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So he set out for Tara, where Nuada and the Gods were preparing to meet the invasion; and whoever beheld him as he came, it seemed to them as if they had seen the sun rising on a bright day in summer. "Open thou the portal!" said he; but the knife was in the meat and the mead in the horn, and no man might enter but a craftsman bearing his craft.

The De Danaans heard the challenge and made ready to fight. Nuada, now called the chieftain of the Silver Arm, because the mischief wrought by Sreng's blow on his shoulder had been hidden by a silver casing, was once more ruler since Breas had been driven out.

Nuada, the De Danaan king, once more sought a peaceful issue to their meeting, but Erc's son Eocaid refused all terms, and it was plain to all that they must fight. It was midsummer. The air was warm about them, the lake-shores and the plain clothed in green of many gently blended shades. The sun shone down upon them, and the lakes mirrored the clear blue above.

They cut and thrust, each with his eyes fixed on the fierce eyes of his foe. They fought on the day of the Spirits, now the Eve of All Saints; the Fomorians were routed, and their chieftains slain. But of the De Danaans, Nuada, once wounded by Sreng of the Firbolgs, now fell by the hand of Balor; yet Balor also fell, slain by Lug, his own daughter's son.

Then came Lugh to avenge Nuada, and a bolt from his sling tore like the dawn ray, like the meteor of heaven, over Moytura plain, and took the evil eye of Balor in the midst, and drove it into his head; and then the Fomorians were routed.

For Nuada, the king, being grievously wounded, was in no state to rule, so that the chief power was given to Breas, first envoy of the De Danaans. Now Breas was only half De Danaan, half Fomor, and would not recognize the De Danaan rites or laws of hospitality, but was a very tyrannous and overbearing ruler, so that much evil came of his government.

This was so; had he shown his colors from the first, it is not to be thought that the Danaans would have tolerated him at all. But it came to be, as time went on, that he oppressed Ireland abominably; and at last they rose and drove him out. Nuada, whose missing hand had been replaced with one of silver, was restored in the kingship; henceforth he is called Nuada of the Silver Hand.

"Balor as old as a forest, his mighty head helpless sunk, And an army of men holding open his weary and death-dealing eye," for wherever his glances fell, there death came. They fell on Nuada of the Silver Hand, and he died, albeit it is well known that he was alive, and worshiped in Britain in Roman times, for a temple to him has been found near the River Severn.

What happened was this: In the first battle Nuada, king of the Danaans, lost his hand; and, because a king must be blemishless, lost his kinghood too. It went to Bres son of Elatha; whose mother was Danaan, but whose unknown father was of the Fomoroh. In person, Bres was handsome like the Danaans; in character he was Fomorian altogether.

Besides Nuada, these were De Danaan chieftains: Dagda, the Mighty; Lug, son of Cian, son of Diancect, surnamed Lamfada, the Long Armed; Ogma, of the Sunlike Face; and Angus, the Young. They summoned the workers in bronze and the armorers, and bid them prepare sword and spear for battle, charging the makers of spear-haft and shield to perfect their work.