Son of Cian by Ethlinn and father of Cu Chulainn, Lugh Lamhfahda was one of the more prominent of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a legendary warrior race who settled in Ireland after the Fir Bolg. It was foretold that he would slay his grandfather, Balor, king of the Fomorians.
One day Lugh sought audience with the Tuatha Dé Danann at the hall of Teamhair. The door keeper asked him what he was skilled in, and he responded "I am a carpenter". The door keeper replied that they had no need of carpenters, as they already had Luchtar among their ranks. So Lugh replied, saying "Then I am a smith", and the door keeper explained that they already had a smith of considerable skill, Colum Cuaillemech. This went on for quite some time, until Lugh demanded the door keeper to ask the king if he had any one man as talented as he in all these things. So the king, Nuada of the silver hand, brought out the chess-boards, and Lugh bested his opponent in every game he played. And so he was accepted into the Teamhair, and from that day forth he received the moniker of Ildanach.
Sons of Tuireann
"I am Lugh, the shining one... With my Areadbhar, I shall vanquish thine enemies."
One story tells of how his father was stoned to death by the sons of Tuireann, with whom he and his brothers had a bitter rivalry. In recompense Lugh demanded that they complete a series of seemingly simple tasks. Those tasks are as follows; to retrieve three apples, the skin of a pig, a spear, two horses, a chariot, seven pigs, a dog's whelp, a cooking spit, and three shouts upon a hill. He offered to exempt them from a portion of the task, but the brothers accept it in full. He then explained his request fully; they must retrieve the three mystical apples from the garden of the east, the pig skin of Tunis, King of Greece, whose healing properties are well renowned, the deadly Persian spear, Luin, the chariot and two horses of King Dobar, who are able to traverse the sea as easily as the land, the immortal pigs of King Easal, the glorious whelp of Fail-Inis, the spits of the women of Cenn-fhinne, and three shouts atop the Hill of Miochaoin, which is under the constant protection of Miochaoin and his sons.
Though the brothers complete each of the prescribed tasks, gaining great fame through the whole of Ireland for their cunning, they were mortally wounded in their battle with Miochaoin. Lugh prohibits the use of the mystical pig skin, which is capable of healing even the foulest of wounds, and they succumb to their injuries. Tuireann himself later dies of grief.
The Great Battle of Magh Tuireadh
Lugh's most notable deeds were preformed during the second battle of Magh Tuireadh, the final conflict between the Tuatha Dé Danann, led by Nuada of the Silver hand and his forces, and the armies of the Fomor, led by Bres and Balor of the Evil Eye. Armed with the mystical items obtained from the Sons of Tuireann, Lugh and his army set forth with great confidence and conviction, and a fierce battle ensued on both sides. Many notable figures were slain or wounded in the ensuing conflict; Cassmail met his end by the hands of Octriallach, Macha fell by Balor, and the Dagda received a foul wound form Ceithlenn, Balor's wife. The time came where even Nuada himself was slain by Balor of the Evil Eye.
Lugh rushed through the enemy ranks, making an end of every combatant that came his way, all the while giving heart to the Men of Dea. After some time he met Balor in battle, who was preparing to release his dreadful eye upon the Tuatha De Danann. But Lugh made a cast of his sling that brought the eye from out of it's head and sent it facing the armies of the Fomor, and a great number of their own men were killed in an instant. It is later said that had Lugh not acted as readily as he did, the whole of Ireland would have been consumed in a flash of fire.
The Fomor army was routed shortly after that, and Lugh went on to pursue Bres, prince of the Fomor. When finally in the hands of his enemies Bres made great pleading for his life, promising that if he were spared there would be great prosperity throughout the fields of Ireland, that the cows in their pasture would never go dry, and the corn in its harvest would always be bountiful. Upon council with his wise men Lugh agreed to spare his life, and the conflict was at an end shortly thereafter.
The Hidden Home of Lugh
Lugh held the kingship for many years after that, and eventually the Dagda was crowned king in his place. Lugh wandered away from Ireland then, and numerous accounts tell of how he died at Uisnech, or how he was slain by the sons of Cermait.
But one story in particular tells of how Conn of the Hundred Battles was making his trek around Ireland, searching for men of the Sidhe. A great shroud of mist came about them, and they saw the silhouette of a rider in the distance. The mysterious visage sent three spears hurling towards Conn and his company, until he finally stayed his horse in front of them. Conn received a friendly greeting from the man, and he bade him visit his cottage.
So Conn and his men came upon the mysterious mans dwellings, finding it to be a magnificent house, fit for a king of Teamhair. They also noticed the stature of the man who had beckoned them, comely and powerful, the likes of which Ireland hadn't seen in nearly a century. A beautiful young woman was in the house as well, and having sat the men down their was held an extravagant feast, full of mirth and light conversation.
At the end of the day the master of the house told Conn that the young woman was the symbol of Ireland's kingship, from now unto eternity. "And as for myself," he said, "I am Lugh of the Long Arm, son of Ethlinn."
The Battle Armaments
"Where my light leadeth... only thou shalt see."
Lugh had received a breastplate and sword, as well as the mystical horse Aonbharr, who was able to ride upon both land and sea, from Manannan Mac Lir. The breastplate was said to have rendered its wearer impervious, that he might leave any battle unscathed. The sword, known as the Freagarthach, the answerer, would make "fearful children" of any man who came against it in battle. He also wore a helmet adorned with 2 precious jewels, one set upon the front, and the other on the back.
Lugh made ample use of the treasures brought to him by the sons of Tuireann. His spear, Luin, once weld by the mighty Persian king, had to be kept in a large barrel of water, for it was so blazing hot that it might raze its dwellings to the ground if left unattended. When cast in battle it would never miss its mark, making an end of every man in its path. Lugh is also sometimes ascribed the deadly spear Areadbhar, whose blood lust was said to be so insatiable that it need not be wielded in battle, as it would fly forth into battle on its own, wrecking indiscriminate destruction on the battlefield.
He was also accompanied on the hunt by the magnificent hound of Fail-Inis, who was said to produce mead and wine when bathed in pristine spring water.
Lugh plays a relatively minor role in the Tain Bo Cuailnge, appearing before his son, Cu Chulainn, after a grueling series of battles with the forces of Connacht. He spends three full days healing the exhausted warrior. In some versions, Lugh takes on the visage of his son, holding off the men of Connacht while Cu Chulainn recovers.
Lugh has made several appearances in the prolific Megami Tensei series, often as a high-to-mid level member of the Deity clan, or in the case of the Persona series, a member of the Emperor arcana.
Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis
Lugh first appeared in the 1995 release of Majin Tensei II: Spiral nemesis under his epithet Ildanach ('skilled in many arts') as a member of the Genma clan. Said clan is notably populated by other figures of Irish lore, including Cu Chulainn, Macha, Diarmuid, and Dierdre.
Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku
Lugh would later make an appearance in the 1997 release of Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku as a member of the Deity clan, of which he would belong to in each subsequent release.
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Lugh went on to appear in Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers as a Level 51 demon of the Deity clan. His design notably incorporated elements from the mythological cycle, including the eye of Balor and a pair of mystical spears.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Lugh appears in the original Shin Megami Tensei: Persona as the highest level member of the Magician arcana. He was dubbed "Leuda" in the original English release of Revelations: Persona.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Once more our fair-haired friend makes an appearance in the latter portion of the Persona 2 duology as a level 72 member of the Emperor arcana. Lugh can only be obtained through a special mutation of the persona Il-Dana. After activating a rumor via the Kuzunoha detective agency the player must contact the demon Mananan, who will reveal Il-Dana's true identity, thereby unlocking his modification ability.
|Straight Slash||Light sword damage to one enemy.||Rank 1|
|Magarudyne||Large wind damage to a group of enemies.||Rank 3|
|Dekaja||Nullifies all "-Kaja" spells on one enemy.||Rank 4|
|Deathbound||Small sword damage to all enemies.||Rank 7|
|Divine Judgement||Large holy damage to all enemies, 50% chance of instant death.*||Rank 8|
|Hieros Glupaine||Large holy damage to all enemies, 50% chance of instant death.**||Mutation|
*Required component of the fusion spell "Devil's Slot".
**Required component of the fusion spell "Pantheon".
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
Lugh appears in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 on the sixth day, marked by the arrival of Mizar. In order to stop Mizar's perpetual division, Yamato suggests utilizing the Dragon Stream, an ancient power belonging to the Hotsuin clan. However a demon is needed to channel its power; Lugh, who has since been sealed in Miyashita park. Unfortunately the Void has fractured Lugh's power, now requiring a medium to take on physical form. Based on physical examinations conducted by Otome, Io is considered the candidate best suited for the task.
After arriving in Miyashita park the party undergoes a dangerous ritual to channel Lugh's power. Though the ritual is successful, Lugh's energy is split into various pieces and scattered around the park, attracting demons in its wake. Upon retrieving the lost fragments the party proceeds to manifest the Dragon Stream in a form capable of destroying Mizar.
In every route barring Daichi's the player will confront Io and the rest of the Tokyo faction in battle. Once the battle is underway Io channels the power of Lugh, enveloping herself in a greenish-yellow glow, and apparently wielding the Areadbhar. Upon defeat the player unlocks Lugh as a Lvl 57 demon of the Deity clan.
Appearances in other games
Lugh appears in Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye as one of the thirteen playable champions of Eire, alongside his son, Cu Chulainn, as well as various other figures of Celtic mythology.
It can be assumed that Lugh is one of the gods implicated in Bloodforge, considering the pervasive Celtic influence throughout the games narrative.
Lugh is counted as one of the "three guardians" in the 2004 release of The Bard's Tale.
- The tribe of Luigne are said to trace their ancestry back to the Lugh of folklore.
- Lugh, as well as the Welsh Lleu Llaw Gyffes, are considered cognates of the Pan-Celtic god Lugus.
- The name of Lugh's scenario in Devil Survivor 2, titled "Lahmfahda", is a reference to one of his more popular epithets: "Lugh of the Long Arm".