Once on the Isle of Mull, before there was a kingdom of Scotland or a kingdom of the Dalreada, before Gaelic was spoken or the People had iron, there was a beautiful young woman, and a man from the Fort on the Rock wanted to marry her. Now, the Fort on the Rock stood at the very top of a high hill in the middle of the island’s narrowest place, and from it you could see the sea on every side. The fort was a circle of natural stone, and the People had taken smaller rocks and pieces of rock they had broken with stone hammers and used them to fill in the gaps in the living rock and to build a wall all around, except for a gap as wide as one man that could be reached only up a narrow defile in the hill, and that was their gate. The wall was higher than a man’s head. Inside this circle, they built another wall, and they put a wooden platform between these walls for a roof, and under the platform and between the walls was where they lived and had their fires.
And the man from the Fort on the Rock brought the beautiful young woman, who was just sixteen, to the field below the high hill for their wedding. All the people of the fort came out, and there was great dancing and singing and eating, and the two were married. Then the Cruithni, who had come and hidden in the woods the night before, came out, some of them going up the narrow gully into the fort, where they killed the guards and set fire to the wood and threw the walls down, and the rest attacking the People. The men who had come from the Fort had brought only their bronze knives, and the women short daggers; the Cruithni had axes and swords and spears, some of bronze and some even of iron, and there was a great slaughter, men, old women, and children, no matter.
The young woman who had just been married hid in a cleft in the rock and pulled a gorse bush in front of her. She saw terrible things – the women captured and raped or killed, children butchered and eaten, and the men run down and chopped to pieces. She saw everything, and she went mad.