The rite of the Challenge determines the Battle Lord of The People. But defeating (which in this contest usually means killing) the previous Lord is the first test. The victor is then set on the Trail of Dlotinus and must seek the blessing of Dagda. The ritual takes place in Turas, the temple Dagda and Aine call home. Jon shared with me what transpired upon their first meeting…

Jon says he was led to a chamber where a large stone structure called the Aisling, or “dream table,” waited for him. Before he was “tested” by Dagda, he was given a chalice of liquid to drink. He described it as a “heady, lip-smacking blend of the sweetest berries when it hits the palate with the fine finish of dog vomit.” The liquid, called Codladh (pronounced culla), induces a kind of “waking dream state” where all physical senses and notions of time melt away. Jon believes this allows Dagda unfettered access to every corner of the mind of anyone who seeks to take leadership of The People.