
Fionn, Finneces gave him the salmon to eat, as it was his right.
Fionn ate it and became all knowing. He could see into the future when
he sucked on his thumb.
Fionn joined a group of wandering warriors known as the Fenians. They
roamed Ireland destroying monsters and clearing areas of thugs and marauders.