The Burning of Muintir Plot in Outspoken | World Anvil

The Burning of Muintir

Caution: If you want to avoid spoilers for the OUTSPOKEN series, turn back now! This will be your only warning.
  “Caillte!” I shout, hauling the horses to a halt, grabbing him by the shirt, and practically catapulting him onto the stallion’s back behind me. “Hold on tight. I’m going to get us out of here. Don’t worry.”
His tiny arms reach around me, and I can feel him shaking as I urge the horses forward once more. Sparks fly from beneath their shodden hooves, the burning embers flowering around us so thick I can hardly breathe.
— OUTSPOKEN, Book One, Chapter 11


The Burning of Muintir occurred shortly after The First Great Dynastic Shift, approximately 17 years before Book One of OUTSPOKEN. The small town of Muintir was razed to the ground by their Laird Breith Sadach, seemingly for no reason. Muintir was home to Lucian "Deordhan" Cathasach and Caillte Dochtuir, two of the main characters of the series, who are believed to be the only survivors.

It is revealed in Book Two that King Máirtín I had ordered this action, believing Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir was hiding under the protection of the Foreman, Uchtach Cathasach.


Following the tragedy of The First Great Dynastic Shift, Sir Éalaigh Casey of The Royal Guard and his family helped Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir escape. The plan was to lay low in the tiny village of Muintir until the worst of the storm had passed, then escort him to Laird Sadach for aid. But when Laird Sadach proved not to be the friend Finn thought he was, the True Prince had to remain hidden and find a way to cross the Eastern border of Éirigh.

As the Foreman of Muintir, and a man loyal to the Slánaitheoir family, Uchtach Cathasach chose to provide shelter for Finn, knowing that his family would bear the blame if they were found out. Rumors of Finn's survival rampaged through The Royal City, spreading out through the kingdom like wildfire.

Eventually, King Máirtín I learned through secret means that if Finn had survived, he would be hidden in Muintir, and ordered Laird Sadach to handle the problem. This was both a test of Laird Sadach's loyalty, and a way to put down the last seeds of rebellion rampaging through the kingdom, whether or not Prince Finnlay was there.
The twang of steel draws my eyes back to the inn, where my father stands, blade drawn, engaged in heated battle with one of the Laird’s men. He sees me, and his eyes widen in fear.
“Lucian, ru--“ He shouts, cut off by a deep, ghastly gurgling sound as the knight runs his blade across my father’s throat, splattering my legs and face with blood. The spray hisses as it peppers the flames, and cold horror spreads through my body. It can’t be real. It can’t. It can’t.
“Pa!” I scream, a gravelly, guttural shriek. The knight turns toward me, and instinct overrides everything, spurring the horse forward at a dead gallop, racing to the edge of town. As we fly, I hear my sister scream, see the inn collapsing into nothing but hellfire.
— OUTSPOKEN, Book One, Chapter 11

The Attack

Laird Sadach's Order, under the leadership of Sir Torai Dorchadas, was dispatched with orders to burn the town of Muintir to the ground, and ensure there were no survivors. In the middle of the night, they surrounded the town, setting it ablaze and cutting down every soul they caught breaking for escape. Those that weren't burned alive in their sleep met their death against cold steel.

Amongst the chaos, two children (Lucian Cathasach and Caillte Dochtuir) slithered past the order and into the night. For one night, they evaded their deaths, hiding out in an abandoned old barn a few miles outside of town. But the next morning, with no idea where to go, they stumbled right into the path of Laird Sadach's Order while seeking water from a stream. Their soot smeared cheeks and burnt heels gave them away as fugitives from Muintir. But rather than put them to death, Sir Torai Dorchadas saw a better use for them, and took them captive.

Hard hands grab my shoulders, while Torai holds my head steady. A third wrenches my jaws open, and it happens in a flash.
The sensation of cold steel. The taste of blood. So much blood. So much I can’t breathe. My eyes go blurry around the edges, light fading, world fading. I find Caillte’s eyes, thrown wide with horror, and everything goes black.
— OUTSPOKEN, Book One, Chapter 11

The Aftermath

Sir Torai Dorchadas delievered Lucian and Caillte to Laird Sadach], suggesting that they would make better Bond Servants than sacrifices due to their spirit and apparent skill with horses. Laird Sadach accepted this proposal, but young Lucian spit back at him with the same fire that had taken his family the night before. For this crime, Lucian received corporal punishment, mutilating him and marking him as a Deordhan. It was only due to Caillte's quick thinking and medical skill that Lucian survived.

In the larger scheme of things, the Burning of Muintir served its purpose. With all hope lost for the rebels and loyal Lairds of the kingdom, King Máirtín I's fight for the crown was over. Laird Breith Sadach] would still be pushed further to prove his loyalty to the Traitor King, a betrayal which would ultimately give rise to The New Order. However, unbeknownst to Laird Sadach or King Máirtín I, the Prince they sought to kill was still very much alive, and had already fled across the kingdom's Eastern border. Years later, this miscalculation would come back to haunt them in the form of The Order of the Green Cloak. Someday, historians of Éirigh will say that the Burning of Muintir is what started the bloodiest civil war in the kingdom's history.


Lucian "Deordhan" Cathasach, the main character of OUTSPOKEN, suffers from PTSD due to the traumas of his childhood and life as a Bond Servant to Laird Breith Sadach. As much as he must fight against external forces throughout the trilogy, his greatest battle occurs within the confines of his own mind. The character's internal battle is informed greatly by Maybe's own experiences with PTSD, and the story of OUTSPOKEN is as much a fantastical tale as it is a journey toward recovery.
A blood curdling scream rips through the night, shattering my peace. I spin toward the bonfire, but when I turn around, all I can do is stare in horror. The fire has spread, taking over the whole town, and suddenly I’m in the middle of it. The heat is overwhelming, the smoke so thick I can’t breathe. The flames lick at me, sending sparks of pain throughout my body until I’m crawling on hands and knees, reaching for freedom, begging for air to fill my lungs.
— OUTSPOKEN, Book One, Chapter 15

See Also
Laird Breith Sadach
Character | Dec 27, 2020

Laird Breith Sadach is the primary antagonist of OUTSPOKEN, particularly in book one. He is a cold and often cruel man, and the most powerful Laird of Éirigh.

King Máirtín I
Character | Dec 27, 2020

King Fealltóir Máirtín I, also known as the Traitor King, is a paranoid man who stole the crown in an act of revenge, leading to the bloodiest period the Kingdom has even seen.

The First Great Dynastic Shift
Plot | Dec 27, 2020

The First Great Dynastic Shift of Éirigh occurred in the year 1475, putting a brutal end to The Slánaitheoir Royal Family and ending with the Traitor King Máirtín I on the throne.

Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir
Character | Dec 28, 2020

Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir is the only surviving member of The Slánaitheoir Royal Family of Éirigh after the tragedy of The First Great Dynastic Shift.

Cover image: by Photo by Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash


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