This is a location based story that I have designed as part of storymooc. It is aimed at kayakers and water tourists on the river Boyne, who will use the route once it becomes part of the National Trails. The trail will allow kayakers to float through the Boyne Valley, past castles and ruins. You download an app with the game on it and each scene is triggered by GPS and will have augmented reality characters moving the story along. The distance involved is about 15 miles and will take about 2.5 hours to complete. The first GPS point introduces us to Boanne before we embark on the water.
1. My name is Boann. I am the goddess of the valley. A long time ago I lived here with the king. The king had a magic well which contained the salmon of knowledge that fed on the acorns of wisdom. No women were allowed to go near the well, but I was curious, so I disobeyed the order. As soon as the salmon felt my presence they attacked me, chasing me to the sea, and that is how the Boyne came to flow through the valley. They think that I am gone, but I am just hiding, waiting for someone with the knowledge to release me. If you follow the river, you will find plenty of knowledge, but be careful as there will be red herrings along the way to slow us down. You need to find three magical objects. They represent those who work, those who fight and those who pray. You will need all three to release me. Good luck.
By the way, the first clue will be at a warrior on a horse.
2. My name is Meal Seachnaill. I was the King of Meath. I defeated the Vikings and became the King of Ireland after Brian Ború. But I am not here to talk about myself. You want to find Boann don’t you? First, let me tell you about a legendary queen associated with this spot. Her name was Maeve. It was said that she was a fierce warrior. In front of us here, you can see that the river is low. When Maeve crossed the river on her way to fight the King of Ulster, it was here where she crossed. The town was named after the fording point and her crossing was the first record of the town which grew up around here. I have her sword here. You should take it with you. Follow the river to the wooden bridge and disembark for a while there. You may find someone who can give you some information which will help you more.
3. My name is William Rowan Hamilton. I suppose you have never heard of me? Nobody knows about me. I lived just there in Talbot Castle. No, not that ruin, the one beside it. There are so many ruins here. It was here that I studied as a child. I was a bit of child genius I will have you know. Chess champion, fluent in twelve languages by the age of ten, Professor of astronomy by the age of 19. Nobody remembers though. I invented quarternions. Quarternions! Oh for heavans sake! It is like talking to one of those medieval serfs from Fraunces Weir. Mathematical formula that are used by NASA to turn spaceships in orbit! Anyway, I am wasting my time. You want to know about Boann? Well, you have come to the right place. Did you know that Boann comes from the Gaelic mBó Ann, meaning the white cow. No, of course you didn’t know that. How would you know the significance of the White Cow, with your smart phones and and your google? The White Cow is the Milky Way, the stars that float above your head at night. The ancient Irish believed that the Boyne was a mirror image of the stars. Quite clever of them actually. At least they paid some attention to the sky. Now, I must go. I have experiments to carry out. I am sorry, I cannot be of anymore assistance. You are obviously too simple too see the significance of what I have just told you. Try the workers down at Fraunces Weir. Good day to you!
4. Ah, how is it going? You must be here because you figured out that old Hamilton is not much use to you. Head in the clouds that man. Too clever for his own good. This here is Fraunces Weir. The river used to come in here, channeled in a mill race to power mills. From here down to the ruins of Newtown was all mills. Tuck mills, flour mills, pottery kilns, you name it, we had it here. This was the industrial part of the town and it was all powered by the river. We had big wheels turning, stones grinding seeds, paddles beating cloths and not a bit of that old electricity you have today. This was original, whatyamacallit, hydro power. Anyways, you will be needing this on your travels. It is a quern-stone. Let me give you some advice. You see that big old ruin further down on the left? It is called Newtown Cathedral. If you are looking for a place of prayer connected with a woman you would be wise to check that ruin out. There is a little old church in there, all deserted like, and in the middle is a big old tomb, the likes of which you never saw, with a statue of a woman on it. Check it out.
5. Greetings kind travellers, I see that you are curious about my wonderful tomb. Isn’t it exquisite? My name is Lady Jane Bathe and I was married to Lucas Dillon, the attorney general of Ireland to Queen Elizabeth the first. You can see that relief carved on the base of the tomb which shows our wedding day. You see both of our hands on the bible, making our vows, and our families standing behind us. That was such a memorable day, apart from the rain. Can you see the sculptures on the lid of the tomb? Have you ever seen anything like them? Lucas spared no expense. He was like that. Don’t I look fine in my Elizabethan gown? I have to say, Lucas does looks dashing in his armour. Not that he ever wore armour. Lucas was more into politics and money than battle. I do wish that he didn’t put that sword between us though. That was uncalled for. He could have had us holding hands as was the custom. A sword is so cold and harsh to have between man and wife, isn’t it? I do think he would have forgiven me for my affair though. At least in death. Lucas could be spiteful at times. It is like he wants to make me suffer for eternity. I am sorry that I do not have a more spiritual story, but there was no love here. If you are looking for a real place of prayer, I would suggest Bective Abbey further downriver. If you find it, make sure that you look for a carving on one of cloister columns. It is very interesting. Much better than a sword.
6. You made it. Thank you. Welcome to my abbey. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the 13th century but it is where I have hidden for all these years. As you can see from the carving on the wall, I have hidden in the fleur-de-lis to represent those that work, those that fight and those that pray. Now, time for a spot of salmon dinner.