What is the 'geasa' ?


Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2005
I just finished the first book of the Rigante
and have some questions about the role of the geasa.

I'm sorry if there is already a thread on this.

Is the geasa a prophecy something that will happen no matter
what or is it just a warning that dead could follow the breaking
of the geasa.
Do the people have a free will and can actively decide to breake
it or not to break it ( like Ruthain) or is it all foretold and they
can't escape their destiny?

What are your thoughts?
the geasa is a prophecy given to the rigante at birth similar to native american customs it fortells the future and not all of them are ill omens but they will come to pass
Geasa (plural of geas) comes from Celtic Mythology, especially the Irish tradition. It can be a taboo (curse) that a hero has to avoid breaking or face dire consequences or a vow he has to adhere to which again if broken normally leads to death or dishonour (or both).

Often a hero's geas was perfect for ensuring a tragic death. The Irish hero Cúchulainn's is probably the most well known. He had two geasa, first he must always accept any meal offered to him, secondly a taboo against eating dog meat. So his enemies simply offered him a meal of dog meat, knowing either way he would have to break one of his geasa.

Breaking a geasa normally means you'll die, but not directly. In Cúchulainn's story for example the breaking of his geas weakened him spiritually which allowed his enmies to slay him, as otherwise he was formidable and practically invincible.

Often there is a sense of inevitability about things and the more the hero tries to avoid breaking his geasa, the more likely his action will lead to it being broken. In this respect the Celtic tradition is simillar to the tragic Greek heroes, who are prohpesied a doom. It is in struggling against this doom that they bring about the very fate they seek to avoid.
Its not a doom curse, its more a prophetic warning for the person concerned. In times of great struggle as a guiding light, for some it does portray death and destruction but for others just a warning that should be heeded.