Some places you visit and and a story leaps to mind right away. Other places, you think maybe there's a story lurking in there somewhere, but you're not sure what it is yet. This is one of the latter places.
These ruins of a medieval priory lie just south of Kilkenny in Ireland. The site looks more like a fortress than an abbey and there's something about the grey stone against the surrounding green that lends it an air of melancholy. The thing that struck me most when we visited these ruins this morning was the solitude. There was no one there at the Priory except for us and a bunch of sheep. And yet I could see glimpses of characters flitting through the shadows of the stone structure.
I wondered why this priory was built to look more like a castle than religious site. The stone walls had slits for archers and the whole area is enclosed by walls with towers. Who were these monks trying to keep out? Weren't they supposed to be all catholic and welcoming and whatnot?
In my imagination, this wasn't a priory for real monks but actually a training ground for a brotherhood of warriors posing as monks. *dun dun duuuuun* There's this young wannabe monk-warrior called Aeryck who has joined the priory because his beloved is betrothed to another and he has vowed to take a life of solitary contemplation. When he arrives at the priory, he discovers the truth about the warrior clan and even worse: the clan is loyal to a ruthless knight who happens to be the man marrying Aeryck's beloved. So now he's torn. Loyalty to his brothers, which means being under the thumb of Sir knight or loyalty to his own heart? *cue romantic music* He chooses neither. Instead, he runs off to join a band of pirates. *arrrrrr matey!*